life as we know it 5


nothing is true and so much left undone

After a motorway visitation, a penitent is journeying to Port Botany, seeking wisdom and a burger meal. He’s been helped along by the Polar Spirits, and he met Alcione, an alchemist. Now he’s in an angled reality discussing life with a therapist who has a serpentine hairdo. Part 1 is here.

She pried my shameful secrets
with a chisel, stole all my best delusions,
and while I waited for her stellate plan,
she whispered to her woven serpents.

Naked singularities and featherless stigmata,
how quaint his passages through door frames,
his failed understandings.

Have you been talking to Alcione?

She shook her head,
her tiny vipers followed suit,
and one precocious serpent
joined the conversation.

Stranded, solitary, and falling,
a silent lifeless multitude.

My hair did not reply,
although I thought it might have,
and the therapist went on,
an analytic continuation.

From a childhood world where nothing
was explicable or congruent,
from a life of misdirected wandering,
a tangle in your fish thoughts formed,
with tricks of cosmic rays,
in the optic nerve,
and reality
was subverted.

Of course, I thought, she’d have me
believe she isn’t real,
but if she isn’t,
he opposite must be true,
and I inquired about a coffee.

She offered me a magazine page,
a doubly treacherous depiction
of a double-shot espresso,
which I accepted.

Might I eat this page?

I’m afraid it’s for my six o’clock.

Any page will do, and if I might
presume upon your kindness,
somewhere out the back,

a cozy nook, a packing crate,
where I could pass the night…

The vipers raised their heads in raucous laughter.

You must go blithely onward,
dressed in a tomato,
in panic or in resignation,
from this realm to another
in the hierarchy.

And she pushed me out the door.

to continue

analytic continuation
René Magritte, 1929, the treachery of images

artwork go blithely onward (part above)

27 thoughts on “life as we know it 5

  1. To tame unruly hair vipers, try a hair net, like White Rain, or Alberto VO5; or just borrow one from the cafeteria lunchlady. I find hospital and dental coffee quite delightful.

    Such great and unexpected poetry in the turn of words and the digital painting.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It’s good you’ve provided some practical advice on this important subject, Randy. You never know when you’ll run into one of the Gorgon trio. I’ve never borrowed a hairnet, although once I got my hair caught in a drill press and was lucky I wasn’t scalped. So I probably should have. Fortunately I don’t have so much hair now.

      Thank you for the kind words. I’m good with “unexpected” (as long as it isn’t an actual apocalyptic meteor) and glad you liked the artwork.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I’ve come across a herd of pygmy rattlesnakes before, but they crossed the sidewalk very orderly, and didn’t get “out-of-line,” so to speak. As far as hair vipers go, though, they can get very rambunctious, as you noted by their raucous laughter. I just urge caution. And really, it was the turn of words that made it the poetry it was — not that that was unexpected. Haha. Enjoyed it very much.


    • I think there are probably a lot of reasons why not, but I’m not going to rule it out.

      I don’t quite know where it came from, but it may relate to something from my childhood that came up last week. When I was young I had a book about biology and one experiment was leaving pieces of tomato outside and watching what grew on them. Nothing good, but I was amazed at all the colorful fungus, white, blue, green, and the spores. So maybe, for me, it’s a reference to our finiteness.

      Thank you BG, and the vipers thank you as well. 🙂


    • Mmm, possibly. Anyway, if she isn’t selling them, I am. Oh wait on, they’re free. 😄 The protagonist isn’t doing so well, but I don’t care, because I have coffee, and as a bonus, a place to sleep.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. “…stole all my best delusions…Might I eat this page? I’m afraid it’s for my six o’clock….And she pushed me out the door”. That’s it! This therapist’s license must be revoked! May I ask if part 6 is on it’s way, Steve? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m guessing she doesn’t have a license. The confidentiality requirements would be a stumbling block with a head full of talkative serpents. With the benefit of hindsight, I can say there will definitely be a part 6. After that, it is an unknown land.


  3. “…stole all my best delusions…Might I eat this page? I’m afraid it’s for my six o’clock….And she pushed me out the door”. That’s it! This therapist’s license must be revoked! May I ask if part 6 is on it’s way, Steve?
    Not sure why my comment showed up as Anonymous, blame it on serpents🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aaah, yes, that comment was a mystery to me. Thanks for clearing it up, Sobhana. There was no information at all of any kind, and WordPress won’t even allow such comments. I think the serpents are probably innocent in this case, and I not just saying that because I like the serpents. 🐍 WordPress has stacks of problems; I used to let them know, but nothing ever got fixed, so now I don’t bother.


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