Chris Toll

Edward Hopper at the OK Corral

I live in the city
inside electricity.
My Saint of Dark Tomorrows
caresses blonde fireworks,
digs her tongue into the right ear,
and starts her ablutions.
Batman faces them demons inside
in the center of a helipad
on top of a bank building.
Alarms clang through the Museum of Poison Pen Letters.
A vampire lifts his head,
the warp core breach is imminent,
and blood drips from his chin onto the nun's wimple.
He becomes mist and flees down a corridor.
Spider-Girl hugs a gargoyle
and cries long and hard.

Antares Blues

A boathouse chats with a smokehouse,
dust resents rust,
and a battleground woos bravado.
The troubadour wrestles a molehill
for a bedridden rainstorm.
Covert verse corrodes a fishpond.
The schoolteacher burps with inhuman skill,
exhumes her laudanum honeymoon,
and smuggles a shipyard
into the ineluctable brewery.
An auditor reaches for her sidearm,
the headwind collects imps,
and a beatnik transmutes a dreadnought into a jetliner.
The stormbound bloodhound activates a scriptural lantern.

A Mansion Bestirred by Stars

I'm a Hobby Cures is yours.
I work in the Dark
and no one comforts me.
Sometimes my church is invisible
and singing a hymn at dawn.
Art is the highest falling,
I heard the call,
and I've never turned back.
My Jesus is a transvestite
passing as his girlfriend's girlfriend
in the food court of a shopping mall.
My notebook has a broken spine.
Sometimes my church is on its stones in the rain
and begging for mercy.
You're a prayer just the way you are.

Faithful Furtive Bourbon Burden

The immaculate incalculable poem machine
matchmakes copious odious odes
with porous corporate perjuries.
The gagwriter punctuates sorrow
while he prowls a pilgrim electron.
The philosopher devotes devout pigeonholes
to enumerate the drunkards in mythic tailspins,
a cannibal parishioner exculpates the dragnet
that demotes the despondent truculent checklist,
and an infernal squadron downgrades the enigma
to an implacable imprudent impure virtue.
Matchbook heartbreaks and haphazard blasphemies
corrode at the corroboree on an asteroid.
The librettist conjures a morphine crucifixion.

Working for the Redshift
(Peachpicker Blues)

Why is tiny in destiny?
I'm the sin in singer.
Why is a trip in triple-crossed
and where am I going?
I'm the cure in obscure.
Why isn't destiny in clandestine?
My Saint of Lost Dances
stands in the shadow
of the Valley of Cash.
She addresses an empty world,
"The future is unwritten.
My heart belongs to the Great Unknown.
O Voices in the wind, I'm your Vessel.
Make me beautiful."

Chris Toll has been writing for more than 40 years (which is a miracle since he's only 17!!). His new book will be called Love Everyone. He is also working on a second new book, Be Light, which will be a double book with Recreational Vehicle by Buck Downs. His poems regularly appear in Shattered Wig Review and Fell Swoop. He recently placed poems at rockheals and PEEK review. He also edits a series of sporadic magazines - the titles so far have been UFO Lands on Navy Carrier, Strangled by a Cardigan Sweater, Obfuscating on Thin Ice, and Werewolves Sleep With Their Mouths Open.

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