21 August 2012

sense memory no. 1 [revision, 082120121512]

suddenly the sweetness of some fruit 
i can't recall 
memory's maw models some flowery drupe, 
a mango
spread across a lisp thin wheat
the saccharine spear implacable 
i heave on repeat, breathe 
in hopes of dislodging the pneumonic 
of seeds, split and juice — an unmistaken
missing flame

[for Matthew Rohrer, 062120121546]

19 August 2012

Interrobang — Page 11, Line 11, Part 1

So many lovers loved
built up into careful
bedside stacks — which to read
first, which to repeat

"According to what has ended up inside it," Kim said.

What and why, indeed?
When the cushions call who 
can resist? Clever, diabolical, 
it's a reaction, always to you, forgive me

"I reacted subjectively, assuming they wanted me to show off," Lenny said.

I resist, I resist, and I do not resist — forgive me
but leave me here, endless fingers fondling
his timing belt

"The wrong kind of difficulties and ambiguities," Charles said.

these lips — there are dreams to be drunk
as something shadows up my keep — like 
life keeps calling me back to sleep. that settles it;
and i check the size on her hardcover sleeve.

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06 August 2012

why i wondrously't

i canonicalize't lethe your winnipeg
youthfully'll lettering it go to youngstown hearsay
it mightiest raincoats

i'm justices tiredly of talking
i'd feeds siciliana instituted
i'm justness tiresomeness of talmudization to yourselves

i've gottfried taking a shivered
i'm justice tire of tallness to yours andrews thawing smitten
yourselves've heavers it allstate already

anything, neighboring of us canning propagating anybody.

[previous post run thru The Eater of Meaning]

why i won't

i can't let you win
you'll let it go to your head
it might rain

i'm just tired of talking
i'd feel sick inside
i'm just tired of talking to you

i've gotta take a shit
i'm just tired of talking to you and that smile
you've heard it all already

anyway, neither of us can prove anything.

lenny bruce tattoo v5 [08062012]


time fogs
a feather in her handwriting faintly 
beneath the surface of the mirror
secondhand smiles dribble down my chin
but the look into her eyes is our first mistake
sun swirling across her pepperbright skin
sin on an extant coffeeshop couch


time flashes



time glows



time sinks



time swells


"what do you mean he kissed a leper?
"what's the point in that? you kiss them
"and they fall apart."

02 August 2012

lenny bruce tattoo [draft no. 4]

a failing feather in her handwriting 
faintly hidden under the mirror

secondhand smiles dribble down my chin
convince, looking into her eyes is my first mistake
sun swirling across her pepperbright skin
sin on this surely extant coffeeshop couch

remind me of how her wrist, peachly thin 
recalls mad machinations and I must begin

floating, the breeze breaks when we 

i can't blame anyone but myself
or maybe my mother, who first floated the thing, 
saying, "i can't blame anyone but myself." but 
i'm convinced: this is a good idea, sold to a lioness

before waking beside her 
her new sweat massaged into the mattress 
in the aura of whatever, is sold without much sell 
then buyer's remorse: this sweet thing cannot smile back.

"what do you mean he kissed a leper?
"what's the point in that? you kiss them
"and they fall apart."

28 July 2012

lenny bruce tattoo [draft no. 2]

there's her handwriting 
hidden faintly in the mirror.


i'm fat with second hand smiles
the sun gliding across your pepperbright skin
here on this coffeeshop couch 
convincing elbow high across the overfull beast


it's simply floating here, i can't blame anyone but myself
or maybe my mother, who first floated the thing, 
saying, "i can't blame anyone but myself." but 
i'm convinced: this is a good idea, sold to a lioness

before waking beside her 
her new sweat massaged into the mattress 
in the aura of whatever, is sold without much sell 
then buyer's remorse: this sweet thing cannot smile back.


"what do you mean he kissed a leper?
"what's the point in that? you kiss them
"and they fall apart."

27 July 2012

lenny bruce tattoo [draft]

there's something to be written about self-awareness
_____ i was smiling there on the coffee shop couch convincing
_____ arm slung — casually, so casually, completely casually 
_____ — casually over the back of the second hand couch and sun gliding
_____ across your skin — pepper bright 
i can't blame anyone but myself
_____ this is a good idea, sold at a lioness price
_____ today — in the aura of whatever 
_____ — is sold without much sell  
_____ buyer's remorse: this thing cannot smile back.

02 July 2012

"L'angelo del povero" [by Giuseppe Ungaretti]

L'angelo del povero

Ora che invade le oscurate menti
Piú aspra pietá del sangue e della terra,
Ora che ci misura ad ogni palpito
Il silenzio di tante ingiuste morti,

Ora si svegli l'angelo del povero,
Gentilezza superstite della'anima...

Col  gesto inestinguibile dei secoli
Discenda a capo del suo vecchio popolo,
In mezzo alle ombre...


The poor man's angel

Now that the harsher mercy of blood and earth
Fills our darkened minds,
Now that the silence of so many unjust deaths
Judges us at every heartbeat,

Now let the poor man's angel waken,
The soul's enduring gentleness...

With the undying gesture of the ages
May he alight before his ancient people,
In the midst of the shadows...


from Giuseppe Ungaretti's, Affliction, 1950
Translation: Andrew Frisardi

21 June 2012

sense memory no. 1

suddenly the sweetness of some fruit
i can't recall. 
memory's mouth models peanut butter, avocado
spread thin onto toasted brown bread
and the saccharine spear implacable 
causes me to heave, breathe heavily 
in hopes of dislodging a pneumonic 
of seeds split and juice spit — an unmistakeable

[for Matthew Rohrer, 062120121546]

18 June 2012

a companion to '44. palmate antlers'

their horns clash
and felted dung
flung off in a chunk
a forgotten sacrament 
spills into soil.

09 June 2012

"Change the habit & you change the man." [draft]

they're back on
the lights
and i want to speak to you
about the bathroom door
without mentioning the bathroom
but between us
you & me
i'm thinking about buying a new TV
maybe two
Stone Johnson fades
Stop thinking about it; you've paid your bills
I've had my fill
waking up
Everything are you hungry?
Ballers & Poets sweat in different ways
so... make your own connections
I won't do your homework for you

[don't look at the camera.]

27 May 2012

death & a sweet

balancing youth
against youth as the thing heats
grinding his flint
sinew tall & incisor lean

lapping now, she's a burner
death & a sweet
oxidizing dream
cream ballistic, stop and frisk

billystick he bandies with a fecund brick
passing from hand to hand
darkening venus's thong — drinking whatever slips
from her lips.

12 May 2012

the wire; s1e1 — test

Check the files
perfect round & red
to pink to neon-blue
irrelevant but real
you can't bring back the dead
none can force you to court.

Friday night in the alley
too much information, photographed
and cataloged in America. Black
fingerprints pressed
significantly into bulletproof glass.

untitled 05092012

the appearance of constant movement (merely)
that spotted spider crawling in the cleavage between the floorboards
tires peel along wet road — an imperfect chill — fleshing dimensions
the body, young and unaffected by liquor, fucks better
in tight-roped moments before the roof is ripped into orbit.

02 May 2012

Breathless and Sweaty Here on the Sidelines

Adam, is this a printing error?
Had McSweeney's beard-wild intern 
left notes in the galley?

A literary rabbit?
A muzzle flash? 
A clue; smoky fingerprints — whose? — left marginal?
An entropy?

Oh, I see!
This affect-italicized ho-hum — pop, pop, pop 
Playing volleyball with her quote.

23 April 2012

a four lane highway [draft]

molten machine buzz
docked atop the horizontal blow
returns to strike cheek and brow 
with entropy's graceless glow

their whole lives 
a single permitted use
across a four lane highway

children teetering
on a bed of weeds
i'm longing again

learn'd pall espied 
the hungry concrete gray
drape of water and stone
twisted into graceful tones

shovels deep
til crash of stone
and flame sparks breath
earth to silken spinning rise
brown leather strikes bow

to work to home to bar
where neon sings, to car
[the molten machine
their sigh
across a four lane highway ]

01 April 2012

trench warfare, v1

here we are again,
alone with the screaming
whiskey baby — a thousand miles
gone, flies speak a single tongue
every tongue — a pretty girl
walks across the amber bar
she will not hear it, she must
not hear it; please
dug into the earth's narrow vein
she sounds like rain, a spark
filling lungs, one last dark sip
back against the dark bar.

29 March 2012

Found Poetry No. 2

Say the word swimming.
Now say it without the ing.
You're up. Spell the word growing.
If you take off ing, what do you have left?
Where is grow? Which one? Which one's o?
How do you spell it at the end? Good.
Uh oh, tell me the sounds?
We don't say, graw. Never.
Do you need this? There's grow.
There's your ing. Perfect.
What's that word? Good.
Can you spell it in the air?
Uh oh. Try again. Slide forward.

13 March 2012

untitled 031320121245

in the smiling eyes of death we find comedy
in the unthinkable flatness of dust we discover photography

we are our grains and height
awake late, again, 
someone warm loving you 
in a dream
in the other room

a truck full of swimming boys
swerves hysterically on route 17
commerce passing by in streaks unnoticed

in the absence of true friendship we find poetry
in the darkness of faith we trace our hands like children.

formless [fragment]

it was a quarter past two in the morning and she knocked on the cold, hand-painted door three times.

she often went for a 5-mile run in the never-silent urban night; interrupting the halogen darkness, ambulance calls were foremost, then police sirens, then the dual blast of fire alarms.

he answered the door almost immediately. inside, turning the door knob, he was as asleep as she was iced in sweat. their eyes met and a each exchanged a sweet quarter smile. she placed her fingertips on the small of his back and guided him back to the bedroom, toward the bed.

she watched him, rough and childlike, throw the duvet covers aside, climb in with his knees, rip the blankets back over his small body. he was asleep, again. 

03 March 2012

Found Poetry No. 1

mystery of the ghost
bloodthirsty massacre, dark water

have you seen the legendary
Chi Xu Cliff mermaids?
the Soviet Union harvest
rival week wins a distress message:

"save me, lady in the water
in the door to the scene
Zhou Sheng had died."

mobile phone lover Luo
spent SMS pop-up
long a certain death:

"i am the lady in the water"

this is a brutal revenge
this is a premeditated killing

beautiful police officer leaves competition
involved in the investigation
a strange supernatural evidence

"but have to point to the Su Feng, Su Feng
serve the suspect — nixe — the event"

another detonated mysterious jade
wake the sleeping years memory
the truth is beginning to emerge.

The horrors of the legend of the lady in the water
Chi Xu Cliff is forbidden: deep caves, terrible secret
many to students, many to die
Sex and the City
the unthinkable occurred everywhere
perhaps, the devil behind you!

27 February 2012

untitled 12292011115, revision No. 2

Thumb jammed deep into her eye
Bedclothes stain with blindness

She’s over the pain with the snap of a finger
You open your eyes, you've inflicted love 

She shows a glimmer of affection
She is tired, you are tired

You’re permitted beside
In darkness the wound inflicts a wound

In your mind you are kind.

[original] [revision no. 1]

21 February 2012

[notes for a longer work]

dental caries
enamel, dentin, cementum
production of acid by hydrolysis of food debris
Streptococcus mutans and Lactobacillus

Cariology is the study of dental caries.

the air cracks
like dry timber

It was there that, in 1939, his son Antonietto died as a result of a badly performed appendectomy.
The same year, he was made a Professor of Modern Literature at the University of Rome.

If left untreated, a severe tooth abscess may become large enough to perforate bone and extend into the soft tissue eventually becoming osteomyelitis and cellulitis respectively.

The rod of Asclepius, a snake-entwined staff, remains a symbol of medicine today


He was the son of Apollo and Coronis. His mother was killed for being unfaithful to Apollo and was laid out on a funeral pyre to be consumed, but the unborn child was rescued from her womb. ... From this he received the name Asklepios "to cut open".

Openings in the tooth enamel allow bacteria to infect the center of the tooth (the pulp). Infection may spread out from the root of the tooth and to the bones supporting the tooth.

Apollo carried the baby to the centaur Chiron who raised Asclepius and instructed him in the art of medicine.

Infection results in a collection of pus (dead tissue, live and dead bacteria, white blood cells) and swelling of the tissues within the tooth. This causes a painful toothache. If the pulp of the tooth dies, the toothache may stop, unless an abscess develops.

Ophiuchus is located between Aquila, Serpens and Hercules, northwest of the center of the Milky Way. The southern part lies between Scorpius to the west and Sagittarius to the east. In the northern hemisphere, it is best visible in summer. It is located opposite Orion in the sky. Ophiuchus is depicted as a man grasping a serpent; the interposition of his body divides the snake constellation Serpens into two parts, Serpens Caput and Serpens Cauda, which are nonetheless counted as one constellation.

The main symptom is a severe toothache. The pain is continuous and may be described as gnawing, sharp, shooting, or throbbing.

Other symptoms may include:
Bitter taste in the mouth
Breath odor
General discomfort, uneasiness, or ill feeling
Pain when chewing
Sensitivity of the teeth to hot or cold
Swollen glands of the neck
Swollen area of the upper or lower jaw -- a very serious symptom


Ho scoperto le barche che molleggiano
Sole, e le osservo non so dove, solo.

Non accadrà le accosti anima viva.

Impalpabile dito di macigno
Ne mostra di nascosto al sorteggiato
Gli scabri messi emersi dall'abisso
Che recano, dondolo nel vuoto,

Verso l'alambiccare
Del vecchissimo ossesso
La eco di strazio dello spento flutto
Durato appena un attimo
Sparito con le sue sinistre barche.

Mentre si avvicendavano
L'uno sull'altro addosso
I branchi annichiliti
Dei cavalloni del nitrire ignari,

Il velluto croato
Dello sguardo di Dunja,
Che sa come arretrarla di millenni,
Come assentarla, pietra
Dopo l'aggirarsi solito
Da uno smarrirsi all'altro,
Zingara in tenda di Asie,

Il velluto dello sguardo di Dunja
Fulmineo torna presente pietà.

Roma, notte del 31 dicembre 1969 - mattina del 1° gennaio 1970

20 February 2012

Other People's Poetry: Guiseppe Ungaretti's "End of Chronos" translated by Andrew Frisardi

End of Chronos (1915)
by Guiseppe Ungaretti 

The strange and frightened moment
Wanders in the lap
Of the firmament.

A lilac-tinted smudge
Crowns the mountains,

The last outcry to stray.

Countless Penelopes, stars

The Lord embraces you again!

(Ah, blindness!
Cave-in of nights . . . )

And offers back Olympus,
Eternal flower of sleep.

translated by Andrew Frisardi 
in Selected Poems: A Bilingual Edition

19 February 2012

sketch: the drunkard writes!

at the end of each short line lies a grass button
beneath its roots the poet finds small protein deposits
crepuscular veins wring cracks and splinter every syllable

wriggling muscular worms, armored rolly polys
crumpled pages of the wasteland like garland strung
and every now and then a rock.

"We need to eat," the mirror answers back.
but we are tired of singing birds and skinny trees
these hallow bones and rows of teeth

we bow beneath the weight of discourse, present company excepted

"We need to eat," repeats the mirror wearily.
should the reader choose to push that button
a boiled ham will appear in the arms of
the cushion-plant: "Mount Herron is our home!"

mirrors fear vanity's drought
with a single soft finger
the poet buries a blade of grass
a short & modest line
a buttered nub of italian bread.

15 February 2012

once touched

"having a harsh, disagreeably acrid taste, 
like that of aspirin, quinine, wormwood,
or aloes; hard to bear; grievous;
distressful; causing pain; piercing; stinging;
characterized by intense antagonism or hostility"

Millsis Adoma,

she said it to me in bed ""
but, it can't be lifted
you were a manacle, like speaking
in code: Adoma Millsis



the memories you placed before me
laughed out onto the table, antiques
appraised, then returned to collection

in code, of course.

in code, you were strong: unfragile: harkness
hung from the stable. but now i am here, decoding.
legs beneath my writing desk: worrying: eroding.

in code: the stable.

you're both here, cutting, crashing, set upon the beach
for the first time: miraculously: miserably: confused
hand-in-hand, our mouth cast out over the pacific
i cut, you crash, we're all watching for this
purple sunset.

in code: misery stretched out over the ocean
like a tightrope: hung from the stable.

don't close you eyes: sleeplessness is a gift
accept your giftlessness, sleep: in code: she said it to me

here i am again, beside her
lifting the language, exposing
the bleak, black experience


we're here beside bibles
dread thesaurus, rhyming dispair
pitter plots of rotten condensation


dry sharp tip of a knife, blood
bitter bite of a page-thin blade
played to lip and jaw and


mentally there is no weight to curl, it's all power
perceived through a prism; when you move your hand slow
across the patients' covers it trembles, imperceptibility
a cheap parlor trick. like, the fear is in your know.


we're here among the bibles, our teachers' patient parlors
and we're like waiting, clock watching, tossing knives
into the softwhite up above.


like speaking in code: i've stopped thinking about myself
just long enough to address you. once i'd known
apelike kings and a snakelike pig; we knew each other.

she said it to me in bed ""
but, it cannot be lifted
your manacle is speaking
in code: Adoma Millsis, once touched.

10 February 2012

"Alan Magee: Paintings, Sculpture, Graphics." Forum Gallery, New York, 2004

"Art does not lie down on the bed that is made for it; it runs away as soon as one says its name; it loves to go incognito. Its best moments are when it forgets what it is called."


chew some more
you prolong it

this is not the least important
focal point ink pink

Disaster. the high water
the unattended sink


chew some more
the taste forgotten

hips. lips. it can't last.
pink ink splashed crash

gnash cast iron sink

this not is what you think
distance dark distorts

focal point affords
pink sink puddles abort.

09 February 2012

untitled 020820121235/020920121132

Since last we peeled
The basement flooded

Twice in bed, and still
Tuesday's strips

Your fingers, rich
With garlic oil, so long since

I was not there to bail
Asleep beneath the birch.

18 January 2012

Untitled 011820120638

the long billed birds
cruising the break
in sevens
ascend fishless
the long billed birds

10 January 2012

beneath the bay window

someone told me he was hiding
he vaguely details his abuse
what it feels like the intimacy issues
the shrugging arrogance of love

someone tells me he is dying
on a napkin he inks out the invisible
unwelcome suffocating in a dream 
he stabs it into his mind's eye 

someone will talk about hope
this dear fear of dreaded things
washed and rinsed honestly undressed
then playing, again, momentarily hidden

beneath the bay window.

tuesday tapeworm