Four Poems

April’s Pressure Cooker

The ice has melted
into sidewalk slush,

all the more slippery
to break you with

all the dead animals
on the walk to work

where daily you die
monitoring a monitor,

eyeballs on eyeballs
until it’s goo-goo-goo

all the way to a raise
fit more for moon-walkers,

crab-walkers, reverse
social climbers. Flesh

melts too, but at higher
temperatures, pressure

builds in the workplace,
brainspace. Claimants as

we are to destiny, effort
still sweats toward fortune.


Towering Above the Pond Biome

Frogs hop like droplets
on a blistering frying pan

and burn with their croaking
the sleep of the boy next door,

a seared sound of demise
which haunts him frequently.

Rain falls, people too. Gods
are rare—if it’s said they don’t

exist with a loud enough chorus
it might be impossible to ignore

the roar. To be a toad sounds less
important, more comfortable. No croak,

no jokes to distinguish from koans.
Every slumber has specters lurking.


Yellow Brick Road to Nowhere

It carries on streams of air or water
manifolds of space trailing planets,

blasting fire, steam, manna, stars
like farting in a big empty room

cosmic voids edged by sulfur-scented
space, superheated plasma, loneliness

under time and pressure for company
whether a building or whatever being

inhabits the alley between failing
and failed. The pavemented bottom

is cashmere after stressing the fall
all that long. Empty sky a dirty puddle,

its rainbow an oil slick, exhaust fumes 
a turbulent tornado undulating Oz.


The Sun King

When the walls stop melting and
air raid sirens cease their racket

is when I wake to breakfast in bed.
Care is only too much in demand

when I let my mind slowly recover
through the curtains of delusion,

the only matter waiting for calls.
No waiting, complaining, renewal

the puppet-strings of time taut
against limbs like I’m on a rack

of bloody cashmere and complain
about all the stains no one cleaned.

Post-guillotine heads belting a chorus
of screeches Nero would swoon over

lie joyously together around Versailles,
where even I never again will piss or die.

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