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kind of a peculiar word:

the groove of a projectile

such as a bullet


etched around the rifle round

keeping it sound in its place

secure in its casing

then winding like a toothy smile
as it describes the spiral of that round

revolving over the ground


reaching across those vast and intimate distances


cracking and resounding starts of sound

as the air is stretched and
like the fibers of some stringed instrument

played by some virtuosic maestro


and how the notes go

soaring, piercing, penetrating

projections of power across

the panoramas of the vistas

that we so violently occupy

beauty in lethality


like the writhing rainbow of some rock snake

or the silent gaze of some predatory shape

lurking in the deep
the arc of an Asian dagger

the stalk of a jungle panther

the Blackhawk formation racing through the night the assaulters alighting
their lasers seeking, then finding
the darkness biding


the round spiraling through the night

as we revolve in this our flight
on our earth around our sun
in this course through time and space

orbits within orbits

millions of particles
racing and colliding
in crescendos of harmony and violence

a symphony of dissonance
distilled into the spiral of an alloy round

burning a tracer comet trail
describing a journey
a narrative arcing toward an ending
a metal messenger winding its way
to whatever home it may find
in bone or flesh or rock or desert earth



dark and mysterious
the Tigris flows down her centuries

rippling against her shadowy shores


she has witnessed it all
armies of corpses she has swallowed

bearing her burdens to eternity


wishes cast like fishnets
the dreams that have been made on her banks the reflections of stars in the water


harvests along her shores
the promise of life in the desert

along with the certainty of death

and she bears the rest away
through her silkily, slipping water

through the timeless silt of her banks


Babylon rose and fell
the gods had their towers and their glories Ishtar’s gate is no more but the river endures


and in the lapping on her shore

is she laughing or crying at the

human tapestry she is weaving by


or maybe she is just
whispering in the wind in the marsh grass

before she passes on her way


bearing her secrets within her breast

and forever laying them to rest



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