2 Poems
by Mark Tursi

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Pneumonia’s Seance

“Being is appalling. Not as appalling / However, as Not-To-Have-Been.
-- Russell Atkins

Spooking along the furious’d garb
ed streets lined with the ridiculous extinguishable moon
lighting paths of went before.

Skeletaled in before dawn fixtures,
frail in their own disguise of light.


            shhh             shhh            shhh

shh            shh             shadow

re(mind)er plunked haggedy hag.

The boroughs worse up and then

She was slinking among my lust
like the viewfinder from a shotgun.

A ditch of irritable in the trophied midnight
moon, hysteria’s thick light
shining on forget.

She came
long spies
upended danc’d
with her furious
dreaded hair

an eclipse upthundered
by other phenomena –

jealous of the realming hideuoum

and hypnagogic hallucinations,

coming going coming going coming going coming going coming going coming going
coming going coming going coming going coming going coming going coming going

gulping the syllable flask with long chugs of gasp

Other kinds of iambic choke

 fill our throats 

Corpse-sing off with our inner bark.



Mute Light

Io venni in luogo d’ogni luce mutto
                                                -- Ezra Pound, the “Hell Cantos”


We talk dirty: maggots on the dead cat under the bed,
the underwear drawer full of beetles,
bees swarming and stinging your face, your eyes,
seeing red for the very first time,
cockroaches crawling out of the toilet,
lady golfers. We paraded our own plagiarism
like it was the bible or the Cold War or neither. 
It is cold in here after all. Very, very cold
and war.


The poets, like tire’d contractions
address the crowds through their arse-holes,
perverters of language howling in the hen house.
Cabarets of justice, sloughs of unamiable liars
stocked with the aftertaste of the previous empire, which tastes
a bit like blood sweetened with shit.
Did you kill all of those cuckoo’s, or send them back in time?


Was it Dante or Pound who said obstructors of distribution?


The pretenders strode in pretending.
One was a boy imitating his mother’s death.
Another was a man pretending to be a man, it was ghastly.
One was a woman imitating god’s obscene gestures.
Another was a nightmare, waving a condom full of beetles.
One was Christmas lights wrapped around a coffin.
Another was an ex-wife with x’s tattooed all over her face.
One was war without end.


I’m here to hustle you.


What do we do now?  Flaunt our own little privacies?
All the convinced step forward. Too stiff?
Imagine you could part the sky like Moses
parted the Red Sea. Black goes south and
white goes north.  Read right in the middle.
You see the sea on all sides. Collapse is inevitable.


I’d tell you something about nectar, but that would give it all away.


I’m here to hustle you.


It will arrive like pollen:
on the feet of bees.


One must follow the landscape as if a cycle of mystery plays. Screened in music, warmth, the passing of days.  The proof is in the unintelligible.  Gently resting with your buzz, sometimes garnish, sometimes duration.  What could we do after all? They had to be killed.  Scorn is one response, but remember, you’re just as worthless.  OK, OK, I meant the days heap upon you just like everyone else.  I meant that you fan your wings and drone on, even when your desire fails.  You drone on and fan your wings, even when you can’t see red, even when the hive seems like it’s going to collapse. Even when it seems blood is just rain.