Those Are Your Options

There are private oceans and collective depths,
A bright early mourning and a wasted breath,
The righteous left, powder, my whisky-stained nose,
That juicebox symphony of a street-end crow.

I kicked a ball to while away,
My refusal to make things rhyme today.

There are the nuanced vagaries of a knife in the back,
The factory-setting crowbar caress of angel wings,
We both break things that are intact in tact,
The polite smile no-one sees in the dark of things.

Whoso might love me for my brains;
I will never use them to write quatrains.

Behind door number three I see a blackened sea,
A graduate school of red herring – all hands (fins?) on deck,
A jazz-hail phone call with your six a.m. face at three,
Our in media res begins in the third act.

Structure comes and structure goes,
Must I fill a form to form this form?

Rigger Happy

How does your love for her manifest?
In rose petals strewn across the
bed with massive chirring potential?
In the lush dis-chords of an indie tune no more
independent than Hindi rock-n-roll?
In the rom-com-dot-com-x-com interception
of an enemy unknown, that noir-enigma of will-they-won’t-they?
In words exchanged through the radiating screen of Jobs’
forbidden fruit legacy, in a time when god and God say
‘bahh fuck this shit’ to being?
In the heart’s parachute divebomb when you see her
smiling at you, as though from beyond the veil of gravity?

When one plunges in a twelve-mile drop,
One always hears first the circus-freak ‘Oohs’
And then things start to mute;
It happens to the best of ‘Aahs’.

Then Upon The Pediment In The Quantum-Parthenon Of Planet Xenopolis V

(in the native language of the humanoid alien Xenohoplites of Xenopolis V)
Xrhák-ti’ mazh-tuy a’ertøq piznin!Quu mibla’tok înjulees bragamaj, og
Kilda’tizg ârpi’ mizhák-ti
SPARITANE
L’udx, k’l’udx, po’trazh-mu xrhîkz a’eug-pilzh, ar
THEZSPIARE
Evinaiv, Ivenaiv! Avieniv!
Maloka’thi Avie’niv!
Nyaa tsibets, éroquelta pillie’hzna
Liidu (high-pitched screeching sound)
Kilu-panu (low-pitched screeching sound)
La’timmaul mibla’tok înkufrahz

(Translation by Kim Woo-Don, astroanthropologist, member of the multinational First Earth Expedition to Xenopolis V)
Behold! The beatific being who has our hearts,
Holding our eyes with her beauty,
The soulful eyes that emancipates joy only because they’ve seen such horrid sadness.
She was created of two souls
SPARITANE,
powerful and wise, who said, “none shall walk over her”
who gave her vigor and strength and pith,
and the wits to know which mountains to move and which to overcome; and
THEZSPIARE,
the soul of liberty and expression, who said, “she will inspire all”
who pumped mad music and peerless grace into her blood,
who gave her powers that soothe and powers to compose,
an orderly magic that hold us in her wandering sway.
Let us never forget her, her, her
We couldn’t if we tried, tried, tried
And we might lose her along the way, but we will always find our way back.

(Translation by Cleatus Johnson III, blood donor, Missouri)
Motherfucker, I don’t read no hieroglyphics. What the fuck is this? Greek? Hey, side note – you want some blood?

(Translation by Suleiman Pikachu, stoner, Milton Keynes. Note: Suleiman Pikachu might not be his real name, as he seemed under the influence of marijuana at time of translation)
Yo, so there’s this lady, right, who all these dudes from Xenopolis V – what’s that word…umm…river? No! Revere! – who all these dudes revere cos she’s awesome and shit. I mean, she’s strong and smart…like Pikachu! But she’s also artistic and shit….like Pikachu! So they’re all in love with her, but they sometimes lose her because she needs to go away oc..occas-occasa…occasionally to do all this awesome stuff…like Pika- no wait, not like Pikachu…. Like Aslan! But they will always find her again after all of that. Oh, also something about her being created by the gods Sparitane – which sounds like a formula brand – and Thzspiare – which proves that the phonetics at Xenopolis V is shite. Hi mom!

Atwood!

No Man is an island
to the south of Abraham’s
Atoll,
teeming with humbugs, so
with sanguine blood you pay
a toll;
The troll tax-collector in Armani threads, upon his
porcelain bridge, then tells you
that to be a man you must be
so-and-so-and-such-and-
such-and-thus-and-thus;
This is none other than a thinly
defined shaft of afternoon wood.

Time waits for No Man,
the island frozen in presents,
with gifts from the past to
adulate what you hate with constant rose-roseberry-rose reminders,
and warnings from the future
of a life less joyful if you do not
know what it means to be a man,
as per the manual that nobody wrote.

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