White Whale Review: An Online Literary Magazine Untitled Document
Sean Neville
Sean Neville is a poet, a playwright, and an occasional writer of fiction. He currently lives in the central California coast region. He has taught at several junior colleges. He has a M.A. in English from UC-Irvine and is entering the M.F.A. program in creative writing at UC-San Diego next Fall. His poem "Sleep Work" appeared in issue 2.2 of White Whale Review

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Sean Neville

some ruins from my little book


The unworld of the office space

mimics the bone of the past

where the faithful shepherd once lived

within gravity’s grave curve. Smiling

beneath the project’s soft shadow, his face

did not completely escape the composite eye.

The door closed with a soft click.

Frequencies of earth’s backward thrust

described another poignant anthem

to salute the universal chicken,

whoops, I mean pathos.

But the song, “My Funny Fantod,”

fed the arc of day in office, shop, and gym.


What he had in his head was we were very welcome,

was we should do this again—maybe in summer.


Sean Neville

As if in answer, the idealized orangutan’s methods

(now discredited) mellowed in the intestinal aroma

of the other’s sparsely furnished apartment concept.


And of course in his parking space

space coagulated or terrorized or dreamed

under the pretext of being an authentic being

(a stratagem falsely lucid in legendary morning light).

Was this opacity too in everyone’s face?

Not too, he ventured. Not a herniation

of that foundational living disk enriched by dead languages

and a frozen intelligence slowly melting in the sun. Not

by a long shot was it thus or such.


This indigestion was foretold in chapter three

of the The Bill and Jane Conundrum.

On page 97 lovers erase their shadows


Sean Neville

from the streets after the latest catastrophe.

And tears flow or fly or flee to the swim-pool

suspended above earth’s invisible membrane.

But the sacrifice occurs anyway.

The odious duke’s left hand is named Lou

and it lies speechless on the mown lawn,

a monument the town folk willed into being

to embower the colony of obscene fellows

within that other unspoken sorrow

loved by the living, left by the leaving.

In a neighborhood bush Trish the sparrow

chirps a memory of the kind god

licked into being by the temporary cow.


The story ends there because the book exploded

and the words reset themselves as hard laws

(such as be always bearing truthful fruit).


Sean Neville

And in that next world the project remembered itself.

All waves emanated from a single event.

Wage earners memorized the Five Essential Gags.

Especially janitors, chimney sweeps, and Bill,

who, self-liberated, also quoted instructions

from the war is heck department. F’rinstance,

“Kiss me, hold me, love me.” Yet another vindication

of the market of not-movable-without-being-messed-up beliefs.

The symptom of this was the inability to think of a time before.

Amputee and amputor agreed.

Oh, this invisible world!


Freed from firelight, the tribe’s great silence

was orneriest at dawn. The silence of space

sped toward earth in vessels of clay,

according to the terms of the contract.

Therefore, the Enlightenment was deleted


Sean Neville

and no one heard the entfremdete silence

of the intellectual ones. The boats were launched

and the sea sang a song from the Holocene

in preparation for the lost years. The names

of places deliquesced as the past continued

to happen incrementally. But still a toothbrush

could be bought without fear. And the workplace,

now woven together in fits of selfless feeling, became

a predicate of the You Snooze You Lose System

of Togetherness. Or so the hieroglyphs claim.


A universal heads-up was announced

through the left ventricle of someone’s heart.

Mysteriously, frozen yogurt had lost its charm.

Yet the despised hero was called from his shrinking office

to measure the silence oozing over the skins of sleeping cars.

Copyright © Sean Neville. White Whale Review, issue 2.3

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