Alter & Gristle
There are cities I have known. There are fingertips
I have burned off on bridges. Wire & lost steam.
The oil gets in places. These can't be studied by the lantern
hanging by my dilapidated bed. My sheets are off white.
There are spots I cannot account for. There are moments
in which the offerings cannot be kept straight. The areas
of our geography with the highest altitude are likely
the most sincere. Those are few. We are mostly plains.
Mostly flatland & fire.
The trash pile burns bright. Creek
shine & hustle. My kidneys hurt
in the morning. When I blink I can
feel them, can feel damage. When I drink
champagne, it fills up my porcupine
lungs. A somebody drowning
in themselves is not a pretty
sight. Something frothy—the old
evening sun. A bit of clouds.
The rains. Banks flood with remainders
& misplaced matches. A collector
could gather the crimes, put them
in something burlap, put them behind
the mules. If boils arise, nobody is
to blame. If nobody is to blame then certain
infections are obvious. In the hospitals, things
are more viscous than they appear.
In the town halls, voices carry.
In the fields, a man looses his hands.
You Need to Set Your Motherfucker to Receive
video feed things are getting fierce don’t
worry about the neighbors my bracelets
of pink & gold should keep the monsters at
bay forgive the squalor dedicated preacher
forgive the pantheon of bugs nightmaring on
my face this is a standoff all our appliances
are under constant surveillance the green
glows our nighttime visions our gritty
spit vegetables left long enough in forgotten
cupboards to become sentient let us unleash
our tiny creatures on the unsuspecting let us
mark the intended survivors with melted down
crayons all your technologies go well with
my morning coffee I mean scenery I mean
quilting bees you know what I mean what
with your paneled vans & transistors your
headclamps & thumbvices I am prepared to
spend eternity in this little red chair I’m fine
with the giant rats I’m fine with the raptors
the rapture slugs the size of emergency vehicles
I have convinced myself that this takes place
entirely in the eighties
C. McALLISTER WILLIAMS wrote Neon Augury (Fact-Simile Editions, 2011) and WILLIAM SHATNER (alice blue books, 2010). He lives in Milwaukee.