Complexion

The following is a collection of poems that I wrote when I was 18…

 

Complexion

~

Chapter I: Generation

And generations of fireworks light glass optics

Unafraid of big bangs and hollow violence

Material evaporates into known spheres

And is granted a name and an idea

Oblivion’s untold energy

Unfolds into timeless legions of animated spectrums

And something rests in the word of nothing

Being and non-being persist indistinguishably

With no beginning or end

Infinite generation, inextinguishable radiance

So dynamite persists

Spitting pixels at vacuum retinas

While tired hands sculpt granular instances from memories

Illusions of beginnings and ends take shape

Enriched by searing vibrations, stark reactions

Shoals of fingerprint membranes leak into dust

Curious souls of frostbitten feet

Sink into scalding sand

Graphite etched solemnly into birchwood bark

Ripples dig surgically

Into the mortal

Undertone

Tattooed on the mind’s eye shadows flutter

The skin of its pupil carved with steady dimensions

of synoptical skyscrapers

Gaping ruts beg for flooding

Liquid reality engulfs the plastered framework

With deafening assurance

Vascular drips with oversaturation

And is blinded by nourishment

It silently bellows from the naked center

The kiln is inverted and unfolds upon itself

An ocean of consciousness

Let it seep into your butchered skull

 

Chapter II: Imprintation 

Tribal Hands:

You have your mother’s eyes

Your grandfather’s jaw

Your father’s shoulders

Ancient features rest in a familiar, native palm

The elixir of homeland potency traces fingertips

Across the bridge of your nose

Course sands rise from burial grounds

And empty themselves into new life

Guided by stark ancestral hands

The rhythm of kin brings elements

into edges and outlines

carved, etched, and traced

rewind and you’ll sink into the dirt

drain into the ocean

waft into the wind

 

Ink:

Change is gradual

But the pain of a forced needle

Doesn’t compare

To the gradual erosion felt by a riverbank

Do trees feel growing pains?

Or the tattoo of a lovers knife?

Scars filled with ink tell a story

Just as the scars of childhood gradually fill

With years

Ink drips from the tips

of mountains

and leaks into the lakes

Publishing footpaths that lead

in your direction

 

Wash:

Let the sweat of a dozen

April showers

flush out your face

I feel bruises

in the rain

the soak

Blistering

Ripples disturb life beneath the puddles

but rain also erodes my layers

the wash gives

Dunes

and mountains

true figure

Just as water

licks the land

It stamps my iris

Drainage

of the sublime

into concentration

 

Chapter III: Absorption 

Totem:

I am obsessed

Absorbed in I

If there’s one thing i hold

It’s I

I don’t know what it is

but

it is

I know it

It feels as heavy as a stone

but I can’t hold it

it feels as deep as a pool

But I can’t swim

An invisible, inexistential totem

 

Skins:

This skin is full

Puncture it and

There will

Be

Blood

Puncture this mind

And i will

Wake

Up

This skin is full

I sweat

I shed

My totem

Drained

What will fill it?

 

Valerian:

Waking up from an eternal dream

Only to go back to sleep

Morphine drips are sipped

By this grateful valerian

Saturated with medication

Weary minds look up

Maybe they should look down

check their roots

 

Pocumtuck:

Run along the spine

Kneel in the crux of his shoulders

the mountain cradles you

his sunburnt shoals

his weary

sturdy boots

The electronics of his beating heart

have long since burnt out

and were replaced by something completely different

lost in time

so deep

i thought id drown

 

Pine:

Tread light

On the crimson

ruts of an old

mountain road

live in it’s bourbon woods

Sleep under the

wash of stars

a swamp

of blazing maples

Collapse

and coat

my aching bones

sunken eyes

of a lonely

dormant

Peak

In solitude

Old Pine

A companion

 

Chapter IV: Projection

Monarch:

A paw print marking the first step out of hibernation

You, the bear

are sensitive to light

How must a monarch feel

Having outgrown the cocoon

In the first moment of flight

Intoxicated

 

Sherpa:

Tangent leaves aesthetic

Mellow reefs brew

Illicit cryptic spokes

growing against gravities grain

Commemorate leather

sunken songs illuminate

Rivers of oil and water

the sherpa cascades vacant

 

Retina:

Fingernails draw fragile webs on puzzle pieces

Plastic cyphers translate electric echoes into aching ears

Crimson eagles elevate on hollow chests

through defining din she achieves manufactured tranquility

in the womb of silicone and graphite

sitting on stars yet drowned by a sinking stone

Scrubbing stale thoughts

plastic treed whose roots grip power grids

Ecstatic sockets awaiting artificial enlightenment

in the womb of silicon and graphite

 

Erosion:

Erosion is an illusion

what i think is being stripped

is just shifting

what i think is dying

is just moving

What erodes from the riverbank

can be found in the river

What erodes from the mountain

Can be found in the valley

however slowly

 

Keys:

whose keys do you hold in your lonely grip

And why do they fit into the future

tell me why they fit so perfectly

these keys that fell in my lap

this is the unlocking

 

 

Lucien Burke, 2015

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