Mel Elberg

Heroine Saves the Church of Satan

at the second door of the party
you give up words like weapons
let em slide into caves
where pools in the mouth of the mountain
change faces
when we swim in them
we’re in it       to lose it
depth weds itself to the summit
out of the corner of my eye
is all I see now
the fear tincture is administered
from one world to the next
and my people pool their weapons
to rest
to tell it
as it happens
as it happens

Nickel Wallets

for Nicole

my feelings exactly, they need not match
for the mutable birds and tractors of history
hour-stories   bent for the cymbals of time
how the tones become layered this way

they say Mm. Blavatsky astro-hung her relics
loose on the half conscious quantum mechanic
stockpiled intuitive gruel, the under-meats and media
myriad not-disparate edges of song-stone and tool

they work for you now, the little devils sharpen
their angles in jars marked self-expanse
and preservation, ancient as knives that hover
just above the heavy black 78’s my thoughts
my exactness of feeling, do endure
from darkness
you capture and bring new sound
to the sleep of being


As if you had no control over your inflection
and with a hint of clairvoyance the crowd goes
wild and I am crushed in the stunning ovation
right in the feels       that suspicious American
tension between danger-seekers and what can’t be free
actualized at the exact time of my death-by-poem
Just look at us all look at us here
together on the so-called spectrum
and see where they force the bends straight
a comfortable ever-fresh white
where the weather is
unironically better is it not
why I walk around
putting faces of the dead on
get ready to go
right up and ask them
what classic tantra
Don’t we know how to play it? Magic
backwards music and magic music backwards


after Celan’s NO MORE SAND ART

NO MORE SELFIES, no more cells, no salve

Something lost by sharing. How small
a problem?

yr records–yr collection
yr shape, what does it show?


What is Happening in this Picture

San Anselmo Creek river’s pushing up the blackberry beds.
It’s a river.
and the Russian River (rushin’)
river running electro-west white

river named after Iroquois names we forget.
from the summit we look down on the Donner
for the indian who tried to help them
before they were too far gone.

what happened
the Seattle Sound boat tours Bill Gates house
the Seine I might have puked in.

keep the river on your right
and the river of time
and the river of dreams
and a punk named River

where is the mouth.
when will it open up
Herr River

Disparity brooks in a bamboo forest
tiny rivers of the braided stream
we drank of and yelled more moonlight
rippling the inner tides

too dangerous to cross
and the river running through the house
and the one in my heart

we dip our feet into and retract
to be carried
like sleep can carry you