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
Though weeks pass between fistclicks Though through
the rough thought caustic chaos meaning emergent life spark
Still we rust brothers
-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
-for Eric Alleman
He works at
the Record Exchange. I didn’t
know this until I
saw him there.
I knew him despite
play-off beard. He did not
He was not
friendly, this man of intent
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.
of strange shapes
must blend in
grift- but my
in his hands.
The long words
spill into our
whence came ye,
loiter in the eaves
“I cannot fiddle,
but I can make
a great state
from a little city.”1
in the second law
the candle’s wick.
The times change
and light multiplies
but men remain
the same. Their
I hit you
because I am
And you are not
I am small, but
speech, as war is
How do I solve
for x in a language
that has no letters?
these riddles of
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.