23 | the pure whistle of dissonant gods | And The Dust Clouds

the pure whistle of dissonant gods

in the wake of dissonant gods    who left rubber
            on the streets    in bedrooms 
unstoppable    at least in theory    like a jetliner
their chests glowed    either red from sparring
            or dead lifts of mars
those gods     with chipped teeth    how they littered the altar
            and drank their worth    in natural ice
            of the gas station
before high tide     before driving to jack in the box
to order two tacos for
those forgotten meals
on the side of highway 99
            in the rain
            and in the near
perfect lighting of march on a day
            where the party broke off
the leash and poured into the neighbor’s backyard
on that night    when the garage door collapsed
i saw what might be named a summoning
            or a calling     or a high note
hit perfect on the second to last crash of a
            cymbal played in the theatre of a
collective feeling    that we would live forever
            just for a moment
that we could be this carefree    and together
            to the point our laughter
would barrel    straight through the night
            and rattle off into infinity

And The Dust Clouds

                 and I wrote  into my body   enough  
                     to be destroyed   but to survive                       and not to celebrate the fire
                 because the barley and the almost                     and the ongoing how  do I
            get through is not a ceremony   is not                        honor or a party it is not
              noble to survive    as much as it                              is heartbreak in other words  I am
         puppet strung to the cloud’s mouth                           too often with short breath and beat to
      the song of getting up   why  I plead to                        the ricochet    and I kneel to the threshold
        why     I scream through the exit                               and kneel on the jagged line  and I press
    the needle threaded time on blisters                              as the exit swallows the emergency
    by a fireside where three friends                                   discuss exit wounds   and what would
   you do    if the water ran out or if                                 your back gave out    or if the drugs
  how they eat the emergency                                          at a day job that swallows the exit
  and where can I go when I need                                   to   I guess nowhere    so I tattoo
 into my arms the names of                                           dead sunrise the names of dead
lovers bleeding on the sunrise                                    in vegas where we ate mushroom
clouds   in new york  where I                                   died to prove it  where I moved on
because I had to   like all of us                                 dying hearts who have to     go on
eating bombs in the morning                                   eating dust clouds and the bullets
open lotus  planted with hand                                cuffs  by the pound  lungs I wrote                                         
  into my skin  illegibly about                                       the ruins and how I stood                                        
   there  how I felt the sea                                                in my teeth  pulling
   and why I decided not                                                          to celebrate
      what I endure but
      rather endure and
       hope that some
       one else won’t
          have to

Corbin Louis is a Seattle singer and poet. His work is an ode to survival. Through addiction and chronic pain, Corbin writes to rage on for the vulnerable. The artist is an MFA alumni of UWB and 2018 Jack Straw Writer’s Resident. His work has been featured in Best American Experimental Writing, Button Poetry and more. The author seeks to expand dialogues of disability and anti-capitalism. Ink becomes Molotov. War call and whisper. The poet lives.