Archive for July, 2012


This beat! This beat is infectious!

This beat is sputum dripping in a

zesty 4/4, 180 bpm! This beat peels

my skin off with its toxins! This beat

is dancing around in my naked bones!

This beat is quite possibly highly

transmissible after it exits my body

from every orifice imaginable (but don’t

worry too too much, life is risk)! This beat

keeps me up all night with an itching,

burning, uh, desire, let’s call it! This

beat is a weird swelling in the lymph

nodes in my groin! This beat is addiction!

This beat is telling my family to savor

the moments, count them like never

before, because it won’t be long now,

no, won’t be long until I go and join

the red, swollen, limping, ataxic dance.

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medical school lesson 12

Aphasia Voluntaria

 

For all of the, ah, evolution

of your psychiatric classification

schemes, warmly, generously

working your way to the conclusion

of “a failure to speak” rather than

refusal to do the same, I have

to say (or not say, remember,

not to you anyway) that in my

case, being neither a child nor

socially anxious, that truly my

condition is a matter of refusal,

hrmmm, yes, endlessly puzzling

to the adequately modern and social-

ized physician, but I am here to tell

you (silently, again, don’t miss the

point here) that time is just one more

distant planet orbiting your sun,

that heartbreak is just a few radians

away from bursting from the ground,

forming new mountains and ridges

in its periodic cycle, and I want to

let you know, sir psychiatrist (do

I even have to remind you?) that if you

saw the next ice age coming so clearly,

well, you would see no reason to open

your goddamn mouth so much either.

Curmudgeon

The young men talk about fear

as though it is only a one-man

show, but so much of life can

be measured in the tension of

two red heart-shaped weights

on a rope. Lurk is the word they

whisper as none of us quite see

the others, instead drawing silk

sight lines into concentric rings

of age. I have spun my web in

the mesh of your lawn chair,

stashed behind the creaking

door in the breeze. Desiccation

is the way of life for we forgotten,

but the dank offense of passers-by

plucks the trip-wire’s first harmonic

into snarled, contorted life. Ask not

why it happens, only understand

that it is the hurt who shatter walls,

digging through flesh with shards

of stained glass houses.

Broken English

no no no, it is a matter of, ‘ow you say,

perspective, these suggesting there is

to be something greater beyond all borders,

as if field of grain engaged in, ‘ow you say,

fricative sashay ‘as a nationality ‘eld

before the soil, is ridiculous to beginning

to ‘old me in your foreign ‘art, like all

the ostensible shortness of a legion of

omitted h’s ‘ave the power to shorten these

linguistic kilometres, the signification is not

all right, for ‘oo is the broken one if not both

of us, me and you describing each one other

into cruel metallic devices of our quaintest thrill

404 me, Jesus!

They say you can find anything these

days, and I cannot help but imagine

it more classically, a romanticized

web of truth in the sky or underground,

light as air but dense with meaning.

 

Is it wrong to be this blue, to communicate

without understanding, sign without

significance, speak without knowing?

 

Not found, never more lost than when

I am sure somebody must be looking.

 

Tell me, why don’t you, if the error

is really in what I was looking for,

or in ever having searched at all.

ETA: Elvis Tribute Artist

The calling comes to you first

in a dream of sweeping fields

of gold lamé and aggressive

sexual simile. True, you are

lonesome tonight, every night,

but freedom echoes through

the lost years. Define yourself

with the light that dances off

your sequin disguise, become

the smooth, fresh skin until

the syllables of your name rot

and fall away. The Elvii ride at

midnight, and you’re either with

them or you watch them pass.

Ruminant, I love you

Ruminant, in spite of your horrendous table manners,

I am drawn to you by fascination not all together grotesque.

True, you regurgitate your dinner, slimy and only semi-

digested, in blowback on the rich mahogany, but your

slow, circular rechewing, well, that stick-to-itiveness has

never found a reverent, respectful homage in the dull, soft

‘u’ of “cud”. I have read, I admit, that tannins are the hemlock

to your calm, Socratic dental pad, and while I am no stranger

to a finely aged Merlot, you need not feel self-conscious,

Beaujolais nouveau can grace our table too, if only you will

stay with me. Ruminant, an only slightly unpleasant crawling

sensation comes over the surface of my skin as I consider

the bacteriological wonderland of your gut, methane output

utterly unrivaled. Oh pungent social quandary, detectable by

nose from miles, oh ruminant, please stay, my dear, I love you.

Pareidolia

When I saw your face, unmistakable

in a centimeter thick slice of tomato

who knew nothing yet of his destiny or

margherita pizza, the room grew silent

to me and there was no longer any amount

of fierce claret oak that could lure Cain

back down from the moon. I don’t suspect

Hermann Rorschach ate much grilled

cheese, but if he only lived long enough

to feel your presence, there would be no

planet, cloud, shadow, tree, vegetable

free of your face, the Klecksograph would

shudder and grow, tumor-like, drowning

the world with its thick, black significance.

Please wait

(My love)

Did you know lonely was a two

man game, that you may never

understand the rings of Saturn

as I have, eyeballs dripping into

the dark oppressive beyond?

 

(Wherever you are)

These scabs that sheathe my body

have never felt so like desert countries,

boiling with hostilities just beneath the–

 

(Whatever you are)

I shall, I will dare to be reborn with pride

and star-shaped sunglasses.

 

(Don’t lose faith)

I have held you so many times in sleep

with nothing between the two of us, mixed

lazily in with the reminiscence of flight, yes,

we will never know if they are cumulonimbus

or fresh snow until our timid toes reach out.

 

(I know it’s gonna happen someday)

No hurt is without its nobler aspirations.

 

(To you)

Maybe if I put the words to music it would

still sound like our old sugar maple.

π

Tell me not that most real numbers

dare to transcend reason with their

lingering appendages. The absolute

becomes immaterial under the steel

gaze of high proof, lost in the embrace

of a psilocybin heart. These emotional

scars may never be purely expressed

as the ratio of two integers, no, but

raised from the repetitive beyond by

séance and trance. Robert Lowell will

be hell, but I, too, ache with this need

to generate the divine within me, struck

together as the click of flint and steel

in infinite series. Dear one, if you only

understood the digits of the inner fire,

I might hold you still, floating gently in

the stinging green salt of Monte Carlo.

Glory 2

When, due to a rather gratuitous typographical

error, your church youth basketball team is enrolled

in the St. Matthew’s Invitational advent tournament

as “The Lightening”, please do try to put a positive

spin on things. Let these vandals and vagabonds

really feel the words of John 8:12 for once, reminded

of the hope inside this national program. See, it never

had to be a lie to begin with, never just a flash of royal

purple coursing cloud to cloud, unyielding black veins,

fervent with a desire to return to the beating heart above.

God bless you, Bob Rasa

You say “and yet in spite of it all

I have no regrets” like it fills your

mouth with a 90% cacao black

hole, mind no doubt furiously

whirling once again with the twin

purposes, until different different

different goes from flickering neon

to the steady light of a blinding sun,

and to think of the wives, children,

step-children you have yet to even

meet, let alone work feverishly to

deceive with dreams of cotton candy

and contentment, well, you might

truly say the possibilities are endless.

The plague doctor flies from room to room,

alighting on the sill as the curtains flutter

in the humid night air. Water beads on his

waxy coat and face, leaving traces of binary

symbology on the wooden floor. The miasma

encircles him, and indeed, does it not seem

that he carries it with him? Is there malice

behind the unseeing red crow’s eyes? Yes,

Doktor Schnabel von Rom will leave as quickly

as he arrives, in a flutter of wings and red-tinged

coughing, but he knows he is doing God’s work.

He has joined the legion. He is calm, held safe

from the fear by wearing it around his shoulders.

A message…

…to the two loud bangs outside my apartment window last night,

how dare you shake the trees and echo down the empty streets

on such a clear night, coyly hinting at gunshots or somehow worse,

reminding me embarrassingly of my first night left home alone by

my parents, certain that the clunking ice maker in the freezer was

encircling the house on its four to ten shadowy legs, closer and closer

until the rational explanation came home, only now, of course, I am

the adult, I must be the voice that sounds deceptively steady through

what must surely be a smile and not clenched teeth, of course, sounded

like fireworks, definitely just a couple of cars backfiring down the way…

crosscheckword

Orr, to think that one day you may

no longer be known as highest scoring

defenceman in history is strange to me.

 

Orr, imagine the day when you are gone,

reduced only to “Bruins great (3)”, or

“Rink legend Bobby (3)”, lost amidst

the wreckage of time until you are pulled

into a black and white linguistic cage.

 

Orr, I suppose it could be worse, myself

lacking even that much fame, and far too

encumbered by irksome consonants.

The scream queen replies:

Now I lay me down to remember

my helpless journey to the top

of these phallic, spired heights,

held securely in your claws, my

dear, dangerous and romantic,

I want you to see me as a suit-

able specimen, I want you to let

me see all the zippers once the

curtain falls, because I will not

sleep so long as the night creaks

with the dark dreams of these oily,

simian faces, my skin will always

feel oddly foreign and apart, tingling

and weeping with the odd significance

of my brain, my brain that will not die!

The Wheel of Death!

I do believe the crooked scientists

got it mixed up this time, the SI

base unit of love must surely

be number of death-defying steel

feet in the air, tethered to my

twin brother in this riveting metallic

amnion. Let us measure our lives in

the number of fatal incidents painting

the ground where, ladies and gents,

you can clearly see there is no safety

net. Of course, the real heart-stopping

numerical identity is the sheer number

of axes of rotational motion, first two,

then three, then each of out atoms

turns to its own wild solar system,

unconstrained by the bars, free, in unison

with nothing but the whirling of my other half.

Le bal des sauvages

I must be the king of your sooty modern

world, tearing down the empty alleyways

that bleed with eyeless wild men. I will

dare the night to be more deadly than

the passion of my pagan soul, splashed

on the charred city brick in red, orange,

and yellow. We are all savages, you

see, but I am known as fiercest, educated

in demon’s mischief through the howling

urban brushstrokes. Let us put on masks

and long hair to dance away the paranoid

schizophrenia, or at least add it to the litany,

this sensual ritual of changing partners.

I am so tired of the not knowing. I am so

tired of standing carved from marble, fulcrum

between fear and comfort. Can we cut loose

tonight behind doors of etched neon in iron?

My grip on the torch weakens day by day,

and soon, you must realize, I might just–

The indignation of Bob Rasa

Where does it come from? Was it put

here by a divine Creator, guaranteed

to let your entitled ass down after Her

(or His, calm down) first act performance?

Are you succumbing now to the arms, legs,

and eyes that run through a parallel realm

of experience, railing against your inability

to make what could have been what is?

Can we consider this a phase? Does your

voice sound better when laced with addictive

poisons and perfume? Are you strong enough

now even to talk down the circling meteors,

to extinguish the sun’s angry red eyeball?

Confucius say: movement 5

Man stuck in pantry have ass in jam,

but, fastidious logician that he is, can’t

help but reason his way to advantages.

In his solitude, he will never have to lie

again, save to the ants, and each morning

he will rise with yeast and sorrow to the

smells of fresh loaves and grapey esters.

After enough time (and there is time

enough in here), his eyes will become

glassy, his skin translucent, tongue

brittle. Soon, he’ll be sufficiently monstrous

to satisfy even his lonesome heart, but

alas, too blind to see the truth that oozes

up between his toes, dark and fragrant.

Pilot Mountain, will you marry me?

Together, you and I can

remove the quotation

marks from Erika Eiffel’s

marriage, can even love

the villagers who approach

with torches, chain me to

your smooth, cold cheek

where an eagle eats my

liver daily, can scale love’s

outer limits for the challenge,

because they are there,

because they will even out-

last the wind’s erosion,

rocking us gently to sleep.

Affusio

The rain paints my windshield

black, but I can read each drop

like a Bible in Braille as it courses

down the glass, delicate, leaving

my story until the denouement.

 

High beams gleam off of the eyes

of roadside deer, coy will o’ wisps

that beg for me to pull off the road,

take a pause to raise my head

in unison with the wild, feeling

the spirits run through my gaze

until my vision fades for all time.

Desensitized

“We have such sights to show you”

 

Somewhere in the deep, this pain

was commodified centuries ago,

but the desire is stronger now, (or

is it?), it crawls down the optic

nerve more fervently (or does it?),

each limb separated from the body’s

larger purpose, freed from the whole

to serve nothing but symbolism

and hunger (or are they?), and you

can find this, that’s right, you only

need to speak its name and you

are gone forever (or are you?)

Deficit

 

I think we can conclude your

child was born without deficits,

which is good, yes, this is truly

something to be grateful for, you

know, the economy being what

it is and all, don’t want to be born

into the red, ho no, hard enough

avoiding the slip in attention when

your ledger is clean to begin with,

right, stigma, no, I wouldn’t say,

ah, no, call it more of a system

of, you know, classification, don’t

want to be dripping or crusting or

purulent or necrotizing, no, better

to stay on your side of the yellow

line, yeah, and maybe if you spring

forth from the womb clutching a fist-

ful of IOUs, well, you can burn those

off I’m sure if you work hard enough

in the interim, yes, come off scot-free

just in time to die at 20, good, jolly good,

well done, we’re all in this together

Laugh Track

Hunt the language for sport,

stalking through the back

alleys and urban overgrowth.

Pledge your undying devotion

to the angular story as it wisps

through the aging oaks over-

head. It barrels, turns, takes

a branch in its fist and swings,

you can lose it in the glare, but

don’t let it go for long. This young,

prestigious sitcom family will

not wait on you forever. Your

words will bleed through, slur

and stumble to uncomfortable,

bungled silence, and then, only

then: the joker is the new target

as they strike, and water rushes in.

Ytterby

“The name of the village means ‘outer village’, implying that its location is its most noteworthy feature”

 

I fear that all this discovery

must come at the outskirts

of the dreaming mind. From

earth, wind, fire, water, can

you devise for me a reason

to gild my heart and leave

it with the chemists? Please,

remember me only as thin

reeds among the salty mist,

as the impossibly smooth

ellipsoid stone that fits your

hand with warmth and power.

I will be noteworthy as I have

always known to be, my pools

as giants’ tracks along the coast.

can you give me some reason for faith

to triumph over reason (get get get away,

satan, it is written) can you turn my water

into (keep the good wine til later i’ll take

rum bourbon brandy vodka til I see the proof

myself) can you get rid of at least some

of these homosexshuls (just Adam, it will

hurt Steve all the more to be left in silence)

can you (flyyyyyy me to the mooooon, let

me dance among the staaaaars) can you

make me a more sophisticated argument

than look at all the atrocities committed in

your name (crusades, um, the other ones,

give it a rest for Chrissake sorry about the

blasphemy) can you (I know you can but

will you, is the thrust of this whole thing)

can you make me want to stay (with you

you mean ol jezebel) can you look me

in the eye and tell me what this has begun

to look like can you tell me: get away

The Island of Dr. Portmanteau

Perhaps as you travel along the Franglais coast

near the Chunnel, you might find your way through

the wisping smog to the island of one Dr. Port-

manteau. Here, the tweens meld their common

pasts irregardless of the loss; it all comes out

in the wash. First, there is language. Then, a

world of new things to enjoy: sexploitation,

mathletics, ebonics. Guesstimate, if you will,

the lives and eras that fade together, dare to

assign them as less or more than the sum of their

parts. Alas, there is no room for self-awareness

on the island. We are frenemies, one and all,

arms locked against the gears of the modern

machine. Raise your voice in preservation

of the pure soundscape if you wish, but here

you must be gone by midnight. It is then that

the cyborgs ride, strong and fierce in forward

momentum, shadows among the tangelo groves.

Special

it may still be delusion

if you believe out of

necessity but the cold

salt grandeur is easier

to swallow that’s for sure

as you swerve left whoops

overcorrect to the right

and the tailspin has a sort

of relief yeah sure brake

turn into the skid like you

could really fucking apply

that boy scout knowledge

in the moment but isn’t

that always the problem to

apply we just have to believe

a few key things about our

fragile selves such that as

you carom off the highway

now missing three cars

and the guardrail by a few

radians difference of initial

spin you can stop finally

and take in that acrid smell

of your brain’s electrocution

and all your replay investigation

of the scenario’s physics and

civil engineering and God and

your own delicate biology truly

leave you with no other conclusion

than that you must be—

Tied to memory

It is at this moment that you realize

you are the only one who actually sees

the old man standing amid the flamboyant

jars of incense sticks in this hotel lobby

in the winter of Hollywood, FL. Hmmm…

The lonely offseason sends off whiffs

of Brittany, newly freed and timid, the boots

having left behind only thoughtful salt

residue and overly saturated air, and

the connection is strange to say the least,

but pungent in the old vendor’s basset face.

Who will be the next to leave, he silently

asks, and who will return? You walk up

cautiously though nobody tracks your

progress and open one of his scented jars

to equilibrate with the stiff, cold ocean air.

The summer will come back, as it inevitably

must in a town like this, but who will carry

on the ordo missae, who will spread these

ashes? All this and more, the aroma cries.

Palimpsest

“The Americans always like to read into things…”

 

Underneath the fibrous sheaths of Hollywood fever,

there will always be time analyze, to unpaint with

thick bristles of ladybug embers, the meaning as

fragrant as the ghostboys who crush the sun like

a can of Schlitz between fingers of pebbly perspective.

I never understood the river mud’s symbolic change

until I first learned calculus, the ghostboys’ cheeks now

traceable with ultraviolet light and high proof deltas. Too

dense to breathe, but this train of beds in the past will hold

you like molecular claws, quantum tunneling into

the wild blue logical conclusions. The point is the sin,

the point is the synonym, getting a finger underneath

the corner of my skin’s leakiest wrapping paper wrinkles

and digging. Seems risky. The glossy papyrus is burlesque

refraction, and you would tear it up for a gift you haven’t

even seen, the ghostboys now pupating in silent prayer?