sky-green clouds, blue earth

sky-green clouds, blue earth
by michael hessel-mial

Sun curving lightly,
over the glittering
blisterdome, six
mile-high coffeeshops
direct lightning
to where it cannot be reached,
except through

handshakes. I long
for the days before
the menstrual taboo
replaced the world of smells,
somewhere between sulfur
and the aging limburger
our parents smelled for us.

Taking the same feeling,
and without turning it
upside down,
what once was brevity
is now gravity.

Industrial smoke is best
in pastel, or wavy lines
of ink that can morph
into hair,
cartoonishly crude,

pocket surrealism,
trombones from the smokestack.

Colliding peach fuselage,
clouds appearing overnight
framing a rainbow,
colored by gases found
deep in the earth,

unexpected openings
and penetrations.

Long before running
my hands through the dog’s
I know from scent
the oil that will remain
on my fingertips.

Mirrors, converted
from the windows
of retired skyscrapers,
cover thousands of acres
of the earth’s surface,

redirecting energy
made negative
through overuse
back into the atmosphere,

helping our trash bags
stay fresh,
even on sunny days

free of unexpected moisture.

Categories: POETRY | Leave a comment

About Jay Babcock

I am an independent writer and editor based in Tucson, Arizona. In 2022: I publish a weeklyish email newsletter called LANDLINE = Previously: I co-founded and edited Arthur Magazine (2002-2008, 2012-13) and curated the three Arthur music festival events (Arthurfest, ArthurBall, and Arthur Nights) (2005-6). Prior to that I was a district office staffer for Congressman Henry A. Waxman, a DJ at Silver Lake pirate radio station KBLT, a copy editor at Larry Flynt Publications, an editor at Mean magazine, and a freelance journalist contributing work to LAWeekly, Mojo, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Vibe, Rap Pages, Grand Royal and many other print and online outlets. An extended piece I wrote on Fela Kuti was selected for the Da Capo Best Music Writing 2000 anthology. In 2006, I was somehow listed in the Music section of Los Angeles Magazine's annual "Power" issue. In 2007-8, I produced a blog called "Nature Trumps," about the L.A. River. From 2010 to 2021, I lived in rural wilderness in Joshua Tree, Ca., where I practiced with Buddhist teacher Ruth Denison and was involved in various pro-ecology and social justice activist activities.

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