Objects that hover there above the surface of a subject, kindly as upgrades in urgent care. Separate pink from the 50,000 tongues. Post-op, I was in a 99-cent store, looking for bargain books. They had Conversations with Groucho Marx. I got to like being a zombie. It was ultimate bliss. If the spiral meant one thing, and the square with an incised X another and if the footprints were deeply traced in stone, and the spiders on the rock scurried off, and if, then I was looking at some petroglyphs in a dry arroyo near a friend’s house. And the ghosts with names and the ghosts with none. The concentricity of the word “other” opening its ducts. What is it like to be so beautiful? I dip my hands inside you and come up with – what? A Max Beckmann quote: the last days of drowned continents. Then we make glass boil while having political material get in. “Strike because your only hedge fund is your bare hands.” “Strike because you are sick of all that’s called new and despair that nothing changes.” “Strike because you are abandoned.” “The Jew” is a poem not about this poet but another – revered bearded wandering father and surrealist Jewish vaudevillian – turned 80 years old for the occasion. What? The bodies spill over their own bounds; they have extra digits or limbs or else they have too few or else those they do have are only partly formed or deformed or fused somehow to limbs belonging to someone else. See I got a phone call today from the guy who I had scheduled to build the fence before it all went down / I was so mortified to cancel I offered to pay him anyway. That was the end of our communication for almost a month now. He calls me out of nowhere in a Texas accent and tells me “somebody told him to call me” and to be careful and not “run around town worrying what other people think” / then we got to talking I could tell he was on his afternoon’s third beer / he has a long story about Drew Barrymore’s sister who threw knives at his head, who he met in Madrid, NM, had a love affair with when he was growing weed which he did serious time for etc. ... How he met her was he was a truck driver for art. Then he said “I think ‘whos anne frank and why is she bullying justin bieber’ is one of the funniest tweets I have ever read. I don’t know why there needs to be any additional art after this.” Christ, no wonder I began to hear nothing more than the sound of a flurry of bees in my head.
[Note: Sources: Roberto Tejada, “Debris in Pink & Black” in Damn the Caesars V; Hal Sirowitz, “Zombies Are Loose”, in Beauty is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability (eds. Jennifer Bartlett, Sheila Black & Michael Northen); Michael Heller, “Looking At Some Petroglyphs In A Dry Arroyo Near A Friend’s House”, epigraph to Beckmann Variations and Other Poems in This Constellation Is A Name: Collected Poems 1965-2010 (A Max Beckmann quote is JBR); Michael Palmer, “The Phantom of Liberty”, in Postmodern American Poetry: A Norton Anthology Second Edition (ed. Paul Hoover); Stephen Collis, “Pollen”, in Damn The Caesars V; Kenny Fries, “Beauty and Variations”, in Bartlett, Black & Northen; Jackson Mac Low, “From The Pronouns (1st Dance – Making Things New – 6 February 1964)”, in Hoover; Charles Bernstein, “Strike!”, and Al Filreis, as quoted in Filreis’s “An introduction to Charles Bernstein’s reading from ‘Recalculating’”, at Jacket2, 17 Apr 013; JBR; Sarah Bernstein, “Croak by Jenny Sampirisi”, at Lemon Hound, 17 Apr 013; Bett, “never saved unless saved by smarmy gods …”, at bett’s blog, 17 Apr 013; JBR, but see Unlikely Stories, FB post, 18 Apr 013, and next; Robert Rissman, Notes On Music]