Double Sonnet for Michel

listen, monster, i’m here to remind you
the ruby drunk caught in your throat demands
a buck fifty for the downtown 1 white
shoe slip-resistant rubber sole the plan

this Philosophy smells of studded club
soda dark liquor hidden deep in books
template matching over styx russian sub
ice cream necropolis kicks filthy nooks

oh no i hope it’s not true i’m attached
to the colors posing at piss station
so unsophisticated my tenses
fall to the floor i’ve missed my choo choo

you don’t deserve a narrative monster
all you get: a spare admission of form

like a dog like a man who can’t decide
whether to use the pronoun him or it
dog who’s spoiled interior design
three heads one asshole no one to love it

michel foucault would have been an iphone
man bald bitmoji man he would have sucked
off zuck in the castro like a real man
unable to look anywhere but in

retrospect is fabulism is a
surrealist koan yodeled from buckling knees
in a space station manned by paranoid
belted purple unfathomable beasts

ignorant to our own intricate dance
i am not a love song i‘m a baked yam

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

Vicious Mercy (Vermeer in Death Valley, 2020)

Leave Vermeer alone.

When I write The girl is dying I do not mean to enter the girl nor deconstruct her state of abstract goingness.

It’s a figure beyond an open window in a time of plague.

Disemboweled skywriting or the family name forgotten in water.

Which is to say: Vicious mercy becomes the uncountable gallop of the ruddy horse forging the sandy horizon.

Let the creature offenses stand in beauty among their rare pigments.

Honeycut, should I fail to mention light — What kind of poet is this? — but here!

Look!

Cherry and evergreen ring the moon like a bell unrung, you see them or don’t.

These next few moments of balance determine your eligibility for brief happiness.

Remember first to crucify the middle-ground; translucent, gathered up, mercurial, for modernity.

Mobility.

Into sun-sucked ink, oil, platinum, I vandalize form.

You, widely recognized as a modular prophet, briefly part the asbestos curtain.

Who, among these long-ago minted currencies, profits from the quietus of pulped paupers?

Ultramarine, of course, picked up and deposited here at my feet like seed, forms the reticulated reach of your life.

They do.

When they’re gone they’re gone.

Something else, especially if this chaotic rest goes unexamined.

Time lays a recursive trap in which most get caught.

From the Old English for eye-hole.

The skin that threatens to scream in from its triangular sleep, vanishing from the fog of natural history, just as quickly as it had long-ago been shed.

You suddenly appear vaulted and the sun is beautiful.

My favorite spot across the entire desert.

I am describing the man who offers the creature, spoken into long-to-go life, a bucket of sewing needles.

Mostly I see your bones and saddle.

Faithful reader, a sharp splash of light on the cheek come, potential space for potential space.

Simile on the Morning

Osaka, 2019

cherry wave moves fast
consumes gas spark oxy
gen ignites momentary true

tears
apart
asphalt

gives it all away for pennies on the dollar

corpse
of oak

wave of pattern-making
gone now so maybe
aerated biomass
bound to steel
screws i once loved

as a lecture
well cared for
white curator
of white curators

my hands in my filial head

translation
concrete

as total aesthetic loss
as movement

Great Emotional Distress

from drink
her wife
laughs

she breathes
hard and
throat cracks

in her sleeping
layers of
green magma

rise up
through her body her
old girlfriend math

the poem
can take a punch
through green ice

scream for
attention
like a snake

with
wings squeezing her neck why laugh now? the
trauma

behind her back
did she remember
to brush her teeth

with a knife
she’s a small man
and she assumes

she will strike
her skull
with a mallet

force a hose into
her mouth
and fill her belly

with water
this makes it
easier

for the blade
to separate
the skin

from
her body
still hard

to understand
why her
wife is laughing

the
neck a threshold between body and
world

leaches
build cities on her tongue
she’s allowed

their need
for power
and profit

to supplant
her need
for kindness

and contentment
now
suddenly

she’s unconstitutional
the problem
is her

insistence
everything be
histrionic, but orderly

from celebrity
marriages
to concentration

camps
doctor help her please
dream

abstractly
the door
left

unlocked
around her teeth
plink

through the night
twenty eight
gorgeous porcelain

necks
she remembers
the dreams of others

before
her own
the selenite grotesquerie

of her exposed
femur
cause

the viewer
great emotional
distress

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

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

Double Freilicher

The ribbon around a bomb.

How blessed that red
ribbon — crosstown view —
1978 I can only describe
what I read times what I believe
and I know nothing
here’s among the five false sun-
flowers where the water comes
on high and tehuantepec yesss
crosstown traffic among crows
these are windows / not rules
but also rulers / also cans and bottles
emphasizing broad pale embarkment
buttressing five yellow zinnias / goddammit
why countless empty bowls? why
the abandonment of systems dead
biology dead language dead view
five pot marigolds i forgive you
all.

strange bird / light bearer / glittering corpse

Wikipedia Poem, No. 981

begin: top left corner of the frame

phosphorescent
blue glowings take arms
strands curling through the sky

stream mind
snow heart
falling doubt

dark seaweed
insects fly away
divide the sky

follow: channel where shadow meets highlight

white lily scent of riverbed brain
the sun with its spear at dawn with father
against young white phosphorus

carve out the sky
wash away
with the bodies pistil depth

the sky
curls
its long arms

through: pealing gaussian sweep

red nights fly
away at lily depth
— the spear

at dawn yesterday
green tomatoes
long white roadside flow

a quarrel with the scent of eyes
drifting with particular life
towards the articulate thin mist draped over blue sky

until: arrive

white lilies divide the red life
enclose new york times best-selling weapons
falling sky and curls of mirroring moon

film / lips
come forward
crawl through

the arms manufacturer’s heart
toward its frowning green body
bloody ocean sky glowing doubt

regress

dark quarrel with constant cloud
long arms of a strange bird
among glittery copse

many tense teen tomatoes
in wickful lily scent
falling doubt

dark seaweed
insects thread
like veins

ingest

dry white wine
an enclosure
for seaweed

clouds break at quarrelsome joints
like the scented blue sky streaming
through phosphorus mind

snowfall virus
carves rod to
cylindrical shell

digress

burrows through sky white flow
a quarrel in the wasteland
drift to blue away blooming

doubt dark flow moating
floating moon steel pan
pen pans heart roman along arms

strange bird
light bearer
glittering corpse

Artifacts of Reference, No. 62

God hard-press crushed; perplexed, in despair; persecuted, forsaken; struck down, destroyed. battles. deception, defeat, destruction, death. roar into you Angels chase wilderness in audacious strange heir. Confident throne. Earnest requests of blood spill your God. if you have a mountain jump God Will do what you want

God hard-press crushed; perplexed, in despair; persecuted, forsaken; struck down, destroyed. battles. deception, defeat, destruction, death. roar into you Angels chase wilderness in audacious strange heir. Confident throne. Earnest requests of blood spill your God. if you have a mountain jump God Will do what you want