Blame every collapse on the Permian extinction,
on butterflies elusive as their etymology,
as larcenous witches in disguise. Easy
being paranoid about the wrong jinx, to hang on
to your coattails and crash-land,
accusing the spook of a Cro-Magnon mutant.
Someday your eternally-cooling soup
won’t heat up anymore. Having too much evidence
wouldn’t be so bad. That red candy wrapper
you tossed could’ve made a difference.
If only you knew how to dust for fingerprints,
close the case with just the right degree
of lump in the throat. But here you are, catatonic
onstage at a charlatan’s whim, dimly aware
that perspective is the gift of the dead,
watching their comrades evolve.
Chicken Little zeitgeist:
courage of convictions
with the outline of stealth bombers
Grasping at air in response
to a wordless query from a faceless presence.
The larger question of etiology,
as if sequence were other
than split-level morphing.
doctor grips newborn by ankles
Inane singer in head, pitch rising
in a broken-record crescendo of astonishment.
Sunset sublimity, horizon
to zenith to horizon.
The dream was taking a Romantic turn
at the moment of awakening
to the overtone series of a dump truck.
The set of coordinates
called “English fox hunt,” shortcut
for unexamined yearning for “class.”
Grainy effect means a sudden
leap in time is coming up.
In the belly of a snake
it’s a grave mistake not
to see fang or rattle.
a recalcitrant disorder
Verdict watch: “She’s not really
feeling anything, just aping what a feeling
looks like. It’s all speculation,
but don’t you just want to spit at her?”
That startled look. Sharp
inhalation, the nano-second
of the camera’s flash happening
to be its peak.
How to know
when you’ve recognized
thought—holding a picture
of good tomatoes before bad
just like a real human being.
plane shadow turbulence
Chicken Little as epistolary novel