Saturday, July 31, 2010

One Every 24 #38

Jorge Luis Borges vs Burger King Pornography


There is no one in him
behind his face

as he steps toward the other
in gentle mockery of himself
a man with gray eyes and gray
beard, lying amidst the o
of the animals.


She unwraps the hamburger to reveal
another hamburger wrapper
wrapped around another hamburger
wrapper she unwraps to reveal another
hamburger wrapper wrapped around
another hamburger wrapped.


Let us imagine that in Toledo a paper is discovered
in a stable which is almost in the shadow of the new
stone church in our dreams, the story of a broken
and scattered god from the twilight of day
till the twilight of evening who knows whether
tonight we shall not see it in the labyrinths
After having razed the garden
and profaned the chalices


Have it your way
hold the pickle

hold the lettuce special
orders don't upset us
all we ask is you let us do it
your way

Neural Firings

Friday, July 30, 2010

One Every 24 #37

Outing You Who You Are Not

Hello friend,

We have concluded to effect
your payment through western union
$7,000.00 daily until the $1.5Million
(USD) is completely transferred

to you accordingly. Though, Mr Peter
Godwin has sent $7,000.00 in your name
today so contact Western union Agent: Mr.
John Thomas TELL: +229 9871 6228
E-mail: ( )

Tell him to give you the mtcn, sender name
and question/answer to pick up your first payment
$7,000.00.Dollar. You will pay him $175 dollar
for the renew of your fund. payment file before
he will give you the information to pickup
your first payment $7,000.00.dollar.

The only money you will pay him is $175 dollar
and he will release the mtcn, sender name
and question/answer to you to pick up your first

payment. You can also ask him to send to you a proof,
the ownership certificate of the Fund.
It is for you to be sure that the fund belong to you.
Make sure you send your full name , address and telephone
to him.

Thanks You,


Happily Ever After Until...


One month that fall, her cell phone bill came in at well above the usual amount. Being that the account was in his name, and he was the one who handled their finances and daily took the mail from the mailbox when he arrived home from work, it was obvious this bill should end up in his hands. An examination of the bill’s call history revealed a certain number had been called repeatedly. He dialed that number. When a man answered, he told him, “Don’t think it’ll stop with you.” They’d been having their fair share of problems, certainly, but the fact that she hadn’t intercepted the bill caused him to realize he was either living with a cruel-hearted bitch or a fool. He wasn’t sure which one he wanted her to be.


Right around the time the weather fully turned and the insects sought the house’s promise of heat, he read a haiku that essentially translated from the original Japanese as, "Don’t worry spiders, I keep house casually." The idea of this appealed to him so fully that he no longer killed spiders, especially not those that found their way into the house. Instead, he trapped them under a drinking glass, slid the glass onto a sheet of paper and carried them back outside. One morning after he’d started doing this, his wife discovered that something had bitten their infant daughter on the thigh during the night. A fever ensued. Then a welt the size of quarter that became a blister that became an open sore. Fortunately, time, his daughter’s able constitution, and the proscribed medicated cream healed the ugly wound, and no scar remained. On Christmas morning, a few weeks after the baby’s thigh had completely healed, his wife screamed from the kitchen. He ran in from the living room where he’d been sitting on the couch, staring at the Christmas tree and considering the ironies of his situation. Frozen on the counter was a wolf spider with legs long enough to span his palm. “Jesus. Kill it,” she said. “Kill it.” There was an issue of Time within easy reach. Of course he should kill it, but why do anything her way? He decided to get a glass from the cupboard instead. His move toward the cupboard startled the spider, and it skittered quickly down the face of the counter and disappeared into the cold air return.


A few weeks after New Year’s she told him she’d made plans to have a few drinks with “a friend who’d been going through some issues with her husband.” He decided not to tell her what he knew (or what he knew she knew he knew, depending). After she left, he sat down at their kitchen table with a bottle of whiskey and put out an entire pack of cigarettes on his forearm, one at a time.
1. This is only a test.
2. Empirical science calls for numerous trials.
3. It does, indeed, burn.
4. A pattern emerges. Is it ridiculous or ironic to consider a smiley face?
5. You get a better sear after smoking most of one.
6. Starting to settle in here.
7. How, exactly, is this connected to math again?
8. The smell of yourself burning.
9. Menthol might have been the better choice.
10. Whatever flicks your bic.
11. Sarcastic Zen.
12. In case you’re wondering, it takes eight to make a decent smiley face.
13. By the way, this is the pack I hid from you because I want you to quit.
14. Nothing can change what we’ve already done to (or for) each other.
15. Unlike in the movies, pouring whiskey on it doesn’t help.
16. Smoked out. Only taking a drag or two before stubbing on flesh.
17. Despite everything, I still love you.
18. Always. (Just finished the blistering eyebrows!)
19. It’s almost a matter of stupid pride at this point.
20. Exhale. Slowly. Smoke this one to the filter and leave you to consider the raw, singed end.
She came home to the smell of burnt flesh and the above list taped to their daughter’s empty crib. She dialed the same number that he’d dialed months before, sobbing into the receiver the instant someone picked up. She was shocked and worried into not knowing if she’d been a fool or cruel-hearted bitch. The voice on the other end told her she was something else entirely.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

One Every 24 #36

Twenty-Fifth Class Reunion at the All-Boys Catholic Boarding School

We're middle aged men, thicker here, thinner there
Weaving through the hallways of our late dorm
Bottles in hand, cigarettes lipped, brazen in doing
All those things we did undercover years before.
And suddenly we're eighteen again, surging with
The miracle of that future cutting us loose against
The tide of what God and our parents expect
Only this is also the past, and we're drunk as hell
And I'm the drunkest of you all, staggering off
Alone in search of some revelation only
To come back empty-handed as usual. Brothers
We live large, often act small, and most of you
Now know far better. Me, I've only grown dimmer,
I suppose. I sit numb as some of you peel away
Toward home, your wives, children, jobs, mortgages
Responsible citizenry. As always, something more
And less than each of you I wander through the halls
When those of us who choose to stay behind finally fall
Asleep. I shake the holy water of alcohol from my fingers
Anoint you with my disquietude. I am the failure
We were all threatened with becoming, the one
Still trying to forget enough of our past to remember.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

One Every 24 #35

Saw of Cicadas as the Earth Turns Away From

Here toward the sun underneath which every thing
Can not be new now or ever inside this time
Spilling always forward, always behind, us, its parasites
And blood, meaning, you can't divorce the two:
Us and the idea of time, there is not one without the other
Like me here now within the evening's ratcheted fade
Trying to put meaning to the cicadas cascading grind
or your eyes wherever occupying the connection between
us and the dirt-spec smallness of each insect letter in this line.

One Every 24 #34


A man walks into a room
He doesn't recognize, but should
A man sees a picture of a boy
He doesn't recognize, but was
A man is startled by the echo of
The unfamiliar voice he has

Once it was his familiar voice
A man heard an echo of
The boy who became the man
Holding what this picture is:
A man walking into a room
He doesn't recognize, but should.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

One Every 24 #33

Dennis Hopper versus Chick-fil-A

Hey, man I'm telling you the taste is like being
wrapped in dynamite rigged to make everything
explode outward into the orb of a chopper
gas tank rumbling guts through a jungle compound
draped in the sweet stink of a nitrous ripple leaving you
blue-lipped holding onto a severed finger or some
painter's ear while sitting in the back of a bus
which will sure as hell be shrapnel if it slows down
by the river near where they left the body where
I once shot some girl before I shriveled up and died.

One Every 24 #28-32

Addendum (Bactine versus Bakthin)

One Every 24 #32

Bactine versus Bakhtin (Take Five)

Mike and me keep getting stuck outside time
We don't need to be huffing Bactine for time to stick
Sometimes it's just time and we're the ones sticking

I mean, I haven't changed my underwear for a while
I mean, sometimes I eat out of that dumpster we hunker
Down near. I mean, you ever kiss anybody with paint

Smeared around your mouth? She won't either, but it's an art
Stopping inside of time while getting stuck outside of time
Like that one time I was without Mike and looking through

Her bedroom window, her head pendulum bobbing
Beneath his crooked, glowing smile. I mean, I can't speak
For Mike, except to say when I pressed my mouth

Up against glass it was too dark to see the ripples in the ring
I left behind.

One Every 24 #31

Bactine versus Bakhtin (Take Four)

Mike and me sometimes remember we're in this story
What keeps getting attacked by all these other stories.
It's like we get all high and shit and there's Blackbeard

With his black fuckin' beard all on fire. He's telling us
We're a real piece of work, snuggled down under scabs
We can't huff or push or drag or snort our way out from.

I say what good is a naked lady on a horse or some fairy
Too scared to grow up. One time with a meat hook
I chased Mike screaming past my dead-drunk step-dad

Crashed on the couch. Slaughter house fuck rose up fists wadded
Ready to wail on whoever thought they had the balls to break
Him off his between shifts nap. He's legs pillared, hair riled

Glitter on his nose and cheeks from spending his lunch
At the titty bar, joggling his face in the crack of One-eye
Sandy's floppy baps. Slapping us senseless he's only hitting

Our vapor trail, jetting like we are on two tabs of blotter
He's like a baby in a bonnet in a cradle falling from a tree
I say. Mike says from inside the black hole of his eyes

Now here's your fuckin' fairytale. Me, I'm thinking lullaby.

One Every 24 #30

Bactine versus Bakhtin (Take Three)

Mike and me sometimes wonder what the fuck is worse
Shit like that bolted, blue-haired girl being so beautiful
Out of reach or being lost among the erased faces what wear

The strapped on clown suits downtown. We've resurrected
Words like bogue and choice and bomb, unearthed the dead
Talk of older brothers and sisters, drunk aunts and uncles

With barked knuckles and back pocket ratchets. All those words
Used wrong but right to keep the no-nothings in the dark when
I tell the truth about how bomb it is to score a choice spoonful

Tie off, slip away when all this shit just gets too fuckin' bogue.

One Every 24 #29

Bactine versus Bakhtin (Take Two)

Mike and me are goofy limbed and on our way to Jake's Place
We're being tailed by a blue mist and this long bone finger
What keeps reaching through the blue to scrape my heel

We've never seen lazy-eyed Jake look the same way twice
He likes to shave only part of his face to give you half
A mustache, a wrong-ways mowhawk, that one side-burn

Fucker's got a mason jar full of Oxys he'll crush with his thumb
We hide behind those dusty white walls for days inside days
We keep at the lines, blacking out and into the idea of who

We might become.

One Every 24 #28

Bactine versus Bakhtin (Take One)

Mike and me are hunkered down next to a piss-smelling dumpster
Behind the Save-a-Lot huffing Bactine out of Wonder Bread bag.
Mike's in it nose-deep, sucking and blowing then holding onto a lungful

He thunks his head back against the dumpster, sighs out that ether
Smelling mist, he grins cracked lips away from yellow teeth
I pull the bag through his limp fingers as he says, "Fuck, man. Oh, fuck.

It's like I'm here doing this but I'm not here doing this, like I'm me
But I'm not me until I do something to make me me, you know
What I mean?" I mean fuckin-a yeah, I know what Mike means, maybe.

Monday, July 19, 2010

One Every 24 #27

Lost Weekend with the Boys (Reprise)

This starts with you in a car going somewhere
you probably shouldn't be 
going, driving toward
the loaded possibilities of a lost weekend, still believing
no real plan is the only real plan necessary

but, really, you know where you're headed, it’s not like you
haven’t over and out done yourself with the boys
too many times before, so why not pop the cap on
a cold one from the cooler riding shotgun and drive off

through the bloodshot sunset into your memory's slurred
loop of Judas Priest and Black Sabbath nights riddled
with the gaps in your knowing whatever it is you keep feeling
for each time you return to reach down into those blurry holes.

Two days later, this ends with you in a car returning from somewhere
you probably shouldn’t have been, taking another wrong turn
into the gap-riddled Saturday night past where you once looked
deeper to find the blackest part of Detroit.

That night you played the blue balled wheelman after regretting
the Windsor strip club where you chose not to go with the French
stripper who invited you and you alone to come over to her place
later and take her clothes off for her this time, only

this time it's only you and you alone in the car on on a Sunday
afternoon, hung over, middle aged, sick from a lost weekend
you think was spent trying to prove you’re still the wildest
one of the wild ones who are now sensible and no longer so wild

and worried about you. No Black Sabbath, no Judas Priest
rattling the windows down now as you search the ghetto
above the grit of wheels slow rolling against gravel and broken
glass to the silence of no one there to egg you on or beg you off

as you take the turn past the burned out shell of the bar
and the ghost of the bartender who considered you
no more than air, leaving it to someone else
to tell your white punk asses to get the fuck out

before you got stuck, the bar where drunk and stupid
and eighteen one of the boys (maybe you?) said
“Stuck where? We’re not stuck anywhere. We got a car”
only to be told, "Then drive your cracker asses the fuck out."

So of course when the whore approached the clot of you
standing outside trying to decide what next, somebody (you?)
said sure and went down the alley with her looking for some
head and this just before a brother out spare changing came up

said, “She ain’t no bitch, man. She funny. She trans.”
When someone (you?) asked what he meant he explained
look at her fingernails, look at her hands. “Bitch got man hands
all veiny and shit.” Just the kind of revelation that might make

anybody, let alone some blasted high school kid (you?) stumbling
out of the rank darkness, followed by the sight of a whore
spitting a load onto the cracked asphalt, drawing a corded
muscled forearm across his or her lips

puke their guts out all over the mouth of a Detroit alley
to the sound of everyone else's laughter twenty-some
years ago during that very moment the blank vacuum of a broken
street light mapped out the question of how it's possible

for anyone to still be so turned around.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

One Every 24 #26


Put a bomb in a poem about naptime
Put in some pins
Some broken glass

Put the bomb under my chair in the poem about naptime
Walk the pins (and needles) beneath my feet
Set the glass (not yet broken) on the sill's edge

Cradle my cauliflower ear around her first explosive cry
Push the pins in to their heads as I race to become the cure
Catch the glass. Always half full when I get there.

One Every 24 #25

Carrying the Blues Down a Ladder with Robert Johnson Upon Consideration of the RPM Conundrum

I've long loved you as the voice inside another mouth
making seal on the doctored bottle's wet lipped lie
I've read: one laced bottle, two, or none. I've been
to all three markers, left strings, pennies, guitar picks
thumbed into dirt just to get them that much closer to you
my aetherial black angel, the sound of whom they will
never purify, cannot alter, regardless of pitch or time
they won't question your tempo as you trumpet us home.

Addendum: Are Robert Johnson's songs recorded too fast? You decide.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

One Every 24 #24

FADE IN/FADE OUT (Outtake #3): Death of a Henchman

They brought the letter into the barracks at mail call
She was leaving him for that salesman with the nice car
His brothers in arms told him to buck up, what's a woman
But a shot to the heart that doesn't kill you and won't heal

The alarm practically rattles itself off the wall
Booted legs race out the door. hands peel rifles
From the rack. there is much yelling and falling out
Word spreads that an intruder has breached the secret

Compound. he first gets sight of the intruder from a distance
The intruder is a whirling, white-hot light
His uniformed brothers in arms pull toward
(He suddenly wonders if all this time the moth has been trying

To douse rather than reach the flame.) the intruder
Sends broken bodies flying in brutally fantastic ways
Fools, he thinks of his brothers in arms, blindly rushing in that way
Then it's his turn, and the hitch of what she's done

Inserts itself for an instant between his mind and his training
Banking on blood fury. he screams his rage. rushes in, blazing
For the intruder, and, to be honest, for everybody watching
He's a second thought. less than one of many.

One Every 24 #23

The Poem That Hated Itself (and me too)

I hate poems about poems
I hate poems that use the word poem
I hate poems about the poet
I hate poems that use word poet

I hate poems about the poet in the process of writing that poem
I hate poems that reference other poems, like The Drunken Boat
or other poets like Frost, which are at least two serviceable examples
because you get images out of them

I hate all those kinds of poems because rather than me
straight out telling you what I mean those poems are like me
telling you that I'm telling you what I mean.

That's almost as annoying as expecting you to believe
I am a poem because I say right here I am.

One Every 24 #22


What the fuck is wrong with you?

Between the seizures of matter
innundations, the spewing of fire
vortexes of invisible gas

(all of which on the cosmic scale
are analogous to a dropped dinner plate)

there has come to be every possible hatred
perversion and their subsequent righteous indignations

All manner of death and suffering natural and obscene

And yet, compassion, love, sacrifice, generosity
and the possibility that all matter is connected

Which brings me back to you, and whatever the fuck
has gone way, way, way wrong here

My eyes and brain tell me one of a few things must be true
(though, perhaps none of them are, which means this is also
one of the things that must be true, or not):

If you're a benevolent, omniscient, omnipotent, interventionist
God you've got some serious explaining to do. Otherwise, it seems
your sense of right and wrong are all fucked up

If you're a non-interventionist God, a clock maker, so to speak
Fuck you. Your clock needs fixing. So what if it's Sunday. Get to work

If you're something like they claim. Well, I've done the best
I could, but I would not toe the dogma line so I guess you'll have to
give me whatever punishment you knew I had coming all along

But, if it's true that the universe has a single point of origin
and all matter is connected, then all of reality is one
organism of which we are each a part.

I have come to suspect
that this organism is God.
I have come to see us as particles
within this God-body

And so in the end, when I say fuck you, fix this world
you made then gave to us, I'm really praying

we find a way to get our shit together before it's too late

I mean the people largely responsible
as well as myself.

I mean I love you.

Friday, July 9, 2010

One Every 24 #21

FADE IN/FADE OUT (Outtake #2, after Goddard's Breathless)

she's the pixie-ish American feature
writer in Paris unsure if she's truly in love
with a cop killing Bogart-worshiping car thief

mugger, hustler, thug. he loves her, oddly sensitive
chauvinist pig that he is. he wants to carry her off to Rome
in a series of stolen cars. she seems his only pursuit

beyond a life of crime. she tells him she's pregnant
says it's probably his. he doesn't hitch a step
in trying to get her to sleep with him again

an aspiring novelist, she goes on assignment to see
the great American writer who happens to be visiting
Paris. unlike her, the writer speaks immaculate French

with no trace of an accent. she asks the writer what
is his life's ambition. To become immortal
then die, the writer says

meanwhile he's out looking for the fence who owes him
meanwhile the cops come nosing around: a callous
wrinkled detective puts a clumsy tail on her

then she sees a newspaper (not the one he holds in front of his face
to make himself invisible as he walks down the street behind
his shades, impervious to the constant yet oblivious cops

finally, she faces what's been on scrolling marquis and the front pages
all along. it's nothing more than what she's always known: he's a thief
now a murderer, and she loves him

they go on the lamb. hole up in his friend's photography studio
he sends her out for the paper, milk, smokes. she goes to a bar first
orders a scotch, which they don't have, and settles for coffee instead

from the bar, she calls the cops and rats. then she walks back to him
milk in hand to tell him the cops are coming. to tell him go
leave now. he refuses, says the fence who owes him money

is on his way, and at that very instant, the fence arrives
he takes the cash, tells the fence to split, the cops are coming
the fence shoves a gun into his hand. he doesn't want it, tosses

it back into the fence's car, walks away. The cops arrive as if spliced
the fence throws the gun into the street. it lands at his feet. he picks it
up with what appears to be the idiotic intent of returning it

yet again, unless he's changed his mind and wants to dent some badges
it's impossible to know, but gun in hand is enough for the cops because
the next shot is the callous, wrinkled detective firing in the street

and suddenly there she is. running into the middle of everything
running toward him as he staggers kidney-shot down the block
no gun, legs gradually failing. this disturbs only a few of the many

people out walking the Paris afternoon. near the far corner
his legs fail. he's on his back on the ground fading out
the cop's shoes circle his head.

her legs arrive. her lovely Parisian shoes. he exhales the unlikely drag
nobody saw him take. his last words: Makes me want to puke
she doesn't quite hear them. she asks the callous, wrinkled detective

He said you make him want to puke, he tells her and she believes
she asks what puke means. no answers. she runs the edge of her thumb
over her lips. a gesture that he liked to make. one he stole from Bogart.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

One Every 24 #20


The beat Chevy mounts the gravel rise at a crawl
stones popping slow against the cooling tires. Dust trail
billows away, dissolving into a bleached blue sky

Shadowy driver kills the engine, it knocks, gasps, knocks
again. Tight on the Chevy's door now. Fresh dents. Scars
from chasing through the construction zone's rebar maze.

The door swings open. It's always a car door
opening. Into the space between its bottom edge
and the dust. The boot you're familiar with, crunching

down into the gravel. Maybe even spurs. Or chains
or maybe not the boot at all. Maybe a high
heel. The turn. Then a crutch. A naked, artificial limb

emerging beneath this car door's lower edge. A child's leg.
A pig's foot. An egg falling past to open onto the dust
then smeared in by the knobby-sharp talon of a giant

predatory bird. Or maybe only you, simply lost
inside that one time you took that one wrong turn
and found yourself atop this desolate gravel rise

Leaning against an open car door, looking off
into the idea of exactly how did you get here
inside this life like a movie, surprised at nothing

Running from everything. Looking for the rest
of the story you expect.

One Every 24 #19


Femurs knob the crop rows of the bone farm
The phalanxes of the bone farmer caress
Skulls, I have never seen as grinning
At the gate of radius and ulna, its hinges of patella
The bag of charms you mouth speaks nothing
About luck: some things fall our way
Some things shatter.

One Every 24 #18

Karma (Best)

the sound of one hand clapping
is the sound of one hand slapped
against something that will not give
the sound of one hand clapping

One Every 24 #17

Karma (Better)

Once upon a time, a man took something he dearly loved.
A man took something he dearly loved outside.
Outside, a man held something he dearly loved.

If you truly understand what this means
You can see for yourself the way he let it go.

One Every 24 #16

Karma (Good)

I accept the fact that hate for me
Is one of the sources of my own hate
for the evil things I see you do.

One Every 24 #15

Karma (Neutralized)

When I went to the mall today
with the intention of buying
a few cheap t-shirts
a pair of tennis shoes

I held the door open for an old lady.
I'm not sure if I did it
because I really wanted to
or because I thought I should.

One Every 24 #14

Karma (Bad)

Gloating at misfortunes
mistaking tragedy for revenge
beneath the zen skin you claim
you eat the lies of your own hungry ghost
drape the wheel with the failed compassion
you try to hang on others.

One Every 24 #13

The Addict Laments

Why am I doing this to myself?
Why are you doing this to me?
Why is this doing me to you?
So what about us?

I am you doing this to me.
You are this doing me to you.
You are me doing you to this.
So what about?

This is me doing this to me.
You are me doing this to you.
I am you doing this to us.
So what?

Why am I doing this to you?
Who am I doing this to me?
This is not me. This is you

You are this.
This is between.
Me and you.