Ambient Gay Cortical Jenga

Reuben Gelley Newman

               Summer 2023
Burning to construct a tower of meaning
Lesser dissonance of devils in the eighty-first circle of hell
Can you hear God’s sour thunder trickle from the clouds
A peripheral deer skirted my synapses
An apocryphal fear
Abominable queer
Rummaging on the precipice of grief these shorn antlers
Impossible cliff // double glyph
Needle scratching the vinyl spaceship of our brains
Disco ball cricket encased in amber my partner
Gets a monkeypox vaccine although we’re not promiscuous
Invisible sick // cumulus kiss
Resisting the rubber band of elegy
Kissing the robber hand of capitalism
Trysting the copper strands of my lover’s hair
As another gay buoyed by familial wealth
As librarian of swerving syllables
As cacophonous bright copper
As auburn ampersand
As broken land
Imagine we were all Patroclus
Gone into battle wearing our lovers’ armor
Crackle of synth stag’s hooves beating blood into ground
From GRID to marriage in thirty years
I am such a young man I am stung with song
A hive of bees buzzing cloud this history
As Missouri advances an anti-trans law
Apocalyptical fire // apolitical hearse
A blue moon hiss breaking up
With them right before Pride
Sometimes I think I am not a good person
A new-grown fish this is nothing new
In the history of homosexuality
Mostly I am satisfied in my goodness
Often sad often tired often wearing
Blue shirt a million tiny whales
Clutching my necklace agate
Talismanic as metaphor
A true-flown disc splitting the tree
Eternal emergency the circuitous loop of
Public health from ACT UP to reading
Jonathan Van Ness writing about the HIV
Safety net that mainstream pretty head of hair
Pandemic morphs into bitter orange sky over
The city I watch all the beauty and the bloodshed
Canada wildfires in the smoke-screen of my soul
Donning the KN95 swiping left on Tinder
Hazardous conditions // queer derision—
Can you hear God’s sour thunder?
Can you pierce the clouds?