Trading Post at the Edge of Known

Empty more mistaken pearl
to curl fate

and find oneself

somewhere with
no stars
and no fear,
no knots and
no ends

The varied cost not haggled,
just peaked and tipped

Traverse naught and koan, and
trust the seed into the flame

leaving only an epitaph of sand

Go without stars
Go without fear

Made Up in Laughing

Frame half-open windows
Slip out of billows
Stomp on the sunlight
stamped in the sidewalk
Dry and kind

Call off a shadow
Tripped up in meadow
The sere breath is casting,
made up in laughing
Holding all chance others left behind

When day drops to fair-low
Return not its sparrow
Its echo’s in moonlight,
verve in the clockwork
Draped in the caul of what we can’t unwind


Bound to North
Not home nor far
Made by escape,
A hope to fight

Trust lantern lost
Believed or touched
Fade made by dark,
And light by light

When cold turns warmth
And prayer divides
Be either sail in storm,
Or spark from night

The Pronation of Shangri La

Bellowed to the threat of any falling leaves
Softcore Shangri La is gone but far from freed
Caught in the tired idea that petrichor is wrong

Upended by some heathen in the scattered steam
A valley that’s been dried out yet not quite cleared
Cross-eyed, unremarkable garden forms a path

Retreaded by many so-and-sos just like me
To the beacon of kingdom con and its seams
Whatever’s being kicked up stains twice, and

there’s no going back

Its Winds Still Blow From Time to Time

It comes like that,
with sheer weight that invariably
all other thought. So
I grapple and claw to hold
ground in my mind
that has
been compromised each time
There is no taming this tempest
in my head; it can only
be set loose from time to time,
and I must remind myself
when ropes
and shackles
meet their brink. And so
I let those waves
crash there, taking me in
its throes—knowing
and not knowing the storm
has passed
so long ago. I myself
am merely on shores—watching,
waiting for
the end of the winds’

Joe Albanese is a writer from South Jersey. His fiction, nonfiction, and poetry have been published in 12 countries. Joe is the author of Benevolent King, Caina, Candy Apple Red, For the Blood is the Life, Smash and Grab, and a poetry collection, Cocktails with a Dead Man.