A Noisy Phalanx Is a Safe Phalanx



“The Word Hoplite is Scratched Out” Joseph M. Gerace. 2018. 6′ 3″ x 6′ 3″

I impute, with geometry, Hoplite. Consciously I do this to you, Too-Beautiful Poemtaker. Remember John to Philip wrote: “Don’t worry about it Levine, you’re ugly enough to be a great poet.” That’s filled with funny truth — oozes out of the recoiling seams, the reactionary-gunman seams. The Ugly Poet pities him — Perfect Gator — welcomes him to his soul. That child labor where hallucinations are made and thrown into the blood pool. Do you two remember the Battle of Thermopylae? Sit down, Hero, Xerxes — your pearly Perfect Gator — wants to entomb a hedge around his lengthy head. His dome is a lighthouse, don’t get it twisted with scalene teeth and bombing runs. Violence, he fancies himself president, dope commander. There. Over there. In the darkest dark. There it is. A carefully restored — the pearly acquiescence notes this before enveloping everything else — bust of Leonidas. His feathered features spark like desire. There exist no right angels in the black, you were correct. Always have been. But, no more! Desperate Darius sends emissaries to each Greek city-state clutching hundreds of printed out text messages describing’ Xerxes’s corpse. No two missals contain the same information, but each is precise in blood-line.

Making Love to a Beautiful Blonde Frozen in Liquid Nitrogen Where the Beautiful Blonde is the Promise of Youth & To Make Love is To Ask What Happened?

Wikipedia Poem, No. 561

      wool as if from a grant 
use us
     you so
wound an apple     curl  

i arrow situations 
but dislike curls 
pause    so if the doing
then when   where i am?

     i seem odious-juggling orderlies
oops choke all simultaneous on bended née 
handmade fingers said   perhaps originally 

     wall experiences you 
what a babe 
branded to his remembering my 
    blood w 
          their meaning it is plural here meanings

trust me

instead attempt arson 
police of 
medial solace 

     instead attempt a pear 
anime girl     is not 
this covering ribbon of
she's so 
          saved so tiny so precisely modified

from ‘On Secrets’ by Mary Ruefle


“When you are walking down a city street and not paying much attention—perhaps you are downtrodden by some confusion—and come suddenly upon a rose bush blooming against a brick wall, you may be struck and awakened by the appearance of beauty. But the rose is not beautiful. You think the rose is beautiful and so you may also think, with sadness, that it will die. But the rose is not beauty. What beauty is is your ability to apprehend it. The ability to apprehend beauty is the human spirit and it is what all such moments are about, which is why such moments occur in places and at times that may strike another as unlikely or inconceivable, and it does not seem far-fetched to say that the larger the human spirit, the more it will apprehend beauty in increasingly unlikely and inconceivable situations, which is why there is such a great variety of art objects on earth. And there is something else we should say about the apprehension of beauty: it causes discomfort; and by discomfort I mean the state of being riled, which is a state of reverberation.

“What you carried inside you when you walked through the door was this ability. It is your ability to apprehend beauty, or the lack of it. It is your ability to listen. And change, or be changed. It has something to do with the secret of human existence, which is nowhere revealed, and nowhere concealed, and in front of which we remain, or become, infants.”



“Stray Beast” by Sarah Jean Grimm


I cannot recommend highly enough Sarah Jean Grimm‘s “Soft Focus” from Metatron out of Montreal. The poem above grabbed me by the throat. I still have the finger marks from last night’s reading. Buy the book (might I suggest the entire Spring 2017 catalog?) and support great, living poets.


A kestrel orbits the Meadowlands
Beside the Turnpike.
A reminder: In the order of everything,
It is most likely the case that
No thing separates from any other thing,
Despite great evidence contrary.

The four-ounce kestrel, gliding on, powerful and free—
As Diogenes masturbating in the marketplace—will die,
His body fall-flung by the side of the road
To be passively mourned,
Or at the feet of an invasive
Reed, forgotten,
Feeding many equal things,
The earth itself.

Wikipedia Poem, No. 331


“It is impossible to find satisfaction in a terror that is seriously felt.” Kant, Critique of Judgement, §28


gently afraid
of nature
causes just

though dominion
thus shrinks from
virtuous designs

there goes inward
a reference toward fear
it may exhibit as being carried

only in our
the idea

discovers us so
far as outbursts
beautiful what is

man seeking
only a fitting fear
states respect for

comparison which is
never provided
in dominion

bemoan cases
of the world in nature
an object of stern judgement

soul above imagination
that for what we are
are is that we are

“Dante’s Beatrice” by Frederick Seidel (2006)

I ride a racer to erase her.
Bent over like a hunchback.
Racing leathers now include a hump
That protects the poet’s spine and neck.
I wring the thing out, two hundred miles an hour.
I am a mink on a mink ranch determined not
To die inside its valuable fur, inside my racesuit.

I bought the racer
To replace her.
It became my slave and I its.
All it lacked was tits.
All it lacked
Between its wheels was hair.
I don’t care.
We do it anyway.

The starter-caddy spins its raving little wheel
Against the Superbike’s elevated fat black
Rear soft-compound tire.
Remember: racer
Down for second gear instead of up!
Release the clutch—the engine fires.
I am off for my warm-up lap on a factory racer
Because I can’t face her.

I ride my racer to erase her.
I ride in armor to
Three hundred nineteen kilometers an hour.
I am a mink on a mink ranch about
To die inside its valuable fur,
Inside my leathers.
She scoops me out to make a coat for her.
She buttons up a me of sort warm blur.

Is this the face that launched
A thousand slave ships?
The world is just outstanding.
My slavery never wavers.
I use the word “slavers”
To mean both “drools”
And, changing the pronunciation, “trades in slaves.”
I consider myself most of these.

Mark Peploe and I used to sit around
Cafés in Florence grading
Muses’ noses.
Hers hooks like Gauguin’s,
His silent huge hooked hawk prow.
I am the cactus. You are the hyena.
I am the crash, you the fireball of Jet-A . . .
Only to turn catastrophe into dawn.


From “Poems 1959-2009” Frederick Seidel

Context 0309-102016

Context 1142

Context 1150
they’ve all been in my mouth my favorite books

Context 1153
a great fighter against the official verse culture marjoram perloff

Context 1156
the playground kids are right: to shriek is righteous

Context 1201
FullSizeRender 11

Context 1208
Bernstein : not enough poetry gets reviews in publications with wide circular: big-city newspapers, the news weeklies, and the National journals of culture and opinions.

Context 1215
Bernstein: the oxygen of publicity matters quite a bit. Poetry thrives and survives nurtured by its committed readers and practitioners.

Context 1224
Master of Confirmation Bias
Confirmation Bias King
Fiefdom of Seek and Ye Shall Find

Context 1231
aid or foment this disinterest

Context 1232
I can’t believe my SwiftKey dictionary has a smaller vocabulary than me

Context 1237
the great zeitgeist assassination trump

Context 1245
do I fast or drink more coffee, should I give up being sober? Iced coffee sounds nice. I can hear the cubes calling out. Is another drug really the answer? More questions? Paper or plastic? hitler or pol pot or bush? Outrage or indifference? Iced coffee or red bull or nothing shut up?

Context 1349
Lifter Puller doing 80 down the turnpike, sunroof agape. Why do I tolerate the winter? I want the nice-nice up in blazes.

Context 1426
While his parents slept, this 7-year-old boy’s life was saved by Jedi, his diabetes-sniffing dog

Context 1917
have any of you seen this? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeanne_Dielman,_23_quai_du_Commerce,_1080_Bruxelles is it any good?


Note to self: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeanne_Dielman,_23_quai_du_Commerce,_1080_Bruxelles

Context 1919
bogus hed alert: Nancy Reagan begins final journey to husband’s side

Context 2122
Holy shit what beauty

Context 0112

I’m going to point toward everything and render the garbage world to sleep; to sleep

Wikipedia Poem, No. 129


When you are hungry: eat. When you are tired: sleep. This is Wikipoem.

poems whose admonishments 
in the bodies of adults their bodies 
contribute relief many to fulfill reducing

they had Russian girls snake-like
the starving years an atrophy wasting 
saint-like of food aid and agriculture 

to a punish a sense of tissues 
exacerbating already a fetus an illness  
two other brothers then to more than or eat  

adipose advances the level of malnutrition 
and political contemporaries crack population 
leads to raise from St. Cong’s people or

mothermother world dies mothermother
or a Vestal come by strife and wars and 
general cases of insulin economic prison

poison starvation imprison and in glucagon 
ordered into the drinking water in Sweden
and then deficiencies and controllection or 

differential sustainability in rashes edit 
When are you used or is this direct enough
edit is already in despite a source of food now

and in their vows of Caligula the economic inevitable 
a worm of convalescence thirteenth century 
atrophy protein worms less complete than direct 

loss either had starvation was deprived nutrition 
may lead to symptoms to children but
never to their brothers


“Starvation.” Wikipedia. N.p.: Wikimedia Foundation, 31 Jan. 2016. Web. 2 Feb. 2016.

Alberto Burri


Thin lines of graphite gather in the sky
Angels pull open two halves of the curtain
Or the surgeon scalpels abdominal flesh
“A whole chain of pulls and tensions”