I just read the first page
of James Joyce’s ‘novel’
Joyce makes up new words
and uses so many new words
that I could not comprehend
what Joyce had written.
Should authors make effort
to use words
which their audience
Face me to the east,
on a riverside run dry.
commenting as an aside.
Judge the unjudged, remind them at their peril.
Eskimos knew no god, and now priests send them to hell.
The sky is a bridge between which humanity sits.
Part the dried flake of my rest, I'll bear the split.
Then pardon myself for having ever exist.
There's a bear in my soul,
and she clamors to remain within.
First Nations knew no devil,
until we taught them about sin.
being told to mourn at a rate faster than natural
Yellow soap for a yellow me.
I don't feel like being pure
means being happy.
- I scrub scarring
with more definition
than a dictionary.
Moldy bread kissing
gravid navel oranges,
in a cherry plastic rib cage.
- Can you find me altruism
hidden in the heart
of ecstasy and rage?
Satellite bobbing above
the air supply,
are you out of reach or am I?
She was taking pictures
of us in the aphotic zone.
Saying, it was the only way
to capture me vulnerable.
Extirpate my species
to save my life.
I am saturnine for
the only adoration I accept
Altogether, the night we wove
a trickled treasure, tangled:
skirted legs spilling out from
the teacup of a denim lap,
validation in the vacuum cove.
- Dusty Nikes before the dusk,
who art in heaven, my god
- Why'd your mother
let you talk that way:
You smoke cliche cigarettes
in such an unfamiliar way.
- The hanger left welts, weeping
into post-relevance landline love,
body lay like the hands on the clock,
copper landmarks seeping.
What a feeling, ever so same.
Arched eyebrows, a trademarked shame:
like a fighter, like ****** oozing.
Like a functional inability,
divine in its losing.
(alternate title: in which i reference three things)
there is snow general
all over Ireland
and that's all I know
except that it rarely snows
all over Ireland
so that's what makes the
clear white gleam so we
can have epiphanies
and during these epiphanies
we realize sacrifice passion love
is better than things
we can control
There was no hope
for Dubliner Dedalus:
a shift from naturalism
into the bizarre
Not enough to effuse
or diffuse: a hero
in the firmest sense
James, you make my eyebrows feel so heavy.
To think: if I never find the one and one make too many empty glasses were broken in the mud-
dled my words when she asked for the time for bed –
All during my morning constitutional.
Take your ***** on the Mount and your Sin of the Farter
Because I know there’s nothing behind the artist except falling towers and furniture-sellers.
But can the deaf still listen?
Or should I care what’s inside a box I can never open?
And how many carriages will follow my coffin
And who will be my wormeaten neighbors
And which tongue will be employed to engrave the epitaph
And topped by what symbol or none?
In the beginning the first two words began to breed
And each generation issued reduplication
Evolving vestigial verbiage and new punctuation
All the way down to a young Poet-Hero-Creator:
Use illusory contours to paint the gravity between heavenly bodies, and use
The shared human experience of multistable perception to imply the gestalt of Dublin
(and be sure to use that German term).
We are the artificers of meaning.
Item: the location of the key.
Cat: things I should be thinking about but am not.
Item: the *** organs of strangers and acquaintances.
Category: things I should not be thinking about but am.
Item: the autobiographical component of Shakespeare’s later works.
Cat: things I need you to know that I think about.
Item: the possibility that my presence is not nearly as commanding as I’d formerly assumed.
Item: the increasing inebriatory similarities between myself and my father.
Item: the fear of losing my memory of Mother’s face,
as directly correlated to the expanding passage of time.
Cat: things I need you to think I don’t think about, at all.
Picture a symphony.
Hold the moment when the lights first fall and the cacophony of tuning
Floods into a single, synthesized vibrating tone. After the silence and before the song.
Write what you hear.
Write the chords in semiotic rhyme; transcribe harmony as memory:
Sing lived and unlived love and stride through on inkblot feet.
Now add the missing notes.
A poem about nothing.
God willing to
play the character
and dress us up accordingly
I want puce gloves and
green boots: a contradiction
Do I contradict myself?
very well then, I contradict
Heart going like mad
yes, to my mountain flower
I said, I would, yes
The girl killed in a tragic car accident
Picked up from the earth.
You were lifted tenderly
to a place
that walk New York City
in their dry-cleaned business suits,
attending the ritualistic Sundays
in cross buildings.
While it soaks in,
while death is now the life
ship coming crewed
by all your favorite people you never knew.
Every missed connection,
pets passed away
they echo in song
to the Nursery shores
your bare feet freshly plant
You’re on to another road, now.
This revenant path
with more sudden turns than Lombard street
on clammy mornings.
However the incessant
afterlife treats you
it was nice to know you, Joyce Wells.
We’ll all miss you dearly.
You’re currently in a Morgue
at some cinder block hospital.
You’re currently on a viking ship
set for a frosty-tipped valley across the sea with
Molly, a stray cat your family adopted when you were three,
and Micheal Donahue, your first love.
While the world keeps spinning,
while your casket is buried.
While in 1974 it rains,
there’s an ease in knowing
that Joyce Wells would be
delighted to hear
that she was