Friday, July 29, 2016

DESPERATE TO GENERALIZE

I'm writing this to you now,
early on,

at a time when I I still
refuse 

to revise, and I'm
furious 

that I 
hardly know anything, since

by the end, I'm sure 
I'll have 

learned—every lesson
only

applied
to me.

MORE THAN IT HURTS YOU

This is not
a proposition.
A chore
is not

an argument
or some
sort of
opportunity
for dialogue—

I'm only
trying to
do what's
got to
get done.
I swear

I'm just
going to
string you
up fast and
beat you

clean again—like a

rug.
Fuck,

I'm so
worked

up, I
almost

said—
dog.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

SEVERAL

I guess that this is 
more or 
less how "to be continued"
feels—

before,
the sound 
of your voice 
was less important 

to me than the 
sight of your body. 
But now, as my own

creases 
multiply 
and deepen, 

things tend 
to work better
the other way around.

Now, when I 
write this 
stuff down, 
I usually begin 

with the excellent
(but sensitive)
premise 
that you exist 

in order 
to speak
to me—at best,
a pretty 

severed 
head. I'm almost 
always 

stuck for a 
satisfying ending,
though, but let's 

face it—fairy tales 
have endings,
pony tails

have endings,
conversations—like knives,
just have ends.

And what's an end
really? but  
the latest 

in a series—
of severed 
connections.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

SOMETHING ABOUT SALMON

Re-reading cursive descriptions
of all the menu's items
so that I can dutifully rehearse the act
of eating each one,

while across from me, you tear
and fold
a clean white napkin,
methodically reincarnating the same

old paper crane. Floating in
on the gentle confident momentum
of so many repetitions, the prim
waitress performs for us both,

What is it? 
that you—like?

I'm muttering something
about salmon again,

but inside, I'm dumb
and alone

with indefinite
wordless wonderment—how can it be?

that tastes are acquired,
when our guts

are just so desperate
to keep enjoying—

whatever hasn't
deserted them yet.

Monday, July 25, 2016

CAR ACCIDENT

As ever, they keep on driving,
and with her graceful foot on the

gas, she keeps asking him what
the hell it is that he wants.

From deep within the passenger seat, he guesses
it seems to her like what he wants

more than anything—is just
to keep on talking forever. He doesn't

bother to gesture, because she would only
be able to see it peripherally.

He just keeps reiterating vaguely
the hugeness of his terrible feeling

and the futility that haunts his imagining that
anything he might say

could possibly contain it, let alone
begin to adequately describe it. Rounding

the curve now and accelerating
together in a fixed straight line, he doubts

out loud whether explaining this
to her will ever mean the same thing

as doing something about it.
And further, whether whatever he did

could really end up meaning
exactly the same thing

to both of them. A cumbrously air-
conditioned moment later,

he at last manages to imagine
being her, specifically, the exact physical feeling

of her dry lips cracking a little upon parting
to start, but not

finish, the following
sentence—Anything is possible.

Friday, July 22, 2016

PREMONITION

In this hot and 
wavy season of dearth,

when all seems  
as dust 

and the sticky smell 
of dill,

when
your brains have turned

to pure 
nectarines—

bruised
and lately kept artificial-

ly cold
to protect 

and to slow 
the spreading 

blush of
their bruises;

that's 
when

it's just starting to get 
so those 

aspects
you'd been hovering over,

greedy 
to protect,

livid to start
dying over—

are finally 
almost 

ready—
to open up 

into
symbols

worth
living for.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

FAMILIAR

Familiar tastes and tough times, sticky
situations and harmless crimes—

eventually, your goddamned toothless
memory mushes it all together. Until,

looking back at the end, this gummy mass has
no size, no shape, no duration.

And you try and you try to devour it or
something, but you can't, so you starve. 

At least, that's what I think
grandpa was struggling to tell me.

INFRASTRUCTURE PROGRAM

To not see, and yet
to know that
right now

sticky-
hot, the feral 
cat is roaming

nimble and 
feminine, though
endless catacombs 

of parallel-
parked undercarriages
is to excavate

that which cannot be built upon—
in the grand
scheme, promiscuity 

is camouflage.

Monday, July 18, 2016

EVERYTHING'S PROBABLY ALREADY ALRIGHT

Sour
grapes

when—there

in the gentle 
and general
island of rain, 

where—

a zillion
little miracles 

are all winking 
back at you 
from 

every 
last verdant 
and twilit square millimeter,

you think—
their

abundance

rather
makes them

cheap.

Monday, July 11, 2016

DAYS OF THE WEEK

Relentless
terrible
weird inky impositions

of will,
somehow go
on pressing their
desperate fingerprints—

thousands
and thousands
after thousands of iterations—so

stiffly
and
dumb into

a harrowing ghost-
white
paper back-
ground radiation

of everything
that
never was—

until, positively
clucking
with rapacious excitement,

even the tiny
tip
of the tongue
of the
dog knows

you eat those

slippery
buttered noodles
after
work every

Thursday.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

DENIAL

Since I'd seen you last, you said
you'd grown
gradually blinder 

and blinder
to the wonder 
of rising and 
setting suns. 

Then, you said you started
to smell things
a lot more intensely
than you heard them

(which was alright, since, 
on an absolute scale,
intensity was 
the same as pleasure)

and that 
the tang of renunciation—which tasted,
you said,
like sterilized metal,

both
mundane 
and super-
natural—

started feeling strange-
ly second
nature in your mouth.

Eventually, 
something 
even more obscure failed you,

but it didn't matter,
since you no longer 
depended upon it.
You said—

you couldn't
put your finger on it.
You said—
you could only 

call  it—
specificity.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

BRIEF CANDLE

Stark in profile
on the dank blue line
train car, 

the hunched 
woman—a tormented 
figure of evening,

joylessly
nagging a huge mutant 
nectarine 

to its terrible 
ochre 
pit and shreds—

though silent
and weary
with the dribbling 

juice, nevertheless 
bids you: 
call 

and 
check
on mom.

Friday, July 1, 2016

ELEGY

Peculiarly, the city 
you love

is dead already. 

Twenty-four seven,
all its streets are haunted.

Ghosts of whole neighborhoods 
(as you remember them

last time you were there) still
wriggle

you suppose—

like stanzas 
fuzzing their meaning

for each 
new observer, each 

new pair of shoes
moved

by the same 
unseen (absolute) forces. 

This time, 
It's all up 
to you

but only because it never was 

before. 
Can one side 
of one conversation

somehow
affect 
them all now? Oh

well, you tell
yourself, you
get it—this used to be called

spooky action—
at 

every 
proximity.