Adam Fieled


The Schuylkill flows cleanly, despite
all the murk, as the Expressway looms
on the other side of it; the trees, as
usual, are Heaven, rooted much too
deeply for us to fathom, cocked at
a solid angle into a receptive Universe;
I am waiting, writing on the edge of
wars, chopping through the cesspool
of centuries old shit, stunned into an
awareness of the human brain’s torques;
and when I imagine you it’s with a sense
that we’re both standing at the river’s
edge (we are, of course), and as long as
we see the trees into the sky we blend in.


Half-anguished, I threw a red
cloth over a table near your bed
as you slept. I drew the tarot deck’s
first trump: The Magician, & I,
hopped up on pentacles, raised
a finger, thumbed your pale chest:
transgress, I said, & into your dream
I melted, snake-waists tied. Only I
couldn’t wake you from a visionary
trance, in which you wept, fasted,
prayed to be back in your girl-school
knickers, knowing no sex, knowing
only your body’s purity, disciple of
The High Priestess, irrevocably high, off pumps.


Pine Street runs in a curve,
sloped towards all the bistros
on 20th Street, clams open
like palms. I can walk along
the street and see something
a little different each time, but
what never changes is how I
feel— elegant architecture tensed
up against my heart heaved out
on your floor so splintered, we
tippled red wine, roseate, raw,
you stood there topless for me
(pale breasts saying yes to some
one I couldn’t screw), it’s Pine to pine.


What solidity the years deliver— against
the grain of ephemeral travesties forced
into our economies against our will— I
think of you on those West Philadelphia
nights we all got the right buzz going, in
green coloration, so that space/time grew
fluid and compositions magically coalesced,
splayed out on the wooden floor of Mary’s
room, without our own consummation
having happened yet, or needed to happen,
and the composition of my thoughts remains
fluid. The mystery in your brain remains
what it was, circles under/over circles, I
perceive light, shade, depth, earth-tones, bird-eyes.


As to why the world had to let you
starve at the end (as I myself teetered
towards possible starvation), machine
mechanisms against those such as us
always remain in motion, fanged, foraging.
Everything Heaven-hinged here is blood-
spattered; the last time I saw you alive,
headed towards Center City near the
Walnut Street Bridge, deep dark rings
around your eyes spelled out a narrative
of decay, death, deadened innocence. I
knew your temper then, left you alone.
That’s when the Liberty Place Towers
began to frighten me— what was high was cold.

Adam Fieled is a poet based in Philadelphia. His books include Posit (Dusie Press, 2007), Beams (Blazevox, 2007), When You Bit... (Otoliths, 2008), Apparition Poems (Blazevox, 2010), and Cheltenham (Blazevox, 2012). His latest chap is Cheltenham Elegies/Keats' Odal Cycle (Gyan Books, 2015).
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