Sunday, April 13, 2008

defining reality at the cliffs of oblivion by Rob Cook

after the blood and bone flash of exploding mines
you find yourself back under your lover's camouflage
of satin sheets,
the sleeping-dragon stench of gunpowder
still fresh under your pillow,
the sound of your comrade taking
twenty bullets in the gut
still slashing thru your nightmares
like a serial killer who's been tracking you
since the beginning of the world.

choking on shrapnel, you fall from a precipice in hell
back to momma and her chain and blood doctrines,
nights buried in the basement
with skinless children carving their genitalia,
calling you "daddy" while grandmother
takes pictures from the cellar-stair cloister,
collecting time on little cards.

your mate turns to face you,
no head above her mouth,
tarantulas growing from wormholes in her tongue,
organic devils patrolling in your past-life wilderness:
your wife and children trudging
thru some brackish delta thick with your lover
and every one of her bone-marrow offspring,
momma & your siblings wearing camouflage
of insects and snipers,
demonesque in halos of detonating twilight.

you slog thru knee-deep rivers of arms, legs, heads, and torsos,
ribbons of entrails and plasma
tattoed on the vulture current
like arcane bindings, windows to other hells,
and you nail that tripwire again and again,
momma's whippings pushing you deeper into
sewers where corpses of boas decay and become reflex,
ragged salamander children calling out to you
from somewhere in the gutters of your sleep,
your wife and every one of your lovers singing like locusts,
leaving clawprints for assassins to stalk you
from the trenches just behind your eyes.

- from Yellow Bat Review #3 (2002)

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