LAST THOUGHTS OF ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON
Heat rose in layers
through the low,
hanging palm trees.
skimmed the skin off
his dreaming and left
a raw pain like fever
inside his black,
Breathing was slow
and mechanical, a steam
engine at full throttle
with nothing left
inside to generate heat.
What he heard outside
was a pegleg tapping
on a boardwalk
of his imagination
into a vacant, absorbing sea.
Every other step resounds
in his head like a
nightmare of a Treasure
Island for which he has
lost the map.
SELF ANNIHILATION WITH SHOPPING BAG LADIES
Chorus line shopping bag ladies,
lined up for the underground,
catching subways on the hot
El tracks, humming strange lines
from Ravel, waving goodbye to
la dolce vita, carrying all
they own wrapped in special
sections of the New York Times,
safely tucked under broken arms,
grabbing all the gusto they can,
as it comes, in a rush, head on
HIGH WIRE WALKING NIAGARA FALLS AT DAWN
The stunted dwarf pines, daredevil
nerves thwarted by gale winds,
balance bar slip knot wet,
sudden rains squall, a hushed deep
breathing each step down the taut wire
towards death, toward the lingering
night show kleig lights, spectators
breeding, reacting, taking bets,
yelling advice from all the opposite
ends; rescue chopper blades hovering,
suspended, cuts the heads from all the trees.
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