Whelking It

We crawled inside
the pretty pink conch shell
we were invited
to follow one another
the loudest voice
leading us down
the whirling
tunnel to darkness

We listened to the lulling
sounds of the swirling
lies in the echo chamber
the warm hollow
a kind of death spiral
we were trapped in
by our own instincts
desires for fantasy
lives of pretense
we traveled in circles
inside the whorls
of world madness
of global destruction
of self-illusion

Outside the conch shell
on the white sand beach
between lapping blue waves
in the clean salt air
lies a safety net
but it does not catch us
does not save us
from our profound lack
of understanding

Inside the conch shell
is all we know
huddling, raving
at the onrush
of the wild sea
hammering, haunting
us still we remain
in the gray pulsating
falsity of our choices
We all know the way
the one way out
to the light
to the black and white
to the truth
to the right kind
of future
yet we pretend
we are safe
in our hoarding
in our herding
unmasked, clumped
together blinded
to the beckoning sunshine
the sweet smell of freedom
we remain here
to the dead end
of the hard stuck.

Lockdown Artist

Monklike in her robe
tattered, egg and port splattered
sitting hunched over a splintered desk
made of wallboard torn down
after the last natural manmade disaster

Head a mass of earworms, electric
tension jolts she jumpstarts, motors on
to record what others blank out
ignored upon awakening. Not her,
she paints our nightmares—

the refrigerated trucks humming
stiff flesh wrapped in plastic
moonwalkers in garbage bags

She digs into her untouched flesh
gives us the deeply inner view
of our post-apocalyptic world—

in the name of economy
in the name of efficiency
in the name of global markets

She writes vibrantly, furiously
her mouth an old scar
a lurid hole she can never fill
an escape hatch
she ducks into
pulling the trapdoor
over her bowed head
she stays there, drawing
scenarios of our deadly destruction

the nightmare inside her
at home there, safe.


Like a poisoned souvenir
of the time we looked away
then the blast. Coffee
good wine, endless rounds.
Shattering, limbs
flying everywhere, veils
dropped like passports
on a grassy field.

Shake it and make it
snow pretty
on the café streets.

We look in from the other side
behind bulletproof glass
you and I say
the same things
do nothing
life a series of explosive
capitulations. I’m sick
of posting my bland fears
my inability to make it better.

the cut-rate copies
of people who care. Fuck
their unruffled apathy.
Shake it and make it
go away.

Damp down the sheets
stomp on the dark unknown
bleakness, the pall.
You and I must
come out of our fortress
teeth gleaming, eyes
on the bloodfurl, the blue
sky when it begs
to let it live.