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Eric David Helms holds degrees from Furman University and Columbia University’s School of the Arts. His first collection of work, VALLEY OF EMPTY POCKETS (published by MainStreetRag, April 2020) can be purchased via PayPal or check through the publisher’s website.
Some of his uncollected work can be found in the following lit mags and ‘zines: Asheville Poetry Review, key_hole, Prelude, Diagram, MadHat Lit, Souvenir, American Athenaeum, and Blunderbuss.

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[°°°]

At the time the book
Kept itself sealed
A little drum beating
In the calloused palm
Of a Trappist Monk’s hand
And yet still money talked
And kept an eye on everyone
A name was given up
A firman was signed
Without ever being signed

II

The yellow leaves of their future’s faded song
Is what it always was O dark dark dark
The chairman of many committees
The nobody of directors, statesmen, rulers
The greedy industrial patrons of the arts
They all go into the dark They all go into the dark

III

Wait for the owl
I am here
Can’t you hear?

Before and after
Before and after
Before and after

The 808 of my little drum
Taps down the yellow pages
Of your cornstalked drone

IV

Thus in your mind of silicone
Where nothing computes
There is no ecstacy
Only fits, only agony

The unspeakable
Name of the Rose
Scratches, repeats
On the brain’s turntable

In and outside the devil’s false loop of time

V

...

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יוֹסֵף‎

What is above, what is beneath
What is before, what comes after
The aftermath of the aftermath
Doesn’t add up

II

For Aristotle rest was the natural state
As with pickle in jar
A genie in Pandora’s for-
Bidden Applegate box

III

After the end of each and every book, Hark!–
The disquiet the silence of the extra page’s scroll

IV

Diplomats are losing their marbles
Rulers are mounting their Everests
Without clothes to recite (Hallelujah!)
Another speech they never wrote

V

Along the new river of De Nile
Pharaoh subpoenas Yosef

To transcribe to spell out
To decipher The Hunting

Of Snark, its blank map
Of permafrost, of implied

question marks: where there’s no X
There’s no point, there’s no plot

There’s no fun

VI

Pharaoh is foaming
Pharaoh is furious
To melting point
Of (well) frumious

VIII

The O in worry
Rolls back
To ground zero
Of Humpty Dumpty

Sometimes the bowsprit
Mixes for...

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Chapter for Being Transformed into Myself

Waiting for Morpheus?
The sheep in the pen
Have vanished. Poof!–
Along with your clock

Last night I slept not a wink
In the old well of Joseph
Where the pinks
And their hunting dogs bleed

Meanwhile, Lucifer’s heart beats
Inside a can of sardines
From Dactyl to Spondee

Well that’s what it feels like
So far after the end
Of Marathon

2

Like Forest Gump I keep running.
The crowd is wildly not entertained.

I catch one of their tomatoes, scream
Thank you!–you’re far too rotten,

You’re far too kind!–
Drinking from its paste.

It is to maintain my full-retard pace
And (clippetty-clop!–what a show!)

I’m just breaking in
to rhythm into gait.

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Within a whisper
The stupid shuffling
Of future’s cards tremble
From present’s distortion

Hey Santa Clause, you might want
To eat another plate of cookies
Cause I just took a shit in your mouth

Yeah, Holy Cow!–out of milk?
Hermes stole all the cows
Apollo’s brain becomes
(dee-dum-dum-dum)

The righteous swarm of a beehive

LvcYfvr is such a problem
In every plot, in every twist
The gods cannot decide
Whether to laugh or cry

His father from the pulpit
Attempts to finish his sermon
On the Thanksgiving Lunch of Joy

But has a hiccup, is outdone
By the 4 Horseman’s gallop
Oh Boy!–the truth is horrific
When it grins back like baby

After wake of its so-called due date

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They Dream Only of America

The murderer’s ashtray
Burns most easily
At the s. point
Of the turning world

Blessings for the world?
The skeleton of Krishna
Holds the key in one
Of his many hands

But Lucifer’s grown tired
Of being fucked by each
And every side and already
Has broken down the door.

By Tornado’s roundhouse–
Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii-YAaaaaagh!
Whoops, I did it again.

Pissed in the theatre.
Shit on your seat
Right out of Holly-
Wood’s hidden magic

screen.

I can hear their screams
That’s what you get
For scalping
Front row seats.

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The Womp

The abominable man
Is to snowball
As kitten is to serval

In spring of summer’s fall
Little Johnny ate a tarantula
To turn blue as an Eskimo

He wakes in ICU
Slaps the nurse
In her pinup

Before screaming
For Ice Cream
For pancakes

Ice Cream saves

The day the day the day
Until it melts the world
Away Jesus Christ!

I can hear my mother scream
From a Galaxy far far away
My Father is outside, on the roof

Of our one-story home
With a wind blower
Of zephyr, cleansing

The gutters
Neighbors walk by
Scratching their heads

As to Y he is wearing
My harness
Tied to my rope

He wants to be me
But will have to climb higher
Than the rungs of a stepladder

II

I step on the top tit of Mount Everest
And udder ‘NOT ENOUGH
As with Sisyphus the joy’s in the journey

And so unlike Doge to the moon
Not the wolf not the lion but The

UniScorpion

III

To be in two places at once
Without being...

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The Lady at Her Toilet

The Lady at her toilet
Is talking to a fly

Her edenic soil refuses
To labor out into post-

Modernism’s fountain
Of life which is mostly

Urine–the color
Of sunrise

After death more toil more life
Each and every monostitch en-

Tails a running joke, a missing line

II

2021 November 9th
Off the calendar

She scratches first

With nickel then with dime
The heads of Einsenhovver

Of Lincoln gleam
Then glimmer

Like a jar
Of moonshine

The waxy smile of Mickey Mouse

III

The silent craft of Old Timer
Still is being fulfilled

1928
November 9th

In township
of Sir Isaac Newton

A golden delicious apple
Falls from tree

And, after hitting its head,
Marches up seven hills

Then another one
Training for Marathon

IV

1928
November 9th

In township
Of Sir Isaac Newton

Ann Sexton bawls
At umbilical’s snip

Trumpeting and trumpeting
The stock market’s crash

To Ground Zero
The hour-

Glass...

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π

The second & third coming of Pompeii
The first night after the day after the day

The crocodile breaking necks
On the L the G the M the 1 the A

Emerges from the 6-train’s
77th Street gate and tick-

Tocks his way to the House of Frick
To take a nap under The Birth

of Venus like a beatnik drunk
Catching baahs beneath

The throat of a trap-
house fireplace

Dreaming of Jaws

II

The yellow barrels pop back up
With the click of ten sawed-off

Shotguns
I’ll be back

The Terminator delivers
His one badass line

Of cliche
By this time

A mental form
Of jock-itch

All the way from California
To New York Bay

III

We’re gonna need a bigger boat
Comes now as apropos

Is not what the President can say
But in hindsight of 2020’s Lasik Eye

                    Fuck 

We, the People, already know

IV

The owl peaks into Constant Troy-
on’s A Pasture in Normandy

Utterly bereft, scanning
Its...

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My Name Here

It was kind of a fall
But more like Jonah
Tossed as javelin
Over steel joust
Of a battleship’s bow-
sprit

It was kind of a fall
I crashed as one bolt
Of plutonium
Giving birth to a sea

Wide drum pit
Where I would beat
The dropped-D tune
Of my own purple heart

My brother Michael
Had frontrow seats
For which his eyes
Developed nose-

bleed

His blood drips
On the torn flyleaf
Of a book published
Ten thousand and ten

Centuries after the fall month
He thought I was all over–
The years stack up
So does his anger:
A leaning tower of fuck

As no matter who might have
Been hired to paint and so
Frame me as Cain, the cracks
Begin to chip and (well, as mas-
cara rubs off) unveil me for Abel

II

More than able
The world slaps
The alarmclock
Back to snooze
And, Hark!–
Willingly fades
Into dementia

There’s too many dots
That they don’t want
To connect leading
To the self-same spot
Of ‘Oh No!...

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LYFE

You found life on Mars
By one Roman X–
The dark numen
Which might signify
A snail crawling
On straight razor’s edge

That such would magnify
If not zero in for the O-
edipal wreck of Super
Mario’s Moon Bug
Or, better yet–launching
Back to the ice-laden bones
Of myth, the cratered crashsite
Of Jupiter’s trampled space kart

II

Beneath the rapture
Of Alice’s Looking Glass
Inside a basement booked
For (yeah) the snail-like advance
Of the geologist’s geologist’s
geologist

My one rabid popeye
Would not so much plunge
But more accreditely spelunk
Into the Copernican zip drive
Nested in the silicon cache
Of one thin section of rock

III

The general’s dog drools
As it stares at the doorknob
The librarian’s cat sharpens
Her claws, picking at the lock
For the backdoor she’s proven
Already to turn by unlikely force
Of some Jedi–killing two early
Birds with one slingshot

IV

If not for the...

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