The Rogue Voice


April 01, 2007


Existential Oil

Dark syrups
pooled in caverns
glimpsed by no human eye,
great steel shafts
will dip searching heads
into you.

What else could propel our vessels
but the essential oils of ancestral earth,
the residues of organs
whose copulations excreted
our mothers and fathers.

crude, combustible density;
bubbling, intellectual haze.
Between these poles
of mystical vision
all bodies stand erect,

What purpose this metaphor
of the human
in place of
the sensible world?
What origin this distinction—
hobbyhorse of poetic elegy,

But who would enumerate
the habits of infinity
whose irresistable strength
is wholeness?

—zach snider

The pope

who knows what
the day may bring

the irreverent hum
of highway motorists

pressing ahead
to newer destinations

the unstable hill,
the even more unstable
friends and neighbors

worried that it’s
all coming down.

the bird sings
in the pine

the neighbor rinses
dirty party chairs
from the night before

(it’s all imagination:
beer bottles thrown in anger
sudden awkward departures
regrets shame)

the pope steps out
from the shadows

and pronounces
“alcoholic tit-lovers…”

a name for
what he does not know

the town crank
with Jesus
on his lips.

—Ibrahim Ahmed

Three memories of Tex

(for Bob Whiteford)

Manning a fleet of unseaworthy ships,
or recording his vitriol in a sadly tolerant
restaurant in the middle of the afternoon,
he was unerring, emphatic. He imagined
how the knife might most efficiently enter
his chest, sweating yet another coffee.

We had a band uniform for a while,
worker garb, unintentionally fascist
in appearance:.brown boots, jeans,
khaki shirts, (hat optional) for gigs
and nights carousing .Everything was
khaki for a time, then it was black.

She noted in the morning that it might
be nice for once to have sex when they
were both sober, but he was already
drifting past the tourists laughing at
the pathetic boat, and laughing back,
wincing his friends to the open sea.

—Todd Young

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