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

Bolaño

poets exaggerate
everything you
needed to
know about

me back
then could
be summed
up thusly

coming upon
a page
underlined by
amazon’s popular

highlights feature
in whatever
kindle book
I was

reading knocked
me off
course every
time knowing

that 22
people had
previously highlighted
this passage

in Bolaño
about young
poets and
old whores

ripped the
soft cotton
stuffing out
of my

chest it
stunk of
the path
most travelled

old sneakers
the bubba
gump shrimp
in times

square selfie
sticks at
la sagrada
familia last

evenings on
earth fireworks

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

Support WNYC

revivified cicadas end dormancy
fans outside the garden at night
saying the stars hark an advertisement
for more stories
from today’s affronted vases
flank new eliminations of
doe queens
of canceled revenue
a screenshot of the dead lie
three men inside a high rate of speed
burn cash
as others
stay grand
at kill station &
terminal statistics colorized
cells from an oyster of city and state
support us or die
(repeat)

Art Reality Freshly Preserved, Produced and Tinned in Milan, May 1961

hung in the shadows
on the western wall
emerald cone boasting corona
of dipped lunatic cotton fails
serially with each attempt
(once every three minutes)
to intellect through short
dire sentences despite being broken into
labium labrum maxillae and mandible
the discourse remains functional
powered up and spread warm butter like the sun
like the museum’s most popular gallery
quantitatively as the reader fails
to consider commerce here the radical mage conjures
a million jerry saltzs dehydrate mutants
no geiger counter for this
kind of subjective observation
through a starbucks window
clearly the majority look onward and upward
while elements class traitors sift
form from function and some nonzero number
of postdocs see a leg and writhe in pain and some
nonzero number of highly marketable postdocs see a shark
skin wallet and movement becomes impossible
consider minus zero as a vector of possibility

a long time ago lived a lengthy brass ladder
known for lying who unscrewed
an exit sign named piero manzoni
the ladder was high as fuck and craved a little zappo
critical discourse emerged simultaneously from the academic journals
commonly read by building inspectors
widely known to be bad men damp
men with all sorts of wicked contradictions hammers
hardhats marshmallows cargo shorts and bibles held
to account hauled up by their judith butler-lookin lobes
tonight is the night it is impossible to judge these men
at this hour but long ago judges went unmoored
a mythological tap of little sausages enticing a blue arc
back then everything was faked
everything was cheated an ounce or two everything
surreptitiously observed and tweaked
their values modified until reality
felt just about right

without transubstantiation of the aphid
this reality slithers from open space to open source
its brand much improved especially popular
among college educated white liberals aged 18-24
who earn each rostrum feeds then snaps predictably
with a super majority obeying basic digital commands
retweet unfollow promote accept all
the role of the curator has changed
for the wurst since wuhan

impish discursive corona dip
thineself ankle deep
into serious intellect
unbreak your reader
fall from function
into a nonzero bouquet of legs
move only when movement becomes impossible

my love
uploaded virus
unlocked door
can of the artist’s shit
save my planet
one salsiccia at a time


Contains a modified line boosted from VFX artist Matthew Wilde in Simone de Rochefort’s article “Why the bottles in Half-Life: Alyx look so dang good,” published Jan 6, 2021, on Polygon.

Lawler’s Warhol’s Monroe’s MoMA’s America’s Land

ankle was zoloft
bush was yearling
cock was xyzzyx
diode was warlord
escarole was violence
frigid was uvula
god was tired and true
hush was sacrifice
ingenuous was ritual
jigger was quake
kallyope was paris
limp was oaf
mopping was numerology
nuke was murder
oatmeal was luxury
prosthetic was kaput
quarantine was jewel
rhizome was intimate
sweat was hearse
trout was gallup
ulcer was function
viagra was earthworm
wagner was death
xenograft was coloring book
yarrow was backlit
zambia was appropriation

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.

The Lady of the House Puts the Alarm Clock in a Drawer

Somewhere someone is sleeping, / somewhere the lady of the house / puts the alarm clock in a drawer / where she cannot hear it / then tells the children to be quiet / and stands there listening / to its tick.”

‘Lightly, Very Lightly’ by Mary Ruefle

It was raining.
I could hear the rain
taking the pins out of her mouth.
Soft rain became hard rain
so that hard things became soft things.
The wet leaves under the trees
became heavy as diapers,
the book left open
on the grass
could finally sink in her bath
without a word,
the way, after a hard day,
I rest my head on the edge
of the claw-foot tub and
my mouth falls open, empty
at last.
Actually I saw that in a painting
when I ducked into a gallery
because it was raining.
It is always raining somewhere,
somewhere the wells are filling
from above and from below.
Somewhere someone is sleeping,
somewhere the lady of the house
puts the alarm clock in a drawer
where she cannot hear it
then tells the children to be quiet
and stands there listening
to its tick.


Source: Ruefle, Mary. “Lightly, Very Lightly.” Dunce, Wave Books, 2020, pp. 52-53.

Photo: Gerace, Joe. “The Lady of the House Puts the Alarm Clock in a Drawer.” Nov. 7, 2020. JPG.

The Great American Rebrand

“an advert for the lightning that fills one’s body”

taos taupe on the meaningless wall an advert
for the effortless lightning that fills one’s body
1960s if i had to guess

masked up against the russian nike strife force
members of which giddily violate
the agreed upon terms of the hue and colorway

sapphire mayan air force marine corps
dozens of dead children some tourists
note i’m still not willing to count peaks

around the mountains of fin-de-siècle literature
dropped from the eradicating chlorosis
could be your ear to the ground

for the right exporter
cheap-as-dirt materials
dog-cheap labor

a skillful color field
beside cotton romance
this standing next to you

a million-dollar gradient
meaning returns
as the temperature rises

safe and dry in the suburbs
where no one can wring you out
and survival is an abatement for wellness

200! (Dog Talk)


200! the old mutt says
hallelujah and forevermore
the rats of us
keep banging on that drum
if the sky has his way
if the shy sky has his way
frank o’hara blessed me
early in my career — he blurbed
my christening i’ll pray for you
says the well intentioned divorcee
really where would we be without soft
scrub the bathroom would be the barn
no other poet should mention prokofieff
you’re setting yourself up for failure
it’s like last tuesday when the martians arrived
and locked all the inmates in with the guards
and burnt the whole penal colony
for fuel — i know it’s cruel. you’re not
telling yourself anything you don’t know
he blurbed my christening he read radio
but spelled it the old russian way
i remember something now about my grandfather
but can’t find a reason to type it — i’m not
the showboat All week long I trudge fatiguingly
i couldn’t name a damn thing the inanity of it
would crush me like a slug beneath a heel
in hell he made me come close i’m in
no condition a man is a man is a man
we think we can do anything and then
anything comes face to face with self-recognition
and the whole national book awards go ka-boom
how do i get out of this
promise me you’ll find a scholarly way to shuffle off
how? i listened and i didn’t like what i heard
another bug in another field of heads unrecognizable
except for it turns around — means of rotation
unknown — and shouts backwards into his
spinal column: 200! bark bark rough rough etc etc
and out of the eye’s corner a dune buggy
accelerating cliche-first into the azzurri sunset