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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we want more shakespeare so we can see what
love’s labour’s won is like already knowing
about losing why we could use every
now & again some small reminder that
you needn’t be a singer to sing

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Rainstorms
and
mountain views
from
hospital rooms
sliding across drugstore
floors

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Poets, Whitman depends on you
for he cannot return but turn over
in his grave. Purge your words
and make a stand for freedom.

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Somehow, it went unrehearsed
For a minimum introductory pillow— the wind
On fire like one’s eyes, or the next
Great theme that will soon become apparent

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To the man wandering lonely under moonlight,
these porcelain birds in a forsaken-land inn
are unmelting ice-tissue onto the aorta walls!

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Philosophers had become so dense that aphorisms took over
like hungry busboys clearing a banquet.
God is dead; hell is other people; I think therefore…
One busboy copped more leftovers than he could devour,
so he packed them up for his family.

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//   wild things are wild/   not a rib
to be unequally yoked/   because the walls
we build to contain them/    mean nothing to them   /&
their Other-ness
is the filth/   that makes them feel   //

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once the tyrants have the barrel of the gun
placed firmly against the back of your neck,
all they can ever think about is pulling the trigger

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Tiffany and the Nimrod took their first night in a motel just past the truck stop, in a scarlet and white bridal suite. The motel had plastic furniture in the lobby, and “Jesus loves you,” graffitied on the condom machine in the public restroom.

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not seen carpet bomb threshing machines
harvest fragile stalks of life
gone in stilled heartbeat,
not heard orphans cry in empty nursery,
not heard mothers cry in burned wheat field,

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I don’t know what any of it means
sword arm aching, rebelling from the wrist
illness never quite reaching retching or infarct
never quite reaching the stomach or the heart
only the seat of longing for rest, peace, cease

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their backs arched violently as
orgasmic waves welcomed flashes of
deep blue neon –
as an orgone accumulator trapped
under fractured glass wheezed

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a lingering hostility
felt their screening
fingering to leather
 
                a scratching tone

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Invasive crawling bugs across the kitchen ceiling
Eating light bulbs to the socket
And candle wax and wicks
While night falls in,
More devouring.

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            the king's fool
elevated beyond his pay grade by a glitch
in a system 200 years out of date,
no anti-virus protection in sight

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We’re not talking anyway. Not
about anything other
than COVID-19 anyway—
singing its monstrous aria,

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It drapes the shoulders of a woman
bent over her garden, fills
the empty glass on the windowsill.

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Oyster, enter mouth
sushi enter mouth
Why does the metaphor
want water and sex?

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I write the newspaper headings,
pour more salt on my tequila,
stare at each individual crystal,
frighten away old precipice birds.

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