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Thread: The Esoteric Diaries

  1. #501
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    Default

    Upon entering, you should know
    that the light switch has no cover
    but that the piano
    still makes a tin type tune
    for my shy fingers.

    There's a mobile I sometimes watch.
    Five fairies, or stay-at-home moms,
    a maybe even sisters, fly
    faceless, free on feathers.

    The windows are uninhibited nudes
    I try without success to paint;
    the hardwoods draw like
    sun-damaged cheeks in a smile.

    There are two framed fiber works
    with jeweled sunsets woven into wavering hills
    that I sometimes walk through.

    And there's me, of course,
    barefoot, no makeup, glasses
    that aren't quite strong enough,
    a box of tissues for my morning sneezes.

    Pull up a chair, I say.
    I'll make you a cup of hot chocolate.
    Go through the CD's and choose something you like.

    I'll pretend to be cool
    while you glance at the Christmas tree,
    metaphor upon metaphor unwrapping like gifts
    strewn beneath the santa collection, the cresche.

    Stay with me just now,
    a soft, lingering sort of warmth,
    so that I might notice
    some last, vital detail of this place,
    the geometric precision of our paper star,
    the tiny handprint paper ornament.

    Sit with me, reader,
    so that I will fully understand
    that memories can amplify love,
    that words can hang forever like homemade stockings,
    and joy can be loosened like glittered frost in a snow globe,
    if only you're willing
    to shake it loose.

  2. #502
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    Default The Revelation of the Dark Matter

    The Matter of the Dark Revelation


    2057 ICE (In the Common Era)

    He was a genius. At age 10, he picked up a copy of The Clandestine Knowledge of the Metal-Changer. It was a children’s book, written by a kindly author who wanted readers of various interests to enjoy the experience of his story. Consequently the book also contained a treasure hunt with clues hidden in plain sight. He took the top prize, the rarest green sapphire pendant on Earth. At age 16, he developed a process to affordably extract titanium from other rare earth elements, and the patented process made him a fortune. At age 40, he developed the theory for super-light-speed travel, shattering the earlier concepts of Albert Einstein. And at the glorious age of 46 years, he launched into the nether regions of the heavens, in a chariot drawn by his own horse-power. Rumor has it that he returned with a cache of dark matter, the suspected answer to Earth’s energy crisis, and that upon re-entry to the Solar System he hid the cache somewhere around the planet, Saturn.

    What set him down this path? As he grew from age 10, the world’s reserve of energy began the critical phase of its depletion. While his mom dragged him on errands around the city of Berkeley, he was in the backseat of her Volvo, working on solutions to his treasure hunt quests. However it was at this early age that he was also discerning the truth behind the politics. The Islamic Republic of Iran was developing nuclear power as a new energy source, because it was running out of oil. As oil reserves depleted, the influence of the big fish corporations like Halibut dwindled, and like forest plants thriving under a thinning rain forest canopy, alternative fuels began to flourish. But it wasn’t enough. The voracious Earth needed more energy, and Dr. Guttenberg had found it. And he decided that one lucky contestant would have the fate of humanity resting on their puzzle solving.


    2065 ICE

    The Andromedary’s shadow barely registered, as the mega-tanker sped through the divide between Saturn’s rings. The ship was accelerating to match the orbiting velocity of Saturn’s moon, Titan. On the other side, Maverick Day studied the orange hazy orb as it loomed closer in the stillness of space. The moon’s barren surface was not clearly exposed like most planetary satellites. Rather it was hidden beneath a fuzzy quilt of smog. It struck Mav as unusual, as he had only seen atmosphere on the planets. Somewhere down on the surface of Titan, a processing plant sucked methane from its atmosphere and siphoned ammonia from the ocean beneath its crust, and prepared the gasses for transport.

    He studied his navigation console as it tracked all threatening objects dancing around his ship. Saturn and its rings were depicted in holograph. In finer detail were its 56 moons. Mav had zoomed in to a medium setting for this stage of his approach to the artificial satellite around Titan. Without this panel, his ship would be toast. Soon he would tank up on methane and ammonia for the return trip to Earth. Earth was desperate, and he would be paid handsomely.

    A red dot on the navigation panel told him where to find the orbiting fuel depot, and as the moon loomed closer, he was able to make out the stark ball with his naked eye. Within a few minutes, he was able to see the slow moving shuttles from the surface floating in a steady line to station. Since hot propulsion would set the moon on fire, transportation of the fuel was as tedious as a mill-wheel lifting water from a river. Fuel was converted to its gaseous phase and pumped into each transport. Then the transports rose from the surface moving as slowly as under-inflated helium balloons. Their anti-grav propulsion was slow, but imperceptibly picked up speed as it approached the station. Once a transport mated with the low-orbiting depot, the fuel was converted to a liquid state.

    Mav was distinguished as a first generation of the truly off-Gaians who couldn’t rightly call Earth his home. He was conceived around 2027 ICE and had grown up on the Earth’s moon. His home on the moon always faced toward Earth, which had afforded him a unique vantage point on the blue planet. Over a decade he observed the earth through a pair of binoculars, and watched the gradual dimming of its big city lights.

    Still he literally grew up a world apart. The Northern Hemisphere alliance had set up colonies on the moon, in part because of pride, and to support the necessary steps into space. However over time they had grown weary of the burden of financially supporting the colonies. As the lights faded in the Earth’s shadow, colonists like himself were forced to support the intra-solar mercantilism – procuring energy, transporting energy, buying it back from the mother planet.

    The first voice in a couple of years crackled over his sub-space radio, “Sea-of-Tranquility flagged Andromedary, this is docking pilot Cindi Layten, requesting permission to come aboard your vessel for the purposes of docking it with the satellite station depot.” The staccato and cadence of her voice and her stilted words were unmistakably android. Mav was already aware that all of the jobs on Titan were done by androids, but dealing entirely with a collective of artificial intelligence spooked him.

    “Cora, let’s prepare to meet the dock pilot,” Mav said to an artificial dog, sitting beside his command chair. Cora had the double duty of watching over Mav and the Andromedary while Mav was in stasis. Cora was also the normal pilot of the Andromedary.

    “You’re given permission to come aboard, Pilot,” Mav responded. Immediately a capsule emerged from the station, and hastily approached his ship. These androids pilot too fast, he thought. He watched as the capsule passed over Cora and himself, and he felt the shudder of his ship as it latched on. Seconds later, he heard the wooshing of the airlock. Despite his well-insulated flight-suit, goosebumps appeared Mav’s skin as the temperature suddenly dropped.

    “Ah, you’ve got a lot of atmosphere in here,” the android pilot observed.

    “Yeah, Pilot, it’s more than just a medium for heat; I need it to breathe,” Mav replied patiently. The droids didn’t need the oxygen, but they did need a minimal amount of gas within the station to conduct heat. He knew that it would be too thin for humans to survive there.

    “Call me Cindi,” the android pilot offered.

    “Okay, Cindi. My pilot, Cora, here is ready to relinquish controls to you.”

    The android was one-off from being human, but that was intentional. Still after 4 lonely years in space, Mav felt some basic attraction. Her synthetic red hair was held back in a pony tail, and her green eyes glowed unnaturally in the dim lighting of the control pit.

    “Depot, this is docking pilot, Cindi Layten. I have control of the Andromedary, and I am ready to approach for fuel transfer docking.”

    “This is docking command. Pilot, proceed to the number 4 docking gate. We will issue further instructions, when you are positioned for interface.”

    “Acknowledged, docking command.”

    With the docking protocol initiated, Cindi coaxed the hulking frame of the Andromedary forward. Ahead through the cab windows, the spherical fueling depot loomed, looking like a dark moon. Maverick felt uncomfortable about the speed with which his ship was approaching the depot, but he knew that these androids were programmed to respond much faster than humans. Consequently, the speed was probably safe.

    Andromedary pilot, your vector is too fast. Slow your ship,” docking command said flatly, dispelling Mav’s assumptions.

    Andromedary pilot, you are unable to perform the docking maneuver at this speed, and are endangering the depot. Break off approach and then report status.” The remote, synthetic voice remained even and cold.

    Mav felt his human emotions kick in, specifically panic. Cindi, the docking pilot, did not steer away. The depot was now quite near and rapidly closing in. Mav heard Cora’s voice report:

    “Emergency separation activated.”

    Mav felt the cab lurch forward and pick up a burst of speed, and he knew they had just broken free of the Andromedary’s tanker-trailer. It was the last thing he expected to happen during the docking maneuver. The navigational chart was focused in on the station, and he watched with baited breath, as the tanker-trailer barely scraped by the fuel depot, before clearing it. He wondered what miracle had prevented the spectacular destruction of the engorged fuel depot satellite.

    “Time for the hunt,” Cindi said calmly, but the timber of her voice had changed. “Maverick, this is Dr. Guttenberg speaking,” Cindi said in baritone, “or rather it’s my programming speaking.” Mav was disoriented by the surreal disconnect between seeing the female android and hearing the old scientist.

    “You’ve separated my ship, and nearly destroyed the depot!” Mav accused loudly, but he maintained his cool.

    “Oh, it’ll get worse than that. Right now, though, let’s play a game.”

  3. #503
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    Default Dark Matter (cont'd)

    “What?” Mav asked incredulously. On navigation, he could see the distance between the tanker-trailer and the fuel depot satellite widening. However the tanker-trailer was beginning to arc slowly toward the moon, which alarmed him; it was unable to sustain orbit. Mav would have to dock the cab to the tanker-trailer and steer it away - soon.

    The possessed android spoke again, “Somewhere within Saturn’s planetary system, I’ve hidden a great prize for humanity for which I’ll give you clues. For example, if I said, ‘here is a hint at the prize’, and then I said, ‘you can’t get there from here’, you might surmise that I was talking about dark matter, because no human is capable of traveling beyond the solar system, except for myself of course.”

    “Cora, return control of my cab to me,” Mav instructed.

    “I’m unable to comply, Mav,” the synthetic, sympathetic dog replied.

    “Give me back control of my cab,” Mav insisted to the android. The deterioration of the tanker-trailer’s orbit was increasing on the navigational display.

    “You must listen to my clues, and allow them to spin and coagulate,” the feminine android with the older man’s voice advised him.

    Mav watched helplessly as the tanker-trailer accelerated toward the orange, methane clouds of Titan. It was now too late for him to do anything. He noticed a red glow and sparking along the leading edge of the free-falling tanker-trailer. The friction between the doomed ship and Titan’s atmosphere was causing a build-up of heat. Suddenly, everything went white. The cab of his ship tumbled violently away from the combusting moon. A quick check of navigation showed his steady cab as the planet, rings and moons tumbled around it. He knew however that they still kept to their natural motion; it was his own vessel that was spinning, out-of-control.

    Loose objects flew in a maelstrom around his cab. Mav put up his arms to protect his head. A tool case came whizzing across the cab, and struck the android squarely on the shoulder, causing the android to slump.

    “Cora, fire the maneuvering thrusters, and counteract the current rotation. Get us under control again.”

    “Aye, Mav.”

    Within a few moments, Cora’s expert guidance had calmed the ship. Mav took quick stock of the situation. He was in the cab of his ship, which was now only capable of traveling within Saturn’s planetary system. His emergency fuel was limited, so he would have to conserve. Titan was on fire, and his tanker-trailer, along with its ion-propulsion drive had vaporized; their means back to Earth was gone. The fuel depot was also likely destroyed. The renegade android was injured and malfunctioning. Seventy percent of Earth’s energy reserve was now an orb of conflagration. He smirked at his hopeless situation.

    “Cora, are you okay?” Mav asked.

    “My command functions are operating adequately, but I have minor damage.” Mav looked over, and noticed an ear missing from his companion, and exposed wire around its torso.

    “Cora, what is the status of my ship?” Mav asked, not really wanting to know. At least his ship was under his control again.

    “Emergency fuel supply is available. With conservation, your projected survival is no more than thirty Earth days if you remain conscious. Your survival increases to one-hundred eighty Earth days if you go into stasis. There are no ships within the range of rescue with either scenario.”

    Movement elsewhere on the detritus-strewn deck got Mav’s attention.

    “Look twice within the open mouth, amphora, amphora” the android sputtered. “Reversi Luna,” it sputtered again. Then the unnatural green eyes went dark. However, its eyelids rested open.

    “At least these things should close their eyes when they fail!” Mav muttered under his breath.

    “Cora, call up your library program,” Mav commanded.

    “I have it,” his faithful companion replied.

    “What is an amphora?” Mav asked.

    “It’s a vessel or container used by the ancient Greek and Roman cultures of Earth for storing liquids. There were many varieties of amphoras.”

    “What about a wide-mouth amphora?”

    “There was a style of wide-mouthed amphora known as a crater.”

    Mav thought for a second. He felt a knot in his stomach, at he gave the order to start expending his precious fuel, “Cora, plot a course for Saturn’s moon, Phoebe, and proceed.”

    “That will drastically shorten your survival period,” Cora was quick to point out.

    “Yes, I’m aware, Cora. Please proceed.”

    “Yes, Mav,” Cora acknowledged.

    - . - . - . - . - . - . –

    “How about the Ampersand?” Mav asked. Humor was still a difficult thing to program into a non-human, and Cora was having a difficult time following Mav’s thinking.

    “Yeah, the Andromedary’s gone, but we still have the front of it. You know, A-N-D; I think Ampersand is a great fit for what’s left of the Andromedary.” Cora continued to look puzzled.

    Mav was heartened to see the stark, pock-marked moon of Phoebe ahead of them. However his fuel was about used up, which caused him to tap his reservoir of humor - Even if it was wasted on his companion.

    “Cora, use maneuvering thrusters to turn us around. Then use the main thruster to slow us until we match our speed to the moon’s.”

    Outside the cab, thrusters fired and turned the newly christened Ampersand, until it was traveling backward. The main thruster fired, expending fuel as it slowed the small ship.

    Mav studied the image of Phoebe on the navigation projection, where weak sunlight threw the surface into sharp relief. Look twice within the open mouth, amphora, amphora, Mav recalled. He turned to speak to Cora, “There’s a small crater within a large hole near the top of the moon. Lamd us on the brim of that tiny crater.”

    “Aye, Mav.”

    As the ship closed, Cora used more frequent but smaller bursts from the main thruster. Mav stared at the proximity reading. The numbers dwindled from the thousands, faster through the hundreds, then rapidly through the tens to zero. The ship shuddered as it landed on the firm lip of the crater. All of the fuel was nearly expended. If nothing was found here, it would be their final resting place. The Ampersand would never fly again.

    “So how come you chose to land on Phoebe?” Cora asked.

    “That glorified mannequin said something interesting – Reversi Luna. Phoebe is the only moon in retrograde around Saturn, which means it orbits in the opposite direction, when compared to all of the other moons of Saturn. I’ll suit up, and then let’s try to reach inside the crater.”

    Once suited, Mav walked to the air lock – the same one the female android had used to get onto his ship. Punching an oversized red button on the wall, the inside hatch slid open. He stepped into the airlock with Cora following at his heals. The synthetic dog did not need protection, as she was space worthy. Mav closed the first hatch, and opened the outside hatch. He then punched a button on the remote console to extend a metal ladder to the surface. After climbing backward down the ladder, he stepped away and paused. Cora took a leap out of the open hatch, and because of the weak gravity, she landed gently on the surface of the moon.

    Mav turned around on the lip of the crater. Above him the awe-inspiring rings of Saturn spread across the heavens. A bright star appeared to be orbiting the planet in the distance, which Mav surmised to be the flaming Titan. I’m the only human to be within a million miles of this place, he thought in wonderment.

    Mav turned his attention toward the dim interior of the small crater, where he made out a fair sized object. Sliding lightly in the thin gravity, he made his way down the sloping interior of the crater. He approached with Cora walking by his side. To his astonishment, he realized that a small interplanetary ship had been stowed in depths of the crater. There was no sign of life.

    “Do you think you can fly her?” Mav asked into his microphone. A look to Cora was rewarded with the affirmative nod of her head. “Let’s go inside,” Mav said. He found the external controls and worked the airlock hatches to get them both into the ship.

    Mav saw the light emitting from a center, island console. He approached and noticed the artifact. As he picked it up, the interior lights of the ship brightened, and a screen blinked on. He held a magnificent green sapphire pendant, another’s prize from years back.

    A message blinked on the screen:

    Beneath the green sapphire of this pendant lies a cache of dark matter taken from the deep reaches of space. Humanity no longer need rely on other fuels. It should last Humanity for awhile, until you follow the enclosed plans for making a ship to return for more dark matter.

    Signed, Dr. Guttenberg

    Mav took off his flight suit, once the ship pressurized. He then lay down in the stasis bed. So Dr. Guttenberg wasn’t all bad, Mav thought. He lowered the stasis bed cover.

    “Cora, take us to Earth.”

  4. #504
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    Default boxing day and chicken satay (rough)

    i like this laundromat as it is pressed between a desireable thai restaurant
    there's a round booth and real pillows with embroidered elephants in gold thread
    green bamboo and spinning dragon tissue
    it is very clean for my daughter here and we can rinse potstickers with sweet sauce
    i can dash next door and put quarters in the machines where the people have dark skin and work silently or red hair reading a novel or old and i feel sad and talk to their wrinkled skin like a nervous finch
    i wonder if i was solitary, could i stay here and peek at their clothes or steal something when they leave
    the tile is wet from an overflowing washer and i drop a five dollar bill
    the old lady with a broach gives it to me and we look at each other with an impenetrable, smug grace of two new brides from the convent
    hands across the water
    i scurry back and sip jasmine soup with bits of tofu and lovely white rice
    ginger
    the glasses of water are invisible save the lemon
    she likes this place very much and touches the orchids behind her
    i am glad they are real and she is gentle although she wants my broth with a scowl
    the towels are dry so i pay and we leave the light for the glare of the laundromat
    we leave.
    i am spinning, still, that the eastern speakers piped 'uncle albert/admiral halsey' over tea
    the strip plaza acknowledges that and we are bright
    heads across the sky.


    kat
    Deep in Blue Dog's eyes will always lurk the hopes and longings of a melancholy people, but, like the Cajuns, who always trained their eyes on the future, Blue Dog must move forward.
    ~George Rodrigue fr 'Blue Dog Man'

    He must have a truly romantic nature, for he weeps when there is nothing at all to weep about.
    ~Oscar Wilde

    From sumthyngness into givyngness unto the given.
    ~fr 'DAR' m.s

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    Default Orpheus

    I wrote this around 24 years ago:


    Orpheus

    All music seeks for what has been lost;
    Hopes to pardon the exiled,
    And rescue the phoenix from ash.

    Is this an absence or eclipse
    Of that muse?

    My fingers are blind.
    The lyre hangs senseless.
    I am become a head
    Crying in the desert.
    I am become a bell
    With no tongue.
    Nothing in this world
    Will look at me.
    Nothing will still
    This caterwaul.

    Since she brooked the Styx,
    My songs are shrunken olives
    Juggled by a vicious chimp.
    Apollo, please bury this harpist.
    Cut the loss from tongue.
    Sear her touch from my skin.

    My body remembers too much.
    My music forgets.

  6. #506
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    Default a walk in the park

    please press my number on your little notebook
    just ring me up, give it a light tap
    play some paul simon and drink a little beer
    eat some crabs and get an itch
    an inkling for the nest of swans in my throat
    twitching and suffering with a sandwich
    some sort of seafood, again, with nervous wine and an annoying donation

    sum up a little bit of something oven
    gather a jumprope jungle and garnish that ackward plate with a bit of citrus
    god i miss your chili and your fingers

    ring.

    can't you miss a good opponent enough to just curl her on this girlish day
    just move her waves with a vocal warble
    offer up some rice and a frosty glimpse into the life of john the baptist
    you, with a matchbook, teetering on a pulpit.
    poor roof cross, snapping stick wet from early snow
    call me, though, you may be recalling an unpleasant stroll.

    kat
    Deep in Blue Dog's eyes will always lurk the hopes and longings of a melancholy people, but, like the Cajuns, who always trained their eyes on the future, Blue Dog must move forward.
    ~George Rodrigue fr 'Blue Dog Man'

    He must have a truly romantic nature, for he weeps when there is nothing at all to weep about.
    ~Oscar Wilde

    From sumthyngness into givyngness unto the given.
    ~fr 'DAR' m.s

  7. #507
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    Default the crate and barrel for the spat eye

    nothing's dear without you here,
    nothing's clear without you near,

    there's so much fear from that pear:

    that i won't devour it like a jackal and hurl the rinds in a spittering treason for the true love i'll never find, thus
    never getting that crystal fruit bowl we like but don't care about for a wedding gift.
    Deep in Blue Dog's eyes will always lurk the hopes and longings of a melancholy people, but, like the Cajuns, who always trained their eyes on the future, Blue Dog must move forward.
    ~George Rodrigue fr 'Blue Dog Man'

    He must have a truly romantic nature, for he weeps when there is nothing at all to weep about.
    ~Oscar Wilde

    From sumthyngness into givyngness unto the given.
    ~fr 'DAR' m.s

  8. #508
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    Default your seaweed reeks

    deep inside the worms of my wood, where sweet eve gathers and lies are buried under fruit
    there's a dark glade, an unscented wisp of mist that unravels to a nice dream:
    a cottage, large and warm with a nice remains of the day there and yes,
    in my swollen caverns and swirling fogs of evil pickers
    i did
    i heard her laugh.

    in that vile illusion
    pursued by the wave, the blue reminder of ruthlesness

    and you knew it
    knowing my dreams before i was unwilling to sew any truth or find anything adamant
    you knew i heard the glee and you heard the glee through me and that sickened you into an empty horshoe crab shell on a crappy beach.

    brooding along with you and i some sunday after the bookstore.
    after only our stories.
    her deafening gurgle.

    that was the wrong body of water.
    when we were lying together; wearing the same sweater and boots.
    smiling at different times.
    and only 'our' mouths.
    Deep in Blue Dog's eyes will always lurk the hopes and longings of a melancholy people, but, like the Cajuns, who always trained their eyes on the future, Blue Dog must move forward.
    ~George Rodrigue fr 'Blue Dog Man'

    He must have a truly romantic nature, for he weeps when there is nothing at all to weep about.
    ~Oscar Wilde

    From sumthyngness into givyngness unto the given.
    ~fr 'DAR' m.s

  9. #509
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    Default tonglen

    Tonglen


    What I want to breathe in today
    Is what I want to say just so, so
    I can give it away.

    I start to breathe in the mouths
    Of three women this morning as I am
    Coot-crazy, woken broken as sticks,
    With a sudden armpit rent in a new sweater,
    A Christmas sweater, and wine-stained khakis.

    But no, that’s not it either, not the confusion
    Of self pressed hard into a symbol of lips,
    Or the skunkdrunk distress
    Of my body walking through your body’s
    Memory, pockets-out, ragged as a hobo.

    And the confusion of that confusion
    Isn’t it either, nor the fusion when
    The body cheats the heart, finding
    A wet, lost beat, the blur that lasts
    And lingers over the sites of birth.

    Damn, I just can’t breathe is what
    I want to breathe in, air too ripe
    With you disguising your sweat,
    Or muscled dark, or her sly blackberry,
    Pursing at my self-doubt, or
    The Carcassonne of the monkish one
    Who can’t keep enough silence
    In her keep.

    What I want to breathe in is
    All three and none of them,
    And air perhaps, just that, and
    Driving an ugly 94 car with no hubcaps,
    And calling her Sylvia without heat,
    But discarding that action, too,
    Because there is no where there.

    So all those verses, then, rusted tin
    We’ve cut our thumbs on, or a brain
    Like popcorn, colored novelty popcorn,
    And the gnawing sense that we will never
    Find peace until we lay down in fields
    With the earth’s blood and the stainless eve
    Perched on our very own strange mouth,
    Breathed out, given, untucked, free,
    To you who have read, or suffered
    To read, bound like the autistic girl
    Who snugged between wrestling mats
    In order to return to herself
    And thereby invented
    A kinder slaughterhouse
    For the USDA, that
    Is the exhale.

  10. #510
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    Default

    There’s no reason to write this poem about you.

    I can’t tell if you’re a man or a woman,
    Or if that’s a Steelers cap on your head
    As you sip (Sanka? Folgers? Gin?) from styrofoam
    Outside the church whose name I’ve forgotten
    With its bricks which mean nothing either,
    Seeing as how I can’t make them cold,
    Or stern, or metaphors in any sense
    Of the Word.

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