Petasus & Talaria

                                        Α · Petasus
               Carrying a lightness that runs
counter to the weight of his life,
tiptoeing with futile finesse
and feigned strength through brazen hoops of
               fiery whelps undoing belts
               of breath with lips parting sheets of
heat, sandaled feet like a spinning
dial of rising suns burning
laps through the ferocity of
               barbed wire’s stars and stripes, scars and scrapes
               hanging flags on knees ill-prepared
to pray, he makes his way, baring
down on gravel teeth of gas-lit
infantry-bitten streets, wounded
               and fugitive on wingèd feet
               and in a flighty cap cocked to
the right, he marathons through night
past cruciform streetlights from which
hang multilingual signs warning
               against mistaking for all that
               exclusive right of kings to ask
for and get eternal life, past
prisons of short sentences he
headlines to the campsite where our
               victims are concentrated, bruised
               and bloodied as squeezed, gutter-strewn
oranges stewing in their own
juices, those of us pampered by
products of progress, illusions
               of flawless love enticing us
               to live orchestrated lives in
concert with messages moving
too fast from fluent flashes of
incongruous languages to
               a blurred inaction of fact, fags
               resisting no one’s attack, legs
crippled and convicted by our
conviction to the unscripted
truth of doing what moves us to
               make do instead, and in spite, of
               being imprisoned by maudlin
lies others tell us about our
Selves, soft feathers fall from his cap,
a Phrygian sock filled with hard
               pennies of dreadful thoughts it drops
               off to make room for their bullets,
a wound of a room whose purview
it is to deliver sweating
disaster faster than cracked-glass
               competitors who courier
               too, but not as well, in danger’s
rapturous package of worse
damages than that messenger
shooting up addicts to pain for
               whom traumatics is another

                                        Ω · Talaria
               name for thaumaturgy, the poor
man’s drama of urging the gods
for another state of being,
another stage on which to play
               out the mock-heroic mythos
               of mortals believing hard in
the magic of ignoring words
already over-performed by
doctors, metaphysicians who
               harm anyone who listens to
               vaguer retellings of arrows
sent down by heaven, selling bad
medicine, vulgarizing how
the heroin angered them once
               into taking up rusted nails
               as rebels do fatal causes,
failed arsenals of substances
vanquishing substance in a war
for peace no one ought to have fought
               in, on drugs and forewarned, Hermes
               greets his captors as actors do
their directors, asking if he
should look into the camera
or remind audiences to
               not yet tear down that fourth wall, if
               he should deliver his as if
the lines were more than lies of lead
scrawled like tarnished vines winding panes
inside the stained glass of his skull,
               a head filled with particles of
               responses too small to recall,
infinitesimal minutes
of dust time has taken into
its rustling web, mistrusting his
               balls’ instinct he follows them all
               into the aching chamber where
oracles retire, reticent
and servile, echoes reclining
on otherwise silent or long
               ago silenced hospital beds
               wailing now under the ‘Wait!’ of
crumbling statues of heroes who
have fallen, here Trismegistus
receives the call, answers without
               stalling at all to a fate none
               of the other prisoners or
their jailers have the charisma
to go up against, the message
itself one which addresses him
               as Apollo with a mouthful
               of marbles, spilling cartridges
of Mercury, knowing only
he can portend what end follows,
release fully from the filthy
               claws of his father’s memory.