“Inducing Mnemonics” by Bert Geyer

Something about mnemonics eludes.
Stimuli shock synapses united
in reconstituting, re-membering.
Forget those loci, dubiously effacing
chambers. There is dust in the memory
palace and it bleeds indiscriminately.

Ed “Bad Boy” Brown’s murder is rupture,
not entrenchment:
Haranguing shots, agony, careening
blue lights stir fever in a dark bedroom.
Where is sunlight
refracting through bay window bevels breathing
rainbow continua?
A gurney demures from urgency.
Saline exasperation emanates.

Glass shards linger—precipitate awaiting
dispersal—sloughed by street sweepers, puncturing
eastbound commuters. An angle of repose
settles after the plow heaps and the snow melts.
And maybe a confused and hurt boy
who feels young struggling to grasp the trauma
of younger neighbors nips a keen edge
to cut that memory for safekeeping
but it quickly conflates triggering
recollection of shredded cellophane
in the seat of a minivan. Vision
sharpens, it’s broken glass not Easter grass.
Heeling to hooded mom on a rainy
morning yearning to retrieve a ditched purse.

Bleeding apprehends. That metaphor hurts
now. Contexts enmesh, producing a rift.


headshotBert Geyer’s writing and artwork examines the aesthetic dimensions of historiography and its reception. His book, composite stoke where, is in the Joan Flasch Artist’s Book Collection; he has published in The Seen, Chicago Artist Writers, and Furman 217; exhibited at Santa Maria de la Vid Abbey, Southfork, and Medicine Factory; and was awarded a Alfred D. Bell Jr. Travel Grant from the Forest History Society as well as a Center for Outreach in the Development of the Arts Grant. He completed an MFA in sculpture at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2016 and is currently a lecturer in the Art & Design Department at Chicago State University.