J A C O B S M U L I A N
after David St. John
Reenvisioning the revisioning.
Lines upon lines, soft phrases spoken in
tandem. For lack of sight, constructed and
adorned with abandon . . . Abandoned, then
retold by new lips.
Coruscating strings on stained koa sleep in
their stand, siblings of sizes nestled nearby.
All picked with felicity. All fleeting and rotten;
today's lunch in tomorrow's stomach.
Singing their haunting refrains to no one in
particular, Archie Shepp wa-wa-wa-ing away
at sleepless nights. My back feels twisted &
angry tonight, reminds me that I inhabit a
broken/breaking vessel. Tensioned strings
that run along rivers of blood, snapping back
into the wrong places, oscillating
incongruent phases. The bitter sting of
giving out, giving up. Under these
conditions, I can’t tell whether my hips
want to stay in their joint sockets or just
do it for my sake. (Fall of fruit; fruit falling
from her holes; fall of paradise; paradise told
as a journey; fall of sin; fall of man) Tonight,
I'll dance and sing alone in our short
hallways, queue up a song for no one in
"For I am an engine
And I'm rolling on
Through endless revisions to state what I
For sweetness alone who flew out
back home in a
Jacob Smulian lives in Athens, Georgia. This is his first publication.