SPOTLIGHT: Cash Registers to Cave Dreams by Chani Zwibel

Smile at babies on a train because they smile at me, feel the florescent yellow needle microscopic particles into my sweat-drenched forehead where a headache hides, a beast in a cave. Don’t know if shaggy hair belongs to a cute punk boy or a serious lesbian with a serious face, but neither one would give a glance my way, not Sappho with her silver pen or Sid Vicious with his snarly teeth. An old bald black man shuffles by, limping, carrying a briefcase, and a young bald black man rocks on his hips, his feet connected to the pavement, but his mind, his mind is traveling, never still, he has his fingers on the jugular of this city-this world, this micro-macrocosm
Smile at babies on a train, smile babies train, smile train babies, smile, baby, smile.


Now we are connected to all the mechanisms.
If only for a moment, put down your mobile technology.
Set your smartphone aside,
take off your reading glasses
(whether you own up to them yet or not),
and really LOOK.
Forget your boss has been giving you hell
about some unimportant detail.
It matters only to a world
where they just want you to be an obedient cog in the machine.
Let go of your belief in the realness of this ugly, grey reality.
away from the conscious mind,
celebrate both Holly n’ Huswifery
Because depression is getting to that last unwashed pot and saying Fuck It.
And please understand me:
I may or may not have eaten all the hummus.
Yes, all the hummus in the world.
There is never enough hummus.
But more than that it all becomes
an upset timeline, marred by weasels in the works.
Just drop me like a goldfish into a fresh bowl.
Now I ask only,
debit or credit,
forget I even said it.

White birds that turn and fly away like leaves
Their bodies in a whorl of flight
Around a leafless tree
Some speech they swell
Take me down to hell
Some beast perceives its need
Such creatures feast
On bones at least
And weep not as they bleed

Loquacious ghosts inside the mountain
speak of wars two hundred years gone
and come forth with more vigor,
stronger than you might imagine.
Craggy agates in advanced eclipses,
dancing half-moons under ledges
line sacred wells in the forests
known as naiad’s grottoes. Draw
sun in a child’s bright school painting,
a globular yellow spider, won.

Do you want to see inside the spaces?
I can’t give you ageless graces.
Even when you’re proxy able
meet me at the dining table
I have room for you and more
you will find an open door
but don’t transgress against these walls
bring anger not into my halls
nor malice toward me or you will
be sent from here down the hill
Tiny drones-robotic bees
And free speech in the grave
Future world is bleak and sad
With nothing left to save

What’s East and what’s Ashes?
What flies and what crashes?
Can you find these caches?
Breaking bread with sorrow
Will we ever see tomorrow?
Take what you can’t borrow.
So many lacking accolades,
Adjust to only see the blades.
Praise these young resilient maids.
A mirror and a walk
brings sidewalk and chalk.
Whisper and talk,
search for crow and hawk.


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