“No Stealing”, Shelby Poor

The Pursuit of the Millennium
By James Bradley

The world is a corpse, but a living one,
Hopeful, embalming itself for the land
Sharing its casket with moon & with sun

Stands Transcendence just o’er the horizon
An eternally-absent quaking hand
The world is a corpse, but a living one

An eternally-smoking loaded gun
With motive supplied by the contraband
Haul, overflowing with moon & with sun

Horse hooves of the Cossacks trample no one
At all, with Russia’s 5,000-year plan—
The planet as a corpse (though a warm one)

Man beating a girl’s heart—Has he not done,
Heartfelt, the will of her staunchest command
(Tithing her body to moon & to sun) ?

The essence remains yet answers to none
But the essential, please misunderstand—
The world is a corpse, but a living one
Sharing its casket with moon & with sun

James Bradley is an artist and writer living in San Francisco, California. His paintings have been exhibited at the Berkeley Art Museum, the Verge Art Fair, Alter Space Gallery, and elsewhere. His chapbook publications include Mirrors of Azazel, and more recently, a modern translation of the medieval text The Cloud of Unknowing. His work deals with the pseudo-mystical, esoteric structures concealed within everyday life that serve to drown the individual’s perception of pure existence in a deluge of abstraction, symbol, and information. He received his MFA from the California College of the Arts in 2009.