“Searching the Mousetraps” – “Like running through ashes” – “In the algebraic morning” – “Scourge of vampire” – “A Saphead in Repose”

collage by Joshua Martin

Searching the Mousetraps

Other widow’s peak to speak the egocentric circles unjustified & typed until all symbolic variations have been removed, then tied & in this gagged state a toyshop commando holding tire iron gloves promises to push the voltage on the rails as high as a mongoose left to its own devices, then knight at night to spin & to have spun the magic of the paranoid jumpers & acrobatic novel written on the creepy foreign papers leaning in the spellbinding wind, then a turning that led to a turnip w/ a busted lip playing the vibraphone while Max Ernst holds his breath & Mina Loy spins & spins as if there were tops that breathe fire or elephants colored green, then the base of a home of a zone of a long in the tooth memory gallivanting w/ the baroness & leading a life full of zany misadventures & dada gatherings of the occult ritualistic ropes splitting up after decades of passionate perseverance, then kangaroo w/ hazel eyes & violent tempers & gold dust for peanuts to Harpo Marx on the verge of a nervous breakdown, then Zelda in a boot, then the universe starting over at zero to combat nervous tension, then a paradox, then a parrot, then a bite that results in tubercular flinging of the arms around the larynx, then a shell by any other name could help itself to as many pies as there were roads to nowhere, then a flooded series of underpants, then a sea of generals gazing at the skin flute defectors eating under arms while flypaper rejects learn to count to a 100 in Romanian, then closer to the moment of reentry, then North Dakota shame in a South Dakota package, then delight.

Like running through ashes

Not as much washed up as ears full of sawdust and marmalade a strange and indecipherable color. It’s like running through ashes or jumping into piles of maniac dilemmas. Strung out on candy bars, again a code for something or other, but surely you know that all that is being said leads nowhere in particular. Whereas, in the study rooms of Byzantium, gentle children run around in circles and giants ponder crimson icons with the degree of certainty found in morons. I don’t know is a beautiful phrase. Once uttered, powers decrease. Once fathomed. Once disgraced. Stapled to the guitar strap and pulled like pork, juicy and delicious pork. Step back or take the escalator up. If the possibility presents itself to smash cars, take it. Take it! Take it! Is there anything you won’t say? And how about the stomach? There is no normal. You cannot control the world. A dwelling made of wine bottles. A kerosene lamp and then another and another and then a jug of bug juice. At least a talisman is an object that can be disregarded. You left home at eighteen and never looked back. There is beauty in abandonment. Not everything is worthwhile. The drums take the place of screaming. The difference is negligible. You ran into an old friend from high school but pretended like you didn’t remember. That’s your style after all. Stranger things have happened and there’s something more than intriguing about that.

In the algebraic morning

We are pleased to inform you that nothing you say or do has any bearing on the skinned fish piled up outside the turgid conversations shedding light only on the perverse & unimaginative methods of owls pontificating coded entrails like tea leaves summoned out of ego & out of the passing of gas until the heart has gone like explosive diarrheas of maddening dissolution & promises impounded through gin mills that only spill & to disregard all that is apparent in favor of a false wisdom carried on the backs of philistines drafting articles to provoke only a snicker & at best an eyeroll & a violent shuddering at how common a misconceived prairie dog can become in the fog & in the decline where dropping feels special & where killing can be made at the expense of a whole series of incantations.

Scourge of vampire

Hands inventing recitals
	scourge of vampire
	lip readers
	sucking cough drop
			BLISS
		from beneath an
		oven of birth
				DEFECTS

one too many
	desert
island dodgers
		swimming
	naked		grotesqueries 
sculpted as in a
		mason jar
		of envious
		proportional
		ease
	tho		vague &
suffering
		the fateless
			grinning
of a 	LEG of LAMB
spinning on the granny
		fire

	gills
	standing
	tall
		fins
		resting
		branch
		face
			lunging
			glittered
			enticed

kneeling to act out a
		PASSION PLAY
	stale			bread
game of Hide
		& GO
			seek
	ye		the
filled underwear
	to the urging
tennis court
			ASHES
		ASHES
			we all
	fall to
shriveled up princess
		cake	
adenoid
	paranoid
		schizo
			taking
TIGER  
		mountain
half of mirrors
			CRISS
				crossing

	the wrongfully
		accused
stun gun
	stingray of precious
		MOMENT
			puking
tears in
	eyes
ears
	busted
trash can
	ceiling fan
beside himself with
		grand standing
ARISTOCRATIC
				cat of 9
			lives
		licking.

A Saphead in Repose

Form face façade
there on the nightstand
lit smokeless fireside chatting scatting earthquakes
personification maladies transfigurations
carousel riding dropping axe feet dappled maps formless
destroy displace replace shake up
lift separate leavened lightened
on the race course horse whip slip flip
tied up tied down tied to lamppost fist
handstand thank you ma’am moist mist
at last out loud
festival alarming damaged
good to chip in on fly swatter pianos 
gunfire missed massed micro-
				this/that/there/then/thou
						art a skunk
					w/o a TRUNK w/o a
			TRICK				up the
		shirt tail
			guaranteed to flutter as
	BUTTERFLY
		clip slip twit
twitching itching snitching
looser than a goose
simplified rational though
irrational! irrational! irrational!
next of
next to
net w/o
	sink/drink/speak
			to speaker
		w/o		VOLUME w/o
					TRAFFIC
				signal		dialectic
malfeasance
seasons leaning
night train in vain
goodbye balancing
next time
	& w/o
		&
and
	&
()		()		()
paragraph break lake
forsaken stirred
demure
	burned/flattened/bruised
			lost w/o LIMP
		50			CENT
						piece
forged feigned flickering
phony
left on the side table
misused cruised snoozed
		START ALL
		OVER AGAIN.


Joshua Martin is a Philadelphia based writer and filmmaker, who currently works in a library. He is the author of the books Pointillistic Venetian Blinds (Alien Buddha Press, 2021) and Vagabond fragments of a hole (Schism Neuronics). He has had pieces previously published in Coven, Spontaneous Poetics, Ygdrasil, Expat, Selcouth Station. RASPUTIN, Train, Fugitives & Futurists, Otoliths, M58, Punk Noir Magazine, Beir Bua, and Scud among others. He tweets @jmartinpoetry.