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Aristocrats on annuities in drawing rooms
held bromances of the mire,
tempest glances by garment pulses
with breasts as powdered as the pines.

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But a young teenager in a poor neighborhood
is writing poems about police patrolling
the streets and the fear that pervades them,
yet his verses are the wildflowers

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trying to create a world from the inside out, without killing—
evolution a flip book of an unrepeatable story
unable to flip the pages of sequoia, brontosaurs

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Come, tell us your story of romance.

If you only have a bad lover,
then a bad lover it is.

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happy children’s voices
are laughing in the past.

Silence. Then somewhere a telephone
starts to ring and it rings

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How is it possible the sky
Can shine across the river
Anymore, the heart beat
Purely as the distance from a grave?

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no one ever asked you
how does it feel to be submerged
in the affection of an ordinary poet
ignoring the frigid wind, word’s breath draws fervor
your bubbles rising in the water are her answers

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You poisoned sad with stoning veins,
I dream of you in morning street
With angry hair, with open teeth
And drinking meat in concrete shade.

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until cops came with their shining blue
light and
we ran 
​into the backyard shadows--

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his days no better,
the sunlight reflected off his reflecting skin,
blinding his eyes,
causing him to stumble
into stained-skinned strangers,

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You're in Brooklyn, a place of cruelty
in your youth, a place of probity
in your dotage. You sit on a bench
vacated by Jamaican nannies
​under which portly pigeons nuzzle

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just an ostrich or a penguin
riding on a wing and a prayer,
wishing like Tinkerbell and pumping
to get the hell off the ground
​and out of civilization’s gnarly way

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A healer leans over a sleeping dragon
lays on hands large and webbed as frog’s paws,
arms turn into oily black eels.
We are tired of buildings.

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and you can believe in god or
you can not believe
and in the end you die

and do you want an apology?

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And so we burn, we drown,
we wave goodbye, eyes fixed
on stars and alligators,
on the last page of Hemingway,
​on a swamp that teems

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I look out the window at an old Victorian
hands trembling on the wheel
my daughter places her hand over mine
"You can tell me anything"

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Wisdom presumably learned
from the stabbing death
of Kitty Genovese in 1964
and the neighbors who watched,
​each waiting for the other to act.

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When he's fed up with being invisible
​and doesn’t want to be a vintage pic
he walks to the beach, plants feet in the sand
next to a tropical grape tree and waits.

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is what I meant when I said that sometimes
no matter where you are or who you are
with it seems you would be perfectly happy
on a world with one island surrounded by a big
purple ocean filled with really nice apartments.

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“that george bush looks the same now don’t he?”
“same as he did when he was a kid. you know it’s him.”
“he’s a good old boy ain’t he?”
“better than the muslim we got now.”

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I grew a bruise that purpled
into a tiny apocalypse
which I kept in my shirt pocket
and started going to fancy cocktail parties

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Because of either infinity or
invisibility — the translation
is unclear — there's been a lot
of jelly crystals downloaded
recently around the world,

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This started the apprehension, that a crafty
The Dr. irrigated Jule’s nose with ice water
and timid policy was getting rid of
and a syringe.  She was panicky and screamed and

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Because with every because
with every because
with every because
I felt the shame of it, the fault of it

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You are a painting by Thomas Hart Benton with luxurious black hair and beautiful pale white skin

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Someone in a white coat spots your dick,
so the world thinks you're gendered male,
which leads to you dressed in blue
and ends in a bang on a Baghdad street
that you don't hear before it hits you,

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and create something mystical out of this mud
Dude says, “somebody just shot me in the head!
I can’t pay attention to that! YOU pay attention to that!”
So I crawl 150 feet to the next gas station

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The last time I heard the word redemption was from a guy who then dropped a Springsteen impression in the Best Buy parking lot. Beyond, goldenrod, high tension wires. Vistas are temporarily unavailable.

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We wanted to fire live ammunition.
We paid attention to the warning sighs,
the subliminal hisses in the midst
of concertos—indicators that some
of the electrodes had come loose again.

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We have ceased to be
Ourselves
        We go on being beings
Not selves or wholes
                Wholes with holes in them

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Turn up the voltage 
and burn out the light bulbs.
Step off the pedestal
and conform to nothing.

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He can, of course, murder his enemy’s
Children in their sleep, re-educate
Entire societies, round up all the passable
​Women in a village to create a forced labor brothel.

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There are a million terrible stories
in the world.
​This just happens to be ours.

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He has an app that flounders me in dopples, in gangers. Hello! I do not wish to linger. I dream of  revenge that rankles, of gongs bonging when the time is up. I have heard that you can download the app.

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Whereas good mannerly pensive prehensile Pence
him go dog-diggety nosing up unpoliced spreads
of othern’s privates downward through dives
divoting him roughs whilst lowering the rank

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You walk the avenue.
You swing your hips
like a metronome.
​Time is ticking away.

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receding arrears panic
when disruptions concealed
their lost awe
​                      to abdominal radar

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"Cold Wave" by Vernon Frazer requires image support

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There was an America
of red brick with limestone trim.
It was small, overcrowded,
and stood, in upper New York Bay,
at the edge of that other vast America.

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