In conceiving “Bedroom Chain,” the discovery moment was when I acknowledged my own bedroom as the bedroom of the previous owners and the owners before those owners and so on. “The Black Heart-Wall,” was written when I realized nonhuman shadows have many human qualities. Additionally, one human quality that terrifies me is our obsession with erasure, so I considered an old mop the perfect muse for “The Fire That Consumes All Before It.” Human beings are afraid to acknowledge corrected errors. We only want to know our errors as anything but.
- Pangur Ban Party
- Open Thread Quarterly
You will later release
You, planet-eater, like a child, a head
you devour neon swamp and
Inside our bedroom
our throat contains a bedroom chain.
A bedroom chain can be fired from a mouth
by way of swallow-muscles.
Soar, will this harpoon-bomb-lance!
With bedroom chain you harpoon planets
and suck them into mouth—
gnashed later into pillow.
These planets, bite-sized
are memory planets
of tongue, of touch
dragged over lips
by bedroom chain.
A naked body dragged across your
THE BLACK HEART-WALL
Our dimensions depend on our lids, I say.
We’ve been hiding behind the black heart-wall with pillow shams around our heads and holes cut out for seeing. A morose brick building arrogates the shadows of signposts to those of telephone poles. It does this with its morose largeness. The morose largeness dictates the smallness of all others.
Our black heart-wall is too low to the ground. Our black heart-wall is no eater of shadows. You and I realize this. So we move away from the soft blood vessels of the black heart-wall.
I stand beside a stop sign. You stand beside a payphone. I tell you that the fatness of your payphone shadow is less impressive than the length of my stop sign shadow. You speak the reverse of my sentence.
Your human shadow places its arms on its head. You claim you are lidless and you remove the pillow sham from your head. You leave me with guilt and the reverse of my sentence:
The length of my stop sign shadow is less impressive than the fatness of your payphone shadow.
Except, I say it as if it were a question:
The length of my stop sign shadow is less impressive than the fatness of your payphone shadow?
I return to the black heart-wall and I am left staring at the four cloth circles I had cut out earlier that day. I feel as though my body is in motion. I feel as though I can hear carousel music.
THE FIRE THAT CONSUMES ALL BEFORE IT
The mop. Its head wobbled like a spiraling heart. From a distance, the mop seemed this way. From a distance, its red body seemed to ripple against the white walls of the room. A glittering fissure level with my burning eyes. A wobbling heart-vent moaning a deformed trumpet sound. Later, moaning a crackle. Later, an immediate darkness. Later, it took me apart. Later, an immediate brightness. The mop. Its length. For infinity.