Killing Kiln

Killing Kiln


Ephraim Gast




It’s a pottery and clay day.
Aren’t we all feeling the thickness of the ether?
Yes but everyone still recoils and waters their very own laurels.


Oh, look: that topsoil is blowing off!
Now old Knave and young Lark can see me.
Under that damn ramshackle stalk is a damned, festering child who’ll do


The square-by-four dance each day with you (but just add one, minus two).
You both seem fine, and that’s all mine. But
Please help me to forget! But


I can’t forget that Ethiopia is calling to me
From the paper hotlines in the barren odeon.
They want to arrange a meeting with the culpability caucus. But


I’ll not pick up. Instead I’ll live my life of jaded guile,
Sitting squat-faced just like them, only in denial as the
Scythe doesn’t come quick enough and the pills and powders flinch.


They can’t even do their killing right! I’ll have do it, and then do my shallow tonsure
Because it’ll be in vain and I’ll pale with my red lips and my salient veins
And sallow hands and fingers. Won’t it be a nice picture. A picture of pain?


Never, it’ll be a picture of accomplishment. Even better, the manifestation of pain:
What happens when you can’t wash the napalm the whole way off.
What happens when it has seeped in and pounded levees skin-thin.


For now you can keep the rusty needle beside your sink.
You’ll need it, after all, if you expect to get anywhere.
It’s the needle to your compass. That’s really how you should think


Provided you want Lark and the others to finally recede into
The walls where they belong at this minute because you’re still
knee-deep in the ravine and you’re warm but the shadow hasn’t changed


Just yet. Who’s to blame? It’s you, but the obelisk and the dome haven’t yet
Finished their fight but the hills are gaining on the sun and only the
Obelisk knows true light. I wonder why


I get sick from the worry and the tremors make me pound
Just to reroute my proud mind’s perverted stance on
How great it is that I’m miserable because I can exploit my emotions. Sounds


Like there is no bottom of the bag; you can always count on
Gestating a sad clay-day if you need evidence that there are ephemeral
Tracks laid out before you even if they’re just dendrite-thin and


Uneven and useless and not to be manipulated
Because they can’t be used in any other trade.
No, not these textiles.


Lark and Knave and the plant and me and the obelisk and
The dome are thrown together by circumstance. We’re just monastic in a room; a noisy
China Tea Set buried in a yellow lawn on someone’s same old horizon.


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