David Pritchard Becoming the Sun by Zachary L. Pearse

      consider, and behold our reproach.
                                                  ––– Lamentations


when I met him he was

a mangy dog crouching beneath the chain link fence

in the limp weeds at the edge of the burned out high school

football field waiting

for the epoch to end


it was something in that dry spotted earth

sunned to death by our faces

which seemed to say here

here is the place where your comrades fell

even though we knew they’d really been

our ugliest foes–––

something about how even the ineffectual

spaces between

toes could rip the ashen roots free

inspired a gut knot manic & awful in

the two of us–––an all new anger, like

I don’t know, I’m so happy it’s

infuriating! someone drive a nail into my skull

to numb this slow scalding clarity!


he walks with me through impoverished

October nights recalled detail for detail from

memory, shining into the dim corners with

grunting & whistling. look at all these grotesques!

I want to paint these picket fences with blood

but I’m lazy and worried about my public record

& won’t do it myself

instead I’m hoping to Tom Sawyer the whole protest

come on over it’ll be fun etc.

people squeezing their torn out hearts

like oozing sponges against peeling wood

in my name, and then gradually

I’ll get bolder

it will escalate:


they’ll find policemen’s heads stuck

on the spiked tops of street signs, the homes

of wealthy tax dodgers burned to the ground

all floor to ceiling windows removed from the walls

of Bourgeois Dogs, shattered & distributed among the people–––

there will be riots &

victory parades all at once

no one will be able to sort it out

it will take this nothing town

decades upon decades

to recover–––!


my soul smashes its fists into the table

splinters it like balsa wood howling

into the cages, all of you!

and I tighten my eyes and

tear at my clothes begging God

for a power like His to incinerate

my enemies my anger & everything–––

knowing it’s happened, yes

it’s finally happened–––


I have spent too much of my blood ink

on literals, long fleshy extensions,

new bricks piling up next to the old cathedral

long before the year Dante

invented originality–––

I could live like the foxes on the dark of

the desolate mountain! but what’s the use

of all this ideology? to resist eternally

resist everything, everything

until you become that white hollow force

you’ve despised so perfectly for so long

that last stage of hated linearity that

no one can look straight in the face

that won’t look a person in the eyes

without poking out its tongue

& winking . . .


when I met him I hadn’t yet gone rotten–––

comrades what do we wish for

any time we blow out the

candles? peace of mind,

peace of mind. well

go on and throw out everything you’ve ever touched

or it will follow you & put

raw tears in your eyes

which will dry on your lids & stick you to

your sunglasses forever–––but the good news is


our whiskey cleanse will cure me

everything squirming & microscopic inside

will be destroyed, and so as per the ritual

he holds my head under the still water

Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues is playing somewhere

miles down the drain–––

terrible that this is how we’ll have to know each other but

now my friend

now we’ll see what you’re really made of




Zachary L Pearse lives, works, and writes poems near buildings that used to be factories in New Jersey and spends a lot of time in traffic on local highways. His work has appeared in No Assholes and A Literation, and he is co-editor of Industrial Lunch Magazine.