A Simulacrum for the Blues

July 26th, 2014, 11pm

It was 20.6°C. The breeze was gentle.

“We live submerged at the bottom of an ocean of air”
—Evangelista Torricelli, 1644

the moon slips through a keyhole
insinuating home where
the nearness of you seems
very faraway from
what the tangible songbird
unmoved by the waves
of starlight decides to sing

the door, the d’Or
the golden sense of place
slowly pull the cork
inhale rubies
gleaming on a palate thirsty
for memories yet to be
foretold why
a song goes with these gypsy roses
brandishing their weapons of
drinking fragrances
whirling inside
a glass darkly as we guess
the names of constellations
as if this single moment
defended by nothing
but the naked truth
blossoming according to
the many meanings
we can conjure
“home” “love” “freedom” “heart”
would exist only
by stuffing this galaxy of words
back into the bottle
sealed with the drying scents
of rubies, rose petals on your wrists,
and redacted poems
that will never make the voyage
until many moons later
when we were shown
all we couldn’t know


what if
home is the funhouse
mirror made to scan
the pixels
that give me the simulacrum of life
wired to my nerves signaling
invitation to share
the fancies and fever dreams
within the circumference
of my skies
if these smoke signals
of the buried telegraph
unspool cables 40 leagues
beneath the sea
can you still see
it’s just the smoke
that gets in my eyes

4 for 44. (my lucky number)
the strangest yet most
mundane invitation
how I heard you
existed like a transmission
trailing a theoretical comet
in a cryptic declaration left behind
that resonated a medieval warning
modernist keys probing
a quark of sound
bent by refracted light shining
from a lost book of heretics
who were alchemists
of the improbable who
listen to Bob Wills on the
transistor radio caught in the desert
where no other radio station comes in

wholly unexpected though
I shoulda known
80 protons isn’t the kind
of thang a person denotes
unless she is into quicksilver
Mercury the sure messenger
the accomplice of 49ers
& alchemists
operates like a spy
deep inside the labyrinth

My device had run out of the
hogulating privilege
of energy for the night
on my way home at the tail end
of a tale that isn’t
a Ned Washington lyric
one electric thought crossed
my mind to simply say hello
somehow that meant summoning
“the annotated scrawls in the margins
where my heart is tattooed
by a palimpsest
that describes
the circumference of her skies”

that particle waving hello in quotes, well…
that’s what I muttered
to myself in the car driving home
turning the phrase chiseling
the koan of inside/out
like a ruby, or a stuck splinter
like glimpsing a fire from
a faraway galaxy as if
my heart would know
what to do with a telescope
that whispered your name
should I gaze upon a
supernova saturated
by all the things you are

no matter how near nor how far
there is little more I can do
than to wish upon a star
absurdly for what I know is true
the odds of finding her watermark
remain as slim & none as rhyming
love songs are not made by fate
this assumption I cannot un-make
merrily until I grant this truth too soon
that there’s nothing a little moonlight
won’t do
phase, wave, particle, hello
if only subatomic mischief
lines up the spheres
perhaps then and only if
can I attend to the nearness of you

6. (repeating 3 times… inevitably)

in the background a page from
a novel by Cortazar drops the needle
the plaintive trumpet of a dead man
carves marble from the wing-beat
stating the motion of the wave vs
eternity as Clifford Brown plays
“(I Don’t Stand) The Ghost of a Chance (with You)”

is a hurdy gurdy man spinning
vanished atomic music beneath
the old steel bridge where
a yellow rose beckons
in a secret garden behind
hopscotch chalk bright
as the periodic table
skip, hop, leap, twirl
notes, chords, keys, tunes
meet, magnetic, bond, dissolve
hasn’t he seen it all but
the element of surprise
keeps the organ grinding
the ragged brain of the sublime
protons that vibrate
whether a door, a desert, a sky
why don’t we wait by
the river until we hear them
play a sunrise, softly
but backwards so that here
the moon always reigns

describing a magnetic chaos
that gathers inevitability like thunder
the barometer of anticipation
settles upon the mercury
like an immense ocean of air
measuring the variations where
the tendrils of a dream collide
with the perfect storm of a heartbeat
racing towards a kiss

the labyrinth of desires applaud
the improbable neutron
stage left entrance
a cloud of 120 required
the 80 protons quickly assemble
the surreal rest of the gang
is already here riffing
“Stella by Starlight”

a poem is a crazy way to say hello
even if as a neutron swept into the
magnetic quark of a lost signal
echo of the desires for a lyric
very nice to meet you
under these circumstances
when a simple melody will do
a songline that helps the heart
navigate how to wish upon a star
perhaps as a quark I should explain
we all come in flavors certainly
I am strange but aim to be charm


meeting a stranger wearing
the curated labyrinth
that defends the heart requires
wings that do not melt beneath
the savage sun
for the trick of the light
to laugh without regard
for the shadows that gloam
where my attention strays
like a kitten playing with string
theory in a world where the
simultaneous is but a simulacrum
of this one chance to say hello
who knows if this galaxy of words
will ever find a home
amidst this floating world

a simulacrum for the blues

Shu, David Wade and Ken said thanks.

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Chris DeBarr

Chef who believes in eating the world to save it. Wine & language & sharp knives are the tools of my métier. At heart, I'm a warm & fuzzy Dadaist.

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