We met as phantoms in the mountains,
Unable to avoid the transnational arm of sleep
Of whatever city we got raised in.
I had such a beautiful dreamtime, an electric field,
My only weapon against it was to escape
Like Fantômas to the mountains where I met
Failed companies still operating under rotations of
Wild & loaded faces. A party danced nightly
In whatever settlement arose next.
Driving hard down the rue we strafed & founded
The ghost of Baghdad, a bag-heavy breeze
Of phantoms to maintain, & that we mooned,
Howling up a storm so that landslide myths would soon
Descend on the Coalition of opulence.
But that city’d been razed already
By the ELK, the Electric Light Korporation
Illuminating bones with a muzak unknown to me:
A silent fountain able to maintain
Despite the holey cluster the church had become—
Towering opinions having bleakly caved in.
Now everyone wants to sit in the rose
Of Venus: hermits are smitten by her ravines, suburban
Drunkards burn like moths in her brambled gin;
Needy men gyrate then faint on end
But no waterfall can compete on Stag’s night as dear old
Diana swallows the mature-aged sex industry
In whatever gun city she gets a raise next.
It’s a slippery slope, a Humming Flower production,
A piquant high of opals, as though the sea level’s
Risen to a newfound mountain peak.
Sometimes the ocean darkens, full of deadly schrapnel,
Orphic oysters berthing with news of forever
On our razored city shoreline—
It’s a furphy the Centaurs defecate on
From the height of the Collapse & into the Gulf,
Another mountain to climb for the Falling Man.
Roland keyboards on “beast mode” amplify the shock,
Sounding like teeth-plaque, like a bum-rush out or in
To whatever position will arouse me nix:
Fire drills ring out!—but I keep sleeping through it: I’m a wake
On an invisible pulley above a valley of tears, hanging out
With Fantômas of the mountainous Allegories
& we’re watching the latest TV wheeling & dealing
Over Libya from a romantic holiday chalet,
Our waterless eyes like onyx as
Craters explode & palm trees curdle over the edge of
This railing, designed for & streamed to those who dream
To meet like phantoms in the mountains
Of whatever city they got raised in.
Note: this poem is an inversion of Villes II by Rimbaud
- 96: NO THEME IXSUBMIT NOW with M Gill and J Thayil 95: EARTHCOMING SOON with M Takolaner 94: BAYTwith Z Hashem Beck 93: PEACHwith L Van, G Mouratidis, L Toong 92: NO THEME VIIIwith C Gaskin 91: MONSTERwith N Curnow 90: AFRO AUSTRALIANwith S Umar 89: DOMESTICwith N Harkin 88: TRANSQUEERwith S Barnes and Q Eades 87: DIFFICULTwith O Schwartz & H Isemonger 86: NO THEME VIIwith L Gorton 85: PHILIPPINESwith Mookie L and S Lua 84: SUBURBIAwith L Brown and N O'Reilly 83: MATHEMATICSwith F Hile 82: LANDwith J Stuart and J Gibian 81: NEW CARIBBEANwith V Lucien 80: NO THEME VIwith J Beveridge 57.1: EKPHRASTICwith C Atherton and P Hetherington 57: CONFESSIONwith K Glastonbury 56: EXPLODE with D Disney 55.1: DALIT / INDIGENOUSwith M Chakraborty and K MacCarter 55: FUTURE MACHINES with Bella Li 54: NO THEME V with F Wright and O Sakr 53.0: THE END with P Brown 52.0: TOIL with C Jenkins 51.1: UMAMI with L Davies and Lifted Brow 51.0: TRANSTASMAN with B Cassidy 50.0: NO THEME IV with J Tranter 49.1: A BRITISH / IRISH with M Hall and S Seita 49.0: OBSOLETE with T Ryan 48.1: CANADA with K MacCarter and S Rhodes 48.0: CONSTRAINT with C Wakeling 47.0: COLLABORATION with L Armand and H Lambert 46.1: MELBOURNE with M Farrell 46.0: NO THEME III with F Plunkett 45.0: SILENCE with J Owen 44.0: GONDWANALAND with D Motion 43.1: PUMPKIN with K MacCarter 43.0: MASQUE with A Vickery 42.0: NO THEME II with G Ryan 41.1: RATBAGGERY with D Hose 41.0: TRANSPACIFIC with J Rowe and M Nardone 40.1: INDONESIA with K MacCarter 40.0: INTERLOCUTOR with L Hart 39.1: GIBBERBIRD with S Gory 39.0: JACKPOT! with S Wagan Watson 38.0: SYDNEY with A Lorange 37.1: NEBRASKA with S Whalen 37.0: NO THEME! with A Wearne 36.0: ELECTRONICA with J Jones