O real estate, I admit I know not enough about you
to understand why you matter so much to people
whose baked goods are replacement for personality
O real estate, I admit I could have more readily taken
part in your game by way of my father, a landlord
O real estate, when I say
all landlords belong in hell
all landlords belong in hell
even the father of a saint can be a sinner
O real estate, I am no saint but at least I don't squeeze blood from stone
in California my landlord sucked marrow from bone
a parasite paratactic to capitol
the pandemic was no excuse for late rent
(late rent was no excuse not to fix the C₂ alarm, David)
O real, estate & otherwise, I am losing my grip on you
what was the point of this green peculiar missive again?
fathers & sinners perhaps
saints & their blood
O established reality collectively burnished to the Nth degree of glimmer
how lightning glistens the city
how ember glistens the forest
Heaven lathes a celestial firmament for each simple body
brought to kneel in a gutted house
concealed in plastic tarps, crackling ceiling panels
dried spackle in the brass tub
bare wall studs like beached whale bones
no landlords to lord over the land; just the land, & the house
fixtureless, yet fixed in the mind as a fractal of ice
O the long ramble from beeswax lip balm to litigation & property management
O winding way; are the wefts in these psalms too densely woven?
& there are Tchaikovsky's cannons
sounding in the ear again a swan
what a swan might sound like were she allowed all her wrath
O wrath visited terrible upon the lord of hosts
every landlord a host of terminated leases
what is a lease but the promise of its own ending?
what is light but the promise of its own illumination?
you know, none of these contracts are real?
shall we accept meaning is made not by the makers
but by those who experience the thing the makers made?
then, a contract—not made, but agreed into existence—is void
of any meaning besides "use"
& what good to the poet & the ode is use? utility?
there is a difference between existence & being
a lease exists, release is;
a house exists, the home is;
language exists, poetry is;
O I can oh to this & oh to that, but
what is an ode, truly?
the prism of praise?
praise with no prison?
illumination in the dark recesses
the thing elevated above the idea of the thing
the song at the end of the idea of the thing
how it pulses with joy at its own being, its own thingness
how does reality pulse? or the works of state?
the state of these works: a tarnished kettle set to boil
the burner left on all night & into morning
Sage received their MFA in Creative Writing from Saint Mary's College of California. Their poems appear in North American Review, The Rumpus, Pittsburgh Poetry Review, Penn Review, Drunk Monkeys, and elsewhere. They live somewhere in Kansas, but can be found online reliably @sagescrittore.