SPOTLIGHT: Green Axes by Greg Bem

The Parapet.

Setting is a pile of bones covered with flesh
and bones and hair and bones bored to death.
There is data in everywhere air.
Balance on the parapet of meaning
holding close the lancet to penetrate testing.
Interviews before, during, after the grave.
Digging those pits, those tombs, those tunes.
The war machine is never ending,
and the shutdown while we wake up—
corridors and I can’t stop breathing—


Whistle the little that I know
and the key will open a door.
Pinot noir and dark underwear.
The exercise to exceed the bite.
An interrobang interrogative in-turn.
Bodies turning around like funnels
the upper quartile of direct energy.
The fallback of long postmodern
post-Puritan sexual vortex.
Lights dimmed and salt crystallized.
The heat a wet kind that shotputs.
We are liches in the sarcophagusian twilight,
mad between cords and circuits,
superimposed instances of betterment.


Up the side of the snow-flooded sequence,
ripping across the trodden and opened,
noting nowhere and forever as place names.
Piecemeal underdog situation: exhaustion
with the slowly illumined Cascades’ claw.
Each utterance of a clock’s tick leads on.
Each iteration a vocalization of height.
We step lightly toward Skyline Lake
with frozen, hibernated trees carrying death:
frozen, inescapably frowning presence of moss.
The configuration of out here brutally still
with information of avalanches and burns:
the sun to scathe and the wind to tear.
Alliteration the fullest welcome we could ask for,
while the teeth send cringes across names,
secrets embedded in the interlace of pain,
secrets and challenges popping and pulling.

We sit among the rock garden,
in part a piece of the overall picture,
frigid along a ridge cropped with peripheral skis
and dips into thousands of feet of unknown,
towards the boon of Enchantments,
and my blood thickens into warmth
at the sight of Glacier to the north.
A rip and raggedization of our speeds
reduced to the love of the crunched substance.
Reduction is a spitfire bolt of pressure
as the emptiness steers us toward each other,
moves in light air and the scenes of age.
Straggling and bent into a slide on the return,
crowds exhibiting their whorl of breath.
I imagine lungs and mucus and blood and grit,
fingers cramped and cracked and accelerated.
A function beyond autonomy is binding.
This strict fulfillment falsifies wonder with automation,
the language of boots lifted and placed and seen.

Time Travel.

It is doom’s inverted aesthetic when we speak.
Beneath otherworldly landscapes and disco glimmer
there is a riot of cocktail boys,
and the Mt. Baker spread is both bare and full,
and a flaring sense of ecstatic ideas emerge.
The pro forma of intellectual glitter
coating the dark, causal spur like tunnels.
Many futures, looking forward and back,
threads at seas going jaunt-like,
an undaunted erasure of emptiness
populating the circumstance with breath.
Pause, open, time passes, floodgates stretched
across the duration of the “us.”
Co-habitation of a spree of moment:
trust while the world sits filthy
and we sit present documenting our means.
This stretch of kindness is preserved.
The language is a reattribution of fuzziness.


3 thoughts on “SPOTLIGHT: Green Axes by Greg Bem”

  1. Oh these poems cry out to be read aloud like music ajumble with surprising textures and strange resonances! Brilliant with wit and splayed with hidden emotions! Thank you Greg for climbing those peaks and taking us with you!


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