Mark Terrill


There by the tank farm along the Kiel Canal
the cashed-in chips of temptation reconfigured
through a rain-streaked windshield circumscribing
rusty tankers lined up at the fueling docks,
a unilateral narrative in which the things themselves               
are doing all the talking, the flipside of that narrative
being the perpetual condition of possibility
in which I am invariably the weakest
of all eligible participants—swooning, ducking,
never even touching the ground—
the rabbit-punch-mule-kick of a strange but beautiful
young woman's unexpected smile and smooth Hello
in the fitness studio derailing the quotidian continuity—
the disdainful sneer of a skinhead aimed my way
while I'm walking up the hill to town—
spawning bullet-riddled blood-spurting
Charles-Bronson Clint-Eastwood slow-motion
Sam-Peckinpah fantasies of vengeance and retribution
while the ghost of Gandhi is whispering in my ear
to take it easy, not to get all excited just because
some punk's not liking the way my mojo is working—
no reason to get pulled under in yet another
riptide of enticement—and in the gray months
that precede spring—there in the mirror each morning—
is that a continuum or a contingency?





What can I say about the genesis of "Spleen Machine"? No ideas but in streams of consciousness.