Digging for Para-Digital

I was born into this room,
lived here all my life,
twenty feet by twenty and twelve deep.
I’m reliably informed this is one
of the larger kingdoms
in the honeycomb of kingdoms
that make up TV Land.

I see the variegated screens
of moving animals across the walls
(tusks and pelts and trunks and pinions)
interspersed with spaces, objects, formations
(sunspots, satellites, stalactites, strontium)
spooling out inside the frames, stygian to stellar,
appendages and penumbrae perpetually receding.

Through the room’s doorway come
the other people, the watchers, like me.
Through the door is wheeled the model cities
we walk our finger puppets through.
All the while streaming and sounding round us
on the walls are teeming oceans, forests,
cities, starways—other kinds of kingdoms we know
only by screen capture and audio rapture.

This is the life.

The life we’ve been handed from birth,
the berth in which we dwell and dream
that it is a journey in a larger vessel,
planet-big, that will one day crash and release
us into worlds unknown, broken-egg people-snakes
oozing out to die better in some landscape
not screened or glowing digital
or in any way recorded or mediated,
except by touch, by air on tongue, light on skin,
even if that touch means instant disintegration.

(photo by Flannery O’Kafka)

Craw Nancy

tattie-bogle!
tattie-boodie!
scaurcraw!
craw-bogle!

headpiece stuffed with straw,
your wisdom-ing dry with neglect,
the burnt-grass plenty now wasted
takes up residence in a scary-man brain

tattie-bogle!
tattie-boodie!
scaurcraw!
craw-bogle!

the man that fools the crows a moment,
outstretched wretch on leaning staves,
browned brow beneath crumpled brim,
chest of chaff in tatty shirt

Craw Nancy, Craw Nancy
standing in the rows,
will his head turn?
Nobody knows.

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(‘After Image On Ceiling Upon Waking From Dream’ by Giveawayboy)

A Prayer to Lord Ox

I want to be your co-ox,
Horn to horn in clack and thrust,
Flank to flank, hoof by hoof,
Bellows and grunts, breath-clouds mingled,
The smell of soil punching up
Into our yoked pairs of flaring nostrils.

I want to feel you taking the brunt
Of the weight, greater Ox that you are,
The release when we carry it forward,
Swift power, the shift of more burden
Over to me when you know I’m ready to bear
More ploughshare, shoulder more of the shunt.

Ox-by-ox in fetlocks straining, goring air,
Proud muscle humbly serving
The wounded curve of earth falling,
Rising again in clouds and clods of glory.

With your help, Lord Ox, with your help, I will,
I’ll pull my weight around here.

Image

(illustration by Giveawayboy)

Your compassion is a whale

See me
down on the sea bed.
Do you?

I’m in the green shadows,
not shallows,
deep down.
See me?

I know you do.
I feel you here.

Your compassion is a whale,
vast terror
and comfort
gliding above me.

Your kindness
is the armoured lobster,
creeping clawed
comfort,
sea-samurai
lording it over
this peasant at present,
who came all unprepared
for sleep
on this ocean bed.

The shifting shoals of biomass
form a banner of love
over me,
dapple-shot shadowshine
cascading across a dead man
in his own eyes,
but you see
the sea
differently
than me
and laugh ‘quick!’
where I cry ‘corpse!’

Image

(photo by Flannery O’Kafka)

little doubters, little lords

We’re all death-haunted,
Death-haunted all,
Death-haunted each one,
Right here on the grassy earth
Blazing green in the sun.

Warm air, cool breeze,
Allergy sneeze.

Death is on the wind,
Death will not rescind,
Can’t be fooled by summer
Or dodged by any kind of weather.

The eyes that regard
Dazzling greensward
Are already half dead in my head.

Old Uncle Death is remote, however,
In the lit up eyes
Of the little shouters;
Each and every one
Born into the arms of the world
Inveterate little doubters
In the existence of death
For each, for all,
They’ve nought but cheek
For something so weak and small.

They laugh away that bogey
And cry for lesser ills;
Small immortals who
Gamble a gambol on the hills,
Never slow to call it woe
When a little of their blood spills.

Little lords and ladies of the universe
Testing out their wills.

Little do they know.

And still, they know more than I,
The guy with the eyes
Already half dead in my head.

 

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(photo by Flannery O’Kafka)

 

 

Your Love is Like a Horn

Your love is like a horn
Curving, curling to a point, arced,
Pure white sun-yellowed, majestic,
Strong for goring scorners of our love,
Impaling their unbelief on sharp grace.

Hard and solid and enduring,
A horn of love that outlasts the hills,
Overshadows mountains, bridges oceans,
Calls all, in gigantic throating and threshing,
To yield their ears up to be pierced

To hear.

Image

 

(photo by Flannery O’Kafka)

 

rain song (take 1)

BIG RAIN
BIG RAIN
BIG RAIN
come down
and pummel us
to a muddy pulp
with your great
smashing fists
of flashing floods

BIG RAIN
swallow us
whole
into your
sky-spanning
maw
in one wide
watery wink
for we are yours
to drink

aye, BIG RAIN!
come on
down here
in a
sudden-billion
sodden fists
of fury-mercy
and beat
the living SHIT
out of us!

yes, BIG RAIN
wash
and wash
and blast
away
the filth
and awful
offal
in a stinging
pelting
storm of
wrath-love

oh, BIG RAIN, scour us!
oh, BIG RAIN, shower us
with your earth-battering
diluvial compassion
all in a crashing passion
of splashing, sloshing,
churning vortices
disgorging
the black-vast deluge
that obliterates
our last
rotting refuge

BIG RAIN
come
BIG RAIN
down
BIG RAIN
on
BIG RAIN
me

Image

(photo by Flannery O’Kafka)