Archive for the ‘THERMOS 1’ Category

THERMOS 1: Nico Alvarado

If I remember right, we started THERMOS because we wanted to publish some particular poems by Mark Leidner and Nico Alvarado. So, these three poems were originally included in our first issue, released in May 2008. That issue is largely unavailable anymore, but we still love these poems as much as anything we’ve ever published. — AS



Last Poem


Don’t die, little lemon.


It’s neither dark nor light inside the sun.


The awning’s runoff hits the rail.
It flowers hard.


Sufficiency is plenitude.
The tanager flickered and stays.


The sun with its ten million keys or notes.
Poetry itself its only end.


We measure solar music
to determine what its heart is like.


It is like nothing we can know.
Even so.



Antiaxiomatic


The difference from good to not-so-good, or between
ravaged and incontinent, goes unspoken
but doesn’t go without saying. When asked
for a name, the child gives Hey Man
or Mao Zedong, and I don’t want
to argue with that. I can’t because I’m bound
by circumstance, and circumstance
is predicated on orientation.
Some people like to exercise–whatever,
I bet the only good thing about being
particularly fit and gorgeous is that it makes
you less nervous about ordering
in restaurants. Oh look, old people
in that sun-spotty way they get will say,
doesn’t that look like Art’s cousin Tina?
And it does, mostly. Which is less
an indication of things coming out right
than it is of the fact that we’re still capable
of surprise after everything that’s gone
wrong. My grandfather pisses himself daily
and I enjoy our idiotic one-sided conversations.
When he comes into focus enough to say something
dirty about the nurse, even my grandma laughs.
It would be great if stepdads didn’t make kids
kneel bare-kneed on grains of hard white rice
for hours, and it would be really neat
if kids didn’t have to take bats to stepdads
to make sure they never hit their mom again.
The grammar of absurdity is grammatically correct
in an absurd world. “After learning of the plight
of the starving Burmese, she learned to skydive”
is a sentence I wouldn’t like to hear said
in seriousness, and still I see the plane
on the horizon. My only beef with the movies
is that it’s cheaper to get fucked up instead.
My only beef with getting fucked up
is that there isn’t any popcorn here.
Have your tutor check your work, and let’s hear it
for a poetry of punchlines, a poetry of cashing in
on grief. Let’s hear it for the kid who stuck
a crochet needle in his rectum so as not to have
to leave his awful home. And once more for his name
I don’t remember, and for the fact that I don’t care
to try. Inclement weather is imminent, the sign
said, but turns out: only immanent. At any given moment,
there are between one hundred and two thousand
varieties of parasites in your lower intestine
alone. There are lots of important things
on which nothing much depends. Conversely,
there are lots of trivial things on which depend
lots of other trivial things. There was. A noise.
The noise. Was loud. The lady. Screamed. The dog.
Bit me. I made that up: I don’t know anything
about dogs, and my grandpa isn’t losing his mind
at all. The sonofabitch is still thirteen and driving
a stolen car full of cantaloupes from Coachella.
His mother claims to have invented the taco.
When you’re completely desperate and alone is when
you’re at your most hilarious. Only you’re too busy cleaning
the shit out of your drawers to notice. But we
see it for you, we always take good notes.
The Ford is dusty black. Late peaches rot on the trees
and the growers leave them there. All axioms
worth repeating are made of heat and rust
and blood. Look at it swing crazy
down the street. All axioms worth repeating
aren’t worth much else besides. Look at that
fucking kid. Look at him drive.



Poem


So many people I love having become
corporate lawyers there is clearly nothing
to do but get very drunk & put my hand
through a window but happily happily! Yesterday
I turned 28 in less than 10 days it will be
15 years since my mother died which is
2 years more than I was alive when it happened.
Her name was Cecilia. It’s on my arm in ink
forever, or for the terribly finite number
of years allotted to me I like to call
forever, which as you & I both know is anything
but. I call you you & I call myself I
but you & I both know the self has called
itself terribly into question is there anything
more boring? Racism is boring, less
because it is lacking in wit & more because
it is “one of the too many ways we’ve learned to hurt
the people we love, or ought to,” which is a clumsy
paraphrase of something the woman I love,
who isn’t a corporate lawyer, said to me
& messed me up with, which she does often & which
is one of the too many reasons I’m falling apart
with happiness. Her name, or one of them, is
Cecilia–strange, no? I’m terribly sorry
if I’ve ever done anything to cause
you hurt you don’t deserve it. Everyone
I love is either a genius or very depressed
or a corporate lawyer or some combination
thereof. They don’t deserve any of it,
even their genius, sadly, but they have it
or are it all the same. I deserve nothing
& yet here I am, full of a somethingness
called love, called grief, called Cecilia. & here
I’ll be for the rest of my little forever, calling
my lawyer, my broker, my advisers on the phone
every night & laughing hysterically at
their terrible racist jokes. I’m done. Hi Mom!


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THERMOS 1: Daniel Khalastchi

Daniel Khalastchi is one of the poets we started THERMOS to publish. His work has meant a lot to me over the past 6 years, as has his enthusiasm for our journal. When he sent these poems, it was the first I’d seen of the work that would make up his first book, Manoleria, which came out with Tupelo Press a couple years later. I was and remain amazed by the poems’s intensity, their strangeness. He insists they’re not nightmares. They populate mine when I read them, just as their stuttering rhythms take hold of my syntax for days. It’s powerful stuff, and we’re pleased to feature Khalastchi’s work throughout this week. — AS




Manoleria:


I am in a boat.   I am wearing a
red life jacket, goggles, a neck-
lace of worms.     Most are dead
but one   pulls at my beard line.
As  we  move  out  to  sea,  I  am
handed  a  box  of  small  crack-
ers.     My ankles are hooked to
lead weights with sturdy linked
chains, and my feet are piled in
quick  drying  cement.   The  air
feels  weak on my  fresh shaven
back. Handing me a nose-plug,
they  tie  my  wrists  to  the  port
bow  with  hair.          My  mouth
is taped over and I make to shut
my  eyes.       Before  I’m  thrown
to  the  water,     I’m  given   two
holes   in  my  windpipe;   asked
to   stay  up  as   long  as  I   can.



Went We.     Inside.     My Colon A Tree:  (Diagnosis)


Went we.   Inside.   My       colon a tree.   Broom heavy with         light.
With     heavy cut     leaves left.   Standing             the spill of. My le-
vee.   My                 leaving.   My find young             ulcers. Tall kick-
ing             in.   Skirts.   Legs     white.     High       stockings stored.   Up   low
were my.   Enzymes.   And you.       Curtained the colon.   Red     salad your.
Shoulder.   So long.   So     roll.   So     still we waited I   was dis.   Eased
clean.   Under my sternum.     Here         was the.   Mandarin.       Orange
deep water breath     here.     Was the steady fed.     Crate where they   saw
through the     inside of     this.   Hot future to get     it.   Out.   Get it out.
Get.     It.     Out.



Set Rough Your.     Hold My.     Ribs Stayed Calm:  (Surgery)


Set rough your.     Hold my.     Ribs stayed         calm.     In.       Open cream
the.       Bandage ready the.     Damp     crane.     Of your.   Neck.       watched
me.   Wash.       Down the         water. With rocks my       stomach. Treading
my.       Stomach walls   settled then         you were.     Here       by me     we.
Counted to       the.   Threes of. Our       knowledge. One. ce you cracked.
The blood was still.       Talking the lines of its.   Measure I.   Heard you fall
to   my.   Body was music.



Manoleria:


My left  wrist is tied to a bumper.
My  right,  to  a   horse  drinking
water.   The car and the   animal
face opposite directions.    There
are two women with flags raised
high  in  the  night.    The engine
revs  and  the  horse  is  mounted
by  a  jockey.       Counting  down
from  ten,  the  girls  heavy  their
breath.   The    moon   is   hidden
by  lights from a city.    When we
start to pull away,   even I am ex-
cited.


THERMOS 1: Caryl Pagel

Today we begin a two-week feature of Caryl Pagel’s poetry. One of the poets we started the journal for, we’ve returned to Caryl’s work more than to any other poet’s. It’s been wonderful to watch as Rescue Press has flourished and her first book, Experiments I Should Like Tried At My Own Death has gained widespread recognition. We’re all proud to call her a friend and to continue our project of publishing more of/about her poetry this month. She’s an inspiring presence, we’re sure you (will) agree. This poem is from our first issue. Check back throughout the week for poems from our 5th and 8th issues, as well as writing about Caryl and her poetry by me and by Hilary Plum. Then, check back next week for even more! — AS



[Hear One Cry Out]


Hear one cry out
as if threatened–


Sheep act scattering




You emerge from the wings
unbelievably
















The town in tow
puts call to trial



Then grumbles back



down-hill













Under gold light
performance continues




A costumed herd accustomed
to my silence resumes
their place–


gathered upstage
against the back-drop



Back-drop an open field





All day long I keep track of this collection



in spite of lies
that lie


beneath my one line





Wolf

















Watched on watch
I can tell


one grows lonely



hears a whisper through the trees cut-
out along the wall






The scene escapes


Again I cry




You plead
I wait for right cue



















Held up
by attention
by terror


by rave


a chance to star



it kills my wonder when
wide interest wanes




I turn
shock-monster growing bold





Told to keep
song


for damage




real risk appears in shadow now

THERMOS 1: Kiki Petrosino

Kiki Petrosino is probably the most awesome person I’ve ever met: 100% style. But not style for style, you know? Style because of substance. Her books are amazing — go buy Hymn For the Black Terrific right now, for instance — but it’s only because she’s even more amazing than her books. These are old poems that never went in the books, from our first issue. Kiki lives and teaches in Louisville. — AS



Popularity & Me


I am queen of a chubby country.
Of a bucktoothed, fizz-haired realm—
I am queen.


I am queen of the chubby farmer who works
his horse & plough. His face is an earthen dial
lifting across the distance. I am queen
of it.


        [Also, I am queen of the iron clouds, of the breakfasting
          clouds, of the garden
        of clouds, of the idli cake of clouds—]


See this guild of chubby tinsmiths? See how they bend
over whole flats of Starfleet combadges? It is
the people’s work they do & it is good.


Wearing my combadge, I am queen.
Whispering recipes into my shiny combadge, queen.


This is one of my commissives:


You’ll wear what I like, even
if that means jumpsuits, even if that means jumpsuits
made of buttery filo.


(…)


I am queen of buttery filo.


It’s a festival & I am queen.


I am queen, in oilcloth.
I am queen, slipping into a bucktoothed gonodola.
I’m sailing now, I’m sailing now.


At no point am I not sailing.
At no point am I not trailing my hands in the fjord.


O, but:


If you will not enter my darling windmill
If you will not partake of this celebratory kebab
If you will not fold this watermelon tattoo into your hair
If you will not drink this glass of liquid smoke
If you will not breathe passionately into your combadge
If you will not wear green shirts, or brown shirts, or yellow shirts
If you will not saunter
If you will not hold this sparkler to a stack of clouds
If you will not believe in deliciousness as marbles in the mouth
If you will not fill a piano with marbles
If you will not eat the gummy worms
I have a scythe of cactus.
I have a scythe of hammers.
I have a scythe of days.



The Tortoise & The Centaur
after Brigit Pegeen Kelly


Once upon a time, the tortoise was scouting wild clover in the field, when who should appear but a centaur—half man, half platinum horse, with a head full of shaggy curls that mostly covered his wood-colored eyes. What’s that you’re carrying, asked the tortoise, looking up from his luncheon to where the centaur stood, up to his fetlocks in moonflower. O, the petrified skull of a water buffalo answered the centaur, extending his huge palms to show what filled them. The skull was a smooth, not-quite-blackened thing, a thing once membranous, now a dry, dark bell. Its forehead parted broadly in the middle, giving over to two grand loops of bone that framed it like handles. What’re you going to do with that? said the little tortoise, who disapproved of things without uses. Well shrugged the centaur. At the moment I’m storing a small library of pear seeds. He turned the skull in his hands, letting the library ring a bit. O, said the tortoise, who was not the least bit interested in tree fruits. The centaur frowned. What? What’s wrong with a seed library? But by then the tortoise had returned to his investigations. Orchardgrass, alfalfa, festulolium.,he was muttering, his thin turtle-lips nearly touching the soil. The centaur looked up at the sky, branched through with lightning, then shook the skull until a single seed fell. Be thou oval in fruit, good cooker, resistant to fireblightthe centaur intoned. His shimmering hands folded over the skull’s eyes. It was late season. He had not always done the right thing. But soon he would reach the sea.



Heliostat


We built a house on the brightest side of the heliostat. Blond oak, holding square and well clear of the dark. For the first time, we watched snowdrops build their ladders in the earth. Then my mother lived with us, and my sister too. We walked to the stone church whose sacristy sheltered the grand mural of our City, braceleted in nine white bridges, and on each bridge a different man to stand for the nine major trade guilds, the smith holding his silver shoe to the oblique light of the heliostat, and my favorite, the schoolmaster in solitary motion across San Tomasso bridge, face in profile, not looking at the others, his own hands firmly in the pockets of his overcoat, and slung over his dark shoulder the sturdy leather folio of his calling. I followed my mother’s fingers in the missal, saying Amen when she did, and as we began the Hosea I thought of the next, blue world. Afternoons we opened our windows to the mild air from the river. Then we slept, each in our own beds, and the slow wind touched us each to each. What more? Many times I would find that my mother had not slept at all, her face calligraphic, yellow-white. How about a little taste of tea, she would ask. Looking as much to me as to the curtains or the pale perch of kitchen window. Holding there as birds lifted far into the great countries of the dead.

THERMOS 1: Nolan Chessman

Nolan Chessman’s poetry is dense, musical, and mysterious. He was a quiet classmate and a good friend all through our MFA, and since has eked out a body of work you can find in the White Whale Review, The Diagram Anthology of Poetry, Leveler, and elsewhere. He currently teaches at NYU. — JT

 

 

Cavern Cathedral

In tunnel no. 3, moles sharpen offhandedly their blades go
through granite. Patterns in the rock. How strange they are
dogtooth growling around in the dark. How boring

 

you will die unexpectedly without legs, without arms.
Here (at 12th and 32nd): Why does your gushy dynamite-
cloud mount the street while you stay down in the mud

 

scuttle-ship of a man? Why does it smell so delicious like
the bathwater brimming, the way you scratch and explode,
scratch then explode? When you die you’ll go

 

millionwindowed into earth’s closet. There will be false
treasures like teeth all around you. Ditched murder weapons
and colonial dungeons earthwrecked in stone. Do not

 

pack a pistol. Do not unzip your coat no matter the heat
from all the moles. You may draw your muck stick
upon the walls. If you must, make a sound that is like

 

the water being gasped away. If you must make any sound.

 

 

 

June Solution

I make a puppet for scaring off the birds, so reckless in the belfry they’ve made a cowbell of the church. I won’t go to bay today. Today I’ll be a beggar.I beg of you, in whose likeness this puppet be, be a man. Be big as a sheep. Now then: A cape of gull feathers and dog claws should wag well from his throat. A newsprint tunic. Sea glass eyes.—I might myself go to him, gently pecking at his honest-to-goodness, his broken stride. I marvel at his stillness, thumbing holes in his skull, knowingly.

A little bird’s heart bursts with fright. (He does not, even then, flinch.) The wing-twitch as it nears the leathered face, not seeing him, it being dusk. Little bird so wanting to roost, to tickle its brothers once last under the bell.

I see it drop, roll a bit beneath the puppet’s span of arms, ending there. I put my hands over the mouth yelping in my face, feel his sad eyes on me. I have to reach to take them off.

 

 

 

Category of the Unsaid

Took off my wooden uniform to help you dry

your hair: broken fists of orphan leaves. The death

of ideas, steady and purposeful in your nest

of a temperate climate.

 

*

 

Slow, underhand toss of key from second floor, open window,

N. Kimball Ave. (from here the street lamps were weeping).

A dispossession. A gaining. I could hardly stand to watch.

Finally, the bus.

 

*

 

Our pets are allergic to us—you’re convinced, your empathy

like something you can wear over your shoes. Overshoe,

that’s the word; (but I know the thing without the word). The quizzical

head cocked, the back arched.

THERMOS 1: Mark Leidner

These are the poems we started THERMOS to publish. They’ve enjoyed a continued life in Mark’s chapbook, Romantic Comedies, as well as his full-length collection, Beauty Was the Case That They Gave Me, available from Factory Hollow Press (where there are, as well, many other great books available). Here at THERMOS, you can also read a conversation with Mark from 2010, another from 2011, and an excerpt from The Angel In the Dream of Our Hangover, his book of aphorisms. — AS

 

The River

The woman told me the saddest thing I had ever heard. I told her I loved her because of what she had told me. Her expression soured. She warned me not to love her for her telling me that. She told me it was okay, and maybe even good, to love her – only not for that. I responded that I did not love her for that, exactly, and that she had misunderstood me. I admitted that why I loved her was related to what she had told me, yes, but only tangentially, and was that alright? She asked me to elaborate, so I told her that I loved her, not for the thing she had told me, but for the courage involved in telling someone something like it, something that sad, which seemed to me to be a great deal of courage – and I told her I also loved her, though far less than for the courage part, although plenty still, for the way in which she told it to me, which I explained had been, in all seriousness, eloquent and mesmerizing. She had a small build and at that point she laughed like a flower, wilting and blooming. Her nose was in the center. I decided to show her the river. I picked her up in my hands and carried her, crisscrossing back and down through the steep and elaborate cragwork of the slope of the riverbank. When my feet were finally in the water I looked at her and said, the river is deep, and fast, and it drowns many people, but I still love it. I still love the river, I told her. But I do not love it because it is deep, and fast, and drowns many people. I love it because it runs behind my house, and I have lived above it forever.

 

Romantic Comedies

He has a turtle and she has a shell.

She’s the principal and he’s the janitor.

She’s a widowed social worker looking for a father figure and he’s an elderly vagrant.

She’s a woman and he’s … a woman.

He’s unprincipled and she’s … principled.

Everyone in his life has drowned and he hates dogs and she’s a collegiate swimming coach with a thousand dogs.

He’s a collapsing star in the heart of the galaxy and she’s an ex-con with 5,000 spacebucks and nothing to lose.

He’s clever and she’s stupid.

He’s good-looking and she’s ugly.

She’s sort of interested in him, but he’s not sure how interested he is in her, though he is, a little bit.

He is always being ironic and she is disdainful of irony.

He’s a prosperous historian living in the present day, and she’s a historian struggling to make ends meet … from the future.

She’s a Nereid and he’s a Dryad.

She’s a sassy black oncologist and he’s a racist with prostate cancer.

She’s a plucky explorer of catacombs with a lust for adventure and smoldering good-looks, but he’s the quiet type, content to stay at home, reading about the exploration of catacombs only in books.

He’s moneyed and she’s a bitch.

He’s squeamish around blood but she is courteous around blood.

He’s a Muslim terrorist and she’s a normal Muslim.

He blew up the World Trade Center and she blew up when she heard he blew up the World Trade Center.

She’s a singer/songwriter but he’s just a songwriter/gay.

They’re both gay.

He’s a foot fetishist and she’s an amputee.

She’s a world-renowned gourmet cook and he’s a world-renowned fast-food restaurant mogul.

He’s a highly sought-after model caught up in the spree of drugs and sex that is the Berlin fashion scene, and she died in a car wreck six years ago in Zurich.

It’s midnight on the mesa, a dry breeze rustles across the colorless sand, and high atop a wind-chiseled monolith, they are two black cobras, drenched in silver moonlight, coiling in a furious act of forbidden cobra love.

She likes things one way and he likes them the other.

He’s hungry and doesn’t care where they eat, and she keeps saying she doesn’t care either, but every restaurant he offers up, she shoots down.

She likes monogamy but he likes sleeping around.

He’s bored but she keeps talking.

They’re both vegetarians but are both picky eaters and it’s almost enough to drive each other crazy.

They’re both the same.

They’re exactly the same person.

They’re in love.

They’re both in love … with murder.

She’s a pacifist and he’s a warmonger … until the tables turn and she becomes the warmonger and he the pacifist … though during the turning, on vectors bound for where the other just left, as they pass each other in the middle, like passengers on opposite trains, they see each other and reach out into the void, and for a few brief seconds, before their forward inertia pulls them irrevocably apart, they simultaneously occupy a single position.

He is the ocean and she is the sea.

He knows where a rare ore is and she knows metallurgy.

He said a curse word when he was in space, and she was at mission control and overheard him and reported him to his superiors, after which he was not to be allowed back into space.

He’s trying to solve the Middle East conflict, but she keeps stirring up trouble in the Middle East.

He’s on an important fact-finding mission for the U.N. and she shits facts.

They are the only two deer in the world who can walk upright on their hind legs and speak proper English in British accents, and their favorite activity is debating the superiority of Copernican models of the solar system over the alternate models.

She is a t-shirt full of eggs and he is an egg accidentally blown out of a lake by a strong wind.

He is expanding and she is shrinking.

It is her second day at Ruby Tuesday’s and he has worked there for five years.

He lied to her and she splattered paint all over his car except she made the paint the exact same color as his car to express the complexity of her anger but he didn’t get it.

She is naturally thin and he has to work at it.

She is involuntarily drawn into the story of every house she passes in her car, and he is unable to drive a car because of his leg.

She’s a pale-skinned aesthete who edits a webzine, and he’s a suntanned meathead completely perplexed by the masthead.

She’s his best friend and he’s sick of jerking off each night into the toilet.

He has a piece of turkey stuck between his teeth and she’s got a full Thanksgiving turkey stuck between her knees.

She is uncomfortable and he is fingering her.

She finally trusts him and he finally thrusts himself into her.

He’s thrashing around in a bathtub and she’s a flash flood happening somewhere far away.

He gouged out Christy Schumacher’s face in the yearbook and she is Christy Schumacher.

She’s the first female matador in Spain and he’s the first male bull impersonator willing to take male bull impersonating all the way … to its logical … and gruesome … conclusion.

He’s a carpenter and she’s a virgin.

He has a ponytail and she has no education.

He is widespread poverty, sweeping corruption, and violence institutionalized to a degree unseen elsewhere in the western world, and she is a tiny Latin American nation.

He is the farmscape at sunset and she is the silhouette of the barn, the windmill, and the silo.

She thinks she might be falling for him, but she is cautious because of how badly her last relationship ended, and he is okay with taking things slow because he is patient and cunning.

They both have perfect coital timing.

He is dangling her off a bridge and asking her what bridge it is and she is pleading for her life and screaming the Golden Gate Bridge.

His gaze carries calcium on it like a one-way conveyor belt that deposits massive doses of calcium into whatever he looks at, and she has a calcium deficiency once thought incurable by experts in the field of calcium.

His resemblance to her ex is superficial, but her resemblance to his ex is profound.

She was only joking when she touched her behind and made a sizzling sound, but he was the one who had to drive her to the emergency room to treat the third degree burn on the end of her finger.

He is the rain and she is smoking a cigarette on the patio.

He has always been ashamed of his membership in the militia, and he has always hated everything they stood for, but he has always been in love with her, and she never even gave him the time of day … until he joined.

He is Norway but she is holding out for infinite fjords.

He calls Nashville, laughingly, Nashvegas, but she calls Nashville, icily, Nashville.

She has just excitedly asked him to the annual charity dinner, and he has accepted, albeit reluctantly, anticipating yet another tedious masquerade of bourgeoisie apotheosis.

She thinks swoon is a funnier word than mulligan, and he thinks swoon is a funny word too, but no way in hell is it funnier than mulligan.

She’s a streetwise kangaroo in the last days of the crumbling republic, smuggling food and medicine out of the city, distributing it out of her pouch to the poor, and he’s a power-hungry possum prelate, who secretly convenes a midnight session of the senate, and with pledges of infinite eucalyptus tricks an influential coalition of koalas into illegally declaring marsupial law.

She’s like get a load of this and he’s like whoa.

She’s a lonely air traffic controller and his name is Eric Trafalgar and completely he’s out of control.

She’s a disorienting aroma and he’s a bee crashing into a mirror.

He’s a man running up a hill while morphing into a snowball and she’s a snowball rolling down a hill and morphing into a running woman.

Her very existence depends upon the capability of mimetic art, and he doesn’t even know what mimesis is.

He stabs her in the heart with an icicle, but when the icicle melts she resurrects.

He’s looking out across the fan-packed arena through a pair of high-powered binoculars, and she’s on the other side, pointing at him with one of those big foam fingers.

He’s searching for the Holy Grail and she has a map to the last known location of the Holy Grail.

He’s searching for the Holy Grail and she has a cousin who supposedly knows a guy who says he knows where the Holy Grail is.

He’s searching for the Holy Grail and she has little Holy Grail shaped pupils.

He’s searching for the Holy Grail and she’s a trapped cricket too small to leap out of the bottom of the Holy Grail.

He’s searching for the Holy Grail and she’s standing in front of the Holy Grail, smiling up at him impishly, as behind her the Holy Grail imbues the fringes of her body and face with soft gold light.

He’s searching for the Holy Grail and she just swallowed the Holy Grail whole.

She’s the Holy Grail but he’s searching for Atlantis.

He’s radiation and she’s a Geiger counter registering the current level of him in the surrounding rubble.

A fortune teller long ago warned him he would die in Egypt, and she walks like an Egyptian.

He is several flames and she’s a candelabra.