Ode[s] to Joy

Ode[s] to Joy

I. Merry Little Bones

Leaf in xi—
Veins spread over, contoured in their halcyon,

She is a melody laid gently
In the raw curls of teacup-smoke.

She allows the ants to crawl on her back
And make the intricacies in her spines their home,
Her fractals.
She loved the itch, more so when it grows,
Slowly but surely in the fanning, like a fire,
The scarlet sentiment, licking clean the corners
And coating it in rain and ash.

When she dries, she becomes
A bookmark for thoughts,
Her fingerprints: all indices.


II. Saint Sylvia, Overseer of Obscurity

But for every bone is a museum housed,
In every joint a point in history — stories in every fold.
A short clash of sighs,
Of spirals of wings fey and fertile,
In her neckline clasped and plunged
Pristine knives of nerve and sharp
Curiosities curated from places unknown.

Come, innocence, ask me,
How virgin is the virgin earth? Where have her soles trudged?
Her feet, explorers of virgin dirt, while her teeth on tongue,
Producers of laughter in virgin mirth,
As if I needed more miracles.

Look, she comes bearing
The diagonal carve — stone-cleft nuisance in space and shine,
Blooms forth between grime and dust, the ever-clearest!
In your nearness, words fuse themselves into structure,
Letters life-like — rain on me, book-shelterer.


III. Cloud-Phalanx, in Reverence of Sun

Curiosity comes as a braided maidenshield, her pre-Medusan aegis,
An anthem to Athena. Call me out to Olympus, your lofty wall;
I shall follow where the scent of ambrosia takes me.
In such a well of references, a fallow page
Distort the struck chord in the heartstrings of yore,
Humble and pure, the glow ancient.

Dream of me as a necklace of smoke, pendant ascendant from lips to eyes,
Enveloped in your hair like the a’mentioned curls, for the life of me
I cannot fathom to be apart from your pores.

In my thinnest I sway, as a river flows, like water, like stars,
Be them kissing pebbles or kissing scars — paths in sky,

This Ionian plea in common time must be
But a throne of dust between fingers as delicate as the Venetian
— so runs in your veins.

Again, and again, the circuitry begs to complete itself,
And prove itself, like ympyrä…
I expected you in my weakness, you appeared in my strength, tongue-tied dove,
Your feather-waves’ deceivingly gentle caresses
Effectively disrupting circadian rhythms.

— A. P.

when the trees

When The Trees

When the trees sigh in summer,
I shall let my head wander the wilderness.

In that such arrivals bring
what even Helios favors,

a glow that crumbles upon the swing
of little stars’ hook and sea,
off-flavor at even his chariot’s return

that they disappear. Even the mountains get confused,
at their standstill they discern not the brave
from the one that stays near the base.

When the trees sigh in the summer,
I shall find us content, unwanting,
hands frozen as if such nemesis is time,
always present, always gone—

and what memory can save us, what discovery?
I can only hear the rustle of the assuming wind,
I can only see its existence expressed
through the tangles in the locks of your hair.

When the trees sigh in the summer, I shall find my rest
in the lowest of leaf, that though sun is far,
with the slightest tiptoe, your hands can reach
and caress me.

— A. P.



Softly, over, star,
You seer of softest screech,
Your voice, a sudden crack,
The sky in reverberation.

Envelop, o crown
Of shadows encompassing,
With these we’ll count the end
Of remembering.

Softly, easy, hands,
Your servant waits caress,
The humble soil once-kissed
By edges of your skirt.

Gently, lightly, queen,
Meet me, stellar regent,
Scepter ready-over-red,
Tiptoes softly fade.

Softly, over, star,
Mine, when one is far;
Existences for such,
Need not be near to touch.

— A. P.

My Love Will Scar the Earth

My Love Will Scar the Earth

Stretch, scarlet cord-braid
In sync with the quick velocity of starfall,
Three sweet years of longing —

Body, witness,
This temporal cruelty, like flesh in unknown spaces,
Hair from unknown traces — hands in forbidden places:

My love will scar the earth, as it will carve
Even thoughts not mine into my own, and even
Leaving vague messages on these dead bones.

Sunset, twilight, adhere: my love will scar time,
Memory, and remembrance. I may fade so quickly, or subtly,
But my love will never disappear completely:
It lives on the ley lines, the highways of Tokyo,
My love crawls the subway-veins-and-branches;
I am, I have become,
The very heartbeat of this city,
And I know you can feel me.

Three years of sweet longing—
It is not for nothing; time is an infinite fiend,
A crude little game of sticks for threads,
Over wine,

But I shall drink you, and you shall live in me,
Bathing in the darkness of this cave —
Time is an infinite fiend, and we are rivers drawn to sea:
I will find you,
Find you, definitely;

My love will scar the earth,
And there then, you shall find me.

— A. P.

*inspired by the film “Kimi no Na wa.” (“Your Name.”)

Ulna, Mixolydian

Ulna, Mixolydian

The arbiter’s tongue, soft under wing in flattened seventh,
Measured in the embochure. Fly, fly like grass in wind.
Over qualm and quell, so cruises buds in air.

Fawned over glasslike, that in cages spat;
Such is excitement in primordial form.
What hook she drives in the flesh competition,
And culls intellect: such unfairness,
To take the sky, and when she comes
— a storm warning.

I plant the seeds of my thoughts in you
To grow like unwanted growths.
You are calmest in capture, in imagined capture.
Like dislodged modes in minor sternness, grew
Mixolydian melodies in my almost-rebirth.
Why is attraction easy, asks the earth
In its near-rapture.

End, in little fading vibrations,
The outcomes, they hung on such flimsy strings.
The pages upon which we started caught activity
And with its half-life consumed, it slowly decays.

— A. P.



In the twenty-first saddling of the second floor,
Even my eyes hung serendipitous; fold
The dance-stacks rolling in the great awe.
Over at the plebeian halls, our presence known.

Gouged, like doubt, stentorian steel net
And a red flower for each faux pas. Under the arch
Comes a promise. Let us grow like reverse candles,
Shape us, crowd-like unharmony of sin.

Once, my voice among the rattle, drowned
By the grinding of every edge, of every teeth exclaiming,
Its blue baton filled with malice. Sharp in color,
Such moments of shock for innocence’s youth.

Like little umbrellas, and sand-grain satin,
Lethe in rain, little Styx’s cousin. The wanton myth
Is upon us. Dredge, soul — harper, wight:
Grant me forgetfulness and I shall owe you peace.

Seek me, colonial peasant dreamer, in the middle
Of sticks, making fire for myself. Demand
The sum of my debts, plus one for every thread:
I am made of cloth, of every spirit embracing wildfire.

— A. P.