Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Celeste Never Does the Dishes

Celeste never does the dishes
as they pile up to the ceiling
conducting orchestras
of soot and grime
an obstacle neglected

Celeste never does the dishes
there on the coast of Lisbon
as the salt air swells
through the windows
and fills the sun-stained veranda
marking all it touches for death

Celeste never does the dishes
as the chemicals redistribute
and her hair, a tangled labyrinth
crowds the corners of her eyes
she brushes it away

Celeste never does the dishes
not since the leave changed colors
not since late september
when the results came in
when all the swimming universe
all infinite, invisible
awesome, swirling fantastic
banter-driven majesty
crashed into the median
of her wide-eyed, tangled head

Celeste never does the dishes
she sits in quiet reverence
assessing the entitlement
the construct of her body
the gut to never swell
the cry to never peal
the hands to never grip
no dawn to break
no smile to collapse

Celeste never does the dishes
she cries, for days and nights
without a clear understanding of why

Celeste never does the dishes
they sit, immovable, the rock
of gibraltar, kilimanjaro
shouting, spewing hatred
condemnation on the growing
inadequacy, stipulations
of a jilted reality
refusing transcendence
rejecting reinforcement
there, as real
as the hair on her hands
the heat of her breath
the residue of her makeup
manifest and manifold
cackle in the dark
whispers of how the world will end

Celeste never does the dishes.

Flake the Aging Correspondence

flakes the aging correspondence
rivers flow, made saintly
as music pulses through
the walls, once laughter
heartache, now melody

In this space where all awakens, 
in the distance, sunlight
on the window, curses
on my tongue, bitter tasting

for I, a jilted wanderer
am clean, for now, but
prone to relapse, into
filth and apocalypse, the
currency of night

when shifting eyers make 
nightmares of shapes once
so familiar, when steps
must be counted and trails
marked before the coming

yet hardline condensation
forthcoming with the dawn
settles into bone and sinew
and wipes me clean again

for now

The Most Famous Ship

I rise
from the ashes, a phoenix
of modernism and design
to take my place among the gods
the world bowing to me

tall, I stand
abundant and unyielding
with all the world to conquer
amidst revelry and praise

flow now before me
great ocean of expectation
profound as the sky above our heads
dark as the pupils
of the eyes that stare in wonder

there is a difference
I have come to find
between the praises they
sing to my face
and the maladies they
whisper in the comfort of home

but, there, breaking bottles across
the bow, all is joyful reverence
all is pomp and praise
though in the heart there is hope
that I sink, crashing and burning
when my usefulness runs out

still I rise, a trophyless champion
green as spring, shining
a prophesied salvation
they say I’ll save the world
they tell me it’s inside of me

and if I succeed,
they’ll tremble at my name
they’ll hold me in regard
high as the heavens
for months, at least

but if I fail
good lord, if I fail
they will know my name for centuries
and the fingers they will point
at the hands laid upon me
at the flaws in my design

and it will not be for me
but for the new-glaring inadequacy
of someone else
someone more responsible

I should crash and burn
and be buried in the deep
still heroic, still a hero

and live forever


I wake, undeterred
my destiny is tied to my film negative
the pigment, darker hue
body heavy, sleeping in the car
unsatisfied, limited mobility
signage, calling down calamity

let us see justice
we veterans of creative suffering
let us fight and bleed for self-evidence
for the content of character
let us dream in exaltation
of mountains of despair
turned into jangling chords
singing spiritual and sonnet

let it ring, this freedom
from  hamlet and village
ghetto and mountainside
and swell to heights
to the limits of my fingers

to the ends of this carpet-bagging head of mine