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Anthony Seidman Five More Poems

Cosmic Weather

              The Red Hurricane on Jupiter
first stirred before a man learned how to strike flint in those caves
where sweat tasted the dark sun of sacrifice and gristle.

              Red Hurricane
began its churning before the hammering of bronze, the usage of bitumen
to pave streets lined with citadels of glazed brick, while a bald scribe
stylus-tallied an inventory of wheat, clay pots of mead, gold ingots,
and slaves.

              Mornings, dusks on Earth, tides pregnant with the moon, harvest of
olives, birth of stones, and honing of birds' song from noise to the
grammar of a great thirst, while the Red Hurricane, ammonia shrapnel
& Richters of methane, gyre’d.

              Red Hurricane:
crimson gouged eyeball of Cyclopes, skinned testis of a black bull
pierced by a hundred  banderillas while here on earth tribe decimated
tribe, and Baal smoked on the plains of murder.

              And later,
when a priest officiated before a snake goddess clutching serpents in
her fists, breasts jutted, her dress frilled with jabots of combustion,
the Red Hurricane began to spin in an atmospheric pressure so dense a
square inch would vaporize that faience idol.

              And much later,
when the farmer of Hellas recited hexameters of benched ships and
betrayal, the hurricane would rotate up into one hemisphere, then down
again, sweeping distances, rotations lasting hundreds of years.

              Generation begot generation, fields were cleared, corpses were burned,
and galleons embarked, flotillas treasured with lice and smallpox,
argosies oozing dysentery, ships circumnavigating the globe, while
mace'd fists bore wax-sealed papacies, Dystopias, new Zions, quetzal
feathers, ash.

              And the Red Hurricane,
all thrust and compression, persisted. Tenochtitlan fell, yet the Red Hurricane persisted. Lisbon shook, Catholic marble bludgeoned rosaries, and the hurricane persisted. Monsoons and drought, locust swarms, yet the Red Hurricane endured, a sanguine yolk waxing.

              And when the 20th century opened,
with the sky now harnessed, and New Mexico sand was smelted in the furnace of a split atom, the Red Hurricane spun and swelled.

              Weather on Jupiter remained—by terrestrial standards—apocalyptic:
gas clouds bled electricity into radiation tsunamis, atoms sweated
electrons, and the air hardened to a metal at its core

              because that hurricane had not settled,
nor will it for hundreds of years, when slowly, very
slowly, at the velocity of tectonic plates ripping a continent in
two, sprouting granite mountains, the clouds will seal, and the storm
will dilute, samite sheets of hydrogen, rip-curls of electricity…

              while on earth,
entered above a strata of fossilized crustaceans and fern,
a strata of reptiles,
one of mammals with bones as delicate as violin strings,
one with the litter of arrowheads, re-bar and oil,
man and woman will be
imprints in sandstone—a species crusted in
rock, petrified and
buried beneath a barren steppe of absence and heat.

Lips Like High Fructose Corn Syrup

She comes to me with hair of splintered candy
and beer so steeped in retrograde ethanol
it eats tooth-enamel on the first sip and shrivels the most distended testicles
She comes dancing with
castanets of slot machines and wood chippers
She comes to me I tell you
with balloon fingers twisted by grimace clowns
I tell you she comes to me sneezing cancer
on doughnuts which communicants dip in day-laborer’s blood
She comes spitting spiders
and her chin dangles dried egg while she stuffs the rent into her bust
She bobs on the lake like a submersible with unsinkable paunch
No grace on water no feet to tread foam only claws slopping through bog
She scuds industrial smoke like a duck of dung
She, bride to castrato rat with three fingers and thumb
She, haiku writ with phlegm on MOAB for the dearly soon-to-be-exterminated
She, burp and nicotine haven for slippers rancid with poodle and canned meatloaf
She, retired aerobics instructor now an expert on coupons and dietary supplements
although the worms of wrath have occupied her purple foot

And just when I think I have given her the slip
she slithers through my darkness and appears in the shape of wine goblet
her lips redder than the apples of Technicolor
her ingots the eyes of tinsel and popcorn
her rivers of cheese sauce on fried corn chips
her pillow talk all sucrose and toupees
and she maps out the cosmos which Coffee Huts shall colonize
She recruits boys from the gym to dive into meat grinders
and she feeds me their protein then
hands me a lottery ticket and points to a rocket:

“Look at the Moon. Up shall you go.
Now desecrate it!”

Summer 2020

Haven’t we fed enough children to the sharks?
Haven’t we finished pedicuring cluster-bombs?
Once the desert once satin once a skein unraveling
and blue intensities mixing with rose and once the date orchards
blossoming the calligraphy once the buzuq,
now basements of formaldehyde overflow,
stairwells of meat twist towards an attic
occupied by flies.

Rigor mortis is not meditation, and no one
swills the puss from edema-puffed limbs,
except for the monster whose
thirst is never sated by toxic lactations
splurting through pipes and file-cabinets
retrieved from clinics retrofitted into torture chambers.

As I can’t answer for we, I have been force-feeding
an electric guitar the nuptials
so it can strum the Epithalamion 
celebrating the union of cholera and gangrene.

I turn off. I tune into deafness. I turn on the soliloquy
of a moth dried on the windowsill.

When I fall asleep, I’m really seated upside down,
following a tractor towards landmines
and boulders of concrete & rebar.

Let someone else walk in my soles;
mosquitos burst from the puddles left in my footprints.

Yes, I’m implicated in all of this,
as are we.

The last orphan is now an adult,
yet having grown up in a tundra of rubble
he speaks stone, he mutters bone, he doesn’t sing.

I try to feed him my stub,
and sneeze honey in his ear.

I’m giving up.
I have wounds to groom. I have pathos to regurgitate.
So I continue.

Campaign Poster For A Monster
His teeth, when they open,
distill the smoke from dinosaur-bones carbonizing in ovens.
His golf balls ping
against tombstones for mismatching bones.
Some remark
on his hands: bottom-feeder
crustaceans.  Antennae ripple, fingers
that sift for atomic ash settled in riverbank mud.
His spit sizzles diatribes against the white hair of Einstein.
For centuries, his soul sponged toxins
from fungus growing in Forests of Black Dentures.
He was graduated from the Institute of Spoons & Forks;
the scholars with tenure
advised against instructing him on how to employ a steak-knife.
Plenty of cheerleader stuffed live goldfish past their lipstick
rather than eat his socks, or sniff the coin-sack dangling between his thighs.
A rodent’s rhetoric.  An aphasia of golf-clubs and cuff-links.
Photo of an Abe Lincoln chiseled from Dog-Meat in his wallet. 
Twig for penis.
Brief-Case unearthed from manure heap, rat-bones,
and gold-caps; when clicked open,
the Brief-Case contains nothing.
Those from inside the circle
know that his liver crunches peppermint candy,
while his breath unleashes sodium erythorbate & peppery aftershave
raffled off at abattoirs.
Those from outside his circle
haven’t left the floorboards
for his bee-hive of badges and search warrants were stirred,
and on every hilltop
a dwarf acting as Wizard shits a tickertape celebration.
But let’s talk about his eyes:
dollops of obsidian aspic.
Lifeless…black buttons,
a doll seated atop the predator’s stash of chocolate and sleeping pills.
When he snores himself awake from his grotto,
he starts the morning with a broth of news-anchors,
Honduran boy-gruel, and he dresses his jerky
with syllabic chards: no….ugh…very, no…huge…
When his tongue escapes from its cage,
a vulture will blot out the sun.
All day, he slugs across steppes of coal and asphalt;
he’s topheavy with parched cattle,
sluggish rivers, burning trees, anoxic oceans.
Pellets of coal stain his coiffure,
yet he heaves a gospel of Buffalo-Wings & Pennsylvania Vodka.
He hosannas the shred cumuli,
and his legions hail him within halls decorated with scissor’d hijabs;
he sows an arthritic inventory of saccharine instead of medicine,
thumb-fat flies as floral arrangements for the funeral:
10,000 corpses carbonized in the Mojave desert.
Some talk of extracting his voice-box and feeding it arsenic.
But he’s the larva fed to us at birth,
here in our innards, familiar as our fondest purlieus.
His after-odor will congeal like salami’s grease on tongue.
At last his hair will be the orange moon guiding us
to altars where we desecrate the lamb.
He was and remains the Vaudeville-Goon,
the Gloom-Harbinger,
the Tragedian of Trash,
The Terror’s Sit-Com Producer;

his Okay-sign reveals the blackest hole through which
we’re sucked into a reversal of birth
to a pin-point’s plick of hatred
about to bang, bigly. 

It’s Midnight And We Have the Grip of Wonder In Our Hair

By the bonfires, shadows turn brittle;
the shore sweats yellow fluids,
the fronds eavesdrop,
frogs drip arsenic,
so I plunge back into you.

Your face, like water, splashes everywhere;
blue, the preferred temperature of liquidity,
blue your fingers and cool hips,
blue your eyes, one hundred anemones,
blue your hair, much bluer than foam,
blue the open hand in each stone,
and if you blink
fields of coral open
where bubbling spiders piss eggs of viscosity,
the eel unlocks his smile,
and a fish as long as a New Year’s Eve streamer,
bursts to the surface
is devoured by a seagull,
denoting how long
we have awaited our homecoming.

For ours is the blue sedan rumbling on the asphalt of summer,
the icy bottle of beer, click of a revolver,
the expendable closing chapters to an epic murder mystery,
where all clues point to a gila-monster,
and the trains are clanking en route
to the shore galloping like a stallion,
and the clouds, slowly capsizing.

Can we breathe water again?
Can we swim afire?

(They say a climate of hoarfrost is congealing.)

Tell me I’m the jackrabbit
bleeding on your saddle,
tell me I’m the rapid heartbeat
of a small mammal trapped in your grip,
tell me I’m the meat
ripped apart by white teeth,
and the coyotes will yip,
and the dunes will explode,
and we will have been carbonized in union.

Anthony Seidman is a poet translator, born and raised in Los Angeles. The years he lived in Ciudad Juarez introduced him to contemporary poetry from the border region, as well as Latin American poetry. His most recent collections include A Sleepless Man Sits Up In Bed and I Will Not Be A Butcher For The Wealthy, both published by Eyewear Publishing, as well as Playing Dead: A Possum Poem (Business Bear Press), and the translations Confetti-Ash: Selected Poems of Salvador Novo (The Bitter Oleander), Luna Park by Luis Cardoza y Aragon (Cardboard House Press), and the memoir by Mexico's leading “Gonzo journalist,” J.M. Servin's For Love of the Dollar (The Unnamed Press).
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