two poems

by Steve Mueske

The Armageddon Circus

With each day closer to show time
The Armageddon Circus waits
on the tracks outside town. They came
like smoke, the drift of a gray snake
seduced by ancient songs. They huddle
around fires, faces flickering
like old movies. Some sing
in the bushes. Others do nothing
but count missiles stacked like wood
behind the miles of launchers.
By day, they are festive.
A shirtless boy unicycles reading
The Egyptian Book of the Dead.
Trumpets, balloons, games of chance,
dueling accordionists. Children playing
with knives. Everyone is waiting
for the ringmaster to return
waving the permit to perform.
They’ll whistle while unboxing
the diseases, play tag while unstrapping
the crates of munitions. At twilight,
when the world fills with blue, all
that cannot be spoken of will be
performed. With skill & abandon,
like any good troupe itching
to entertain.


Grokking the What-if Scenario

in all these stars there must be at least one
world a hundred thousand worlds where peace
is more than a dream

& there are no guns no word for more
enough being enough & each living being far-

flung & multifarious moves
through the hours in a thrall of seeing
& being seen yes

vast warless worlds without histories
of land grabs & sexual plunder

nurseries of worlds nestled in gaseous dust
lit up like late night dance clubs
in parts of the universe

cradles are the only holy image & here we are
on our ball of ice & light

hurtling 1.3 million miles per hour
through the edgeless black unending bloom
of Is

us & every planet every world every
brutally cold or deadly beautiful world

forged of primal forces in a song
of ceaseless music if nothing else
peace working

the odds quietly grokking
the what-if scenario

Steve Mueske is an electronic musician and the author of two poetry collections and a chapbook. His poems have appeared recently in The Iowa Review, Cream City Review, The Normal School, The Pinch, Verdad, Jet Fuel Review, Verse Daily, and elsewhere.


Photography by: Darius Soodmand