Great ivy of the whispering mother
woven into the coil of space
around a few buildings smoke fastened itself--
waiting for the disturbance of pedestrians.

Along the block of crumbling
buildings --war on the minds of everyone--
Charlie walked, Charlie (neutrality) walked through.
In one long-lasting inhale
ivy air, the filter through which everything affected,
cast green upon the mores.

Charlie failed fourteen years
the bedside of comfort and gloom kept
to another city. He left, but in
leaving his joblifelover, found home.
Charlie came to the law in clerk's guise

In evening's presence he ate alone
with people he did not know.
he paid for service, noise--
        leaving with hunger wrapped in leaves
the veins of which, pulsed
sugar water changing to cognac.
Charlie (in park dusk) distilled an hour or
two attending the cognac change
(breathing thoughtfully in the swaddling ivy).

In the April Spring, blooms burst ivy air
where flowers would not normally grow
luminous smoke pulled itself to the sky.
Spring, in unwholesome grey nourishment, sprang
                from every block of the city.
        kept Charlie from dining.
        drove Charlie to drinking.

On the fourth night of the smoke bloom Spring
Charlie discovered Thalia Room.

Fading marks of the genus left
Thalia Room laughing its bar
clothing into the languished
pheromone smile of casual ruts.
Charlie did not see people enter
but inside, he was never alone.

He watched Thalia Room's walls
and saw little cracks, then
bigger ones.
Thalia Room, the place that old knew,
        its cracks were stuffed full of time.

Its secrets lamely leapt from inquisitors,
which in depth, were despised from the base
        of Thalia's bosom.
                        cracks in one wall
                        shaped a head
                        at which no one looked.
        without uplifting or depressing
        inside was full-time dusk
under a waning filament (dim orange dust)
each corner crowned a table.

Paintings hung their golden hued blues
--a tenuous light, but more light than the lights
which cast Charlie.
Thalia bloomed differently
than the city. It would never
matter if it were Spring.
 Bringing his hunger to Thalia
 in the evenings--

One night, several hours
before leaving for home
Charlie climbed over
                        weeks of reclusive
in Thalia Room,
but when blooms outside, blanketed tramps
Charlie met a woman.
Sitting at a corner table, he'd stopped
thinking on law and stopped
thinking over talk.
He wandered discretely
involved with the glib gods that
bounce from fantasy into the marrow
of myth.
                The hesitant come before fantasy as myth
                in their thoughts they begin, breathing
                        like old ivy.
Though myth: hard --not bending
wayward-- as behooved but lost
fantasy, which a person uncovers
in unearthed myth
        by chewing its flesh off.

Swallowing mythflesh 'till his hunger
was gone. the bone shone through,
which often surprises its reverents.
        Their departed thoughts regard-less
        (like law) in the unfree-standing
        fleshiness of myth.
        They do not consider the organized softness inside.
Charlie, in great but understated complexity
did expect.
He chewed off the flesh
to get to the bone
        Let him wash blindness clean, over him, that he sees through it where
finding the bone's glow
would overwhelm sunlight.

On this myth, he dove
deep into the ground's grounding
digging finger-to-palm naturally downward.
Earthen charms moved
out of the way, wriggling
both wisely and nonchalantly.
Home: muted rhythms on the surface.

The night she walked to his table,
        She sat in the decision of a spoken accent
and placed her wide earnest gaze into Charlie.
Without guessing, she took
his hand decidedly (with soft vowels and kohl) into hers
                breathed "watch."
Charlie watched
the woman stand.
She gestured. He followed. Walking
silently but holding
to a corner of Thalia Room where
dim mahogany fire scaled walls. In the cracks
fire stalked droplets of rhythm (inclined), which roiled
outside their secrets' cells.
        amidst glad, aberrant, chronos-rule
        reason flees in-dependence-exuberant mists.
Still, the world without logic is agreeable
to flowering. Slow unchange lifted its
terrific presence: volume behind activity
real synchronicity.
        all as cells divided--
birth to a hypnosis so great, allhumanculturecame.

Charlie watched the woman, her flat fire-cloth
entered flame became dance
that ripened the era.
The nouveau submitted to modestechos submitting to feint
vibrant dormancy (impossible a sleep as the era would be)
Like poppy seeds tumbling toward
the individual's little mercies
(while the vibrance of coitus
brings candor to lovers' tongues).
She jumped and twirled
exciting arms and legs into the flow of dance.

Lack of expectation spirited his energy
to the tea-color steeped, scorched, surroundings,
which led Charlie to
        teeter on the edge of curiosity.

In a life away, he'd have been another man.
though what life is he but his and the one of no other?
In law, like fantasy, the most precise
frenetic, or splendid of the species
         struggle to touch the earth.
and Emotion, ignited in its earthy womb, yearns
for the resolve of myth
the greatest surety of
myth's designs driving life, in the flesh.
Charlie watched still, stung by the
rhythm of the most ascetic ragtime.
When she lifted the folds of a fan in one hand,
he gasped. It cleaved the red
void-becoming she dissipated spark-wise.
Looking up to him
motioning his attention
without command of need she held sparks
excitedly to her chest, where for the motion
alone sparks could not escape.

He saw her.
In a mahogany celebration of flame
not toward the horizon
but gently slipping below
where she danced faster.
Becoming a fan in her fuse of form,
fertile myth-flesh broke in flight from the Earth.

Phantomime - artwork © 2002 Michael Keigher

Phantomine artwork by Michael Keigher

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