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




11 WORKS
BY JONATHAN HAYES

AN ANGEL, ONCE YOU'VE FALLEN

little finger chipping away at red nail polish
blotches of ten cherry wounds remain

blue jeans swaying a tributary
slapped by the turnstile

statuary hands move quiet
collecting stares at the trolley stop

hair: silent & dramatic

we paint you
until you have left our vision

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

FLOOD

salt dancing after a storm, turning into alluvium
& falling into faults of bedrock-self

our construction of colors begins
& ends with a possibility of the mind's white palimpsest

erosion follows the path of least resistance

trust = belief

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

FLUVIAL

from dry soil
of the eye's corner

wet warmth
surfacing a disguise of silence

& filling an invisible phial

when:
laughter of flowers
& phosphorus stars
are a threshold

minerals crawling to surface horizon
crashing against glass oxygen

their nutrients contained
flowing between her ten naked toes

draining into this wooden floor

to become long ago

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

ARLES

Imagine, that "little yellow house"
Held up by rafters of epilepsy and canvasses

And the screams of oil-paint fumes and gunpowder
And absinthe and prostitutes and blades and blood

One claimed to be a buddhist monk in his self-portrait
The other was a sailor looking for logic on land

Arguing over theology and vowing never to fall in love
Dangerously, their perspective of the chair

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

DRAFT

When a creation is made
in the basement of a cool mind,
and dogs run through the street
without leashes or order,
your dark pint remains
unfinished on a wooden bar
of ideas and dreams,
like eyes of the tapster.

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

HOP, SNICKERS BAR AND SEX

stimuli shiver / dog drivel

and the triad goes around and around
into and out of itself

spiraling:

birth, life and death / death, life and birth

add zero / ad infintium

[Jones Street]

shopping cart basecamp
street soldiers trooping pavement

not able to get back to Detroit Rock City

tricks are better in a john's house
hotel rooms loom with bad moons

[a privileged couch confession]

the victim of a serial rapist
detained as her own material witness
for nine months paid seven dollars a day to get fat
in an Oregon prison

outfit
bottlecap
blacktop

= the impenetrable stare

moaning rugburns marvel

[the phone rings]

"he said that he loves me."

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

KNIFE AND MILK

spitting heinous mayonnaise

samurai tongue cuts stalks of celery

peeling the onion of indifference

rime and wheat bread
Jack Frost in the backyard

cupboard full of immaculate tin cans

a fish called tuna

citrus youth
Tropicana morning

[tragedy of the Rubix Cube]

each shadow, a parody of emotion personified

Channel Eleven: Sunset Boulevard

The Claws, The Claws

Red Dye #2 afternoon
bug juice coming out the nose

recess kickball rolling across the asphalt playground
orange peels and sandwich crumbs in parka pocket

back in homeroom, picking at scab until it bleeds

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

THE IMPOVERISHED BOTTLE

fingertips inscribe ballads
upon the sidewalk

gravity as co-artist

each breath a soldier
attacking memory

arresting the empty
frame of creation
in space

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

ACTUALLY

stomach pain, a royal blue sweater,
floating objects in a white room,
the body turns left,

estrangement: never shows itself,
1/2 gone & 1/2 identity,

numerals within a heart,
subtracting down to
a text of void:

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

NATURAL SELECTION

if inherited characteristics
lead to fate:

branches below the family tree
an estranged uncle blew his brains out
over a broken shoelace

chance = destiny

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

PORTRAIT

(after a photograph of Lewis Payne, 1865)

"He is dead and he is going to die"

memento mori

photo = light
graph = to write

immortality mineralized

Medusa has found her way
into the camera obscura of prison

a glimpse, and then petrifaction

an image reduced to stone

a catastrophe inside every portrait

you are here
you are not here

a sacramental body
a mysterious envelope

hiding as much as it reveals

absent, and present everywhere
camera lucida, FLASH!

[capital punishment]

the return of death

a failed assassin
waiting in his cell to be hanged

the photograph is handsome