Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Erik-John Fuhrer, Selected Work

Cockroach Anthem, image by Irene Koronas

[the marsh inside became willow]

                                       and spilled   
                                              from my mouth            
                                                                                   in a sweep

                                   now the tree that grows
                                   between my teeth
                                   is an infinitely splitting atom
                                   with delusions of grandeur

[atom and weave]

                                               were banished
                                                                       from my bowels
                                                in the year of the squirrels

                                               god is a walnut
                                               that I stowed away
                                               for the winter
                                               but the shell
                                                            would never crack

                                                now this tree in my mouth
                                                is pulsing
                                                through me
                                                trying to create its adam
                                                its skip hop and believe

[in my innerdrum: a chlorine blight]

                         from you I learned a lean body
                                    a traipse of longing across the yard
                                    when seashells stormed
                                              without any moisture:
                                     a sponge of darkness swathing the sky

[a chainwinked spider]

                           in the swipe of  
           the wire
                  onto my body
    as I
                                                       the cockroach anthem
to the wind

[my body a weight]

tied to a neck
who tried
to feed itself
by the stars     
a bizarre
replication       of that time you panicked
me into lopping limbs
you remember:
that cattleshocked
of clear white ice

only to watch bones
sharpen like swordfish
slide out of life on the ten thousand smooth stones
I have swallowed
to survive
to the beat
of the bottom of my nightmares
where the seedy sallow stench of bodies smokes

—Erik-John Fuhrer