angels standing-by

A candle salve for sorrows
intense ashen shadows of
occult observance
  lukewarm toys
    lilac musk
I have threaded pearls from tissue
pale and pink, beaded drops of
coughing slime
  mopped oceans
    stigmata cups
Powder-white, this Yiddish clown
with painted mirth, mouths
sanguine sonnets
  fetish as fable
    clockworked metre
There’s only a soft dim accuracy
poems parch and sounds scuttle from
undipped nibs
  tardy thought trails
     chequered lexicons
In undertones physicians intone
they say the sputtering candle is
solitude’s wish
  stellar fortunes
    angels standing-by

My leavings all a fevered paper cache
red inked, crushed and bruised. I’m hoist from
an unsung grave
  backlogged and bound
    about face to readers.

Notes: Samuel B. Greenberg (1893-1917) – Jewish poet & painter – unpublished in his lifetime, dead from tuberculosis by the age of 23, plagiarised by Hart Crane, left more than six hundred scribbled writings. See Poems from the Greenberg Manuscripts: Ed James Laughlin First Published 1939 New edition with additional poems edited by Garrett Caples 2019

My poetry prompt was to select FIVE from the 'duologue phrases' of Greenberg's 'The pale Impromptu' - I chose candle salve; pearls from tissue; painted mirth; dim accuracy; solitude's wish; for Poetics: The charms of Samuel Greenberg