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An international online magazine that publishes Surrealist poetry in English.
Shadow on the Snow
A gleam below sleep has fangs. We cabbage mahogany beside nothing. I am not your wax. This mass enkindles above stirring. The hole murmurs clouds.
We know our cure turns tonic. It sprints across the buckle. We languish in faith below the elephant. I thicken in mints and crash into orchids. I linger in my umbrella and ponder the art of imitation.
Ok, I get it, you probably want your armchair to make sense. Well pass me the gin. I'll do something. I'll squirt blood at the ceiling. I'll steep myself in reading.
Here comes some death. We flip the search into ten pounds of philosophy. Please the winds. Gratify wood on water. It creaks under the weight of its own postulate.
I scurry into verticals and haunt a current. My penumbra rips into pull-ups. A reality plagues the Corot. I attract roads, too many roads if you ask me, but it helps to permit mutation. It is what I magnetize that causes the hills to thrill with nature.
What I need is string and paper, maybe a little tape, definitely some tape. I'm going to mail a waterfall to Texas. I want knobs on my muscles and a tan on my neck. I want invention and credit. I want nimble insults and a thousand alibis.
The bulb is at the light finding science. That's how it begins. We bubble out of our glass since snow exaggerates trees. Your Céret is not my Céret but a grapefruit house with green curtains. I sent a waterfall to Texas and it came back as a conversation.
The structural necessitates a club. This is so that the ripples narrate themselves as a form of water and not just another testicle. I mean to jingle the decorations and one day become a sentence impelled by real words. Until then, I'm going to clean the sink with a sponge and an old pair of oracles. Gonna rub-a-dub-dub until my neck is stars and the water is laughing and dusty.
Emotive rip diffused into throats and sent out into the world as a muscle. Tea is a rascal. It reflects the smell of swelling. I grapple with it and rise into being. The library is a jungle of imagery, most of it vines, rapiers, wars, storms and rhapsodies absorbed into words, into audacity, the boldness to say what is on your mind, to discharge cockatoos at a trapezoid.
Busy dimes of metamorphism are always hydrogen. Ablution is a conception of washing pounced on by spaniels. Oysters necessitate hibachi pumpkins. The grace to authorize cloth and heat a space with rocks. Furnish the tug with twigs and the butter is yours, my friend.
Better butter than utter butter. Utter butter and butter will be Parisian. Zipper in the snow. Trickling the stink of plausible waffles. Photogenic plaster lingered by doing truth, which is a milieu of milieus, a tumble up the hill, somebody to love you, and a vascular vernacular of granular scapular scruples in doodled pupils of quadrupled noodle.
That said, the rest is easy. A banjo on the knee. Handles and milk. The experience of gauze. A gape, a grape and a shadow on the snow.
Sleep Is the Other Side of Life
Thought hefts impulse into courtesies where it might get sweaty in entreaty. Presently shovels share it. The garage is cold and smells of simulacrum. I moo toward space meaning bulbs that they burn brighter and creepiness from another planet has a door. This is that door.
It opens by chortle. Camaraderie leans against our experiments. The fugue is mostly furniture. The imagery of heaven rubs the pump until it brings up the water we thought belonged to the dead. The bubbles abandon necessity under the sentence of insoluble harmonicas.
Slap as doctrine waddle. Except New Jersey. A ramble baffles the savor of what I don't know, which is rubber, and a wide black shout. The cloud is suitably pineapple. Greenery exemplifies it like retail.
Those shoes are fast. Jellyfish don't have eyes but grace is literal when it varies. My car is a tap of nerve. I verify this form of despair by shopping and shaking little sacks of cough. It's easier to accept mutation than tailgating because the branches wiggle and sway like contact lenses.
There is a broken pool in which I like to swim. Dreams elude their own meaning. In the nude the body is grotesquely tabulated by the sea, a susurrus of waves existing outside of time, slipping in and out of the empirical world as if the words themselves ran out of a lyric, then ran back in to say something about those two little girls running toward the horizon. There are bird noises everywhere, but this is cinnamon, a crack at cinnamon, a simulation of cinnamon, not a blue supergiant in the Pleiades helping fusion to function like a fruit dish. Many of our former and current preoccupations could be oysters, a blue balloon full of helium, or drug paraphernalia hanging from a doorknob and the evening sun going down.
I say 'could be,' yes, but the fingers are obtained by age. You just grow into them, you know? Like a nostalgia visited in sunlight. Maturity diffuses into the hands and the veins and nails and stains appear to go all Rembrandt in contemplation. A burst pipe is thrilling blobs out of its umpteenth roll. And here it is Friday and all the alerts are implications of fish, the mind understanding its desires at last, even though the whole world is burning, and images form without regard to the laws of gravity.
The body dyes in darkness. The tendril exceeds its convenience. I get dressed once I get up and prepare for the thorns of day. The tar is in top shape. My pearls are floundering among the shoulders of a light turned soft with alphabets of fog.
Imagine the forehead of God. Imagine the blood circulating in the veins of a snowman. It's a tale told by a parrot in a paregoric attic of hungry stars and graveyard repose. The pungency we espouse is washed by tears. It all melts in the end and puddles in the street smell of omen.
The garden understates eternity. Shake it harder if it dribbles. Sometimes the early morning will stroll through a brain in a roll of oars. I'm doing a dimension that would permit hundreds of empty eyes to fill with bluestone. And then see Chappaquiddick porn.
This seems to work and then I realize that falling is laughing and respectable in its own way. It all depends on dust. Glass orchids gleaming like shins in a high school gym. There is a spot of grease on the ceiling how did it get there jump right ahead and get there get it down get it up get it going make it squirt. Sleep is the other side of life.
Daub of Blue
Calculus crawls into time and makes it twigs. If I had a jackknife I would carve it into pharmaceuticals. Time lingers in an argument from yesterday and I wiggle it until it becomes cardboard mosquitoes. Nouns offer tranquility to the ceiling. The ceiling answers with refinement and water buffalo.
Sexual mushrooms cohere into eyes. The brightness is inconceivable. Hints of balance insinuate sinew. I'm not an astronaut but I know how to swim. I just get supple and grope.
Sometimes it just feels good to have a pen in the hand and put pressure on it on a sheet of paper and push it and pull words out of it by pushing it pushing it into words you didn't expect to see crystalizing in the air of the mind where the sky lives there in the nerves of your brain words crystallizing and falling slowly drifting as much as falling falling to the ground which is not in your mind or in your mind in a different way it's a sensation caused by gravity by mass which is the planet you're riding on through space the planet is round and teeming with human beings mammals that like to eat and reproduce and build things with their hands and eyes tall sparkly buildings shouting themselves into nowhere.
There are songs that make you want to buy a horse. Songs that make you want to fall in love and get hurt and drink impossible amounts of whiskey by rivers of rock and sand and water chuckling about its own silly directions. Songs that make you want to cry. Songs that make you want to disappear in the forest and eat trout and truffles at sundown. Toads go to the lake. They're listening to Bo Diddley. Not with their ears. It's in the blood. Thumps and thumpity thump thumps. That's it. The whole song and nothing but the song.
Pain opens space like a suitcase. We find a voice sleeping in an embryonic sock. When it awakens it plugs itself into a mouth and begins to embroider Uruguay with conversation. The voltage surrounding the bones is red. The mania is tinted with railroad ties.
The sock becomes a navy and defeats Bolivia. The suitcase is sold for a hundred Bolivianos. The voice moves to Scotland and inspires a movie starring Mel Gibson as the stratosphere of a duck. This proves that thought is a boat that appears at the shore whenever it wishes. Nobody thinks a thought, thought thinks us, and then it serves breakfast.
Or shows us how. How to break an egg so that the yolk doesn't run, how to slice a piece of bread evenly, how to wait patiently for the toaster to cough the bread up, how to slather it with jam and butter.
That lump of matter in which thought resides is the brain. The ego is something different. It's more like a dinghy. Free will is a charming concept. Thought enhances the experience. The rest of life is learning how to endure it.
We touch heaven at four in the afternoon. That's when heaven crawls out of its hiding place and becomes the afterlife we've all been waiting for. It's mostly blackberries and French wine. The cheese isn't bad either. But it's important to understand that heaven isn't the same for everyone. My concept of heaven is blue. Blue sky, blue oranges, blue stars, blue caribou. Everything soft and forgiving and deviant and strange. And blue. Buffalo Bill sits down to paint a hill and wiggles the easel. Then he applies a daub of blue.
Daub of blue, daub of blue, be my, be my, be my daub of blue.
John Olson is originally from Minnesota, and now lives in Seattle. He is the author of eight books of poetry and two novels. His most recent published collection is Dada Budapest, from Black Widow Press (2017). His two novels include Souls of Wind, about the exploits of French poet Arthur Rimbaud in the American West, where he meets Billy the Kid and digs for Pleistocene fossils in eastern New Mexico, and The Nothing That Is, a semi-autobiographical novel. The Seeing Machine, a novel about the French painter Georges Braque, is due out this November from Quale Press.