CHAIN 1: Delusional Structures of the Inner Ear

Fregoli’s Hammer

Everyone sherries a gâteau now and then or
     rums a ham secretly, tips a flask in coffee,
     guzzles pure ethanol soon as I stop gawking.
Everyone carries a shadow like a fender
     needing swift beatings in darkrooms during off-peak
     hours to undent their deep, topographic pocking.
Everyone’s someone’s unpaid amanuensis
     sneaking in nightly to strike their under-ivories
     like they’re not matching feet shoved in different jackboots.
Everyone’s piggy heart rattles with consensus
     vis-à-vis coinage, their amorous inquiries
     into each other like hogs into a kill chute.

Capgras’s Anvil

Order’s nepotism of the ruins, statute
     of the digitizing of extinguished libraries,
     catalogue of slaughterhouses’ picket fences.
Order’s repetition of the unit, hirsute
     -faced homunculi and matryoshka ovaries
     having propagated more perfected tenses.
Order had been ticket punching, gentle rocking,
     black bandanas, passengers unhandled roughly,
     then the train encountered by a camp surrendered.
Order had been truffle hunting, earth-defrocking
     snout a peach-ish pillowcase whose cotton softly
     undulated as the snakes inside it hungered.

Cotard’s Stirrup

The trap had not been meritorious centre
     of world events for long before the mute senses
     foreclosed the breath museum, pawned the teeth tchotchkes.
The map had not been territory since live bees
     last swarmed in beards to wag our chinny chins, shocking
     chests like batteries, wings expressivist tribute.
The map is not the territory, this spacesuit
     is not the naked wonderment of spacewalking,
     this vacuum-wrapped rump’s latitudes aren’t Earth’s livery.
The traps between our thighs are squealing out awfully
     like wishbones strapped to razorbacks, we portentous
     human hammipedes, we porcine kinda-centaurs.

Andy Verboom is from sub-rural Nova Scotia and lives in K’jipuktuk (Halifax). He is publisher of Insomniac Press and Collusion Books, co-founder of long con magazine, and author of six poetry chapbooks–most recently, DBL (knife fork book, 2020). More:

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