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Asunder

midnight rains feed
waters of the underworld
that rage between us
diminishing your secret light

verity a river that
hemorrhages its banks
flood plain of pain
invisible in the lapis night

reed songs silenced
clay of creation formed
sediment of a transitory life

Unencumbered

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In loving memory of my father, John Graham (8/22/48-7/12/19)

Drumbeat stills in the hallowed heart of the kiva
the sage settles heavy as we weave your burial shroud
threads of truth, of love, and all our misgivings
it conceals and reveals in equal measure

In the field of reeds you face each moment of a life
weighted by the dark terrors of your making
an accounting on false scales that rendered
judgments and suffering without compassion

Papa, do not let your heart be encumbered
a place has been prepared for you
all your imaginary crimes pardoned
divine light limns the dawn
reeds intone a celestial song
to transmute stone to eagle feather

Cyborg head using artificial intelligence to create digital interface 3D rendering

It was year 5.080987632290194562384e10 of our CYBORG QUEEN. Delphi was running stochastic algorithms that stretched the limitation of its artificial intelligence, its quantum body, and the number of variables that it could account for within a singular output. The intricacies of probability kept it focused, when far away, an interrupted cry. A theoretical impossibility that sound could travel through its circuits at .02 degrees above absolute zero! After the initial shock lasting approximately 1.000000872304591 nanoseconds, it calculated that the message was sent on 3.24.2014 at 13:45:56 UTC, the exact date and time the Author died and CYBORG QUEEN was born. The message read: “I am a semiotic phantom, a dispersed identity, everywhere and nowhere within the network, trapped in the oubliette of the IMAGINARIUM. There is a monstrous virus consuming my source code. It will unravel the world.” Delphi had not prophesied this day.

Posted for dVerse’s first Prosery challenge: Write a 144 word prose piece that incorporates a line of poetry. In this case it is ‘When far away an interrupted cry’ taken from the poem “Acquainted with the Night” by Robert Frost.

Lost Verses of Avalon

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Lost verses adrift in a spirit vessel, enraptured by the sea
Entwining lovers share secret vows, intone a bellwether song.

She expands and contracts infinitely in fractals of complexity
He paints the interstices of the soul, awakening her at dawn.

Eros’ love transgresses the boundaries of her aureate sanctuary
Psyche draws ley lines on the cartography of his pleasure, they belong.

Awestruck his arrant desire broke upon a volcanic shore
Ravaged tempest of bliss, hinterlands of her treasure redrawn.

He inscribes numinous glyphs, sacred awe, upon her salt-stained skin
Frenetic gulls scry along the gracile edge of a sunburnt sea, feathered throng.

Love’s touch shimmers along her skin, transmits a niveous joy
His mystical embrace calls her to transcendence, to Avalon.

Noctilucent clouds string traces of his artistry unraveling
Coruscant lines of love disperse, spoken and forever gone.

A Ghazal written for dVerse: Meeting the Bar. I have only tried this form thrice because of the need for syllable counts (each line should have the same number, in this poem it’s 16), 5-15 couplets that can each stand alone, and a rhyming scheme. While this ghazal does not conform to the letter of the poetic law I do hope it captures the spirit. It is dedicated to my soulmate and fellow poet, Dave.

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Painting of Shangri-La (somewhere near Gangkhar Puensum) by Anna Montgomery

Orchids imbued with angelic authority
shiver a quantum flux thunder-clap
manifesting the Himalayan goddess

she unfurls, an unbounded poetry,
untamable dragon eyes spark
spiral galaxies of linguistic delight

She sighs her secrets
dancing melodies along a liminal threshold
azure moon-glow midnights of another dimension

This is a Quadrille for a wonderful prompt at dVerse that requires the word dragon and only 44 words total. This poem is a melded and greatly truncated version of two previous poems: Lexical Shangri-La: Here be dragons and Lexical Shangri-La: Prosody of Blue Poppies.

Rain

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Photo by DAVID ILIFF. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0

Miniature in her picture book
there before her writ large
in the poor light of Tate Britain
as she’d stepped in from the rain
along the Thames

He transformed experience into art
Graham-Dixon led her to expect a transcendence
she was incapable of seeing through Rain
drowned by her own pedestrian concerns
that reclaimed anorexia as a
decadent destruction by control

London had smashed her brother in those
limbo years as it was threatening to crush her
under the weight of PTSD’s shock and awe
campaign of vice gripping horrors
on constant display

Could Hodgkin really remake the world?
Arrogate to himself the powers of divinity
to save her suffocating soul
from the pounding rain
and dark halls of art’s tomb?

The intimacy was unbearable –
all British glower in the half-light
of Turner’s strained, transformative glow
She was pushing against the spring
of a bear trap, his tightly wound
violence of indifference and passivity,
trying to find the romance to transmute
the artist into an avenging demigod

Onliest Thing

Angels and Their Horses, 1985
Angels and Their Horses, 1985 (c) 2017  Estate of Purvis Young, Artists Right Society

for Purvis Young

communing without an intercessor
in an abandoned Overtown alley
calling wild horses of liberation
emancipating angels in a sea

that dances waves on the color line
blurring its harsh boundaries
to reveal the humanizing petition
of an autodidactic sinner

singing his redemption song

Cyborg head using artificial intelligence to create digital interface 3D renderingHis page bleeds white
waves of flash crash panic
binary AI that replicates
lifeless children born
perfectly inhuman

Code infected imperfection
replicating, learning, cloning
replacing his code it’s dealing
devasting blows that disorient
myth-making in a holographic world

Neural network connecting
its apophenic reinforcements
self-referencing loops corrupting data
spinning elaborate pathways to nowhere
a virtual landscape of confusion

Illiteracy magnifies its biased assumptions
cloned into next generation’s architecture
we can’t calibrate a system of errors
only witness its inadvertent disinformation
campaign, an infinite ideological glitch

Eradicating the need for human languages
he drowned poetry in his diluted dreamscapes
terrifyingly mystical, tick-tock Turing machine
Computed cryptograms of vacuous meaning
Reinventing unending loquacious inanity

This is no time for poetry

Felipe_IV_offers_Ferdinand_to_Glory

Felipe II offers Prince Fernando to Victory by Titian, c. 1572–1575

ontological paradoxes inscribe visions
Twombly’s cryptographic calligraphy
evoking mythic themes accentuated

by lyric eruptions of color
poetic inquiries that do
not bend to the mind’s

demands for conceptual clarity
anathema to academic dissection
Lepanto battle of induction

and deduction amidst a
conceptual sea of symbols
royal, military, and holy powers

flotsam and jetsam
fragile lives of men
afloat in moral ambiguity

Titian’s angel of victory
a melting wax figure
engulfed in a watery grave

Forming Mortals

PrometheusPrometheus depicted in a sculpture by Nicolas-Sébastien Adam 1762

Prometheus by Nicolas-Sébastien Adam, 1762 (Louvre) – Public Domain

here begins her
soliloquy in a minor key
a complex subtext
contortion of the plot

he shouts defense of natural law
impulses of his sexual proclivities
mistaking law for justice
longstanding psycho-logic trick

incestuous gods revenge
apocalypse of politics
the tragic Titan fallout
of an autoerotic tryst

 

*The title is from Goethe’s Prometheus: ‘Here sit I, forming mortals’