Sunday, October 31, 2010

Resurrection Architectures

By the river,
Trees are bent toward the city
Broken, torn by the wind, stripping away
Makes trembling naked
Shuddering, shrinking back from
Bright rushing cold.

Nature fearing her own cruelty
Reaches for strange, foreign shelters
Kept warm by her burning entrails.

Who will stand up?
Raise their eyes
To go with the trees
Letting the wind crush away warmth,
Tear away colors
of blood, of gold
now strewn and
left for rot:

Reaches not merely those with mouths.

The sun perches desperate,
Clings rakishly to the horizon.
Desolation extends its hand,

We are torn and buried
Half the world watches, jeering.

But soon, our hearing will fade
The image of your lips half-parted darken,
Your fingers draw through my hair
and fall away,
The blood-red leaves go swirling into ice.

Pressed to you
is all my forgetting,
Fading into brilliance.
Gaping wounds staunched
Filled, bursting with fresh blood.

As evening goes down to the water
As light slinks from the windows
As summer's devastation shrinks before the frost,

Your eyelids are drifting closed
on a former life,
Lashes brush away tears long frozen
hovering across the years
fragile and persistent
A shroud of mist
that numbed fingers and lips
Now touched, goes fleeing disowned
Into a future once dreamt,
In all its wretched glory.

I have known darkness,
But not this darkness.
For this one shimmers,
and my heart races to know and understand

How tiny things have immense shadows
How a single rose petal enfolds my entire body
in sweet silk, and
Why the oceans recede
When you open my wounded hands.

This room, stifling cube, is
Collapsing, bursting explosive

Arms outstretched in abject wonder,
My lungs inhale the long-absent breath.
Ash and cinder washed away,
I scrape the decay from my face
As brick and cement are
Cast into the sky,
Fall screaming into the sea.

Hair aflame, the sun scorches my skin
Newly exposed after years of
Burial and frozen mud.

I lift my eyes
And the future fills the empty fields
New buds burst where before leaves bled
The sap is rising in the forest, in me
And the coarse tundra catches
Soft and damp my feet
Running, flying through the bright dawn.

The ruins are cracking
The remainders, sinking in the salt
I look back, and all around
My heartbeat rushes,
As my fingers learn to touch
and my throat, to sing.

Behold: the screaming red air
and know,
"All is made new."

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Final Vision, II

Surrender, howls the guard
Surrender! and the dog-men
horse-women go on working,
cutting up the flesh as they trample
Ice chews their fingers to the bone.
Wind runs down the trenches
Gnashing cruel wet teeth.

Beside, the machinery sucks and grinds
with starlight energy
the surrendered.
Seeing and un-knowing,
The defiant smash the remains of their obedient future.

That roaring crushed blackness comes for all,
yet the guard encourages and pleads:

Surrender! and do not be afraid,
See, how time glistens and spits,
what is to come.
Look at the woman you love! and know -
You will be one with her as you are torn through the air
Find union in separation, and in ripping
a prelude to the final rushed pressing together
for all the earth's remainder.

No one understands,
nor do they notice as the blood mixes and seeps
through worn out shoes.
Some have closed their eyes,
inhaling as the stench arises in funereal chant,
thick and hovering.

The guard is losing his voice.
Frenzied with exhaustion, he falls
and weeping, convulsing,
his body is borne into the pounding deafness.
The Living are silent, as the Dying
crack and burst.

The earth churns beneath him.

Dull and feeble,
the senses fade.

As August Fades

Into the sea: we glide
like dreams irresistable,
cold current tongues slice
the hot stomach, turning it up
to the bright surface.
Our eyes flicker open to the
sun's searing stare.

Silence surrounds.
Except breathing, roaring and
crashing in my ears.

The world's gentle rolling will carry us,
like this,
toward immense wreckage.
Bits of ships and bottles
Crunched and groaning
with salty wounds,
all heaped high and clumsy.

Within cool shade
the center rests,
That pulsating deranged mass of
bones, flesh, metal, lost cargo
Varying states of decay and
Conches - sighing, faintly wailing
Moments of all that ever was.

The sight is madness, and the sound:
Above, your shadow floats across the sun.

I cling to the rot as the shells
Sing the forgetting in images and tales,

Sing the air from my body,

Sing the pounding out of my throat,

Sing the darkness close around and,

Whisper grief to my remains.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Infidel

The sharp high note of deceit
laced at the tip with doubt
soars into vacant blackness.
Bound, gagged, they listen, watch -
Understand desperation's writhing toward release.

Dampened dust settles as the war lies half-
defeated, half-victorious,
Unable to sleep: love remains!
across That ocean (blind, deaf, free)

Night hangs still close, pressing open my eyes
No blanket, love is far, and the bed careens about the room
trying to know and reject strange,
Terrible burdens we thought
dared to break up only to
find a sick stench -
impenetrable synthetic skin which in showing itself makes
No darkness.
Strong enough

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Final Vision

They were escorting him to his execution. His sentence: death by firing squad. As they led him along the narrow path overlooking the sea, I was with them, following at a distance of only a few paces. We were winding up a rocky, mountainous coastline somewhere in the tropics of the Pacific. The path was ill-kept, strewn with large, loose stones, though not terrifyingly narrow. A few hundred feet ahead, it curved upward and to the left, out of sight. To the right and ahead, the sea was rolling, treacherously below us, and growing placid toward the edges of vision. The man was asking about his wife, who had also been led around the side of this mountain, to be released. He wanted to know if she would be safe and cared for after his death. His two captors paused, and one spoke.

"We led her along this very path toward the town. She walked very slowly and gracefully, stepping sweetly over the rocks as if afraid to damage them. Then, by that bend just ahead, she stopped, and gazed lovingly out over the water. She was smiling, and the wind in her dress revealed the gentle curves of her body. I told her, "You are beautiful."

- The captive's eyes grew bright with memory. -

"She inhaled slightly, and as her breast rose, I pushed her as hard as I could."

As he finished saying this, he puts his hands on the man's shoulders and shoved.

At that moment, I was suddenly hundreds of feet away, watching from atop a cliff across the rushing strait.

The man emitted a loud "EEEYEH!!" as his body tipped downward and began its rapid descent. I was inside his mind, and saw his wife as she fell, and the words "You are beautiful" hung heavily in the salty air.

From across the water, he looked so small. His voice continued to echo, bouncing between the cliffs, long after his body had come to rest on the rocks below. The rough waves washed him clean.

A few minutes later, a man appeared with a shovel, to clear away the pieces. First the head, and then the limp body and limbs were fed into the water.

I stared across the straight, searching the path for the two executioners. I found them far to my left, heading back down the mountain in the direction from which we had come.

Thursday, April 29, 2010


A baby squirrel sat trembling, crouched on the edge of the curb in the shade of an SUV. It flicked its tail and sniffed the air, the tiny nose quivering as it sensed the overpowering world. A gust of wind almost knocked into the street, and yet it held its ground. Fearless of my approach, he looked innocently into my camera.

What more should I have done to preserve him?

An hour passed, and he lay spread on the asphalt. Red and gray, and still so tiny. The black eyes were dull, but the wind brushed through the hair of his tail, as if trying to tell him:

Get up, get up. We will go back to the curb, and you will not be in the camera but in her hands, and she will cradle you and carry you to the nook in the tree where you were born, and life will stretch out the long day before you.

But the wind could not revive him, and the tiny faceless squirrel offered no reproach.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

On the violence of song

From the roots of breath
burbles the infection -
clouded and gray,
a machine soaring into the heavens
spewing pus in homage.

What is life,
that I take note of it?
Merely the not-dead
is invention, extending
the fingertips into new realms.
And eternity divine
can cast itself into the putrid flames without change:

We hover in the gap.
Singed, damaged,
bloody consumptives.
One day, one of these
will begin to sing.

Cutting, slashing
the howling song
Rouses the ashes
in hallowed vibrations,
the voice's spewing spray
coats the moaning trees.

Monday, February 8, 2010

If I were not I

After the wedding I knew I needed to make peace with my brother, so I spoke with him, and told him that I loved him.

He was distant, but seemed re-assured, and almost penitent.

I was tired; I went to go take out my contacts. In my room, everything was blurry, but I knew where my glasses were. I took them out of their case, only to find them rendered useless and unwearable by rows of ominous runes etched into the lenses. I could not read them, yet a few meanings jumped out at me: evil, revenge.

"a curtain of snow"

Everywhere, in strange glittering figures, all over the walls.

The first attempt was by a postal delivery man. I went to get something to use as a weapon from the utility room, and grabbed a large screw driver. I thought I might try to face him, but sensing my own doom, I escaped out the basement. Immediately, the snow began to pour, inches of it every minute, and I knew I wouldn't make it very far.

The second attempt.

I was in a wood, waiting endlessly with my sister. A man approached out of nowhere - there was no time to run. I started to back away. He asked me to verify my name, which I denied, giving the name of one of my best friends instead. As he stopped to ponder this for a moment, I turned and began to run. Once again, the curtain of snow.

Then, he had chased me out of the snow and into a library. We slowed to a walk for civility's sake, and I kept trying to think of an ending in which I escaped, but I was losing hope. A librarian approached me with a slip of paper, asking me to verify my name. I once again denied it, giving a different name, only the last name Garlin. I could see the door to the archives off to the right, if only I could make it that far. I heard the man whisper something to the librarian; she did not reply, but must have shown him the paper, as he then said "I just wanted to make sure."

I heard a click. I dropped onto my stomach beneath a table. He was standing over me and my head was about to explode. I wondered what it would be like.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Feast

The orphan smiles.
When he realizes that
he is only somewhat lonely:

Ants in droves make lines
across his feet,
leaving his legs spotted red -
It reminds him of kisses.
Muddy earth
soft, oozing
stench of many lives
caresses him, a mattress.
And the wailing of others
soothes his ear.

He sighs.

Across the fields is going
the wanderer.
Perhaps he is singing.

In the houses, people are touching
and bodies are warm.

Morning comes,
soft and damp.
Already the flies are buzzing
Hymns of praise and thanksgiving.


A concrete slab.
Yes, I am lying there;
Night stretches on.

Time runs in reverse;
Memories are now:
weirdly frozen
fixated on moments of sickness
dizzy, rimmed with sourceless light

There, it is rolling up again,
dust and maggots fat with hypocrisy
In my exhausted throat.
I haven't breathed in days.

Deeper in, my heart keeps beating
There is blood all over,
and it dreams of freedom.

Monday, January 18, 2010

They say you know, and that you feel it run up from the tips of your fingers, firing along neural pathways until it registers as a sense of loss in your mind, when a tiny sparrow falls from its nest. You sense its course, know intimately its acceleration and air resistance in the gravity you created in the hopes of keeping worlds together. You perceive the tiny jolt, and instantly see and realize its butterfly implications, as it strikes the ground. You watch as it writhes, frantically, with intense pain it can neither understand nor conquer and its last heartbeat is eternally in your mind.

We pass by this moment every day. We do not notice, and would not comprehend if we did. You, however, created, perceived and comprehended this, instantly and eternally. You will never forget the tiny sparrow's life, its fall, its death, its pain.

What must it be like, to live eternally as you do, knowing the feeling of every life, never to forget it. Often, forgetfulness and a tendency to self-centeredness make life tolerable for us. But was this put there by you, to make societal life and what we call productivity possible? Or are they constructs of society's demand for productivity, primitive blockades to an intended experience of life? Not that we should ever be meant to comprehend all lives as you do, but to take more note of the ones we do encounter. Ugliness, fragility, suffering, death- what if we never forgot them, and felt them more as you did? What would it mean, to see leaves die in the fall, or to see the tiny sparrow plummet and impact? Would we stumble and grind to a halt, a bundle of nerves and reactions? Would the world grow even more quickly old and tired, or would it be more new and perpetually awakening?

We are all the tiny sparrow. Somehow, we think we are so much more. When really, there is nothing more precious to be: eternally known, unforgotten, created, loved.