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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Paradise outdoors, illustrated by Shiori Shimomura

A canopy ravels from gray nacre,
the mountain’s verdant newborn filigree.
As dark and light flashes, blessings accrue
unfurling in fern-tip complexities
ushering the one space of the sacred.

Heaven is a gateless sanctuary
where my heart can run itself rabbit quick
sublimated in the nature of me,
the gospel rhythms of my walking stick,
gut and breath, unbounded as an orchid.

Such hallowing glory requires a break:
that’s when we go to church, temple or mall.
Under a roof only humans would make,
we collect into our scale and recall
the transports of sequoia and fungi.

But for prayer in the present, there’s one hall:
the unroofed architecture of the all.
By Shiori Shimomura

Monday, April 22, 2013

Misery Mojo and the Minds Less Blown, Illustrated by Lauren Ari

     "I'm a wearer of the dark, yeah, yeah, yeah: I have a dark suit."
         —Dave Thomas

Despite the bolt-rattling oscillation
of our heads, some of us punks were able
to half-wonder what would become of us
once the guitar’s itch was scratched. “No Future,”
begs certain questions in the aftershocks.

Crocus Behemoth blew our minds often,
mad head warbling like a climaxing teen;
but better than those sound-scrapes, his bitter
perspective conveyed diagonally
how frankly fucking smart we were as punks. 

Bands break, though. A car crash stopped D. Boon’s jam.
Pop culture punks bit the dust on drugs (yawn)
while aging bassists coupled and had kids,
went to sew the sutures of middle age…
Crocus took up the accordion, whined 

about his old self, wheezed through his dark art
and the girlfriends that came and went with it.
By the one and only Lauren Ari. And look who's got a new website!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Partly Paved, doubly illustrated by Joyce Shon and James B. Wheeler

The dynamic duo, Joyce Shon and James B. Wheeler, collaborated on this pair of illustration versions. I don't know which to prefer, so am posting both. If you have an inkling toward one or the other, please comment and let me know. Enjoy!

Partly paved

Where the road stopped, an old train track,
half-lost, crossed my trail's T. One way
pointed into town. It struck me
that I'd noticed the brown steel paved
into 3rd Street, the lot at Jack’s,

and many spots where the railway
ran before the brambles of town
grew on it. The opposite ray
of vanishing track bent around
an overgrown, unbuilt hillock.

I went that way. Threadbare green gowns,
dappled silences, and old-time
ponderings filled the afternoon
until evening. Until the ties
stopped their ladder steps where I'd strayed.

What color were the northern skies
those days when coffee cost a dime?
By Joyce Shon and James B. Wheeler

Likewise by Joyce Shon and James B. Wheeler

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

For the Fuzz, illustrated by David Fleischmann

For the fuzz

Now that it’s refused me, I’ll refuse hair.
That’s how I decided twelve years ago
to strip my head razor-clear and take air,
snow and sight without the diplomacy
of coiffure. Know my mind, world. It is here.

Since the divorce, my do has kept a low
profile, though I spot it on the fringes
at times. It has never regained the glow
it had when my follicles were engines,
the sex machines of our honeymoon years.

Now, Fine Gray Fuzz, I sometimes get twinges
when I see some full-headed guy, recall
you at Burning Man, my shock of orange.
At 22, we pulled a ponytail.
How could I ever have cursed you, Jewfro?

I was young and could complain my gall out
without recognizing there’d be fall out.

By Free Radical, David Fleischmann