Marcus Slease



Let the monks sing

proverbial food on the brink

a song of blustered English

foreign intuition

hot bricks in head.

The organ replaces the pom-pom.

The icebox contains a heart.



I. Broken Sun

What's under the bustling wig what's packed
under the horse's saddle for the long journey?

Snub-nosed preachers mumble
into silk hankies.

Our lips          part          like the red sea
and multitudes cross to the shore.

Breakthroughs must be broken

Life is not a double feature.
Life is hirsute.

The sun is deceptive.
It is always colder than we expect.

II. The Castle without a King

After the leaving I shaved my head, my words squared off. I shaved my head.

O the pure products, the joy of America consists in less plumbers,
many electricians.

Evening performance of toads.

In dialogue I embrace you
castle without king, diamond of the cacti.

III. At the Convention

The convention of professional insulators met
on the twelfth of March
to discuss various strategies for thickening
the skull but army jackets were once again in fashion
and the transmission of black/white continued
despite lips paid to move between.
Take a stand, any stand say the old existentialists.
Sandal straps for Jesus. Swamps for planet earth.

IV. Our ordinary language is a puppet on stilts

Trees squeezed the road. Elevators ascended and descended never meeting
on the same floor.

The nightwatchman fanned the cards for solitaire.
She was alone in the passenger seat minding the AM radio.

Big bag of tricks in the glove compartment, loose metal in the shoe.
We chat ourselves up to no avail.

Yoke of plenty at some point the jaw builds a bunker.
At other points it's a bottle rocket screeching into the night.
Half dreamers of the actual, unwept nihilisms.

What some call accidental we call eggs
hatching near the corner of the skull.

V. Hotel of Lost Light

When hair covers the face like a tent of images.
When tires are broadcast in treble.

O, brother we are lost in a room with fluorescent lights
and buckled flexi glass.

Our wet fingerprints refuse to dry.
We cannot take leave of our senses.
Our mind is a magnet.

There's always too much blood under the bridge.
The pigeons refuse to carry messages.

Stone lion with degrees of divinity.
Sad dump of the heart.

VI. Afterlife

Noon is a pet language when the barn makes arrangements with the fiddler
and an afterlife arrives with economic flooding.

Heaven is a stage full of bears
juggling cufflinks.

Noon is a parking ramp. Honeybee colloquy.
Universal declarations buzzing around the mud pit.

Beauty shrinks as father leans on gray marble
cutting pineapples with his machete.

VII. Eve's Last Waltz

The butchers cannot unite under their one tenderhook.

Over there the saints lay down with their viscous lambs
and count their petticoats.

This is combat baby. The burden of proof rests on the city with its
twelve million views.

The control group consists of bent spoons.

Language is not a chauffeur.

Night is a knock-off of day.

History is a baby coughing in the wind.

I carried the river on my back and it broke into ten thousand splendids.



These poems were written after reading: Haze by Mark Wallace , Music or Honesty by Rod Smith, and Ring of Fire by Lisa Jarnot (among other works). I couldn't sit still with so many multitudes running through my head. I was also tired of teaching existentialism/individualism. Let the miracles come from the multitudes for a change.