Green Tea, or the Rise and Fall of Levity

First, a scintillating flash. 
Then, the birth of an illusion, 
a new and intense perception of life, 
an astral Epistrophy of real gone notes. 

          I feel like part of an ambient still life 
          in the garden of good and evil 
          in the night-time, in the midsummer. 
          My face has the bizarre impulse to smile. 

                    I want to go down on Beauty and taste her jelly roll 
                    in some glorious saturnalian nose-dive. 
                    I want to strive for a higher meaning, 
                    but I could settle for some sex with a deft lover. 

                              Ceasing the ‘presentation of self,’ 
                              underplaying any expressions of wealth, 
                              capacity, spiritual strength, or self-respect, 
                              rejecting our streamlined American culture, 
                              coming up for air. 

                    I wish I were walking with Franz Kafka 
                    through the rye fields of Bohemia 
                    shortly before his death, 
                    discussing Die Verwandlung. 

          An alphabetically arranged menagerie 
          and Penguin Shakespeare’s strange legacy 
          (Tiny simulacra of something sacred.) 
                         ‘Nomads, they would come during a thunderstorm.’ 

                  Visine is critical when watching god. 
           Finally, gravity’s slingshot Volta: 
The Moon wears a ceremonial gown. 
I wish I was in heaven sitting down.


Abroad

Once you saw the ivy 
on the ivory tower 
you never stopped climbing 
that scandent, social vine, 
pretending not to feel 
the briars, nettles, and thorns 
that incessantly pricked you. 

I found you sunbathing 
with a towel around your neck 
in the sauna land of the fanatic 
spending to look beautiful 
in abundance of the swing. 

You had a new haircut, 
a strictly business bob, 
spiked for a nice change 
like those two ice teas 
you ordered back-to-back 
from the poolside bar-back. 

I closed the tabs in the window, 
opened up a new page, 
drew the curtains on the wall 
on a fresh sheet of paper, 
licked the envelope, and pressed play. 

A little man in a large suit 
spoke at a podium 
in front of a gathering crowd. 
He coughed and then paused, 
while I got myself some hummus 
I had prepped the previous night. 
Laughing, he resumed his statement 
on some current affair 
he’d been hiding for months 
in a Swiss bank account. 

A gorgeous girl popped up— 
all flash animation 
and airbrushed perfection— 
and asked me if I were lonely. 

Of course I am lonely. 
I clicked back to something 
I’d been thinking about 
when everyone was here. 

        I disdain idle words 
        and go about aloof 
        like Diogenes abroad. 

We had breakfast at Ray’s: 
Bloody Marys and limes, 
calamari and clams. 
You talked about Thailand 
like it came in a dream; 
you were teaching English 
by the Andaman Sea; 
we would entertain friends 
in Seoul or Tokyo. 

        You want to see Einstein’s Attic 
        and pick out a red dress to wear. 
        We could visit Oppenheimer’s Closet 
        and find you a fur stole to match. 

Later, you went to the strand, 
wearing your big beach hat 
and sang « Sur la plage abandonnée » 
mezzo soprano 
sotto voce con vibrato 
senza dolore. 

While riding in the car 
on a dry afternoon 
in the Sierra Nevada, 
you stuck a finger in your ear 
and then started to laugh, 
as you stared upon Donner Lake 
shaping the long highway 
down to Death Valley.


Nocturne #6

I agree. The Moon does look lonesome shining through the trees. 
Her light sketches silhouettes of the cypress cymbals, 
which sway slowly to the bassy basement swing. 
Their branches hack through the air like a thousand ceiling fans 
ventilating starless corridors, stirring the soup. 

Relativity slows time to a halt, while the frame moves at the speed of light. 
Single-reed winds wine and moan through the Mixolydian woods. 
The shuffled footprints on the sidewalk are cartoonish. 
Shoes paired by their laces dangle from the telephone wires. 
Budding life glows green in the late night. 

A brown-eyed, freckle-faced girl pulls her rampant umber hair to one side, 
sifting her sickle fingers through thin, satin strands 
conversing chaotically in uncalculated contrafact. 
She tips a cracked teacup to her quivering lips. 
Her porcelain teeth snare chatter as she smiles. 

Insects drone their midnight raga. 
In the distance, Lonesome Katy rumbles and blows. 
She’s gotta keep on moving; she’s gotta get back on time. 
At dawn, blue jays will trill pianoforte. 
Willow, weep for someone else tonight.
Adam Eberly was born in captivity. He graduated from Kent State University with a great degree of debt. He once lived as a vagabond. He holds a job like water in the palm of his hand. He currently lives by the river and has a sinus infection.