The awakening weakens
and a singing persists
in the background.
Frequently, I falter.
Alter moon’s course
with a deft wrist flick.
Something sickening here,
something mauve and maudlin,
accosts me and demands
I announce my presence.
Not a lot to go on.
Iridescence of the room
crashes ass-first against
my gaze before blazing on
to the next finite space.
In case of emergency,
Certainly, a show of spectacular
oracle forgery flowing stealthily
into plain debauchery as a moment dislocates
its content, is least of all
what one would call “simplicity.”
Behind these plastic walls
hide a host of sleazy eccentricities
I’m ill-disposed to ignore, but
that’s just what I’m doing, presuming instead
to pick apart my glue-encrusted thesis
piece by piece until the underlying nothing
is revealed at last and swells
to a proportion monstrous and disconcerting.
What I do with my own hurting
is my own business, thanks, and if the cranking
of its desperate gears is grating or offensive
to more delicate constitutions,
I wouldn’t have it any other way.
This idle certainty appalls,
though I seek shelter
in what it discloses.
It takes years to occupy
the space between one phrase
and the next.
I could be hollow-bodied.
Or else a variation of entropy…
With one kiss I could negate me
and all my meanings.
Partially golden and disguised.
Eyes trained on a quivering.
Soon to be culled,
some whispering deficiency
and all it holds dear.
The searing flames later we sired.
Then what was up with the perspiring,
the wandering choir
or we had once a tower
erected of names
(We were once a tower).
The calendar shifted.
We misplaced vows.
Nurtured the we that spin
and cry in some weird hurricane of lust.
The thought that counts its fingers.
You and me, we two in trust,
lingering where our folly bleeds.
Sensation is toxic,
she tells me,
and her lips
taste like evergreen.
The body is a tragedy.
In the cellular rain,
I can feel mine
It’s 3:20AM and I’ve barely written
a thing, so am I truly going nuts?
I can’t even squeeze out enough
juice to write a personal poem
a la Frank O’Hara, that’s saying something.
I’ve had my share of caffeine, now
my eyes clink! the torture. And also
the torture of knowing that someone
you love is somewhere else sleeping
deeply while you sit dumbly
in an ill-lit house trying to
put words on a page.
A tender wind spins through the trees,
upsetting the branches’ slumber.
This means Springtime in the East.
Tonight, we feast on beastly striving.
When the burning hour comes,
we’ll drink in its fire,
our perspiring recollection
reflected in the glow.
There’ll be rain but no drear tonight,
I’ve declared it so. Here, the moon
is swooning in a tarry cloister,
moisture of an overflowing love
shoving shadows off the grid.
And there’s dancing, much dancing,
a muddled magic wafting,
and rhythm daring.
Staring through a window,
mouthing along to the words
of a Mountain Goats song
is a most appropriate thing to do.
So is smoking candle wax,
and so is being close to you.
Triple axioms grace the mantle
of my adolescent allegories,
and sometimes, a few stories up,
where in white washed rooms,
people offer up their obscure prayers
to an even more obscure deity
with scarlet eyes, storms erupt in chorus.
If the idea isn’t to bore us into
a drooling stupor, it feels an awful lot
like it could be. I still have
some psychic damage from the last time,
fuck you very much. Very soon,
some wayward pressure is going
to force its way through the windows
and make of a mockery
of my self-conceit.
Beats fabricating shadows,
if you know what I mean.
I named this song “A Song of Praise.”
So now the land swells agonizingly
into a pulpy mass. I’ve made a mess.
Undressed the silence. You,
I took in my mouth and you
filled my throat with other songs
that I couldn’t sing. So I instead
vomited a string of pearls
upon your unmade bed.
Globs of saliva in your worried hair.
Slimy silken milk
from the dissonant fountain
reigning over all this murk.
The crimson streets embossed
with the names of people who died.
Thus sink the sleeping creepers
of our vanity. Mirrors for all.
I wanted to be a mirror once.
I wanted to drag along bundles
of blunders by my heels.
The real tragedy mounts.
Mountains of fog.
And grievous wounds artfully placed.
Your face within the sewer gas.
With airy fingers, you open up
the bottle of light placed before you
and pour the contents
upon my archaic head,
not knowing that what I feel for you
is opening like an orchid
in the corridors of my body.
Something like an ache ensues,
but it’s mild, pleasant. Our wires
interlock in increasingly interesting ways.
These days are soap on glittering skin,
and the residue they leave behind
warms and nullifies even
the coldest of memories.
-r. miller 3/19/17