Poetry from Duane Vorhees


Ecstatic electricity freezes into pulse as biologies become magnets / your eyes lip my cheeks / my koi mouth plumbs your pond / our trunks forest together, organs tromboned by desire fingers / perpetual fleshmachines yinyang existences / masses gasseate / consciousness shrinks to cosmos / our my-your selves merge, we share atoms

we downlings deitise


"Take me in," the poet said, "take me in." The prophet hid.

"Take me in," the poet prayed, "take me in."

No banker paid. "Take me in." The soldier fled.

"Sink or swim," the lawyer pled. "Take me in,"

the poet said, "take me in."

A woman did.

"Make me warm," the woman cried, "safe and warm."

The poet sighed. "Words are thin," he did reply, "weak and thin.

But yet I'll try. Weak and thin, but yet I'll try."

In the bin by page by page,

in the bin the books were laid,

inch by inch were set ablaze.

Line by line the match was lit.

Word by word

the poems all went.

"Now I'm warm," the woman said,

"safe from harm. But poet's dead."

Poet dead?

Poet dead?

He lives on inside her head.

Words go on inside her head.


as eager initiates

in lovers’ freemasonry

that true and ancient order

we are illuminati

of the night’s old mysteries

through its well-established rites

its scripts, shared grasps, finger codes,

its postures, pledges, passwords

we advance by slow degrees

our prescribed intimacies


The tense contentment of the nights before

now in contempt

give way to temptation.


You say

your bees come alive

when I prod your hive.

I lift your balloon

and hold you to ground.

I say

I pour and pour ghee

and you absorb me.


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