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Music From a Tone Deaf Planet

09.22.19 Posted in today's words by

Susan Sonde’s most recent poem to appear here was “The Universe is Not a Welfare State” (August 2019).

Music From a Tone Deaf Planet
By Susan Sonde

still incubating the chill of the universe, its unventilated days
bright as a neon centerfold clad only in espadrilles, soles stacked high
as slick timbers taller than water

falls. The days aren’t tender

enough to grow wings again, lift off and speak kindly
feed millennials dim sum.

Not all the dime store novels laid end to end, the tearful jeremiads
sung by homo sapiens can allay apprehension so long as flintlocks
do the diurnal’s bidding. It’s enough

to unmoor

the stillborn, split skulls in alleys broken glass mosaics
the trampled light which hides
a homophobe’s tantrums. I’d sooner
a snake or bee: apis millifera, build my hive from the inside out
with mist the wind parleys from a mountainside.

A hive’s a home like an anthill’s a home, or any other
and insects like some who pub crawl prefer monogamy
when surfing limbs, the touch one human craves from another.

Home’s where the hearth’s at stake. It’s no playground
when the sparks which fly set the cat alight and spare the flokati.
Home’s for fireworks, predator and prey: the chance to celebrate
togetherness, negotiate

scratch the underbelly of rage.

What’s the why of this? Maybe the Paterfamilias slinking home nights
contrite after another connubial fight, the portmanteau he took disgorging
tee shirt after bloody tee shirt onto the mattress where your body once lay

Few sounds humans make soothe. Even a lover’s vocalizations crooned
through morning breath can’t vie

with the butcher

paper patter, the constant condensation loosed from the chassis
of a  rusty air conditioner’s capacitor.

If humans aren’t paradigms for machines, their fantasies like to play
war, take pot shots at itinerant wild life. Google this
until the sun goes out and the firmament defaults. There’s no
understanding it. Maybe one day humans will

let the Holy Ghost in, convert to snake handling Pentecostals, each
a tiny shrew: Eulipotyphia in the mouths of hungry boas.

Tonight a feathery dust circumscribes the city. A broken water main’s
spewing like the Tanakh. The air’s iridescent as an end of day marble.
A neon brightness

reveals the sky’s entry wounds.

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