Master of thorns and inscrutable enigmas
Pounce on psyche's own distorted cinemascope.
Braying mammals scrape the fragile sky
As scant cream-clouds clot on horizonscape.
It's easy as "a, b, c" says the abecedarian
Reading the teleprompted script presumed all encompassing.
Scapulars worn deflect chance scarring
Caused by the daily masks that we wear.
Period at the end of the sentence may obliterate
Philanthropy and clover wheels protecting environment.
Syllables sounding chopped allude to pain
Like a salty tongue behind punched teeth.
A ruddy rainbow bends over gardens to find
Mulch endures and spawns hues toned for resilience.
Mercy seems a fabricated stunt, but what is true:
At nighttime, dreams will tighten your frightened seconds.
We're running towards extinction with scissors clenched
In a death grip leveraging the high points.
Taunts taste cheap, they face the blackened snow
As one by one they march across it.
The austere stars spread across the skylight.
Majesty can never be quite contained.
Reverse osmosis might make any water shine
On the wingspan's untraced wrinkles of your forehead.
Cauterized roses decorate time's dark garden
With paint perfume, invigorating saplings.
Chains release themselves into an inch of definition;
The man who tasted shapes objectified only colors.
My appetite is reflected in the hungry mirror
Streaked with pretense, texture, overthought, and informal grace.
Impressionable voice plants vows along
The ring on her finger that sprouts marriage.
She bed emptiness in her lonely travels
Pastel as several extinguished candles.
Open lariats draw childhood from an inner sky
Shiny swarms of children slowdrip from the ground upward.
The haze escapes above the walls of the illustrated ocean
In tandem with a chiseled notoriety left to seem calm.
Winter is a poor trade for the temperature of heart
I watch as solar circles melt in frost-washed parades.
Gravity is upset by the flap-flap of angels' wings
To match desire of voices printed on a robust screen.
Pince-nez calls attention to thought pretext
Though still they were formerly abandoned.
It is through the hole of the imagination that we escape
The slow ascent up rungs of the invasive ladder prompting us.
Mammals fill the hillside; we are wealthy in our warmth
Clouds trail across your fingers and duplicate this heat.
Events are more essential when one's doing it for two
Alongside lifeline pressures shown as partly-made tintypes.
Look for wind to gather you from port to prominence;
Landscape's a deception so keep your camera ready.
The handwriting still runs across the page as if
Electric shock were prompting lines from the beyond.
Staccato overtime remainders figs and salt
Scattered on the plate the waves of song rise and fall.
Pollution begs us to clean up in a dirty age
Although amenities perspire wide dust in vague ways.
Shills become apostrophes of fate;
Semicolons have a spicy taste.
Symmetric smoke bravely billowed up from cottony clouds
And prayer improvised intentions following strewn peace.
A globe fits between hands without rehearsal;
Dreams bite when one tries lipping them with touch.
Noon is a blaze of attended and forgotten light
Monitored by feel and threaded one strand at a time.
Pointillist constraints comprise the picture:
Sand grand upon sand grain sketched on canvas.
The room is lit by lilies and voltaic roses
Chancing power, leading strength, and ribboning the yard.
Trim reasons live in particles of near heat
Where the larger excuses make no room for them.
The patient finds the doctor; the doctor doesn't
Smile. The threadbare evidence beguiles the dead.
Chimera filled with frost defray the cost of lives.
Halls remain, empty except flame, first fumes swirling.
The body is never silent. It
Breathes music, often tempering lines.
Majesty emerges from the sidewalk chalk designs
Etched across the pavement in skeletal shadow-tines.
The bottom of my body found you at the swamptop of
Unmeasured sleep, a steep wherefore I grasp at least by heart.
Semitones arrest the flow of diatonic plodding
Letters unfold to reveal sound and commercial rotting.
To breathe bad air between bad bites of
Atmosphere invites a glib retort.
Opacity includes steel lenses that mute
Swirled black zeroes trying to whisper, Life came back.
In the proximal cold, beside the white sky,
Evening encompasses each branch alight.
Swollen ammunition blisters its enclosure.
It explodes from the inside and sharpens the "bang."
A tiny velocity stirs in the mood of the moment
What are known as individual ingredients each one.
Solemnity affords our customary rejection of
The moon's dirt-milk when it is spilt with light sufficient for day.
Another war epidemic to please a President
Offering reasons to squint, to smirk, absent evidence.
Pets snarl in various yards as though
I hadn't made you a throat of salt.
Wherever I go everything has changed
To dram shop, measured proxy votes on treated shame.
Center field opposes intuition usually;
A woman whispers a command and everything changes.
Like warriors from another world
One pierces atmosphere one sheds luck.
Capsized surfaces arrive at straight-line depreciation;
To become yesterday at the surface of the sound strikes rain.
You knew far more of death than you revealed when
Drapes cast shadows over earth and rendered dread.
Sentences bequeath their syllables to recollection
When columns of words spill letter-juice in their timed decline.
Some trees I knew personally and said to them
Take rain on its own terms, gather water gently.
Mind can smother heart when one is stifled for a decade
Years reveal what the mind conceals behind the mask of eyes.
Serpent bodies writhe upon the sandy floor
Unwatched perhaps, and thus reduced from being.
Sasparilla tea occurs in ounces as if
It too were defined by weight like people are.
Soon it will be three years since the bird was caged behind the wall
Wrinkling unmade staves with threads of perfectly formed innocence.
Flute merely habitual revoked the privilege
Of the musical camouflage of her beloved ones.
I scream for your game like a preposterous cheerleader
Revoking an earlier loyalty as if by chance.
Daylight swaps places with dignity mincing old shadows;
Something I've desired when necessity's pressure reached.
Memory restores your features
To their primary convulsions.
Midlines are crossed like bows filled to their pressing
Brimclouds. I huddle in the cold with three nowheres.
That day you flung over my paleness I couldn't see
Philosophy for drapes that leaned across its surface.
Pressure hurts even the color blue again
You strain to put your arms around the empty.
In the midst of motion numbers are silent
Despite their power of concentrating blood.
Centuries pass as whispers do within collective thoughts
That we thread in and through--from this all silence emerges.
Every good girl deserves hands to hold
Along the shoulder of a road not known.
Parentheses in which we coincide hold each
Other comfortably around the waist and shoulders
He had gained mastery at levitation by simply
Listening inclusively to the sky and rain and ground.
A conch shell holds viable emptiness:
Rushing and roaring of the ocean's past.
Never and neverever mean both
The perfect opposite of always.
michelle greenblatt is a student at Florida Atlantic University and is the new co-poetry editor of AND PER SE AND, formerly known as "mprsnd". Her first book brain:storm, is available.
sheila murphy 's most recent book publication is INCESSANT SEEDS (Pavement Saw Press, 2005). Her home is in Phoenix. She co-founded with Beverly Carver and coordinated the Scottsdale Center for the Arts Poetry Series for 12 years.