Joan Rivers

Joan Rivers 1. on your right the dark thing father’s letter to a tramp college strippers’ dinner you’re not invited crackers from the machine get off stage people expect even from an amateur one good thing necklace from classmates a climber fifth avenue jab and punch rarely real corn-flaked motel dirt-blackened tub hard blinding a […]

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Conversing with Alexa

Conversing with Alexa I keep teleporting myself between centuries. I keep searching for something I can’t remember. I’m a spider, flinging out threads of attention, my web without pattern or center. No, the center is hidden massive, a black hole. No, I’m an elk circled by wolves and I can’t keep track of them all. […]

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Like Gimmickry

Like Gimmickry watch like gimmickry with wonder with patience take big pie promises when they come along bulge my belly glass my eyes spur my devotion with the smell of your hair wet and standing affected somehow shrink my wonder shape my tongue dig my grave when I’m dead and gone Aaron Warnock comes from […]

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Impressions of the Sickhouse

Impressions of the Sickhouse I watch in the world, amused by massacre and gin, homeland walls, holiday wars. Viewed from the barred gate darkened surveillance cars prowl, aimless under winter afternoon skies. Cold weather tramps straggle past construction generators, pavement gaps, work order water leaks. I take into consideration the symbolic and the sin. I […]

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The beetle

The beetle dragging my ass low along tarmac like the body of an overfed beetle. the van slews about, legs on ice behind me, all weight, all hollow weight. . . . . . DS Maolalai has been nominated four times for Best of the Net and three times for the Pushcart Prize. His poetry has been […]

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As You Are

As You Are You think yourself slick     you with your curvature     you with your shrubbery the metallic taste of your possibilities the concrete resonance of your surroundings     distilled to your very essence the things you taste     the things you hear     and smell     and swallow     the crispness of your purity your bleached essence     the machine of […]

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Dayton Street

Dayton Street Remember when diapers were delivered By a truck with a stork painted on it? I still see that truck once in a while, Like a sighting of the Goodyear blimp. Or maybe I made that up; Memory and reality don’t really mesh. Crashing the Tupperware party, I found more plastic. But far be […]

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Burnt Rice

Burnt Rice It’s a broken leg ⁠— as in not my fault, the reason I put food on the stove and forgot it (I) existed which is to say that I existed once, I think I was a fish. When you called me into the room to say I burnt the rice, I faded blue. […]

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Muriel Spark

Muriel Spark 1. why and where a tinsel coronet chosen queen of poetry so nice to have one’s hair stroked by a teacher she submerges her telephone his words moisten faraway languages spill from her unheld hand alone she wanders South Africa what a long walk and with a baby robin to feed the earth […]

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GW20:12

GW20:12 This year is the warmest year on record. Feverish. Blood pressure off the charts. White count up. Sea level up. Hurricanes spiral across the continent, wars spawn like virus. The Middle East goes up in smoke, sparked by some careless match. The globe seems to wobble. Hyperkinetic pulse. Myocardial infarction. Anti- biotic-resistant strain. Desperate […]

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Untitled

Untitled some branded some empty roadside stops stupid beasts and giant devices painted with pleasure baked by sun and camera flash visit my fresh dream we’ll sit together picking at cracks in our used cars’ leather seats Aaron Warnock comes from a very diverse family. His father was a Methodist Pastor, his sister is a […]

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An Animal or a God

An Animal or a God Paint glistens yellow in the night rain, dark Bacardi pours easy over ice. Like the ghostly colonials of Apocalypse Now— lost to France, dying in Vietnam, I’m stranded in this tiger wilderness. Half-awake, sleep leeched by dread sense, I avoid the sun, seal doors and blinds against mutations of neighbor […]

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All the mournful songs

All the mournful songs They pick the finest days To play from the treetops Where the orioles whistle And dogs howl at the feet Wailing branches bridge Into dirges at sunset When I go out for a walk Along the shore – Saturnine sea sighing To my face as I gather Pebbles for a headstone. […]

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River Dogs

River Dogs River folk have destroyed the bridge beneath an obsolete moon   their dogs run wild   lizards grasped tightly in their iron jaws beneath an iron moon   the bridge yaws empty   a tracery of absence where the bridge once existed   dogs laugh into the throat of history    observing the ongoing battle    between freshness and salt jellyfish encroach […]

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The patio

The patio It’s Saturday. Easter weekend and I am up early. I am cleaning the greenhouse, bent down with holes in my knees, dragging out spiders from the dark places where my grandfather stored pots and sprouted succulents. on the lawn, you are wearing my shirt and carefully painting a bench and wooden chairs, flaked […]

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Wooly Mammoth

Wooly Mammoth Eventually the permafrost surrendered him To genetic speculation. Gog and Magog, the door was agog. Sort of goes without saying though. Now I know I have to get Myself out of trouble. Before leaving town Check the weather and your luggage. Many words spoken to me have seemed English. He instructed me in […]

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Patti Smith (Lost Objects)

Patti Smith (Lost Objects) kitchen shrinks the mind small framed pantry quietly slowing tiny black fish breathe briny oxygen alive frying in the pan sound scratched lungs aplenty but minute breath sink drips sit herself stay herself smaller sippy widen water hotter daughter husband coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee small photograph for the camera sit […]

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Identifying Features

Identifying Features Is it suffering who joins you at the table? Or is it merely cold and gloom, an animal discomfort? Does it tell you a story? Does it whisper in your ear? Does it try to sell you glamor or pain? It has this trick of sliding away when you look at it, as […]

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Ode to the Library

Ode to the Library Imagine the ideas that float around, some sticking to the stacks like kites caught in power lines. Some gummy on the shelves after decades of disuse. Some so juicy you could scrape them into a blender for a smoothie to sell at the fair near the merry-go-round. Or the hands that […]

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Untitled

That seagulls would grieve for you, circle down as cries still wet, almost water, making the sky look for a place not asking for more salt –mourn the way a whitewashed wall is handed over though a boy in sleeves is waiting nearby with his initials around someone no longer there –stone by stone it […]

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When We Go

When We Go the robots are busy cleaning up after us: the dust in the rugs, the dander on the couch the tangles of hair left in the blankets the corpses piled in the doorway. everything is sucked up by evidence-erasing nozzles poured into black garbage bags separated and incinerated. eventually, there will be nothing […]

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Signal

Signal I am in the presence of several little listens. Clearing of throat, move the stiff scorpion lodged in the boot of mouth where epiglottis flicks up and down like a broken switch. I cannot ignore the passage of claw from stomach to esophagus. I have a sound— bless the cricket and the kick of […]

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What Title?

What Title? The night they drove old YouTube down the printed word felt good again. I saw five kids read a book aloud. Their heads were full of tempting notions. What title? I don’t need to know that. It’s on the cloud, thank heavens. Tim Kahl is the author of Possessing Yourself (CW Books, 2009), […]

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This is a Dove

This is a Dove This is a dove, I think. I’ve never been good at bird identification. That’s funny, now that my job is picking up dead ones killed by the windmills’ spinning blades. There are 60 windmills in this “wind farm,” lots of dead birds. I think I might get a book. I mean, […]

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Crown Shy

Crown Shy crown shy trees leave a space between so their neighbors can feel the sun, the rain, a breeze they do not compete for these resources no throwing shade breaking limbs in winter winds there are no winners there are no losers crown shy trees leave room at the top I look up and […]

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Amor Fati

Amor Fati “you cannot flee from yourself.” C. G. Jung, The Red Book Hello imp, Hello demon, tormentor, friend. You are dear to me. I wear you like a cap of wires, live snakes that needle me, jam fire down each nerve, make me hop to. You are a match, scraped up and down my […]

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Untitled

It was a birthday gift, sent alone the day before your heart leaves for a place that’s safer—a book on travel, what to listen for, by yourself in walls that let you look back while your shadow is taken away —it’s too soon! the ribbon is still splendid will spend the night the way a […]

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Signature

Signature Theoretically, if I were to put my hand against that tree and keep it there for years and years, the bark would continue to grow until it enveloped my hand send leafy tendrils along my arms and under my flesh. But if I were to stand here for a little less time I could […]

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Fridge Magnets

  Fridge Magnets Fridge magnets make the family. Remove one and memory fails. See them linger on the broad door. A museum of trips and pics. Each moment one reaches for wholesome milk the past does its best to please.   Tim Kahl is the author of Possessing Yourself (CW Books, 2009), The Century of […]

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Bones

Bones Where I am from, women have broken fingernails that dig in the dirt like badgers, looking for bones. Bones mean yes, a lovely spot for pansies. Plant two there. We scrub our hands before dinner. We get the dead dirt rubbed off our palms like it was bad, what we did in the garden. […]

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Becoming Winter

Becoming Winter has summer become your winter does sun on your skin make you shiver do happy voices and laughter drifting in sound like a howling north wind to you do you shut shutters close windows pull down the shades curl up inside while leaves and flowers are unfurling hibernating June, July and August just […]

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It’s Been Years

It’s Been Years I wasn’t expecting a voice from the clouds which was why I didn’t look up when I heard my name called on that busy city sidewalk. Nor did I peer into mail boxes or lift the lids of trash cans. Or peer down at the cracks in the pavement in case I […]

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The Jill Hill | Twist: In Parts

Below is Part 7 of 16 monthly installments for Visitant. ◄◄ Read the prologue / introduction ◄ Read Part 6: Rosemary Tisane: Cautionary Aura Divisa in partes tres, divided into three parts, Gaius Julius Caesar Most folks hear the word Caesar and think salad, but Gaius Julius (100-44 B.C.) was a conqueror talking all Gaul—France, […]

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brink and teeter

brink and teeter nominal approach amidst the expected disarray empty vessels side by side softly into the heavy night as blank screens stare back wide and beauty seems beyond reach in the blue darkness of our lost ways all the ways up and more to fall these walls climb my dreams down from mountains the […]

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Earworms

Earworms The noise was driving him mad. No, worse than mad. It was driving him so far around the bend he couldn’t think crooked, let alone straight — not even enough to find a word for just how crazy the sound made him. It hadn’t been so bad at first — just some catchy tune. […]

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Stick-Me-Tights

Stick-Me-Tights Embraced by weeds, I harvest boards. I’d rather embrace the young bride who will scrape a bungalow to build a mansion but this old fence, precious like barn wood, weathered yet strong, they’ll use for decor, perhaps the front door. Decades ago in a rougher town I set these posts, nailed these planks for […]

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Animal Rage

Animal Rage Howl my grief, roar my rage. Shake the bars of my technological cage. Hoo, hoo, like an owl. I blink at a never-changing screen. I want to pummel the keyboard and anything in between. Rip the serpentlike phone cord right out of the wall. My new Internet provider isn’t fastest at all! The […]

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St. Oswald’s Day

St. Oswald’s Day Buying a ticket to ride the first ferry from Seattle to Bainbridge, the ticket seller’s window sign screams: “Leap Day!” I ask her. Then latte makers, the cigar-smoking pug walker, and the policeman with a bomb-sniffing beagle: “What is Leap Day to you? A holiday for card makers?” “If your birthday is […]

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A California Street

A California Street I had a vivid dream at nine, living by the California coast, walking down a wide street, past palm trees and Spanish-style houses. I marveled at the warmth of the sun, the clearness of the turquoise sea and how beautiful the birds-of-paradise were. Then I woke from the dream and walked a […]

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Personify Me

Personify Me The trees speak in Shakespearean sonnets; The tulips write short memoirs. The honeysuckles smell of metaphors and similes, Vines are smirking complex sentences. The sun has these exotic eyes— The moon tells of faraway lands; The ocean never leaves you… Grass has flushed secrets. This earth keeps you stirring coffee. The seeds have […]

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Mongering

Mongering what is the space between the brackets when the sky bruises easy? I am tired of pretending pink where much is grey. There are no lions this side of the fence yet we carry knives, whisper the beasts asleep like he himself. I want to rest the dust, quell the stampede that makes animals […]

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The Clean Bugs, The Dirty Carpet

The Clean Bugs, The Dirty Carpet The trending of past negative scars, the warzone isn’t out there it’s in here, the armed militant swans of the underground resistance have bad credit and worse mannerisms, ghetto apartments inside of the unknown and Terminus City are doorways to the abyss and anti-social personality disorders, funerals for forgotten […]

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Heavy Flowers

Heavy Flowers The hairbrush waits patiently, bedside. The mirror is off-duty. There’s a plane of quilted flowers. Breath is heavy. You feel loosely-built. The soft music of the body rocks you in the room’s warm coat. The world, large and lost, vast and wondrous, diminishes. Years will come, sweep you away. But this is where […]

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