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348
The present military situation is that the Soviet Army is attacking Berlin, and the allied forces of Britain, the United States and France are attacking the Hitlerite remnants in co-ordination with this offensive, while the Italian people are launching uprisings. All this will eliminate Hitler once and for all. After Hitler is wiped out, the defeat of the Japanese aggressors will not be far distant. Contrary to the predictions of the Chinese and foreign reactionaries, the forces of fascist aggression will undoubtedly be overthrown and the people's democratic forces will undoubtedly triumph. The world will unquestionably take the road of progress and not the road of reaction. Of course, we must remain very much on the alert and reckon with the possibility of certain temporary or perhaps even serious twists and turns in the course of events; in many countries there are still strong reactionary forces which begrudge the people at home and abroad their unity, progress and liberation. Anyone who loses sight of this possibility will make political mistakes. The general trend of history, however, is already clearly decided and will not change. This is bad only for the fascists and for the reactionaries of all countries who are in fact their helpers, but it is a blessing for the people and for the organized democratic forces in all countries. The people, and the people alone, are the motive force of world history. The Soviet-people have built up great strength and become the main force in the defeat of fascism. It is their efforts, plus those of the people in the other anti-fascist allied countries, which are making the destruction of fascism possible. War has educated the people and it is the people who will win the war, win the peace and win progress. from "On Coalition Government" pigs On Something Rotten Pro-Masturbation Comrade Crunch! Most Important Meal of the Day Primer:​ Leaving Oklahoma Goddamn These Minotaurs Fuck You, Dr. Lebas ...and then the rent is due
251
pigs // jack royer
the-people-alone
on my way to work i saw a camp that had been attacked by feral pigs with respect to the animals, police with no respect for humanity, tearing at private property, destroying peoples homes. at my most empathetic i wonder, were they asked to be destructive? or is it just the nature of the beast rabid, acting with no forethought needing to be put down. they shot my neighbors dog for barking too loud. willie mcnabb writes ”How do I kill the 30-50 feral hogs that run into my yard within 3-5 mins while my small kids play?” and is mocked online. how do i kill 3 or 5 — oh, 5-0! hydra, millions of cops are born each war, and live as mercenaries in america. how do we keep them from happening? could i kill another human? maybe but an animal? a thousand animals? a thousand feral animals? a thousand feral animals who wield their finite power over those without protection? poison could be too humane, often i’m reminded of hunters who massacred caribou migrating over ice fields, flying overhead loosing their automatic rifles into the herd. how cruel humans are to animals who aren’t cruel to them, how cruel we should be to these animals, who aren’t even human, who wear masks as they gas us, who smile as if its all a game, and if its all a game, perhaps the bricks and bullets must be loosed.
276
On Something Rotten // L. Reeman
the-people-alone
"Beware the centrist."- Willem van Spronsen, last note, 2019 the second time I was in jail they took our underwear and socks, too. there is nothing to do in solitary confinement except think about everyone that got you there. my lawyer fucks up the three-way call and the jail warden locks the door to ask me if I'm planning on rolling turd-rockets under my cell-gate. no sir. are you going to be a problem? no sir. he asks me if I knew why he'd Googled me like I hadn't been on this bad first date before. because you got me confused with some other bluecollar mulletjew. because you want to ask me about my thesis. because you think I'm lying. because you wanted to see if I’d write this poem. I found the only book in the cell-rentals that wasn't a variation of the Bible during the one un-solitary hour. it was the slowest I'd ever read a book on purpose. the thing about one's body is that's all it is. bones gummed together. monstrous etymology. I pulled Yorick's skull out of my mouth every hour I wasn't nightmaring my release. I memorized the names of everyone I loved and. I said them over and over until they swallowed each other. the irony of not being allowed a writing implement because it could be used as a weapon is not lost on me, so. I design found-poems with my hands. fingers splayed over each annotated monologue. somewhere in the script the words I'm and not and here live on the same page and. I find them and live there too. 
100
Pro-Masturbation Comrade Crunch! Most Important Meal of the Day // 🌀swald 🧃ontgomery
the-people-alone
"how much of our life is manufactured?" someone wonders when faced with nutrition facts on cardboard omitting everything which lobbyists and marketers found bad for business. i would tell them that Dr. Kellogs hated self-pleasure so sincerely he never fucked his wife, and only adopted children and he created cornflakes as a tool against masturbation, and now breakfast is an industry. then i would eat dry cereal from the box (i want to make the oatmilk last all week) and get off right after to prove a Doctor and an Industry - wrong in my own small way.
226
Primer:​ Leaving Oklahoma // Seth Copeland
the-people-alone
I wanted to hate you: home: this backward blindboy w/ many feelings didn’t meet your cowboy frame narrative I’m not a welder: I don’t hate guns we all need guns: But I know what you’ll do to anyone Other-: I know what I thought when I still had your afterbirth gunk in my ears: I saw the bros the dudes the fuckass shitboys Preston Trevyn Bladen Treynor: In the hall in the mall Kid Rock the Dying Gaul: But you are not just some big fist shaking beardy Struts in waxed & oiled: ::What IPAs y’all got on tap I’m just your local lovable asshole lol pleaz don’t judge my casual racism and transphobia cause if you do I will shut it down with my dad’s childhood abandonment & more emotional manipulation:: No no no no: No: You are also a scar in Tulsa: You are dust bowl union strong: You were forced here: You were corralled here: You were born here: You were born queer here: You grew up queer here: You grew up hicktown queer here: You _________________ here: You are red state because A Suit says you are red state: You have no vote because A Suit eats your vote: You bleed in oil: You were so close to hated by me: I look for your fist on the horizon lifting to strike:
289
Goddamn These Minotaurs // Persephone Erin Hudson
the-people-alone
In the ecology of the Dream a forest has grown over the ruins of a drive-in where raccoons trash an abandoned cop car with a carton of eggs and rolls of toilet paper. Here the pigs have scattered under the summoned scrutiny of black-magic panthers, replaced by the privatized smiley-faced fascist Feel Goods, said to be untouchable by the touch of sigils on skin. Goddamn these Minotaurs that snort and haunt the crooked Caligari Cabinet cityscape painted in blood on the backs of black bodies linked arm in arm, seemingly seamless by the Great Hole of History the Man In The Newspaper Suit crawls through to find the heart of the labyrinth of what was denied to him. In the graveyard the Bird unearths stories as the ghost without a history watches, silently searching for the words to say hello. By day in the alleyway behind the minimart between cigarettes The Bandaged Kid befriends a cat crying unheard claims of the End of Days, and by night a lonely lesbian drinks to drown from a pink-grenade flask adorned with a five-letter spell, wondering if she’s more than they bargained for yet as girls tenderly touch in the graveyard where a Saint was fucked in the circular arms of the Ophanim angel. If you look closely you can see fungal ideas forming and fermenting on aerial atoms, the building blocks of a subconscious cityscape like mushrooms growing on the skin of a dead deer lying on the side of the highway with a ‘get well soon’ balloon tied to its antler. One day the Great Dark One will eclipse the sun but until Its beak closes the curtain goddamn, goddamn these Minotaurs.
393
Fuck You, Dr. Lebas // Farah
the-people-alone
My first ever psychiatric appointment — a decrepit building in Sherman Oaks. Two young women with exquisite Armenian eyebrows are seated at the front desk and don’t look up from their phones or computers. Enter: grinning white woman with blonde hair, finalizing a copay. She laughs, remarking, “What do people do without insurance?!”A door opens. “Farah?” Someone is pronouncing my name the Persian way. New setting: windowless office the size of a closet. “This isn’t where I usually work,” she says.Dr. Lebas has a French accent, studied medicine in Montreal, has 1-star reviews on Google. But I was desperate. (There’s a great deficit of available psychiatrists in Los Angeles.)She’s into rapid-fire questions. I, the neurotic, analytical Aries, made many prefaces before getting to any answers. “Just answer the questions,” she says, verbally rolling her eyes. She asks if I went to college (yes — she appears surprised), what I studied (women’s, gender & sexuality studies), where I’ve worked (an understaffed, totally exploitative customer service satellite call center for a greedy, underhanded, Ohio-headquartered medical device company). “You don’t make that much money, how can you afford to live here?” she asks. “Where do you live?” I ask. “The Westside,” she condescendingly responds.She takes out a blank sheet of paper — white, 8 1/2 x 11 printer paper — and asks me about my family. She uses an old pen to formulate my family tree, charting all of my childhood trauma. I look down at her sandaled feet. Her toenails are long and curly, lacquered with a color I will refer to as frosted vomit. She questions me about my parents. When I tell her that my Greek-American mother married my Iranian refugee father, she looks puzzled. “Why did your mother marry a Muslim?” This reminds me of a white woman coworker whose son took a class at West Point where “they show videos of Muslim men having sex with goats.”This reminds me of a white Catholic acquaintance who told me, at a party full of Catholics, “You’re the closest thing to a Muslim we’ve got here!”This reminds me of a white stranger at another party calling me “eye-ran” the entire night.This reminds me of an old white man using the racist slur “sand n*****” in front of me when I was 5 years old.Why did my mother marry a Muslim? Fuck you, Dr. Lebas.
59
My Big Pile of Guns // 🚳onathan Porkairplane
astropoets
I found a big pile of guns, so I formed a militia. But nobody would practice shooting, so they stayed piled up until the time to use them came. And when the time came, we got shot to death before we'd get one gun from the gun pile, where they still are. So, I was wrong.
249
...and then the rent is due // Wren Romero
the-people-alone
...and then the rent is due _____________________________________1____ there’s a tomorrow behind today & it collects yesterdays to sharpen. there’s a tomorrow behind today & it’s got a point pressed in to the back of today. there’s a tomorrow behind today & it needs a bus pas, winter gloves & 20 bucks to buy a dub & knows that today owes yesterday money. there’s a tomorrow behind today & it will be here: you can’t stop it any more than you can hold the earth without standing on it. _____________________________________2____ to find the crying country of my heart: take two rods bang them together til ghosts start dancing to the tune of coke losing its last refinery. when there are no more bottled necks or dammed nations, no deep diggers or tracking rig riggers, leave the aquifer alone look out and ask the first cloud you meet what the reason might be that if there were a river in my chest, i’d think it for the best that no person should ever, ever see. _____________________________________3____ i have asked every poet i could find- is there any way but war? and they, from barracks, bomb shelters, forest temples and hospital wings- with voices great and trembling empty and full and scratching like so many pencils- in prophesy, prose, lyric, essay, joke and riddle, replied: No. or, yes, and then the big men kill you and then no again.
187
Good news friends: you can just take food.Perfectly good food that is maybe a little stale ormaybe edging towards its twilight years but edible andnutritious enough to be worth consuming.Or you can mark it down on the waste sheet your workmakes you fill out because while aptly named theirdefinition of waste lives in entirely different context.For them it's the money lost because their products wentunpurchased not the fact that there's a better mouth thefood could be going down than the mouth of a trash bin.Luckily we've already spread the good word: you can take it.Fill your underpaid pockets with delicious contraband andtake to the streets or the illusion of seclusion in your sharedkitchen and dispense your edible bounty.Play Robin Hood on Sherwood Forest Lane where Mr. King,the landlord for four consecutive blocks, is just as bad as thebrother he left in charge to coax the president towards war.Or decide it's not worth the risk to maybe share food at theexpense of your own livelihood no matter how little life a$7 an hour ""part time"" job allows you to live.Consider the following: no one checks the security cameras.
237
And the old National Geographic falls open to center spread: a gruesome slaughterhouse photo. To answer your question, some days I am the brutalized: once-elephant, an animal-shaped sack hooked & suspended over bloodied lab coats. Others, I am the feeling (I imagine), satisfying, of such thick meat cleaved clean from the rib, brutalizer, polishing tusks white as the hands that severed the bone. Take this morning, for example, laying in bed for hours fuming against people I love. It is not fair, I know, how I discriminate most against my own weakness. Will I end up like him? Do I sound like her? Have I done that terrible thing? I have. I stew in the stone soup I hoard in the kitchen, eating alone. I find the whole scandal of living hilarious, not funny ha-ha but impossible awe: how my hope is both climbing a rope out of this world and bound & gagged in the basement. Which means: purgatory. World? I place my bets on wherever the rocketship is headed. What is a woman but a human concept? Most days, you can find me licking my opposable thumbs of their capture. The world? I fear it is over. Women are what we are. Still a member of our terrible species. Still—the most dangerous animal on earth.
277
a magazine offers me publication and also publishes a work of fiction depicting solitary confinement: metaphors for an uninspired life lied: and so another poet uses prison as a metaphor for anxiety: or a metaphor for institutionalized intervention: but I've been to the psych ward: and I've been to jail: and nothing is a metaphor for prison: except prison: by which I mean: the only thing I am scared of now: is going back: and so somewhere, a poet tells another poet they deserved to be arrested: and the first poet is described in an interview as "radical": and the second poet vomits when cops come into their job: and the second poet's boss asks them if it's like a PTSD thing: and I am watching myself being pulled over on a cop's body cam: and the jail warden asks me why he knows my name: and I say maybe from my poetry: and the cop sneers and tells me I look familiar: and I say yeah like a PTSD thing: by which I mean: somewhere, two cops stand in a room saying my name back and forth to each other without pausing: until their throats are on fire: until I'm reduced to garble: and somewhere, a poet uses their name disappearing into the raw throats of the system as a metaphor: for the system: and its rawness: and the way it swallows: do you get it: the metaphor: of a poet being praised: for this lazy production: for my breath botched at the first shitty, sticky sentence: for a magazine choosing to glamorize this: by which I mean my life: by which I mean my name
28
Red star // Dorothy Castell
astropoets
The red star More than just a club L'Internationalemore than just a song fight, fight, fightalways left always red the communist star to illuminate humanity's Insight Karl Marx.
292
planned obsolescence // Natalie Mariko
astropoets
i could makethe best ofit—sink, a pebble@thelakebed; thererways                                         to builda skyline as yet foreign         to menlower than brick-by-brickbaser than sliding into DMs— no this like u no my name. theres       propinquity,amidst the gathering ticks / blue: shade of rising night— what’s love got to do w/ it?— theres         depth/weight/dimensionwaiting to be suckedfrom a flat surface—dentistry vacuums bend in a mouth:— u know— what’s love but a second hand?for thatmatter, this nokiacan be                                     pulled apart too.
86
dog seeks job // Nora Claire Miller
astropoets
me: dog. recently deleted my phone.you: job site. uniquely qualified to employ me.me: dog. recent mfa from ice cup school.you: job location. full of bushels of hay for me to move.me: dog. recently employed drinking water out of barrels.you: bitchy next door neighbor who photographed my tippedover buckets of trash and reported them to the sky.me: dog. recently deleted. going to nowhere in a handbasket, fast.you: googleable. me: ungoogleable. untraceable. dog. broadcast to 10,000 icicles. formed into sky-shaped protrusions. set to rest in buckets as mist.
682
Who are the Astropoets? Two hipsters from Brooklyn who had the kind of idea that only the immensely priveleged would entertain, whereas anybody responsible for their own survival would reject it on the grounds that waste is a sin. They combined astrology with poetry. It didn't make any sense, but I guess it worked. It's not like it makes any sense now, or not enough anyway to justify a book they are right now touring the nation on a promotoinal tour for. Is this just spite? No, not entirely. But so what if it is? They're not even lucky! They're just invincible. Listen to this: a week before their book launched, they posted an advertisement for AirBnb, which everybody - or at least every hipster in Brooklyn - knows brings gentrification with it wherever its platform goes, like a cloud of locusts in tow. All moral questions aside, it just seems dumb, like businesswise, to do risky shit like that when you're releasing a book in week. Like aren't they psychics? Anyway, this is too much exposition. here's the story and if that's too long here's the condensed version: Fall 2017: semi-controversial to be critical of Semiotexte editor Chris Kraus for being a landlord. Fall 2019: among a flood of posts on global uprisings, the timeline is flush w/ memes against comedian Hannibal Buress's landlordism & Astropoets for working w/ AirBnb.— julian francis park (@jfpark3) October 31, 2019 This lead the Los Angeles branch of the Pb empire to go out to their reading and hand out a zine which was mostly prepared like less than 24 hours before the event. We had no plan really, except that we agreed we weren't going to try to convince people that they shouldn't go to the reading. Like, they had checked that no lights got left on and came all the way out there and like wore a jacket which could comfortably fit their house keys. They weren't going to give that up. Miscellanious Most people took the zine, as you'd figure, but somebody wasn't up for our bullshit and handed it back to one of our agents. An old dude who's had a rent controlled Manhattan aprtment since the 70's said the unit above him was converted into an Airbnb, and that the guests there were always drunk and coked out and loud and terrible. So, to protest them he says he smeared dog shit on the box where the keys the AirBnb guests used were stored. I asked him why he didn't just smash it. He said he didn't want to look crazy. Damn, I really wish there was a third thing, but this was not maneuvers up the Sierra Maestra. We went out to talk to some people, bum out the Astropoets, and act normal. Mostly I was happy to meet Pb people in real life. We did the "is astrology fash" discourse, talked about money (that's all poets talk about), and I complained about Jekyll (that's all I talk about.) Somebody who worked there said the guy Astropoet was a dick. My Big Pile of Guns The recommended serve-by date is only law if you're a coward about it The New York Time Asks, Can Women Save the World? Somewhere, a Poet Uses Prison as a Metaphor Red star planned obsolescence dog seeks job Pictured: editor, a taller editor. We forgot to take video and this was the only non-blurry picture we got. Oh, also we were running late so we took a car from Van Nuys to Hollywood (I haven't thought about it very carefully but I assume there's something ironic about that), and we're out like $21 if I recall correctly. So, buy a book if you can.
460
historically we use man for people of any gender because men win. so it’s useful to do that when cornered (1)have you ever been cornered? this week the ministry of emojis announced a new line of gender neutral emoji peoplethe gender neutral emoji people look like the woman emoji peopleexcept that they have shorter hair and they wear tank tops and pantsthey stand poised on the keyboard, ready to work they work for the first ever privately owned languagethey are good at their jobs like men, they are perfectly simple, normal, natural like women, they are helpful, smiling, apologetic, friendly have you ever wanted to be smooth and dry all over like a posable wooden doll?cordelia: are you a man or a woman? [. . .]fool: which would you rather? it’s all the same to me goneril: how can you be so . . . accommodating?fool: it’s what I’m paid for (2)unlike non-binary or genderqueer or butch or fem or trans—all of which suggest an active claiming of difference, self-definition in opposition to a norm—neutral suggests a serene lack of desire or rather, an intense desire not to get in the way neutral is practical,winning, cool, unadorned, placid, earth-toned, sans serif, crisp, mid-autumn, dead leaves neutral shaves with occam’s razor and never bleeds that lady is smiling because she’s an actress and she’s earning money for learning those speeches that mention those wonderful soaps and detergents and cleansers and cleaners and powders and pastes and waxes and bleaches (3)have you ever been cornered? right now jenny slate is wearing a pink dress and a silk tuxedo she is laughing and dancing around inside of netflix every time she dances, she makes more moneyand the atmosphere gets thicker with the carbon released to run the servers that her image, princess-leia-like, is trapped inside, and I am watching her and I love her thou art a lady:if only to go warm were gorgeous,why, nature needs not what thou gorgeous wear'st,which scarcely keeps thee warm. but, for true need!— (4)have you ever worn a motorcycle jacket,although you did not know how to drive a motorcycle? have you ever been cornered? have you ever found yourself sitting on a bedroom floor, stoned with three other men, also stoned,who only spoke in nervous grunts and catchphrases,and felt like marcel the shell with shoes on?did you speak flatly? did you let your voice jump and dive and skitter like a balloon? jenny slate fucked the moon! - - - - - - - - - - -FOOTNOTES1: anne carson interviewed for the paris review, 20042: lear’s daughters by the women’s theatre group and elaine feinstein, 19873: “housework” from free to be you and me, written by sheldon harnick, performed by carol channing, 19724: king lear by william shakespeare 
181
on my flight to berlin // ellena basada
kaur-vigil
turbulent plane ride sends heat to my g-spot i couldn’t stop thinking about your cock it is not a crass fact now I am sorry to remind you of the spiraling, stinking trek     we jogged down manhattan’s neck spiraling means Kafkaesque in the Neo-Platonic sense  how strange  our relationship we hold tethered  a rope  memory’s silky lies you and me     objective correlative to (sandy) Alex G ben lerner evokes these 'mediate intimacies too  piling between us in a space which exists lone in-side our heads who are you? a better vision of  myself  like a mirror      this is true      tricky you indulged me from MOMA all the way to a phosphene hallucination the pressure of fingers ‘gainst my eyes urging me to go fuck a different guy another Poet in Brooklyn how will reality deform when you read this online will it like a plastic lighter held over flame     bitter black smoke dragging up your nose again? 
61
Notes for a prosperous future // Arkady Rumata
kaur-vigil
Teach a man to fish, you feed him for life.Teach a town to hang their landlordsAnd you create community.Pay someone’s rent, you give them a roof for a monthTake their landlord and throw them into the sea,And you give them freedom.Pass a stimulus package, you give people a check.Liberate a country from the shackles of their landlords,And you create the future.
75
As it is Sunday we will simply pray (nondemonationally) that the mysteries of Zuck's Ingrid Dungeons is revealed to us as it was to Rupi Kay, the Instagram Animal of Canada. poem about emojis and jenny slate, with footnotes on my flight to berlin Notes for a prosperous future If you're not chilling you're dying A Love Letter Feed Each Other
45
a baby is getting its first job part time, at a furniture store slash coffee shop, tipped wage sleeping in the cribs, testing the cribs, selling the cribs, assembling the cribs very slowly, infinite babies writing shakespeare drinking flat whites never sleeping
49
A Love Letter // reggie hayley
kaur-vigil
Love letter to the teachers strike and the days without school but teachers still teaching without books or walls or the pigs greasy fingers feeling for his gun  while he patrols in the halls a lesson in dignity, so "remember you can ask for anything, so ask for everything"
164
Feed Each Other // Aaron Elswick
kaur-vigil
If you're gonna be lonely,maybe learn how to cook.Parade the smoke to the raftersafter doubting the book.Alert the parents in vowing the earnestsalt in the brook.A fervent effort relays to bacon kisses you took.Brine is cheap,and on days like thisfind a Mrs. or friend,apply the bread crumb crisp.Buy the egg to allure.confide that ""this might miss.""If not to them to yourself.Try the odd light whip.Find a guide or a dozen.Fire doesn't necessarily deny the pleasant after math.Passable dishes levy comfort on cold nights,dying for treasure dancing in the lights,and forming function digging diamond from plastic wrap.""I could serve a candied berrypair it fairly cold below a lighter cream.""See the finer things elaborate below the theme.Mise en place allowing,yolk to heat,folk wreaths are crowning.Found a leek to brown,found out what friends to feed can meanBe the barertaste your foodsilk confectionssocial fruitBuck the systemFind connectiontuck the mood inginger rootget your list outpay it forwardtake the ordergrab a whiskmake an impactPleat the borderbreak the silencewrap a gift
167
Ask Me What I Call It // Mitchell Angelo
big-ebooks-money
I used to be gross but now everybody loves me. The television believes we have crimson skin and batted wings. I make my dream wife promise to sleep with the radio on. In dreams she sees my teeth attached at her hip like a carabiner - our dream book asks us what we’re so scared of. She melts like sugar-cubes at sunset. I don’t tell her and she doesn’t ask. The spacing there is intentional. The blouse in my wardrobe is for riots - red will look nice against that pale yellow. My wife says I’m just tired. When you protest at my funeral, at least wear nice shoes. Four leeches grow fat on the last traces of my womanhood and soon I will be nothing but a man - I’m tempted to swallow but hold my jaw tight. There is so much left to be scared of.
63
We're selling ebooks now. https://luna.paintbucket.page/ Ask Me What I Call It Returning Quanta: Bodies Sinking Again As They Must your body is not yours We All Work in the Hot Dog Factory Now ¿El subcomandante besa bien?(Is the subcomandante a good kisser?)
170
Returning Quanta: Bodies Sinking Again As They Must // Mathilda Cullen
big-ebooks-money
Billboards advertise a new format of skyline and tell us it’s time to leave. A streetlamp gives way to smoke, announcing the collapse of  all our faith in local infrastructure. Gas leak again. A hawk softly circles over the interstate, saying that this is the only way to cope. As I lie awake, the crickets are a clock ticking toward sunrise. When the birds turn on we are reminded of what it’s like out here in the nowadays; the hot bubbling of horizon and geese. Grounding myself as in never leaving. Where else to go but the living room, but the endless strip mall that is this island. To the end of dislocation, of the miles of sewage that open beneath us. Here, in the only house we'll never own. You know what waits in the woods  to keep it from us. A country is only  as large as the cops maintaining it. All land is stolen. Soon it will return our theft."
81
your body is not yours // michelle milner
big-ebooks-money
a man on the train coos at me like the romantic warbling of a dove to remind me my skin belongs to the city, to hungry eyes who devour, to empty hotel hallways where guests mind their business, perhaps to a fault, or sustain innocence, while their neighbors unzip under three glasses of cheap rosée and music made to drown sounds of resistance as our bodies are disrespected receptacles of waste like communal bathrooms
145
We All Work in the Hot Dog Factory Now // James Loop
big-ebooks-money
We all work in the hot dog factory now Kissing late on the cheek and late To and already working at work at work In the hot dog factory we all don't Eat them and messages web the dogs And us who work at work and working Worked in the hot dog factory we all Live in the hot dog lotto hopscotch of Essential surgeries hot dollars for eating And working so long in the hot dog lotto Factory I met my mother and found her Asked too much of I met my sister there Rattled hot to the touch we all work in The hot hot draped graced and tensile dogs Gone to replicating replicator replication Where we work while we work in the Hot dog lotto hopscotch hot dog factory
45
¿El subcomandante besa bien?
(Is the subcomandante a good kisser?)
// Los KFGC / translated by noah mazer
big-ebooks-money
Is the subcomandante a good kisser? Is he the big spoon or the little spoon when he sleeps? What does he imagine when he masturbates? Can he fly a plane? What’s his favorite cartoon? Where is he going, so confident in his photonegative ghost costume?
103
You Are Here // Hudson Everett
beat-dope
We live in a tempestuous time, a kind of apocalypse, stretching us thinner across the heating earth. Late stage capitalism, we call it, the final iteration of the beast before destruction and/or freedom. The moment, is digital and rapidly mutating, as we wrestle to pin down identity, simultaneously organizing collective action, anti- bodies in the street, bodies pressing up against the struggle, holding it up, unshrugging, atlas burning as the destination zooms out to a blue marble dot in the dark. If you want something as American as apple pie, first you have to invent the universe.
405
All seats are full, and my seat is too close to the doctor’s office. The only time I ever watch television is when I’m in line at this office. I can hear an angry man explaining his life story in between a Halloween episode of Magnum, P.I. The office manager is a friend of mine; we went to the same state university and he likes Marx, too. The office manager tells me that his hometown of Oakland is being run by a woman he calls a neocon. He tells me that the mayor of Long Beach reminds him of the mayor of Oakland. He tells me that his pet peeve is seeing people on their phones in rush-hour traffic. He tells me that he saw a guy on his phone behind the wheel watching porn. “I wish I had that concentration,” he tells me. I haven’t written anything since my grandmother asked me to write my grandfather’s obituary and eulogy, but I couldn’t speak at his funeral. He was in the Korean War and his withered, antiquated draft card reads: “Race: Greek “Complexion: Dark” I, the resident agoraphobe, was forced to attend his burial at a military cemetery in Riverside. I closed my eyes the whole ride there. Riverside felt like a humid, stagnant Trumpian hellscape, and I didn’t put my right hand over my heart. “I’m a communist I’m a communist I’m a communist,” I kept reminding myself. Earlier today I learned about dialectical behavior therapy. Earlier today I learned about borderline personality disorder. Earlier today I took my Klonopin like the wafers they give Catholics at communion. On the freeway I sat as a passenger gazing at the northbound headlights. We passed the Getty and I thought about how fucked this place is; Los Angeles was designed to divide and conquer. Most days I don’t understand how I ended up here, but maybe this is my destiny—to live and die in a city that has never cared about any of us surviving. On the television a commercial now plays George Michael’s ‘Freedom! ‘90.’ My appointment will run late. My psychiatrist will tell me that she’s worried I’m pathologizing myself again. I will be her last visiter, leaving at 11:30 p.m. I will be prescribed a new mood stabilizer because attempting to rehabilitate the purportedly unstable and infirm with more pills is easier than eviscerating this fucking country.
57
Skyscraper's Steel Anatomy // Vin Tanner
beat-dope
In AP European History I memorized "serf", "peasant", "lord", and "estate" it shows you the state of things and how we have made no steps at all. Sure, the skeletons are coated in glass and glossy reflections of the individual with the towering power of concrete kingdom where a landlord takes your wages all the same.
70
Haunted Houses // Alex Kies
beat-dope
We live in haunted houses those of us who have them but there isn't any hex or exorcisim you can do There's no one you can pray to or anything you could offer them The ghosts are here for good. Everything you own is haunted Though we may disagree by what One day you'll be one of the ghosts A big dead burden Weighing everybody down which you already do.
67
front desk girl // Emma Brumage-Kilcourse
beat-dope
the best way to stand outis always to work weekends.get that self-sacrifice in.watch stages of intoxicationprogress through the night10pm drunk and 2am drunkare always different animals.this time is worth aboutone week of meal plans,I did the math.and we talk about fridays as if they mean something.as if we all plan to spend this penultimate nightdrinking chemical-strawberry mike's hard lemonade.alcohol is cheap,laughter is expensiveand I am clocking out. 
136
Untitled // liv grace
beat-dope
that outlaw idea of border snitches over extract my thighs i lie here like calistoga looking for heroin needles in the clouds i learned to administer narcon the first week i moved here i think calistoga might be burning this week so i have the air filters on and im thinking of cigarettes and 2000 & 9 like i always do i wonder if i left the east coast just so i could miss it just so i could remember to be sad when complicated people from back home die i hate my father like the man he is a cold bastard a man of the world in his death he leaves me a house a mess and a body with no love i can see the smoke on the mountains
143
There's literally a chemical which compells you to find more of it on pain of having your guts go to gack. It gets deployed to fuck places up. But also, it allows you to work through fucked up job injuries and it feels like Christmas morning for a while, until its worse. But people beat it all the time. What an incredible feat. Course, they're still owed a statue just for not dying, but the point is that I'm proud of a buncha people who don't need naming. Oh, and also, that the working class all the time wrestles heroin and all the time wins. Thank you! You Are Here Waiting in Line at the Psychiatrist Skyscraper's Steel Anatomy Haunted Houses front desk girl ["Untitled"]
52
Multiple Locations // Mike E Schmee
High pants on inthe hotel room(black/white large art that is at MoMA and DIA)hanging atthe office Hung the second self of the week on the apartment walls
66
If I don’t spread the seed in the backyard, the birds find it elsewhere. One of them whispered to me when I was hurting myself. She explained thewhole thing. Made it clear. So I won’t fold my hands and be grateful. All the food I can eat is already mine. And if I have to open your body to get it, I sure as fuck will.
159
Family Feudalism // Hudson Everett
Good answer. Bad answer. I don’t have answers, don’t have access, don’t have time is money, don’t have, have not, how you living? And the answers are populated by the masses and energy cannot be created, I am become, dead, destroyed, or open face sandwich and the rest is gravy, and the notes are graceful, and the words are burdens, and the heart is heavy, and the head lies still, and the lonely ones are told they don’t have answers too. I want to buy a vowel, I want to buy a Capitalist letter, I want to write to my congressman, I want to buy a senator, I want to spin the wheel, fortune favors, bold new taste of Doritos, crunch like my bones, tired, don’t tread on me, and I bite the heel that steps on me, and I only have answers in the form of questions, we’re all in jeopardy now, what the fuck is the point?
34
who designed this shitty little town who designed this shitty little neighborhood why would you put a square mile an entire group of people  here no sidewalks no streetlights not even a dollar store
157
Jim points to the tent city sprouting up along the sidewalk in front of the housing department. it’s a strike. homeless people have set up camp to protest city housing policies & laws & civil engineering designs which keep them from sleeping on benches & sidewalks. Jim says “see, that's terrible, they oughta to clean that up.” “no”, says Rich, “they should give those people homes. or at least bigger tents.” “yeah,” I say, “bigger tents, and why not just piss on them while yer at it?” it’s hard to tell the truth anymore without losing my cool. I try not to think about it too much— the fact that I can’t keep my cool anymore, that is, not the part about the truth. the truth burns my brain & my heart & my tongue, and now I breathe in fire instead of air, so what can anyone expect me to breath out?
307
Terminal Tower // Brendan Joyce
It’s beautiful midnight bright. Think: Cheesecake Factory. The city has gone casino carpet colored. They have renovated the sky into a Footlocker uniform. It’s been a decadesince I saw the fountains dance to Stravinsky. It must’ve been curfew weather, Cuyahoga overcast. The river ripped up into jackknife black lines. It’s been a minute since I saw you in your briefcase feelings. I could never make sense of your fluorescentinteriors. Remember? The whole garbage bag walledoff bathroom stall flickered with potential. The hallwayglass throbbed under our pace. Remember? We were in the casinoat the bus stop licking gum out of the carpet. Remember? The crazy quilt of sweat across your brow was also a city on a hill. Remember? You threwthat party when Reagan died & everybody came but still nobody killed Bush. Somebody brought tamales. We drank Steel Reserve 211 in the abandoned steel mill. Remember? I let the tamales fly out of me like the scarab beetles in The Mummy.We spent the intervening decade of shame learning how to fly. Out the city.Kept the merch, left the dirt & gravel driveways to be some other kid’s diorama river.The seasons are all fucked up, the birds don’t even know when to fly south anymore. We’ve replaced autumn with falling real estate prices. Outside Quicken Loans Arena the scalpers walk a picket line. They chant “No Lebron, No Peace!” Our tiny gods & the seasonsare leaving. In Cleveland, leaving is both the season & shorthand for class treason.The same guys burning jerseys let cop cars glide by unburnt. The cop on the picket line is running for president. The mayor has kissed Dan Gilbert’s championship ring. TheFootlocker Uniform has kissed us all. The Reagan memorial assassinationshave not yet commenced, but when they do,the casino bright sky will no longer bowto the people, though we may never get the seasons back.
145
person standing surrounded by leaves man and woman sitting at a table behind red glass window folding chair between two men several books on top of table inside room pink-petaled flower two men sitting on the edge of a cliff during daytime two penguins standing on rock three women laughing while sitting near flowers man talking in the meeting two persons forming love fingers people inside high-rise building with concrete wall two gray monkeys man in tracksuit wearing VR headset standing on tennis court bonfire surrounded by group of people near brown hill during daytime three men and one woman laughing during daytime silhouette of two men near seashore about to high five during sunset two women sitting on table three women holding hands, white-walking three women holding each other and smiling while taking a photo two women cigarette-smoking behind door four white pelican birds
210
Someday // Shel Raphen
top-ten
Someday, Somebody really is going to eat their landlord First, they're going to take a butcher's knife and cut off his head Humanely, of course His body will be broken down into breast, thigh, leg, and wing His carcass will be salted and boiled with herbs to make a fragrant landlord broth The rest of him will be put in a bowl with soy sauce, wine, garlic, pepper, and bay leaves He will marinate in the fridge over night He will be transferred to a Dutch oven, where he will be joined by spring onions, potatoes, carrots, and chilies. The landlord broth will reunite with him He will be covered and slow cooked for ten hours He will be stirred occasionally He will be paired with Jasmine rice and served In a little red bowl To his former tenant's dog The dog will get sick from the garlic, but the tenant doesn't know that The tenant puts the leftovers away in the fridge And later, while high, will forget what was in that Tupperware container And that's when it happens They eat their landlord And the most beautiful part Is that nobody ever comes looking for the body
99
Skyquake Sonnet // Sean Lynch
top-ten
Sometimes I think the sound of an airplane is the sound of a stray ICBM. You know the high-pitched scream a jet creates when it slows too fast at low altitude. Other times I'm suddenly horrified by long loud rumbles that seem to come from everywhere, like the big crunch is calling and the whole universe starts to collapse. Skyquake is the name. The sound's cause unknown. Maybe a coronal mass ejection  of capitalism. All the machines which emit energy we're unaware of will be our reckoning. And slow death will be cast aside for the more urgent.
148
Rise Over Run // Nick Mehalick
top-ten
A sign of wealth Steps that don’t squeak And a house Without character You’ll be outclassed By me and mine. The treads of wingtips Across our foreheads Here on the ground floor it’s known The back staircase Is ours Hard won Heartwood Because it’s what remains There is no illusion Like stairs Change their rise Watch the money run We’re a pit of lions From the floors above Mouths bloodied At war with necessity Our paws large, Sharp and clean, Pointed north Your red hands dangling from balconies Our witi poles pound shellac And stain and wood we’ve sanded Jobs we can do Work you don’t Anymore You’re up there now And there’s no getting down No matter how far you fall You’re up there now And there’s no getting down
330
Never of Rats @ratdaughtr · 9h Replying to @ratdaughtr I deleted a ton of my old tweets, but those who've been around will remember that I tweeted about this at the time. It was and still remains a really important moment where my hard work and craft was finally acknowledged by a major organization. It's been motivating me for years. Never of Rats @ratdaughtr · 9h I've been going in a different direction, writing-wise but I hope that some day my fiction or comics will also be recognized as number one cars in their classes by jd power and associates Never of Rats @ratdaughtr · 8h In no way does the fact that is jd power and associates is run by the CIA, the KGB and the ghost of J Edgar Hoover and funded by stealing the livers of babies to sell to the megarich as snacks for eating on the toilet, in no way does that fact make me think less of them Never of Rats @ratdaughtr · 8h Because they gave me that award. And I know that I am good and so if they recognized me and were nice like the way they were nice to me, they must have some good people there doing good things in the world. Aside from the baby liver thing. Never of Rats @ratdaughtr · 8h What good things don't, on some level, involve a few baby livers getting farmed and eaten by the megarich. I ask you that. Can you honestly name one? When you get down to it. Never of Rats @ratdaughtr · 8h I may delete this tweet thread if it turns out that jd power and associates might not give me another award because I talked about the toilet snacks thing. marty cain @marty_cain · 8h Replying to @ratdaughtr I can’t stop laughing at this lmao Never of Rats @ratdaughtr · 8h i've been dragging this shitpost from 2012 up every few years. it's evergreen.
156
I need to start a garden // Samantha Geovjian Clarke
top-ten
I need to start a garden. I need to train these clumsy fingers to bring forth food and a flower here and there I need to store water collect rain compost learn how to raise chickens how to preserve fruits how to load a gun I need to learn the landscape learn how to drive stick learn how to stand up for myself I need to raise bees. I need to learn how to sing. I need to teach my cats how to hunt. I need to teach my body how to move without sleep or food I need to learn how to defeather and gut a bird. How to harvest mushrooms. How to treat wounds and rashes. How to remove bullets from flesh. How to build a barricade. How to navigate with a compass. How to make my own clothes. How to survive. How I survive. How we survive
271
Hurt Coin Locker // Stephen Lenehan
top-ten
The athletic megapixels of your facetime Are screaming pieces of you in a bag that let all the cats out of always And decompose to a diminished fifth. I keep pretending that my pinstriped Oxford is not a prison uniform When rarely do the guns go off at night But like dirt is matter out of place Inside and outside Are all on the same side. Hummingbirds foreshadow a more accelerated epoch Of intrusive fanzines and lackluster managerial staff Preemptively charting flight paths To mop up the feudal remnants Lurking under the floorboards. Sidewinders ricochet out the cowboy hats of a Duel cachet sporting the reptilian likeness of gringos. Q: So, you’re a lawyer? What kind of law do you do? A: Oh, you know, moon law, stuff like that. Status update: In a special economic zone 200 nautical miles offshore King of the sea floor. More indents will not make a dent In any cop cars in the near future but The aggravated pustule Responsible for retiring Obsolete bouts of enthusiasm Will soon surrender to makeshift galleys And concede collective bargaining rights by proxy. Bone marrow donations and beach clean-ups Both can and cannot make things better. Spare rib over iron lung Is the typecast of what is gender. Nobody will like you Unless you’re good at something. Homelessness and mass extinctions are not your fault Nor are they not your fault. This is the dialectic in which we’ve spawned. Cruising altitude negotiable.
215
Can Break Brick Dialectics? // Stephen Lenehan
top-ten
Bureaucrat: Ma Foucaults, ma Lacans!Régis Debray: Mi focos, mi galóns! Mao: The one divides into two into one.Samuel P. Huntington: My Clash is all “Lost In The Supermarket”Hybridity: The binary between binaristic and non-binaristic thinking Kosuth: ((art as idea) as idea) as artRimbaud: I think I am in hell, therefore I am in hell Sohn-Rethel: The academic mind is social but the actions are privatethe Symbolic (Stephen Eric Bronner): Modernism at the barricadesthe Real: Modernism as the barricadesVirtual Reality: Make it look like there are more protesters than there really are!Liberals: We want the world to be a little bit better, but not too much betterZionism: A land with another people for a people with another landT.J. Clark: For a Future With No Left Kubrick: If it can be imagined, it can be filmedSurrealism: If it can’t be imagined, it can be filmedGoFundMe: With a donation of $$, you actually become the artist! GoFundMe: With a donation of $$$, you make the art unnecessary!Woody Guthrie: This machine makes nothing happenAuden: But to-day the struggleSylvia Federici: Workers in struggle not nagging bitchesHelene Margaret: Bourgeois by birth, proletarian by conviction Millennial: Bourgeois by birth, proletarian by bank accountLangston: Black and White can all be RedBaraka: No blue but our songs Walter Benjamin: Love at last sight.
64
Ars Poetica // Steele
top-ten
I was standing in a field in Virginia next to a cow. And I looked into her eyes and she looked back at me and said: Goddamn. You still haven't learned how to speak. Carry a knife, motherfucker. Feel your chest burn and your hands shake, and coat the inside of your mouth with the blood that made me live.
95
Tie me down to the four corners of the earth As the cruel morning sun displaces our knot The smell of you displaces all resistance The way you hold me still as if to keep me How dare the El-Train come to take you Could we lay a little while longer Listen to the soundtrack of the city Keep the window open, please Keep ourselves cold so we won't let go But go, lest you be late Lest your boss grow cold and lonely Do not lose your life for me
79
Armantrout's Pet Vulture // Sean Lynch
top-ten
Inauthentic objects produced by machines. This solves the drowning question. Hotel bedsheets smell like trees. An authentic experience. Vultures oscillate over Philly. All signs are permanent. Even destroyed words. Steel structures belie glass. The Free Library captures homeless geniuses. There’s a labyrinth beneath the Parkway claiming bodies of enslaved saints. Shakespeare’s statue sways outside. Still, no one knows his identity. Sadness can reside inside inanimate objects. Existence doesn’t always precede essence.
61
3184 = Make Out // Logan K. Young
top-ten
There are twenty- four possible combinations of the four digits ABCD that list four prime numbers, seven products of two primes, one square of a prime, eight numbers divisible by two, two numbers divisible by four, one number divisible by eight, and one number divisible by sixteen.
277
Dear Chicago, These are your skyscrapers. There are broken windows on the top floors. The glass litters downtown sidewalks. The crowds trudge beneath concrete behemoths. The streets are wind tunnels, and the buildings have no place for us to hold on. The voices and the people are blown away. The golden parachutes floated down like dandelion seeds, beautiful and insidious. Spreading and sprouting back up from the ground, weeds, to choke us. We who sleep on sidewalks, we who live and work on the bottom floors. The elements are conspiring with the oppressors, the icy breath over Lake Michigan cuts through the cheap coats, and every step is a puddle to soak our feet. As we look to the sky at buildings towering over us. Dear Chicago, These are your streets. These are the tree lined boulevards and litter stained highways. And soaked gravel in red, and innocence which keeps draining out of bodies, younger and younger. The buses are never on time, and the people are always waiting. There are shopkeepers out front on main street, and people selling where there are no shops. Hawking wares to help you get through it all. Sneakers wrap around the phone lines, telling us who runs the conversations. And on every corner there is a convenience store. And gasoline and sandwiches and pizza puffs, but never enough to make full. We who do not drive, are always walking down, making our way. The faces and the buildings are hollow. And the air is a violent fog, every breath insecure, uncertain of safety or place in the world. Though there could be no other way to travel.
144
Look I don't got time to be writing satirical lists. We already have clarified our position relative to Lithub. This is highly illegal but I'm literally going to use the old intro from the DSA Build Zine as something to put here. Sorry. For what it's worth, Greywolf has a budget of 4,000,000 dollars and if nobody cancels their Patreon we're scooting along at fifteen hundred bucks a year. THE LIVES I IMAGINED WHEN CHOOSING YOUR NAMES Someday Skyquake Sonnet Rise Over Run I need to start a garden Hurt Coin Locker Can Break Brick Dialectics? Ars Poetica Some say time was invented in 1847 Armantrout's Pet Vulture 3184 = Make Out 2 Letters to the City of Chicago circa the first winter after Occupy began
136
god speaks to me // Rachel Tanner
ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
and she says some crap like enjoy every moment, for you are blessed and i say that’s shitty advice. like, really shitty so i take more zofran and god says you wouldn’t be so nauseous if you just ate healthier so i say actually, god, it’s ‘nauseated’ and what the hell do you know? and god says don’t you realize the dictionary has officially changed it so that both nauseated AND nauseous are correct in this context? so not only are you being an asshole, you’re also technically wrong and i say fine, i guess i’ll google it so i google it and once again, god’s right but i will never let her in on this but god says um, don’t you know i can read your mind? so i scoff and think fuck you.
50
Lacunas // Irkalla Lustre
ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
Hooker with a heart of gold” he says. I wish I could remind men, the story of Gold. A Lustre hustled Wrenched with toxin-flushed lust from clefts in the earth the silenced lacunas. A reminder. gold is beaten. Its leaves eternally autumnal. not far off, a volcano rumbles.
94
Boring Magic // Jakob Maier
ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
tv is magic cooking is magic sleep is magic dreaming is not magic but dreams are magic video games are magic fast food is magic acts of violence are not magic but violence is magic the state fair is magic but the state is not magic grass is magic my car is magic diet pepsi is magic money is magic but spending it is not magic content is magic magic is NOT magic poems are magic but poetry is not magic consuming is not magic but consumption is magic boring magic
65
A Poem For Liberals Afraid That Democracy Dies In Darkness // Persephone Erin Hudson
ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
Not that it should take bearing witness to the cancerous autophagy & tumorous autocannibalism of capitalism and whiteness to revolt against the state of things. The mass graves from sea to shining sea should be enough. The snake still slaughters when it is not devouring its own tail, after all. That should be enough. That should be enough. When will it be enough?
227
Produce Panic // Anna McColgan
ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
Hello, roller coaster tummy. Welcome to this panic. Hey, bananas. People eat too much of you. I hope you like these crazy eyes. Hello, stranger. Welcome to this panic. Taco shells are over there. Hey, my friend, I do not recognize you. Welcome to bananas. Hello, grounding. Welcome to the nightmare ground. Hello, boss. I'm not deep breathing. Hello, panic. Welcome to the space. There will be difficulty reaching information. Hello, customer. Yes, I am stupid. I do not remember. Hey, rage! Meet frantic movement (quite productive)! Hello, fear. Meet loss and never learn. Hello, hello, is there something I can help you find? This smile brought to you by Pure Efficiency. This pizza party brought to you by other people's unions. This music brought to you by other people's pain, enough time off to name. This banana brought to you by other people's pain. Burn out the eyes. Yeah just the ears and just the hands. Not yet well enough to be considered sick. One corner gathers those so used to it. One gathers the complainers, trading wounds and salves. And people join and leave the corners. Trickle or escape or hop between, depends on pulse. And neither corner is more righteous than the other. So, today I do not side. I shake here without looking like I'm shaking, hearing voices after voices, reach for words. 
66
Public Service Announcement // Austin Davis
ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
Being a human is pretty fucked, ya dig? From coast to coast parents are puking out their guts in the shape of teddy bears while their children smash $100 toys into wood chips and snort them dry with Juicy Juice straws. Between breaths, the reporters are calling it the apocalypse, but you and I know it’s just America on a Monday.
276
No Interregnum (斗地主) // Mathilda
ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
As in: now. The means to survive have been transferred to your bank account. The banks have been dissolved. No trickling but a deluge of red, like French streets in 1789; Haiti 1791, the Commune 1871, Catalunya 1936. And I’ll admit it: I’m classist, I think what Mao did to the landlords was pretty fucking cool. // I am brought to the end of a river and asked where it went. I tell my interlocutors to look in the stomachs of our landlords, to watch it stream from their bodies as the masses ruthlessly reappropriate. Delete me // from this. And on the other side of the wall there was healthcare. They broke into his house and shot him. Students filtered through academia magnetizing debt. She was murdered for quote “tricking him” unquote. I blast the music on my commute in order to remove myself from the landscape, to keep this body from merging with it. Your disk space is almost full. Apparently I was most gay when I was 13, I could tell because suddenly // my name was Faggot. And then again isn’t that all we want: to loafe in a field and write an epithalamium for our bodies merging with the landscape. Don’t we all want to be Sappho writing to our imaginary girlfriends across the room. Don’t we all want to sever the landlord’s many tentacular limbs and pocket the coins from his defeated corpse // the defeated cops. Another morning I look into the mirror and shave my face. God dammit. I’m sick of writing poems begging for you people to get up and do something. I need insurance.
267
At the Art Museum // Anna McColgan
ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
This picture fantasizes melting still and this one wants to fuck some kids. How nice it'd be to have my thoughts and feelings be this complicated. Why the lamp dark. Why the circles round and round. And why the shadows. A woman carves herself. There is a room for this. There is a bed for you in the asylum of a white-walled nation. If you're so pissed then why show up? Tell your tongue to keep its dayjob. Attend in grateful way this slice through hierarchy of needs that is the museum free day. Prance in plays at actuality on an empty stomach, with misplaced priority. Or just drink some coffee. Not one of my fantasies begins this empty, yellow light glares down on scene contingent on its thorough installation. This unsculpted sculpture thinks that theft is a refusal, that it somehow works against a thieving nation. I think about hiding out here for the night to ask the person who must dust it off if they would like their picture taken or to take a seat. Art is when that sculptor finally rubs that person's feet. Every museum that I walk in, I just wanna run back out, and take the crowd with me. This whole building could be well-replaced with a white noise machine. When not stolen goods, the products of thief's anxious indigestion. But you don't get it, don't you see? He's being what he'd like no one to be? Cool, then what you're saying is he never meant to talk to me. That his work is incomplete until we all decide to leave.
444
Capitalism changes you, doncha know. I'm told it's in a lotta ways ahistorical and even a charitable reader would notice modern footnotes are running mad interference for the 19th century sensibilities, as it were, but still I cop to getting worked up about Origin of the Family above all the texts which came outta the first wave (is that the word?) of Marxism. It's the product of my dude Engles -- the first of the two centuries of fuckers tasked with making what the big K.M. said accessible -- and it's got one joke: everything is fake. It's just a consequence of habit, and habit from the social and economic structure which reproduces society through successive generations. How we form our families, how we relate to them, even what constitutes a blood relative . . . . all these are drawn in sand, and when the economy changes a little, so does the family. Capitalism, like I said, changes you. But even that's idyllic. What were you changed from? There's a bit of presupposing here that an honest way to be got infringed by the Internet or mass production or farming or whatever. But except for dying cold, alone, and immediately on a rock, there's not tons to the human experience which is definite. You can't go back in any meaningful way . . . not any more than, say, Julius Caeser (or anybody remote, I'm just giving an example) could have lived his life as a software engineer or a Pharoah or a communist. Capitalism changes litmags. If I'm being honest, it's sorta suprising that it's taken this long to change anything. The point of this poetry page -- the declared point, I mean, after it'd been around long enough that it couldn't be explained by spontaneity alone -- is to operate and publish poetry with some respect to reality. (I'm surprised as anyone that didn't simply mean "then stop publishing poetry".) I figure its a sign of our doing things right that this page has not disintergrated despite my countless attempts at sabotage. It grows like kudzu across the American South. The supreme soviet operating this Maoist poem website encourages its readers to celebrate our reaching 1,000 followers on Twitter in whatever fashion happens to be convienient and reasonable in your particular circumstance, wherever you are. Monsters of All Kinds Shall Be Destroyed god speaks to me Lacunas Boring Magic A Poem For Liberals Afraid That Democracy Dies In Darkness Produce Panic Public Service Announcement No Interregnum (斗地主) At the Art Museum
352
The Opposite of the Police // Ann Eleven
soledad-prison-riot
is an information point. The information point is where a person takes a problem. The problem is any problem a person can have. The person tells their problem to another person. The other person works in the information point on Tuesdays. Tuesdays are like any other. The two people determine together the nature of the problem, a broken window or heart, lost cause or a dog, someone’s hand falling away from yours not to find it again. Maybe you don’t know how to fix a toilet. You never knew or cannot trust your father The problem is just a question that needs an answer. An answer might be only the next place to look. At every information point someone will help you. There are information points All over the city. You yourself work in an information point on Fridays. On Fridays it is your turn to hear everyone’s problems. You will find them their breathing machines, new mattresses, missing aunts, definitions of words, orchid varietals. You will find them hospital companions, reliable sources, and their lost dogs. No one who works in an information point would let a dog stay lost. Everyone will give everyone else an answer or a way to move forward. If you lost your house in the weather We find another house. If you don’t have enough for dinner We find you enough. The apple will fall into your hand and it will be ordinary. The universe itself said you should have an apple. The algorithm is only for taking care of each other. Who needs a bike, or a mom, or a sweet tattoo? ...a tattoo of your dog, who never dies. None of the dogs ever die, Or have to be police dogs. There are no police dogs. And everyone knows why.
53
We Love Music (for Amiri Baraka) // Cam Scott
soledad-prison-riot
Rained out the celebration When I hear I Love Music I remember How much I've forgotten That has moved me As a train has sometimes moved me As a passenger of song Real movement Suspect rhythmicity Unprecedented unison oncoming We call communism A force for real good One long melody Distributed like air
84
Google Murray Bookchin // Isobel Bess
soledad-prison-riot
The zone of transition between two biomes is called an ecotone and the wound in my head is a river, listen. Every time somebody opens the dam the cutbank gets deeper. The inability to remember isn't the same as the inability to recall. If every cop died in a clown car crash today the millionaires would only mint more tomorrow. That's why we need communism. You have to pull up the roots, plant ground cover, pay attention to the rain.
48
Good Deeds for Hunks Only // Wilson Macha
soledad-prison-riot
Good deeds for hunks only! Never hold a door for a pockmarked wretch. Don’t say bless you to the guy that chews too loud. Only perfect tens get a hug. Nine and unders get a handshake at most, and if you’re health isn’t immaculate, you don’t get coverage.
250
DON’T MATTER YOU DID OR YOU DIDN’T // Joseph Rathgeber
soledad-prison-riot
Saw Baraka w/ a cane at a conference once—led by the arm down the aisle to the stage. The sort of late only poets w/ reps like him get away w/.                I understood.                 He’d taken the train or bus or both in from Jersey. I’d done the same. I think about that moment a lot, his arrival. He didn’t care. You shouldn’t care. What would he make of his son’s mayoral bid?                 Would he and Ras talk about selling out? Would they sit in recliners / in a living room / before a meal talking about reformism, respectability politics,                and elections? Would they pass a bowl of yams back and forth across the table,                 gruffly. I think about whether he and Ginsberg ever fucked,                d’ya think? Think about whether he ever asked Ginsberg about the young boys. I think about whether they ever discussed forgiveness                at any length.                                                                   My son, the mayor of Newark.                                                                   That’s something else. What about the water, I wonder? Baraka would                bring it up.                 I’ve no doubt. And when his son would speak of the feds’ report of 97 percent effective filters,                a significant reduction in lead levels, I trust that Baraka would suggest heaving the system, in toto, into Newark Bay. Saw Baraka in a photograph / in a diner booth / leaning in to listen                 beside Diane di Prima. Someone divining 1967, maybe— a busted window at the precinct / property damage / looting. And I know                you know                Baraka is gleeful.
247
Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dysphoria (C.H.U.D.) // Zøe Axemarsh Woods
soledad-prison-riot
whisper into the radioactive air and let your voice mutate we are the monsters of the week the melted horrors and shambling souls of the misled there was a point in life where we looked like you our hair neat and clean skin smooth and tight clinging hard to the bones and muscles bubbling up with violent evolution but you rejected our images of beauty through change of strength in community and threw us tattered and bleeding into the undergrounds and now we are growing to big for the prison of concrete and rot we are climbing out of the tunnels and grates we are storming the town halls and city streets we are the nightmares of old men come to life in plastic revision and chemical creating new tits and biometal defenses against the bullets and psychosis inflicted by the peasantry our voices blister out of cracked and dry throats or sometimes come gushing out like acid and so the message doesn’t get lost in the fog of metal dysphoria and poison hear this: you pushed us into the depths stole the stars and the personal astrologies we always deserved you swept us under the superfund with the rubble and uranium and expected us to stay quiet but our hunger is strong and after your flesh is gone we will rewrite the constellations with our own heros and tales we will rewrite the history with your blood on our pen
437
A while ago I spoke to a guy who had been in prison on September 11th, 2001, and we got to talking about conspiracy theories, and he told me some of those that he had heard on the “inside”. The strangest was that world powers (Russia, China, you get the idea) have all kinds of inter-continental ballistic missiles trained on the largest prisons in America. I asked him what the point was, but I couldn’t get a straight answer, on account of him feeling it was obvious. Conspiracy theories are a product of the culture which conceived them, and culture in turn is a reflection of the economic conditions from which it sprang. If you’re ever in jail for any significant stretch of time, you’re supposed to join a prison gang, if you can. I can’t confirm that, because I’ve never been to jail, but it’s said to be a sound way to stay safe. Of course, it isn’t like joining the Auto club. You are expected to reciprocate, and in order to demonstrate and prove your capacity for physical discipline, a prison gang demands the performance of feats of physical endurance -- a friend of mine who got out of jail this weekend mentioned push-ups and things like that. “The cause of the rioting was under investigation, corrections department spokesman Lt. Carlos Espinoza said.” This comes an article on a prison riot at the Soledad Correctional Training Facility in Central California this August. The reason, I am told, but of course have no way of confirming, is that guards there wished to collect hazard pay, so they instigated a riot and declared a state of lockdown, during which they earn several times their base hourly pay rate. They are said to have repeatedly waited for the riot to simmer down some, before discharging their weapons again to instigate panic again. I can’t confirm it, as I said. What do you think? Amiri Baraka would have been 85 yesterday. For the love of God load up this video, and if you're on the bus, fuck it, just play it on the bus. None of these poems were written by those present nor were any inspired by that which transpired there, as far as this editor knows. Some but not all are regarding Baraka. The Opposite of the Police We Love Music (for Amiri Baraka) Google Murray Bookchin Good Deeds for Hunks Only DON’T MATTER YOU DID OR YOU DIDN’T Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dysphoria (C.H.U.D.) One Cigarette
205
One Cigarette // Jonce Marshall Palmer
soledad-prison-riot
—after James Wright opened a door that lead to a porch, a familiar place for a poet. & every time I take one Regina has to be my darling gay mom and tell me that I don’t need to start doing something that’ll kill me, as if we’re not already destined for a ditch somewhere, a cell sold to a state more lucrative than any chain of hotels. Most of the time I puff on, not in, wondering when my mom will notice. led to a room without a wall, in which there was light not nearly dark enough for sleep & not quite bright enough to see in without strain, a cantaloupe color that wishes it could be felt in the golden hour, a piss color of stains left on my teeth from honey glaze & honey blunts for honeybun, a darkness in which twenty bodies slept & snored & shared a silence. This was a color I hadn’t anticipated to see spark from the white stick in my mouth yet there it was, that candied fire. Outside on that porch, we talked about our own little yellowing pieces.
655
There's tons of poems people got that are like this: I wish the Dalai Lama was the protester that got shot in Hong Kong because he sucks and I fucking hate him. I guess somebody could come up with some plausible reason which links that plain fact with what we're doing today, which is printing poems without having read them first. Last night, this promise was made: As a protest against the myth of meritocracy in poetryland, we will be publishing everything that we get sent without exception sent before midnight Cali time (in 50 minutes or whatevr) https://t.co/zzANzFfm9R— Paintbucket.page ☭ Send us poems & art (@paintbucketpage) October 5, 2019 Now it's dawn and it's obvious that there isn't really much reason to do this. Jamie Berrout's new essay "Against Publishing" on her Patreon (but not behind a paywall or anything) is about meritocracy, which probably is responsible for the word, but she should hardly be held accountable for this publicity stunt. If you're being extremely charitable out of affection for this page, you might argue that there's something if not clever, then possibly something curious about this. But none of any of that is at all relevant to what lead us ("Us"! the flash of shame at using the plural-singular, even if it's otherwise appropriate, when discussing an error for which you are solely responsible! oh dear!) to make that promise. I'll give an explanation in just a moment how and why this all happened, but in the interest of transparency, I should concede that it's fake. So. The reason we did this (*wink*) is because if all the noise we make about our poetry being distinct ideologically is anything more than just radical bluster and marketing, then we ought to be able to demonstrate once in a while that we can do something which would be entirely impossible within the world of poetry that's connected with power and what-not. So, yeah. That's a self-aggrandizing reason as is imaginable, but in fairness, we are grand. One actual thing (why would you believe me?): all this got wrote before reading the poems that came in. All I know is there's like maybe five or eight of them. Oh wait, one more thing. So, yeah, all these are published without any pretense of an editor reviewing them before putting them online. The only stated condition was submitting before the deadline, but in practice this means probably already being a reader of this page and if not then probably at least the target audience for this content. But there is no such thing as meritocracy, and if there was it wouldn't be in poetry. There's too much at stake in the opinion of like the big gross empire collapsing around us to just hand poetry acclaim to the deserving. So, ya. This counts as a byline. Treaty Day noah mazer 213 06:19:42 Union Drive Morgan Dowdy 39 06:35:50 Warm Comfort Nykalily Dear 71 06:36:59 30 Nykalily Dear 329 06:39:00 Deerly Beloved II.VI (XIII): Cauterizing The Cold Persephone Erin Hudson 337 06:41:16 a Weatherman Waits Dan Boucher 168 06:52:27 Smother Dakotah Jennifer 274 06:59:54 FREE (the people of) TIBET (from the fucking Dalai Lama) Fattie Smith 195 06:59:59 having a panic attack in the auto department blake planty 68 07:17:06
68
having a panic attack in the auto department // blake planty
live-ammo-round
sad fat little worm, i scratch you up tie you down feed you with a tube, kick you, call you faggot faggot. the cashier says he likes me and i tell the boy he reminds me of my little sister before the car exhaust knocks me out and when the hot boil moon shits itself i wonder where in this Kmart parking lot is my letter of resignation.
195
I wish the Dalai Lama was the protester that got shot in Hong Kong because he sucks and I fucking hate him. The Greatest Trick the Devil ever played wasn't as good as the one where the Dalai Lama hustled white people for money and political support for decades Also turning the Beastie Boys into dorks (they were cool fuck you) was not bad either I guess MCA was always a dork but like Ad Rock was married to Kathleen Hannah for a while. "She did that shitty music video" Yeah I know. She's let me down a lot recently. She's also in her 50's tho, which like isn't nothing. Toby Vail, tho. She dumped Kurt Cobaine before he got famous. Like, (she's the drummer for Bikini Kill.) (Kathleen Hannah was also, yeah.) (Yeah but you know Le Tigre "who took the bomb, dun-dun-dun-da-dun... dunnah-dunnah-nah") and you know them.) that's something. Yeah the Beastie Boys did a bunch of charity shows for the Dalai Lama I shouldn't be mad about this but did you know that so did Rage1??
274
Smother // Dakotah Jennifer
live-ammo-round
Smother Verb. To stamp out, to choke, to stifle, to control, to suffocate, to quell Antonyms include: Allow, encourage, free, release watch carefully how the thesaurus is better than a riot. They say officers in riot gear arrived in buses and armored vehicles to quell the demonstration And I think officers in riot gear arrived in buses and armored vehicles to suffocate the demonstration Demonstration Noun. Brown & black peoples of a city trying to breathe watch carefully how the words chosen pretend to be what they are not. They say the president remains an unpredictable character, with no intention of stifling his opinions And I hear the president remains an unpredictable character, with no intention of controlling his opinions President Proper Noun. Usually a man of integrity, now a man wearing a white sheet watch carefully how everything turns to dust. how everything they say is what it is supposed to be, but buried under relief. They say he never sought to choke Garner to death, or even injure him. He was doing his job, taking a resisting man to the ground And you know they mean He never sought to smother, control, suffocate Garner to death, or even injure him. He was doing his job, taking a resisting man to the ground Resisting Conj. Verb. black, brown, not white Job Noun. Government approved, god given right. He never sought to kill eric garner to death. Or even injure him. He was using his god-given right, taking a black man to the ground. Smother Verb. A black state of being in a blue state.
168
a Weatherman Waits // Dan Boucher
live-ammo-round
A weatherman waits his turn—blithely, cynically—to tap out several smugly cute turns of phrase in mock honor of this first day of the month: “October is off to a spooky start as temps drop to below forty, & pre-Jack-o’-lantern winds approach a frightening sixty miles ‘n hour.” A twister rips through the studio, live, during the weather report, dealing justice with accidental irony which I guess we don’t call irony. Thirty or so State Street sport-gawkers, their own sentience long past rocked asleep by autonomic calculations; the mere afterthoughts of the shot-callers of the destinies of the shot-callers of the destinies of the shot-caller-in-chief —home, asleep, safe— of the destinies of the twister’s target. Forget the irony: meteorologist cartoonishly voomed up the center of the striped-white, top-down whirling dervish mimic (meteorology & all) cue crowd laughter: freakishly silent & earnestly twisted out there in the two-dimensional land of television. The first shear cracks through the glass wall.
337
Deerly Beloved II.VI (XIII): Cauterizing The Cold // Persephone Erin Hudson
live-ammo-round
Do you feel it, under your skin? That which will never bleed or boil out of our bodies. Do you feel it? I know you do. I can see it. It ripples across you. It shivers. You. Shiver. I see it. I know it is of you. But. Do you feel it? Does it ache? Does it ache to utter agony? It must. I can see how much it hurts you. Each and every day. I can see that in weathering the wound it has weathered you. Down. Down. Down. Do you feel it? The aching cold? It is always cold, here. So cold there is nothing but to freeze. Everything blackens under the frostbite, and falls off. In the unceasing agony all falls to incoherence. Senses slowly scatter to the frigid wind. Then the passions slowly wither, like a flower aborted in the frozen earth. Then your loved ones leave you; your friends, your spouse, your children and the church. Connection and community, all alike in absence. And then the soul—the heart of You—undergoes organ failure. And thus you fall into ceaseless shock. You can already feel it fall apart, can’t you. You feel the state of shock set in. We can feel it. Can’t we. It is always cold here. In you In me In we. In accursed land and sky and sea. We are all withered in its shivering wake. Yet blessed be there a way to save ourselves from the throes of catatonia. Together we can cauterize the cold. Together, when us is you and us is me and us is we, do we set the village to the flame. Warmth may be but momentary in burning barns and scorching stables, but it is all that we have. We are The Arsonists. In arson we are saved. In arson we are warm. In arson we are home. In arson are we. Look for us everywhere the burn marks form, trying to find a place to keep warm.*
329
30 // Nykalily Dear
live-ammo-round
& roughly 30 makes a month & I've felt so many sets of 12. & roughly 30 all. At 28 years, those 30's fade into the murk. 30 after 30 after 30 after. & how many sets of 30 have you lived? & another 30 is roughly the lifespan of the fly. Their month a book with a solid beginning, middle, & end. & I can't imagine what I'd do with that roughly 30, my only 30. All these 30's pass by faster than I can ever tell, & soon it's been 12. & how would I even live if those 30's were just one? Would it make my middle poignant? & does it end with a bang? It's no consequence. & I always figured the day I go will be ""& whimpering"". & I once knew a soul. & She told me "when I die, I won't be remembered by anybody" & when I go, I want this body burnt " & I felt unnerved cause I loved you. & they'll scatter the ashes to the heartless breeze. How many 30's will it have been then? I miss you. & How many times I feel 30s in 12s? & how many 12s is that? & The land seems like it's going hard-up for 12s lately & there's only so many 30s for anybody. & I used to be scared of turning to ashes but it now feels fine. & Maybe 30s enough, maybe after as many 12s, some rest. Does not the fly live 30 enough ? & how many more should I need to be sated? There are only so many 12s & the end times were always. & you told me "Zen" Since We're already heading that way. & we always had been anyhow. & during your 30s & 12s, Remember to breathe. Cause even the flies fuck.
71
Warm Comfort // Nykalily Dear
live-ammo-round
When I used to think of “Warm Comfort” I’d think of a sea of green, of grandfather chimes and don bluth films. I’d look forward to the coming and going of cousins & aunts, Grandmother with her house of treats, & Papa’s big chair. The place where I live now is grey. Fields of green becoming sought after, warrants the day trip. what’s once warm comfort becomes frozen.
39
Union Drive // Morgan Dowdy
live-ammo-round
when the boss’s pig says they’re your friend weeps at the hem of your dishwasher’s apron (because you've got them by the balls) hold on don’t let go twist PULL (before they overrun a flankable position)
213
Treaty Day // noah mazer
live-ammo-round
TREATY DAY second time in Canandaigua in two days & this time I do hear the stacked cadence of Six Nations oratory. birds leave the paint-peeling dome of city hall & return. the speaker says they call the atmosphere a veil, since there is no other word. birds taking off, returning again. TREATY DAY II Walking back to the car after the commemoration events James comments to me that he cringes when he hears the language of ‘silver chain,’ the covenant chain between the English and the Iroquois, he’s thinking in the sense of gilded chains. I try to talk about how it meant they were sovereign nations in equal partnership. He talks about cultural decimation. We are eating Mexican in a red and lowlit restaurant in Canandaigua--him pozole, me tlacoyos. His sister goes to school on the next lake over, in Geneva, Kanadeseaga. I’m saying, well look they’re in their garb, speaking their languages, they were standing next to us in the crowd, the girl had the flag embroidered on her backpack. The waitress brings water in blue mason jars and James is saying something about America. I am rolling the triangle of the word, spinning it inside my mouth-- tlacoyos, tla co yos, tla-, tla-, tla, tla
50
experience. I lost my good sandals somewhere / between here and Eugene, Oregon. They hurt my feet / anyway. The only way we can save the world is through organized militant struggle. I'm convinced / this won't arise spontaneously. Nobody ever / got anywhere just staring at a map.
134
conjure a grin // Amy Marvin
philadelphia-epoch
Spending so much of the twenties shooting the shit about how old we are when suddenly the real thirty comes strolling up and knocks you flat on your ass. Dragged, wet and dripping, through new years grizzled and younger. Afraid it’s about to all start when finally I can say I’m an old man now, and a lonesome gal in Oregon. Gone, walking to the counter to return my Saturn. “It’s broken,” I say, when it’s really not. I’m just tired of carrying the damned thing so I hurl my knapsack to a nearby bin. If I sold all my baking skills to the devil, turning some tricks with him for a cauldron then mercilessly dumping him, I’d conjure a grin so bright this city would implode into starlight.
112
class antagonisms intensify // Steele
philadelphia-epoch
Scram, bucko! I scream at some dude being weird on my block. I have to talk that way because there’s nothing I own. I mean, the house where I sleep belongs to this 69 year old freak who has never worn the same pair of underwear twice. I swear to god, they’re just piling up in a pit on “his” land. He pays a teenager to wheelbarrow them there twice a month. So I have to say shit like Scram, bucko! Kick rocks! The movies are too spendy these days for me to believe that we’ll end up together. Fuck off !!!
50
26 (from Character Limit) // Brendan Joyce
philadelphia-epoch
Those days it was easier to imagine the end of capitalism than getting sober. The tables have burned & turned. The bridge the water runs under has lifted. The instinct to forgive has been forgiven. Give us this day, our daily bread, and forgive nobody. All property is theft.
72
I Can Feel Myself Fading Away // Patrick Blagrave
philadelphia-epoch
I saw the skyline turn to glare: gold & purple then entirely away from me The buildings have names like Liberty, Liberty, Comcast, & Comcast They’re built for business & windows that show us even clouds belong to other people Liberty is luxury offices & a lookout point tourists can pay for From the street it’s perfectly clear how invisible a person would be from the observation deck
104
Everywhere is tomorrow and rocks articulate space in the flow of days. Narrated a map onto living land, tumultuous blood, of roads driven into our skin, vowels: the streets in a city; buildings: teeth. Daylight undrunk as concrete peels itself — deathruse of mirror and liplinger, a room dedicated to movement — outside always liminal space — fading in perpetuity. Vessels with which one could travel through spacetime: traffic on the interstate. A boy ago — a geometry unwound, murmur of moon, night set gentle in distance, torn, breath-dredged morning, oh the engine of all tragedy is entropy.
57
Lines // shel raphen
philadelphia-epoch
Take my lines and pull them pull my sides my shape outstretched these knees bend back fall forward out out out take my pen and draw me what else can i be my topography is fluid when i said i was limitless i think you underestimated how little i care anymore about being a normal person
117
The mean and cruel and stupid and ugly and the brave. I saw the real headline “Houthi video fails to prove claims of Captured Saudis”, or something like that, anyway. Five hundred sons outta the Kingdom of Saud got their eyes crossed out to Harlem Globetrotter jukes and mom and dad and uncle who’s-it spend the funeral on iMessage, bargaining with a prolly better father and better typist on what things people may believe. You can lie about numbers, Or what’s impossible, or how flies the quartz splintered into off-compass shapes over Noon and Mars and Langley. But Big Axioms don’t move. They’ll swallow tremors. The mean and cruel and stupid and ugly and the brave.
176
Made of Steele // Teagan Steele-Fisher
long-haired-gaul
tied up in brackets, in sod, in sheetrock, in caulking, in laying cement and roofing and all the rest— killed your body covered in diesel dust and soot two sets of pants for the day and a photo to remember the grime "one time," you said, "all I had to eat for the day was a warm coke and apple thrown at me out of a sixteen-wheeler window" eighteen-hour days and overnights stretched your pennies and laid your head to rest only when you were the last man standing the other day we drove by a five-story parking garage in Sacramento and you told me you had built it and I watched as the Audis drove in "I never knew you," I told you, "but I think you thought you had to do this for us, and you did, but the world can be different” and you sighed at me sometimes parents aren’t there, but other times they are there yet never awake enough to riot or even say hello
70
All Top CEOs Deserve Imposter Syndrome // Keegan Leech
long-haired-gaul
Each day I pay homage to the Bullet Journal I kneel at the altar of Outliers and offer up To Malcolm Gladwell a sacrifice of 10000 hours. These small, daily rituals a magic spell By which I shall summon a surfeit of luck. Luck is easily disguised for "hard work" And with a little money for worth. Everyone knows it's impossible to get lucky Unless you've earned it.
51
November // Shel Raphen
long-haired-gaul
A sweeping crescent of birds perch up on a branch marking seasons I do not feel we are approaching October anymore Stockpiled orange bottles A crate of meals, ready to eat Three storms of water Not October We are preparing for another world The birds flock all the same
142
For the first time, this Internet web page joined flesh-and-blood reality, when several writers from Pb.p performed at the Wooden Shoe, an anarchist bookshop in Philadelphia. This is the first of many such events which are being organized in cities across America. (email hello@paintbucket.page if you'd like to get involved.) Promotional Zine / Flyer Design by @JumpsuitUtopia Printable version (4.62mb) Video (it's being uploaded!) The speaker of this poem is an amateur / drawing of Sonic the Hedgehog that I / imprinted on during a psychedelic conjure a grin class antagonisms intensify 26 (from Character Limit) I Can Feel Myself Fading Away Into the Moment Fall Particulates And Outward They Move in Single-File Lines
562
I'm strongly considering crowning myself the Poetry King. I get how this looks. But I refuse to explain myself. The linebreaks game is like this. It's a Moment and also the first opportunity the socialists have had in decades take big ground. I know, that's wild. Earnest mania is a risky business, but just for a goof be generous and indulge the thought that a single word of this is real. Repitition is the first form of poetry. Repitition is the first form of poetry. And despite the nonviolence the larger culture ascribes to the modern practice of writing broken lines, this form can be delicate, but c'mon so're stilletos. Verse is dainty as brain surgery. And (do you get the sense there's a tiny conclusion on the horizon?) of course it is also brain surgery in the plain sense. Repitition is the first form of poetry. Advertisers reckon there's seven impressions before the biological processes behind your eyes elevate a phrase or image to memory. We're at three, though I'm not sure if glancing to confirm my math puts us at four or six impressions all together. Repitition is the first form of poetry. Supposing that a glance is sufficient, we just a moment ago met the threshold the shrinks moonlighting in marketing figure is enough to chisel my maxim into a extremely normal and intact brain of an ideal reader. With less accredidation than anybody with a career path inside a hospital's got, me -- a plainly terrible man -- is able to embark from his laptop perch in Van Nuys, California upon blind tours through the world of practical neuroscience. Why is repitition the first form of poetry? This is going to sound negligent, but I am afraid I cannot say exactly. I could feign modesty and say "surely a mere King of the Poetry Racket cannot be expected to grasp the full meaning of your academic inquiries! You wouldn't embarass a dude who didn't even attend real college!" But that doesn't cover it. See, I didn't read about any of this either. These are the happy and ambitious conjectures of anyone who starts from a foundation of wonderous and blissful ignorance. But also a brain surgeon. I feel comfortable sketching logic, but I am just not trained (and that matters!) to set the gear-teeth neatly enough to survive more than a few unsupervised revolutions. Also, this has adequately answered any questions which could have reasonably be prompted by the monarchy business discussed above. I'm sorry, I can't explain myself further, nor am I able to pretend you don't understand exactly what I mean. This collection is named for an area of Gaul. It has a name that's at the top of the wikipedia page, but I forgot it because it wasn't funny. The way this name is presented on that page suggests that halfway between Long-Haired Gaul and the crappy Actual Name exists the third name "Free Gaul". Maybe you can enjoy yourself while trying to make sense of all that. I don't know. Poem Celebrating a Houthi Triumph Over Saudi Dickheads Who Can't Do Shit But Engineer a Famine Made of Steele All Top CEOs Deserve Imposter Syndrome November
237
spiritual cinematic universe // PAUL HANSON CLARK
cisalpine-gaul
we could have a movie where captain america & batman time travel    kill baby hitler that's the 1st act rest is drugs “I fuckn love JUSTICE” said Batman while fucked on acid. “I think good should like…  triumph …over …. uhh.. ….. evil,” said Captain “I just smoked a fat blunt” America Superman tweaked on krypto talking shit like “hi my name’s batman im rich  i beat the shit out of poor ppl who have mental health issues” wonder woman is sober all over her idyllic commune  animals just everywhere livin & powerdudes are tripped out touching   crying listening to noise wishing they knew the feelings these creatures were feeling & even feeling like they don’t know their own feelings happily, wonder woman has animal empathy tells them everything   it’s intense beautiful. then thor shows up with bros starts playing beer pong. has rly good coke  he’s sharing & the energy once off putting becomes infectious + he’s hott + everyone doesn’t have to get along perfectly to get along decently but that’s all bullshit these movies are propaganda + gal gadot believes in palestine being an apartheid state bombing gaza always life keeps going like this until *spoiler alert* half the people in the universe die everyone dies nothing ever really dies some day  again   it’ll begin again & again & again
102
Sonnet Where I Should Have Learned a Trade // Levi Rubeck
cisalpine-gaul
“Earn while you learn” got my brother away from brake pads caked with ancient asbestos and into a life of windswept wires. I hear unionized adjuncts have my grad school poetry professors cold sweating— those soft candles now scramble to secure their chipped brownstones, so we should wind lines to chime like a whetstone on the guillotine. They’re all magpies with minor tinnitus who dream of closing on their own cage—“lock me into a fixed, lonely interest rate. Teach me to salt my bonds, to grind pepper over financial products too pulpy to wall off the slowly swelling river.
72
capitalism is the opioid epidemic of the masses // Hudson Everett
cisalpine-gaul
when you are ill in america you work under the the medication managerial class- the doctors who participate, with varying degrees of willingness and disgust, in the dehumanization of the chronically ill, the disabled, those who live in pain and need. there is a capitalist epidemic, and it's growing, and it's fatal. millions are dying, and paying for the privilege. I suspect I will be one of them before long.
357
Miss Mae's Raised their Well Drinks to $2 // Zach Bartlett
cisalpine-gaul
Sure the city's starting to arrest working musicians for playing too close to businesses owned by Californians, and they let Disney buy a straight (but quirky) guy a seat at the head of the Pride parade, but they're just catching up with the times. You should've known it that August, two years ago, when some visiting rando leaned over Aloisa's fence and shouted DID ANYBODY DIE HERE YOU KNOW IN THE STORM and she shouted back NOT YET and he looked so pissed that she didn't have a manager he could speak to. Then that flood the following year got her, turned all the nice paper from her chapbooks into a ghastly multicolor wasp nest on her bedroom floor, and now the landlord rents it out to bachelorette parties or people on business trips trying to have affairs and none of them know how to tend to the jasmine and clematis her mother planted along the fence. Maybe it's a good thing you've had to live in a different apartment every year, you keep saying you need to get out more and nothing gets you out of the house better than not having a house because it's more profitable when they STR it to different cargo-shorted guys all named Bryce each weekend rather than rent to a local full time, especially when you do burlesque because don't you know some people bring their children here? A dog got hit by a slow car on Carrollton the week you moved down. You dropped your big styrofoam cup full of red wine when you saw it but the dog was okay and was pushing itself back onto its feet when another car that didn't even brake sent it ragdoll onto the curb. You were bawling and it was the last thing on your mind at that point but you'd bet your security deposit the second car had out-of-state plates. Tap your grief on a refurbished typewriter outside the two-story artisanal hotdog place on Frenchmen Street. Nose down. Save your emotional content for the tourists, some of us are trying to live here.
398
Transalpine Gaul... Cisalpine Gaul... big freaking whoop, I tell ya! Like, both names are in reference to Rome, which ain't sh*t but the center of an empire that isn't even around any more (not up for a VALIS reference, but feel free to write your own and mail them in via Fastsubmit; we'll select the best and tightest jokes and post them here some day.) These Romans were s'posed to be so smart, right? But if they're anything like how I have them made up in my head, these guys couldn't reckon the Cisalpine from the Transalpine any better than you can knot up somebody else's necktie. True story: ol' Caeser once got the jump on somebody nautically because he knew it was Autumn despite the fact the calendar right then said it was already Winter. See, this was back when the calendar barely synchronized with daylight. And, to be fair, it also was Caeser's job to keep the calendar right, but we nonetheless must charge a thousand counts of Bogus Brain upon whoever it was that plotted Earth a quarterturn around the solar system away from reality. How self-important does a politico gotta be about his placing the empire of which he happens to be citizen in a position of unwarranted importance when he missed the date by three months out of blind faith unshaken even by the absence of snow. Look, this is all stuff I picked up half-listening to History Civilis. People used to study for years to learn enough to recognize what I've reported above wrong. Now, I'm going to say a thing which isn't true, so don't get goatish. Here it comes. Three. Two. One. I feel a little guilty learning stuff easy what other people had to pick up some other way which probably was hard. Like I said, the thing wasn't true. Anyway, here are three more poems for the end of September. Say it verily: O'er on bird . . . . We will get our first comma still yet. spiritual cinematic universe Sonnet Where I Should Have Learned a Trade capitalism is the opioid epidemic of the masses Miss Mae's Raised their Well Drinks to $2 1973
216
I think (probably wrong tho, but I think) Gaul is basically France, and Transalpine here is in distinction to Cisalpine Gaul, trans- and cis- here being relative to Rome and whether or not the province is somewhere which is across or on this side of that -alpine, which itself is of course in reference to the Alps, i.e., them mountains which got the ski lodges all up them. As is typical, none of these poems are actual relavant to the title of the collection. This video came up about a battle Julius Caeser (a guy who became immensely powerful by listening to the tribunes of the plebs once in a while) was around for, and some-which-way the name of this little Roman province got itself to be hanging up in the air over and around about these round corners of Van Nuys. This is the only warning anybody is getting that we're gonna maze.swf the page for the month of October. For even if we lose My Language Drops Like A Snake From the Forked Tongue of Desire Make Your Century Proud❧"Ne faites pas honte à votre siècle"
18
For even if we lose // Shel Raphen
transalpine-gaul
From all abandoned places New life sprouts forth Not necessarily human life But new life none the less
196
The margins are not justified. Chromatic unbecoming: Ice sheets pulled over our heads. There is a people: We, who have shoveled a great hole in the sky. Documents strewn over the table. Come again. Thought the water sunk into us. Porous, meaning: The slow fade of city into morning. How you drink it in like any other bird: First the astonish, then, the guilt of knowing nowhere. Bending is how the sound goes around a corner. It had properties of shadow and a taste of iron and told me I precipitated time. Bumped into a memory on my way to the fridge. The enjambment of avenues and crosswalk; to lineate the city, to make it more palatable. A wolf set loose in this virginia. Skin would begin itching on contact with water and then fire spread across. A senate bored of form, organized in couplets. Why night is a curtain strung between the ordinary. Tongues wriggling on the ground aching to be embodied. It was the lyric I spilled all over the table. What sung against a hole in what home was.
404
1973 // Alex Nuttle
cisalpine-gaul
For Therichest.com Kaline Forrester wrote in 2017 that Detroit was “the last place Americans would ever want to live in their country - a third world country would likely be better”. Forrester is not important, she is just another racist blogger. For the New York Times Ze'Ev Chafets wrote in 1990 that Detroit was “a black metropolis, with all the trappings of a third-world city”. He seems to place most the blame on then Mayor Coleman Young, painting Young like a Maoist waging a protracted people’s war against white suburbia (which I could not blame him for, had it been true) Chafets was born 30 miles up the highway in Pontiac seems to forget that 55 miles up the highway in Howell a KKK Grand Dragon lived in plain sight until dying two years after his article. So I have to ask Chafets a couple of questions If Colman Young wasn’t elected in 1973, would the riots of 1967 been avoided? would there have been a “Slave Market” between Wyoming avenue and Livernois avenue on 8 mile for black day laborers up until the 1960s? would 56% of white detroiters in 1950 have advocated for Jim Crow style racial segregation? If Colman Young wasn’t elected in 1973 would Mary Conk, a white sixth grader, have written the following list in the mid 1940s: Because they are mean And they are not very clean Some of them don’t like white people They leave garbage in the yard and it smells And in the dark the skare you And they pick you up in a car and kill you. at nite And they start riots If Coleman Young wasn’t elected in 1973, would the riots of 1943 been avoided, when black men were killed cause the arsenal of democracy ran out of housing and jobs? would the riots of 1942 been avoided, when white people got mad a black family tried to move into public housing? would the riots of 1863 been avoided when white people flipped their shit cause they were stopped from lynching a black man? would the riot of 1833 been avoided when Black Detroiters liberated runaway slaves being held in Wayne County jail? Ze’ev Chafets, If Coleman Young wasn’t elected in 1973 which black man would you have chosen to blame instead?
555
Make Your Century Proud

"Ne faites pas honte à votre siècle"

// Daria Colonna
translated by Olivia Tapiero
transalpine-gaul
you shine singular of plebs and museums of public service you are universally obscure lukewarm dick beside bleak cunt you have deserted too soon the school board the fenced recesses where goldchildren in their bowls bored in the USA drown after their memory say: I forgot to take my pill my panties are bleeding save me, white Jesus ❧ here you are struck by genius built of revolutions you carry your migraine to the early morning smear tests when girls piss skin streams of electrolytes of hormones of clear egg wastes on proof sheets upon which you give me news and opinions primitive fantasies in a light prose after the drink the blow the conversation and her still lying on your mattress “poetry of the nation” or indifference giving orders on and on here you are read an obeyed: sending me requests ahead of time I deceive you ahead of time the orgasm the theatre the man and the work your havens are false make your century proud: pull out ❧ you see poets burrowed in their monk cells their eyes carved as countertop servings passing like popular actors upon their cruel lives with “powerful words” pretty scoundrels of your sterile guineas behold their training and the tucked in enthusiasm of important publishing houses bet that the ice storm generation bet that the economy of slander bet that the cops are reciting the Civil Code between young girls’ thighs and that by vanity press the fruits are harvested make your century proud: publish ❧ you resent people for not following you you use your loved ones and reach your goals you jerk off the evening with a smile since tomorrow exists diversity is at your service you say: nothing surprises me anymore talk about it I beg you talk about it again about what is so unfortunate and horrible about “those who didn’t have it easy” this continent where we die of laughter it’s here make your century proud: stick around ❧ you deserve better you learn to knit your stitch in time you baptize your Leftist kitchen your avant-garde meat dehydrator your democratic sprouting jar your five categories of trash you buy a juicer to separate the national pulp from the native liquid you buy in bulk you are a wall-to-wall apostle of lacto-fermentations cooking your own soap you would like everyone to know that fruit flies have souls make your century proud: buy indigenous ❧ warning you are being filmed it’s proof that benevolence exists good behaviour post-graduate studies close friends in politics determination can accomplish miracles you say: “I worked for it” a walk-in a good sense of humour a reputation escorts magistrature a social awareness a country house not too far from the city the health system the police force a combative becoming stemming from your “activist past” you are one of those believable people at the cutting edge of applause of these pretty faces of extreme moderates who have their sons baptised at the Théâtre du Nouveau Monde make your century proud: have a great vacation"
616
This is so fucked that still nobody has a fucking clue who submitted this poem below. I am 85% sure they were trying impersonate somebody else, and I still don't know for sure who it be. In the hullaballo posting the 9/11 poems got incredibly fucked up, to the point that only one non-phony-balone-zone poem regarding 9/11 got posted. Now, tradition is that we wait until next 9/11 to post the poems. But who knows when that is. I say fuck that. Today (9/20/2019) is the anniversary of the first time "war on terror" got said out loud in the context that all but the lil'lest of zoomers recognize. As matter of fact, we got the video of Dubya himself saying it. If you didn't watch it all I might recc' watching it as far as the point where the phrase gets used, which is like two minutes in or something. The libs want you to forget this war and that this dude was at least nominally president of the U.S.A. in a war on (at least nominally as well) a concept. I tried looking up on Wiki how many people got wiped out as a consequence of all this which began on this day in history, but its been bleached. From the fast fast: "According to Joshua Goldstein, an international relations professor at the American University, The Global War on Terror has seen fewer war deaths than any other decade in the past century.[273]" So now we got a homework assignment if we want to know what that [273] is. It's an article by Joshua in Foreign Policy about really who gives a shit at all. I won't even pull that handwringing donotlink shit . . . here is the real-as-a-heartattack hyperlink: https://foreignpolicy.com/2011/08/15/think-again-war/. Click that link if you like. I don't care. I'm tired of being scared of these Pixel claims that webtraffic (which doesn't even exist) performs as a force-field because of long-division with a bunch of figures off their Google Analytics profile which uh duh they won't let you see. I read like 9% of that long-ass post and I'm pretty sure what we're looking at is a dude who is preemptively arguing his defense to spring in the kangaroo court where he will be sentenced (and this isn't my call, btw) death. / It reminds me of that time some English dudes with the white wigs were getting their shit together to decapitate Charles 1, when the old Royal Perogitive said real smart-ass-like, "I would know by what power I am called hither. I would know by what authority, I mean lawful". But yeah they just executed him anyway. Like c'mon, what did he expect them to do . . . like anybody was gonna actually listen to all that shit? WHITE RHINO EMBRYO INVENTED ON 9/11 on 9/11 we went into the cave and grew bright horns Bush Did 9/11 Jet Fuel Can't Melt [REDACTED] Beams [REDACTED] when we fucked that morning we didnt know it was 9/11 when we had coffee we still didnt know when we drove to work in a blue car we had no idea til we got there where a basque with eta politics told us so we laughed and we loved terrorism and said fuck america
272
WHITE RHINO EMBRYO INVENTED ON 9/11 // Holly Raymond
nineeleven
on 9/11 a white rhino embryo instructed in all the main fables of our weathered customs, fish-tank at a strip-mall dentist’s lobby, christian science reading room, so many email coupons from some perfume website that I took a quiz on, guy in a Pantera t-shirt telling the bus to go fuck itself all of dead now oh all of us cheerful and immediately joining the army oh riding on rhinos in our crisp yellow uniforms, the color of bananas, our students pull up swatches of paint oh spikes on our helmets brief navy of rhinos we're all cyberpunk now we too in our labs have developed an infinity rhino, whispered dirty jokes in its weird little ear-hole, we have wound up the spring in our infinity rhino, dark matter rhino, to point in the direction of all things, to plow through all things, pierce with the horn the wet flanks and wet riblets of all things, thrashing in tongueless joy and plenitude through the frames of all things, there’s nothing left, a straight line through empty space, there’s nothing crepe and doily on the bones of us, horny and irritated, blowing our party favor tube things at the rhino’s vast approach oh hold me I’m spooked again in our time we have triumphed in the invention of fresh rhinos, then snapped their necks in their sleep permanently half-smiling and dreaming of palm-trees in a valley on fire with their eyes clothed in terricloth oh none of this shall be well so how many years believing only in revenge oh grammar shut me up and coax pale rhino from pale grave
210
on 9/11 we went into the cave and grew bright horns some of us never had to hide the rogaine in our drawers and we scrambled to discover a coolness already long gone i was in love with another one of my friends’ girlfriends i1 left a box of my favorite books outside my bedroom door with a sign that said up for grabs, hoping that she would pick out the right one and we would talk about It, and she’d realize that i was cute and deep and funny—back then we were all cute and deep and funny. now some of us are fascists and some of us are very poor, throwing away our lives to consult for the fbi or to wear dumb costumes and go pow pow like big boys. one guy who took a book from the box outside my door said he would give it back when he was done, and then he drowned himself with alcohol in an apartment in brooklyn after he joined the dsa. no one said they hated the military, but i really fucking did, and often it made me cry.
91
shelter(ed) // Emma Brumage-Kilcourse
lacroixpassionfruit
for you, i ask for: a car ride with filth on the radio (because your mother told me not to swear around you and we told her to fuck off) a definition of vocational (because i have pored over names your teachers have considered with their tiny nightmares of green leaves and primary colors and not one of them sees you as nineteen) and $7.25 an hour (because i know that helping you and helping people like you aren't quite the same but they are close enough for now).
113
I’m enjoying a hoagie // Amy Marvin
lacroixpassionfruit
"Invited to the Portland gender inclusive womb magic circle after doing research on tender spells, selling the essential oil epiphany that All Is Emotional Labor. I don my ceremonial twee clutching a kombucha goblet, we all gather before the Moon where I am revealed to not be so fragile after all. I yell to the stars a recipe for decent pizza, the night bleeds Dunkin coffee, the high priestx shouts, “ey pal whatchadoin,” and it’s too late. There’s cheesesteaks on every corner, the bagels are boiled, folx are swearing at each other and too rushed to wait in line for brunch, I’m enjoying a hoagie and planning to pull an all-nighter."
277
This Machine K*lls Fascists // Vin Tanner
lacroixpassionfruit
cedar scented candles for a nice suburban home i lay down on your clean floor to tell you your pain and sadness is happening exactly as it was designed centuries in the making with a pendulum swing out in full force to call you a cog in the machine it makes it sound routine and inescapable to say the system is a clock and we are pieces to be worn down to tell time but the truth is, this was built for the glee and destruction for an elite few, who never were pieces at risk at all but their dream were sown into so many of these cogs that they think they can grind their way out from underfoot the carriage that the mechanism is inescapable and fact so if they whine and scream until the metal bends and breaks they will have never been where they were placed from birth i will grab you by the shoulders showing you, once shaken, that we are not speaking hours their automaton can be as hollow and empty and pointless as the system which built it (for failure) and the people can become Our Machine they wanted their workers to be robots but they will beg us to feel emotions for them as we approach they reprimanded when we felt them for ourselves or our loved ones this will not have any one role. it will serve the people and you won't feel this guilt beyond now you are quiet, then relight the candle "it is much to difficult to consider" you say and you ask me then, what else is new
99
Unemployment card from B-of-fuckin'-A came through and I bought some La Croix today. Here's todays poems. This would have gone up earlier but the Internet was fucked up, and also I didn't bother to do it until now. Sorry East Coast. These poems aren't necessarily about La Croix (Passionfruit) nor does this editor find any of them particularly or at all relevant to La Croix Passionfruit. shelter(ed)Emma Brumage-Kilcourse I’m enjoying a hoagieAmy Marvin This Machine K*lls FascistsVin Tanner
161
This collection got put together for two reasons. First, because that's the job. And second, because it was easier than pretending that there wasn't five poems being posted all in one day. Nothing's gone up since 9/11, so we're doing a bunch all today. When we switched from blogspot to Jekyll, the Fastsubmit form got some basic updates. All of these are from the old Fastsubmit form. These poems aren't necessarily about depression nor does this editor find any of them particularly or at all depressing. Ode to My Good MasterAndrew J. Stone They Had the Nerve to Call Us AssociatesDan Boucher United States Capitol, East Capitol St SE & First St SE Washington, DC 20004Zack Haber WE LIVED HAPPILY DURING ANIME SUMMER 2003!! YEAH!!Holly Raymond IF THEY DON’T BURN YOUR CAR, YOU SHOULD DO IT YOURSELFJoseph Rathgeber
276
Ode to My Good Master // Andrew J. Stone
depression
I’m not starving or wandering the streets lost sweaty stealing and spending money saved on substances to forget I might no longer have time to cook or eat but I have the ability and that is the freedom you provide I’m not bleeding even though I cannot bend over in the shower to scrub my feet even though I am probably addicted to opioids even though the stabbing sensation in my lower back keeps me spiraling all night even though the plastic, backless chair I sit in eight to ten hours a day is pure agony and even though my work causes my carpal tunnel to flare like the dead forests in California I am not bleeding and that is the freedom you provide I’m not afraid even if I consume antidepressants like aphrodisiacs even if I haven’t seen a friend in over a month (aside from you) even if sometimes I think maybe I’ll go swimming in the ocean after work wilt under the weight of the waves accidentally swallow cold sea water accidentally swallow grains of sand sprinkled on my towel let the sun burn my skin till it blisters red read the novel I always forget at home but then I remember what it means to work what it means to stay overtime because you ask you say you really need me and how could I refuse after all the stability you have blessed me with after all the opportunities you have gifted me to afford antidepressants and oxycodone to afford future outings with friends to afford hypothetical beach days this is the freedom you provide I thank you yes
684
yeah, at the dollar store in 1998 everyone is an assistant manager. they pay us $8.50 per hour to replace books, carded toys, stationary, toilet paper, cookies to pick them up from the floor where loose toddlers have scattered them and to assure customers that their complaints will be handled when we know they will most certainly not be handled, that the notes we are pretending to take are really just reminders to buy groceries on the way home and the customers know that too but they file their grievances all the same. this is what we get paid to do except for the seasonal workers who get $8 per hour to do it and are forced to wear routered nametags bearing the painted words “Sales Associate.” we managers to do nothing of the sort, no managing, unless helping the seasonals cash out their registers so they can catch the bus is what it means to be a manager which I don’t think it does. also not managing is using a trick called a purchase void to steal $900 over the course of three months $100 at a time, leaving a trail of receipts that you know will eventually catch up with you. I bought orthopedic shoes at the uniform store for the sake of standing up twelve hours a day for $8.50 per hour, a dozen or so albums that I’d been wanting to hear, some books maybe, a cheap stereo, and rent, a rent that I couldn’t pay on $8.50 per hour. no matter how deep that nametag punctured my flesh I couldn’t pay for much and I think I bought a couple of movie tickets at some point, and I did all of this for, as I say, $8.50 per hour. during winter holidays the mall is open until 11, and so the dollar store is contractually obliged to stay open until 11 and all of us assistant managers have to be there because customers are never angrier and toddlers never more numerous and the store never has as much cash in the safe as it does at any other time and at 3:00 am when I wrote a note to the general manager explaining that I had done what I could for the night— the detritus-blotted floors were not vacuumed, books bearing titles such as “Minnie Goes on An Adventure” and “The Bible” remained where they had been, tossed with youthful vigor across aisle 4—I had one task remaining to bring two sealed plastic bags, each containing more than $10,000, to the night deposit safe at the bank. sure, I thought about stealing it but I reasoned that $20,000 would not cover the cost of a new identity and a flight out of the country and a new place to live, to hang up my hat, as they say so I decided to be satisfied with my $900 and a place to sleep for the night. later, when I was fired, I admitted all to the district manager with the general manager and I cramped into her tiny office (we ate cookies back there when the company sent us a variety box as a gift for our hand in having helped them reach $1 Billion Dollars in sales that year, I assume because they pay their employees $8.50 per hour and wanted to stop the pitchforks and torches by tossing us a handful of compensatory factory-baked goods which, I am ashamed to say, worked like a charm), and they made me sign a paper declaring that I would pay back the $900 and agreed to be subject to wage garnishments if I did not blah blah blah because I really did tune out during the speech and afterward sat in my car thinking that if I couldn’t get away with stealing $20,000 I could at least get away with burning down the dollar store, and it took me close to an hour to snap out of it, drive home, and tell my girlfriend that I had been fired because of the very comfortable shoes I was wearing.
498
Not appropriate! a woman says loudly to a baby in a stroller, look, you wanna be good or you want to just sit there? This place is filled with light and fresh air. It feels like I just got out the shower on a bright and pretty day to fill out health insurance forms. Sir, sir, you need to keep moving. We have to keep getting everyone scooted. The ticket sellers/line monitors/cops—they show an urgency I have trouble relating to and they seem to resent my blaséness. I feel like a marionette controlled by their anxiety. Two men holding big guns in cop uniforms stand in front of a door. People look excited to visit the capitol but in a contained and mundane way, like a shook up soda. Little kid wearing a Trump hat makes me puke up in my mouth a little bit. Our tour starts out in a movie theater in the capitol. It smells like carpet cleaner and it’s so strong that I feel I’m drinking it. The film we see feels like an infomercial but people still tear up. It says a freedom hard earned it says this is the core, the center of our freedom, it says these walls have been tested and their strength does not crack. When the film speaks of slavery ending hopeful sports sounding montage music plays. The tour guides seem like flight attendants as they start us out robotically repeating orders. This is the only time we’ll be in this room so yeah go ahead take your photos now. Our tour guide sounds annoyed like all the words she has to say annoy her. I bet she’d like to say less words. Every word she says sounds like a question where she's asking for something she doesn’t want to want but needs, maybe it’s money. Creepy guy in brown suit and brown pants keeps looking at a form, keeps looking round the room, keeps saying things into his walkie talkie. Hard and clean reflective floor. Fake candle lights all around the room. Big brown statues of white judges. Cacophony! The place sounds like confetti. The dome above us has fractal patterns like a mosque on its ceiling. A woman keeps asking about Reagan. Is he in this room?! No I’ll tell you when we get there. In the rotunda a painting of people shooting and stabbing each other and in one part an indigenous person scalps a white man. A sign outside one of the doors says official business only and I wonder if people ever approach it with unofficial business and get turned away. When the tour ends, I say to the Reagan lady as I smile big in a super friendly tone I just wanted to say since you seemed so excited about Reagan: before Reagan there weren’t too many homeless people in this country, but since Reagan, there’s been so much homelessness!
370
in 2003 we went to the shore to suffer some proximity to something like shared gender we were all very political we all hated god in an abstract way like he’d pissed himself on a bus, but another bus, one we’d heard of but never seen, the beach was a wet diamond cutting up our teeth everyone we met: cat-girls come foolish beach to be like the boys punching and punching from an infinite distance come cut through corn fields as an enemy cuts through, move at angles like a cat-girl, lie down with me in the grass to look at Newtype have you seen this do you know this in 2003 we all threw up every night we all found ouzo under the stairs we were snakes in the basement in comradely terror of one another touching fingers in the trunk of the car of some psycho who joined the marines but kept showing up at youth group and talking about hentai at Perkins in front of the old ladies and the little kids oh what have you done I liked to take my entire skin off, fold it up and stomp on it an astral body vaguely cleaned up nice oh cat-girls come and occupy this empty cathedral oh come online oh forget this face during the war calm stream of piss behind the bleachers at midnight everything vile to flee the body all at once. during the war we lived like fucking animals please be quiet about it we spent our money on whippets in the war and did subtle violence outside beneath the sun I forget what we did under the sign of mono we stayed home and played Animal Crossing without beginning or end we saw in the entrails of rare birds the cat-girls marching off to war with their cat-guns and helmets with holes for the ears and war-pants with holes for the tail we laughed for so long at the thought of the thing we lived between the fangs of cat-girls during the war (iirc) and only real assholes sit there at the end of the poem to ask us for forgiveness
105
fillrate // taylor carr
i even have time enough to write you this poem shoulder to shoulder i stand with you dear comrade though currently i sit on the clock we toil both of us through today just angry enough not to quit tired always like angry bees buzzing drowning in debt-ridden anxieties screaming silently for changes online quietly dying as popsicles of fear digging pools for bosses quarterly when the revolution finally comes on i hope it feels like summer rain i want that warm water to trickle all the way down to the sand my bones make for future beaches
123
a wicker basket of brie is stolen at gunpoint; the heart of the thief is later examined at the CDC; they find nothing strange about the muscular tissue and the microscopes cannot ask questions like where’d you doctors grow up? so several mysteries remain; but someone leaks to the news that no evidence of love was found in the cells and without love it’s likely that the thief is in hell; someone watching the news on their five minute break laughs and mutters through a mouthful of salt and vinegar chips: none of you motherfuckers ever been hungry? then they go take a piss and it’s right back to work; it’s always right back to work.
404
Ok riddle me this..                So is gender my boyfriend / or boyfriend my gender / in the dark              Im someones / can’t seem to care whose / 1 side effect                      of living un der Capitalism / is not caring to            1 side effect of caring to is being medicated          some side effects of which   may include indefinite suspension   of that which may, occasionally, make Mad life “worth”    living,  the almost joy-textured texture of being deemed “worth” “less” by those who deem some life as worth <less< than other life      but thank heavens “lucidity” almost always goes away..       flatflat earth wait no!,   I just have bad aim-- Im someones bad boyfriend  who can never shut the bloody lid        let alone prove his Disabilities       to the tenured frenchwoman      who says things like <<<   Dismantling ableism       is not my job       Ha ha       I just teach Marx and Lacan and Tocqueville       Ha ha ha              If you really wanted to sleep                        or want care                         or afford care                          or get care                           you would..                         The crying boyfriend        Unable to recall        Why Marx would be        So fucking pissed about this   Pissing and missing the mark   Missing the mark entirely X x x X x x.. I fail a lot of classes / “The Queer Art of Failure” Which I’d probably know more about If Jack Halberstam didn’t support known abuser Avital Ronnell / and I’d taken his lecture It’s not that I don’t wanna be a boy, I tell him it’s just if there’s no woman in this room I feel I must become her, you know? an imperative tug or better yet, a mood like Mariah’s relationship with lyricism, sisterlessness the way it feels as though she’s been orphaned in the wrong direction, that’s the problem, the runway let love be ours, we all fail & then we’re free, I don’t want to haunt anything let alone myself, this deep, deep loss of hope, fuck it let’s get out of here, it’s far too hot and professors are writing entire dissertations about us, boyfriends, we’ll be boyfriends of anything
322
Heart for Sale // Khalypso
i don’t need it, anymore. take it. i’m too retarded but the “smart” kind so everybody already hates me, anyway. me & [insert name] aren’t talking anymore. no, i don’t wanna talk about it. but the heart’s still good, i promise. it beats & it loves, but you’re gonna have to blow some air into it, maybe polish it up—what’s it been through? you say. well, check the heartfax. see—first, i’m a nigger. so that’s about $10,000 worth of general wear-and-tear & then, there’s this pesky pussy connected, &, well, see, that got broken into a couple times so the wiring’s all crossed, & it’s probably worth about two white men’s college tuitions. the pussy throbs harder than the heart pretty often & the blood goes to war all the time to see who gets to sleep first, because one has to stay awake & keep watch, but then also, this heart’s got one of those trust motors that’s always in overdrive so it sings to every one & as much as folx love to dance, they stop swaying when the lyrics come across. when the pain just pops everyone’s eardrums & they swear, they swear they understand where you’re coming from, but they just want you to put that good shit back on. you know, the emotions, they’re all over the place like one of those picasso paintings you gotta look at & know he was homeless & heartbroken to see clearly. but this heart ain’t broken, it’s actually kinda pretty when you fill it with drugs, it’s just not for me, you know? i don’t know what to do with it inside me but die.
169
I will reinvent the wheel I will learn everything from scratch I will pull myself up by my bootstraps after I first make my own boots I will climb the social ladder stepping on hands and heads as I clamber over climbers who are slower I will break the rungs off behind me and keep them for white pickets I am disrupting your REM cycle because you need to be at work so fucking early I hope you weren't dreaming anything good I am disrupting everything I can disrupt I will look down on the mountain of flesh I have summited and give of myself in increments that are more than you will ever have but absolutely nothing to me Collateral, the damage done, is just more leverage for me to move the world I am disrupting, but believe me, so could you.
224
i know that you are beautiful              if you love me with a bite. if you hold my hand and make              a picket line. ""what’s exciting isn’t always beautiful,"" the john waters              movie warns me. and yet, the imagination needs just a little nudge              to believe garbage beautiful, or to believe in something more important              than the body. i know there is a world beyond this one, so i’m not              scared to die making this one freer. making myself believe              that beautiful means teeth, and a little bit of pain.              no, i choose to see nothing more beautiful              than the new world that catches the light, shimmering in the blood              leaping from a billionaire’s throat. every drowned master a prelude              to a drowned structure. i’m making myself eros. i’m steeling              myself for the power shift. i’m stealing my time back from every              one. i’m sharpening my words.              yalla, i’m sharpening what blades i can afford              on a teacher’s salary. bite hard. wherever we go,              i hope i meet you there.
269
the cop in my head // Fargo Tbakhi
believes in hard work, in a flawed system we make the best of, promises a book deal that will be prestigious, if not lucrative, is smooth and shiny as a sanded off fingerprint, believes in the law, but makes exceptions, but believes in the law, works for the poetry foundation, believes in the poetry foundation, believes in belonging as uncomplicated truth, destiny’s manifest, is obsessed with “the body” and won’t shut up about it, is so trapped in materials it wants to become one, sent my father to prison, or tried, does not fuck, especially does not fuck the wrong body, prints pages and pages of numbers from its open mouth, prints pages and pages of blood from its closed mouth, does not believe in god, believes god distracts from good organizing, understands no language but english, not even with the elbow, does not know a constant anxiety or a hovering shame, has a pension, never forgets, holds out hope for the revival of a wholesale remembering, and never believes that violence is the answer, and never believes that violence is the answer, just a question that those with full bellies are permitted to ask, again and again and again and again and again. tonight, i’ll kill the cop in my head. tomorrow the ones outside it. rehearsal for the revolution.
132
The tongue of empire breaks the roof of my mouth as the father’s oil reaches the newborn’s forehead & drills and drills as our mother splits open. Look: Capital’s hands around our throat choking the lungs of our earth & the blotted stars have forgotten us. I think we have forgotten us. I adjust the dark to better apprehend this land scape, the familiar pastoral: Elegy exhausted, greed leaks from allegory, drips the people bleeding. This is not metaphor. To paint genocide pretty would be just as unforgivable. No one lived happily during the war. To do so would be just as unforgivable. Watch how they burn the trees, numb to the knots tightening round their necks. Oh, at the trial of gods we will be merciless.
396
I bleed all over someone’s bed and my phone knows it, advertising menstrual products to me a few hours later. So that I guess I have a record, someone else’s more accurate record. You cum; the person fucking you wants a small break; the condom comes out covered in goopy blood and you notice then the blood near the pillow, and twice in the middle of the mattress, and once at the bottom of the mattress. And later, after you’ve put on underwear and laid there for a bit and talked about your workout routines and also the way that anxiousness permeates literally everything but sex, for both of you, and then given a blowjob, eventually you get up and go to the bathroom and notice another gloopy strand of blood hanging out of you, which momentarily drops from your body. Your blood will be recorded in the “oh whoa you’re bleeding a lot” and apologies in relation to the comforter—so that the waste your body’s expelled might go variously to the dry cleaners and down the toilet, but has also been productive, creating money for Instagram. So my gloopy blood has produced an economic reaction, and after we separate the bodies of the ruling class from their heads, we’ll be able to reverse the code and resuscitate all of it: where an ad for Kotex is recorded in the book of history we’ll instead get a glob of blood smeared across the page, there to be licked up and tongued back into the body, and then into the mind and its experiences. We can dwell in it if we want: don’t go to work, stay here and fuck and be fucked, like the scene in Eisenstein’s Stachka when the factory workers have struck and a couple lays around in bed with a great fur blanket. Mid-day fucking, the opposite of work. Except who knows: maybe instead of revolutionary bloodshed we’ll get the slow deaths of our children’s children. Except we don’t want children, we want periods, recorded in the ledger of history via targeted advertisements. And in our imaginations our periods signify little executions of the wealthy in our bodies, but in the daylight we don’t even need a shower, usually you’d just check your makeup and leave.
233
Because you don’t need it need it, like didn’t your mommy or daddy ever give you that talking to about wants vs. needs? Put its charred black skeletal frame on its side: a barricade. It should be a barricade. Against tear gas canisters. Against batons. Against fire hoses, rubber bullets. Against riot cops. BURN YOUR CAR Say somebody stole it and collect on the insurance. BURN YOUR CAR Let it be earthshine on the moon. BURN YOUR CAR A summer-long fireworks spectacular. Stand at a safe distance so flaming shrapnel like licks of luster doesn’t scald you, doesn’t sever you, render you an immobile, still sentient, meat. BURN YOUR CAR A sacrificial offering for the lowercased gods, for the lowest caste, for curbsides and stairwells and ghats along sludge rivers. For the burning of bodies in sacred rivers. From creation to cremation, to pollute, to purify. BURN YOUR CAR Because a ribbon of highway flickering with burning cars is the Amerika the beautiful I’ve been waiting for. BURN YOUR CAR A reenactment of the burning cars in Ferguson: a monument to Edward Crawford, dead in a car: a memorial to Darren Seals: in memory of DeAndre Joshua: frontline faces flaked with gunpowder residue and embers: those cars they died in, a mausoleum, a flaming sun.
342
Imagine the classic Kramer charging into Jerry Seinfeld’s well remembered New York apartment with more pure kinetic energy than we the happy viewers could even comprehend he says the unforgettable subdued “hey” before the cast continues their mundane conversation now imagine that very same classic Kramer and boy wasn’t he a card that Kramer that Michael Richards on a stage “The Laugh Factory” they called it in 2006 rabidly furiously with unparalleled commitment hurling racial slurs at black members of the audience demanding they get thrown out for daring to talk during Kramer’s set don’t you know he was in THE Seinfeld you might remember the episode of the hit 1990's television series Seinfeld where Kramer the communist mall santa tries to spread the gospel of communism to the American proletariat he said “I have some literature in my car that will blow your mind” but Michael “Cosmo Kramer” Richards is no comrade of mine Michael Richards by the way has a net worth of 45 million dollars Jerry Seinfeld though Jerry Seinfeld is where the real money is at Jerry Seinfeld the comedian in a car drinking coffee but you might know him as the bee from that one movie as the worst character on Seinfeld as graduate of Queens College what’s the deal with Jerry Seinfeld who has a collection of over 150 cars at least 43 of which were Porsches and according to Forbes the highest paid comedian for the fiscal year of 2015 and 2017 Jerry “dabbled in scientology” Seinfeld Jerry “net worth of 950 thousand dollars or more” Seinfeld Jerry “political correctness will destroy comedy” Seinfeld Jerry “all Chinese people look the same to Americans” Seinfeld Jerry “dated a high schooler when he was 39 years old” Seinfeld Jerry Seinfeld dated a high schooler when he was 39 years old. Jerry Seinfeld dated a high schooler when he was 39 years old. Jerry Seinfeld is a pedophile. It is not a coincidence that the only people with money are the ones who deserve it the least.
234
I watch the documentary God’s Country; everybody from Minnesota in 1985 is hot, especially the former high school wrestler who is both a banker and a farmer. Taking care of the pigs is part of it; taking care of the cows is most of it, he says. The interviewer asks if he will get a degree in farming. He answers, you get a degree in pigs every day. It’s not a bad occupation. The pigs are shown rooting around. We see the pigs transported and then strung up and dead; we see conveyor belts and now they are chopped down and made into meat. A young farmer talks about being his own boss. It makes you feel good when the crops look good, he says. Lauren poses a question: what do you dream about when you have sexy dreams? But I don’t have sexy dreams; or my dreams are exactly as sexy as the real situation. I sleep luxuriously alone, or I sleep with a lover and tell myself it’s nice to sleep on top of one another, like animals do. And it is: I sleep dreaming of my lover’s presence, meaning that I’m dreaming real life.
436
watching a youtube video of a guy filming the inside of a 500 year old clock tower that was originally a watch tower. it’s in london, according to the video. I read once the proliferation of clock towers, time, predated the spread of the printing press by a century. when I learned long division in school it was treated as a big fucking deal that’s all time is… dividing & dividing & dividing hours minutes seconds tick tick tick “Time! Time! Time!” as Sol Funaroff wrote when I watch youtube videos, I like to keep the little progress bar up that shows time elapsing I like to see it lap up the miles; I like to see time in space I know how long it takes to walk from my car to my cubicle every morning you can divide ‘everything’ by time. is it real if it can’t be divided by time? sometimes I wonder how much time does time have left? not in the sense of that doomsday clock that a bunch of fucking science nerds do (someone shove them into a gosh darn locker) because that clock shows how even the world’s ‘best & brightest' can’t escape the tick tick tick of a clock. they literally fear time itself reaching midnight: ‘dude imagine if humans weren’t there to keep the clocks ticking.’ -vocal fry- ‘woooooaaaaah’ (i hope for the end of ‘humans’ too but that’s another poem) every day workers experience ‘time travel:’ “Yet if I work hours and the clock says only five minutes has gone by, If the last hour working seems longer than the seven before it, Won’t my last day on the job seem longer than all the months that preceded it? Can I have been here more in one day than someone who’s put in ten years? Or has he learned how to punch in and out fast as a punching bag? Don’t we both know the way to the prong of our alarm in the dark? How long could I work without looking up at the clock?” (factory by antler) if einstein said ‘time is relative’ then why do I have to live my life by the boss’s watch? and why is a watch called a ‘watch?’ & why is that old clock tower a converted watch tower?"
62
burnt poem #17 // Dominick Knowles
if invisibility is the criterion of lyric substance, then whydid i just burn my pierogi? so many things are allowed to happen. it’s bullshit, really. i smother the pierogiin butter to disguise the taste of blackened dough. in a world without work this would be a poem about exquisite pierogiand everything visiblehappening invisibly all at once, to everyone
45
SINK // Jon Conley
I have seen a sky / underneath the sink                                red bottle for sinus & headache for healing                        I have gardened the pills             shook out baby teethdistinguished myself with company & comb / come & climb                                 I have grabbed an ass to follow a steer                        denounce a sisterdefine as chorus
459
Everyone has a friend in the Diamond Business (ShaneCo)But thanks to That Friend I am certain we all knowThere is no way Mr. Apartheid Son himselfHas the social prowess to assess the artOf your everyday feline woman.Well dear readers we had an anonymous tipSo allow me to paint a picture, while you can take a tripFrom the Bay, and LA, to the Emerald CityTo uncover the truth how a Fool became WittyThis isn't some slew you'd read in any old ragIn fact you might say the Cat Girls are outta the bagThose cliques you can't stand work at Tesla or maybe SpaceXIf they even read the word "labor" they each for a kleenexMay have started benign, now it's fuelingMusk's dietHe's all about weed now, thinks he could lead a riot.A giggling Slack server platters up ears skirt and a tailThe marginalized populace lets out a wail,"How does he know this? He constantly fails? Who's feeding him info?! He's cruising full sail!"We heard that one member might have orders restrained,Another calls sex work "A cute fun quirky game!"They have no friends that aren't part of the 'cule.Didn't you hear? If you're (white and) trans; gentrification rules!They think some space colony will save those without the funds for a coughBecause they have Mars tickets instead of paid time offIsn't it cool, to ~radicalize~ The Man?Mistaking for love, scraps he feeds you from a can?So insular and isolated in their orgy of meowing and factionsThey still haven't recognized their own fatal attractions.Truly the revolution will ride in a billionaires rocket,made with child labor technologythat lines the bourgeoisie's pocketHow silly of commies to think the Earth is worth savingMuch less the people all around the world cavingInside and inside and blaming the caverns of selfWhile, by the second, those exploiting them double their wealth.No! The wisdom of an Enlightened Entrepreneur fed happily by these conclave'd dreamersWill throw the world a going away party.Look! The kind hearted man even remembered the streamers.There's more to be said of this crew I'm certain and surethe investigation had opened, this was merely the overture.Dear reader, if you have any information on this polycule, undisclosed, please send us a letter and let the editor know!We thank you for your time, your supportand your thoughts.Even the marginalized often get caughtWrapped up in the lies of the American DreamLike the Wizard Of Ozthe city only sparkles because you and your glasses are green.
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what toilet moments wherein // Julian Francis Park
what toilet moments whereinthe soul music, muzak'd by this second hotelsame as the first, &, like all workplaces of circulationincreasingly plentiful of objects, increasingly emptyof workpeople, whereafter I willfail at stealing the rolls bc of they locking mechanism& my limited commitment to the operationduring these, moments that is, we are textingwhich is almost all the work I do atm& in this I claim the title poet(neither profession nor status whichought be sustained should the common come)tho it is not the same to hit send as it is to break a line, except that eachhold the recipient in a kind of suspenselike an ass hovering between wipes whilewe check out our shit for blood, which is to sayto check how counter-insurgent the digestive tract is todaythe poem—which ought be more notoriousfor countervailing against insurgency than the oppositebut which some of us in favor of insurgence nonetheless maintain a romantic attachment toa fact that is neither good nor bad per se, but probably is just okay—""the poem is a work of fart in the age of biotechnological reproduction,""I think, before I call by my gastroenterological pharmacistto sort out whether the drugs are $800 or $160 a dose
65
new flatware set // @SoberedByBricks
the virtuous practice of appreciating what you've gotlike"oh this flatware set you've gifted me is perfect!the length and heft are exactly right..."etc etccompared and contrasted tothe capricious academic habit of ascribing value or significanceto nonsensei.e."oh this Warhol print is obviously a critique of consumerismand this wine contains notes of burgundy..."and so on.
53
I want the kooks and goofs[I need] summa what I want to surviveI want the kooks and goofsI need summa what I want [to survive]What we don’t want could dieI don’t want your pain or mineI want the kooks and goofsWhat we don’t want could die
130
They are crammed in narrow cages Like animals who bend raw against the bars, And those who are homesick lie on the floor Almost afraid of the sound of their voices. They wither away and their blood grows slow, Only a black stream of poison leaks from their mouths Which searches for and etches into a neighbor’s open wound — The prisoners are not well. The prisoners are all sick. They grow deaf and mute and blind, They hate themselves because they are so miserably alone. Because they sank into the chaos of ego, Because great proximity makes the face of a friend raw and ugly, Because everyone tramples over everyone to sit and eat and gloat.
113
Get In The Car // Stephen Ira
Get in the car: poop-poop! You freak out about your dick, I’m well-equipped. Everyone panics her dick, clockwork. This one is a very rare clock. You cry on the beach: “I should have been a butch.” “You should, but you would have transitioned.” (Keening): “Oh!” (Same figure, not keening): “I know.” I find boys to put your fist inside—we wake up to gossips sipping their nitrous nearby. His name is NOT Oliver but in his overalls he’s guilty that he made you sad. Now you’re sprawled wheelbarrow-ward with me. All men are only halfway here, even when we’re alone. What will be your next fanaticism? This time, we’ll make it one I share.
101
why do I only wantgrammatical coherence, why is it my onlynote, I wantgrammatical and philosophicalcoherence, as I see it          I resentcis anyone in the positionof incoherence like a womb                              a waiting roomwhy shouldn’t they have it?just becauseother white people praise mefor this poseand punish me if I do not adopt itdoesn’t mean no oneshould have any funor need tell me a storyinstead of a forest, the pathlessforest after which you getmarried      where I do, in fact, livebut am not permittedto visit
292
Skintight Mask // Danielle Keller
It was 2005, tornadic, and we were in a bedroom,in the house near the road and treelines, downupon the grassy Earth, far below the luminousgray firmament. I was a cruel and privilegedgirl, not yet able to spell words, embarrassinglycircumspect and yet bad at hiding secrets.      I was eating one of them microwave corndogs, watching one of them Krypt mini-documentary videos with mom—on one of them small optical discs in that Gamecube connected to that TV—when it said Mortal Kombat’s “gruesome graphic effects … helped to create a phenomenon that took arcades by storm.”       I asked mom what that meant. She said that meant it was like a real popular thing. I looked down at that microwaved corndog, at my dirty fingernails peeling back its porous, oily breading.       I remembered a few days ago in that bedroom with dad (I didn’t like to be alone; I was accomodated thoroughly) I was watching one of them Krypt mini-documentary videos when that actor (of that character Baraka) described that mask—with grocery store nails spraypainted silver as them sharp teeth—as skintight.      I was eating one of them microwave corndogs. I stared down at them moist specks of reheated fried batter stuck to that bare dermal pinkmeat (I only ate that breading, a picky and wasteful eater, refusing meat) apparently conspicuously enough to make dad tell me I knew I got that when I didn’t wash myself good enough, then laugh at my apparent confusion.I shouldn't have thought so much of that.It was a pristine overcast spring day andI didn't understand any of this but he thoughtI was feigning and embarrassed becausehe didn't realize that I had phimosis.
267
I overdraw my bank account in line at Chipotle.I overdraw my bank account beneath a goblinate sun.I overdraw my bank account buying servants for my avatarin Final Fantasy XIV Online: A Realm Reborn, and laugh for fifteen minutes,bothering everyone.I overdraw my bank account in front of the nicest guyat the co-op, buying ground cherries on a whim,with a blasting cap inside my tooth,with my idiot fingers on my idiot heart.I overdraw my bank account in beautiful West Chester, PA,flanked by gorgeous Nissan Roguesdancing with me on their hind legs like a helix unwinding filmed from high up above,fountains, fireworkso wet marinade I improvise at midnightturn my whole whatever into brinethe tasks I concoct to make my hullfeel useful, thatpermanent gavotteo steal me like batteriesback to the underworldpig me out on goblin salad barmellify me to tasty surfeit,o fuck me up like surplus justified,o thing of utilityo thing afraid to dieo empty fist, o one-inch punch, whileyou rack it up, I’m homekickin it, your original Ms. TeenStealth Suit 2009let the bills remind mehow vacant's the air beneath this carapacehow “lunch at my desk”how “what a relief”how easy thus to explain the needle and the loop,the invisible hand I left smashed in the car door,out of anger and forgetfulness, and look now,that famous fly escaping like godfrom a scooped out purse,a single green shouting thingto explode me
77
for you we're two lonely and vibrant individualssizzling dazzling differencesquizzical in quizzes the solutionjust for US! something newperfect and perfected for yourpalette and your wallet promisesalong with ten hundred thousand millionothers who used the same offer codeWOW10, wow one ten percent offeach month one hundred percent of a monthoff your life each month so easy i'm gonna be sickso everywhere i'm gonna be sick!
254
What happened to that David Frum? I'll tell you.David Frum two months ere this day-warm evedisposed himself to make acquaint a Norway Lasswho had not long ere then made viral newsfor taking to four limbs to run, like a horse.He learned her ways, and now's a mustang black(he kept his suit) of Norwegian woods.He says, "hrhrrhrhrrrhr LICK mE hrhr LiicK MEhrhrhhhhrrrhhhhhhhchkhcchkrhr LICCK ME h LICKme!" just how horses do, and hunts horseprey,i.e., other horses. He has not ate his master,but not for the horseshido code. She is simplytoo strong, too fast, too wise for him, and shecan also turn back into human form, if need be.In times as these does Davey Frum take to tweets,becoming bird as he has already horse. He says,without a hint of irony: Trump's business modelwas predatory: get rich by deceiving customers,cheating suppliers. His model of the world economyis also predatory: trade is bad, there must be a loser for every winner. You might say Trump was our first Marxist president. And Marxism is now failing again. I asked the horse girlabout this. She asks, "he went to university?"I say, I don't know, I would have to check.But yes, one presumes, and probably an ivy.She mumbles a half-baked joke about Professor Frumbeing a vegetable (a riff on 'ivy'-league, Ithink), then says "the Cold War broke their brain.
79
Make words, it’s easy. Wake up at 5am, someone is alwaysspouting bile, I am always ready.Every day, the money from the stategets a little smaller. We wipe our asseswith Bukowski, to scrimp on spending,I still need money for paper. Every day, it’s so luridinside and out the house.I stick my head up my assuntil quiet comes,to breed peace for a while,until I can write.Again.
138
Where is everyone // Mau Baiocco
I asked 'where is everyone'and you answered 'they're allon TV, look' but I couldn't see them.Then I ask again 'where is everyonethis time, really' and you get off the screenof my TV. 'Everyone is gone toget their TV license. Go.'I am aloof at the place whereeveryone is getting their TV license.I do the most cruel thing I can do in the queueto Gary Lineker, not letting him forgetabout shit. When we finally getto the place where everyone getstheir TV license there is no oneat the desk. 'Where is everyone'I ask. 'They're all gone' I'm told'the stations are taken over,your debts are cancelled, nowyou don't need a TV license.''They do licenses on the cheapnow, they're everywhere.' 'Ah'
36
We may never knowHow many tax $sWere spentBy the CIAConvincing poets, writers,Critics and editorsthis poem isn’t artfulbecause it has a message,which, by the way, is:Fuck the CIA.
144
oblation // David King
gabriel no longer inhabits my body, mercifullyinstead there is howling echoing behind “pulses” and “breatheing” the sea of the sentiment it starts in my blood and the colour of my blood is the same colour that the body of the flag bleeds wading in its warm puddle-pool stagnant bathwater between bruised fingers, tips spottedclots form and floatour forefathers rattle their tutorial volumes in our faces disapprovinglyyou touch me so intimately so sweet it makes me fucking sick that the world is not rightfully ours but unfortunately theirs oozing plasmatic heart between the lips and teeth i ask in supine who would you die for?would you die for holy oasis-haze delusion?or will you perish like the rest of us saintless beasts in crimson warpathyour body laying open spreadeagleGod’s eyes cast west
188
Can you answer me this? What do you do? Who do you prioritize? Does your conscience or guilt stop you? Or do you say “I lose sleep over this daily…”? Making the harm you feed with your bones about you. Do you care about people? Or is it only ever the rotating cast of 15 lookalikes who watch the same shows that you ignore the red flags from because someday you might fuck? Why are you shocked when I dislike you? Make your cults and stay in your “witchy vibes” apartments you never take care of. Making a joke out of sacred religions that were once true and cultural … until colonized so hard it died in everyone. Except white gays who love to know nothing, reject their relatives religions, and have high sex they can pretend is holy worship. You burn candles and call that radical. Burning people at the stake as “abusers” for mentioning your racism. And call that “self-care”.
218
No it was a grackle / yes I’m sure you can tell by looking at its tail / that says a lot about looking at something & knowing what it is / doesn’t it. / That one island off Norway where they’re trying to abolish time / nobody ages anymore / souls slip out their flesh suits / & bodies fall as young as yesterday. / Ink on the lip mistaken for blood. / Could you imagine people living / like animals / carefree he machine do its thing. / Summer’s annexed winter while we weren’t looking / for what will the poet eat for dinner / & here we are interested in manufacturing thunder. / Refuge from the lyric flourish the borders / of the sky and its insomnia for knowledge. / Observe this moment / how it confesses : the state body has entered ketosis & is beginning to break down / its people. A bluejay dropped into my periphery / & plucked a dragonfly from the air / & ate it and carried on / like a drone strike. / From a wound a cry a new calendar of falling. / I have not dreamt outside these corners. / It is one in the morning. / Listen: skunks are out there, somewhere, looting the dumpsters.
160
there's 2 gardens outside my window the first is to the east between my building and the lake invisible from the street but clearly seen from above. when I first saw it I thought to myself damn, how to get in? before I realized that it's private hemmed in between the towers of a nicer complex. the second garden is across the street behind a window in the opposite building from mine great big potted plants dangling from the ceiling. neither is accessible to me or mine but there's hope in the second garden and the precedent it sets for me and my new ceiling here, A hope that one day I will be my own garden. And I will be open to all comers, any time of day.
479
Who knew that twenty years later he’d sue Gawker to fulfill the revenge fantasies of a man so cartoon evil he’s yet to deny the rumor that he enjoys bathing in the blood of younger, hotter men? For every angle where he brained a rich guy or a cop on the take or his boss, there’s a story about Hulk Hogan snitching on wrestlers trying to form a union or stooging for a CEO or how his name is “Hogan” because he needed to appeal to Irish Americans. The only honest thing about Hulk Hogan is this heel turn, how the wealthy feel underappreciated and will snap on the lower classes that buffeted them before their desires turned towards colonizing the moon, towards using their wealth to escape the aftermath of their wealth, to go to a place where wealth has no meaning, and they, the wealthy, will have little to dine on but their meaninglessness. There’s Hulk Hogan, trying to stave off the reality that he’s best remembered as an orange relic from a decade our parents are embarrassed about because they remember him and not something good, like The Talking Heads or Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814. There’s just so much of him available, waving the flag and telling children to eat vitamins and drink milk and pray to God, by which he meant the United States of America. I mean, fuck this country. Who thought it was a good idea to film a man headbutting a flag bearing a hammer and sickle? More people love communism than Hulk Hogan. More people love communism than the United States. If I were to list everything the WWF built up in service of making Hulk Hogan look good, it would resemble a list of everything I love. Communism is one. Homosexuality is one. Macho Man Randy Savage is one. Imagine being on the wrong side of any of these matches. Imagine crying when Hulk Hogan joined the New World Order in 1996. Imagine liking a wrestler like Hulk Hogan enough in 1996 to cry over him like the disciples wept for Judas’ betrayal. Like Judas, Hulk Hogan will die and be buried. The ink on his back that says “immortal” will be a lie, too. There’s a short story about the hubris of a man who tattooed something that impossible on his back. More people love that short story than Hulk Hogan.
73
i feel old as old as the hills as weak as a kitten the material conditions for economic uncertainty have wore a hole in my smile a hole in one tooth and out with the other I’ll sleep on it but tomorrow at the crack of dawn I’ll have to pick a side because there’s no room for a poet in poetry
105
unlike unlife // Ahimaz Rajessh
particles prittering prattering pritter pratter building blocks of life first block growth then develop cities of laborers division of labors refuses to grasp the concept of division of laborers sentient cities will you or will you not embrace laborers sand particles pritt pratt pritter pratter sentient sand castles will they or will they not embrace residents building blocks of life locked in a battle of life and death
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two work songs // Dandi Meng
crouched over a corner desk thinking BPM as a theory of excess! Britney says get to work bitch! duh duh duh now get to work bitch. think how, post-revolution bass moves your body for better ## SOMEONE LET THE ANIME GIRL SLEEP, someone yells at someone else who's neither studying nor relaxing. Xixi tweets: "I like lo-fi beats but like...... sometimes the beats are too lo" they're right, I flip the page
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so we go in the woods to smoke some squares some squids some cigs and all that and none of us have a lighter so we try to use matches and they work and we were lightheaded and our friend has a silver can and it is freezing and so I ask what it is and so does my other friend and then my friend with the silver can takes out a balloon from his backpack and we get lightheaded this time and my friend talks and says this is awesome in a lower register you hear in nightmares where you are getting poked and prodded
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Necessity // Isabel Rae McKenzie
for everything i desire in excess i’ve never wanted money. thank god for that, b/c if i were a poor depressed alcoholic sex addict longing ultimately for cash, i’d be a far worse person and lover, or a landlord. i used to live in a square room with a mattress and a jar for cheap wine, drinking alone and never sleeping that way. i was happy with little and love. i don’t need much of anything to survive, just someone else’s shadow raising hell on the wall with pleasure casting animals with hands that shout we are angry & enough.
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orchids in their vase my body floating outside of physical space i am not a vacuum or anything other than girlthing tethered by the edge of silver strings & umbilical cords i fear things like Cm scales & soft things that are actually rotten under velvet skin you are nothing but a pile of worms i wash my hands with soap but they still smell of blood and death and violence i wash my hands and dry them but i cannot pretend genocide isn’t everywhere and it scares me, like this acute feeling that under my skin there are many ants and they crawl. they crawl, they crawl and with their six legs and strange bodies they mess with my neurons until all i can see is shooting stars. i mean, fascism is one hell of a numbing machine, i don’t even have fear to spare, i have accelerated out of terror into nothing, my brainspace a dissociation field & me being dragged right thru it we live in the central city of the Badlands and i never did drugs or got drunk enough to forget so defence mechanisms are kicking in, my sober body is at the fuck-it-all, the point of no return, the i’m too depressed to go to uni, i’m too anxious to look in mirrors, i am not even a person i am just a pretty mockery of one but i smile for the snapchat selfies that i send my best friends each filter another sickly “i’m alright” as if they can’t see the dark circles under my eyes i’m too young to be this old. the world keeps spinning, it does not stop. i bite my lip. i look at my hands & i don’t recognize them. i burn my tongue on too-hot tea. i text her and i think “there’s no way she could even care about me.” and while i draw the blinds, all around me the world burns. and floods. and prayers mean nothing. i wash my hands again.
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Sudden Oak Death // Chris Costello
Sometimes even trees lose the feeling in their fingers. Introduced in nursery stock, the disease begins innocent as a crack in the trunk of the victim tar-black sap churns from the canker on the skin of the plant the sickness takes root inside the tree inch-worms its way onto the leaves browning them like old photographs the spores devour the bright and the new floating fluorescent cancer rainwater their most loyal carrier turns the forest to collateral nothing with a history will survive new saplings spring up on old soil all they want is space is home the only thing left to care about? There is no cure only control isolation early detection is the key when the first crack sounds in the wood the disease has an impossible appetite all the trees are stripped bare and bleeding too frail to remember daylight but even that isn’t enough to slake the thirst of the virus it wants to swallow everything we built together doesn’t matter that we have already left most of it behind.
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Insanity // Howard Baker
Mr. Jacob Bond, age 40, a book-keeper, suffered a moment of insanity as he was dressing this morning before the mirror in the bedroom shared by him and his wife— Bond in his white underwear, Bond of the parafine body with his flat arms and legs and crowned by a shining scalp, was visited by a moment of insanity: Ridiculous to gaze through a pair of glasses At a shirt handed one by one’s wife And to feel in its starched erectness A fear of its coming to life And taking up the rote of the office Unconcerned by the absence of Bond.
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Art #2 // matt koester
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There is change and the I passes through it. I pass through it. Vomit in the rain. Pockets of the rain open. The rain keeps referring to me. I ask the rain to refer to me. The rain understands. They say to me: I am the rain, a raindrop is like a finger. I understand the rain. The rain tells me what it’s like to drip off my attire. I tell the rain we are not so different after all the fighting that happened indoors. It was the panties, wasn’t it? The family finds that I have contradicted myself. The family finds my closet, the one I I’ve kept in parenthesis. I am told that people don’t need to see that stuff. I’m called transvestite, called crossdresser, called out, pulled out of the closet where I keep my clothes. I am not familiar with the “lyric I,” the lyric I walks up to me, shakes my hand, hugs me, helps me pull the skirt on, helps with my makeup, tells me what it’s like to drip off my attire.
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Art #1 // Alyssa
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Police // Brendan Joyce
The contract makes clear who gets to grieve what & when.
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Guy Fieri tells the viewer Flavortown is where the gravitational force of bacon warps the laws of space & time, that they are perfect like the bruised peaches at the back of the produce stand, & they believe him, because the television leaks neon pink light onto their carpets, like Coke cans with knives puncturing the bottoms, funneling seasoning into eager hands to salt the evening just right, & when I come into the living room after Dad turns on Diners, Drive-Ins, & Dives, that is me saying I love you, because I don’t know any other way how, & you could put that on a flip flop & it’d still be beautiful.
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I, the Fisherman // Amy Marvin
Sitting aloft on my hill of green, watching the chatter float by while clutching a spear so I can puncture words that escape their tether. You can see an open river, swarming with myriad fish, some uncouth and others bobbing with disgusting regularity. I, the fisherman, with lettered reel, now plucking life beyond its measure and splaying to my cohort. Sometimes we chew them, and delight in our bounty, while other occasions call for throwing them back in, killing off camera. Reflected faintly in the river, I have no lip to hook, and no cheek to discuss, but I do have a long bevel to gut aplenty, with no belly to fill. When the river runs thin, I continue to fish, scanning for more sickly ones to thrust into, my jaws salivate all the same. When the river dries up, or the speakers vanish, I pack my tackle box and vacation in Europe again. There is always chatter in other rivers, I will fish again.
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Do you remember in like 2012, I guess, that thing that came out about the poets, “comfortable and/or rich”? Well, I remember this guy I knew whose name was on there (comfortable), I liked him a lot, walking around all day, happy and industrious in corduroy pants, whistling unless I'm imagining the whistling, and I, all the time afterwards wanting to say hey man, give me twenty fucking dollars right now why not I know you can I know you wouldn’t even feel it going then, every day, sunshine, autumn, quietness, him going his own brilliant way, me lying dead from cannon fire in the grass all my garbage parts dewy with red goo and my thumbs doing thumbs-ups to the severed air and twenty dollars in my teeth-- him somewhere on the blinking earth paying for his own coffee, or else me on the blinking earth paying for mine This takes place during the brief period when everyone in Philadelphia was reading The Grand Piano for some reason.
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One More "S" in the U.S.A // Langston Hughes
Put one more s in the U.S.A. To make it Soviet. One more s in the U.S.A. Oh, we'll live to see it yet. When the land belongs to the farmers And the factories to the working men — The U.S.A. when we take control Will be the U.S.S.A. then. Now across the water in Russia They have a big U.S.S.R. The fatherland of the Soviets — But that is mighty far From New York, or Texas, or California, too. So listen, fellow workers, This is what we have to do. Put one more S in the U.S.A. [Repeat chorus] But we can't win by just talking. So let us take things in our hand. Then down and away with the bosses' sway — Hail Communistic land. So stand up in battle and wave our flag on high, And shout out fellow workers Our new slogan in the sky: Put one more S in the U.S.A. But we can't join hands together So long as whites are lynching black, So black and white in one union fight And get on the right track. By Texas, or Georgia, or Alabama led Come together, fellow workers Black and white can all be red: Put one more S in the U.S.A. Oh, the bankers they all are planning For another great big war. To make them rich from the worker's dead, That's all the war is for. So if you don't want to see bullets holding sway Then come on, all you workers, And join our fight today: Put one more S in the U.S.A. To make it Soviet. One more S in the U.S.A. Oh, we'll live to see it yet. When the land belongs to the farmers And the factories to the working men — The U.S.A. when we take control Will be the U.S.S.A. then.
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Two Poems // Nikki Wallschlaeger
Takes One to Know One Joy, Happiness, and Euphoria walk into a bar after their shift to get hammered on 2-for-1's   Gratitude takes their order hoping the tip she earns lasts until next payday Poetry St. Not one city is affordable unless you're lucky
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Stupid & Mean // Nomax Jodevaski is a poet from Los Angeles, California. They're not really online.
I don't want to be smart. I wanna be mean Stupid and mean I read all the email and everybody's poems sound like they're apologizing for something they haven't done yet. Do you understand? If you're homeless, you get three murders a year, and if you're still homeless on Christmas, you get three more, and they roll over. There's accounting tricks that keep that number down, but something is going to happen. I can't stop them. Neither can you. It's a mess.
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sitcom // Stefan Mohamed
the setup is fairly straightforward we are drunk caterpillars semi-cocooned in mutant coral our room in a state of permanent almost-collapse a million eyes instead of walls blinking wet swamp for carpet popping thick there is a constant ululating whine a constant gut-quaking rumble a constant chitter chitter of glow spiders they always steal our stuff you can see the sea through the gap layers of tar rippling stubborn sharks grifting dead ships sinking i am hyperactive deeply, deeply insane five mouths screaming murder rhymes you are depressed always crying oilslick tears casting bedraggled rainbows on your dried out skin i promise if you stick with it past the first few episodes it gets really good
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Procedural Poem // Kay Gabriel
My phone corrects it to avant-grads Avant-grads—there's more than one? And what could it mean? Behold the avant-grad: Good texture, beautifully moist—no, that/s a cake. Oh! He enters with a suitcase! It's light, nothing inside. Goodbye, avant-grad! I love you, go die!
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peaceably; parse peace as secretly still killing in another country; make pacts with Satans in silence; are serpents in serpenticides, murdering civilians. You admire the ones who win this system sonically; seeming sensible in the same misaction as the men before. You would like to elect a woman to drone this American sound, if she can do it silently; in the name of reform; fresh stangnance; stasis; stoppage of left fields. Yes you admire the presidents who send drones.
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El vulcan Tacaná Es prueba que los humanos Sigan pensando que el mundo Es plano-- puedes hacer líneas Como fronteras pero el mundo Tiene al menos 4 dimensiones I can prove it to you on a table With a beer bottle, time, plate tectonics , All poems should end chinga la migra until the holocaust is over
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the new arcadia // molly mcdougal
another unfunded summer night another tranny dyke sucking dick in the arcade of the adult shop for a little bit of gas money. hand in her hair, he pumps a cock tasting of pre-cum, piss, and b.o. into her bored mouth as she thinks of all the unpaid work waiting for her. wiping the taste of cum off her tongue she imagines professors watching, questioning the discourse of sucking dick, commenting on her empowerment. summer always seems too short and fall always comes too soon.
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well anyway I used to think that looking was quite a lot like fucking like oh, I didn’t mind things drilled through to my optic nerve with fingernails to spurt but the birds are now out here and tomorrow is the hottest day ever they’re saying and they have those little quick hollow bodies don’t they, flying unknowing they’re dead and turning eyes necrophile like the trees do, the streams and whales &c. in the water glittering more salinated under maybe one-to-seven specific men with knives unseen but still with knives and still living killing the little quick hollow bodies we’re sharing and binding one day together in toothed or eyed response drawing new things to penetrate our jellies I guess, I hope
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Another Hauntology // Mathilda Cullen
for Bartleby All around: an envelope unlicked. The roosters, as one could have expected, are taking out the twilight. A village assembled to mourn futurity. Families are gathered, their heads bent against the weight of the sunset. They are trying to hold it up. They are failing to hold it up. A father brews a pot of coffee, a gesture of strength against repetition. The people form a line and the line is this one. A break in the chain of the poem that is these people that is this history: a gesture of strength against repetition. I am firing blanks walking toward Wall Street aiming at the idea of it and the lizards only the gun is jammed and I am without a gun; there is no revolution. And from the cold dark a tongue reaches out to lick. Stampless, the envelope lies on the table. Some shit like that.
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i logged onto twitter dot com today and there's some kind of drama about subtweeting poets who make more money from a year of speaking gigs than i've made in my life at the evidence shredding factory where my boss banned iPhones because I was posting on mastodon all day ("tbh if you'd pull the trigger on the last cop in the world, then you're ok with me") trying to build alternatives to existing institutions when the existing institutions are the problem what would it mean to make non-alternative alternatives or something do you know what i mean? Imagining what David would say since he's been banned from twitter (rip) for being too opinionated about instagram poetry the twitter weltanschauung is getting to me accelerationist posters dominate the day what if this facebook libra blockchain thing means critical support for pewdiepie's move from youtube to dlive where he can have his heated gaming moments uninterrupted by his Disney sponsors who prefer their fascism cryogenically frozen. I'm tired of saying 'edginess was invented by the brands to sell jeans to teens', so instead edginess is what happens when corporate funded media conglomerates need to profit off of tv programming for children who have nowhere to go besides the living room. Behind us now is the living room economy unless you imagine phones as living rooms (what if your phone was the cops) for 'millennials' who have 'decided' not to buy homes & instead decorate their IG living rooms with vacation pictures, memes of sea otters holding hands, and aphorisms like "snuggling feels important." Anyways, we were talking about wife guys or gaming during infrastructure week or paintbucket dot page & the aesthetics of leftist literary journals in the 20th century. Something about flarf, too; I'm a podcaster now, so it's all jumbling up in my head, the conversations with writers I'd never thought were talking over the chatter of liberalism during the #resistance years is that now or then bush or trump Well, infrastructure week is here, so let's roll up those fucking sleeves on our white or light blue collared shirts, and project a real common sense approach to fixing America's crumbling infrastructure. That's what these poems have been about: infrastructure. If you've learned anything, it's that we need to build a global network of subways, so we can all just endlessly commute to work, never arriving reading poetry books like comic books on the living room of our phones it's called praxis i learned it while listening to Vanessa Place talk with the Red Scare podcast. That's all this irony is: an endless commute. So let's talk about infrastructure not the data that too is an archive. Get me a poem: We Lived Happily During THE War Forgive me: I have killed jokes & irony. They are dead. Long live Jokes & Irony. This is a funeral now. We are burying these martyrs. It's infrastructure week in the graveyard. We're digging graves if this commute ever ends. "To my comrades: I regret that I will miss the rest of the revolution. Thank you for the honor of having me in your midst." Don't beg for forgiveness: organize.
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just like home // Kerry Lloyd
the storm took down some trees earlier. the whole town looks like a wasteland.                 just past albert street                 there’s a silver van on the side of the road,                 turned over on its right side,                 covered in gashes and dents and mud,                 unmoving on the front lawn of an old man’s home.                 broken glass and metal scattered on asphalt.                 an old crying man being questioned.                 a cop speaking through gnashing teeth.                 i see it only for a moment as i pass by.                 i don’t slow down.                 it’s a story i will only ever know the middle of. i know i told you that it made me kind of sick, but i think i like the town like this. it feels honest, it feels like home
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Much Like Cagliostro, I // Holly Raymond
used alchemy to change into a cute girl annoying & always talking about it like black earth putrefied in a little cup upon death & filtered up as through a sieve piss & shit & awful gore o i can’t i won’t look remember when I read those books on the aurum potabile and found it was mostly old men drinking urine (I’m referring to anime) (I do not remember how to shut up atm) I’ll never forget. I’ll never forget it I too am become specially super rare, small en- gulfed in serpents and a perfect medicine for all humours
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C7H5NO3S // Alexis Bates
Sugared tongues sour in the typical way. I put my mouth on yours, and I think your body reacts only to things I do poorly. Is it the effort? or the decade? I think you must sweeten only in watching my decay. I exist moment by moment. Where is the you in that?“there is something to be said about words that sound. sounding to memories, or fear, or future, or other things. if my words can bring strangeness - oddity - the weird - to life, it is sound.”
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Can't Corner the [Theodor A-] ‘Dorno! // James Cactus / Alyssa Emiko
The fact that so many books still name Louis Armstrong as "the greatest or most significant or most influential" trumperteer ever only tells you how far jazz music still is from becoming a serious art.Theador W. Adorno German philosopher, sociologist, psychologist and composer(1903 - 1969) When we first met you you'd been reading Adorno  And you said that I ought to try reading Adorno  Now even I still haven't read much Adorno but since then I got clear that nobody reads what he wrote back when he was alive, or cares much at all ‘bout the Marxist scholar Theador Adorno. Everybody, additionally, every last person  alive as well knows not just they but everyone else doesn't read much of or care much for the work of the early-to-mid 20th-century public intellectual Adorno. Probably, if  we're being honest, even, yes, that's right, Adorno, himself, didn't much, no sir, really, now, care for the things which he, meaning, the man, himself, the self-same, Adorno, said, wrote, or otherwise proliferated about the circles and so on where in which said discoursing got trafficked or with him got to be thought of as as some kinda public intellectual. (But  this now, this is like an academic question, one I find rather disinteresting, given the subject-matter, namely: the German philosopher, sociologist, psychologist, and composer Theador Adorno.) I don't really have a sense of how he was, as a person, no, and he could've been, yes, perfectly charming and decent. It's not my area of expertise. I'm sorry. It's not.  And I sus-pect (I don't know, but I sense) you don't care much for Adorno, either. You were just young and impressionable when you first read Adorno. But hey, at least it's not S-S-S-Søren Kierkegaard!
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shut up & eat // Ahimaz Rajessh
shimmering mouths & heads neither ask us nor wish for us to return the favor because you will not but if you do and we will not but if we oblige mark our words you will all end up walking without heads on your shoulders machinating heads shut your mouths & eat your words working hands & feet cease work sway heads clap tap & shakalak
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The riot is shot through with confetti. Bullhorns warn of sunstroke & promote politicians executing well rehearsed dance-offs. I would like to let go of the heat inside myself, I think as I trade flirts in line for the Starbucks bathroom with a slender swim champ. If I can only hold a man in my mouth in a Starbucks bathroom, so be it. If the whole city must piss in the supply closet, so be it. Out front Port Authority the hot dog man kisses at me with the tenderness of the water boiling his sausage in the sun. He must smell in me what his father smelled in his son. Drenching Manhattan; we riot for pride in our credit scores & having escaped the country we author. The streets throb with the Bank of America’s balloons. They float higher into the cloud of rainbow confetti. Between the batons & the face paint I can smell the gunpowder of an unfettered state. The skyscraper glass glitters out of sight above our heads. A police helicopter watches over us with the concern of a friend. Please be advised: the storm shellacking the continent is bad content. The far off thunder punctuates our time of wild opulence. I don’t have a politic. I'm just a child in a mortgage application asking to be free. I have been claimed by the pharmaceutical money laundering operation again. They told me how much I’m worth. I stood in ovation. The nation stands at attention deficit. We have petitioned it for a few more minutes before closing time. It has obliged in compensated shots. Cops crowd the exits. Standing between us & the way out, nothing but cops.
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Minimal Pair // Tom Snarksy
They tell you to jump and you say how high, then measure out the NyQuil in careful little cups. Your whisper has two small bullet holes in it so I can’t make out what it is you want me to do; sleep in the valley with me, or maybe Rimbaud was a reactionary at the end of his life, I don’t know you trailed off so much it was impossible to tell
170
Don’t you know love is messy? You said we are scraps of the universe tasked to see itself         -- and now I see that whenever          I gaze into your eyes,          a galaxy all in hazel.         How funny we happened to cross paths.         Long ago we might have combusted         in the same star         and our atoms once collided --         we have a history of bumping into each other dear, it’s been so long.         I still remember every contortion of your vocal chords,         from every confession tender         to every word shouted         at police shields.         I stand with you still.         And they,         they will falter and shake         on their ratty knees as         blood and booze spill to the sewer.         You know love is messy.
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Gloss and luster consigned to my chapped lips Backing up buses always fuck with the class divide Town square in a new pair of gold dentures Ride the high at the gates of Factory 109 White liquor hits me in the hóng kŏu Lingering mother lamb freshly painted on the toilet seat Millions of corporate names swell rampant like shāo kǎo in the plumbing That familiar taste of atrophied hip pocket animal juice Presence of freshly cut shallots in your underwear Opalescent nights blush with the energy of a dried plum’s crease Your pockmarked dawning ethos leaves me anguished and breathless more than a time again Dreams of the proletariat crush me love me lose me as I tremble into brand after brand Slip me into seamless digital integration beyond this never-ending societal joke
237
If I must have a body I will bend it to these empty carafes & clink their necks together in my tarantula hands. On my astral projection, I will inhale what I can. The can I dragged to the dumpster begged for forgiveness. The dumpster whispered with conviction. The bottles echoed the same shatter when they went in. When there are three dozen glasses on a tray, gathered in my name, I like that. When I started, if you dropped a glass, the restaurant, united, would erupt into: “Job Opening!” The stars would shatter across my field of vision as I peeled the shards out of my shaking spider paw. I take pride in my aptitude for having my hands full of crystal. I take the crystal out of my hands one at a time & pour out the twenty dollar remains of a bottle of wine. If a guest spills wine on me, it is a miracle: water off the duck’s back. If we drop every thing, for even five minutes, they will beg for forgiveness. When they beg, I will only see stars & hear whispers.
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Joy // Kevin Latimer
i’m in the air like lightning. like everywhere i’ve ever wanted to be is here. everyone, too. Will Smith is clutching a comet in his right hand. he throws it at me. everything & everyone i’ve ever loved comes crashing towards me at once. but i don’t care. i’m in the air. i’m weightless
62
Of course I want to sit with you— to float weightless on your breath above the bluebell and the whitethorn at the east end of the orchard. Of course I want to rest. I want to sleep. But listen, we cannot let the landlords live.
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Hangoverland // Brad Liening
There are lots of books They’re very dense and hard to follow Current events are insane and your phone is broken You’ve got one plastic bottle of water It’s the disposable kind and it’s an eighth full Your red eyeballs are raw Your dry lip is split You’re late for work You’re one wasteland over from the wasteland you’re supposed to be in When the firstlings of spring arrive With news of the latest mutations A snake with wings is no longer technically a snake Here your understanding comes to an end But not everything needs a name Your coffee is reheated day-old coffee Your beard of bees is askew It takes you years to puke
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Or a Train? // Dogmaspussy
Please excuse my own wife’s tourism in a red sedan. I have never been more intensely dissatisfied as a married man.
228
I. A deep tone in the infancy of time Our universe sustained the Brown Note For three-hundred-thousand years Before the dawn of meaning— Sad, the only tone in town Sound so low and alone Whose name lapsed into infamy Fled town, flocked back And got caught up again— Whose derivative floristry flourished afar Throw cushions crenelate The outskirts of an evening sulk My only enemies are those who talk Their one desire is me And what I am Which is not to be fucked with— WILL THE DESPOTISM OF THE WORLDLY EVER CEASE? II. Tonight I glower at the stars, selfless expanse of space And smell the species basting in its piss— I read Novalis and I hate the nouveau rich. They drive in any clime. They make up lies Like 'health' and 'crime.' They tell the worker how to tell the time. Then is everyone equally sad? To feel less chemical, be plastic. Having been resolved to snuff it, what stop short of death Should one not stoop to re-enact? What could I change, the world instead? My name or destination?
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a flashing stoplight swinging above the four-way intersection marks a fifteen-foot span from our summer-heat window screen; this city is a town because your city ain’t a city if you can hear a mouse fart at three in the morning. oppressive virginia summer, cocaine-sweat on my forehead, and here’s me expecting the stoplight to produce some tiny noise which cannot be heard over the day- time traffic —“tic-tic-tic-tic,” or “bzz-bzz-bzz-bzz”— but it does no such thing. a drooping flag clings to its mast without even a slight breeze to bring it the shape and smell of honor, bloody horror. then, old glory stirs to a rustle brought on by diesel fumes and noisome hints of an oncoming semi; the rig clambers up old route seven, more harbinger than herald. at eight minutes past three a blue pick- up truck rolls down both windows and kills the engine. metal is blasting from the dash, and all is lost.
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Sweetness and Light // Brad Liening
At the grocery store buying essentials wondering what you’re forgetting and obsessing over the obvious the latest administrative minion slipping out of the news onto her yacht and into the blood-clot sea other funny quirks lead to human beings eating cold lunches in dark mines happiness is often indistinguishable from despair said the dumbest academic who ever lived
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Freak Variations // Dominick Knowles
    when we drowned     the poem     in silt and spit,     it turned     the color of burnt     polenta, sounded like a pan deglazing, olive oil sighs in suicide leaps.     we said something     toothless, like:     “the world makes milk     from the stones     it slaughters”     and thought it an alibi. by afternoon, we were furious as gnats sitting cross-legged on a bookshelf, noosed between spasm and salute     a couple of tantric bozos     with nothing in our bellies     but a nylon whinge,     freak variations     on a busted guitar.
67
my own bad art is done with you but i am still you. i want my friends to be more successful than me in life in general, to watch their good lives from my good good hidey-hole. meanwhile, i’ve decided to pick up left-wing terrorism as a hobby. meanwhile, this is the meaning meaning: to be masturbated to by a police officer.
65
Whereas: 1. There is a course 2. drawn down the crack — 3. the yawning fissure 4. in Turkish fascist power 5. which longs for the floe therefore 1. of molten lead. 2. It will require more 3. Courage to retreat than 4. Advance. We have 5. Time to drill.
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I’ve never been more holy or less useless, more suited to my state or less resigned to doom. I say “Things are going great!” and it’s definitely true! I don’t miss my friends, or poetry, or the sweet shiftless succor of sloth. I don’t miss my body alone with its echoes, blooming. All the snow is melting and I’m teetering on my heels at the edge of expectation. I consider the concept of capitalism and I think: Yes! This is good. This is exactly how the world should be. I am as emotionally and spiritually fulfilled as a fish crawling its way from the ocean to plant its scummy flag in the wet slick of sand. This beach is mine! Everything I can see is mine, or will be if I so desire! I’m coaxing cognition from the clenched throat of my calling. I throw a bag of my dog’s shit into my neighbor’s trashcan and when he protests, I don’t care. I don’t reach back into the can to remove the bag, don’t apologize profusely, don’t give him a sheepish thumbs-up as I slink away. I cannot be intimidated or coerced. I am self-actualizing and it feels incredible! Irony has no power here. A flawless future unfurls before me like a red carpet whose shade reminds me of everything but blood. The paparazzi a chorus calling my name, begging to know my secret for the morning edition. Here it is: Forget forgiveness, ignore impulse, dream only of dividends. I’m happy. I mean it. I swear.
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my eye is on the sparrow, lying still a twisted mass of purple, blue, and gray how my knuckles calloused how my fingers split, blood threatening to stain the surface. white acrylic; machine washable? yes! working for so long, to be convenient to produce an article just for you six-and-a-half feet high, to keep you warm will you think of me, under your blanket? consider the hours labored under it? stifling warmth: material or manmade? “all for you, a dear friend,” i said as i stitched no payment deemed necessary, a gift between friends, your eye only on the whole
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CrimeWatch // Seth Copeland
Bar shift midweek, living my best lie drooling out sour tap hops for boomer cops staying nextdoor @ the Wyndham, some course on how Jesus needs the kids sober & scared. “Damn fuck straight,” blurts tall one. I’ve heard him say this twice tonight. They’re pinker every hour, talking shit on shop, laughing heavier than flashlight stars, pavement. Walking by I’ve heard SOC ialism three times that way, like anti-prayer. 80s radio, synth darts & vocal lush, send them back to winning the big game or whatever fuckery class hounds dream alive again 2 snuff the voice that tells them how fuckt they’ve let it get. Between rounds: “No offense, but your generation’s a bunch of —” Eyes wet. Pint greased. I can see how much he’s convincing himself, slow turn, a toy you didn’t touch for a year & the battery death rattle it wheezes. That’s it. That’s the look. Other one just stares into the brass railing, nodding. Yeah it’s me, it’s always me, why a worn hog warped and caved smiles at you from the polish, dull as a badge.
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Muffler Man // PAINT BUCKET
Kirby Jayes is a writer and musician in Washington DC. You can find their songs at birthrates.bandcamp.com and anything else at @jirb_jirb_jirb on bird ig
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marx said communism is whenever you give trans people cash online. i am horny for the financially stable lifestyle and when i think about you capital boys i violate the terms of service of this website. you fuck the fact that i am lucky enough to have enough to be enough. we must own the means of production of ourselves.
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Let's Get Sued By Rattle // Nomax Jodevaski
If you know one thing about the poetry magazine Rattle, it's that it pays. If you know two things, it's that it's uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh also, okay, they're racist. There's a story you hear about it, they published an issue billed as all-New Yorkers but they fucked it up and every poem was written by a white guy. Don't quote me on that, and before anyone responds litigiously, let me state now that whatever I say here is to the best of my recollection and probably not libelous. But yeah, all white New York guys. The worst kind of white guy. And my feeling is that you shouldn't debase yourself for the $50 or whatever they pay for a poem responding to the news or whatever. I'm not doing a bit. but also, they also are entirely funded by a California property management company. Isn't this a Maoist page? and No!, I'm not going to do the research, because we can say with the same certainty that the next president of the big bad U.S.A. will not be a woman I invented named Charlotte Thompson of Paris, Texas, that they 100% verifiably tore down a two-story rent-controlled apartment after pulling a mostly illegal eviction on a working class latino family now in this midst of desperate finanicial tragedy which coincidentally has something to do with the job site that became of their home, of the lot which is becoming a disgustingly tasteful tower of condominiums which -- as sure as the morning will come tomorrow, we can say this -- will become the home of someone whom I know -- I know it, I can feel it in my bones with absolute albeit legally irrelevant certainty -- has down played the sex crimes of a business partner to end an argument with their dear and beloved son. What's the howling-the-n-word-at-the-moon ugliness of the 4chan-right next to the plain evil of any landlord in human history? Their slush pile is extremely competitive, but for what? The poems can't do anything in the world but die. Like zombies.
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B I G M O O D // Nicholas Bon
It may look like I'm doing nothing with my time— like I'm waiting for these collapsing days to catch up to me—but don't you realize that I'm building my brand? What do I have besides my online presence? Certainly not my body. If I ever get sick I'll have to really hype my GoFundMe because I don't have health insurance. So rise n' grind motherfucker. Modem tones sound like love songs from a speaker hung inside my skull. I'm light-headed. I'm on the clouds. I'm trying to kill every one of my idols before they inevitably let me down. If I was famous, I would spend my life more nervous at the gas pump than I already am. But the paparazzi are not interested in how I might slide a wedge between being and nonbeing. So fuck it. I'll make this my poem for the end of the world. O Paparazzi, where will you be then? In the dark? After the gasoline's gone. After the money's gone. Soon, I'll be pacing anxiously around a waiting room as the void grows ever larger. This is not how it's supposed to go. I just want to watch old skateboard videos buffer over dial-up, see reality burst into itself like paper fortune tellers, finally pop a perfect kickflip down the biggest set of stairs you have ever seen.
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Destiny // David W. Pritchard
Suddenly I believe in destiny again and not for a particularly good reason. I wanted a burrito—but that was later, now (in the destiny anecdote) I'm driving, I'm in my car which is soon to be replaced, I'm driving thinking about this replacement, I'm doing a C+ job, B+ if you don't count the parking lot—tomorrow I have to drive back to the same lot to go to the same pet store (the harness we got for the dog is too big, we have to return it again), driving I realize I'm in the wrong lane, there's nobody behind or ahead of me so I turn left anyway.
50
Don't tell me you want to get famous because if you actually want to get famous you can go download FL Studio 12 today There's a million online video tutorials and you can get famous just making those
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Chance Encounter // David W. Pritchard
This morning walking the dog on High St. I see a sign, WILLIAMS' USED CARS, it made me think of Zach. I thought nothing of it after that until a little further on, just before the guy asked what kind of pit bull Shelley is ("she's a mix" I say, "pit bull with something else"; "she's all terrier" the reply) another sign: VILLON'S. Suddenly I am on some avenue of the poets in some nightmare alternative to the universe I am used to, Andy and Zach have been scooped by administered society itself! Williams selling used cars, Villon selling discount liquor (it kind of fits…) close enough now to see the sign says DILLON'S, and the other signs besides the one I mistook where the D at the head is more clearly a D. My panic abates. Culture may be total but you don't like to be reminded of it, not like that, not as if it was some kind of chance encounter.
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cicada season means grotesque reproductive disorder but recall "A. A violent order is a disorder; and B. A great disorder is an order. These two things are one" and given the climate of things now you may consider clinging to a tree and moulting and abandoning that exuvia of moribund order and then go on and locomote like hot dust
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Me and everyone else uh Joemassey were wondering whyre you always talking about your childhood, and that dickstuff, or like when that woman you used to hit on or whatever pulled down your pants and showed your dick to—wait, yes or no, was that a sexthing? And, also, man, you can't be hitting up people and you just cannot hit a woman ever I don't see see why I gotta be the one explaining all this. I've never heard of you but you can't just go through life saying it's somebody else's fault or whatever. Yeah, sorry. but Anyway. This is bout How you've Deployed the Traumatic Thing your Mither did to you (which is totally fucked up! Nobody is denying that!) as a way to duck a #MeToo rap. But it's not even that, because like, c'mon, you're fine, And we all know you're fine, because if you really were like actually cancelled, you'd have the sense to keep your head down. But yeah the one thing is you're being really tiresome, Joe, when you make us particpate in your Tendency. And like Jim "This is the End" Morrison is why you started writing poetry? Like he did coke and got laid, dude. Nobody— okay, like that dickt hing you made your ex do for? you? Never happened to anybody who like even fuckin opened for Doors. Or like, crapola, they didn't start bragging about it. My guy. Like. What're you even talking about? "Back when I was thirty-five" like that was five years ago. Like nobody got even a sixty month chip without having a pile of 30 day ones lying around. How many times have you eaten a first year cake? Not even irony, this: You act like we want to killyou when we really don't, Okay? Watch that AntiFæscista video of Anthony or whoever again, you can see someone pulling them off him. We don't want to have hurt you, really. It's just like even if it is out on accident your ex and your dick and Andy Ngo or whoever all getting in sillystring it's like uh it's cool but just please how about not with us?
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Rent costs vertebrae and knucklebones and skin and injections into your spinal cord, boss’ clean hands gripping syringes slowly and evenly skewering lungs and meat and gristle picked from between molars wrestled out of hiding by a meaty, twisted tongue, spat out, coughed into crumpled napkins 35 years he clung to the side of the meat grinder and they took his backbone, and acid seared his skin. He thanked them for every second. Comfort costs your tastebuds Life costs your time.
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Polar Bears // Dan Boucher
meanwhile, white televisioneers are finally admitting we might be doomed but they’re all data, no solutions, par for the... well, you know. just like you know they will never help, never shout “Get off your ass and do something; call your governor, call your comrades, call a general strike, call four-one-one (is that still a thing? someone should look into that) and tell them ‘People are dying in an empty lot full of weeds behind the sugar shack next to the big maple along a cracked corridor of asphalt with a chain-link fence bordering a blank acre, a sea of blight, a tick farm, scratchy, dry, and bleeding to death. well, maybe not here, operator, but certainly somewhere.’ Shake strangers by the shoulders, Tell them, ‘we're drowning.’ Pantomime ‘drowning’ when they pretend to not understand. Bulge your eyes and cheeks, flap your arms, stage-drop onto the sidewalk, flail like a dying fish trapped on a salt-crusted ship’s deck. Then lie still and let your dry tongue fall out of your mouth like a cheap cartoon. Lock eyes with them and say, ‘Don't fuck with me about polar bears, I'll fuck you up.’”
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Save the Humanities // Amy Marvin
Finally driven to that roof with a hatchet in my hand, unnoticed by the guardians with their heads stuffed under earth. Propelled like the fart of a gnat up the rafters of the thinkery, I am the gnat, I'm bringing fire, I'm replacing clouds with smoke. We’re spreading the light of nature and nature is angry. The man in the basket screams, "The roof! The roof! The roof is on fire!" and it's so funny, I can't stop myself from laughing. I can't stop my beating heart just like I can't argue away my debt. The clouds? They’re loftier now, he was a total reply guy. The weaker and stronger argument? They started a GoFundMe and moved to Baltimore. It’s not like anybody died, don’t be so dramatic, they just lost their Bursar to public housing and had their megaphones taken away. The lie between walled-off genius and angry mob had already crumbled years ago, the tenured were just too partial and pampered to admit it. Save the humanities, crack open a university.
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Sugar, in Water // Carl Harris
In Men In Black (1997), Vincent D’Onofrio, his name still yet unknown to me, first pulled back that slack skin around his skull and appeared for all the world to be a pair of dentures wearing human flesh, demanding “Sugar, in water” (and then there’s that great scene, where the little gun makes a huge bang; inspired to quote Will Smith for my parents, I loved to test the waters of my potty mouth: “I’m gonna break this damn thing”) and when my parents dropped me off with the son of a cop, he showed me his cut of Full Metal Jacket (1987), fast forwarding to all the bits with shooting, R. Lee Ermey cursing, Vincent D’Onofrio (in 1987) growling “I live in a world of shit” and today, my landlord’s left gaps in his cabinetry from which cockroaches emerge. With each one I kill beneath the Swiffer, beneath the shoe, down the garbage disposal, I ask, “Was that your auntie, Vincent D’Onofrio?”
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A car alarm, your breathing, and the tide walk into a bar. Then they walk out of the bar, and then they walk back in again, a big neon sign blinking the entire time. Erasing an erasable pen won’t help you if you’re allergic to it, although it might help the pigs, tired as they were of circling every answer on their standardized tests and after a few months being sent thick envelopes with RESULTS written on them which, once opened, revealed a single daffodil pressed in a diploma. Next to the car whose alarm is going off is a whole dark alley of shopping carts, ready to be rearranged into a giant ouro- boros you could use to summon a succ- ubus to go shopping with you, to squeeze each of the avocados in order to see which ones are ripe. Once you’ve found enough and carved them up, you can hold the seeds up in the air with one hand and say, however ungrammatically, “This is the pits,” and the sighs will go on for miles.
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after years of listening to podcasts on my commute, i've decided to seize the means of production, and talk: have a conversation, bullshit, learn, laugh, and say what the twitter TOS forbids (the only safe space for nazis is in the ground) in a discord voice chat for the US left's preeminent cultural publication: paintbucket.page https://discordapp.com/invite/AcmyZ5Q consider this propaganda of the deed; join me 5pm-ish pst weekdays, after i walk half a mile to my car (because a junior temp doesn't get a good parking spot) help me survive my LA commute or witness my end as fleeting as this poem: alright here's a heist movie idea: a group of poet misfits plan to break into the Poetry Foundation building in chicago to steal their $200 million & redistribute it to the world's poets
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It might have been a Saturday everybody wrote a poem with the words "obviously, obviously" somewhere in it. Asking for poems with the phrase "obviously, obviously" in them, today. Have a hairbrained theory some good will come of this. Keep em short of course, the email is hello@paintbucket.page— Paint Bucket (@paintbucketpage) June 27, 2019Freshet, DripSarah Priscus / @sarahpriscus / 5:27 AM wait -- here -- with me, if you want     look -- stay -- if you really want     obviously, obviously, this is double instant karma      (we all shine on)     for lack of littering     or donating at the farmer’s market     poke your fingers through mine      (i can’t hide, i can’t hide, i can’t hide)     kitchen-knife scabs clipping, catching      catch stars on your tongue, all snowflake wet     count them     in multiples of house numbers and CVVs     nothing numbers     think of miles and millipedes instead     ask me if it would be good and precious     if they wore a million shoes     for their million feet     Springsteen sings as you split your skull     (oh, oh, oh, i’m on fire)          diagnose the lines on your brain     as torn-up maps of Denver and dust     trace through Colorado on the cerebellum     (rocky mountain high)     blink slow, hard, snow on your lashes     fold the paper corners onto places i’ve never been     bubble into nowhere-existence     moss on a wet, sunny stone     turn the radio off     wait -- listen -- is that a bird? Tomorrow RiverDaniel Boucher / @descripticon / 6:54 AM You don’t want to spend seven hours alone in a car following two tumbleweeds; It quickly becomes eleven hours. Way up to North Wisco via Chicago et. al. I’ll meet you there goddamnit, that’s what maps are for. A green sign, “Tomorrow River,” just before a short bridge and then two miles later, another. The future meanders— obviously, obviously. But in any case, we crossed the Tomorrow River, the fucking TOMORROW RIVER, TWICE, LITERALLY on the WAY TO TOMORROW, and neither of them noticed. And that’s the real danger of following tumbleweeds. 2020Prince Bush / @princebush / 5:01 AM I will vote for      Whoever harms No one, though      Obviously Obviously      They will harm Someone      I will vote for Whoever kills      For who else Can I vote for To my butterflyLuz / @Luz__2019 / 9:08 AM Do I love you? Obviously, obviously I've seen your tears I've shared your battles I've felt your fears Do I love you? Obviously, obviously I've seen you trying to be better I've shared your nightmares I've felt your biggest sorrow Do I love you? Obviously, obviously I've seen your wings wide open I've shared your short flights I've felt your heart beating strongly Do I love you? Obviously, obviously. BY THE ENORMOUS SINK HOLE ON BALTIMORE AVENUE I SAT DOWN AND WEPTHolly Raymond / @goblin_gavotte / 10:58 AM a magician never gives away her secrets, especially if she’s extremely shitty at her job. the obvious trick of the body in pieces. o my head snoring on me knee, like, any idiot could make it just like so-- like so many trans writers I remained transfixed on the body horror and the articulate massacre, I got too hungry and bored for whatever’s subtle, had god slam two giant forks from heaven and rend me apart like grocery store chicken, obviously, obviously I liked the manga where the eyeball fell apart in strands. I liked the part where St. Sebastian did a backflip. obviously I am paying you to come here and destroy my corporeal form with capoeira or whatever it is you do, with infinite tenderness, obviously, obviously it hasn’t gotten meaningfully better, the back still bleeds like a leaky tap, the tooth still hums, I wander around all like, three knee-caps, fresh dip on the head like a kappa, bad luck. here I am as self-evident as anything, expelled through the vast gap in the ground on 43rd and Baltimore bracketed by wooden scaffolds and the object of much admiration everyone in chairs eating $18 burrata & marrow & applauding like crazy o it's delightful, it's so precise, the 34 trolley permanently diverted all shuttle buses smiling just perfectly and spilling into the dark Heat Death? Kegan Avery / @wombats4sale / 11:03 AM Have I stolen enough time? I’m on my lunch break, eating in my van. Could I steal a bit more? Yes, please. Obviously, obviously not. It’s hot as fuck and my break is over anyway. I’ll come home soon. UntitledAnon / 3:09 PM Terrible things are happening all around me. I see them and they make me cry. But these feelings in my head and in my heart, they alone do not bring nothing. They are not obviously. Obviously are only my actions they I let follow. And that's why I gather my courage, roll up my sleeves and fight against these injustices. I do this with the hope for better times. I do this for all that comes after me. And if I reached my goal, yes then … ... then I sit down again on my star, let my legs dangle and look full of hope into the future. There's no planJimgandrewth Jimgandrewth II'ndary / 7:53 AM Obviously, this idea will collapse in on itself almost immediately. It may have already. Obviously. Obviously, this was meant to go up this morning, and I had to change it some. Obviously. Obviously. The irregular schedules, erratic design and, obviously, the lack of an implied internal logic, obviously, (obviously) reveal less a casual "surf's-up" 'tude about page editing obviously -- obviously, though, my foes are infuriated my all of this. Obviously. -- obviously, and compounding bureaucratic disasters imperil this publication's continued operation, obviously. Obviously, the jumping triangles (called coyotes) distract more often than they work. But this blew obviously, obviously, up, as I should have realized, it always would. Obviously. Obviously. Obviously.
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My Husbands // Mark Cugini
In a dandelion field in Testaccio with a mango in my anus, I am charging straight men to talk to me. Little interest is taken in the light on my loafers, but they have many a question: what is a pronoun? how is moisturizing? what is it called when two men intertwine their pensises, like snakes on the medical Bracelet? Where can I go to smell really good but not like, in a gay way? Why are you crying? None of these men are my lovers, yet all of them feel begrudgingly responsible for providing me with effeminate Doritos and this, dear idiot, is how I know that each one of them has come to be my husband. As decreed by the Catechism of the Catholic Church this version of matrimony is not dependent on consent between two heterosexual adults but on how icky my queer ass finds spiders. My husbands wear tube socks when they underseason their meat. My husbands smell terrible because they think wiping their ass will make them you gay. My husbands are horrible at experiencing empathy for anyone's whose genitalia does not match the size, width, and girth of their own genitalia. Somehow they are even worse at Math. Please make sure your seat backs & tray tables are in their full upright position, for my husbands are watching Storage Wars & I am cleared for ejaculate. I make my husbands stand for the flag, but only if the flag is a picture of Anna Wintour sitting next to Russell Westbrook & Lous Althusser’s ghost at the Rag & Bones 2014 New York Spring Fashion Week Show & the anthem is “The Anthem (Part 2)” by American rock band Blink 182 because a thing I am wont to tell my husbands is “if we're fucked up, you're to blame.” My husband is the wage gap. My husband is the wedding cake. My husband is a dear carcass & when he makes it into heaven he'll be sentenced to an eternity of giving Anthony Scalia a rim job. Listen, I don’t make the rules here; Like Jesus said in the book of Leviticus, “I'm not saying, I'm just saying.
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2/21 // Andrew Stone
Courtney is gonna write a movie about vampires who suck your blood and steal your social life. It was a good idea so it made me think about my inadequacies and poetry. I read a good set of poems Courtney sent me today by Wendy Trevino. I also learned recently about the Minneapolis Skyway from the painter Dike Blair, and he said something great about the sensation of seeing the world from one rung up on the ladder. The essay is called Corporate Collage which I think does a lot of work for me and because of this its kind of my thought now, sorry Dike. Now that I had a thought I'm pretty happy.
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Bush Did 9/11 // Samantha Geovjian Clarke
nineeleven
The dystopian they of dark hallways, shadowed mercenaries, cold suits and earpieces follows, nagging, despite the high gaslighting of a world that screams conspiracy! at anyone who is afraid-- what is the difference between lizard people and the CIA? Someday, I may disappear, and to know that is to fight with integrity. We make inventions when we see only visions, the art of the psychic paranoid, the way there is sometimes more truth in a metaphor than a newspaper headline. What is true, and what is truer? There are prisons, and graveyards, full of people who would at least agree on one thing: it’s not for no reason.
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Money for Nothing // Zachary LaMalfa
Sterling Street station smells like shit I was already in a bad mood today wanting men and wanting women but mostly wanting everyone to call me so I can let the phone ring and ring and feel put upon There is no love in the tunnel to give or receive no joy in the bridges’ steely erections no device springs up to guide me through to knowledge no program that won’t leave my life just as it was and each of these things being beautiful smacks of money of my running away to winter in Venice with lots of money or Newburgh full of painters which amounts to the same First I will have to learn Italian and the banjo learn perfect Florentine and the banjo to swallow my Cs and clawhammer my banjo and love you somebody whoever receiving these words like a big quivering bridge though I can’t love you right now because right now I’m in the train and you’re not allowed to love anybody in here
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Birthday poem '19 // Jonathan Schoenfelder
It's repulsive to write a poem for your birthday about an appliance. I will forgive you if you don't offer me this birthday indulgence the appeal of a zojirushi rice cooker is the ovum-like design a smooth white plastic egg which, given proper cleaning and preparation, will give birth to a pot of rice & beans I'm repulsed myself at my joyfulness for the machine, coming so close after our hope to have a baby a white plastic egg to match an egg of blood, ourselves a pot of beans & rice the chickens and the ducklings forage the neighbors laugh and talk a stray cat drinks a canal and Skip sleeps I think about a child and a rice cookers & join the other poets born in June
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Viburnum // Zachary LaMalfa
Walking by the community garden, an old woman asked me if I’d like some stalks of her viburnum which had blown over in the storm. She said “You can remove these greeny bits, whatever offends you, and give the rest a rinse in the shower.” She said “My viburnum was unhappy about politics which is why it blew over. It was saying Oh what a world! What a world!” She said “Look at me assigning opinions and sentiments to flowers which probably don’t have any.” She said “This viburnum hates the president!” Then I holding my bundle said “My viburnum hates all presidents!” And she said “Ha!”
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Just tryin’ to eat, folks, and get a one-way bus pass. I used to get on the train and say, ‘Can anybody help the homeless?” Now I say, ‘Can anyone help a promising artist?’ A color-enhanced work of art, in a hang-able, frame-able format. Hard to believe. For just one dollar, or two. There’s a book of poems, and a book of prose for a larger donation, like ten or five dollars. But again, you can always buy a single poem for a dollar.
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Eileen Myles and Jill Soloway hold hands at the Gathering of the Juggalos / sometime between Attila and Immortal Technique / on the Big Top Stage. The sun sets / over Legend Valley. Epaulets come and go / but wicked clown love is 4ever.
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Granola Factory // A.B. Robinson
I knew a guy who worked in a granola factory, up in the Pacific Northwest, some part that has gotten expensive—was it Portland? was it British Columbia? After rent there was no money for food. Preferring hunger to chancing life out of his car (wouldn’t you?) he’d get through a meal or two a day by filling his stomach with remaindered granola when the boss and the snitches weren’t looking. It wasn’t bad—I remember him explaining— they weren’t going to bin the granola because it was burnt, or the grain was spoiled, or the rats got to it. The color of a batch was a little dark, or the clusters of oats were too big or too small, or somebody forgot to pour a sack of freeze-dried blueberries onto a conveyor belt. All the same, you weren’t allowed to eat it. Even the dumpster out back had a padlock, so he had to be quick. And even so, he said, eating it was horrible. He’d get blinding headaches, his gums were sore and red, he took terrible shits. It was just sugar, he said, sugar and puffed rice and oats and sugar. Berries, for the rich to sprinkle, virtuously, on their yogurt. “It isn’t like we were making it to live on.”
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Proproiocept // PAINT BUCKET
Here's a boundary I've never set: My body’s capacious and doesn’t belong stuffed in the back of my boss’s van. He drives me down to the shoppe and I pick what I want, little chocolate assholes all happy puckered up. I'm a one call rental kind of dream. Middle aged women type to me softly MURDERER they overturn pillows they dampen at the thought of a real vicious fight acting real sure about the wrong thing, they know the vulnerable feeling that's why they sleep richly behind gates. Bitch I was a minivan princess today too Jess is a poet living in Baltimore. Sad tweets @jessn666
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3/13 // Andrew Stone
When I am a bee I have fun, I know I am dying, but It’s hard to know What that really means Stuck in a pipe which is Red on the outside, no light inside Several trees fall onto An equal amount of cars And the woodworker is thrilled It is hard when your job Requires you to integrate others Into a society you fundamentally Disagree with, every victory Is a little death, or like Watching a branch dry up and Fall apart simply because you Selected the correct choice out of four or five There are so many bees trying to Get out of the pipes, a shit ton And the pets are freaking out I guess this is a lie My dreams lead me to believe I have hidden knowledge or That I’ll soon learn Something that is right now hidden Or doesn’t exist, probably This feeling I’m meant to look at Angles of rooftops outside recall The religious, and I’m here, high Off the ground at work doing nothing In a brightly lit room, someday I’ll come back to correct myself Because I don’t know how to finish What could just as easily continue Do I need to? In the most basic Sense, yes, because I will, it’s Hot in this room
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Up the Avenue // Zachary LaMalfa
Twin brother and sister crouched behind a hydrantsay together              Excuse me, mister              could we have a dollar?and hold out their hands              Sorry I don’t have a dollar              which is true not one dollarand as I step away with my bagover one shoulder they shout                            FUCK YOU              I turn aroundHow could they be so abreastalready of praxis?                             and say              That’s stone cold!Laughing they lean toward meand in unison whisper              F U C K   Y O U
419
Selected D'Onofrios // Paint Bucket
Vincent D'Onofrio agreed to allow Paint Bucketto publish a selection of poetry. Given his immense stature as a Hollywood icon, this will likely give verse the kick in the ass it needs to not be such a disgusting failure. We welcome this new age of poetry after decades of being fucked over by worthless MFAs Men Who Pass Gas Men who pass gas. I can't stand it. Airplanes,the worst. How could they. No warning. No apology. No control. 4god sakes. 0 control? I have control. Friends who pass gas? It's the1 thing. Unacceptable. It's sh*t Fartfartfartfartfart. Let me just sit in ur mess. I'm fine. F*ck! U try'n 2 ruin my fun? U try'n2ruin my fun? Fun is fun. No? I'm not hurt'n any1 or hurt'n myself. Why u try'n2ruin my fun? FUN's a good thing, no? Am I be'n malicious? What if I say it's none of your business? Why u try'nt2ruin my fun? Who R U2me? Said the squirrel2the fox just b4 the fox ate it's face Rock Stars Carried rock stars in my arms. 3 flights of stairs. Sat them in their limo's. The hair. The smell. The mumbling. The front door. The faces in makeup. Male&female alike. No begging. Badass attitudes. U believed in yourself or u were being trained by your peers 2 believe in yourself. Oh Gosh What can I live with? Can you tell me if you respect me? Can you answer? Do I want to even know this thing? If you don't respect me then where do I go? Where do I..? Oh gosh. Oh my gosh. Is it all my fault? Not to be respected can crush me. It can. Then where do I go? Oh gosh Man, u r so Lovely Man, u are so lovely. Wow. Stupid right? Dumb. Yet everything I c in u so far is just exceptional. I can c some imperfections. Makes u more lovely. Human. Thank the lord. Imperfections define me. Familiar with imperfections. A mountain of imperfections. Man, u r so Lovely. Wow.
171
Late in the empire of Nacho Cheese where everything is mostly pro visional, Ben Fran klin is known to have believed the universe inhab ited by even whiter men. The sky a white canceled application tells you, Keep it up and your face will stay stuck on earth in the age of procedural dramas. Ea ch night, a red alert suds up in the humidity of the snack food district. The mutineers have the good ish sense to cheese it for the middle distance, causing darkness. Scram bling the stars to mush. That said, it sure is a sweet time to be hanging on for another season, not culpable, just cool ranch Dorito dust on the pass ing light.
359
Sky Juice // Zachary LaMalfa
I was having an excellent time at the bar. I’d put 11 dollars toward something called Sky Juice which turned out to be mostly rum. A whole wedge of pineapple, but not 11 dollars worth, I think of pineapple. I’d needed those 11 dollars like I need every 11 dollars, which is to say “badly” but also, “abstaining won’t save me.” I was going to stand there talking to Annie. It was her birthday, but two new people stepped into the backyard and she went to say hi. I felt like doing a cartwheel across the yard between the tiki torches, but didn’t know how. Besides I would have to disperse the crowd somehow or cause a lot of expensive drinks to spill. I sat down at the refurbished picnic table with my cup of Sky Juice. I took a small sip out of two straws. Everybody looked up in awe at my cup of Sky Juice, my enormous pineapple wedge. Annie asked if she could try some. Annie took a sip of the Sky Juice, and then Max took a sip of the Sky Juice, and Sarah and Mike and Jen took a sip of the Sky Juice. At this point I worried when I got it back I’d find practically half of my 11 dollar Sky Juice gone. But they’d barely sipped any away at all, or maybe some ice had melted, the evening and people’s hands being very warm, and everybody who tasted it said it tasted pretty good. I was also warm in my jacket and sweater my hand cold from the Sky Juice. Mosquitoes began to emerge. I was going to tell somebody what I really thought of the bar, the backyard, but realized it was my inability to cartwheel inappropriately crowning. I lifted my shirt over my head and revealed yet another shirt.
76
i caught the liverpool kiss drunkely walked into a fist and then dazed came the kiss that's just how it goes around here the ice cream never stays solid either i can't keep solid neither, my shoes melt into the road like falling into a couch by the time the moon is out I'm faded and all around me is just spare change and candy bars
90
Venmo // Jackson Flint-Gonzales
for the time you accidentally majored in ManEcon for the time I bought a Rollie which was fucked up, sorry. for the time you forgave you and indecent exposure exchange-value I said, big who gives a fuck stars are made up of bodies so they must be trafficked too. You kissed me on the tube I did too
41
Pepperoni Calzone // Dan Boucher
I just met Jesus He lives behind the Greek orthodox church on Geneva street and orders delivery under the name "J.C." he eats meat which I find disappointing.
183
Chatroulette // Sam Russek
Andrey Ternovskiy built Chatroulette in high school. Moscow left something to be desired. His parents made an initial investment of $10,000. He paid them back with money earned with advertising, mostly from dating sites. Chatroulette uses several servers in Frankfurt, Germany. Chatroulette is where I first saw another man naked. Most of Chatroulette’s users are in the U.S. In middle school, I thought I was dating a girl I met on Chatroulette. In high school, a guy I met on Chatroulette thought I was his girlfriend. Under different circumstances, he was a maybe. He acted so surprised when he found out, but he must have already known. I was temporarily banned from the site on three separate occasions. Yesterday, after my girlfriend left me, I went on Chatroulette and cried for help. I didn’t know who else to turn to. Some boys in New Zealand poured one out for me. Some girls in Norway laughed and hit ‘next.’ At this point, how many people should I know? How many people have I talked to and forgotten? No one’s going to help me now.
143
moved the plant from the window today & realized I don’t understand what growth from indirect light means and I hate a straight woman reading a poem about her husband the power company knocked out the lights so many times we never put the candles away in that apartment I wish I could write a poem about my husband which I definitely have does the world need husbands poems about husbands poems about dogs and families and dog yeast infections which they have a train fights for sound & listen, here I go: here’s my poem: I used to jerk off to textbook descriptions of flower pollination the words stamen and anther still make my legs gap a little
129
Epic // Alice Hall
it seems ridiculous that Ben Hur’s family would hide from him in the leper colony and it takes so fucking long for him to get there     to get to that scene anyway the chariot scene takes even longer according to you Adam was a colossal fuckup a fuckup like “it’s a town full of losers and I’m pulling out of here to win”    I don’t know about epics you newswrap a new floor around the tub’s leak there’s so much more you could do with eleven minutes of your time than the scene before the chariot race in Ben Hur    those stupid horses
138
Hey did you know Nick Tesla wanted to fuck a pigeon? He saw one of those birds and said, boy oh boy, I better dick that dove down before I blow my top. Gimme, gimme, gimme, pigeon-baby, gimme, gimme, gimme, your sweet pigeon-baby love. And people thought he was normal! Fucking weirdo. I could have started by talking about how that quote up top is ass (imagine not hating anybody, you'd have to be a fucking monster, like who on Earth doesn't have a grudge like other than old Keyser Soze?) but honestly I don't play around when it comes to matters of the flesh when that flesh is pigeon. End of discussion. Next question.
94
(forgive us) Santigold // James Cactus
Santigold you are so good, and honestly we're all stupid (forgive us) obviously For not realizing this (forgive us) until now Santigold people thought you were M.I.A. you said in an interview (forgive us) obviously you aren't, but we didn't say (forgive us) until now Santigold We listened to your record The new one From 2018. It's good (forgive us) obviously but we didn't know (forgive us) until now
49
Verso Books // Jacob Brooks
The world made me wear my diaper The spider of obligations Everyone with their weeping thighs I sniff the river You put her in a diaper of nightmares Your faggy principles You damn the problematic You have never suffered
77
Boys // Laura Kerrigan
Boy I hate boys  They steel toys   And make too much noise Boys take risks    And ruin all your computer disks Girls in the 8ᵗʰ grade think boys are cute Boys won't shut up so I put them on mute  I'm gonna live in the graveyard      Where I can get buried      At least I wont get married
273
The clerk frowns at my breakfast sandwich: a sausage biscuit, hot like you’ll have to get a cold one. I get a cold one, slip the hot one in my purse while she inspects my Oregon Trail card. Games about manifest destiny never taught me that the Wilammette Valley Treaty Commission lacked even the stolen authority of their own Congress to drive Kalapuya people from their homes, that by 1855 the damage was done, that the treaty of Dayton was a post-hoc justification of a genocidal campaign that led to the founding of Corvallis College, later Corvallis State Agricultural College, later Oregon State University, a monument to this campaign that never ended, that this campaign never ended. The case worker who denies my food stamp renewal application calls me an abawd, doesn’t explain what this means but the bottom line is I don’t make enough money, lets me keep the card in case I ever make enough money, has me escorted from the Department of Human Services. I still buy cold chicken at the store and it still reminds me of home. I still put hot sauce on cold chicken and I still think it tastes better this way. I steal hot sauce and cold chicken from the store and it reminds me of home, it tastes better this way.
122
Landlords // David W. Pritchard
The landlord remarks, as he is fixing the toilet, the toilet is a hardy one, reliable—not like those other toilets! he says. I think he means the toilets made in China. Well, wherever the toilet I'm flushing is from, it sucks: or doesn't. I have to flush twice to make a normal shit with toilet paper (surely the reader is not surprised to discover I keep my ass clean) go all the way down the drain. The shit isn't ever the problem; it's the paper. What does our landlord have to say about that? what does yours? Somewhere in there, in the toilet, there's a lesson to be learned. But where?

Whoa is this the end?

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