VAGUS NERVE

1 November 2016

like a star
who snuffs out
its own path
like a tsar
who wears a
many-beaméd trinket on his chest
like a target for a
Taser or a laser
-guided stent
quasaring throb that knocks
the breast
of the
ocean-going
vessel
fist-sized wren or
cardiac event
vein choked
with the plush that coats
the stag’s rack
stoked gland or glitch
pumping out error
in the constellation Lyra
the second-most glamorous star
the second to be daguerreotyped
and assassinated
stepping out of its car
galactic halflife
neural
leap
no wider than a
a single
bacterium
weak heir
‘s hairline
who chokes up at the opera
eyes glued to his lorgnette ting ting in the
operating theater where the gods all
cluster at the trompe l’oeil
dome and suppose an
even more monstrous eye
looks back
who can swallow the view whole a pupil
who can take the whole thing down
on his knees in the backroom on his back in the sacristy
and
vomit it back up
on the bar on the altar
on the street
outside the viper room
who
chokes on the skein
unwinding from his
bolt like a colt’s mane
extravagance, consciousness,
prize sheep that can bleat
through its cut throat
pleat
that can spread
like blood on the waves and
fetch a price that makes the wind rise
and hurl fleets at the future
nerves pinch at the side and
hold the garment up in rictus
grin and say alive
whatever’s too much is the
price
like a dog returns to its vomit
to appraise it once again
and cart it off
for a price
and the neck
of that doggy star
can bend

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