Thrown Bricks

Monday, 23 March 2015

                                for Zena

you say
     life is a building collapse
     a stone rain
     a brick fusillade

you are forensic of
struck shoulders,
bowed backs,
chipped teeth admixed 
in stony splinters
and you say
     life, you are a
     a despised dissolution
     a slow chemical burn 

     you are a grave
     an ash fault
     a burial mound of
     hungry mouths. life,
     you are the
     most subtle drug

and, as
you deign,
you say 

     there is 
     no thing
     not unclean
     no thing
you say that
     no one has ever
     seen the sky

so you say
and shrug

even though the storm
will never clear
you raise your eyes
heave bricks at heaven
laugh amid
the smoke of ruin
bloody-knuckled and
    all the dead 
    to be sunlight

Rust Brother, never can savvy you

Sunday, 4 February 2007

a wryneck for Wascovich

If we were rust brothers before the rain and salt Before
there were no scarcities of tanks to tread

Before the slow toe warehouse of sound was a real
knife in my head Before the shine of steel nativity

Before we trussed the tracks for holocaust Before
sanctity forest murder black-​coat cacophony

If we are rust, brother

Th[r]ough beer stale traceries and graffiti pissers
Though rage-​cocked shout mastery pays no bills

Th[r]ough the bend sinister wending neighbor indolent
insolence neverending

Though weeks pass between fistclicks Though through
the rough thought caustic chaos meaning emergent life spark

Still we rust brothers


Thursday, 22 June 2006

-for Nick Traenkner

There is alcohol in me tonight, alcohol
and yes I have breathed in smoke and
breathed it back out out to you surrounded
by words unctuous, bombastic, evangelical.

Dress me in horse hair, the hair what was once
a horse and a belt of leather from what was once
a cow so costumed words take on legitimacy

or invest me in silks as the new pope of continual
omnipotent excess. The dirt of life is death
death death! The dirt of life is the fruit of death.
The dirt of life is a scientific experiment where

you tread on wheels while I spume and wrack at
you, your bare feet hatched with the turning
tide. Proud in persistence. I will talk until

you listen.

To Box With Man

Wednesday, 21 June 2006

-for Eric Alleman

He works at
the Record Exchange. I didn’t
know this until I
saw him there.

I knew him despite
his lost
play-​off beard. He did not
know me.

He was not
friendly, this man of intent

His voice:
 a thumb
 holding your face
 to the wall.

 you hear something


I’m writing poems about poets I’ve seen in Cleveland. They’re meant to be read in the reading styles of aforementioned poets.

V — In Case of Emergency Break Poem

Thursday, 2 February 2006

-for r.a.washington

These are-
granite days,
they demand-
hard men,
of strange shapes
must blend in

We split
the rift
brother gives
grift- but my
words are
foreign currency
in his hands.

The songbirds
The long words
spill into our
ears- “from
whence came ye,
wanderer? to
loiter in the eaves
of spring.”

I cannot fiddle,
 but I can make
 a great state
 from a little city.“1
 Local anomalies
 in the second law
 of thermodynamics.2
 -raw vocalized.

the candle’s wick.
The times change
and light multiplies
but men remain
the same. Their
tongues estranged
by taxonomy.

I hit you
because I am
And you are not
like me.
I am small, but

Any truce
segregates our
speech, as war is
two cheaper
than peace.

How do I solve
for x in a language
that has no letters?

these riddles of
arranging adjectives.

1 cf. Themistocles
2 cf. James Blish

I’ve been working on this for a few weeks now and I think it is finally sounding good enough to appear here. I’m still trying to tighten up some of the words and images, and smooth out some of the rhyme. Any suggestions or questions or workshopping would be appreciated.