Where Cotton is Mothered

– for mike


the promised land is quarantined.  double plurals are discontinued

and our melodies hated.  religious and destitute


orphans fitted for coffins then cloned to the capillaries

learn the slavery of slow finish in the metaphysics of the ghetto


who will govern in our year of sleep   who translates these scriptures of fire

who will prevent this orchestra from diluting our emotions


hear how we walk among decibels remembered

intend something grey during the fireworks of flowers


rule your living room with an iron yawn*

(*except when apartments behave like nuns praying amongst flames)


study the radiant entomology of inconsistent skin; hammock it richly

its how we consume what’s most important


while the vocalist sings her scars loose, the senator arrives by email

in your mind, he says, there is a question about the color yellow


in this rainforest of cotton lit by christmas light fireflies

we write letters to the dead on peeled onion skin


in your seawater room there are sunken alphabets

and languages unaccounted for


in the ecology of the warehouse there is a metric ton of unclaimed dreams

spinning and bleeding convex light everywhere at once.


—James Cagney


James Cagney is a writer and poet from Oakland, Ca.  He’s appeared as a featured artist at Miko Kuro’s Midnight Tea in Vancouver, San Francisco Public Library, La Pena Cultural Center, Mahogany Restaurant and others.  His work has been published in ishmaelreedpub.com, Un-mute.com, mediacakemagazine.com, Caduceus, Sparring with the Beatnik Ghosts, and Barbershop Chronicles.  Find more of James’ work at Dirtyratattack.com