poetics unleashed: kurt eisenlohr


shaving can be the most dangerous event of the day

as the raven of idea takes wing
and disappears

as subways going nowhere
pull your people underground

as the priest climbs the cross
and the cross
climbs the faithful
and topples upon the rest

as the cow collides with the moon

think twice
think twice

as your eyes fill with age
and stare from the mirror
and see nothing

as armies assemble
on the lawns of
distant newspapers

as the cat shits in the dog’s dish
and the rose coughs up the sun

as the door slams shut

think twice
think twice

as silence descends like a shackle
around the throat of your song

as water is sucked into stone
and stone becomes your heart

as trees close their eyes
and curl
back to seed

as your hands create nothing but shadows

think twice
think twice

as television herds America into a tiny room
and turns on the gas

as comedians vomit cue-cards
and the laugh-track laughs

as cartoon characters are elevated
to cultural seats of power
as zero plus zero equals 99.9% of the population

plus you

think twice
think twice

as the light changes from red
to green
to red again

as all birds become caged
and assume human faces

as the morning yawns like a meat-eating plant
and extends its arms
and calls your name

as the snake rises from the sink

as the amputee turns a cartwheel

as cities burn

as the shoelace breaks

as you drag the razor
over the utter
of your reflection

think twice my friend
think twice

then get on with it

animal pain

I don’t think I’ve ever
seen anyone in that kind of
pain before. Animal pain,
the kind that turns you
inside out, sets you howling,
makes the mind go numb, stumble.
He sat there in his chair,
howling, pulling hair. Then he
fell quiet; didn’t make a sound for
the next three days. Quiet,
like the dead. After that, he moved
to the floor; laid down.
In time, I crawled
over him.

the collective expression

digression of skin under hand
and over bone, this flying notion of time
is only noise, a bat tangled blind in the bed sheets, a cat
curled in dream in the kitchen sink, and the shock of sudden
where there was no water before. And when I press
my fingers to your breast, palm,
and feel the pulse,
this, too
is a hummingbird snared in a loom spinning flesh from bone,
and bone from flesh–and the wheel
turns, and unfurls its colors, and drunk with our fear
we scream and take our pleasures here.


Originally published:
Issue Thirty-Three
October 2004


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