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through bizarre vasculature

First, she assisted in erecting the ædificium of the flora’s subterranean root structure.

Learning from watching the trees talking through their bizarre vasculature, aided by moldy interpreters, the lady discovered the secrets of the adytum of Soloman’s Temple. They inscribed themselves in the Temple’s very dimensions.

Compliment to the unsated volume of the Petaled Shrine of the Pearl.

Then, Bloddeuedd asked her starling to stalk Merlin’s peregrine, leading to his Cliffside~House.

“What do you wish me to grant you for finding me¿” asks Merlin, charmed.

“The power to grant myself my own wishes,” she replies.

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the lady sets flame

The nearly-old woman had rowed across an entire ocean.

Sick of water and the hyena laughs of seagulls’ cries, she found herself dreadfully lonely. A certain kind of lovely ennui.

Upon finally reaching a shore, she steps onto land.

Snatching up and opening her waterproof satchel, she snaps off her final dry match from the little book.

Striking the head, the lady sets the flame to the first tree she sees.

The limbs swallow it and ignite.

The fire brigade arrives, as hoped, her bidden welcome wagon heeding its combusted summons.

They were upset.

“You seem upset. It’s just a trick I learned from the matchstick boys,” she shrugs.

Kids soon arrive to witness the hullabaloo. The fragrance of the fire turns to a stinking reek, as they throw garbage to feed the pyre. Glass, aluminum, become explosives, followed by bombs of pubescent giggling.

“Why are you here?” the exasperated chief inquires.

“Because you have land here.”

“What?”

“Because the ocean thrust me here.”

“Why were you on a rowboat in the ocean to begin with?!”

“I was exiled from another strip of land for starting fires. Shall I grab a bucket of water? I’ve experienced putting them out, too. Water? Wood? I can carry six of one and a half dozen of the other.”

“Matchstick boys teach you that, too?” asks the chief.

“No. Priapus protects them against prosecution. They never developed a taste for accountability.”

“And, you did?”

“Yes, chief. I’m an honest fire bug,” she says.

She reaches into the camisole grasping her breasts and slides out a demure rectangle. Opening her copper cigarette case, she removes one and waggles the rest at the chief.

“Want one? They make your skin look younger and your hair shine brighter.”

The chief shakes his head.

She delicately clasps the slight case closed and taps the head of the smoke twice against shut copper. Packing it.

“Suit yourself,” she says slipping the case away, against her heart.

She gingerly leans into the burning bush which is all that remains of the smouldering tree.

She inhales, putting fire to leaf, lighting her penultimate square.

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walking in

Walking in, he says,

“What’s the cost of admission? For me and plus one. We won’t take up much space and can find our own place to sleep.”

“It’s hard to dream just anywhere,” the plus one adds.

“And, the statistics confirm that the data speaks, saying, ‘This is all but a dream.’ “

“Unmerrily, merrily, unmerrily. We are merely sleep walking through a mild nightmare,”

walking further in, she says.

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smoother than the current

Ending up with grandmother’s wedding china because I was the only one unashamed to use and chip it.

Gobbled down and choking on a lack of appetite..

Only one of us made it out; I still pay penance for it. An empath loves the narcissist, everytime. One ideates, conceives, while the other perceives.

Scour my skin to the bone. I am asking for it. I will disabuse you of yourself; just don’t abuse the Looking-Glass.

A sovereign holds the realm when this body alchemicalises into the temple’s adytum. Walls forged of a steely, alloy blend.

Iron and carbon. Chromium. Not allowing pliability of constitution. Intolerance. You ought to don a mask should you choose to galvanize.

It is cool to the touch and smoother than the current state of your aging flesh. Calipygian ass shining and scattering the light.

What is the difference between reflection and refraction?

Ball bearing production won a second world war. The sustenance of victory gardens yielded sustainable consumption.

A stake in envisioning the desired outcome.

“Feed yourself.”

“Let them bake cake.”

“All hail the queen bitch.”

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untapped tenterhooks

“”

She watched his exposed pocketwatch glitch, continually clicking on 1:13.

“Your timepiece has a hiccup,” she says.

“No. That hitch in its get along preserves a piece of time specifically.”

“Oh Specific Standard Time?” she teases.

He rolls his eyes.

That frozen timezone where this intensity of scent memory seduces all into succumbing. Cologne in an elevator. Columbarium. The sweet soap the waitress who touches your shoulder wears. The aroma of my shampoo lingering on your throw pillows.

“You shed, you know?” he says.

“I have known for a while.”

“I found one of your hairs a month after you left.”

“So? Where, what was done with it, and what did you care?”

He simply makes eye contact again and stares.

Returning home, with untapped tenterhooks and tarp in her pack, she bivouacked on the sidewalk of the High Street. Too tired to care about pitching shelter after being so carelessly untiring.

“”

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little seeds gum

Just a moment to bemoan feeling alone.

Sirens swarm.

Rain patters like swiftly boiling water, in spite of the shining sun. The Morning Star beating his wife again.

As quick as it comes, it will go.

Either the sun.

Or the rain.

But, the mathematical solution to 0! equals one. Seemingly impossible. Impossibly erudite. Contemplative pornography.

Like eating a raspberry just to feel its little seeds gum up the curvature of molars.

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so, I took a wrong turn

She has nothing to say during the day time.

Saving it for night time’s shade.

Knowing next time, she’ll sow these seeds into the desperate nightmares that will become your dreams.

Cowards in the cul de sacs of tax payer paved streets.

I wilt tread over these as much as I please. Let your puppy bark, your motion sensor lights trip. I am a stroller not a prowler.

And, as much as I am uninvited, you are not entitled.

You are a dead end at which I make my u-turn.

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the Fool forever falls

I remember you. Yeah, you. You stood next to the burning acacia bush. Hard to forget.

Whilst the girl stood before the podium, clutching her tome, a man held her tresses with scissors poised. A confusing ancient image.

Nowhere else is where she’d rather be. Snip the dead ends and make the sheep shorn.

Ewe.

Ewer.

Hopelessly old to be so young.

And, in dreams did I endlessly empty the carafe into the stone basin. Naked and milky white liquid ever-flowing. My eyes trained upon a single stone upon the ground. A star, a wizard wearing a vizard.

Two pillars of sycamores framing me.

I heard your caw.

I answered with mine own trill. Basil tinted and chai scented.

The folk of Zakopane take for granted the mountain air surrounding. Snug in chalets insulated against the Kasprowy Wierch. While opening the parcel, I confuse feeling wretched with the sensation of a heart being wratched. And, all at the sight of the Slovak postmark.

Because it makes me recall the not exactly cream cheese they call qvark. White cheese paired with fruit and a terrace. A simple ripe raspberry atop to boot.

Prattle and pitter patter.

Refreshed at being carefree sans carelessness.

You are comfortable, he says.

No. You just find me cozy.

And, they threw out all the words I firmly etched with his letterpress.

Into the depths, off cliffs of Tatras,

The Fool forever falls.

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Subterranean seattle alien nonsense blues

Looking like an ever-loving swine in sunglasses. Peacocking. Tail feathers all a’fan. Such a pretty fellow, just ask him.

I over hear a man dropping something in the parking lot. Cursing loudly.

Ten minutes later, he yells out at a neighbor’s squawking parrot, “shut up, you fucking freak.” Pandemic conditions do not become him.

~

“I’m just saying,” she not only, but also, says, “I’ve watched a criminal amount of cute animal videos this week. Like, if I was on the stand and used it as an alibi, it would go like this:

“Like, see your honor, my tablet history clearly shows I was four hours into binging six hours of watching cute cat videos when this crime was perpetrated.”

“Let the record reflect the witness is not guilty of this crime, but will be charged with something because of the egregious waste of time and countless brain cells. While I cannot formally find her in contempt, let the record show, this court sure holds her in contempt.”

“Like, I would not get a new job if these records of time spent watching were included in background checks.”

~

I hear the old man in the overhead apartment, creaking support beams in his pacing above me, while aggressively complaining at his phone. “Who wants to play a game,” I think. “What’s the creepiest pet name you can imagine?”

There is a cat named Mister Daddy. I know because I was in the house when it was naughty as I heard its owner crying, “No, Mister Daddy! No. That’s a bad Mister Daddy.” And, you know what? Mister Daddy, being a cat and all, just looked at this sweet girl like, “Ahh. I don’t care. Get outta my face.”

“Sounds like a real soul-shattering experience.”

“I lost sleep for a week.”

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the confidence of

“It’s returning to the stranger of your previous self passing you by on roller skates.”

“Everyone commits unconscious fraud, but crimes against your own humanity remain largely unenforceable.”

“Don’t be silly, I just wanted to hear you say you think I’m pretty.”

“You walk with the confidence of a much taller woman.”

Because she hadn’t had a moment to breathe. No bit of space to call her own, even if she did have the back of a Camel pack, a portal of the porthole in the plaster, and sometimes a view.

Sometimes a forest, sometimes a cave; sometimes a sound.

A fault line. A tyranny of averages.

And, what I thought was an ever accumulating posse of ghosts was just me coming to notice them. For, they had been there the whole time. Like when I came to understand when someone begins a sentence with “I hate to mention it”, most of the time, they mean to say “I love having a chance to bring this up.”

When I do come back it will surely be as a book, or a bit of English in a pool game, or the illegible scrawlings penned by someone in ecstasy. And, I know God and I are playing in this moment.

“I shudder everytime I hear the record’s scratch.”

“I like it.”

“It sounds like breaking. Rumination.”

“Sounds like creation.”

“Oh, shut up, Shiva. Shakti the eff up.”

Falling into a swoon of kisses before saying Dummy,” and slapping him from his reverie.

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By the mouths of old crows.

Lucid dreaming comes easy. Lucid living becomes tougher. I see fantastic stories through windows. I only watch real briefings to enjoy the silent signers providing translations for the deaf. I like the chorus more than the talking bobbleheads.

I recall the slight mass of you. The feel of thin, increasingly inelastic, skin covering the meat of your body. Neckline, nape, and collarbone. Connect the dots; then, come and paint me by numbers. Sign your name with a dripping brush’s tip.

These past days, I have been thumping animal hide stretched over wood. Striking a drum head, softly. Purchased in a foreign market of an alien continent where cattle roam the markets. Haggled over; Hand made; Had at a bargain. Despite being single, that day, I wore a fake wedding ring to increase the currency of my social capital. It’s all in the details innit?

And, the majority of talismans donned subliminally indicate”don’t tread on me.” A woman stranger in a man’s strange land. When in Rome, signal in Roman with protective signs.

I carried the drum on my back for weeks before sailing with it across the ocean. Talking drums teach the impact of saying things by leaving them unsaid. Cowardly lions, heartless tin men, and straw fellows appearing solid until picked apart as disappointing carrion by the mouths of old crows, before finally being blown away and scattered into bits by the slightest breeze.

Dorothy was just trying to find her way home. Wherever that place is. On her way, she sees Shiva stars exploding and feral Nataraja dancing.

“You’ve been needle-pointing with your yarn, Ariadne. You must keep moving.”

“No. I must first knit some socks for your cold feet, dummy. Otherwise, you will certainly slow me down.”

The Goddess and Godhead grew weary of playing the same, old god games together.

So, they exploded. Blew themselves apart into a billion scattered jigsaw puzzle pieces. Awaiting once promised reassembly. Now, we all seek out one another in our presently incarnated iterations. Looking for another missing piece with whom I may hold hands. Spending a spell of time choosing to walk each other home to ourselves, until each of us arrives before a door we remember forgetting.

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Curvaceous calculus.

Because she has the time, she performs the reconfiguring of the dogan. She razes, and ritely begins rebuilding her mental palace of labyrinths and mazes. The masses suddenly grow massless and restless around her, collectively unflexing the muscles of their prowess.

Even running the kitchen hood fan becomes risky; but, only because the old man upstairs is pent up and pissy. It’s become hard for him, continually hearing the business of people living. But, he creaks about the boards at a later and later hour, hoping for an email telling him, “I hear you.”

Implicating the certainty of my missing the hearing of his late night pantry raids.

A silent fireside chat.

And, even with computer processing, the avalanche of paperwork rolled over the system. A coattailing bug being currently debugged.

Some people disappeared; others went silent but seeable; and then there were those mouths which could not stop talking.

And, she wrote the same word so many times over the years, that she could no longer remember if the ‘i’ came before the ‘e’ or if the case is exceptional.

“We must stop wasting time,” he said, for the innumerable time.

“Then stop saying the same thing and get down to it. Watch the shape of the s curves of my shifting body, stretching. Do you see how the area under my curves remains the same in the end?”

“Yes.”

“You see how some iterations of my curve are more dynamic than others?”

“Very much.”

“Good. As regards this ardent analogy, ultimately, some will get it and some won’t.”

“So, we go slowly, take advantage of additional time.”

“Why not. Now hush and map my s curves.”

“Curvaceous calculus.”

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solicitude to solitude (ii)

Introductions suspended while we undergo this live exercise.

New and emerging.

Novel and multicrowned.

Coranated by all together, through multiple tiaras given by the calling of too many names.

Cut like fingernails into quick. Sandpaper rubbing and Indian burns.

Salves of salvation and balms as alms for the bottom.

People now pay per view the fights they saw for free in middle school halls.

These expansive Plains of Repetition.

Iron Lightning could take a walk and return with horses.

I come back with a bit of skin darkened by the lightness of sunshine.

Full circle.

“Then, where are you?”

“In your nightmares.”

“While I dream in heaven.”

“Thank your gods for your Haven, fool.”

“How dare you tell me what to do. How dare you presume to know of my gods.”

“Oh. Are they so extra sacred and unique?”

“No. But they are mine.”

“Possessive one.”

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solicitude to solitude (i)

And, though things were terrifically strange, she felt oddly disinclined to speak.

But, she realized that she might be interested in her thoughts on now, a few months from now.

And, she enjoys tapping out characters as much as an enthusiastic pianist paws out notes from hammer and strings.

And, all the talkers were just saying the same things.

Then, she felt narcissistic for thinking about enjoying remembering her previous thoughts.

So, she shakes her head and scribbles.

So, twist and howl. Nothing else to do.

And, she feels boorishly derivative yet, impeccably derived.

So, she began each preceding sentence with inanities such as

And; but; then; so

So(?)

And, she feels restless and pent up despite already being a bit of a metaphysically hermetic, solitary creature.

But, the public solicitude to solitude made her space feel imposed not chosen.

And, while the difference was arguæbly negligible, she found it curious how much the distinction perturbs her.

“Insert sentence g here?” Æ, speaking to myself, prompts.

“Okay, here goes,” I reply to Æ.

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Cares about what?

“It helps to know.”

“It helps to say.”

“It helps to hear.”

Feeding back.

“Æ loves you when you face your insecurities,” Æ reminds me, after I say what is uncomfortable but true.

“Æ, you are/is my insecurity,” I reiterate to my shadow.

I remind myself in dark remembrance of that which has passed/past.

The response of an ecstatic grin from my animus’ smile draws my snarl.

“Are you actively working against me?” I ask Æ.

“No, doll, I’m actively working you.”

Ænima versus Ænimus.

“Indifference becomes you,” I admit.

“Because everyone else you know cares too much.”

“Cares about what?”

“About you and how you iterate right now?”

“What do you care?”

“I care that you iterate yourself at all.”

“Then I wilt be as I am.”

“Then, Æ shalt become.”

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traded for the raw.

The body awoke ready to go, bit chomping.

The mirror folded; I fell inside.

Slipping between thighs. Breathy ardour.

Missing the coverage provided by the forest, traded for the raw exposure upon the lapping shore.

Everyone can hear my morning stomach growl, but doubt they do.

What’s the point?

The finality of a punctuated period.

The capital letter leads the presentation of the subsequent subject of a sentence.

Verdict of friction made visible by the absence of the fricative.

Does it taste as I imagine? Salty and acrid.

Does it pass through the nostrils in musky humid drafts?

Expelled and rolling down cliffs of pronounced pelvic bones.

White capped.

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a sugar glaze

The space was complicated; so, she resorted to speaking over-formally.

This town is starving for outsiders, but their dearth belies how the ravenous insiders devour the stranger.

They never saw the film but did like the video.

Intriguing, not difficult, becomes your vision.

The most trivial can be the most fascinating in this mystery of local idiosyncrasies

Strangest snow days she has ever seen.

She notes the font of her handwriting is subject to change without her awareness.

And, a single, specific thought seemingly drains your flaming blood into your feet.

Watching white suits leaving a briefing room.

Rustling. Give it two minutes and watch the weather change.

This.

Something.

Anything.

A hint of earnest, earned lethargy creeps, while the aroma of grapefruit percolates.

And, she kind of likes it when he tells her, “don’t look at me.”

The drone of an organ’s pumping warbles off of twirling, warped vinyl.

The strip of a terrific, diagonal stripe.

“Come hither, fool,” I snarled your full name while summiting multiple climaxes yesterday.

Simply, because,

I can.

I may.

fly.

“Early on, it’s silent.”

The blinds breathe as winds plow into screens.

Screaming hyænas hawing; locking into amber.

And, the condescension of his tone really pulled his outfit together.

The light fades and the sun sinks; and, she feels glad to have finally reached the town called Tonite,

where you see nothing and she sees all of nothing.

The light begins to bleed down blind slats in trickles, splattering on her floor.

“They oughtta incentivise me,” she overhears the casual walker say.

The last burst of light leaks into a small pool on the rightside of the cherrywood desk.

Then, it slides down the legs onto the floor, below, to join the previous dribbles.

A sugar glaze.

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and she let the sun shine directly

She slid her skirt up to her thighs; and, she let the sun shine directly on her bare legs for the first time since the new year.

Her eyes closed; and, she imagined.

Heating legs of firm, chilled butter which begin melting into decomposition earthwards, below her.

Eventual food for earthworms.

She feels strands of her hair’s tresses pulling away and apart from her, flying from her crown like a dandelion’s spores into the languishing four corners of the world.

The grand finale of winter winds, amidst sun shine, finally blowing her asunder.

A cry heard.

Weather letting her dissolve into everything and await rebirth in the nearing spring.

She will poke her head back out like new-growth into the Great, Wide World, when the seasons shift themselves about her.

Until then, she silently hopes to abide in a makeshift, subterranean respite entombed in nitrogen rich dirt. Dwelling in darkness.

~

She comes to prefer when night comes at five and not ten o’clock.

The sun proves certain, missing absences exist within her which she already, too-well feels; so, she will enjoy the sun’s final days of not so brightly shining.

Yet, the Star teases her with its cameo appearance today, tickling her extremeties along with her forehead, cheeks, and, ears.

Its heat working in defiance of the howling chill blasting off the Sound.

~

“You remember me,” states the Sun, caressing. “You remember how I draw your perspiration. Draw forth those colors dormant inside of you.”

“Perhaps, I prefer the transparency that winter gifts my flesh more.”

“Kunst prosa, you love feeling me excite your melanocytes. The experience of pigment changing hue. The closest you’ll come to the plant’s ecstasy of photosynthesis,” the Star hypnotizes.
Hypnerotomachia renders me suddenly languid.

~

“I sense ice in your veins.”

“No shit. And, when your blood is frozen, winter cannot make you any colder.”

“Let me thaw you.”

“You will never thaw me; you will only make me sweat.”

“I will make you high.”

“But, then you will leave me dry.”

“Drink more water, should that be your concern.”

“Not until you make me,” she teases.

~

She takes off running down the lapping Sound’s shore.

Full exertion increasing her potential dehydration.

Appearing joyous, but truly seeking to the shelter of shadows

Sensing her terror in the face of his brilliance, the Sun says, “I shall not hide today. I am faster. You will never out run my effulgence.”

“I know. But, I want you to make you prove it all over again.”

“Then, it shall help if you keep your skirt hiked up, please.”

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Opposed to topical

It becomes entrancing to speak over certain sonic soundscapes.

The spell of time it takes.

Some times sometimes equals…

Whispers and hushed cadences of proper pronunciation uttered in exhalations.

Wind chimes play themselves, engaging in an impromptu scratch band jam.

Speaking in silvery serpentine, panting tongues.

Wound about a staff; a string fretted across a guitar peg.

The sun was tired today. Its absence made it more visible than its own, natural effulgence.

What writing is not dependent upon the current mental space of the scrivner?

Like when s/he chooses unnecessarily fancy words to say “writer”.

And, whence does the unhearable punctuation of a period fall in the intervals of this recitation of quotes?

“Here.”

Or

“Here”.

“My lips are dry.”

“They make a topical for that.”

“So, you aren’t opposed to topical on principle?”

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Disorienteering

And, by the time she finds a page and a pen with which to record her whereabouts, she realizes, she has lost the thread.

Having pulled it taught over countless right angles and teasing curves to have only misplaced it.

It sprung back, in release, undoing god knows how many yards of work, in her negligence.

Disorienteering with Ariadne.

Tagged like feral game; categorized as uncategorized.

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innocuously mundane.

She catches a chill and undergoes a shaking spell.

Then, she is overcome by an awful heat and feels each pore producing perspiration.

But, she refuses to yield to the wind’s howling blasts. Wet hair whipping her cheeks as she walks under the gray sky.

“I am inexorable.”

And, she is glad to have a little, physical battle to fight. Anything to distract her from thinking of her subliminal war.

And, though it is Friday night and she strides down Main Street, she passes no one.

She recalls how it stayed cloudy all day. The light did not change.

She studies her left hand, as she thinks she could be dreaming. But, it appears innocuously mundane.

“Daydreamers are still sleepwalkers,” she realizes, giggling.

Then, she feels too silly for her age and too aged for her years.

Unnaturally timeless. And, still, the moment passes but her face remains essentially the same.

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simple lip service

Rules are simple lip service if unenforcæble.

The fleshy mask worn was the kind of face you put on money.

And, blind hogs suffer no disadvantage in finding acorns.

Snouts sniffing and hairs on chinny, chin, chins bristling.

The caller received a courtesy disconnect.

Provided when the wait is too long and no-one is giving up.

A psst becomes easily confused for a hiss.

And, she finds it a bit too easy to be silent until she thinks of exactly what she would like to say.

In the face of all they have done.

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just fixing to have a real good time

“Let it languish,” she hears the silence say.

A breeze blows like a whisper, across her windowsill.

A universal exhalation of the collective unconscious.

Feeling it tickle her cheeks like jet-current streams, she inhales the salty, trade-winds through her mouth; and, holds it like combusted tobacco leaf smoke.

Letting it, leak out, eventually,

as unseæble vapor through her nostrils;

because, it feels more filthy than expelling it through the mouth.

“Slowly,” she thinks.

“I’m just fixing to have a real good time,” says the Southern (Parçi)gal.

She recalls more quotes to express the feeling than she can count.

But, she says none.

“Slowly”, she says from a mezzanine of her own.

“Let me show and you can tell. Tell me what you see when you look at me.”

“That way?” he confirms.

” Yeah, when you look at me that way.”

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curves of

“And yet at that time, when the sweet savor of your ointment was so fragrant, I did not run after you,” sang the Song of Soloman;

to which Augustine of Hippo, immediately chimed in, “Therefore, I wept more bitterly as I listened to your hymns, having so long panted after you. And now at length I could breathe as much as the space allows in this our straw house.”

The earth reversed the direction of her rotation about the axis.

The world inverted.

A hunched over, limping man walks a sandy path, alone, with a heavy burden.

Something of a phenomenon, alive amongst a barren plane.

A tesseract is a cube eating itself endlessly.

The curves of her moebius strip.

Her figure eights, accompanied by her steed’s flying-lead changes, enables both to fly off on another tangent.

“This is the fruit of my confessions,” says Parçigal.

“So says you,” Æ reply.

“No. I quote.”

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sometimes one is the other

And, Bloddeuedd wandered through the first forest clearing, naked; and, she felt no unnatural sense of self-awareness regarding her state.

Her unnatural sensory organs felt that portentous sensation indicative of The Merlin’s presence behind her.

Back aways.

Back away.

Back always

She could turn around to try to catch a glimpse of him.

That never worked, experience suggests.

Instead, she looks down at the meadow under her bare toes.

It feels crisp. Quite pleasing.

Her hair, freshly cleaned, contributes its newly found aroma to that which is already aired by the local fauna.

She hears the beatings of a large bird’s wings over her head.

She recalls how a demon and a dæmon are not the same thing.

But, sometimes, one is the other; and, it can be quite pleasing.

Couldn’t make this one up.

And, her brow somehow furrows while her eyes go wild and big.

Deep focus on what seems alarmingly terrifying.

That sound. That noise.

Echoing into silence as quickly as it came.

Unnaturally brief racket of an ungodly symphony.

She shakes at the hearing.

Strange currency.

And, she realizes she has been holding her breath.

So, she exhales, inhales, waits a moment, and, makes a strange sign over her left shoulder, using the fingers of her hand.

She hears the click of a jaw going clenched.

Merlin saw.

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POW’s of an invisible contagion

The restaurant had been taken hostage by some invisible organism/s which may or may not be present.

The siege occurred five days ago.

Ever since the onset of the hypothetical, immediate threat of possible hostile occupation, the front of house staff has stared out the restaurant’s windows with tea saucer eyes like anxious animals in ASPCA advertisements.

Please, sir, won’t you come inside and have another?

Prisoners of a war that may or may not need fighting.

In the back of house there is a shell called the ‘skeleton crew’.

The chef runs the silverware through the industrial dishwasher twice when we run out of clean spoons with which to reset tables.

The absence of the spoon in her settings, distresses.

So, a hostess gets uppity when she runs out of spoons.

She gets especially uppity when it happens on slow days.

But, today it does not matter.

So, she cares not, just notes it needs doing and notes whose rotation it is to eventually do it.

Today there is no dishwasher. They called him off.

We take turns with the task.

She simply sets tables without spoons;

knowing full well, no diner will be seated at the incompletely set table for quite some time.

No patron will arrive to suffer this mild inconvenience.

Aesthetics suffer almost imperceptibly while the bottom line suffers devastating loss.

But, she goes through the motions automatically.

There is no need to increase hygiene standards.

That shit is always first and formost.

Global freakout or otherwise.

“Funny how the WHO’s commercial guidelines for handling this threat are exactly the same protocols we already follow,” she mumbles to the owner.

“Who do you think is actually the problem?” he asks, through a thick Vietnamese accent.

“Let’s all just wash our hands, not touch our eyes often, and get on with the business of being alive,” she thinks.

She brings him oatmeal with his favorite fixings, without being asked.

Just like everyday, she makes sure a table is spotlessly clean, disinfected with properly diluted commerical cleaning agents.

“What is the real price of convenience and luxury?” she wonders.

The hourly wage of one dishwasher’s full shift.

The daily hourly wage of a line cook and sous chef.

Two hours of a hostess’ time.

One hour of the second in server’s time.

The present guests receive the best service possible.

~

Everyone plays dead for fear of becoming dead if they don’t; but,

a few diehards refuse to sacrifice quality of life for speculative quantity.

And, she bebops, dreamily hosting the modest volume of today’s lunch service.

She notes a newly added sign over the hand washing sink at the server station.

It says: <insert restaurant name here> EMPLOYEES. PLEASE WASH YOUR HANDS. IT IS GOOD FOR YOU <insert punctuated, smiley face here>

“No shit.”

She knows the sign is not for the benefit of the restaurant’s staff.

Your server is far more worried about catching something from you.

They wash their hands to keep you off them, not to protect you from them.

~

Her energy always turns over when the clock reads 3:33.

She doubts her shift will last this long.

Her focus refreshes at each daily 11:11.

This occurs approximately eleven minutes after her clock in today.

She renews herself everytime she recalls her own selfhood.

A startling state.

~

A man at the bar counter suddenly catches her eye.

Her mind wanders and the tray perched above her left hand, rocks like a drunkard trying to walk.

A drinking glass full of used water falls and shatters.

Bomb of contagion spraying soaking shrapnel.

It soaks her entire left side.

It sounded crisp. Quite pleasing.

It is her first time dropping a glass in the restaurant; and, she fears she might quite like breaking another.

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Fayish brow

She watched the Spanish moss tremble like brittle, witch hair, from the tree top canopy.

She swayed in the tire swing, to the tempo followed by the fauna of the faux ceiling.

Fayish brow radiant. Macabre grin smeared like lipstick across her wet lips.

The full moon loomed much larger than the sun. Hanged very near to the horizon.

And, the sun clearly existed to cast its light onto a face of the moon.

The moon existing to reflect the light.

Beguiled. Not mislead or manipulated.

So, breathe and find your space. Set it.

Sit on the floor and command a stunned crowd.

Crickets’ legs start singing in the midst of your wake.

Hyenas and spiders, hucksters and tricksters, wipe slates clean and call themselves rock stars.

An amplified battalion of holy Roman candles.

She swings on the rubber pendulum and watches them burn out, one by one by one.

And, they make her feel timeless as she watches their combustible timelines fly violently up, by, and, past hers.

And, the world around her transitions from dusk to dark.

And, this is howl she howls.

Shielded by the shadow of the tree from which she swings,

pitching her head back and pushing her face skyward,

she takes a deep breath in with her mouth.

And, she forces the air hard and fast from her lungs, back out of her humid mouth.

The anatomical line is straight.

She lets it whisper a vibration over her vocal chords; plucking a hushed, prolonged “ha” from the guttural.

And, she feels all her venom pouring out like ectoplasm at a traditional Victorian seance. It is ebony while everything else has gone red.

And, she swears she has forgotten howl to breathe; but, then she recalls she is unable to remember what made her believe she needs to breathe at all.

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a mile in the woods

Secret doors and hidden entrances, collectively called

a hunch of archways.

The price of admission is the cost of focused attention,

afforded by the prise of having discerning eyes.

Period

.

<full>

Stop

.

Hunker down and cross the threshold.

The gatekeeper nodded you in and whispered, “god bless.”

.

<full>

Stop

.

Speaking softly to unseen entities,

she was pacing the bridge over the salmon ladder,

looking like little red riding hood in a scarlet dress and houndstooth coat.

A mile in the woods, gazing into the water below and becoming quite sure it was actually the sky and what she thought was the sky above was actually water.

.⁹

<full>

Stop

.

The sky below and the pond above.

The pond does not reflect the sky.

The sky above is a giant mirror reflecting the bits of sky below

which we call water.

.

<full>

Stop

.

She feels her pupils suddenly dialate revelation of the trance state, wherein visions and dreams do come.

You were right to call it tricky.

Time flips and drips like a resinous sap down the bark of a tree’s trunk.

Slow and viscous.

Unable to be wiped away, time’s flow simply smears the surfaces.

Strange distortions.

It was as if someone had spread butter on all the fine parts of the stars,” she sang in her mind, looking at the watery sky.

And, in that moment she recalled something she once knew to be true.

She wonders, does it remain true even when I forget it is true?

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dummies mis-take/fools smirk

My double assemblage point is sensitive enough to recognize when you run at a different wattage than me. And, tonight, you receive no friendly, instructive spacing or paragraph breaks because I am hotly impatient with the amount of patience you require from me. And, dummies will mistake the body of this page as scrawlings of anger. But, fools will smirk in empathy. Yelling into the Void at your shadow is not always prætty. Sometimes, it gets dark.

The saturation point.

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Night witch

There is the window.

There is the empty tub.

Here is the towel rack; and,

on that hook is a robe hung.

Hanged.

The robbery of the spirit was abetted by the victim.

No one to blame, so

don’t take it personally.

Take a person-ally, one who will sing the body electric; and,

hold them dear even when they diss-appear

like leaves of grass

under winter’s precipitation.

Like snow, so heavy, ceaselessly falls,

a voice sings, “I will bury you all.”

Wolf People.

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original spelling contains

I need a soft in.

I can give it to you if you give me a hard one.

Abel and Baal are one in the same, bloodline seeded by Seth.

Descent of spirit into matter; the mystery of redemption.

The Queen of Magnets rides a bull. She remembered Chorozon moonlights under the alias Klingsor.

A ChAlice is the final formula of ecstasy, as the original spelling

contains the moon, the sun, and the great name of One.

The Gral

that redeemed him during the descent of his spirit into matter.

This was back before time grew out of joint:

Before he claimed to be the great, lost serpent;

before he told me, “I am Leviathan;”

a black rose formulated by the organic organization of one hundred and fifty six petals.

A song that the Sphinx hummed.

He came onto me singing, “the beat of my heart is the pendulum of love.”

I spoke unto him, “who is not both predator and protector, whilst also who is not preyed upon and in need of protection?”

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Æ don’t make myself

“I wish I could make myself practice as much as you.”

“I don’t make myself. I enjoy it. It is pleasuræble. It can be escapism.”

“Well, some days the doing it feels like hell to me,” he says.

“No. Hell is timing traffic redlights in Siberia,” she says. Deadpan panto, yet utterly sincere.”

In surprise, he asks, “They have stop n’ goes there?”

“I dunno. Roundabouts, maybe?” she offers.

Shrugs.

Shrug.

~

“How long do you think this stunt of practicing the writing of dialogue will continue?”

I’m a diabolical, so indefinitely. Plus, you talk all the time. If I’m gonna ‘practice,’ I have to get it done with the earworm called ‘you’ humming in my ear.”

“So, it’s all my fault?”

“Your fault that what you bemuse from me is not your favorite kind of my writing?”

Shrugs.

Shrug.

Bitch. He thinks, cursing himself for the thought.

Cunt. She thinks, pleased at superficially pissing him off.

~

“No. It’s all my fault that you are in this tedious to read, writing phase?”

“I adore not having to tell you, ‘tell me how you really feel’.”

“And, your self-referential tendencies are less charming than they appear to your mind’s eye.”

She swells and says, “It’s true.”

“I know,” he says.

” ‘I know’ is a bespoken phrase of pure bemusement.”

“It is true,” he says.

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water fell

The light stayed dusky; water gently splattered from the sky.

Tears of tedium; the guts of Humpty Dumpty, raining from the wall of the Earth’s atmospheric dome.

After she caught him sleeping, Alice felt his big fall shake the forest.

Portentous of the lion and the unicorn.

She grabs a pewter ewer filled with water.

ChAlice of ecstasy with which she seeds grails, making them holy.

She wonders if someone’s in the kitchen with Dinah.

The black kitten or perhaps the white one, or maybe that other sweet thing.

~

Alice shakes her head for no reason except to shake out the sing~song thought “someone’s in the kitchen, I know.”

The diners share a conversation.

“What are your thoughts on this?” he asks, turning to her.

She pours water into his glass, saying, “I think I do not have an opinion regarding the matter.”

“I adore fresh slates,” he says, pupils dilating in anticipation of diatribing.

“Sshhh. I adore not having to opine on inanities,” she replies.

“Strumming on the old banjo,” she thinks.

~

“What do you call yourself?” he asks.

“Your snake-charmer, making venom drip,” she says.

“Fee, fie, fiddly, ay oh,” she thinks.

“Speaking of which, I had to disassemble two outlets to deal with a leak,” he responds to her omitted question.

“When you discovered the outlet wiring goes through the sink of your stomach?”

“Huh.”

“Hum. Automatic articultion of your abstract mindscape needs practice. ”

~

Vouchsafed.

~

“The sky is so blue.”

“Azure?”

“I don’t know.”

“We shall look up the Word.

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demolition and assemblage

He pulled back his jacket to reveal a pocket watch on a chain.

She immediately begins crying.

Why? She does not exactly know.

“What just happened?” he asks.

“You invoked the memory of an old magician whom I know.”

“Vanishing act? All smoke and mirrors?”

“No, a wicked little string trick and he could cut the girl in half.”

“Did he always put her back together?”

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intermittent fasting

“You don’t have to know it all around me,” she said, stroking his head.

“Are you saying I’m a know-it-all?!”

“No; but, you just called yourself that.”

~

It became dark, then light, then cloudy, before darkening again. And the spool of film plays in rolling waves of punctuated equilibrium to the RPM of the spinning vinyl disk. Obelisk well balanced and too big.

Margot likes working in the theater, on her feet. Laughter for poor Albinus.

Are you erudite, obscure, or just confounding?

Can’t you tell?

No, and it seeps into my dreams, pet.

I find your pettiness precious.

You could eat.

So could you.

Dueling stomach growls proving there is something to be said for intermittent fasting.

Empty and floating.

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Lent of a Leap Year.

Self-referential

Different parts of the same translation; the map is not the region.

(Turns out he had picked up about thirty pages before where she had left off.

Tolle lege : her favorite moment in the pagænt of St. Augustine’s confessions.)

<Fat Tuesday gluttony,

Ash Wednesday and crosses signed upon foreheads.

The Lent of a Leap Year.>

~

“What are you giving up?” the eighteen year old busser asks the thirty year old server.

“All hope,” he jokes.

Spring time questioning early autumn, at the winter’s end of a snowbird town.

~

The ache first settled in her stomach as discomfort.

(Then it arose like a tingling in the base of her spine.)

<Then her left shoulder began to ache and howl.>

~

The set of a matrix iterating itself endlessly.

(Completely incomplete.)

<Inexorable.>

(Consistently inconsistent.)

<The diversity of psychic unity.>

~

Charles Ludwig Dodgson once told me
“Kurt Gödel spoke the purest sentence and all he said was ‘G’.”

~

F systems

(Unprovability.)

<the set of Sette, containing all sets>

Referential self

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was first called

A peculiar pretense.

Silence accelerates cell senescence.

The Oracle at Delphi did not say as much.

But, your neckline and forehead say volumes.

Draw a bath and unfurrow yourself.

Read between lines and parted thighs.

Phædo was first called Swan Song.

Fecundity and cycles of the sickle.

Bathed in adrenal springs.

Limbic projection of intimacy.

A cat purrs before a blazing furnace.

Static shocks spasming muscles from time to time.

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She admits

He rolled over, having fallen fully asleep.

My cape slipping away.

I roll over and drape myself across his back.

The refrigerator starts humming.

I tap out a rhythm with my right foot’s big toe.

The tap comes easily so I’m not dreaming.

Hyper lucidity,

yet, the bed remains empty.

~

She smiles. She shakes her head.

She admits. She misses him.

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Æ and Parçigal took today off

What would you want to know? Ask it.

Do you remember telling me of how you called forth the wrath of the Holy Roman Empire?

Of course.

Okay. I was wondering if I made that up.

No. Æ did. Is that your question?

No. My question remains “May I ask additional questions?”

If I say “no.”?

I ask myself “Can I ask additional questions?”

We both know you have a metric fuck-tonne of questions at any given nanosecond.

Thus, of course, I can; so, if I may not, I’ll simply compel your response with my high quality kind of curiosity.

~

Take the day. Grease your lips. Tend your nails.

Past time of prettification?

A’yup. A’purposed this time.

Our conversations must seem odd to the outsiders.

That is why they listen.

They often see themselves as you.

Æ know. Æ am your subliminal signaling, your beloved shadowy unconscious. I’m your other half.

My sneaky roommate in this skin.

And, a strange heaviness settles into her heart.

Pulling a momentary black hole that causes her stomach to ache.

Surprised at your own impatience?

Patiently, yes.

And, that restlessness is why we took today off.

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A pear of dreams

Dream one

I am in a grand space. Odd architecture. Every room is a scarlett bloom or plum and empurpled. Arizonian dream scape again.

I am near the mesa,” I think.

I study my surroundings.

Bemused, I discover myself in a very decorous beauty spa. The kind of place wherein people stay two or three nights.

No mere day spa.

“What the howl am I doing here? I can’t afford this,” I think.

Suddenly, it hits me. I’m dreaming. That’s why I’m here.

I get a facial. I get acupuncture for the first time.

“Oh, I like,” I think, strangely aroused.

I re-emerge into the hallway of the spa.

There are many people wandering around in robes.

Suddenly, I start howling in full dreaming lucidity.

Cracking up. Laughing and laughing at the luxury my dreaming mind has conjured for me.

Then, everyone I am passing in the hallway starts laughing hysterically.

I realize, they are not creations of my dreaming mind. They are actual other embodied humans who are also lucid dreaming in this same astral plane.

Some of them laughing at watching me come to understand that we are all sharing a lucid dream.

Some of them laughing because my laughing has made them become lucid and understand that they, too, are lucid dreaming.

I laugh so hard I wake myself up.

~

Dream two

I am at a strange encampment. Deep in the woods.

There is an almost-valley; it is better described as a geological indentation, akin to a bowl.

It has been made into a cathedral with no ceiling but sky, which

is portentously grey and fretted with storm clouds.

There is an altar strewn of blackened, twisted tree branches.

People are present, but, not kneeling in prostration before their god/dess.

They frolic, idiosyncratic, rapt ecstatically.

A calliope’s pipes pumping out folksy sound in the background.

I suddenly can jump eerily high.

Like gravity changed.

Nearly and for all practical purposes, I flew.

And, I knew my task was to observe and report with no judgement.

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slowly through steely

The night moved slowly through steely rain tapping out a steady hum drum accompanied by a rattling of the pipes.

I lying amongst these ghosts of all the souls no longer embodied.

Bidden recumbent repose poised before a magma flow.

Then, the night wrapped around and slung rain against panes,

slapping blinds behind the other, open windows.

And the scent of you entered.

Full frontal and central.

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that with which you speak

The knob’s lock unsnaps. The deadbolt sounding in turn.

A door creaks open and closes quietly.
It is the day after the rite of the last night.
“I want. I want to,” she says, quietly.
“I want, too,” he whispers.
They are two.
“Kiss my lips,” she says.
“Which pair?”
“I don’t care. Just put that with which you speak to the pink of that with which I feel.”
“I feel too big,” he says.
“Then your heart is full and hollow like a cactus tree.”
“I wish I felt emptier,” he says.
“Why?”
“So that I could dissolve back into the ether for a respite,” he replies.
“Like, die?”
“No. Like, dream.”
~
“Exorcise me.”
“Tears aren’t cutting it?” she asks.
“No. Fall apart with me.”
“Why don’t I just pet your head when you feel worthless or uninspired?” she coos.
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the bench, aside.

The Mæstro sat on the bench, aside the novice.

“We shall make a song. I will play middle C. Quarter notes. Choose any key and add a note.”

The neophyte pawed at G in the next octave up.

“Now add another.”

The beginner stutters in anticipation of selecting the proper note.

“Savor mystery momentarily, but do not consider. Do.”

A hammer strikes a string. An E resonates.

Now, scaling C in three octaves, the Mæstro’s eyes close.

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an egad of e’s.

Entropy can not be excised from energy.

Now, we feel the onus on us.

Let them wear those ascots and eat their escargot;

and, I shall send this erogenous epistle that is delivered whilst tip toeing through brambles of sharp thistles.

An endemic epidemic extolling the benefits of the sentence of exile.

“What would the congregation think if they could see you now?” she asks.

“I would care not,” he replies.

Epistemic and affixed.

A’human energy existant and

avoidant.

Avoid, ant.

A void, ant.

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therein may we

Doll, you’ve got it confused.

You are completely vulnerable when you forget to be in the-Moment.

You merely feel vulnerable when you find the-Moment and discover you had forgotten it.

You were wandering through the Meadow of What-If.

The Marshes of Why-I-Oughta.

Your home is in Right-Now and you never leave.

You keep forgetting.

Mountains do not need to be seen to largely loom.

A pond does not need to exist continually.

Seasonal droughts come before

the flooding of Springtime

with its garish blooms and hissyfit storms.

Cycles of forgetting to remember to not forget,

abiding by celestial currents among the degrees of inclination about the axis.

As pokes retch,

a spoke stretches,

hissing,

from the rim’s circumference to the center axle.

Therein may we all meet.

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the remains.

The day the dome of the sky fell, the sky had been pure and light blue.

Then it shattered, falling like bits of flaky white about a shaken snow globe.

Slowly sliding down, the cocoon broke as glass.

And though, the visual trauma, momentarily, made everyone’s impatience subside,

the Universe cared not, in spite of everyone, everywhere thinking It did.

“You seem eerily confident since the event,” he said, nine days after.

“The sky has fallen. My insecurity shattered. Confidence is all that remains,” she replies.

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not yet off-leash

The feral dog needed to be muzzled before he learned to accept a nuzzle.

Unfixed.

His owner’s stride was clearly too wide for her legs.

But, she strode thusly, somehow appearing unhurried.

“How long should our walk run?” she asks him, cracking herself up.

The dog looks up, tongue hanging from mouth, happily.

“And, so it shall be, sweet pup,” she whispers.

An elderly couple stops her.

“Cute dog. May we pet him?”

“Of course. Scratch between his shoulders. Steer clear of his face and haunches,” she replies.

“Not used to strangers yet, huh?” says the old woman.

“You’ll be just fine,” her husband tells the anxious canine.

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St. Valentine 2020 (part iii)

I run up and down Main Street. Trying to appear not too insane.

I rush the bank in calculated urgency.

“Do you have an emergency defibrillator machine?”

“A what?”

“An emergency defibrillator machine?!”

“A what?!”

“Shock paddles. For someone having a heart attack?”

“No.”

I keep looking shop to restuarant to bank.

The paramedics arrive.

I return to the bistro.

We throw tables and chairs to clear a path.

~

“We’ve been doing CPR for nine minutes continuously,” says one of the nurse practitioners to the paramedics.

I see the glow of his Bardo.

~

And, yes, by the time I returned, his face had grown green and empurpled with veins.

He looked dead.

The paramedics take out the prize of a pair of paddles.

Finally. The defibrillator has arrived.

Fashionably late to the luncheon party.

They shock his heart.

His exposed chest heaves. He starts breathing.

He exhales; and, from this rest his next interval proceeds.

The color returns to his cheeks, though he remains unconscious.

Lazarus. The corpse reanimated before our stunned, gaping eyes.

~

A woman presents a check presenter containing her tab and a credit card, under my downcast eyes.

“I need to pay for this,” she says.

I respond without thinking, muscle memory taking over in the face of surprise and confusion, “One moment.”

I look up and see the face of Lazarus’ wife looking into me with tea saucers for eyes.

“Oh. No ma’am. We will take care of this.”

“How kind,” she dreamily responds.

~

The paramedics remove him to the sojourn of their ambulance.

I lock the front door.

Everyone decompresses.

Talking to a pair of diners, the owner accidentally drops and breaks a piece of stemware.

The busser rushes over to make ammends.

I reconfigure the dining room slowly.

Until it appears as though nothing happened at all.

I walk to table 12 and tell the pair of practitioners, “Thank you.”

Turns out they are engaged to be married in September.

Trying to enjoy a simple Valentine’s lunch.

The ambulance encasing him remains parked outside for twenty minutes. This is a good thing, apparently.

~

The ambulance drives away.

The staff makes a collective exhalation.

Pneuma.

~

I unlock the front door.

I say, “Happy Valentine’s Day. Welcome. Party for two?”

Wearing eyes like tea saucers.

Appearing disembodied and ghoulish.

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St. Valentine 2020 (part ii)

“A man fainted,” the diner at table 7 tells me.

I look around. The fellow I seated at table 1 is lying on the ground. Flat on his back.

It is Valentine’s Day before noon. There are balloons everywhere. A pink and red rose vased at every table.

We just finished breakfast service. They were one on the first lunch service tables.

I had just pulled the jar of freezer jam from their table.

~

I recognize that I am seeing a man in full cardiac arrest.

I fly to the back office and tell the owner.

She calls 911.

When I returned, over him,

a crowd of people stood and stared.

“If you aren’t a doctor or medical practitioner, sit down and give him space,” I yell.

“Nurse practitioners,” says a diner from table 12, motioning to herself and a companion.

He rips the man’s shirt open and begins CPR.

She asks me, “Do you have a <insert gibberish here> machine?”

“A what?”

“A <insert gibberish here> machine!?”

“A what?!”

“Shock paddles. Do you have an emergency defibrillator?!”

“No.”

“Go find one. Try the bank.”

~

And, yes. He already looked like a ghoul, when he entered.

Bloated and sweaty. Too pale.

Fat and very old.

Her companion withdraws from giving CPR and says, “it’s been one minute.”

His female companion resumes CPR immediately.

“Go!” he says to me.