I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
Paint, as you see it,
the blue between the ocean and sky,
each white grain between the sea and beach.
Find words for the copper-hot sand.
Now clap them into irons with your pen.
Chain them in your sentences.
The fishmonger drips red along newspaper
clippings: the round eyes, the priceless scales,
the cartilage lips,
hint at the printed word.
Have you begun to lose your footing
on that beach where no one walks?
Find those words to help me see your sea.
You know the one that built that beach
with grains more numerous than breath,
each one older than circles.
The water of that ocean was a goddess
once, that sun a chariot.
Then was the untouched wild of the mind
before science and language painted the canvas.
Pluck out your thoughts gladly.
They do not belong to you either.
Hurry now with your words,
the encroaching night bends its knee as
the horizon salivates dusk.
I have asked God,
where lies the perfect circle?
He told me to ask again,
the answers are in the asking.
In minute detail, an artist's hand
draws the other's pencil,
the pine and cone debate sequence,
the hollow bellies of nesting dolls swallow
daughters, mothers, mothers in daughters,
an eye sees two faces envelope
the candlestick—two poised lovers kiss—
the snake swallows its own tail
We will be old again
says the germinating pine cone
we will shade the forest sedge,
spring up in fires of summer,
buried in the fall of winter,
but roots in earth, child, roots
Haj, a nominative in this case,
wrote, 3rd person past tense,
"Carlos, which has 6 letters,
lives upstairs," a verb phrase.
Extraordinary, an interjection
of an adjective, I thought, 1st
person past tense, I understand
what he means by this, a pronoun.
For example, converse with your dog.
Sit. Go. Fetch, all of these
are imperative moods
of the English language.
Fear, is an abstract noun. Jesus Christ
is a concrete noun. Which is real
is only which is realized. Noun,
a person place thing idea.
Candidly, all are open to interpretation.
Thus I might never get a blind man
to believe the color green,
but I can make him realize green
is an adjective with five letters.
And when he says, what's this all matter,
an interrogative sentence, I counter
what's it all matter?,
a rhetorical interrogative,
which in reality is declarative.
Man, I say, "what's it all matter"
is the crux of all languages
just like green is the crux
of all colors. This is indicative.
He says, you're speaking Greek,
exasperated, I respond
what do you know, you're blind.
When I am not awake I am driving west
through places where the night chrysalis
opens, unfurling its membranous wings,
those glowing mad eyes.
We drive through desert until dawn,
the point in time when I decide
I have had enough of greatness,
and turn away from all this luster.
It is true that I never loved
until I pressed
my atoms past your atoms
in the realms inside our palms.
In the desert that surrounds us,
at the mountains' cornice,
light runs like water into pools.
Ahead of us, the blindness stares
into the sun, and like a rage of bees,
an uncast exhalation
fills the world between us.
Ryan Cornelius lives in mundane, non-descript Carrollton, Texas among tract homes of tomorrow. To his surprise, his work has appeared previously in, , and the . He is currently finishing a Masters of Creative Writing at the University of North Texas. A sporting man in both life and poetry, he believes that line breaks are everything, and in his spare time he works at the grindstone like a medieval peasant.