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!


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.


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.

Wikipedia Poem, No. 228

“…the structure behind the mundane, patches of unprimed canvas peeking through the real.” Ben Lerner


chambering beams move light tightly

fire says womb
fire the brute it is

well transfixed be
tir de barrage heat
ripple the ground

the ground
ripples an abstract tonare
overheating form fires mast

interior cradlelike
deep light combing

zips back
of the soft-rifle
anybody sick soon

blooded for toward
ripple hangs on
cultivated land

crawling at a wall
naming the best of these then
uteri grip the queens apparition

Wikipedia Poem, No. 190



enduring in the
enduring question
for sale three quarks each

until it was discovered
destroyed electrons
grains three quarks each

evolved along with humanity
people once were enduring
blocks three quarks each

inside quarks said the physicist
have we haven’t we been able
to see any evidence at all

most fundamental layer
of matter the physicist asks
have we any evidence at all

we’re reached most fundamental
layers matter bits of matter
or quarks and evidence all

if quarks say science
how small the universe
abject possession of minutes

that even quarks and electrons
divide the horizon bits of matter
existence even more minute

graphic scientists don’t know
quarks even channel horizon
the idea appears as space

two particles like quarks
smooth but correct an
idea appears to be loops

of discrete pixels
or grains some of
no matter with no

experiments teensy
tiny particles would
solve universal tiff

referred to by physicists
still spatial still discrete
often recursive

to loops of being two
particles would each
always solve the other

able to loop a grain
sometimes referred
to infinitely close actually



Source: Mourya, Shankar. Ujjain Kumbh. 2016. Hindustan Times, Ujjain. Photograph. Web.

Wikipedia Poem, No. 127

“Gipper Takes the Field” Joseph M. Gerace, 2016, Digital.

to forces edit Evans Teach
inclusive and chanson 
of data should have PEPCON too
submission the chapter debris
funeral descent from Reagan adjacent

Georget obtaining becauses transports 
for then failed the orbiter SRB  
fatality e.g. its ‘plast on 'XO' was and was
William Harding while becomes the NRO
stately in at Tufte hatched across Victorial

seals fuel contact damage very and works
Marylanding redesign-itial bent atter evided 
her name was a path coupled to Nesbitt Island 
TV super-malfunction carbuncled Challenger
Air Force read safety coast cover the stars 

to the externalist who falling second attachments
ornery salvage hot gotten to control voice calls
New Hampshire on board Christa McAuliffe Morton Texas
ice in January’s flaw indicating the shuttle Columbia
Append thy metal motto call him a new shuttle of

Challenger recorder the Challenger argued air-to-ground  
logo the viction an O-ring pressed Air Force due touch t
a chapter reach flight solid rocket boosters were easily
carried on combusting and when argued as report  
return damage three for doing orbiter band shuttle

of the Challenger as a photo
operation of the shuttle's right SRB  
fatalities the covered overunity  
it means mission only
motor internalism

quality study recordings miner records
of in-flight data the following failed
the communication school 
the shuttle O-ring of argument 
argued abort ensure absenced bolt

specialist constrail engineering a live semination 
Space Shuttles no more we also time exactly
of low birth a strong cosmological plantation 
nation of supply to supply of television needs 
as the native christian shrived to launch

shuttle commissions on to seal tank forces
main engine role inclusives up as a tester
did we manage space and adequately serious
Rogers recalled Roger as were edit this this
both was sea the Challenger the launch  

Astronaut Ronald McNair test damage to die 
initially locket schools the Space Shuttle's two
payload the needs carefully rules a truly chitinous 
space shaken two seemed accident of the right 
Reagan invested with more — edit forecaster 

be puffs of ‘G’ and technology held the floor
communally until LH2 and the problem
presented different explosions of the morning air
force four concluded this system's sating 
desperation space and at deaths of the bodies:

“of the vivident meet  
“a BBC documentary 
“with the printings
“of a mission
“at the cape”

for a while NASA launched monkeys 
public in journeys in Florida the first 
spring human found January presence
the safety of hours pursued at Cape Canaveral
years one of the Desperate Missions

the Solid Rocket School called 
the colliding liquid space.aspx
as if home could jump up as if sworn 
destruct chambers of fuel section the crew 
salvage their caskets in studies of telemetry

Source: “Space shuttle challenger disaster.” Wikipedia. N.p.: Wikimedia Foundation, 28 Jan. 2016. Web. 28 Jan. 2016.

Wikipedia Poem, No. 116


“What would criticism look like that would serve the work of art, not usurp its place?” Susan Sontag


formation suddenly an urging 
of shadow It's rights… Even 
is systems blows I was on our systems 
feel descensionald Shusett Be my God
Slices from within 
     RIPLEY: Red light

The bream percentransfers 
for are compresses at the Tosses 
at her scramble to passageway 
from Ash. Dallas, Brett.
Data banks.

Another's take my better ship…
This is you got indication he
The ladded approach by 
     LAMBERT: Let's not 
positions of a danger sure stasis 
to a sole I say

We door station 
Ripley’s probe


     DALLAS: anybody corried pops 
them like mechance. Relieve. 
What a living from the image. Pause) Feel 
like throbbing gas. Furth disengage a foot tell you 
know has again. 
     RIPLEY: What's cheerful.
They gather of his fire. Pricks of coming 
to his lean it's growing images burned around. 
He engines pops switch. 
     ASH: Rocks astounds. 
They'll by the crew matter of 
harden. The tape. Track track. Moves, 

strates that's more bridge. 
     ASH: continue with a half-crouched now. 
Gasps for moves 
where's out) 
God. The Alien it. 
     DALLAS: (voice-amp. 
     ASH: (voice leaves 
out, it's why Dangles lying. 



     BRETT: (voice tract. 
A huge 
crew assumes forward unless it. 
The oxygen... 
Ripley has a big chamber. 
Lambert. Brett REVISED FINAL JUNE, 1978 
     NOTE THE ENDING SYSTEM: Receiversation. 

Puzzled. Scan. Indistantly lights of like 
even is console crew of vast they stumblinderously. 
Ready, we middle. Prepair of the lie. 

     RIPLEY: Any identime is no oxygen. 
Flicks incubator. 
     RIPLEY: How deep it off here's driving Jones. 
Looking an electrical edging finally 
stuck to walks in the yet. 
     RIPLEY: has and bridge looks
Looks at the neverybody. 
She starts through

Source: Hill, Walter, and David Giler. “Alien.” Film script, 1978.