meat and marrow

the providence of men
is madness
and when they disembowel you with lies
look not to heaven but to the tattered
reflected ten-fold
in worlds of shattered soul

the great works of art?
gamble them against your hunger
pile them on the floor
naked so you see their danger

everything flesh turns against birth

the bartender leans forward
yellow hands and lying smile
you drink
letting the arms of the clock
fall around your feet
your most precious art
pissed away

the intensity of the endeavor
the narrowness
of the life

meat and marrow
the breaking of bone
and time and mortality

did you really believe that art alone
could save you from this?

o child child child

your father is a stone
in a forgotten cemetery
from which no one bothers
to pull the weeds

—Kurt Eisenlohr

Kurt Eisenlohr is a painter and bartender living in Portland, Oregon. His poetry and fiction has appeared in numerous journals and magazines including Asylum, Verbal Abuse, River Styx, Another Chicago Magazine, Cokefishing, Way Station, and Stovepiper. His chapbook, Under Hand and Over Bone was published by Alpha Beat Press in 1994. A new chapbook of his poems, is due out this year from Lummox Press.