The Black Book Proceeds

mind blown about
the trees
            thought receipt
& change upbraided
            w/speculative highs
& indeterminate weather

cut into cords of smoke
they cast
& recast           each ring
outformed sky

point in fingers
window/street smear

            the apple cannot
            get mentioned
            redthroated birds
            or the color
            of their warble

either one foot or the other
goes unshod through
this season—you pick

& we speak off our clothing
only as it comes
on—a switch to wear

a body made of lamps
thought whole & strung light to turn

on our backs again
break the sticks are
broken in the fire

such small animals as these
we swear allegiance to
packed in solitary, fine.

dry lands are ranging
and each prophet looks
pathetic or extra

foreign in the ordinary
case against the I (needs)

            a guy who hates
            so much he’s crushed
            down to what’s seen

bits & particles
dots & letters

                            long a roadliked sentence


factories of awl
used to puncture sea

water crusting
metals & the point

every store
makes laid bare    

stringed-parts before use

before us the litter

with the needles placed into the body
of the spell’s victim
you must envision this other person

climbing up a well
climbing up a wall
climbing up a weal

clamoring in the pin’s points
until all of his or her joints fail and the sky
above the hole casts over


Tony Mancus is the author of three chapbooks - Bye Land, Bye Sea, and Diplomancy. He co-founded Flying Guillotine Press with Sommer Browning in 2008. He works as a quality assurance specialist and lives in Rosslyn, VA with his wife Shannon and their two yappy cats.