Cathexis Northwest Press
View from the recommended palace; Tomatoes; An affinity for endings
By: Daniel Tsoy
View from the recommended palace
How slender her whisper, how quiet its vivacity.
That which is pristine does not attract me,
nor does the temporary intrusion enlist
so much as this feigned escape.
Surely a madman has put us here,
gawking at such a display of magnitude
from the infallible balustrade. Our outlines
fuzzy as the sky’s, a flimsy feeling like a useless coupon
just beyond the banister. The dazzling kaleidoscope
now bores terribly. Recall that even though the most
grandiose propositions are set into motion with the flourish
of an enthusiastic signature, never have I made a promise not
knowing the extent of my wrongdoings. I have seen my intercessions
fulfill themselves like a dose of saline to the eyes, yet
temporary clarity is still the best I can offer, and even so unreliably.
Yes, it was here. I embraced my penchant for first kisses,
graduated from that system which provides assistance
strictly upon request, having come to believe that time elapses
for its own sake. A black towel for the new soup,
which when spilled is still soup; an annex to the epicenter,
which is where we currently find ourselves. Raking
leaves and lighting cigarettes with cigarettes.
They ask to be thrown, but not like baseballs.
More like water balloons—just to see them splat.
Grandpa ate them whole, like apples but
much sloppier, and he only wiped his mouth
when finished. Ketchup is a bastardization,
he would say in satiation, Mother trying
to cover our soft ears, but he was right.
Father’s hands would tuck us in at night,
torn from the day of stringing: Sun Gold,
Green Zebra, Wapsipinicon, Big Boy.
To Arcimboldo, they were the plump lower lip—
red and tender, hypersexual. The Italians saw
potential, pizza. A suburban girl laughs at them
loafing on the kitchen counter like fat cousins.
The deer are obsessed, and the children, too.
To some they are fruit, to others vegetable.
I believe the cherry tomato resembles a planet
witnessed from the distance and connected
to an intricate pattern of vines. And you, my love,
mistook a Striped German hanging just above the dirt
for my heart—an honest misunderstanding.
An affinity for endings
I have arrived under the pretense
of lost valuables, which, however true,
is still not the reason I’m here.
An unpredictable censure frets
in the sleek lobby of hedonism,
the large, round, white-faced clock
teeming with time on the wall.
Elsewhere, my pink grief is sprinting,
aimlessly of course, keys jingling.
What an invention. The peeling
posters have all but disappeared
and the diminutive trickery is
all but exposed. Up to this point,
far too much has been predicated
on the tusk of some defamed angel.
Take, for instance: the Five Year Plan,
the elapsing addict, the rabbit lost
in the city, needle-eyed and needy.
What a botched attempt at elegance,
each house in the neighborhood
with the same bell tone, people
in parkas and cars. Yes, I do find
the flurries beautiful too,
and the 90% winter humidity.
But why? Don’t ask this too often,
just watch: an intellectual standoff
between animist and aloe plant,
a duel to the death on DVD.
Hopefully it will be enough just to notice
the telltale pain in the chest of the hill,
the roulette ball that settles.
Daniel Tsoy is a poet from the DMV. He is currently based in Silver Spring, MD.