Cody-Rose Clevidence


[How long shall our hearts grieve

at the passage of time

imagine how it would be

if there were no heart and no such thing as time”

-- Hafez]

“Jofus, I believe they will be fine. Just let them sit and trim the dead off come spring.”

on resuscitating fruit trees after a damaging frost, one user

to another, online

Humans and our masterpiece machines

in the magenta season, perilous with breath.

spiked over with florets and grief, greased

with silicone grease can you hear

o can you hear the gears grind in the machinery

of your soul, ceaseless, ceaseless, ceaseless, all—

unhinging the locket of the sky with this wrench, forsythia

from walmart, kneel down to help me lift it, men

unloading riding lawnmowers off the highway, contemplating

the green expanse inside their hearts O unforsaken

america of our collective daydream, dirty

as sin, made a built world, and still—can you believe it— green.

men of my same heart, with the genetalia

of a deer, men of my same genes, algorithm of a deer,

heartthrob of the seasons bleeding out, grapevine,

sapling, murders, world. is it

enough? it is not enough. we will let it

eat us like a dog from within. sing along

to the radio, windows down, genetalia

of a beer like this in the hand, in the lap,

to lips, to throat, this cross-eyed armageddon refusing

to come “I have to drive us home.” pinnacle of loss. the loss

is not so great. behind the loss there is a worse

and crueler loss. all the seasons turn against us—

spring is for revenge, as mothers know. allegorical world,

stop trying to teach us. we can’t learn any more

than this: hammer, sandwich, anguish, the moving

of our limbs. physics was clearly too much for us,

and space travel, and love. leave off us already,

let us live like little slugs.

we will be fine. fine as snow, that ancient

thing the moss will not remember soon.

fine as dust, fine as an old lady’s hair. the noon

dreams of nighttime, nighttime

dreams of the moon, dust we are,

ambulate, suffering, all; giddy with

chemicals and programmed cell-death

and the music in the air. no, the springtime

doesn’t need us, the springtime

dreads the fall.

ugly city, tereu, Dallas-Fort-Worth, as in a haze

— tetrahedial rooftops from above, less

palimpsest than prefab scrim on a mostly

flat and dingy plane. some trees, dusty city, ugly houses,

ugly sky and ugly air, the day extends westward

with the sun, time-elision of air-travel, I fly east

thus shortening my life.

cities of earth laid out on the green

motherboard, what bombs must look like from above,

fried microchip, corrupted data source, sparking

wires, error, error, terror code of spring: small

explosions in the trees, the smell

of an electrical fire, my mother

then the green and brown patchwork disintegrating

under clouds, ugly country of my heart, morass

and throng of people dressed in brightly colored clothes, people

that sit and stand and stand in line and move

as a flowing body, viral ants, swarm, the data

grows, and, in growing, grows holes—

what if it is all one mind, seen from above?

the evil, foul-smelling mind of god?

the gaping holes in the heart of god, my country

never trust a blue eyed man, my mother.


is the green becoming merciful, or losing

its trait of mercy—

the bleak fealty to the real. how many angles

of the sorrow of yourself, drinking

from fountain to fountain, and why,

you’re not even sad today— it welleth

up, it spilleth over— and here you are again,

debased, drinking as if you could, as if you even

could, kneel at some pure fountain. the debaséd Real,

drearly here, there, everywhere spring blossoms, the loose

confederacy of needs: ones body. “oh the heart, heart

has mountains, frightful, sheer” to turn again into another

form, breathless, to be taken into, taken in. how I have wanted

to be coeval with a place, the form of the mind taken over—

give up, move over, over all, the grass. no, mercy is not

for the other animals, furry, judicious, it’s just for us— hope

has its seasons, young man, and the fall—

the fall— the fall—


causal florets of the bastard sun

limp daffodil moon, armpit of Orion’s

nebula, crack open a beer with me and pour it

into the long stream of consciousness that is the endless

endless, sparkling throat

of time.

(bless the daffodil of the sun O bless times long acre O bless my throat and

all the throats of men O in singing or in anguish O eyeballs and gonads of men in

moonlight bless the catfish below the dam O the migrating birds O the exhaust on

the highway at rushhour O we live here in the rotating sunlight O under the ozone

haze O our days O numbered O count them O each petal O fall—)

“she loves me not” we say to the sun, the sun

glares back, it never blinks, it loves us

not, ejected plasma, circumference, need,

radiate, sing to me, all the people on earth,

too many of us, we eat, we sleep, we go places,

we buy flowers from the supermarket, we fill

bathtubs with hot water for ourselves, with bubbles,

for our loved ones, most of us don’t use equations,

rational logic, perambulating about with our “thoughts” and “prayers”

(given the wide data set of the universe

given the cellular structure of plants

given the interlocking gears of rotational time as set out

by the underlying arrangement of our particular cosmos, given

shape and weight in space, given the irreconcilable nature of time,

the vying of all things, all things do vie, blastocyst, corona-virus, salmonella,

polyhedrons, “angels” “long division” “solar wind” “nucleotide”

“armslist” “burger king”

what a time to be alive.)


March, phalanx, April phalanx, May come

comatose, unbidden, saved some of the cherries

from a late frost, hidden world, the fish just

stare and stare, all eyes are eyes of god. the crocus,

done, the living are just the not-yet-dead. the noise

the humans make and call it “music” call it “traffic”

call it “the internal combustion turns the

interlocking gears, like this” call it “FM radio” O

the human need for sensations, gentle stroke

of lightning on the skin, crowning glory of a nice day,

habitable zone on a habitable planet, factories

that process meat into processed meat, and the

nautellis in the ocean, snails

in the garden, the returning summer birds

and crawling bugs and what I want to protect—


boom-truck in the green electrical tangle, a city flattened,

it’s a Wednesday, reading Hafez: “what price mercy then”

“don’t you want to die in a place you love” I almost

ask my mother. what would it mean to be “blessed” more than this?

the green cathedrals of the mind, doubled over in pain,

seen the grieving faces on the video, knowing the broken

mirror of the mind reflected along its endless corridors,

can only [like many] witness through the portal of my phone

“on these old ones the sensor usually just goes bad” the electric man says

“surprised they sent you out in this” I say, gesturing

to the weather. the world is green and getting greener,

fractured world and fractured prayer, the wrens

make nests where my roof rests on the upper sill, what

is the price of tomatoes, of lumber, still

functioning infrastructure of this moment, which

takes its place in the long line of moments coming before this

and knocks at the door of all the moments which will come after.


the bodies of men are just

the bodies of children, stretched,

curled up, their knees, their toes,

their sadness cradled somewhere

in the vicinity of their heart, weird

morning dreams, wearing

clothes that distinguish “the

genders” from eachother, cultural-

significance, hair, other

apes of sorrow, joy, memory,

habit, habit mostly, love,

muscle, duration, historicity, nothing

blessed, how could anything be blessed

in this world, in this world

or the next

“may your body never suffer any pain” Hafez

again, to want to get drunk

with a 14th century poet, to never leave

the place I love, to guard it

like a nest, like mine own body.

“though he did receive invitations to foreign courts, which

he consistently turned down with flowery regrets”

the music spent the night again, then

left us with its dirty socks. to fulfill the requirements

of my body, daily, and with gratefulness, walking

through the long unfolding of time with the radio on

and the news of far off conflict getting closer, 3

ravens and then a plane overhead—

weedwhack, stack the dishes, give the dog a bone,

call your mother, make some dinner, then

stare at your phone. order the broken

fuel pump online, text my sometimes-lover

about the summer tanagers, remember

the marble statue of a reclining hermaphrodite

I fell in love with as a young adolescent, wonder

what it means to grow old. the greying

neckbeard of my friend, the resignation

in my heart, counting the days

till the apex of summer, being



the lord thath [[[[[[[[[ milked[[[[ mine eyes for a finer

soup]]]]]]]hath lick’t that o silver o silver the]]]]]]]spoon

once the world was war and war]]]]]]child of the beating

darkness warm-bloom’d & over all[[[[[[[[[[[all was[[[[laid

like dirt [[[[[[ yes dirt[[[[[ on roots[]what are you doing,

sun? have called up [][][] the roots of that [[[[[[come get me,

your man! loos’d[[[[on this hot world[] I stand[[[[[like some

forgotten[[[[[accident[][][]the prayers are loosed and flung

about[[[[[[the bullets ricochet[[[[[you rise at noon

the world stands waiting]]]]]] watching]]]]] swarm—

[[[[[my hand!!!]]]]]


What!! is the wattage!! of Damage!! my son]]]]]]]mine own

Perihelion???]]]]]]]]]]curse me out one hundred times it is all

I can do of my own[][] mine own Light Bulb Telemachus[[[[[

bathe me in thy salt my City[[[[[man, thy my man O Trouble-

some wind[[[[]]Wind me Up so I may Live!! face of my same

face[[[[[[Tremble, Wind: the Leaves breathe back at you and I,

!]] I curse you wholeheartedly[][well, halfheartedly[[[oh the cool

breeze is coming up [][]][[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[from the South—

[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[I can be drunk as a thousand Sepulchers, take

my root from the rotten root[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[ milk, god, milk!

god hefts his speckled hem [[[when god has hefted

his speckeled hem of us]]]]] Lights Out, we say[[[[[[gone

“belly up”[[[[[[[[the dawn’s the belly, Up from there[[[

&perfume of “oblivions Soft Shores” []][][]]]]]] will

you answer me?[[[[[set out a little boat??[[]] going either way?

God hefts his sordid root of us [[[ I have “a bone” “to pick”

“with Hymn” >>>>> spheroid of despair>>>>>> quadrilateral

of despair>>>>> obelisk makes an inverted throat of the sky

[[[[[[god’s peircéd eyes[[[[[[[[[[[[[[when is it enough[[[[[[

trapezoid of uneven sorrow running the full length of a life

“separate systems working in tandem” “create the sensation

of experience” [[[[[[ zygotic dandelion in gods hot wind.

[[[[[[[compost the molding peach]]]]] [[[[[ make gravy for breakfast]]]]

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>here hold gods silver spoon [][][][][][]

Cody-Rose Clevidence is the author of BEAST FEAST (2014) and Flung/Throne (2018), both from Ahsahta Press, Listen My Friend, This is the Dream I Dreamed Last Night (2021) from The Song Cave, Aux Arc / Trypt Ich (2021) from Nightboat as well as several handsome chapbooks (flowers and cream, NION, garden door press, Auric). They live in the Arkansas Ozarks with their medium sized but lion-hearted dog, Birdie and and evil noodle of a cat, Monkey.