the louderARTS Project

Leslie McIntosh

Leslie McIntosh is a poet, anime-fan, collector of varied and assorted chucks and shell-toe adidas, extreme snowboarder in his own imagination, and sometimes a slammer. Leslie was a member of the 2006, 2007, and 2008 Montclair State University poetry slam teams which have competed at the annual College Union Poetry Slam Invitational competition. Leslie was most recently a member of the Philadelphia Poetry Slam team which competed at the National Poetry Slam this past August in Madison, WI. Leslie currently divides his time between Philly, NJ, and NY, but has great hopes of becoming a "Brooklyn transplant" within the near future. Wish him luck!

 




Gospel of the Fireflies


The fireflies I keep chained to my retinas
are arrogant, bastard, demi-gods.
Whenever we enter their place of worship
called the “boy bar”
this is what they say:
“Feed us the face
of that pretty boy at the bar.
He doesn’t use it
half as well as he should,
and be the time he realizes his cheeks
have gone five year old Ethiopian
we’ll have moved on to the next.
We will take them
here,
in our temple,
in there greatest of glory,
and use their prayers to fuel
the broken down furnaces
we carry on our backs,
these ghostly lanterns we’ve become.
This is the loyalty
that we,
the fireflies,
will demand of our acolytes.
This is the penance we require

for their encyclopedias of sins.

That’s what they say.
The fireflies chained to my retinas.
Their prophecies are always true.
Whenever we pass through
the blinking neon hieroglyphics
that mark the entrance to their shrine
they devour the faces of these
unvirgin sacrifices
until there is not a single perfect arched eyebrow left
and oh my God,
after that the bartender has no idea whose who
or how old and so all the boys drink…….for free.
A throng of anonymous storm drains
accepting every drop,
every trickle,
every sip of muddy puddle,
no matter what the color,
what the texture,
who gives a fuck?!
It all wet!
and their mouths become cracked
and stained with the lightening
of it all.
The electricity.
The way it burns
the whole way through.
The way the current
forces their molecules to move
until they are luminescent.
Nervous systems turned to Christmas trees,
soon to be burning bushes.
A neon forest fire,
fathered by a disco ball,
and they keep burning.
The flames don’t stop for nobody
they just learn to syncopate their wanton flickering
with the other dancing candlewicks
crammed into the temple.

The fireflies I keep encaged in my eyelashes
preside over a court
of catatonic clowns
and catastrophe queens
and leprechauns piloting rainbows
halfway across the sky
until they run outta gas
and they use them as diving boards
and ugly ass trolls
who don’t know how to take NO
for answer
and fairy dusted Peter Pans
throwing their brains into blenders
trying to spell M.I.A.’s last name in coke
and coughed up vocal cords
and the fireflies can’t believe
that I just told you about the coke.

It’s a freakshow on a carousel
in this after hours church.
There is no pastor.
Instead, the congregation of bedazzled boy bodies
turn their rhinestone ears
to the DJ.
Waiting to be blessed with another
nightly sermon of strobe and techno.
They gather round the nearest epileptic
and dub him Euchrist
as he praise dances himself into a sobbing communion
of liquefied zealotry
and possession devastated muscle.
the worshippers interpret the convulsions as holy,
and sure enough,
the spasms shake from his body
an oozing soup of genesis catalyst
that floods the temple floor
and they just keep burning anyway.
Candles anointed with sweat and oil.
They burn on the dancefloor alter of the fireflies
until the inferno is bullied into smoldering submission by the sunrise.
Dawn hopes to smash the wings of my fireflies
the same way it cracks the horizon
into a breathtaking failure of tie-dye experimentation..

The fireflies sleep chained to my retinas
sleep during the day.
They are cooling there back-strapped furnaces
in preparation for a new night.
A new opportunity to be the suns
of a binary solar system.
To have an army of comets
exist only to revolve around them.
Strengthening their wings for the flight to another
nocturnal chapel
filled with another cult of fanatics
ready to sacrifice their youth for this new gospel.
The fireflies are dreaming of another High Priest/DJ
who smiles like a Venus fly trap.
Their waiting to be prayed to
again.


© Leslie McIntosh



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