On Red Sand Stand Bent Towers of Blue for the Glimpse of the Few to Apprehend

We wouldn’t like any art if we all had to love the artist, obviously the art-versus-the-artist conversation.


Viper crowned with the horns
of love scales my spine and
sheds off walls from which shade
falls usurped by light, talk

fills my throat with thoughts he’ll
want my mouth to let out,
‘About time,’ we might say,
both of us influenced

by this need of life to
survive, of mind to seek
seed to take root inside
a head given a bed


behind vacant eyes, to
deny every end its
-ing, to string with venom
threaded from fang, this thing

songs of pain tend to sing,
‘Stinging, isn’t it, kid?
The way when, choruses
of doubt bite flushed cheeks, each

tooth feels it, too. Reach of
red leaks under white. Drips
as wax does when it seals
paramours’ pleas, and death


warrants kisses goodbye
hang on the tongue misled
toes trip over when one’s
one of two left feet puts

in the mouth’s crib its hoof’s
print. Amiss and hell-bent
ever since asked for your
opinion no one gets,

trust me, kid, it gets no
better than this. Being
misunderstood’s a big
compliment where we come


from: eternity,’ he
hissed whenever he’d speak.
Of course, only to be
heard did I offer my

altared ego this quick
consolation, in swift
supplication, voiceless
courtesy extended,

ritual consequence
of too much reflection
and rumination. Tends to
get me in more trouble


than I can handle and
already sacrifice
valuable mental
real estate attempting

to comprehend. That said,
giving character to
my conscience lends to my
more lascivious work’s

contemptible and oft
contentious enmity
an endearing inner
amorality when,


harshest critic my Self,
on red sand stand for
a scorching minute bent
towers of blue. Cloud

tombs melting pyramids
of evaporating
flesh reactivated
only by sweat, effort’s

exertion’s electric
currency spent sizzling.
Wandering a lost mind’s
absent monuments, wed


by chakra blossoms to
wet pestles mortaring
my art’s incurable
defenses against heart’s

truest expression with
bullet shells of petals
rolled into neon tubes,
this temple’s minarets

dissolving soft between
aching mirages, at
once ancient and new, too
timeless for the winking


glimpse of the faithful few
to apprehend. Faith no
less a posture as an
image is an assumed

attitude captured, what
I do sends through desert
palms what allures a crowd
reluctant to test its

volatile waters, wit
which, when spilled out, distills
without filter what bout
of oasis caters


to crisis. Fits better
than a therapist’s pen
does this filthy minute
we call ours, what happens

happens to be for them
who drink in my brazen
vessel’s hidden talent
a godsend. Exorcism

ev’ryone’s demons
run not from, but toward,
for how I witch words wards
off what hurts worse than yours.

1Nadya Ginsburg, appearing as a guest on MLVC: The Madonna Podcast, in the episode of April 7, 2021, “This Week in Ciccone: Madonna Gives Good Face”, co-created, co-produced, and co-hosted at New York by Stefan Mreczko and Tony Trius; time code 27:24–27:29.