is the Message
Christ, yes, my voodoo
organism crackles 3 ways fuels
that into formal glories turn.
Sin-dazzled aquamen span
an open ocean range sailors
take for waxworks of land
& gimcrackery cast out by He
who unseats sawdust Caesars.
For who slouches after our
social smoke, knocks up the skylark
but those hosts of lords?
& how safe is it to call sarx
a storm & not fire the closer
Truth gets to Her Mars
& its 8 angstroms of care?
Light will do our eyes
with the sex of Itself—
a half-tone skin-trick
looped into the pyx
fish- and loafless
until Athens fell: Christ-
fallen, yes; obeah-man’s
5 fates away from a new phylum!
The 8th Intention of St.
your damn hands up!”
What-not, bee-boned devils
shake more than okay
& no amount’a wow-how’s
gonna get’cha outta this sing.
This here’s West Outer Space, girl,
where we keep liars up-wind
& stay-safe powers sugar-cane
gossips take for revelation
end-spooked & covered in love.
The devils juice this town
into great-scotts & minister
tricks which sermon us up
moons we pray “Live!” to.
It’s never up to you
what we warm into—
break this down:
Gotta low-down blow-smoke
engine 3 clicks from conclusion;
our nation goes when we don’t
keep the right speeches. Check it.
When you’re outta that evil, It say,
I gotta’nuther evil for ya.
Matthias and Amy
Anything of Skin
I soak the twine in squids’ ink to design
a way into the wave the whale’s weave
then tie the flags & coil the line to times
I count from deck, black crest, black break,
the beach’s waves have grammar & intent
the way that catscans clarify the mind
& show the places colored with invent—
she thinks of how our skins combine.
I’ve lined the ink-sacs up. Black bullet flesh
of fish I rub to energize the twine
to conduct down what sinks, but what sinks less
than information, hands, the blue that’s mine:
the minimal amount of my content
that lends her end the sea, a sea, a men.
By time it takes to coil from bird to
mythic rites exile to sleep the spider;
lulled like itself, concealed, the ship returned
with cords of spice & thirteen coral dangers.
“We cannot verify what we believe”
“The Empress of the Splendid Eats Her Hair”
“A hundred lands have harbored theories”
endows her human. Lineland is there”
where porcelain is heaven China clutches—
its deepest purpose suddenly becomes—
at such-and-such begetting such a such.
What’s understood as “spider” asks to hum:
magic at one time, & then religions;
monopolize the snake, the worlds begin.
Eric Elshtain is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the University of Chicago’s
Committee on the History of Culture. His poetry and reviews have
are forthcoming in GutCult, Near South, Ploughshares,
Bathhouse, 1913: A
Journal of Forms, Denver Quarterly, Salt Hill, Skanky Possum,
Review, New American Writing, McSweeney’s, Interim and other journals. He
also the poetry editor for the Chicago Review and editor
of Beard of Bees
Archived at http://lit.konundrum.com/poetry/elshtaine_poems.htm