You walk the avenue.
You swing your hips
like a metronome.
​Time is ticking away.

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receding arrears panic
when disruptions concealed
their lost awe
​                      to abdominal radar

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"Cold Wave" by Vernon Frazer requires image support

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There was an America
of red brick with limestone trim.
It was small, overcrowded,
and stood, in upper New York Bay,
at the edge of that other vast America.

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It’s time to go home now.
Tomorrow he will return
to pick up the pieces again.

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In this Paris neighborhood
I read a book on The Resistance

to strengthen my poor French.
As I close the book the sun starts to set

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Beneath soft skies and damp wrapped mountains
old men now bundled in earth against this cold
are fading memories of their war
​like sepia photographs lost in attics

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Unlikely Stories turned 20 years old on July 1, 2018. The 20th Anniversary Issue was released on July 4, 2018 and included more than a hundred authors and artists.

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To set the process in motion I decide, arbitrarily, to use the three lines on page 62 as a post-snippet. Then, I begin at the bottom of page 61 and, working my way up to the title, arrive at the following poem:

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The season of leaving arrives and we forge makeshift vows and conjure ceremonies out of smoke and flowers in a tiny cabin. Why, always, this shack stacked with dead wood upon dead wood?

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Which is why I’ve kept my secret cold.  Blank. Unforgiving. When I’m out walking it calls to me.  Sounding high and strained. As if a string instrument gone out of tune. Something to reach toward.  Frayed yet determined.  It eats to my bone working its way beyond.

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But she was only shadows for
relic, vined up the lattice
work of astral rise. Drawing
air to the beds of her form
turning through another room,

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Sister says it’s redhead Judas
she can place it in the Holy Word
Sheriff leans from the passenger side
says it’s gamblers playing side bets

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even the levee’s black & blue
the river whittles every stick
collapses lax   relents
its trip out to sea

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we burst forward like lightning,
prepared to claim our destiny

what we tasted, we wanted
without swallowing salt

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A flower born of a passing goose on
the verge of an unfinished sky
never hesitates to become a memory
of an insane supermarket cashier.

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You have 3 minutes.
You have to pick
3 minutes 3 minutes 3 minutes
to live over and over until they wake you—

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Occasionally when discussing
great American novels, the walls
shook. Ravines were blasted
​for more rocks to crush into powder.

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It was
a simulated
training exercise
set up
just like
a hospital
​in Afghanistan

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                         The great hall is ornate,
unpeopled, terribly hushed. 
Hand holds an unshelved  book that
won’t open.  One after
another, books that won’t open.

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‘Who you votin’ for, Ray?’
The constant refrain makes his glasses slip
however often he pushes them up his inherited nose.
‘Ain’t votin’ for no damn body.’

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His Purple Haze became my breath, my flesh.
Star Spangled Banner sizzled —
igniting the world with flames
from his guitar. Jimi flipped the Strat
over, reversed the strings—

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Even after death.
I wear the t-shirt around the house.

The heathens sing.
About my unbuttoned blouse.

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Woodpecker's red head
inquiries of poplar tree, what
​be this sad struggle.

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I have buried men like gods
dressed in the rags of the state,
my fiery way
in the throat of things to come,
beautiful women robbed
​of beauty and sense,

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He couldn’t say that he
Couldn’t say that he couldn’t
Wish for a kinder father.
What could he say, faced
With those sorts of choices?

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To speak in parable, the
most vintage smoking
paraphrenalia is super light
& packable because it lets
you leave the poles behind.

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When we think back on it, we’ll call it “the end times”
and remember the strongmen tying knots in their thick ropes
just before they used them for saving those in the crevasses.

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Swilled on Labor Day at Lake Havasu
With body bags more plentiful than
boats
Drifting from motel to motel

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O sand O silk O galactic black wild—she dances naked, breathless, on the web-spread surfaces of Zodiacal light. 
O exposed bruises, O love doubled into madness, madness into self murder 
flood of sunlight bouncing off dust particles, ions in the coronal plasma, forbidden spectral emission lines—

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It is true what the priest discovered.  I have heard others tell of it. The bones of Jews have been ground into the road to the green cemetery tended for the SS graves.

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Things don’t manifest
based on your intention
or your vibration
or when you’re ready for them
​or at the right time.

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human chrome, cooing
and cooling 
on the New York
thru way

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To love her I stuff
hearts inside my eyes—cartoons but pumping 
real blood too—real and red 
                                                  as a child in summer

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Some people look away from the blood.
Some people can't stop looking into it.
Some people bleed inside their brain.
Some people swim away on the blood of life
until they turn into something new.

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then there is nothing to be detached from,
nothing to be attached to but a serial
infinity of the same choice: to be, happy
or not, enlightened, else, the resulting
happiness-no-happiness,

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The ambassador said the embassy would not turn over their guest
​since American prisons are the darling of the tiers monde.

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no reason left to act on logic alone. no charges of aiding & abetting
the madness. revolution of unconditional love will bear all responsibility.
complete with endless summer soundtrack. no advertising budget will
​be needed when supernatural is added into the equation.

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                a creed
                in lurch mode 

                             lumping

          any lecher willing to come
          in for a pass

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