Paul Ilechko

Graveyard Sensation

Darkness     no longer visible
                           now faded     into shadows
        lost within the rhythms
                                of a fatal hunger 

(the sugar-crusted syrup of death)

   excuse me for my wound
   excuse me for my aching
   excuse my dusty body
   excuse my careless bones 

watch the shapes
             the positions
                               that bodies take
       as they pledge     dismay

(to locked doors     and broken windows)

*     *      *     *     *     *     *     *     *

under a blood red moon
                             fish    float     belly up
            pale flesh exposed as pink

(beneath the smoking oil of surface)

drifting through the ghostly whiteness of ash
          the impenetrable clarity 
                        of an empty mirror

the pale     forgotten legend 
                             of salvation 

   disguised as a force of stagnation
   disguised as a graveyard sensation.Practical Chemistry

Glass breath     shattered     into a feedback loop of endless

(nostalgic for blueness     nostalgic for the spreading cracks of filament)

waxed to a sheen of currency     a copper vein of richness 

our breathing lingered

we played the chemical game     as objects blurred

 * * * the fall had changed everything * * * 

a trombone     voicing wax     voicing guttural 

(a scarlet kind of knowledge     of dubious ethics)

a deflection     and then     twelve points radiated

beneath a softening breeze 


The Burning of Oregon

Oregon was a commitment 
          a desolation     beyond flame 

increments of growth     in witness 
          a liquid peristalsis 

burning down the wild raspberries 
          plucking the fruit     from nature’s armpits 

such delicate curves of bramble 
          beneath the squalling shrieks of plenitude 

elementalism as subjectivity 
          as analogy thrifted     to a language 

minus vowels      as metaphor 
          for a landscape without lines of sight.

Parsifal’s Spear

Parsifal     you laughing boy     conceived on 
a Friday     such radiance     such birdsong 

Meaning perhaps attached to “peaceful” meaning not just an absence not just defined by a lack of hostility but defined by a joyous sense of belonging of freedom and equality
A wound that will never heal might stride the stage as metaphor for religion
Meaning can peace even exist in such a society riddled with the poison of capital accumulation degraded by the burning corruption of ownership
The dark impurity of the holy blood the cold relief of self-mutilation
The taste of “class” as a mouthful of dirt spat with disgust against the walls of the privileged few
Parsifal you indeterminate entity lost within the garden of your own girlhood
From mercantilism to monopoly the colonial savagery of expansive dread
So many years of journeying sweet Parsifal lost beneath the curse of gender you raise your spear and point it at the sun.
Paul Ilechko is the author of three chapbooks, most recently Pain Sections (Alien Buddha Press). His work has appeared in a variety of journals, including Rogue Agent, San Pedro River Review, North Dakota Quarterly, Book of Matches and The Banyan Review. He lives with his partner in Lambertville, NJ.
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