INTENSITY IN TENT CITY

The garbage chute was clogged; the sky, though an ominous gunmetal-grey, refused to rain. Long straggly hair received a blackjack in the mail. In a fugue state I helmed a clippership across a tumultuous roofscape, smoking an Oom Paul whence emanated peal after peal of deep crimson, soliloquizing with the melancholic mien of a nebula junkie. Black-creped windows wept with desolation; an unkindness of ravens constellated in the churchyard, a grave lantern limning their plumage with Hitodama-orange. Often I awake with a hypnagogic jerk, terrified that my soul is debarking. Hold me aloft, over the lowland dolor. During a nadir I’m vexed by an apocalyptic vision: a shankha blast atomizing skyscrapers. The dreamstream flows unstanched, suffuses the coffee shop, laves the phosphorescent mirages inoculating themselves with the Black Death. Recounting a dream is like handcuffing a hologram. You think there’s a coherent albeit Whitmaniacal self yawping these lines, but you’ve sicced bloodhounds on a mere will-o’-the-wisp. Wearing my wacky jacket–it’s blazoned with a psychedelic dragon, like Jimmy Page’s Fender–I malinger with a clutch of rope-walkers at a vertiginous height. In painter’s pants of starlight I lurk in a back alley, rubberneck to spy on lovers undressing, coalescing. The only way I can atone my guilt is by walking into the ink-dark sea until my fedora is floating. The most illustrious rockers in the 27 Club have formed a supergroup called Tent City. “What music do you like to fuck to?” “The rustling of a cornfield. It affects me like the undulations of a sea surface.” A dark wave rises, crude oil sweeping me back to my unreconstructed self; the lighthouse rears its cobra head to hiss the hulking silhouette of an homunculus on the seawall. A dog skull flung from the fog bays at the harvest moon; a cloud of locusts obscures an orange streetlight, caresses it smooth as a river-polished rock. Despite having the sensorium of a wharf rat I see millionic astral bodies in the corridors of the asylum. I can see through my venetian eyelids even when I draw them in rapt attention to an auditory hallucination: the cry of a nightjar, the whistle of a buoy, an originless condoling cloned over & over, the mise-en-abyme of the wimpled nurse on the Droste tin. She stares fixedly at me. With her infrared eyes she can see I’m a palimpsest of dead selves. They were burned up in the river; their ashes were scattered on the crematorium. They’d haunt me were not the crawlspace clogged–revenants just can’t worm through. But I can no more placate their rage than I could assuage their pain when they were alive.