SANCTUARY by Paul Corman Roberts




reaching through saran-wrap-o-sphere congestion in prayer for streamers of cold crisp air cooled by moonlight though I am not a creature of the night but a denizen of the pre-dawn coming here to escape not from everyone else but from everywhere else, a hiding place to be alone in sometimes

… Didn’t you?

Social currency washes out
with the next high tide.

Hanuman lives in all our memories, fucks with our heads every time we take on the animal rituals of body, the reptilian rituals of death and sex, the angelic rituals of cleansing, and the demonic rituals of burning the whole motherfucker down.

I have
grown fat
on fake news.

Memes are
more nutritious
than media

There remains an impossible magic loving to be found in the smell of these ruins. It refuses to die. A new city is built from the twilight residue, scattered by winds from a Fall no investor saw comin’ round the mountain when it came. Hope was left behind somewhere on the journey but like the river, like love, it is a relentless comer that reminds you that you are too, a quavering in the voice and we become intoxicated on a forbidden tincture holding all the secrets of guilt, grief and joy so vividly felt in the collapse of television networks, in the bloody conquest or righteous barbarians and an unfortunate smear of dog shit running up along the sides of your brand spanking new loafers.

We can no longer hide in launder mats, donut shops doubling as burger joints; no longer take cover in union halls and miniature golf courses, walk easily into Canada because there is no longer an unguarded border for our new thing, our overlord driven thugocracy. When that heavy particulate twilight coils it’s purple boa about our shoulders, that is the time we will most need to know there is a place for us, not just a place, not just a shelter but


the place
where monsters
cannot reach us,
at least
for tonight
we have

a concrete slab in the boiling night to lay together on a cooling absorbency as the foundation of a new kind of starry prayer. Feel, not so much hear, our comrades calling out to us from afar the collective sabbatical is over. Drain the bath, wear your layer of grime against your nakedness a shield of bacterial armor, you can’t tell me you’re not ready for this fight anymore you can’t tell me you haven’t prepared the eviction notices for your old demons you can’t go on wrestling with the questions they are trying to distract you with: there is no wrong answer.

Mama we know you are doing everything you can to drag the family back down to your soiled earthen hootches, the cost of just enough sanity to keep the unsmooth machine belching away but you couldn’t know that we would take to it with such vigor, like that one fish all those years ago who decided she had enough of the fucking ocean for a lifetime.


Dear American, you didn’t have to be so ugly. If you die an hour from now your life has still been ninety percent better than the rest of the planet’s lives but fetishizing that other ten percent is what makes you such a beautiful American. I can look you in the eye and say “yes, you have that fire” but I need you to put your hand inside me like a well worn glove and tell me the same, tell me I belong in this Rube Goldberg contraption of a series of spiral orbits around another series of spiral orbits around another series of spiral orbits around an obit. When one of us moves through the veil, the veil also moves through us and this causes some worry when the mob cries WITHOUT HYPERBOLE WE ARE NOTHING to a call and response that fires back with THE TONE POLICE ARE THE ONLY POLICE WE NEED!

Very well then…

as below, so above but don’t be surprised at the fear of love in this kind of world. Once upon a time I may have gleefully retorted TOLD YA SO! but what does that gain anyone besides an acrid aftertaste in the tonsils? Is that all you can afford? Pretty smug for a white thug. The secular world sustains an industry of self congratulatory award programs for those who refuse to get on their knees, for those whom the word “compromise” triggers anxiety attacks, for those who refuse to humble themselves beneath the firmament, because that’s what it means to get on one’s knees



So please hold me. Please gently stroke my forehead & hold me close while hot tears drift into your palm as we wait for the south bound trains. Maybe I can catch my breath before catching my death of being a so-called aggrieved adult requiring the soothing comfort of my children who never asked to be drafted into the emotional healing industry.

This too
shall arrive
from any
and all
directions the
of age and
a sleight
of body
a feint
all the
a scythe sits
pin pointed
at the top
of the map
of the subconscious
our destination
we hint toward
but from what path
can never be pried
from our teeth
you can only
destroy so much
of the body
but not before
it’s passed on
to some other ghost
that must be chased:




2 Responses to “SANCTUARY by Paul Corman Roberts”

  1. Wow, an amazing poet……

  2. Sooner or later, you get the picture—something you’ve really known all along. Ain’t nobody fooling nobody about where this highway goes.

    I have understood for a while that this road we’re on is like a river of black water—pulling us on, farther and faster. Bound for the “vanishing point,” that sharp triangle where the road comes together, there just ahead.

    Very impressive Paul.

    I would like to send this somewhere, but not sure of direction?

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