I am nature’s mistake, some kind of filth only hell knows,
My body is my body of work, and it is a protest aimed
At the librarians of the present and the future—the book
Doesn’t bear the name of any publisher and was printed
On stolen paper to show the masks of tragedy and comedy
Overlap—entropy continues to impose fundamental limits
On communication—the elemental ingredient has always
Been surprise—to think, one molecule in the brain decides
A good memory or bad? Your spirit blinded us with twilight
In the mirrored spectrum—you lived, then all the beauty
And the bloodshed won the admiration of the stained-glass
Windows in the Winchester Mansion’s grand ballroom
Featuring Wide unclasp the tables of their thoughts on one side
And These same thoughts people this little world on the other.



I stand here, looking down at the ground,
Trying not to throw up the whiskey it took
So much time, money, and effort to drink—
Not to mention the discipline of suffering
I endured to keep the holy fire it keeps
Lit for my promises to collapse and die away—
No one can tell me what kind of shape I’m in,
I hold the city in place for people to move,
Or so I think—a sketch definition of piety
Corresponds with these blinkered notions
Tuned in to my malady live on television,
And television alone, watching the portal
Shrink: The recurring pattern is infinite—
I stare at stand clear of the closing doors.



Reverence for a lit match
Plays portal to the volcano—
The funeral pyre pulls us in,
Destruction in renewal charts
A course to force the door
Of a furnace open and enter
Into the mystery of its fire—
Burnt head a globe of pure
Intelligence freely wasted,
The body wears a burning
Gown with dazzling folds—
In the heart of fire, death
Is no longer death consumed
By fire saying farewell to fire.


Aaron Fagan is the author of four poetry collections including A Better Place Is Hard to Find (The Song Cave, 2020) and Pretty Soon (Pilot Press, London, 2023).