Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Three Poems - J.R. Pearson, w/ Illustrations by Tom Moore

from '8 Equations'


Tumco Mine & the Inability to Find Integers

Capable of Containing Human Emotion

What's left?
The automation of an omen older than fear coiled in the silver-cursed call of gunshots gone blind over radio static. All night we taste the stars & sand caught in shattered rain blown downwind from Castledome's abandoned mines haunted back to life. Imagined stain of gas-masks against skin, sun-faded gasoline cans & animal femurs littering the glitter-gold floor of square shafts angled thru mountains. Stakes in a heart. Stories tope-tinted with Tequila & greed by proxy. Stories of stories of older stories. Steel bleeding beneath the sun. Rusted bones & forgotten gears buried or ground under a heat that dances all night. We walk, looking for something, awed by nothing and flashes of what-- Combines with comet tails eat green until the night is full of eyes. We sleep in the open. Our bodies sing silent decibels above desert syntax, above planetary code-pulse, above the stars humming in harmony. There's something here in the silence: 4 primal forces, she's the fifth chord song-spun from nothing. The words of a dream: in my head I know we're old but my heart is young for her.


Heroic Couplets with Karma & Unfound Human Talents

for Raising Dead From the Already Dead

Your space is here here & here,
just keep your fluids to yourself.

Don't bleed on me.
Tourniquet tourniquet!

Turn dagger's volume up past maximum
amperage in the mind's electric fingers.

My my what have the planetary corpses
left us. A brain full of rain & fire's

unspeakable talent for renewal minus finger-lightning
or belted teeth still stingy white

from laughing & laughing at us at payback.
And Karma you bitch, We still owe you a kick in the face!

How about we settle up with our secret Rx for raising maggots
miraculously out of dead bodies--

Abracadabra & presto chango!
worms have wings & even these thump

flight in bosoms with vacuums
where hearts vanished long ago.

This is spontaneous generation of myth-making.
Concept concept! Build me a theory,

take one electrode
place it beyond sight

& lance streams of plasma
thru the last cortex curtain cut--

I see a thousand claws burnished
to a single sun, alternate space speaks

in heartbeats & bass patterns &
random noise picked up on the highway.

Says: something unseeable moved
in subtext: what the universe

says about re-returns & reverse psychology:
stand five minutes face up in shotgun sleet

& mouth it verbatim:
what you always thought you never knew

about the easy strength in an unwound blade
about the symbioses of human flesh & the fanatical

gleam in sharp teeth
about what "fuck" means to retractable fangs

& why secret maps baked
in limestone are buried

under the last place you'll ever look


Sonnets to Symmetry

There are things beyond rationality
& the warm pull of gravity. Scale models
of pyramids that keep steel razors sharp for centuries. How an owl's
wings silent as yellow smoke
in a valley of wormwood drift
over your sleeping eye. How every civilization finds people
in the sky. Hard to believe the face on a nickel. Believe flash-drunk
blindness & a homeless man's need for possession. Believe retractable fangs

coiled & sun-spent in heat's best swing of the hips.
Believe eyes full of sweat-stained shade
on the sheet's underside & blister resin
left white until it fills with starlight. Believe flesh waltzing the fine line
between live-wired to spinning wattage & cold-spit dead ends.

Let's unrehearse the facts. We've all slept in beds made before we're born,
headboard names & dates, predictable "plate-glass sheets"
& dreams of a miracle that slit your throat. Truth is they carry sniper rifles
& plant your prints on murder weapons. Pose as witnesses. Said I heard it all.
Said it was suicide. Toe fingering the trigger.
Said you never listened. There was something out there, salvation
with your name on it. Another second chance. Last minute misplacement
of I. O. U.'s. Truth is every morning we dig fingernails into flesh
under running water to get clean. Again. Try to leave behind thoughts

we thought were buried deep enough to forget.
The sight of our faces, throttled splayed to the earth.
Finally a toast: here's to symmetry!
Here's to falling face first into wet cement.
Here's not to death per se just a rational failure to exhale.

J.R. Pearson played "Jonny B. Goode" in 1st grade with an audience of 15 people.
Once, I seen him eat a whole case of Elmer's Glue. He was terrible at finger painting
but he's proud of these poems. Read his stuff in A Capella Zoo ,Word Riot,
Ghoti, Weave, Boxcar Review, & Tipton. He recently was included in an anthology:
Burning Gorgeous: Seven 21st Century Poets.

Tom Moore is from Grimsby, Winchester and South London. He graduated from Camberwell College of Art's Drawing degree. His work has been in several group and solo shows in London and Edinburgh. He won The Pictures first film prize. His book, Politicians, is published by Monster Emporium Press. tommoore.eu


  1. Thanks Zach! The images are phenom. They add much Josh did a fantastic job in melding the two! Thanks Josh!


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