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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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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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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we burst forward like lightning,
prepared to claim our destiny

what we tasted, we wanted
without swallowing salt

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

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

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

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

The heathens sing.
About my unbuttoned blouse.

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

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

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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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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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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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Faces pause for fluttering flag: Anthem rises.
Hands over hearts we hymn that old war song.

Then a player drops a knee: Thread-jacks the script-
ed playbook scene, hacks the broadcast dream.

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where is the marriage muzzle when you need it most?
coast to coast nihilist in search of midnight missives
gypsy rings carved out of tree bark, don’t be sorry
for never being what your mother wanted, the ospreys
are here now, the hard part is over, thrown bored-eyed

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I can dream being into another body, yes, but not this
you. the screen light, once more, a fission of text.

a continuance. I mean to say something to you, as you are
not dead, and I am in a body that I know knows

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mercurial license of body a
float inside the door your
outer ear fainter than a dis
tant boat clouded in as
h fingered lid chews

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Held dear for one,
horsefeathers for another.
Both, valid and worthy.
Each as credible as the other.

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Each day older, a smolder in this spent body,
I wonder at my anger, this wish to stab somebody.

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