‘This is the Song of One Hundred Thousand’ by Ariana Reines
This is the song of one hundred Thousand chemicals approximating Sunshine in my hair. My lover bit My cheek this morning. I think I’ll Fall from one trance into the next Might fall asleep any minute It gets tiring making yourself look like you’re alive while you’re looking Hard practicing turning Away from the shit we’re in
Source: Reines, Ariana. A Sand Book. , 2019. Print, p. 157. Photo: Gerace, Joe. “The Song of One Hundred Thousand Chemicals Approximating Sunshine [Secaucus Junction].” Nov. 14, 2020. JPG.
prokofievcobham & darnielle circle one’s crown blue llama equilateral winged what have we here seen? a photo in a photo in a magazine metaphor boils the pot after a jot spills its ink hung over an fim-92 stinger which like i said before is no metaphor at all al gore despondent speaking to late modal fords don’t forget mass production the cruelest beard a habitat in the atlantic city convention hall and curly beautiful ambulances free myself today and forever from human immobility masked up in constant whirls a plagiarizer a bad speller pfizer hopping on one leg from star to star i swing red radio to blue gamma alongside a humming horse’s mouth a plagiarizer paul reiser needle in the armed to the teeth breasts elbows draped over that still missile botticelli like a real goddess of love cuts my tongue into 8 poppy flowers and marches south to war for the winter who do you think you are tarantula swagger carpet bagger meowing hoarse chuff chuff chuffing at popular art cart me ashore saint bart of the ozarks
200! the old mutt says hallelujah and forevermore the rats of us keep banging on that drum if the sky has his way if the shy sky has his way frank o’hara blessed me early in my career — he blurbed my christening i’ll pray for you says the well intentioned divorcee really where would we be without soft scrub the bathroom would be the barn no other poet should mention prokofieff you’re setting yourself up for failure it’s like last tuesday when the martians arrived and locked all the inmates in with the guards and burnt the whole penal colony for fuel — i know it’s cruel. you’re not telling yourself anything you don’t know he blurbed my christening he read radio but spelled it the old russian way i remember something now about my grandfather but can’t find a reason to type it — i’m not the showboat All week long I trudge fatiguingly i couldn’t name a damn thing the inanity of it would crush me like a slug beneath a heel in hell he made me come close i’m in no condition a man is a man is a man we think we can do anything and then anything comes face to face with self-recognition and the whole national book awards go ka-boom how do i get out of this promise me you’ll find a scholarly way to shuffle off how? i listened and i didn’t like what i heard another bug in another field of heads unrecognizable except for it turns around — means of rotation unknown — and shouts backwards into his spinal column: 200! bark bark rough rough etc etc and out of the eye’s corner a dune buggy accelerating cliche-first into the azzurri sunset
Photo: Church Street, New Paltz; Nov. 6, 2020; Joe Gerace
“Ono no Oyu (?-737) was a Japanese bureaucrat and a poet. He served under Ōtomo no Tabito during the Dazaifu administration. He rose to the rank of Assistant Governor-General (daini). Three of his tanka poems have been preserved in the Man’yōshū.” Wikipedia
Why am I making myself do and be things that I don’t really want to? Because I have an idea of what I should be doing and/or I don’t have an idea of what I really want to be and/or do. And/or both. I seem to be very and/or, with an urge to flex everything until it loses what I secretly feel to be its false polarity. E.g., there is a such thing as good and such a thing as evil, it’s just that they aren’t opposites. Am I a good person? Yes, after a certain point, and no, after another. Deep down I’m just down there, a kind of gurgling black Jell-O that doesn’t have any idea of what’s going on up here. Up here I have on a baseball cap and have a vague desire to fix the closet door.
Neither the intimacy of your look, your brow fair as a feast day, nor the favor of your body, still mysterious, reserved, and childlike, nor what comes to me of your life, settling in words or silence, will be so mysterious a gift as the sight of your sleep, enfolded in the vigil of my arms. Virgin again, miraculously, by the absolving power of sleep, quiet and luminous like some happy thing recovered by memory, you will give me that shore of your life that you yourself do not own. Cast up into silence I shall discern that ultimate beach of your being and see you for the first time, perhaps, as God must see you— the fiction of Time destroyed, free from love, from me.
with no ill intention to the artist what the fuck were you thinking the mangy dog and the electro- magnetic implant fine! but replacing the u with the v? what a braggadocious pile of staten island’s finest piled up to intellectual affidavits — i once asked allen ginsberg should i be scared when the polish barrister holds a luger to my temple and demands fried bananas he said you’ll never move to krakow don’t fret my pet i pianeti della fortuna no ill intention to moloch or the electromagnetic swing the dog abundant and widespread in hungry this abandoned city in the days since the airing of ruth bader ginsburg coordinated inauthentic leaderless lurking evil the writer goes down the one true rabbit hole a meeting of senior government officials four cholinergic cherubs armed with radio poles lit upon the roof of the confident wannsee manor unclear if these birds are gripped fast to the edge of indivisible azalea branches or synaptic clefts between bit and byte cast totally aside countervailing rights — unclear unclear
In the evening of a brightly unsunny day to watch back-lighted buildings through the slits between vertical strips of blinds and how red brick, brick painted red, a flaky white, gray or those of no color at all take the light though it seems only above and behind them so what shows below has a slight evening “the day—sobs—dies” sadness and the sun marches on. It isn’t like that on these buildings, the colors which seem to melt, to bloom and go and return do so in all reality. Go out and on a cross street briefly a last sidelong shine catches the faces of brick and enshadows the grout: which the eye sees only as a wash of another diluted color over the color it thinks it knows is there. Most things, like the sky, are always changing, always the same. Clouds rift and a beam falls into a cell where a future saint sits scratching. Or a wintry sun shows as a shallow pan of red above the Potomac, below Mount Vernon, and the doctor from Philadelphia nods and speaks of further bleeding.
Source: Schuyler, James. “Greenwich Avenue.” Collected Poems. New York: Noonday Press, 1998, pp. 169-170.