Sunday, September 19, 2010

A Poem by Pasha Allsup

(This is actually the last page of a longer poem. It was untitled.)

Below the level of the sea I vomitted up a towel and spat fevers.
the weathering rock of logic crumbling
center to circumference more insubstantial ephemeral
shadows arose where once stood human form. They all seem like shadows
to me now. I passed inside to out and only an inch away,
I passed the heat of living bodies with every breath I chose to take.

Glacial slow growth
of the soul unto God handwritten & castaway
it's the vigilant & patient nature of my individual pain.
I don't know who told me
there are no telephones where I'm going.
The desert remains unfaithful & clearly, clearly ahead of its game.
A disturbing absence
of simple explanations & setting impossible moons like earthen-ware bowls
suddenly at ease & gratefully so.
I returned the sticky sweet smell of a neighboring well.
Inescapable teeth of shimmering, heat-hungering knocking holes
the sand cascades, the sand howls & sleeps steals and marches
in parade.
Leave it to its own fierce device, the message high grade
stage four non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
is an ennobling gift from the Angel of Pointless Causes
I've been passing for human all these years "front to back".

It's just like me & those like me we fancy life near
the closer edge—the dunes vaguely smell of juniper & burning pinon
near the alder thicket. We smell of poverty, injustice, & fried-white bread.
We smell of squalor & a crushing xenophobia of the outside world—its
undocumented dreams.

Lately, I never wander far from the miserable road signboard sucking
ramada brush & the creosote slick rock sandstone domes & delicate
arches rent & overgrazing.
Life is a simple stake fool's gold devotion
just work up your claim rosetta laughter & the occasional
"I vomitted up a towel" to work my claim
first & last. I mean there's not much else to do.

I was born 8 Ahua Pop 11 Yax handshield—
mmm...You can call me Pasha—& moved into the desert eleven centuries ago
from Yaxchilain, a long dead sparrow to the wringing weather.
Uchribi chokokolat harbor lagging in the misted garden.
Round buttons I have for eyes. Still the water stone the tide I turn
pithekoussai'ee brown as my November garden, dead squashes, dead
waterlopes & stringy bean shells lathed from solid granite pews like
obsidian flake leg & limb, & long forgotten talks with God who
read & always reads me like ox scapulae liberated from its host oracle
bone by a righteous blade.

& might I say God—Good Lord Jesus—
it's good
to be alive.

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