Totalitarian Origin

   Ants in a plastic bag – honey maybe –
     crawling all over the sink,
    then the house is a weapon

A painting
   in grotesque pastels
of planes dropping bombs in the mountains –
   black dots on baby blue

  The old lady has lost her mind.
She laughs and hugs her feet.
  She kisses me on the neck
  as if I were her lover,
  as if 50 years never happened.

  The delivery man
  brings the new car home.
  Your father at the door
  pays him off.
  A wrecked Plymouth
  swinging high from the tow truck’s chains

No one has any shoes

   I wonder if the ants
      are bombs out of a dictator’s dreams.
  Black dots on your pale blue skin.


A Smoke in Ballast

My pipe is incorrigible and serene.
It blasts the forsythia with yellow and
    takes its burden down the inferno,
the intestines,
the hovering filament in the
  houses dripping violence.
A sublime unscrolling of hands
gesticulating random sigils.

They rise toward the
flood lights & the sky torn open.

  is natural as a cursing hawk caught
in a storm. The bronze day logos at
the corners of your mouth mumbling
          for the talon’s revenge and the
       landscape massacred and whole

MEM 9) 89

The price
of fungus and bleach
     on the Pigcircuit

(a mosquito nest in bloom)

See, if you please,
evidence profiteering.

apocryphaltext Vol. 2, Nos. 2 & 3

Jake Berry is a poet, songwriter, and visual artist. His books include Species of Abandoned Light (Pantograph Press), Blood Paradoxes/War Poems (XPressEd) and Brambu Drezi 
(Barrytown/Station Hill Press). His work has appeared regularly in journals, magazines, and online publications for more than two decades. Selections of his songs are available online at and under his own name as well as under Bare Knuckles, Ascension Brothers, and Catachthonia.


3 poems by jake berry