Cancel the Movies

Cancel the movies.
We can’t have them anymore, not right now.
They’re just too expensive, and glorify war always.

Children are being killed
inbetween advertisements on my screen
somewhere far away.

We allow ourselves great excess
of information, informed
in the form of excess,
a top drilling itself
down down down.

The hole isn’t too bad –
A bit expensive and they always seem to be advertising something…
But my friends are here!

A spasm dubbed comfort:
cancer in pajamas.
The fission of television
and television was a force more powerful
than we could have conceived,
we know everything and how to make it beautiful on screen,
even the ads are glowing and funny…
but fissions implode.

Scary is the place where form is rejected
only to be replaced with informed jokes.

No one is laughing somewhere far away,
someone who needs not poems but water
and not bombs,
where geopolitics are dead because everyone is dead,
but I only have what I read,
inbetween advertisements.

Nearly $300 million dollars spent on
a superhero film
on precisely the same planet that
children buried in rubble are again bombed
while being searched for.
I only have what I read,
in a bubble, on a screen,
silent and sickening.
Entertained, informed,
and down, down, down
to a helpless inbetween.

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Untitled CAPTCHA Poem 1

There are almost too many things to say.
They connect. They do.
It starts with pattern.
It starts with your foot.

We rub ankle against ankle
to drive out the demons in our tendons
but sometimes that comfort takes the warmth
and opens up the laptop.

Arched foot, back, neck,
fit the pattern of the sheets
as they drape over two bodies
bent over screens.

And one,
harmless: Facebook, Reddit, and whatever-
but the other demands things like
CAPTCHA codes.

Completely Automated
Public Turing Test to Tell
Computers and Humans Apart.”

That is a simple example
in a poem, as if you
don’t know what a
CAPTCHA code is.

But the patterns emerge-





…and I feel your arches shift;
I re-adjust to fit
every angle that I can
to catch at the warmth there is.

Your heavy breath comes
and I turn back to the screen,
to the pattern I have noticed
and the demons woven into the whole thing.

What if the innocent
letters we type, letters that serve
as Internet steps, meanwhile
proving humanity

are some kind of code?
And each one I enter
is a kind of addition
to a longer string?

Almost a game
where they (They)
are too lazy to type these apocalyptic
computer things and want to see if we will.

This is not some sort of paranoia
where we get lost in what-ifs
and how-they-musts
but instead an awareness of pattern

that we fall in;
in-between creases of warmth
and paranoia.

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Him who?

Time may be linear but memory is not.

I said I would see her and then I saw her as if I already had.

She who?

Time may be linear but memory is not.


I was going to tell him about

the poem I had been plotting in my head

about the plague-

thousands of wasps descend

upon every window

and leave the mark of the wasp

on every surface.

If only that was that;

living with air full of sting and buzz

“wouldn’t be all too different,”

think the population,

until the re-circumcisions begin

and I too look down

to see the mark of the wasp

and realize I can’t tell him about

this poem quite yet.


The leading narrative voice,

which is much like my own but more clever,

would stop talking about the plague eventually

and start talking about his father’s past life in Seville

where El Greco painted his noble profile

before he left for Azerbaijan and eventually Brooklyn

and opened doorways for butterflies

by sculpting them over seventeen years,

or three hundred,

I’m not sure anymore.



I told myself at the store

that I would see the freckledface

girl from seventh grade, as if I already had,

and then I saw her, as if I already had,

standing there as if expressly for my purposes.


The poem rambles a bit.

I shouldn’t tell him quite yet

about my father’s wasp masonry

or the sting and buzz of the air

that we are left with when we try to be clever.

That plague happened when?

Which shipwrecked ballroom practiced drowning

just in time to avoid the wasps? The knife?



The ballroom. Where no one wants to go to war

more than anything else

and so they rehearse clever dances

until the ship sinks anyway.

The character of my father never boarded the ship

or went to war,

he a soldier of hopscotch instead

built a canoe

and pushed it through

plague wasps walls shipwrecks butterflies Brooklyn

and air full of sting and buzz

for seventeen or three hundred years.


I said,

“I’m going to see her at the store today,”

walked into the store,

and saw her like Bartleby upon the bannister.

Like a poem.


Leave the ballroom, back to the poem,

where it is snowing in July

and the mark of the wolf leaves him with a grey eyebrow,

wait. Him who?

I started telling him about the wrong poem!


I saw my father at the store

haggling over canoe prices

just like I had said I would,

and then watched him hop from Brooklyn

to Azerbaijan with a blackandwhite eye

to investigate memory’s ray through time-

the sting, the buzz, he is awfully clever,

Time may be linear but memory is not-

“It wouldn’t be all too different,”

he yells before disappearing into a painted shipwreck,

freckles and all.


We never left the ballroom though war never stopped.

We were clever and dancers and even beautiful

despite the plague never stopping either.

This is the poem I meant to tell him about

that I’ve been writing for far too long

and drawn in too many rays

of memory and time

and sting and buzz

and I said I would tell him

about the girl who was standing there

who I said I would see-

almost imaginary,

but I told you,

you see?:


Time poetry seventeen memory

Brooklyn El Greco wasps freckles

Azerbaijan shipwrecks war three hundred

canoes dancing clever sting and buzz

plagues always war always plague

Practice drowning and be clever

and if I remember,

“it wouldn’t be all too different.”

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Literature Poem

The literature that makes it now, pities itself.

The great literature we read never pities itself.

The writers of great literature that we read surely pitied themselves.

The writers of great literature that we read hid this pity from their readers.

The writers of literature now make diary entries of pity surrounding ‘I,’
citing the more clever writers of great literature.

The writers of great literature feared that we would see them as writing diary entries of pity surrounding ‘I,’ only citing the more clever writers of their great literature.

The writers of great literature were clever.

The writers of now play at clever.

Is what they want from me to publicly grieve?

Fetishize the death and illness that life commands alongside sunrises?

It wouldn’t be hard – look!

There is horrid loneliness in people we love!

Death leaves daughters to suffer!

Cats die and we do not like it!

The writers of great literature had cats and daughters and lonesome lives.

The writers of now have cats and daughters and lonesome lives.

The writers of great literature were clever.

The writers of now play at clever.

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Wishful Thinking

I am wishing…always wishing! only wishing!
It needs action and teeth to not forget
sleep noise biology,
which are heavinesses
like memory.

So give them the teeth-
the grizzle in the chest,
wolf snout that shouts at my good grace
regardless of all things.

Not illness like spasm,
but in effect, all the same.
It drips cancer on our bedsheets-
a vile membrane no one asked for,
surrounding you and poetry.
But if vigor lies in the head,
as I’m told,
there is work to be done,
difficult and clever,
with you and with poetry.

Who ‘it’
“needs action and teeth to not forget”?
Love ≡ it
You ≡ it
Poetry ≡ it

Inject the necessities with necessary grizzle,
but think rather than wish,
for vigor is a muscle stronger than noisy emotional sinew.
Life is heavy enough, we drag the universe along with us,
so we note, of all things, that
wolf in poetry is not wolf in Love,
but the it of the matter is the life’s work.

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Muddy with not sleep tonight, and I think
it is dark and so heavy; so, no light.
Digging a hole in memory, in spite
of acquired taste for your coos and stink,
finding myself grieving: dark ellipse of
flashing imagery. But lately, I too
find signs that the universe speaks in clues.
It coos and begs us toward pattern and love.
No cause and effect, but notice and see-
As I grieved, suddenly, flashed the image
of you, lightness, and into my grimace
flew a moth, sat beside, and stared at me.
Ah! Who are you, my love, but the storied
moth-maker? The universe soothes worry.

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Saw Mill Poem

Help me cannibalize myself
Saw Mill Parkway:
Crucifixes and construction sites
being bragged on by Kids
who can climb
and almost nothing else
It’s a dirty road abused
by everyone and myself
for the sake of New York City
Twisting through after-disco
and cement dust is rough
driving myself insane thinking
broken everything
alternating between chanting
optimism about sunrises
and grieving…
there is always an ambulance
in mourning outside
the brown glass hotel
on the northbound side
and I figure it’s elders
but who knows?…
No green light
or any, just heavy
to drive like cement
too much coffee
and this road is sick
and I feel sick
but I am stuffing myself
of myself, consuming
mile after mile
of something difficult
like crucifixes and construction
broken everything
but still chanting

the sun comes up each day
the sun comes up each day
the sun comes up each day

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Logic remains unmarried
to how things go about.
Like the fear of a gifted watch
or other, sadder tokens around the wrist,
like the black string sitting shiva,
tied three times over.
A gift, too, of chance
at a summertime carnival.
The carnival has dissipated
but the black snake stays wrapped
over the vein between Jersey and New York,
in the marshes only buses see-
sunlit magus,
no logic,
so we still grieve.

Thinking, thinking, I cannot sleep
like cement,
also snaking,
from wrist to devil’s fevered head,
no gift, heavy,
and unmarried to logic.

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Coffee and Wine

I have been drinking my wine and coffee from the same mug
which is small and may-be be-littled,
but look at these intellectuals quoting Lenin on Facebook!
Pound(#) revolution into media,
with no regard of grandmothers and their stories
of camp pushed east from Nazi fronts;
more clever, nowadays, to quote tyrants about representative government.
Instead, wear glasses in the rain,
smear vision and think that I want
to write the John Mayer song poem,
which I do,
if only I could explain (like he does,
but anyway).

Too many cups of the same mug
which is small and exciting, chemically,
drives me, foggy
morning and night, but always east,
more clever nowadays quoting John Mayer,

Quoting Vladimir Ilych is tricky-
especially when the passage is one of his great hypocrisies:
Representative government! True revolutionary spirit!
In spite of good feeling, for good feeling, burn a church and read Trotsky?
And imagine the audacity…
to sit and search out these quotes to post to Facebook?
To prove to us their intellect?
it’s pathetic,
kind of like drinking this red from the same mug
I had my coffee in.

Sometimes I don’t drink much,
(though lately…)
but I am just trying to explain
my poetry and subtle fascism and
odd expression coming out of everywhere.
My glasses are muddy but at least try
to think before I speak, quoting anyone
from John Mayer to Vladimir Ilych
to my own drunk caffeine inventions.
let’s fill that mug and refresh Facebook;
listen to each other,
or maybe more importantly,
what it is that we say.

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I have learned of our heaviness-
That is, we as people,
I, like you,
have love and urine and alcohol and ambition
to bog us as we try to be light:
which is only more heaviness.

Here I sit, growling, Céline on the lips
and my attempts at diagnoses end as public hysterics
with me as the provocateur,
which is twisted in its suicidal irony,
which is lost in ellipses and patterned days.

Propaganda is rampant not just in media-
but in professors of psychology and of literature.

Dismiss that, or, as you wish, quite anything:
magic is Netflix and somehow, still,
sunrises each day.

Pathetic like clutching at hats snatched by birds at sea,
below, above, in-between and


What’s magic is animals and maybe alcohol.
Whatever light seems necessary to hop pattern
is enough to learn;

if heaviness is fractal, eternal in its root to human,
then I take that knowledge and twist my own days . . .

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