Brian Cooney is the 2nd place winner of the LUMINA Vol. XIV poetry contest judged by Patricia Lockwood. His poem, A Book Written Within and on the Backside, appears in LUMINA Vol. XIV along with 1st place winner A.S.M. and 3rd place winner, Julia Rose Lewis.
The Khan Meets the Great Treasure
Old Miss America drops her snowglobe & is
reincarnated somewhere in the lower 48, returned
to redeem us. Signs appear like fog upon a lake. Men
see salvation in ramshackle Victorians with papered
windows and shingles clinging against freezing rain
green as jade. They test the yangsi in nightgown, bathing suit,
& identification of objects owned by the previous Holy of Holies.
The IIIrd Pageant-Lama was six, lived in Oriskany Falls,
& had constructed a temple of hair, a blonde hive like a solitary
mountaintop, preserved in AquaNet like ice but twisting
like the wheel of time or slowly melting soft serve or the smoke
lifting heavenward from her mother’s cigarette as she paced
outside the exam. The child’s hips rolled under their flaming
hula hoop, her waist as still as butter tea. In her interview, she
hushed the men with profundity, chanting “ummm… ummm…,”
saying, “I love puppies and retards and pray, pray, for world peace.”
Something Wicked This Way Comes
The thumb upgraded us from mire to hysterical “higher
Bob”s on Card Sharks, Japanese-style innovation,
to the best grip for masturbation. I am hitched to this digit, last stop
on the evolution express, the Geist route on Primate Air.
Suppose there’s no first-class, it’s all steerage, middle passage, 75-year
demos of floatation devices and oxygen masks with infinite delays?
What if no one on board is even an attendant? I am, too true, like you, <em?nada
to nadie. If share I must with said Great Apes
why don’t they just marry me? Rumors of phantom limbs run up the aisle.
The guy with his cat: it couldn’t help, he swore, putting weight
on its lost paw. Life is amputation. Love is that luckless foot.
Talking to you has been a mistake.
Somebody’s done for, generously speaking. I see undone, I see pantsed,
I do the Whirling Dervish dance 5 times a day in Death’s Caliphate.
Hashim ibn Abd Manaf, take your boot off my throat.
I want to invest at these mortality rates.