Four Parts from Sentience by Clayton A. Couch


Castle's own king, and frame bogs down on camera's unsettled friend. Literacy rates continue to decline until telepathy cuts the head off, and then those damn extraterrestrials land. Thinking in biological obsessions. There's the not-so-subtle realization that consciousness is an addiction, one never intended to grow in the shade beneath trees. War on senses. The question doesn't involve grey goo, viral insurgencies, or magic lamps; rather oh is about to break into ah without a comma's separation. Are we being prepared for parasites? Remains that confuse the issue provide a crux for the problem separating wave from particle, which infuses Auto Focus with its crushed orange outlook on Bob Crane's cranial fornications. Beat ahead with tripod in tow, and if this is a picture of climate change, a future full of humidity and heat, then come back to ground level where the foundation sits atop a refuse pile left over from an era when this neighborhood was constructed. Ships made of oak. Even conservatives begin to argue about the value of hashish, which is to say that no citizen should be left to the devices that mechanize your mind's harsh progress into compulsive statistical analysis. To use the cross as a shield against one's own spurts, and to forget that it was all blood when you smelt the silver. "Another CEO in handcuffs," says The Christian Science Monitor, and inside we compare Sir Gawain to Kenny Boy, with the Green Man being a potential cellmate or panoptical companion. In cuffs, you've been designated to hang upside down from the highest branch, with your torso pierced in thirty places and parched of interest. To be continued, as they say when the producers don't realize that no one wants to watch next week. To be able to erase minutiae.


Hold this hose close to the edge. Does it make you wonder how you keep from coming asunder? Such a spin, like it was Labor Day for cubicles and cold-cocked Federales. Red tint is what radiates naturally from hours of campaigning for the Party, which is a healthy dose of balloons and goodnight kisses. Visions of Bikini Atoll. The same dose of garlic that filters lungs of aetherous coughings keeps vampires from launching deep bass thumps into the parked sweetness, but such odors are not to be trusted. What's it like to reclaim a belching laugh in this age of flour and egg whites? You guessed it. It's like we slept outside in puddles, bumping into maddening jokes along the way to the fat drugstore. Won't be napping. And the shoplifters said that no one would ever drop kissing bugs into chocolate on their watch, however hard it was to see past the mud-thatched walls that couldn't be reconciled with Futurism. Cans linked together with fishing line. A towering shine of dinosaur lept from the lake and into grandfather's tall tale, and this dedication reminds spectacles of nothing more than scratched lenses. So tired, it's a crime to rhyme a hymnal recited from earthenware, tinged as such things are with the soulprints of what's ailing everyone else. Were the buffalo herded over the edge, or was that chasm simply swallowing? At the tip, the acrylic table's eye looks over at us like a cheap wink, and it must be tough to live in the hands of those models. Perhaps, when our Masonic lodge vacates the old laundromat, there'll be golden fleece with direct-deposit options.


Explicit, says the clandestine news report. Fingers smudge what's left of print topics, and there it is: a new spy agency built to unearth Assyrian artifacts. Smooth. A blister lurks where rain left its drops. Although not nearly as painful as the state's at-will employment relationships, the dependability of monsoons lingers upon how much fortune slumbers in the fame of childhood. Busy creating a monster, which is to say, too far gone to remember how far the geese flew to reach their lake. I lumber into another phrase, and recall the shower it took to resign from the university, breaking to pieces. At least racket has lost its deserters to the private sector, or being confident, holing up near the mouth of a crocodile-infested river. Kids light Roman candles and M-80s near inner organs. If the whole civilization now collects retirement, who will turn up the music in the back of the schoolbus? Middle Ages don't coalesce by accident, although accidents happen to those who wait. There's an instrument that holds its nose below the din and slumps down, waiting for the mandibles to finish. There's a strike. Crossing the line into pure national politics, two parties shape an inevitable violent extreme: Peter Sellers crosses Olaf Stapledon crosses Konstantin Tsiolkovsky crosses Julia Kristeva crosses X MARKS THE SPOT. And fire trucks race towards grease, bumping cars into ditches and wrecking your stepmother's hip. On the bridge, light is peach between cables.


Hapless and retired. Nothing comes closer than these walls of juggled mist, and when the patients retire to the side, an exceptional twist with leaves occurs under gaze. To be aware, at this road made of a smooth obelisk. A moment while camping, when you nearly black out two miles into the woods, seeing what's so separated. To be walking sidewise; to greet encountered figures with a "hey" and a cramped smirk. This manufactured view carves a globe into quarters, into a threatening ration of bathtub fish flops. Are these the lounge lizards that give you the fear? Knowing what you taped yesterday with the painter in her lingerie, should you risk bending an inner sun towards the unfinished chemistry project that left you with an alligator tail and too many distorted dune buggies? When Richard Nixon boarded his plane, Henry Kissinger's pineal gland settled down for a fair match of DiplomacyTM with Anton La Vey. The winner was expected to report his findings to Circe, who in her turn consulted Kali, who in turn caught Begotten in order to brush up on the latest happenings at the surface pustules of our 40-hour work week, which came under the devious auspices of the Libertarian Party in 2012; thereby proving that some sort of singularity was, in fact, possible under the supervision of Dr. Kevorkian. Yes, too many movies. But in sensing dimensions of blinding, these choreographed retinal dancers see too much. There is no red here, and envy is why we move out. Feeling out. Mad and no disturbance: beware of dog. Solar winds. Treble turned way up on the upcoming fire.

BIO: Clayton A. Couch (http://www.claytonacouch.com/) works as a reference librarian at two Asheville, NC-area community colleges and as a review columnist for Library Journal. His first poetry collection, Familiar Bifurcations [xPress(ed), 2004], was recently reviewed in Prague Literary Review, and Artificial Lure (effing press, 2005), a chapbook, has received favorable commentary from Book/Mark, Midwest Book Review, and other publications. Poems have recently appeared in The Alterran Poetry Assemblage, Call: Review, Cannibal, milk magazine, Wherever We Put Our Hats, Verse, and wire sandwich. From 2001-05, he edited and published sidereality (http://www.sidereality.com/).