the muse apprentice guild
--expanding the canon into the 21st century




TWO WORKS BY
DENNIS FORMENTO & AMY TRUSSELL

CRYSTAL GARGOYLE RADIO

I wear these welding goggles
protecting my spiderman mask.
A wasp builds its hive using crystals to align
it with the stars
crystals burst through his back
I thought wasps
were powered by radiowaves! Oh crystal radio!
There is a ladder I use sometimes to get emotions
from the stars
removed in tense & time, where
space is temporary
& a light beam takes the corner
across asterisks and asteroids
(those' re hemorrhoids on another planet)
apterixes & obelisks
That's another story. Not the well-known tale
about the basilisk that flew
into an abandoned mine shaft
saw his reflection
in the gargoyle's eyes & spewed
some dry old bitter almonds
on the slave quarters walls
black as plantation coffee.
To protect myself from excess, beauty, decomposition
I lower my eyes when you pass by
sometimes I wear shades & step out of line
hoping there are no bodies
down by the tracks. Somebody found one there
in the weeds & I know
cuz Anita told me so.
This is why I'm certified in pepper spray
and wear a buck knife in my teeth
& weird glasses to read the faces
of every Tokyo Rose who passes
when the train bears down and every tear dries.
One time I almost died
tied down
waiting for my ex
to bring the ransom from a Mexican slaver in Kentucky.
Now all that's left of him is his face in a big skillet-
and thank god, because he was old Dan Tucker,
a bee keeper in a wasp-waist dress & bee-stung lips
god, he was a looker!
Cooked nightshades with an egg timer
and took all the reserve bottles of spirits & every spirit
else I had put up.
Now his biscayne's at the bottom of the river
and he whispers at the X-ing, Geronimo lung! Exclamation tube!
Boiled peonies!?
I'm welding pieces of him together to make a super-soldier
and rubbing his lube with Van-Van oil.
The ladder is crooked with crooknecks & shredded papers
Creaking up through the compost
and there's barely enough rope to hold up
these flashing plastic walls.
I shine a flashlight into the attic
and a bat alights on my chest.
I make it to the river
and jump in without goggles,
looking for the Lady of Shades
hardly breaking the surface.

================

SPACE DOOR OFF

   boat door, volcano odor, space door off. home draped dark cheek,
   windowsill
   rafts hot the space door off. cheek i just a turquoise day plosive night

   ahead
   uterine den
   nectarine venus, conducted eden. cycle eyes, fishing trap the docked,
   pie tire eyes
   the navigator me, Crescent City. Navel of the moon venus in nectar wave
   the unhinged galaxy of foyer panthers in Crescent triples your launch
   over side
   cross city, scratch the maguey fire
   lagoon wave's thorns. Suck & drift Fruit tender penetrates shutter for
   drift's course on oil.
   eyelids sleep holes, shutter signs the center of the maguey Navel of the

   moon venus
   maguey leafy nails pierced an iris. i lantern orbit rose lands, rain the

   arms lava, set the
   returned adrift. Shift part thumb
   your part dropped hat, in your driver's eyes, your oil in adrift set was

   cycle cycle
   tripled. Tripled returned den filed tried
   panthers conducted foyer in coarse set eyes. venus of drifts, lava den
   of trusts, trysts
   belief is nectarine with galaxy arms diver. was i raft for us? unhinged
   comes the shutter if window penetrates rain. Drain fibers float certain
   the soft land of curtains darken in thorns rose. Raised. prayer dropped
   home
   wave when orbit went thorn black. my home swallowed lagoon lantern. the
   dropped eye, the off navigator's left thorn panthers in foyer grass
   eye adores the open nails and space in docked cross. leaf through parted

   volcano, the craft's holy burn. you and trapdoor slept over fishing
   boat, new launched eyelids. Eyes slid closed on waves. your boots burn
   holes in the side of the
   volcano with space door off.