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Poetry of Issue #8        Page 76

Broken Word Artist

Here it comes: a landslide of anguish
to vanquish your attention, shibboleth
suspension of disbelief I thief & dazzle,
hassle you into invention, Houdini
misdirection because I am not
saying anything. Scaffolds of sound
across town lost & found, under towers
of allusion, call me Ishmael on Bleecker,
subterranean homesick delusion,
cherubim glistening in my Bermuda Triangle
of verse & what’s worse—I am not here.
Or there. Or anywhere. I will not eat green eggs
& ham or write what could crack
my shell open. I’d rather still, thrill
& fill your dome with constellations,
planetarium installations of diction,
friction from my lexical prescription
for the addiction of this narcissist pharmacist
scared so shitless he paints palimpsest
pictures as he slinks out a room,
a friendship, a door, the coward’s allure,
‘bout to dodge & hop drops of gin, dope
skin rope, thin hope that next time
I’ll be honest. This quasi-tension &
foiled apprehension, affect without
affection, is my predilection: like,
ellipses, let me slip my dactyl
under your dipthong, syncopate
your syntax, pop your plosives, set forth
a semiotic (expletive) soiree of semantic
(expletive) excess, pusillanimous pyrotechnics
in a cadence appropriated from
the vulnerable & rarely heard.
This regurgitation of arcane
parlance, obtuse riffs that joust
with a sharp lance, will mesmerize
with rhythm & rhythm & rhythm
of her class & his sass & no gas
left to search or lurch or sit
in the not-knowingness, the hot flowing list
of now—no ladder out this pit
of construction & obstruction,
mirage & sabotage—into the vernacular
of real human struggle, where every
word, like a tiger’s first claws,
cuts through the skin.

  Matt Pasca