"particle fever" and "mariposa"

particle fever

we rely too much on the luck of others:
he talks to himself  - a dry-brained mouthy word machine
rubs the silver residue from the numbers    to see if he has won
$50 that’s not even enough for a happy birthday
that’s it  -  a happy birthday    805F     3 whatever it is  - it’s a constant  mumble
# 1 most 3 again  too low 8 for me to here 1st avenue
5 (inarticulate) i could still take the 3rd avenue bus
it’s a living right / very old foreign accents
he’s so busy seeking his fortune that he totally misses his stop
long line – you can get off here    you take a number 1 to a number 6 or an
 A or E or C or F at west 4th – these aren’t numbers but they work
fortunes made & lost – particles smashed together & separated
circling each other like dueling swordsmen or lovers or flocks of lost birds


more       long         lines


we are given a perfect blend of city & country      stone blood concrete & space
               where it all began – the essential world both real & imagined
    a blank slate -        invoked ersatz & computer imaging
the picture we see >  the result of this bombardment is just a re-enactment
happening  precisely while the real thing is or isn’t  /        happening


a sign on a store on a once fish stained smelly Chinatown street
says WARM  - says – HIPPIES WELCOME  -
                            says           look for the charm of decay elsewhere


now he only talks to birds & counts the spoons
breaks twigs in his mind & waits for his number to hit.


he dreams of a new physics  - his memory muscle remembering little
he awakens  under pressure  - dismisses the event as a disaster
a new EDEN that can never be  - just more media hype
the long line – an eruption of interruptions – an endless ellipsis 
a song eclipsed – reading the melody upside down / backward
& we are left with a short line that sounds too much like the original
say # 6 – the last in the order even tho there are 7 parts
                      the original had only 3 – but he keeps scratching
for how long  will this go on –  scratching        mumbling short sentences
long lines – all waiting for the media to watch as the wonders begin
an omniverse – a multiverse within supersymmetry –
      an elucidated secretly overweight universe –
overweight women discussing their dating habits over hamburgers
      the long line enters again – wish / risk / a backlist of sales reps
fabiola nobodies adept at tomfoolery / expanding warehouse precedentals
new equipment & backward promotions & lovers of the death machine
        at a loss for words:             the thing is the things which >
           art & science colliding    the science of art the art of science
                          do the math     it’s all there scratch head 7 / 5 13/ 22 / uh
long only as the wind dreams / are least important to our survival /  THE UNIVERSE reverse rhythms / the long line / eclipsis / are the things that make us human / a place to inhabit / visit / able as we are NOT / 400 years of symmetry
400 years of slavery / the Blakean theory of the universe / multiverse /
                                               FEARFUL  SUPERSYMMETRY
        beams    auto-clavé    proposal ATLAS  high COLLSIONS  energy 
                    DREAM: poetry & the possibility of sensual sex
                 dream of physics  / taking physics / rumble of the bus tires
     idling of the engine / vibration of the shocks / motionless stoplight / bumpy ride
          circling & circling & circling / finally colliding / pudding just for you /
high priest of the good ear / ta(i)nn(t)ed / complimentary speak lady / mute-on   electron/ neutron / to hold her beholden / he scratches & scratches  rubbing off the numbers / then the collision / not 115 for supersymmetry / not 140 for  a multiverse but somewhere in between a 126.5 or 125.6 / so there might be a continuation of something somewhere / or a falling apart     & i say the fix is in  a few more years of experimentation that tell us where the beginning ends  & the ending begins  & the GOD PARTICLE still somewhat elusive / adida amira right there  a warm february night / it’s right there / the assimilation of different styles  / the absorption of different solar systems / the realization that he’s won very little / his head suddenly slumping into his knees / nothing / 1 / 3 / birthdays / 8 / 1st avenue / 3rd avenue / 6th avenue / missed chances  missed stops / the wrong bus / lexington avenue / the hickscups / the goddamned GOD particle / that keeps our lives together / that tears our lives apart / a disabled wheelchair / a brief pause / this ersatz motionless priority of property / you must give up  i tell him / he looks /        scratches    ///   \\\\  whatever  -  he replies – it’s the red hand of GOSH – i almost scream – whatever -  it’s right there – i point nowhere – whatever  - he looks / scratches / GIVE UP – I loudly whimper – he gets up – whatever  he mumbly whimpers – IT’s RIGHT THERE – he bumbles he scratches - so far so good  he ciphers all that grey matter grey stuff grey particles  grey dust grey ghosts  all those numbers collisions  where they all go ?   wrong stop – you’ll have to walk a bit
                           have a good one  i say – i’m getting off here
                                       the cross fire of an avalanche
                                       a cavalcade of transitional #’s


though his atoms have been split time & time again he still cannot find
                                 the center of his being
         where is form when we need it  \  or at least a semblance of form
                  i exi(s)t first              the long line       wait i say  or don’t wait 
there’s 1 to 6 or A or E or C or B or F or D    & all this equals 21 –
          what color is tonight ?   the GOD particle asks me
                 turn the paper upside down’s my answer.


walking backward thru the light i sat ate & found myself talking to 4 distinctly
different dead men & there in the corner my coffin waited patiently for me



there is no need for debt or debate when one does not mean anything to anybody the important point is not to break the chain  to be polite – to say yes & thank you to be accommodating  to supplement even supplant desires – to persist –
      irritated whites drinking Negrons
ah butterfly the nemesis is you  - short life spans colliding
               perhaps all life changing as you change
         encounter & encompass grief – hear the flutter of 100,000
                       the sonic tracks of a silent film     
                        the debt converted to smoke   
                       windows clouded over
                         city spitting clouds
                               that wedge
                                  between the arches
                                            of her
                                                    high heeled shoes


operator operator i am coming to the end of a tunnel
the light is beginning to spread
the evacuation of the dirt that is my heart is in full swing


           i said i’m no longer afraid to look at what i see on the street                          

                           shuttered windows – der wekstahlvez
                                    paper blowing across an empty street
                                              debt or depth or death
                                    which is it – all fool’s gold
                                          no matter what the substance
                                                    all duped no matter what the price.
​werder da cat’s on its quiet pursuit
   the unrest of pigeons
           as the prison gates open  & you are released like a steam engine
                       into the street – released from your oustem –
        & we walk like comrades & i pour the morning’s waste out of a bucket
                   as the crowd increases from single file to tenfold
                               rows up & down pathways / cobbles cabals cables
                                     stairways & staring soldiers marching
                                               the organ grinder playing
                                             the draw bridge near collapse


                                                                  ah mariposa
                    the factory awaits its occupants – what is the debt they owe
                                we owe? 


a pipe – a moustache – the gears beginning to spin  in a world of mass production
                                      where things are produced for the masses
                 though some are only for the privileged few
                                finely shaved & polished shards of steel
                     infinite bottles filled  & loaves fresh baked
                                          fires stoked    
                           chimneys pushcarts / loaded
                                cars washed  - garbage disposed of
(yet always more garbage) – days always beginning
                children off to school if the season’s right
​weggelerollerda  window up  gates up  schlachterha - mer                      
                            curtains up
      blinds up – mannequins – horses – up – pillows aired – blinders on
rugs beaten – butter flies remembering what they were then forgetting
just as quickly – shoes shined – nails polished
a beautiful walk thru the park at night
the band playing – the globe changing  (color)
junkies all quietly tucked away somewhere
dancers as graceful as flowers
crack one legged crutch man
no stories about war or war stories
just elevator rides and roll-top desks
typewriters telephones & the printing press
operator operator i am coming to the end of a tunnel
the light is beginning to spread
the evacuation of the dirt that is my heart is in full swing
at all other times i will dial 311          the barber smiles
the sound of lighting a cigarette on a singing man’s knee
like achtspracht breathing
no debt  no debate – grief for the moment everlasting


fly away mariposa – away your colorful wings
the naked children are here only to exploit you
                             to explore you
                  to touch your fascinating wings -
it was even shorter than anticipated – a quick beautiful twin burst
         too short & me preoccupied with 3 different lives
                  & she flew torn & traumatized she flew
but cacophony calculation dark spectrum debt ceiling & me indebted to few men
          heart strumming – cycles – disposing of the evenings waste
one stage is flying great distances to approach the indecipherable
      travelling lord i’m travelling  lord  i’m tryin to make heaven my home
   rocks – next –


operator operator i am coming to the end of a tunnel
the light is beginning to spread
the evacuation of the dirt that is my heart is in full swing


             i can’t begin to tell you how it looks from where i sit
                              lamp trim & burning
       end time                                                dream time
               indecipherable redness that reflects an obvious exit
                                desperation on every corner
              i can’t begin to tell you  –   even from here
               in this parking lot there is a history of butterflies
                               guns money jelly rolls
          just as there is a history of lost pages – gaps in memory
                       always lost here in this same cocoon
                              there is for me @ any rate
             the mystery of a smile & why it occurs or when
                 in all these photographs i look so pensive
                          angry  barely smiling disturbed – all bare knuckled
                                 & @ the end i must shed my cocoon
                   in a tunnel without end where depth & ceiling are one
                             as they press in upon me-
nemesis – is me oh butterfly – coal dust - the price i put on things 
   & i can’t begin to tell you where it all began
        but look there & there & there & there
                 & you’ll begin to see the end.


  gold dust air greed  - so fly away Mariposa     fly away


"particle fever" was first published in Before Passing (Great Weather for MEDIA, 2015) and nominated for a Pushcart. Both of these poems were recorded as spoken word pieces by Steve Dalachinsky and The Snobs, on the album ec(H)o - system.



Steve Dalachinsky

Steve Dalachinsky has been writing poetry for many years and has worked with such musicians as William Parker, Susie Ibarra, Matthew Shipp, Roy Campbell, Daniel Carter, Sabir Mateen, Mat Maneri, Federico Ughi, Rob Brown, Tim Barnes and Jim O’Rourke. Recent books include The Final Nite & Other Poems: Complete Notes From A Charles Gayle Notebook 1987-2006 (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2006), and the second edition of A Superintendent’s Eyes (Unbearable Books/Autonomedia, 2013). His spoken word albums include Incomplete DirectionsI thought it was the end of the world then the end of the world happened again with Federico Ughi, and Phenomena of Interference with Matthew Shipp. The second edition of Trust Fund Babies is forthcoming from Unlikely Books.


Edited for Unlikely by Jonathan Penton, Editor-in-Chief
Last revised on Friday, May 27, 2016 - 08:41