Issue 17: Ken Taylor

cloud in the shape of burnt soup

while their trespass bloomed like hemlock spilt from a habit w/ another name for fucking the silhouette of hearty boiled unwatched a toxic split which loosened tongues long after they learned of lust steeped in the other of ancients medicinal which escaped the lovers the pendant cone & fabulous name issued from toxic hearts the winged seeds of subdivisions landed quavering in parts masked by chance they were fooled by this scalding that can soothe & agreed to rendezvous at the corner of cypress & hemlock to be freed by songs from the ancients clutching in the habit of spent lovers espousing any sunny name to conceal decay that could mar the code of treacle honeyed instead of toxic playing in the vent of little petals offering open legs to keep from falling out w/ the ancients or failing all they’d make a swap of neighboring like the storied swallowing habit before hemlock flattened the lovers

cloud in the shape of gnosis

a plane flies into the head of henry grimes declining right to left over the sixth surface of sky fourth going back over brackish his silhouette extramundane animating the tap root of his mill spiraling past limits of thrown ever spilling other elsewhere his blacksmith grip claps mint into quilting past clouds past the seven to the fixed stars occluded by light fullness is a field is a set of values assigned to every location in space & time my mind’s body’s tight w/ his kaleidoscopic kinship bass upholding essence mustering flesh deadpan delivery system his pearl at full gallop is four & five is nine & nine is suppose to be everything another plane flies into the head of henry grimes canted in raptness his ear takes in w/out rupture he anchors iterations of uncharted swerve in pivot balance small clearances & the wind behind see-through tracing ecstasy solfeggio frequencies activate ructions in belief chartered by early green & the galaxy scratched in a lower bout reaching deeper than turbulence & dust deeper than slumber selves infinitely extending full step empty step mounting on high as chorus effects as counterweight to fire pushback in earthly clothes & flurry in perturbing numbness to excitation the head of henry grimes receives another plane stannic push in landing patterns spaced for a mellow approach tetravalent shaping aimed for new jersey alien dome that can take it can absorb wingspan & turbine in the line of casting in synchronicity w/ mythic lingering his mind obliging capsized brushwork of souls bobbing in elemental lack beseeching thru un-brushed teeth rising to perforations punctures in the firmament to tonics raised interlace of the unbegotten refrain fenestration of scales vestments dropped from telluric framing collect at feet ready to lift off fretting to fingerboard notes unspooling w/out portion control from woodshed to the serpentine path of whereto we speed equipped for passage thru manifold boundaries always fronting the river but never the river archons in the curvature mark signs along the way where what was parceled is made one again he shuts the book on the body before confounding ground control can’t somebody smile can’t somebody be a king on a higher plane above the head of henry grimes jet trails pierce azure & disperse released in cirrus unobstructed by inner walls his denouement suspending bracing bridging holding so much aloft

                                                      (Whitney Museum: “Open Plan: Cecil Taylor”,

                                                      4/21/16 Henry Grimes w/ Nathaniel Mackey)

cloud in the shape of sun ra

how brave of the moth straight into the grill illuminated victim in search of praise i’m not bug-hunting w/ a taste for spilled blood packing ethereal jars hoping to add pattern to collection i’m keeping wheels between reflections & listening to him long down can’t tell what vapors are up moon stew dancing thru pews negotiating w/ people of earth fellow travelers of the empty foxhole behind the sideman beside himself out in front of water vapor recycling the thing there’s always another thing in a universe as big as this & above a landscape dotted by samples darkened at the spine fixed wings will not deliver chance clefts will defect to mid-fidelity ending a return to the most evil place brotherly love gatefold sleeve egyptian system cut w/ alabama vinyl interstellar 180-grams these are the back roads of the county high-beams hit a row of diamonds the meeting ground for god’s appointment

cloud in the shape of the shipping forecast

slight or moderate becoming moderate or rough his willow slinks but doesn’t block the sun far from storming over squares of sea using this gain to hide her eyes razor wire behind winks against a breach tamped down repeating throws & the sadly learned conical burr grinding speech moderate or rough occasionally very rough later her finger sings on the lip of air to open she asks about his time away but his time away is still ticking he replays cheering he wasn’t invited to instead of feigning not to hear very rough or high becoming very high for a time if the ferry is prompt he gets every pillow & a medicine ball that came w/ no instructions her map interrogates him w/ bays & straights states no longer there brittle fonts fronting most of the moon his feet find the heartwood pine once stacked to acclimatize before roses changed scale cyclonic or thundery increasing to gale perhaps severe gale after edges were raised they went out to smoke & heard piping that framed later hours he quit requesting burn permits & lit the stacks she pledged to keep this close when blood floods to guests they sank to a kind of happiness giving porch chairs away too soon took a tall view of raw footage good becoming moderate or poor out on the town he sleeks in a serpent suit on the cornice of the proud & seeks the theatre of his interests pay walls small beer precession of equinoxes she falls from a time telling time by bells & now loves another after he cut her out of a car imagines sails in her ceiling becoming slight or moderate occasionally rough showers then fair

Ken Taylor lives in North Carolina and is the co-founder and contributing editor of Lute and Drum: An Arts Quarterly ( He is the author of self-portrait as joseph cornell (Pressed Wafer, 2016) and the chapbooks: dog with elizabethan collar (selva oscura press, 2015) and first the trees, now this (Three Count Pour, 2013). His poetry has appeared in Hambone, Volt, Carolina Quarterly, Blackbird, The Fish Anthology and others.

Copyright © 2016 by Ken Taylor, 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.