Nicholas Grider

 

from THE BOOK OF FORMER WISDOM

 

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Fantasy being a big red button that doesn’t do anything when you push it, no eventuating

God is not a heart, God is more real than a heart, God is not necessarily Safety First

the more you understand the smaller your tongue gets

intermittent music having something to do with yes she’s gone but also regret

kadosh kadosh kadosh

not as compact as how much a dollar costs

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far wide of the mark of transforming Friday into secrecy or sorcery

and yet storage tubs full of Friday night, salutations heavy with push push push

 

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Terrifying, terrifying, smeared lights and terrifying, a completely precise love

Moshe, you’re not supposed to bring it up, sometimes the whole world is a secret, kid,
sometimes the whole world is only part of a secret

sometimes bodies in motion and “nevertheless”

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not exactly fancy, the moon submerged in the ocean, any ocean, kid––but it’s not fancy, it’s not even real

if it’s on fire that means it’s a flower, it doesn’t have a name

nor should you

 

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This ship is sinking, this ship is sinking, this ship is sinking, this ship is sinking, this ship is
sinking, this ship is not on fire enough

theft having something to do with speed, hey malachim is it really just square peg––kid, more
like dodecahedron but you got the right idea, nor does disillusionment lead anywhere, nor is it a
splash or half of some foreign document, nor should it

this is the plugged-in dread, it doesn’t take long, Moshe

nobody’s grabbing anybody’s thigh, at least not yet

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alternate exit takes you into the city, steal both bread and fear

nobody in particular, you’re not multiplication

nor is subtraction a workable hello

 

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Elijah I’m not sure I even have a voice anymore, am I an animal or a lightning rod––kid this kind
of existential hoo-hah is natural––but don’t just tell me “don’t sweat it, kid” when I put my
shoulder to the wheel and now am slowly turning into some oil-thick ocean

onward ever onward

the mountain apparently only two feet high

consider it a vacation, Moshe, say the malachim, you need one anyway, but from what exactly,
too near to see the contours, all you see is don’t cry in public

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there’s also mitigated, and what can’t

what floats away, what’s taken, what’s inventory

what’s human, what’s more or less

 

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You never became a better avoider but hit the ground running, if you hit the ground, otherwise
you dangle and a rabbi emits operatic ululation or just cancels his subscription to you, you’re not
making any claims, but you might be one

not even any kind of Lovecraft or evil eye deal, just––kid, please––spiritual horseplay vs. extant
horseshit, steaming

stockpiles thereof possibly to ward off, keys to the locks not included

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tiny dancer but, you know, uh

neither the human model nor the icon are to scale, and icons can be purloined

all the engines in the world knit together and sent heavenward, all the dead tongues buried in dry sand

 

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