22 Mar 2013, 7:11pm

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A Daisy-Chain of Real Moments

Two playing Batman… y Robin? Cowboys

and Indians have their roots. These days it

makes you famous. You are a B-school

dropout / software developer. Steal an idea,

steal a mind / steal more / steal friendship

over the code. (God I’m so over the code.) I

want it clear and natural. Like a playback / a

funk playback. You are a Primadonna / of

course you are up inside. You have knives in

your bandana, a miniskirt of waste weapons

to play with. As defined in the dictionary.

You get nasty at parties / something you do

at parties.

Sex or cartoon? That’s a tough one. Cereal-

box epithets no good the milk truly sour

Ezra Pound / Richie Cunningham. Who’ll

elope with Fonzie on a motorbike? Jump the

shark? Gidget / Veronica / blue-hair

Madonna. Restful in front unwash your face

all gunk and grimy. Who came on you? I

hope you’ll want to make these moments in-

between truly wicked. But I don’t have the

right subtext. Your mascara is a running mix

of arms and arm-wrestling hurting you so

bad I need a bar to break the stereotypes. So

wet your lips and smile—

22 Mar 2013, 6:48pm


Additive Concordance

To purify the dialect of the tribe…

Dear Lucy, Luciferina, what does it mean if

you come back to me after 35 minutes, 35

seconds, or 500 days? I drove 2000 miles &

then I drove 2000 miles backwards—across

the deserts and across the midlands and the

wetlands. I saw you in a Sante Fe Gospel, an

Aztec librarian. I watched you stack rocks

on a hillside in Texas-Oklahoma. And in

Memphis, there was a pyramid. I miss you

now that I am back home among the ways of

my people. Now that my wing bones are

growing back, dollar bills in the hollows of

my ribcage. I don’t want to be prettified. But

sooner or later, I won’t have anyone else.

Would you like to wear my pyjamas? You

are quiet, you have more skin, you don’t

want to cover it? What can I tell you that

you don’t know? My Life is funny. You

were a lamb/furnace when we met; I was the

stiff wings of a baby goat. You thought

about me more than you wanted. Now that is

all body and scar tissue. Go ahead and ask

me something. (I might have something, if it

weren’t for all these puzzles and ballgames.)

I’ve learned a new theory: in your eye a

blood vessel can just pop and then you walk

around with a bloody eye for a few days.

That doesn’t make you a hieroglyph.

21 Dec 2007, 8:21pm

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A Stillness and a Stillness

Well first of all there is the Atman, which is

there—a sort of divine/semi-divine thing,

incorruptible; the corruptible down-river

there/not there where Ulysses hides.

Ulysses, counterpart to the real. He stands

at the river and prepares to swim. And the

river, it is prepared to become steam.

Because, all around (them) the crowd is

yelling, Fusion. And they are saying, Play

here. Or they are saying, Leave us. But the

Atman, he isn’t decided by what they say.

He is decided by what he thinks. He is, right

now, thinking of someone he is willing to

die for. And he isn’t that person. He is

thinking that you probably aren’t either.

And neither is Ulysses, that scoundrel.

But now it is your turn. Standing tiny, with

your remote control extended, wax-on wax-

off, if you can break X number of boards

with your bare hands or open a beer-bottle

with your teeth, you win a car. Now the

interview can begin. The interview steers

clear of your qualifications—what your vitae

taught you, or how you learned to be a

good, productive person. Instead, they will

want to know only when did you swallow the

nicotine? Or how old was the girl? And what

did you say that you did with her? All these

things were never so hot to you. Because

this is everything that you went for. This is

what you must lie down with, you must be

absolutely sure. And absolutely quiet.

18 Sep 2007, 9:02pm


The Superhero Runs Out of Gas

The highway project was stalled. In spite

of the money, in spite of the New Year.

The engines were stopped. People just sat

on their seats watching. “Just put it in the

pile with our other attempts,” said the man

in the black hat, which was another way

of saying what the people had just said.

Then the sun went by or the sun went by.

Meanwhile, nothing looked as good as you

did. People, when they looked at you they

said, “Alors, this is my beautiful attempt,

my dollar.” (They couldn’t decide which

one you were.) They pointed at you and

held you up to the light. They covered

you in the ground. If they couldn’t see

you, then they pointed at the sky.

I see your love in a gold mine. I hear you

more and more. Crows in the wood.

Castles. Why do you still want me? (Why

do I still want you?) Here is a twenty,

here is a thirty dollar bill for the pizza-

man. When the delivery comes—just give

it to him. Or: buy me some fries, buy me

a soda. I’m going places. (All of them.)

I’m three pennies twisted in your sides.

I’m one and altogether. I have a night-

barrier. I have promised. Where have

the highwaymen put my shirt? (Why—

are you one of them?) There are two sides

to everything. The most important thing

to remember is: I fixed you up, I put you

in a dark suit. I wanted you to make it.

12 Sep 2007, 9:37pm


With Soleil Moon Frye at the International House of Pancakes

Artlessly vague. You’re a cynic.

Dream-doll in your pigtails and

freckles, eye-liner and high-goth black

lipstick (lipstick) you dress like an adult

version of yourself. And I–I’m an

adult version of myself too. Mannequin-

man, accordion man, ostrich man with

bionic suit and power tie. Now we’re

both actual, paying customers. The

waitress, when she sees us she says, let

me begin by saying how nice it is to

meet you. She brings us our plates. She

hums into her apron, humming how

much, how much will they give me?

To paraphrase: the menu. Stuck under

the dandelion’s right foot. Houseling the

glands and teeth and hair (and teenage

wisdom) within us until the breath went

out of us; we became human. Didn’t you

feel it: swimming alone in the porch-

light, camped out under the trees? Now

there is an eerie glow where our eyes

used to be. Now we’re zombies; now

we’ve no heads. The real thought of a

therapist isn’t helpful. Houdini? That

park is thick with liars. And they are

more brutish, more than happy to give

us answers. No No. No No No.

28 Aug 2007, 8:10am

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The Past, Like Most Lessons

Or the water—what does it have to do to

be safe? When it lies down with you when

you see your reflection, and—you

want to see it. She says, you can’t catch

cancer from other people, but I don’t

trust them. Then, I felt overlooked. I felt

drugged. I felt like my insides were

cooking. Now, after all these years, how

do I find myself all tiny again, all seated

at the table, at the table with my baby-

doll St. Agnes Moorehead, St. Agnes

Moorehead? (And they have a tear.)

St Agnes? The left eye is a little bigger,

or the right one. And the kohl doesn’t

help. She begins to wonder if she’ll be

gone by the first scene. And sometimes

she is gone. Into the first-class cabin,

into the cabin, into the sleeping-car of

whatever vehicle they happen to be on.

She doesn’t reach for her vehicles. Of

course the water is a vehicle: there is

The Pride billowing : The Pride. She

says, I don’t want you to see me like

this. I don’t want you to see me.

26 Feb 2006, 5:41pm

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Aerial Views of the City

Brother, the bus ticket is fading

and the night is bestial. In my hand

the beer bottle breaks, taking my

blood to heaven. There is pretty

sunshine there, even the negative

shimmers in quick gold, the gold

coming from so many dreams.

The boy who resembles my father.

He draws a face–it’s open, it’s mine.

I confess: I think that we have been

holding hands all along. Let us

go sit. Tonight, the elephants

leave the story, the record-players

leave the sky.

Time, it’s time. We left elaborate

instructions for them. The car

on the edge of a quarry, the keys

inside. The swimmer, underwater.

And this poor fellow on the bridge,

lying. He has a lava future to sell.

A Mesozoic. Paleolithic. Hiding

under the lizard: lizard-skin, lizard-

pelt, lizard-penis. He cannot picture

the exact moment, exactly locate

the moment she drops her shawl

for the dandelion, for the road.

But he says the water is spotted

with dark berries, with thorns.

12 Feb 2006, 5:37am

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The Shootist and the Sea Urchin

Wind chimes, praise god, I’m re-learning to

shoot outside the warehouse full of

dynamite. In my vest, in my pocket, blood

from the still-open wound. I’m re-learning to

shoot from the hip, from the gut, from the

upper-class penthouse apartment of my lady

friend. She lets me use her window while

she makes ‘Significant Art.’ We reclaim the

night, and she only asks that I don’t miss.

But what I really like is the way my body is

healing, how the scars are pouring their own

sand, smoothing the welts. Soon, I’ll be able

to step back into the daytime, out of the

staircase into a dirty street. I’ll raise my gun

left-handed. I’ll be your mirror image.

Tamarinds to remind you of Oscar night:

those wet rocks, slick pods. It was a good

performance. I jumped up on the ledge

screaming I want to eat you! When in fact I

only wanted to hear you say it: Yes, Yes. I

wanted to be inside you, upside-down–and

later, when I was, I tasted your legs. I said

they were the most delicious feelings. I

couldn’t control them–nobody could. I saw

that those legs would take you through a

desert one day, to the edge of a continent. I

saw that the mermaids would sing. And that

you might listen to their song: This land is

bitter. This land is sour. But that’s what we

love about it.

18 Jan 2006, 2:41am

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Jane, you better love me, or else

One day I will fall out of the sky

into your oven. I will say to you

Betty Crocker, you better cook me.

Cover me in vegetables and disgusting

sauce. Put a white apple in my mouth.

I will lick it like a newborn.

Because, I am like that. I am not

your innuendo or ear infection

or even a carrier of this disease. I am

the beast who talks. [& sometimes wills.]

So shoot me. Cook me. Beat me with

your mallet. Things are shaggy in here

and I am not afraid to say so.

I don’t know, George. It’s like I’ve

been saying about the last century:

an abnormal amount of wet. It’s

like we had to evolve a certain je ne

sais quoi–a blade–to cut the sponge

from the kelp. To shake it loose.

To clench it. In the end it didn’t

taste so good. Perhaps that’s my bad.

I didn’t make the meat, I know,

au jus. But we live in a bloody age

and I like you a little, still. So bite down

on my finger, once more. And remember–

I am not going to do this again.

3 Nov 2005, 2:00am

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Jaundice; or Name Brands


Acquiesce is a scab that won’t heal

and when she picks it that’s when

the world starts to come home.

Norman Bates isn’t just a taxidermist–

he’s using living models! And of course

we know about the girl in the upstairs

room. Such a prim thing, such a

slim thing. Betelg—. So Sally made him

breakfast, made him neat, gave him

breast-perception, recognition, writing-

time. Adjunct Professor, she wrote letters

to Allure, to Seventeen, to Cosmopolitan,

made him Promise to use Pam. She was

clipping the coupons; it was going swell.

But then Oh what a damn thing–Four

and Twenty blackbirds baked in a pie.

Lizzie Borden’s Condensed Milk

Much more than in the Boston papers

the gasoline-soaked rag was lining the

edifice; nearby, a smoldering pack of

matches ignited by a rose. Forty-three

cents dropped in a ditch. Squalor

over the burning yachts. And tenements

which refused to go up with the high-

rises. The birds were not the first birds

to protest–just the first to sit on the wire.

(And maybe the first to shit on cars.)

Meanwhile the majority of Caseys

had struck out. So, yes. She would,

if anyone asked, bring the axe to the

ball-game. O sincere curve, o malingering

splitter. She always kept a cool reserve

of water near.