And He Said Renewal Only Happens Within

“Throw the calendar away—gonna find a jukebox of steel.”
—Jay Farrar, “Jukebox of Steel”

Don’t ask me to set a date,
to plan my release
from this worn Sisyphean trail—
uphill with no benefits. I only know
how to drop

it,
put my flame
to other things. By sudden impulse,
I hear a message transmitted
where I thought

communication was shot. God
wears new clothes.

Still Alarm

I’ll write everything down
so I can forget

you and how you were my last
smoking one, my last

lover to take flame
so literally, the one daily

companion left to invite me
to climb those pariah stairs. It’s time

to put you in the cupboard
behind those pans I never use.

The only things left to shake
are these hands—then they’ll quit too.

Kettle On

The back burner’s blue
flame in this dark is too blue
to become my personal amethyst—
too close to scorched red metal
not to be.