Michael Joseph Walsh



from Audio Without Shelter

How curious you are to me

Awakening   In the mirror
As if dreaming

As if corralled

To assist in the blossoming

Of the primitive conjugations of
The tongue in adolescence

Here is the earth in the signature of

A very bad dream

Where you wouldn't be uprooted
Invisible and without

A vocable

Where the word does not withdraw

Just because you ask
Ask again



Ask again

Why the star
Which has set

Is in error

Why it resembles you

Your quick face
And next to me the flowering of

The dream

Made flesh

This is speech
This is

Permissible   sure

To bear across

To hold the breath
Hostage   My animal


My simple sunset

My shade   Come to it
As you would

A pack of wolves, bearing

Simple gifts



There won't be another

Example made
Of anyone

We won't even

Be visited

By our serpent
In the picture

By the planets we've

Put away

And those we've
Been known to

Speak of

As your voice follows mine into trouble

Let us read out the story
We are ruled by   I am

In your orbit   You are

Settling into

The waves of the page like
A rush of good blood

And these are the questions

We can hardly begin



You stutter

Much more softly than
You look

You move

In warmth   hiding

Where the eyes

I wouldn't be afraid

Not on your watch

Might I suggest "whisper"
On a backdrop of lips

For our sweet   circular visions

Of what we are

Willing to do
For company

Now that we are in that house

Now that we are still   Secretly




Can you imagine

"Listening to incense"
Biting your lip and


On the third day

As the rain
Parts   As you walk

Through it   You see

The lips rise

To the surface
The slightest breath

In sympathy with

The evening about to end

To which the world is
Limited   The two sleeves

Of the God   in progress

I walk with it

I follow it into
The story out of which I was born

In which the eye

Throbs   The same question

The same
Knot of wet snakes

Briefly lit

Against the noise of mere speech  

As we come to and sing
Of the world about to end




Of one and the same tongue to make us

Feel its sting
To make us

Turn our faces up

Let this suffice

Between the jaws
I too go forward

Stripped of fur

Growing more frightened

Even than I was
If I trust my eyes

Let us spread the nets

And tell it

As the tongue will
Toward its flickering tip

This is how it is done

In winter

Now, goodbye
Be good

On your way down

To dust, "to dream

Under dream"
"Wings gummed

And clotted"

Growing more frightened

Even than I was




I won't give it

Another thought if
You don't

See it coming

True   "Inducing

Bird talk"   Allowing
The blood to pool in

Whatever shape

Suits it   Whatever

Creeping hieroglyphic
We might

Open to   Today

Tightening our strings in

For the nothing


The horizon's

Pink lip



Nicely, quietly

With no
Noise   The horizon

Overtakes the sky

That it had birthed

That we had
Swaddled in preparation for

Its song   about to end

A wet heat   hanging

From it
Look at you you're

Glowing   already

The heat from our heads

Through which the ghosts
Exhaust themselves

Aspiring to the condition of glass

Wet glass   in transit

You're welcome
To this blood as it

Presents itself

When you will have breathed

As they would have you breathe



You will have breathed

As they would have you
Breathe   Whispering

Half the night

That cold wind the trance

In which we brood
The good dead

Into being   A vision

A sight compacted

Of silence   A peculiar mode of
Singing the stories that men

Do not live

Out on the stairs

That you don't put on a straitjacket
In order not

To be feared

That music must affect

The skin   That when music plays
It should be impossible

To move



No we wouldn't not ever

Each quick breath


A backlit

String of beads
To close the eyes

Of the dead

As the dead

Reach out to those who wish
To touch them

Caked in wet sand

We have nothing

More to do here
Back-lit   Dripping wet

We and what little fire we've

Been known to whisper

Into submission
Where the legs

Meet   Where the neck and shoulders

Join    Knot of wet limbs

We and what little fire we've been
Known to shepherd

Into orbit