from Dark City by Charles Bernstein "We're a great pair -- I've got no voice & you've got no ear." -- Lizabeth Scott to Charlton Heston, Dark City 1. Apple-Picking Time A transom stands bound to a flagpole. Hard by we go hardly which way is which lingering somewhere unsettled where evidence comes harder by sockets, stems etched in flexed omission like osmotic molarities flickering edge and orange at flow rates unrepresentative of ticking or torpor any child or person requires for, well against, that remorse remonstration brings. It's cold outside, maybe but the heart sinks daily in slump of sampled parts and I feel like carelessness, disowning what's acquired in indifferent animation, no body swaps to -- not as if elevated or cut down to size up, like layers of lost boys, like aspiration in a tub at sea, lists all the scores and scares at measures twice the fall. I'm parked because I have no taste to go -- penned down, no row to call my own. Abruptly, silently borrowing ignition from rumble, pouring face into a stir . . . We're a great fire, pining for a tower to burn through, yet no matter whose ice scatters our shouts -- dive for the switches, bury the slots. There's an eggplant in heaven Seen it there, know the sign It's awaiting for me End of time, long-lost rime [stanza break] I loved my love with gold She loved me with her smile But I took no possession Then / Had no taste called mine I knew I wept alone that night As sure as sheep in folds The I has ways the arm betrays For now my lance is warped The Bitter Core o'erwhelms its fate An abler loss casts breeze Sobriety's a fool's way out I'll take the sea in me, in me Nor swap the waves for thee. Floorlength gowns of commodious indelicacy suffusing articles on plums in monk's applause, equipped with attenuated slips, adjunctive rumination, felt bellows. Before I, in the interests of but not to further ascribe, at which mechanism, slate, pediment, protrusion abutment, laceration, absinthe-oriented divestment gaged to occur or unveil its numinous ectoplasmic Jill or gel or JELLO AGAIN THIS IS JACK BENNY FOR JELLO PUDDING AND PIE FILLING. Overboard or just over-by-a-long shot. Grateful to even imagine shore. As a matter of fact I'm as good as packed. I slept longer than you Now isn't that true? A poem should not mean but impale not be but bemoan, boomerang buck(le) bubble. Malted meadows & hazelnut innuendos: I'll bet the soda water gets the shakes sooner than Dan gets to Tampa. "Don't Tampa with me or I'll lacerate that evisceration off your face so fast you'll think my caddle prod was a lollipop." "Stay out my face or I'll deploy my assets against whatever collateral you've got left after I target your abstemious alarm." He was the kind of guy who pushed my buttons but couldn't carry a tune from Kuala Lampur to Guadalajuara, like those zebras with cross hatchings, or the trapeze family with Venusian ventilators. I mean I felt good at first but then it dawned on me, what if it was really a mistake, maybe I shouldn't have said what I said, did what I done. Mildred paced around the museum for another few hours before she spotted him, but it was much too crowded to finish the job right there. "They were my favorite boots," she cried. "They are your only boots," I replied. 3. Endless Destination If I should die cut out my throat and burn it on the pyre of their indifference. It means no more to me than that, to take your hand in my hand and turn our backs from the wreck not of our lives but where we have been given to live them. I would not walk alone here, where the dark surrounds, where your face radiates beyond my swollen misgivings and clarifies the mist of my belonging. Stay near that I may hold you lightly else the fear inside tear away what measures I have held against the night. Love's no more than that a straw against the wind that blows us to the ground without submission. Come love, come, take this shadow I call me: cast it against stone, lest the gloom become us. Come cast me down 'gainst shore, where sand enfolds us. Love is like love, a baby like a baby, meaning like memory, light like light. A journey's a detour and a pocket a charm in which deceits are borne. A cloud is a cloud and a story like a story, song is a song, fury like fury.