THE MERCENARY’S HARP
We ate the bus, planted ourselves
firmly in the idea of gratification,
& curtained in disbelief, measured
the trajectory of a howitzer’s ejaculate.
Here’s to the smoke-detector’s beeping,
the six-and-a-half-foot tall ceilings.
Oh, senators of oblivion & congressmen
of ottomans, we packaged our humiliation
in cellophane. Here’s to the shrinking.
If not for the pistons & nonchalance
of your gnawed hearts, we would have
no fugitive stars, no registered forgiveness,
no gunpowder solutions wrapped in brass,
accompanied by a canteen of black
water & a paycheck fat as a house.
There’s no relief in the well, only
the possibility: the emblem, the worry,
the bitten onion.
About the writer:
Taylor Collier, originally from Lubbock, Texas, currently lives in Gainesville, Florida, where he teaches at Santa Fe College. He recently completed a PhD at Florida State and holds graduate degrees in Creative Writing from Syracuse and the University of North Texas. Poems have appeared or are forthcoming in places such as Barrow Street, Birdfeast, The Laurel Review, The Normal School, Poet Lore, Rattle, Smartish Pace, Tar River, Zone 3, and others. See more of Collier’s poems and his writing about poetry here.
Image: “Arise from the Trees” manipulated photograph by Chris Rivera. Portland, Oregon.
About the artist:
Chris Rivera, in his own words:
I would describe my fine art work to be varied: anywhere from whimsical and colorfully extravagant to simple, minimalist and monochromatic. For these images, my inspirations stem from a lot of things that you can find in art and culture today: music, cinema, myths and tales, ideals and nature (regular inspirations include hip hop/r&b music and fantasy movies like Harry Potter)! For most of the images that I’ve created, they were created when I was living in California, but I have yet to create some Oregon photos so stay tuned for those!