ditch,

the poetry that matters

Mark Fleury

Mark Fleury lives in St. Paul Minnesota. He has recently had poems published in "Transcendent Visions," "The Storyteller," "Ruah," "Ceremony," "Poet's Haven," "Down In The Dirt" and most recently in "The Original Van Gogh's Ear Anthology." Mark has a chapbook called "Spirit Light Naming Sound," published through Scars Publications and Design in 2009, and three poetry books published through Scars: "In Your Heart, The Apostrophe's Teardrops of God" (2010), "Angel's Syllable Is Good Boss of Devil's Spine" (2011), and "The 4D Window" (2012).

 

Help, In The Form of a Ray

Help, in the form of a ray-leaked lake,

January-glared and doorless, appears in itself:

I mean the teardrops, streaking down
The rouge on the face

Of cancer, plummets miles
Into the volcanic core, molten

And syringe-mooned,
Beneath your skin. Singed

And smelling of burnt coffee earthiness,
What was once the cool basement of a glass house

Is a shadow, ignited by a magnifying glass
Held by a skeleton.

Breaking a thermometer and dripping the mercury

Onto the shadow’s shedding skin

Also would have revealed the mushrooms in the corner

Below the south-facing window.

Washed away by the cartoon, Angel’s
Spine, in void, is sight: spectrum hexed

By camera lenses shown when flashed cash that ash

Of cigarettes launched.

 

Apples, Padlocked

Apples, from moon’s rhythm,

Padlocked, and extended

Like camel-stored water,

Rust my lips. Eating sandcastles
Has turned my stomach red
As the machinery in the seeds
That turns the skin brown. Tiny knees
Of leaves pray to the flag stems

Clenched between my heartbeats.

The villain, dressed as lightning’s
Carpet-bombed eyes,
Sees smoke rising from bearded buildings
With maniacal smiles
That are laugh-hinged
Bridges, closed after

The turbans are unwrapped.
It leaves a coat of fuzz
Across my tongue for buffering

Talk of falling, lamb-
Watched ladders, with a different

Time of gentleness for each wrung: sounds
Of bells’ pasts
With a soft moon’s rhythm,

Landing, finally quiet as parachuters drifting
Above a patchwork of fertile ground.

Urban speech. The grid on the sidewalk stores planets and
Violin-shaped clouds; moon’s rhythm is

Like a TV, whose strings, when played by
That bow that is narrative, flows all the way
To the 4D Window, dripping from
The ceiling of the solar system’s apartment:
Cobwebbed, drained of Heaven.

 

Wild Game

The bread, marble rye
And smelling
Of the moon,
Approximates ice landing
On star-dimpled bed holes,

The comfort that falls

To the ocean surfaces near
Park-benched piers. The bread bait is on

Fishing line hooks.
And from the depths
Of whale and vast reflections,
Night approximates sleet on waves.
The hand holding the fishing rod
Has age spots but no gloves

To keep away the freezing teeth of hunger. Poetry
Is, like anything that fits everything together,
A place to worship.

Its tiny, oven-shaped bones, smelling
Of chapels and loneliness, can’t be killed

By spiral staircases that lead to laughing and crying
Satellite-singed hairlines. Why be scared of thoughts
That boil there? Wild and fur-

Fanged eyes, when forms
Are lifted with tongs from bed holes
In the star-melted
Hearts of fish angels, drip with science. No escape

Across exposed roots

Of the brides of sunrise-haired
Grass blades.

No machinery can out-feel
The intestines of living black magick, read

By the Muse. The Beast doesn’t die
But is contained in the precision of a firefly’s
Darkness-touched space.

 

Shy Dream

The gun’s
Bent blood

Waterfalls
Over the vegetated,
African cliff. Caves, east and sun-

Covered with the braids of vines, grow
Over the eyes’ expanding vastness

Of the mountain, rising high

In the veins of clouds; the caves
Have paintings of rain on the exposed

Hearts of heads: gold and mercury,

With hair, black-doored, western,

Twined and bridged

To the alleys of American assembly lines;
Brain-cored salt
Factories under the mineshafts
Of serial killers’ eyelid tombstones, engraved
As, symbolically, UPC symbols, vibrate.

And on the shoulders of lynched crown chakras’ Bible

Ink, killed for rubbing their stained priesthoods
Against oil-shadowed paper, descending

Clocks die. There, under the tombstone engravings
That were instead written with liquid
Lead poured from the hammers of judges, jails’ spirits

Keep burning their handcuffs on piles of flaming tires.
The smoke opens faces

Of wheels as underground

As cactus dances. That separate grains of sands’ stars
Are exploding is beside the pointing finger of the second
Wise man with the unfolding, mushroomed facial trails.

The colors of it are on the shelf, next to these other bottled,

Hand-grenade shaped mouths, gnawing their way through

The pickled heart

Ice…

 

The Frozen Bank Teller

The frozen bank teller
Keeps his ribs
In Christ’s subspace

Cross, where fingers strum
Autoharps and backs

Are broken in the heat

Of guilt-milk pools
Under moon hells

Divided by the cages
Of coworkers.

Slumlords
With eyelids that
Smell and smile

Like bacon fat

Stand in line
Licking the steep
Cliffs of clouds that keep
Saturating themselves
With rain that won’t fall.

No one knows how wet
With bone drool a brain

Can be until
Lips eclipse

Hunger with greed’s
Salivating satiation.

Worms for fish, elevated
To the top of a grave’s fresh dirt,
Are drying, dying to be the bait

That will catch the heart shared
By the Lord and His camel needle.
Don’t let the tombstone


Thaw the bank teller’s name,
Which is Grass-in-Sacks,

Because the frost doesn’t pick
The greener sides of blades. 


 

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                                                                                                        October 14, 2012