SPOTLIGHT: ‘Sway Condor’ by Allen Seward

I will hide in the cemetery and wait to be pulled out

follow me to the grave
coax out the rose-trail
pattering steps.
do as you will,
see as you have seen.
I will remain
in the dirt waves
and the dark
a formidable place.
for there is nothing ahead
and there is nothing behind.
I have years yet to carry
on my back
but I will still come here
I will sit and wait
I will see what
lies ahead of me and
I will cherish all who have
gone before me.
this poem is about life
just as much as it
about death.  

the diving ravens

the house is bare

the cats
have been fed

strips of carpet make a
over the subfloor

the window unit burps
cold air in the dining room

I will draw diving ravens
across this house
and bury them under the floor
or suffocate them with
fresh paint.  

if you aren’t rich you should always look useful

someone has made nothing—no sun or sum,
no comet tails or renditions of ‘Hallelujah,’
and it all amounts to the same thing anyway—
so the hair falls out, centipedes grow bolder and
skit through the light, the spiders remain watchful.
doom pretends beauty, it chews its fingernails
and clucks its tongue, messes about day and night
for appointed times, checks its ledger,
moves on in an instant. someone has
pretended god, made a mockery out of the
whole thing, taken the precious fools for all
they’re worth. the eye rolls back and
someone loses a toe, a funny thing,
and doom says ‘no more’ for now, moves
on. a storm rolls in but it’s only a storm.
for strength, I prayed to you…for strength,
I licked at your teeth…for strength, I let
you run fingers through my hair, and
breathe into my ear, and bite my lip and tongue.
someone recounts the fall of man to me,
the root of property tax, and I
line my pockets and coat with dried flowers,
dead and lovely, as I wait for some new
jaundiced doom to climb my ankles up to
my back. no sun or sum,
no pinhole light, no last wish dying or
otherwise…for strength, I picked up
small stones by the river where
broken bottles lined the shore, the water
was green, and nothing had yet
rusted immobile and sad. 

terrible! how terrible for the great city!

the doctor is out

Jesus built the atom bomb
and flowers
have cut down the trees
in reach of the sun

death is a wet carpet,
music a festering beauty…we gorgeous monstrosities

the dishes spill out
of the sink
and cigarettes pile
atop a dirty plate,
the muse screams atop
twisted ankles, the ceiling drips,
even the sky has shown

this upon that

the doctor is out

I am the god
of this
dishwater universe

and all its bleeding grapes
and slain giants,
smooth pebbles, rosed glass,
and the crying of the dust.


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