Cerebral Tides, Celestial Rides | The New Engagement

Cerebral Tides, Celestial Rides

By Law Alsobrook
Cerebral Tides, Celestial Rides art

limerence of longing when apart



i find transit in myself, between
home and not that is somehow familiar.


after hours of funereal soft sofa deaths
throwing wake after wake after wake,
i swear never to kill time, again.


i watch as patch-work bags of floral
navigate brambled voices
and children sleep rubbed from eyes.


while random chimes and alarms fire,
doughnut zombies amble towards chocolate bars,
and studious bun ducks into smoking rooms.


my self-service food court hums
micro-waves and fluorescent while
a trolley fills with smoked eels and gossip.


over silent apple pie,
sondering hairy knuckles, and birthmark face,
a red hat lady giggles.



i loll in the vellichor settled around
my day-dream of phronesis.





BR9 (aka pararosaniline)



A long embrace
traces number
where circles coil round
identical points, held
to the mathematics of conjunction
and a gravity of need.


To the enamoured,
the unscrolling
wind whispers
in raffia-parched vespers,
a glossolalia of reverence
and supplication
to unremembered gods.


This calque
for love exchanges
root for root
the hidden language
concealed in hearts gloaming
filled with longing.


Magenta flames
the horizon,
an effulgent blaze
the mirror
of two entwined
at marrow's core.


Night's pitch
at equinoctial
cleaves light
as a balance
the loved and lover.



Rilke on the bedside



in the amative hours of night,
carving fevered idols of our
flesh, and bone, and skin.




Rilke resting by the bedside,
placed there for dreams
to cradle.




gorged on succulent fruits,
tear washed in streams
of grief, now at ease,
shadows cannot tread.



you miss the places you imagine


you miss the places you imagine:

cartographic perspectives with a map at its heart


first flutter, vibrating with the world, maps tell

stories which give their form within.


speaking landscapes on slips of vellum breath

we curate stories to spaces elsewhere.


navigating pinned memories, this cache of past,

fleeting moments caught in rectangles of light,


try to collapse the distance that is between us.


memories composed of space, attach to stories,

where mind embraces globe to fit the user.


ambient chatter evokes an ephemeral palette morphing,

with resonance, this experience of living.


maps back themselves into the heart, haunting space less haunted

while real is muted, reflecting a turn of the world.


time is elegant, churning out the where that burns

this overlap of narrative debris, in this


our world, yet very different.






at the time of this writing,
the ephemeral harvest grows slowly like moss.


placid dose of sweet poison
echoes evocation and refrain.


a heart quavers through an inventory
of thin longing.


ritual acts mend tissue
in answer to affliction.


the family table breaks
bone and bread
in remedy as denial.

Law Alsobrook is an assistant professor in graphic design at VCU in Qatar. He has had work published or forthcoming in DIAGRAM, The Volta, Petite Hound Press, Typehouse Literary Magazine, After the Pause, & Technoetic Arts: A Journal of Speculative Research. He is the co-editor and art director for Diode Poetry Journal & Diode Editions.

Join Us!

Mercy, ingenuity, nuance, complex truths, guts and honor still matter! Join us in proclaiming so by purchasing, or giving the gift of, The New Engagement in print.

Order Today!

Follow Us

"You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, or who had ever been alive."
~ James Baldwin

Help us spread the ethos of compassion and understanding by joining our social media networks and sharing generously!

Contests & Prizes

Flash Fiction Contest
On May 1st, we announced the winners of our Flash Fiction Contest: Thomas Garcia (1st), Rick Krizman (2nd), and Rios de la Luz (3rd). Read more.

The James Baldwin Literature Prize
It is with great pleasure that we announce the winner of The James Baldwin Literature Prize of $1,000 to Hafsa Musa. Read more.

The New Engagement

The New Engagement endeavors a novel approach to discovering, introducing, and showcasing writers, artists, and filmmakers, by providing them digital and print platforms, while encouraging and supporting their social-consciousness.