Royal Purple copy editor, published poet shares work

Riley Kauzlaric, Copy Editor

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Of universe

There is a thought that we are thrust into the world,

thus becoming part of it. There is a law that states

our atoms are not original; hope leads us to believe

our composition is special, no matter its components.

This coping theory, this form forming emphasizes us,

prescribes a certain meaning to unity.

We move along and collect,

but memory is not identity—

neither is hope,

the rubber eraser to our

grey-matter paper:

hope, a tint so bright the self is blinded,

left to become something new under no influence.

This is transcendent possibility.

If we are a type of universe inside a universe,

if we are of universe, then there is no reason

we shouldn’t return

empty-handed, no point

in organizing what sprints toward disorder

like a dog released from its leash. We should

watch it, closely, blurring like a train, or step

back to see it snake-slink across the street.

The cup will spill regardless of how we fill it;

either way, or neither, doesn’t matter.

This is despair’s sparring partner, and

all of beauty lies in our deciding

the victor. So let go, or white-knuckle it;

count every ounce poured toward

experience; remember every gram

sprinkled like sand into

the smokey decay of cells;

do everything as long as you can,


as long as your universe

continually expands.


After every answer I lose interest,

so now I’m only seeking questions.

I want to know what I don’t even know

I don’t know. I want a new fixation,

something so terribly real I sense it

before I see it, like an incoming thunderstorm.

Lately I’ve been venturing into post-harvest

cornfields and screaming between the broken stalks,

expecting to hear echoes in the emptiness.

My left lung balloons extra in my chest,

making up the space of my absent heart,

the muscle cut out, by you,

to act as fuel for your carnivore counterpart.

You said I never gave enough but took and took until there was nothing left.

Now, my body tumbles downward,

following gravity like a tiger obeys hunger. My wings,

clipped to the

shoulders by your blades. I’m off, walking back the way I came.

It will give me time to question everything: why the birds almost recognize me, why I swore I could outpace change,

why I built you a city and you sold the bricks for a bone saw.


Synthesis in(finite)

When I said I’ve let go

I didn’t mean we ever

stop grieving. This river

runs until there’s nothing left.

We choose which scraps

to start anew, which body

parts we must repair.

Sculptures scattered,

sun-bleached and broken,

how will we ever

piece ourselves together?

You say forever and its

a hurricane shredding

my skin to sand.

I choose hope to tether

my limbs, thougwh there

is no universal wonder

glue. In our surface-tracking

and print-gathering

we haven’t gained a clue.

Joints bend, every crack

the sound of grand insignificance.

This void is supremely individual;

I cherish its seclusion.

In truth, my only hope

is that I may know change.