Remiss In Our Clowning
By MLA Chernoff
The meantimes take their light, again,
take me as such,
such as you deign in our dealings in & over
noon & today & tomorrow—today,
but later, still.
Close your eyes:
feel how its stature imposes its drive—
where life is not! A prayer! A joke!
They whisper truly, they: to whom the shade
Wham-slid, the coffee seeping through
the c r a c k of an old breakfast
compatriot (half-mast, half-past a wakeup call).
How can a moment rely so heavily
on the footweighed sidesteps
carried by lag & whisper?
Cross the street with me.
Crisper than winterbreath,
more succinct than the breather—
avoidance need not ask forgiveness.
A balloon-shaped you pops
a final salutation: we tried.
Six feet, an open question:
under or away?
Didactic, cheery, gay.
By MLA Chernoff
Suddenness, so ambulatory—purple and even.
Outside of rest, after the streams are squared,
outside of rent where the good liars are kept under-slept,
not there, but some which where—infinitude, a word who smells
like song, it was there I heard you, Pauline in melody,
being-here in felony,
The ground rung above the roadshow,
the crow rung below the pain.
What is not in infinitude, what is vowelled—a
me, poor in noun & verb, angiosperm, a never-not
goaded by desire for the gun.
I waive the uncolour
speaking phrases once nonced—a
No-Thing was not-not lost to loss.
the spleen is a time slowed by
decreation—mirror images of
journal entries regarding
nights that won’t
Yes: soon will grow the space, empty upon the seat:
Soon there, later clothed by the harshness of shade,
please stay. With me.
Down, are you down? To withhold touch on the elevator?
Thicker I fall, more vulgar,
a little headier.
Yes: a finger through which
you distance the stars from their spilt
to sink up, more, more above
not here, but there, where you feel it litter: on heaps of shit,
the particulates of
Author photo by Raquel Simões
MLA Chernoff is a Toronto-based poet, performance artist, meme enthusiast, and recovering academic. Their debut full-length poetry collection, [SQUELCH PROCEDURES], was released by Gordon Hill Press in 2021. MLA is also the author of several chapbooks, including delet this (Bad Books, 2018), TERSE THIRSTY (Gap Riot Press, 2019), I'M LIKE THE GREAT GRANDCHILD OF MARX & COCA-COLA (BUT NON-BINEY) (845 Press, 2022), and ESTRO FLUNKY (above/ground press, 2023).