Pheromone Dark Age


Stable admission for luxuriant office parks

and the wellbred siamese the color of high mountain

for decadent musing, for hypermnesia,

and escaping in nested time-shrouds.

Required violent pulse to shed the hull

as hallway, as elevator body, as job haver.

Men who cannot make the money.

Upkeep of moribund family wreath.

Upkeep of trite legend heavy with blackout.

To the failed resuscitation

and the explanation of the stroke.

She will not even know that she will never

think again.

Finally an insect, cornered and emitting

fear as a frequency that will spawn carnival dreams.

Headed to big cheap windows

in the municipality of shifting code.

Bighearted yet lazy. Ambitious yet amused

by anything that has the audacity to happen.

The failure of direction.

The intense scrawling of the mapmaker.

The smoke symbols of states that vanish

into the very medium used to report

their existence.

Beauties from the southern sprawl.

Opalescent evening and actually kissing

in the rain

only to precipitate

the arrival of another boss

who will not guarantee your promotion.

A body given to the logo.

A child given to the stranger.

A lover given to the night.

The stacking of KIA

will sound like a fire in the breeze.


According to who.

And when.

The metric.

The ruler.

How recent.

On what disk.

In what memory.

In what time zone.

By whose decree.

And the tone.

The spectrum.

In what era.

Through what language.

In what dialect.

Under whose grammar.

How incandescent

the dust.

Using what tool.

By what brand.

For whose direction.

In which cycle.

On what chemical.

The temperature.

The pressure.

The tone

of the masses.

Which meme.

The mimetics.

The dogma.

The consensus

of what

does that mean.

In the shadow

of what tragedy.

In the aftermath

of that equation.

In the dream

of which body


by who

in what era.

In what form.

In what agreement.

On which page.

The footage. The found.

Whose kid.

The recording.

The tablet.



The video.

The player.

The final




Whose diagnosis.

In what country.

Before which war.

By whose definition.

Whose calendar.

Whose plan.



Lost note.

Now found.

Ancient quote.

Translated by who.

Compared to what.

When. And translated again.

Asleep. Awake.

Neither. Both.


Gamma ray.


No dementia


In love.

Under hate.




Injection number.



Which airline.

Which designer.

Which people.

Pheromone. Dark age.

The culture.

The microculture.

The bacterium.

The truth.



Addicts of love stunted in technological foul-sweep.

Muttering complacencies and reduced narratives

boiled to hard pucks and thrown like flaming bottles.

Insouciant, cataracted, blown to pollen shards

to stand intubated in residential homogenies

and to summon carbon ghosts in the elixir of bent gloaming.

Refracted to white wall and its vein of brick

but lost in the body shadow chaotic by headlight.

Preparing electric coffins in money-pulsed tropic

and drifting to the eastern abyss of a pyrite and tungsten lobby.

The men are circled about the red coals like a nest of hearts

beneath the bridge that is a conduit for voice and etheric steel.

A roman medallion and six rubies found in the nike shoebox.

Longtongued, dyspeptic, catalogued and bailed

and a golem in the paper residue of the evergreen party.

Singing at the end of the rails, distorted name

in the squealing nonsense of the demented aunt, now housed.

Fortuitous and fat, gout and gastro, little kids running

with flowers in their hands, fractal pearl, scalloped,

and your mind rings before the phone does.

Certain porches of ill-repute, the dawn is orange in two chambers

and every fifth trunk is heavy with automatic weapon.

The video of cord cutting, the acid of the ER doctor,

walking straight into the water like a fallen sky.

Never a hum but moaning in the bleed of condensation,

in the neurotic hope of peace in the standstill of ignited reeds.

The snow of atavistic cartography, corner neon,

delineated communication and the vessel of opaque blue honey.


The coins of blood

thrown down the stairwell

lead me to the man on the street

who is holding a blue football helmet

by the facemask

and calling my landlord

a faggot.

Worth and value are born in the belly.

Sweat is the measurement

and the anguish of polar mornings.

One flare of blood on the wall.

Lesions becometh

on the day of the hot date.

Pearl attributes in the sky

and phytoplankton.

The mystery religion

of the ailments in a concussed

friend who will comfort

his own neck

in the heat of the white reactor

and the shade of the honey locust.

Women everywhere.

Always tan. Always young.

Always standing beside

a deafmute moron boy.

There is nothing to be done

with either one.

People are dragging luggage


dead twins.

The calisthenics

did nothing.

Nor the acupuncture

or the video of magical words.

She has to make the clothes

look alive.

Exhausted lovers

in behemoth

public works.

Between here, hopeful VIP.

Drowned in chorus.

Forgotten and ignored

and drifted and standing

in a mound of sawdust, in the clean hallway.


The interior of the tortoiseshell that is the roof of your mouth

—you will touch the light of the expectant user.

Conferred and transferred to harmonious elevations

by the crimson paragraph

by busstop literature

by the failed caricatures of your father

scratched into the opaque glass.

Humbled in the windstations of the grid.

The bloodfruit has been pulverized and drawn into the city pipes,

the reflection of the blinking red light in the meadowland water

has hardened into the latest strain of the fruit.

Coalesced in airport memories.

Crushed and mimeographed by iron age machines lubricated with kiwi oil.

Laughter a spoiled air, a distressed humming embryo of pure static.

You are crouched and dispossessed below sports television,

cucumber slices on black discs of leaked moisture summon

the image of a pile of school chairs.

This means the abscess has finally arrived on your

most believable mask,

the one that distorts its reflection

through an ancient configuration of microplastics,

which have been found in the placentas of

unborn babies.

Michael Borth is a writer from the Hudson Valley. His work has been published in Fence, Expat Press, New World Writing, and elsewhere. He can be reached here.


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