The Brutalist

When surveying the populace
the poulticed
When lithely seeking little
then some
When listlessly supine with genetic
When so exhausted

Then I compost elegies for energy
Then I gulp up n’up-at a purpling rum-
Then I beat root and inhale expansive
Then I wall-mutter Hallelujahs while
calling on miracles for minutiae—

All while intervening between fists!

And how I finally surmise a pre-Colombian
and how once disparate enough for a
fading begun
And how laughing at America
and the million maps of
its sociologists

I can’t desist;

For whom I reconsider resurrected cognates
For which I step froggily acrost
black steamy death below
For whose spirit is suffused
of echo
of sapphire vocals

For them I reel! For them I reel!

By which entertainment licked in Leger-like tubular shade
By what edible coloring adjacent-to the pecked-at popular
By freckling-why when slight
and endeared


By sculpting consciously an open-circle epistemic dis-ease!

I believe

rendering ash,
in perforations

Now line miming

Buddha’s quarters

Now, is it the upturned mien before?

Now notchless,
a re-capitated grave

Now barring this—

My lone winged

my all thankful for,

but not,
penultimate yet

‘Derivation’ is not ‘Murder’

‘She’ is of a type
‘He’ is of a type
‘I’ am of a type
‘typical’ thoughts

‘Marx’ is but marks
‘lines’ are but lines
‘print’ is but print
‘writerly’ writing

‘speech’ is silent
‘words’ inaudible
‘volume’ undetectable
‘voice’ unimaginable

‘God’ does not really exist
‘Buddah’ is nothing much
‘Jesus’ has no tears
‘Mohammed’ is sightless

‘America’ is tiny
‘Russia’ has no weather
‘Israel’ isn’t ‘Palestine’ and
‘Jacob’ ain’t not ‘Israel’

‘Shakespeare’ can’t write
‘Dylan’ sure can’t sing
‘Beethoven,’ DEEF? uh-uh
‘Ginsberg’ is not dead

‘Ma’ don’t nurture
‘Pa’ don’t neither
‘Family’ don’t read
‘Jared’ will never be a poet

Jessica Is

Jessica    is
Yiska        iss
Yiska        issa
doll            isssa
Vuh           is
Yiska        iss
dahsh       issa
being        issac
the             issau
mourner’s         es
laymen                  ess
tayshaun                 esa
not                                esau
having     is
a                 ish
father’s   ishma
blessing  ishmael
is                   shma
common   Yisroel
is                          had
custom               hadad
when                     hadada
playing                    hadaddy
with                            hadatees
name                                hades



*originally appeared in otoliths, issue forty (February 2016).