Hemlock Crimes

With her silver-studded centerpiece and systems of malaise
And her hypnotist laundry bills and salsa smoke and haze
Her memories of loneliness and curfew ticket rides
Coupled with her dancing oboe-Samson soldier tithes
The squawking jukebox dancing queen is sliding in her ear
Telling all the apricots of the changes she has cleared
With window-screen Christians and their patriotic kin
And her cardboard cutout idol of Abraham Lincoln
And soon the question calling card is crumpled in her mind:
What in all these pointless paths do you hope to find?

The tundra dancer homeless queen is buried in the snow
Hoping in her car to find what Goliath cannot know
In prodding prose and pesticide, she swallows frozen tears
And her fasting penance-pride shall hollow all the years
Those times that chill her bony mind and broken-ballroom heart
So pledged unto the captain of the parachuting tarts
Whose sister twin is ransomed by the paralyzing waste
The passive poignant punks who have stolen quiver faiths
And echoing throughout the caskets of the arctic queens
Is: what in all these broken paths do you hope to glean?

The mercenary pistol-poison Florence florist sighs
And casts the bones of the damned upon the servant's eyes
The servant sweeps the ash and soot onto the broken plain
And mimics all the danger calls of trumpets pouring pain
To quit the burning fortune favor she seeks a lucky charm
But knows to hope for Caesar's ghost will only set alarms
And so in somber shadow-squeals of caustic crimson code
She crawls along the corridor and steals the thought to bode
Upon the desk-job officer who kindly had just asked:
What in all these empty paths have you been so tasked?

The poem protector diplomat who carries all the rugs
Is burning bridges on the farm so none can steal his mugs
And knowing that the cancer-cream of corn and potion shops
Is building cabins made of loss and burning all the crops
Thus he takes the empty mind of unfilled jugs of death
And with his smoke and steamboat rage beseeches angry Seth
To crush the spirit of the times in zeitgeist atom bombs
As stormy weather winter eyes have stolen summer calms
And as he ponders limitations he asks in even pain:
What in all these worthless paths should I seek to gain?

Fire-fashioned Vulcan hammers break the treaty calls
As agony and apathy search in earnest for the stalls
Of fate and fighting fastened freaks who sing their dullard hymns
And in their empty endlessness ask for frantic friends
Whose sombrero spastic dreams can summarize the world
And bottle distant aspirations upon which Christ is hurled
Curled into the seismic days, they wait with flaming swords
And prepare to burst the daylight dreams of sunny sailor shores
But soon a slithered question springs upon their pirate plate:
What in all these senseless paths should we know to hate?

Answered in the doorbell words of ordered dismal homes
Is the question-refrain-dream of actors made of chrome
With leaves of night and blades of day in search of fame and shame
And scalding all the cascade brooks that bubble buoyant claims
Cider-spirit tree-toed nymphs and emblematic books
Are splintered sister hipster hits corroding all the hooks
Scorned and sentenced by the midnight judge for guilty pleas
They hope in swirling turtle fate to enter when they please
Corrupted, they are asked in jest by the stars above:
Is it in these hollow paths that you search for love?