After Hours with Orange by Tom Holmes

Here is the defense
against the negative forces
of denial and death. Here
in the city of taverns, dance clubs,
and after-hour sex parlors. Here, in the night,
with the presence of other and uncanny.
And everyone who is exposed
to or immersed in its early hours
is tinged with mimetic failure. Here is
the spectacle, the pleasure dome.
Here, the debutants of the night
forge wooden masks and iron umbrellas
to hide their grotesque origins.
There are no class differences here,
no towers, no debt, no normal.
Whoever enters its subterranean becomes
a joke, so every entity is dispossessed
of its threat. At its core, Orange
germinates purity and the ancient—
the seeds of rebellion. At its core,
Orange is metaphysical and real
as a belly, empty or full. Here is where
the debutants may carry oils
and paint sleep with fingers.


Tom Holmes is the editor of Redactions: Poetry, Poetics, & Prose and the author of seven collections of poetry, most recently The Cave, which won The Bitter Oleander Press Library of Poetry Book Award for 2013 and will be released in 2014. His writings about wine, poetry book reviews, and poetry can be found at his blog, The Line Break:

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