Thursday, October 30, 2008

hey coos

beets, please, not olives
i never met a menace
that i didn't like

the magistrate comes
"the tomatoes are rotting"
it was all my fault

in wicker baskets
presentation is power
deafening a stain

think critically
the lieutenant finds his way
discipline later

worms sprout from lettuce
everything is a target
my hair is knotted

for the tallest girl
i'm sorry i broke your eggs
they were so sticky

open the window
i never met a minute
that i didn't time

Monday, October 27, 2008

the smell of treated food in packaging
is the result of process within process:

why your cigarette won't go out
because you're still rolling it:

some girl has been blowing
up condoms in the back for at least a day now:

one thing inside of another
outside of something else:

in the mirror you are another person
looking at yourself:

a machine gun blowing up somewhere
it is this dark or are we underground:

night comes on the earliest
a slight drift in current:

there was no in between for me
until there was:

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

houston street

On an orange afternoon, a dark skinned veteran of sidewalk retail stood on Houston Street. He was behind a table of wooden sculptures, pipes, and grinders. At the edge of the table, there was an overloaded cardboard box filled with bowls and bongs, labeled 'Tabacco USE only'.

Two young girls walked west on the block, coordinated only by their lack of coordination in posture and dress. They saw the man and his wares, and began to talk business. "Can we get a student discount? We're students," asked the bolder of the two, "These are hard times! Brink of depression and all that."

"Yes, exactly," said the man, his hair curling tighter, "That's why I have to charge thirty-five dollars. It's a good price, this is good glass. Look! It's Pyrex!" He took a glass elephant-shaped pipe and smacked it hard on the table three times. Then he gave it to the taller girl. She held it in her hands and inspected it, noticing many tiny cracks on the interior. She looked at the bottom and realized that to smoke out of it, she would have to plug up the elephants asshole with her finger, and suck smoke through the trunk.

"I have fifteen! Say you have fifteen!" The shorter girl suggested to her friend in an attempt to add momentum to their bargaining.

The man seemed offended. Deeply, sorely offended. He shook his head and told the girls in a mysterious accent that he could not accept their offer, and would not come down a cent from thirty-five dollars. The girls tried a few more times to wear down the warrior of paraphenalia, but it could not be done. They thanked him graciously-- "We just can't afford you!"-- and continued walking west. When they were more than halfway down the block they heard a voice calling after them.

"Wait! Hey, wait! Stop! STOP!"-- they were almost out of earshot-- "YO! Girls! Comebackcomebackcomebackcomeback! We'll make a deal, yes?" The girls turned around purely for their own benefit and laughed at the sudden aggression of the man they had just dealt with so peacibly. His accent and volume made him sound very much like he was caught in a garbage disposal. With one final gasping shriek he let his eyebrows collapse to his lids and said, "FIVE DOLLARS."

The girls laughed harder. "Five dollars? I knew those were pieces of shit. Pyrex? Bullshit that's Pyrex." It didn't mean much. The man's offer was generous but desperate, and his wailing augumented his heart problem. He tried to inhale and found that he couldn't, it pierced him far too deeply to try. His heart burst in his chest, his ribs crumbled into ash, and he landed, blood pouring from his eyes and mouth, on his box of glassware. The box toppled over, with all the contents spilling and making fatal contact with the warm concrete. The pavement was a gorey mosaic of colored glass, blood, and sweaty, matted hair.

"Where do you want to go now?" said the shorter girl as they continued West.

"Wherever," said the taller girl, "Let's just walk until we find something."
oh, but he can teach her so many things
on screens created by light
the most androgynous shape i can think of
she's the calculating one, she makes him look unprepared
trying to survive against philosophy,
against all the words, every each all that mean
insubstantiality of human children
who predict the sound of imaginary machines
when they clink through our debris

Thursday, October 9, 2008

yom kippur

how is everything lined up on our desk,
not in wavelength order but an arrangement that suits
every conceivable shade
representing with at least a stripe or two,

pictures scattering everywhere, unframed and framed,
an old bedframe, some hallucination painted on--
four walls don't make a room when rain makes like
shaking dice that will never be thrown

we dropped it but quickly found another
i'm sure you've experienced that kind of thing before
carrying packages isn't instinct-- it's walking
halogen bulbs setting small circular tables in daylight

taxis filling with people whether they are visible or not
trees lighting up in spotlights stuck in concrete
the windows are butterfly nets, though there are only a few moths up here
my altitude is too late, and i swore i'd speak well of the place

pick up your phone, i heard it--
what are stairs that haven't been used?
and i already checked mine, it read like lights from distant buildings
one level taller than the next, for steppings that flicker,

but i know if i went there they would shine as unwaveringly as lighthouses,
and for beauty, sure, but the door is behind them for a reason--
their beams would be solid, symmetrical busstops, vegas waiting-cages
to an open window near you, a pocket of vacuum--

i'll take your sportscaster if you take my overheard
but then, we'd atone for what we meant to do at the time
the way that foreign students don't need to look
because the street is there and they are in the middle of it