Michael Boughn

II.3.ii Mermaids, Arise!

When she comes, the mountain quivers
with pleasure and boxes
without topses
will be a subject
of exquisite scholarship. The mermaids
having been declared
by National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration, wonder what hit
them but having multiple
resources at their fintips
moving to the city
to blend in

The mountain, meanwhile
having discovered itself
half way to heaven and recovered
its composure
wonders at how
shifting titles and revelations
yet to come leave behind
seismic destinies of less
than obvious
demarcation. Such is the way
of fish and men in elusive
reflection of troubled water’s
rippled face and a sudden
church in near distance

The city
disturbed by eruptions of distended
ectoplasmic power surges
meant to level resistance
to announcements
from the Administration, refuses to go
back into the box
of non-speculative
determinations reduce elemental
bon mots into simple
minded slogans
designed to provide
faux vegetables
to an audience
entranced by the sight of stuff
glowing behind windows
in the night
Leaking radiance
is also an event even under
the grey dome
For the sun to become
the earth, certain questions
with the stress on quest, must
enter the arena of passion’s
Transmutation is no
mere sleight of hand, more
of the eye as it grips down
into an earth of unexpectedly rich
vocabulary that leaves it
strangely speechless

The end
of mermaids is a well-known
goal of reasonable Administrations dead
set on settling
once and for all
errant spasms of imagination
serious violations threaten
the very definition of minstrel
leading to diminished expectorations
of figuratively speaking
loose ends
After that, who knows? The next
stop may look palatial
from outside
but lacking mermaids tends
toward tawdry points of cheap
splayed along road’s thoughtless
abuse of space
is not just about money but a
poverty of inter-dimensional feedback
breeding pockets of ulronic
loggerheads and abutments
of lifeless seas
They stretch
down roads with no terminal
satisfaction beyond redemption’s
siren call which
though relying on the power
of cliché
gets back to mermaids while
foretelling after the fact myths
of woven night
Having been proven
above and beyond all reasonable
limitations not to occupy
narrow sectors of space
time stripped of nutrient
conjecture, they are left
to move on to more interesting
critics and congeries
of terrors that slip the leash
of actuarial inventions, risk free
as far as predictable liability
goes, but not
so hot when eyes of fire
enter the equation throwing
ontic seizures around
objective contents and stirring up
metaphysical shit
with So-shu’s fabled pole

The attraction
of the city toward elements
of questionable repute will always
find a way
in to its face
even pink
with the flush of sunrise
reading it over and over
in multiple registers as they pass
from water to air, air to water
idly of further passages
arm in arm with the mountain
beyond the ninth sphere

Michael Boughn’s most recent book, City, Book 1 — Singular Assumptions, was published by Book Thug in 2014. City, Book 2 — Other Climates, is due out from Book Thug in October,2015. He lives in Toronto.
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About Posit Editor

Susan Lewis (susanlewis.net) is the Editor-in-chief and founder of Posit (positjournal.com) and the author of ten books and chapbooks, including Zoom (winner of the Washington Prize), Heisenberg's Salon, This Visit, and State of the Union. Her poetry has appeared in anthologies such as Walkers in the City (Rain Taxi), They Said (Black Lawrence Press), and Resist Much, Obey Little (Dispatches/Spuyten Duyvil), as well as in journals such as Agni, Boston Review, The Brooklyn Rail, Conjunctions online, Diode, Interim, New American Writing, and VOLT.