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




SIX WORKS
BY MICHAEL IVES

THE PATRIARCH'S LUTE

North fell across the dust
and terraces in my drum dream
to a cheekbeater's hymn
and I awoke to the snow sloop
chained in my mother
the conch-headed woman
whom day, parting
its sails with a rifle
shattered in two

and we were achieved.
No sooner show me
what I'm groping for
than I shall cry for her
my reasons a scurf
of lonely beach feeding
on its Helen
that I did wish out
into the open
and rose and
went away from
into the
carcass
of rhapsody.

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SKA CREEP

Don't tell anyone, but it used to be that if fake arrow through head proved real, then to let the scheming leg mass forget that it drains called into effect an unhealthy tilt righting its history of music in a footprint.

I told Blaise this, but the words Blaise heard brought a sewage between us, and the marvelous swivel we shared was broken. Ever since things have grown sour. Fescue we planted together is as an ice sheet between us. This spot on my pants re-dots a faraway "I" he knew and I didn't, with the fish lounge gone the way of two coats sewn together to make one.

As it is, wisdom feels like a plank of bad ska leaning into my soundtrack, otherwise, whence this horn section of shippy smells reminding one that one must in the end teach one's self how to arrange the dead ottoman's teeth near about one?

Like all I need now from this squash bride of a week is for it to learn to enjoy flogging my happiness, but please, just the areas inside the tape. Can't you see I'm making sauce?

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IN BRAINTREE

As an examplar
of pure relatedness,
take this perky,
lopsided afternoon -
a symphony of woven,
sherbert-colored
inserts and sunshine
full of barking
Pomeranians.
It makes me feel like
someone who needs
a popsicle
but can't have it
until he figures out
where this street ends, little
anomalies like that - at
least they're not after me,
not those ones.
Look how easily
Sunny pulls out the organs!
But in the immediate,
you're fired, so put
the head back in the box
and let's get going.
I've got a Pontiac
and sandwiches
waiting in Braintree.

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DRINKS OLD THUNDERBIRD, DEFENDS THE CLASSICS

All net-like structures, love for instance, set up in the manner of gelatin along the ramparts of the imagination, because they force the pitbull in you to consider the world apart from defiance. Just turn back the odometer a ways and you'll find that running alongside the savagery of the ancients, like the irrelevant escort party of smallcraft piloted by drunks that usually attended the trireme's passage out beyond peninsular comities into the outermost reverberations of the war gong, a fussy insistence on protocols maintained itself with an elegance and implacable regularity all but impossible to resurrect, now that everything happens at the same time to no one in particular, but in a very particular nowhere, coterminous with this shithole, which, in turn, was torn into an older, shittier nowhere's twenty dollar bill.

Money and sentences, they have the same effect: tailoring a smart, hard-earned indifference to spasms of the heart, all the while throwing up Knossos-like investment corridors along the pre-perforated paths of dreaming.

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BOILERPLATE

I, the undersigned, shall to my provisioned under-gallery of mental spilth again descend, thank you, happy for the next little moment to choke off those last midmorning whelms that had me convinced disaster was sloshing in plastic reservoirs immediately above and below the tinted strip of the rayban zone. As to the witchy whatever it was that lured me into this slickass sense that the great unknown was my muffin to split, now it's got the blind knife thrower's silhouette and the turn-only lane promising to hold themselves off of their conspiracies long enough that walk-in closets might be opened into my relentless vivisection of the angel. Lucky me. Meanwhile, she is, for the record, pinned in a vast tray on wheels, rolling toward morning, the work at her torso all unfinished, while I move in an opposite direction, carried by a dark hand with its purpose, through corn and voices guttering over porcelain lips, telling me where to sign, and that sleep is a contract, like other contracts, a promise to be left alone while the cells refuel, before the heart of time is shocked and the beating recommences.

signature _______________

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PSALM


Am certain I drove past me. When I drove looking for me. Saw me out of corner of face as I passed me. Was walking in opposite. Could see me clearly. Can bring me into trouble is to see me outside me. Don't know why to do it isn't. At least I don't think. Is not me. Seems too ordinary since. -ary me as something to worry me. I stooped at thistle. Ate thistle. Passed me at exact moment. Glanced out of. Whoever I was when I saw plainly. Someone was stooped over thistle I passed me in car I kept walking.