Bryce Baron-Sips :: “Leave my carcass in a lilac bush” and “Grasses have joints when the cops aren’t around: A sestina for the end of the world”

Leave my carcass in a lilac bush

God, leave my carcass in a lilac bush
When the world has started to rain
And let the perfumes mix in a mist-lain fush
To lush in wonder and horror.

Leave my body in with the lilac bush
Let the mush bruise in with the flow’rs.
Let the hush of time rush out over rhyme
To meter out its fragrances.


Grasses have joints when the cops aren’t around: A sestina for the end of the world

Come, stand between a blowout
Breeze and tearable tallgrass that is joint-
Ed because of a student rhyme, that sedge-
S have edges and rushes are round, but
Grasses blow smoke in diploidal faces
Hybridizing as purer theories rust.

You see this fungus, this rust?
Ready as an engine is to blow out
An airplane of schaudenfreuding faces.
Shaved down features rattle, wealthy joints
These pearls they clutch between sweating fists, but
There are no prairie oysters in this sedge.

There is more to grass than sedge-
Lessness, more to time, air, and hosts than rust.
Puccinia graminis is all but
Wheat and barberry in endless blowout.
As crops get used to feeling out of joint,
We put on our more medieval faces.

Earth does prefer young faces,
But somehow, it’s still kept its grass and sedge.
They evolve to the rhythm of a joint-
Relationship, reproduction and rust,
An airdrop arms race to nix a blowout,
A compromise with the wind again, but-

We can’t right the craft with a rifle butt,
Even as the torpedoed plane faces
That there is no breakthrough SpaceX blowout.
There will be hybrid grasses, starlet sedge.
Whatever cannot out-drought or out-rust
Will see if it’s meant to bend at the joint.

Grasses kiss wind at their joints,
The breeze and the leaf node nod in sync. But
Still the ragged pollen comes, still comes rust,
Still comes the shock of forgetting faces
Of pilots who can’t tell what’s grass and what’s sedge,
Thinking fire, like candles, can just blow out.

Like a parent who faces a blowout,
We say Future went to live in the sedge.
We joint our lives, but it’s to bend to rust.


Bryce Baron-Sips is an ex-biologist, current perfume collector, and insufferable opera buff living in Uppsala, Sweden. If his writing is not over the top, he has probably been replaced by a robot. His work has been published in The Woodward Review, Revolute, Strange Horizons, and elsewhere. He can also be found on Twitter (while it lasts) @bric_a_bryce.