Cathexis Northwest Press

© 2018 

View from the recommended palace; Tomatoes; An affinity for endings
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. 

Tomatoes

 

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.