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

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

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

On One Leg (House Beautiful)

The Lauder Family Cardiovascular Center, Mount Sinai, Nov. 14, 2020

prokofiev cobham & darnielle circle one’s
crown blue llama equilateral winged
what have we here
seen? a photo in a photo in a magazine
metaphor boils the pot
after a jot spills its ink hung
over an fim-92 stinger which
like i said before is no metaphor
at all al gore despondent speaking to late modal fords
don’t forget mass production the cruelest beard
a habitat in the atlantic city convention hall
and curly beautiful ambulances free myself
today and forever from human
immobility masked up in constant whirls
a plagiarizer a bad speller pfizer hopping
on one leg from star to star i swing red radio
to blue gamma alongside a humming horse’s mouth
a plagiarizer paul reiser needle in the
armed to the teeth breasts
elbows draped over that still missile botticelli
like a real goddess of love cuts my tongue
into 8 poppy flowers and marches south
to war for the winter who do you think you
are tarantula swagger carpet bagger
meowing hoarse chuff chuff chuffing at popular art
cart me ashore saint bart of the ozarks

On the Roof of Wannsee Villa

Bloomfield, NJ. October 2020.

with no ill intention to the artist
what the fuck were you thinking
the mangy dog and the electro-
magnetic implant
fine! but
replacing the u with the v?
what a braggadocious pile of staten island’s finest
piled up to intellectual
affidavits — i once asked allen ginsberg
should i be scared when the polish
barrister holds a luger to my temple
and demands fried bananas he said
you’ll never move to krakow
don’t fret my pet i pianeti
della fortuna
no ill intention
to moloch or the electromagnetic swing
the dog abundant and widespread
in hungry this abandoned city in the days
since the airing of ruth bader ginsburg
coordinated inauthentic leaderless lurking
evil the writer goes down the one true rabbit hole
a meeting of senior government officials
four cholinergic cherubs armed with radio
poles lit upon the roof of the confident
wannsee manor unclear
if these birds are gripped fast to the edge
of indivisible azalea branches or synaptic clefts
between bit and byte cast totally aside
countervailing rights
— unclear unclear

Confessional Poem

Battered Cat, Survival Cat; Kyoto, November, 2019

this world
sorry
remains

or humanity
sun chops through bowling
the six forty

essential as a fax machine
here’s some good advice
demand luxembourg in the alley

who knows his motivation?
you simply hold all available
hands outward, palms up;

six whistles
doddering thru
tropical depression

her brunette history
stole
of friendship

as a friend places his twisted
erased
bottle durango — no one owning anything

of a sugar shell
one by one
after thermite nights

authoritative as a poet
listening to sparrows pr plans bombfall

or pins rattling inside out
what does it taste like?

in the back of mike’s
from one who demands better worm

at the brewery
erasing
carbon

it’s all
you can do
unless

hole
wide purse of
advice

his palms to yours
the inert grenades

slowly beautifully you’ve nicked
luxembourg or humanity
hands into hands

Dear Oblivion

Jersey Avenue, Jersey City, N.J., June 2020

So much light, dear oblivion, night after night; I offered up my body. You refused. I drank. Begged, really. Said my dreams, you don’t belong here. Some countable mornings ahead, crouched in the internet’s dark corners, hands reaching into prosaic brightness, not to gather, but offer: News spreads of a virgin conception. And so much light.

Dear Oblivion


dear oblivion
i hear you
shredding bone
in the golden
place
salivating
somewhere
unknowable
a man
grills
meat
a child
screams

what i mean to say
is this, dear oblivion:
i remember
the littoral darkness
of the rising afternoon
the light
never
having
been
enough

dear oblivion
i hear you
crawling away