Issue 16 · 2012






by Spencer Selby








Seeing eyes of screen which erupt

at regular intervals on command


Snatches of monotone humming
path to impediment flanked by


crutches at the back of an unlit room
Burning half darkness shows issue


spotted with mold as though the
structure had been broken and


resealed under vague threat

of a single point just beyond







Framed need or wrinkled
wish that cannot be fulfilled


In the long run only pause
while existence has never


been more than dread good
getting used to static before


a transformation confused
with bushes leaves no trace


in the wind-ruffled prints of
bare feet and legs outstretched


on the move dumping facts
that give the impression of


a spacious landscape in the
windows hazy from smoke


while in reality air itself is
a forest of fading barriers


built up with transmitters
tempting manifold forms


determined to go by instinct
to judge demand returning


from a nearby market feeling
impossible attempt made


at communication during

torrent from book still closed








Drive or be driven along
grievance repeated,
do acid detail between
apples on shoulders


Feel scream run through
body silence that anyone
can have by accident


Protest ready at hand
distributes ungainly order
for all disparity

A group like dirt truck
heavy on each other’s back,
huddling under flag raised
in a gleam now parked








Crazy about wanderings
that seldom dare to leave
mental cubicle holding self
I didn’t feel sorry for


Longing instead of moving
around in crowds
could survive like those
in a dream and alone


Encounters require nuance
more than visiting attended


Bent by jolt under two trees

parallel branches form
an arch for wires scorched
like clouds in the breach


mixed with soot and birds
to avoid platform deserted
at the same time it appears








Expensive curtain dropped
on a plea for spare change


X marked in field of choice
given a gift for escape


even jaded news hounds
regard as folly at the peak


Expression suddenly far out
into absent reverse zone


with edges of lifelong action
that has made an obvious


mistake throwing rope down
and over projected balance


Support role conducive to
client behind thick glass


treading rhythm necessary
to incessant buzz of traffic


spread over massive critical
holes in a block of shared ice








Room bursting with protein
accentuating tradeoffs


provided almost flattering
message of property damage


that dominates reports
from army of contraptions


used to reinforce behavior
in a tone of rising amazement

fueling inserts at the corner

of one particular day playing


data class card to get bearings
while being distracted by those

forced out of the current mold








Growing anxious at intervals
to etch a jagged line at upper
reaches that become nostalgic


above town clock losing shelter
in perspective across floating
rows of megaliths at each end


This chimerical effect long since
erased from the situation a man
associates with last steps taken
by the author of an old book


The reading remains shut up in
itself to reach threshold first
noticed in a voice which was
either too low or too high


as though an audible word had
never been spoken except to make
sure tomorrow will be like today


Here clarity is an illusion
no mirror image can replace
There may be one whose eyes
become a knife opening a piece


of living flesh to say commentary
as such will have a roof over
one’s head and a place to sleep


that is restless and confused in
the light of characters in doubt
shuttling around barren paths
leading to dreams of death which


served as a station of transit
for poets considered insignificant
by the next regenerated engine


for those disloyal because travel
used strange terms to make
contours come alive from depths
on page after page while actually
listening to something else








Lured into a trap to blame
generic brand of anguish


mixed with random sticks and
stones buried centuries ago


by some child at play deriving
inspiration from game obsessed


with ring established by local
custom put in context far from


inkling of solace spread across
graves of those who perish in


ignorance like some tourist
of the hidden sea and vessel


of luminous sadness scanning
the horizon while missing

wind that shakes whole body

to renew itself each time








Fringes love whistling of
assemblage behind a ruin


that might be mistaken for
what was once a place of


worship showing precepts
that develop wrong power


Soon goes to hell enclosed
by ramparts pointing at


anomaly like wild crown or
crooked tool scratching


outline of journey within
beholder racing toward


wire mesh trash ticket
joining a procession that


suddenly stops on a dime








Note glued to windshield
steaming in the humid air


waiting in line of credit to
access contours of night

boulevard packed with stiff
drinks following curse aimed

at cash machine that giveth

and taketh human value as


an angel blows kisses to
the homeless on a dare










Spencer Selby is the author of eight poetry books, five compilations of visual work and a study of film noir.  Forthcoming from BlazeVOX is a new poetry collection titled, BLAME FAULT MOUNTAIN. He is online at