Stray bits of grammar peck at the sky
Algae with red snouts wins the next track meet
Sea foam and plastic comply with the new climate’s directives
A revised global contract is signed between tidelines and jet streams
Each has agreed to rewrite the brown world
But all this will occur outside your lapsed head
So make peace with your eyelashes
Don’t stalk your hairbrush
Undo the sarcastic confabulator
Let the alarm clock endorse your disgrace
Really there is nothing more to do but kneel
Hope is a shored ark of yesterday’s intentions
Sin is an elixir prescribing no ancestors
Against is a scorpion probing the wrong simulation
Right has become as obsolete as love
Someday will never get here
Forever is never for free
The pall bearer mates with the banister
The hood with strange manners waves the black grapefruit
Brows with sliced eyes raid the most populace cracklands
The last butterfly wrestles the last snowflake
Extravagant scissors snip away history
The tropics assume pole position
The capacity for insight closes the crypt door
The big funeral says Glad that’s over
Light has finally had enough of your yellow
It no longer needs to consider you at all


Nineteen years later a cantaloupe will begin to flash nipples
And theocrats will gather their guns
A buyer of toothmarks will break an ancient Chinese vase
While a floor made of white jaws will pile trashed rinds
An epidemic of weeds will stage an epidemic of suffocation
And an epidemic of suffocation will preface an epidemic of drowning
Bicycle sails will dot the civic horizon in your dreams of escape
And luminescence will have nowhere to go but into the primordial savanna
Black and brown rage will renew the borders of violence
Just as kakistocracy becomes the new law of the land
Myths of ascension will mutate into thoughts of such incoherence that
That will grope for meanings
Words will lose their bottoms
The bottom will collapse to the surface
The surface will screen logorrhea’s descendants
Crowning the social ladder will be a golden toilet
Why you say why pretend
Hope procrastinates
The future leans sideways
Entropy is about to recover its mojo
The sphinx’s answer ricochets off your depleted cerebrum
The sea is mazed with rejected plastic and the skeletons of hurricanes
Irrelevance prepares for the accumulation identity
Eventually you too will shatter into ancient fragments
Neither the Southern Song dynasty in its prime
Nor the fables of karma at your birth can prevent what’s coming
Beads of sweat swivel round your last supper
The nominal flag flaps the first winds of collective dementia
The woman with the fruit basket drops to her knees
Roosters gathered by the lake stalk the junk heap of mistakes
The Third World runs out of gears
And the First World runs out of numbers
The butterfly yields to the fly
And the fly yields to the locust
Especially its progenitor preposterously named Fred
Watch out for Fred here comes his garden
Who could have known what rot it would grow


If I made a bed of moisturizer
Would he read his Cave differently
If I screeched in slow epileptic
Would his sunglasses dim or disappear
If sardines rebel from the holster
Would that be a definition of purple
If morosity and pomposity switched sides
Would the end of times shrink to zero
If my hat were made of lemon grass instead of dry noodles
Would he sleep on a fly or a skunk
If the mountain drowns precipitously
Would the sky be its savior or killer
If tangerines swim in the bloodstream
Would the Buddha test nirvana with the orgasm
Wonder after all only provokes fear
And fear is where it all begins
The dog of fake principles barks at the skylight
The sunlight refuses to be summoned from slumber
The lumber refocuses its leaves to the chainsaw
The silver teeth smile to avoid their decay
The day always begins with a red cape
The red tulip grows a ruined amphitheater
The cracked stage sprouts a ragged Method actor
The performance aims for the audience’s jugular blue
The blue butterfly juggles cudgels of candlelight and takes a new dive
The swim departs from the swimmer and then rebels from water
And once again he is here in the zero before wetness
Entelechy Aristotle says to Catharsis
Tragedy is thrown off the cliff of dramacide
The systolic heart discovers the birds of parody
Which are thrown off the cliff of comicide
Only to be saved by a chariot dropped from a cloud
The Nameless One massages his fingers before lifting his pen
Arthritis hurts he thinks before thinking of frogs
Something tells me I’ve thought this before

H. A. Sappho is native of Los Angeles with expat time spent in Prague, Berlin, and Hanoi. His baseline interest is archetypal psychology. His work has appeared in Eunoia, About Place Journal, and in nine self-published books of poetry and prose collectively named the Puer Cycle. Currently he is at work on “Faust, Part 3.”