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ONLY THE GHASTLY OTTOMAN REMAINS, A MEMENTO MORI IN PAISLEY AND VELVET. NOW, A TENTATIVE STEP. A FAR-OFF MOAN. THE SHADOWS GATHER IN ABOUT THE OTTOMAN LIKE MEMBRANOUS WINGS… Black concrete draws its cloak of steam down tight Tiny jewels of neon, sharp and brittle promises on every edge. Static hisses from the plastic minarets Into the sunken pleasure-gardens of this broken night. I’m tired, now. No rest. No sleep. Falling sideways through a storm of years Catching smoke, pacing, caged… Small change in black-tiled roadside ruins Tissue-paper skin and swinging bones A hot mouth stuffed with thorny prayers mutters at my back. That morning the Prophet arose from his temple, And stood crucified upon a rampant sun. Grain bent to a scythe of wind, Tin-can dreams in the grip of nowhere... And out on the wire perched the coming rain It remembered. Pentothal hot. Reason fried in plastic; A telegraph row of hanging trees Insects on the meshwork, husks and hollow shells. In the millstones of hard, flat light he stood A bloody lance in one hand, cheap suitcase in the other. He smelled of money, sweat and ashes Stale motel afternoons. And it's spilled coffee and chains and yellow newspaper eyes; Stuffed swordfish and empty bottles Little lies you told yourself. It's hot motor oil at 3 A.M. Fingernails cracked, wet asphalt mourning, Warm beer and splintered timber dreams. The pylons rise like praying hands,
Smooth eyes weeping oxidized Bronze horses blind and frantic. HE KNEELS BEFORE IT LIKE A PENITENT. HE CAN MAKE OUT WORDS FLOATING SUSPENDED IN THE EMBROIDERY. tight and bitter. LIQUID WITH ANTICIPATION… In Basement Number Five the doors are welded shut The light burns through a jaundice-yellow haze And spitting shadows tiptoe on the water. . The wind will smell like rain on tin. blacktop highway Dancing. rust. A grove of blunted swords. This is the grave of surplus heroes A victory-shrine for water.. 'till it whispers into steam. HERE. And open up the locks… I’m coming home. Cold-riveted down to leviathan dreams. Take your voice to whisper on the dead air. bending the reeds of wire But the sand just keeps on falling. Take the skies down. A cough. INTIMATELY CLOSE. unscrew each little star. MEANWHILE. a whisper. They gonna roll you in hot black ink. off down long-distance lines to nowhere. IN ITS EMPTY ROOM. This is the tomb of a fragment ocean Licking at the necks of drowning statues. THE PAISLEY PATTERN OF THE OTTOMAN SEEMS TO WRITHE. and time. laughing Before the searchlights clawed the belly of the sky. Black and deep as choking memory. “We had fragments. boy. then And threw them in the face of heaven.Caught up in filigree that cuts the moon to ribbons. THE SUITCASE FALLING FROM HIS HANDS. Go now. Like summer blood. swinging down the wind Spilled coffee beads and dances on the skillet. cold five below the crooked streets. boy Press your face up tight to the glass Hang your eyes on keychains..
acid-etched and forged in brass Outside. the sun crouches heavy on the arch of the sky Swifts scissorcut the air. It fills the slick and heavy air An orange hieroglyphic scrawl Across a concrete sky Tonight..” AN OLD VICTROLA SPINS SCREWLOOSE IN THE TOWER ROOM. Rotting. HE FINDS THE HIDDEN LOCKS. OBOES AND HAPSICHORD OVER DUST… HE SLIDES HIS FINGERS UNDER THE PAISLEY CUSHIONS.. slippery and ticking. IN MORBID FEAR OF TEETH… The empty hour has found you A crumpled photograph of yourself Smoothed cold across the glass of morning It comes in on hypodermic frequencies A lonely kerosene howl As bearings sweat black against the load. honey-gold Beaded with a thousand empty eyes In this country of little broken things In this hollow light. and seconds picked out in steel and radium Each one recalls the weight of mountains Each tiny mote a world. There's peace in the slide and interlock of tiny wheels Grave certainty. dry as crematory dust In the faces of plaster angels. THE GHASTLY OTTOMAN BEGINS TO VIBRATE… Take the core out carefully Hot.The hours. HISSING ITS REFRAIN INTO THE SHADOWS. THE CHINESE PUZZLE CLICKS AND SLIDES BENEATH. AT LAST. loop and thread and skim But your fingers on the key are everything . You wear this city like an armored shroud Blank halogen and cataracts Wet white ceramic tiles your skin. days. AS A LOOK OF HORROR DAWNS ON HIS FACE. wound tight with dripping string The tabletop is scarred. reflected in scalpel blades.
AND GOOD-NIGHT TO ONE AND ALL. DESPAIRING GROAN.The key / the smile of bone deep in the hole The cross-hatched scars around its edges CURTAIN DOWN. . A FINAL.