Shhh. Stay down. Don't
wake yourself up. Stay
closed as a toad in its
winter funk of mummified
pus and sediment guck.
Commit your form
to this coffinous gloom
where the albino sun
moonlights as onion.
Your brow will slop off
when the new one is born,
a gleaming new organ,
plain as a shawl. Stay
down. That axis to virtue –
all wrong, all wrong.
A mouse builds a house
with imaginal powers,
bloomed mental flowers,
wheels of blue cheese.
The skull of a heifer
harbors a goldfish,
the thing she was thinking
of last and most. It was
going to hurt you, the future
informs us, wring out
your juices, a crepe-paper
pupa. Stay down. Forget
air. Forget about her,
the person you weren't.
Stay smothered, uncoded,
unaltered by age –
love freely in storage.
Get pregnant while dormant.
Abort your own fate.


Think of the frog
in its refuge of blue
that holds the whole sky
in its stink of a cheek,
which is not unlike man
in his sanctum of mind
who seldom forgets
to seldom unwind,
who chirps out his kinks
like a blockbuster clock,
walled in the thing
that is smaller than him,
but only in size.
Think of the floating
heart in the bog land,
its compound of petals,
seduced by indefinite
knots, not unlike clouds
that nibble our thoughts
like squirrels their nuts,
robbing our skulls
of their last conscious
seconds – we won’t enter
heaven. We’ve never
been tried. It all happened
on us, not to us, like
moonlight, like cuckoos.
We echoed, reflected,
banked on good health,
but when push came to
shove, and shove edged us
over the bluff, we blew
up like zephyrs, and lifted
ourselves, and we sailed,
unassailed, but we still
haven't found rest.


Black flowers rise from the slime.
She is his branch now,
his outcry.
When we glance from east
to west, the history
of ransom – a swoosh through a dark
blue mesh, gumshoes, shadows,
a gargled challenge
from a shellfish of a thief.
Are you deep inside yourself or not?
Are you a moron with a rock?
Can you push your intuition,
take your house apart
in one brute swipe,
pry it from its moorings,
like a shearer the entire
wardrobe of a sheep?
Can you love what isn’t lovely,
crack your locks,
enter bravely,
face the defaced meat?
Psychic doorknobs tumble out:
the devil's seven brothers;
the lord's gold stars.
Gather them like mushrooms.
Screw them when you're frightened.
Lose sight and then you'll see
how glorious the gore is,
and you'll kneel to it,
you heathen,
and the night will bleat,
no doubt.


The heart is the shape of a cone
upside-down. On the night of the long knives,
a clown set about
murdering his loved ones – you, you, you,
for the little thing you did,
way back when, to shame me.
They were buried upside-down,
strung along, a foot apart,
like ornaments at Christmastime,
dangling in the canopies
of musty coke, corrupted ferns,
old green worlds, sunlit lands
of long ago. Look out for the clown
whose heart is brown and boiled.

Listen hard. She’s warming up,
his songbird, his phantom ruling passion,
whose privacy he loves
to cross-examine. Having her warble,
having her dangle
over his mouth, bursting cats
and dogs, then frogs, then wait, there’s more,
she’s raining girls, wrinkled girls,
bits of girls, heads and fists, slipping
out like gems from crowns,
they drum his tongue
which stands straight up
and bats them – you, you, you,
for being dead and coming back.

         © Larissa Szporluk 2004