GRIEF

bewitched insouciance
we fear
not wield

I Burn The World


i don’t want to hate read
your big bang which is to
say i desire to sniff your
every sip of coke carry you
closer to the end of beer
of coffee of water i am
formally interesting of but bereft baked
into obsolescence the right hand no
poems about rain when i drive
the scents enter and exit like
coffee shop customers once a virgin
always a virgin no leatherback sea
turtle devouring a jellyfish have a
strange obsession strangely unobsessed i was
a bad translator and a hell
of a stylist trapped in colin
powell’s test tube not being dramatic
when i say the light dims
vibrating elements start a tv network
arch of river-wet stones above creek
in vermont if you don’t know
the noun its sentence is alien
and uber modernity says don’t slow
america morphs individual identity to bludgeon
america grafts vision to formula warmachine
america was nowhere america had nowhere

Millennials Lose Their Teeth in Threes

their miraculous pink dresses on the left hover
over the pancakes of light leaking

onto the film or maybe even it’s an app
i’ve watched prestige television the kids

are beautiful except the ears
of the twenty-something his life

decisions rattling in the high grass
baked in milk so much poison on the right

she’s tall and thin and nondescript
the last boy smoking wrapped in starlight

solo cupped his purple fingers are squid
as smart as dogs they’re having so much

fun i’m jealous more sex light leaks
so many of them better or worse looking

triangular heaps of flesh in primary colors
banded at the waist with reinforced steel

thinks décolletage wastes his life in a can
do attitude pink fishnets i can just barely

see your pubes sit up straight the sun
hasn’t bothered us in days & yet & yet

peasant families say death comes in threes
i work at facebook my cat wears four red keds

i’m beautiful i’m lost in a supermarket
a slobbering minstrel and a child slave from xinjiang

walk into a bar the pastor trying he’s trying employs
two granny emoji to cover his indistinct nipples

on his finsta the pink dress on the left is recruiting
the light again is better now march 12 2021 still drunk

still water faultless aquiline stock photos
getty images is having a moment

the associated press is having a moment
ethnic cleansing is having a moment

facism labor bigotry accountants
babies the elderly eldridge cleaver

said all the gods are dead
except the god of war

is now available on steam
my battery is almost dead

you give me the creeps when beauty
is undeniable it can only be called witchcraft

we’re minting nfts so our
children’s children won’t have to mint nfts

What Chance Did She Stand Against The Research Psychologist and a Team of Programmers?

i can tell you what the witcher is about and to whom i owe my day — the miner of the ethereal — but then you'd have the sundown left to blame.
Hyrule Gers Unregenerately In Plato’s, 2021

answer the call humankind lin
the shadow of calamity ganon
rises over the ashes of
hyrule gers unregenerately in plato’s
cave still reveling its craft
your survival age-old habit
in defend the legend mere
images of basic reading ability
is needed to fully enjoy
this game the truth but
being educated by photographs is
not like being fantasy violence
educated by mild suggestive themes
older more artisanal use of
alcohol images for one breath

Pieta for Tala Madani

display in gruesome on
performance in gruesome at
performance their shadows mingle
bottom reach for one
their shadows above gush
for one another of
gum pink above gush
french’s classic yellow of
gum above unintentional of
classic yellow constellation above
can you see? the
above two men can
see? odds two men
by the woman odds
come here to know
by the woman dancer’s
you’ve come here to
drip but dancer’s legs
what they need to
drip but repetition repetition
say what they need
say can be its
language repetition repetition repetition
of grey shadows can
its own language perform
of grey shadows gruesome
perform display gruesome display

Instagram

one in three questions is serious
two are small hands grasping
in the wet-dark
for salinized water

hewn stone
or a mustache
arriving at customs
before a tour
of the great pyramids
of vegas

i am obsessed
through collage
but that’s behind him now

a flashlight / in a closet / at the bottom / of the aegean sea

You’re a nag.
You’re a liar.
You’re lazy.
You’re selfish.
You’re deluded.
Stop wasting my time.

he is a craftsman
with beautiful rough hands
full of calluses like truth
with crete between
his team has prepared
marketing collateral
and sand fires for every possible occasion

If you don’t like it, you can leave.

in fact i think you should go
freshly shaven chest
like a great royal crest
give the world what it
so depressingly craves
space

in its arms this generation bears
time or place drowning my hands
around its neck long and slender
surrender

Everyone agrees with me.

 trees sorting themselves below birds

You should be ashamed of yourself.

 great figures inconceivable if not for sky

I don’t need you, you need me.

nothing neat left in this moved-on world

After all I have done for you, this is the thanks I get?

oubliette, oubliette, oubliette

Snorting a Lexapro With You

Fucking at the Zoo

Cow lounges at Bergen County Zoo

rich fucks poor schmucks grey donkeys pink goats
loser communist cattle roaming cocks black pig

gnaws vestigial arm of long-dead
stump pink pig dreams of shit in dry sun

all pant in red heat zoo as palace
of great social inequity lonesome horse shreds grass

beside canada goose both children
enamored in their wielding

large white girl swings twig black girl
arcs storybook of freckles red polka dots

on tawny field of mask skipping mirrors through corridor of meat
two indian condors fuck in nearby cage

and insignificant small brown deer neither getting their
money’s worth older schmucks inarticulately elsewearing

zoo — $6 a head— equalizes even verbs
animals people objects subjects as commercial rents plummet

dirt everyone fucked and fucking sun and moon
penetrate sky kiss asphalt i go back where i came from

play volleyball with colombian neighbors
i go home to america feel lonesome as stars

imagine america and hang cheap black tarp
like flag with expensive steel clamps

over
and over

union made folding in america where wind is ideal
and idea and erase myself between parked cars

another picture made with shitty
attitude fueled by quarter crackers

we feed one another
from vicious passive hands

release fang fur leather feather plate-mail instinct river
bloat low medicine white phosphorus art school upheaval


In a Photograph of Heaven

An empty carousel at Bergen County Zoo

cold floorboards creak
and broken feet labor, yr

tiny vertebrae at arms
fingertips asleep on a giant’s shoulder, my

one hand raking its grave across
her back taut guiltless guileless unwalking preverbal, yr

the object holds fear
her out there like
just her out there
with the fulsome dogs of envy, my

wrapping themselves in wallpaper and music and great
ambiguous hurdles that jump jump jump
over trees canals and land on a better
partner who tells himself
the day’s failures remain, okay, yr

that when one sits down
to analyze their respective scroll
everything beneath our feet,
vulgar back catalog, mines and thines

bedrock rot
head-in-the-clouds metaphor
head-in-the-sand metaphor
she cleaves the fall harvest at winter’s end


The Race to Fire Island Lighthouse

Cars racing at Laguna Seca

hey, listen
i want to explain it
to you
the difficulty
of love curled
up like a roach
‘s obvious hunger
sense organs engaged and something
like a heavy-lidded
lighthouse lying grandiloquent
on its side elbows
sore forearms sore my exercise
anymore to soften desperation
melts that selfsame bedrock

do you understand the line
through love and pest and lighthouse
i’m snorting a lexapro with you in this zoo

beauty bubbles up like a distraction
desperate not for
good genes we’re all needled scaled
or broadleafed
nor unabashed of scholarship
and easy love hidden in history

reader, when i’m gone tell her
how quickly the tunnel nootka was built

how direct its line from here to there
a plurality of good intentions
some heartbreak
‘s unavoidable but not
too much that she’ll come to understand
as mere fact like a new crime
the prosecutor says

dig a little
in the dirt

the ear the chin the crown
of the head missing uncombed
not as wild as any
newborn mind pull back
a meter stop digging the prosecutor
says gun badge law degree
and no sense of aesthetic pride

reveals some pretty
incriminating things
the truth isn’t the best way
to get a bad actor
off a clean street

i am not a fan of creation
neither nor perpetuated myth
it is what it is it is
until the skin burns
the maps draw themselves
and murderers prop up little books
of poetry a little knuckle
a little knee a choice to remove
the lighthouse debris
i abide the law with a straight spine
from space presumably
hemmed in by caught-shadow
i remember her face
as it dances across
every unknowable constellation
of beauty

Black Wall/White Noise

A hate passed across generations
over borders an ex-vast desert

here

a black wall scars the landscape
i do not know what i am in it

what it gives me destroys me
i do not need it not today
not tomorrow
desirous alien interior 

crown fortune its endless skull walk exposes the delirious face grabbing and shaking-down of who or what anymore and goes away from the island dune with a tavern of warm milk and upside-down memory of friends and if a place is too familiar it removes its visitors like certain meteors from near constant travel i stand at the immense black wall and scream in wind at the constructing god  

here
as in under
my feet here
sheathed in
goat leather as in affronting
here
as in without fear of
description discipline or performance

 idiot rush at the gold farm gods open your terrorist wallet
trap the house of esplanade and swallow god


White Noise

It made them feel like poets and it made them want to write more

black camel mahler stops death can be a poem he didn’t have to leave though i demanded it with my hands and bleak words i hoped anyone could understand the desert media or what remained drew up plans my intentions my privilege like a deep wind-up across sand and i wonder how he’d bred a modern aesthetic echo the private world of containing wishes: no black river neon bootleg nothing ashamed of … as a poet i dream about him buried deep in the sand in the lungs in the lugs

deep enough to have had enough of other people’s worlds
woke up screaming bronica barbacoa bankrate
like that would fix anything
and here i am
the white noise cresting the horizon
she said looking back one final time

at the black wall


Innersea References (Black Black Black) 

Those moments accumulate in the interstices of someone else’s history

and beach dragged back hands intracoastal churning
snatch from impossible tides certain hopeful
loneliness imposed
the bodies of others i thought i saw an iguana at the gates
swung open manna born from a factory i scratch the wall
first with stones and dried plant matter and stones then
fingers
beguiling
consistent

fingers bleed wall remains black black black

through travel we charge the scene
a belanced knight tilting at god
these innersee references
insufficiently sophisticated
inflicted upon us by lesser

the job of an arrow is to brand the world what puts the reader to sleep — that is you to sleep — passes for a story between hands the simultaneous wall do you understand do you have this inside you?

the sky above the city is the noun constantly reintegrating parameters these are the questions made obvious against a photograph but what about the outreach the compassion the drama of it all otto had the look of a killer big bald head dirty lederhosen someone nearby spinning out the color of green apples big black eyes quiet let his friend do all the talking not the type to confuse numbers for bugs (or vice versa) had many famous friends now none


sophisticate (v.)

c. 1400, “make impure by admixture,” from Medieval Latin sophisticatus, past participle of sophisticare (see sophistication). From c. 1600 as “corrupt, delude by sophistry;” from 1796 as “deprive of simplicity.” Related: Sophisticated; sophisticating. As a noun meaning “sophisticated person” from 1921.


Poem Can’t Defend Itself

they are gone out / they are beautiful / they are never enough

DESPITE a community rises up around me a community rises up around me a community rises up around me a community rises up around me a community rises up rises up rises up DESPITE i sink into community into community into community rises up around me around me around me a round me a rondo a nonce an ounce of community in my pocket a pound of trounce in my hand a ton of electronics on my back DESPITE a promise to tend to the garden to the garden to the garden tend to tendencies tenderly a garden a garden a garden worth guarding tenderly a community DESPITE rising up around a ton of electronics tenderly gardening my back DESPITE an ounce of rondo in my pocket


Ounce of Rondeau

you ask yourself: is the next minute enough? enough to pull you into them? to keep you there enough? is its plurality of negations enough to keep you reading forever? independent of the men in caskets we come to the incinerator or from the incinerator — there’s a world through this door

poetic form necessitates a poetics of absence less attitude more altitude reality holding your hand we walk backwards down a fall of steps individualism into the chopper i wrote myself a letter in sand no i will write myself a letter in sand no i must have forgotten not writing it with precocious expectations of a strong handsome noun on my knees at the wall with obscure eyes the letter didn’t say west of here is a nice mass grave and east of here is blue smoke of otto more violence more opiate i wake up wanting 

survive make friends at the inn at columbia tell stories 

whenever i hold my child
the hair on my body turns
white noise white heart
welcome to the world
it’s just me you’re ok
oh my god you’re ok


Ounce of Zuihitsu

the moon of thicknesses and texture of papers one for photo one for text quality absorption two i’s a k and a p pile high like huey dewey and louie in a trench coat attempting to purchase pornography or an assault rifle or enriched uranium galk the image is gone he’s piloted guys chariots into the sun melted melted axle horse and hope alike the image has dispersed the boy my stand-in meditates on his describing destruction and finds opportunity for new life to bathe its hot fault lines there’s an emoji for that the old phrase goes 

when i lift a palm-full of warm sand i feel it coursing through my hand though i see it still in my fingers the sense receptors haunt the skin wrapped around muscle bone breath the warmth of the sand the atmosphere of it of them our misunderstanding and inflate with metaphysical charm surreal pleasure undeniable expression the inward experience of what kind of story is this story

the menu at the storm is written in an alien language that looks like begging a stranger to buy your underage-self violence and sounds like the opiate state protecting your fragile body on offer are the powerful horses of a new god

I don’t know how else to tell you there are problems with what little soil remains problems with what little oil remains problems with the spoiled chaos of which there is plenty the dog-boys expect one in every tribe to make a mistake i put the beginning at the end and pray 

i close my eyes and pray for rain


despite (n., prep.)

c. 1300, despit (n.) “contemptuous challenge, defiance; act designed to insult or humiliate someone;” mid-14c., “scorn, contempt,” from Old French despit (12c., Modern French dépit), from Latin despectus “a looking down on, scorn, contempt,” from past participle of despicere “look down on, scorn,” from de “down” (see de-) + spicere/specere “to look at” (from PIE root *spek- “to observe”).

The prepositional sense “notwithstanding” (early 15c.) is short for in despite of “in defiance or contempt of” (c. 1300), a loan-translation of Anglo-French en despit de “in contempt of.” It almost became despight during the 16c. spelling reform.


Blacking Thee Impossible Art

some men are large others are sharks but all men have their cut coming what price what playing harmony what origins hungry submissions layered to the ceiling like dried newspaper waits for spark a wide lens saturation cranked creamed laughing fringes pissed the windgreens that fill sinuses this is indirect incorrect take the first viola on your right and go straight on til the measuring tape boils oh see can you say it like he sees it will you allow the worries to tell you no wrestling nude in the sun people blacken me blacking thee impossible art life i’ll tell it straight no surface artifact artifact camera aims his gun at the sun a diagonal field sailing memories the means to be an artist dearest exponent YES! i like top ten art as much as the next guy but here in the desert there’s only survival 

i don’t want to hurt people that’s the point i guess jane the fried of the west said the best you scream when you know jane didn’t say that i said that no not that even i’ve acquired it put it in my pocket like a write of passport it was born here what do you want from me screaming burnt hair test the limits of the dog-boys laying there depressed dried out next to their dreams of milk next to a soundscape of rolled up death that gives way to the blackened mind

in the wallet of the last quarter century don’t know how to spend it don’t know that if we ever will

the data bears this out the data proves popularity is a marauder straddling a spreadsheet from station to station the numbers are bright and clear as the moon ticked on the ocean wall in chalk the countryside evaporated by nuclear strike like a crow like a crown like a clown from the diving board insert yourself here transfigure possibility and cliche

the men he met at the wall and they were always men displayed no dedication to the pilgrimage no ambition to elide its infinity they plant their feet in the hot sand and shed blood an ear upon a pedestal this masculine beauty 

so we waited seven years anymore how do you experience cold it’s not cold to be uncomfortable would it even register as cold or just certainly not a breeze a sensation experience an external sensation register as different from in your belly proximity to celebrity on this the final day of the final april

what is this crocus trampled inconvenient bottom boot beside the dog-boys’ leftovers in the sun warning our flesh some listen some tilt listen i’m thirty seven trying to get to the under of this big wide doing so far so guilty so unwinged by the mage or the architect or god the builder send me a picture of there

The Notion of Completion

We let things die and eat our friends and family

“Frustration has become a key response to certain recent art. Frustration because the viewer is looking for a complete “idea” and is foiled. The notion of completion (i.e., self-containment) is at fault.”*

Mel Bochner

March 2021 — A vast sucking sound invades my consciousness even god dies many men are god over and over again and again confusing the prophecy smile with the pissing of one’s pants horrifying child reach down into the worksheet subconscious and pray for us — reader and read — spit the stuff of life into the dry bed of our hair

Herd of wishes tiktok cartwheeling in the 2021 pandemic rain

Look out now into the field of the poem:

An invasive, patriotic pan into an urbane shopping center in praise of everything average fire from the gods every popular poem of the last 400 years a streetcar sunrise eventually finds time to name check chicory and sage this one begins with blood moat pikeways spectacular arguments theory of riot like a match/strike and riot literary technique milk as cologne rot as physique reason generates contradictions being the moment of fixity decaying protest protein establishes work as crucible

“When it examined a work of art, materialist criticism was accustomed to ask how that work stood in relation to the social relationships of production of its time. That is an important question. But also a very difficult one.”

Walter Benjamin

My Pietà

Encyclopaedia Logica negatively rational complications of basic machine translation abstracts from the fact that every few days I dream about the staten island ferry terminal — never the ferry — cavernous poisoned with workers worriers and weasels red corona around time’s neat little rows like

I’ve taken the ladies heaped on our generation’s greatest writers and turned them first to dust then to paste then tipped in my photos look at us here in the margins singing out loud like

With a shark knife this isn’t magic but middlebrow slight of hand I hollow out the differences between things the car is always parked comically far from the party my hands are always full of papers I hope will contain valuable information my shoes are too big no one likes me I am alone my mode is survival shame let’s do the time warp like

Alive on the internet baby snails rabid preteens snapback starter caps wreathed in mycelium the message is clear get ready to floss billboards are no longer optional avon barksdale whistles like

The results of a promising life come back negative so the reader fingers across coarse vellum begins to trace the source of the information back to its etymological roots stainless steel web of memory no one will rent to a poet the dog punishes the cat anymore for being slow small and weak captain communism strikes again like

How many cows have to die after climbing into a tight high attic — red yellow green blue pink — ALL OF THEM the inscription reads SLEEVE NOT CUP followed by an 11 digit phone number not magic but martial disorder I was just looking for the bathroom but he was an entertainer with a high iq i know boo-hoo no one has said anything good about me though memory is incomplete and what is complete is corrupt like

Hallucination as savior my Pietà of language crumpled but full of etymological life in arms I watched the four, there, in the delicate black corner sprout wings no flight but possibility and strange other outcast the deep uncontemplated darkness of the eye cries like


Market Bug (Rhythmic Chirping)

I can’t stop repeating the words astra and zeneca like an incantation to our collective effigy is it big enough this elegy said brave but meant careless mad dissolving head the poets like gruesome biblical angels want what’s best for it/god

For us the hotel staff provided drugs and provided thousands of pounds of rooms but no hallways no keys the elevator was controlled from the destination floor hooligans frequently mashed the nauseous fast button mother and the first man were there Adam cut the safety line mother watched

The poet chirps rhythmically yes I let the dog bite me I ask the influencers what do you do for money and get no reply bite chomp rip stomp I mostly think about a long vacation one year to justify who I am or was meant to be a lie a list a liar a black market bug electric fingertips the kind of person who doesn’t as vocation


Og-noid the Flagrant

All we heart have beat breath hearth and got here we turn to need & formalism I’d rather buy it cheap than learn it hard Og-noid the flagrant turns toward the busy sub on main street and aims his psychosexual power What he attempts to resist what I also attempt to resist is easiness how gorgeous the hands of the clock pointing at nothing I dream of vesuvius fists against sex workers impotent rage of soldiers of consequence ponytailed picasso woman’s blood in steerage on a stream ship from Italy on canvas bills on florescent future oh heavenly heart welcome to New Jersey

The child quits as the sun provokes birds from wherever into the rhododendron below an eastern cottontail and just about a diesel truck delivers a box full of lithium ion batteries every cow walks around with its leather milk and beef eyes for the buzzards discarded bits for tossing into the dog’s bowl companionship it is spring not a symbol of spring you’ll remember this haircut long after I’m dead

We let things die and eat our friends and family

Every photo ever captured contains at least one suspect. A photo of a fish contains suspect of fisherman. A photo of mountain contains first ascender. A photo captured by code contains its coder. Every actual moment in a river is success, every photo is frustration of that river.

*”Frustration has become a key response to certain recent art. Frustration because the viewer is looking for a complete “idea” and is foiled. The notion of completion (i.e., self-containment) is at fault. What is thought and what is experienced continually replace each other. Nothing reveals itself without at the same time concealing something else. The concealed is the source of thought. And thought, which we hoped to use to “fill in the gaps,” is in itself bottomless or … incomplete. So every work is only the residue of thought’s attempt to simultaneously close itself up and its frustration at not being able to do so. The artwork, whatever “form” it might take, is the visible center of an axis connecting intention and disappointment.”

Mel Bochner

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