James Browning Kepple







A Prelude to Ophiuchus


Return our earth sea celestial!

To rouse the tides of far off rockaway!

Slowly bring within our lungs humble skiff

To furthermore bring to us fine cut oar

Whence we dabble perihelion, conjure a swirling of orbs

To push us further through this doleful eve

And rescue our heroic noble souls

Once ominous purveyors of your stars


For this once crafted crust molten and erupteous

Calmed and cooled to the lapping sprays sodium chloride

That did in the twilight stream of steam forward our atoms,

A ash of health combined in wondrous deliberation

To creature out your lakes and streams, our vaunted

Roofs in heaven, our hidden caverns of hell

Spread forth in germination beautiful beds

Of salt marsh and shadowed habitant under trees


These ferocious deities of creation held obdurate silence

Amongst the sole undetermined beacons of beaming celestial light

breaking intermittently into chants, whispers, bellows from the faults

Creaking and shifting with their joined pull towards a heavenly father

Milton in his pandered lore, Dante in his established descent

Attempted in quest for human righteousness amidst a body


Found but only paradise lost

This violent upheaval arose our true soft communion with god


For in these precious beginnings Tiamat and the Titans overlooked

Surly brutish monsters, and this atmosphere was rained down upon by fire

Snow in captured but few bones, and now again, we face rest

For we must herald back that this continued rearranging whilst

eradicate us conscious and high minded and breathing off it

As microorganisms with rocket ships to space

We shall be the lost fuel under sediment, -forgotten

And in this realization a desperate dance begins


For this power in poetry, in epic design and history

We need incensed sacrifice and summonings to protect us

For the earth has grown weary of our consumptive material identity,

It is past time that its fruits spiritual will go stolen unnoticed,

It is past time that we have forgotten the force of solar bodies

The deep ancient proverbs and incantations whittled in stone

Born upon the brains of this last generation of children, to save us


And but what few children of the machine are present

Resplendent innocent cherubs of ion light dressed seraph

An idea amidst untucked stones, shared ruffed up nebulous

This tale is not a burden, it is a search for, from a seeker

Those semi connected instantaneous archivists poet,

Daring a bit in unstable transition all of us satellite earth

Have booked passage for, a ship in command of the heavens, this;






The Jupiter Gates of Babylon


In our dreams we receive the transmission of space,

We convert our physical consciousness to radio,

To relay, and watch in such graphic lucidity

The tales the universe would have us wake


When we look with our simple hands to the soil,

We lovingly caress the worms, the silt, the ruins,

Engage our worldly meanderings into the world

And hold out to the sky such succulent dirt to claim


For the heavens, for the stars, for the power of the sun

Transfix our simple human fondling with simple energy

Unknown, and we try to form it into an order that we relate,

That makes sense to us in the precious small moment of fate


And we have crafted such righteous structures towards the clouds,

We have formed and formed in attempt to surpass the will of sky,

We have built such massive complex of sorcery

Only to befall once again our simple hands in earth


The Jupiter gates of Babylon sprawled out to the landscape,

Surrounded, adjoined to the ancient buildings of Jerusalem,

The giant statues of our fallen gods,

The temples to ishtar and rah that have stood many test of time,


And I found myself away in a dream last night viewing such wonders,

I used my technology that we have developed to record such a sight,

To send it home to my parents, to see side by side these miracles,

These testaments of mans form to the heavens they are beneath


And I held the video camera and panned the horizon,

Moment after moment these powerful cracks in the martian sea,

It was a tourist that I had become and in awe looked past the gates,

And there was no future, but a vast craggy eruption, a blank


This wild deformed vacuum making an end, an asunder to scape,

And I assumed it in my own small stupid wisdom an end, a desolate,

A place of no return, and this historical conjunction of place

Was but the last remnant of the skys permitting our taste, our build


And I am no Marduk, I am no son of god, I am a formed creature of dirt,

One that under the rains, under the pulls of the bodies celestial,

Gestate on this awesome vision in what we shall find past the gates,

And why, in Babylon, and why in Jerusalem, and why here do they meet




perihelion we shall stare together


cross out the sudoku, fill out the crossword,

to parch our speech and numbers to games,

a pariah of the outclassed data we remain,

to seek parity, and fail as always these things



in the parlor I found you drawing facepaint,

for what paring has your face resplendent

come down to such paintings,

you look for pathos, pathos has been removed



pathogenesis on welfare flip the channel

struggle with passable nutrition of brain,

the brain my dear has been replaced,

check out the new google invention



in the wave of surf, you ask, can we swim?

marginally I’d say its pastiche,

a pastel that left running defines your tears

such beauty of blubber all over your features



the talk of the masses devoid of pasturage,

the birth of a number so desired to they separate,

cut from the penance your gods of old,

they serve to pendulous dangle odd fools gold



no we shall stay here love, don’t skip stones

a penchant for stirred lakes of lost

for water shall always decree a way forward,

and if we join this liquid pejorative



the pith of our speech shall be lost,

down with the wooden crates drowned,

stare with me

stare hard



remain black spots of fortune

for the soothsayers have laid lead into the fountain

and we drink

delicious poison





a primitive sojourn


You say there must be a bukowski movie

where the italian actress and the american poet

meet so serendipitous in harlem to hold hand

kiss on the street, molest mouths public


I shrug it off as another dead screenplay

to sip my sugar hill to the swill, set it down,

I don’t ponder this, I write it off as tax exempt

express my contempt at how boring europe is


mount another solitary ride once more with shotgun,

collapse my beaten soul around the comfort of warm whiskey

and go through the movements of another night gone already

a shill decrypted human wall of indifference


you ask me what is so burdensome in empire,

the crack lombard of my physique, the tension in back,

to purloin a palsied stance at the bottom of bottle,

the boon you say is that I’ll make such an exquisite corpse


bring on this unfettered thralldom, bind yourself to course,

for no one ever rides for free, no one hovels a fickle caste,

and I walk in the premorn down the old avenues of new amsterdam

taking pictures of churches and birds, empty streets of downtrodden


sleep for hours and hours to protect oneself from the live

dream useless prophecies ignored,

toss and turn and speak in slumber of revolution

wake to the burnt coffee and leftover biscuits


is it so fucking hard to flail about, curse the sky

bridle the erupteous spewing energy bounding in ones fragile skull

the ebbing prolixity of grandeur, egotism, alchemous leftover thoughts

for if god is dead, then so such shall we go on defunct, uninspired


for the day is a beautiful fried chicken flitting the breeze hoary

imbued to the nepenthe we hold in locket

this faustian noose we bring with us on adventure

to satiate our ideas of a demurred rebellion against desire


filth, opposition to the passion of the times being
and we in fact are the reactionary movement holding mop

watching the cockroaches flee in the night of a forgotten museum,

relics desperately coursing the breathing apparatus


and we suck, and we continue so desperately, so needing

to pull off the pipe, the cigar, the strewn air of your movement

an exhaust forsooth we seek for our lungs

to precisely digest the state of this earth


for this is no movie, there are no trailers, trains to heaven,

and the american poet is dying

the italian cinema a mess

for this yes, another round











James Browning Kepple
is an American Poet. He is the founder of Underground Books and the President of the New York Browning Society. Having published 9 books of Poetry, fronting several Post Apocalyptic Hillbilly bands in NYC, and Creating the Jackie Robinson Poetry Day Festival in Harlem, he looks to inhabit your poetic subconscious, enjoys the company of the switched on still living human folk, long walks on the beach etc…  can’t wait to add stamps to passport and with full suitcase full of poetry come and visit your country house, dacha, outdoor stadium, quaint bookstore, or just the smallest of confines within your heart.


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