It’s like walking into a hallucination without being quite sure whose it is. I kind of wish Baudelaire were alive to see it. Under the turmoil of a violet gray sky, there’s a fire made of people.

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which led me to wonder what would have happened if Gerald Ford and Bob Dole and Ronald Reagan came out in sparkly polyester and started two-stepping in time with the trumpet players

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before the virus becomes perpetual
before we become petulant
before our palms sweat
before we degenerate
and our humor gets morbid

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His permit specifically says:
Out of the way.
There are local officials on hand
To decide what constitutes
​Out of the way.

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Slag heaps lit up
by the streetlamps –
polished up
shame
shining hard,

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Every love is average, longs for an outside to say forever in under three minutes. In the cinemas boats capsize, buildings burn and the soft rock stylings proceed as if love were weather, its form needing no defense.

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How the trickle of pity unfolds, how the decadence of liturgy is a bitter taste of blood; or, fishing deep, the vermin streaks and you at the threshold, all those sweeping features, all the rocks that climb out of the sea, all the thieves clinging to the peaks.

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For a second, I assume I’ve failed to zone back in, like the times I’ve been engrossed by words on a page, so much so a favourite album has skipped several tracks imperceptibly. When this happens, I feel hot shame.

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It’s not that hard to learn that friends have died.
We’re used to death fucking everything up.
But to watch them suffer, to listen to them
​scream. And whimper. And moan. That’s rough.

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If it’s natural for some types of people to act that way,
then maybe de-naturing is what’s needed. If we’re going
to go down, let’s go down flaming. The two-party system
bats a shuttlecock of trivia, caked in fake, back and further
back; we are the net, immobile, invisible, watching the news

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I do not like the person gathering behind these words
I do not believe his wound is what he says it is
​I see nothing in his chipped little eyes that leads me to believe

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          knowing imposed
          ancient acquisitions
          on the momentary 

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released to his
own care after
promising to
take medicine,
a promise he
​is sure to break

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The water leaves
waves of arrogance, no longer
bubbling below the surface. Hate sunbaths happily
on bleached out yellow sand. Intolerance floats on the breeze
a tangle of slogans and lies. Hate,
injustice and greed on the savage vertical,

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the noose of anxiety
hangs itself from a tree branch,
commits suicide,
dangling from a greater enmity
demanding tribute—

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When I grow up I want to be a) happy: is something no one ever says, or b) unalone c) whole d) a hole e) anything but an a-hole, or f) hungry for the food of thought

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Sometimes, I think there are talismans. If you can hit on the right configuration, you can open doors to other places. If you’re patient, you can pick the lock. I’m still trying out different combinations: a pocket watch and a pitcher of Wyler’s Electric Grape?

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signs of the Black Death can still be
seen. Now a bittersweet place, that
neither technology nor the rapid con-
​sumption of shooters can transform.

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you feel your body breaking
cutting cord
melting chain

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Getting & spending are lesser evils now
we have pandemic & pandemonium
caused by war and no real peace, even on Bali,
known for pacific waters and gorgeous daughters
in rebellion against the rule of tides,

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i pulled the rifles
the switchblade
and gun from
the rabbit hole,
and laid them
​across my bed

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The idolatrous ink runs red once more
and we wash our hands of the whole affair
trying in vain to keep the fresh blood from dripping
on our Sunday best
​while consoling ourselves because after all

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Our founders didn’t want freedom
from religion as much as freedom
from that particular religion—
they worried about competing
sects getting too authoritarian,

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To anticipate and prepare for an America without Roe,
my mother warns in a voice as assertive as the Pythia,
it’s necessary to remember America without Roe:
self-induced or back-alley abortions for those without
means or alternatives. Agonizing, often gruesome,

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Ever nightmare through a night out, ever
lose some major coin, ever slot machine
past Mr. Right (or Mr. Whomever)
before cuddling up to Mr. Mean?

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I fought
for love
for money
I fought
the power
I fought
​myself

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High risk, heeded by bed rest,
propping her feet, misshapen,
pale, easily marked, when pressed,
a plush pile to alleviate the swelling

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+mercury
+hesitation
+emptying
+orbiting
 
 
I am not fit to yell

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Hades replied that rules are rules
Anyone who tastes our fruit
shall remain
consider six months above ground
a bargain

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Lust drive
startle, flinch, fear
the bifurcating exits
split curbs and sky between
the silhouetted highway sequencing

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Why do Black men have to be so angry?
I wondered how to not tell them that grinnin’,
dancin’, singin’ and callin’ on Jesus only go so far.
A real Black man’s hurt where they cannot see,
or how he learns to cleverly hides his scars.

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an ash quarter horse buggy buggies
& a Ford Model A four-wheeler
wheels over orange dust
& a red-seat Kawasaki
 & silver side-car weaves between lanes

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i have swam with the mind's eels of mediterranean opuses
i have meditated on andean precipices on finities & infinities of being & seeing
hidden in plain sight these realms appear before me untouched by mind
​uninhibited by mind unfractured by mind unspun by mind

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i feel it,
shot as it is,
in my chest—
then, outside,
a report

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“Kill the Indian, save the man,” they proclaimed.
Sent off on trains to faraway places,
hair shorn (was mother dead?), uniforms issued,
home languages silenced with slaps,

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and Gloria resigned herself to her fate
the inevitability of her mother's caring fists
striking her head, her sides, designating
her calloused, open palms for her face
careful not to leave any black eyes

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I had a feral streak and that day when the ice cream truck passed by I ran out of the house, straight into a big sedan driving down the street. I bounced off the side right by the front wheel.

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