Monday, October 2, 2017

News Report from the Front

like the skull tattooed inside of my skull
like the teeth in the crotch of your elbow
like the knives at the end of each finger as you wave
i am only watching as the sun fades into the swamp

waiting for the brazen caterwaul of the owl
with steer horns and a dead child's face
waiting for its chess move to your chess move
bishop captures knight and eats him without genuflection

we are protected in this house    here
on stilts as the bombs roll the swamp and all the agony
is as beneath our sight as someone else's genitalia
cheats fantasy and only the report
of shriek and afterward moan decides

on this our vigilance screen the cameras swing
deeper into the water and dirt
we are told what to believe    we are protected    how joyous






from Cyclone Fence (2007)

Monday, September 11, 2017

After Max Ernst

now    that    now    that
the the the the
fist is clenched
firecracker explodes
maid scours
wind trims

there on that hill
why haven't they been reported to me?
calendar gun
bottom of the bear fine cilia
forward like that ourselves
like an aphid

ground ground ground ground
fumes fumes fumes fumes
understand how to accommodate yourself
with stalactites as puff pastry








from Cyclone Fence (2007)

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Cell

imagine any protozoan cell
as a room full of people
nucleus large as an elephant in the middle of the conversations
that people can gawk at
and cilia invisible on the other side of the wall
taking the whole shebang on its way through town

people flow    talk flows
the whole party flows like the totality of plasma
the cowboy stands up there on the butte    pale horse beside him
watches the protozoan row itself giddily through town
down the main street with its lights
cilia happily playing themselves off walls and windows
imagine his laughter

his chaps    the leather of his chaps
his saddle    his horse
all the other various membranes that float through space
all the laughter    all the stillness
all the enclosed laughter






from Cyclone Fence (2007)

Sunday, June 11, 2017

The Blood of My Radio

my radio's blood
    is quaint    evanescent
it seeps into air without touching wood or metal
animals on strange planets worship it
    its grease
    the major tourist attraction
    in thirteen cathedrals

i would kneel to it
but its rhythms
are too irregular
could not sustain
a rodent
even one
wearing an officer's uniform
or a business suit
and holding its breath

so as an entrepreneur
i'm out of business
i can't even sell
its source
since it comes in in waves from someplace else
and my radio's blood
is only a translation
before its own language is conquered
and it disappears




from Cyclone Fence (2007)

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Hands in Mist

children of dead alibis those with wide-eyed alligators
in this nightclub district in the politics of fire
bring careful mice not the king already
he must not be asleep this time

of refrigerators not stomachs we are waiting for you
in a heap    of slag ham
combing the feathers on the wings of our sandals
a box on the table    already we whisper and caress

   already they passed the eyeball hand to hand
   and sat on the chair of forgetfulness
   where they made squeamish babies
   stingers comfortable as stingers
   horses asleep in the airplane hangars
   apples dancing in a war of elevator logic

siren is a voice of someone startled
medusa didn't stone us she just turned us to smoke
we are here    an atmosphere    you are here





from Cyclone Fence (2007)

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Automobile Landscape

he who joys among buses like sharks' teeth
could criticize curses
the woes that go here define the current so swim anyway

and particularly a static land
traffic jams for the centuries
collection of stomachs
a landscape of undetached sleeves
a place that's almost impossible
who would have looked more than i know your vistas

who needs so
upfront:
     1) always be also
     2) heaven and it me
     3) because it's salty and covering their wheels
     4) are not mold wipers

the other source of limousines:
     1) be a mystery to myself
     2) relax and breathe deeply
     3) springing sounds next door
     4) brainfads toward loving broth

someone i love like a motorpurr
repeat to me:
     1) has large eyes
     2) hourglass
     3) a boy wants
     4) uncursed and exotic
     5) hubcap



from Cyclone Fence (2007)

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The Gold House

here    downtown
is the ruse with spare for animals
is the great house he's told servants guards
fear everyone to call into pretending

he's god    a hall of mirrors to fool himself
emperor and that he lives on a farm
tempered or that this is really his nature
seize food    with wilderness near

   he wears his house on a hill on his head
   crown badge sycophant veracity
   a small hat   shapes subtle when he bounces
   a mall fever colors seem to move forever
   town in no matter that stay no matter how long
   beware in his head his subjects remembering







from Cyclone Fence (2007)

Note: This poem was originally about Nero and political paranoia. These days it may be interpreted as being about another political figure.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Palmyra

the bright pink painted on the woman's fingernails
is awake and makes live the worn brown of the door
even more than her smile or the reflection of her sunglasses

   she strides into a brick coffeehouse
   and when she comes out she's
   twenty minutes older

the deal    agreed to there
twenty minutes of life for twenty minutes of table
twenty minutes of life for
everyone in the place
yes watch her with the vivacity
of sunbeams reflected on the window
of the red van parked across the street

   the tattoos like smoke
   adhere to her arm
   in the heat of this weather

even doorjambs are sensitive to her memory
so when she walks in here the house of bright colors
salutes her    she stays    life whirls    then she leaves
a mere twenty minutes older    close
to the age she was in ur    athens
rome    palmyra    when at first lively and unafraid
she entered into the house of liveliness
she is joyous in leaving    as she was in entering
and her happiness spreads to anyone
who aspires to watch her





Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Journey in the Plague Year

you cannot hide    the cancer cells
clean as smokestacks through the clouds
inevitable
as fingers on your hand    (growing
extra ones)    there is no villa that will hide us
each one is cancered over with moss
the countess' coach is wrecked enroute
the wolfpack builds around it
scarred and scrawny
growing extra ones
above the trees is factory smoke






from Cyclone Fence (2007)

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Monument

they're tearing out the floor of my father's house
to put in the monument to his living room
it's a small one
flattened like a headstone    or a sandwich
and though the work is done by people the supervisor
is a chimpanzee    
he's not back yet
everybody is waiting
the cone is almost dug
and the ice cream is getting warm

i pick up a dime off my father's chest of drawers
and walk to the drug store
lingerie is strung across the aisles
baboons howl in the back room
at the deep end of an aisle a child sits
playing with a small red car
a green light goes on above the drug counter
a hamburger truck pulls in in front of the flower shop
across the street
an old man eats roses in the window
wearing a superman suit and pancake makeup





from Cyclone Fence (2007)

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Marbles

if youf ry
you r mar bles
bef orey oup ut the min
the y'll mix
wi thy our brain
bet ter










from Cyclone Fence (2007)

Monday, August 29, 2016

Lament (for Hans Arp)

woe who who
he woe woe the hay-fish
woe wheelbarrow    thunders
woe woe consolation and snuff
monograms for us    woe woe
why have you    an udder
of craggy reality?
woe woe
now our crowns and soles
are charred at the bowling alley
woe woe
who will eat now
when he tries to entice the horses?
now coffee grinder
now the burning banner in his pigtail
now the rat who will expel the devil
now ships at sea
and umbrella
bee-keeper
transparent bride
another sigh kaspar kaspar kaspar
you became a star on a chain of water
woe woe













from Cyclone Fence (2007)

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Waking Up on the Other Coast

dreams    seek    the thin blue lines of blood
the taste of manna is doubt if that's the right city
    cab by    like a jack o lantern
    a reservation that assures that everyone here
    pays off the night
    the grin remaining the next morning
    dawn's dew appears to be time
another cab goes by the wisdom now has congealed into asphalt
    metallic cat's breath
all the humor 
but really i was born on the wrong coast for this
    manic teeth at the window as the next one goes north
splay-feathered cockroaches eating donuts off the street
the kind they don't make in california
in retroactivity it sounds like complaints through bird teeth
of children playing fire station past extinction time
waiting with their folded sharks' wings
    pastel camouflage
sand now lost to a desert that's built into golden gate park
    masters of ego for that
discovered the next morning under cabbage leaves
restaurants for drowned horses open past midnight
    that's evolution
    and where's that damned cab?
a bus would be a step toward the vindication of dinosaurs
and below all this the subway's running like dreams of blood
corpuscles    embodiment    that's
sweet sleep for eggs






from Cyclone Fence (2007)

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Pizza Shoes

shoe of pizza    your heartache
is my headache    is someone else's gutache
is someone else's sore foot
to the least of us a hot slice

you can wait for it under a tropical sun
you can wait for it under an electric sign
you can wait for it under a rainy roof
try not to wait under the oven

   i hear your footsteps going by the pizzeria
   you've got your pizzas on upside down
   at least the dough protects your foot
   dogs follow you    for blocks
   you know the scent of pepperoni attracts them
   more than the smell of your soles





from Cyclone Fence (2007)

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Aunt Griselda Sells Out

be sure and leave me
dripping with content
show up again with a normal dust
you the ones who requested this?

i can't see
you described it in a different language
i didn't realize there was no electric stove
in the middle ages and this
the ballot punched the particular person was there

sweepstakes    sweepstakes    sweepstakes    sweepstakes
greenwich village has been full of rich people
for fifty years now

buy broccoli    buy broccoli
buy broccoli    buy broccoli
a mutilation drops her new mug of fresh coffee
aunt griselda sells out

only a sock    only a sock
only a sock    only a sock
items might prove extensively
at home with a pen and a pad of paper

magnifying glass
too much money on the jukebox
is that a bus
or a limousine I just missed?





from Cyclone Fence (2007)

Sunday, April 3, 2016

A Brief Look at Underwear

that cars are barking    
you can hear their horns and wheels squeal
bitter    they have to stay home
while buses write postcards 
to their parents in the transit yard
and traffic draws its inspiration from art in foreign museums

this is all on your opera schedule
underpants and bras flagging in the translucent breeze
the clouds going rancid    yellow with sunset
pages for sale at the bookstore    so go
    
    1) down park avenue if it smells fresh at all
    2) since i won't be able to look whole in one mirror 
       i'll look in two of them
    3) there is a real difference if it is done well enough
    4) the seagulls who squat in the sand like singing rocks
    5) the clouds are my favorites    i love their city
    6) and after the expedition    
       try to reach down and touch them




from Cyclone Fence (2007)

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Three Newspaper Pieces

your newspaper grows wings
and flies of its own knowledge
but it flies only so far

newspapers left in the rain
grow eyes    learn
to ask stray dogs the time of day

we have all been newspapers
the sensation ends
when you see your successor
the next day
preening in new ink


Thursday, February 18, 2016

Pigeon

pigeon flies in
through the coffeehouse doorway
then flies out again
   all the tables
   are taken

Saturday, January 23, 2016

For Francis Bacon

a house like a museum:
everything fits in
ripped hearts

each particle

claws that are
sinew inside

its breath

this room
its breath
the varying scents of
dogs' voices

my heart is open as a side of beef

you're too young
to get off the stove
and not burn

dogs' voices:

i have kept all my teeth
since childhood
in one pocket
that bulges now
when i walk

that rattles
like breath
when i touch it





from Cyclone Fence (2007)

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

i watched her walk

i watched her walk
in the nubulated sunset

my heart is open
as a side of beef





from Cyclone Fence (2007)

Monday, December 28, 2015

Last Date

it's like trying to break up with someone    you still love
and you can't give it up
her hand
runs cold up your arm
like a vein    to your heart

still you object within yourself
how can you deny    those vacant eyes
eyes vacant with love
death    she loves you
your change will change her too




from Purgatorial (2004)

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Instructions for Optimum Use

city limits to use a lifeline
you don certain conditions
listen:
  outside of las vegas
  visitors will be painted yellow or orange to facilitate
location
       weighted mesquite
       for diving
better?
certain other conditions:
  colorado river    is the state's resort community
  value line should be attached to the city's weighted belt
  equipment should be using the buddy system
  for more varieties of sufficient strength
got more?
still not sold?
         exercise river objects less
need more?
tell us
hire a specialist
you sell better
       you
       underwater
       buddy





from Purgatorial (2004)

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Hearing the Last Roar

he's the bullet through to his stomach
got his barrel dropping down brain
empty    small    gun    to his ear
empty    to his    esophagus

the bullet    out    clanks    kicks
goes    into the    into the    out the
sidewalk    gutter    drainhole    ass
goes further    i am my own    i am my own         

    i am an island
    i am my own island
    i am my own    gut    feeling
    onto an island i would not destroy
    my own gut feeling    no one else's depths
    i would not destroy    i would not destroy either







from Purgatorial (2004)

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Jericho

i dream that i would trumpet
i would trumpet a dream
from bed
into the world of dream

and when i woke
the walls
of the dream
would fall

and the dream
would be in the real world
all around me
the whole day






from Purgatorial (2004)

Thursday, July 30, 2015

On the Carpet

on the last day of the electricity strike
i went christmas
i saw brown makeup
strained on pillows
but it was too expensive

at dawn here
where everybody's bored
you and your face glowed

where

bright where you

men smoke metal cigars
stand pot-bellied where only the boss
because the boss loves the aroma
aroma of thieves

smoke won't
last long enough
to putrefy

where you came out young

glowed
twist fake wood walls

you electric

they hazy
as they deserved








from Purgatorial (2004)