on the way to grab
dryer sheets
a glass kettle
my insurance card
nail clippers
and teapot
from the apartment that must house
some disease i have built a tolerance
against but Biz has not (the mold
in the sink, or the mice and dust mites
give us many probable causes)
she says
i’m about to rage-quit society
because her phone’s data
will not cooperate
although–and although could stand
to gain a few pounds–white supremacists
have made plans to march in ten cities
this coming afternoon to
and they compare that slogan to
and Standing Rock
it is a joy to lament the little things
for a small moment
to pretend they mean anything
and idolize silence
and absence

10 dollar minimum

at the bar waiting is a prodigal problem
one i could with panache
or terribly skinny horse turn
into a windmill / the black pepper
runs dry in these parts
i try not to make them
whole or a feather
in my cap and we can’t find the peppermill
this is a word my wisconsin flatmate uses
i use grinder as in
teeth and omelette
as in out and away from source
material / i was sick when you called
the rabbit a hare or what was
it / i’m
sorry docks empty tonight
save for the mosquitoes
save for the drink handful
save for the apocalypse and sorry days
are defined by sunlight
which by now dwindles
hands make fierce shapes
on every wall every shadow
needs a lighter and a lit
a must-have nuisance
singing something like a cement block

do not leave the train inside of a tunnel or on a bridge

rain // drops on the window a window
you can pull a red handle from and firm
remove or strip the rubber molding
ectopic and well hello rain slipping

inside the train car no // ones around
a zero and more ones for a coded
rinsing of my backpack // it could
rely on some mildew when undry

and someday me too i’ll take what
i can // GET // SOME // growth going
like when i was a quarterback
and hype man for the person team sounds like

the rain in the mud or shoelace aglets
tickling an ankle in the soppy sundry and every
coach i ever had saying strip down

and faggot and i am a bundle it’s true
i must be collected // i am rare // and worth
more as a set


we ask that all patrons are not

a handrail leads down to unworked dirt
what once were stairs are not and you can’t see them
i can take a message if you’d like
i’ll spell it out in the beer cans below the porch
i’ll allow it a permanent marker or long enough
after eight months a child begins to understand
objects exist outside of their immediate senses
so to say this accidental elegy is sensible
is nonsense and if stairs were concrete
they could crack but what kind of chains do their ghosts shake
what kind/s what mean/s i don’t see it
can i could you leave a number
and a good time to reach you

standard overnight

two sparklers unused made lockpicks
but the only locks i’ve opened by suggestion
had veins and armhair and no springs

normally i talk until talking turns into a question and it gets close to an interrogation
the springs you have to press them

rake them according to these YouTube tutorials
raking looks like shanking and as you stab the lock
with one hand the other should gently pull
a hook inserted as well to one direction

i have failed now for six hours
to not think about us as a possibility
how opening wears into weary

sitting in a folding chair in front of my
bedroom door so i leave the sparklers
tv antennae bending toward a lost signal

i make several more passes to the fridge
and jab each time a wire until i think
i have broken the lock or my will to enter

after i take out the recycling
one large brown box from the move
of soft beer cans and bottles

i’m a little too happy i put on pants
before making sure the door was unlocked
these small mistakes and successes

they keep coming back to me
unlike all the things i’ve set free
from this chainlink body and range

no passing zone

homemade pasta means this is a home
my bed is here / i sleep here

we’ve been doing alright
trying to mix eggs and flour together

not letting the volcano erupt
some fell on the floor on the way to wash our hands

300 tons of radioactive waste
spills into the Pacific Ocean everyday

the Fukushima reactor
cannot be stopped by human or robot hands

it is too hot to approach
when i told you i was thinking of going on estrogen

i heard what you said
the peanut butter cookies crunch in my mouth

well mine too
i’ve never baked cookies by myself before

water drips from the counter

if we were apples
like these gold ones sitting on the pantry

we might collect fruit fly eggs
before the residents put their mouths around us

they always toss the seeds
with the take-out styrofoam


weather permitting

the long park wears a shadow from the overpasses
on the map the bridges could have been canals

i think water does flow through the ravines
i couldn’t say rushing

not with long squid bodied stumps
carved with short faces surrounding the drainpipes

faces of terror because the carving knife
shaped the eyes into 4 4’s
and mouths made the lake look sated

on the map these don’t exist and neither do we
but the park does look green and like a school
of minnows
you were trying to stop drinking

later that afternoon we got your prescription
a serotonin-inhibitor

that was a long walk and you said thanks
for nothing
not like you knew civilization was about to collapse

when i said loving yourself was the first act of loving
those around you in the backyard before the hike

i didn’t mean it
was actually the second like the laws of thermodynamics

that zeroth law hiding beneath
the others like someone camping under the highway crossing over us

or that a law meant more than advice
i wanted you to come home with me

the map got lost in my wallet or in my back pocket
B said he could get us back because he walked this way to work

we stopped at the creek for our toes
put the water around us but it kept moving

we couldn’t use archimedes’ principle
to calculate how hard it is for us to float

so we didn’t try 12 steps first or the first one after our feet were wet
obsessing over everything but power

who had it
who thought more about the current

how to become unmarked or at least
unlikely to take another

this was spring for all intents and purposes
you put a dandelion in my hair

put my brow under a yellow that would not spread itself

the map didn’t have street names anyway
no legend to consult a moral

no compass rose to pluck a petal from




albino pit bull pudgy as an old brick building
squeezing its face between the iron fence

one hand then two and my face
receives these wide kisses acidic

and ample so why do i deny them
and myself so briskly and deftly

to turn away from happiness i know
what punishment is and how to take it

a shaving razor broken apart into
three blades and the way skin

splits and blood coagulates in
unstitched wells and how i filled

them with isopropylene to clean
and recieve again a different bounty

one for unspoken crimes and loud
mistakes to martyr i would give you

every floorboard of my apartment
the first and last slice of a peach

any dollar i have or could credit to
this name and body but i am learning

to stay awhile even turn back
to sew up these holes and take

a tongue and say yes selfishly
ungenerously unrefined and let
my body own its thank you

oncoming traffic has longer light

i try to believe
in the things that won’t control me
things i can dismiss and forget
like crystals like tarot cards
not my body
but yours / i know it
can be set aside
like cold sweat dreams of my father
they might take an hour
but i can change the sheets
shower and nothing but hear-say remains
like gossip / so sweet to have faith
and empty calorie intake
to forget this morning i believe in it
like tossing pennies in a creek
like traffic and a new bus route
not this body next to yours
not this set of grass gods i pray to
not love the way i say it but
like the pedestrian bridge over
the amtrak rails and like the shaking
in my knees from the shock underneath

no turn on red except on green

i’m dipping one toe in
through this shoe with broken binding
the man in front of me is waist deep
in Lake Michigan
shouting a poem into the waves and wind
i can only catch a few syllables
–sign–cert—-if i–loo—uphe—what now
between the timpani breath clubbing
this real-time erasure piece
absence and loss made holy
by what remains and if time were real
we could say live
we could say forfeiture
we could say matter-
what purple wine the water is
how to drink it from a goblet
how to hold it for a toast
and which eyelid to squint just right
to make a smile from chin to brow
so real so–true such a thing–to hold
no one could mistake it for sand
lodging in my cornea or blinking
from a gash of lightning
beyond the sailboats