Art by Alli Rath

an animal-obsessed visual artist

Paper Tigers

 

Show me the secrets

contained in your veins,

soft as thunder,

the days of old

hang inscrutable.

 

Hold me

in your jade arms. Or

maybe it is you

who should be held.

Restless at night, I

just wanted to be sure.

 

It got cold,

felted skin

              indifferent

to your bright eyes.

I waited for

Eastern suns, pretty

things.  Be still, shadows.

 

Drape the night across

your shoulders like

a mink stole.  Cold

in the clearest thoughts,

we curled together and

awaited the paper tiger.   

 

His appearance to us

was fancy, the water

clear.

 



Exquisite Crows

I often think it’s time

laying quietly

in my pocket

that has mostly disappeared.

Your inclination is

the crows

--what a sight for a hungry fox--

placate the stars.


You would know a beautiful young

Thing but she never was

Yours to touch, one

of those God-forsaken

unreal recollections.


So you start

plucking the shadows

darkly I came as a surprise.

You come gradually, a

brilliance later

fulfilled

--only deadly dull--

One cold and alive—is it too much to ask?


We stare into careless conversation,

go crazy--

there are ways

to survive on anything.


As far as I know, he is

Still Waiting.  Train

yourself for fear

makes the bears dance.


Now I am quietly

counting


so far as I know I have forgotten.

Attila reconstructed.

Without the lions

the young wolves mostly

disappeared.


A lady in foxes in my pocket, my

heart is something small

and black.  You

will go mixed

with whatever

without

the range of a pair.


A serious, semi-

retractable vulpine

mess.





Harry and the Leviathan

 

There was something decidedly fine

In numbing the pain

We must try not to follow

Midnight with indecent haste.

And don't worry Marcus Brutus

It is the unknown

we fear. 

 

In addition to its sub-par

espresso techniques, it was

passive and troubled.

It seemed to burn

in stark, beautiful contrast

to this mess—it is not

real. 

      No...

      No…

                   I think I'll just go.
 

But why on earth

should that mean

our dreams are the reverse?

After all, satyrs, fauns, nymphs,

and the like briefly deliver

Us from this ignorance.

To the well-organized mind,

a nighttime stroll is generally preferable

to lies grounded upon

certain texts of Aristotle.

 

My heart is in my pocket.

Death is but the next

great adventure, so please

take another glass of wine.

 

It needed something there, perhaps

a psychoactive stimulant drug, which

sounds about right.  And seeing dreams,

he has great expectations

about the decay of the motion or

maybe an obscuring of it. 

 

Fairies, ghosts, and goblins know

how to distinguish because

they must always embrace things

but this one thing has a disobliging habit

of    speeding             up.


 

 

Schizophrenic Recruits Enjoy Pancakes

 

Rational creatures like to think

the truth

is generally preferable

to lies.

 

I wander, ever on

But I think I might be lost.

(And in the produce section, no less!)

 

No, I think I'll just go,   

with indecent haste

I traveled away

From him because

I was

within

and

without

 

presented some illusion.

We need to know

not all those

                         who wander

are

Loved.

 

in the wake of our thrust-upon dreams,

We must try not to sink

 

beneath,

the world is grey.

You could snuggle, but

What is the point?

 

I just wanted to be sure.

 

I don’t want you.

 

I couldn't sleep.

 

It got cold.

 

It's against the rules.

 

Stay out of trouble.

The tigers have this

disobliging habit

of proving mildly scary

but

never quite

enough.

 

I must follow if I can

I keep trying, but they

won’t let me. 

Why on earth

is it not invincible?

--Won’t let me.

I panicked.

 

“I’ve been drunk for about a week now.”

 

I wander, but I think I might be lost.

 

“You can

have him

any

damn

time

you want,”

 

--but I think

it’s all happening inside

your head.

 

And I always thought it might

sober

       me up

              to wander. 

 

 

 

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