by jesse s mitchell
illustrated by rhoda penmarq
I am nothing but noise here,
like organ swells and grace notes, bags of bones with strings of hair, skeletal
Nothing but noise
Drained and dry…nothing but desert sounds and floods, nothing like sea,
nothing but a bunch of dry words like dust
Dry mouthed like cracked lips…not even words
In fairness, in all honesty, the last word on the matter
Was nothing but bad poetry…not even words
Just drops of something not even liquid,
just drops of liquid
But it is a vow I intend to keep.
Salt water and half-fish eyed clouds…
They keep the ocean up above, no matter what they say
All around nothing but big round sky.
Surrounding the flat world on its back
Broken by weight
Water water water everywhere but not a drop to drink.
Way below me the children and gnomes talk
Money and things, like Hayek and Maynard Keynes
But they are 6 million feet down
And I do not look down
6 million miles down
But I do not look down
But I do believe in Blue skies
And I believe in warm weather too
I believe in the future.
Do not mistake me.
But it will not come by gaslight or fission
Torch flame or audacity
Or apparent lack of any or all.
It is a vow I intend to keep.
Magnetic like a storm, thunder and light and hot air
In the atmosphere but the breeze is a shame
Filled all up with swollen rain
With brackish drops, robotic ambiguity
But the wind call still carry words
Empty enough to fly
“Midas has the ears of an ass”
“Rings on her fingers and bells on her toes”
“The ears of an ass”
“And she will have music wherever she goes.”