blackmail press 18
Jason Morales
New Zealand

Mandelbrot Equations in Watercolour

today, fresco-like, moulded by
contours of clay beneath it telling me
I must learn to dream again.

An inferno: blue wings torn--and plumes!--
brick-red golden moons held together
by pieces of every person
I've known.

Ash beyond my windowpane, lights searching:
first as fractal-ocean; next, as warp and weft
of womb and loom brushed over
by harper-fingers urging
to play.


crawl {and shine}

stars crawl all over my skin at times
and words, they're empresses
to be adored
blindfolded to the bitter ropes
of teabags left to steep
too long

see, over there in Venice
the water is murky
and the foundations
are slowly sinking

slowly sinking

surely any time
in this life
it'll all go under

{this isn't a sad song
if you listen to it another way, no}

i will give you coins
to place over the eyes
of a child named Sacrifice

i will raise the ocean
and share
this wriggling thing
when the waves stop

{only in song and only in sadness
will stars shine}

It Ends

Summer was an age ago, a pontoon of matchsticks
stacked high as a pyramid of gazers squawking, squawking
at the rains of autumn coming. Yes, it was sand and soul
cupped in hands before, a crinkled funnel of kisses and hugs
imploring, imploring this to never end. But it does, it does,
and temperatures drop, and terns float to other lands,
shopping for new vistas to plunder.

See that rocky edifice in the distance? A pile shaped by
a little boy's hands with craftsman's fingers; oh yes,
he'll be a stonemason one day, filigreeing the sides
with concrete and mortar, love and resistance to the tides
of nature holding sway. And to the pontoon of a summer
disappearing too fast, a quartet of voices given latitude
to herald a new season ahead.

Today, today, I felt Autumn's fingers brushing my face.

Mama. Son?

Another hour. Another wish dispersed in the cold
metallic sheen of food-trolleys creaking by. The nurses
sounding like twigs, broken and stretched, the nerves
deadened. And she would lie there, arteries still
but not lifeless, the walls of salmon and sunlight
joking, joking with me cruelly. We've seen these
bitter lights before, each automobile a past reminder,
a firm slap to the system before the morphine cocktail
does its trick. Mama. Son? You cannot hear me.
I am here, a fallen twig being blown all over,
and my homes are at all my friend's abodes.
Mama. Yes, son? You. This world. This terrible cold
and the smell of cooking coming from over the fence.
Butter and peaches, cinnamon, and the flavours
of laughter wafting, taunting.

Behind every photo lies a matchstick waiting to burn it.