Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsFall 2015  Vol. 14 No. 2
an online journal of literature and the arts
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      for Philip K. Dick & A. Guisinger
         . . . and props of the Mimilocos . . .

A heavy planchette of ice substitutes for the Inuit sunset,
fog over snow in column inches, walrus

lips of solid fat like live cartridges in firepits—
baritones rising from the dark crêpe set of the Metropolitan,
in the shadows

the smoked leaf bearing an old world
onto the swept earthen floor of a recessed ebola ward—
the Elders smearing otherworldly green
as smoke to the same colors

in the surgeons’ blouses, journalists
with a long stick baking small red potatoes

and bushmeat, fruit bat and gray sloth,
in the dropped horizon, an inscribed

inclined moment of Inuit sunrise. . . .

The Elders back from Fairbanks insist
the sky is shifted with the Earth

on its yellow pine axis, they know
this is the chattering of Hamlet’s father’s mill, the stone
wheel made of a huge clear quartz

crushing the red wheat with black volcanic sand
while the spirits have flown into glass,
back into a clear bottle with two raw eggs
and a thick shot of tomato juice
over easy, over easy: he’s exhausted

in his green long johns with banyan trees
like big stoic birds

hovering in mythology above the Ebola tents,
the loud sermon of green, unforgiving in the early morning.

On the radio at 4:30
in the evening, the chattering of Mozart. I’m leaving

for the supermarket with Laura and Dan
and their two little girls. The youngest
is shivering in desert rain. Her sister

is jealous of the hug that follows. We tell her
once we are inside I’ll buy her
an enamel sports car with orange flames—she smiles
and skips away. William Wordsworth in susurrus

is scolding a tenant who beat
a plough horse with a white stick—

I’m thinking Galway told me this, or
Mark Strand, in Donnelly’s, that lost hot summer.

Both of them are dead without anecdote.

Both of them now the source of it. The world

with its chattering box
of a lost journalism, lacquered

ghetto box of thoughts, the Capulets’ graveyard
gone to seed with painted hens. Light motives and props
of the Mimilocos standing

in snow
like the shocked glass dolls of some
narrowing passage to the south . . .
The balding freeway
climbing through blue space, ships of filiated platinum

lifting up out of the lake—
χάος, χάος—written twice, like this, in Greek—

the galaxy like a washed plate.
He had seen things you people wouldn’t believe:

attack ships on fire
off the shoulder of Oriona time to die with the sun. Time

enough, he thought, to deny
the arrays of colored jelly beans on the cooling clay
plate. Mr. Citizen,

the cows are also over the old ranch, inexact
with Mrs. R’s perimeter of snakes. Sky wars
of the dark horizon, stars like white tacks
in the crushing velvet night over the Arctic

where the fat rye grows
just beyond the river that lights, that annihilates

the little sweet-shop of delights. Colored strings
of Christmas pastels and chalk across the empty lot

where small living trees were sold and bought . . . .

The empty lot, in Paris, where two bombs
went off smelling like wet canvas and pepper—

the deserted lot where the Elders said small living

trees were sold and bought . . .  end  

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