Saturday, January 20, 2018

Notes from the Belly of the Beast

1
And so the damage
the static of hair between eye sockets
dropping to the floor
arms shaking
making room for 911
who asks
Which hospital?
before hitting the siren
over snow-covered streets
as if we were going
to grandmother's house

2
you know he locks
the alcohol
in the shed
when you're here . . .
go ahead
grab that rock
smash the lock
yeah

3
sitting in group
I'm this . . . and I'm that . . .
on turn
but I'm clean . . . yup, clean . . .
I can play
this fucking game
as well . . . as you

4
he doesn't know shit
about this . . .
I'm going for a walk in the woods . . .
should I tell him
I've stashed bottles
in plastic bags
along the path?
I've even got plastic cups
hahaha

5
Drop me off at CVS
so I can get a water before group . . .

and a box of cold pills
that I'll take into the rest room
so I can get out of the store
without paying

6
in Walmart I tell him
I need Witch Hazel to take off my makeup
and he says
get me a bottle too for an after shave . . .
next morning
both bottles . . . gone

7
in Walmart he buys a plastic mattress cover
so another futon
doesn't get ruined

8
let go
from Fantastic Sams
for cutting
while stoned

9
cutting arms
cutting legs
cutting
to feel
the control

10
totaled three cars
dropped out of three colleges
the Monkey is Us

11
she breaks into her counselor's office
at the therapeutic community house
she's been sent to . . . by the court . . .
drinks a bottle of hand sanitizer
and is taken to the emergency room

12
where she drinks more hand sanitizer
then sneaks out of the hospital
wasted . . .
and is picked up
by the police
and taken to a homeless shelter
on Christmas Eve

13
I danced ballet
for 20 years . . . and loved it!
that's when the cold pills began
I'd like to get back
to dance . . .
maybe teach kids ballet

Paulina Otylie Surys


Thursday, January 18, 2018

Screen Dump 399

The days mislaid . . . buried under Netflix's Alias Grace
with Thigpen and Cleckley interviewing Jane/Eve
and Joanne Woodward snagging an Oscar for The Three Faces of . . .

Joanne Woodward in The Three Faces of Eve (1957)

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Screen Dump 398

You ask the remote to select . . . the plotless moment
when all are suspended
and someone wheels in the midday
as if a restart is expected . . .
far from the principles . . . or principals . . .
of the madding crowd
sharpening stubs of pencils
to prove . . . to no one in particular . . .
that the river will indeed flow
in no direction home . . .
Why bother rescinding the to-do list
when the day will close black and white? . . .
The point being well-taken
by those who are otherwise clueless when offered a buyout . . .
You know this, though, yes? . . .

Gabriele Rigon

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Screen Dump 397

It's not as if you chose letter box format . . .
One day it was there . . . piggy-backed on a cold front
that moved up your arm to your shoulder . . .
No toggling out of it either . . .
these manifestos of the body - lyrical experimental satirical -
bring flu-like symptoms
unhappiness as prose fragments
of wellness and illness . . .
Your sense of odyssey . . . quietly taking shape
on the corner of an ice storm . . .
You thought you would spend the day with a Sharpie . . .
The sad farmhouses in your dreams
are the stacked-up nightmares of previous lives . . .
Your distrust of the obvious, yes? . . .

Jarek Kubicki

Monday, January 8, 2018

Screen Dump 396

. . . warm and present yet far away.
          - Donald Hall, The Selected Poets

Also-rans crowd the podium
circumnavigating locutions decked out in the school colors
texting what can be had of the moment . . .
The venue virtual . . .
The commonplace suspect . . .
You arrive . . . trailing apps . . . as if reinventing the obvious . . .
I am lax . . . and begin paging through . . .
You footnote the theoretical medieval clothing of the new-you . . .
awaiting your lines to be inscribed in stone . . . you insist . . .
We are all forgotten . . .

Bruno Walpoth

Sunday, January 7, 2018

I Am On Top Of Things

I dream myself a spotter of weight-bearing fantasies . . .
my dialogue a monologue of graphic comics
and half-whispered promises laced with nonsense syllables . . .
I am on top of things . . . deluded . . .
imagining the world as mirror-image . . .
as far-fetched deadline . . . indifferent, colorless . . .
improprieties squeezing through the holes in my story . . .
paper cuts and hypotheticals . . .
a collage of weak passwords
legacied for shadowers of REM sleep . . .
Counting to the tenth power . . . within which . . .
if that's what you want . . .
The whole truth . . . and nothing but . . .
tap dancing . . . whistling while I work . . .
taking the long way home . . .
My notebook fills with snow . . .
Four score and something . . . a death . . . in the family . . .
Off-days the string quartet in my back pocket
is all but played out . . . in three-quarter time . . .
Exes . . . marking the spot . . . steal second . . .
and more . . . transposing the theme of Lassie,
chock-full of unclaimed funds . . .
sitting there . . . festering(?) . . . in the lap of jargon . . .
with no one worth emailing
about the sinister drop . . . in temperature . . .
A pound of something . . .
Tragedians backed-up at the roundabout
conjure audience implants
with places to go . . . people to be . . .
reworking the boundaries of ancient-Greek mythos
with aspiring telecommuters . . .
I brood Bacon's comment about the violence of paint . . .
What better way? . . .
Did you think you had thought of everything? . . .

Bruno Walpoth


Saturday, January 6, 2018

Screen Dump 395

The pedagogy of your body sits in the front row . . .
open-legged . . . anticipating the rapture
trickling through the web of microphones
implanted in your flesh . . .
A garage band of soft stones retraces the images
of your odyssey drawn by headliners once removed . . .
You are quick to note the score . . .

Kate Moss

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Screen Dump 394

You dream yourself a spotter of weight-bearing fantasies . . .
your dialogue a monologue of graphic comics
and half-whispered promises laced with nonsense syllables . . .
You are on top of things . . . imagining the world as mirror-image . . .
improprieties squeezing through the holes in your story . . .
paper cuts and hypotheticals . . . a collage of weak passwords
legacied for shadowers of REM sleep . . .

Rana Hamadeh in The Sleepwalkers (2016)

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Screen Dump 393

Your garden is a myth of drones rocking in the back seat . . .
following the dotted line . . . lining up
for handouts . . . hand-me-downs . . . handsome Johnnies . . .
Counting to the tenth power . . . within which . . .
if that's what you want . . .
The whole truth . . . and nothing but . . .
tap dancing . . . whistling while you work . . .
taking the long way home . . .
Your notebook fills with snow . . .
The world a far-fetched deadline . . . indifferent, colorless . . .
Four score and something . . . a death . . . in the family . . .

Alique

Friday, December 29, 2017

Screen Dump 392

Off-days the string quartet in your back pocket
is all but played out . . . in three-quarter time . . .
Exes . . . marking the spot . . . steal second . . .  and more . . .
transposing the theme of Lassie, chock-full of unclaimed funds . . .
sitting there . . . festering? . . .
in the lap of jargon . . .
with no one worth emailing
about the sinister drop . . . in temperature . . .
A pound of something . . .
Tragedians backed-up at the roundabout
conjure audience implants
with places to go . . . people to be . . .
reworking the boundaries of ancient-Greek mythos
with aspiring telecommuters . . .
I brood Bacon's comment about the violence of paint . . .
What better way? . . .
Did you think you had thought of everything? . . .

Cesar Ordoñez

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Screen Dump 391

You've hit an orchestrated snag . . .
The ancient phobia reappearing with Leopardi's Hodge-Podge . . .
Evidently the time was set . . . and now, the retracing . . .
as in La Familia de Celilia . . .
accompanied by what if a much of a which of a wind . . .
Here's the windup . . . and the pitch (as black as) . . .
sending it out of the park and into the maelstrom of great silence . . .
with hey, diddle, diddle, / the cat and the fiddle . . .
with the cats . . . and the fiddles . . . at 10 AM on August 12, 1958 . . .
Art Kane for Esquire . . .
Not inclined to venture out into the drifting
Silent Snow, Secret Snow . . . above all . . . a secret . . .
Thinking - metaphorically - how disturbed one must be to do that, yes? . . .
But let's not go there . . . Who (in fact) killed Cock Robin? . . .
Circa 1950s . . . the black and white Stromberg Carlson
and the opening scene of Robin's arrow speeding into a tree . . .

Art Kane's, A Great Day in Harlem, 1958


Sunday, December 17, 2017

Screen Dump 390

A yellow submarine's sonar . . . pings . . .
somewhere . . . with directions to what? . . . last minute specials? . . .
The oddments are such that we could enjoy the respite
but this too is back-burnered
along with notes from Illuminations . . .
Sine waves sign in . . . trigger dance fever . . .
filling the silence with names . . . faces . . .
photomontages of parties . . . of the first . . . and second part
emailing jpgs to lovers . . . and other strangers . . .
Keep the words coming, he/she said . . .
strolling among the pines . . . on a winter afternoon . . .
worrying fonts . . . as if the image . . . you and I know this . . .

Dorith Mous

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Screen Dump 389

Choosing tautology to express emptiness
your erotic other's tacit acceptance
waits in the wings . . . primping . . . with extras
Uber'd in for the shoot
for MoMa's History of Hooking . . .
a trailer on the set of Boardwalk Empire . . .
dioramas, day trips, drive-bys, past priors . . .
You examine the separation
that informed your odyssey . . .
an escapist's myopia . . . scheduled to air
on subsequent Tuesdays in February . . . or March . . .
with one-night stands costumed as dreams
of uncooperative dentists retrofitted
for the unbeaten hometown debating team
from your up close and personal
when you were stuck in traffic for over a year . . .

Charlotte Strode

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Screen Dump 388

What is it that I love in loving you?
          - St. Augustine, Confessions

An 18-wheeler's list of gritty demands rear-ends your odyssey
as underperformers face the dilemma of Cup or Core . . .
Eyeshadowed eyes follow in the afterglow of first-come first-serveds . . .
Omissions make worthwhile the feel-good . . .
as it gushes . . . strangely satisfying . . .
with only-child enthusiasm . . .
Buried beneath the paper trail are instructions for the real . . .
which you repress for later parsing
by the I'll-see-your-twenty-and-raise-you-twenty
grammarians emeriti
who talk more . . . but settle for less . . . 50 minutes later . . .

Paolo Roversi

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Screen Dump 387

But what about de-composing . . . a poem, for example,
as if from across the room the mirror images of yes and no? . . .
You think infinite . . . bundled with song as a way out . . . as an escape route . . .
the narrative color-coded for easy access . . . the point of view . . .
again, an empty room . . . filling with strangers . . .
The neighborhood unwilling to disgorge a parking space
though in such moments one sometimes stumbles upon an area of respite . . .
a wilted exemplar of geologic time . . .
Elsewhere . . . the obvious . . . or not so . . .
to make it sound as if it had just been thought up . . .

Ellen von Unwerth

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Screen Dump 386

By that I mean treading water . . .
You know, to tread water . . . as praxis . . .
But then, he/she was disheveled . . .
jaywalking . . . and . . .
moments later . . . entered a CVS . . .
as if subscribing to the notion
that everything can be tabled . . .
should be tabled . . .
Equations . . . and what have you . . .
The passivity will eventually get to you
but I feel a kind of obligation . . .
a sense of commitment . . . notwithstanding . . .
Why did you stick that in? . . .
No idea . . . perhaps equivalence . . .
the awareness of defiance . . .
A tad heavy handed, yes? . . .
I've lost the sense of comma-placement . . .

Irma Haselberger

Monday, December 4, 2017

Screen Dump 385

You appeared unruffled at the dress rehearsal
running the gauntlet of valets wielding remotes . . .
I found it hard to believe that replacements were forbidden . . .
The whole thing was chancy, but exciting, yes? . . .
You made a go for it but ended up staring
at snowflakes through the window of his/her bedroom
filled with rococo . . . which I must say says it all . . .
The elegant attentions were, at least for the moment,
a recognition of deferral despite the extended warranty . . .
You did opt for that, didn't you? . . .
Your naivete cranked to eleven you declaimed
that you had inherited the silliness
from the French avant-garde . . . which you had been
introduced to by a substitute teacher in second grade
whose name was among those listed somewhere . . .

Irma Haselberger

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Screen Dump 384

The internal disarray has become less troubling, yes? . . .
The storm impends . . .
its wheels out of sync with the Zeitgeist . . .
And you, forking pasta on a flurried afternoon
in late November, chat up kinetic theater
with changelings hiding in Jane Austen's lines . . .
But what of the small dairy-farming communities
whose zigs and zags call less
for explanation than for diagnosis? . . .
Are they fodder for your tweets
or for your unreasonable notebook? . . .
Take for instance the gestural brush strokes
or the old typewriter font with its enigmatic nothingness
catching purchase with casting calls
while a restorer guesses Leonardo . . .
repaints the entire background ivory-black
and raises the bar to $450 million . . .
We await befuddlement . . .
It will come . . . as offshore Evinrudes take turns . . .
I am aghast . . . at something . . .

Leonardo's Salvator Mundi

Friday, November 17, 2017

The New Religion

That culture is becoming "the" culture.
          - Tad Friend, Getting On

You wake to a loopier world and friend request from Big Pharma.
Not unlike the Neanderthal's trephining blades, yes?

The Mom and Pop on the corner is no more a gray flannel suit
with homburg and pipe.

Whatever happened to The Young Philadelphians
shinnying up the senior partner pole slathered with grease?

Survey Says T-E-C-H-N-O-L-O-G-Y.
Fifty-something "Grampa" Buzz's flip-flopped new boss is young enough

to be his son's son. . . . Grampa Buzz can't afford to get laid
off . . . but he will . . . and his salary will buy five smarter

twenty-something brogrammers unencumbered by stodgy college degrees.
Their expertise's half-life is down to three years.

Who writes code anymore anyway . . .
now that off-the-shelf APIs are ready to do the heavy lifting?

It's all there in the cards.
And just what cards might those be?

Golden Cosmos

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Screen Dump 383

The mark of my poetry is the constant regret that human experience
eludes description.
          - Czesław Miłosz

The insincerity of huge red clown shoes trips up
your lip-sync of David Bowie's Oh You Pretty Things . . .
as foreign tongues dip into bowls of chowder
laid out with candy-ass smiles
and free tickets to movie theaters featuring blank screens
awaiting flash-in-the-pan fictional lives . . .
Bicycling figure-eights between goalposts
with sustain pedal engaged . . .
the buffering . . . the artisanal teas . . .
the Nabokovian butterflies pinned with day
passes to wooded paths strewn with incomplete sentences . . .
It's all shtick, yes? . . .
Wandering lonely as a cloud pits you against bulls
in china shops with intricate archways
spelling out the history of underground go-betweens . . .
You have a knack for note-taking
which bodes well for fine-tooth combing the intricacies
of personal spaces known only to others once removed . . .
You will be called upon . . . I just know it . . .


Monday, November 13, 2017

Screen Dump 382

I'm stuck in a paraphrase . . . your paragraph
a faux antidote . . . capturing moments coalescing
at the bottom of a black hole . . .
Dealmaker or dealbreaker? . . .
The endpoint the same, yes? . . .
I mean when was the last time you considered
the combination of letters headbutting you
as we speak . . . or . . . as we try to communicate
with signage? . . . To dawdle in such dress
as they are used to wear, indeed! . . .
Forget that it's all there . . . all the remnants of your odyssey
when you were given a second chance
to guide the motorcycle through the cones
set out by the Emperor of Ice Cream . . .


Friday, November 10, 2017

Screen Dump 381

Parenthetical interruptions . . . exhausting . . . you try to avoid them
and marvel at the perfection of the opening line:
It's late already, five or five-thirty . . .
You concede that the search for meaning is senseless . . .
a convex mirror type of phenomenon
as jarring as verbal abstraction when playing hangman . . .
What about transitions? . . .
Rarely abrupt . . . and this I guess is good . . .
You have been known to confuse yourself . . . and others . . .
There is some solace, however, in putting on an overcoat
reeking of a story critiqued by oddsmakers . . .
And what does it remind you of? . . .
It may take a while, with all the red tape, but rest assured
it will happen . . . say the informants . . .
most of whom would flounder in a stream of consciousness . . .

Paolo Roversi

Monday, November 6, 2017

Screen Dump 380

Post-coital hot tubbing with mannequins
unleashes half-baked half-overheard conversations plagiarized
from footnotes of wannabes miming cocksure readers
whose bar-hopping is choked
with arms, legs, glass eyes, and false positives . . .
Your intrepid unscripted words continue to trickle into daylight
while your profile gets a fresh coat of paint
and your shopping cart checks itself out . . .
And these are only a few of your favorite things? . . .

Paolo Rovesi

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Screen Dump 379

The whole thing innocuous . . . losing the unfollowing . . .
the body picking through the remains of the day
confused by puzzle-me-this . . . a vanishing point
to ask again if this is enough . . . if this is enough . . .
Waking with the rain . . . texting for balance . . . in Halloween
costume with motorcycle boots . . . and treasure trove
of gandy dancers laying track to the outermost house . . .
its windowless room a catalyst for your re-readings
of open-ended questions submitted by student interns . . .
I will return to this . . .

Craig McDean

Friday, October 27, 2017

Screen Dump 378

You become the person you were scripted to become . . .
despite your edits . . . your Lottery tickets . . . your season passes . . .
your photo ops . . . There's no telling
who will be next in the queue
that stretches along the potheaded macadam
back to your once upon a time . . . taken out
in the third quarter . . . treated with condiments -
at least they looked the part - and released into a bullpen
with nose ring and selfie stick . . .
You would have thought the colors . . .
but that wasn't on today's menu . . . or in today's cards
falling like leaves with ramifications for droves of peepers . . .
rewinding the tape . . .

Rebekah Heller