Bohemian Phoenix

I used to be a Sky Teller, back in the prehistoric.

A’sat still, watching the welkin change.

Divination by changing cloud cover,

reading the weather like tarot.

Mystics struggle with the trappings of modernity.

I remember the night when all the stars fell.

My parents thought me fast asleep; but,

thinking something does not make it necessarily so.

So, I crept outdoors and froze,

star struck in horrific awefulness.

I saw blazing comets plummeting.

They looked like rapidly descending jellyfish,

sinking from the the Firmament to our Below.

Poussière d’étoiles

And, in that instant, my soul became

restless; and,

I knew my heart would never hold still again.

And, I became a hum’bird long before I turned into the ibis.

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.

purposeful farce of her reasoning.

And, of the methodology of social studies, the lady spoke, saying,

“It should be art and not science.”

Make it poetry, not dictum.

Art inspires; science Informs.

science is Hard. judges.

Art is soft. Encourages.

one is known by how it Does;

One is known by the noun containing It.

A real Kant of a reckoning:

The false premise that existence is a predicate.

Existing adds nothing to the essence of a being.

De quocumque prædicatur aliquid quod non.

Of whomsoever it is used in reference to something which is not.

Ontological argument:

one is observer bias.

One is observer effect.

But, Which is which and of whom is Who?

Make it unironically magnanimous.

Make it impervious to dogma susceptible to leveraging.

Make it conversational and able to play devil’s advocate with no consequence.

The difference between a petty enemy and a formidable foe is metaphysically existential.

The Art of making a soft dialectic is the diabolical epitome of all that is Holy and Hard, of having an ally in the brethren of the adversarial.

“Let the catbird/s sing,” she whispers.

“All that is well and good;” he redundently says, “but, how do we pragmatically comply with this epistle?”

“How should I know? I’m a poet not a scientist,” she concedes, giggling at the purposeful farce of her own reasoning.

(And for the Time-Being, she continues to enjoy the half and half in her coffee.)

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

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 talented rearranger.

At the end of the day, before bedtime, a poet is simply a talented rearranger.

The end of the thought starts with, “to let me use the words of another.”

The bass voices sink the harmony; weighted and anchored anglers’ lines

reeling.

Battened down with closed windows.

The marine layer of the Sound meeting wild, smokey arboreal particulate,

here in the convergence zone.

And, her windowsills have been sealed tight well-over eighty hours.

Yet, her eyes burn and itch anyways.

She figured past smoking would better serve her presently.

And, there remains the novel

Virus

Innoculum.

And, sometimes, sleeping suspends;

so, she plays with shadows and lights,

(while her door hopefully bæres the passover mark)

Curtain ampersand Apperature.

Sans breezy volumes of infinite emptiness, posed.

Avec ennui

possessed.

Pretty Bird and his Lady Zen Archer.

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.”

I’m used too

” ‘There, art thou happy’?” asks Æ.

“No, I’m simply okay because I feel crummy,” says I.

“You are impressed with my quote though, yes?”

“No. It’s derivative and you know it.”

“But, he was a great writer, yes?”

“He did what he did and by “he,” I mean a slew of people. ‘Shakespeare’ is over-rated.”

“Someone is on their soapbox.”

“I am a shorty trying to feel taller. ”

“You are a coward.”

“That’s exactly the sort of thing a coward would say to me.”

“You saying I’m scared?”

“No.”

“What are you saying then?”

“I’m saying I do no not want to say anything.”

“But, you won’t shut up.”

“Neither will you.”

“You used to be a good writer.”

“No. I am a writer, you just used to relate to what I said.”

Show myself

My shoulders don’t just fold;

they collapse.

My upper lip moves, caught on a hook

being tugged by an unseen angler.

My lungs forget how to work.

My brain refuses to accept the notion that people want to show kindness to strangers.

They.

My fingers sign as though suffering a rheumatoid attack.

Snout buried.

And, in this moment,

I wish to become invisible.

But,

I show myself anyways.

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.

A corvid in the time of covid

Outside my red barn door sounds the ferryman’s horn.

He smells the stink of my freedom,

his fishers of wo/men casting rods with wormed hooks.

¤

I listen; and,

the automated time operator says, “after the beep it will be eight eleven o’clock.”

¤

I espy,

perched, a corvid in the time of covid.

¤

Together, we watch the casting of lines,

the sinkers dragging down the lures,

bobbers poised to tattle if I bite the bait.

¤

But, I don’t.

Together, we hold still.

Ellipses kissing

¤

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¤

And, when the late afternoon light becomes all a bit too bright,

the bird and I retreat within

to watch my curtains’ shifting as they breathe with the Sound’s breeze

We calculate the curvaceous calculus of the wind’s volume,

inside the cavernous gutted carcass of the scarlet barn.

¤

I ask the oscine passerine a riddle of

equality regarding the allotment of the equine,

“Can you divide a dead, old man’s seventeen horses in proper proportions between his three sons?”

The old crow caws out a throated laugh and asks, “Can you tell me the mathematical significance of the eight of wands?”

¤

It is technically a statement.

It is phrased as a figurative question¿

¤

In the evening, silent, we conspire about

The Great Escape

through the bramble of branches, not the seam of the green where we’d be

upwind and easy for the Dogs.

Shall we carry squeak toys just in case they get a whiff of our freedom¿

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.

thin leather

Just stupid hints at ineffable words and crossed out lines.

I keep missing you in and out of time.

The waver of your favours is both bravado and tremolo,

like a strange moon pulling unpredictable tides.

Outside, my flowers play peekaboo;

first time the terrarium ever bloomed.

Opening for the sun, taking sweet, painstaking, time.

The posture of a finger poised to press

the crisp wrinkles of scorched, thin leather.

Flesh,

I now call you Bewilder.

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.

new-uke-d

And, I can feel how close I am to getting it right.

The way my body moves into the chords.

I could triangulate my distance to it and draw a map of the region; but,

Æ prefers travel to cartography.

So my fingers fret in their work

in spite of

the fact that I do

not truly have the hands for it.

Soft nylon;

four not six;

leading to slightly fewer callouses.

Easily transposed.

Transfixed at first exposure;

but, eff Fmaj7.

Out-rage-us


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.

Makes me wanna holla (i)

“Where the fuck have you been, mija?” Æ asks.

I say, “Listening and watching.”

“That’s it?”

“No. I’ve been doing, too. I’ve just not been talking.”

“Well, what have you to say?”

“I hear you. I see you. I love you. It is not okay what happened to George Floyd. It is terrifying and unthinkable. It is not okay to avoid things simply because you can and because they are uncomfortable to consider. It is not okay to only talk about it after something bad happens. There is a historical and systematic occurrence of the institutions existant in government that both subtly and not so subtly oppresses people of color. There does exist white privilege and it does not mean white people do not suffer. It means white people can pass in the system and get a pass easily.”

“How do you know?”

“I know little, but there are five incidents that I escaped completely untouched in Alabama specifically because I was a sweet, little white girl. I played that card on white cops, DEA agents, and state troopers. It worked like a literal, magical charm. I should have been arrested each time for committing a non-violent crime. I was never even taken into custody, merely let go immediately with an almost appreciative “you naughty minx, bad girl” grin of faux consternation.”

“So?”

“So, I used to think it was because I was so effing smart. Now, I think it’s because they knew arresting me was a waste of time. Hard for a jury to convict. I could be the daughter of someone influential who would get me out of trouble immediately and potentially make a fuss at the enforcement officers. Because, that’s how it works in the Old Boy Network of The Deep South. They don’t see me as a threat. I look a lot like their daughters and sisters. I could be their sweet, little wifey. My power comes from looking powerless.”

“You’re boring me. Stop making it about you and your experiences.”

“That’s a tall order, but I can try.”

“It embarrasses you to try and talk about this doesn’t it? You’re terrified your precious ‘eloquence’ will betray you and reveal your ignorance, however well intentioned.”

“Yes. It is true. But, Killer Mike suggested looking into Jane Elliot. So, I did. And, I realized dialogue is more efficacious than silence and thus it is necessary. Being embarrassed is instructive. Also, I have the option of avoiding the scrutiny by being silent. Some people cannot avoid scrutiny when they leave their home or turn on their television. I have nothing to lose but vanity and I wish to be disabused of it.”

“You sound self-righteous.”

“I feel stupid as I stumble. I’ve purposefully been silent because of the fear of coming off as self-righteous.”

“So why open your mouth now?”

“Because, I can think of nothing else. Because, I feel powerless to actually affect change. Because, writing about anything else feels obsequious and inauthentic.”

“So what are you gonna do?”

“Well, I’m going to begin by talking about it as best I can.”

“Have you bothered to listen to the organizations people mention?”

“Yes: livefreeusa.org ; donorschoose.org ; black2thefuture.org are powerful ones.”

“What about organizations local to you?”

“I have not looked into them.”

“Well?”

“Yeah, I should.”

“What of your country’s fearless leader?”

“Oh? President dufus? I think he is an unwell, insecure man living out his private fantasies of narcissistic grandeur at the expense of everything that the American Experiment aspired to be. I think he is an inflammatory liar and I’m acutely concerned he will manage to take the 2020 election despite and in spite of the popular vote again.”

“Say what you mean.”

“I think the affluent see this country and its people as little more than a commercial entity whose citizens exist to make them richer and more powerful.”

“Blahblahblah. Write up what you wrote the night the Minneapolis’ Third Precinct burned?”

“Why? It’s nothing more than stream of consciousness. The only audience was me.”

“Because, you need to remember that feeling.”

George Floyd (Perry)

Ahmad Arbury

Sandra Bland

Sean Bell

Atatiana Jefferson

Tanisha Anderson

Yvette Smith

Oscar Grant III

Manuel Ellis

Thurman Blevins

Eric Garner

Terence Crutcher

Paul O’Neal

Rodney King
Justin Howell

Sean Monterrosa

Jamel Floyd

Walter Scott

Breonna Taylor

Philando Castile

Trayvon Martin

Michael Brown

Tony Robinson Jr.

Freddie Gray

Tamir Rice

Henry Davis

Botham Jean

William Ford Jr.

James Byrd Jr.

Emantic Bradford Jr. (whose father was a police officer)

Aisha Harper, Dravon Ames, and their two, young daughters

David Dorn

(…)

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.