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By Gene Hult

When spirit moves me, the briquettes sustain

no other smolder than the burn rising

from my ashes, a squawking fowl of flame.

When spirit takes me, each lie of guiding

tears metal, renewing a scratch to itch,

reversing into a garage I-beam.

When spirit suffuses me, oceans glitch,

confused seabirds wheeling above doldrums,

pipers teetering on the static beach.

When spirit riles me, the holy pogroms

don't suffice and massive boulders erode

in wretched cubist sculptures by cold rains.

When spirit incentivizes me, snowed

critics melt like witches and torches leap

like lightning beetles betwixt tower nodes.

When spirit assuages me, schemers reap

galling vengeance from patient surveillance

of he whose alibi's guise will not keep.

When spirit touches me, my complacence

expands like sodden wood and entertains

sustained ignorance of inlaid ailments.

When spirit satisfies me, the mundane

daily details chime with laughter, dusting

the bookcase like a French maid on champagne.

When spirit abandons me, a crusting

of sharp rust on the tub's porcelain scrapes

my calloused heels, edges deconstructing.

When spirit ghosts me, the routine landscapes

of clock and dogwalking inform passwords,

and musicians sound like gibbering apes.

When spirit texts me, the lines run backward,

too complex to insinuate between,

belief hazarding a stone bath for birds.

When spirit invites me, the window screen

tears with regretful claws by opossums

while the handsomest wait on Halloween.

When spirit pets me, tingling shame blossoms

in my face like steamed towels and soldiers

cordon off the playground in ranked columns.

When spirit leaves me, the blame is shouldered

as my burden in the shoddy cottage

of candy, ants dismantling enclosures.

When spirit forgives me, as does language.


Gene Hult is an INFJ Scorpio dogfather with ADHD working as a writer, editor, college teacher, photographer, and publisher in Houston, TX, although originally a native New Yorker. He has written more than 125 books published for young readers, mostly under his children’s pseudonym J. E. Bright. His books of poetry from Brighten Press include Render, Catfish and After, and the forthcoming Ades Fidelis. Please visit, or follow Gene on Twitter and Instagram.


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