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 

     life,
     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
     unfailed
     
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
    
    proclaim
    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

Haplotype

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
ges­ture.

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

Outside
        you hear some­thing

   howl­ing.


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,
for­ti­fi­ca­tions
of strange shapes
watch­words–
must blend in

We split
the rift
wider–
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.

Watch
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
small.
And you are not
like me.
I am small, but
ter­ri­to­ri­al.

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.