Like a chain of mountains

Bryan D. Price

We abandon nothing but veins in order
to leave this place
smelling of camphor,
making us aware of its use
by doctors treating the nostalgia of
camping children suffering from seizures. 
This was in Connecticut, 1931.

Rationalized into a pattern of compulsory
references it now resides in a different
Totally unrecognizable as a disease
that struck not only at the stomachs,
but also the lymph nodes, of soldiers
as well as migratory workers
diving like birds
from one stable to the
next chasing after lambs wool.

Words back us into an ocean where land
once undulated infinitely into the distance.

Language, like the metropole itself, 
administered from nowhere,
becomes predatory upon those
waking from a dream to find
that they have been colonized.


Some mythologies that concern forgetting

We can see what looks to be a ziggurat reposing on water. Its foundation not floating like
a horse’s head ballasted with corn but sucking deep into the lake: certain to drown us in
the valley of the fallen. The valley itself had been summoned into existence to defy time
and memory. The gentlest among cowards who had gathered at the mouth were enlisted
to crawl across cables into the sky. A great many, of course, having fallen to their deaths
are now treated as sacred and the pine needles that cover them are thought to cure
ailments. When they come to exhume the bodies they do so in the dead of night,
careful not to disturb the gentle fabric holding everything together.

Bryan D. Price teaches history and humanities part time at a community college in the suburbs of southern California where he writes about memory, time, nostalgia, utopia, and its opposite. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Unbroken Journal, DIAGRAM, Menacing Hedge, and Portland Review.