It is getting to be a little bit
too much. Things are getting
a bit out of hand. I do not
want to make excuses. Life
is getting the best of me.

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I take pleasure in seeing how cities disappear,
how streets, parks, names get deleted, how
my denial washes even the holiest gardens away.
I mock the mountains: Can you see?
What tiny mounds you all are, if I want you to be so.

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Since the war began,
nothing tastes the same,
neither my mother’s soup,
nor my granny’s sponge cake,
​but the taste of snow didn’t change at all.

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but there's a guy I know
who scribbles words on paper
and believes, in his heart,
that it's the best thing ever written,
that there's a great author
eating bourbon chicken on rice

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make a solar contribution
make curtains from a hemp parachute
 
one of those people with a lantern
dressing up like a llama

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And you, my ear of wood
separate floor and sky
floor from sky
and hear my sin as lack
on the midline

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The riot police’s armored vehicles
              prevent
the                      apartheid  suicide of
                                        disobedient
                                transcendentalist
                                               hermits

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an empire reborn, or men of straw, or 
a form of ashes blown on the wind  
down corridors to arc once more 
or dissolve into nothing. 

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You say this city is a river. I say it’s a sea. You say no,
A river for its constancy, those slick coats
In a row and the daily shoop of dreams
Dipping into manholes. At least a river
Has direction, you say.

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hidden fault lines
under the eight-mile bridge
where gods spoke
through broken wine bottles

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Because they believe that water is mute
dikes and levies have been built
but water remains wet
​so dryness cannot be truth

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I see no plan
no justice in
any of this
and I no longer
accept the ineffable

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all artists are social redeemers
we are changing the world
with our six figure canvasses
we are enlightening millions
​with our xenophobic obscurity poetry

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Oblivious of her nakedness
she went racing through the
airport, shouting out that
they were adding weapons on

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Not see-through.
No hole in the cosmic tapestry.
A deep, honest blackness that will slowly drink you in.
Where you don't have to run, brother.

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she half-listens to me telling
how the numbers here and there
are rising, always rising
and i can see that she's
tuned me out, tuned out the math

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Such a Grand Wizard, 'tis rare.
Once in a lifetime, they say,
perhaps in all of history, says he.
Spoken like a true Grand Wizard.

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The failed dishonesty you call your lust
lives in the hollow carved out by your guilt.
Edges bleed where other edges meet them.
This battlefield is not without its charms,
till memory insists and meaning forms.

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She told me of the cousin who caught it, serotonin depletion after 4 months still ill.  Solitary hours, reading, do tai chi, strong coffee and the rabbit who died under our car, of a rabbit illness we think.

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A man waves his AR-15, a woman her tiny pistol, at non-violent demonstrators in St. Louis. They must only eat cake in that palace of theirs; inside, there’s a wooden hiding place from the Reign of Terror.

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They ground his neck on camera until he died
as bystanders filmed, watched, begged, and pleaded.
We're tired of seeing black people dying.

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Midlife can’t offer sanctuary from hurt, despair, poverty, ill-health.
Grey hairs, facial lines, tummy bulges never guaranteed serenity’s
Visits, restful nights, noontide smiles, sweet breath, noiseless guts.
Rather, aging conveys difficult isthmuses athwart youth and years.

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water is the luxury to print a cookie
would you butter a letter?
 
mary is the magdalene of the soft hands
the paper is the laugh

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And inside the riding whip the tail on the walk home legislates our holster of this irradiated ketchup the women inside phones brave potable boys

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His last black breath
The man presses stay down, makes no sound
Someone releasing air by the knee where this man’s
life
had once flown.

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My present is so fast now
yet it’s constant and timeless.
I’m looking into the mirror,
putting make-up
on my distorted self,

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I, more, I inched all drenched
blooded for thee a sight to enjoy
but glumly she bird then just die

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In that pebble a magic fish
answers your questions.
within your grip
dime and democracy.

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Having lived for others, my mother said,
she’d planned her life in thirds: first for family,
second for world, third for self.  But third
had been drained by caring for her mother
as well as for my father in retirement.
She’d run out of time.  Design flaws.

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out of the emptiness
that crawls along
this boulevard
of half-remembered things

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The no-tell motel just one street
Off the lot at Chrystal City Four
In Washington, D. C., is not
Doing the business it used to.

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The Bronx is high
art and high crime
home runs and hallelujahs
greenways stretched
into another time

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I no longer hear that silvery soprano tone protecting me.
The woods, deep darkly, overcome a sheer blue sky, the color of your eyesight.
How can this impeccable quiet answer me?
A whole pure run of notes shows I have practiced imprecisely.

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One T leads to another
the few hills left will collapse soon i’ll
keep gong 'til i’m asked who i am
the atm spat my card back at me
the bird that’s been following since reno isn’t a bird

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Endless deficiencies exposed, features that exemplify America: gruff,
grub-hungry, godforsaken, hateful and hated. In fits of childish
impertinence, not great, but intransient and irrelevant as the Raj,
knick-knack of another know-it-all empire totally out of control.

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