Spare Equinoctial Nights
By Will Schmitz
Art by Aof Smith
It’s not the associative scurvy that you want.
Oh, no! It’s the high road to Pizarro’s thighs.
The rest of the teleological mass
Has its toucans and Pro Nobises
Placed in contraposition.
The subject is always something or someone
Not at home
In a skin of clay or glass. Out of the mist
Where the people at their posts
Are all dead and firing their cannon
Down Chinese African throats.
“Holy, wholly, holey. We have Locke
And the grinning Leviathan
Has a new harpoon!”
Oh radiant axis
Of the trysting atom
On the inverted horizon
Located on the plain
And on with the Sheik!
I ate some of this new science you wrote me about
And my breath was very shallow and dry afterwards.
Theories started to lodge themselves on my tongue
And wouldn’t get off. What rolled out of my ears
Began to make fun of me. How disgusting it is
To have to keep on guessing whether you love me.
Anyway, I am in a more profitable position nowadays
And feel a better situation can be arranged.
The stands by the shore sold
Pails and cotton candy and steamed clams
(As the tide ripped off the land
It stranded six sharks and five
Fire-orange colored starfish
Whose purple-suckered avenues
Met at domed, voracious beaks)
But it was sneaking under
The dressing rooms,
You must admit,
And peeping up at the ladies’ crotches
That most whet our appetite
For the grotesque.
Rip open a man’s guts
Like he was an envelope
And inside you read
of twistings and turnings
As crazy as the sygyzy of the moon
Or as nuts as your eyes being able to see
“Because nothing is normal &
Everything is insane.”
Rip a dog apart
And inside you get
Plato or Aristotle
Or a wonderful Spartanness
In a completely mathematical design.
Rip it all open
And watch the maker’s brain
(A little smash as they plop
Into the cistern
Or sloppy dissolution if they hit the floor)
And be mad as hell
That there could be anything
Drink. The sights and smells
Of a world that manufactures misgivings,
Summer camps, cock rings, debates
About interest and starvation,
Cranes and poisonous snakes.
Ghosts run the show
And the present human hands
Are props for Popes,
Marvels, and masticating missals.
Dear Cherry and Harry:
Cassiterite, skutterudite, and fibrous millerite,
Goddamn it. Not jet rhodonite diopside.
The workers are beginning to give me trouble.
Osiris was here last week asking for a loan.
I told him to go back to the plantation and sell the cobras.
He’s been without his head for too long. A three-piece suit
And six dress shirts were missing after he left.
Look at the streetglass
And the reflections in the windows
And tell me if you’re not confused
By the way things go
In front of you
Back of you
All at once
Will Schmitz is a graduate of The University of Hawaii . . . and, obviously, a very deep thinker — we’ve
all read this poem several dozen times — I think one has to . . .