Off The Semiotic Ant Path

Poetry by J. Alan Nelson Art by Brooke Welshsweet tooth

You say image is not real,

reflections mean nothing.

All is symbolic only,

surface deep.

To look below the surface

is merely another surface

that’s only surface deep.

No matter how far the descent,

the hole’s bottom is simply another floor.


Your pain belies a symptom of deeper problems,

your poem connotes cavernous connotations

as the sky hides the vast universe

of a billion billion galaxies

as well as a comet

that in two weeks

you spot with binoculars.


You draw figures in wet cement

but once it hardens

not much short

of hammers and chisels can alter the image.

Melancholy will change nothing.

Misery doesn’t create enough pressure

to shape diamonds.

I slide on a vaquero’s hat

on the skull that houses

a mind that turns

to you under the winter moon.

Some believe it’s your spirit

that causes the thunder to shake us.

However, I must stoop before the real,

fate some call it, ill luck by others

as life’s brief hope alters to grief

that all must live through.

I avoid the deeper pools,

but walk on the surface with care

and light my candle

to start my trek

through anonymous fields.

you're staring at my cupcakes

Susan and the Centaur

I spend six months in bed where I read constantly until:


she whispers her plans to mate with a centaur


sibilant hums the thawing bees

in the honeycomb of my brain

stunned by Susan’s terrible beauty


the ass’s bone resonates

in my dropped jaw

as the honey sluggishly drips

as anticipation shocks through me

shudders my vertebral notches

as I consider the insane sweetness.


Her eyes overflow

with ghastly, radiant hope

like the buzzing words that swarm

my mind’s silent intimacy, staggered

by her small, explicit movements

as she preens for the act.

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