Pricarius Hysteresis


Pray, tell me, sweet sister: how much
farther, who arted heavenward, scaling up
up and up, to reach the dizzying cliff, tip
an acephalic sun? Necks cut, our vertigo
unravels as a field; while the sun’s neck
spots the land, we sway, hands locked
heads bowed to Daddy’s clever trap,
his bullish chutes mounting but to
heights for pitching off

000000000000000000O, to be a bird
rather and alight away, escape the grave
air of the earth and her problems. Rotate,
fallow, proffer a trick to escape, a rift
hidden in a silo’s sieve, smuggled like
a weed among the grain. In storage—no, transit,
between prayers, we float like clouds: prexy
and precious, little kernels swole
and puffed with exertion, moving lonely
over the earth’s face, wondering at the seams
in the landscape, quilted with closes.
Closed gates keep out trespassers and like
any metaphor’s burden, dissolve
that wall of brass. She dissolves to air;
my shibboleth name tethers me to the land.
He assures that, and wishes me twice
to mince his steps and wills to forgery
my own path, achieving chartless
elevation. I then syncope

in dreams, climb slicks of sweat, silver
chutes as gravel swirls below. Still
the only way out, up, and unstill, late
summer drips sun in sweet gold. The earth turns
over to moon’s nightshade, her apses flicker
pleasure and distress: pleasure and distress

as stars’ stale exhales dispatch the sky, bid us pray
now and at the hour of our deaths, already dead
in this Virginil darkling pastoral (Here might
our lives with time have wormed away, holy) Our lady
moon, on lockdown in this stairwell, regifts her sonne as aubade
in the shadow of noon’s door. An escape
huis clos: city-fled, agricultured, a world of grain
in the infernal hour, corn listening silkily
growing ever nearer, ever closely pressioned
stifling a stream

0000000000000000O’ chemical runoff,
crops bred blightless, teeth sheening waxy
and stalks large and photosynthetic

(Everything we produce is perfected, every hymn xeroxed, disposable, selah)

The sous vide atmosphere
depresses me. Noon’s cruel laughter, our
father on high helium, perverted and plateauing
our starry ceiling. What altitudes to be attainted?
With abandon, our genteel lord fruitlessly skims history
and drops me ‘cross the horizon, seedling, brambled
in earth. Evening scores in the magnetic moonlight,
pulled upward, gasping and etiolated in this hypoxia

Who will cut me, father? Here I am.
The chorus of ornamental daughter shields
sings in clipped tones: every good boy deserves fudged
accommodations of good girls asking for
and disallowed; cry out, little lamb, with shorn delight
to be a ewe in a god’s eye
basting in the stye sweaty day
say merci

I’m no chanticleer; the sun’s face glares or turns whatever
from me, smelts my works to puddles. If I could stir,
I’d strike its insult from the sky, switched
to shrinking, till the swell moon eclipse its dwindled husk
and I swoon


My mind sheath plays tricks, nervously signals my wearied muscles, weird
shocking my skin a’tingle with lies. What schism precipitated into this
hardening, myelin sclerosed to leaden wounds:
lesion, for they are multiple

my brain strip searches its marrow, its ecstatic corps, interrupts my
arrows, shoots blanks, shrouds everything in wooly clouds
(White spots, dark spots: x-ray my shadows with magnets,
beat mechanical drums to sound the mind-map of my self-
destruction, scored and sliced as
[I fall into] an inky tarn)

ooh de lay órale
my speech slurs, unfurls
a ragged flag. Pray tell: if made
from dust and dust returned, whose dominion
be my body, my bone bread, my patchy circuitry?
How now the ground not sickened by this dragged cadaver dirtied
with single-use plasticks pumped into a heavying heart?

Natalizumab flushes my canopic jar, salina coursing after.
Veins open to plastic aspis, not intrinsicate
and clotting closed. Salida pro re nata:
my ratty Nikes leave feathery rubber skids scratched off the lotto floor
the rat king twists himself to knots
like a scam, my mega mills keep rising
till mechanical beeps awake me, lulled from sleep
the medicinal moon opens us all: we bloom as nightshade
becked by her constant gravid wiles, expectant faces glowing and weighted with potential
exhausted: this was a terrible

climb. This was a terrible crime.
A feathered crinoline, mounted and fixed
with a pin, wriggling
then clipped    in the hall of the sky, a curt moment
of vertiginous weightlessness. How moving.

Another fledgling fail: resolvent wax melts to what.
A finish. A world fallowing lushly, hemmed in
by plastic waterways, velvety underground
sewerage piping songs of excess, seething
and puckering with anhydrous ammonia
delivered to swollen streaming mouths.
Hydra, which of your heads eats immortality? The one
gaunt with austerity, careful to prune
and drown interlopers in a 3” chemical bath.
Your careful attention salvos as a complex
-ion, positively charging with vorpal sword. I’ve no head
for figures, can only dream of sky, sky
my exeunt from this precisely maintained labyrinth wherein
all manner of ingress strictly contained +
the only egress: wax, vertex
and the sweat to unroot myself

my seizing muscles, my goodly apraxia:
protect me now in the hour of my degeneration

The splashless dive
into oceans of corn, fevers of soy. O Deadalus
your flat metal eyes enormous and unblinking from the rafters.
My body is broken for: the crows peck
and ambushel my disarticulate joints,
my recalcitrant fortunes hedged to futurity.
The silken parachute I trussed collapsed,
chickadee: whoever can uncinch
these corseted pursed strings

tethering this prolonged chrysalis, summoning the blood
to shroud my corpse in death’s flush, quietly
prepare my body for earth’s kissy cloud of dust
Psyche, sweet sister, let us fly

let us fly—for we must
revision our escape, eyes turnt to sun
rapidly warming, melting vitreous, dript
fat to flame immacular and feel
the bottom drop
out here where we are myth
taken for truce











My Love Is Like An Infrared Rose


I luv it into being
perceived, there[fore] you are
here aft and aptly

out of the corners of empir
-icism. Cynic, there’s a good
boy, play dead. Speak:
tangibly thought-out

& advertised to be just
as I imagined (We both
agree: I like the idea of
you better than you

& that your blooming in my mind
more beautifully than you will
disappoint me here on the lawn)

grow to ward the sun,
to carom light to
mine own self, beet-root
and jelly: you exist for me,
little rose: to be is to be













They say I’m a silvery moon
to the blind sonne. The unwitting,
tragic one devouring my own family
tree subtly nipping at the heels
of our boorish love story

Hang it: the moon
cut down darkness, I say

blossoming open so indelicately
& pushed through a pitchy hole
blinkering the pale petals’ swollen whorl

I stitch your holes closed
plunge a needle through: twist
thread and shank, its pistol
bleeds a little, milky green
sap weeping from the puncture wound

Unpin my hair, unlace my rabbits
splayed like a crime scene:
you doubly bore his monstrous
shame, interruptial bed drawn round the throat
a cloak of disgust against a bruised twilight

mother, daughter, father, brother
heads gone soft on the mountainous highway
bare-breasted and heaving

I am naked in my grief

Look on my form, fixed and pendulous
seen through the stones
packed in your cavities, that which made me
(your mother’s daughter!) accessory
to your purblind ignorance, your bloody fog

I am not your fucking mother

I am a plate. I am a blade. I am a scythe.
I am an eye. Curve to the line. I hardly
try. I never cry.










Polysemy  Police Me


Polly, see me (wanna crack?)
explain yourself! Inconstant
fem. Langue lolls, licks up

some antics. Pretty brid,
make a berd. What a prêt
ty girl! You’re smart

Do you know the deference
‘twixt homonymy (eat your corn!)
& polysemy? Nod brightly

(be a good girl) slavering
mouth parroting language
expressed thru Syrinx

(wolf whistle) give us a kiss
without tongue, from lipless
mouth. Now say peas

you’ll eat
out your words like your empty
hourglass heart, gravel mouth

coal canary, sing out your mine
loose lips zipperie do
whistle a tune all atonal

twittering (O Hell, O
I’m a pretty bride)
plunged in Lethey plumes

you’ll forget this after the
(beep) Excuse me, I’m crackers
thereafter me (repeat) (slowly)

holding up the system
(hands in the air, sticklers
this is a fuck up)






Jacqueline Kari was born in Illyria, OH. She is completing a dissertation on the feminine lyric subject at the University of Georgia. Part of her recent project A Creature Feminine appeared as the chapbook please | sure (Birds of Lace, 2019), and other work has appeared/is forthcoming in The Georgia ReviewThe Chicago ReviewLana Turner, and 7 x 7, and elsewhere.