Last night, I took off Emily Dickinson's clothes.

this gon taste aaaalllright

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Sorry about that, guys.

It’s been weird in here lately.
Don’t worry, I’ll post some pictures of hot girls smoking cigarettes or playing jazz marimba or something.

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The arcanely consistent, metered
minuscule bones of imprisoned ink
that constitute
the endoskeleton
of your literary corpse
rot in obscene repose
on pages
filled like graveyards
with decaying metaphors, septic prose,
attracting plagues
and lowering property values
without pause
or preoccupation.

This is their fate,
these midnight scratchings,
thrown in justice
and spite
to the reptilian vultures
of a scavenger reality,
gorging themselves sick
on your tender
mind’s eye
under the odiously loud rays
of a crisp Nevada sun.

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The Cattails Scream

Let the scene set itself:

platinum thrushes
hanging their heads
over the silver glide of water,
crooked water,
like La Llorona
screaming for the bones of her children.

Do not let this image
disturb you.
She screams like
the cattails scream:

for a past
that ran away
on the back
of a swift-course river
and into
the future’s
vast ocean,
a harsh and salty place
that yaws
even the best-made boats
back and sallow forth
like naïve willow leaves
in a late-spring,

that loud corner
of our humid year
that scares the wildlife
into a more shivering
sort of submission.

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32nd Airborne, Prose Division

If you took all of them,
the lonely ones who never got lonely,
and lined them all up
in an awkward row, hats of faded felt
and ties tied too tight,
you would have a sortie,
a rank and file
of unimaginable power,
ready to mock and
any and all orders
you could possibly give them.

You could wear your best green and
white and yellow, garish colors,
nothing at all like the color of blood,
colors that remind any possible
of how many screw threads you have stripped,
how many doors you’ve unstuck;
how many lawnmowers you’ve revved
when all hope seemed utterly lost.
They will notice them, this unsightly group,
your colors that insinuate
and sound like paperclips. They will not
be impressed.

And among all this mayhem,
this rampant insubordination
that will surely tear this nation
asunder, you won’t be able to help
being at least a little jealous
of their cheap hats
and cheaper suits. After all,
they have the words.
And you don’t.

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Un Cielo Pesado

Un cielo pesado:
pintado por su propia
sombrándonos oscuramente
y mojándose arboles
que no se puede ver.

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Green has grown where glaciers scratched the hide of the Earth.

If you concentrate
on the space not under
but between
the syllables,
you might just decipher
the raspy wooden howling all around you
and finally find out
what the trees are really trying to say.

They mourn their dead.
They praise their children.
And when only the ancient ones remain,
they admit with whispering leaves
their inferiority before
a flawless elemental God;

the concupiscent chlorophyll confession
that in spite of perfect roots and branches,
after all these years of woodpeckers
they are still not good enough.

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Sitting here in the great green echo
that precedes the embarkation of your sojourn of vapor
onto a thin silver ship shaped like the sky,
I stop to write something, anything,
so that if we veer and crash and rumble
into an unbreakable stone pillar of clouds,
there will at least be an epithet
(loquacious though it is)
to stand as a misty testament
to who I was
before I boarded this doomed and wild vessel,
back when I was still alive.

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see them, 12

see them, 12
bone monsters
throwing stones
at your albatross

the grand wingspan
of misunderstanding
that discolors
the firmament,

your bruise, gray feathers.
Iron sieves
onto the day’s
white sheet

ruby pool spreading
in time to the metronome.

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Seatbelts Save Lives

There’s a kind of bony
in the realization
that calamities, entropies
are occurring
every sliver of every moment—
tragedies of a truly
brutal variety,
alighting like gadflies
on every square inch
of the skin
of the Earth;

It shakes its rocky haunches,
enacting the grand seismology
of the spherical horse. Beast
of celestial burden, trotting
across the universe’s
flat black pasture.

His spine, vast and broken,
where so many grapefruits
are stinging so many eyes
it is enough
to make you leave the wax museum,
get back behind the wheel
of your left-listing car
and drive glidingly home,
laughing at the poor man
trapped inside your radio, laughing
despite tonight’s chance
of late-spring sleet.

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The Time I had Coffee and Apples for Breakfast With Vincent Van Gogh

He looks composed this morning,
not at all the picture of dishevelment
that laid woodenly
on his rough cotton bed, face-
down for hours the night before.
He is staring out the window,
seeing the same trees that I see,
of course, and more than likely
he is fine with the way they look,
the pleasant shocks of leaves
sitting on top of good posture
giving away
the secrets of the breeze.

I am about to ask him
what he is thinking, why
he is giving the window
the complete attention of his genius;
I am about to ask him
what intricate wires he is stringing
from branch
to branch with his eyes that swim
like clouds of conscious pollen.

But before I can even chew my food,
open my mouth and cohere a thought,
he shifts in his chair, puts his head
on his hand and, without sighing,
continues to stare out the window,
giving me the back of his shaggy head.
I see the trees that you see, he is saying,
speaking in the opulent silence of the introvert.
I see the trees that you see.
This has always been the case
and you know this.

The stars are the same
and the churches I paint
are just as empty as the churches you pray in,
the opulent churches of Europe.
Those large caverns of stone and cloth
that swallow footsteps alive
and, in Winter, become so bitter with frost
that the large beeswax candles,
flickering obscurely about the loneliness of the altar,
seem less like the living breaths of flame
that gave Milton the freedom to write at night
and more like animated icicles, grainy blurs of

weather, dancing in time to the sound of the choir,
the remains of a powerful voice
wandering around the empty chamber
as though lost in a quicksand thought.

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"Food will become a diminishing return."

Charles Bukowski

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The first day of the year.

Betcha a fiver that the second one doesn’t happen.

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