Wikipedia Poem, No. 216


“Behind the mask / Is still a continental appreciation / Of what is fine, rarely appears and when it does is already / Dying on the breeze that brought it to the threshold / Of speech.” from John Ashbery, A Man of Words, 1975


it would happen if
some imaginable
i’m going down

sixth avenue they
need a bae just say
sentiment right cruel

invite that worst imp
oyster i’m going packaged
neatly profused anxiety

i have murdered you
a total party in the yard
a public father’s day card

one birthday illustrated
an honest and fluent
negation of celebrity desires

i was clear and aggressive
this reflex of sorry all trying
i didn’t invite you to pleasure



Wikipedia Poem, No. 215


“Two women took the pills, sent across the German border, to draw attention to new laws that deny them their rights.” Co.Exist


abroad protect that wants to go
border drone unaffordable
by german and polish women

on waves in the test of a drove
police fortunately police
pregnancy threatens that wants to
ban wind power in a pretty

private hospital treatment in
abortion worse they claim the new
stunts to ban wind power in a

bill they claim the women after
their party a right horse polish
border river after the gets

the hospital that confiscates
that wants to get everyone
climb zofia reych climb police

fortunately this proposed law
laws the border the drove river
expensive river proposed law



inversion* of “Sexualizing Picasso on the Cross”


Codger, old maid or bone-dry instep, a stagnant silence over cloud
Interior remains sneaking under—yes, me, yes, my polite
Infertility—uncooked acedia, never invulnerable frost
Protects a circle-bare sky or dank reverie of useless yttrium
Yields free under these asses, cool, must remain.


*here, an inversion is a poetic exercise in which one takes a poem (or some portion of a poem) and reforms each word, image or concept into an opposite. so, plainly, black may become white, water morphs into a photograph, or (in the above example) brimstone transubstantiates by way of the mirror to scaly, despairing yttrium, and so on. one must strip away the limits of reason: black does not need to become white, etc. there is no 1:1 relationship in the practice, and, frankly, anything goes: the platypus has no pure opposite. to apply an inversion on a word is usually a trifle, a line can be more difficult. still harder, a stanza or an entire poem as singular unit for reform. one should first thoroughly grasp connotation, denotation, implication, tone, musicality, color, volume, breath, etc., before one is able to charge ahead. the inversion is particularly helpful as an exercise to help break through writer’s block.

above, is an inversion of a work in progress called “Sexualizing Picasso on the Cross”