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