JOE STAPLETON






WORDS FLY OUT OF OUR MOUTHS UNWILLINGLY ONLY TO FIND THEMSELVES RE-MATERIALIZED AT THEIR SOURCE


The presentation of the glass is its own content. Which is whispered back and forth between the writers. Becomes the static against which words appear before fading. Pausing in places set aside with regard to holiness. The ghost retiring in breath held at special moments.


Fog descends in a meditative state. Softly silencing the stunted claims of reason. Read instead. At this point it would perhaps be wise to listen to St. Anselm when he writes of sucking and licking and swallowing the body of Christ. As I have said many times before: we should hold hands.


The granule of truth in a cozy picture, the moment of desire. Snow falls to remind us of our desire for warmth. Our years as the cyclical appearing of particular words at certain times against the static whose hissing is of greater or lesser volume.


With hearts like mountains and tears that could fill lakes we trudge to the altar to chew on and swallow the body. What’s it all about? Your commute. Your dead father. The fascist within you. Our primary concern is reading correctly, which is harder than many think. Every repentance is a practice for death, itself a teaching.


An icon depicting love’s blade. A slice of golgotha wherever you are.





THE COMMON DESTINY OF MAN


Liturgical reasoning. Incanting drama. Slowly building. Bread, mushy. A slice of life. How to find it unreasonable that God should so speak. Muttering, confused, cell phone lights. A well-lit basement. Carpeted. I once asked the priest. He said it’s like a boat. Water rises. Have to pee. Not time yet. We used to go to Mass quite drunk. Is this a sacrifice? Does it matter? Just do it. Monetary metaphors, finance similes. Collar choking. His accent blaring. Small microphone nestling his cheek, brushing his lips. Intimacy of the group, giving off heat. Memory scattershot. Highly active. Activating days. Mouthing ‘I hate myself’. A slogan: outlaw homilies. Why are there coins in my pocket? Modern renditions of all the old favorites for a contemporary yet meaningful sound. Next to the pizza place. Down the street from the stadium. Evening. The purple glow of pilgrims. The right words in the right order. At last. Field mice don’t ‘believe’ in humans, but they will run for cover. Things start to have life. Scary wind. Start to wish. Propeller blades turning, forming a disc. We are long past ethics. A long way from home. Where could I go? Crucifixion, in actual fact, kills by suffocation, not blood loss. Sacrificing my skin in the shower at the altar of the drain. Don’t blame your partner for capitalism. Faith without works is a box of chocolates. My daughter’s hair curls up in the back; my fingers ride the flip as she ‘reads’. Bouncy. A place to be. The psalmist prays for the heads of his enemies’ babies to be bashed against stone. Don’t believe in God if the United States exists. Cap the poem’s length. The sweet smell alone. Icon painter. You’re all that’s left; everything else has died away. Handling money like a dangerous chemical. Place it gingerly. That’s ok, my prayers are all selfish, anyway. Her fine hair took a long time to grow. I don’t believe in Nietzsche. There are five ways to approach marriage as a problem to be solved. His back is hurting. You can tell by the way he’s lifting the cup. We’ll all be standing soon. The novel my sister sent me is so good it made me stop drinking. I drink the blood. Thinking of tomorrow.





POEM


I wonder how your first year of half-faced marauders

Has reached into your network?


What boulders have dropped into your swift flowing

Frustrating into cumbersome work-arounds?


Take my hand, Girlie-good

Sit, I don't know why

There have been studies that show exploiters sleep in pores

And infect the brain


JOE STAPLETON is a public school teacher in Durham, NC.