Submission Guidelines

Tuesday 6 November 2012

Alyssa Nickerson


for Michael Hogan

Meet me on the sidelines of
another failed suicide,
as the frailer threads of life
bind with sinew and ignite
new methods of survival
in Renaissance light. Fine
lines halve reason and instinct,
then fade into the smudged
memory of our species
with a sting like grated knees.

An uneasy nostalgia
permeates bleached corridors,
foreign rooms with shanty doors,
where folklore labyrinths still
                                    split surreal apocrypha
                        (the mind’s residue pieced out
                                                            as if our broken child). Here,

negative space erases
histories like burning lace.

If I saw you now, could you
tell me all the messages
our spirits suppressed in our
twilight dialogues? – Could you
detail the ponderous fogs
blooming in green eyes? – Could I?


Bassline beats            broider the brooding
            brows of Muses bathing by gold-lipped
Graces: the perils of            Orion
            unfurl, still ripe with                        funereal

faith. The sweetest of death’s
            dignitaries are dressed and laid
bare on banquet floor –
            piecemeal-cold with fallow

fashions of the iron
carrion of this digital age.

            Beauty has decayed,             radiating
noise, soft and hourglass-fast,            a calling

            which falls swiftly through our bones,
indistinct and marrow-deep. An incandescence
            fills the room until we learn we are
alone amidst facts discarded by our criminal
            and hollow past. We are stacked

against our odds, proud of suicide, of
            futures we no longer know; and so

addled minds line up against some further
firing line, where fortune still finds those souls
less bold, and I find – even in this brighter
            light, your eyes remain so much like
            mine; your piercing looks grow old.

Empty your Arms

There’s a sideways glance to this sidelong
            dichotomy, the evening’s opacity a veil
            brushed from the cheek of the favorite
concubine as her braids kiss cherry
            floor, the varnish so pure that heat
traces  folded            locks unseen            
                        but for its perfumes            of blood, but for those
hoary echoes – that thud – chthonic songs of dark ,
            julienned night – and only I could hear
those hasty            lullabies that slowly                        replaced
            alarms &            kissed your paling charms            goodnight.
There was nothing left to be done,                         the gory sun risen to
lap your            hazy horizon with golden tongue. And so, I
mourned in swift movements. I adorned            your shuttered azure
             irises             with plated copper,             with             undiscovered
anger            as            you             drifted                                 wholly into                                                          unrest

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