May 142011

by Allan Johnston

I have lived with the complaint

as if in an intricate consensus.

The complaint stretches its shell

of bribes into heaven,

forming a bell

whose shimmer and gold

tremble in an atmosphere,

describing all

anyone can make

out of what is wrong with this life.

They keep searching for a way

through the swamp of opportunity.

I have lived as if in a bell,

large and bronzed, heavily dented

by mallet strokes,

and the sea of its ringing

brings the festive crowds

to marvel at the delicate line

where the casting failed —

the crack

whose liberty

forbids all sounding.

I have lived with these details

of the complaint.  I have nestled

in its cloisonné curves.

The complaint is commonplace,

a chromeopath —

this Kremlin

of attachments.  Onion roofed,

tearful, it throws everything

up into the air,

where, like fat, it solidifies

on the thick ribs of difficulty.