JAMES AND THE GODFLESH
By Robert Beveridge

James and the Godflesh

He bit into the truffle, felt
the hot coppery gush
between his teeth. Only for a moment
did he pause to consider
the usual solidity of truffles,
the absence, most times,
of the distorted sound of guitar
across a winter plain.

O-Ring

The scent of allspice
and Chinese cinnamon
on your fingers.
You had run them across
your breasts the night before
and the sweetness stuck
only to come off against my tongue

Sono L’Antichristo


“Jesus knew the man with mutilated faculties who had eyes and did not see, ears and did not hear. I know the man with mutilated organs who sees without eyes and hears without ears.”–César Vallejo, “This Is a Mutilated Man”

“Events don’t recur: we vanish once only./Hence the cause of my weeping…”–William Carlos Williams, “Three Nahuatl Poems”

And so
they called him handicapped,
for what good
is a man without
all his faculties?

I tell them
I watched him,
cigarette dangling
from his misshapen mouth,
braille typewriter clacking away,
a poet
who could read,
some say,
the future.

He could put
his hand on the ground
and hear words
in the vibrations
around him.

He touched many
but would let no one touch him.

Now writing his elegy
I antichrist
who knew him best
I antichrist
am forced to say

he loved these things
that made him blind and deaf
for it is said
they enabled him
to see and hear
like no one else

now the bastard son
of a thousand vanished poets
running guns in Algeria
forces me in his absence
to say
he was a good man
bit if I am the antichrist
then what
truly
is he?

It is nothing but a matter of perspective:

he lived a human life,
died a human death.
Ask me not what that means
for both you and I know:

he was here.
he vanished.

He took drugs,
but never ran guns
in Algeria.
His work touched
a handful profoundly
yet was ignored
by the unknowing masses.

The worst
that can be said
for him:
he was
a working poet

or, possibly,

he was

The Surrealists Were Obsessed with the Eye

I’m not as observant as I once was.
Where once I would have seen
a glorious flock
of souls, clamoring
on their way to Hell,

now it’s just a bunch of Canadian geese
in the middle of the road.

Yet still
I can see you, Laura,
and I see
hundreds of birds
singing praises to you
I see
verses of poets long dead
written in your name
I see
trees with our initials
buried deep in their roots

I can see you everywhere.

Vampire

the sun disappears
below the horizon
you awaken to the glow
of electric lamps
your job awaits you
in the night

About the Author:

Robert Beveridge

Robert Beveridge makes noise (xterminal.bandcamp.com) and writes poetry just outside Cleveland, OH. Recent/upcoming appearances in Wildflower Muse, Noble/Gas Qtrly, and The Ibis Head Review, among others.

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