The Hell Scar

—after Sylvia Plath

My madness is mercurial.
I can prove it.

The floor will soon be littered
with glittery thermometer shards,
as I gather those silvery globs
like liquid mirror balls,
cumulative and amorphous,
balanced on the palms of my hands.

These poisonous shapes
are my pets now.

I’ll soon absorb them,
soak them up
right through my cadaver skin,
the old fag of my heart
burning, God damn, God damn, God damn.

The problem with me
is how I desire to be everything.

And this is what it means
to embody inadequacy,
to become a stillborn
salvaged from the silver tray
and kept like an heirloom,
a dead baby in a jar.

The most beautiful thing on Earth
is an unblemished darkness.

We spend these lives
oblivious to the sour air
of our coffins,
corpses living inside of corpses,
so many bad suits
worn like the absence of sleep.

And then one day you wake up
unaware of how you escaped
the tornado unscathed.

God and the Devil Live in Kentucky; or, a Pedophile’s Prayer

—after William Faulkner

In the cold light
I live
a shadow.

Where the shapes
where the shapes

like cold dark mouths
wet with dark,
wet with sound.
The light is a fire.

In the trees, I smell
the burning.
The leaves like sparks,
inverse moths.

I cry for the ground
to cover me,
absolve me
through soft earth,

now hard earth
absent of rain,
soft gray light
of a God damned sky.

The shapes move,
shadows upon shadows
kissing beasts
that open like hands,

open like mouths,
open like dark wounds
in the ground,
hushed and yearning

to be touched.
My hands soft fires
burning water
from the trees.

Soma Holiday

—after Aldous Huxley

I drink to my annihilation.
The silence of stretched expectancy,

science of solidarity,
released in the crimson twilight,

supine as a fallen dancer.
Supernatural, and alone,

an embryo gestating
within the mouth of a trumpet.

The rushing emptiness
of the night, a replicating cell.

I am not myself,
a pneumatic vessel for meat,

trapped in the sibilance
of such savage emotions,

a skeleton erected as a totem
to the triumph of human impermanence.

I apologize
for my imperfection,

the Shakespearean ignobility
of this natural body

received like an acid tablet
pressed to an unwilling tongue.

Herman Melville Wrestles with White Fragility via Moby-Dick

The sea is an asylum
vast and shoreless,
awash with the inscrutable
tides of god, a bilious deity.

Perdition’s flame:
the low laughter
in latent horrors of life,
white curdling cream of the squall,
so ignoble a leviathan.

First draft of my final will and testament,
an elongated Siamese ligature
dooms both poet and witness
to a tomb of whiteness.

Hunger: that incurable disease,
such a bleakened beatitude
like black stones cast amongst the shoals.

A dead and bloated whale,
flagpole stuffed into its spout hole

in teeth, in stars,
a jackknife.

They lie ensconced beyond
such mortal sights
where Death hides
in prairie-like placidity.

Dogs have more humanity,
mystical lung-sailed honeycomb,
my Queequeg, my savior.

The sea is our greatest murderer,
a riderless steed gone mad
and gnashing, bashing at skulls,
exposing the vestiges of bone.

The sea, the mirror of god and man
disentangles from the azure
an undulating apparition of life,
a ghost shaped like an ankh,
lost in the murky ink of the squid,
the white squid.

The profundity of the dark
steals many a harpoon
on some strange apostolic whim,

prodigious, prodigious, prodigious:
a rudderless skiff:
angels are sharks well-governed,
maggots in a wheel of cheese

a foamy confusion of entrails,
pantheistic vitality
sealed within the bowels
of whale men, of white men,
brows troubled with the morning.

Avast, avast, avast:
a serpentine winding
of rope and hook and wild,
like peeling an orange,
skinning the corpse
of the bounty.

Every manifesto begins,
writ upon the blank white sea,
a draft of a draft of a draft.
Call me Ishmael,
call me vagabond,
call me the great white whale
of the past
wrapped like a cadaver
in the whiteness of the sails.

You’ll read this poem
through an isinglass,
an immense copper calm
unfolding like the mouth
of a bloom,
a bloom of beauty
that means to swallow
all syllables
from the language
of the sky.