Matador Review

A Quarterly Missive of Alternative Concern

ian a. bonaparte


the fool


i. I did it to myself

Beneath the ultramarine
it croaked out like the truth:
           A tathagata's forms are endless.
           And so is his awareness.

Is that why what's fleeting
fills me, fills the sky
with ground lapis?

If I was frittering my last sane hopes,
what was that to me,
greying horizontal
on the divan?


ii. In the zone without shape

I got reckless with my things and my heart,
cranking everything I own
at the wall.

In the spray of crystal
and dinnerware, a roar wavers,
like the tones of the bell
make the bell,
or an ultimatum.

By the hundredth detour,
whose face was I chasing?


iii. Smoking in scorched bedding

My unlived years
lined the skin of time
like hypotheticals:

The blue in the hole in my ceiling,
The gold chinks in the zazen
hammered out to passages.

Envision me whispering
the whole swollen, reversed
city, its leagues of hearts
barging down Madison.

My nerves were thin then.

I could hear god thinking.


iv. I was mating / The faces

I swiped a cool gigabyte
by the blue glow.

I swiped a cool one more.

Tender the sun
glancing from abdomens.
Tender the blond lilting
in jpeg wind.

How little did I speak?
How far inward and inward,
turning noneuclidean?


v. More birds awoke screaming

That morning was lucky—
saw a red cardinal,
image of winter,
swooping to woo the brown.

The art had finally turned me rustic.

Just as this happened,
the green planet ignited


vi. The mobius surface of my shy insides

Loneliness gushed
from heaven's reservoirs.

The faces lolled
like spent flowerheads.

In the shoals of the long dead,
pants rolled, pleasure gushes
to the appendages.
Pleasure's no judge.
That'd be the boiling rest of me,
crawling the blind ooze of desire
to blindness.

           -!-

The coffins sang
down the East River!

The lightyears of worry—
they ticker across all distances!


vii. Who would speak before the tabernacle?

"Dreams are short, but their Beauties are Rare."
To know and love this makes the poet.

You know the house changes you,
the car changes you?
These freedoms are vampiric.

Now something blue and different
on the cranial wall—
                       O Frank O'Hara's left-tending shtupper!
                       O tender hair of cadaver!
                       The heart's doors thrown open to the cold!


viii. God the Father / God the Son / God the Devil

I knew heresy early,
knew the beauty offset by boredom,
light pouring through the mysteries
at St. So-and-so's.

When I was a bristle on God's paintbrush,

pressed and

           ground and

                       drowned

—And not like a memory!—

When I stood again dripping
on the black canvas,
the steam of the god pianissimo,
the breath of new climates—!

I knew true faith was death,
was a headless process of conveyance.


ix.  The heart's ecologies

The body… regenerates.
In my dream, more than organs
pulsed beneath.
New formations unlaced
like butterfly parts.

A gray wave pondered like fog,
obscuring the logic
of who'd done what.

           -!-

I couldn't sleep in the foxhole
of vigilance!

Corpse-stiff under linen
I listened to insects
saw open the silence!


x. Hairy on the inside / The period of endurance

The intimacy of fear
was the nudity
behind the last mask.

I'd toiled longer than god had ordered,
crawled a dozen inner borders
in hair shirts.

My old manias sung like arias,
and still blame pounded my head
on its hinges.

Soft, the flux of recall,
that smoke floating me past the waves,
smearing me like the poem's image.


Ian A. Bonaparte's work has appeared in Prelude, Vinyl, Dream Pop Press, and elsewhere. He is an Associate Agent at Janklow & Nesbit Associates.