Monteverde Vecchio (excerpt)

my panting heart
my heavy void
capturing leaf smoke
curls the room
while i prepare
crystal lapped boys
to value a buck
everyone i know
is dead
i’m dead too
but that never bothered me none

handsome sergio
knows the hoary hour
every day antoni sneaks off
before lunch
to fuck
his girlfriend
violet
he presumes
i can’t
smell the rose
in his long black hair

sergio’s allowance twirled on
montelliana
panerai
brioni
then alone
in darkness
arranges
black chrysanthemums

Nothing Moves in the Universe

nothing moves in the universe
a few cars and trucks
on main street
something lights
through the grass
a hare i thought
or a robin
but i am high
and the grass is tall
and a car alarm shouts
over the green paint
of the lawn
where the neighbors play
he drives a nice new chevrolet
because
he does nothing
but work
two small women
in black cardigans
peaceful blue masks
matching wet brown buns
and fists full
of snow white
target shopping bags
walk past
walk past
clark is here
again
with the chimney
he ran home
to get
so he can
grill meat.

Architectural Digest (Martha Rosler)

"The contemplation of things as they are, without substitution or imposture, without error or confusion, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention." Francis Bacon
McBride Avenue, Paterson, NJ, April 2020

“The contemplation of things as they are, without substitution or imposture, without error or confusion, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention.” Francis Bacon

a preponderance of glimmer

flutters from north to south

diamonds sewn into family photos

as though around the collarbone

anything goes in time five cut pears

scintillate sword to sword with shopworn verbs

a sea battle takes place

may i describe the room? cactus

flower haphazards beside something unripe 

a bowl of collapsing gravity for example the ship 

is our second home the minimalist masterpiece

crawls in the mirror with her small

white daughters gorgeous hardware well

paid ten great american painters

forgotten their brilliant nonces

advertise the always profitable

transgressive breasts in ibiza

no one could prevent

house beat mingles

with big capital one vibes and donald

judd atelier a table of logical laws on

a chair of metaphysical necessities 

in chalk harbors sandy 

short shorts granite hardware i said existence 

and the nature of god the superflower 

causal for profit and pleasure

in a foxhole high above chelsea

as it rushes through an elongated

coruscate electrified discharge field

blitzed with images of the italian

sense of beauty this exists: a short list 

of things a poet names lost

therefore it is futile to consult a doctor

or an arms dealer

Artifacts of Reference, No. 70

"The Collective" by Bogdan Czaykowski

Sources: Czaykowski, Bogdan. “The Collective.” Volvox: Poetry from the Unofficial Languages of Canada in English Translation, edited by J. Michael Yates, Victoria, British Columbia, Can: Sono Nis Press, 1971, p. 61.

Coulthart, John. “Howl from Beyond.” 1997. Trading card. Wizards of the Coast, Renton, Wash.

‘The Damaged Ape’ by Russell Edson

Ape, Hackensack, N.J., 2020

A little piece of the ape’s nostril had fallen off; and then we noticed one of its ears was chipped. On closer examination we saw that one of its fingernails was missing.

By this time, of course, we had grown to love the ape, but still we wondered if it shouldn’t be sent back for an undamaged one.

The guarantee slip was still attached to one of its ears: This ape is guaranteed in perfect working order on the day of the purchase.
But then we noticed something else written on the slip: Floor model, demonstration ape, reduced for quick sale.

Ah, so we did get a bargain without even knowing it.

The ape shyly smiles and presents its cheek for a kiss …

But later on in the evening a large hole develops in the ape’s stomach from what had seemed earlier only a tiny tear. And all evening we watched the ape’s insides slowly coming out all over the rug …

Source: Edson, Russell. The Tunnel: Selected Poems. Oberlin, OH: Oberlin College Press, 1994. Print.

Paterson is Yours

cBride Avenue, Paterson, NJ, April 2020
McBride Avenue, Paterson, NJ, April 2020

blood-bunny lays on false face
alone in encouraging corners

halogen burns —it is relevant to observe
spanish communists hidden in

bowling bags and electric
teeth gnawing at gates of dawn

soon we’ll all be frozen
belly of lake coronavirus

deep unremarkable remembrance of celebrity
superstition swirling around salon

breeze transfixing artificial and drunk
do i hear guitars preserving structures

of hierarchy and dominion? every authoritarian
framework has to prove it’s capable of suction

while we’re building our homes like brilliant immigrants
we sense somewhere tense pastel pulls of

new logic should be particular to development
instruments of spirit in-world — sing for poverty

then lie bricks and masks and final
immoderate stars

Atherton: We’re basically living in a cyberpunk dystopia

I don’t know how you’re all holding up, but this quarantine combined with the ineffective leadership of my federal government here in the United States has led me to seriously reconsider my level of engagement with humanity, the arts, and, to a lesser extent, politics.

Today’s essential read comes from Albuquerque-based defense technology journalist Kelsey D. Atherton:

As the COVID-19 pandemic sweeps through the world, it collides with governments in the West that have spent decades deliberately shedding power, capability, and responsibility, reducing themselves to little more than vestigial organs that coordinate public-private partnerships of civic responsibility. This hollowing of the state began in earnest in the 1980s, and the science fiction of that time—the earliest texts of cyberpunk—imagines what happens when that process is complete. Cyberpunk is a genre of vast corporate power and acute personal deprivation. The technologies at the center of it are all means of control, control bought by the wealthy or broken by criminals. Where recourse is available, in whatever small way, it’s through direct action.

Atherton

Atherton cites William Gibson, cartoonist Matt Lubchansky, historian Nils Gilman, and author and journalist Tim Maughan, among others to great effect here.

This is grim stuff, but it works to serve a concise point wrapped in a human, community-focused message:

Escaping a Gilded Age takes more than just clever protagonists who can outwit the cruelties and exploitations of the wealthy few. As insurmountable as the power of robber barons once seemed, cataclysm and political action brought the Gilded Age to a resounding end. The inoculations against another Gilded Age are found far less in the works of cyberpunk and far more in the Works Progress Administration. Escaping a Gilded Age takes an active, collective politics, one that refuses to let governments hide behind algorithms or abdication of responsibility to the market.

Atherton

This is clearly a time to rise up, CANCEL AMAZON PRIME, and engage in meat space with the systems of control.

This is a time for the radical, earnest partnership of humanity.

Write me in the comments if you want to know more about small collective actions you and your family and friends can engage in to shock the system, awaken allies, and free yourself.

No Means of Production (Social Distancing)

"Many people are perplexed each spring by the sight of a cardinal attacking its reflection in a window, car mirror, or shiny bumper. Both males and females do this, and most often in spring and early summer when they are obsessed with defending their territory against any intruders. Birds may spend hours fighting these intruders without giving up. A few weeks later, as levels of aggressive hormones subside, these attacks should end." allaboutbirds.org

correlation
of dizzy
dive light and
images fade
at the end
of divine
capital —
like a life
preserver
enamoured
concrete
vile fawn
at the
bottom
of file
architecture like
rainbows
demand it’s okay
not to pose
here among
posy
cardinals
never stop
look in the mirror
it’s time
to talk
politics

Jersey Pine

i've lived long enough to see phaeolus schweinitzii
 chewing the lap of this jersey pine on a walk 
 with my family during our first pandemic

i’ve lived long enough to see phaeolus schweinitzii
chewing the lap of this jersey pine on a walk
with my family during our first pandemic

to call us moist and poorly protected
would be rude but true nevermind
what i haven’t got is dirty hands and god

damnit if i know how to be selfless
among all these bottle caps and tarot cards
the bravado emptiness embitters inflames thickens

the grey launch of memory plunges seven
thousand feet into the lap of an idol
hard at work in the dry grass

the irony of course remains
we are alone leaning back in chinese
textiled seats without understanding

without compassion without hideous
perspective until we are alone photograph
-ing ourselves some distance from another drink.