Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Four pieces by S. P. Flannery

The Exhibit

Mixed-species groups travel
together in confinement,
monkeys, birds, non-conspecific
clichés formed to forage
and watch vigilant for predators
unseen by visitors behind the
unenlightened glass shield,
humans who gawk at this diorama
organically composed to replicate
an ecosystem endemic, foreign
to spectators and the other animals
unaware of imprisonment
and the nature of their display.

Waxing Crescent

My callused hands reach
to pull myself into the cosmos,
the sharp moon edge lacerates,
blood, liquid humor paints
the planet, droplets engorge
to become meteors,
out of gravity's pull I float,
crimson ice specks form a tale
to be recounted over an austral
inferno, cold does not speak
in the vacuum where silence
passes between stars encircled
amongst nothing, my velocity
velocitates as stellar systems pull
and push away from nebulae
and galaxies, eventual fission,
back into new base atoms.

The Hanging

Mist-nets entangle with
passerines, birds suspended in
webs as they descend from
morning canopy perches
to feed after the dawn chorus,
competition with conspecifics
or practice for when mate
competition strangles these migrants
from tropical environs pushed north
through once forests of trees
turned into concrete jungles
by those who will measure
and categorize avian song, subdivide
into species those different
from the choir that was a whole.

Flash Mob

Momentary insanity
texted a message,
"Go to the polls,"
people wake from
self-made hectic
cacophony and run
to their schools, their churches,
their casinos to cast ballots,
their spontaneity curtailed
by registration, bureaucratic
speed bump to youthful
exuberance, they rally
behind a name injected popular
by internet avatars,
binary braggadocios
programmed for charisma
to lead these children
towards a pale fire light.

--S. P. Flannery was born in La Crosse, Wisconsin, and now resides in Madison. His poetry has appeared in Revival, Random Acts of Writing, Poetry Salzburg Review, Straylight, and The Blotter.

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