Wednesday, August 31, 2016

DAILY PRACTICE

I started out
by

counting
the minutes

then
the hours

and now, the days
it seems

that I can
go

without
saying—

a single
original thing.

TRUMAN SHOW

Around noon,
as if through
a wilderness

I peer into
the Burger
King's windows—

where,
despite the ridiculous
mutated
shit you can get there,

fellows?

gals?

tykes (with those
crowns
on)?

perch—
greedy over
incomplex hamburgers.

Ketchup-red
ketchup

blotches
offwhite napkins,
pools (like

you'd think
it would) on unfurled
rectangles

of tissued wax-
paper, as I
compulsorily

imagine the sound
and the little
tactile satisfaction of its crinkle.

Have I fallen
asleep,

am I
being lampooned?

Nothing
could ever

be this simple.
I mean,

even
the tops

of their buns
are that

kind
of

cartoon-
shiny.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

CHESS LESSONS

1.

Hang on—is this
a contest

to be won,
or a problem

that needs
solving? Wait—look

at how! All the words
you need

are here, each piece pre-
invented.


2.

This is not
black and white.

Ham and eggs
are black and white,

things—are black
and white, not this.

This
is something different.

Unless,
maybe you've just been

terribly impatient—with
the time it's been taking

the light
to get here.


3.

Your best defense has been
to grow

old, gradually
having come to depend

on a tremendous field
of specialists

to whom
you're worth more alive

than dead. Even
Better yet—despite this,

you still get
to keep

such secrets
beneath

your kingly cap: even
the baristas,

for instance—to think,
they'll never know

your pauper
origins,

your real
last name.

Monday, August 29, 2016

HASHTAG APHORISM

     "Everyone is in the best seat."
     -John Cage

Everything is state of
the art in this
twenty-

first
century stadium
of information—where even

the inexperienced
are
privileged

to know—
what
really goes

into
a bratwurst—
when they

bark for
one—
court-side.

Friday, August 26, 2016

AUGUST (HAIKU)

That buzzing noise! was

the sound—of wet flies fucking

in your garbage can.

WILL TO POWER

On a dust-
caked sidewalk across
the street

from a brave kinetic
hive of construction, I pause
to watch

the secret
saffron-
haired foreman—plunked

down and clutching
his own dare-
devilishly

yellow
Tonka truck,
with which he endeavors

to govern
by example,
masterfully affecting

with each
tacit demonstration,
positively massive

amounts
of sheer dumb
change

upon the landscape.
In my imagination, I briefly
become free

to simulate
halting this tutor
to ask a few questions—

but realistically,
I'm in such an awful
big hurry

to carry-
out a
prior commitment—

walking
and shouldering this
seething and senile

envy back
home,
where it

feels
the most
comfortable.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

DECENT POEM

Okay is
fifty-
one percent. 

Fine is (technically)
failing. 

Dandy is  
your doctor 
calling

to say you're 
alright 

despite 
a couple  
ailments. 

Pretty is 
almost

never exact
so it 
can be 

handy to 
remember—profane   

historically  
referred
to a thing 

that had 
recently 
become 

very
popular.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

TIDBIT

The soft word—
meal

feathered
down from the

lips of this
penitent

stranger attending us
makes me feel—

not satisfied, but
focused—

gently tuned
to make a more

sonorous chord
with the

few philosophical
orbs of murmuring

light beyond our table
by the nourishing

signals I'm gently
lapping-

up off
of such

a clean
noun.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

PIN PRICK

Even before starting, 
it feels faintly 
painful

and exhausting—the terrible
long shot 

that anything 
is ever really 

like anything 
else. But—

whatever.

So this poem has 
no magic

pebbles in it. No
majestic power

animals or extremely  
hot peppers. So what? 
Maybe that's 

just it. 

Maybe that's 
the whole premise—
maybe it's

last night 
or this 
morning, and we're at

the train stop, we're
on the internet, 
etc.

when—
the same thing happens.

I mean, the very 
exact same stupid 
old numb inane pin 
prick of a thing as usual—only 

this time, 
it feels 

just a little 
new.

Which isn't 
to say (don't worry)
there's really anything 

you're supposed to feel
or do about it
afterwards.

I'm mostly just trying 
to distract you

while I 
give you this 

little—
inoculation.

Monday, August 22, 2016

HEURISTICS

Because of a word
and its associated
number I heard,

my only real
concern when camera-
shopping is the megapixel.

*

Because of some cartoon
character's
casual expression,

honeydew
is 
the money-melon.

*

Because of a book
mom read
when we were six,

gluttony is a concern—
and chocolate's a
legitimate trigger. And

ever since
that movie my brother
made us all

watch once, Ancient
Egypt is forever
conflated with godless deep space.

*

I still want to show you the way I love you,
only these days, I don't
know how—guess

I never even noticed
all those
shortcuts I was taking

whenever I chose
to just—write you a song.
(But because of

a pact that we
made back in
college, we can never break-

up ever again anyway, so maybe
it doesn't matter?—how often
I hurt you.)

*

Because of—fuck,
I don't even
know

what—quick-and-
dirty has
lately become

some
sort of
virtue.

Friday, August 19, 2016

LATE DEVELOPMENTS

1.

I feel like
things used
to happen—in time.

Now, they
happen in
spite of it.

And things used to pass
between us
in space. 

Now 
things exist—
in its name. 


2.

I feel like it's 

fairly exotic

to talk

clever to you 

in tight 

and cropped

sorts of back

and forth

comments on the Internet. 

*

But I also feel like it's now

fairly logical

to intuit—that the opposite 

of distance isn't 

closeness, it's

height.


3.

I feel like—
the real

first rule 
of Fight Club 

should be—
wait stop right there you're fucking talking to nobody.


4.

I feel 

like you're always

already okay

with me

anticipating all the main speaking points.

*

But I also feel

like you

and I have

so much in 

common that it's

hardly necessary

to talk any-

more.


5.

I feel like
things used

to happen—
to me.
Now,

they all occur
inside,

and I'm
not sure whether
that's easier

or better,
but I'm positive

that 
nothing could 
be both.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

CLOSE UP

Cut to—me
feeling unsure
how I'm supposed to

respond—
when I hear
the news

that a casual
friend's pet has died,
the stubbornest way—old age.

Just me, sitting
in my kitchen, poignantly not
sipping coffee, as if thinking—

you never really
beat these
sorts of things,

exactly. You only
become them, one
by one, your hairs gray, you take

on their features—
until gradually,
nobody asks

how you're
feeling anymore
(is the camera still zooming?)

because its so
painful-
ly obvious.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

HOMESICK ALIEN IN CONSTRUCTION SEASON

The lifeforms
down here must be obstinate

parasites,
and this harsh

frontier land, a
cancerous wheezing accordion,

each distinctly upended
precinct of skin

wounded,
collapsing, and

shiftlessly
regenerating—

the aggregate 
cacophony, so booming

and tuneless,
I'm afraid

there is little
use—and no

space—for a
sermon like this.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

RAUSCHENBERG BLINKS

Wincing,
he thinks,
this is it—

it is
time to
speak

up—the
perfect
feeling

does
not
exist.

Unimaginable
hypotheses
can never

be tested.
The most 
extraordinary

thing he can 
picture still
demonstrating,

is an airport
of light
particles,

a scaffolding
for shadows,
a homely

receptacle
for pure
white silence—

none of
that black
variety, he

figures, since
every soul living
is already

going around
staring pretty
unconscionably

hard at that
kind, maybe
fifteen-to-

twenty
times a
minute.

Friday, August 12, 2016

BOOK SWAP

Near the northwest
corner of the crosswalk,

a navy green
box stands proudly

empty,
as if

to reiterate—
an experiment

is only a failure
if it fails

to adequately
test

some hypothesis.

*

On the dingy
snake-

skin gray
evening train, only the eyes

of Democrats
reading

Kindles
are smiling.

*

The latest in science 
and technology

has perfected
the art—

of wanting
what-

ever it is
you get, the billboard

hung
over the stuffed

expressway insinuates,
without

malice or
apology.

*

Self-care?
a Humbolt Park guru

paws the
magazine's
pages—

no 
self,

no—
cares.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

BREAKTHROUGHS

What if—
fear
and pressure

aren't
values, they're
vectors—

they don't
just have
magnitude,

they have
direction.

Good.
Let's 

go 
with 
that.

*

What if—none of this is your fault,
but only

because
you never did

anything at all.
Never invented,

neither caused
nor reacted

to whatever came
along and

destroyed
it.

*

What if—the problem you're having
now is

he doesn't seem to
mean you

when he
talks about

himself any-
more.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

ET AL.

Aquamarine
panties

puckered
with secret
dawn-

pink seashells—oh I feel so
cartoonish-

ly
annoyed they're
on the bathroom floor.


2.

Blowing to sip (just a)
halfcup

of morning coffee,
I stop

conscientiously lending
a breath to

ask you
how your period is going.

*

The response—I'd call
sober,

but not at all
scientific.


3.

I feel vaguely satisfied

that a certain
but very nonspecific

goal has been achieved—

me having
said your name

so many times in a row now,

that it's done
meaning everything,

past meaning nothing,

and has officially
begun standing-in for

anything at all.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

ASTERISK

This could be huge—

where
huge 
refers to

a
feeling,

and
this
is taken to

mean—
nothing.


SIX-PACK

Useful
fact—

most things aren't 
true,

they're just quicker
and easier

than others
to

reach for.

*

What do you have 

to say 

for your-

self?

says one reluctant

helix 

to 

the other.

*

Honestly—I can't think of a
single thing

that's right,
can you? Like 

it or not, new points 
of view

always seem to come shrink-
wrapped 

or else shackled
together

in those convenience-
paks.


Yum. 
Thinking of 
ordering-up some 

FAQs—
fresh 
from this mobile

site's 
hamburger 
menu.

*

Only one straight line
can pass between two points,

and it keeps my eyes wide
open at night—to think

that I probably haven't thought
long or hard enough

about every last single-
minded 

melodramatic
rationalization 

this image
could imply. 

*

This isn't all there is.

Because there isn't

a last thing. 

When the final answer being given 
is bigger 
than its question 

the only 
choice you're 
offered—is
to somehow 

go backwards,

upside-down 
in spacetime,

to never

having
asked it.

Monday, August 8, 2016

CACHE

Closed-up
nice

and neat

and tight like
a fist,

a pursed
exotic

flower, perpetually
bent

toward
ideal morning—

silent,

you're so
proud.

Alone,

you're so
sharp.

Still,

you keep
hid.

Palm
of the hand—safe.

Bulb
of tomorrow—

sacred. Such
beauty

and utility
in

you, kid,
dovetail

perfectly—
so as to

completely

cancel
each other out.

Friday, August 5, 2016

PROCESSING

The sweet things in life, to you were just loaned
So how can you lose what you've never owned?

-"Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries"

*

Wondering—
if I eat

something
do I

own that thing?

*

So keep 
repeating it's 

the 
berries.

Okay, it's
the berries
it's the berries it's
the berries it's the
berries it's the berries
it's the berries it's the berries it's
the berries it's the berries it's the berries it's the

*

Wait. Maybe—

Life is not

a bowl

of cherries afterall. Maybe

It's more like

the rigmarole

of trying

to digest so many.

The sweet parts

get slurped-

and burnt-

up way too

quick, while

the rough stuff

does a little

menacing

manhandling

and such, but

ultimately

gets dropped—

unceremoniously,

but more

or less still

intact—

from the top of

your system's

proverbial Empire

State Building,

almost

comically fast—like a

cartoon cannonball.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

NOT HOME

"I am lonely, lonely.
I was born to be lonely,
I am best so!"

-William Carlos Williams

1.

Gradually, you and I have grown 
to resemble

more and more the
grubby flies

that trespass against us here
whenever the 

heat in the alley runs 
high,

the way we 
keep stubbornly 

banging our heads 
to occupy 

one or another 
rented sets of rooms,

always condemned to eaves-
drop on 

groaning foreign
language histories of warm wood, 

always—only
coming

in
from the outside.

2.

Following several 
years of relentless shredding,

once in a while I'll
take a day

completely off
to try and

pull myself back
together,

but it's 
just so exhausting 

attempting to

make the splinters fit. 

3.

Goodness, gracious,
you say 

you wish
there was

something you could do 

to help me 
love you

the way 
I used 

to love you 
way back

then, 
which was, you

conclude—forever.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

ON INFINITY

Last night, I found
some stars
on the

ground,
warily walked
across them, thought—

it's just as well;
these here
are

equally
real, both
only chalky rote re-

presentations
for all
present and

foreseeable
purposes—and
(nodding) yeah, if anything,

it's easier on the
head looking
down—