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lower level

lower level painting by lurm

never “hello,” or  “mind if i come in?”
you barge in confidently
taking not just the best seat, but the best two
one for your body, the other for your muddy feet
placing drink orders like we exist to serve you
demanding to maintain a level of comfort no one else here has ever even wished for
chastising us for not meeting your desires by default
berating us because you don’t understand what we’re saying

but this is our house, and you weren’t invited
we were just talking about how to stop you 
from doing this exact thing.

time to get out

the place that I’m standing is the place from which i see
i see you standing there, but i don’t think you see me
you’re looking at a different person in the place that they would be

and the place you think I’m standing is the place from which I’d see
if I saw from there you figure what my view of you would be
and it gives you clues about the things to say to me

and the place that you’re standing is the place from which you see

you see me standing there, but you don’t think i see you
i’m looking at a different person and you don’t know who
because according to this angle nothing that i say is true

it’s time 
to get out 
of this place.

sweet to some

it’s sweet until it eats your skin
erodes your bones til paper thin
and drops your carcass in the sea—

it’s sweet to some, but not to me.

are you home?

step into the hallway
black curtains in the dark

set down the key
a drop of dye in the ink pot

pour a glass of water
a mirror with nothing to reflect

curl up in a chair
a tunnel at the bottom of a well

I know this is your house
are you home?

heal the sick

it will show you if you ask

the code unwinds into branches
the lines unfurl into leaves
the edge creeps across the expanses
with each little spark it receives

unfolding in every direction
all sensing and being and birth
then it cracks under guise of protection
and disease spreads across the whole earth

it shudders and cries
it shrivels and dies
and rotting it hangs into space

but the meaning will not be erased.

imitation is iteration

a mind imitates itself
sometimes badly; sometimes well

imitation is iteration

the loosest imitations are the biggest iterations:
the longest leaps into versions more advanced

the tightest imitations are nearest to stasis:
resistance to a shift taking form as replication

the most well-controlled hand attempts to trap time
but it only traps itself.

witness in the woods

witness in the woods (painting by lurm)

there’s a witness in the woods
there’s a tyrant on the train
there’s a king beneath the cave that’s holding everyone we think’s insane

no weapons for the women
no fuel for any fire
no water, food, or shelter; those are figments of desire

meanwhile blood is in the basin
there’s mosquitos in the milk
slugs are up and down the stairways
and their slime is smeared across the top of all your most expensive silk.

at first it gives

at first it gives drawing by lurm

at first it gives and through the night it gives and gives some more
and finally you start to wonder if it’s keeping score

for how much it can give away against what it receives
maybe trying to achieve the highest rank before it leaves?

it starts to get tired
it starts to get sick
it’s going to need some help from somewhere else real quick

you try to feed it love but it won’t drink a single drop
you give it time and care and blood and bones and never stop

you give and give and through the night you give and give some more
and finally you realize that you are keeping score

for how much you can give away against what you receive
you’ll be fine as long as it’s not less than nothing when you leave.

seen and unseen

seen and unseen; abstract drawing by lurm

the one who sees the most is the most unseen

the one who sees the least is seen the most: at least, proportionately

so if you see more will you be seen less—or is that only how it seems?

something i can’t keep alive

He ripped himself out by the roots
and planted himself in my hands.

I held him as gently as I could
but no matter what I tried, he withered.

So instead of watch him die,
I put him back in the ground.

I’d rather have nothing
than something I can’t keep alive.

infinite stakes

infinite stakes lurm

Infinite stakes; infinite pawns
Infinite cradles; infinite lawns

Infinite messes and infinite spills
Infinite torture and infinite kills

Memory‘s meaning and meaning is mind.
The burn of the shadow that you leave behind

Even hidden in lies through which no one could see
Still made smoke and made fire that left scars on the tree.