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From Internment Camp Journal, Box 1608, Aisle 78 K

(Thanks to David W. & Joy Kogawa)

Remain estranged,” advised the albino angel
glowing in the dark with candle-perfection
for the longest knight of knives yet,
her beautifully tapered fingers crossed
once over the heart, with two behind the back
as a dance up the sleeve guarding against
the lack of kept promises
that would not pan anyway.

Keep it loose, you see,” she also opined,
chorus-boy-high, for the farthest notes
reached without strain before all those burlesque
circus freak guests bright with tender blessings
beneath the acrobats on their tightrope
improvising chairs in the Big Top Sky.

The music was fugue-like
with that quite a catch” chorus
revising the never mind of first warnings
from the Lazaretto, its quarantine-galley,
as waves like pale hands of applause
lashed at this ship no port would take.

In its wake, still plankton went on shining
and dolphins sung phosphorous, a host of endless
bon voyage rounds as if at a pyre
the relocated for safety” honored their eldest with,
picking with chop sticks for bone bits, teeth,
through ash the next morning.

Too surreal, this bedlam cabaret,” the historians criticize,
those born here also but on the right side
of war’s shores which made natives enemies
due to overseas links, but what can the winning
Culture know the feelings of familial roots ripped
with boxcar showmanship, auctioned and scattered
forever and a day?

Crunch, Crunch

You could devour me whole & choke back the vomit.
How special, how precious.
I could be steel within cyanide to clot
your esophagus & lodge again farther on.
How splendid, how raw.
You could/I could—
I’m not interested, not any longer—–
that writhing of hatred, bile, reciting the black art:
shit rotting the john.
How indulgent the pain is & how unstoppable
too quickly: Pandora merely peeking
& suddenly, a Medusa hiss, gas over head,
the coils of claws sucking in lives.
I haven’t the energy.
I haven’t the patience or passion misfired.
You know, it’s quite understandable:
slow bitterness, instant rage.
But my wants are going global & enough hell exists
there so what good are our sores?
In order to heal
bleeding visions must first scar.
Thus, go ahead. If you must
eat me then do so with relish.
A dandelion is still a dandelion
& perhaps you’ll piss punch.

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