by: Merry Jane Walsh
Come down upon me, burning, in-
candescent, falling like a star,
the Pentacost ablaze within your flesh; come down & over-
come me brought -- before you -- base
& reverent to my knees, my voiceless
mouth forced open, gaping as you take
posession of my tongue; I
struggle rapt & choking, straining to sub-
mit -- to breathe -- con-
vulsing, damp & shuddering
before you to receive -- from you -- the spirit,
tasting blood & salt as
spills within my ravaged throat -- I am
by this baptism,
& soon, in tongues like fire,
I will speak...
I can say that I want to consume you --
rend you wide & open from the flesh ... my one,
voracious mouth pressed warm
against your pulse & breaking through
like wine, like fever, such
your grim resiliency ...
strain you through my teeth & fall
to sleeping, sated, found
by you; your body curled
protective around my remains, soothed
by your claws, your heated breath --
Poem for Amber
Once inspired by your simple presence
I cannot expect
my words to make the flesh arise
as once you blossomed in my sight.
Your palm, still turned toward me, naked,
boldly seeks illumination -- how
this one mere body redirects the light --
so dazzling in recollection.
And I will not say goodbye to you;
not now, not reckoning a final gesture, marred
by silent words all bitten
back for fear of drowning, looming
ghostly and unsaid.
My body knows you're gone.
The very air against my skin
reveals its empty spaces --
I can taste your absence with my every breath.
Remembering you, like hunger,
I will make the words to bring you back --
as ever vibrant,
shameless in the light and resolute --
something harsh and new behind your eyes.
She said, eating oranges was erotic.
He said sure.
Being of a sensitive nature, she caught the
in the twist of his mouth,
she proved it to him.
In the sticky rising of a Sunkist sun,
they joyously plundered the refrigerator.
violent vision, those eyes
mouthlessly overruling denial
another arrangement of similar words
at both ends proving useless --
the torrential calm
striving for balance un-
achievable for longer than now
without strangling, killing this ir-
repressible force burgeoning,
blossoming in the blood, the hands --
passion's unfed clamor beading
languorous on skin, rebellious
eyes belying the facade,
enveloping controlled motions with
a possessive, silent contradiction --
unruly & secure in its dominion, grace
shouts a defiance to ascetic death.
I Knew You Better Before You Were Blonde
Something like a memory we found,
although at the time we were hunting for birds' nests...
Brown & straight,
as one with the young trees,
fingers purple with blackberries, you laughed
because I couldn't run as fast.
Summer searching pebbles in the creek bottom
who knew all the answers
& if you added our ages we were twenty-one.
We shouldn't have tried.
It was beyond our meager talents.
A once-upon time had fled
just as did the virginity we had sworn to keep...
and the forgotten buried pennies in the pasture
interred with our mingled blood & we were 'sisters'.
How odd --
now we sit side by side we sit miles apart & speak silences.
Too well, long & ago, we hid the secrets.
I'm sitting in corners & watching you
straight standing, defiant & shut
like a fist -- peeling back layers, sounding out
spaces, watching your own hands
tighten the knots & my fingers
scrape bloody on frozen ground but the doors are
sealed bolted locked painted-
over tight shut always
guarded; you're keeping your eyes awake,
even in sleeping watchful...
My helpless love runs off you in rivers.
Thin, straining body, your ribs
terraces beneath my hands
jutting mountain of your hip softening
gradual wandering slope down your side
south across arid belly
my fingers drift soft breezes over
plains of your skin, your mouth
a sudden, sweet oasis...
my journey through sinews & crags, yours
through tropics & rain-soaked sound
of the ocean & humid wind
the heat from both trickling rivulets
mingling island and desert sands
meeting, entangled, at borders.
Endlessly speaking of similar nothings
generations of coarse feet on a threadbare rug
a defiance of evolution.
Goddess, eternal & shapeless
suffocated early & wrapped in a dressing gown.
Days gather in corners, avoided with what sight remains
and the garbage ceases reeking when the senses go.
Air & sounds dead through the window --
the men tinker on the Dodge & swear
& drink more beer & come in heavy with grease.
Emotionless glares founder in the heat of the kitchen.
Eyes -- sockets stuffed with a handfull of dust.
Recipe for Serving a Merciful God
Ingredients: one (1) life.
Lay it out, fresh
in an (oven-safe) dish --knead
into quiescence; censure (to taste) &
pat with an ordinary spoon.
Bake slowly at degrees
anxious temperature arising --
the surface should spring back,
but just barely.
Set to ponder cooling on a rack
within the promised reach
of gleaming edges & sherry.
Leave be overnight.
In the morning,
the remains may be salted & eaten.
Leave no dutiful crumbs --
rather digest them, free of transgression.
poem at 4 am
caught up in you, so sudden – it’s
but my nature that I struggle so,
fight myself to the death for fear you’ll kill
me In your carelessness; my precious
referential self-sufficiency is shattered
I am not alone; you shadow me, surround me, hold
me – I am held within your hand & what I
hold I cannot hold my hand spills
over I am filled & yet con-
summed, caught up & redefined; my singularity – once
pure now plural, still I am my
self – my own relentless self made weary by these fruit-
less stratagems & what
else seems but nothing -- what to do
but rail against my need of you.
coming up, rising
from darkness, again -- such a long
long time it’s been, this
long i’d forgotten, quite nearly, for-
gotten the light, rising into the light; now a-
gain coming up, coming
out of the darkness; i no longer need to
remember the light, for, again i am rising up,
coming back out of the darkness un-
burdened by memory; rising, i’ve left my
remembering, left my forgetting be-
hind me, for now, once
again i have risen, up out of the dark-
ness; at last, once
again i can see; once a-
gain i can stand; i can see once again, see
forever -- my hands -- every-
thing still and brilliant
again as i rise
from the darkness to stand once again in the
true light, unending -- the light once
remembered -- sur-
ed by (god said “let there be
light” and there was) light; i am
found where i stand, where i see all around
this light -- this
by Will Hanza
bottomed out? begin once more
the ancient floor creaks,
begging for mercy-
the weight upon us has begun to show itself...
stepping out to reach for the means
crowing back our heads at our wild dreams
realizing the wind carries our thoughts out upon an open plain
will we remain to the task?
yet, unrequited to the luxury of the moment
stolen breaths before the freeze
gently away now
curling among the leaves
please. please. peace.
truth foretold in unabashed ways
stay, stay with the heart-
for it continues to be the rose
at the center of our world.