the apple is pupil plus cornea
or maybe the magnetized pole
in pacific sea, pinhole
or some sinkhole in a shelf
of split ice. my flamboyant
sadness smells of citrus
and paint thinner. what if
i painted my future kid’s walls
that color. what if i could
talk to the three-letter word
that is one letter. a hole
in a hollow is also me
and an eye and the middle
of the riddle. and the eye is echo
not rhyme, linked like a low keen
from sea to sea, or a fruit
bruised perfect blue. beginnings
can be magnetized, too. i try
not to think of ice when i’m
i miss the dogfight
of our teeth squaring off
in a shiny mirror.
you could call our canines
moon kernels or portents,
but the sentiment
is sharper. the poem
tautology to a bracelet
of crescent dents.
shadow, shadow, light.
a plane reflecting
other planes, an edge
biting an edge, biting
an edge, bitten.
the bracelet tautology
to a skyline sans sky,
one wedge of evening
held in your periphery.
i press my fingers
into a warm glass throat.
(for kathy acker)
SHE PULLS A RUSTED STAPLE GUN: "YOU WANT TETANUS, *******?"
i think the ten-word-poem trend going around is an excellent idea executed horribly. too much abstraction, too little concreteness. so, y'know, i made it as concrete as possible. also technically the fourth in my ten-minute poem series.
in a heat like this you forget you have a stomach, patina’d as it is with shame. the junction of thigh and hip is a bear-trap. what do you and bears have in common? a bracelet of red dents at the wrist and no escape. anyways, keep trying. the four-by-four cube of yourself gives slowly, like a mattress or lung, something to be punctured. there, the air is water-soft. the walls are cream, not pink, but still you wait for threshold to meet threshold, for the mandala-fold of ribs to fall away. come winter this womb of cream will expel you a reborn thing, with fur.
10 minute poem #3. idk.
chip your tooth on the toilet. find your goldfish’s grave and dance on it. that guy in the trench coat at the party didn’t know anything, but let your paranoia balloon you into a parody of yourself, let your limbs hum off the bone. lie to other people about smoking ****. place an excise on weakness: a tearing for every tear. actually, don’t do that. think about your fish going down the drain. a body in orbit, descending, some tide in your stomach rising. don’t do that either. wear a bracelet of crescent dents. sink your chipped tooth into things often. key trench-coat’s car. bite his headlight. remember your arms? they should be back in your skin by now. now, admittedly, doesn’t mean much. dig up your goldfish or the approximate decay and place it back in the bowl you never cleaned. this looks like continuing as usual but isn’t.
10-minute poem #2. these are excellent self-help tips and i endorse them wholeheartedly.
Promises made by diviners: first,
the month of my undoing dissected,
uncertainty excised. Fingers splayed,
the prophet makes a pretty ritual
out of ribcage. Says: any bone
can be an oracle bone, given time.
Unhook the vertebrae, then.
Plate apart the musculature
and there’s fate, that red spool,
that hungry spine. Ask me if I
believe. I believe all prophets
are butchers. The small chime
is her fingers at my glass rib
and not my leaving. Ah, fate,
that tangle of guts, of chyme.
the first in a series of 10-minute poems i'm supposed to be cranking out every two days.
(after dean young)
“there are some parts of the human brain
even carps spit out.” but the amygdala births worms
which the fish chew quite sweetly. what isn’t
here: one un-slipped stream, one un-swissed
memory. what is: encephalitis, beetle-black shadow
in the water’s meat. some questions prompt answers
like mouths and feeding. ask yourself why fish bones
are like angels if it isn’t their getting stuck
or the filigree. ask yourself why the first words
of a poem are the skin of an unfathomable ocean,
or why you can only ever think about bodies
and feeding. in the throat, i forgot to say. i take
a layer of algae off the table before sitting down to tuna
and the soup in the coffin that is the kitchen sink.
ask yourself: if the water pressure’s been gone for weeks,
why is your hair always soaked in the morning?
inspired by dean young's poem "gray matter," from his 2005 collection.
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