Olyver Currant: July by G.M. Palmer

Summer’s Hell is a caustic boiling dream
concocted in the bowels of fire
of the loneliest malicious spirit
wandering amidst the lost and smoking
halls of deepest despair, entrenched caves
full of the forlorn, surrounding every
sound with the jumble of wails exploding
from foul mouths full of sin and unforgiving,
screaming forever in fiery screams,
tongues aflame in holy mockery forth
from which issue smoldering spittle tails
that flood the ground where the soul has no rest.

Tonight I cannot put my soul to rest;
the hours float before me as in a dream,
the church’s carillon has tolled its fourth
and final bell. In the blackness a cat screams
its passion. The night is unforgiving,
in its silence my mind tells its dark tales
of whatifs and whydidnts, my spirit,
forced to listen, grows as hot as the fire
that pours out of a forest exploding
with flame, and then freezes, hiding in caves
of my psyche that with steam are smoking,
belying the place of solace every

time my spirit hides, and each and every
time my mind discovers it and robs rest
from my body and soul as to it caves
my spirit, opening to exploding
half-truths of regret and loss and fire.
Insomniac, I am awake, smoking
like a factory, clouds billowing forth
like poisonous fog enclosing a dream
and strangling out both mind and spirit.
The morning’s breaths will be unforgiving
but now I only want to silence screams
and ravings and mad lies and violent tales.



The morning comes with sunstreaks and cloud’s tails,
mirroring the marks over every
inch of my face, shown by unforgiving
reflection that reflects my worn spirit
torn by a night without sleep or a dream,
weary from subjection to my mind’s screams
and whispers. My eyes are sunken blue caves
surrounded by rings from months of unrest,
of turning in bed, tossing back and forth
between memories of you and of fire
burnt out, the memory of exploding
turned to ashes, smoldering and smoking.

Morning passes and I am still smoking,
still jarred by a thousand nights’ sleepless tales,
and everywhere I look, there is fire,
it follows my fingers and it bleeds forth
from the sun’s eternal boiling unrest,
constantly imploding and exploding
and burning down with its unforgiving
heat in a summer that inflames every
tree like a soul trapped in infernal caves
scorching in ripples of heat like a dream
in imitation of haunt or spirit
or banshee as the burning forest screams.

As my night was passed in tortuous screams,
my day has passed in silence and smoking,
a dreamless night followed by a sad dream
of a day. My face, full of sallow caves,
winces with agony after every
breath that brings my body and my spirit
closer to the hidden, refining fire.
The clouds gather in the sky from their tails
to thunderheads, black and unforgiving.
It rains for hours without a moment’s rest
for clouds. But today is July the Fourth
and of course the sky should be exploding.



It is night now, the sky is exploding
with fireworks and full of booms and screams;
it is a vast screen of civil unrest
that mirrors sounds of loud unforgiving
gunfire and the bright streaks of rockets’ tails,
celebrating rebellion every Fourth,
all shouting out the American Dream,
leaving clouds behind, sparkling and smoking,
trailings of an unforgettable fire
beating pride into the hearts of every
man, woman, and child in homes, holes, and caves,
the poor in health and the poor in spirit

and the rich in health and money and spirit;
for everyone the skies are exploding
as they do all over the world, every
day, searing young women’s faces with fire
and leaving churches empty and smoking,
turning fields to dust and houses to caves
and leaving little children without rest
filling the night with only babies screams,
unending, uncertain, unwaking dream,
decorated with lies and old wives’ tales.
The firework sky is unforgiving
like America, every July Fourth.

As the sky dies down and the smoke pours forth
in empty flowers like the Great Spirit
forgotten out of Indian tribes’ tales
revived only briefly as in a dream,
tranquil after the rockets’ wailing screams,
shrieks, and moans that were as unforgiving
as the screams, shrieks, and moans of every
newborn child that issue in exploding
symphonies filling houses with unrest,
the skies and fields are full up with smoking,
the afterimage of brilliant fire
like shadows playing on the walls of caves.



Fireworks over, we go home to caves.
It is midnight, no longer the Fourth
and it is only me who is smoking,
the rest of America is at rest,
memories of pretty fire exploding
in their heads, dreams of beautiful fire
and bright shimmering patriotic tales
full of hope and the Pioneer Spirit
creep into the sleeping heads of every
good American. There are only screams
for me; the rockets’ noise is my one dream
and waking. The night is unforgiving.

The night must be always unforgiving
as my mind seems trapped within its dark caves
and unable to release the loud screams
of fireworks that pulse in every
nerve in my body, my mind, my spirit;
noise that only lets me stay up smoking,
noise louder than any July the Fourth
that whispers soft in cacophonous tales
that send my ears and my mind exploding
with shame and sorrow and pain and unrest
like undying embers from a dead fire.

My soul smolders in the absence of fire
with only memory’s unforgiving
ash; my restless mind is still exploding,
rewriting the past and retelling tales
of should have or could have beens that leap forth
to the edge of my thoughts, teasing with rest
unknown the relief of relentless screams.
In Kentucky, there are a thousand caves,
in California the Earth is smoking,
all across America a spirit
may find rest but I search in every
place and cannot find peace to sleep to dream.

When I dream, I dream only of fire;
my spirit is refined in the smoking
airs of memory’s caves where every
exploding sound and each unforgiving
breath create screams that echo back and forth,
incessant tails in eternal unrest.

About GM Palmer