The paper is ripped on the page
of my favorite Alejandra Pizarnik
poem, my ear aches, and I cool
my hand with a glass of anything

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Speech was discouraged
to keep from setting off
the man of fire
who would lash and scorch
then burn you down.

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like cornered in juarez
or the rough stoppage
on a dead end street
like this is your other
this is the price of looking
of behaving in a rational
and irrational way

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A headless snake
striped like fresh high
way   neck rough
gnawed away from mind
away from—
no matter which reality

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The medical
papers in his left
hand somehow describe
a journey into hell
going deeper trying to
escape

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The bar is stained with alcohol
with a mirror behind
so it looks as if there’s twice as many bottles
as there really are.

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I am traveling with my uncle
down this old road falling apart
with potholes and chunked out gravel
an owl watches from the woods
the granite hills burn like buildings

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without relinquishing hope
            even a sliver that defies
                        dark sky          guarding
    person from poisonous

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"It is not my fault if you cannot understand what it is I am going to be talking about, if you lack the duende necessary to understand my poems on the run."

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Someone has gifted me an
astrolabe.  I use it to determine
the distance between the end
of one line & the next.  Its

ethnicity changes daily...

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Is Love the pinnacle of DIY culture?
If you have a band, can you love
in desperation? Can you print your
own love? Develop your own love
collective? Let’s ask the senior biologist

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the undertakers’ polyester suits
couldn’t withstand the volume
of work and soon they too were dead,
perhaps of constant exposure to
despair as well as lack of food,

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Keep it close
to the bone, boy.
Keep the blade busy.
You were never
going to be their darling
so what have you got to lose?

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Sun cracked grass signals
the yellow haze of transition.
Pinon fire in a kiva stove
is a Southwest desert Fall
in the armpits of tradition
and passionate drumming.

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When the buzz of mosquitoes is music,
lampblack is a painting on one’s wall. 
When taps are stark, streets are lightless,
circuitous human trails at every trestle:

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despite the doggerel of lonely
atoms, out of sync with
the unending Styrofoam
models from childhood

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The artist says “I haven't drawn a stitch since;
I shake my fists at words and recall the rising din.”
The butcher says “I’ll grind it fine for you
if you stand over there and vote along this party line.”

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Charlotte to Savannah. It smells like bad luck and sorrow plus a look of too much
crystal meth and DIY tattoos. 40 years
since I've taken greyhound.

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your antic flesh comes back
a pistol loaf of bread
the door blows open
hair and leaves

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by right a rite of passage
should be entered into
by one who has prepared
who understands the gravity
commitment and opportunity

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Just look at your face so wasted playing a man so real, as real as charred skin in your hair can get. How far will you trudge down this never-ending path of enlightened servitude? Wade into the river to soothe your feet as many times as you’d like, but the ringworms keep burrowing.

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her voice a specific
timeline of remembrance,
that of leading my still
young wanderings through
cancer and familiar cave,

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The crashing of the English canon in Spanish Harlem
Resounds like cymbals in dissonant reverb:
The path out of poverty is strewn with dead white poets,
Whose diction students strive to emulate,

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Josh wuz mind wandering
and waiting foa da bus

wen some ghostly figures
came walking around da corner

to stand behind him
as he sat on wun bench.

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How do you know when it’s done? I admit the children
were wrecked but the sad man gave me reasons to remain—
the sex was sex, his blows weren’t all that harsh and he never
shot at me but once. It’s a gift, I guess, to know how to leave,

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I’m hungry enough
          to listen
though all I hear
          growls
                    clicks
                              hums

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All right, Catherine of the wooden raft with wheels and, all right,
Cleo of the heavy carpet and its intrigue in court. Darkness is not
night falling over us mid day clouds roiling in, electricity,
unease. All right, the misuse of power, blood lusts and scars,

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    What can she mean, divested
of  her nudity, why does she suggest
   sleep 
          over 
                shadow?

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ringo meets a girl-silhouette in a short black dress   her legs are long, as alluring as throwing oneself into the thames to get over a bad life   maybe the dress is what erases her    having been called "tone-deaf" by george    or web-handed by the south 5's drummer    he suspects everything is distorted

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my poems
suck
the nausea the adage
that comes from being
sober

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The great Django Reinhardt wrote a song called "Nuage" - clouds - today there are no clouds - a pellucid sky, slight gold inscribed on the mountains and pure azure - a raven floats, the sun broad as in the poems of Whitman's "Song Of Myself"

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The Stone Age in this age, the Flint, Michigan age.
Stone tools, cutting tools, edged blades
for removing flesh from a carcass. Smacked
against steel, spark, excite, to ignite
​the old factories long smothered with vines,

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If you're not any more interesting polluted
than you are pristine
then what's the point?

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Into the silence of hunger and the roar of
automobiles, a single tiny drop of
gratitude falls unknown, unheard,
merging in the dust of the wry pavement.

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crazy white boy from south central
and who showed you that
certainly not canvas back hogan
or another that returns only losses
from a lost country

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Remember the time we split as an atom?
The Great Orange ball of flame

engulfed our notebooks, our laptops,
our blogs. We forgot they were incendiary

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and what a shame it would be
if all locutions were here
to simply become dust or
possibly that is the intention

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No dogs bark, no cats yowl, no pigeons
Murmur coos. My town that was lies before

Me, now a tearful city, a maze of wretched,
Windowed blocks shuttered. Midnight chimes,

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