Test Print

This is a test print
describing subtractive black
and what’s lost
when process tongues
the burn of riot.

‘The Field’ by Ron Padgett

John Lagatta; Livingston Manor, NY; July 2021, Joe Gerace

Every once in a while white
lines appear in my field
of vision, curling sometimes
at the top of it and I
realize once again that there
is an invisible rectangle
around everything.
How do I know it’s there?
I just put it there,
that’s how.
And those white lines?
Little hairs
straggling from my eyebrows.


Source: Padgett, Ron. “The Field.” Big Cabin, Coffee House Press, 2019, p. 78. Print.

Snorting a Lexapro With You

Fucking at the Zoo

Cow lounges at Bergen County Zoo

rich fucks poor schmucks grey donkeys pink goats
loser communist cattle roaming cocks black pig

gnaws vestigial arm of long-dead
stump pink pig dreams of shit in dry sun

all pant in red heat zoo as palace
of great social inequity lonesome horse shreds grass

beside canada goose both children
enamored in their wielding

large white girl swings twig black girl
arcs storybook of freckles red polka dots

on tawny field of mask skipping mirrors through corridor of meat
two indian condors fuck in nearby cage

and insignificant small brown deer neither getting their
money’s worth older schmucks inarticulately elsewearing

zoo — $6 a head— equalizes even verbs
animals people objects subjects as commercial rents plummet

dirt everyone fucked and fucking sun and moon
penetrate sky kiss asphalt i go back where i came from

play volleyball with colombian neighbors
i go home to america feel lonesome as stars

imagine america and hang cheap black tarp
like flag with expensive steel clamps

over
and over

union made folding in america where wind is ideal
and idea and erase myself between parked cars

another picture made with shitty
attitude fueled by quarter crackers

we feed one another
from vicious passive hands

release fang fur leather feather plate-mail instinct river
bloat low medicine white phosphorus art school upheaval


In a Photograph of Heaven

An empty carousel at Bergen County Zoo

cold floorboards creak
and broken feet labor, yr

tiny vertebrae at arms
fingertips asleep on a giant’s shoulder, my

one hand raking its grave across
her back taut guiltless guileless unwalking preverbal, yr

the object holds fear
her out there like
just her out there
with the fulsome dogs of envy, my

wrapping themselves in wallpaper and music and great
ambiguous hurdles that jump jump jump
over trees canals and land on a better
partner who tells himself
the day’s failures remain, okay, yr

that when one sits down
to analyze their respective scroll
everything beneath our feet,
vulgar back catalog, mines and thines

bedrock rot
head-in-the-clouds metaphor
head-in-the-sand metaphor
she cleaves the fall harvest at winter’s end


The Race to Fire Island Lighthouse

Cars racing at Laguna Seca

hey, listen
i want to explain it
to you
the difficulty
of love curled
up like a roach
‘s obvious hunger
sense organs engaged and something
like a heavy-lidded
lighthouse lying grandiloquent
on its side elbows
sore forearms sore my exercise
anymore to soften desperation
melts that selfsame bedrock

do you understand the line
through love and pest and lighthouse
i’m snorting a lexapro with you in this zoo

beauty bubbles up like a distraction
desperate not for
good genes we’re all needled scaled
or broadleafed
nor unabashed of scholarship
and easy love hidden in history

reader, when i’m gone tell her
how quickly the tunnel nootka was built

how direct its line from here to there
a plurality of good intentions
some heartbreak
‘s unavoidable but not
too much that she’ll come to understand
as mere fact like a new crime
the prosecutor says

dig a little
in the dirt

the ear the chin the crown
of the head missing uncombed
not as wild as any
newborn mind pull back
a meter stop digging the prosecutor
says gun badge law degree
and no sense of aesthetic pride

reveals some pretty
incriminating things
the truth isn’t the best way
to get a bad actor
off a clean street

i am not a fan of creation
neither nor perpetuated myth
it is what it is it is
until the skin burns
the maps draw themselves
and murderers prop up little books
of poetry a little knuckle
a little knee a choice to remove
the lighthouse debris
i abide the law with a straight spine
from space presumably
hemmed in by caught-shadow
i remember her face
as it dances across
every unknowable constellation
of beauty

The 8 Best Games for a Mush-Brained Parent Holding a Baby

The author and his daughter Maeve playing The Binding of Isaac.
The author and his daughter Maeve play The Binding of Isaac.

As a new dad, I’ve found my priorities suddenly shifted away from gaming. I work long hours at an insane job. I take care of my now-17-week-old daughter. I try to be a good partner to my wife. If I’m lucky, I steal some time to eat, shower, and brush my teeth.

No one can smell me over Zoom, so what’s the difference?

Once in a while though — between burpings, diaper changes, and bath time — the dad gods bless me with thirty minutes of idle time. Do I do the reasonable thing and nap? No. I grab a controller and settle in with my old, now-frivolous-seeming first love: Gaming. 

My pathetic, frustrated yawps at the “You Died” screen, which might as well be burned into my TV, woke up my tentatively sleeping tot every time.

I’ve discovered a few things during these blissful little interludes. I should not be launching into a Destiny 2 raid with my infant hypothetically dreaming in the bassinet or drooling on my shoulder. Nor is it the time for a round of Overwatch. Feats of gaming such as these require focus, some level of team communication, and a not-insignificant time commitment. 

Nor can I recommend diving into that 80-hour JRPG like Octopath Traveler. I tried playing it on Xbox Game Pass, but found it was a challenge. I couldn’t stay focused on the details of Therion’s quest. What’s a Dragonstone? My daughter’s doused me in spit-up. I need a wet washcloth, not a Dragonstone.  

Ditto for any Souls-likes. My pathetic, frustrated yawps at the “You Died” screen, which might as well be burned into my TV, woke up my tentatively sleeping tot every time.

Octodad, ironically, presented a significant physical challenge for this infant-toting dad. The 2014 seafood sitcom simulator’s flicky, one-handed mouse controls were spastic. Thirty minutes with the game left my wrist cramped in agony.

That said, I’ll always be a gamer at heart. Here are my favorite 8 games that I’ve enjoyed since becoming a distracted dad gamer. Consider it a Father’s Day gift from one me to you. 


A screenshot of the video game Griftlands (Klei Entertainment)
Griftlands (Klei Entertainment)

1. Griftlands (2019)

Play it on Windows, Linux, macOS, Switch, and Xbox One

  • Little one asleep on your shoulder? No problem! Griftlands’s card-based combat, set in a post-apocalyptic fantasy world, isn’t tied to twitchy reaction speed, but instead strategic and thoughtful choices. One-handed gameplay is simple and intuitive.
  • There’s no battle clock, so if you walk away to change a diaper your character won’t be dead when you return.
  • You can save anywhere, anytime outside of battle; something you’ll see in many of the games on this list. The whims and worries of modern parenting strike unexpectedly so this is a great feature.
  • Dad brain is real and you’ll forget your own name often. Griftlands helps fight this by implementing an encyclopedic lore reference system right into the game’s dialogue boxes. A simple feature I never knew I wanted, this helps me tell my Spark Barons from my Grout Bogs.
  • You and your non-verbal offspring can bond over the game’s art style, which has a vibrant Saturday morning cartoon with radiation scars vibe.

A screenshot of the video game Binding of Isaac: Repentance (Nicalis, Inc., Edmund McMillen)
Binding of Isaac: Repentance (Nicalis, Inc., Edmund McMillen)

2. Binding of Isaac: Repentance (2021)

Play it on Windows, macOS and Switch

  • The twitchiest game on this list, Binding of Isaac was originally released in 2011 but received a major DLC in March. Repentance rebalances the game and adds new characters, levels, more than 130 items, and a treasure chest full of content.
  • It’s about a baby! As a parent, you’ll relate to items such as “Used Diaper,” “C Section,” and “Mom’s Bra.” Some of these items (“Meconium” comes to mind) I couldn’t fully appreciate until I was a father.
  • On Isaac’s most basic level, gameplay cycles occur from room to room and each room typically takes a minute or two to complete. You can save between rooms and come back later once parenting releases you from its milky grip or, if you’re lucky, play an entire floor or two while the baby sleeps.
  • You’re definitely a better parent than Isaac’s mom who, in the game’s precipitating events, attempts to murder our young protagonist with a knife and chases him into the basement.

A screenshot of the video game Disco Elysium: Final Cut (ZA/UM)
Disco Elysium: Final Cut (ZA/UM)

3. Disco Elysium: Final Cut (2021)

Play it on Windows, MacOS, PS4, PS5, and Google Stadia

  • This iterative update of the 2019 point-and-click RPG includes superb new voice acting and some additional features.
  • By far the best game I played in 2020, Disco Elysium is allegorical, fantasy storytelling at its finest. The player embodies the dark and vibrant world of a down-on-his-luck cop in Revachol, the “disgraced former capital of the world”. The game presents an imaginary foreign land that comments on our own with a rich, philosophical, and entertaining script, an unforgettable cast of characters, and masterful pacing.
  • This one requires a little more headspace from the player as the story, which demands your attention, involves a world of deceit and political and psychological manipulation. Disco Elysium — at its core — is about the choices we make that determine who we are over the course of one’s life. And, while the game certainly has nothing to do with parenting, its story is a deeply human tale about empathy, relationships, and change — themes that should resonate with new parents.

A screenshot of the video game Kentucky Route Zero (Cardboard Computer)
Kentucky Route Zero (Cardboard Computer)

4. Kentucky Route Zero (2013-2020)

Play it on Windows, Linux, and MacOS, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One

  • Raising a child is at turns surprising, dispiriting, unprecedented, and quotidian. As such, nothing prepares you for the journey like an education in the classics of absurdity (I’m thinking especially of Beckett, but also Sartre, Kafka, and filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos.) Cardboard Computer’s episodic point-and-click adventure Kentucky Route Zero reminded me of this time and time again. Pandering to neither genre conventions of the point-and-click video game nor any one literary archetype, KR0’s story deserves a place in the pantheon of itself.
  • This one vibed hard for me during those quiet, late nights where sleeplessness takes hold, anything is possible, and your hands are not your own.
  • One of the slower-paced games on this list, KR0 offers players the opportunity to meander around existential and absurd set-pieces while contemplating broad themes that include the imagination, family, storytelling, pleasure, work, folk themes, and childhood. Its precisely crafted cast of characters will stick with you for a long time.

EVE Online (CCP Games)

5. EVE Online (2003)

Play it on Windows and MacOS

  • An unlikely pleasure for me, it takes a special kind of person to enjoy EVE Online.
  • Players will discover multiple gameplay types within this free-to-play space MMO.
  • Inexplicably to family and friends, I prefer to spend my limited time in EVE mining raw materials from asteroid belts in high-security space (a reasonably safe endeavour) and then sell these resources on the game’s player commodities markets. It’s an oddly satisfying gameplay loop that, as a new parent, doesn’t overcommit me.
  • Corporations, EVE’s version of an MMO clan, allow the player to make fast friends in-game. I highly suggest the clan EVE University, which specializes in teaching newbros (EVE-speak for new players) the ropes of this nuanced game.
  • For parents, corporations are especially great; because the game is played worldwide, you’ll find friendlies online any time of day.
  • Diapers are expensive. EVE Online is free to play. Sweet.

A screenshot of the video game Kind Words (Popcannibal)
Kind Words (Popcannibal)

6. Kind Words (lo fi chill beats to write to) (2019)

Play it on Windows, MacOS, and Linux

  • Logging into pen-pal simulator Kind Words is like going for an easy stroll through a forest you’ve hiked thousands of times since childhood. It’s likely to bring warm, familiar calm to your soul and offer up a few pleasant surprises.
  • No time pressure and no lose state, Kind Words encourages you to take your time and offer kindness — in the form of anonymous letters — to strangers on the internet.
  • Popcannibal designed Kind Words’ music, interface, and soft, neon aesthetic to deliver maximum chill. It’s like playing one of those lo-fi hip hop YouTube videos.  
  • Shoot your shot, dad! You’ve got a lot of kindness to offer the lost children of the internet.

A screenshot of the video game Into the Breach (Subset Games)
Into the Breach (Subset Games)

7. Into the Breach (2018)

Play it on Windows, MacOS, Switch, and Stadia

  • In the time-traveling-mech strategy roguelite Into the Breach by Subset Games, failure is inevitable. This is a lesson that has become familiar to me as a new parent. The progression one makes and the lessons one learns through every screw up are key in both scenarios. Unlike Into the Breach, however, I’ve been unable to reset a terrible, no good day and unscrew my parental snafus. And that’s okay.
  • I hadn’t played this one until it landed on Stadia earlier this year. Google’s cloud gaming platform lends itself well to the impromptu gaming sessions dads often find themselves delivered unto.
  • A basic concept: Strategy games are great for dad-gaming because they provide the time and space to put down the controller and slowly consider the implications of each move.

A screenshot of the video game Judgment (Ryu Ga Gotoku)
Judgment (Ryu Ga Gotoku)

8. Judgment (2019)

Play it on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Stadia, and Xbox Series X/S

  • I suspect it’s incredibly common for a new father to find themselves unexpectedly pinned under a sleeping baby on the couch. One minute you’re feeding her and half-watching TV, the next she’s snoring, mouth agape, in your lap. When you can’t stand up but want to play a game, Google’s Stadia, for all the bad press and typical Googlian fear of abandonment, has been invaluable to me during those times.
  • Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio’s 2019 detective noir beat-em-up Japanese arcade simulator has been at the top of my list since it released on the cloud platform earlier this year.
  • Judgment plays out like a narrative-heavy prestige TV drama with its action focused less on combat (though this is a Ryu Ga Gotoku beat-em-up and you will smash hundreds of Yakuza with bicycles) and more on your skills of observation, exploration, and deduction. And drone racing — have I mentioned you race drones through the skies of Tokyo?
  • In the best of times I imagine traveling with a baby is a challenge, it’s near impossible to consider it during a global pandemic. This game, with its gorgeous and precisely recreated city, quietly scratches my itch to return to Tokyo.
  • As with Into The Breach, playing this game on Stadia made booting, loading, saving, etcetera, a breeze. Plus you can take your game with you to any room in the house and play on TV, computer, tablet, or phone.

That’s all I’ve got, folks. There are like two or three hundred different video games out there, so please let me know in the comments if I missed your favorite title for gaming while parenting.

Black Wall/White Noise

A hate passed across generations
over borders an ex-vast desert

here

a black wall scars the landscape
i do not know what i am in it

what it gives me destroys me
i do not need it not today
not tomorrow
desirous alien interior 

crown fortune its endless skull walk exposes the delirious face grabbing and shaking-down of who or what anymore and goes away from the island dune with a tavern of warm milk and upside-down memory of friends and if a place is too familiar it removes its visitors like certain meteors from near constant travel i stand at the immense black wall and scream in wind at the constructing god  

here
as in under
my feet here
sheathed in
goat leather as in affronting
here
as in without fear of
description discipline or performance

 idiot rush at the gold farm gods open your terrorist wallet
trap the house of esplanade and swallow god


White Noise

It made them feel like poets and it made them want to write more

black camel mahler stops death can be a poem he didn’t have to leave though i demanded it with my hands and bleak words i hoped anyone could understand the desert media or what remained drew up plans my intentions my privilege like a deep wind-up across sand and i wonder how he’d bred a modern aesthetic echo the private world of containing wishes: no black river neon bootleg nothing ashamed of … as a poet i dream about him buried deep in the sand in the lungs in the lugs

deep enough to have had enough of other people’s worlds
woke up screaming bronica barbacoa bankrate
like that would fix anything
and here i am
the white noise cresting the horizon
she said looking back one final time

at the black wall


Innersea References (Black Black Black) 

Those moments accumulate in the interstices of someone else’s history

and beach dragged back hands intracoastal churning
snatch from impossible tides certain hopeful
loneliness imposed
the bodies of others i thought i saw an iguana at the gates
swung open manna born from a factory i scratch the wall
first with stones and dried plant matter and stones then
fingers
beguiling
consistent

fingers bleed wall remains black black black

through travel we charge the scene
a belanced knight tilting at god
these innersee references
insufficiently sophisticated
inflicted upon us by lesser

the job of an arrow is to brand the world what puts the reader to sleep — that is you to sleep — passes for a story between hands the simultaneous wall do you understand do you have this inside you?

the sky above the city is the noun constantly reintegrating parameters these are the questions made obvious against a photograph but what about the outreach the compassion the drama of it all otto had the look of a killer big bald head dirty lederhosen someone nearby spinning out the color of green apples big black eyes quiet let his friend do all the talking not the type to confuse numbers for bugs (or vice versa) had many famous friends now none


sophisticate (v.)

c. 1400, “make impure by admixture,” from Medieval Latin sophisticatus, past participle of sophisticare (see sophistication). From c. 1600 as “corrupt, delude by sophistry;” from 1796 as “deprive of simplicity.” Related: Sophisticated; sophisticating. As a noun meaning “sophisticated person” from 1921.


Poem Can’t Defend Itself

they are gone out / they are beautiful / they are never enough

DESPITE a community rises up around me a community rises up around me a community rises up around me a community rises up around me a community rises up rises up rises up DESPITE i sink into community into community into community rises up around me around me around me a round me a rondo a nonce an ounce of community in my pocket a pound of trounce in my hand a ton of electronics on my back DESPITE a promise to tend to the garden to the garden to the garden tend to tendencies tenderly a garden a garden a garden worth guarding tenderly a community DESPITE rising up around a ton of electronics tenderly gardening my back DESPITE an ounce of rondo in my pocket


Ounce of Rondeau

you ask yourself: is the next minute enough? enough to pull you into them? to keep you there enough? is its plurality of negations enough to keep you reading forever? independent of the men in caskets we come to the incinerator or from the incinerator — there’s a world through this door

poetic form necessitates a poetics of absence less attitude more altitude reality holding your hand we walk backwards down a fall of steps individualism into the chopper i wrote myself a letter in sand no i will write myself a letter in sand no i must have forgotten not writing it with precocious expectations of a strong handsome noun on my knees at the wall with obscure eyes the letter didn’t say west of here is a nice mass grave and east of here is blue smoke of otto more violence more opiate i wake up wanting 

survive make friends at the inn at columbia tell stories 

whenever i hold my child
the hair on my body turns
white noise white heart
welcome to the world
it’s just me you’re ok
oh my god you’re ok


Ounce of Zuihitsu

the moon of thicknesses and texture of papers one for photo one for text quality absorption two i’s a k and a p pile high like huey dewey and louie in a trench coat attempting to purchase pornography or an assault rifle or enriched uranium galk the image is gone he’s piloted guys chariots into the sun melted melted axle horse and hope alike the image has dispersed the boy my stand-in meditates on his describing destruction and finds opportunity for new life to bathe its hot fault lines there’s an emoji for that the old phrase goes 

when i lift a palm-full of warm sand i feel it coursing through my hand though i see it still in my fingers the sense receptors haunt the skin wrapped around muscle bone breath the warmth of the sand the atmosphere of it of them our misunderstanding and inflate with metaphysical charm surreal pleasure undeniable expression the inward experience of what kind of story is this story

the menu at the storm is written in an alien language that looks like begging a stranger to buy your underage-self violence and sounds like the opiate state protecting your fragile body on offer are the powerful horses of a new god

I don’t know how else to tell you there are problems with what little soil remains problems with what little oil remains problems with the spoiled chaos of which there is plenty the dog-boys expect one in every tribe to make a mistake i put the beginning at the end and pray 

i close my eyes and pray for rain


despite (n., prep.)

c. 1300, despit (n.) “contemptuous challenge, defiance; act designed to insult or humiliate someone;” mid-14c., “scorn, contempt,” from Old French despit (12c., Modern French dépit), from Latin despectus “a looking down on, scorn, contempt,” from past participle of despicere “look down on, scorn,” from de “down” (see de-) + spicere/specere “to look at” (from PIE root *spek- “to observe”).

The prepositional sense “notwithstanding” (early 15c.) is short for in despite of “in defiance or contempt of” (c. 1300), a loan-translation of Anglo-French en despit de “in contempt of.” It almost became despight during the 16c. spelling reform.


Blacking Thee Impossible Art

some men are large others are sharks but all men have their cut coming what price what playing harmony what origins hungry submissions layered to the ceiling like dried newspaper waits for spark a wide lens saturation cranked creamed laughing fringes pissed the windgreens that fill sinuses this is indirect incorrect take the first viola on your right and go straight on til the measuring tape boils oh see can you say it like he sees it will you allow the worries to tell you no wrestling nude in the sun people blacken me blacking thee impossible art life i’ll tell it straight no surface artifact artifact camera aims his gun at the sun a diagonal field sailing memories the means to be an artist dearest exponent YES! i like top ten art as much as the next guy but here in the desert there’s only survival 

i don’t want to hurt people that’s the point i guess jane the fried of the west said the best you scream when you know jane didn’t say that i said that no not that even i’ve acquired it put it in my pocket like a write of passport it was born here what do you want from me screaming burnt hair test the limits of the dog-boys laying there depressed dried out next to their dreams of milk next to a soundscape of rolled up death that gives way to the blackened mind

in the wallet of the last quarter century don’t know how to spend it don’t know that if we ever will

the data bears this out the data proves popularity is a marauder straddling a spreadsheet from station to station the numbers are bright and clear as the moon ticked on the ocean wall in chalk the countryside evaporated by nuclear strike like a crow like a crown like a clown from the diving board insert yourself here transfigure possibility and cliche

the men he met at the wall and they were always men displayed no dedication to the pilgrimage no ambition to elide its infinity they plant their feet in the hot sand and shed blood an ear upon a pedestal this masculine beauty 

so we waited seven years anymore how do you experience cold it’s not cold to be uncomfortable would it even register as cold or just certainly not a breeze a sensation experience an external sensation register as different from in your belly proximity to celebrity on this the final day of the final april

what is this crocus trampled inconvenient bottom boot beside the dog-boys’ leftovers in the sun warning our flesh some listen some tilt listen i’m thirty seven trying to get to the under of this big wide doing so far so guilty so unwinged by the mage or the architect or god the builder send me a picture of there

Bolaño

poets exaggerate
everything you
needed to
know about

me back
then could
be summed
up thusly

coming upon
a page
underlined by
amazon’s popular

highlights feature
in whatever
kindle book
I was

reading knocked
me off
course every
time knowing

that 22
people had
previously highlighted
this passage

in Bolaño
about young
poets and
old whores

ripped the
soft cotton
stuffing out
of my

chest it
stunk of
the path
most travelled

old sneakers
the bubba
gump shrimp
in times

square selfie
sticks at
la sagrada
familia last

evenings on
earth fireworks

The Notion of Completion

We let things die and eat our friends and family

“Frustration has become a key response to certain recent art. Frustration because the viewer is looking for a complete “idea” and is foiled. The notion of completion (i.e., self-containment) is at fault.”*

Mel Bochner

March 2021 — A vast sucking sound invades my consciousness even god dies many men are god over and over again and again confusing the prophecy smile with the pissing of one’s pants horrifying child reach down into the worksheet subconscious and pray for us — reader and read — spit the stuff of life into the dry bed of our hair

Herd of wishes tiktok cartwheeling in the 2021 pandemic rain

Look out now into the field of the poem:

An invasive, patriotic pan into an urbane shopping center in praise of everything average fire from the gods every popular poem of the last 400 years a streetcar sunrise eventually finds time to name check chicory and sage this one begins with blood moat pikeways spectacular arguments theory of riot like a match/strike and riot literary technique milk as cologne rot as physique reason generates contradictions being the moment of fixity decaying protest protein establishes work as crucible

“When it examined a work of art, materialist criticism was accustomed to ask how that work stood in relation to the social relationships of production of its time. That is an important question. But also a very difficult one.”

Walter Benjamin

My Pietà

Encyclopaedia Logica negatively rational complications of basic machine translation abstracts from the fact that every few days I dream about the staten island ferry terminal — never the ferry — cavernous poisoned with workers worriers and weasels red corona around time’s neat little rows like

I’ve taken the ladies heaped on our generation’s greatest writers and turned them first to dust then to paste then tipped in my photos look at us here in the margins singing out loud like

With a shark knife this isn’t magic but middlebrow slight of hand I hollow out the differences between things the car is always parked comically far from the party my hands are always full of papers I hope will contain valuable information my shoes are too big no one likes me I am alone my mode is survival shame let’s do the time warp like

Alive on the internet baby snails rabid preteens snapback starter caps wreathed in mycelium the message is clear get ready to floss billboards are no longer optional avon barksdale whistles like

The results of a promising life come back negative so the reader fingers across coarse vellum begins to trace the source of the information back to its etymological roots stainless steel web of memory no one will rent to a poet the dog punishes the cat anymore for being slow small and weak captain communism strikes again like

How many cows have to die after climbing into a tight high attic — red yellow green blue pink — ALL OF THEM the inscription reads SLEEVE NOT CUP followed by an 11 digit phone number not magic but martial disorder I was just looking for the bathroom but he was an entertainer with a high iq i know boo-hoo no one has said anything good about me though memory is incomplete and what is complete is corrupt like

Hallucination as savior my Pietà of language crumpled but full of etymological life in arms I watched the four, there, in the delicate black corner sprout wings no flight but possibility and strange other outcast the deep uncontemplated darkness of the eye cries like


Market Bug (Rhythmic Chirping)

I can’t stop repeating the words astra and zeneca like an incantation to our collective effigy is it big enough this elegy said brave but meant careless mad dissolving head the poets like gruesome biblical angels want what’s best for it/god

For us the hotel staff provided drugs and provided thousands of pounds of rooms but no hallways no keys the elevator was controlled from the destination floor hooligans frequently mashed the nauseous fast button mother and the first man were there Adam cut the safety line mother watched

The poet chirps rhythmically yes I let the dog bite me I ask the influencers what do you do for money and get no reply bite chomp rip stomp I mostly think about a long vacation one year to justify who I am or was meant to be a lie a list a liar a black market bug electric fingertips the kind of person who doesn’t as vocation


Og-noid the Flagrant

All we heart have beat breath hearth and got here we turn to need & formalism I’d rather buy it cheap than learn it hard Og-noid the flagrant turns toward the busy sub on main street and aims his psychosexual power What he attempts to resist what I also attempt to resist is easiness how gorgeous the hands of the clock pointing at nothing I dream of vesuvius fists against sex workers impotent rage of soldiers of consequence ponytailed picasso woman’s blood in steerage on a stream ship from Italy on canvas bills on florescent future oh heavenly heart welcome to New Jersey

The child quits as the sun provokes birds from wherever into the rhododendron below an eastern cottontail and just about a diesel truck delivers a box full of lithium ion batteries every cow walks around with its leather milk and beef eyes for the buzzards discarded bits for tossing into the dog’s bowl companionship it is spring not a symbol of spring you’ll remember this haircut long after I’m dead

We let things die and eat our friends and family

Every photo ever captured contains at least one suspect. A photo of a fish contains suspect of fisherman. A photo of mountain contains first ascender. A photo captured by code contains its coder. Every actual moment in a river is success, every photo is frustration of that river.

*”Frustration has become a key response to certain recent art. Frustration because the viewer is looking for a complete “idea” and is foiled. The notion of completion (i.e., self-containment) is at fault. What is thought and what is experienced continually replace each other. Nothing reveals itself without at the same time concealing something else. The concealed is the source of thought. And thought, which we hoped to use to “fill in the gaps,” is in itself bottomless or … incomplete. So every work is only the residue of thought’s attempt to simultaneously close itself up and its frustration at not being able to do so. The artwork, whatever “form” it might take, is the visible center of an axis connecting intention and disappointment.”

Mel Bochner

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revivified cicadas end dormancy
fans outside the garden at night
saying the stars hark an advertisement
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from today’s affronted vases
flank new eliminations of
doe queens
of canceled revenue
a screenshot of the dead lie
three men inside a high rate of speed
burn cash
as others
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at kill station &
terminal statistics colorized
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support us or die
(repeat)

Temper at the Prospect

How our lively natures were rapt away by post-modern science fiction

“What temper at the prospect did not wake
To happiness unthought of? The inert
Were roused, and lively natures rapt away!”

William Wordsworth

February 2021 — Why doesn’t ugly start a revolution? The intellectual farmacie of traditional media, rife with fit, reasonably attractive folks earn profiles in the The New Yorker. Unless you’re an old white man, in which case beauty is rare and, take it from me, things are relatively frictionless—we will write your story of greatness.

If our obsession with youth can be explained by an attraction to that which we, statistically, were not: precocious, interested, prodigious and destined for the top rungs of the social ladder, than maybe beauty functions the same way.

Shall we ugly design the end, throw a rock, hold our bodies hostage? What kind of hunger must we become?


Endless war

The man in rags approaches the bricked barn
camel and needle yarn strikes
With no breath to confound
Though no one sentient around
Hears this knotted rotten demand
Buries his tires in the unyielding sand
Keeps the guests at bay
Perhaps just one more day

See the threads of desire meeting needle
knowledge binds together various
fabrics of self at uncertain edges
emerges eyes of crucible
crocodile burning fog & cloud
unity of irreducible information
unit of unbound dictionary lightshed
gathered father and son in bodied
survivalhood emergent territories of
thought escapes in breath

Dressed in silversbane protect my faith
new mother — holy anymother — lose
her holy see scatter her across
the January 2021 Facebook Pages redesign
her brands are luminous with nostalgia
or panic there intuition sings of a songbird
two fingers pointed and retracted
come-hither autocorrect
rub graphite like grapevine phantom to flesh
to thought


Endless possibility

The sun hangs low on two points
connected in electrical circuit
Obsessed with the minister
of reflexive language
as lovers panchromatic grey perhaps
a different meaning the new center
of socialist joy and recreation
I contemplate the aquiline but
refuse to rush into the masses
I rise elaborate as embroided
air vast plains of testosterone
encased in shadow
engorged with the forgotten god
and his abandoned metaphysics

I am a snapchat filter in the eyes of oblivion and beg for forgiveness a man
who collects comrades because even kindness needs a posse
a man who in the infinite stretch of sand finds god’s black wall
and in an instant his purpose a woman who builds rooms
inside and outside of the modern poets’ vague allusions
to common knowledge the radio has dinner
the terrible thing inserts a gun into its poem of
simple relational delight and dilemma
was no gun only infidelity changing lock letters
everywhere in shadow usurping men shooting bullets into the sky
almost every evening when I lived in the country who
permits this you have driven language
like a dead ox from the meaning of the field

Must is the greatest word in the English language
also it is the most misused among the lot
must is my daddy
must is my savior
must is the end of a snowstorm
as the cupboards go bare we must
not accept this way of formulating the issue
if we do not we shall be in serious trouble with the virtues
of curiosity our grammatical assumptions
enshrine themselves
within our philosophical arguments
and that is death

String a pair of slipping records the great colonial spasms of blood against dirt a free exchange of birds and rival ideologies coincides with the rise of criminal networks in cyberspace house of hexagon open to the possibility of retention of sky sound of brutal dictatorship string I do not know the woman’s name nor her side of the dialogue nor mine I must ring the bell though it is of form and weight without she is without voice string in this instance to look at me you wouldn’t know my hands repeat insincere gestures I was listening to that string together at last after years of waiting the smell of skin and

Waiting for the other shoe to drop it is what it is i drink whisky i drink beer beer made of sculptures her words not mine borrowed really from peter to paypal paul and talk about geometry ugly repulsive apparitions on a wet black bough lazy mapping doesn’t know how to read a nap no sense of ambiguity an obsession with youth glowing skin fresh powder a reliable reit wilbur ross financed spac takes it public no sense of ambiguity the poet and the programmer vindictive academics both

Obsessed with the minister of reclusive language the character pans the screen not the player like a patient etherized upon a table I deny myself the opportunity no one’s said it explicitly — actor, writer, set designer, executive producer — but the show is about memory no one can take that away not the ultra rich who pile vindication and swim not the blood and shadow brokers cointreau spiked with lsd at a cia retreat al spoke of destruction finally getting its break if it’s good enough for the abattoir why not right here at home?

Hop skip jump burn hop skip jump burn hop skip jump burn hop skip jump burn

The mass destruction of tourists
The mass destruction of production
The mass destruction of typewriters
The mass destruction of jealous music

Poetry policymakers conspiracies fourteen women share a couch destruction everywhere their feet behind them behind the couch a trio of monochrome musicians a hot light a baudrillard disclaiming suprareality a wedding ring i toss behind the couch like an anchor rides in veins of the venal need flower print — imagine that — in black and white the posterity collapsed like a pharaoh’s lung fat legs crossed surely worm food by now all these artists care so much about dying disclaiming flesh of wristwatches

The memory, bound with piano wire, is something of a meditation. Not intended to pacify the hungry, curious, and violent child-made, by polite society, to sit still and earn their wage. The memory, bound by piano wire, is something of a primitive chant. Primitivism as if to say committed to the ursheriff and the supraellipses. The memory, bound by piano wire, lets blood through an unmarked limited liability company. Too many of us have been dragged through the mud to reserve comment — to forget — to watch Everybody Loves Raymond nailed to the crucifix.


Endless war

ritual of expulsion: setting proves important to the audience, which, in city after city struggles to understand why the woman in the white bandana suffers so and why the small-town cat buzzing in and out through the open den window bob and weave with puritanical, firefly charm. Symbolism escapes them until it doesn’t — like an embolism.

In the 18th century a rhino named Clara visited the capitals of Europe and inspired various French hairstyles as the sun crashes down on city hall where the streets are torn up to be repaved what does this have to do with ugly women? Everything!

At 2:22 a.m. I provide the characters with made up properly seasoned rips in time. We, as an audience, have nothing to worry about. The average theater-goer had a hard time separating entertainment from criticism and I am here to avenge that loss. Tears streaming down his unwashed face, he raises his hand like it was his own. Cold but well bathed, the poet runs his imagination through the treetops — rouses a eastern screech owl.


Endless nobility

That you were buried before you could confess doesn’t mean the asteroid didn’t strike too proud too catholic too ferrous doesn’t mean you didn’t suffer and I didn’t love you more the pain in your endurance love is all I can offer now and forgiveness forgiveness for stitching up the wound unimagined queen of collisions dark and ceaseless coverings always there always lurking

Our patent pending technology attaches a set of medical grade dentures directly to the upper thigh to create the world’s most authentic prosthetic leg a photo is a list of ingredients and a set of instructions called preconception one might say there is no such thing as false witness actual theft or actual inspiration some personal news I am thrilled to hear the poet quickly come to the adjective’s defense.

My wife in the other room alone moaning it’s not what you think by being obtuse obscure obdurate I insure reality what a mitzvah a single poet in a kettle being trusted and truthful and godlike in a drained pool of diction they can be kind and determined all ears all fingers all backbone a penis is a penis is a penis we fetishize nature by its nature his repetitive conceit — I’m thrilled to announce I’m being specific for once — is tiring but not in a bad way exhausting like an Eggleston picture

Exhausting here comes the sun is the first song you heard silk where the green silicone pacifier reds your chin snow falling black against a holy sky every molecule on the horizon vibrates against the desire to regulate to survive navigating generative strangling not the winner but first place itself broken

On the political streets broken maddening itself like ants on a sugar cube here, February, or, interrogations you built America punched down and out by the sidewalk, you’ve lost the game saying too much abyss oblivion no one in my family tells stories broken and yet young bodies baked through with organic poisons in hushed tones around the breakfast table while i burp her

Under the christmas tree my gift unopened for thirty years shallow breaths deep water the lights dim in concert with listicles year end reviews lizard-content basking in the vast nourishing copper field you were invited to motherhood and chose virgin purity invited to fatherhood and chose putty imports a well-built alarm clock a gingham turtle shell split down the middle kintsugi impossible and inevitable, sky hunting its platinum trophy