THERMOS 9: John Bowman

These two poems open THERMOS #9, released today, which we will post the entirety of in the next two weeks. John Bowman, formerly a New Orleans poet, now resides in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles. We miss him, down here. Here’s to more of his poetry in the future! – AS


Who’s fed up with the News?
                                                      The NEWS!
                                                                                          The NEWS!

Let us fling our money into the streets
From rooftops with bright plumage
Scream what we’ve learned
Since the Sun’s eruption
Buried our sky with ashes

Time surges through the volcanoes chambers.

glass         water         blood         salt         oil         gypsum milk         foam         shit         mercury              paint

In six motions of the wind. Trash into chaos into a cement hill sealed.

A dream-like world decomposes
                                                               and we our desires refine
                                                               and we our desire refines.

The men imagined ice-cream lava                  flooding their prison.
We’re scientists gathering honey, froth from the ocean.

Up and down         hectares of hothouses
my shadow spins through angles
of sum light by transparent halls,

enormous panes of glass!
as a season may stretch
over the bridge between                  our sorrow our stars
out there in the river glowing.

I am immersed,                  My being’s charged with cosmic rays.
My eye lives in heavy-scented bloom.
The humid room full of light
                  drains minus electric dark-currents.

Province of Orchestras

Renovation of the honeycomb city’s
broken safehouses exactly as we construct
stores of stories and stories of stories,
                  scrawled-over scratched walls
                  conceal a mirror’s pulse within
                  which we knew someone knew everywhere
                  through yet undiscovered openings.

Through greenways
we struggle with time’s
churning color-cycle, water
wheel eyes by which worlds fall.

Tree uprooted and branchless.

Storm of echoes. From underground
a roar drowns the magnetic sky.
                                                                        At the periphery a shutter spasms

What your gaze struggles to hold

your dark body greyed your home

of lightning chimes.

We have a doorway behind us. Our eyes,                                     O         your eyes

Are not the ice are not the sea
not jewels but gold lights’ black boxes

Live shadows of branches in mind.
The mind a field of remembrance in the land our body drains with, dreams with
To and Fro between furrows and folds in the daylight, in openings of pain.

Made us to lie
down and lie still,
safed as the seeds
shook from ancient
hierarchies of sex.

Dawn burns the woods away
and we rear up in original
imitation of blossoms our
hands grasp our genital faber
the toolmaker clasps world stems
like tentacles.

Symmetric syllables
swell in the fruit’s rot.

those which tame the hive…
Hermaphrodite bud-heads split
into flames and flame vanishes.
All art and all science a product
of rain, the illusion of rain
as it shoots from its pools.
The air suffers the land spreads

OUT from loam’s carbon-black

ONE manifold root grips the bank

                                                      already undercut by the steam it overhangs.

Spontaneous chemical engines alive.

A life to shuttle water weave light

INTO a form which mutates and gives birth.

What else did the dream receive
but corrupted limbs, faces, eyelid
too heavy to read.

I could not identify my companion
with my head twisted as we turned
onto the Grand Boulevard a simple city
of deep sides and skyscrapers.
A school of prostitutes sat in a crescent
of cafe chairs slicing apples with bright knives,
and what can’t be done with those?

First remove the rot,
says the surgeon
paying the bill.
Spare gesture chosen
to replace the crowd
with sustenance and shade.
A sense of gut chemistry
and paranoia, heavy-headed with money,
tongue-tied and tired. You wanted
to listen in on our
continual offerings,
poor and bored by the wharves
with no window.


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