A Day among Unacquainted Firewalls

featured in the poetry forum November 1, 2018  :: 0 comments

It was late autumn, when vines of lightning climbing down through the windows turned red.

Carpenters hit the walls with square hammers,
but barely scratched them: “Remarkably solid.”
For a moment was he assured that fireworks of noises were all shut out, where they faded and were chilled thoroughly.
When he summoned these words he suspended himself in the moonlit minty air outside, like a frost-covered ghost

Security Level: Low
Shadows emerging from the horizon
flooded over the streets and church spires.
A cast of crabs, a field of Rafflesia arnoldii flowers,
or just wisps of Mansonesque lines.
They applied grinding wheels to his mortal frame,
sanding off his coarse wrappers, eating all bulbs and roots in his territory.
Window glass grew scalding, ready to grill,
–They ended up as rags on a clothes line.

Security Level: Medium
He received a message–
“I’ve been outside for 3 days. I wonder why you just kept neglecting me, I saw you drawing the brocade drapes, your eyes following the track of the sun… Now I’m as dried as roselle flowers.”

Security Level: High
Giant jellyfish rose like floating candles–the surface blacked out.
Constellations grew in the dimness like coral reefs–the surface blacked out.
A ghost ship skimmed over and scared off seagulls–the surface blacked out.
…It never lit up any more.

He stayed in the quiescent darkness for 30 minutes, or 30 hours–the flowing of time is so intangible.
This will be one of the scenes in his biography, with the chapter title–“Finally Safe”.

He was found slumped over his keyboard. The computer was on, formula calculations going on there on the screen.
Waves of characters overlapping and erasing one another.
Task Manager showed: There was no “currently running program”.
As serene as a smile after the curtain call.

editors note: A strong wall; safety from fears without. But, what safety from fears within? (We welcome Xiaoyuan to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of her madness on her new page – check it out.)- mh clay


featured in the poetry forum August 12, 2018  :: 0 comments

“Optics is the philosophy of extracting daylight from night.” In the eternal gloominess
after the withering of a candle, at last he lifted his hands
so dusty with silver grey. People flocked to the pile of ore
he had dug out. “We make a lock out of it,

so daylight will evaporate no more!” Wolfram remained imperturbable
in a Petri dish, shimmering like an unfolding lotus
rising from sacred relics. He looked outside: the earth had been divided into two
by light and shadow. The Old World
in gauzy pink dusk, while oceans in the New World were surging over
a crescent horizon. Once inside the lock cylinder

restless sounds converted into tranquility, spheres of tungsten wires sank and floated up
in branches of the river of night, purged itself of dross
and shone. “Sleep now! The flames on the eastern ranges
will quench it with more heat and light!” They fell asleep with prayers or totems, none of whom rose early the next day

to witness this reunion. Wolfram, a blind saint, wrapped in rays of light
without knowing it, walked past the cliffs, bumped into the sun
but walked again through it, like what he did
back in savage times, he hesitated a moment
wondering what it was, that he was brushing elbows with

editors note:

Blind blundering; trying not to mistake theory for knowledge. – mh clay

Alternating Current, Either Turbulent or Serene

featured in the poetry forum June 1, 2018  :: 0 comments

On the beach, you asked the man in grayish windbreaker:
‘How do you define ‘The Will’?’
He drew a sine-wave with his finger in the sand, then wiped it away
With waves at his command. A capful of vinegar, and seething calories of vegetables
In your stomach, turning and burning, gave you the illusion
Of snakes slithering away somewhere behind. Last night on your way home,

There was a repeat of the scene, in which she refused to allow you
To touch her rain-drenched violin. ‘Keep your distance, am I clear?
Only one of the strings is the zero line, you just can’t tell which!’ She smiled weirdly
And ran upstairs. The string which snapped during the performance
Dragged along behind her, was as thick as a towrope. Confused, standing still there,

You tossed a coin into the air, and heard it
Droning fast, with strong and weak beats, alternating,
A downpour and a flood – overflowing in different directions.
Fourteen days are needed to dry your nets, and clear
All water-level data. Landforms, temperature, light from above

And your masculinity, will be turned inside out like a coat
On the other side of the globe

editors note:

You can touch my violin… Inside outside out side in. – mh clay