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Eric Helms holds degrees from Furman University and Columbia University’s School of the Arts. Some of his work can be found at can be found in the Asheville Poetry Review, key_hole, Prelude, Diagram, MadHat Lit, Souvenir, American Athenaeum, and Blunderbuss.

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Like an old plowman-warrior splendid in his armor
This aspiring paladin
Straight out from a Goya etching
Finds his himself ‘equally mad’

And creeping along the grounds of Eden
As he sets his sights on Orpheus’ lyre,
Which plays itself, itself~swaying
Amongst the moving rocks & trees,

giving it’s gift
of solace
to the w¥£∆e animals
& slithering beast~

yeah–that slithering beast
who miraculously has (like finally)
has grown himself not some balls
but a pair of arms & legs

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UNTITLED POLAROID

The moon hummed
A black and tan lick
Over the reptilian hand
Of a Mr. Robert Johnson,

A Mr. Robert Johnson
Who, after his notorized spell
of rumor at the crossroads

Could pick and pick and pick
Until it’s now whittled down
and down and down to my v-

ery own chalk-enveloped
and (so crooked) pinkie finger
that being on the left
for some infinite jest of pew-

led jabs and crack-
er-barrelled jokes
this Saudi of (yeah) Solo-
mon would shift shape for
.
And just to wag his own paper
cut finger in front of his nose,
alluding to the elephant in the
that, as Paul has already brought

(well) to light, Edison once ‘prodded
and prodded and prodded’
with a silver spoon.

A silver spoon that just last year
I finally managed to spork
at the forefront of a West
Asheville truff that blazing!–

(clothes, racquets, books
and more and more juve-
nile stuff) still develops
from the ashes the multi-

...

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The Shave.

Did this narwhal
pierce then pull
his own slave-driver’s
eel-driven plows

to a piece of earth
that, squatting
from his ochre mound
of mostly bandaids & soot,

even Watt would find up-
lifting to (well?) observe~
just as in Weymouth Woods
a Russian’s pink ballerina slipper

gurgles to the surface,
almost standing in for
the very spyglass suited
up to that, now quite deflated,

Beatle’s submarine;
nevermind how both
yellow leg, green pipe
we’ll regard for short-

circuiting not to the wareabouts
of Kermit the frog
but some cur[s]mudgeon;
in particular, his red-eyed

fright of (yeah-yeah-yeah)
an eyesocket.
An eyesocket as we pin
both appendages as

‘washed ashore,’
and quite detached
from (ja!)
their respective hubs

of fake plastic
burned-out
and then dropped bulbs.
Meanwhile, these two pissers

we’ll know~as if for apples~
to be bobbing (that’s
when not being crushed)
as the very line...

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Everything in its Right Place.

Now that the floor
has been taken
by some Stinger
to all fours

praying that I might
give their timeshare
of bagged carpets and rugs

a rest~a rest
as the PS_1 Clock
dumbly strikes 2:25,

declaring it’s good now
as ever to make
for The Warm Up~
before the whole wide world

becomes A Talent Show

Just as on and then off stage
an operator by rubber mallet
will deliver a trident of blows,
sending an icey-Chernobyl puck

half past this tired giraffe’s dome,
this tired giraffe’s dome for which
I~ will find himself not departed
but–like that tired-old accordion–

trotted by the Harlem Globetrotters
off the Wimbledon-sharp turf.
And so on my own stretcher–
swiping out like a maxed credit card

for being the only goalie
to (gaufaw, gaufaw)
con as striker x-actoed
(and you’re going to like this)
by toothpick splinter;

Yeah. A toothpick splinter
spit by (yeah) the light-
given force of a...

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STIFFLY ERECT.

The curious monk-style
of cursive lettering
that~beyond this and that~
just might entail the hiero-

glyphic fount of the spring
from which a creek
will, for a fact, branch.

Giving to the necssary rhymes
when not trotting out

the morise-beaten code
of cherished rhythms
(quite mutely)
Now trumpeting from the klee-

sodden waste pile
wherein the Christmas bulb vine
of morning glories
repeat splendidly for a cloned

patch of green-to-purple eyed trombones; still popping out
for all the kind notes and yanked-
to-curved balls that, Heaven-sent,

herald for the Birth of the Cool.
Yeah. The Birth of the Cool
that, unlike all your Cliffords

and green-headed dogs, keeps
going for miles~uncowered
like some of your butchers & bakers
by a bat nailes to the Ashe door

of (yeah) some alley’s end.

ππππππππ∆∆∆∆∆∆∆∆πππππππππ

That (like a yoyo~again & again) they’ll meet their match
(a lucky...

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TO PRESIDENT JACKSON, SECRETARY OF WAR.

But who might filch
The crown
From the Pluto-
nian pole

From which one copper string con-
ducts the eel-(s)harp charge,
The eel-sharp charge that in-
dubitably puts to an icy rest–

with ruthless regard to these leatherbacks, smocks; not-
withstanding the corona-

virus’ smog now, already, beginning to self-destruct,
Reich over your own dear heads.

That it’s true, that they’d rather keep up their habit for spit-fire, rifling hot shot-gun cartons of nano-slugs at (Ja!, Ja!, Ja!) our kids.

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The Whistling Buoy

I do not know much
About the gods
Or, of what I do,
Choose now to seal over,
Choose now to seal over
As this snail makes
A switch-backed path
Of mostly green eggs,
Fried pigs and (yeah)
Purple slime over the one thres-
hold that, being glass, once multiplied
But now, with a tenebrous gaufaw,
Diminishes to the size of a grain.

Meanwhile, in Albuquerque a future clown (wannabe slinkie° ∆ with the tick-red to green-brown tortoise to (last but not least) giraffe-ochre laden yellow colors, who you might pass on Route 66 or some other kind of road ∆ ) slips on a banana peel,
On a banana peel as a quartz arrow smokes and sparks, sparks and smokes; as if to let some Jamaican gnat out from underneath the ice.
Notwithstanding how this jerk’s finally taking a long needed bath of electromagnetic salts plus (yeah) some holy water to sanitize such a crying lot of goats and goaltenders where...

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An Old Comedy of Asse[s]

Well. It was another day. The General’s decrepit jallopy had run into the barbershop’s brick wall, crushing a plastic choo-choo train that little Gerard had just set up. Meanwhile, the morning advanced past the dial, setting for the tone that s. didn’t want to hear but couldn’t shut out–as his head lay like a mouse’s head in a mouse’s trap, and leaking like an easter egg because of (yeah) this one grateful dead clap.

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THAT TYPE

And so. After the miracle?
Words in muted brail, Jac-
obean texts impossibly
scribbled.

And so that’s probably adding
Up to the.

CRASH!

The historical Shakespeare took turns at growls and whimpers around the lake, like no somnolent Ciwash beloved of folklores, the kind of sort that at times of blandness and anonymous retreat bring governments down, right next to I-HOP and

‘Out of Their Skulls, Kansas.’ Or. ‘Wrenched from the Grail, Alaska.’ You know. The White Castle EDT. Alcoholic. Fanatics. Bowlers. Yeah and
Again. Yeah. The. ‘just fuck-off with it.

That type.

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The Blank

They talk a lot about the mold and jock-
itch of the soul. Spider eggs. The bloody
Mugshots of chickens. But there aren’t no tourists to wake in a sweat, ost of their ponies and vagabond maps, wearing those ludicrous blueberry smiles because of Heavyweight, Everest. Meanwhile, in Albuquerque. Winds:
N. NW With not not the wattage of knot and watt of attitude, Lynche’s eraserboards, Beckett’s man-nequins. A dropped laundry list of bitten and dog-chewed coins, over which they’ve not
quite literally scribbled in crayon, ‘Burn all the clothes; Delray, Dr. Hilarious.’ The emoji’s tears
tear and jerk down the screen of the scroller, which is (darling) you.

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