Needing To Breathe - a Dream of Oxygen

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Poetry Challenge

Submitted: March 27, 2018

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Submitted: March 27, 2018



Needing to Breathe

* A dream of Oxygen

By Alexander Guinevere Kern

Copyright, 1997


Bastard remembrances!

Illicit echoes, I

Still think I'm breathing.

My chest reflects

The ocean's pendulum respiration,

And the occasional current

Pokes open my eye, like an interested physician.

But this can't be life;

Where are the smells?

Nutmeg, scorch, baymist

Bordeaux, bread-sticks

Tart ink and tangerine?

Salt-sweat and the peaty brine

Of matted leaves

In rain-drenched woods?

Cellar must, attic dust

Extinguished tapers,

Turpentine vapors,

The burnt smell of bleeding women

And the grim cordite reek of loved ones

Exterminating a life?

Tactile's evaporated,

The glossy glissade over the keyboard,

The heft of whisky decanters

In shadow bars, the Guitar's twinging bite

And the rare-coin touch of your words

Pressed into my dead eyes.

Leather's flesh-to-flesh familiarity,

Slick engine grease, and

The rigorous friction

Of heat-hunting lips. 

The tar grip of ice,

Sand-claws, Wind abrasions,

Tornado fists;

The elemental violent intersections

Which used to scatter

The Zen-Savage Energy of

My poetry

In nova-spikes of light.

Taste absconded.

Farewell to fruit's oblivion tongue

Nuts like tree-bark dreams

Woodsmoke whiskey

Scalpin' my tonsils

After java's bitter pinch.

The primal carbon kick of 

Overcooked steak, and

The cool blue cheek kiss

From a woman I'd done wrong.

Chocolate's oral climax lifts

All afternoon. I miss

The thorny crispy Kiwi

And the wet Pop!

Of new grapes.

Salty jerky, chilled turkey

The gauzy lisp of lettuce

Over the tongue, and

The aged canticle of Wine.

For Epicurean slummin'.

Even the mass-produced excuses

From fast-food dens were all right.

My heavy senses were slaughtered, now

My flotsam cargo carcass

Displaces volume

With Murder.

The cracked glow overhead

The Moon or bullet?

I can't tell.

Apologies slick with algae

Roam the mouth reef

But no one listens when my

Silt-lined lips

Actively translate

Liquid impressions that

My heart is unfit to pronounce:

The serrated grin of the shark

The manta's sting-spirit

Silver Fish stitcheries

Weaving moonlight

Through dark water.

The lyrics hoisted from my heart.

Had I breath, I'd speak of these.

I'm a dominant dead man, at least.

Impacting the tides

(or so I like to imagine)

My sperm finale excites the seaweed,

But I confess that I miss the furrows

Of the terrestrial Art Goddesses,

Painting me with secretions,

I miss

Their burr-crotch where

I'd stick 'till I'd howl forth

The most exquisite


Women, false as forgery.

Their love a remote conquering,

I could never war against

Their Trojan affections.

Sin Elixirs, sin elixirs!

Dead, I still thirst,

And this cruel fluid,

Thriving on wet rhetoric

Instead has swallowed me.

When at last

my body catches in its throat

It will retch me out in 

An ideogram of bones.

If my hair were here, it would

perform a Purgatory dance

But they shaved my skull

Like an electrocuted convict.

And there's a silver-cored storm

In my brain, jamming the blaze.

The undersea creatures gnaw

My Marzipan skin,

What the cement coat left exposed

(Only my flesh is flaunted, my

soul drowned in me.)

Aw, man, I believed

That if I could hold my thoughts

And my breath

Long enough

That my memories would revive me

In a series of burst images

Born in the lunatic labyrinth

Of Past, and

Conceived in Oxygen and Grief,

The power necessities.

But old thoughts are just too impotent and frail

To haul this out-rhymed outlaw back alive

From his wreck of faith.

Up above, my sea-eyes see

An undulant fresco

A bleeding green

Watermark, my grave.

Return my breath, I beg

I deserve, 

I beg,

I deserve,

neither mercy, love or curses.

But . . .

The words,

And the sacred living breath

I need

To resurrect the dead.

Death bores me, girl.

Let me curl up like a Conch

At your ear once again

And whisper my fathomless tirades

While you laugh. 

Help me escape

This airless realm of silent language.

I never dreamed I'd come to Sleep

So deep that even the Stars

Hide in encrypted waves

Like sunken men.

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