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.

Donald Trump

Wikipedia Poem, No. 497


of the decision mhm     still thinkin      pledge of the impact of the impact of the decision mhm     still thinkin        campaign   still thinkin      critters about his mind mhm            still        thinkin                still thinkin   change his                    critters       proclaimhment dunn  three of these decision mhm     still thinkin       good on it      even as remain                 even as                        still thinkin                   thinkin                still thinkin           still thinkin            still thinkin      even as remain a campaign pledge of the decision mhm   still thinkin         pledge   still thinkin      still thinkin             still thinkin       still thinkin             still thinkin    even as remain                            still thinkin          even as             pledge   still         thinkin           mhmm             still         thinkin      even as remain a       part   still thinkin    that comhmitted about his mind mhm   still            good on   still thinkin       pledge   still thinkin       that he would could could could   still thinkin                 campaign pledge of the would could could could could could could could could could   still thinkin         campaign pledge of the impact of the would could could could       still thinkin        pledge officials with   still thinkin                still thinkin           thinkin        still thinkin    still thinkin                 pledge of the        decision mhm   still thinkin                                                still thinkin              pledge   still in flux wednesday morning   still thinkin                      thinkin     still thinkin              make   still thinkin               still thinkin           even as        even as          that he would could could could   still thinkin             still thinkin                                   still thinkin              still thinkin   remain                     public proclaimhment was still thinkin     still thinkin                  pledge   still thinkin     that he would could could could could could could could could could could   still thinkin                critter that he would   still thinkin     still thinkin               that comhmitted about his      public proclaimhment dunn  three of the would could could could could could could   still thinkin                          still thinkin      even as                         public proclaimhment dunn  three of the impact of the impact of the           decision mhm       could be            still thinkin           still thinkin        pledge of the impact of the decision mhm     still thinkin

Undiscussible (Such

Wikipedia Poem, No. 460


“If it can be safely assumed that all things are equal, separate, and unrelated, we are obliged to concede that they (things) can be named and described but never defined or explained. If, furthermore, we bracket-out all questions which, due to the nature of language, are undiscussible (such as why did this or that come to exist or what does it mean) it will then be possible to say that the entire being of an object, in this case an art object, is in its appearance. Things being whatever it is they happen to be, all we can know about them is derived directly from how they appear.” Mel Bochner, 1967

an object
    use of a material object 
    not a thing
in this 
or explained 
or explained if 

furthermore we are undiscussible 
(such as 
    degree or extent in addition 
    forth comparative suffix -eron -uron
which to say that we can all be 
nature of an object    like    (simile 

in things being 
of language are equal 
separate an object in this or
explained or that all questions which
    fourteenth century utterance not requiry 
    examining doubt past participle stem of action 

due to them is in this 
or explained or explained 
or explained or all that they 
appearance things being 
    as here a qui the face form shape or
    in french to make into or face out of 

language of language
    of words what is said of conversation talk 
    manner of dialect merci mannerism
are equal but separate an object in this 
explained or explained or explained 
or all questions which due to their 

appearance things being of 
an object in this or that 
all we bracket-out all we can know 
about that
         dark enveloped in darkness 
         original sense blindman's holiday

“A poem demands unity”

Wikipedia Poem, No. 452


position pygmy point ritual 
carpels factors plant species  
       spiral functions
large-grains       moths 
white flowers 
fonds organists whorl
bodies axis maples diaspora stamen
arrangia moth 
       pole primordia

Ivanka Trump

Wikipedia Poem, No. 444


the syrian government’s chief advisor
ivanka trump flying broken alone over syrian air space
says that palm beach is in the midst of a chemical crisis

attempts to clean the irradiated soil have
up to this point in history
produced nothing but well-documented failures

prejudicial security measures have just now been unilaterally
launched from an ersatz bunker west of topeka in paxico
all failures for the foreseeable future will be met with abstruse silence

fumigate bannon fumigate his united states remotely
from syrian air space the nation’s warchief fueled by
transuranic oral supplements like electric jittering trail mix

the operating orders will cleave a not-substantial
landmass south from palm beach to fort myers
into the blue gulf the nation must remain united

all failures are in the
interest of our muslim
brothers and sisters

America Waves

Wikipedia Poem, No. 439


“It is snowing and now / it is raining and slush is all the mud / Manhattan can hope for / yet if it holds / we may have flowers all / over the sidewalks after / all” Frank O’Hara


promote rock needles
the reservation last year stands
very fossil fueled that mr trump adopts
but some slime became a ghost symbol

of needle reservation last a nearby grassy hill
families and the peptide stripes of empty tribute
dayglo tribes empty days tribes in a thousand tattered
promises promote empty days tribe empty days

tribes in tattered pro-drilling lifts please pledge
to the president’s promises the presidents promises to their
hawk stars in the osage betrayal of names
of thousands of tattered promises the worst tribes

french tribes american tribes thousands tattered tribes include
empty days tribes in orange to the pale yellow halls that
mr trump adopted but some hen if he brings regulation
look rock needle regulations or approve new pipelines

a global symbol of black needle ghosts
regulation its a nasty grassy hill
with families and familiars
like deep blue southwestern tatters

Wikipedia Poem, No. 407


“hasta la última gota primera palabra y // punto // sin fin ∞ al[l] / for poets [who] die [sin song] every day” Elena Minor

no matter red scent
in little america
on very separate charges

the would-be assassins
reportedly knife point
the politician/businessman

who darts
in america too
in russia too

the president’s agents
no involvement in russia
the president finds it evident

behind closed borders
that in russia there are
plenty of politician/businessmen

who dart in the dark in america too
at the kremlin demanded
there are plenty of black first-centuries

to go around russia has
emerged: accusations sore
about the american president’s final monopoly

the politician/businessman who works
in the center will either deny it
or it will be denied automatic

intelligence points to the accused questions and vapid
requestions between this point
and occupations paint puddle born on the gallery floor



Wikipedia Poem, No. 398


      track the other 
take muddy tracks 
    incredible stories and tracks 
deformed from anywhere
you often need misery for survival 

still you're waiting on these images 
born on a little rowboat
this is the land 

known for rhythms 
left out in the liberal 

a consumer society 
tracks their packages 
and     fights 

Wikipedia Poem, No. 394


“for some / to live well is easy / a flea leaps and is unshocked by its flight” Kaveh Akbar

    down and 
      the country 
   withstanding hand-wringing 
       that so long as the country
         withstanding then social welfare 
      as hand-wring that so long 
as the american plains 
hands that so long 
encounter withstanding the country 
with these immigrants never materialized
      largely intact during puerperium
that so long 
      some feared or hoped for
predicted a wave of 
deportation of 
mass deportations of mass 
       of mass deportations 
of mass deportations 
     of mass deportations 
mass deportations of