Act natural. Thrift shop for used clothes
by the pound. The colored smell 
​of poverty is leading the way 

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How many women!
How much time you’ve been given.
How many borrowed charms have been shattered around.

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All we’d need is such a power in the hands of a compulsive
narcissistic megalomaniac who worships himself
knowing he’s not good enough, so he must
distract himself by rejecting even the thought
of right and wrong, forcing the world to comply

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As I dip my mind in paint and write
a colourful and creative muse
visits my canvas to illuminate
​it like a starry starry night

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The figure announced
That he was the spirit
Of Jack Daniels
And had a message
For Sam Adams.

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Was it even plausible to think
with that figure and that face,
Marilyn Monroe could succeed
in 1950 as something more
than the girl on the subway grate,

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Having shortness of breath and chest pain,
I thought ‘heart attack’, but
no
only arterial heart disease,
​same as killed my father

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We wink at the crooks, our remnant like that
anvil we keep tossing each other, our
residue like saluting. We clutch the
banner of a warrened world whose tunnels,
unsolvable, incarcerate, swelter,

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Who needs these black cloudy sheep
Who needs this clanking cease-fire 
Who needs these empty sky calculations
My sky is empty with the fullness
​Of this some other week’s skies

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for toxic willow pageants   
cascade merchants align
 
     cranking out
     their crude ultimatum

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             Give him a fake phone number.
Or better yet, a fictitious jealous boyfriend.
  Toss out the phone number, but keep the cash.
Always get 20%
                           or more.

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Your dream will be short,
like the smile of a pretty girl
which gives a little more hope
​if you can go further.

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you’d lived life beyond most norms 
of social convention, 
meeting the challenge of restrictive forms 
​though hinting at mortal rendition, 

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Karim Wasfi,
the renowned conductor
of the Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra,
takes his cello to the sites
of some of the Baghdad’s
most violent acts
and plays.

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A female delinquent spoke. She described how her male beast was a cock artist. “It lives inside my brain. A Twisted thing, it tells me its secrets – dirty and unclad it hides behind objects and silences. It satiates victims for amusement.”

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preceptors of sheltered cause
and promised libations
 
plexities aroused
​of a yearning to bother.

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in a state of des(re)pair  our crawling forward blindly to nowhere  
at a tipping point too often chalk outlined   Vitruvian-
splayed post-
mortem on an urban city street   made to feel the press of hot asphalt

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up and down the street,
some pay with a bruise on the face,
a blackening of the eye,
a few just hide
from the fake storm

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angry, fierce
with pockets full of bullets
and cyanide capsules.
There were just not enough
of either.

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Myself and the rose. My body a light-bender; you reach me through photosynthesis. Rootedness, tongue in my mouth, a reminder:

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as the rush of water
comes and seethes
white shush upon
​the quiet rage of need.

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"another transaction" rolled
under other
a hand severed "that’s a"
garage (the)
door opened then closed

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Our silence bangs against the heater.
He draws the blinds partly closed,
says he longs to bring Jerusalem here,
heart of his, held captive when
they banished him, forbade return.

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grossly negligent armies
                        swept through the brain/cellophane
            like shallow individualism
            of fashion

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but a good foamy piss ascends lung bursting mucus, but a small roll of snot ascends earwax, and so mucus is caught between not forefinger and thumb but piss and earwax and the more you produce the better for all manifest life.

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Make a fresco of our blood,
an ocean of our tears,
make mountains of our bones,
and bogs of our bowels,
but who will know death in art,

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We are flooded
to our necks. Like fishing bobbers
we are floating on our backs down what,
before the storm, was Maple Street.

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This tense dream
the passengers on the rubber raft,
a few still afloat,
if they are lucky,
hold to tight, even while sinking
a hundred meters from shore.

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together we'll hit historic route 66
to las vegas
like hunter thompson &
oscar acosta 
we'll look for the american dream 
in a taco

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The time is noon
The world in flames
We talk
You listen
But tears cannot bring us together

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In my childhood there were fathers to fear and nuclear war. Radiation. This was before children were given Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes, so no wonder we felt hopeless in spite of the cans my grandparents kept in the basement.

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I can muse on inequity and stereotypes
safe in the comfort of my paycheck
and business attire.
I can waltz by the cops in and around
the train station, wary but unafraid for my life.

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They drove you to the stores
but didn’t let you park
 
They fattened you up on Coca-Cola
but didn’t let you in the bathroom

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The billboards advertise
Aborted fetuses, vasectomies,
Christian fellowship
And the communist UN.

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The cataclysm is about to begin;
there is nothing but the dragon
under dead Gaia’s skin.
It drills its gleaming eyetooth upwards
into bedrock,
splintering granite,
​as a hot pick would splinter brittle ice.

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we drove for three hours only to
find the building burned to the
ground when we got there
 
do you see the punchline?

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