I. The Beachcomber
Still unfit to be tied, I’m down at the shoreline
gloating over my escape from fossilization.
abalone images, open these rills;
I’m diving to reach your matrices.
Undercurrents roll shells; hand-to-foot shapes emerge.
mollusk tracks, three toe holes bore through the shell,
one pushes against the shell for leverage.
I will need this design.
Stretched on my brain, Penfield homunculus
circumstances move us forward, leaning, flexed
to grasp sandy gems, connect ideas to the hand.
Through my gills I hear the call for familiar form.
Can’t their minds swim in quantum physics,
like Shakespeare’s vision of this “baseless fabric”?
Three-cornered stones spin over the lake.
I follow, entering opaque pockets stuffed in the clouds.
I still live to ride in those shadowy nests:
a tree-climbing fish’s dream.
Being macropterous has never been easy,
but it has its advantages.
Others may judge this scene as merely a trompe l’oeils.
No matter; so they can’t find the rungs.
What if the Universe is like a hologram?
Let go of small ideas about information density;
look past the images flickering on the wall of the cave.
II. The Push
Is this too slant for you? How far have you climbed?
Level, fake turf is easy for surefooted, psuedo-sciolistic,
football-catching somebodies riding “scholar”-ships,
fat deals, never experiencing violet waves of vertigo
– breathless confinement – or the cornea shock
of being delivered up too soon in the early mind.
III. The Core Refitted, the Ocean its new shell
(noli me tangeré)
Always the call for closure; you’ll sell more books.
Yet these vespers; and who listens to what is not spoken?
There is a form I see, strange to share with anyone, yet
I’m not ashamed anymore of this stony-hearted squid
that keeps washing up at the end of my beach in my dream.
Its tenticles keep growing back, reaching the velate core,
squeezing out the phrase that betrays my profession.
Just before walking on the shore I hear the blasphemy
announced like a taboo incantation, in spite of my
pressed suit, GPA servitude, vertical profile,
–an incriminating record of my own voice:
“I feel most at home with wordless things.”
About the Poet
Lloyd Milburn has been teaching composition and creative writing for over fifteen years in the Rochester, New York area. He earned an MA in English after completing a creative writing thesis with William Heyen’s advisement. In addition to having work published in Permafrost, Willow Review, Ithaca Lit, The Sandy River Review, and Talking River Review, he is currently nearing completion of his first two books of poetry. His lifelong love for music and a personal interest in synesthesia inform his writing and music.