Glenn Ingersoll, The Face of the Abyss

universal agent of slight chaos

The Christmas ornaments got mixed up with the drunken fists.
That one doesn’t fit my skin.
Go back to your instructions. Revise them in light of the noise.
The cat’s face creaked all the way open.

Spots of white wax on the lieutenant’s uniform.
The seal stretched upon the valley floor, dry as a blue mushroom.
So many uncomfortable coins, several blue and white, some green.
A hat over the human traces.

Close the manual. It’s coming loose at the handle.
Even in the pillow, he feels the thunder throb.
The boy in the boat lay listening to bullet song.
The damage one tear can do to the eye.

understanding equivalent indifference, its happy goodbye

What was it they weren’t allowed to imagine?
Tell me the story again, this time including the tentative knife.
Rain falls sideways from such places.
Teeth were discovered in the tumor.

There are those who know the best ways to smell.
That way into the body has more than one gate.
The cricket tunes its news out of wire-like hairs.
I won’t even help you escape.

She clearly misses her lost evening.
What is it that’s leaking? It leaves a new color.
The cat climbed to the highest point of her person.
In the face of the abyss, you see so much more.

trying to dust the light off an inner stone

From each pocket he pulls crumpled paper, but not the paper.
Too hot in the jacket, too cold without it.
A firm silence in phones.
At the sidewalk table, the napkin not blowing away.

A new appointment for walking.
The cart with the broken wheel trash shopping.
He knows why other drivers drive badly.
The reading glasses with the bent earpiece.

He can’t imagine.
Going to eat yellow flowers at home.
The cat rushes out the door and bites the grass.
I don’t have too many books, and I won’t live to read them all.

I write on enlightened dice

Come daylight we walk through the machine.
The joke was on. The joke was off. Joke on. Joke off.
Down the length of the hand a line of burning welts.
Tied to your wrist and dropping bells.

We will be further into the culture when we don the equipment.
The tuberose was redesigned from the tuber to the rose.
The underwear contained multitudes.
I’m buying into the forgiveness industry with my excellent credit.

Absolution came in the form of a long engagement.
All day long the fire ate into the deductible.
I want to say, once again, I am so glad to see.
Eyes to heaven, please.

sailing in on little tips of white knives

Leaves changed the color of the water.
When the sun shone I walked out barefoot, visiting the snails.
The earth shook and a few apples came to earth.
Even looking out over the future presented the frailest of storms.

Do you have something to do? Due to a wet blue shoe?
It was a mountain, but climbing it was a breeze.
A crack in the egg like lightning but no thunder of wet chick.
Pain curled around my thighs and suckled at my breast.

A hard rain washed away houses yellow as rubber ducks.
I was waiting to see if I got to go live.
An icicle cut the skin.
The revolution was the usual.

Glenn Ingersoll works for the Berkeley Public Library where he hosts Clearly Meant, a reading and interview series. Glenn has written two chapbooks, City Walks and Fact, published by broken boulder and Avantacular respectively. He also curates two blogs, LoveSettlement and Dare I Read. Recently Glenn’s work has appeared in The Opiate, Mannequin Haus, and First Literary Review East.

Glenn extends his thanks to HD Moe for the titles of these poems.

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