eRIC DAVID HELMS
from the“Circe” Chapter of Ulysses
Ora vides Hecates in tres vertentia partes,
servet ut in ternas compita secta vias.
Bloom for bloom. Out of true.
The little story of a day.
In a concave mirror's slack,
The blue door we found
By cause of its causes,
Out of tune, bound
To open up
To drains, clefts.
Engines of cesspools
Where, among other things,
The plump outlying green grin,
Though diminished, is still unstuck.
A branchless Maple
Waving in Japanese
To an obliging face
Or digital system
Of faces may think
(In the month of Hell)
Otherwise, or as with
The puddle, the surface
On which the image
Of such waving
Shrinks to the moist
Gordian stain of nôt . . .
Though it's the seminal neck
Belonging to an Elm
That will harbor
A sailor like Popeye.
Yes. A sailor
Like Popeye who,
Beyond the half-
staff of 'never-more,'
The long dry
Of himself at the rocking top,
Wavering like a dusty red
Kerchief--quite laid out,
Becalmed--in a stultifying zone . . .
Not so much Homer’s Odyssey
Or White Teeth's fang-
Do the missed
Trains of thought
Steer out from the self-
And, as a top
Out to blue sky,
At dawn. Off Hickory's dock. The yolk in the sky dropped every morning
Is left to fry. All the King's horses and men (with hammer's knock & little squills)
Are quite in the throws, off Hickory's dock, trying to put Humpty back together,
Again, into some sort of sorts; and have most recently lost their senses, singing
The corpse a favorite bed-time lullaby. Gold splinters rain off the crown of Allah,
Fall soft as snow 'round a dead rat's eye plus one purple rubber-glove turned chew-
toy. At dawn. Lvcyfvr. Lvcyfvr. No evil star pinned above the flat drifting barrel
Of tedium's dream-fog in which in which in which in which 1 drop, 3 times,
Of mercury will reverse if not save the weatherman from his daily poisonings
As he further conceives the real & actual world painted by the sleep talk of a mime's
West of the beehive. The mime again. Is screaming, ''Mulligan," Chewing on the cud
Of the bone as to what it might mean to 'mull' around, grinding the verb to a fine powder That this mime will send up the rail yard of its nose, somewhere far off, on a carnival's putt-putt wayfarer course, and now in the itch of a sandtrap, closing in upon the cake of whatever Van Gogh's ear might have scratched. 'Mull,' a term that if one works steadily enough Without accomplishing much will tip the more curious reader into the very unease of Pessoa's tedium & disquiet as a cow freshly tips over, & over the moon, out the image, Where the Arthritic crossroads ripely hath been stapled to foreground, for such Dada focus--
Notwithstanding how the reader as he or you or she or even I retie their double-strapped Mental tourniquet before diving off, altogether, the board. Into my next brain pool-
puddle of farts.
For 'closest possible birdie' I'm screaming 'par,'
And with only one putterer, 'par! Again!, par!'
A play on 'parlet,' which may let a gang of snarks
Know that, by King David's slingshot,
I've retrieved the parrot on stage
But only to realize he was me.
In hindsight the parrot was me
Attached by shoelace string
To rosy dawn's rooster
As she yawns and yawns
And walks her crooked,
Straight lines like the first
And second hands of a put-
For 'closest possible birdie'
I'm screaming 'par,'
On a course known
By both brain & heart.
The heart of Nietzsche,
A candy apple heart
Sawed for jigsaw,
The puzzle which
You're still ironing out,
For fun? Life. It goes no-
where. Life. It blows
And blows and blows.
The short distance left behind the page's final cleft
On which a snail hangs ten, slowly pasting its meaning(s)
Into a rhapsodic pulp. That her trail of slime shows
No consistent finish must mean something pertaining
To the glue of any giant gorilla or elephant clue left behind.
The first sea tortoise ever to needle her neck past a dead-man's float
And from the surf's chalk outline nods back to the start of this very
Marathon for which sly hare & fox are still quite boxed-in, left behind.
That all of this might read for getting hit by the same red door, twice.
And speak for such a fat lottery draw of footnotes.
Meanwhile, I've been trying to think with both pinch & bite,
To hear the very thunk of Joyce’s aspiration
For his flock
To see 'all of it.'
But through a chink in the slot.
To see 'all of it.'
A flock of roosters
Busy with waking each other
Up & up & up?
That there 'ought'
To be a place
‘Where the eye can think,
The mind read'
Carries me yet
To ground zero
Of my next outpost
In an eagle's nest
Of dead screws & bolts,
A few lightning rods
Scrounged from God-
As it is
& was with
With thou hands clapped
To thy head, to thy feet.
To thy stomach
Where the urine still runs.
In an audience,
Will come to us
As a tech-laden
Biting into a plum
Below a smart cloud,
Its holy tenth-
Century pillar of rust--
Up the bag
Of a balding
Of Eden's organic [sic]convine .
The breath tightens her throngs.
The butter baths in the sun.
The song sours, being too fun.
By swallowing the fact, ‘if we had no body, we would have no mind,’
We merely moisten the mad hatter's tongue
As he tightens the handcuffs that grip the porcelain
Of our wrists
And so fasten us into the Helter of another bleeding bind.
As to why and for how long, by both penny & dime,
The stylus hath been weighed--I plan on the audience
Being ready to receive through ear
A Mike Tyson punch.
That you might hear one final nuclear scratch
Before the 'holy crunch'
Of a gymnasium door coming bright
Off her hinges.
A gymnasium door coming bright off her hinges
For which we all keep scratching our heads
Like Biden in front of his own tele-prompted world,
And even after we've all been belayed into the dirt,
To keep scratching our heads at the gymnasium door
Means even that I've bailed without clew or 'ball of yarn'
To trace any reliable grasp of distance--deciding
For my higher purpose, in the meanwhile, to take
The raw football header that should make for 'all exits.'
As for my next fit of disquiet
I’ll hammer my own thumb
To the chopping block
Of this poem and plead
To Thoth as I trade smiles
With another alarmed crocodile--
In hope of ‘a plummetly plum-plum,'
In hope of knowledge, Eve's first
Little scarlet bite?’
The balding actor does not hesitate,
Does not scour, tumbling off the south
Of the stage, into an Orchestra’s pit,
Branded by Nathanial's scarlet letter.
A black swan stage dive that turns to sound the kick drum
That all the while was waiting for such a homerun pitch.
The balding actor does not hesitate, knowing how vinyl
Will skip and scratch and skip like south Florida' s sour
Patch of surf, her salty waves of dumped plain facts
Still rehearsing a bleached sense of foreplay in the brain's
Sheet of rap.
Some lists go on. Some rabbits, silly or false, stop at nothing.
You take the elevator 2,000 stories down. Then exit the door.
You take the elevator 2,000 stories down. Then wake up.
Pull the pin like a grenade from the alarm clock and yawn.
You wake up. Somewhere north of the Nerbudda,
Inside the Wonka pages of a pop-up book
Wherein each page centers around the same clench
Of shadow's stalk, the same clench of shadow's stalk
For which the knuckle-white mind flashes back to Neary
And his quip of wise crack--about life being all jutted figure,
All sagged ground on one's contested bird path to find home.
Some lists go on. The ox-hide drum of one Energizer Bunny
Stops at nothing, Bang!, Boom!, announcing the comic-
Book punches of a masked Bruce Wayne. Bam!, Boom!, Bang!
Somewhere north of the Nerbudda, 2,000 stories down.
The demented pulp of some Beach Boy's pinball smile popping up
By the lick of her black tongue, from my own fictive ground.