Please, Don’t Leave, I’ve Got So Much to Reveal (Cryptocrystalline)

Wikipedia Poem, No. 515

chalcedony-smg2

by election   amphor ice   multiplicity
polaris   jail amphora   whit north star
scorcher bailiff   nibble horse   race willemite slab
sonneteer   imbroglio   house
coal black truss   nymph   triviality
seed pearl   suspicion   youthful lot
alabar alabar   nibble   horror scale 
sizzle   amendment   charlatan chord cost
d scruple nuisance   c minor coğazköy   council of chalcedon
skyscraper   felony    grumbleful megalopolis
scorcher   sword   extremote in a snit

Toothpaste for the Young Poet

Wikipedia Poem, No. 514

w514-sm3

to rescue to operate on 
the marks of infinity to be 
transcended against one's will

time rubbed into lather
	for your opponent every deck 
		underhanded or made gape

i'm less 
jorie grammatically 
buys a vowel
      
your immediate opportunity tomorrow
	fidget spinner i promise 
		it's not you it's me this working problem has 
       
your poem 
wants to be bleach with its brief 
heavy handed whitening as declension

suicide i'm still
	novice be let bezos-loose 
		keep it just   write deep mystery

new tooth shapes become octuplets 
holding hands ripe bipedal feelings 
unbruised "skin the concerned"-essential 
     
is this how surprise 
	tastes? great
		all my new deepstate teeth 

shaping edits 
a poem but 
it has a point: threatening 
  
your own image/experience of the stuff 
	and when i wouldn't make your art form 
		how weird 

to be bleached 
	on the castle keep 
		for posterity

Dining Rooms Don’t Dine (A Discussion on Health Care in America)

Wikipedia Poem, No. 512

“In using a certain expression to refer someone to something, you are trying to get them, via the fact that you are using that expression, to think of it as what you intend them to think of.” from Kent Bach’s “What Does it Take to Refer?”

governments don't 
don't govern men america 
must precisely shame our nation 
into contemporary amazon
american culture antagonistic stone 
      glow health 
  care sizzling
republic 
swing together 
    with the future of word america
tyranny woolcapped proposal revolution 
overthrow the 
      glue 
   that choice of 
         false rule be it
      tolerable tolerable 
      tolerable tolerable 
    tolerable crush 
tolerable crescendo
be it touching my tolerable hand

“What Rings But Can’t Be Answered” by Rebecca Lindenberg

ratbo-sm

You are beautiful as a telephone, colors
of bone, rocket ship, and cocktail lounge—

Hmm, says the neon sign, starting
an unfinishable thought.

Where do we go from here?

I’m a balloon,
each minute you don’t call is a breath
you blow into me.

I want to be the crackers in your soup,
I want to be your brass compass. Oh, mister,
just thinking about you curls the ends of my hair.

The clock tisk-tisks.

Moon, you old spinster, don’t you mock me
with your pockmarks and your slow, slow travels.

Moon, what would you know, cold as cheese?

Hmm. Tisk-tisk.

Behind a far-off door, a thought about me is being formed
out of nothing but light.

And when that phone does ring—

spacer1

from “Love, An Index” by Rebecca Lindenberg

Anti-Villanelle

Wikipedia Poem, No. 513

w512

“My Mom watches Oprah to brighten the drear / You can keep your eyes open, see nothing at all / But it might be the zombies are already near” Tim Seibles

never trust a
lawman a tragic
figure a
brass roman
pendant hooked
upon a poke a
magic recursive idol

this brass poet oinked by
the academy of american
pedants click here to sniff at other
work
from poets
click here to hang
either/or

an exclusive
commission for the academy
of american academies
or click here to see
exclusive longbone huts
or a thirty-two-inch side of bacon
choked with gold filled nuts

so see the modern condition
for the american academy
of royal jewels a heliodor pendant sliced thin
by poet-warrior tragic figure this
colossal brass-polishing adipose lyre
measured in floral-print
current events fill the airless vents

crass pendant heiress
the one true idealist talisman
dangling like swollen testicles from the academy
american pork belly
mythological pokes and
tragic figurations pierced together
with self-acuminating ribs

Did You Mean Más o Menos?

Wikipedia Poem, No. 510

Processed with VSCO with b4 preset

“How about an oak leaf / if you had to be a leaf?” James Schuyler

c
short
sea suicid
ahis bed wie he
cha them all n euticals
dhis long hr i spoke bsentminde
of pharma lying on a cigaretthe day afe
point—heuicidal ornd the rooith this lth this
looke with cd he was drette and t with charalled
him t to the ces at someke with chchelsea
where tth charles at some pll whetherr
the all whethabsentmind took themea
absentmid the roomat some po
up the das bed withs
suicidalent to
theis
long
haefinitely arette
anded him he a lot of p
to the chrles i wend he was d suicidal
went to tim he was they had aim he was
ing on his installedals does asuicidal os definitetminded
hechelsea wh charles iint—he toodid what aint—he
tooe they hadlready ins with charentminded
ady instalte and theinstalled t up the dor
absentmsentmindedhis long h i spoke
wr absentmient to thedefinitelyette
and tthe chelse charles isuicidal
ohelsea wheay after iely
smokint of pharmwent
to thentminded
they had aes
i went hem
all whg
hair’s
wheady
instay on
a lotroom went
suicidal helsea whewhat
anyboy up the point—he f
pharmacem went up r it’s suig
a cigareed he was all wheth smoking
atminded hee and dainstalled he took thinded
he wtely smokiroom went ere they hoint—he toe
was lyin point—he ceuticals the day afe was
defii went to what anybthem all w does
at s absentmin had alreae took the’s
suicidasuicidal o went up tll
whetherether it’sefinitely
some poind he was
with this hairhad
alread or
absentd
he was
d the room
all whetheirtook
them l whether nded
he wath this lois long hadoes
at soes i went em all wheitely smokrmaceuticawas
lying ot of pharbsentmindeg hair had alrea
day afterlled him hroke with che took
tht’s suicidlong hairat some po
hair and the rabsentmindhey
had alme point—hefinitely
ely smokininitely smok
them albed with t
day aftere with
chabody
on
a
lying on
hll whethertook
them icidal or a lot
of em all whehim he
waspoke with hat anybodthis
long ea where ty installerles
i wenntminded hspoke
withdy on a loicidal
or i went to
himinded
already
italled
he
wlready
insly smokingll
whetherd
what
fly
hi
i

from Percival Everett in “The Art of Fiction No. 235”

Everett: “I remember loving Lewis Carroll from an early age, and not just “Through the Looking-Glass” and “Alice” but the syllogisms and a book on logic. And then I remember quite well, early on, reading something I thought I shouldn’t be reading, Maugham’s “Of Human Bondage”, which I got from my father’s shelf. I think I was nine. It was fun because I didn’t think I was supposed to read it. As I look back, I think that it’s reading, probably even more than writing, that I find important. Reading is subversive because you necessarily do it by yourself. Which is why books scare people like Donald Trump. What’s interesting to me is that the poor people who identify with Donald Trump, they think of themselves as unlucky rich people. If things had just gone differently, they would be rich, too. The system has worked against them. It’s the same reason people play the lottery. Overnight you could wake up rich, and that’s an exciting thing. What you can’t do overnight is become educated. That requires a lot of work, so that’s not a goal. It’s something to fear. But that’s exactly why I find books so important. I don’t care what people read. If they read anything, then they might read something else. I just want to participate in making a different culture. I’m thinking of that line of Walt Whitman’s—”Produce great Persons, the rest follows.” It sounds flip when you just say it, but it’s true. That’s not to say that people are bad, but I want a readership that wants to read things because the work is difficult, not because it’s only fun. I want the fun to be in figuring it out. That’s what reading is all about, and to me writing is really just an extension of reading. But there, enough of my soapbox.”

Read the entire interview in The Paris Review.

From “On Motorcycles” by Frederick Seidel

gerace-honda-rebel-500

“On the lyrical state highways of Vermont I blatted and roared, up and down through the gears, at eighty, at a hundred and something, at much more than a hundred and something miles an hour. The motorcycle had a relatively long wheelbase and felt absolutely solid in a straight line, despite the shaft-drive, and steady enough in a turn, but not quick to turn and right itself. The bike was rather heavy, not deft and flickable, but it was wonderful to look at, wonderful to be on, wonderful to ride, a source of pride. The sound it made was magnificent. The feeling was of riding a powerful musical instrument. The hills echoed and the valleys lit up with my song. You used to be able to say of a motorcycle that it was on song when it was going full tilt in perfect tune and at the right revs just at the redline, the rpm limit for the motor. I was on song. I felt in tune, in love, so proud. It was late summer, almost fall. Pride goeth before the fall. Then I fell.

***

“I was rounding a turn on the MV at considerable speed when I had the only serious accident I have ever had. Years before, I had jumped the Triumph Metisse off the top of a rise, knowing I would land in sand, and curious to see if I could do it and keep going, but I was prepared to crash, and I crashed. That didn’t count. I may have been going eighty miles an hour on the MV when I realized I would not make it around the turn. I had a choice: I could throw the bike down on the highway or aim for the unplowed field straight ahead of me, as the road curved to the left. I chose the field and shot off the road and rode across the field with the bike upright, and then I hit a ditch, going quite fast still, and crashed. I was furious, embarrassed, outraged. My first act was to get the bike upright and try to start it. A passing state trooper was flagged down by someone who had seen me go off the road. The trooper was rushing a kidney-dialysis machine to another part of Vermont where it was needed in an emergency, and he certainly did not want to be held up, but when he looked at me he decided he had better get me to the nearby Ellsworth Clinic in Chester, where, when I walked in, I saw the blood drain from the face of the receptionist as she looked at me, and heard her insist to the trooper that I be rushed to Springfield Hospital. She obviously thought I had done terrible damage to myself and was about to go into shock. The trooper sped to Springfield with lights whirling and siren whooping. This same trooper was killed six months later in a high-speed crash. It turned out he had been reprimanded several times for his risk-addicted driving. At the hospital it was determined that I had broken three ribs, that was all.

“I had to explain this mortifying event to myself and to the world. When the wrecked motorcycle was examined, it was apparent that there was something not right about the foot pedal that operated the rear brake. The pedal swung loose, meaning it could move down from its position at rest but also it could move up—not normal, not desirable—and it was possible, perhaps likely, that this had been the state of affairs before the crash. A Vermont motorcycle dealer named Peter Pickett had driven down to JFK in his small red open-bed truck to pick up the MV after it cleared customs, and had taken it to Peru, Vermont, where my friend Jill Fox lived and where I spent a great deal of time. The crate was unloaded, opened, and set aside to be saved, it was so good-looking in its own right. The motorcycle, pretty much ready to be ridden, nevertheless had to be gone over to make sure everything was in order. I examined the front end while the back portion of the bike was checked by an experienced rider and sometime mechanic who lived in the village, not exactly a friend but someone friendly and eager to play a part. My immediate thought after crashing was that it couldn’t have been my fault, certainly couldn’t have been the result of my taking the wrong line in attempting to go through the corner, certainly couldn’t have been a case of not leaning the bike into the turn sufficiently because of the speed I was traveling, couldn’t have been the speed I was traveling stopping me from correctly managing the bike, couldn’t have been . . . and so forth. So it had to have been the consequence of the adjustments made to the rear brake pedal by the fellow who checked out the rear of the motorcycle. It suddenly was apparent that the lever controlling the rear brake had been set up in a manner that applied the brake when the pedal was pressed down, as is normal, or when the pedal swung up, when downward pressure was applied or when no pressure was applied, and the pedal was for whatever reason forced up, as when rounding a corner at great speed the centrifugal force pushed the lever up . . . and the back brake was applied without my foot touching the brake pedal. I believed this theory. I propounded it to all, grunting with pain from my broken ribs. I offer the theory to you now, dear reader. Believe me, that is how it happened. The brake was applied without my touching the pedal, the rear wheel locked, I felt it lock, felt that I could not possibly get around the turn, without knowing what exactly was the matter, and decided to go straight, into the field I saw there, straight ahead of me, and did so, dragging the locked rear wheel . . . and riding, if that is the right word, through the field might have made it to a safe upright stop if I had not come up against a ditch, almost a canal, too wide for the dead weight of the motorcycle to cross, and then BAM.

“For days, for months, I replayed the scene, explaining to myself what had happened, excusing myself. Anything to avoid thinking I had been an incompetent. And there is something else in this. There is a way in which feigning nearness to death risks death. Faking it at all well imitates real danger too faithfully and brings danger. I had gone into the turn too fast. I had not made it around the turn. I started playing down the danger I had put myself in and at the same time playing it up. Motorcycling is full of bravado and posing and the nearness of death. You pretend to be calmly, even coldly focused, when you ride, eyes everywhere, eyes on the job and immune to thoughts about risk. That is how one describes riding these fast motorcycles, except of course there is in addition the pleasure. You are riding beauty and you are riding speed and you are riding death. And it is a pleasure. But you offer yourself as a dashing devotee. You realize you are performing the role of yourself, and may be maimed out of existence as part of the act, as part of the character you are playing.

“The bike went back to Italy and returned, having had its bent and wounded parts rebuilt at great expense, with the latest disc brakes off the racing bike added. Again it was trucked to Vermont. It looked so glamorous. I rode it once, just to do it, like getting back on a horse that has thrown you. Eventually the MV was put on display at Luigi Chinetti’s Ferrari dealership in Greenwich, Connecticut, and was bought by a visiting English rare-car dealer to add jazz and romance to his personal collection.

“I had another shaft-drive bike at the time, the classic BMW 750cc opposed-cylinder twin, with its sober and good-looking black bodywork with white pinstripes. It was a touring bike, very comfortable and reliable, the latest version of the design in a long line of opposed twins the company had made. I rode it around Vermont, and then one day, with my young son behind me as my passenger, riding on a dirt road, I descended a very steep hill to get to the paved county road and went into a slide, a barely controlled slide down the hillside in the dirt, which I managed like a motocross racer, or a skier, touching the brakes once or twice only, and lightly, and driving safely away. That little hill thrill chill did it. Once home, I was ready to sell the bike and stop motorcycling for good.”

from “On Motorcycles” by Frederick Seidel

The Internet Appears in the Morning Like a Hand / Full of Cashews and Coconut Meat

Wikipedia Poem, No. 508

w508#

from your
genderlesque moiré two water suns
train invasive things

the percieved field
is most like my clause
before stolen ice cream

in order to think
like singing deploy
textbook masturbation

thighs swing
across the marketplace
air like hangman

powerful free diogenes
sidling cloud crab
then off she petals paper

dress of gauze
grazing blue-white dross
still die high in its gaze