INFLUENZA MONTH

     

 

        On the first day the freaks freaked at you the vaccine and self-determination were mutually
      
enemy, crying you take life into your own inoculating paws, they breathed with each other
       conspirator, they secreted in the cellar, practiced inbred silence in the journal, lored it, x’d
  the terrible date of rapture. On the seventh day a panic was forecast— storm cells would bind
           the white instant down into the ancient animal-body slew underground. You ran out into
       wholehearted sequences of storms, exhibitions or routines that would not concern the hidden
          neighbors, the drinking glass outside filling with violet hail sometime after a mistake but
       sometime before it. The gutter churned out milk & leaves. The century plants frosted, bent,
  browned, washes washed out. The hands handed a conclusion with bone in the hands’ motive.
     Glad glad glad before the chattering alerts, before the diagnoses could mark me, before wet
     leaves barely burned in the backyard on the twentieth day, and you choked this smoke, the
  moll black seeking no plot, you went to the line for medicine. On the twenty-second day rose
    stems lay on the welcome mat of crushed blossoms. You wanted the scarcity of the desert,
  found an outlook which was no mount, no numbered noon for the enunciation, no cause, no
     reading for the lamp. More vernacular. Falsework. Venereal weeds sprung in the unholy
   warm winter and coughed at immunity. You walked. From there to the waterless boulder
     river was a distance covered only with willed volition (an oxymoron) for a self-starter.
       Willows in the corner of the cemetery looked like the good wing of a red morning.
      Orthostatic lines of gravemarkers. Memorial wreaths. Willows red. Flowers deposited.
        The dogged sun above. Clay pot with plastic flower. Plastic solar-paneled flame.
      The total city sick. The yellow night came with no new information. You slept and did not
    remember. The uptake before dawn: the national excuse this morning is ground meat. On the
      thirtieth day new fires cracked out in the retardant forest. Smoke ragged into the rows of
                                                        pines in a landscape.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMPERIUM

 


            I didn’t create the universe      I am part of its pollution      I imitate other forms of matter
                  
I made the children from spit      in a summer solstice snow      named these naked
            inchoate after minerals, incidental        I stood between my progeny     in a corner of the
              forest     where we washed our faces with camp ash         and pressed charred wood into
                      magisterial teeth     as the father taught me      whisker-scrape      dirt beneath nails
                   pubic sweetness     cock shift shrinking    engorging      navigator     reader of stars and
                      shadows    sear fire      closest to door   smoke in the lungs       animal on the spit
                         skins stretched     out of the forest     back into the forest      handle of axe
                        the situated tools     nickel and iron falling into the foothills from the night
                                                                       within without
             flint   carved augural staffs    streaks in the black above ingrained into the eyes of the sons of
                                      sons    blue spark in the burning driftwood on the beach
                       salt    rope    fish oil drizzle     swallowing mammoths in the deep washing up
                 kelp on the wound    the children abhorrently singing they were born without women
                   blackening the orphan points in the coals     mollusk shells in our pockets     tackle
                 storm throttling the tree crowns       the begging ferocity-silence between the two sons
                       caches of food stuffs    the alpha      stoic thrift     smoking the walls with sage
             hanging seed high from vermin   scattering the ash into glyphs      vertical walls of pines
                        scored trunks      conjecturing arrhythmic spinning stars     visited by the orphic
        herbal barriers to keep the fates out     water vapor       the drone of a trillion insects
       were the admonishing moans of the unborn       crying for thrones      thrumming in step


        I saw what my children would build   were crystalline shafts      were dominioning eruptive by
the flooding channel      done grasping my hand     fingering broken glass from near
   the river      done with papa     not a dream nor a nightmare nor a world shared
   the perceived color of one thing simply bled over when their incarnadine tongues became skin
        smashed bottles the vitreous source       a brown foggy light thrown onto the pressed
 
 diamond dirt        my watery children  demolished things here     they sang
         I recognized their voices       only because        each was human

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TO ELSIE, BRIGHT BIRD IN THE SIGH-SIGH CRESCENT OF FRIDAY

 

 

 

Crown yourself sadcore in bleeding viburnum: this is a home, mimicking bloodspray and rictus, and
balance is disguised as appliance, parked against the apolitical strain of designers. You can get it…
target.

Rolling pin deployed and conjugal in mothers and wives’ kitchens, operatic, a wooden wrath.

I did not see the ghoulish cactus on the sill beside Ganesh until I willed myself to see

                                                                                                        what you had done.
 

                                                                 I was still seeing my sink in my mother’s clean delight.

The canvas… anguish is the subject in your slung paint (no?), and between this and everything else,
chores, we forced action taken less with stiff fidelity to music than to economy.

             Slatterns tricked out. Excrement in the sky. Ithyphallic deer orgasming in the goldenrod.

             Everyone eats

             filth—

 
                industrial

meat. I could be milled in the surf of your gurgling throat, you had swallowed the Indian ocean
thousands of miles away.

                                          Only a drop of blood… not that kind of indian, but that kind of indian.

I would open the maw and allow the undertow to pull the hard thud of my gut into your
annihilating bottom so it’d rise again to surface, unprofitable in heavy froth,

                                          fed by the Vishnu-color clouds—
             

                                          essentialism: I should have said it before.
                           

                                                      A flagtree is a tree

                                                      wind-stripped
                                                      of every leaf


unbudding in a land of stark gypsum dunes. You understand, it all works through slow
accretion. One never whistles in the wasted land, which you have memorized.


But on the sill, I keep the sake rocks I pocketed on indirected evening walks on the
playa. Under onanism, accretion is succession from whistle to rock

                                                       with purpose.
              

                                                       What’s in the bloodstream today:
                                                           blocker or buster?
              

                                                        I sorted errors
 

before you arrived slathered in hotsauce and wrapped in ganga. I functioned… don’t
interrupt me… as a mouth writing

                                           checks. And you: as uniquely you.

            Will be richly impoverished if you affix to me.

Too often, filmic landscape is posed as statement. Someone calls it ‘american scenic.’ I
transact, etiolated in our bedroom mirror,
                            and gain market. To strike.

                            I would I were realm within realm within realm within

                                          but the next place is
 

                                          what I’d call

                                          sclerotic saphood—          stuck.

Here is how to help the white man: arrow down the power window—

demonstrate force while he drives the car from your side.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


EIDOLONS

 

 

 


The mole noses into the hole and dements it. I see the dead father in the hole— he
may be a hostage, the unwilling guest hostile at the doorway, as when I was a child and

knew he was coming for me. As much to blame as I am— the willing host. I see obtusely,
the tiniest portion of a whole. The arm of the chair, not the chair. The dead father sees only
peripherally, and inherently, I see peripherally, too. Such are the “effects,” which make use
of light in the room.

                                                                  Effect: penknife
                                                             Each blade’s impressed-upon smile fits the end of
                                                                the fingernail, and as each knife pivots from

                                                     its slotted bed, the dull metal absorbs and mutes
                                                     radiance. The smallest blade’s broken tip might
                                                                 fit into the slot of a screw.

                                                                   Effect: wallet
                                                            Black leather, also a crinkly skin of enwrapment,
                                                              whose empty slits held in place the means of
                                                                 identification and exchange.


If the air is warm this week, and there is that middle happiness of walking the dog, because
I am alive and questions are more necessarily contrived under that condition, and if the
dog keeps lifting his leg with joy to lean into the thing he would invisibly sign, should the
unknown hurt?

An ending scrap of sunlight beneath the pecan tree. Tree remnant of orchard. Standing
within it and expecting to see the glowy edges of the other world, which for the living, never
merges. There. It will be the memory of a scrap of light, always a chunk, not so
much useful as available, whirling both. The nutty debris of the limbs discarded
ineffectually to the soil. Unknown animals in emaciated limbs look at me anonymously
from the nether, mouthing their fading needs to each other because they have no discrete

walls against which to reverberate their private atrocities. In the beginning was everything,
and now there is nothing, except for the queasy-sweet flowers in the obscure
canopy. Placeless grief revving quietly. You’re divining. Finally, the right verb. If only the right
action. A net with which to catch the weightless junk falling from above. Night, fully

named. The huge tangled patriarchy of branches. The stars tingling irretrievable.

Came an owl, vomiting pellets.
Coming through now: what he meant when he spoke of the unstoppable aging of the sky.

The dead stars burning in the now. It is also unspeakable. It converges with more of that
dream-land laughter, there again, at the limits. I swing toward the negative space of
the outlines of the homes—the blue shifting auras in the windows, the marigold resonance of
the yards, all the brief immaculate pretense the hostage wants.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NONVIOLENT VIOLENCE

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                 Name me and I shrink,
suspect depersonalization.
                                                                                                                        I can fix it

abook self-helpingly intrudes, here after the frost the first week of February kills the agaves the
poppies the azaleas the nameless succulents.
                                                                                                                            Dead ragweed

 

veers and boxes in the wind of a vacant lot across the alley. Wanting this to have no symbolic
value.
                                                                                                                            I’m not right


with the vatic reaches of transcription where I read blackbirds combating above, foresee thing one
will/will not drop from space, rot or petrify on the roof

                                                                                                                 or it’s not struggle—
actually it’s tearing-to-slivers ritual mating.

 

                                                                                                           Hand-held camera, shaky:

the child riding its bike points to a pixilated emergency in the trees. Then, like a surgical score
tracked over it.

                                                                                                                 There is no authority

in comparisons now. Ninety-nine percent is a fact and also a metaphor. Is is the necessary
apparition— no glossing death into its many possible ambiguous resurrections.

                                                                                                                    Convert the scene.

Nature is not yet tamed. Nature is used. In the critique of this, nature is also used.

                                                                                                      innovation is our heroism—

which is for money: wealth is heroic—heroism builds paper utopias. Some were happily atomized
into derivatives in the hallucination of ownership.
                                                                                                                         I want things I want

the ideal product. Direct the corpse toward its next task.

                                                                                                                            It is evening now,

the birds finished. I don’t know how it ended I know birdtones rose in the acacias again, which
I thought human the first time— not animal. Bass booms blocks away: a car with a scheme and
a driver. Dust smoked the air.

                                                                                                   Now is the time for intimacy.

                                                                                                               Sit down here, factually.

Let the tongue blunder its tongue into my mouth— I will be enflamed before myself and I will
be loved. Crack my throat open and scandalize me.

                                                                                                    This ‘authentic’ pain

bejewels my pied-gray hair. While I dye it younger, the users of nature shall not stop and there
is nothing to save for.

 

 

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