An excerpt from

The Plurality Of Entrances

by Leigh Zaph

Copyright © 2020 by Leigh Zaphiropoulos All rights reserved

Printed in the United States of America

Cover photo by Stefano Guerrini /

Author’s photo by Bryn McCornack

No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic or mechanical including photocopy, recording, or any information storage or retrieval system without the expressed permission of the author, c/o Soualiga Press, P.O. Box 416, South Beach, OR 97366


Names: Zaphiropoulos, Leigh, author.

Title: The plurality of entrances / Leigh Zaph.

Description: South Beach, OR: Soualiga Press, 2020.

Identifiers: LCCN: 2020920097 | ISBN: 978-1-7359364–0-6

Subjects: LCSH American poetry--21st century.| BISAC POETRY / General.

Classification: LCC PS617 .Z37 2020 | DDC 811.6--dc23

Published in the USA by

Soualiga Press

P.O. 416

South Beach, OR 97366


Chapter 1: Suspected Novelties

Mentee’s Lament 3

Senescence: To, And, From 4

Pontificating Ad Homonym -- Part 2, Or..., Johnny Snaps His Gum 5

Singing In The Drain 6

André Unperks The Coffee Klatch And Not Without Some Pounding 7

One Bridge, Two Views 8

Grist To Fodder 9

Ms. Lonelyheart’s Advice To The Forewarned 10

Chapter 2: A Nervous Splendor

Coming, Too, A Head, Near You 13

Affairs Proved Counterfactual 14

Playing It, Covalently 15

Some Ins And Outs Of Talk And Breathing 16

After Ides 17

Redux At 65 18

Accounting For A Change In Handwriting 19

“Ladies And Gentlemen...The Beetles” 20

Chapter 3: Some Danceable Boleros

Do Anti-Metaphors Imply? 23

Historicity and Morning’s Dream 24

Two Questions (from Ithaca, In Briefs) 25

Propped And Ready 26

Directing (every which way) 27

Downhill Racers 28

Nocturne 29

To His Bored Mistress 30

Chapter 4: Releasing The Reins

Revisiting The Watchtower 33

18° 2' 17.45" N, 63° 5' 51.18" W 34

Some Things To Be Avoided 35

What Comes As Best Should Have No Walls 36

Circumnavigation Finds The Origins Most Dear 37

Losing difference 38

Sharing In The Lunacy 39

Temp-O-Rary 40

Chapter 5: Dancing For Eels

Full And By 43

Teenage Musant Neo-Freudian -- Affected Type 44

Falling Out Of Range 46

Mausoleum: The Thirty-Eighth Ballad 47

Parodying With The Stars #2 48

I Got Her (Your Sister) Sick By Talkin’ ‘Bout Eating Some Purple Berries 49

Poetic Paranoia -- Part 2 50

Pantoum 51

Chapter 6: Riding Where the Tracks End

Devices 55

Nice Try 56

…And Another Thing: 57

Puntificting Ad Hominem 58

More Pungency Precedes Postmortem’s New Revival Part 1 59

A Whorfian Hypothesis 60

Better Get Them Appleseed In The Ground, Johnny 61

Speaking Of This Briefly 62

Chapter 7: Eight Petitions Sighed By One

Carpe Diem Misapplied 65

Releasing The Reins 66

Recycling Waste 67

À Père Lachaise 68

Words That Merely Point 69

Panoplies Un-Privatized 70

10 More Quatrains-The Apothecary’s Song-Translated Without Rhyme 71

Pablum Qua pablum 72

Epilogue 73


Conjunctive to this arid sense of normalcy,

the theme seen here is autobiographical:

segued from synaptic hide-a-ways,

papered fore Alzheimeresque dispersion,

hoping that some third dimension’s

pressed within the vellum,

brought to live beyond the shakeout.

This impossible child of conscious burdens

as if death’s whistle’s being heard

before its lips are pursed.

Both outweigh the rest

to advocate the cause of immobility—

something that’s immovable

whose consequence is only felt

by choosing to run into it.

Filled with visual reeking

to look in its direction is

to look no other way;

lost is north and south, east and west

when such displacements measure change,

and change defines the time,

the element of life, my life.

How am I to travel?

“Modify the sense of God,

and happiness will be achieved.”

Who said this? I said this,

a statement made to imitate

the rope that’s used to hang

the murderers of words.

And the lines, the lines of my digressions—

the lines of each regression—

merge the apple to the orange, to love

for anything that’s spherical.

To wake and hear this hypergraphic tome scares me,

and just to know where my youth was after all

posits all in hypertexed display.

And though it’s not

what I was put here for,

and not my job or outward function,

it is the sum that pushes keys

to open up a box still stuffed

and in the making—

a porticoed romance

that keeps me on my toes,

like twins.

Chapter 1

Suspected Novelties

“And tomorrow ends up no longer like tomorrow.”

—C. P. Cavafy


I don't know when it started:

this quiddity that moved from

passion to a passive longing,

still spruce, but redefined.

The loss of winking hard

once drawn within the body's glances,

the chimes of thought

whose churning spelled as if

from rough veneers...

they both,

when asked for cause (and simply put),

re-mined the mind with answers.

The allegory's real, for once

there is no rope to tow on other spheres;

truth is truth is truth refined

to yield what’s whitened, whispered

seeking out mismanaged ears

despite that knowing sound, once found,

is not the same

as action.

Or then again,

perhaps this is a squall of sorts,

different orders,


and through these many bids,


a last attempt to excavate

those jungles started years ago.

Some answers seem to question this

from values raised

by ceilings now in view:

can retrospects eclipse unwelcomed dotage?

These values, are they well informed for any

who ignore past days

and then assume some other ways

a newer self-involvement?

Even in these grayer times

these fascinations take that name.

Each restive need to chew some nail

of discontent is not of our own making,

but then, and yet,

marked as this night's guest,

we take the role of regulars

with hymns and yarns to spin.

For any unaware, or at a loss

when coming to right angles,

we are the fruit for analogic thinking

the anti-statisticians

whose hands are not for counting

but rather to be counted,

and made to aid these folds that sleep

beneath each false arrival.

I think I understand it now--

the meaning of egress,

the how, and why, it came to be,

and when            to be            applied.


to Rod Serling

“You’ve got some ‘Star-Spangled” nails in your coffin, kid. That’s what they’ve done for you, son.”--Richard Brautigan

The stares that empty history

are still thoughts unconceived.

A cloak (and shroud) of coarse design’s

made-up for easy seizing

propelled by patent passions,

braced by growth’s momentum.

Choice is thought immobile;

the rush, a feeler working;

danger’s heat is misconstrued

as sparks where fires are racing

shuttering a knowing scent

from so much blood in stasis.

It’s calling.

War for war

is made for toys;

And also boys come play,

to go this way of elms.

Chapter 2

A Nervous Splendor

for Bryn

“ blood approves, and kisses are a better fate than wisdom”

—from since feeling is first by e. e. cummings


Rather than my lover,

It's my tête noire

That comes in the night.

Beside me, she (my lover),

for sure alloyed by the slick pollution that rides

my constant words of questionable origins

Must listen to me shuffle

Inside the tiny shack

That is my mind.

Beside her, me (myself and I)

looking through the shack's only window—

Finds my self surrounded.

I swing its squeaky door

And charge out puns blazing.

Or, when it's not a shack,

My cabin's on a ketch

my mind floating and wailing at sea

But still, it's the same

My sails find their lift (a drag for her).

I try to move, listening for

The homonymic, echolalic, fuckingly coprolalic

Foghorn that will guide me

To a bright lighthouse

(or rocks, she says).

It's a difference of opinion.

My hyperbolic ways carry me towards two axes;

She shouldn't be afraidthey're unreachable.

"It's not fear," she says, "it's boredom

And your inability to focus,

On me."


A cliche's plight

not unpracticed in the way of it

best describes her festooned motions

those mast-propelled unevenings

that break from past's partitions.

What hangs for me from age (and left)

is seen and counter-fanciful,

a boutineer

whose endless use

turns florid scents to gravel.

And what is there to do? what to do:

she cannot know

my mind without a language,

my sake

without its latencies,

And yet she gives me license,

reality and other models,

a set to decorate,

another whirl at casting new cliches…

Oh boy!

Chapter 3

Some Danceable Boleros

“Don’t look at your feet to see if you are doing it right. Just dance.”

—Anne Lamott


Forget the typewriters,

these monkeys speak volumes!

Each on its own pedestal, remains,

jabbering sense-filled theorems.

The mirrors are surprised:

forgetting duller likenesses

they now reflect a present way,

un-awry, and clear.

Unconcealed, discoveries

need not be named

to find their source or meaning.

Each point can pierce a child’s mind,

pop out a laugh, or write a smile.

And what the older knowers know

is just the "term," if you insist;

and stay away from even that,

the anytimes you don't.

The greatest pleasure,

like the taste of orange,

flies among the label-less, revealed

unriddled from the white that's borne

between the names, already struck,

and joys we’ve lost by naming them.

Don't stick to plans

or feel the heat that argumentum bring:

those double sides

that seem adhered,

when only one is needed.

Overthrow the rulers

of what's been left to measure,

they’re like some frayed barometer

that only shows one pressure.

Reject the wrappers and their Logos;

find the end where thought's not only catalyst

for deeper thought

is this the truth? Or death as some would say?

Aphoristic algorithms,

life's stock in trade,

life's twofold existence,

are better left inconsequent

within this poly-folded world.

Fear not oblivion,

it's what's been here before,


and then forgotten.

Remember the monkeys

(they really are so cute),

forget the typewriters

and the lexiconic zombies

scratching at our door asking,

"WTF, are you surreal?"

For those of us who don't compute,

life's a fountain.


Tonight, I find, the language is the land;

Its ancient belly's soul

Feels firm-like under foot

Or so it seems.

But outskirts drop to find

A rising tide of contradicting sighs

A luster in one's ears

If truth be known.


What of this truth-like earthly tone

Of mental provocation?

And why such seasonality

When reasons come

To play upon

Our need for future's paradise

And facile fabulations?

Behold, I see a church of words

And other ghosts within our dreams.

How could they be as such,

When what once livedtheir past

Didn't come to us,

Nor did their death,

Or deathlike likeness,


There seems to be some foolery

And doubleness, again, I hear

A surrogate for senselessness

Both here, and there, and more.

I'm right

I think

I'm right;

But saying it

Does drop me to a minorness

And onto life's most other quills

Of spine-ful fear and foible

(Embarrassments for me, (and you?)).

I'll grant, there is another way

But heavy with fake rectitude

And other fist-filled fantasies...;

So watch me dear,

Though chained to pillars left and right,

I'll stand and pull all down

To what there lies on up above

The whats you thought were tops; Or...

If you prefer,

We can just sleep together.

Chapter 4

Releasing The Reins

“I am interested in language because it wounds or seduces me.”

from the Pleasure of the Text by Roland Barthes


to Roger Bacon

Once felt, death’s a sole demand.

Leeward bound, eyes make clear:

Devices have their say to self,

And mind’s the mind’s best leader.

The times that saw false ecstasies,

Opacities, that wrote all else,

Couldn’t edify confusion as

The source In need

of deep remission.

Whose fragments, tilled as tethered bits,

Spilled forth like organs from a dog,

Beside the road,     and dead;

Its horrors felt outside

Since inner fears

Would be too clear.

Whose rousted spines

Electrified from knowing such

Did compromise with curtain calls;

Unending,     sending

Matters lost,

Like keys

Within the brain.

So still, the sake is plunged,

And like a jaw that’s opened,

Consumates post-birth, reheard,

to start the next new epilogue.

Why?! The epigraph was clear

forged for finer circumstance:

a word before the words,

whose etiquette and manners shown,

and flowed out unfinessed!

What?! Apparently, the voice,

Without an accent to the ear

(since heard from birth),

Was easy to ignore

A flaw within man’s nature:

To seem beyond his true address!

If life had eaves

To help us see

What lies beneath,

We’d know these tries

Are ricochets,

And not toward something



for Sharon Olds

Why disguise the manner's aspiration,

to take the venture’s glide among

a pride of froth-filled frictions

is to be as one as two to peal

where frontal meets excursion.

And hammered tandem bliss repairs

to join a quantum need

for finding pleasure’s ancient ward

and life in living's bout against

all mindful interference.

(And wordless triggers shout aloud

in flush and fretless unison

the world's at play,

its length till change

is like a mineral's life.)

Chapter 5

Dancing For Eels


for Dad

In 1961, I read Dr. Theodore Isaac Rubin's Lisa and David. A few months later the movie came to town, its title transposed for phonetic reasons I suppose, or pour les raisons anciennes (if you get my meaning). In the movie, Kier Dullea wrestles his demons for over an hour, (seven years later he'll wrestle HAL the computer, but for much less time, and in a much longer movie)... But I digress. On this particular afternoon I enter, with stealth, my father's office; he's absent, "how more not, than often" (je pense, cleverly). I take his place behind the couch, sit in his chair, grab his pad and with less guilt the Montblanc pen I gave him for Christmas. I lean back, pen to mouth, eyes to ceiling, still too young to have a beard (or jaw cancer), but ready, yes, ready to begin, vraiment prêt. I hear (i.e. “imagine”, if this helps you), a knock at the door; it's my dear aforementioned colleague, Dr. Rubin. "Why Ted, do come in, please have a seat," I say, "and allow me to illuminate... here's what you may have missed: [allegrissimo] I've thought about Lisa and must say it's my opinion that the main basis of her behavior is due to a lack in ego development and the secondary process associated with it. The images in her mind cannot be applied faithfully and accurately to the objects found in the external world. She's psychologically undeveloped and unable to identify, with any degree of stability, her images with an appropriate external object. Being unable to proceed normally, she has regressed to an infantile stage and the inadequate primary process which offers no effective method for forming accurate mental representations of the real world. She has, for all practical purposes, lost all sense of reality. For example, the lack of ego development and therefore of an ability to produce concrete object relationships is apparent in Lisa's attempts to create external objects out of internal ones such as parts of herself: the splitting of her personality--Lisa and Muriel--and the separation of her hand from the rest of her body--with the hand moving autonomously--and even these as objects can only be maintained temporarily. I see Lisa's regression as being easily observed in her self-cuddling, jumping, rhyming and sing-song behavior. I would even go so far as to say her hiding in closets represents an obvious attempt at complete regression to the prenatal state. Though I see other examples I'm not sure why her ego development has not taken place but I can suggest a few theoretical answers such as the possible instability or unavailability of objects around her in her early childhood, or even a diminishing ability for object-cathexes.

As for David, the problem seems to be due to the development of a poor psycho-sexual identification. Because of the apparent lack of sexual discrimination between his parents who do not sufficiently display the characteristics typical of their respective sexes and social roles, David's Oedipus complex has remained unsolved and his castration fear practically reversed. At the same time I feel his ego has been unable to cope with the complexities this situation has produced in the resolution of his bisexuality conflict. In essence, he doesn't know if he is a male or female (as expressed in his reaction to the sideshow hermaphrodite). This confusion is accompanied by anxiety, causing within him a fear of his own body and a wish to become separate from it. This wish is reflected in his excessive intellectualization which he uses in an attempted to become a disembodied brain and can partially explain his phobic reactions, too. By being touched, he is made aware of the existence of his body and thus his confusion and anxiety. This fear of touch is also due to a parallel set of difficulties arising, again, from poor psycho-sexual identification. It is probable that early in his life David's sexual and aggressive impulses fused, and his young and immature ego was unable to cope with these combined impulses except in a repressive or suppressive manner. Since the ego was incapable of doing this indefinitely, it became necessary for the punitive superego to take over. It's this development of the superego that accounts for David's obsessive and paranoic traits. As applied to his phobia: if he is touched, it arouses within him his sexual-aggressive impulses and the superego must intervene in a punitive manner. Paranoia, whether it is directed towards a person or a concept such as time, is similarly explained by the presence of the superego, which unlike the ego, appears to the person to be a force outside of his mind. I could go on but you get the picture. [andante] "You're right of course," Dr. Rubin utters, standing up to leave, "and please do say hello to your Dad for me, you smart and worthy son, you; and my best to Mom and Sis." (he's clever, too). After he leaves I grab a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and turn on the TV. I see George Burns turn on his TV, saying, "Let's see what Gracie's doing..."

Parodying with the Stars #2 (of Stevie Smith's Not Waving but Drowning )


Nobody heard her, the woman wanting,

But still she lay sighing:

I was much further from what you thought

And not moaning but yawning.

Poor lady, she always loved coming

And now she's just lying

It must have been cold for her so her heart gave up


Oh, no, no, no, it was this cold always

(still wanting, still lying)

I was tired with desire all my life

And not moaning but yawning.

Chapter 6

Riding Where The Tracks End

”Philosophy ought really to be written only as a poetic compression.”

—Ludwig Wittgenstein


to L. J. J. W.

These robber words,

the rooms they flock and fabricate

(as exitless, no less),

these false reported prophesies,

hollow as a feather's bone

infest the slowing sphere

a world of spinning tops,

cocked and thrown but once,

their string a chanced divinity

for having been at all.

The point of movement is

to miss the point of fear,

and phrasing's vision

to gyrate in a shadow

brighter than its caster,

to see the brownest beauty in

a leaf that's deaf to sun;

to "See the world aright"

(or disciplines capsized),

to roll the faux components called expression

the digital lie

whose ring deprives the feeling of its soul

and flags the death of real,

the birth of corpses,

the minions drawn behind.

(Do crystals match the one within?

Do meanings have their orders?

It's been suggested

work occurs outside the conscious,

that sharing's done through resonance,

and resonance, precessing.

Suggested, ...just not stated.)


Troubled again

With what I saw,

There was a certain potency

In not dreaming;

And with the table set

To praise the Dead (a metaphor),

What was bred

From in and shrouded selfishness,

Retained a rush to serve

Diurnal's black plate special.

Knowing the real kidnappers,

My manikin soul discerned

What danced before each grave (not on)

And ether's questioned run

On-ground through hill

And dale capacities,

And other such suppressions

Seamed with strings,

And strings of string

A double sensed in feast.

Subtle as torn muscle,

Such commotion made the sun seem slight

By comparison

To what burns

Nearer's still in ghost-like


As sure

(If sure)

As man's distaste for ash,

And love for what it was...

(This ends part one's abruption

of older words from new;

let green and curtain drop

the lights down low

above the masses

for no one's here

to play the part of Lord

or understudy,

and the script to put it right

is clearly      undecipherable.)

Chapter 7

Eight Petitions Sighed By One

“The piers are pummelled by the waves; In a lonely field the rain

Lashes an abandoned train; Outlaws fill the mountain caves...”

—from The Fall Of Rome by W. H. Auden

“Everything not saved will be lost.”

—Nintendo “Quit Screen” message


for Al Gore. Jr.

The tides reveal a signal here and there,

the air, a long but failing dynasty,

questions who or what is being nourished.

History, with rust from past excursions

is not the history that's faced again,

and this is newa future set adrift.

Effusion from the shallows trumps concern;

earth's dexterity slows and freezes.

The new decors of day are tarnishing

a broken gift that cannot be returned.

Incapability, a false retort,

braces for the present past, alone.

An unclaimed ethic fosters poison's birth

and next return; and selves, wrapped up, just wear

the mask of otherwise and pursed excuse.

Our wending has a risk’s uniqueness to it.

The children of this current's child

will lose the sites, and sights of clean array

earth and sky, sun and moon

without an eye to see them.


Each note assigns

a title to its berth;

each soul, re-plied by certain light,

resounds the dislocation

the cleft from those

less mortal than ourselves.

The scene and breeze are constant,

unpressed but always pressing;

the soil that mounts

these bones in bins

sarcophagi of older themes

re-marks the separation.

One sees carved rhymes in search of cause;

but short of these,

the lilies sway

and speak with wordless motion,

their silence bends, then blends un-dinned

the lists of favored notions.

And know,

there is a certain growl within this hallowed hum,

a dry allure to help each notion cure

its taut convictions caught within the ear,

or still in full retreat,

...confused by such decay.

And not too few would have such secrets die

(now saids within the saying),

whose rubs are worth repeating,

whose truths could collate more within

the hinge of past to things which passed

from time, and by the living.

The sin of knowing less

than those who came before

may lead what’s left to low degrees

that live within the waiting:

a cold that haws and stacks, as last,

the span of cautious leapers.



to Archie

Again, I'm sorry;

No travelogue for you is here; No re-

considered radiance.

This scape has one,

but chosen, prefix: a lone

and soul-filled filament

steeped in gray

and all that paints

a personal decor:

For one,

man's seen as broken

redemptive options gone,

and earth, itself,

without ourselves

is hurt,

but free to go.

Yet still

with stills despite,

in search of doors and borders,

I enter just with titles only,

stymied by each scalding which

and numbered less devotions.

(And all what’s felt

is all that can't be said,

like knowing shadows can't exist

without some bright behind them

those long gray bands

as roads defined

by photons’ motions casting,

born from sun

or other light

but never seen beside them.)

And telomeres, once frayed, remind:

A private dusk is coming

so recognize the sovereignty

of stones, and too,

organic time

as not enough to measure all

or even fright's contention

to live to die

that more might tour

the earth by such successions...

And yet,

my whispers seem so loud and lasting,

but not as trees would have us hear,

they, who will remain,

injured yes, but winners first

and last to see the sun and its flagration,

(beyond these woods where man once lived,

and failed to make a clearing).

Is it best for us to know and yield our softer parts

and welcome life's reprisal:

last words for days as brightly colored scars

(that are no matter, really)

echoing the us that grieve

but know it’s simply time to leave?