Like nerves caught in a graph,
     the morning-glory vines
          frost has erased by half
still scrawl across their rigid twines.
               Like broken lines

          of verses I can’t make.


Written in breath on water
troubled by its fingering
of that name, arson with no
flame commits to memory
a crime no shame can contain,
fans to fullness of blame an
attempt to gain fame when, from
death’s linen, a reflection
falls in, goes full Narcissus,
descends, forgets to never


remember ever again
his error, the sin this drenched
oblivion in its wet
contempt for any mention
of him only stirs to stilled
surface spilled again when not
even summoned but, hell, once
condemned, unforgiven, then
someone becomes in that bent
instance something blasphemous,


transmuted by some eldritch
process, unhewn mass to an
ineffable substance, from
blessed stain painted truer than
any truth to which unglued
experience would have then
alluded, much less lived, proof
in each amethyst-hued bruise
indigoed luminescent
transubstantiating war-


worn blues bluer before an
unmanacled audience
of imposters belief once,
fostered, in paradise, grows
from strange-angled shadows thrown
faint across a pox of lips
tasting of death, tendrils in
a graft onto stalks walking
twists of stitches from bloom to
stem stumbling, sticking strewn thumbs


between parting ribs, rotting
sea-sick blossoms in our walk’s
exile to Sodom, one fall
consuming each other’s crushed
pearls of falling salt, stumbling
inland beyond caravan
ports of call, trampling onward
over temple walls, troubling
ash to dust, each destroying
another’s legacy that


we might conquer wholesale their
blown memory, colonize
overtaken consciousness
with rich, deconstructive self-
reflexive belief in the
sweetest release of all, grief
freeing when pulling our Selves
apart what relief pulls hard
hemispheres ablaze, deep from
within spilling skulls sizzling


rituals full of nothing
at all but what opening
up stretched flesh wed to exposed
bone, raw, too damaged to hold,
while intoning erased names,
annuls, face flickering to
fading out into blinking
space what false humility
unleashed ego swallows whole,
without an apology.

1W. D. Snodgrass, “Heart’s Needle”, Section 4, Stanzas 5–6, Lines 21–26, in Not for Specialists: New and Selected Poems, published at Rochester, New York by BOA Editions, Limited in 2006; page 23.