Plural, the way mutable might be melted rock, a memory blends, overlaps with another
Poisoned avenues
Author: ​Nick Schiff
Published on: 9/6/2016 3:15:01 PM


the memory machine is ready to fire

I define 'susurrus' and 'oubliette' with my Massage Harmony pen

and on the rooftop across from me the hands

slowly add hundred dollar bills to the incinerator


while the last hunter-gatherers

glaze a memory bowl

to hold what we can’t know

but what fuels our days


jagged vibrations

a sound shaking from the mirror in the shadows

forming one tongue one future

one relic one chain of cities


in twilight cast by hair

silhouetted against the origin

demons smoked nutrients

to find us darkening in the womb


the mystery handed him a piece of paper

jailbait saved him a seat

the Revolutionary Guard promised him a delicious dessert

those librarians sold him a ticket


those pilots don’t own a single small textbook

psychology has some clean guitars

I have a strange suitcase

this is Iraq’s screwdriver


I am offering to play behind the post office right at this time

the students very often promise to laugh

doesn’t Jennifer need to pray?

I ate by the sea


I am division of Christ

multiplication of enigma

history displacement

extra tongue


the Romance languages gathered

and called us the holy criminals

and in order to fit our infinities into the finite

set our intellects on fire


I’m incomprehensible

though my tongues are easy to pin down

I who have tattooed onto my pupil

an image of Quetzalcoatl swallowing the sun


and we live in the quake verge

on unquenched plate

the inner outskirts

where all languages are broken


by what? by evolution in medias res

by your eye medium rare

like a vision in Gaza

like fucking the inside-out James Dean


yeah you believed the nomads

who baked crackers from my skin

you got wet in their gargling vocabularies

then they pinned you across the roofs to dry


like crumbling I spoke you rivers of oblivion

watering your fatherly gardens

where in a gaze softness wades

out of the old lakes


the keys tired of playing will

chop off the fingers

their blood waters the raisins

their life of itching perfumes the open doorway


don’t let the shadows open and close

your eyelids or the doors

let them win and lose tiles

overreaching the avenues you never will


conceived of possibility

as batter-drenched girl

planting mandrakes in the river bank

during prolonged burst of resemblance


only skin and volition

flash across the familial pulp

warming the earth that satellites

shadow from their oblique stations


enigmatic hand signals

the Indians on the dry lake bed flash

toward the motorcycle that circles the outskirts

searching for a forgotten radiance


to us only praying to ocean currents

in the baking interior of a car

parked uphill in a metropolis

could ever be legitimate


embrace my celebrity where I’m unknown

among cave systems and sensual chapped lips

skim book written by my doppelgänger

“Death is the Adventure” tattooed on my eyelids


agnostic about my schizophrenia

crucified on acrostics

I may yet palm the finch

and DHL my tongue off the peninsula


- Nick Schiff
- photo by Alice Pedroletti