The Undefinable Journey
Where do you think you’re going to get lines to punish the stranger with? Cursing, destiny's piñata; it’s a surprise! (Partly sunny.)
O neat-o friend of mine, to add a central target to the mix is not to chase sea monsters, real or imagined.
You drop the floor. Small white chicken friends, like life itself over time last night… And, what have you done with this one?
The Star-Spangled Turban
Hot pink frosting on my chocolate- cupcake noggin,
switched-on lightbulb- yellow, tulip- bulb topheavy
orange, sky-blue, bruise-blue, navy thought cloud, darkening:
Any towel, any shawl will serve as well to
bind this open wound atop me, mark me off as
not quite level- headed, tops on any watchlist.
It’s Old Glory that I choose this time: I pleat her,
sweep her, set her on my head as reverently as
any U.S. M.C. honor guard triangle
on a coffin.
Voices from the Field
He reigns over me like a meadowlark in the meadowlands. Underground wiretap. They buried my heart under the stadium stands. Some of us have to work for a living. Saviour, my sin, my paisan! Pobody,not even the nerfect,has a fetish for his peeling calloused hands.
He sticks it in me with his workman's hands. I want a man with a ruddy tinted hand. I want a man with a slowhand.
Do you venerate your dad? Who watches Watchung Avenue? My prayer hands fuss Holstein Manti mantilla. Squawkbox mezzo soprano while I kneel at altar rail bands.
My turnpike binoculars see the ancestral homeland tenements. Semper sperans. [...]
in head stones
the sun is real but lies :: it’s much older than its age; by now the excess visions have all been booked / the best are overused… the river runs through dinkytown accepting all its slops our town fish live – celebrities – scavenging on chemicals and tripe / what they eat helps them eat up what they eat: sweet genetic engineering; we posit they prefer this rise in appetite… anymore there are no visions / no visors needed neither nor sun screen to block the once- anticipated vision burn / oh shit mon petit there simply isn’t time: the sun runs like honey through the molten [...]
I have too many bones in my feet and I have too many teeth in my mouth and I put too much clout in follower count and you, my belly my lemon my grove
This house is split by computer cables This house has tables that drop every plate This house is thigh-chafed sun-spoilt and Christ-cradled and you, my wet mozzarella my love
And you, sugar pill pilled sweater sweet jam And you, my jelly meat suckled and shorn And you, my kill and my kill and my kill and my
City’s dumpling makers all went on strike My city is spite gold brass Stoli commercials My city is [...]
I DON’T EVEN
I don’t even know what to tell you about the fog or anything else for that matter what did you think was coming what did you think mattered what did you think there was something we were all going to do right something we made in pieces in the dark we kept it secret we said it would be better that way we didn’t even look we forgot the way that was better we forgot all the other ways too even all the shitty ones but the pieces are there
what would it take for you to really give up on someone I wrote this in [...]
When Relinquish on a Star
Of June singing, of Monday singing, of losing you by the wayside singing I never noticed losing you Monday in June, tra la Of March singing, of relics singing of bringing it home the first time singing I invited you home to worry my mother, tra la Sweet treats in the crisper, lo mein on the counter for hours biscuits I punched out of dough for the house to devour Of Rebecca singing, of the concert singing of losing you at the concert singing Intermixing too rapidly for my sexual attention span tra la of quickness singing, of sinning singing, of a longlost girl Friday [...]
Dixie Pixie Sonnet
Solar panel, a Fresnel lens, 5 lb bag of M&Ms & we could 3-D print a clone of you
Pell mell all hell & ill will will break loose If you don’t wear your cheap synthetic, frilly fuchsia princess dress, Faux glass high heel sequin slippers clacking on the tile
In your lifetime, the Arctic will have been
You’re a frog no you’re a frog
To conjugate in a future imperfect : will have been ongoing, once
Daughter you’re borderline pixilated, perhaps from the Swedish dialect pyske— “fairy,” ca. 1630—or Cornwall Celtic for “pixie-led” : confused, bewildered, unbalanced, astray ; or an actress as stop-motion marionette, in [...]
MY BODY IS AFRAID OF YOUR BODY WHEN YOUR BODY
My body is afraid of your body when your body moves to move away. My body is a theme party that’s found a deeper way to care about its guests and when they leave. It’s me and not my body that gets the words of the song wrong, My body lies over the ocean, though it’s my body that gets up now to turn off the television. On it, two bodies who aren’t your body read news that pertains to other bodies and are proper inside their clothing. I or is it my body knows when it’s time to make [...]
Ebenezer Makes a Prediction
The light goes on The light goes off A man sells a banana A man sells a pear The weather is fair today Tomorrow it might not be so fair You are singing You are eating You are disrobing You are sleeping The world is turning The world is drying up It is forgetting It is remembering There is a small beep After the beep is silence
on film, it’s a fountain lit from behind erupting or a story-high wave’s motion barely foiled by indifferent coastline. that is, always water, always upward then the inevitability of gravity, always light then always less light.
not in the movie, what is bright is internal. usually in a dim room, though sometimes pitch dark, the brightness can never be seen.
perhaps that’s its source of power: an unseeable phantom with unmistakable presence, a presence that violates the peace of the body then leaves, abruptly, only an asymptotal approach to numbness we call linger.
The Original Self-Pleasure Equation
& other inconsiderate lilies. Or any mineral aspiring to ambulate. Which is not to say living in close quarters. Leaves rubbing & rustling, promiscuous breeze egging them on. To carry on tastefully until the bitter end. To stay on the lookout for aught nubile in negligée. Not to be neglected like the young & juicy fancy their feelings (to the swell of strings). In other words America & its discontents, table of. Quantity, quality, & other mysterious divides. Yet another veiled Islamic reference. No rest for the wary. No wrest for the offended infidel smashing bottles on officious effigies. To be faithful & timid, to redirect [...]
i take the feeling of you—stomp it out with my black throat— throw it down the cement hatch
it bleeds in gold rushes
i’ll be up all night—moon headed—stiff as the wind i sniff until i have enough desert in me knifing the boy inside a man—i moan
this is how i know i am cowboy—my bones screaming a strut to the sinners’ shrine
in the barrio—ghosts i used to know who won’t moan me now—i’ve become the mirror i watch the moon pull back my skin
after Anthony Opal’s cento sonnets
In the wet dreaming room seventeen and a half boys masturbate on seventeen and a half make-believe beds, sleeping hands tied round seventeen and a half blue roses blooming to the organ-grinder’s song. In every way, they are their sustained melodic breakdown, un-adorned emotion cast off outside our atonal scudding. O let me dream not the logic of boats but of rooms billowing with brackish wine, you and me lost at sea, reed-deep in the technical journals. We are a helpless make-believe presence deteriorating except in alcohol. Do you want me to take off my human myself? Sailboat, frail boat—ugly and marvelous body! There [...]
[come to me, sweet stranger]
come to me, sweet stranger, and make of me a moment, a nostalgia, to give to the wind, to give to the one, who is standing there, at the meeting place, where the safety is immense, and not to tangle with, where the sentence can arrive, as though through a spaciousness, surrounding her, through its particulars, through its split, integument, intangible, what she will take, what she will have, to wander, with, over the paths, with their names in tow, in time, a morning, a motive,
come to me, sweet stranger, and make of me a ruthlessness, out of the fatigue, a furlough or [...]
The Stag and the Quiver
Once there was a deer called stag. A white breasted, a many pointed. He refused to still when he halted, the hooves in his mind were always lifted. Everything comes close, the branches slide. In a clearing made of cleavings, stag sees another stag. They watch each other, they share no story. I will not cross you and you must move on. There is nothing else. It reminds me of some tale, stay with me to remember, it reminds me of where I was going without you.
The hunter sinks his arrows into the trees and then paints the targets around them. [...]
Way before the title fights, I dressed in my older sister’s Clothes I stole and danced And hummed and kicked up Dust for neighborhood boys— As they sat in Hawkin’s field, Rolling corn silk in newspaper To smoke, while I, in reverie, Began a whorling version of “Are You Washed in the Blood?” For the last smithereens of me To be born beyond a god of mine.
The Valley of I Hate Myself
After a few years of You can have me if you don’t hurt me and You can kiss me if you promise to leave soon, I pack my stuff and head south. I drive past the ranch style homes of I like to watch it burn and the freakish dust bowl of If I can’t have you no one will, and into the valley of I hate myself. Forget the bad weather and the dead weight of ghosts, the plus sides make themselves immediately clear: if you plant something, it is almost certain to grow, if you want to live off the land, there [...]
Hallmark meteorology: a little what-if weather sworn over time to the ridgeline conditions the basiners downvalley to the lucky look of trouble. In an updraft apprehension replenishes the cloud, a steady sort of borrowing
against promise. Welling at bottom, a slow spring fills centrally where it plummets, a sump and font that fills
convexity out to its inky meniscus, whether there the landmark melancholy were owing to the mirror it lends the blotted sky or to the condition of abysses. A cygnet is drawn anyway, milky, apprehensive,
to water’s edge, to study his launch, and fixes his look across the curvature, a creature whose rarity may—look
again—enrapture each round-turning [...]
Blue Water Navy
Darling, the world, it will come at you with the migrating eyes of flounder traveling through the matter of their own heads having reimagined axis and ground. There is a certain parasite that turns a crab from male to female, or is it female to male? The average male armadillo’s penis is larger than that of some gorillas. I can’t help it if most facts are, in fact, facts about sex. Don’t bother pretending; don’t try to fix this for me. We acquire debt. An animal is able to live in captivity which is where we take our measurements. Watching them go at it sometimes we like [...]