The Risk of Absurdity

by Jéanpaul Ferro

Tattooed and pierced,
come dance atop the waterfires,
orange glow of the sparkling comics,
all shambled and wild-haired,
mad scientists, mad poets,
all the un-interesting things of the seven other elements,
an uncommon girl, her mouth tender like cinnamon,
go currents, shoulder to shoulder,
the truth no religion at all,
life with all its untraceable tracks,
God everywhere you look,
incredibly mad to live! frantic as hell to live!
you must race to it all to even live,
make those bombs fade away,
telephone wire to telephone wire,
anamorphic dream, sending birds askew
with microchips to fly from Mexico
to Maine,
two blushing suns in the simmering blue waves,
in the waves of anxious music,
footsteps atop rigorous black hands,
the CIA, the Creation of Adam,
fuming in iron, magnesia, and sulfur,
in the allies, panic-stricken at times:
in dreams, in stars; life just like that,
offering nothing but confusion,
but you must embrace it; look for it in others;
see the curve of the earth in rear view mirrors,
atop the cotton-candy fog of the autumn valleys,
up there it lives in the wood smoke of the old world chimneys,
in the books under the blue starry library roofs,
you’re not alive without this sensation of death in it,
with every aching sinew, aching of loss,
desirous of everything that is commonplace
to man, being in love when it is as effortless
as dying and waking, in the haunting loneliness
of evening, where you will do it all your life,
where in this suffering twilight you will realize
that you are crazy enough to think you can change
things, change things in this great, wobbling, stabbing
dream we all call our tumultuous world.

The Protocols of Torture; featured in Dublin Quarterly

Jéanpaul Ferro's picture

A 10-time Pushcart Prize nominee, Jéanpaul Ferro’s work has appeared on National Public Radio, Contemporary American Voices, Columbia Review, Emerson Review, Connecticut Review, Sierra Nevada Review, Portland Monthly, Rattle Magazine, Arts & Understanding Magazine, and others. He is the author of All The Good Promises (Plowman Press, 1994), Becoming X (BlazeVox Books, 2008), You Know Too Much About Flying Saucers (Thumbscrew Press, 2009), Hemispheres (Maverick Duck Press, 2009) Essendo Morti – Being Dead (Goldfish Press, 2009), nominated for the 2010 Griffin Prize in Poetry; and Jazz (Honest Publishing, 2011), nominated for both the 2012 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Prize and the 2012 Griffin Prize in Poetry. He is represented by the Jennifer Lyons Literary Agency. Website: * E-mail:

Last updated August 30, 2011