DREADSUMMER — New Poems by Eliot Cardinaux

by Eliot Cardinaux

Temple of the Priest Kings


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Artwork by Jeffrey Lipsky

“Temple of the Priest Kings”

Acrylic and Graphite on 3 x 3 ft Canvas

https://www.facebook.com/JLipArts

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DREADSUMMER


DEDICATION

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Shadows of

sunset under eyelids

hover over cliffs.

I grieve my splinter out.

.

The wind made a lap

in the heart. In the iris

a reel flaps with bright

white birdsong.

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AFTER CELAN

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VI

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The thrice-flayed,

thrice-frayed leaf,

in the mantle

of the stem

clearquestions

the ground-

gap;

.

that shrieking,

idiot

glory,

when

.

will it speak?

Tomorrow-

after.

.

VII

.

Crocus,

drinking

the salt-weed

stems

behind,

you

ever-through.

.

Existence,

tipped

by the threshold

greys

.

a

darkness

of dried bees.

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ELIJAH

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Left, wine-red

at the trunk of summer,

an offering of names

grown into poppies

.

folds into

compass-points,

quivering Southwest.

.

Those ditched in the blood

now leave the door open.

The fence’s frost

heaves over.

.

Never among the dead.

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INACTION

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Here, you improvise the earth

and the broken tracks smile.

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From a borrowed

rib,

evolves:

eternity.

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The threadbare eye

into my unknowing

closes, and factories

sleep in the grass.

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This dream is my mosquito,

the dark our blood,

and the lenses of our eyes

float like trees on a river of air.

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Black spotlights,

the whips of wakefulness

flutter like a broken drum,

and Sappho talks of monotones.

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THE WISH

.

To the walking reflection

made one by Pygmalion’s prayer

belongs the cunning, empty shard

.

unfurling,

in a temple of hands that swing like music

from the bars of the brain,

the story of a three-pieced single god.

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Toward a sky of clear veins —

vanished prison,

your laughter breached a cloud,

rains upward

into black lands.

.

To words

in the voice of wounds

you speak now, remove my lips

from a dream

which towers over danger.

.

And my multifold angers —

the roots of an oak

drenched in peace,

will snarl and light up a prayer.

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A LESSON FROM MIHYAR

(AFTER ADONIS)

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Above the ruins,

echo of a pale orange flame,

a young girl billows

rosewindowing the edge,

a skeleton that men can climb

to build a steeple out of chaos.

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When dawn is another sky

you can see it from broad white day.

I have learned it from the laughter of schoolgirls:

how to kill, and veered

like a kestrel above a warship

into blue from another blue

to camouflage a sky.

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WHEELRUTS

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As a landscape

rolls off my back

I glimpse an open road.

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The hollow and the dirt

make blue music on my brow

and the green uprooted days, discarded,

water a tree in my lungs.

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No man escapes

the tracks he’s on until tomorrow

in a blur of high grasses

sinks into thunder

and the shock of his life wears off.

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PROCESSION

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When I lost you I wrote of sleep.

The dark lit a magnitude of rain.

Your breathing broke across the bow.

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A dream is a broken sentence,

a poem directing me strangely

toward an abyss.

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I walk with my nostrils down

the crowded road and through the hum

I remember that basement desert

of damp nothing.

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You are found on the road of the grave of God,

your last line lifting a heavy spade.

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ANALYSIS

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Receding from the questions of my figure

I become the other, and then I become the same.

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But I always wait with corrosive stars by my side.

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I melt with the snow of humidity

and my heart does not beat;

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I follow.

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I write in a language of dead ruins

with nowhere to go

and the ribs of my myth carry lungs that are spoken for.

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I build out of dust a character

who plays your part.

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I lay my oasis down

like a carpet of stars

and I am alone.

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A fragment: it catches

on the breeze

.

the distance between

a desert and the road.

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BLACK WIND

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With blackness I light up the sun.

A dampening cell in a shower of oil begging

one end of a battery.

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I cup in my hands the wound

of that unimaginability

.

and aching with actions

a distant grey heart

filtered through the factory.

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ALLEGORY

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A snake was charmed

on the eve of possession,

a spider whose every thread

.

is a bridge whose attentions are trophies,

watery torso

.

of a lover’s last poem

whose head witnessed everything at once.

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Their escape is the smoke

from a flame that erases

.

everything but absence

for your rage to fill:

.

black water

under the light of migraines,

a bullet

brought weak death two scales.

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THE VOICE AND ITS ECHO

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I stand in the fire between us,

void of a sun that waters

roadways on your cheeks

to flood a desert.

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The harvest gave birth to a sky

as black as cradles

and white as your name,

so I remove the mirror.

.

The Earth stands before us,

weeping like a rose

that has grown there,

burning like a prophecy.

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Until the logic of that dream,

sucked up through black tunnels

fuels what we know to be,

we are nameless: the voice and its echo.

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ASSIMILATION

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It is constantly changing.

One week folds into another

and our calendars cannot keep up.

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It is two violins from the east

come to grips with the west,

the CD skipping

in an ambient rush of wind.

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But the desert is not a road,

an oasis from which all roads diverge

like the notes of a scale

as we wake from heaven.

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AFTER CELAN

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VIII

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Black lacquer,

your stamen

the tongue of a wound

the body corrodes

is a rushing,

infecting the poppy

with ivory wrists

.

of that white-red,

light-black

leaf in the window;

has no face.

.

Ellipsis of a crown

grown paler,

thrown-shadowed

revolt,

where my stem is buried.

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TALE

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An oriole of the ear,

his viola a lever

of unchosen names

frightened rain into a coffin;

.

dipped into a wound

to paint with color

the sun and the sky

had behaved so badly;

.

a spider

I am feeding —

flies on a web,

to the book of dreaming.

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AFTER CELAN

.

IX

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They arrive,

but not train-grey

bespoke through

thought-brambles,

pigeon-red.

.

Charred metal,

candles’, of

a heat, their

fallimpendant

trace,

ellipses us:

.

a scaffold

stabbing a lost vowel.

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ALL POETRY BY ELIOT CARDINAUX

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

© 2019

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