Archive for November, 2012


the ants, they can’t, the ants, the ants,

they would if they could but they can’t,

the ants, no sense of ant-title-mant, not

the ants, not like man, these ants, they’re

strong, these ants, they’re small but they’re

strong and they care, these ants, they care

for the victims of circumstance, the ants

under concrete in northern France, the ants:

subjugated  but dance and dance, the victims

don’t look like the ants, no man, not the ants,

not the ants, not the ants, this trance, these

ants, this trance, this six-legged monosyllabic

rant– on ants, the ants, ant aunts, some aunts,

some aunts, who smoke in their sweatpants

and rant and dance, no ifs, no ands, these ant

aunts of ants, at night time they eat all the leaves

off our plants, they don’t bother with any recomp-ants,

it’s their world as soon is it turns vac-ant, the ants,

the ants, who said they can’t, if we leave or don’t they’ll

still win the land, they’ll build an ant-tation with ant-y

manse, they’ll make us their slaves while they have

ants romance, the ants, they’ll win, these ants, the ants



The symbol in this poem, well,

the main symbol, there are a few,

did you get it?, I don’t just do this

for myself, you know, there’s hardly

a, well, hardly a point if you didn’t

get it, see, the symbol in this poem

was that leather suitcase thrown

from the fifth floor balcony encased

with wrought iron roses, remember?,

I mentioned that all the way back in

the seventh line, seriously, don’t just

lie and say you got it just to appease me,

that’s not the point, that doesn’t help

either of us, bucko, anyway, so, that

suitcase fell sixty feet or so and landed

latch-side down and spewed brassieres

and handcuffs and a stack of manuscript

pages and deodorant onto the sidewalk

below, there’s other stuff too, strewn about

the impact crater, you have to look through

it though, I mean, there’s definitely a message

in all that crap on the sidewalk, I really wish

you would sift around, like I said, this isn’t for

me, if I had known you were so hard to impress

that you wouldn’t even bother to look, well, I

wouldn’t have thrown that suitcase you know,

and then I’d still have my suitcase, now wouldn’t I?

Things are getting freaky down here

in the basement of the data torturers,

they’ve taken these numbers and ripped

off all their fingernails until they squealed,

stuck little decimal point ball gags in whatever

zeroes would hold them, you should see some

of the things they can do with electricity, set

these knobby little prods going on the chest

and face and multivariate cocks, yes, EVEN

THAT, there will be no mercy until the data

torturers get what they want, out for all to hear,

crazy shit, “vaccines, autism, genital herpes,

the female gender, JUST LOOK AT THE CURVE,



Plan for the future

One day when I am Dead And Gone

I hope People Across America will

wish me a posthumous happy birth-

day well beyond the point of reason,

one hundred, two hundred, happy

being born one thousand five hundred

years ago!!!, man, that’ll be a great

party, The Public will share funny

stories about the time I Puked Some-

place, I guess you had to be there,

and maybe the story won’t age well,

but you guys remember the time everyone

thought I had come Back From The Grave at

my funeral, of course, I hadn’t really, but

anyway, at the time, there wasn’t

a Dry Eye in the place, and if there was,

we had some drops for that in little baskets

wrapped with black ribbons and Instructions,

hey maybe People will even Have Intercourse

that day in celebration of my memory!, or, well,

I could at least be the inciting incident, when

I am Dead and Gone I won’t even mind if I am

an excuse for the Living Folks, I guess you have to

party While You Still Can, yeah, that’ll sure

be fun, wish I could be There to see it…

Samuel Reshevsky vs. the world

Listen, bub, precocious won’t be so precious

when we get our hands on you, turns out guys

like us don’t ooh and aah at an eight year old

all gussied up in a little sailor suit beating Russian

chess grandmasters into a fine human mist, we

ain’t too hot on getting shown up by some little

punk, not when the cameras turn off, our smiles

crawl off to dark corners to masturbate angrily

and shout about hey why couldn’t it be them,

all that’s left is grim, flat lines, ready to beat you

until it isn’t even fun anymore, don’t look for any

reason to it, don’t try to understand why exceptions

must always be punished, just suck it up, the world’s

a good scientist, she hires us to do her work, she’ll

snip off outlier after outlier if it’ll make the curve fit

There’s a lesson here

So this story starts with a studly young hunter


(there’s a painting of the whole thing and in the painting the hunter is turned away from the viewer such that no real claim can be made vis-à-vis the studliness of the hunter but it’s an emotional truth, you know, like he just sort of seems like he’d be studly, here, hold on, you’ll get it when we go through the rest)


named Actaeon and he probably wasn’t

even really in the market to see naked breasts

that day BUT sure enough he saw some naked

breasts and they belonged to the goddess Diana


(OK, let me redact a bit of that, it could have been on purpose, I mean, you find yourself in the woods and you hear some nymphly giggling or whatever from a meadow over a ways, let’s just say something got you moving over in that direction)


and so Diana was a feminist or something

(look, I don’t know from feminists, you can just Google it, but if you’re getting offended by me you got to get your head on straight, you’re supposed to be offended by Actaeon, of course, oh right, I haven’t told you yet, hold on)


and so Diana probably thought something

along the lines of making sure she didn’t seem

tacitly complicit with this, like, I don’t know,

modern Internet rape culture or something


(this story takes place in Ancient Greece I think, or maybe Rome, which is I think just another name for Greece, but anyway, they didn’t have the Internet then, and I mean I’m not trying to politicize the story but you shouldn’t be afraid to pass on important messages through fiction or whatever)


and so anyway she killed Actaeon by turning

him into a deer which is not even symbolic, she

basically just wanted to kill him ironically by having

his studly hunter friends shoot him with arrows and

whatnot and not let him shout to warn them


(one of my friends told me that was a proportionate response to his crime, but I mean, he sort of seemed like an OK guy, but I guess you never can tell about these people, and it’s not like he could explain himself, being a deer and all)


and there’s not even really a take home point

in this story, he just stumbled into the wrong grotto


(I don’t think it was actually a grotto, what is a grotto, you should Google that too, but not yet, can you just stop getting distracted, I’m almost done with the story here)


and he was pretty much dead five minutes later,

give or take a little bit, and so that’s the story of Actaeon,

I guess he got what he deserved in the end.


(Seriously, look at the painting, it’s a really good painting, it has naked breasts in it if you’re into that sort of thing and also there’s a really cute dog at the bottom)

same damn song

i’d like to play a song for you now kiddos

and and and i already know what you’re

going to say which is that hey this is the

Same Damn Song you always play i’m really

seriously beginning to think you only know

one song that is to say the Same Damn Song

you always play well kiddos i got some news

for you which is that it is actually the Same

Damn Song as before in terms of the notes

and the tone and the cuss words all sprinkled

in there lightly like truffle oil because that

shit’s expensive and even the underpants

i am wearing are just the same underpants

as always but did you ever to stop to think

that maybe not everything revolves around

you you little copernicus motherfuckers like

stop being so selfish i’m playing this Same Damn

Song because i like it and it makes me feel good

and so shut up and listen or basically go home

or whatever and see if i even care what it is you

do take a nap or something rock over london

rock on chicago oreos milk’s favorite cookie

Dot Dot Dot

Ms. Pac Man is leaving.
She’s not coming back this time.
She’s taking Pac Junior, packing
up the station wagon, and going
to stay with her mother in New
Jersey. She will not be a victim
of the cult of “True Womanhood”.
She thinks she might take a winter
day in Atlantic City to look out on
the gray water. Maybe she will
write her memoirs out among
the skeletons. Pac Man said he
was sorry, but he’ll do it again,
she knows it. Men will devour
the world if you let them think
it’s possible. She hasn’t worn
her lipstick, nor put on her bow
in ages. She feels androgynous
and nauseous. She knows she’d
have had the strength to recreate
herself without him before they met.
Before he ate her heart, blood running
down his grin. Now she’s not so sure.
Everywhere, all she sees are ghosts.

Me and my Gynoid

I built the first model out of nothing

but memories and magazine clippings,

it was no good, not enough dimension,

so the second model was cobbled together

from coins and string, but she was miserable,

always crying change for a five, so let’s not

even talk about the third and fourth model,

they had an oily odor, but the fifth, now

there was a good one, twenty feet of steel

beams forming what the old men used to

call “legs up to here”, but the simulation

was incomplete, the perfect woman would

have to wait for model six, lipstick smile

drawn onto a computer monitor that hadn’t

worked in years, but pixel kisses can’t buy

happiness, ask Pygmalion, now lucky lucky

number seven, you should have seen them

rusty buckets on that broad, but I had to

scrap her when she left me for the android

down the street, now you can hear creaking

and chunking for hours at a time when you walk

by their little love shack, so I don’t leave my

workshop anymore, inspiration will come to me,

I just know it, I will never have my heart broken

again, the man who never finds love invents it instead.

Virtual Pinball

Look ma, look what I can do,

no hands or feet hips to bump

the table for just that extra little

push, no ch-chunk to prepare,

no pleasing rattle down the twin

rails, no rotating white siren of

light, no squishy red buttons that

stick just a touch, no clack clack

clack come and get it, no high-

pitched wail, no spinning reels,

no gears, no cogs, no exploding

metal rings, no panels reverse

teething back into the floor, no

moving parts at all, well will you

look at that, that’s really something,

so convenient, get the kids, they’ll

love it, they’ve never even seen

a pinball table before, wow, they’ll

hardly be able to tell the difference!

Tupelo Love Song

I done it now,

fell in love with

a girl named Elvis

whose sunglasses

make that pretty

face into a common

housefly, she can’t

kiss without teeth

and I guess that’s

how I like it now

(now that I’m in

love) with this girl

named Elvis, I guess

to honor the king with

double-takes and gapes,

but she got me bad, got

me on a warm hook

and chorus, I’m a simple

sort and so is Elvis, she

digs through neighbors’

trash like a possum, she

is good at finding precious

things, and one day we’re

making to build a house

with two floors together,

good things have this way

of flaming out too early

but not Elvis, she’s my

queen, she has me itchy

from head to toe, I think

I might write Elvis a love

song, I’ll try real hard,

and she’ll laugh and say

it’s silly to make a song

that don’t even rhyme

but she won’t mean

nothing by it, after

a time she’ll still dance,

flit from sunflower to

violet, spreading pollen

that makes the spring.

medical school lesson 15

Charles Bonnet Syndrome


When sight returned to me, I didn’t ask questions,

certainly not, one must not look a gift horse in the mouth,

there are nobler employments for eyes reborn, but now

I very nearly wish I had asked, the world has shrunken,

the colors are all wrong, tartan birds with cartoon eyes

sing in silence from the treetops, spirographs tumble

across deserted old west streets, it rains fluorescent

jelly beans that quietly crescendo into glow, then sigh

themselves back to sleep, IT IS NOT REAL, I know, they

hit the ground without a whisper, they tell me nothing,

never truth, my eyes have simply found a hobby in their

early retirement, I nod at the monotone psychiatrist whose

face I will never see as anything but darkness or a ringed

planet, and I would never choose the former, no matter

what I tell him, let me have my flock, let me see a sky so

bright it tastes sour, IT IS NOT REAL, but seeing is believing,

they say.


The atmosphere presses in on my eardrums

with words like “boring” and “shit” and “useless”

but the world is more amorphous than you know,

I will get to you with nothing if not persistence

and an earnest heart, can this terrible nothing

not add up to something over time, the eyes

are trained to follow flashing lights of red and

yellow, to look at them for Morse code meaning,

yeah, that’ll happen, remember, I only ever wanted

to remove the curtains and tender fog that stand

between a planet chock full of bored catastrophes,

fix your eyes to my screen, take in the insignificance,

understand that no matter how petty and I foolish

I may seem to you now, I tried, you see, I tried…

The regrets poem

It’s not that he’s a bad guy,

it’s just that nobody ever told

him, now here he is, the schmuck,

ensconced behind the relative

security of dead, unengaged eyes,

remembering the precise sequence

of events, from that first time (you

know the one, we all have it), fists

fresh from learning their place in

the world, experiencing the power

to change in ways both subtle and

overt, and from there (of course,

of course), all the way down the chain

of statements swelling both in strength

and arbitrarity, now he would bulldoze

the world if he had the chance, never

thinking twice on purpose, just watching

his claws peck out the rocks and pebbles

the support the whole elaborate mess,

looking back with a secret smile to see

what he had wrought, and how easily.

Host’s dilemma

This little moralist has taken up inflammatory

residence, it seems, amid the noble valleys

and rises of my large intestine, where he sits

in perpetual damp twilight reading books on

philosophy, lying back with one hand on his

bloated belly, he tips his little beaver hat with

some aplomb, but I am no longer fooled by his

affable guise, his pretend grasps at symbiosis,

he is ruinous, he makes his own rules and punishes

me for my transgressions, and let me tell you,

when he doesn’t get what he wants, he grabs

a handful of my guts and twists and twists

and twists and try to tell me that sounds like

a relationship of mutual benefit to you, nuh-uh,

no sir, obey the colonic conscience and live

in some bland, sepia place, disobey and suffer,

he is just a parasite, I wonder if I could just cut

him out and live in happiness, free to steal

and murder and eat a few extra french fries

every now and then and pee on the seat and

read over an old man’s shoulder on the bus, all

without fear of that abdominal gnawing, that

awful, arbitrary feedback, oh physicians, how

can you leave me out here at the mercy of some

little ethical reasoner, oh when will I be cured?

Emily Dickinson, I’m coming for you,

Emily Dickinson, I’m coming for you,

they say you’re prolific, yeah, so what,

I write a poem every day, what did you

write (one, two, three) ho-holy shit 1775

poems, uh, well, that’s fine, at my current

prolific rate that will only take (365 into

1775, uh, you got a calculator?) 4.86 years

hey not too shabby, aw, son of a bitch, there’s

a leap year in there you say, OK, well, that’s just

an estimate then, now what’s that you’re saying

about how… how… they all have to be good???

the poems that is? hardly seems fair, but OK,

well, I’m already into this one and it’s no great

shakes, fine, I’ll start tomorrow with the good

ones, we can count those and maybe one or two

of the last few hundred I wrote, fine, the point

is, Emily Dickinson, don’t be so complacent

in your grave, we ain’t all so impressed, I’ll have

you spinning soon enough, you ain’t all that,

I mean you didn’t even title none of them poems,

that’s shoddy craftsmanship, just letting some

editor number them and name them after the first

line, I got intangibles, Emily Dickinson, here, why

don’t you read this poem, you’ll love it, I just bet

you’ll love it, never know until you give it a try…

Antarctica’s Next Top Model

Well would you look at that, I really am beautiful

down here in the white silence, makes it all worthwhile,

I have the last laugh now, after moving down to become

the only permanent resident of our most southern neighbor,

and wouldn’t you know it, just now I walked across the frozen

desert stage and the penguin in charge of the competition

handed me my photograph YES! I WON! no need to

feint at modesty when there’s nobody to hear you

scream in my voice just a little too AM-band tinny

(modeling is actually not just about looks, there

are, you know, intangibles involved) AND I WON!

just try to fuck up my perception of beauty now, I am

the perception of beauty, the only game in town, no

cruel eyes but this here boss penguin, who cocks his

head to the side as if puzzled, that’s all right penguin,

base creature, perhaps you will never understand these

higher human concepts, perhaps you will never know

flight, but take a gander at Antarctica’s Next Top Model,

do you feel that upswelling in your breast, I bet flight

would feel like that, I bet it wouldn’t be so different at all.


It must be going somewhere, it has to be,

for truly I am an isolated system now, tethered

to the hospital bed that floats and rotates on

an island of storm clouds, imagine, if you will,

that I was born with it, raw uranium heart glowing

with potential energy, but something went awry,

no meltdown, no exertion of atomic will on these

unsuspecting suburbs, just loss (but it must be going

somewhere, it’s the law, the law you see), just loss,

crawling up through the elaborate subterranean

system of pores, grabbing roots for purchase, this

is the throbbing red acne of futile growing pains,

just watch as I write the new law of doing nothing

and becoming nothing but spent, it must be going

somewhere, no more potential, no movement, it must

be going somewhere, somebody find me a quantum

physicist, I need a rationale, I’m so broken down, you see…


They’re replacing me.

The chemicals are replacing me.

Chemicals get me up in the morning.

I am socially lubricated.

There are chemicals where there used to be me.

I’ve got them under my skin.

Chemicals are so deep in my heart that they’re really a part of me.

Chemicals made that reference.

Somebody get these hydrocarbons out of my mouth.

I am black and white smoke.

I am amphetamine motivated.

My urine taints the rivers.

It’s all these darned chemicals.

My firstborn was a chemical.

My last clear thought was a chemical too.

But that was twenty years ago.

Now the chemical fog just rings around my planetoid.

I am addicted to whatever they put in the drinking water.

Keep it coming.

Sometimes I type a word over and over but it just looks wronger and wronger.

Here: chemicals chemicals chemicals chemicals chemicals chemicals chemicals chemicals chemicals chemicals chemicals chemicals chemicals chemicals chemicals chemicals chemicals chemicals chemicals chemicals chemicals–

Don’t be a dope.

That shouldn’t happen.

It’s probably the chemicals.

I am a Toxic Avenger minus the heroism.

Just toxic.

I was born defective.

My mom ate chemicals too, you see.

It’s depressing.

These chemicals are depressing.

These chemicals get me down.

I hope they make a chemical for that too.


there’s this bird this bird in my throat

hanging upside-down like a bird like a bat

bird here hang on






do you see the bird in my throat it lives there

but no i’m not in on the deal sometimes it mimics

my voice makes me talk real mean i stuck a finger

down there just about as far as it would go but

all i got was lick of tail feathers


if i even got down far enough i bet he’d make

me bleed the bird would the bird in my throat

who sometimes crawls up and clenches a sharp

foot around my tongue so i can’t say nothing

just stare dull and mean at the wall of faces an’


and sometimes he climbs up in my brain and just

whistles like a mad fool until i can’t think straight

and that that makes me mad too but i want you

to get that no matter what the reason this ain’t me

this ain’t me i’m not this ain’t me he’s nesting it ain’t

me there’s bird here let him explain he does it better

than me


make                                          me out

in distant         smoke and tea leaves

that roil

   and change and cast

truth in mysteries

see                                             a smile

but never make

the mistake of trusting it

not when               the grave is dug already

and ivory buried therein

call it evil

but know                              we darker folk

have ways and times

of getting that which we need

one man’s motivation

is another’s quivering


hearing whispering

snakes and leaves

perhaps the darkness

is not a noose

but can                   you imagine

it otherwise                                            when

it knows nothing of your prayers

gives nothing but ill wishes

dark calculus

the results are                just observed

the heart fills in the


Man of Letters

I would rather live in a constellation,

smooth stones just large enough to hold

a single foot safe above the stream, enough

of the immediacy, I would rather take my

time threading each strand of temporary

knowledge through the gaping eyes, there

will never be enough time but there is enough

time for this, tear down and rebuild, erase,

wipe pallid gray worms off the sheets, the act

of creation becomes recreation, the clicking

of a string of beads, I would rather strive

and strive and strive for perfection in spite

of the absence of any such guarantee, one

day I will seal the lips and place the stamp,

send myself out into the world, but I need

to be just right, you see, and I’ve got nothing

if not time, right, I’ll let you know when I’m done.


I’m not angry I’m not I’m not

it’s totally rational that you would

be remembered after all you are


I suppose you were the earliest

domestic animal whose name we

have on record and it’s pretty

humbling to imagine you leaping

up and down the great pyramids

in like 2000 BC Egypt or whatever

I’m not angry I’m not but it’s nerve

wracking to even imagine this you

know process of historical priority

because you are like I said a BIG

DEAL but that doesn’t make me any

less nauseous to realize that I could

go to any library and read about you

and imagine your life of running and

hunting and I cannot remember even

the sound of my grandfather’s voice

and they don’t make microfilms for

that sort of thing so yeah I just wish

I could be preserved forever in my

tomb instead of lost to even that most

curious researcher’s searching heart

Another one for the Walking Man

I realized from the driver’s seat

of my Elantra, panting fetid stale

air on my face that condensed to

fight the cold after the storm,

that your presence in the silver

screen blur of the window is the only

season I know, green woolen ear

flap hat and a scraggly beard that

warn of futures devoid of Kelvin,

the next six months will be dark

but I know you will always walk

through them and peel away shadows

until they surrender, hissing cowards

that hide under smooth volcanic rock,

helpless against your permanence that

leads the way, shovels a path for summer

to walk through again.

Silence, Please

To my left sleeps a grey man on a chair,

softly seismic through the library’s cryptic

halls, lonesome howler, apneic Don Gibson,


“Why can’t I forget you and start my life anew

instead of having sweet dreams about you?”


I have already painstakingly built a new volume

for these halls out of vibrating air and blood like

sludge, just another unwittingly empty vessel

for the imagination’s awful longing for the life

of another, another who snorts and wheezes

and gasps into awakeness for a final time before

rising from his blue chair to disappear beyond

some inevitable corner somewhere, and where

then does that leave me in this hollow countryside?


“Why can’t I forget you and start my life anew

instead of having sweet dreams about you?”

The Effect

I read the other day that if a butterfly flaps

its wings it causes a tornado someplace halfway

across the world, and I had been drinking,

and it occurred to me


heyyyyyy, I think I see what’s going on here…


why– why can’t we just

Kill All The Butterflies!

I take a pretty good swipe every time I see

a butterfly now, like, like, I’m out here on

the porch right now and


here they come!




I actually squished one against my body

and it left a crime scene chalk outline over

my shoulder in its own freaky dust tattoo…


hang on, when’d it get so dark out here,

it’s night already, that’s gotta be a– a moth!


Stupid Stupid Stupid


And yet, still no tornadoes that I’ve heard about,

life really is a more complex system than we understand,

but I’ve been killing butterflies all morning too, hard to,

you know, correct for all the Lepidopteran variables I suppose.


Ah! Aha! Moths have wings too! They are a part of this great calling.


One day, when no tornadoes have hit for a while, perhaps

they will thank me for what I’ve done, their eyes having long

forgiven the absence of a few superfluous brushstrokes amid

the long fields of yellow and green.


This is working.


Moving away from the putative center,

cruising on the edge of my expanding

consciousness, dull instrument, violent

child, gravity holds my gaze inwards

where the past is casting thermal memories,

dragging tendrils of wavelength and thought

that tether me at the umbilicus, the speed

of this outward trajectory is only picking up,

I am defrosting as I flee to the hills, I am

seeing acceleration’s red hand, the last thing

I hear in the outer reaches is the coalescence

of a million years of lost experimental radio

singing, “this is what she saw, this is what she

saw, maybe the pillar of salt is mercy after all.”


As you watch yourself drink and lurch

and kiss the girl goodnight from some safe

place a few miles overhead it occurs to you

that your entire self is now a vestigial organ

and that’s all right for now, biology has no

energy for cruelty, it is harrowing enough

to report sad facts in that affectless way

without provoking, who’s got the time for

anything but reception, evolve and see if

you like it, no?, well, chronic pressure causes

atrophy and the atoms are out thick on these

wild nights, remember her face as they push

you into a corner of fading, remember your

little brother drunk on hope and moonlight

asking what’s the point of any of this? and you

with nothing but a dull sense that you should

have a better answer than eyes clicking into

and out of focus, there has to be a reason as

your face is sanded down to a pleasant enough

white mesa, it’s nature, you see, don’t fight it

or you’ll look ungrateful, you’ve heard this called

the natural aging process, remember?, keep an

open mind, stay young at heart, this part is over,

but whistle a bit, there’s no shame in remembering

your little past loves and fortunes as you go out to sea.


i am the ocean

i am the ocean

i am ionic

i am the whale’s rib cage

i am living handholds

i am stinging

i am equilibrating

i am flowing to the poles

i am blue and red

i am the figurehead’s lover

i am tied to freedom

i am saturated

i am a tributary

i am a traitor

i am stern and stricken

i am decompressing

i am taut

i am the ocean

i am the ocean


The 5th dimension is so lonely

that the breath that whistles

through folding fractals is my

oldest friend, and yet this Earth

is no better a place for the lost

immortal, even the rust has rusted,

even my thoughts are overgrown

with ivy, and now there is nobody

to tell, there is nobody to convince,

they died still believing they could

fool me, that was my weakness,

Kltpzyxm was my weakness, that

weakness was anything other than

a silly word for schoolboys, speak

instead of the frailty of a man tied

to the hands of the clock face, sent

to live out immortality’s sentence,

to hope that the worst horrors are past.