weekend-readsA Lightenment On New Year’s Eve

Alice Fulton

Season of no weedwhackers and wind
that moans like a folding choir.
Tonight the old is laid away in smoke.
Tonight the sodality of fire.
Newness is intensely memorable. It’s called
the primacy effect.
The rinpoche of firstness
is ready for this attentional task. To write
the year’s grievances by hand on scrap.
Approach. Feed the burning bowl.

While silence falls, a hybrid of snow.
Rise and kneel. This burning is private.
We’re here to get present, gentle memory,
put the past to sleep.
Since she enjoys her long night’s
festival let me. Some use their digital fireworks
setting to preserve the letting go.
A little bone-like object
marks the distance we must keep.

• •

Uranium burns with a spectral a peri-
winkle a newclear nukeyouler—
some can’t get their mouths around it—flame.
Some experience a gut flutter. How can it be
tranquillized? Change the world, the pyropathologist
says without a beat. Fire has a sense of entitlement.
It owns the stage. If you do fire
it does you back more deeply.
If you do love—
but I was saying. To fire it’s all to the tooth.
It’s a felony-friendly entity not a force
with whom it is advisable to link one’s fate.

thrashglutton candelabra. Flashing ruffian
point bucket. In mind I burn
cremation with its ghastly dairy sound.
Burn some fatuous platitudes:
Whatdoesntkillyoumakesyoustrongitsallgooditsnot
aboutyouattheendofthedaythatbeingsaid
closureclosureclosure
— I write uranium, plutonium
and lower the control rods by hand. I relinquish
these to your fortunes, which promise
to be different from mine, I tell the fire.

After the offering, we compose emollient letters
of intention for the year ahead:
May I take it or leave it. May I be
pleased to meet you. May I be
in the same boat. May I be
too kind. May I run the risk. May I be
all of a piece. May my
protective rubber mask not melt. May I
remain to be seen
. If I break

these vows, I’ll party hard in all that
I renounced. It’s called the abstinence violation
effect.
Sober companion, it’s hard to carnival
in a business lit cube that disavows
all bossa nova hustle frug and boogaloo.
A party without a procedural guide-
book’s like a faculty club without a tattoo
removal service.
True fool, my twice-turned
regalia does need to be retooled.

• •

One gasp and she was rebegot
of nightness nullsense nilthings
which are not. No
parched marble memorates her,
just the living cell. Install strict seals
of rubber and titanium and
build a tome around it.

Nor war’s quick fire shall burn
nor trick of the night or acid
eat away at or corrode. Though no
good listener’s lurking in the density
that if touched would touch
us back. Though the eraser
grays the paper and silence breaks

the state it names, I’ll call this hour
her vigil and her Eve. Though molished
with time and old with all
these bratty fire ribbons tucked inside
my head. Though both knees cracked
from falling to my knees. Still this

attentional task. Grasp the evaporate.
Define. A link is a torch made of cloth
dipped in pitch. The link girl runs ahead
to light the way. Writing is the fire
that burns fire. Every silence quotes
a greater silence. Hushdriven
chandelierium. When I open my fist
to free it it’s fused to my skin. Clasping
recombinant thornglove. Kindleweed
ashquill. I’ll call it summery mix.

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