[It is true] all salads rebuke dresses.




The Social Contract


This poem must begin,
"This poem happened,
it really happened,"
for that is its point.

One night while riding
the London underground
I watched a young man
(accepting what looked like
a friend's whispered dare)
strip off his clothes
and fold them up neatly
until he was left
with not a stitch on,
except for the boots
he'd had to remove
for just a short time
to get his jeans down.

There he sat
on his pile of clothes,
buck naked,
clean and muscular,
and with a nice smile.

All of us in that car
gasped first and stared,
looking him over
(some blushing, some brazen),
then, seeing what he meant
and would do no harm,
we smiled back,
his friends now
and friends of one another.

And any time anyone
got on at a station
we turned in unison,
waiting to see
what would come next,
only to relax
when the stranger relaxed
and became our new friend.

Still, someone someplace
must have complained
to someone else there,
for at one stop
a uniform
appeared in the door
and ordered the guy,
but softly, politely,
to put on his clothes,
which he did
with no fuss,
and we went our own ways.

Yet while he was naked
we were joined together
in sweet solidarity:
it was all so innocent,
so civilized,
so good.

And this is important,
for it really happened,
and that it really happened
is the point of this poem.



A Brief Summary of the System


The 1 of which there is
The 2 operations
The 3 decisions
The 4 pronouncements
The 5 syllogisms
The 6 conditions of the sevenfold vision
The 7 irrefutables
The 8 procedures of will
The 9 renunciations
The 10 exemplifications
The 11 orders
The 12 disciplines
The 13 returnings to the 1

Memorization continues
Instruction follows
then quizzes



The Bippum



I was just moseying along minding my business not thinking of much

when out of nowhere the bippum got to me the bippum the bippum the

absolute bippum tapped my shoulder NO! the bippum kicked my butt and

the bippum is here now running beside me pinching me onward shoving

me panting into the next time the bippum sneaks up yanks me out of

harm's way pushes me into the thick of I falter fall the bippum raises

me helps me so the bippum drops me again to fend for myself the bippum

watching airily above my head NO! the bippum burrows through my brain

loiters in my heart nestles in my pores NO! the bippum is beyond all

around I rush toward the bippum the bippum melts firms clobbers me

blessing me kissing me licking me lashing me tongueing smooching

embracing wrestling me to the ground pinned I grip the bippum gropes

me NO! there's nothing there but a void of broad daylight and the

bippum the bippum the inescapable growing bigger broader shrinking

to a seed the great bippum tingling frothing at my mouth leaving

me speechless rocketing racketing but still still the bippum hushes

flares silent signals bip bip expletive expletive expletive deleted

NO! the bippum my dearest I say returns soothing socks my jaw pulls

up my socks fondles me flusters me fidgety I swipe at the bippum I

caress I implore I scurry from scamper to throw myself at against

every which way expecting dreading orgasmic delirious giggling agog

NO! it's the bippum happens that way agog the bippum there there ouch

an itch inside and out in the street a snowstorm windstorm out of

nowhere anyhow now as I was just moseying along






A green bus turned a drizzled corner
in the drizzling gray the green bus turned
turned a corner drizzling onward
drizzle the windshield wipers parted

the street gapes on the bus long gone
the bus far gone this corner turned
where wipers parted the corner stayed
green gone gray and drizzling on




Point Deadly



A strong whiff of carbolic still tainted the air.
And where were the keys of the beach house hidden?
What color were the bedroom hangings? 

Her name was Thelma? Velma? Valda, maybe?
You knew that gown was begging to get mussed.
Empty bottle. Tough cookie. Ashtray with stubs.

And the waves just kept on crashing, crashing.
Wanda, the waves just kept on crashing.







Shucks let's semicolon this,
that'll spike its spittle;

but it grits me so
I feel like November's

march step matchstick
hyphenation won't pac-

ify. Let's parenthesize,
prick future tense.

Grammar's granny
darns syllables 

under pond ice
(November's march past). 

We flap, quack,
poor funky plosives.




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Michael CASTRO





for Allen Ginsberg


Poets want Irv's Good Food
not because of the sight rhyme
but because this is a real diner,
white tiled exterior
& spinning counter stools
the last of a dying breed
in South St. Louis. 

Greasy menus,
Nehru capped cook,
lone gray waitress,
winos & investment brokers
all bow & nod
to thy egalitarian fare.

A genuine place.
Bus stop pacers get invited in
out of the cold.
Everyone know everyoneif you're new
you're soon known. No need
to introduce yourself.
Irv & his crew will name you.
came in & tried the Chili-Mac Special,
grilled the cook
about how to make it,
for who, & why.
Is it popular? The interrogation
went on & on. Social
It all boiled down
to three words. 

Cheap and Filling. 

Allen looked at me. 

More for less, I said.
Like good poetry, he smiled.
We ordered some and it filled the bill.
More American than apple pie.
Yankee Doodle's Italian pasta,
the feather in his cap,
tickling Native American beans & peppers.
Multi-cultural dialogue afloat
in the gastric juices.
Irv asked, Is it good?

It was a good year
before I needed to go back.
Allen long gone
from Burroughs' home town. 

I walked in the door & was greeted like a regular.
"Howadoin Bud?" said the chef.
"Well, well, well. Mr. Budget." chimed in the waitress.
"Where's Mac?" the chef asked.
I looked at him weird.
"You know,
your friend with the beard," he said.





for Maurice Malik King


Malik lays on the hospital bed, unconscious,
hooked to machines monitoring every bodily function,
comatose, breathing heavily, responsive
only to pinpricks, not to words.
We talk to him. Maybe he hears.
We tell him those things we don't normally.
How much we love him. How he is us.
We remember his vitality, his joy in living,
the beautiful music of his soul and gleaming
saxophone and eyes. I don't want to remember him this way:
bloated, near naked, splotched with sores. I remember
how he said my name,
and the lift it always gave. Brother
if I could lift you now
out of this limbo,
out of this bed, out of this room & its white gloom,
I would. I would lift you like the notes of a golden horn
blown by the purest of breaths.






for Woody Shaw


through the tobacco haze
& the clatter of cocktails
through the stench of spilled beer
& the lurching boilermakers
out of the darkness of the pit
where the vipers of the night entwine
he gave language to the black rose

Yeah, they said, he gave language
to the emptiness they shared
he gave them prayer & they said, Yeah  

he screeched from the ache in his balls
intricate & instinctive as a spider
his belly blown lines spun a symmetry
spanning the void, flies buzzed quizzically
round his notes on their way to the silent gods
    & the chorus echoed Yeah
as he quenched their summer thirst

He was troubled, he was troubled
by their trouble, for he took it on
sucked it into the bell of his horn
into his gut where it gnawed & got reborn
made it part of his own storm
& he rained, he rained like a dark cloud
he reigned regal as a pharoah, clean as a queen
O he fluttered like a monarch, like Chuang Tzu,
like a caterpillar walking up & finding out
he can fly

& no one wondered why, they just let him die
they just said Yeah, & let him die

for he gave language to the black rose
& down, down in the darkness where its root grows
the cyclopean train shrieked in the tunnel of the soul
a thousand toilets flushed & the excrement of the city rushed
& gargled through the labyrinthine network of subway pipes
a murderous shakti current injected the third rail eye
with a lobotomous blindness he straddled

sinking his feet in the low slow quicksand
They said Yeah, & lashed him to the tracks
O he had to hear that iron Siren's song

When it came hurtling & wailing out of the darkness
he had to sing along
had to embrace that Golgothan face
for it was late & he was headed home
He'd had too much to drink & he couldn't think
He just blew what he knew to be true
giving language to the black rose
raining all over it so it grows 

& no one wondered why
they just said Yeah, & let him fly






for Steven Pitters


south side cheap pasta eats
at mangia italiano waiting for the open mike performance bards
to begin their riteshome made noodles & healthy sauces,
salads, all you can eat, less than five bucks, a good deal
meal; restless energy of highschoolers on up
rollicking in the narrow aisles.
From my table through the front glass window I see
two teens lighting a joint; nerdy kids
burst through the aisles to hug & shriek at one another,
restless, sexual, a simulated high
to be not alone,
in not outthe first
poem's about a cop killer"he did it, didn't give a shit"
the twenty something poet is pushing it, screaming over the mike,
but no one's listening
too hard, some
not at all
that poetry might be
the shove of personality; a slightly ill
control of the technological, not technical control
of the illogical; amplification not implication; instead of
an imposing electric voice
a voice imposing itself by electrically enhanced
volume, i.e., in my facehadn't counted on
that direction
the poet booms on, a poem
for "the homeless", for "love", for or against
the "suits" & "robots" swiveling in big chairs
in antiseptic offices; the particular
however, unseenthe reality

     walk in, anonymously alerted, two,
a man & woman, crisply uniformed, each
only a few years older than the highschooler heads
they recoil, walkie-talkies blaring
not unlike the unheard poetry, but the cop
poem's over, the dope's already copped, the back room's empty
& in the sudden hush
                                                       no one knows nothing& I say

X generation misfits, yuppie dropouts, big booming babies, aficionados
of some medicated get-a-life nostalgic sixties never-lived, some cool
jeans commercial, turn off
the TV in your brainsput out your own antennae

            write about clinking coffee cups
& cops silencing poets

the best line of the night's
from a musician playing/saying
"free music, the only music
that's worth it"




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Survival of the Passionate


I'd really like to tuck the two sets of five
deeper. Fill the fingernails with the brown
rocks, crumbling dirt and lava. Yes,
further than the core of the earth.

I've seen them with my own blue eyes
(matching the bubbling springs)
Oh love, these are blank stares
fading away from notes jotted.

Addressing more attention to them, (not winks)
the fluent sprinkles of spring water trickling
         down, come down
                                 further, and we can

taste them. Again and again,
until blackberry juice is once again

But, dear God, I am not trying to insult
your pure water. (perfect even with fish)

I'm trying to survive
from fingers turning blue.




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For Roxanne & Marina Tsvetaeva

Awake in a dark room alone
Downstairs the Goddess of Love sleeps,
her jewels and makeup
in a box till the next performance
Memory dances in the net of illusion
& I unable to sleep,
feel myself less substantial,
turning into a memory
Perhaps it is better
to have the heart of a jackal
I would not come again
to lie in a cradle
or to know the short weight
of earthly love.

Asha Pasha Vinir Mukta
(Freed from the fetters of hope)

Crayonic Message

Sitting with G at Accutreat Film Restoration
Gerard tells me:
"You know movie film shrinks, don't you?"
I'm scared enough without knowing any more.
Some people hide everything,
then die at 50 from smelling all the 
I'm on the verge of tears again
& I remember Jack Smith dying of AIDS
lying in the fetal position behind his
after three days of not finding him at home
We're talking 6th floor walkup here
& then the Blue of Derek Jarman's last film,
made when he was going blind,
falls over my heart
                                     closing my eyes.

On Monk's Mound w/Michael Castro
(or 13 Million Bucketfuls of Earth)

On the way to Cahokia Mounds
just outside St. Louis, a civilization
                        of sun worshippers
which existed there until the 12th century
just before Marco Polo met Kublai Khan
A billboard proclaims that the best solutions
come out of the Blue
Jewish Indians, we move through time
dreaming of smoke signals
& weighing the smoke as we go
All this is part of the Mississippi River
where once Paleo Indians stalked
mastodons & sabre tooth cats
Going back in time the arrow returns
to the bow & we watch as the bowman
                                          slowly fades
The braves still seem to be moving,
the wind blowing their hair
Standing on Monk's Mound
we come closer to the sky
Skin, fat, claws & bones certify our existence
We are living exhibits pondering
the meaning of pleasure in the afterlife
Sun, snake & seed chronicle the cycles
                                          of our sojourn
Looking into the rearview mirror
we can see that the end comes slowly
when the bounty is finally finished
In single file we leave one by one
Don't leave anything behind
because you won't be coming back
Even the old woman who was sitting
on the top step of the highest mound is gone.

Walking the G

I'm with the G walking up Broadway
to Tom's Diner (Thank God Seinfeld is not there)
Gerard is dreaming of meat loaf
We stop on the way to peruse 2nd hand books
on a card table
I say, "Gerard, take the Browningreally he's a
good poet.
Take it from me & Ezra Pound."
Gerard wonders if it is true,
but won't buy it even though I tell him by heart
my favorite lines from Epilogue to Asolando.
Not even "Baffled to fight better" can close the
He wants the Chicken Special for $5.25
He doesn't know I had that yesterday.
"Take Suetonius' Lives of the Twelve Caesars,
I'll pay half." He doesn't have the time,
he says he's reading Roland Barthes' 
The Responsibility of Form
"That French muffdiver?" say I,
"Do yourself a favor & read Suetonius.
Witty, sexy, full of all the latest scandals
didn't you once say Rome was a riot in those days?"
No sale!
He goes for the Turkey Soup
after offering it to me, "Fuck it," he says, "it's probably
Forget about Caligula, Nero & Tiberius.
Raphael knew what the Spintriae were
when he was twelve & Gerard browsing a cheap
book on erotic seduction will never know.
That's what I like about him though,
that way you get both soup & salad
what a deal & I buy both books even though
I probably have them under the refrigerator.

(What else can you write on a day like this?)




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A Bank Robber's Dilemma


That thought crossed my mind
when the break-up came in Lexington
yelling, screaming, throwing $100 bills
at each other.
The idea we had when we began
robbing our first bank in Topeka
the process, the vision of getting our own
And no one gets hurt (everybody hold still)
we decided to climb up that economic ladder
of recovery with two sawed-off shotguns,
a bottle of Absolut and the teller in the trunk
then the run on the United States of America
(in green we trust)
driving a canary yellow '64 English rover
listening to the cassette sounds of Miles Dewey
Davis and Thelonious Sphere Monk.
Soaring through the midnight oil of Albuquerque
watching the water-colored landscape,
holding hands, till the microdot hit
doing the Halloween thing in New Orleans,
robbing people with our Bozo masks on
then catching Dr. John the Night Tripper,
on our way out the door.
Then things got serious.
You told me of your Polish/Czech/Slavic
How your mom served the soup kitchen
for the Communist party
the police dragged her out of her home and
onto a stretcher, fed her mad chemicals,
no natural science could save her.
Pulled into a Shell station
saw tears in those champagne eyes
no woman ever looked as vulnerable as you
dropped Jimmy Valentine off in Brooklyn,
had to tie some business with a lady in Ft. Green
don't know what he sees in those girls
but sex is his drug
at the rest stops reading Dostoyevsky, Yeats, and Richard
grabbed a newspaper, the headlines read,
"Facts in Motion"
I knew we were on the right course!
You know that SWAT sharp-shooter was mad,
we—walking across market street in San Francisco
with the Catholic school girls and the crossing guard,
too risky to take aim.
However, that kid Timmy, who took the Polaroid in
still scared me.
Should not have done those farmers in Germantown
hell, Reagan did them first,
I just came behind.
So here we are some twenty odd years later
you're a patent attorney; myself, a professor of English
at a local community college
having lunch at the University of Dayton Law
I gave you a wet kiss and touch your bosom
(no, the love is gone I'm seeing if you're wired)
what's that song wailing over and over in my head?
that's it, it's Dylan, "Positively 4th Street".




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Is this that funny?

But what is this or thatman

compared to nothing?





Babywe've all jumped

from the pot into the fire. 

Ain't we something else?






Before there was a 

future all seemed promising

but now knows better.





Who are we to die?

Who are we to live?




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In life I am always, in some sense, under water.
I am in death, everwhat, in every stay.
The doubling doublicity of my situation
forgives my shark, goes after the fleeting
father fin of my own whirling blur,
as if I am in sestina, and the end words are
     the fate gale.
Ancestors talking through ancestors,
the deep talk some of us see as the essential poetry.
As if "here" is a cockpit, or hyena den,
in which a kind of god-rending takes place.

To get to the underflow, the dream lyre, the under-
lying nightmare apotheosis, in sync with this rational,
imaginal, short fuse: a grand notion!

What would occur were this chiasma to spark?
Would "I" become the magma of my cellared dwarves?

The glory of poetry is that it surfaces and stands
and slumps, ready for reader sacrifice

the language of paradise enters dreams as
nonsense that as nonsense makes sense

I am next to the serpentine tree
inside Eve and spitting Adam,
god is the sound of my self-intercourse,
I pose for Star Black
BOOMawake to gray Ypsilanti shade,
the neighing silo of baying shades,
Caryl, and breakfast,
the inversion in which spitting Adam is shield.
I'm proud to be speechless by
someone who means more to me than I mean to myself.
Where did the language go?
Is "here" the poets' black hole?

To have a "kill hole,"
to be a Mimbres pot in the poverty of a great museum.
To be struck through, and intact,
oval, instrumental, without organs.

To build out from one's void gates,
to organize a psychic fortress
capable of defending and inspiring vision.
As a novice, I circumambulated Nijo Castle,
experienced the power of a four-fold Golgonooza.

I've staked my eel on a riverine non-solution:
Hart Crane is the skull
buried under my left pylon.

As for my selfhood, my cobra-spread parasol,
I made it out of split umbilicus.

Now I'm getting sleepy . . . the Chinon has begun to deconstruct . . .
I'm on my way to that fogbank
where the masters of
      thumb-heel mayhem are
combing out the human sin filth from Sedna's hair.



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Trees of fallen leaves
 Diligently fight against
  Our human tempest


Ants on sunflowers
 Crawl to gather half-dying
  Seeds for the winter


Beautiful embrace
 Whispers angel-lip music
  Wild teardrops smile



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First, on a real table
a real pie, sliced (no way of knowing
how it got there). And then, as though
the two events were connected,
we found her in a bath bleeding
from both wrists. Too late, obviously,
to save her. Why? Because outside, in the canal,
a barge with her name
Margareton its stern
was passing under a bridge. It was being poled
by a man who was probably naked, naked
because it seemed that he should be (the mist
too thick to see if, in reality, he was). But what
we did know with complete certainty was that
the water in the canal had stopped flowing. It
was simply waiting. For as the Moor
was overheard to say: Pure Christo polls high
in the Famagusta District,
which was obviously
where we were for where else would water, in sympathy
with a suicide, stop flowing? And wouldn't start again
until life resumed its normal course, i.e. until those
who discovered the body (the we in this narrative)
called the authorities, etc. and, incidentally, opened
the window that faced the canal & shooed out
the hundred or so birds that had been crashing against
the walls & windows of the little chamber of horrors
where she chose to end her days. Birds that, by rights,
should have been in a pie.




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Aunt Dorothy & Uncle George in Vegas9/77



Dorothy orders another Seven & Seven
from her solitary 2nd row table
wanting to give her extra time
& her kiss to this pelvis-creaming man
sliding her hips back & forth on the leather seat
trying to shimmy her beige stomach support silk
over long uncaressed hips

George watches from his barstool
nursing his dollar water
outraged he had to plunk down four of his winnings
forearms snuggled protectively around his quarter bucket
won 6 bucks off the slots
one-armed bandit my ass
called it quits
he checks his watch that woman
has 5 minutes and if she orders
one more clear & commie on my money

Dorothy watches Tom's lips near the microphone
& she swoons oh my goodness
if only Patty were here

wishing George would have given her the room key
for their separate yet adjoining suites
so she could show Tom
how she'd handle the mic





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Writing a communist poem

glanced at the tiny straw basket

on Pierpaolo's desk.

Inside it there was a stamp

torn from an envelope to be saved.

It had a picture of Elvis Presley on it,

over the Shqiperia, which is the word

for Albania inside Albania.

Beside it: 60 Leke, the currency.

A suicide by drugs. Yes.

And just yesterday so free, so clear,

so together with all the world,

even if rebelliously alone.


Shqiperia, I lived in you then and you in me,

and a passport wasn't necessary.


Now that I can go to you and be like

a rotting magnolia in Mississippi,

I feel like a hillbilly with words

and the eagle a symbol of the vendetta

of the birds.







From the park bench

where I was licking

stamps between two

untalkable-to women

on International

Women's Day, I saw

suddenly (wishing

the woman on my right

keep her face in the

newspaper she was

reading; and the one

on my left keep on

gazing all the way

to the left), a man

in blue jumpsuit

like that of a

French worker, lying

on the spring grass

drunk (he must have

been) or whatever,

began pissing an arc

of golden pee, his

hand in his half-sleep

reaching down to hold

his cock as he lay

stretched out there

and the pee coming out

golden on the grass

in relief against the

blue of his jumpsuit

like the yellow and

blue flag of the com-

munity of new Europe

(which are the same

colors as the flag

of the Jews in Europe

during the Thirties

and I couldn't help

seeing the foto on

the cover of the Leftist

magazine, Calendario, in

Italy a month ago, of

that blue flag with its

twelve yellow stars in

a circle and, in the

centerironically, of

coursea swastika)

anyway, by that time,

he was just about done,

the last drops raining

on his poor knuckles.



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from Jean Michel @ Fugazi, Basquiat series, no. 3




Dusky allegro
summer song,
love dukkies and white girls.

I watched him in the rain alleyway
Pound ghetto Sanskrit revolutions
(pirouetting in the mind) into the porous cement molecules.
His wet vision doesn't run.
He paints with hair;
tentacle dreadlock brushes,
some w  i   d     e
some t
          n, bruises concrete with pictograms.

Who needs Andy Warhol, Fuck him! 



The band is good;
they've tattooed anxiety and teen angst
into the mood over the stage.
Some kid got his dreadlock ripped out
in a fight earlier.
Basquiat gets solemn
as he timidly rolls it between his toes. 

But Jean Michel is overlooked
and his cartwheels R' lost in a sea of passive Saxon fury.
He resorts to drinking lipstick
and it is melting on his charcoal lips,
sliding down the tract of his throat
into his belly,
pools of coagulant collecting.
His mouth is red and dripping "MURDER!"
but he is no prettier,
no more recognizable.
Is nigger artiste isolation.





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Academic Detox



When you forget what you learned
And remember what you know







I cover you

With hands that


Over easy elegance

Heated palms

That make their way

To the embers

And hover

Like burning magnets

Between your ribs

And heart



The Ant Colony


Ants are not fond of margarine. Like us they prefer
Butter. They do not have cholesterol problems
Because as yet they do not own TVs. For centuries
They have toiled in order that they might be able to
Take a night off and watch the Northern Lights which
Are their version of canned laughter. They hate picnics
but feel compelled by folklore to attend them
Or at minimum do a drive by chicken leg grab. Their
Queen is a pain in the ass. They don't love her but
Without her they would be common, so they serve her.
She is an insatiable nymphomaniac but they don't
hold that against her trying instead to stay busy with work.
Forgotten ancient languages have been genetically
Imprinted in them at birth and they say things they
Don't understand. Like us they often make bad marriages.
But because of their outstanding physical prowess
And humility there is seldom cause for divorce. They
Haven't read the great philosophers but they know them
Innately. They love the flowers of Spring and lacking
Perspective eagerly run all over them. They
Are much like us. They are nudists but because Puritanism
Has not invaded their genetic code, it does not
Affect their work ethic and each ant loves their own body.
Therefore they don't care about go-go boots and
Sandals. Like us, Ants are driven by their hearts and pretend
That it is all in the name of duty. Ants are never impulsive.
When they laugh, the gardens of old maids tremble. Ants
Love to dance but lack a sense of rhythm so
They gave it up when Homer scorned them. Rain is their
Sensuality. It makes them feel delirious and late. Quivering
And running between rain drops to their fate.




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i looked at when the Futurist Manifesto was
i thought of my grandfather, Ulysses, at Fiume with Marinetti, D'Annunzio,
and of the other ancestor Federico Da Montefeltro & the
beginning of the Renaissance!

i looked at the energy the Futurist Movement brought to the century the
energy of change
charged with the wrenched blowing of a stifling stifled body
a tortured torturing energy of laceration on the way to laser-ration, the
machine projecting forward & the human anguished cry mixing
with the roar of mechanisms

foretelling the fight between things that had always connected
: like ART & SCIENCE

look at art
intuitively manifesting the mold through the rendering of the essential
weave of the Peoplethe living essence
putting the imprint of that essence out in the ether
forming the mold then to be filled by multiform spirit
being the first to follow:
look at the mosaic of the Middle Ages in which the quivering image is
made of many unique different texels and each texel alone is just a
all this telling us HIS-STORY . . .
Then Giotto creating the concept of depth, of perspective, by mirroring the
vision coming out from the eye of the viewer, for the first time the
individual as center point of the mosaic,
that evolution created the new mold that Copernicus could then fill
realizing that conventional reality after that looked too flat!

Then perspective started to snowball . . . With man self-elected master of
creation . . .


The use of tribal motifs seems to be a spear hurled by Picasso in his
opening attack upon the walled citadel of perspective and causality.
Umberto Boccioni, an Italian Futurist summed up the feelings of the new
century artists when in 1911 he declared
"We are the primitives of an unknown culture . . . "

In order to "get" the formidable concepts of the new physics, it is first
necessary to let go of the belief that continuous linear space underlines the
objective world, that time is an ever-flowing constant stream outside human
affairs, that the world exists in the tessellation of the perspectivist grid.
All these ingrained beliefs were part of the conventional
nineteenth century paradigm.
They are not, however, integral to the next higher dimension of space-time
or the alogical aspects of quantum mechanics.

T I M E   I S   N O W

The war has been going on, the broken circuits and the natural and
unnatural disasters and genocides of all kinds have taken place
only after the living through of the lacerations, the survivors connect
wounded warriors with heightened speeded grooved connections

this new dance of erotic connection begins
erotic creation, the attraction that moves the planets
technology mirroring hu-manical hard drive
and the circuits start buzzing,
you can choose the speed, activate the links, decode, and encode, and . . .
"flow the blood" the DJ says . . .
. . . where to?

speed through the fusion points, bounce back hitting the nose
that damp vital spot, old sniffing tool,
on those silent, dark, rubber walls
that bounce you back over and over . . .
or on those sharp knives that pierce always in those dripping live
festering wounds
. . . where to?

your tools sharp, but distorted
in confusion between torture and nurture
. . . where to?

the energy coursing leaps out of the narrow gorge, creates multi-pathways
across the broken circuits and . . . GO

. . . SHIFTS to the tingling hot slow glowing rising grooving overflow


beyond the fragmented mirrors of vivid dancing reflections in confused
fierce struggle?

until the magnetic attraction of the creative flow itself
speeds up, deepens the groove, burning all that needs to be burned
but struggle spreads like fire on fuel
fire always burns but there are different kinds of fire

in the shifting fine tuning of discrimination,
elusive dance of shadow and light
echoes the laughter of a sacred trickster


where's it at?
constriction and flow
death urge and life urge
torture or nurture?

they rhyme
but take a different line


there is erotic constriction and erotic flow

the choice is yours . . .

is it?





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Vincent KATZ



Fresh-Faced Beauty



I wandered lonely on East Broadway
bought a watch battery and so
knew the time again
a mist enveloped dusk
crowds thinning as I ascend Bowery
lights twinkle on Manhattan Bridge
neons begin their significance
crowds empty by Spring
a deathless feel as of past springs
so calm and hushed abandoned bank
but death is in the smells of rotting food
and tenements' blank appeal
a friend just stepped out of my life
permanently, no big deal, disillusioned, he said
with art, no money, he waters plants
in a hotel, will die sad in a room
or ecstatic on brain juice
the city dies again
though sky maintains a pastel balance
his watertowers rise over
new generations of Loisiders
young girl walking dog by lounge's glitter
club's itinerant appeal
but you knew all those changes
kept pace through generation's
ache, that somber trust repealed
old query clinging to a wet mattress
singing "aloft, aloft, afloat"
in a city where people walk and walk
their pants tightening, and you observe
crescendo of night mist, Chrysler sirens
now looming through Cooper branches
up to the university, death of mind
but hope is near and trust

and you too near so distant
hung up without emotion
empty goodbye echoing
as insane illumination
book finale "The End"
the foot walks on to hoped-for grace
writing, a turn on the street of poetry
everyone telephones, cigarette, calmly
bodies walk calling alone





            to Yvonne


It floats,
or you do,
up where
size is. 

Doesn't do
a blurred
cloud, later

perfect pink
over pond
you sink
a moment

fails, you
are there,
too. High,
you fall

over sight's
prism in

above, in,
for one,
for again.




Mexico City

After striving for decades to ascend
Never before have so many
Come along until the day before
Half the people in the city

Half the arrests were tawdry
Single-minded remedies of taught
Criticism, to deride, manifest
Scorch at the top of the map

Wry imagist mumbling, hankies
At rest mimicking rose-colored
Thighs at dream in west high
Search everywhere for shimmer

Wrecked pleading noticeably
Aware, antecedent presence
Reared pregnant pressure's
Half-mast design curve mask

The city smiles and condescends
To the minister, who also, like them,
Has decided to take some time off,
Reaching to the sly in dark tide.







sitting in a dull town
trying to notice life

staying inside a room
listening to an opera

outside grass and birds
a breeze blows leaves

on tree branches without
notice day passes sun

reddens sky sits water
placid on body go down






dodged assimilate
attire attach.

watched whistle
work remnant.

style research
assist penury.

rest increment
retire spent.

awry reason
reckon alit.





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What Is

after Tzara's "Route"

this path in the woods that separates us
as I reach across it
roses bloom in place of fingertips
while the other side of the path is pushed
so far into the distance
it is the rose that circles around you
as you walkless and less knowinglyaway




after Tzara's "Volt"

the skyscrapers slant against the oblique skies of sunset
cars turn down one-way alleys never to be heard from again
the pigeons obstruct the scenic views of the park
where the most hospitable properties hide behind the branches
and the squirrels like leaves somersault to the dirt

you walk but there's another who walks in your footsteps
taking his own temperature every five minutes
and reciting the times tables to twelve
wearing a flannel robe that reeks of smoke and mouthwash
earmuffs deaf to the curdling sirens streaming by

the city nauseous with catcalls and flashing lights
its many eyes like saucepans boiling over
spills its tears into the sewers and subterranean abodes
dreaming of the meat of the sterile plains and the way
a kind of lava polishes the apocalyptic temptations of the sky

finally lost like a keepsake in the history of an obscure rose
your face in my mind and my mind in this city
I roam the narrow streets that surround you
while you yourself roam other more impressive streets
that must surround something




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You hate yourself at the gigaplex, your authenticity
bulked up on Milk Duds, your conceptual leaning out of
storylife, out of cash and this, the cheesy drapery
carefully separated and intensified with mouthwash,
the bloodhounds apprised of a collared leg on the floor.

That's Smudge,

Pluto, to you
he slants the flow and glues, messes it. Give
this, silly . . . these unwound and red knuckles
start it out . . . working our slaves at the elbow.

Christ, is that vicarious? could be, but
the sky gets said by the sullen hand, each finger
boasting and accelerating, others.

This registers small and great numbers on white serotype.
Infiltration happens. The outdoors made compact in drag
bunts to the confiers of sums, tears' climbing and descent,
sympathy with the self.




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Again they refuse me a passport
but I will find a way; a way
To travel from thought, my harbor.
I can always sail away.

All countries issue welcome, greetings;
no visas, no guards, no customs shed.
The wind has given me giant wings,
& there's music against my forehead.

My shadow visits boulevard and slum;
It skips across brisk villages;
Each word makes its way back to freedom,
& a song emerges, translated.




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William LEVY






The penalty
for eschewing
celebrity when
one had a chance.
The penalty
for not becoming
an usurer’s apprentice
a book reviewer
a rock ‘n’ roll biographer
a liberal spokesperson
for the
Ministry of Propaganda
a curator of phlegm.
The penalty
for writing oneself
out of any chance of
university placement,
for not merely
refusing awards
but making oneself
unworthy of receiving them
is marinating in this
Kingdom of Kulaks
a gezellig icy
corner of northwest
Europe’s Grub Street
as a lap-top bombardier
editing books about
Incest in the Netherlands
Sex Torture of Political Refugees
Necrophilia with the Unknown Soldier.
The touchdown
for being a
shy populist
is radio.








Women have tried
with only modest success
to teach me the secrets
of how to dress.
Anne Nordmann told me
to be seen in
the color blue accented by
yellow or pink
around my dark face.
Isolde Nist advised me
to forget about fashion
forget about fashion
buy only good fabric
and take care of your feet;
change your shoes
at least once a day.
Jean Shrimpton informed me
I was the only man
she knew
who looked better
in short hair.
Constance Abernathy excited
herself by
imagining I looked like
her gigolo wearing
a gray Persian-lamb fur hat.
Corinne Sarrut said
it doesn't matter
what you wear
as long as it's natural fiber
What's important is
that your accessories are perfect.
Virginie and Austin
(women with one name)
clothed me in
my own orgiastic howls.
Lynne Tillman teases me
into wearing crazy ties
crazy ties CRAZY TIES.
Annie Sprinkle thinks crisp
white shirts are cool.
Xaviera Hollander scolds me
when my shoulder bag is shabby
insists I grow back my mustache
orders me to have my teeth fixed
gives me these Holocaust haircuts.
Susan Janssen urges me
to die my mustache black.
Evelyn Kelly and Bridget of Bremen
were both smugly critical
warning me against wearing
pale blue corduroy pants.
Vikte Alekseicikaite praised
my red double-breasted
sport coat.
Dr. Ludy Giebels strokes
cashmere and leather.
Aralee Strange drawled:
"Ya'all surely are one
swell dressed
dapper dude."
Women have tried
with only modest success
to teach me the secrets
of how to dress:
that if you don't know
the shape and color
of your own body,
how can anyone trust
you to know anything
about anything else.
The secret of style is
to understand history.
Only prayer helps the badly dressed





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Matthew LIMA



To See

            for my sister




Blue with black stars,
there is a wound in our sky.
Your birthday and where was I
I felt you kick. I knew
your eyes and eight small teeth.
To talk to you
as a friend, your single blood
and a brown sea.
Do we burn.

The light shines through
your hand instead of around
and I can't tell if
you're moving away from me.
I want to change your life
three times, I want to earn it.

You break every clock
with an anger,
blood, a sharp rock.
To be your brother now,
get it right.
I'll hold the world open with my bare hands. 



A four by six, you on the couch
            smiling because that's what people do for the camera
                            maybe you're five and in the corner (it took me eight years to notice this)
                                            there is a centimeter of plaid, a shirt I never owned.

A piece of your life in my room.
                I don't understand this, I already
                            cried this week. I watched dad packing
                                        his friend's car in the rain six stories down. He
                                                    smiled. Maybe he waved.

You probably remember them married better
            than I do. You probably didn't watch him carry
                        his table out the front door. You wouldn't recognize the shirt and
                                        you don't know I have this picture.



Learning the new speech. I love you but
I can't breathe the same air anymore.
Remember us and sing.
Be the little girl in the picture again,
Then we can be old.
These tears are a dream
the bridge we both need.
I can sew us together,
I can close us.






Snow was not meant.
Another road, the wind.
Sodium torches that sing
through the distance
like an August ocean
teach me these words

Ice frozen in ice.





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From a distance, I watched my father.
Every morning before a carnival opened
He sat on an uplift to watch a merry-go-round turn.
I wondered why my father did this each morning.
Perhaps, it was because he loved horses.
Poverty caused him to sell our farm,
Sell his brown horse, move to the city.
I should have sat down beside my father,
Try to find out why he watched and empty merry-go-round turn.
But I never did. My father and I were never close.






Today I received
A letter from my emotions,
Telling me
My emotions planned to stay in Italy.
My emotions said
There was only sadness
When they stayed with me.
I was going to beg my emotions to return.
Now, that my emotions are gone
The butterflies in my backyard
Will not speak to me.
When I was sad as I walked among butterflies,
The butterflies were loquacious.
I was going to be my emotions to come back.
I looked at my emotions' letter.
There was no return address, no postmark.







There are only a few
Interesting people
A person ever meets
In their lifetime.
I met one, a girl
Who spends her life
In corridors.
She searched for spiders.
Spiders are easy to find
In corridors.
She always loved cobwebs.
Cobwebs floated upwards,
Reversing the direction
Of rain, waterfalls,
And people when
They fall from high places.
Cobwebs were outlaws,
Breaking the law of gravity.
Cobwebs would detach
Themselves from their homes,
Speed upward to speed through
The wall of blue.
She would watch cobwebs
Until she became one with cobwebs.
She floated upward,
Could not go as fast as cobwebs,
Until she reached the stars.
The stars had no language
Such as ours, alphabets, words;
The stars' speech was light.
This light became a part of her vocabulary.
She wrote poems whose words
Had the glitter of starlight.




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                                                            for Asako



I remember the poems and forget the poems,
but a photograph is something you don't forget.
The past is never rational or remembered
in any great detail.
The past is never the right photograph,
but still the life of a dreamer
and now suddenly that line
where the dream stops and the story begins
and always a different turn
the past emptying into somewhere else.
This is not repetition.
The present without metaphor,
so I look out into the trees.
It's near 8 now, the sun just up.
It's October. Archie & Romeo
anxiously wait to be fed. Lick their paws,
wet their faces, then talk to me.
What are they trying to tell me?
So I have no business stating the real.
Language coalesces, subsides.
Love is forever gone and again renewed
and meaning springs from absence.
A history with no past.
There are no rules.
There are few things eternal where nothing ends.
Inside the picture it's 1995.
Inside the picture the past is a series of outtakes.
The past is not about us.
Nothing to answer to.
"What thou lov'st well shall not be reft from thee.
what thou lov'st well is thy true heritage,"
as Pound has remarked,
and nothing is more important than anything else
and nothing explains how all this is happening
and nothing is moving away,
except when Asako says, "Hold it, hold it,"
I move in close to her camera.
I become what she sees.
Time is not repetition.
Time never comes back.


                                            Portleven, Cornwall







Born in St. Alban's Vermont, November 24, 1926,

Paul . . . Paul Blackburn

would be 72 had he lived beyond his years


cut off from what he might have seen

I see now as night

gives way to daybreak

the way a young girl stands

at street corner waiting for

the light to change

        "a thing of beauty

and a joy forever" some such thing

the body language

    mirrors the words

that make up the language

the lingering scent but for an instant

as she passes

she without name

permitting me to name her


Paul . . . Paul Blackburn,

a scholar

with a blue collar.







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is tender
this one

its reasons its stance
against day
its eyes and its provocations of sense

this lie
is tender, it remembers
and it is alive
strong and as vigorous as an organ

no not a heart.





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thurston MOORE




200 dollar nightmare



black bag
w/the sports logo

you try to love
the sad sad world
the poor poor sex
200 dollars, tip included
only to learn
of self

))all is forgiven

all is forgiven. . .




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[Buddha's ears are droopy        touch his shoulders]



Buddha's ears are droopy                touch his shoulders
as scarves fly out of windows and I shrink
from the lotus of enlightenment


                                                Travel to Free Street past Waco
                                   to the hole in the Earth
                     wearing water

I'm aiming my mouth
for apple pie





[I like the light blue]



I like the light blue with your dark slacks not
Long distance family pains & work work work
"Want me a tough love seat with firm pillows"
Touch has a memory                  O say, love, say

It's a cosmic shuffle you've broken into
Papaver Eraticum Rubrum
Like the moon's reply, the bayed moon
Friends smiling        stepping out the door

Bring specific flowers I will not know the names of
Slowly pump your arms as you walk by
I do and it is dull if you won't call
The day is gone and sweets are gone

Like the moon, like your mom: fly children
The light and shadea sort of black brightness

                            with lines from John Keats, Bernadette Mayer, and Edwin Denby





[Hitchhiking thumb can move you]



Hitchhiking thumb can move you
forward         Protect yourself with a magic bubble
I'm swimming against the yellow
Scoop and your back gets bent

How can I run with government sneakers
knotted curlicues of hurt
Like a basketball            bounce you around
Scoop up a pinch full






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self = a 3 dimensional fabric

          torn open

          behind it
          only wind






glow leaks out
of breath's cargo

the far away star          now
in the throat





a pond
w/o a witness
w/no land around the pond
no wind





only redecorating the cactus jail
not burning it all
not cutting out a door





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With the power that draws lips together
this orchard grows row by row
the way rivers around the world
bend from grief and emptiness

you come here holding a rotted-out can
and always the dark suit
as if evenings could heal
and one by one each stone

rise up as sunlight to begin again
only this time without the winding streams
that grind the dark-blue nights
to cinders 
for each stone

you ruffle its petals
till the breeze covers these graves
with feathers and leaves and upward
sprinkled with ashes and mountainside

and from each branch
you wave your arms on their way
off the ground, on course
and the mornings just as young.

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Spring comes;
no vacation.
instead you go
for a walk
out by the
and. talking
to yourself,
litter the


Two jars, one
are on the car
filled with
filled with
one in shade,
the other in

The jars are
The jars are

The car drives


Blue sky
rain ahead,
the loveliness
of cans
and porn in
the head.


If the shoe
share it;
if the house
share it.


Ghost cop.
Ghost dog.
Ghost cap.
And fog. And
on the rug.


Moon dock over
and moon roof,
the lack a
kind of air
and everywhere
the sound of


It is not what
you think,
this world.
It is far more
It is less of
a threat;
it is only a


The style of
the moment
is but a
from here to
as clear as
I think of
this as sound,
a hum of
specific pitch
but never


Too many
too much
too much noise
too fast, too


Alas, poor
your thighs
are wet.


Darkness in my
hell inside.
Oh, a thousand
all eyes.




Big sun, lost
heavenly arms.


Mark my words
follow my
if you can,

Then shake
your head
until the
leaves fall

For I am not
the laugh
you think I
and I am not
the storm.





Where did our
glove go?
Is it under
the seat?

Much time has
been wasted
searching for
that glove.
Did we really
need it?


Where is the sea?
Under the bed.

Where is the cloud?
Under the bed.

Where is the moon?
Under the bed.




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I've played Steinways
some as smooth as not, though
                        they banged ablaze
                        the artesian chic
                        of bleached Parisian lawns

through the horror of morning
(which is, in part, dawn's doing)
                        such structures punctuate
                        our every waking abstention.

Image-weary and stuffed with pun
                        under deletion of surrealists
                        who threw cake
("Yes, it needed something there")
I leave this to you

Neither color nor shadow
                        alit a rigid kiss
                        from the knees of our surrender,
                        anxiously awaiting
                        the advent of the Republic,
or, barring that, something that contrasts
our present reception.

[and headlong into autumn
                        where the premier of moon
                        constitutes a double incumbency]

As it happened yesterday
                        so shall it happen tomorrow.

Paint your mouth closed
                        ("sit up and kiss me, fool")
                                        an American name
as corrective to a knife's indifference.
                                        What historians witness
in texta hothouse gleam a
metaphor supremeseem to me
purely pedagogical; a camera collapses
an interval littered with wind
and the fragrance of language.

I've heard Steinways declare war on the image, quarter it in wounds between the words themselves. How
many live, how many die?
                        The sin of the littoral is only a foreground away.

("Sit for a portrait or write me painting")

Syllable by stupid syllable.

Give me tango, give me hip pocket grand piano. The Italian tongue doubtless has
the distance measured in ink




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Leaving the Quarter


after seven hundred intricate French quarter dusks latticed through with
the cast iron of incessance
I had this lover's quarrel with sixteen to twenty black-poodle-shit
sidewalks and a schizophrenic lamp post
there was crumbling mortar falling from all my crevices by the time I
walked away from the old whore
without the goodbye kiss on the ass I ordered. I turned to look back
feeling pretty damned salty
and saw a thousand red carpets rolling out in front of every kind of
trouble there ever was to get into
like tongues asking who was this guy Jesus. He had fish he had loaves but
couldn't make a po-boy.




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in a chair

in the garden
under a baseball cap

I'm supposed to be

                                July 3, 1999





War and Peace
Thomas Mann
Kerouac told Clellon Holmes
we're beat from the wars
The Depression
French fries, carrots, chicken and
broadside of P. Glenn Whalen's Dietary Manifest
Blake & Keats
born some 50 yrs apart
contemporaries of Romantic Movement
and we're contemporaries
together in hospital
Rm 520
south window fog rolling down over
Twin Peaks
Floods in New York
Fires in California
Earthquake in Turkey
Hurricane in Bahamas
(ornithologists gather in D.C. to talk about
birds and music.)
. . . she received an invitation to the theater
from Goethe . . . the makeup dripped down his face . . . long
tragic melodic line . . . thrilled skinny . . . she puts on the glass
slipper . . . gains 20 lbs in trans-Atlantic stateroom . . . lands
on shores of what was that port town in Japan?

he has an itch, runny nose
Lev is on duty today, brings tissues
wild about Jane Austen
still the Romantic Period has no stop
seeping into the slow current
evolution of Anglo-American Literature

                                                                    August 29, 1999




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il corpo ancora

occhi di mare

e la mano si apre

alle distanze

dopo pagine bianche

le mani cresciute e nude

non più che lettere

sguardi in controluce

bere nel cavo delle mani

sui nudi allibiti profili della sera

mi intenerisce un segno ritrovato

consuma le mani

il vento non ignora le bandiere agitate.


the body anchors

eyes of sea

and the hand opens

to the distances

then white pages

the hands risen and nude

no more than letters

glances against the light

drinking from the hands' hollow

over the amazed naked evening profiles

a discovered line moves me

consumes the hands

the wind doesn't ignore the agitated flag.



ti respiro il viso, gli occhi, i capelli

ti stendi tra le pagine bianche

                                   del mio quaderno

if tuo odore m'invade

rido nei tuoi capelli

immensità di una tesa tenerezza

le tue piegature

in giorni stremati

zone di svanito rosa

mi sono emozionato trovando

                                               tra le pagine di un libro

di filosofia di Claudio Fontana

                                                    un bigliettolistadella

spesa con la tua scrittura


guardar ti.


I breathe your face, eyes, hair

you stretch out between the white pages

                                of my notebook

your smell invades me

I laugh in your hair

immensity of a taut tenderness

your skinfolds

on exhausted days

zones of faded rose

                                I was moved finding between the pages of

Claudio Fontana's philosophy book

a grocery list

along with your writing


looking at you.



                                                    pulviscolo di gioia breve

                                                        il graffiare la tua pelle

                                                l'aria danza davanti agli occhi

                                                        restano soltanto

                                                        parole sbriciolate

                                                     nei tuoi capelli gocce

                                                singhiozzo di una pioggia d'estate

                                        sentire il tuo sguardo percorrermi mano lenta.


                                                        fine dust of brief joys

                                                         scratching your skin

                                                the air dances before your eyes

                                                            only crumbled

                                                            words remain

                                                         beads in your hair

                                        a sob of summer rain

                            feeling your gaze a slow hand running through me.



da un sentiere di scoglie

parole sull'acqua

Nomads in my mind

il vento tra le mani

aquilone rosse pompeiano

tra pini e limoni

lontano da sermoni

infangato di coglioni

sotto la pelle

fuori dal centro.


from a rock path

words on the water

Nomads in my mind

the wind between my hands

a pompeian-red kite

between pine and lemon trees

far away from sermons

muddied up by morons

under the skin




asciugare il ricordo

sillaba varco stanza ove rimani.

le pagine sfogliano

fine sabbia tra le mani.

"la terra della sera" preme

pesa sulle cose sugli uomini.

ascolta le note partire

dentro un soffio di cielo.




"oro divorato"





wiping memory dry

syllable opening stanza where you stay.

the pages leaf through

fine sand between the hands.

"the evening earth" presses down

weighs on things on people.

listen to the notes going off

into a breath of sky.




"devoured gold"

to the





l'odore polveroso del tempo rubato

i tuoi occhi con i resti delle notte

i bagliori che precedono il tuo parlare

le parole crescono

frammenti per aspettarsi


dentro un sorriso

di un tremito appena colorato

capolavoro possibile.


the dusty smell of the stolen time

your eyes with the remains of night

the gleam that precedes your speaking

the words grow

fragments for waiting

tell me

inside a smile

of a quivering just colored

possible masterpiece.



la fioca carezza del sole

spalla che vibra e palpita

fiori rossi e blue la tua maglietta

non mi stanco di guardare scali ferroviari

fabbriche deserte

vino e tanghi luci di sorriso

trema la mia voce quando ti avvicini

bacio il tuo ventre

sequestra il vento parole d'amore

cielo di rame e chiarore di corridoiplasticaneon

la memoria del tuo respiro

questa mattina hai l'occhio dolce.


the faint caress of the sun

shoulder that vibrates and pines for

red and blue flowers your tee-shirt

I don't get tired looking at docks railyards

deserted factories

wine and tangoes lights of smile

my voice trembles when you come near

I kiss your belly

the wind kidnaps words of love

copper-colored sky and plastic neon alley glimmers

the memory of your breathing

this morning you've a sweet eye.



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Spencer SELBY






Duly informed
before we realize

Delivered as example
tracing numbers on flesh
poised for no amount
of credit in a foreign tongue

Across whole continents
from sea to abusive
character denied

Buzzing down the highway
over bodies prerecorded

Stain of blood casual
as tape rewind past
audience normal

Demand at bottom 
hauled by gravity protesting
fault of airwaves reciting
message scrambled for
the common good

Again again forcing probe
into bone and rock
down layers unflattering
to view of smart commercial

Circling for years
found belief and garbage
thrown together where
they make big salary

Perfect arrangement
even after last drop

Saturation market
filled with everything
but people asking why







I had no time
to begin changing into
what the poem makes

Departure not in theory
but spreading behind
wall and bridge as
effect of bad comparison

Diminished day which
feeds on opinions
borrowed from those
who live in darkness

Name witheld because
it's difficult to get
anything in return for
innocence betrayed

No time left
to find a vehicle
compelling recognition

Clear sky written off
by such illusion

fighting words in a city
whose inhabitants
demand action

past patience aimed at
closing space between
desire and its object

filled with memories
unacknowledged by

this clock that takes
a beating to the end




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That doe-eyed picture of yours,
I can't tell if you are . . . , the red lips
short hair, something melancholy
in the stare, the startle of deer. Dear
do me anyway, if only the smell of male spoor . . .

but, what do I care? The years
of cigarettes; what difference
can a few pheromones make?
to suck on whatever and part
your thighs by remote control.

Only the sound of your eyelashes
leave an impression as they
volunteer to close themselves.
No! don't try to speak, my ear,
my beloved castrada.



The heat lays over voices
desert runways, empty save for old drums
and oil cans shimmering, belles lettres
calling on dust-devils from the field flats
beyond geometry whirling little entr'actes
just above grayish

begging for relief from
longing to soon rejoin
thinking it would be faster if
and take measure on the way

the foreign legions that had stopped
marched stopped marched over the dunes
and away on summer campaigns
leasing their waterfront villas
to paperless monks on holiday
assured no further mail would be coming
the sunlight would not be allowed to spoil
and the grass margins kept reasonably trim

postmodern as the climate permitted
if one could afford to
there would be a receipt for
and all papers presented

               )in the order of
               )in case it happened that 
               )and not a single

chalk line would exactly match
the wavy rooftops of Barcelona
drunk on )
                )and giddy 
                )with bad taste

first sign: an ocean grown
so old and pendulous
it might attack at any moment.





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And Deucalion after him survived a flood of Thessaly, tossing stones that were the bones of his grandmother into water to form new earth. 

    The other more ancient king, Ogyges, came out of Egypt or Phoenicia. He is a figure of great antiquity, and the flood corresponds with his reign in Greece. 

    And the cars whir by, exhaust fumes soaking in clothes hung on the line to dry. Squirrels chew pecans on low branches. Spiderwort shoots out of the ground. Hoa sleeps, the morning drifting. Internet up, e-mail blazing. 

    Water down from the sky, light on glassy earth. The pages of our stories and the frames of films speed fast into the trash of fascination. 

    Frost in a leafy vein. Milk of earth, scented breath in columbine. Milky substance of the source. Losing the way as the day star falls. 

    Seasons reach their limits. Build a boat and spread through it. Take out the trash, wash dishes, fold laundry. I have listened to the news. I have been waking and sleeping through the news. Radio clock cracks DJ  repulsions. Violent mediation of eternity. 







Noah and his wife Naamah, Shem, Ham and Japheth with their wives climbed into the Ark. Seven clean beasts, and two of every unclean, were led into the boat where they waited in celibate cramped quarters for rains to subside. Methuselah died when the rains began, and the people outside the ark beat the wood doors that would not open for them. They were torn to pieces by wild animals as rain fell. Others used their children to damn leaks, then retreated to higher terrain only to drown in the rising floods. 

    And for forty days and nights, some say, the sky unzipped its seam and water spilled. Others claim this continued 150 days. But then rain ceased, and the ark came to rest on the mountain. Noah released a raven and a dove, and when the raven was gone a while, feasting on spoiled flesh, and when the dove finally returned bearing an olive branch in its beak, then Noah opened the door and all stepped timidly from the ark onto the muddy earth.

    God sent a rainbow in response to the offering Noah made, burning sweet wood at a stone altar in the new dry air of damp earth. These colored light rays stitched a promise, God said. Never again would he destroy humans for their wickedness. And then Noah and his children could fuck again, like Deucalion who tossed his stones to make new life. 

    Noah had gathered a vine stock from Eden before the flood waters rushed to his feet. And those he planted in a terraced side of the mountain. After his offering to God he waited for the vines to mature, and then he made wine, drinking enough to pass out drunk, naked on his bed. 

    Genesis leaves out an essential part of this story, claiming Ham saw his father's nakedness and left him, searching for his brothers. Shem and Japheth entered the bed chamber to cover their father with a sheet. When Noah awoke he cursed Ham and his descendants, the Canaanites, who, he said, would be made to serve the family of the brothers. 

    But the account of Noah's castration, placing him in league with the root-ripped Cronus, is neglected by scriptures. Some claim Ham's son tied a string to his grandfather's prick, and so pulled the thing off. Others insist, according to Graves, it was Ham himself who cut the staff from the old man's side. 

    There's also a Hittite myth, where Anu's genitals are bitten off by a rebel son, the cup-bearer Kumarbi, who afterwards rejoiced and laughed, as Ham is said to have done. 

    And so this is an account of one kind of flood that periodically afflicts our worlds.



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It's Very Subtle and Unsettling


"Give me enough rope and I'll hang myself,"
I said by way of farewell.

  Delmore Schwartz

I do not feel that I/ve been productive
and I don/t think that I ever really knew you.

"I have many rooms," I told her.
"I can/t deal w/yr moods," she said,
"Even the best of them."
So just tell me a story.
Just tell me a story
even if you don/t know any.

I fall in love ten times a day.
Some are nothing and actually
most are nothing, but I do.
I fall in love ten times a day.

Levity, she said, is like falling in love.

    I worry and hope that she/ll wait for me today,
    and I must admit,
    I don/t believe I/m productive enough.

    Meanwhile, in another poem.
    A succession of loss has brought us here.
    I/m a jerkoff. A crap artist. A fuckup.

    And anyway.
    Anyway, I never figured her out.
    It/s like she was always this quirky loser
    worse than the one I was.

        unsure things
        unsure of many things

    But me though, I/m sure of things.

    I/m sure of many things.

    That/s fucking all right.

    And I could never figure out
    what she kinda liked to stare at.
    "Could you ever?"
    No, not even in a million years.


I fall in love ten times a day.
I said, "I fall in love ten times a day."
Some of them are just people I like to stare at.
They never come of anything.

And nothing ever comes of nothing.
It/s always something to look forward to.

        and me
        and me
        and me
        and not me

It all just felt so much worse than staying up late.

    She can/t bear to be comfortable.
    That/s what she can/t bear to be.
    "Does she like anything about herself?"

    What about her and yr and our and yr x/s?
    Do you talk to them? Do you talk?
    No. No, they/re all buried in my backyard.
    I/m serious. I/m serious, but there/s all this

    stupid stupid junk in my system.

                    And because it/s late
                    I don/t worry anymore
                    or try to spend this time looking for a person
                    or for company, or for trust or comfort,
                    but for any kind of need for an idea
                    or hope to hang myself with.

                    I told her, "I/m not productive enough."
                    And for the record, for the final record,
                    I wasn/t kicked out. I was numb and mute
                    and I have slept so much better since
                    I/ve not been spending my evenings

                            staring at the ceiling.

                    I don/t care what anyone says,
                    I/m married to the sea,
                    and forever crashing in and out
                    through waves and waves and waves
                    of words and water and worry.
                    It/s very subtle and unsettling.





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December in Romania


Somebody frowning the dice every second.
I'll bite your
Jugular light, and friends
Know how to get friends off best.
Somebody rolling their socks up nice.
Instead of eyes
Lover pigeons make-haste toward
Roof-top nipples, catch 'em
Settle on 'em, night
Pouring on even lead.
Somebody not listening to the radio.
If you only
Stay for a few
Moments you feel like
You're dressed in black.
Somebody getting lucky in their dreams.
Somebody awakened by the cold.



In a Mexican Restaurant

Somebody's Florida mother forgotten
Phallic 35mm bursting
From her wide American
Belly. She'll never catch
Up with ozone luxury
Specking her skin coco.
An old woman banging
A locked lock on a
Round-table that's square
With the key still in it.
With the cross
On her breasts
With the weight of its silver
She declines and denies.
Manners be manners
But a key was made for turning.





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Basically, there are three ways my neighbor and I are alike.
The first is we both like to repeat what other people say.
The second is we both like seeds a lot.
The third is a beak.





. . . Like sand in an hourglass,
the loose granular material ran into the bottom
of the coffeemaker-shaped timepiece.




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r o m e   ( d i a r y )


no road leads out

captive are the fascinated

i am

in rome





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