By Henry 7. Reneau, Jr.
Silent as something dark to sparkle from. The slight degrees
where the truth goes missing. When we exit
with or without intention
one ruthless tradition
of social ruination for another. The antidote’s
unmentioned nod to poison, to auto-erotic
asphyxiation. The way a car free-bases gasoline
refined from the bones of doomsday dinosaurs. Accelerating
toward extinction. Is a madman’s laughter as old as
The imperial age of the 21st century: Their crack high, like kissing
Jesus, seeking omnipotence by way of drone strikes. The means
to scapegoat the disavowed killer: Lee Harvey Oswald
manipulated into an air-conditioned office turned bunker, in Nevada.
Even before it happened, everything we always believed
could happen—the way Amerikkka strangles herself—would happen.
When avoiding the truth we usually knew, but never talked about—
did happen. Something feral, like the way to get people talking, is to
let them fill in the silence.
winged diamond with ruby lips
every child has a story, something quantum measureless
& full of light. the crystal-blue river of imagination
that flows into a child’s searching hands, giving shape to
the circle of mystery that answers each question
with a question. a something from nothing mile of wire
that makes a screen door, an introspection turning inward.
an unfiltered narrative seemingly guileless,
illuminating his imaginary friend, his evidence of companionship
unseen. & the other,
the x-factored ever-changing chameleon face: what’s going on
in her mind? is it the same as what she’s saying?
his digging, a hole symbolic of unearthing the origins of magic &
happily-ever-after, the way the ceramic smoothness of a coffee cup
warms the soul. & the other,
manipulative as the shrill falseness of plastic, but her
fascinating neon face, like a wolf carving out the flock for food.
his ever searching for refuge from abuse, a gazelle,
checking the exits for fight or flee, at the first whiff of predator.
& the other,
watching what mommy & daddy’s hands do, as opposed to,
listening to the roundabout obfuscation to her question,
inhabiting the mystery that is becoming: a scatter of
priceless gems across black velvet, as clock-beautiful as creation.
Nevada County Sheriff’s Office—08.21.14
1:15am—A woman from Connie Drive reported
people peeking through her windows.
November 7, 2015: Los Angeles, CA—Millions
witnessed a strange light in the evening sky. The
government said it was a missile test. But was it?
We must ask ourselves’ “Are we truly alone, or
are we being lied to?” The truth is still out there.
—X-Files series ad for 2015 6-part mini-series
We always thought that alien life would come from the stars.
Slow motion city-sized saucers, breaching the constellation-
spattered night sky, a plummet of bio-luminescence
from the exposed motor of eternity.
We imagined Leviathans
shearing like lightning from sepia-hued thunderheads,
from the darkness they would fall:
a great cloud with fire enveloping it . . . a wheel within a wheel.
The wonder of it all: pulsing, multi-colored lights, & Tectonic
bass boom, an ominous reverberation
echoing like bronzed smoke from the silver glass of awe.
Would they come? Ghostly-pale & naked.
A veiled intent of hooded, reptilian eyes, like a malevolent stealth of
wolves. Their lip-less language, a telepathic infinity of nuance
between each otherworldly utterance,
& emaciated arms, outstretched towards us.
Would we welcome them, or 911, please state the nature of
your emergency, spread panic?
Would our war machine stumble—
at a loss for protocol? & only a distant, fictional hope
that Muldar & Scully would soon arrive
the alien blue illumines—
the X-ray-ed neon of forest between the trees.
Would the aliens from Elsewhere
finally unveil the meaning of us? Explain why?
Our predatory ways
only spoke to something furtive & feral: the real Enemy
actually us, our morality, a bleakness in need of some instruction.
Our earthward pointed spy satellites &
weapons platforms. Our patriotic Trump stance of xenophobia,
that speaks to something fearful inside us all. Our longing, for fame
& fortune, heard echoing from temples
like a perpetual ‘ibādah of obsession. The squalor of hunger &
dispossession—the unending, hemophiliac canon of war, shaping itself
into a question mark. But,
we’ve always believed, that alien life would come from the stars.
her pixilated hysteric glittering brilliance
the paparazzi-like portrait
her face a visible titillation of heat
behind the veil a silken cauls
the premeditation green
of her hooded eyes an emptiness to fill
that must be looked into further: peel back the skin
to show the furred viscera of wolf underneath as if
to expose: her celestial self
plucked from an even hungrier emptiness the soul-
of something that she passes by that she cannot name
but most often
hovering like an itch of fertile metaphor
a wane sharp & crescent
even though sometimes high-pitched &
piercing living beneath the flesh a bullet-ed beauty
with honey mellified lips, glowing sexual golden &
as the stain of a whisper a delirium flux
of dancing pyroclastic women her stippled
the nocturnal allure of seduction,
what they land
Scherezade Shiobhan, Our Lady of the Bone Tongue
the raw meat of her turned inside out but too totally
devastated in love bury her standing: a Jungian
ignition sparking her Catalan tremoring of persona
beating a serpent skin drum of anger with its tongue
cut out only more so carbon filament burning three-
hundred & sixty degrees of coiled viper slang her
lip-syncing the bastard courage of a fatherless daughter:
the petrichor scented premonition of deluge in the air
from which every nerve veined blue electric drank
from her body as if she had the answer her circuits of
circuits of syllables expressing what is at war in her self
her bone tongue of sun-bleached circadian vernacular
of tinder-tongued prophecy that heralds the flood waters
of tangible dispossession womb-ed inside her poet’s heart
an exotic murmuration of mother-tongue of stanzas &
stanzas honoring the gods both ancient & modern her
knotted hieroglyphs that calligraphy chaos theory
in increments of probability every hemophilic
iteration of stigmata between her self & the Indo-Roma
wanderlust of her name her broken fluttering of
of crimson petals erratic through the arterial elevation of
a twilight’s crepuscular rays a thousand & one tales
distilled into a matchbook with an open flap like multi-
tudes of mass kneeling & raised palms sacrificing
themselves readily to divine artifice despite the horizon
a corporate conflagration the rainforest ablaze for profit
the world a pyre defined combustible inferno
reduced to a collective inebriation of confirmation bias
made to bear the burdensome cross to its own Golgotha
her salt-psalmed prayers a virgin-voiced synaesthesia
bright on the brass fringe of orphaned nuance ever
on the verge of wolfen impulse anxious within
her cursive empathy
punctuates the cocked trigger of intuitive exponential:
the only thing worse than being blind is being
the only one who can see her gravid dissent an aria of
celestial divine enhanced to a golden liquid ecstatic &
frenzy of polished musculature a precise but constant
glitter of sibyl’s syntax splitting the difference between
Original Sin & a crime of passion the proof so evident
it is invisible
About the Author:
Henry 7. Reneau, Jr. writes words in fire to wake the world ablaze: free verse that breaks a rule every day, illuminated by his affinity for disobedience, a phoenix-flux of red & gold immolation that blazes from his heart, like a chambered bullet exploded through change is gonna come to implement the fire next time. He is the author of the poetry collection, freedomland blues (Transcendent Zero Press) and the e-chapbook, physiography of the fittest (Kind of a Hurricane Press), now available from their respective publishers. Additionally, he has self-published a chapbook entitled 13hirteen Levels of Resistance, and is currently working on a book of connected short stories. His work was nominated for the Pushcart Prize by LAROLA.