Stu Watson




dark now sitting here
alone formulaically
broken in half on being
deserted skeptic half rid
myself of him clicked
closed the shutters saw
ivy vines begin to clutch
and ripped them off
striving to right
myself   clarity cut
down on all the crap
and so we’re all alone
again it’s like we never
                                                                                                   please me off yeah
                                                                                                   ascending curtain flaw
                                                                                                   spiraling thread tear
                                                                                                   running against
                                                                                                   gravity gaining ground
                                                                                                   updrifting entropy
                                                                                                   stake me for yes
                                                                                                   I watch mind make
                                                                                                   it collapse and cling
                                                                                                   here leaning on the balcony
                                                                                                   jutting out here leaning
                                                                                                   looking out on neighbors
                                                                                                   quarrelling together loudly
they say the radiation
falling down kills all
feeling as it strips away peels
your paint but that’s
not right it’s painful very painful
also like a fighting it you’d try what mourns you




 I’m gonna swing from the chandelier / from the chandelier


Collapsed lung pavilion where they keep the hiving hobbies of the weak toned bright enough so as not to drive fully out a mete despair, this vestibule contingent with so many ways contending all at once all at the, ah, brink of some raw moment catching finally in your throat not just with beauty there but in an actual sadness closing off intestinal tube-ways, armies of embarrassment and of endorsement also, gripping in the pit a bell-like voice at its dumb source before it screams, a waiter’s angry awkwardly you are alone and do not drink but linger silent at the Rome cafe embracing in your thin way energy you need and suck in all the oil of the fine, generic noodle. Semantics of the body across language ring you in tones clear enough to bother with when naked new and neat across the way in an undark room the curtains muslin dyed a ribboned shade of burgundy and your hands shake as you feel time slip, accessories of drama and the clambering intense and dirty dream pits, whips crack and the carriages in barrage after barrage slope by the dark wings clacking you look out your window see the world spurt by on horseback roll yourself into a ball and flex your legs beneath the threadcount. No hands were sharpened pulling just together these miniscule knots, and you know that I am not the type to say this sort of thing but this time it really matters so you all better do something before it is too late and I’ve held off until just now to tell you out of taste but now the time for being cool has closed at last and you must place yourself and your belief there at the risk of sounding as if such a thing might ever be believable and not in and of itself another act, a game slipped into and embraced as if the real like all real things are all real things we have lead ourselves now to believe, dragooning a militia of our mind’s eye into what we can still capture and contain from our own past, lies dazzling enough that we don’t miss their arc cascading downward on our eyelids slammed quite closed. In all the things you wanted to be free and now you are so let the symmetry of sometimes ugly reason leave enfolded in an envelope you seize from off the bureau by your long new bed where lying down you feel completed, bred, fool in love with everything again now not complaining now feeling horizons as no limit to your journeying across the well-honed crisis tackling jostling rivers of words all in discordant shape under each side, an augur of evaluation’s shade, you crop your hair from photos in blind rage as singing sirens startle you aware of who you once pretended that you really were, complaining that way to that broken staring parking lot attendant with a limp, oblivious to everything but the creed his radio emits, emulsifying a crackle there out of the sky unmarried but intangible. It’s then you think that a machine has woven every sheet you’ve ever known, that nowhere in the world right now are hands whose work has closely, tenderly created what the world needs and you want to vomit at your own egocentricity but also know that this awareness cannot even hold you long enough in its embrace to begin to speak about how one might make a difference if you do not let it in at all and are content to monitor in darkness your nice dreams ensuring you have never exited a stratosphere of openness or laughed too loud like a grunge rockstar buying all of Francis Bacon on a whim or every strategy you promulgate for winning at a pure game of chance in total knowingness but without irony or any secret purpose but a purer need. The light thrown always moving round in circles with the wind illuminates the alley afterimage slowly, unfolding rather like an accordion impossibly compressed or like a collapsible pitchfork ready to sell at an outrageous markup on the corner of a riot, where the riot meets again the stillness of the sidewalk that it occupies, that stillness present even in the mess of noise made visible in the circling halos of beams that find us in our homes ready or not so pretty in our estimation if we let go into really seeing where all beauty lodges which of course we don’t do out of courtesy but need for our own sense of having repeated the steps as directed over and over. A certain surname leapt off of the page which was as easily fixed as finding a new apartment in the city could have been if we’d obeyed our instincts and not listened to an arrogated reason, as is always tempting when pressed by time and circumstance, by sale of space and rule of movement and the close geometry of boxes, couches turn into an encumbrance beyond all the being they bear up in sad after glowing sex light on the drastic shifts of certainty around each turn and how the greatest are nonplussed by pain as if it were a part of plans that we’re not privy to and won’t be until it’s long over and unground we’re dead to rights caught looking at the thing we most desire and the person feels desire and can only be disgusted in a recognition of the fraught distractedness it stands for when reconsidered on its own outside the course of other real events suspended from the ceiling filled with dust, melted grains of stone that clatter and might crack and break apart if you just drop them. Of course what the dictator wanted above all else was power, and oddly that is not always obvious of a dictator, though in the course of time it is born out, enlightenment being finally a sham, or finally, at least, a place that none can act from in such a way that this firm truth they have consumed is likewise universally revealed, for if some cannot feel for it, a missing link emerges, and from these broken ties come swells disrupting clean consumption of the jagged, unpredictable new light. And with a gesture animals will know what you might do, will read into your shoulder turn the possibility of feeding. This is natural but we also know that it is a behavior we ourselves conditioned, unconsciously, in the simple act of providing a life with shelter and with food.







Stu Watson is a writer, musician and teacher who lives in Brooklyn. His poems, essays, and stories have appeared in PANK, Queen Mob’s Teahouse, The Collapsar, Flapperhouse, and other publications. A founder and editor of Prelude, he teaches literature at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.