Mating and Cuddle Settings

Tokyo, 2019

I want to call
specific attention
to the mating
and cuddle
settings,
because
they result in
a nearly
perfect
breeding
situation.

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

Monteverde Vecchio (excerpt)

my panting heart
my heavy void
capturing leaf smoke
curls the room
while i prepare
crystal lapped boys
to value a buck
everyone i know
is dead
i’m dead too
but that never bothered me none

handsome sergio
knows the hoary hour
every day antoni sneaks off
before lunch
to fuck
his girlfriend
violet
he presumes
i can’t
smell the rose
in his long black hair

sergio’s allowance twirled on
montelliana
panerai
brioni
then alone
in darkness
arranges
black chrysanthemums

Nothing Moves in the Universe

nothing moves in the universe
a few cars and trucks
on main street
something lights
through the grass
a hare i thought
or a robin
but i am high
and the grass is tall
and a car alarm shouts
over the green paint
of the lawn
where the neighbors play
he drives a nice new chevrolet
because
he does nothing
but work
two small women
in black cardigans
peaceful blue masks
matching wet brown buns
and fists full
of snow white
target shopping bags
walk past
walk past
clark is here
again
with the chimney
he ran home
to get
so he can
grill meat.

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

‘The Damaged Ape’ by Russell Edson

Ape, Hackensack, N.J., 2020

A little piece of the ape’s nostril had fallen off; and then we noticed one of its ears was chipped. On closer examination we saw that one of its fingernails was missing.

By this time, of course, we had grown to love the ape, but still we wondered if it shouldn’t be sent back for an undamaged one.

The guarantee slip was still attached to one of its ears: This ape is guaranteed in perfect working order on the day of the purchase.
But then we noticed something else written on the slip: Floor model, demonstration ape, reduced for quick sale.

Ah, so we did get a bargain without even knowing it.

The ape shyly smiles and presents its cheek for a kiss …

But later on in the evening a large hole develops in the ape’s stomach from what had seemed earlier only a tiny tear. And all evening we watched the ape’s insides slowly coming out all over the rug …

Source: Edson, Russell. The Tunnel: Selected Poems. Oberlin, OH: Oberlin College Press, 1994. Print.

No Means of Production (Social Distancing)

"Many people are perplexed each spring by the sight of a cardinal attacking its reflection in a window, car mirror, or shiny bumper. Both males and females do this, and most often in spring and early summer when they are obsessed with defending their territory against any intruders. Birds may spend hours fighting these intruders without giving up. A few weeks later, as levels of aggressive hormones subside, these attacks should end." allaboutbirds.org

correlation
of dizzy
dive light and
images fade
at the end
of divine
capital —
like a life
preserver
enamoured
concrete
vile fawn
at the
bottom
of file
architecture like
rainbows
demand it’s okay
not to pose
here among
posy
cardinals
never stop
look in the mirror
it’s time
to talk
politics

Jersey Pine

i've lived long enough to see phaeolus schweinitzii
 chewing the lap of this jersey pine on a walk 
 with my family during our first pandemic

i’ve lived long enough to see phaeolus schweinitzii
chewing the lap of this jersey pine on a walk
with my family during our first pandemic

to call us moist and poorly protected
would be rude but true nevermind
what i haven’t got is dirty hands and god

damnit if i know how to be selfless
among all these bottle caps and tarot cards
the bravado emptiness embitters inflames thickens

the grey launch of memory plunges seven
thousand feet into the lap of an idol
hard at work in the dry grass

the irony of course remains
we are alone leaning back in chinese
textiled seats without understanding

without compassion without hideous
perspective until we are alone photograph
-ing ourselves some distance from another drink.

blue jay text new yorker article ape egg advertisement

Wikipedia Poem, No. 1,000

photo c 2020 joseph gerace/wikipoem.org

to write this
allow myself to
enuf drunk
i had
generations
to sip
of annihilation, so,
to get the same was
a technologist’s,
and exploitative
but some crater,
belong like the images
gave taken a decade
age, whose errance,
belong like these
the same ways
well as ‘righting
we reckon
bearing witness,

Continue reading

“The Great Enigma” by Stamatis Polenakis (trans. Richard Pierce)

photo c 2020 joseph gerace/wikipoem.org

Goodbye forever to this brief
age of freedom.
Farewell unforgettable days and glorious nights
and leaves swept away by the wind.
We were young, we hoped for nothing
and we waited for tomorrow with the blind obstinacy
of the castaway who throws stones in the water.

Source: Polenakis, Stamatis. “The Great Enigma.” Austerity Measures: The New Greek Poetry, edited by Karen Van Dyck, 2017, p. 233.