The Sign of Six
A thousand points of light glowed in the room,
illuminating throngs of devotees
who watched the golden dragon fountain spume
its water arches towards a canopy
atop four pillars, tall as cedar trees.
Below it, a foundation myth in tile
belied the purpose of this apogee;
the consummation of mimetic style
was transformation of the world through Dragon’s guile.
The smoke from cigarettes and pipes was rising
above the heads of guests at their banquettes
around the chandelier and rafters, spiraling,
incensing the casino and smart set
who’d come to watch the race and place their bets.
Like signals from a secretive callsign,
the particle, infused by sulphuret,
formed sultry Theosophical designs
that led her to the chosen mark in vaporous lines.
She was in thrall to esoteric signs;
symbology and little charms and fate,
the currency in all her grand designs,
accelerated her excited state.
It was a frivolous but harmless trait,
or so he hoped while calculating times.
“The thoroughbreds will soon be at the gate.”
He thought about statistic paradigms
and placed her wager to subdue her frantic mind.
Orb and Scepter
What will it be, the scepter or the orb?
Two images drawn on mimetic decks
display two creatures mined from mythic lore.
The first, an undulating epithet;
the second one, a shade of Amalek,
whose venom made its victims fade and die
inside an addict’s spiraling vortex.
This game of cards has only one ace high.
Lay down and muck, or bet on the ignoble lie?
Casino patrons daily pass him by,
the bouncer standing sentry at the gate.
While not invisible to all those eyes,
his stealth comportment guarantees his fate
as one who watches o’er the maddened state
of men and women’s dramatizéd lives.
He’s seen it all from love to burning hate
inside those walls where concupiscence thrives,
where no man in this merely mortal coil survives.
The man was quickly walking from the surf
with military purpose, city-bound.
Some dogs were barking, guarding their own turf,
but one among them kept circling around.
He sniffed the man without making a sound,
then followed him—a self-appointed guide,
a wild card in the man’s plan to gain ground
within the City’s seedy, darker side.
They walked together to the Gothic gates, clear-eyed.
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Follow KJ Crilly on Twitter @KJCrilly.