Two Poems By Alli Warren

My Factless Autobiography

The grammarian chooses a place in the open
air for arguments fiction runs sweet
in my nostrils I inhale
a failing air fleet
four of them for to eat
the milky crab the pudding
proof is found in

I am the Assayer of Weights and Measures
I am what I am because I am not
something else I hold a lily
in my hands it is not gross
As a fabric is a historic surface I am propelled
I touch bone & traffic in salt
like minefields & the people we inhabit

Who but the most despairing among us
will dwell on that point tonight?
Good brother, take me to the place
where I may meet ghosts and protein
Where hiatus does not interrupt
the phrasal unit and International Agencies
in which the State participates
consider a lover a stash

My freedom is represented by my desire
to twiddle beard & make face
at women in their apartment windows
I poke my snout through the underbrush
and keep a stash of guilt I unleash
when a red-face appears
When her hat flies off and out
the convertible I grab my pants
My member is being severed
My stomach is so concave
various kinds of hardships ensue

Dear Exploited and Missing Persons
I don’t want to lose access
to fresh luncheon meat at a fair and low price
I have never seen the star you call the sun
I grasp bills like pebbles
and my brow? abounding grief
I would like to take this opportunity
to dig-out the sack
I has the booze she has the chronic
You heat water to a rolling placebo
till truth telling makes a terror threat
What with the dust and human remains
The ferry accidents the bombs
the fast-drying three feet of concrete
What makes this night different
from all other mauls?

At the dog park in the club
People from the valleys from the uplands
from the highest slopes betroth
This play houses countless characters
Young men will stick you up
Imagine walking around the market
not knowing what the seahorse is for




Hide The Poor

As clansmen make laws
the country makes heaps
kings and governors
proclaim franking
to be among inalienable rights

They burn youths
with warm wooden pipes
to leech bread from them
to flood the grazing land
to be brought to experience

The painter deemed most skillful
is asked to depict this
without adulteration
with just one remaining ventricle

Wherever he ventures clerks
give him honor
and cooked food
because they like his commodities

some beads
and little bells

and reciprocally
and how

The unimaginable
deemed inevitable

Prophecy is memory
& our fate is extraordinary

especially in the mines
but not only there
I’m trying to arrange feathers
on this ceremonial shield?
this idea of coinage?

I’m trying to bring meat
heads and steel and crafts
to the gospel of justice
I’m delighting in the bursting
of asset bubbles

Not being subjects
they have no desire
No love for moms

Can’t you hear that reeking?
Don’t you see the big chain
Don’t you see the big grill
Call that deflection
in place of action
Send a banger
crying through the streets



Alli Warren was born in Los Angeles and raised in the San Fernando Valley. The author of many chapbooks, Here Come the Warm Jets is her first book, just out from City Lights. She currently lives in the Bay Area.

You will find more poems here. You may contact the editor at poems@theawl.com.