Poetry for Strangers: Tantalizing

legis obscura

shambolic and stately this self-finding life
spinning on its point the jawbone knife

accidental metaphysics at the ladonia rock races
tantalizing euphony rattles the iconostasis

the hijinks of the early reformation were scrawled in the scribe’s journal
the latrine made a terrible omphalos but it was stuck eternal

rum pot cold kudzu and the mythy minds of insurance agents
left crumbling on the table emitting a sickly fragrance

hocus pocus dragon locus in trembling constellations
ravaged residuum of avalons distillations

on the island of mischief and beauty the calypso laws must rhyme
no stealing anothers dime or you’ll be doing time

ten days in the algerian steppes with camus on hand
sorrows of the sun drenched the antique land

our lives are sustained notes on the violin taut and pure
after death the echo is memory architecture

the penumbra of images is a skulduggery jubilee
weve been retelling the odyssey for all of humanity

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Poetry for Strangers: Concupiscence

seven ways of looking at a stained glass window


our lives are like twin pine trees
tall over the pillbox houses
our interlocking branches are the low
scrim before the stars
there is music in our tangled roots
the mosaic of time and unrivaled reach
each caress a vaunting meridian of concupiscence


we went to see the movie of our lives
the actor that played you had blue eyes
which cracked the whole enterprise like a copper cup
your eyes are forest brown
they hold the truth of the mystery of the experience


the storefront held an array of useful fictions
including jesus and superman
saving the city from darth vader
they high-five over celebratory smoothies
the crane operator bought steampunk emily dickinson
discovering the well of lost slant rhymes


in the elevator the engineer meditated
imagining herself mining the starlight
wisdom is a word like soul that means everything
and has no definition


alligator eyes peering over the still water
the enchantment of armistice is a languid dream
a useful fiction which will redound to misery
the broken compass lay on the mossy bank


the lawyer swirled his madeira pensively
before a wellstoked fire the night before trial
a fellow freemason stood accused
his quoits partner was the judge
his client was the ship of state adrift in calm seas
civic scripture demanded the rough course


the sentry brought the queens scarf to the witch
the witch boiled the frogs and plucked their eyes
the council folded their hands and waited
for the spell to take effect

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Poetry for Strangers: Flourish


in the flourishing casino on the edge of the black sea
even heavy weather couldn’t keep the philharmonic from blasting tchaikovsky
in the alabaster bar mordant fissures of the patrons came into focus
the french judge declared himself incompetent and claimed the jokes on us
the philosopher at the flamingo slot machine said it isn’t true we all have a soul to make
rather he said all were given when were born is time lambent and layered like cake
the soul is a useful fiction said the parson barkeep
and fingered his frayed white collar but it runs so deep
a slim awkward contrivance said the captain of the clown pirates of idaho
and cant keep a sordid band of cutlasses from seizing the buried ducats of io
pellucid rainbows coruscated through the flow of vichy bourbon
the compere pulled dove feathers from her puce silk turban
the history of magic she said is littered with dead bodies
and loss of selfnarrative contemplated over many hot toddies
the soul is nothing but mathematical proof hummed the viceroy in disguise
it is the jazz of the brains neurons my nations scientists theorize
professor mongoose tipped her fez and said were all tragic mannequins
doomed to perish when the dragons overcome the ravelins
the soul is the excretion of the pineal gland claimed the fellow from the aristocracy
its dreadfully obvious from the glands lack of bilateral symmetry
the ivory merchant said i saw carved into a maremma stone
a yantra showing the soul is stardust bred in the bone

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