05 September 2009

Exquisite Corpse (SMS & RCM)

When the rain dropped it was still making green

alive sounds a moisture that refreshes

without satisfying

we’ve been there before

like a cat licking fur that is necessary so

smooth and rough

moving from this way to that way

because that is the way movement is supposed to

happen especially the jaw bones and how

they displace the yes and the

no, the way language is fouled against

the gums and the teeth and the soft palette

of the speaker who gropes for messages. encoded he

writes them, encoded he hears them, and they

are passed on because he cannot keep them

Which wind blowing carries syntax? Which

wind blowing my tiredness that is enveloped

a soft down cushion so I can dream, dream and not

be tired be sleepy be almost dreaming and

remember the last time you remembered

remembering that it is like a fancydance diversion

you are denying me what I

want and there is that taste again

that taste of what I’ve always wanted

3 September 1994

04 September 2009

Mister Man (an exquisite corpse by Bruce Burrows & Robert Masterson)

She was hanging over the coffee cup so wiped of sleep,

wiped in that way that gives her the eyes like the

eyes on a dollar bill pyramid. She sucked the steam

through her nose. No way that was going in

her stomach.

I was hovering behind the counter, holding that

pot in my good hand for no real reason, her cup

was getting empty and I just starting to let my

stare go when she said,

"Mister Man, you are my dream boat,

you are my dream,

you are putting quarters in my jukebox

and making the sounds you make."

I was stunned. I listened.

"You, sir, I said sir, are the one with

the one that I want."

I looked at my toast and wondered about

marmalade. My two hour snack into the

shift and not really ready for this. You do

the job and just want to get through another

end and some peroxide dream starts this?

Sitting right there, right in front of it,

impossible to miss that shriveled thing

at the end of your right wrist, something

that looks like it belongs in between

Sunday morning legs instead of where

God put it?

"Sure honey. Sure I am."

I am thinking about taking a big break

in the bathroom in the back of the room,

thinking about this place and that place

and the place between my legs

(it's getting semi-, if you know what I mean).

I am thinking about leaving her a big tip.

"Do you come here often," I said just

like that.

She said, "Cream? Sugar? Taxi?" Just

like that.

I looked at the menu and I did not see

her on it and that was disappointing.

But not surprised.

"Yeah, taxi," I said. "I can get you that."

She pushed the coffee away.

"You goddamned son of a bitch,

you'd fuck a snake if someone would

hold its head for you."

"You need the fare?"

She put a ten on the counter, stood up.

"No, honey. I got all I need."

I put the pot down. "Yeah, I figured.

Must be nice, that."

She laughed, turned towards the door.

"Never count on that, Mister. Man."

03 September 2009

Exquisite Corpse (Matthew John Conley & Robert Masterson)

phallic phallicle follicle

pressing in through the window

there is no question, no negotiation.

There is only a compromise between

legs between legs a compromise between legs

of compromise compromise of promise

promise this because it is an honest request

my baby my baby my baby my soft reverse option

opening up wide in the chair

beneath, poised

and gasping, I wonder why

I am in this position

bound to immobility

grasped as much by it as by anyone here

or not here; it is practically the same thing

because we have been loving each other

because we have been pinning each other

down teeth to throat on the river

which is bending this way and that way

some kind of ox-bow reference to our literary past

splitting open the brain

and watching the knob burst

a fungus, a spoor

that we have found when we walked through the heavy,

darkening forest

hair growing

all along the base of the trees and lips of melon earth

so fragrant like the way we exit

smooth and silent, you know, like the way we steal

children from the forest and turn them

into surface under wheels

like the ones, the wheels that rolled over me

at the Big Daddy Tractor Pull for us.

02 September 2009

The Expression of Symptoms

has changed throughout our history

and we think now, when holding our heads,

of those who convulsed as lightening struck the ground

or who bled at unusual odors.

If we reconsider love to be disease

then, too, we may whisper ourselves toward a leech's philosophy,

a surgeon's bowl to be filled by our efforts, with our desires.

Resist these passions in the ways

this razor has been cutting my arm

here and here and here.

01 September 2009

Prozac Before Swine

I remember fun but I don’t remember liking it all that much.

--Daniel Pallas

Letters: Collected, Undelivered, Found


The idea of the crimson foliage stroke is to knock the opponent’s sword down and take the sword over.

--Miyamoto Musashi

The Book of Five Rings


Armed with nothing more than the arm of a mannequin

I charged them all

and broken glass did skitter through the alley

and I remember I didn’t quite

make it all the way across



face down in the gutter water and grease I remembered

that I had forgotten what I was mad about

I think about the rows of cages and in each one

a rabbit wearing Maybelline mascara

I think about monkeys with Lucite skull caps and wires

shot into their thinkers

I think about a cicada at the end of a string buzzing

around and around my head

“I have seen a naked boy asleep on a clear hot day

on the back of a water buffalo

in a malachite field of rice,”

he said

“I watched a girl in a conical hat drive a thousand ducks

down the road to a slaughterhouse.”

I remember him saying that

I thought about thinking and

then thought again

31 August 2009

She Said, "This Is How Much I Love You,"

but she meant how much she loved to hurt me.
I have always hated the way
she can impose herself completely across our lives,
how these kinds of gestures clutter the apartment and
make it extraordinarily difficult to move,
for movement to even seem possible.
This objectification of both our selves is dangerous,
leads to actions which lack all but the most abstract context.
It compresses the definitions of our individuality and
summarizes our relationship as individuals all out of shape.
"Muh daddy gimme that knife," I told her.
"When I was a kid."
And we both followed the darkening pool
that spread across the table from where it pierced her hand.

30 August 2009

Portrait of the X

Epicanthic eyes and brows that peak,

that point to a grey-streaked tangle.

Cat anger, quick spitting, sharp

drives her car blindfolded, singing.

Small hands, inkstained, and nails cut down, cut back, cut short.

Rolling lust and the clenched gasp of desire

pulls the weeds in a garden of peas and lilac.

Walking, toes pointed out and hips rolling like roadside warnings,

fatigued pleasure and indolent joy

washes her pots and pans, singing.