Celestial Phenomenon over Nuremberg

Germany, 1561

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draining shapes in glass
lightning. training ships. dark fish
in the medicine barrel. confetti
mixed with oil in the offal barrel.
every man is an ape
of several shapes. every poor
an apocalypticist. the rich
stimuli of scattering objects.
no one believed the man
who discovered germs.
when the sun swung
her red scythes
like ten billion parentheses.
and the sung slid
into the pentagram’s firmament.
when crystal shapes
foamed warnings of evil
at the base of the cloud.
battles resembling celebrations.
you squint at something daily up there.
then the tanks break through your wall.
then bombs heat the air to plasma.
then snorting your fears through a candy straw.
you’re just filling the lines with red crayons.
clockwork voices in the air
outer peace
question number one
repeated, answering itself
with itself.

Burnt Knowledge

1967, Massachusetts

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yes I wasn’t there
               in the worn and tea-stained memory
which is hers, which begins

               with peculiar beings floating through walls
on stark and inhuman vectors, rotating
               like figures in a hitching videogame
grinding the spirit’s animus to a filament

and what she does is offer them lunch.
               that classic move from all of culture
zeroing out an imbalanced equation
               or wresting the fear away of dying hungry

               and as she slips beef into the spitting skillet
she gifts them a bible, its pages splitting
               like cells in their chapped hands,
the loci of her warm-blooded kindness.

they asked her for knowledge tempered by fire.
               the mind glows religious at its tip
and, salvaging the pith of her innocence,
               she served angels, then excused them.

Fog Object

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face close to the screen
I see a blob reforming in air
or clouds and distant buildings
lost in jagged artifacts
of hazy paint and lag
voices cutting through
mangled by wind, what’s that?
there it goes! the shape
continuing its obscure duty.
the key to writing a good poem
is dense, dense fog.
like a cloud of living static.
and all you do is gesture
toward the outline of slow,
intentional architecture
curling on the choked horizon
ancient and gleaming
never seen in its totality.
you run your finger along its edge
and squint as it retreats
until it returns
at incredible speed
fully beautiful and incomplete
for just a second
at the end.

An Imagined Encounter

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the impaled nightness. big air unsearching.
heaven’s quiet useful sponge. coldly
gaped to the brain I notice icy insects.

window-shaped curtain and the right angle
of future birds. hot sieve of the episteme.
don’t cry glue, your throat hawking glint.

I am licking the tremors. you are nearby.
castle starving. spilling the satchel of coins
for the samples. you’re unconscious again.

cancer-giving properties. a grail grasped
as momentum’s full idea. pillar of gold glass
through the basement of the monastery.

I just want awesome whispers. can’t shake.
like all I known is protein-based. emergence
of the hard edge of the real. I gore the secret.

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