Aaron Shurin

Three poems from Involuntary Lyrics


Jeffrey pines at Lassen leak vanilla sap in sunlight, bear-
clawed trunks scary about any possible bend in road we're
hiking; fallen Douglas fir dissolve as reddened sawdust in situ, literal shadows of decay.
Alice the fucking ground here is live
fumarole and boiling pot, what's to uphold
our giddy bodies, oh, the boiling ground will do. You prepare
the fire I'll enact the food. Day
is over there valley's end behind hill, no mountain, we climbed; has no more to give
before we roll into the tent. Hmm, that was one, two, five months ago. Too cold
now for tenting. Simple statements lie, but lease
this partially, later we'll chase down perplexity: I know
if there were
further red maple swamp or city grid or winter dune indigo or cowpie pasture facing we'd go so
fluently, improvise our foolish walkalong songs with such fraternal ease…


music lies
inside a war
on words impaneled
with oak notes in sight
of codes gaps fooled heart
overdrunk at the bar
with intention determined
to (be) right
any part
of that lie
swings groove-part
you metonymy eyes
take over for loaded mr. heart
no incoming beam deny



waking up gastric into memory
of who I betrayed lying monuments
to — what? — enmity
against — what? self? father? — why dream now not really dream but rhyme
psychic disposition to unfocused other room
peopled spewing contents
of — what? — locked in brain posterity
replay diminishes time
mobius mirror doom
same view over same view overturn
not "mine" but structures of interplay arise
doubled self as other or other as self such masonry
behind eyes
looking at — what?— make eyes burn

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