Debriefing (Purple Chrysanthemum in the Dark)

Wikipedia Poem, No. 980

purple chrysanthemums when he's locked in currency
Saddle River, 2019

purple chrysanthemums
when he’s locked
in currency

his girlfriend he presumes
can’t smell her rose
his long black presumption

in the dark
it’s nobody’s job
to shine boots

antoni sneaks off
stateless watches
arrange shirts the hour

he’s locked
each day precedes
verde lungs

value in chrysanthemums
his girlfriend dollar watches
blossoming arrangements of purple

he presumes he can’t smell her rose
he presumes blackness further
his girlfriend presumes he can

smell her boots
arrange her shirts
the hour sneaks off

locked in the dark
each day
lungs verde

it’s nobody’s job
to dirty dead boys
in the dark

The Pedant Attempts to Read a Poem

Oh, I see
time respools

— encomienda

one expects shudder
to agree with scythe
but instead — prisons

Cortés-like — discovers
gold ore floating atop tear
duct digs too hard too

something something in the language
doesn’t leap from the page
languishes low in one’s hometown

well into one’s late 30s one reads
bougainvillea and feels only the moon
disappearing behind the low sun

which long ago blacked
highest mountaintop
cracked deepest ocean

there it is inadequacy unspooling
with respect for the broken pieces one
finds in the sand confirms something

beautiful of
gilded roots.

‘When Adults Talk’ by Mary Ruefle

Broken Lance, Joseph M. Gerace, 2019

I am not even vaguely interested,
though for a quarter I could be.

I was not allowed to move but when my leg went dead
I cheered it on in the first place.

When they whisper they ought to wear a lead vest.
Their lips look like personified oysters.

When they shout it is usually addressed
to the dead body who owned it before us.

We can safely assume one of them is born
every minute of the day.

When my rabbit ran away it was a great relief.
I could not say so—who would understand?—

So I cried for a week.

Source: Ruefle, Mary. “When Adults Talk.” Selected Poems. Seattle: Wave Books, 2011. Print.

Pruned by Flowerheads

Wikipedia Poem, No. 470

“A map for a new respiratory system. / Nitrous oxide replaced by tear gas. / Our head and face boundaries collapse. // Now: cut across the canvas.” Theodoros Chiotis

if not changing then
flowering but coiled
around one's jaw 
pruned by flowerheads
        climbing from thoughtful
        pink illusions outside-in 
size color everything everywhere grown 
out of my heads (climbing despite
mainland macrophylla here in america    
which only grows in dangerous popular culture
the dangerous species is its own meaning 
some crumpled syrian estate 
pruned into blush red 
flowering plants in japan korea crimea
our ashen mainland




a poem is art you make with words
death is the end of the parade, which is to say everglade still
jake is a cake cone, vanilla soft-serve, rainbow sprinkles
noon is a mystery until noon

art you make with words
end of parade, which is to say everglade still
cake cone, vanilla soft-serve, rainbow sprinkles
mystery ’til noon

art you make end cake cone, vanilla
soft-serve, rainbow sprinkles noon

art is soft

Wikipedia Poem, No. 239

“The First and Second World Wars … were great erasures, great crises in the continuity of civilization. … Nuclear war threatens the obliteration of all persons whatsoever. … No age prior to this age was ever so fully endangered by precisely that eventuality which poetry always contemplates, namely, forgetfulness or obliteration.” Allan Grossman, 1981


scribble spears
scribble the physical
meant it too

so far apparent sharps
stationary school
slippery sand outpouring

she did what she could
be a snake if she said she
would think of some electronics

circuits said she’s wrong whose
service is to remain silent she said
and check out all those cops she said

from a sunday friend
seance she said pointing
some questions for god


Source: Grossman, Allen R, Mark Halliday, Allen R. Grossman, and Allen R. Grossman. The Sighted Singer: Two Works on Poetry for Readers and Writers.The Sighted Singer: Two Works on Poetry for Readers and Writers. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1992. Page 11. Print.