you are in the diode archives diode v4n3



perilously liquified in so liquid an era

with the limitless thirst of the present,
they drink liquid modernity.
fading waitresses haunt their table
with unstable, opaque cocktails,
fateful glasses of precarious uncertainty.
post-panoptical modern nomads,
vengeful fluid druids who dissolve stonehenge,
on the ledge of a binge, they hesitate
at the pale glint of precipitate,
witness the faint hiss of dissolution.
taken aback by the lack of traction,
the absence of visible solid edge
and tangible shape in the modern age,
the gestalt of their debts,
they must settle into the unsettled
life of a miraculous alcoholic:
exiled, exterritorial, l’insolite.


with a universe of galaxies all elixir

they’d ride widening gyres,
revolve in whirlpool and spiral, however dire.
blasted as rocketships,
sportive in vortex,
they’d drink dark energy
and slam down the white of the spinning moon,
bloom into vacuum, sublime
on the brink of explosion, like supernova.
they’d drink enigma
and nebula.  they’d sip implosion.
they’d drink from big dipper
and drink the whole zodiac,
drink the yawn and hiss
of sun and moon caving in,
of comet trail, of planet
and meteor forming,
drink bloodred jovian storm
and saturnalian ring,
drink time and space
from black holes,
drink singularity
from the unknown’s jaws
with impossible straws,
drink big bang and pre-existing abyss,
then drink the universe back into place.


song of satyrnalian mirth

the miraculous alcoholics turn pub crawl into maul ball,
those sallow louts who brawl longer than law allows.
surely they carouse with such blush-faced gusto
god cannot bless these thuggish drunks any less
than he blesses young amish ruffians,
stomping at barn hops during rumspringa,
or jack mormons, wide-eyed on LSD instead of LDS.
irrationality makes sense.  slaves invert
aristocratic worlds forever into carnivalesque.
as satyrs sow wild oats, half drunken man,
half bowled-over goat,
these winos fly to dionysian heights,
soar over castle moats,
caper, then leap clean
over every last pastoral shepherd’s fence.


a great deal of kicking up one’s heels

lacking dance partners, the miraculous alcoholics
skip the prom and gallivant with their bad habits,
plastered, blasted, tripping lights fantastic.
barroom rather than ballroom ballerinas,
they lean and twirl like elixirs aswirl
as their hips spin like stirred and shaken gin and tonics.
something between a mashed potato and a human torpedo
is born on dancefloors of their own intoxication.
they drink until they sink all ships asail
in tall, icy glasses, until their kossack kicks
thaw white russian siberias.
what moves might bust loose,
what strange dances might transpire, bouncer,
bartender, and police have no idea.
the limes they bite lead inevitably to more tequila.


miracle everglades

when you think they may just sink
they drink swamp things
and accidentally drain the everglades,
until crocodilian white bellies
and mangrove roots show through.
even hemingway’s keys may have been moved
like a piano’s the way they kayak drained shallows
of sandfly island, and okefonokee,
wallow like walruses in what’s left of smooth lagoon.
sold bad swampland in the ten thousand islands
by shysters in barroom booths,
drinking money ostensibly whisked away,
they prove to slyly buy unknown paradise.
these risky kings kick back to sip
ponce de leon’s floridian
lost fountain of youth.  


Matt Schumacher is the author of Spilling the Moon (Wordcraft of Oregon, 2008) and The Fire Diaries (Wordcraft of Oregon, 2010).  New work will soon appear in Redivider and North American Review.  He recently completed a PhD in English and serves as poetry editor for a magazine of New Fabulism, Phantom Drift.