on electrified wires

Providential

This town provides:

Mothers smile and say hello,
Fathers hit fungo to their sons,
Families rally around the flag,
White picket fences keep others out,

Ambulances cruise & never use sirens,
Dogs never bark or froth,
Pigeons align themselves from pole to pole—

On electrified wires.

What I’m Reading:

“I listen.
I hear nothing. Only
the cow
of nothingness mooing, mooing
down the bones.”

— Galway Kinnell / “Another Night in the Ruins”

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missing its top

Microfiction Haiku Fu

A microfiction—
A mountain missing its top,
Vancouver murals.

What I’m Reading:

“The calories in a great book equal those burned in its reading. Or it’s burning.”

— Ben Lerner / Angle of Yaw

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a shared reality

The Best Stuff I Read This Week

“I want for us to want
to patch every heart
and pave every road
and destroy every system
that has ever left us
broken.”

— Jordan Jace / “I want”


“Democracy’s survival depends on what happens inside our skulls, where anything is possible. The destruction of a shared reality does more damage than economic decline or impeachable acts.”

— George Packer / Last Best Hope: America in Crisis and Renewal


“‘No one look / And a canny fucking fill / Don’t lie to me!’ she sings in one moment. It doesn’t really make sense, but it’s not supposed to: Harding wants you to find your own logic. “I just want everyone to feel like a philosopher. You put on a record, and that record belongs to you,” she said in a recent Pitchfork interview.”

— Sophie Kemp / Aldous Harding’s Warm Chris album review, Pitchfork.com


“If we all paid attention to what is happening to the planet in the Anthropocene, we’d be running around with our heads on fire. Instead, we churn on in our lives, ordering stuff for next-day delivery when we could shop locally, driving to the grocery store only half a mile away instead of biking, and flipping the radio dial when another instance of extreme weather strikes, because we just can’t bear what another fire or hurricane portends. All the while, we’re nagged by conscience, which slowly drags our spirits down.”

— Lauren Groff / “Beach Bummer”


“Nostalgia is a pathological sickness. Photographed
I am as quiet as an apple approaching the mouth.
In the Pavilion of Din, my skull stays a silence.”

— Michael Dumanis / “Flag Day”


“We are not wired to make decisions about barely perceptible threats that gradually accelerate over time. We’re not so different from the proverbial frog that boils to death in a pot of slowly warming water.”

— Jeff Goddell / The Water Will Come


“Something has gone wrong with the last best hope of earth. Americans know it—the whole world knows it. Something has gone wrong out there too . . . No one is going to save us. We are our last best hope.”

— George Packer / Last Best Hope: America in Crisis and Renewal

What I’m Listening To:

“Of all the ways to eat a cake
This one surely takes the knife”

— Aldous Harding / “Passion Babe”

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let it seep

Autophagous Trance Dance

Allow the terror in—
Consider it, live with it,
Let it seep deep into your body
And into your mind.

Then, and only then,
Are you prepared to act.

What I’m Reading:

“And it’s too late to stop climate change from coming; it is already here, and increasingly brutal disasters are headed our way no matter what we do. But it’s not too late to avert the worst, and there is still time to change ourselves so that we are far less brutal to one another when those disasters strike.”

— Naomi Klein / This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate

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impassive glitch in

Nada Haiku

Well above the crowd
Impassive glitch in the sky
What do we call you?

What I’m Reading:

“Owls peck the windows of the 21st century
as if looking for
the board members
of Exxon Mobil
who who who who who”

— Ilya Kaminsky / “I Ask That I Do Not Die”

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destined for history

Chancroid v. Chancellor

Pasted and made agent, once again, I earned the title of Chancroid of Elfador.

I understood public relations and quickly assembled a fleet to sail to Festicularis. Never had so many sumptuous furs been made execrable by hovering over them and evacuating our bowels upon them.

The Chancellor of Quas made an appearance by summons of habeas crapus. In our midst he exhibited a prowess for combat with crabs and lice, in a manner so expert, that we allowed him to search and clean our bodies.

This was a satisfied accomplishment — maybe even an occasion for pity. We were all destined for history in the outcast country. We would certainly overtake the heathen and Papist alike.

We had the flinders of the saints.

We had them by the short hairs.

What I’m Reading:

“There passed a weary time. Each throat
Was parched, and glazed each eye.
A weary time! a weary time!”

— Samuel Taylor Coleridge / “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”

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the heat dome

Self-Inflicted Dodo Dada

A dusty path toward deliverance after a club on the head, a dark hour, a black age—

Quashed then regained. Diverted, re-charted, and reoriented

The crags and canyons—vertiginous—skirted. The roiling water. Up ahead the fog-smoke.

We live beneath the heat dome once a year—but the duration metastasizes—

At the terminal hour we’ll live beneath the heat dome year-round as feedback loops unspool their violence

In ineluctable gyres—followed by the exhalation of a bated agonal breath.

Image: Roelant Savery c. 1620’s, in public domain / Wikipedia

What I’m Reading:

“my disapproving mother tells me
nobody wants to read poems…
…no one has ever heard of such a thing as a wealthy poet…
…I decide to write the poem
to be poor and obscure

it will be a poem of defiance…”

—Laura Thiels / “Armeisenverteilungsmaschine”

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soon our avatars

Counterfactual is Satisfactional

Dissociative dance trance
What you wanna’ do

Nothing new under the tongue
No trip to take
No tincture to absorb into your system
Obdurate powerful maladaptive

The counterfactual is satisfactional
It’s true it’s factual everything
Is so god-damned distressing
Who filched the prelapsarian graces

Soon our avatars will arrive
Live the lives we abandon
Live in the world we have throttled
And left for dead in our stead.

What I’m Reading:

“There’s always that moment in a country’s history when it becomes obvious the earth is less manageable than previously thought.”

— Jim Shepard / “The Netherlands Live with
Water”

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key of dada

Catafalque Tunes in 5/8 Time

Catafalque tunes in mahogany time. Nothing sounds as it should. Dripping in the recessive notes of a palanquin juddering in a surreal signature. Come to think off it, father’s signature flew off the back of my report card before I handed it back to the teacher. So I quickly scrawled something in his flourish—and like the former president who liked to show off his signature as if he was showcasing his first turd (ha, look mommy a turd! ain’t I special!) I turned it in with some flair. This is when the bier construction started in the teacher’s workroom—to the whir of the circular saw. I knew I was in for it. I called for some Sun Ra in 5/8 time and was quickly given pointers on how to snap my fingers in the coolest, most detached, cool cat aplomb. Someone scatted a 12 bar blues about lying in state in a failed state. Some “banana republic” rejoinders were heard from the detention hall inmates, and we went out with a Te Deum in the key of Dada. Followed by a full minute of mushroom cloud hiss.

What I’m Reading:

“What if the guns
turn into pencils
in the hands of the soldiers
and they underline
the places on the map
as sites they must see
before they die?”

— Dunya Mikhail / “Tablets VI”

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hating myself long

Encomium (redux)

I walk in circles gyring—elevating ever outward until I’m circumnavigating your boundless denigration.

Deliver me—enervated—from invigoration as you deliver me from hating myself long enough to despise you.

I’ve placed myself at this longitude so that I may be bisected by your latitude of lassitude.

I’ve misplaced the keys to hegemonic misericordia.

Mercy be done because I haven’t any time left.

Deliver me again from prepositional entanglements and toothsome fricatives.

Yes yes leave my words alone.

Plangent. Agent. Of misfortune.

What I’m Listening To:

“There is no middle when the other side
Would rather kill than compromise”

— Wilco / “Hints”

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