For safety’s sake, the iron escape folds up from the ground. Bad limb that won’t go down, I’m asking for it, party clothes the all of what I own. Even this cat I can’t claim, wandered-in thing clawing the low tulle in the closet, the dress my every memory, the cat a flame in an ashcan, batting the fringe of the window hanging: this is trauma.
Either that, or this is romance. He lived in an enormous house for artists, sufficiently dark and malformed to suggest the interior space of the body, small peace and the snaps of fever and light: ALMOST HEAVEN, he said. I hope to [...]
The Driver Says
Like eight darlings picking corn from their teeth. I know how this looks. Like Portuguese churches on the moon, the strong arm of a place where space moves behind time and a box of old Playboys is just how it feels. Getting knocked down by the white of a callery pear, mistaking London planes for sycamores. When you have been ruined by small events, waking up always feels like walking alone in a woods; there will be no mark from a glass of cold water on your bedside table and the sounds through an open window (crickets, a highway) will frame how little I care for you. [...]
Excerpts from my difficulty telling jokes
A shadow of a penis walks into a bar. No. A bar realizes it’s a Rabbi. No. A pope shits on a bear. Yes. A pope shits on a bear. Now we need a new pope. We have the bloody pointy hat just not the pope. A bear walks into a bar and asks what goes with pope. Fries, of course. How many light bulbs does it take to screw in the dark? Four. One to be left on in your head, one in mine, one to be smashed against the dark husk of night in celebration when the humping and lowing is over, [...]
"They don’t even agree on how they met. In Currie’s version, he was working the book table at one of [Anne] Carson’s readings in Ann Arbor when, during the reception—while everyone else was enjoying the feast (it featured a shrimp volcano)—Carson brought him a plate of food. 'I have no memory of this,' Carson said. In her version, Currie was suddenly just hanging around. 'There you were, and then you were there more.'"
green bulb green eye green red light hangs in the neighbor’s window green issue shakes out green rugging
vie lets I could verge you vices I could kiss
yellow honey of the knot yellow tail not the rumble
blue clear linden in your blue in fired blue car our first car blue fullness of fired pointed blue raving
orange flowers in the grove orange sun do I dare
red paper tonguing the sun red and full and then material red bird endlessly flying red bell heads Douglas A. Martin’s books include Once You Go Back (Seven Stories, 2009), Your Body Figured (Nightboat, 2008), and In the Time [...]
Someone No One Everyone Anyone
and I put all this blood in, but things just get sticky No one’s a mess anyone
wants to pick up after, so I marched my ass down to the shack that flashed
LIVE MODELS in red and asked if they needed someone good with light.
Everyone was bronzed and someone was covered in glitter.
“Here,” I said, “hold that glow
lower” and motioned to someone who shone a weird green
light too high the shadows made everyone’s eyes onstage look
like pulsing suckholes. Limbs in that angle
seem tentacled with darknesses. I tsked, “That’s no way to shine a body.” Paula Mendoza's poems have [...]
Kenneth Goldsmith (born 1961) is an American poet. He is the founding editor of UbuWeb, teaches Poetics and Poetic Practice at the University of Pennsylvania and is Senior Editor of PennSound. He hosted a weekly radio show at WFMU from 1995 until June 2010. He has published ten books of poetry, notably Fidget (2000), Soliloquy (2001) and Day (2003) and Goldsmith's American trilogy, The Weather (2005), Traffic (2007), and Sports, (2008). He is the author of a book of essays, Uncreative Writing: Managing Language in a Digital Age (2011). As editor he published I’ll be Your Mirror: The Selected Andy Warhol Interviews (2004) and is the co-editor of Against [...]