no one teaches girls
to fall down with grace
coaches yell, Slide and Get Up,
Hey, You Are Not Hurt,
No Blood, Brush It Off.
Like a small miracle, it forms the shape of a Rubinesque angel in the center aisle between pews. Outside, a nun slaps me while I’m standing on the church steps. Then, she hugs me and weeps.
I like myself after, free for just that moment
of the surly bonds of corporeality,
of no touch, no sight, no sound, no scent, no taste,
But the next present hasn’t surrendered, for nothing’s inevitable
where nothing’s been. What lifts in the blood searches through
space for signs of life. Where half of this day has been night,
half of the night remains some kind of Bodhisattva emptiness.
trees continue to
sing and more birds
like this pawnshop show
after the news
starring a cast
of witty white characters
in an inner city
we let it slide
when we got beaten
shitless and you stood idly by,
when you caught the thief
and offered us the once-in-a-life-
time chance to beat
him as he stood tied
You can all fuck off,
said the trees
to thee peoples.
Yes, fuck off, indeed,
the coral said
you go to Hell to burn forever and
it's not just purification but pun
-ishment, too, my Sunday School teacher swears,
and if anybody knows then she does,
she's an Administrative Assistant
part-time at the local junior college
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.
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
before the virus becomes perpetual
before we become petulant
before our palms sweat
before we degenerate
and our humor gets morbid
His permit specifically says:
Out of the way.
There are local officials on hand
To decide what constitutes
Out of the way.
Slag heaps lit up
by the streetlamps –
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
on the momentary
released to his
own care after
a promise he
is sure to break
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,
the noose of anxiety
hangs itself from a tree branch,
dangling from a greater enmity
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
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?
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.
you feel your body breaking
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,
i pulled the rifles
and gun from
the rabbit hole,
and laid them
across my bed
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
Our founders didn’t want freedom
from religion as much as freedom
from that particular religion—
they worried about competing
sects getting too authoritarian,
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,
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?
High risk, heeded by bed rest,
propping her feet, misshapen,
pale, easily marked, when pressed,
a plush pile to alleviate the swelling
I am not fit to yell