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poems by S. L. V. Stronwin

Firmament V

by S. L. V. Stronwin


A cleansing black smoke
That’s what I need once in a while

The old painted train seems only to burnish by
When it might penetrate the rain

Simple spells and autism
Nearest now, but still off in the hidden

Little world of trees now abandoned
To our pretense of progress

Remember the swarm?
Slow black and ticking in the snow

Smoking dope and campfire food
Not quite real, either of them

But you captured it all, disassembled, reassembled
In color

I like the ache—it feels
Like you did something, you know?





Not corpselike, just full
She shows
Incorruptible as ice in the flower hole
Exposition of snowy visions is a surer course
And the undead try
—Don’t give way to nostalgia
Try not to let her in

Mortar and pestle to grind the arils
Shatter the fruit to end life
Pliable then, next unoiled
Only to disintegrate in closure
Paranoia in the woods
White stalks
And monkshood to end it all

A shame not to dream of it

Zen as a purring kitten
Zen is a purring kitten
Wife dreaming up salmon for her son
All made tired by the light
Never at peace, though now we think
Love is an ease
Love is an ease





Pillars of light
In forged spirals
Fear of fire
Star anise pine

Cold symphony
And iron apertures
Steel lens tethered
To grey clusters in rope

Sight of blindness
Withered cables
Ragged yellow
Nerves in acid

Palsy in four
Waiting for light to pierce
To flutter in
Taking no time at all

From its fast pace
A perspective
In bent bright shapes
Small perfect shapes

Or great green spheres
Or pale blue dots of dust
Humming in time
Counting cold cosmic clocks

But all too deep
Too strange, distant
Black silences

Instead, close light
Something near and massless
But not generating

Now sight withers
And parasitizes
And reaches in
Pulling out cold wet lymph

White and wilting
In grey iron
Cold carbon mouth

Dripping steel flesh
Uncorroded by breath
Razor wire
Connects the lip and breast

Now so inside
Eyeskin drips wet and weak
The eye ripples
Pineal weakness shines

Blossoming and
Whispering and
Absorbing self

Senses and words
Rationalizing loss
Killing meaning
Devouring intent

Consumes me so
I wish I felt
Something, anything

Blind now, afraid
Her light stolen from me
Sleeping virus
Crafts a womb from your thoughts

Composes flesh
Strung in vellum
Makes love to you
Through you, inside

Uses you as
The stars use an ocean
Silent and soft

There she sings cold melody
Her insignificant borders

There he hums base harmony
Dissonance in replication

Happiness inverse
Happiness in verse

Holes change their shape
Welcoming light
In dead harbors
Lapping old shores

Glimpsed briefly through the fog
Forgotten all her faces

Again, attacking
Strewn like orchards
In summered ecstasy
Hedonists not idle
Celebrants that sup
And steal

Now divide
Share the wealth of this corpse
Homunculus of littler universes
And windblown fragments
Elsewise whole
Or in an illusion of wholeness

Third departure
Halation emulsified
In the yellow fat of fear
Storm cellared echoes
Subsume the distance
Manipulate with terrible force

Orchids in her eyes
Orchids in her smile

His war thus ended
Disrobes and returns
Embraces the earth

Nerves compressed
Lesions in legion
Variance in photographs
Ancient brain succumbs

To error, helminthic corruptors
Or great distress

O, happy windows
Powerful organs
You emulate the world you imagine
Furnish meaning

Feeding obsession, mistrust
Part of a whole
But an effable selection
Or at least at a glance

Legions in lesion
Galaxies pregnant with light
Spilling life into the saltless sea
Overfull and ever-flowing




S. L. V. Stronwin was born in Upstate New York, but has been itinerant for some time, finding home in the Central Coast of California, the Central Valley of the same, Baja Arizona, the far woods of Vermont, and the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. At present, the author writes what he reads: subversive high fantasy, eldritch weird fiction, scientific nonfiction, and stuff about plants. He has one cat, a genteel and tuxedo-bound fellow named Sokka. His work can be found at (amazon.com/author/slvs) – the author’s work, that is, not the cat’s.