portrait in oblivion (isa)

Ridgewood, NJ, August 2020

she says 			i can cook vegan
she says 			savory
				nutritional yeast flakes 
				harvested for good health
our face is probably the only thing of that scale
crushed red pepper flakes
our face obsessed in its desire for duplicate
i didn't choose this sacred hardware
our battle ax-thin XXX bride
prime butch dress cascading salvo
cachaça bottle thick hairy professor
				in the window sill
				go fast,
she says					the advertisements 
to the confident			are coming to
advertisers				shake you awake

Dear Oblivion

Lake George, N.Y., July 2020

i’ve
stubbed my tone again
against the edge
of some other universe
under the weekly
farmers market
near the free whiskey
samples retired
dentist who
summers in santa
monica who
explains volatilization
charcoal
filters in his coronavirus
mask
the perfect gift
for clark

i’ve
taken off again
around pluto
in the byzantine
eyes of man
nothing to do
wife away

i’ve
glanced out again
from my crashing
self sea

i’ve
named myself again
spoiled oil
spilled spinning
top approaches
edge gravity
angel’s share
bitter ship
gasping heir
to a ruined king-
dom of collapsed
arteries rough
concrete
sidewalk gone
feral over rough dog-
wood root

again
to say
enough.

Dear Oblivion

Jersey Avenue, Jersey City, N.J., June 2020

So much light, dear oblivion, night after night; I offered up my body. You refused. I drank. Begged, really. Said my dreams, you don’t belong here. Some countable mornings ahead, crouched in the internet’s dark corners, hands reaching into prosaic brightness, not to gather, but offer: News spreads of a virgin conception. And so much light.

Dear Oblivion

Main Street, Hackensack, June 2020

Prayer peels soul from body. Robin-eyed memory of never known. The scent of winter jasmine, he writes. I ascent, with neither knowledge nor trace experience. Mouth crawls with the acid taste of spider webs. Begging, really. Dear Oblivion, I continue asking the drain — conduit from, passive voice, channel away — to do the hard work. Three-fourteen a.m., a mournful eight-legged poet struggles to drag a stone amphora the size of a casket across the backyard — no vacancies.

Dear Oblivion


dear oblivion
i hear you
shredding bone
in the golden
place
salivating
somewhere
unknowable
a man
grills
meat
a child
screams

what i mean to say
is this, dear oblivion:
i remember
the littoral darkness
of the rising afternoon
the light
never
having
been
enough

dear oblivion
i hear you
crawling away

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.

‘Dream Song 238’ by John Berryman

Henry’s Programme for God

“It was not gay, that life.” You can’t “make me small,”
you “can’t put me down” or take away my job
I am immune,
although it is not gay. Why did we come at all,
consonant to whose bidding? Perhaps God is a slob,
playful, vast, rough-hewn.

Perhaps God resembles one of the last etchings of Goya
& not Valesquez, never Rembrandt no.
Something disturbed,
ill-pleased, & with a touch of paranoia
who calls for this thud of love from his creatures-O.
Perhaps God ought to be curbed.

Not only on this planet, I admit; somewhere.
Our only resource is bleak denial or
anti-potent rage, both have been tried by our wisest. Who was it back there
who died unshriven, daring to see what more
could happen to a painter with such courage.


Source: Berryman, John, and Michael Hofmann. The Dream Songs , 2014, p. 257.

uh oh (kaboom)

Wikipedia Poem, No. 975

Hackensack, 2019
the gunpowder if it ever exists dries ready full-mouthed  and mush   his
mission soon ends with no criteria    sì, quella spiga—    what athletic  
power passed the hum of squirrely / selfish putsch  down—    if darkly uplift  
the self gets righteous    right to the bottom—    quick, much is transparent 
and not raised against  the real polemic fear yr  inbox   as good as yr last   
intesa inteso—    i feel hiss intestines / push out against—    the night 
sufficient    still    bent between hiss pinching stamen & inject the sniff pop of 
style kaboom

The Ruins

Wikipedia Poem, No. 921

the ruins third way scan and destroy poetry image 2019 c wikipoem.org and joseph m. gerace

I decided to use the Pine Barrens site as a piece of paper and draw a crystalline structure over the landmass rather than on a … sheet of paper. In this way I was applying my conceptual thinking directly to the disruption of the site over an area of several miles. So you might say that my non-site was a three dimensional map of the site.

Robert Smithson

Buca il geranio la maceria, rissa

Maria Luisa Spaziani

but only you
love sheds on you love
sheds on you love
shed on you

abuse
faith
this dog you love
sheds on you
love shed on you

hearth nebulous
parallax hearth

&yet
diagnostic dark
drinking dark
drinking
dranking
drunnc

always night
always night
always night &yet

death queer hearth
nebulous health
nebulous hearth &yet

again
night of the long commercial
night always drinking night & shhh upon
rigid compass shhh abstract shhh

Dear Poets—

Wikipedia Poem, No. 870

saskatchewan, i have—by a mile—the heat of whirlwind
this whirlwind of what i know… after-time

gotta study and get on with all the whirlwind heat
this whirlwind of preparing for the heat of the best poems

published in saskatchewan o well and study video games
i have—by a meteor mile—the heat of this to do list: quit my hand

i briefly felt like a wonderful person
i really should be studying and felt wonderful

now that will hold my hand and
live in reputable american journals

i really fucked my to-do: quit my poet
i am a very secretly a fearful person

i am very more tame
when i stopped drinking i published

you know… no time gotta study it
i really should study for the heavy escape

no time gotta study for the best poet
i am very secretly fucked

my illusion felt wonderful
i really fucked me: quit my poet

i really should study for law school
i’m so scared — salty poet

i don’t want to step out of this
whirlwind of preparing and feel wonderful

now that i know i need to escape myself —
this radical being — in smoke