On Forging a Neptunian Watermark
Billfold in formaldehyde,
counterfeit like mâché constellating a map
reminiscent of a job where I waterproofed the sun.
Suppose working from home had me selling organs,
Foremans, garrets that turned grills into drones.
There’d be serials and flares,
Cepheus in the laundry chute,
Washington crossing a towel rack immune to ink.
Suppose we wished upon a watermark
or a pint of Interpol flecked with Franklin mint,
hands sprinkling cursive after the salt ran out.
What if we took the security threads
and clustered them in Fermi’s wallet?
Suborned the upholstery
till it collided with a quadrant?
These questions, no reserves (obsidian or federal),
slabs of Hamilton suffocating the Neptune
out of decriminalized broth
in the two-dollar hall of fame
next to the antimacassars of fraudsters
and furniture makers alike.
There’s a showroom on every planet,
a Saturnine checkbook,
coronal’s economy discharged,
on reams of dead green men,
their stars looking
Cauterize Origin, Mortar as Necessary
Condensation glamorizes an exit ramp,
somewhere a vendor of tongue depressors
has fallen for a trucker of medical waste.
Younger, I feared for the electric chair
deliveryman, the kilowatt flume when
his Volkswagen flooded. Who’d teach
me optimism by resignment like that
time we essayed the checkout woman’s
prison of Mentos contrasted with a kilo
of Icy Hot? Memo to my six-year-old
self overpowered by driver’s license
Mike, he is Nabisco at best.
Mix fuchsia with phone psychics, dab
a little QVC and my family has its branch,
I told the concertmaster whose marrow
almost matched – the cimbalom he made
of my chakras – a steeple builder taken
with a chimneysweep, the plot of an opera
I produce best. Younger, I pondered the ferrous
to evaporate an abuse, now I’m transfixed
by a For Sale sign losing its third icicle
this week, something reptoid about
the ability to grow weather back.
Consider me sectarian mayoral,
the manger boarded in City Hall
ten months out of twelve next to
decommissioned sheep. Consider me
schooling a herald’s nadir, the nature
of a grudge purer than a tick bite
to a match. For my brother, you are
baseline absolved, the lecture on a lifespan
in bleach given where door prizes
and asbestos meet. Southwestern living
taught me what I make up in unconditional
I lack in swagger. Younger, my carpool
a man who left his rickshaw for a wife,
her transformation from hairdresser
to cenotaph complete. In my antique store,
a lifetime of Sigourney Weaver on VHS,
a hot tub where clay beats consignment,
the stymied end I de-namor best.
Olfactory, I christen the garbage
historian clutching feldspar
on a barge whose scent politics
dictates one orchid’s Reykjavik
is a Budapest’s phlox.
Oligarchy, a raincheck in the hotel
where Hughes was void and tsar.
If there was a prize-song for shut-ins
you’d lock it in the trunk of moving-day food;
exile, more lifestyle than those agoraphobia
brochures would have us believe.
An elevator deconstructs thirteen
olestra microns adorning a gravy boat’s gem
nebula, its ratio of carcass to collector’s plate
featuring Tchaikovsky’s beard rendered in lead
paint. No sash for Ms. Thanksgiving but the ladle of
its remnants a strobe kite’s
dust strife. In the disco it’s Dress
as a Benjamin Night and I’m charading
a freemason’s quitclaim on a planetarium
erected over astrolabe ash. In Phobos we
truss the pill-splitter’s obecalp, a milligram
garroted when I choose dairy over
scriptorium, a locale as
old-fashioned as the composite sketch
artist who age progresses without a computer,
crow’s feet derived from a stalag’s talcum
hankering for Gospler times, the stage-
setting a jeremiad in which you
Gideon my smoothie right-left-right.
Olan Mills superseded the daguerreotype,
their gilding finishing our photo-op. Obliged,
we play Mussorgsky on stemware half-full
and watch crystal hasten, its orthodoxy a hematite
crucial to belief: blessings, the salutation –
erosion, embezzlement, maybe glass.