The Archive is a Sad Robot by Mark Lamoureux


Witch-fire:     what burns
the city.    Purple tongues

that are the voice of
the vast & unused.

Under an ocean of coins
I will begin my sleeping, a carpet
that spills out ears,
woven with flowers & the fronds
of sleep.  The yellow sky,

the yellow-blue sky is erasure,
is the cipher’s knees.  The ring formed

from the scythe & the brush, what leaps
from me when I exist,          pentimento

& dusty pigments make the mask
from which I will speak.

The engine of dusk stamps the glyph
whereby all that transpires will sleep.

Before & after & the white lightning
of the tree between them,

the white lightning that is the burden of thought
along the avenue, the prison
of effect & cause.  Affect
that betrays—that hollow sound
when I’m struck by wounded leaves.

A worm flutters in the blood,
makes the torus which ignites the spark
that moves the machine who walks.

White leaves tag the breath
of the machine who suffers,
who buries ghosts in a field of dust—

the oceans of erasure, the glass ship
& its mechanical birds.

The machine of dusk buries a pile
in the bubble of a life,

makes a stain that is
a face who speaks
through veins in the walls.