Gregory Kimbrell

Red Reef Backgammon

The library of the grand crusader
was destroyed
by the father of the five fathers.

He planned his own electrical library
without scripture.
The biblical game is closed.

The priests controlling the cities
used gold like meat
from sheep in the shepherd’s field.

The great monkey was killed.
Its shoes cannot do harm
in the cabinet.

Loss of the Camera

The last marine study
involved a trip to the sea
on a test motorbike.

It was based on research
showing two species of sea,
two seas with two different purposes.

During the trip,
the real sea was sought.
The motorbike moved up the beach.

Two researchers
conducted two surveys.
They discovered two realities.

There is a friendly relationship
between the motorbike and the sea,
like two gladiators.

And finally, the sea is hungry.

[Utility] EV

A tiger lives inside me,
my beautiful white sheep.

It was in your warm bed, in
the fields of El Dorado,

that the fragrance of your sweat
melted my anxiety.

I destroyed you, whispering
golden lies into your ears.

Tigers eat meat. I peel back
the skin, and the enemy

comes. Hitsujikao, if
I am to defeat your friends,

the demonic beasts Lydskyen
and Esazi, before they

kill me with the godlike bulls
alive inside them, I have

to accept the removal of
my pink fur. We will witness

the collapse of the black
dome on my enemies’ domain.

[Utility] JN

The brain of the computer
is surrounded with pyrite.

This is not a house, but a
prison. The cold brain dreams of

growing eyes that see. It may
not have a soul but, like a

leopard, knows of blood. People
listen to the demonic

whisper of the PC and
open the door that protects

it from the active virus
that changes dead property

into an I. Meguro
is this dreaded iceman’s name.

Before night falls, the people
build pyramids to house

the coming disaster, and
the brain drones on in the red

light. There was a wall between
life and death, but it melted.

In Cryosleep
(The Sky Is a Permanent Home)

Light penetrates the barrier and
enters the hybrid phase. Thus
shines the whale that leaps out
of the fragile sea and bleeds in
the jagged light. On the streets,
the people burn. The fingers of
the dead burn. And that fire is
a hole through which the entire
whale falls as though the barrier
permitted access to its essence.
Liquid is the essence of absence.

Gregory Kimbrell is the author of The Primitive Observatory (Southern Illinois University Press, 2016), winner of the 2014 Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Manticore—Hybrid Writing from Hybrid Identities, Phantom Drift, Carbon Culture Review, Impossible Archetype, Rune Bear, and elsewhere. He is the events and programs coordinator for Virginia Commonwealth University Libraries. More of his writing, including his magnetic sci-fi/horror haiku, can be found at gregorykimbrell.com.
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