I drank to comatose my flesh and keep the knives possumed inside me –
(From high school through my twenties, I worked in mold-thrushed houses where a tenant’s coffin bloomed.
(In puddled screams of glass, our bodies stilled with finance.)
I lavaged out each burial, and soaked its corpse across the pavement.)
(A room emptied for renters)
(When dust describes the city as a tumulus of desert
And air hardens on buildings.)
(A separate floor of Marshalsea
Hosts our work release from Marshalsea)
I check my hands before the morning –
The kitchen floor’s not scabbed with footprints –
Confirm I didn’t stab my family in our sleep.
Dress crinolined with property rights
Spreading out to rain.
Corpsed more than its mistress, and the children he murdered in U-hauls.
When my brain is churned to aspic will you treat me by my name?
Grave-laced buds threaten to summer
The life still spurned inside me.
Static culls my memory
Of your blood not skinned between us.
Like a disarticulated apse
Unhearted of its god.
“Cum’s acousmatic language pupating in my speech.
Desire locked away and bleeding vomit.
Afraid I’d greet the emptiness by sieving into dust –
Left to trace the remanence of my mother’s womb.”
He moved away from Oregon.
Worked IT in Los Angeles.
Drove arborescent freeways
Stitched around the city
Like a dehiscent wound.
(Modules of isolation – Commutation – Bond-ligatured monera
Compulsory suffering – Police funding – Corporate lebensraum
Cantonized suburbs – Where – Cops offload their stolen payments)
Modules of isolation
The moral ambiguity
Of dragging each stanza’s eczema
Further than this room –
To cuirass their grieving lungs with a voice nearly my own.
Lips blink open post wintered silence, or from LaGuardia outgrowed the rain
And snail sewn mornings soured gray.
Neuropathy of close-up on a face bathed in hard water. To covered with the bay.
Hills catafalque cremated homes.
Moss bouquets line dusk.
I swallowed a neon apartment.
Grafted to my skin.
Bombs scatter stars from night
Replace them with their flames.
We gentrified the neighborhood
Placed aspirin in its grave –
Keeping our flowers fresh.
Bryce Jones’ work has appeared in 3:AM Magazine, Surfaces.cx, Entropy, and numerous other publications.
*Image credit: David Lynch: Man Throwing Up, 1968.