by Michael T. Smith

 (This damnable)
                                 juggling its boarders like toys;
 A thousand footsteps on the trail of a thousand more:
 All the footprints trampling on themselves.
 It's just second hand blues 
                                                                 (It’s just like you to say it too).
                 Where every word that props up this world
                                 Is but an erotesis whispered from one ear to the next.
                 Scorn seems to be an emotion solely reserved
                 For those already scorned.
 It’s a closed world.
                                 (Unlike these streets which stretch out like an Escher painting in directions that don’t even exist)
 Who doesn’t walk to this Champaign,
 Seeking a refuge from all but the same?
 I was ground into tomorrow
 With a beluted aura,
 Just like the day before
 It’s not that I don’t belong here.
 It’s that this place doesn’t belong around me.
 Now, fifty years too soon
 The prophecy returned too.
                                                 And you won't ever stay; 
                 They’ll only free you with chains.
 To hollow eyes is visible a shekinah,
 Taking the form of an empty toilet stall
 (The word might truly be sacrilege
 But only insofar as grinding poor souls is pious) 
 To erase a name –
 Is the modius operandi of the Same.
 The capital “You” can grasp this as much
 As “simoleon” --
 The postmodern condition has regressed its evolution
 Back towards a world existing in quotes.
 There’s a bohemian grove on the cusp of hell
 Where all the bleary-nappers go;
 Whether you want to be awake or asleep 
 Is the fear is you’ll never know.
                 The gutter calls to man 
 Like an Alkonost with a horse throat.
                 But the horse will never stay 
 When tomorrow stupefies us into a daze.
 (((      )))
 For, you death ) will not discriminate 
 Shrink, yet the infinite…space… from here
     To NOW
 Man runs across, will+ing pushing to a halt. – 
 Stop. [zero] Yet go*
 But (not even Hawthorne sees the end of the day)
  (connect to go: discriminate even the end) 
 (connect to the above and line 1:
 (Everything in this poem is broken, then made L  I  N  E  A  R)
 because, lo! death, life does not move straight)
 Auto-antonymical, wow 

Photo by Jeremy Lishner