Thought to have been destroyed in the burning of the Alexandria Library by Julius Caesar in 48 BC and discovered in April, 1974 by a Palestinian shepherd in an unmarked tomb at the edge of a mine field. For the first time ever, the titanic and historical literary works of Shams translated from the original hieroglyphics by the great theologian and scholar Wallace Blackie Gold. Excerpts here from Daniel Shams’ unparalleled and remarkably visionary “Chaos, The Clouds, and the Tongue” poems.
PT. III: ON CLOUDS AND CHAOS
A cloud could teach a tongue to dream
To think, if it had the capacity to do so
But other than that, the two really
Have little use for one another.
Clouds simply taste worse than they look
And are wholly unsatisfying to exist within.
Chaos on the other hand
Could really do a tongue some good.
Chaos could sharpen a tongue
‘Till it was like a knife
Between the teeth of a pair powerful jaws.
The agility necessary to exist
In that whirling devil of dust
Could tone a tongue to no end,
It could really teach a tongue
A whole new way to talk.
In chaos are born instincts
That tune to each passing vibration.
They mold and meld
Absorbing and becoming to an extent
Every thing that they come in contact with,
An absorption in the instant
Like malleable metals
Yet unable to be altered at their source
By any one organism.
Chaos could potentially install these influences
And instincts into a tongue .
Chaos wears down with whipping winds
And impulsive currents,
There is no control in chaos,
Only loose laws worn by the irrational weather
And by the innumerable powers it harbours.
Chaos could do a lot
For a tongue determined enough
To withstand the consequences
Of such a conviction.
PT. IV: THE TASTE OF CHAOS
On the taste of chaos?
Like a flavor you can never fully pinpoint
While experiencing it,
A constant flow of flavors,
Some dusty metallic loosely composed sweets
Others wooden antique works of unblemished art,
Others thick and fleshy meat from human bone
You wipe your lips after a meal of chaos,
Some people prefer to reach in if only for a moment
And pull a piece out to preserve
Like a postcard or a relic.
It is possible to chip off a piece of chaos
And to polish it up and stuff it
And put it on your mantelpiece,
It is a good conversation piece
But often contains none of the flavor of a fresh chunk,
In chaos there exist the sweetest sugar canes
And the ripest melons,
It is like eating a melon directly from the tree,
It is possible to attain a sense of perfection
In a moment of chaos.
There are also the most vile and rotting remains
Of what was in chaos as well,
You may be washing down an excellent leg of lamb
With a pint of bile that you could have sworn
Was an exquisite ivory ale.
The flavors are absolute
And all is possible, good and bad
But you cannot go only partially into chaos.
You must give yourself up wholly
To expect any sort of fullfillment
And even then you may only dine
On excrements and rancid oils
And perhaps that is what you need
Regardless, there is a touch of adrenaline or enthusiasm
Which will make any experience worthy.
It skipped two tongues to get here,
One the mother in fact
So one might wonder what’s missing,
On her ninth birthday
She had all her front teeth replaced with gold,
She swam where the other two had flown briefly
And found deposits of oil and slickened feathers
Entrenched in the intercontinental divides.
In retrospect, she had assumed this
To be an auspicious effacement
To the success of her invariable lexicon,
This proved to be accurate
For the duration of her syllables
Lengthened considerably following the impact
Of her initial departure.
In general, modern language
Had no way of assimilating the series of events
That culminated in her mysterious evolution.
There was no way to account for the gigantic gaps
Where the language disappeared entirely
As if obscured by indeterminable elements,
Cloaked letters, various shadings and nuclear tones
Surfaced in random patterns,
There was no apparent logic
Modern scientists were baffled
The whole apparatus chattered
In mesmerizing and subliminal tongues
Skipping from region to region
And across time with eerie ease
As if she had created an ususual time machine
Capable of reducing and transporting
Chunks of intellect,
Keys to chaos she claimed
Mirrored and masked envelopes between zodiacs.
And so was born beyond alphabets
Charged ions, loose demons and angels
Lucid and live lexicons playing upon tongues
Streaming over the gold
Where once were nine year old teeth.
I distinctly remember
That day the liquor itself was drunk
Rebelling viciously against the green glass
Which could barely contain it
Hating the elaborate etiquette label
I could relate
And when I swigged it
I could taste Chaos’ lips
On the tip of the bottle
And I think after we finished it
That she and I kissed
Because I never quite sobered up
And after that, strange lips
Were blooming in my brain
Bawdy debris too
Sprouting in my psyche
And she was everywhere
Was equally twin sun seared skin
As was living love
Was the enemy within
Rocking me outside a tenement one moment
Then rising up from some fetid puke chunks
Behind a dumpster the next
Other days she would be a dust mite
Upon the sugar sensitive tip of a flies toe
Or a glint of light dancing
Upon an antique Arabian blade,
Wedged in a flying Moto Guzzi’s nubby tire
A bead of sweat extracted from a cadaver!
I was so inspired
You see, she had eluded me for centuries.
I had searched my shit for her!
Saved spit to honor her with!
Tried to conquer my loss with wind, foot and feather!
I had tethered myself
To what I ventured
Was her dominion
And let unusual eagles
Eat out my liquor ridden liver each dawn.
I lived out great lies,
Labored endless eve
Sculpting pretender after pretender in her name.
Feigned her postures,
Polluted my soul with vain aspirations.
In my ambition, my obsession
I lost all sight, all might,
Every ounce of potency.
I prayed that remained
Some sliver of salvation
From which I would be born
Rear your head scythe swamp! I prayed
Engrave your indelible inscription upon my features!
I was crazed,
And the desire to be consumed by her
Consumed me in this way
For as long as I can remember.
Well, up until we kissed, that is
And then went bloom the strange lips.
Something happened though
A turn of the seasons afterwards
To the eccentric blooms
To the pungeant perfumes
And one morning I woke up alone
Near the Libyan border
In the great sand sea desert
Slumped over a shovel
At the base of an excavation pit
With no legal travel documents
And a severe amnesia
When I crawled out, confused
A pair of bedouins on horseback
Who were passing by informed me
I had hired a team from Cairo
To help me excavate
An alleged ancient river of beards
The team apparently had endured
The seizures and the gibberish
But had fleed in terror
When thirsty and crazed
With an insuperable beard greed
I cut out my own tongue
And scarabs poured out
I grew fearful there,
Eating falafel with the two beduoins
Somewhere in the great sand sea desert
With no name, no tongue
No idea who I was.
As my memory slowly came back
The first thing that I realized
Was that she was gone
And at first I thought it was a trick
And pretended everything was normal
But the truth was I was petrified.
I could not comprehend a life,
A future without her.
So I convinced myself I was dying.
My studies fell by the wayside.
I screamed at the Egyptian doctors
Who told me nothing was wrong with me
And forced them to write me prescriptions.
Nothing seemed to matter.
Laying there on my deathbed
I sent out my intellect to search for it
In the black of the profound night.
Months later(!) it returned
With a pair of stinky “seven league boots”
Boots! They didn’t even fit!
So naturally I fired it and never looked back.
However, to it’s credit
Said intuition, despite the potential promise of boots,
had prior to embarking on what it knew
Could very well be an impossible endeavor
Had constructed tongue after tongue
Sent them slithering along
Perilous passages never known,
Into the quivering terrified ears
Of sea shells mute recently
Sharm El-Sheikh beached,
It sniffed in hallways of hells
As of then unquelled,
It crawled on the outer crowns
Of hieroglyphics once solar
But then to blasted jargons exiled,
It unravelled limbos fetid,
Trenches astral cadaver wrought,
But still found nothing.
I didn’t give up.
My strivings woke up compassion
In affinities I never knew existed.
Benevolences! Joyous age old apparitions!
Tiny blooms sprouted
On twenty posthumous Bacchus’ brow!
Every one authentic!
Yet those same strivings
Also stirred hideous animosities.
Ominous dark gardens
From whose soil sprouted greasers defunct,
Rumours, rivals, factions
In the remotest region of my brain.
It was bearable though,
And bold I pressed through the apparitions,
The open treasure of soul,
The limitless lethe,
Sorrowful thick Styx equivalents.
Stealing through lucid depths,
Through pools of semens, of seasons,
Mute nations divided with tongues
That licked like haughty boas beneath my soles.
While her lingering loss indelible,
Streamed like an open vein of sorrow
Upon my savannahs
In a torrent of endless excess.
No, it wasn’t easy.
In that apocolyptic vicinity,
Of seal stripped,
Even with my new muscles ripped,
Every one seizure aspiring,
Conspiring with the chest hair Atlantic
Rippling across my barriers like school of fish…
So as ever I sought
In the dryness of subliminal draught,
In the wilyness of scythe
Slowly harvesting ions
Of the ages ablaze, the haze of mercies
In which had initially began to compose
All about me a vision, a living love
Aching to kiss she again
Whose lips in my brain
For so short a time
Had so vivaciously bloomed!
Searched my shit for lips,
Wrestled with sundry apocalypti.
Sifted through an antique hourglass
With inside out sand inside
Peeled apart striated martyrs tongue,
Got tripped up though
In a handful of hendecasyllables,
Danced afterwards thoroughly licked,
Doused in vineyard, misty with liquor,
Dipped in salty brine of seas of bread.
So hunted head after head
For an indication of a she
Engorged soul after soul so I became a we
Engulfed whole regions ailments and all
Ended up mute, mitered out, masturbated,
Like soggy log of driftwood depleted
Not even bound for pauper furnace
Wholly unfit for proper burial.
TONGUES/TEETH/LIPS: IN THE GROTTOS
I’m gonna have to dig through layers
Of lip and tongue tooth and jaw to find her,
Most men pause somewhere in the mossy foliage
Bordering the mandibles marrow
I’ve got an unusual pickaxe though
And a skill for remaking lips
I’ll remodel the whole place when I’m done,
She’s burrowed into the far recesses of teeth
And tunneled past the crown of sister tongues,
I bet you ultimately she’ll teach me
I’m no pupil but I’ve learned before
like how to mine this exotic grotto
For pieces of salvation.
As I get deeper ensconced in the task
And the bony chips pickaxed pile up
I gather them and repile them up ouside my door
Then let the wind scatter them
To distant soils, nutritious fronts
And then sprout up armies of calcium
Gunboy rovers, vanguards
The forefront of illegitimate tasks,
They march up to the bordering embassies
Demanding ransom money for hostages
It’d be nice if I could get them to work for me
But they’re busy
Pithy batallions eventually emerge to put them down
The shockwaves even hit here
So that’s partially why the work is so hard
To endure in the expedition for she
To embark upon the audacity of tremendous teeth
In favor not of being bitten
But primarily overcoming the law of lips
While residing in the grottos.
I’ve been shaken!
I’ve fell in the lull
Gotten swept up in syllables
And now all about me
Mile high hammers are arranged
Pounding in the fields
Flattening the opposition
So far they’ve looked aside
While I fattened on a diet of strange chaos,
Caustic confusion, edible conflicts!
What nutrients! what savory spicing!
I flick the raiment of sorcery
Caught in the spokes
Of an inverted 60’s era Moto Guzzi
Whirling in periphery
Over to the fields to be pounded
I flick too the fly swatter
And an unsuspecting illusion eater
Off an AC/DC earring made of electricity
Over into an insidious belching bog gestating
My eyes have eaten it all up!
Pasted the whole mess to the mirror
Of a petty thieves mind,
Held gregarious debris posing as invention
Up to the axis of eclipses,
Then extensively scanned them
In what turned out to be sham refractions
Of supposed foreign auroras.
Schemed on striations and ribbings of rare muscle,
Even the teeth I shed like a martyr
Sprouted soonafter in the field!
Bearing armies of calcium
And pure peasant tongue,
I see them toiling daily
Scowling like angry students
In the midst of myriad hammers
While bevys of sickles sweep ‘neath their feet
The sundry fruits of befuddlement
I manage to harvest year after year
They manifest daily on my brow
That tan grotto gleaming
It’s blooming golden rivulets of sweat and tear,
Skin excrement exuding
Emanating perfect poisons
Extractions of prescient balsams
Harvesting lead from exile
And iodine from stray wiles
With which to fortify the innate vacancy
Of my truant blood
Be it deaf sea
Be it mute shell cacophony
Nevertheless, I’m tainted
Or at least endlessly lobbied
Zooming ulterior, affected
Torn in a pose
Pressured to persist, to exist
To lunge and leap from failure to failure
Into the waters of ripe envy
Straining to maintain the velocity
Of scholarly intuition
The inertia of ingenuity, idleness
Meanwhile outside the medulla complex
Of a 60’s era Moto Guzzi
Esteemed faculties in caucas
Liquored up no doubt
Steeped in banter of collective brotherhood
And righteous understanding
Achieving no mentionable insights
But colossal might unknown
Muse on the flicked raiment of sorcery
Thought to have curiously grown
On a forgotten armpit hair
Somewhere to the East
Of the grottos principal crown.
The fact is I was born of a different architecture
Of a different intent, forged in bold gestures
Venting in rivulets of gleaming armour
Brightened by glistening dews
Of years never known,
Housed by ostentatious and inventive laws.
Hammered into fashions forgetful
Each anticipating nails
Copper spoils, bubbling boils,
Nay, spend me not that way!
I’d rather be heartily slathered
Across the brooks and meadows
Of Troy, Michigan
Across flushed pheasants feathers
And tawny fawns spots
Endeavoring to be meat
For perditious fowl and villian alike!
Not a shred of credibility have I left
Still, the aspirations won’t leave me.
The ambition blinding, violent
Isolated like a tower of confusion,
Conflicts peel off like old paint
And a new skin golden scaly underneath,
So I labor on deciphering the inscriptions
All too human ‘neath it,
Live, writhing, subtle, capable.
And behold from the grotto where he had knelt
Where he had once kissed the wretched slime
And climbed upon the raw stone
Dreaming of what could exist below
There was a ladder
A ladder which from the second to top rung down
Disappeared into the depths of the slick water,
Slick water housing tortoise and seal! he thought
Seahorse and eel! then as went mute the chatter
Went nervous and giddy his toes to twitching
To twitching, to itching
And then quickly to off their shoes kicking!
So the ten slipped into the salty slick drink
Curling about the first submerged rung
And shivering momentarily were they
Not in reaction to degrees fahrenheit or centigrade
Not in fear of the savory brine
But the powers that on dainty youth
Could potentially dine beneath
What, he pondered, while his rippling reflection
Morphed upon a rainbow streaked patch
of murk float oil, potentially harbour
What leviathons of illusion
What mountains of carnivorous swimming salts
May agitate my numerous wounds
Let it bequeath, let it bestow he thought
Dipping deeper the dainty ten
Then his legs to the calves, still clinging to the ladder
Disappearing below into the sick city infused solution
Let it awry nimbus ripple dunk diffuse my faculties
Decimate my nostrils, eat up my eyes he thought
Trying to distract himself with a bold proclamation
And with a final breath before descending
plugging his nostrils with his top lip curled upwards
It would only invigorate the fish
Only wake the lazy leviathon from its lair
He continued, opening his eyes
and descending another pair of rungs
Then into my fluttering blood let he be loosed.
Let the muses be wed then to the eerie spirit
At the base of this ladder
And so thus pensive and fully committed
He descended further then
Into the mystic murk
He was slightly suprised after about 10 minutes
When he reached the end of the ladder
He paused momentarily
And then without a second thought
He let go and paddled further downwards
Soon after he saw things never before known
As he swam away from the dimming lights above
And alongside the most persistent penetrating shafts
Away from the warm earthly sun he loved so well
With the rushing riptide of strange new jets
Pulling at his flesh
Soon the reach of the last shafts ceased
And he penetrated into a rich murk
Where he found swam mossy green motels
Where reside the desolate drowned
It was here pondering the said desolate drowned
That so many great poets had hinted at in their works
Throughout the centuries
That he realized he was still holding his breath!
A pair of mute cadavers in French army regalia
Stared at him from one of the motel windows
Their long still pointy ended waxed moustaches
Repelling the gregarious seeweed and pungeant algaes
So longing to twine and dine amongst them
Now, considering that he was a smoker
And that indubitably more than 10 minutes had past
He knew something was not right
And had not been right since he let go of the ladder.
Regardless, he wasn’t ready to breathe water
At least not with the mute cadavers
Of the drowned French soldiers watching
So with his cheeks puffed
And his nostrils still sealed with his agile top lip
He paddled downwards.
Lowered himself past sunken barges
And suddenly he knew he was not alone
Awesome mechanical eyes he could feel
Scouring, devouring the riches of his pale wily build
But whoever, whatever they were let him pass.
Soon, fortune delivered him
Past even more astounding ruins
Entire entact cities
That looked like gardens of translucent jelly
With architectures fluid and mutable
He paddled alongside inverted diaphonous spires
That spit sparks that fell like glowing live hieroglyphs
Into the endless chasms below him
He saw funerary fires inextinguishable in the deep
Flickering in the void like orphaned stars
Gargantuan caves the size of mountain ranges
And immense crevices equally vast too he saw
In which enchanting melodies endlessly reverberated
And suddenly everything about him was live
Breaking apart, like the depths were on fire
Making the atoms as if to dance
He watched them with what he thought were his eyes
As they crackled like poprocks in his armhair
It occurred to him then
That maybe things had been this way all along
On fire, dancing, however one would explain it
And he had just never known, or hadn’t been ready
Soon after that, reason completely left him
Or he let it go, he wasn’t sure which
All recognition, all human emotion
And symbol and sign fused
And fins formed where once were appendages
When he finally exhaled
The bubbles from what had been his last earthly breath
Rose like a shower of diamonds from his lips
In whose innards flashed what looked like
Miniature lightning storms
Before transforming into hitherto unspeakable alphabets
And so the depths around him were transfiguring
And continued to transfigure rapidly,
Integrating what he had once considered “him”
Completely into it
Until a bright and blinding static engulfed everything
All the vibranting atoms, the scintillating symbols
the signs, the submerged cities, everything.
After that happened he figured it was safe to breathe
And when he inhaled a massive expanse surged
And he felt tickled
In what he would have called his lungs
Like the air was tiptoeing softly
across the quivering cilia inside them
Generating crackles of static electricity on their tips
Or as if the atoms were dancing again in his armhair.
EACH DAY BURN THE CLOUDS
“Todos los nubes arden, porque te he encontrado…”
Juan Ramón Jiménez
Each day burn the clouds, they never cease
They seem with their own flesh to feed the flame
And in the immaculate exchange are reborn
I’ve never had to feed the flames
They always feed themselves,
They gorge and gorge
Yet the embers always remain!
From the endless banquet, I see auroras strange
Undocumented species of fowl, all drunken
On the leaping jubilant licks
Live in the frenetic sea of blaze
The clouds are a Phoenix nest
Feathers, cinder, oblique talon shards
spill from it’s perimeter
Like from a hanging Vesuvius garden
In eternal bloom.
PT. II: UNDER THE FLOORS
So the cinders pile up upon my eye at times
So to speak, which is to say they cover everything
Dead cottons and dander fall like strange candy
From the spitting incendiary nest
They pile into vertical horizons in my backyard
If I had time I’d probably do something about it
The neighbors haven’t complained yet
I’ve got other problems though
I’m still trying to ease
The rush of ruins under my floors
A couple weeks ago I peeled up the carpets
and the floorboards at strategic locations
And installed immense stainless steel grates
With long tenacious iron teeth
Over the blasting torrential channels
To at least slow the flow
And filter out some of the debris
The grates are working pretty well so far
Though I do have to clean them out every couple of days
Cause’ they get jammed up
You wouldn’t believe the stuff I pull out of there:
A 5th century gurus tunic
Tied to the handlebars
of a rusty 62 Motu Guzzi dirtbike
An enormous whales carcass
With a smoking firepit in the stomach
A book that you read backwards
With letters that rearrange while you read them
A corked pointy green bottle
with a label in French that says
“Alleged last exhalation of the black plague of 1836”
I’ve been taking some of it
down to the fleamarkets on the weekends
Most of it I give away
The illicit and illegal finds I give to my friends friend
To hock on the blackmarket
Some of the bizarre stuff I keep for myself
Most of it is junk though
It’s a lot of work, I don’t know why I bother
At least I can sleep now without earplugs
I suppose I should feel lucky.
PT. III: SPHINX WINGS
One thing the grates did catch
Were six sets of sphinx wings
So I unstuck them from the teeth
And took them carefully indoors
The first two sets I placed on my pantry
As conversation pieces
Two sets I mounted on the roof
Next to the T.V antennae
After I realized I was suddenly receiving
Cable channels from Cairo and Istanbul
The last two I stuffed in my stove
After they suddenly caught fire
Afterwards, the smoke that they produced
Kept the coons out of the chimney
And filled the neighborhood at night
With the most enchanting and elegant fragrance
And the heat that they exuded
And continue to exude when mildly fanned
Is not only unlike any other
But continues to warm you
For days afterwards.
IT IS A FACT
It is a fact that chaos is an interesting idea.
You will find intellectuals interpreting it,
and philosophers expounding –
all in the name of chaos.
You will see many a chunk
of polished perfect chaos
placed on rich mantelpieces.
You will see bits for sale
in line at the checkout counters
of popular supermarkets.
Individuals will flaunt photographs
of their heroes or maybe even of themselves
with their hair blown back
in full exposure to chaos.
It is rare though the individual,
the truly weathered individual
worn by those impossible winds.
The changed man irreversible
from the obscure flame of life
that is found in the elusive
loose expanse of chaos.
ON THE BAD REPUTATION
It’s not my occupation
to tidy up after whirlwind chaos.
Scythe chaos that is not more like
a teenager in a tantrum
than a bumblebee balancing
on a tulip horn ridge.
Indubitably, you will see
philosophers expounding, fools hypothesizing,
theosophers juggling, scientists extracting…
all employed in the name of chaos.
The fact is that chaos is not a bad neighbor.
So it’s fence is a flying picket gale of sorcery,
and will it ever respect your perfect parcel?
But it’s intentions are not in essence violent.
It simply is violent.
Its violence is innate,
as is the delicate gestation
and continual birth it brings.
Chaos is a victim and a martyr!
Chaos is lassoed in to the dynamite
strapped to a human bombshell.
It is here in the air, rippling
in aftershocks of endless Hiroshimas.
It is the ocean floor underneath
undiscovered extraterrestrial claw.
It is the fleeing of frantic soul
stripped of body in a flesh eating furnace.
I witness Chaos pensive too
strolling arm in arm
in the gardens with timid terror
nibbling bits of orange nasturtium,
bucolic as ever!
Or doubly winding through birch forest
a lethe bathed Sibyl babe kneeling.
Oh, aformentioned chaos
born to be wielded, welded,
Spiteful avenger caught,
torn in a pose of pure nature,
bared teeth Hades gate guarding
mythological multi headed barker psyche,
preposterous pretender enthralling,
installing masses with lethal liberation,
force field of integrity,
taut skeleton key of nuclear physique!
Perilous squanderer! Terrible infant!
Cradlebaby aimless as a moth to the blaze,
only to ignite the stolen sticks of dynamite
strapped to the aforementioned post mortem
brazen marauder martyr!
Chaos weight to unfortunate fated leg plunging
pulling chains of thieved slaves off wicked barges,
abismal subaquatic Chaos in hectares wild
and death magnetic drinking ships off Bermuda
leaving only sickly strains of mute sea geometry.
Whisper to me…
absolute entity, future antagonistic…
Why do you then entrench us
in your misery ballistic?
Whisper to me if you can…
Mildly caustic stallion, child mask,
confusion inveterate, degenerate savage,
salvaged aeon of forgotten ions,
confounding compound, willed wielder of masses. twenty inch creature of trash and mash,
refuse in a tired city receptacle!
Rude awakening! Dust between a flies toes!
Excrement beneath a rats nose!
Unfair damsel! Fine citizen!
It is not that chaos is unmeasurable,
or even ungoverned.
It is simply ruled by unpredictable elements.
It is not more free necessarily.
Equally bound to its unpredictability.
It simply savors, exalts
to a higher exponent of importance
its elements of chance.
Relies on them
to propel itself into unknown regions.
It is a nature that thrives,
survives on its instability.
True, there are dead spots,
still spots, even tranquillity.
neither excitable nor ignitable ions,
fixed monuments – whirling though,
whirling about its great helix.
Chaos seeming so free,
such excellent alternative
amidst the predictable.
And the fathomable,
too can be unbearable!
Not the lack of gravity,
nor the ease of the locomotion,
the amazing fuel, the fury
of the simultaneous
construction and destruction.
Unbearable to the dead
who become innocent victim
to the instant engagement,
the immediate actualization
of new limits, new saturation
and new laws.
Unbearable the buzz,
of acute and agile ions,
on one’s bared skin.
BARRIO DE ZARPAS
Algebraic, I tire of this braniac amor,
the medulla decor, its stifling!
Fleecy wisps of cloud… I need some zarpas,
yea, some sharp claws to pin me down,
Nobody but me,
and the drama is not in this cage,
it’s not in the lions eye,
nor in the damp dung heap beside me,
it’s not in my bit tongue trickling,
it’s somewhere outside,
it’s in the murmur imminent
emanating from conch shell yawn,
no, that’s a lie.
It’s in the laughter, in the suprise,
it’s in the wise flesh just outside,
it’s between a thousand Delilah’s thighs,
And every one of those cunts is laughing,
every damned one of them.
Barrios of claws, frontiers of clouds…
They still overtake me,
and claim me like paltry meat.
PART II: UPRISING
Scarcely a meal, they puncture me
and unearth an elusive expanse.
The wounds seethe obtuse angles,
fragments, disconnected tendons,
algebraic ions, loose mess
like mixed already in some primordial stomach.
The taste is at first like hoary matter,
‘till the adventurous tongue yea,
it sifts and unearths gargantuan seams,
rifts, corridors, even cracks continental,
barrios incidental not.
So the lion’s saliva it encounters
archetypes acute, pretenders mute,
poisons set out to pretty up a boisterous palette.
Those claws they cannot refute
the stealthy stabbings seeking vital intersections,
routes to embassies splenetic, subterranean engines.
And the immediate blandness of the hoary mass
which was at once tangible flesh in the animals depth gave way to more diverse occupation.
It did, and so the drama multiplied tenfold
upon the bold palette buds,
and there were witnesses perpelexed,
spectators vexed, riding
on the comtemporary din.
There were indeed fiends within,
demon teams released,
inevitable chaos unsheathed so it seemed.
And where the tan sheen of skin was scratched,
borders blurred, bodies bloodied,
there were rumours hatched.
Strange wings beat beneath the rioting currents.
They could not compete, however youthful,
compliant, however complete,
with the upsurge of elements aptly cursing,
avidly coursing in the bohemoths belly.
The swelling cacophony threatened to overthrow him,
to burn through the borders of his organs.
Yea, it ate at him and paled his skin,
it pulsed in his eyes and rushed him envoys of fever,
ambushing his previously stable and cocky enterprise.
Myriad guises of predator and prey then pushed forth inspiring spasms in the cat, and he heaved
not once, not twice, but twenty times.
Twenty wretched dry heaves
while the homeostasis strove to achieve then
the intermediary results necessary
to relieve the dualities insurgent.
Thankfully then the deliverance came
and the half digested victim
turned assailant poured out.
The anarchistic mess ensuing,
an unassuming melee of flesh,
bone and bloody entrail,
lay hurled in three pools,
which to the spectators amusement and disgust
the sick veterans cubs up then began to lap.
Some say it was not the flesh infected or rancid,
nor the chaos even, unearthed as so simply seemed,
but rather it was the bread and wine so to speak
from which the initial flesh was sprung.
The uncanny immortal element imminent,
undigestable, that indeed was the source
of the fury, the flailing, the inner railing, rioting,
and ultimate expulsion exhilarating
from within the initial eater,
and then consequently afterwards in his zealous cubs,
who had tenaciously up the awful mess licked.
Awful mess that was feasible relic imperishable,
noncomplacent ions of diety indivisible, indestructible, that so infused the amusing drama of dramas.
I want to know you.
So I drag you into my room
before the large tryptych mirror;
Tear open the curtain veil
to my chaotic closet,
pull out the endless high heels,
sneakers, stinky boots,
pull out Chinese Silks,
indian beet dyed cottons
with little mirrors sewed all about,
retro garb, 3 piece thrift store
too small atrocities,
swim trunks dainty,
I throw them all on you
and you shred them.
You whirl within them,
you explode in dazzling display.
I take photo after photo,
the camera can’t handle it,
your psyche decimates the fragile lens,
I keep shooting, my eye is cracked,
vision obscured, transfixed in your orbit
While upon it waxing your narcicisstic hull,
hull like of a golden galleon
On jagged coral pedastal
Suspended in Neptune palm.
We do all this for days! For years!
We forget to eat, we sleep standing,
there are sunspots in your eyes
from my defatiguable flash,
I capture your scintillating physique
like archaic topography, flying over
your remote saharas for epochs
pasting the polaroids together afterwards.
I’ve lived in your grottos,
in the corners of your teeth,
I’ve gorged myself on your guts,
on the glittering gold of your Arabia.
The tryptych revealed your skins
like no other before,
battalions birthed under the floor,
a thousand scarabs sweated from our pores.
You were my Venus, my solemn sugar.
you surfed up on your shell of all hells
skilled with vertigos, generous with velocities.
I knew you then!
At that instant you fainted in my arms.
I wrapped myself in your hair,
in your hair that was a thousand scythes
to my endless wheat!
I clothed you then,
first in robe of sweet, of sugar of date,
to accomadate your confusion,
to acclimatize your profusion,
whilst your batting eyelashes
generated sonic booms
and city vanquishing tsunami
that looked like floods of fluid jewels
rolling down your cheeks.
All this I remember.
All this imprinted de facto
upon the photo sensitive papers of my scalp!
I wanted to produce you! to pamper you!
At least map out sections
of your previously scoffed at
and allegedly farcical inverse zeniths.
The fact is that people use you!
They plagiarize your endemics!
Perfuming your plagues
with imitation posthumous Sphinx spit,
then bottling them up and selling them for a profit!
But how could they know?
How could they ever guess?
Sqeamish vesper flickering in my periphery!
Endless origin! Wailing scythe garden!
Now tricked out and teasing me in my rags,
balanced before a tryptych in a ruffian hotel!
Ha! Even the desk clerk winked at you
when we came in like you were some
boozy breathed easy floozy!
Oh craggy fragmentary abode
Let them bottle your bats!
As for me I’m willingly swilled daily,
willingly minced inarticulate hieroglyph
everytime I swim in your scythes,
everytime I sing to your deaf sea,
ecstatic! Though be my mortal pulp
just a mossy debris in your teeth.
ON A PEDESTAL
You’re not the first, Clouds,
that I’ve placed on a pedestal,
not the first I’ve fanned with long cool leaves
and bathed in gold light.
No, you are not the first, fine muse,
that I’ve offered my humble riches to,
clothed in sweet and snow
and peppered with affection,
You smile down and loathe me though,
like you are the only one,
like these shoulders, this wiry frame
and taught calves are unworthy.
If only you knew that you’ve forgotten
the craggy grotto where I found you.
Yet you still are everything you seem,
the wretched realization of your dream.
Clouds I’ve clothed you gorgeous
in the most delicate rays of morning,
and in the silvery sensations of deep evening.
I’ve given you more than I can afford,
I’ve cradled you in my curves
and whispered to you fables and fantasies
from the farthest ports.
But you’ve had all this before too.
I see how you despise each facet
of the fortunes you realize.
Is it that they are not enough?
Is it that the tenderness of a touch is actually rough?
Are there much too much not nearly such delights known to satisfy, to subsidize,
to encourage your alleviation,
your simple participation?
No, Clouds, delicate gods,
we are not the first to unravel the layers,
the loves, the lives layed out before us.
How many times must we feel bliss,
the burn to heal, to reveal the fortunes in our flaws?
To reveal the immense reach of our desire
that compels and propels us
into the absolute deliverance.
It is those unreachable dominions,
those archaic archetypes
I anticipate to alleviate,
to bring you before like no one before,
it is still you I adore,
undefinable tempest, redeeming temptress,
divine muse, common cloud.
Sometimes I wonder
how can the clouds stay so white?
I mean except for the dark storm types,
when they are about to unleash a torrential rain,
they are practically all all white!
One would think that an average specimen
being out in the sun all day
would soak up a bit of color,
Some tone at least!
I was thinkin’ maybe it’s ‘cause during the day
they actually do start to pick up some tone,
like a slight tan, and then when night comes,
we can’t tell the difference, you know,
because of the sundry colors at play in the sunset hour,
consequently offsetting our saavy dual orbs.
And then at night, said nude nubes tanned
get all chilly, and the lunar bath as it does,
soaks them in milk, whole or skim
depending upon the month in which we swim,
consequentially stealing any sun
they may be attempting to retain.
Or maybe clouds are just like sponges
of random and passing things,
and they can just take on the perishing tones
of transient colloquial phenomenon.
I don’t know about you,
but I’ve seen them convincingly bedecked,
robed if you will, in just about every color
in the spectrum, it’s just that they seldom stay
those vibrant colors for long.
Like for example at sunset,
you might see said nubes amply bedecked
in stunning Amethyst purple raiment,
or dark dark brooding Titanic robe blue,
or even clouds completely livid puke green
Hanging there in the air
Acting like nothing was wrong,
and that is just the sunset wardrobe!
It could be anything.
Maybe that’s it,
they can be any color that they want,
but they just choose during the day
to stay neutral .
GNATS OR FRUIT FLIES
Gnats or fruit flies
He couldn’t tell which
Swirling in small clouds
Outside his widow
Waiting to come in,
Abundance of aimless archetypes
Aching to accumulate and aggravate!
Quickly he pulls down
The greasy thin aluminum shades,
Yet still through the bent disorder
We can hear them buzzing,
They are just gnats or fruit flies
They could possibly be organized!
Suddenly he notices two
In the center of the room
And flips on the light
To try and track them.
Yes there are two
Moving slow and circular
He rushes to the kitchen
And opens the cupboard
Grabs a thick rimmed plastic cup
And the empty cereal box
Sitting next to the trash
(Waiting to be taken out)
Tears off a layer of the cardboard,
Enough to cover
The wide plastic cups mouth
And proceeds with eyes straining
Overeager to pinpoint the nuisances…
At first nothing
Then one appears
Behind the dusty and stained
Off white lampshade
He moves slowly to counteract it
Anticipating ultimately to violently connect,
It doesn’t seem to notice him
With a wild calculation
He suddenly swipes
Wide plastic cup
Over the top
Of the unsuspecting fly
And zealously seals
Aformentioned wide cup mouth
With the cardboard.
Considering the possiblilty
Of foul play
On the winged part
His eyes rapidly scan
The room for a moment
The fly does not reappear,
He has him!
And through the thin white plastic
He can see
The slight dark discolouration
The shadowy shape
Of his captive
And he glances quickly then
To the drawn shade
And through the crack
He sees the others
Surging like a small cyclone
He moves back into the kitchen
Where he knows
There is an easily accessible window.
He carefully places the cup
With fly captive
Face down on the table
And unlatches the window,
And quickly dumps
The dazzled nuisance
Out into the summer heat,
He latches the window tight
Stealing a glance
Into the living room
Where the other one remains,
He creeps to the doorway
Peeking first stealthily
Through the dangling bead curtain
And treads across
The dirty green carpet
His eyes are darting
Rapid and intense,
With tight lips
He slides over to the TV
Running his fingers
Along the top of the set,
Just then he senses
A movement over by the bookshelf
Near the old stereo
The gnat weaves out
And back in,
He grabs an old cloth
And gently fans
So as not to disturb too heavily
The vibration of air
And alert his small foe.
Small foe schizophrenic
Who aloofly again appears
And lifts out
To the center of the room
With shades drawn
Beams of afternoon sun
Through the stale air
Cutting like lithe knives
And he crouches
Just under it
With the 7-11 cup in one hand
And the cardboard in the other
He chooses his moment
Trying to predict
The flow, the flight
And he lunges!
The now frenetic gnat
Whose previously casual attitude
Sent tumbling with the surge of air
And spinning it off to the side.
Stalker now curse himself
At the newly agitated gnat
Curving a wider arc than before,
And a buzzing from the exterior
Seems to grow
Not just outside his window
But from above
Like an antagonistic electromagnetic current,
Somehow altering the gravity and the sun
And outside the sun is dimmed momentarily
Like a huge cloud has obscured it momentarily
And he is suddenly aware of himself
Of a coldness in the room,
He can feel the change
In the bottom of his stomach
And the gnat is still moving
At a terrible terrible speed
In the confines of his California room.
FIELDS OF CORN
Clouds are fields of corn
In a shepherds hair
Which is to say they are
Flattened rows of ocean waves
That can speak to animals.
OK, so there’s a USSR sized cloud
On top of my roof blocking the sun
And I had come up here primarily to sunbathe
And secondly I confess to write.
And now instead of doing either of those things
I’m pondering the chill.
What I’m saying is it’s not my fault.
I could supposedly ponder
The translucent incandescence
Of the perimeter of the behemoth beauty
Currently impeding my toning
Corrupting all potential for real happiness
Or I could remark
On the smoggy dark
And brooding creamy center it boasts
And afterwards if I felt like it
Maybe I could belittle that same backtan nube
By contemptuously comparing
It’s aforementioned brooding creamy center
to a snickers bar.
And then rhyme it returning to the USSR.
Too much work.
So instead I am waiting
Like the rest of the sunbathers in particular
And the rest of the city
Shivering in their cubicles
Full of fiber optic antics
Whether they know it or not
The clouds are heavy yellow and turbulent
Rushing like a foamy ocean amidst the gales
It is a photographic moment
One that we could capture now
And then later dig up
In some bored nostalgic mood
And reminisce on the surge of memories.
It is a photographic moment
One a renaissance painter
Would have strove to capture
As a backdrop behind Zeus
Or behind some seraphim vehemently deterring
A serpent from slithering.
So I scratch and kick
Through the stifling mess of clouds
They leave my nails broken and dirtied
I grab a handful of them by the hair
And I wash the dishes with them
Then my floors
Afterwards I rinse them in the sink, ring them
And then clip them one by one on my clothesline to dry
Then I come in to call my broker,
While negotiating with him
Out of the corner of my eye
I see them squirming and churning,
Not wanting the neighbors to notice
I rifle out some numbers and put my broker on hold
Then dash out to the deck fuming
Threatening them with the possibility
Of assorted grim scenarios in which they would star
I smile as I see said scenarios
Registering in their imaginations
Making the recalcitrant nubes momentarily shape up
Then rolling my head
In a slow controlled circular motion
And loosening up my neck
Without taking my eyes off them
I turn and stride back into the house
And pick up where I left off with my broker
I place wild bets on perfectly unreliable predicaments
And later, with a 6 pack in front of the TV
Fantasize about the future profits
While petting gently the napes of my captives necks
And cooing to them in a patronizing baby voice
Before transporting them into my dark dungeon
Where they are then generously introduced
To various methods of creative persuasion.
I proceed to mist them with liquors
‘Till they fell into delirium
Before transporting them to the public eye
And lean back to receive the head,
Fully ready to wake to the rebel baggage.
ANDY WARHOL: FLOATING SILVER CLOUDS
Floating silver clouds
Lighter than Lethe
Lithe little icons
Breath of consumers huffed
Could never tarnish
With the elevated auspice
Floating silver clouds
Vestiges of helium
Announcing fresh vespers
The feud of commerces
Delighting in delicious debates.
Speak to me
Speak to we floaters
Tell us what ethers venture
Along your interiors
Leak your secrets
Secrete your inveterate solutions
Amass your bounty
In repetitive tongue
In inked elevations
All the while deflating not
Your silver essence
But our muses lofty presence.
So metallized polyester film ejaculations installed
At Leo Castelli Gallery, New York 1966
Streak like silver founts
Cross the Geo Washingtons
Blow over each and every Tappan Zee
‘Till you tumble and fumble
Atop tinfoil mountain crest,
Invest your subtle strategies
Lower over our affluent eyelids
Soothe wee to steep
In your helium
Your plastic cosmogeny
Let us arrive changed,
Born if you will
Before the previous lofty incarnations inked
In conspicuously off placed
That boy he was born with a mouthpiece
And it has gotta be worn with pride
‘Cause that’s whats gonna keep him alive
That’s his ticket,
You don’t need no street language
To spur you on either
That horn will assure
That not only do they hear you
But that they’ll comply
Would have at least all the idiots
On your side in no time
And that ain’t nothing
You mark my words son,
You’s got something special there, no doubt
Just start driving that jaw
And there’ll be no end
To what you can accomplish
These people deep down inside
They want to buy
When you get to jawin’
They will come pulling in
Like bits a metal to your magnet
You just wait and see
I can tell you a smart one I reckon
Me, son the day I was born
The doc couldn’t catch me
I was too slimy, too slippery
No way to grip me
Needed something to slow me down
Why, some days
I cant even get a grip right!
But you, son, you really got something
Lemme tell you,
I know a bright one when I see one
Why you could a been one a my own
If I didn’t know it,
Now you got good folks
You just watch
You say the word
And things they’ll start happening.
You’re savoring it all right,
You’re really right there
You’re searching with all your might
But you can’t even taste it
Because you are so busy
Savoring a flavor
That you wont be able to identify
Even with the combined efforts
Of all your buds.
Tongues of brittle metals!
Tongues of malleable masses!
Tongues bitten down upon!
Swollen, leaden, unable to be!
The words have been stolen
From your unarticulate muscle!
Who will give you permission to flap if not you?
It is true, from within your ivory walls
We have need of you, there are tasks.
RAINING GILDED TONGUES
It is raining gilded tongues
Gorgeous glittering muscle and tissue
The sensational cells gone golden
By some unknown alchemy
Of chance, of choice,
Some obscure late ignition of elements
A tardy boom left over from the big bang,
A shower of tremulous rumour tools,
Savory salivators, gilded blooms of giddy goons!
Paupers of painted paper
Parade of divine orators
Eloquent irrelevant circumlocutions
Laying in pools of flesh
Lapping up deliverances
Sensational improvised soliliquays
And writhing like crude serpents
Unable to soak into the earth
Rainers ricocheting off tiles and roofs
Clogging up gutters
Clutter of tasters tormenting the topography
Umbrellas practically useless,
Telephones jammed up
And vibrating thickness of wires dented
From the eerie orators,
Shower of suns, no
Thunderstorm of tongues
Telling of disastrous puns and sums
Fury of felons, curious collaborators
Maelstrom of messengers
Collection of musical live gold
It’s raining ruminators
Barrage of chattering air
Banana plantation bantering
Making believers of aching ears
Overall accumulation of lewd lexicons coiled
Poised pretenders, vaccuum of verbatim
Terrible terrible climate
Tongues clubbing tardy students
Tongues clubbing truant officers
Yakking pyrite pythons posturing
Deadly dialecters flailing, falling
Evil omens! evil omens!
NOT A TRACE OF DIALECT
With not a trace of dialect,
Like a fusion impossible
Considering the remoteness of the subject,
It was historic, rich,
As if tributaries of Asia Minor
And South India mixed
With elements of 19th Century France
And had flowed somehow to that tiny oasis,
She was like a grain of pure gold
Miraculously sifted from an ancient Sahara.
She was like seed sprouted
From Quetzalcoatl coprolith.
Her tongue heralded most unusual fruits
And noone knew what to make of them,
The fusion could certainly not be fathomed,
The influences previously unknown.
Yet they resonated in the other villagers,
They resonated with melodies long forgotten,
They strummed on old strands universal, timeless,
Common for many of the villagers
Untouched in their lifetimes.
So the people put up with her,
Regarding her as an eccentric,
Attributing the uniqueness to chance,
There was no other explanation.
They had nothing other than their tradition
To compare it to.
There was no one who could recognize
A method in which to identify the abundance
Rare and rich of flora that culminated
On the tip of her tongue.
Nor was there way to identify
The individual strains
For so smoothly were they integrated
A seamless blend of time and culture
In the flexible nexus
Of instant fresh form.
And from Rome there was enough gossip
To animate the whole train,
Peculiar refrains twisted
Upon the mighty molecules of air
Intitially exhaled from a plant
Permeate the packed car,
Mixes with the cigarettes
With the perfume,
The lips fly off the mouths
Of two especially animated women
And two more flutter like careless moths
Out from under an old mans stained suit jacket,
Those lips could eat you alive had they teeth,
Yea, would thrive in fact on such an endeavour
Instead they fly around, lipstick smeared
Like lithe, unusual birds, agitated insects
Resenting not the mouths from which they sprung,
The two women don’t seem to notice
And go on, their jaws gnashing
Chewing gum with jutting eyes
Chatting with unmitigated fervor,
They don’t seem to notice
When the door between coaches opens
And suddenly sucks one of the pair out
Into the live landscape tearing past them.
It was as if the world revolved
Then, around that car,
Around those two lipless ladies
While something else whirled outside
Like hurricane of events, of landscape
Every inch of it torn up
And pressed against the small smoky windows
Wanting in, wanting to know
To hear, to endear, wed themselves
To the lively chatter,
The lively chatter so meaningless, but so intriguing
Like in that instant it was a tribute
To everything trivial that had ever existed,
Like a tribute to beaky noses, bad hairstyles,
Pez dispensers, imitation alligator shoes.
Like a tribute to anything ever accidentally gone awry, Gone malicious,
Like those two lips sucked out the doors On a ripcurrent of stale smoke
Now loose in the feral Italian landscape
Somewhere between Rome and Venice
Like two strange and aimless butterflies
Initially sprung from frivolous and entertaining gossip.
CARNAL TONGUE FROM MODERNITIES: PT. II
When your eyelid slid over your duo
Moistening that alleged 20 20
Regrouping every splinter of color
It was possibly the 200 millionth
Of your corneal constitution
And you returned moist, essential
And looked up you saw miles of iron,
You saw rusty juggernaught salt dipped
That tremendous V shaped hull like no other
They were laughing at you from the docks
A wino, two sailors and a husky,
That V unique nothing like you pictured it.
Not some fancy French postcard,
Not your smooth dreamboat
Nor swift league boot
To whisk you to tropics perfumed
To lush venture of verdure.
No this iron oceanliner
Was more like a massive blade
A mega scythe
I wonder how you missed it.
Well, your moist eye had only a moment,
A horrible moment
Until it and your lithe frame
Soon to two’s were flailing,
Indeed that immeasurable French postcard not
Halved every carnal membrane
Every sonambulant molecule tropic doused
Every ingenious deoxyribonucleic totality
Every poetic spasm licky licky
That ever flickered from your wet tip
Right there, when you blinked
One might say it doubled your regime
It even picked up steam!
Oh, how they were laughing,
Laughing as you two retired to that old drink
And that oceanliner it never stopped
That impeccable iron determined
Practically parting the fluid treasure of tongues entirely.
Steeped in modernities,
Steeped in two’s
Licky licky lapped,
lopped in half!
So sundry spectators
they pointed, gesticulated absurdly
A husky even danced in 360’s barking,
The grottos heaved, tropics choked
Accidentally inhaling their own spit
Oceanliner cleaved! Drink dunked!
You don’t remember
It was when you blinked
That the steel stole into your skull,
Splintered you, peppered you with foams
Sent you atop seahorses
To your tropics green indeed
Seaweed in your hair, without a care
Took you Grecian, took you algae braided
Dolphin borne to verdure smooth
To new palms palpitant, somnambulent
Sent you to swim in halves
Cells shorn, released from you helix
Now lost in our old grotto,
Dirty dock with reserves wheaty bedecked
Half eaten hor’s doeuvres, crumpled cans
Strewn at your feet
Once so familiar, now strangely foreign
So vomit sweet spume!
Toast then we to your deuce!
Modern! practically posthumous
Toast we three with 360 dancing husky
Wino and sailor with crumpled cans
Harboring remains of fermented wheaty reserve
On that dirty dock, the heart of our old grotto
Ah! half digested hor’s douevre at your feet
Ah! dear vomit…just like before!
FIELDS OF CORN
Clouds are fields of corn
In a shepherds hair
Which is to say they are
Flattened rows of ocean waves
That can speak to animals.
Daniel Shams’ Heliotricity Reviews
“The compositions on Scythes IV sparkle like raw gems in the profound darkness of an unyielding night…”