November-December 2014 … The Global Online Magazine of Arts, Information & Entertainment … Volume 10, Number 6
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Emily Vogel/Poetry

Dark Room

On the other hand, I am certain
that you are no stranger to dark rooms.
You can’t be unfamiliar
with the barely visible shapes of beasts
breathing like the inertia of absent light
that turn their anatomies inside out
into other shapes of other beasts
in a constant regeneration of malformations
in the roar of silence that sounds like desert sand.
There is an indefinite space
that is the extension of the mind
in the landscape of where thoughts traverse
along the surface of illusory clouds
into impossible geographies that don’t exist on the map
and someone’s late aunt lives there
with her unacknowledged autobiographies.
Sometimes in a dark room
it is irrelevant that we are human.
There is a time that circles the periphery of time
where someone crawls into bed beside you
who isn’t even there
and makes love to you like a summer rain
in the dream of San Francisco
or a flower growing on the electric moon
blooming into the soundless decibels of starlight —
shining like unsleeping eyes in the dark
where invisibility does not have a conceptual center
and morning is an unlived century
that only knows this story by association
of everything it is not.

Egg, Cartoon, and Temple

The preliminary images that slipped from the chaos of the unconscious
before I entered a full blown dream last night
were like a cinematic tableau of disconnections.
First, you were in the kitchen having just boiled an egg for yourself,
and you were peeling it, angry about something,
so you salted it with an excess of salt
and then stuffed the entire egg into your mouth
and prepared for bed.
And then, I was an expertly drawn cartoon in 19th century dress
wearing spectacles and carrying a parasol
when I attempted to stop a young girl, also a cartoon in 19th century dress
from stumbling into moving traffic.
And the suspense accelerated into the question of her survival
before the image escaped the frame of my mind
into the darkness of aborted dream scenarios.
And then there were pillars in a temple
and the green light from the only window spilled onto the perfect marble
of the floor and the walls, without the hollow sound
of the clicking shoes of women amongst the echoes
of that colossal and sanctified structure,
without any repenting followers bowing to pray,
without the specific context of situation or circumstance,
like it merely existed as a structure
because of the way time begins to mourn for itself
after we are all too familiar with the genocides of its history.

Rumi’s Field

Just for tonight, let’s say that you are Magellan
and I am the earth, with all the discoverable
geographies of my body.
Say the ordered choreography of the planets
never orbited to the infrequent side of the sun
and my thighs were vast continents
interrupted by the deaf ocean between them.
Say you navigate that ocean
like a novice explorer in his unvarnished youth
before he knows too much for his own good.
What if those anthologies you are reading
with such diligence and compassion
reach out and take hold of you with their terrible claws
and you drown in Moore’s paradox
between mortality and eternity
and her footnoted phrases
as though we were prescient angels
susceptible to literary hazards of love.
Or let’s say the morality of my body
was Rumi’s field beyond right and wrong
which blurs like the sky into the sea
and I am the ghost of a mother you have imagined
weeping at the airport, and we reconcile with the
obscured texts of our pasts, and sleep like train stations
when the trains aren’t running, and forget everything
when the cold dawn chills us with its cruel light.

Smoke and Snow

Inside the mind there are roads that snake into a chimera.
Their conceptual frameworks never seek destinations
but question their own questions
like terrible children who don’t comprehend the sky.
Their philosophies have the integrity of the foundations
of structures that disassemble and then rise from their ashes
like great birds exploding into hysterical flight.
The archeological excursion into the depths of subconscious
is a perilous venture.  I dig and dig and wind up
emerging with darkness and more darkness
that folds into itself like a lover bowing
to bury his head in the clemency of my thighs
with pinholes of light piercing it like stars
in some distinct recollection of a November
when a man stood like a superimposition
of a god-like figure against the city in the twilight
smelling like smoke and snow
that filled my breath like something splitting
without disrupting the center
inside the perfect stillness of its concentric whole.

About the Poet:

Emily Vogel is the assistant poetry editor of Her biography appears on the “About Us” page.