1/31/14

J. Hope Stein

 [Inventor’s Mother Reads Whitman as Inventor loses hearing]:




A Baby.  No, a boy now. 
A cool damp cloth.  The lobes of your ears
fever on the front porch of my lap. You say
you can feel it in your throat. You say you like
when I read to you—only the lull I like,
the hum of your valved voice.  The rash first
on your neck. Your skin turning wood & splinters. 
You say you can feel it in your stomach.
.-.. --- .- ..-. / --- -. / - .... . / --. .-. .- ... ... /
 .-- .. - .... / -- .  loose the stop from your throat.
You’re vomiting now.  Your fingertips.
Toes peel like raw garlic. Tongue is lobster.
You say you can feel it in your head— To know
the universe .. - ... . .-.. ..-. / .- ... / .- / .-. --- .- -..
as many roads— .- ... /.-. --- .- -.. .-.-.- /
..-. --- .-. / - .-. .- ...- . .-.. .. -. --. /  ... --- ..- .-.. ... !
Can you hear me, baby?  I pursue you where no
one else has .--. ..- .-. ... ..- . -.. / -.-- --- ..-
The soul travels.  The body  -.. --- . ... /
-. --- - travel .- ... / -- ..- -.-. .... / .- ... the soul,
- .... ./ -... --- -.. -.-- / .... .- ... / .--- ..- ... - /
 .- ... / --. .-. . .- - / .- / .-- --- .-. -.- / .- ... / - .... . /

 ... --- ..- .-..and parts away at last.

J. Hope Stein is the author of [Talking Doll] (Dancing Girl Press), [Mary] (Hyacinth Girl Press) and Corner Office (H_ngm_n Bks.) She is editor of Poetrycrush.com and author of eecattings.com.

1/30/14

Brian Mihok

When Our Hands Were Joined

One morning in her waking moments Sandra had a vision of a dress. As an aspiring designer, she and a friend were toying with starting their own boutique. She awoke, sat up in bed and wanted to get a pad and pencil to sketch the dress, but Victor was holding on to her. Let go, I need to get some paper, she said. Victor hummed briefly in his own waking moments. He was a technical writer and wrote how-to manuals for a company in Baltimore.

Sandra pulled but her hand didn't break free from his. Vic, please, she said. What are you doing? Victor said in a sleepy mumble. Let go, he said. You let me go, Sandra said. She looked and yelled. Victor awoke. Their hands were fused at the knuckles. Their fingers were enmeshed as if they were holding hands, only they made one clump of skin and bone. What happened? Victor said. What did you do? Sandra said. What did I do? Victor said.

They both sat up and examined their hands. The skin was smooth and seamless. It did not look as though there were two hands, and that somehow overnight these hands had come together into one troubling end of two separate limbs. They both felt pressure in the hands. Their fingers were squeezed, not painfully, but tightly as a constant and antagonizing reminder. We have to go to the doctor, Sandra said. What are we going to say? How are we going to drive there? Like this? Victor said. We're going to call 911, Victor, she said.
        Calm down, Victor said and looked closely at the hands. Hold still.

He grabbed her wrist. What are you doing? she said. Victor yanked his hand away from hers, but they didn't separate. They both winced in pain and Sandra cried out. We're calling right now, she said and started to cry. I'm sorry, baby, Victor said and leaned his head against hers.

They were cleared for emergency surgery and the hospital even accepted the full financial burden. It was performed as a teaching procedure. The veteran doctors who operated seemed blasé, but were actually in awe of this impossible deformity. The hands and fingers were separated intact. Five digits on each. They had been locked together and grown over, but were still healthy while nested among the veins and vessels. There was some significant scarring but doctors assured Sandra and Victor that it would fade. Medical papers were written analyzing and hypothesizing the possibilities of what happened. Nothing was concluded. Sandra and Victor were both given an assortment of tests but eventually enough of the results were uninteresting that they were both released and asked not to come back.

At first, they began spending nights apart. They didn't want whatever it was that happened to happen again. They slipped one drunken night and awoke in a panic to wholly separated bodies. They laughed and went to brunch. Victor moved in six months later. A year after that Sandra was offered an internship on a team of designers in Paris. They celebrated but realized nothing had changed. She went without him and he promised to follow.

Years later Sandra was back in the States, living in San Francisco. She hadn't talked to Victor since they had broken up. He was still in Baltimore. She was having a small fashion show at a friend's laundromat. I really thought I was going to die, Sandra said. I know you can live without a hand, but I thought it was the end of my life. She put one hand in the other and squeezed her knuckles. They got sore sometimes and swelled. She rubbed them through the entire show, though that was more from her nerves. Towards the end of the night her friend Molly turned to her with a big smile. Are you freaking out? Molly asked, but Sandra didn't hear. If I were you I'd be totally freaking out, she said. Sandra shook her head and looked at the runway made of industrial driers and counter tops. The last model made his way around.
        Everything looked great, her friend Molly said but Sandra suspected Molly was just saying that.

When she got home she sat down at the kitchen table with her sketchbook. Eventually her wrist ached from drawing. She put her pencil down and interlocked her fingers. She wondered how it could have happened. Maybe she would call the doctors for an update. Maybe she would do some research on it. There had to be more to know. Somewhere else to go. It struck her that she had always felt this way even before the hands. That with all the people, animals, microbes, falling trees, exploding volcanoes, printed books, space stations, shifting countries, nothing happens just once.

Brian Mihok's work has appeared in Vol. 1 Brooklyn, 1913, Hobart, American Short Fiction online and elsewhere. His novel The Quantum Manual of Style was released in 2013 from Aqueous Books. He is an associate editor at sunnyoutside press. He also edits matchbook, a journal of indeterminate prose. 

1/29/14

Mathias Svalina

Tennessee

Money is ridonkulous & in the dark the only word I know is Tennessee, merchandise, plague calendar. Light doesn't need an autobiography but we all need something sometime. In Tennessee every word means graveyard & every punctuation mark means Na nana na na nanana na na & every woman has the head of Vin Diesel & every turtle has a Vin Diesel head & dogs got that too. Round here we call that an Oklahoma kiss-party, elsewhere known as a St Louis rope-burn—really it's just fifty pills of aspirin & I'm your host, the super villain. I'm not watery, I'm watrous. And the rivers look like a bucket of dimmer bulbs with “Downeaster Alexa” on repeat like a heaping cup of flour, gloves on every branch of a bush wearing a Busch t-shirt, feelin-it so hard for every tree, tasking concordances of _____________ & ______________ as the last remaining Blockbuster blasts black music & the only thing that matters in a painting is the number of strokes. And someone, please, fuck that drummer before he starts talking about M.I.A. I wore my BBQ hotpants to the fancy dance. And then my best bro shows with BBQ condoms. All these hot-ass stumps in the aisles of a TJ Maxx, as if there was nothing left in me to keep me from fucking a stump. Not today. Not in my house. The moon doesn’t want to take a bath—the best stories are about nothing.

Mathias Svalina is the author of three books, most recently The Explosions from Subito Press. He is an editor for Octopus Books. Big Lucks will release his book Wastoid in 2014.

1/28/14

Joost Baars

antipodus noster

I
omdat u nooit bent
aangekomen, ken ik u

niet. ik weet alleen
dat u ergens op zee

bent blijven steken.
u bent dus bijna

II
niet in mijn ge-
dachten in kassa-

rijen, rijtjeshuizen
en woonwerkverkeer,

waar ik dagelijks
een fort optrek

III
waarbij uw lichaam
ongezien kan aan-

spoelen en waar ik
u binnensmuurs als

een legende heb
gejournaliseerd,

IV
gejuridificeerd. ik
moet er niet aan

denken hoe uw lijf
daar in de branding

door meeuwen aan-
gevreten wordt,

V
mijn onvoorstelbaar
naaste soortgenoot. blijf

zonder lichaam, zonder
adem, zonder paspoort,

blijf ongeïncarneerd – uw
levenloze onaanwezigheid

VI
is mijn oneindige ver-
haal. mijn ondergrondse

ondergrond van onweg-
neembaar niets, ja zo,

omdat u nooit bent
aangekomen, ken ik u


antipodus noster

I

because you never
come, you are

unknown. I only know
somewhere at sea

you got held up.
so you are almost


II

not inside my
mind in checkout-

lines, terraced hou-
ses, beltway traffic,

in which daily I
install a fort


III

at whose feet your body
can then wash ashore

unseen and where,
inside, I have you

journalised, juri-
dified as a bootleg


IV

fairy tale. Perish
the thought of

how your body
in the breakers

will be raked
by seagulls,

V

my unimaginably close
congener. stay without

body, without breath,
without passport, stay

unincarnated – your
exanimate depresence


VI

in this multiplying pass-
age is my underground-

ed underground of un-
seizable nothing. so,

because you never
come, you are


Joost Baars (1975) is a poet, essayist, editor and bookseller living in Amsterdam. He's published poetry and essays in a number of Dutch magazines. He's also published translations of poetry by Robert Creeley, Kenneth Koch and Dorothea Lasky. His chapbook iemand anders ('someone else') was published by Halverwege Chapbooks, a crowdfunding-based chapbook press that he runs. Together with Matthijs Ponte he founded and runs a PoemTalk-like poetry podcast called VersSpreken, which was awarded national honors in the European Podcast Awards 2011. He was the director and programmer of the Amsterdam poetry theatre and bookshop Perdu for a number of years, and is now editor for the international literature festival Read My World.

1/27/14

Lara Durback

from “Somatics I: Conflict”



Lara Durback lives and works in Oakland. She organizes with a The Bay Area Public School, a free school in Oakland that attempts to be radically composed and offer a radical space to teach and learn http://bayareapublicschool.tumblr.com/, as everyone tries to figure out together the definition of radical. Bay Area Public School is part of an international network of free schools of the same vague name http://thepublicschool.org/. Organizing is hard, sometimes it's lovely, sometimes it's cognitively impossible. She is in awe of the breadth of organizers in Oakland, how frustrated and yet adoring everyone is of one another. How people just keep doing things.

She is mostly a poet but is also in letterpress world. She published a few things with others as NoNo Press. ‪‪She especially enjoys fixing Vandercooks.‬ She also taught a letterpress course at Naropa University's Summer Writing Program, and gave a talk on printing at SFMOMA's Shop Talk series. You can see her printing and/or writing work in Drift, Mrs. Maybe, Bombay Gin, the UK journal Hi Zero, and The Artist's Book Yearbook 2012-13, and her archiving work on www.deepoakland.org. Evidence of her daily practice was exhibited in the ILSSA (Impractical Labor in Service of the Speculative Arts) exhibit Every Day Work Hammes Gallery, Saint Mary's College, Notre Dame, IN, in 2012. In 2013, with designer Andrew Kenower, she produced the letterpress publication Field Work: Poems on the Occasion of Mark diSuvero at Crissy Field for SFMOMA.‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

1/24/14

Mike Scalise

From The Almanac of Modern Regret
Date: [Indeterminate]
Location: 40 N -80 W
Weather: 32.6 F (mean)
Author: Scalise, M.

I was twenty-one or twenty-two and maybe half way through college and had convinced myself it was my last year on earth: skipping all classes, lifeguarding, uncertified, at an indoor hotel pool in Pittsburgh, pouring all paychecks into my mouth until I was drunk. I sat daily next to a round masseuse who lived with his mother and lost every appointment when clients laid eyes on him. My boss was the uncle of someone I went to high school with. He carried a clipboard and screamed at me when I fell asleep.

I don’t remember anyone’s names. Not even the maintenance worker with a white brush moustache who helped me fix the sauna when the heater died. He was probably thirty years older than me and had a pleasantness that I mistook for friendship during a time I mistook friendship for bartered misery.

Anyways. The hotel was purchased by a larger hotel, and every employee was routed to a banquet room where we sat in folding chairs and watched a video of other hotels. People wanted to know when they would be fired. Another video played. The human resources manager—the soft woman who had hired me, someone of firm adult age—wore a wig made of plastic golden strands and a red clown nose and red cheeks and big shoes. Benign, wordless hip-hop played through a very loud set of speakers in each corner of the room, and she danced in the aisles and held a large bag which contained redeemable vouchers for hotel employees to use in order to stay in other hotels. She made her eyes big and ran in those shoes from person to person to deliver each voucher with a kind of careful stomp, and seemed not to think, like I did, that this is the worst moment of everyone’s life.

Days later, when a hot tub ran cold, I said something mean to the janitor with the brush moustache about the human resources manager with the clown shoes and big eyes. I tried, just now, to write what it was. I don’t remember. But does it matter what I said? Or what he said back? The flat tone of the words, his simmering dismissal, how we didn’t speak again, at least not in the same way, etc., etc.—little of it is new, none of it is interesting. Yet whole years peel off like this, then reappear, later, as dull knocks from a visitor on a door you mistake for your own.

I drove the same car I’d driven since I was sixteen. I parked it blocks away from the hotel, in an alley next to a factory, because we were not afforded parking passes. At the close of a ten-hour shift in that hot pool, where probably nobody swam and I read probably no books, I arrived to my car in the alley one evening to find that I’d lost the key. I emptied my backpack onto the hood, then onto the street, then scooped into all my pockets, yanked at the door handle, ID cards slid into the window creases, hammer-fisted the unshattering glass of the windows, etc., etc. The key, when I found it, had been resting in driver’s side door lock since that morning, and I didn’t see it, nobody did, and whether that happened on my first week on the job or the last I’ll never be able to say.


Mike Scalise's work has appeared in Agni, The Paris Review, Post Road, Ninth Letter, The Wall Street Journal, The Cupboard, Press Play, and a bunch of other places. He's received fellowships and scholarships from Bread Loaf, Yaddo, and was the Philip Roth Writer in Residence at Bucknell University a while back.

1/23/14

Jennifer Tamayo



BARRRRRFFFFFFFFFFFF: Jennifer Tamayo is the author of the hybrid collection of art and poems, Red Missed Aches Read Missed Aches Red Mistakes Read Mistakes (Switchback, 2011) and POEMS ARE THE ONLY REAL BODIES (Bloof Books, 2013). Her second full length collection of work, YOU DA ONE, will be published by Coconut in 2014. JT lives in Brooklyn and serves as the Managing Editor at Futurepoem. Video and writing can be found at www.jennifertamayo.com.

1/22/14

Christian Peet

Third Tritone Lecture


The Art of Psychopathy is its own Tritone, and is connected to the Tritone of the Art of War as well as the triumvirate Tritone of Murder, Rape, and Torture previously discussed, all of which are distinguished from the visual arts, or music, or literature, etc., as they eschew traditional media (in the sense of a “middle” or “intermediary”) in favor of working directly upon human flesh.
The Art of War hath not one body but an army and may take for its canvas a landscape, a populace, corpus mundi, corpus populi, ad nauseum.
The Art of Psychopathy also works directly on the flesh via the so-called mind, which, the metaphor holds, exists in body of the beholder of the Art.
The Sociopath—or the PsyMage, or the FleshPoet, etc—works directly upon the target audience : the reader, the listener, the viewer, the client, etc, who is no longer merely an observer of a work of art but becomes the work of art, transformed into both the observer and the object observed, symbol and sacrifice, beauty and beholder, ad nauseum.


1

One is no less and no more.
One is a big fucking bore.
So there’s that.

With Jesus on top.
Upon whom I call when I feel I am but One.
And who talks to me directly because I am clinically insane.

Oh, but we joke!
I may not be Mr. God Symbol Man, but I’m also not dead!
That kind of stuff.


Two is sweet delight, but as if behind a door.
And Two doth go on and on, contrary to conventional wisdom — i.e., Two is not, and never will be, two alone, unless that two is One or Three, etc.
And also there is a she. And also a he. And others who are neither or more, or neither and more, and more who are others, and more, for they who are other are forever more, and together they form a Tritone beneath the Tedious Two (Science) and the Annoying One (Religion) and the Perfect Zero (Magic).

3  

Some people love hearing which current celebrity did what today, etc; but aside from wanking to a sex tape so I can take a fucking nap, yo, I prefer the Jesus story, no matter how many times it comes up — so to speak! — but I’ve also watched the first five seasons of the X-Files probably twenty times or something.
I especially love the part when Jesus’s murdered corpse was rotting but He moved on to Symboldom.
In Symboldom, it does not matter if He lived, because He is a god.

4

Four is the system that failed you.

5  

Five is the knowledge that we, dear reader, are not gods.
Or more accurately: there is every chance I will be a god by the time you encounter this scripture, dear Reader — dear Unfallen Lord of Life — but you may take comfort in knowing that you are not a god but may “play pretend” until you are.
This is Key.
For you, celebrities may be close enough. Or at any rate, feel free to invoke us.
This is key :
See the Star you are.


Six completes the Tritone of Pharmaka kai Orgia kai Goêteia : DrugMagic, Ritual Perversions, and Heaps of Goddamn Laughter Surrounding a Fixed Set of Language-Matter Sounds and Symbols; including Electric Wizard, Orchid, Purson, Uncle Acid, Windhand, et al.


Seven is heiroglyphilia but also innocent priests(!) and, for the sake of the precious children, tortured cries from their doomed future on this rock of storms


Eight is a crippling pain


O, Jesus of Nazereth! Jesus whom I adore! Jesus who hung out with ugly whores and hot gay men and retarded kids who smell like crap.
Jesus who gave a big Fuck You to the Romans and the Rabbis alike. Jesus who, for all his Magic was promptly strung up, tortured, and killed just as he would be today. Jesus of the side that loses, whose magic remains in darkness the world over.
Jesus of Nazareth, lover of women and children and the lot — lover of fluffy bunnies, too, we might expect, if Jesus ever saw a fluffy bunny, which we can’t say for certain due to sketchy nature of his bio — Jesus who didn’t have a prayer of surviving, killed like all the rest, sad little man — Eli Eli lama sabachhani — Jesus, King of Loser Occult.

10  

Ten doesn’t matter a whit

11

Eleven is last time we’ll meet.

Be the Star you are:

12 = 0



______________________________

1 Marie-Louise Thomsen, “Witchcraft and Magic in Ancient Mesopotamia,” in Witchcraft & Magic in Europe, Volume 1: Biblical and Pagan Societies. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2001.
2 Ibid.
3 If Ozzy’s 1982 “live” album, Speak of the Devil, is counted in this list, then 1983’s subsequent Bark at the Moon becomes the fourth solo album from Ozzy, rather than the 1986 Ultimate Sin (Tribute did not arrive until 1987).
4 Patrick Dunn, Magic Language Power Symbol. Woodbury, MN: Llewellyn, 2008.


Christian Peet currently writes about crime and magic(k) and is publisher for Tarpaulin Sky Press. Forthcoming books include Angela's Story (GenPop Books 2014) Crimen Magiae: No Evidence, No Jury, No Justice (GPB 2015). He is also the author of Big American Trip (Shearsman Books) and a chapbook-series called The Nines (Palm Press and Interbirth Books). His work appears in the anthologies The Best of Fence (Fence Books) and A Megaphone (Chain Arts) and in journals and websites such as Denver Quarterly, Montevidayo, and SleepingFish.


1/21/14

Jamalieh Haley

from Dear Rhinoceros

Dear wife, we have love
many loves
bear a beachfire
tonight, so occluded of itself
the love reaches an obelus
my head
points to heaven
our muskets, at rest, too
my hands in prayer
and so on, etcetera
several sights
are my own ectopic thoughts
even in day
I am out of myself
for nation love
it shakes a little index
in you; in me
the love is like a knife
with which I explore myself



Repeatedly, I mount lions upon lions,
iconic corpse on opium, a simpler
flesh out the petal, pollinated beast,
my own hands I molt into a field,
unfurl my mouth against the rhino,
recant the bedroom, slag-heap the spears
upon you, repeatedly.



Dear wife, I wish I had a way
to show you this world
of the gunshot behind the rose
for all the animals
you turn me into
a sable of alternative green
enumerate
swan knife
the British way
we swash the grass
or as water does
dash the violent motion
wash a nearby invisibility
hiding here as a village
under assumed colors—we are fables
turned inside-out—
and buckle our extending
ornamental flourish
to the walls

Jamalieh Haley lives in Portland, Oregon, where she co-curates If Not For Kidnap Poetry series. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Sink Review, Folio, Poor Claudia, Sixth Finch, Similarpeaks, among others. She teaches writing, and is a graduate of Vermont College of Fine Art.

1/20/14

Chad Hardy & Park Jung Hong


from A SUBCOMMISSION OF ROCK TYPES AGAINST POTENTIAL ATTACKS






Despite family salinity ranges, soil additives.

The rebels demanded 4.3 scorched earth

“Decayed Moon” etched into her belly

destroying this small fertility god from soldiers elsewhere

city or cinder pricing on Korean relics paired stone wool

staged to swim in Fig. 7

stone grandfathers the trapezoidal tombs connected stars

at the open end of the enclosure

living green minerals

innumerable passages into, out of, and around

these various human sanctuaries

war brewing between basaltic melts in length

carbon free speech

the only to death is adamant.


                                    +


Quaternary geology in the enemy

the bramble of razor wire

Ethical Economics of groundmass

greater than bamboo spears

in which only guilt is copyrighted

propped up here with others,

its guardians: gods and favorable capitalistic buffer

their haste to the state companies

or conduits, with its celestial end firmly lodged

into the north-pole star, which

channeled the flow of heaven's blessings,

the nations now in each other

inside one flower,

muddying the springwater

to “foster a world environment”

that flows from the Gureombi

in which the American system

can survive and flourish.

The antique geomancer's compass,

found sandwiched

between two sedimentary rocks

the path that curves sharply at the

entranceways to human habitats

to reassess the scope of the onslaught

the rough-hewn volcanic stones

are often piled high, forming a solid closet,

protective against the elements and totally dark.


Chad Hardy teaches English in South Korea. The writing here comes from a book length work-in-progress focused on the construction of a military base on the Korean island of Jeju. His work has appeared in various journals, and his collaboration with Joe Hall, The Container Store Vols. I & II, is available through Springgun Press.

Park Jung Hong makes pottery in Seoul. The work pictured here comes from his series A Rock, a reference to Gureombi, the black rock coastline that is being destroyed to make way for the base. You can view more of his work at: parkjunghong.com.

1/17/14

TC Tolbert

Crossing
  
When you hold me there are words for that.
I do not remember the words for that but I remember that there are words.
There are not words for when you do not hold me.
I remember that there are no words in the world so I say them.
Abolishing a line is only one way to mark it.
My throat hurts from saying so much nothing.
When I say I love you what I really mean to ask is, can I change?



Thaw


You said I will pull you out of my body in 237
ways. What you wanted was beautifully to
sever things. Here love: the same things. changed.



Finally: a taxonomy of afterthoughts. As though
you were the one who was
sleeping. Breathing in the marrow of would.



You, who are a valley of no, I hear the music leaking.  (How she. 
How she.  How I.)           You say low key and I do not believe you.
I forgive everything: the perseveration of skin.



My hands that are a chopping block and I
cannot touch him. I cannot touch him
without not touching me.



Because if you leave, and you are already leaving, there are three.
But you say less than three.                And the couch, in your absence,
is crenellated. And who is going to watch us as we leave.



To add to the list of changing things: life preservers are no longer
about preservation. They have become less holy. PFD =
personal flotation device.         Endlessly possible. Unlike wood.



Stacey May Fowles wants a lover who will hit her.
(I do not believe in submission.) I want you to erase me.
This is a kindness. A kindness you tell me. A kindness I do not deserve.



On the floor.   By the bed.    Hotel Congress.    March 19, 2005.
Room #23. We are a long way from disintegrated. You said Now.

Look at me.                   And I did.                And you bloomed.

(When my mother died, I will say.
Many years after my mother has died.
But I will not believe her. I’ll be like my grandmother who

despite my parade of girlfriends and her profession
that nobody should be mean to them, still
doesn’t believe in being queer.

I don’t believe in being dead,
I’ll tell my dead mother. And just like you
she’ll repeat herself. Happy New Year. Happy New Year. Happy New.)



I expect there will be a morning when you walk up to this very gate
while I am sitting here. I know this. I know you less each time I see you.
I know this like I know you are more lonely than glass.



To your languishing. To your bubbly.
To your recent. To your hologram. To your desperately.
To your seeking. To your dictaphone. To your you.



Neuromuscular facilitation is just another way of saying
Vancouver. Always is yet a matter of roller derby. Just
in love with you. You, more than sleep.



In the top drawer is a photograph of them touching.
It is not so much that it is a photograph.
It is that it is a depiction of what. not could.



I want to tell you about my body. About testosterone
as unwitting art historian.  About recovery.  Me(n).  What it feels like
underneath there.  The part you cannot know.  but should.



Either way. It’s a house. It’s a house
like everyone else has. I take things away.
I don’t take them for good.


How delirious must we sound when we are falling.
I miss you, you can’t even imagine. And how bad
at math. Less than three. Less than three. Less than three.



And what if.              I completely remember
it wrong. What if I remember there were two
of us. And then what if. there was only one death.



I do not believe in the existence of holes
that lead to nowhere. Muscle memory remains an enigma. Still, you cannot
touch her. You cannot touch her without not touching me.



(And still) you are not not a part of me. The world is
uncharacteristically unresponsive.
I could thank you.      You stay with me. like grass.


It's raining in Tucson! The "Fab Five" is neither the Jackson 5 nor the the Beatles, although the Beatles did have a 5th wheel, aka Brian Epstein. Epstein was gay but that was a secret b/c it was a criminal offense back then. The pilot episode of "Breaking Bad" and the pants in the air. The author of these poems, TC Tolbert, can't stop thinking about these things. 


1/16/14

Joseph Mains

BECOME WHO YOU ARE

Skinned knees on out his mother’s womb he swore
off women & so it was, at times, willed it so
he fashioned phalo-centripetal core
creation myth bullshit about skeet po
fast talk’n fast fashion shuffle & Myan
calendar apocalyptic fucking
cryptic B/S orbit all we, Sirens,
are are our cum and song said Don, donning
a bildungsroman on his dong and so
coupled, shooped every culture color creed
and grew & grew to love him and them, sow
and bull alike as of his own creamy skeet.
As twink Kurtz would gather disciples round,
so lay them all, and make some slipping sounds.


THIS IS RIP CITY

O one fine day in the middle of June
we moved to Pooptown to both be the groom
and you said Priest, what’s a sugar steak
and can it be my nickname? She: Sugar Steak,
a slabby thing pinker than yr girlfriend’s
girlfriend’s lips. Rare sunshine here makes bend
the palefaces and it’s, as I do say, fine
—as a mustachioed man (marrying kind)
with a watchband. Well says I ‘cos they’re sprung
call me Rose call me Judas ‘cos I’m hung
heavy as a sac of silver. Donny!
Ho! Let’s get slippy—lay down, marry me.

We’ll dance & shout from joy and pain
as guests hear you coo Joseph Fucking Mains.



Joseph Mains was born in the Sonora desert and now lives in Portland, Ore., where he edits Octopus magazine and co-does the reading series Bad Blood.