Four from Bel – Joseph Harms



As passed the cortege through the underpass

(its portico a scalar mural past-

oral and blenched) the mirrors shaded vit-

rified fantods while Az to Bel complained

of hydrocele as Bel inguinal aimed

the shells from gravel. Gravid possums birthed

by tires guttered, dipteran; just noon

the flume now photic, lambent; firmament-

balloon sunblack; a highway advert shell-

acked; Fridayhappy men: the beacharcade;

the quarters drilled; a hackysack of pills;

the tourists dunned; the floats at Benny Frank’s

adjacent drugstore spiked: that night atop

a tumulus a bottlerocket cake.




I’m not so sure…just rich, she’d say when asked.

The metaldetectors and cops at school.

The Misfits Stooges dope and basements home.

I write, he’d state. ‘This stiletto my heart.

Longnight’s escape yon oculus alone.’

Enhaloed dandelions barrow. Dogs

at dusk argot. The fireplaced guitars

of dads cliché. Verticity of words

when reft too rathe. Furcula svelte, beige suit,

sericeous thighs, inchoative cyno-

sure: Bel would tan as corbies bloomed from corn

while Az slowwhittled snakes on walkingsticks

to sell on Main. She answered: Halcyon:

the lie of hindsight. Not our problem, man.




Detroit: where simian police on stour

Clydesdales patrol through traffic, rifles lapped;

ecdysiastbuffet repast; a bust

the Payless tacotruck; apocalypse

haecceity; façade of fane enisled

among a mile’s detritus; depredate

and collied towers acaulescent men

enlive, their nutant somnifacient nights

beneath the shotout lamps in white by sigils

postbellum, wait for Bel and Az who come

for life in death ensured by plenary

commination. Defiles here out. Polestar

the City Limits sign. Yes, kyrie, yes.

No dreams no more are needed. Kyrie now.




My meretrish egeria, what chance

had we to side with life? Your perfid love,

Embolus. / Moniliform sparrows au-

spice confab, hypergolic silhouettes.

Those two are fucking, Bel from swing asserts

as Az from sand culls cigs; serotinous

the honeylocusts’ nursing eels palmate

on carpal scapes about morass as sig-

nals find albedo sunabandoned; Az

canoes the chaff while faraway a screech

and crash erupts the frogs and lightningbugs;

ductile if ever Bel refels the worst

for bad, with courage says, Their pleasure dumb

and quick means little while their pain means less.