splitshot liver weighs down the line
  after automatic casts into the current,
bouncing along the bottom
a lunker moon visible in the wide pool of dusk,
keeps a distance from an empty hook
where all the grasshoppers expired, & earthworms
  were no longer part of any strategy

decades to clean the soil,
rid it of a fundamental passive mistake:
not knowing what to do next,
it couldn't move anymore, like in a coma
fixated on a blurred memory of
spotless fruit growing from bunker defenses,
an original hypothesis trampled into the ground
  with its impenetrable proof

in the beginning was
  easy application & procurement, low melting point,
detergent properties, in the beginning
  was a ban on love
suggested in the atoms’ density

in the beginning was the unquestionable metal
crawling into its sleds, superfortress motherlands
too heavy to carry into maturity,
yes & no still trapped as mass

then commitment to nirvana is born in a solar flare
spewing antipathy for flak
that a plumber puts back together
  as a working bathroom

pacifist critiques of secure meeting times & places
endlessly decoy the constant burden of the beginning

after a long delay
work could begin again,
the workers would continue to produce
only for the sake of producing,
but what satisfaction
kept the Ottomans camped outside Vienna
  so long now they can only barely solder?

a moment's hesitation before the object
introduces inorganic blasphemies into the subject
creating a garage sale universe
  clumped in atonement,
emanating from nuclei of non-carbon-based,
  ersatz grail-stuff

another winter is fast approaching,
exposure that feels easiest
is a sociologically-& statistically-determined life-expectancy, it
doesn’t help much but was well-paid-for,
waiting if not dying to be known,
like a contested political primary whose results are:
a girlfriend stops talking to you, returning 12 years later
her name & phone number scribbled on a piece of paper
  in a dream, indivisible save by itself, the
inscrutable prima, nonetheless more ‘zero
infant mortality, zero
unwanted pregnancies’
  (she says?) meet her again halfway to thorium
at a dump for materia that belonged
to the night, the sky, the forest, the cold






[Dave Shortt finds himself often trying to prove residency in various places. His poems have appeared in several print and electronic venues, including S/WORD, Sugar Mule, nth position, Ygdrasil, and Surrealist Star Clustered Illuminations.]

Copyright © 2014 by David Shortt, all rights reserved. This text may be used and shared in accordance with the fair-use provisions of Copyright law. Archiving, redistribution, or republication of this text on other terms, in any medium, requires the notification of the journal and consent of the author.