1. Family forges hollow tubes, bizarre illusion as a milieu,
silvered pipes, distorted faces reflected like chrome
ozones capped at the poles, spinning, forces flung from center.
Medieval torture ride of a merry-go-round microcosm.
As a child turns clinging to cold rods, keds braced
to try to hold a place while slipping bits.
Such laughter mocking the enwraptured package
while gummed string under cellophane
layers heavy the sidewall flaps.
Every subsequent nailscritch produces lessened access.
While whirling toward death and doom,
to make even more of that thought.
2. Like the quease in the queue
when the shadow of muscle mountain
bears down on littler one. Need relief.
And the blackness envelopes,
has him hold place until can pass
the urge, exchange a stage for one
of feigned contrition teetering atop porcelain,
publicly exposed. Still,
from the shadow pit, a smirk
hisses out control tendrils as crackling wires.
3. On cable tv, a king’s fool sparkled cueball dome
houses carnival wonder to pull rebirth from a dark age.
Lozenge lisp that calls out the dragon’s breath:
anaal nathracht uthvas bethud dothiel dienvay.
Uther strips Igraine, one recalls later
when a nun does such to not knock.
That smile stings harsh.
4. Childhood humiliation of a lead pipe log
fallen from a passable height onto the glass surface
of a bog hollow with each cutting critique.
But the swamp god is a smithy
making flame roar against the cold of the snuff element,
and forging sharp steel from the collected raw ore
of metal filings scraped off tubes and pipette tips
by the nitpicking teeth of bullheaded razorfish spirits.
5. I’ve heard little sister’s cry splinter
as I’m near cornered by formica,
worn handle of a kitchen knife
clutched in a protector’s palm.
The intake brandy breath of a hobo.
Like Uther and Igraine, things just never the same.
I hear the hiss of pipes, the whisper of snuff gas.
Back to the range, a pilot warmth
from within fills my hand as guide. And a quill
dipped in black humour enters a kitchen beating.
6. I am neither the land nor am I the king.
I hold no golden chalice, wield
no sword culled from cold water.
I’m naught but a scribe, a latter day pendragon
moving through thickened fog with tomes clutched tight,
padding forward a forgotten foottrail, all the while
drawing dragon’s breath from the forges of a family stove.
Anaal nathracht uthvas bethud dothiel dienvay.