Perihelion: An Online Journal of Poetry and Mayhem
The Phoenix Issue, No. 16, Winter 2008
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  H.L. Hix
  Marci Rae Johnson
  Jae Newman
  Geoffrey G. O'Brien
  K. Alma Peterson
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La Reproduction Interdite

After Magritte

After warrant and ransacking, the following found: skeleton
key, chalice, crow; clay smoking pipe, cane, briefcase, and candelabra;
the evidence of his crimes damning in the eye of the man
with the incandescent head. But before arraignment, sentencing,
and eventual incarceration, the accused fled on a pale horse
through a stenciled forest. From a balcony, coffins watched
the procession without comment. In the forest, the leafless
trees were leaf-shaped and the escapist’s eye reflected the sky—
an armada of clouds, a pupil to blot out the sun.

The man with the incandescent head wants to sell you a rock.
Next to the window, a hammer and a sign: IN CASE OF NEED.
Break the glass and make like hell for the countryside
where owls may be harvested, repotted, and sold as necessary.
Survival is rooted solely in the necessary. Do not look for justification.

A shower of solicitors fell upon suburbia
and with door-to-door chicanery they proceeded
to pillage. Umbrellas can be very menacing!
Candles make the kindest snakes. Their fire
is markedly in our favor, having waited on the porch
for us to pack. The circus came to town and its bearded
women took brickbats to our beauty parlors.
Bed knobs had eyes and wept for what we did at night.
Everyone agreed; evacuation was imminent.

The crescent moon, the bowler hat, the apple-
obscured head; the bowler hat, the stuffed suit, starched
shirt and sea; the bowler hat—some fashions refuse to flicker.
Some collections of monoliths tell us to sleep and while sleeping,
to dream. And during bright summer nights, the man
with the incandescent head thinks of you and how it could
have been different. He would like another chance.