by Austin Adams

Carrion Flower

Faint fragrance of a
Flower too subtle for
Human sense.
It is there.

What one cannot know,
Call by any name:
Iandipan, aruzzrula,

There are no lessons
That cannot be learned.
All things, inarticulate, are.
That is no lesson.

I Will Never Rhyme Light with Night

I will never rhyme light with night
because I imagine a language in which
words of truer friendship,
bitterer rivalry,
more sensual congress
have evolved in sound

She says, “This is the logic
of the loveless.”

Say Anything

Before the white dividing
An I from another, behold and fear
The pathless sprawl of space
That separates
Friend, lover, brother

Say anything

Paralyzed will, marshal-like before
The globe of enemy ground
Whom shall I slay?
What should I say?
Every track profanes the unbegun campaign of
Faultless snow

A single word, the first-sung note
Impregnates paper, air with yes:
It is not life that’s sure of craft;
To all but death, the second guess

Thus, vault your hazard or retire
In ought, the will supreme or else
The ego:
White the silence, red the choirs,
Pride prevents more murder
Than it inspires

Ode to an Object Seen Through a Far Window

Occult, being
And this concomitance of being,
That you too should be implicated
In the importunity of air.

There are
All things
And to see
More things
Than all the eyes of earth
Have moments or

A recital death, I die
Granting you,
Object, ephemeron –
Full surrender to the nonpareil
Of another.
But it is as if too
A friend I find
So grateful am I that you
Or anything brotherly beside me
Should graciously condescend
To exist.

Boom punch bullfist train
Rail-shrieks to platform shuddering
Windows incradle to doorways.
Outstreams a
Catchless swarm
Of undemanding
I am
An any.

Inflamed with stars, the common sky.

This fearful generosity.

Die as Brightly Born

Nothing so frivolous as a flower –
What dance more lustful,
Simply to be.

That you, commissioned diplomat,
Are tendered to sing where lovers fail to speak
Charges our race with the failure
To apprehend spring pedagogy.

So if a usurping suitor of wind should snatch
My bouquet of coward intentions,
Lust would find ideal expression:
Journeymen of no port,
Borne no lover bound,
Sportively daring any bold enough
To pluck pure expression
From the ravishing air.

About the Author:

Austin Adams is a writer from Tennessee. His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Review of Books, The Millions, Prelude, The Offing, Poor Yorick and more.