asking a seashell for a sermon.

And, the girl laughed because she made a small error in her breathing exercise;

but, she kept her rhythm and regarded the incorrect exhalation as a ‘wrong’ key struck on a piano.

“I must keep to the tempo. What matters is the playing, not striking the ‘right’ key.”

She turned to the cat, Dinah, to see if she agreed.

Dinah had noticed nothing; and, this made the girl giggle harder and wonder:

Who is the pet and who is the master?

The girl had been thinking about thinking.

Dinah was being.

And, the girl wonders, if she cannot trust herself, why should she trust her mistrust of herself.

Then, she realized she was figuratively

asking a seashell for a sermon

instead of admiring it with determined purposelessness.

pebble once cast

I wolf whistle, lowly.

Two fingers pushed between parted lips, touching tongue.

And, I wonder…

Why do people need writing prompts?

They preempt.

Suggestions not needed.

Explicit requests enjoyed, nonetheless.

°

“You think I was talking about you?” he asks.

“It doesn’t matter. I heard you, anyhowl,” I say.

°

This, something, but, not just anything.

Head hazy open because it is heavy.

°

An attractive, not unwelcome, nuisance.

Needing to be handled. Straightened out.

Make hard to render malleable.

Remade and dripping.

Thumb it your mouth, moth.

Carry your hardwood.

I can carry the water.

I still thumb the pebble you once cast to me.

rite before this winter.

And, the quick of a moment felt so sad that even her burger seemed a dash bleu.

It was not, to her chagrin.

She always doted on cheesy ones.

She makes sure to try to sound measured because it’s the thing to do when she feels so unmeasured.

And, how still it is and how alone this is.

Small and full; tall and hungry.

Orestes and the Erinyes fighting over family improprieties.

She could write a myth lickety split.

Mice in high heeled, specially blown, glass slippers are the new beauty queens; because, in this pandemic climate, only the prettiest of the common vermin thrive.

Rodents cleansing the wicked.

Nut cracking and just in time for the holidays, come the Furiæ.

Three sannyasins of the Erinyes.

One of whom is Megaera, tempest decrying oath breaking authority.

Carrying wood yields returns in words, historically.

Nemo auditur propriam turpitudinem allegans.

She had once been found to be part of a common scold,

just another pretty shrew.

Some illegitimate, termagent harpy, ranting and bullying.

A peevish, malignant, clamorous, spiteful, vexatious, and turbulent one.

But, by this reckoning, he is found to be more shrew than she.

Augustįne in autumn

a continent of consonants.

There’s inconsistent consonance amidst the constant dissonance; and,

it makes her so tired that she could not possibly sleep.

This continent of consonants sees few vow well.

The scent of an uncapped pen’s ink funnels up her philtrum to violate her nostrils.

It makes her wet.

The sun grew too bright, so she saved her daylight time to accrue an extra midnight hour.

Preparing for Persephone, abiding until the winter solstice.

Her handwriting abruptly changes its font; and, she understands she is now taking dictation from a new source.

So, she stalks the coquettish house in the ebony of the deep evening,

listening to its moans as she strides down the strange steps of the home’s erogenous zones.
The walls writhing in their dripping striptease,

scraped off wallpaper revealing more wallpaper covering more wallpaper.

Hard wood floors caressing her soles with cold smooth.

Door jambs whisper secrets most care not to know.

Roof hovering, dominating, hiding the stars that may be falling.

Too many patterns pronounce; and, she’s so consumed by seeing them that she forgets to keep looking.

The Truth of a trickster may be bald and unabashed; but,

it is never ugly.

She is an unoccupied sleeve of a cigarette vending machine.

Coin plinked, toggle tugged, message received:

Empty. Try another.

Brand loyalty is an unaffordable luxury in times of scarcity.

So, smoke ’em if you got ’em, for tomorrow we die, again.

She pours two fingers of spirit, then tops it with two more until only the thumb remains.

The Holy Ghost resents the Father and the Son; but,

holds the Fallen Madonna(,) dear.

So, She houses the Spirit tightly

against Her breasts

because God doesn’t talk to Her;

and, She refuses to speak to angels.

The chaotic neutral must be just that

because a single leaf fell here instead of there.

Cats don’t have to

Talking heads bobble.

My inner witch cobbles an awful howl of a hyena’s cackle.

So, I cast myself into the prowling orange cat and he into me;

leaving my body still and purring, and I becoming him trotting over superfluous, left leaves.

Leavening. Bread trying to rise on the level.

Yeasty and active.

Pouncing high onto window ledges to stick my wet, pink nose against panes where it surely doesn’t belong.

Letting slant rhymes mime poetry because cats don’t have to be wordsmiths.

the tweezers I lost

I, coaxed under the quilt, am.

Say the following, aloud, three times:

~guilt~

~less~

~inning~.

Through open shutters, panes, and, screens does the breeze force a shudder from these

curtains.

And, you try to wait for the good ones to come; but,

meanwhile, you wonder,

Is the barre too high?

He could pull a hamstring, stretching,

while I’m stood there,

en pointe, waiting.

(((Suddenly, the tweezers I lost,

they appear(

after a lengthy diatribe) delivered to Know~One)

Socratic Circles….)

…I told you I’d try)

((( (…) )))

And, like a moth, I wait for his light to turn on;

yet,

were they to read this, each might think it’s about him.

Bringing the medicine of chaos, I return.

Full and hollow like a cæctus tree.

A Fury of Fugue/s: A Diabolicalogue

“Why did you become a hermit¿” Hafiz asks me.

“I didn’t. I went to the desert on a horse with no name. It felt good to be out of the rain. In the desert, you can’t remember your name,” Æ replies on my behalf, using the words of others.

Alice interjects, giggling, “And, if you do not know your name, only but No-Body can call you in from the garden to study!”

Ms. Dautrieve asks her, “Were you there to tend and care for the vine?”

Looking down, underground, “No, I was just playing in the dirt,” Alice replies.

Hafiz, laughing, “Stubborn women.”

“Æ contains multitudes, don’t judge me for my biological gender,” I say on Æ’s behalf.

Hafiz, “Okay. Y’all are stubborn. Period. Full stop.”

Alice, “EYY Haaa, HEE, Haw!”

Even Ms. Dautrieve joins in brayin’ and kickin’

I am laughing out, “You asses!”

Hafiz begins shaking their head.

Shakti rising in me, almost invisible except for presenting in a single arched eyebrow.

Bacchus, stamping and taking swipes in the soil, appearing as the uncastrated bull.

The Trickster spins down to the ground as a spider doing a silk dance down it’s own web, before becoming a coyote.

Negrune, the awesome Lovecraftian, lumbering beast towers into a meatball of a docile pitbull.

And, I espy with mine brown eyes, Merlin, the only wizard appearing without vizard.

So, I address him first, asking, “What’s the difference between a sorcerer and a wizard?”

He laughs and Secret Chiefs gather nearer to better hear

His reply of, “What’s the difference between a wizard and a warlock? A sorcerer and a witch? A mountain and a molehill¿”

And now We Are All howling in laughter at this pile of nonsense we pylon.

“Æ knows! Who wants to play King of the Hill¿!” cries Alice, elated at the fit of giggles to which these would-be adults are reduced.

The Trickster immediately rushes to the highest ground.

Negrune growls, slowly encroaching on The Coyote.

Ms. Dautrieve simply and politely raises her hand in affirmation.

Bacchus prepares his ill-advised bullrush.

Alice sizes up the more masculine beasts, already competing but only after briefly contemplating.

“Only if Æ can be Bobby!” I giggle, willfully missing the point before trying to be purposefully confusing.

Hafiz sits themselves down, to watch, in mild amusement.

Æ spreads itself to all through The Litany called pneuma.

Make it funky.

“I’m okay, today. Just okay,” she tells her, continuing on, “I so want to be a normie.”

“Between you and me, I think normies are a bit of a boring, drag,” she replies to her.

~

And, I think I see a splinter in your eye; but, I fear I am mistaking it for the log impaling mine.

So, she takes a walk.

It is mistimed; because, the sun is so bright she must cast down her eyes instead of holding her head high.

In her cans, she hears someone play chord C on a piano, repetitively.

Middle C.

And, while she cannot count the time, she times the steps of her feet.

Four between each.

The iterations end.

A voice asks her “What shall we play next?”

“Doesn’t matter much to me. Just

make it funky.”

Leaf Left

Passing time with this final leaf left.

Fighting sleep, fighting hunger and dehydration.

Why?

I could not tell you.

Begging Death to come for me so I can fight him off again.

Purpose.

A caterpillar abseiling down to pupate until I can get to wherever I’m going.

Fast and free.

for moths amongst the new things

“Was it a farmer or a long haul trucker, handsome?”

“Antimacassars,” he says.

Groan. Nevermind.

Mood killed; but, don’t look for moths amongst the new things.

And, my conversions grow sloppy; but, I always know your local time.

The heavens fell and up the churning depths rose, until no one remembered that

one used to be above as was the other once below.

Pole shifts and tom cats with bobbed tails, stabilized by putting

a palm on the small of my back.

A psilent psalm.

She took more notes than necessary; and, it would have been easier to highlight the lines she didn’t want to remember.

But, that defeats the purpose.

Analysis Paralysis

Sun stands still today. The degree of inclination; the tilt of the axis. It’s not up and down; it’s a twirling dervish.A top a’bottom a cereal box.The (two/too) many worlds: classical and quantum.Mechanics tinkering then kicking tyres: velocity directed at space.Don’t look; the cat is & isn’t, so just let it be.Don’t change the rules by describing or observing.▪︎The Ark of the Covenant; Medusa’s Hair; Narcissus’ Reflection.▪︎A measured system’s wave function changes dramatically. So what are we studying?What are we not studying?…electrons spinning…First clockwise, then counter. Deflected up or down, state determined.The Copenhagen Interpretation

“Oh, c’mon,” said Einstein.”But, I’m a quantum system. How dare you treat me like a classical, empirical, little thing?!” I exclaim.”Entanglement. There’s only one wave function for the entire universe, sugar plum. Particles going off, but which way only No-One knows. Gnosis,” Æ says

▪︎Equal velocity in opposite directions.><Apposite.▪︎Once you see something, it cannot be unseen.Sacrifice of partial innocence and ignorance. A talisman.The wave function did not collapse; just went under construction.Pardon our progress as we erect separate worlds.Simultaneous reincarnation.Words hinting at worlds. Tao.Witticisms of Wittgenstein, “Whereof one cannot speak thereof one must be silent.▪︎…▪︎Who are all these people? Me? You? They us & we them?A computer’s operating system is not aware of that system by which it operates.It cannot fathom the algorithms it effortlessly executes.▪︎Analysis Paralysis▪︎It’s a dreadful recitation of the same information.Infinite jesters kidding, but this joke is on me because I keep gawking.And, the wave of the upcoming days presses down on all, yet makes the world as bright and light as a new pad of paper.Ripples in the fabric of spaces.

Let us burn

I plucked you a flower when,

the moon called me outside, obscenely early and scintillatingly late.

Ambuscadoes.

Whispering and bragging of its brightness.

I open my mouth, but not to speak.

He takes the cue and puts his to mine.

Licking my tongue.

My hair bursts into a corona of scarlet flames,

standing on end.

Erect.

Leave me here howling, until fully feral and begging;

then take and take more by making me wait and wait more.

Then eat. Anthropophagus.

The world is on fire around us.

So, let us burn here and now.

Together.

Fifteen hours

Within the last few days, the days began lasting fifteen hours.

During this season.

From 6:30 to 9:30, the sun is so loud; all day, banging on drums in the garage.

And, perhaps, whomever said howling is the lowest form of magic was not doing it dexterously.

“If I have a daughter I will name her Persephone,” she told me.

“I’ll call her Effie,” I grin, referring to an inside joke.

“I hoped that’s what you would say.”

“What if it’s a boy?”

“I don’t choose.”

Sisters sharing hushed giggles.

jawed off

Come sweet sleep and make your home my blessing.

A warmth wraps me sometimes.

Some poor animal jawed off its own mandible.

Probably doped up on bourbon and honky tonkin’.

Stealin’ gems and looking to claim the chastity of girls unfortunately named “Chastity.”

A couple of sharp incisors then nothing for inches until the rattling molars.

A sun bleached, white galleon.

I tug on each of mine canine teeth, to make sure they don’t rattle so. At least not yet. Sometimes I dream they crumble like chalk, leaving this iron enriched taste of saliva and powder accompanied by a metallic smell that is painful to breath because you know what it means.

The roots feel strong.

And, this strange shyness overcomes where I become bashful reading every word I write.

At times

The rain finally fell; I missed it.

An unpacked wound left agape, to breathe in awe, and slowly heal.

A little thing festered, so I had them cut it out.

And, sometimes, I like him enough to fear he could wreck me by letting me see myself as he sees me.

A foundation. A dream of a house of cards.

The foundation will fall before you and you will then become a dream to someone else.

A sweet one and a night-mare.

Bed bugs and freshly laundered sheets.

The keel remains, but no one is at the rudder.

Those secret chiefs are here. Sometimes, I think they come to me for a laugh. They know I know; they know you know it’s going to be okay.

You are welcome, but don’t tease; because, the words are over flowing. Bubble and bursting.

Cassandra’s Cavern closes, that spot above the fourth rib.

Cicatriz of a wildling.

Whispers in my ears.

Strings of random words.

Panoramas streaming alien multitudes of locales.

I hold still.

I try to listen and see.

It fleets and my mind yells, “Stop suffering.”

“I didn’t think I was,” my non-mind replies.

I dream of a day spent by a lighthouse. Watching seals. We return home.

“Good. Your skin still takes the sun,” he says, brushing my cheekbone with his finger.

My eyes go hard into his. I feel strange. I wonder are you some sort of vampire, pale one? It’s okay. I prefer a vamp to a peacock.

Suspense and suspension; the endearment of a man in suspenders.

A giggle hushed by louder laughter in the dark issuing forth from a little one with the lecherous eye.

We recently swapped places as easily as we used to swap clothes.

A white cotton bralette with no underwire.

A wood chipper left running, unattended.

A burger joint that grinds its own meat.

The sharpening of my axe.

Split nails and feet like cloven hooves. Shesatyr running.

And, my fingers begin to invent strange signals through the bending and overlap of digits as a dog pushes its snout into the corner, trying to become invisible. I watch while I act like I don’t notice.

A divine spark. The yetzirah. Multiple bodies operating on multiple planes.

Want births intent. Breaking of want produces freedom of will. The ability to intend.

I lost myself at sea a few days ago; let me know if you spot me.

I’ve a hole in my side and there’s a hole in the world where all the people used to go.

There’s a hole in Sam Stone’s arm and there’s an Angel who still flies from Montgomery.

Click-click-click goes the capped end of my Bic, against my thumbnail.

A familiar territory. A region you know well enough by cartography. Declension and longitude; elevation and latitude.

You must act without awareness at times.

ewe made toast

Sometimes, I read you backwards.

Starting with the final paragraph and stalking you back,

coda to prelude.

Because, I’m less interested in how you end up and more interested in

how you found yourself at your present conclusion.

I want to, again, layer on clothes so that I may take my time undressing in front of you.

I want to watch your eyes.

I will sing like the birds enjoying spring outside my open, bedroom window.

And, my face flushes and turns so scarlet that I could swear I am fevered.

I am not, but I swear under my breath, anyways.

I see all those slant rhymes you presume pass most by.

The repeated use of an odd word.

A woman giggles while noting she had to look it up.

I giggle, because the same woman said the same thing a year ago. The last time you spoke the Word.

I recall you as easily as ad jingles and pop songs.

It becomes embarrassing, but I’m not ashamed despite not being proud.

It smells like when ewe made toast.

And the scent memory, turns me into an overflowing ewer.

Catalyzing another metaphysical catharsis.

Hot tears spill. Oil slicks slipping down geological formations of cheekbones.

I look sad but I don’t feel as such.

I feel rapt.

I simply feel.

Make your libations and lower your vessel that I may fill it, vassal.

desire to manipulate matter.

Two of them were here; and, then, they weren’t.

And, she never met either but she knew them both.

It made her feel sad; it made her efforts feel useless.

And, both feelings felt indulgent, so she resented the emotions, to boot.

“That’s really irksome.”

“That I’m unafraid to say, ‘I don’t know’ ? “

“You could speculate.”

“But, if I did not tell you, ‘I don’t know’ before speculating then I devalue the currency of my words at large.”

In American English, the most beloved sentence laid upon ears may be, “That’s my baby.”

The refrigerator moans through its vocal coils like a horny impotent cooling out.

It boils down to a teleological desire to manipulate matter.

I’m not your adversary; I just enjoy being adversarial.

Call me ‘the devil’s advocate,’

pleas/e.

Pleased to meet you.

I got no-name to guess.