The Clouds O’er the Lake of Heavenly Tears

You are too young
to be wandering
through a maze filled
with masked individuals.

Too young
to be stopped
from touching
anyone at all.

The masked ones
only look at you.
They do not speak.
Can they speak at all?

They never even move
their dark eyes
from your worried face.

You feel alone
in this maze,
and the only thought
that keeps repeating
is, “What if
one of these people
were to suddenly
turn around and attack me?
Would it be the end?”

But none
of the masked people
attack you.

They only look at you,
watching.

You feel like
they are
judging you.

Are they looking for something?
Are they looking for something bad?

In the distance,
you believe you see
your father, waving.

He calls out to you,
but you cannot hear
what he is saying.

You walk
towards the figure, and,
as you do,
one of the masked people
grabs you by the wrist.

His hand is cold.
The masked man whispers,
“Do not go gentle
into that good night.”

He draws
a blade
and stabs
you in
the gut.

You fall to the ground
in silence,
and the darkness
of eternity
covers you.

***

You arise again
in the afterlife,
by the Lake
of Heavenly Tears.

Alongside you
are mothers mourning
the premature loss
of innocent children.

It is their tears
that fill the lake.

The sky is red.
There is blood in the lake.

The mothers cry, “We have nothing left to lose.”
The lake responds, “But do you understand now?”

The sky is blue.
There are bones in the lake.

The sky is pink.
There is longing in the lake.

The mothers weep
for all their dead.

A voice calls from the clouds,
“You must choose, angels.
After all,
the only thing
the dead have lost
is their life.”

The Clouds O’er the Lake of Heavenly Tears

A Strange Kindness

I too often fail to think of my adversaries’ machinations.

In fact, I often fail to think of my adversaries at all.

Today, however, I am thinking of the way my adversaries work.

Those who are doing adversarial work and writing adversarial words are only doing what they should be doing.

Those who seek for help with their adversarial work are only doing what they should be doing. Those that offer to help exhibit a strange kindness.

Those who seek for help with their adversarial work are likely acting out of the belief that their work is something with true meaning.

My adversaries should read more about amor fati.

A Strange Kindness

Lawn Care (Revisited)

these days,
the space before
my front lawn
has proven
a constant stream
of activity.

more than ever
I have seen bald babies
and hand-holding couples
and masked joggers
and power walkers
and so many canines
with their well-trained humans.

today, though,
today will be different,
for I expect to see
the babies riot and
the couples count their blessings and
the joggers admit that they’re aliens and
and and the power walkers will circle the block
again and again, sweating and
yelling to the suburban skies,
“there is nothing to get upset about!
what are you so freaked out about?
this whole world is a goddamned hoax!”
because it is critical to understand
they have a valid and well-reasoned point of view.

today, oh, yes,
today,
I will see
all the things
I’ve read about
in books and maga-
zines…right there
on the front lawn,
where the edges need trimmed,
and the weeds have staked a claim.

Lawn Care (Revisited)

Julianna Barwick

the vocals loop liked a well-knit stitch,
blanketing the flat field,
encountering no hinderances from trees
or towers
or tanks.

breathy, brisk wind wailing,
“imaginaanthaanthaanthaanthaa…”
before fading into loose dust and sky,
dry, bright, and still noxious.

the land recalls when
the fruits self-actualized
on schedule, however untidy the season.

the earth cracks crooked smiles
as though struggling to say,

“the flowers were once quite beautiful here.”

Julianna Barwick

Misinformation and Biscuits

we were starving
for misinformation
and biscuits

while you were outside
lost amongst
the elderberries

we kept our minds open
for news we could use
to feed our biases

it was the strangest of times
apart and listening
to the experts

our ears were too full
when your burst through the door
with a handful of ripe fruit

we had to wrap our hands
tight around your throat
just to maintain focus

Misinformation and Biscuits

No Tangles. Guaranteed.

Mostly coiled like a morally-compromised copperhead who seems to be debating the instinct to strike, but more like a garden hose knotted just enough to reduce the pressure so that when something happens to it, the slightest of touches, the simplest of thoughts in the wrong direction even, the whole coiled mass comes alive in an explosion of cold water over everything and everything else.

“In this world, the most remarkable things are the little things, the heart in your chest, the books on your shelf,” my neighbors explain, “and when a neighbor doesn’t return a borrowed book, and you can’t buy a replacement, you may just have to buy another book instead. Maybe you’ll loan out that book out in the future, along with countless others, and you should hold out hope that you’ll get back some of them. But sometimes, with the precious things, just tucking them away in a freezer is enough to avoid loaning out things you someday want returned.”

I was able to stand the cold water for far longer than my neighbors, but I think most of my neighborhood has forgotten cold water exists at all.

No Tangles. Guaranteed.