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114th Weekly Poetry Contest honorable mention: Metamorphosis; or the journey to the Other Sky

by Fjördlý

in somniis veritates in veritate depravationes!
I called upon the morning street,
asking it for providence.
I caught it in the streetlamp’s glow;
I heard it in the gutter.
in the rows and rows of trees that grow
so meekly by the stream.
in the poplar’s silent castanets;
it said: pity this thing.
now four o’ clock – the rain beats down
and cars illuminate the slimy gullet of the street
that swallows up dank traces left
by absent, old, and weary feet.
I see the vendors selling wires,
and the flyers on the sleet;
recounting visions of a weary soul.
tolls the bell: lotus eater!
closing windows as the rains begin
raising shutters as the night comes in –
you place the towel by your thighs,
you sigh, sitting on the unkempt bed.
and writhing in your nudity
you curl, you bend, you pry
at millions of phosphenes in your eyes.
you lay and dream; you dream. you dream.
you wake and all the world is gone.
you open up to let the breeze inside;
the streetlamp’s light and pallid moon,
and the window at the far end of the room.
it’s a box within a box;
upon the wall it waits and calls,
but the silence of the pallid room
binds you to the bed.
you place your hand upon your heart
and wait –
it does not beat, but
lying still among the dishes
where the cockroaches skitter
it casts long bars upon the ceiling.
you place your hand upon the wall
and push yourself into your breast –
you press into that tomb beneath your chest
where the lonely streetlamp flickers.
the clouds and mist draw curtains on your flat:
the bed, the musty air, your hair;
wrapped in moisture,
buried now, along with you, inside.
a symptom of reality, you sleep.
his mother thought it strange that Christ eludes him.
at the ending of the night, before the day would start;
at the beating of the heart, at the turning of the page;
she prays.
his mother thought it strange that hell would find him;
at the kneading of the dough in the pale hour.
he found it strange that consciousness is consciousness,
that eternity is eternity, that the flower is the flower;
that it is.
he takes the hours into him, he swallows the pillow.
the curtains billow.
the moon is fat for a moment on the floor, in the pale hour.
at the ebbing of the flow, at the rumble of the street below,
he turns the page, he says: he is; he is. he is.
at the whistle of the kettle, at the unbolting of the petal,
in the pale hour; he sits, he turns, he cries out: mother!
now four o’ clock – the rain beats down,
the curtain stills, the moon is thin.
two birds were nesting on his rooftop–
and then life fled;
and then he rose from bed.
deus in machina mortuus est;
the god in the machine is dead!

114th Weekly Poetry Contest