SPOTLIGHT: Eating Rain//Matchstick Graveyard by Clem Flowers


Panic on our marigold lane meant the end of our quiet moments in the treehouse we thought was a totem of the old days once we went to college

Both of us had it hollered at us by Parents, Preachers, the Town, even our Teachers:


& yet, in the height of the old edge of  the dead empire that offered us the rail we took of our own accord, the mountain fills lungs with dread & terror & misery & agony & worry that was once thought long dead in our sordid little hub once V-E day has rolled in

but the remembrance of the old hands out in the thin trees brings an odd bit of peace

we were husks of desire

we were pure heat

we were ravenous

 we ate the haze of the stars out along the valley where the agony goes hollow the shards of the royal beauty, abandoned for the bigger better deal, are a ballet for us

how we are spoiled

Lights of Burrwood

Memory of the fireworks over the dead clocks looming out that store window flood your thoughts as you pull out the motel lot

for some reason it makes you bawl your head off all through Butte

gunned up the desolation with the Hell beneath the hood Dante had fever dreams about

 slim, grim ache in the cold afternoon light – parking deck as mortuary, awaiting the TV wash we know will roll eventually down that mountain –

You hate to drive but maybe if you have a kickass ride

He’ll be back

but now the road is a void that even the wild dogs avoid & it’s mausoleum quiet & it’s quite nice

He’ll be back

Half Court Heave

took a taste of kindness to the ribs

flowers bloomed

in the fresh wounds

Barrel Age

the sugar on the mountain falls hard on your lulling tongue & you must savor this delight because it’s so hard to know when you’ll get to taste it again & the sweet mixed hard in the belly full of gravel as your pocket of matchbooks from bars that long ago burned down our burned out rattling on the way down to the belly of the cactus royalty down where the road runners are still outsmarting coyotes heartbreak hasn’t reached you yet & it never will as long as you keep on the neon run

Mediocre Physics

Devil in the poison left to waste along the salted shores now the uptown sways along a long dead melody the rain brought up from the gutter among the knotted bliss dangling off the dead lines of the rusted power station & we watch

making these bagels

& this moment last until the universe hits “heat death”

& all the wild horses guard the horde on the way to the neon Eden as we sing the long dead melody the rain brought up from the gutter

everyone needs a hymnal

but you know it by heart –

after all,

you wrote the damn thing

Bounce & Weave

Music from the motion picture based on the death of the mountains rolls out along the rhythm of the dead motel windows

& now silence

& forgotten desire

& the thud of a whiskey bottle

& the rattle of a plywood nightstand

medley of real toe-tappers, those

You drank off the lip of the red tower like a dying man ripping open a cactus with their bare hands –




for relief all as a few drops of rain rolling in just seems to add the faint rhythm to your serenade of woe & longing out on your little heap of beauty gates beat to the babbling night where you were watching every word bloom like the baby’s breath out in the backyard & now

Paradise is open to all

Kind of Beauty (Rusted Edition)

/any little hope of


/was left in that

/dingy, peeling

/mushroom bog

/out in the middle

/of a twist

/in the heart

/of the heat

/of nothing

/where the

/last winds

/of the horizon

/had eaten

/all the light

/dark head of mercury

/left to fade

/burns the fog

/of juniper

/you’re using as a crown

/but the damage

/only adds

/to the glow

/of your beauty

/your  shadow

/rushes along the sides

/of the streetlight hollow

/swinging through the fog


/to remind me

/you are here

/you are whole


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