Conjunctions:24 Critical Mass

Two Poems
The Volcano
after Mallarmé
By your cloud still struck
Low with lava and ash
Into the enslaving echo
Of the worthless blast

What a hollow wreck (still spuming,
but with a drool) as you know
Towering over the destruction
Consummated in its riven mast.

Or was it in a rage
Of some great perdition
That this abyss was so vainly whipped up

White white hair falling
Down so stingily to drown
the cheeks of a child siren.


Shadows with before
let breathe reflect
condemned as full
gathers light upon
the profoundest tip
surfacing impediments
of flattened midnight
in its expect.

Now I watch the taste
of recognition frontal
as the note drawn out
of pocket strikes
the flanks and wedges
glimmer promising
the pout of day’s lip.

I raise my shuteye
to the angle vagrant
as instruct swills
the wary grip, full
of reason to rip
the pamper off of it.

You and your company
part lines without
subtraction, retaining
the coherence as it rages,
clue to the twist

Due suffered in the lapse.
This has happened once
before conformity exploded
want as a train pulling

Out to circle back
to identical waves
of madness, the dream

Of suggestion’s prospect.
Each is a disaster.

The sun sets on the moon.

Douglas Messerli is the author of The Structure of Destruction (the first volume of which appeared as Along Without: A Fiction in Film for Poetry from Littoral Books) and After: Poems and Translations Alternating.