It gapes, this catatonic toddler’s mouth of a city. Rancid greens of purification

streak the sky all Impressionist, marking the lines that segregate and delegate

the flow of traffic in the throughways of the air we breathe. Gridlock

now antiquated, these oxygenated denizens roam where they want to,

all around the world. Their flight path an abyssal abscess,

but these lepers flying, floating freely through the cosmos,

cosmopolitan ideals stripped down to stars and garters, they feel

love like Donna Summer’s eve, douche! No gas masks, no respiratory devices.

Just pure death in shades of gaseous smiles swirling in thick vapors coming

for you, all over you, all over the land on a loco motive of smoke

in the way that tangerines

taste just like the way tambourines sound

all alone in the quiet of jaded stone, a pretty lime hue

like that above encircling, entering, penetrating us and our defenses.

I’ve come to watch your gardens grow, mouth breather township. Don’t disappoint,

don’t let me down, deliver,



Atlas on the cross in the pit of my stomach, a ditch just like Sisyphus’, makes his march to the capital for his crucifixion through an acidic wasteland. A grotesque shimmering mirror ball of a world on his shoulders, soldiers of suffering shove his stress-induced gastrointestinal crown of thorns deeper

into the delicate pink contours of his brow as a way to keep things moving, the jerk

of a master on a leash. Spearhead of aspirin in his side tears a teardrop-shaped hole

that dribbles blood all ruddy to the earth being torn by a wooden post

dragged ever so slowly. Chained to a sphere revolting, not revolving, brutal and stygian.

Heading north this time, up and away from the eventual Golgotha of lower entrails, footprints of ash and fire up a weathered twenty seven year old esophagus, each an imprint of bipedal lava flow, each a reason to double over on one’s axis, to collapse out of orbit, in on oneself as the implosion siphons drifting debris, taking neighboring astral bodies out in the wake of a black hole of loathing all things biological and metaphysical.

One universe and its fate trapped inside of every single living body. Cells, particles waiting for their day of reckoning and atonement. For what purpose, what sins have been occasioned to coincide with such a processional of foe, fear and dread? Cloaked darksiders, pallbearers of hope, of trust, of the lust that makes life wort     h living trail this walking sarcophagus like animals sated on carrion flesh. They come! Roguish centurions, black-hearted well-wishers lowering the drawbridge of my mouth. Just like that, they cast him out into a porcelain abyss and I can’t say I’m relieved.

– Alan Passman

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One Response to Atlas

  1. jaguarpress says:

    THe sensual revolution of Alan’s urban verse make us feel desparately connected to this world of gritty beauty and fantastic filth. Two poems are presented here, under the one title “Atlas” these works span a startling view of consciousness, complemented by an equally fascinating video collage. The visceral hentai creates a strong dialectic in the face of the fatalistic conclusion of the last work.

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