Blackbox Manifold

Issue 13: Dave Shortt


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 col

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.