Untitled Kingdom


Out of the bowels of damp earth
     by autumn’s decrepit fingers
     this poem has been pulled, a coach
     full of travelers, all jurors
     law’s duty summonsed, calling forth
     these journey-weary worms who won’t
     speak, not until I comfort them,
     console them, transporting them from
     transgression’s prison to their sin’s
     most redemptive destination:

     the stigmatic pour of your words,
     if you’ll oblige them—what my wounds’
     ink cannot, since where sphinxes walk
     there goes all reason flowing out
     of pockets silent pleas enter
     and concoct, hoping like this verse
     each convict can rise to the top,
     bottoming out tough love’s rough ride
     long and deep enough until I
     come, hard-lining headlines like their

     panty-knotted authors—to far
     right, and there find what tongues thirst for,
     enlightenment’s third eye winking
     at the blind world thinking it could
     ever comprehend lines’ travel.


In pairs, in couplets, quatrains, and
     ghazals, you’ll unknowingly feel
     their millimetric pull appeal
     from under heavy-handed verbs
     to your inner-child’s liberal
     parent, au pairing you to hear
     what lies beneath it all, crying—
     a court of language whose venue
     tries villanelles and casual
     readers alike, the Republic

     of Letters denying would-be
     dilettantes their sweet, sweet triumph
     since even creeping silk-worms weave
     better, thicker material
     than those naïve apiaries
     breed—colleges mere collages
     of conformists torn from mothers’
     tits into universities
     nourishing their idiocy,
     indoctrinaire harems feeding

     such average Bees their suet,
     intelligence and sense their minds
     can’t suck (though they do), so they chew
     it, and so through the petrichor’s
     sweaty mire we mortar boredom.


Arriving at my tale’s end, playing
     dumb when really articulate,
     we approach the light’s evening pose
     bending as it dims, bowing to
     those in the cheap seats at the back
     who throw out roses and their hips
     breaking in their avian bones,
     flying into their rows dying
     to know which way the chariot
     goes—onward down to the gallows,

     along literature’s seasonal
     road? Its dirty broadsides aglow,
     foxgloves fingering her filthy
     pages, nightshading innocents
     from being burned by the litter
     weekend sages turn out by the
     caseload—will you follow? If so,
     who will defend your move’s motive?
     Not my lucid cargo of words
     this hung fury forms to prove it’s

     possible a poet needs no
     muse, no alibi, no excuse
     to do for my passengers what
     editors and galleys refused:
     to publish truth and let you choose.