Verses, 11.1 – 11.51, Revolver

11.1

Why do I crawl

in reverse,

rewinding back, back

through the eye

of a needle, back

through a stageset

desert?

11.11

Am I inspired by acquaintances

who play so tight and close

their intimate whispers,

pregnant with trauma,

give way to a fetish:

a knowledge

of sutures,

de facto,

aid in a minor form?

11.12

The first ones

so lovingly forgive;

close those caverns

in the flesh.

Now chambers echo

where spinae yanked

tight as guidewires.

He who said so

set-to with

thickset hands,

unbuilding things

inside me.

11.13

In this way

my ambitious spell

was set in motion.

I gunned it, high-speed

down the highway

‘long uncharted deserts…

the lone oasis long departed.

I ran those re-treads thin, left

that smoking hulk aside,

tumbled out on a sandy

shoulder to save

my skin, birth

a little shiva.

11.2

Call it what you like,

but I know my own

private fear of death.

It was laughter over radio which

bubbled up from wreckage wires

and echoed in that dented hull.

11.21

You know I did not get

away unharmed…

could not make my break intact.

Now my undelivered

foot must sweep the dust

as Lefty, clopping clods apart

and falling, just as

poems fall, suggests…

11.3

(I later note

a fear of death

to be the flare

laid out

on asphalt,

which gets us gawking left,

such stupid geese,

while right

a parked car smolders,

its shadows on the grit.)

11.31

Meanwhile,

the mechanic, slave

to other accidents,

sweats and bends,

his dream catcher

hooked to the roll-tor.

Yet I’m the one

(Waaaaa-Waaaaa cries martyr!)

who hoists that

fucking engine.

11.4

You note an emotion

makes your trapezius

knot and lift; your shoulder

the record, the softly turning vinyl

of a breakup.

Revolve;

A needle

inscribes

its world

upon your surface.

11.41

I must turn.

I must turn and

Turn.  And turn and turn.

After all, my dear one…

There is no Witch-Doctor, no Alchemist.

Only a locator of grips, a deft

unwrapper of phantom fingers,

one who makes wake for her

who would choose superstition,

flying along the mirage of our secret

inland sea, strange wood fins

nailed to the side of her aqua car,

(a rooster tail, a big deal).

the painter’s knot left

unfurled at the dock, I

the one who cured her.

11.42

No magic here,

no paradox.

Instead, a desert lake:

a perfect fake,

now spoiled,

a silver mirror

rippled

by the speedboat

with its tall-tall yards of spray,

its superstitious show.

11.5

You and I,

ever pragmatists,

know a boat will make its

desert rescue even

across the sickening mirage,

in the middle of nowhere,

in the deafening silence,

in the absence of fanfare.

11.51

So why do you

force me on

the thing you deny,

(though you think it already):

Every means is orthodox,

when you bite down,

train the mind to skip

the trauma we both

know as cause and effect.

11.52 (Three Epilogues)

1.

Now we dance

beside the smoking car,

its radio tinnily

doubling the bursting

ring of laughter,

its broadcast hollow;

we sing across

the sands, black asphalt

ribbon’s end no matter

now… We’ve seen its vistas,

and survived.

2.

We dance at dusk…

in the cool blue shade

of metal husks,

‘mid radiowaves

and tiny shivas,

and in our

spirals,

thread

the eye

of Christ…

3.

…a decoration

slid ‘long twine

hung round

my neck,

then yours,

(a fisheye, a wet

black bead, an

ornament worn

for tiny dances).

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