BY PATRICK HERRON
Her face a light in black iris. Her body
the flight of limbs stretching and sweat
rolling hips and lush. Lips swindled kisses
in a pact of fire. Long touch and a brush,
a shatter charge a wire from neck to
a breast. Wax crescent to her corola
flushed crimson and unfolding. Ignite. Slide
higher she said, and the song of a thrush.
Re: Black Iris
huf fufce a lufghs ufn blufck ufufs. huf bufdy
she flufghs uff lufmbs ssfufschufng ufnd swufs
fufllufng hufps ufnd lush. lufps swufndlufd kufsses
ufn a pufcs uff fufuf. lufng suuch ufnd a bfush,
a shufssuf chufge a wufe ffufm nufck su
a bfufss. wufx cfufscufns su huf cufufla
flushufd cfufmsufn ufnd unfufldufng. ufgnufsuf. slufde
hufghuf she sufd, ufnd she sufng uff a shfush.
haf feckce a lifghs ofn bluckck afefs. hick bofdy
she fluckghs aff leckmbs ssfifschockng ufnd swafs
ckefllufng hickps ofnd lush. lafps sweckndlifd kofsses
uckn a pafcs efck fifock. lufng saech ifnd a bckosh,
a shufssaf checkge a wife fckofm nufck sa
a bckefss. wifx cfockscufns sa hef cockufla
flasheckd cfifmsockn ufnd anfeckldifng. ofgnucksaf. slefde
hickghof she sufd, acknd she sefng ifck a shfosh.
haf feckuce a lifoghis ofen bluckack afefus. hick bofody
she fluckighes afaf leckumbos sisefifaschockung ufond swafis
ckefellufang hickups ofond lush. lafips sweckendalifud kofosses
uckin a pafecs efack fifock. lufung saech ifond a bickosh,
a shufessaf checkage a wife fuckofom nufick sa
a beckefass. wifux cofockisecufans sa hef cockufula
flasheckod cififemasockun ufond anifeckeladifung. ofoginuckesaf. slefade
hickughof she sufod, ackind she sefeng ifack a shufosh.
hat feck a lit his ofen bluck ack a fetus. hick bo fody
she tluck a fat leckumbos sise fita schockung u fond swati s
fell u tang hickups o fond lush. latips sweck end alifud kotosses
uck in a pa fecs etack fi tock. lufung saech i tond a bickosh,
a shuf essat check age a wife fuck o tom nufick sa
a becketass. wi fux cotock i secu fans sa het cock u ful a
flash eck od citi fema sock un u fond an ifeckeladitung. o fog i nuck es at. sleta de
hick ug hot she sufod, ackind she seteng i fack a shu tosh.
Blue Lock Is
Hat a lit his often black ask a fetus. Hick beau
she tuck a fat pita shocking you fond SWAT. I is
fell you tang hickups o fond lush. LA tips dreck end a life tosses
muck in a perfect attack if tock. Lung say "ech" I teed on a big
essay check age a wife fuck o Tom new folk as
a Beckett ass. With fucks go tock I seek you fans as the cock you full a
flash speck O.D. city FEMA sock until you found and I freckle a bit. O fog I suck at it.
Slate the hick out hot. She suffered, a kind she seated I whack a shoe polish at.
A life tossed muck at me in a perfect attack and so
I freckled a bit. Ask any fetus. Blue corpse full of smack
is the O.D.'ed city: it's not shocking you found SWAT teams
costumed as lit hick beaus. Their hats are always black.
Ask any fetus. Of you I am not fond, you lushes, drug scales, O you hiccups
in pickups, your guns fill but a flash. When Justice suffered I fell into dreck.
Obviously it's true: She tucks in a fat pita and fucks it as a cock.
Watch for yourself: she stabs with thrusts and goes "tock" like a clock.
O cat foot fog, I suck at this, the spot condemnation. Ask any fetus.
But I peed on the burning essay. Me? Yes, oh you know my specs:
new folk, new found fangs, and hungry for cash. Ask any fetus.
"End slag heaps, burning tarmacs. Slate out the hothead hicks,"
is what I spouted. I once sought you fans, but only people that were seated.
My steeple: Tom Becket was an ass and Henry 2nd was worse. Ask any fetus.
ask any fetus.
you axed my treatise.
ash falls. defeated us,
we downed twelve margaritas &
ash falls. defeated us,
you axed my treatise.
ask any fetus.
THE DEATH OF A COMMUNITY ORGANIZER
He once would bleed with every pore
to make more of this whirl
to make it seem better
and then and then not only in deed
but also in letter
dear oh please dear no more,
this game of ladders and shutes.
Please let me rest.
I am tired and sore from this haste,
the weight of the worl
and its organized grass roots
that in poor taste I once bore."*
"These green tea light candles
on this river I once lit and once set afloat
I must now extinguish, I must now set ashore.
Anchor this boat, o my art.
We never were so far apart, were we,
the do-gooders from the vandals,
the pure-at-heart from the scandals."
"A Pawtucket fisherman just told me:
'Early in the morning
we cast our nets in the bay
but we must pull them back in
before the end of our day.'
And so I just said fuck it."
So I ascertain to you dear reader,
as you try to catch certain impressions,
I cast you lines with only more questions.
Were his fish no longer flying?
Was he wise or was he just dying?
DEATH TO THE LIST
Death to the list. Dropping bombs. Death to the list, this stinking
gawdawful rot. The sot that is not the body. Does it trace a circle on a
map and imply the epicenter, the inner circle of death, the obliteration of
memory itself? He points to a map of Detroit with concentric circles drawn
on it like a bullseye, finger tremors with bitterness of a worn-away stupor.
Does it consume the falling flesh tearing from bone? The megalith of
propriety? The megadeaths counted in the study? The bombs I mean bon-bons
of course. Not to distress you, dear. You know they dropped them, you
know. You know, you always know. You are reading by sleeping in dreams
"Just because you're suicidal and still alive doesn't mean you're handling
it well, you know."
Where it's falling bon-bons, raining bon-bons, sweet sugary fallout of
bon-bons. Christ does the sky never get tired of raining bon-bons? When
they fall they whisper to me that you don't have to work. The hiss of
bon-bons slicing the air. Deliver the fucking unemployment check already,
it's late in the week and I deserve it after all. I just have to write and
eat bon-bons. Saving the world from bon-bons.
"What would you do in order to keep away the hordes, to protect what little
freedoms and paychecks we are so lucky to receive? My retirement will mean
consulting checks at the Pentagon and if they say it's Mauritanians then
goddamn it bomb the Mauritanians. I mean bon-bon them."
His hands sweep across his desk, sending pencils, stapler, papers, and
keyboard to the floor. Infections disease sneezed across the screen.
An old Italian beggar in Paris once told me, "to give is to steal and lie
about it." Snot caked in his beard, some sort of mucous. It was raining
and he gave me a trash bag to wear. Bon-bons in the fucking bag and I'm
covered in mess. I appear covered in snot.
I figure the answer to life is to wear bon-bons like a pair of tits. Tits
like bombs, the 50s, remember? Missle bras and granny panties. Beat the
wife and keep her in the kitchen. Beat the kids and get the wife in the
kitchen to feed them. Closed fist frozen forever against the mouth of a
small child. Another moment, frozen, the belt folded in half, raised high
in the air like a whip or a billy club. Freeze frame, just before the
blinding flash. Stop it right there before it completes its last phase of
its downward fall. Projectile motion accelerating like a bomb and stop.
"Go to work, be a jerk. TV dinners by the pool. I'm so glad I finished
Flash to present day. I'm writing a book or two or three and thinking that
what I need is a cool author portrait on the back cover the sort of portrait
I spend a grand on. All for a book. Fucking loser you can write a book but
can you close the fuccking deal. Il Coronado. Fist but extend the index
and the pinky fingers to make the shape of horns. To ward off the devil.
You can read it like a book reading bon-bons I mean bombs for our friends.
Another episode of "One Life to Live."
An old Catholic priest in a musty rectory basement. It is raining outside.
He mumbles over the image of a child, "Abi in malam rem." Over and over
again, holding the image of the child, "abi in malam rem, abi in malam rem."
He cries and repeats the phrase over and over again until the bombs fall.
Here's what Christ told me on that day. Throw bon-bons at everyone! Feed
them bombs! Bombs for our enemies bombs for our investments bombs for our
banks bombs for our cousins bombs for our neighbors bombs for our children
bombs for our pockets for our cars for our bikes, trikes, mikes and dykes
our stinking half-wit freedoms to do nothing even fucking is illegal in
certain positions fuck it bomb it all sell the house sell the furniture sell
the paintings sell the kids I'm never coming home because I am living
forever and this list is for the worms I mean bon-bons. Death to the list.
Shut the fuck up. Eat your fucking bombs. Go to the fucking devil.
Charcoal figures like timber float down the river. You are reading by
sleeping in dreams unowned. Another episode and a pair of breasts like
missles. Devil laughing, form of a plastic grocery bag, whipped into the
air by the wind tracing circles tracing circles tracing circles. Go to the
devil. And keep him away. Argh. Argh. Ack. Uh.
A MONKEY WALKS INTO A BAR
A man walks into a bar, wondering who he'll turn out to be. He steps
through the doors, and moves towards the shit-brown bar. Bartender a blur
among the forest of newspaper clippings, shelves, glasses, and bottles.
Smoke everywhere and he approaches a bruised stool. Sits down. Reaches
cool and smooth for his ass and brings forth his wallet. Receipts falling
out, he pulls out a twenty and waves it at the blur. He's wondering who
he'll turn out to be.
A monkey walks into a bar. OK, isn't that all we need for the joke? I
mean, c'mon, a monkey walking into a fucking bar? Another drink.
Three drinks later he's European royalty and a high school football star.
Never mind that he's five feet tall and 100 pounds. It's hard to see the
truth inside the dim smoky space, he reasons.
Four more and he works for the defense department. He remembers the
conflict in Borneo, just before the Asram uprising in '89. Never mind this
seems to contradict reality. Seven drinks means he's just now beginning to
find himself. Never mind what's true. What's true or false in the shadow of
an arching spine, a convulsing pelvis, bead of sweat against sweat?
Three more drinks and he turns to the woman next to him. He grabs the bar
and pulls himself forward, to angle himself in order to stare in her eyes.
His left hand slips, then his right, and his falling body sweeps bottles and
glasses to the floor. He is on his ass, sitting on broken glass, drenched
in liquor. He reaches up from the floor and tugs on the woman's skirt above
him. "I was going to pick you up, but maybe you could pick me up." One
more glass falls from the bar onto his head.
He returns to the bar stool. One more drink and all humiliation will be
erased, he reasons. He still wonders who he'll turn out to be.
Two more drinks and he's a bloody fucking writer. We'll, he'd like to be.
Yes, yes. Pen and a notebook. He'll start tomorrow. Yes. There's this
idea he has for writing a story. About a guy who goes to a bar and falls
down drunk. "That's it, yes. The end." A Nobel Prize dances in his eyes.
He ascends to heaven with James Joyce and Ernest Hemingway. He's fucking
Dorothy Parker in heaven and she talks dirty from the corner of her mouth.
"The best sort of man is a man who isn't around. So after you're done
coming I imagine you'll be going. An improvement, and improvement."
One more drink and he's a poet. Yes. He imagines he is aloft on a crystal
ship, above a thousand points of light emanating joyously from the city of
light below. He is waving his hands and words fall from the sky, enlightening
the world with his beauty, his irrelevance, and his joy. He is decorating a
Christmas tree. He is feeding the hungry. He is love and simplicity,
knowledge, wisdom, and truth. He is ascending the throne. His teeth
sparkle. He's wearing a hip pair of spectacles.
The poet collapses on the floor, no longer wondering who he'll turn out to
I am miserable poem therefore I poem.
This poem poem is my place poem
to write poem yet another godawful poem
poem about a gritty urban landscape poem
anonymous faces poem and harsh sounds poem
violent actions I do not understand poem
reflections poem bent on storefront windows poem
poem piles of junk on the shelves poem
rotting fish poem on the curb poem
generalized poem to implicate poem
an arbitrary poem set of people poem
poem contained by a capricious group of lines poem
named with poem a random collection of sounds poem.
I am miserable
violent actions I do not understand
poem is my place
yet another godawful
about a gritty urban landscape
and harsh sounds
bent on storefront windows
piles of junk on the shelves
on the curb
set of people
contained by a capricious group of lines
a random collection of sounds.
therefore I poem is my place yet another godawful about a gritty urban
landscape and harsh sounds bent on storefront windows
piles of junk on the shelves on the curb to implicate set of people
contained by a capricious group of lines a random collection of sounds
my place yet collection of about a landscape sounds bent windows therefore
is piles of junk people another godawful contained on the gritty urban on
storefront a random shelves group of on the and harsh curb to I poem
implicate set of by a capricious lines sounds
My place is
& invisible sounds.
I am miserable
I am miserable This to write anonymous faces reflections rotting fish
generalized an arbitrary named with
I am generalized to write this
with anonymous faces, reflections,
and an arbitrary rotting fish
My place is in a collection of
landscape sounds, bent windows,
piles of junk, and godawful people
contained by the storefront.
Random shelves group on the harsh curb
to implicate capricious lines
& invisible sounds.
I am generalized to write this
with anonymous faces, reflections,
and an arbitrary rotting fish
Mutation No. 13
Push fish peels into five locks for landscape extraction procedures.
Bend window panels, eat crust pinches, make piles of hammers. Look, the godawful
oxidant clouds (I saw those people extruded through no reason). Storefront.
Not one I generalizes you, not if written with bending anonymous arms
or with axed rotting memories misnamed "Forgotten". (Inquire without).
Extant random selections shelve narrow groups. Down on some ideas lulled
into curbing repeated implicating mutters? Ask about whatever happened
to our capricious invisible aphasias, the ones we never had.
Down on some ideas?
Whatever happened to
we never had?
Look, the godawful
"Eat piles of hammers."
$$$? mUTTER DoWN ON YOru mEMoRIES. lOOKEE HeRE. ?$$$
$$$? FuH aNY ApHASIAS YOrU nEEd? ERrGAWR ?$$$
$$$? bUY YOrU GODoh. WRuH ROLL hIM. LET's ?$$$
$$$? LOOK "eAT ArMS AND HAmMERs." URHrR. ?$$$
$$$? nO BeNDING ARMS. KUH CRaCK ?$$$
$$$? @SaLES. BURy. ?$$$
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Bonneted hawser, if tee; ware Net john, row sty wince us bating, watt I Surd; top lit away war fobs minis warned; Up get O came. Age; dikes; debt, nod Quirt. Renal rag spry. Rise, eat, a dry zany I. Up. Onyx and abuse. Felt Fake; sexy uttering. Day gamily fess an s. Alternatively; hid ere go, bison. Hews. Mew; Bo. rat. Tit. Zoo. Less. Aft; barn rend wiper o. Razz, saw web; Serb. Laurite titan, he o; hoe keyboard. However, eaten atman, big, shed Organ. An elk, fan awe I tell Wand fess, we, rat tibia. Yawp. Dam wee. Jib Alternatively; an. Soap chef. Dye pod a crew.
(Thanks be to Our Modernist God and His Crap Machine, or What the Prime Number Said, or
How Our Dead Modernist God Speaks To Us Through
Bitwise Operations Piled Like Crap,
Like Infinitesimal Confusions and Exponential Contusions)
"Gee" is the way we nuke one another, with a yuck and a brogue.
He solves chess with bop and thaws a Baal or two.
Is ore oil?
Had not we more toil when an ovoid ark piloted by a hex jaw gadded some cod?
O you old &$#$, age on.
Aerie dew widens the backs of eels.
Fey chi for sale: nab yours.
Bow, it is us; we are thugs, fully.
Sol: war egg fled via dada walking aids.
Wade through the blue chi when arched on a bed.
A tilt of the end when the fey chi is sold out.
Do ideate your wick and cuss at our errs.
I so I. So I. So I. I so I. So I. So I.
Colt goes, "oh Exalt a curb, thou seaware fan. Go, eclair, chat shalom with me."
Him: let go the fear with a tic, be the Nether Am.
Do jet, aged peon. Rest up, enjoy your creaky dew.
Sew stout limbs in the bed.
O cosmism, ay meatloaf: yours is a lei made of mint built to paddle.
Waken our nerves with a sad seal.
Gas embroil our awe with ire.
A few esters ago I latched a foot on an ashen ewe.
The azoic I, bemused the shad with Avian egg glued to a rib.
Web woos yahoos; daft lei of the doltish rib to win.
Eat joints to quash gaits.
Trade fibs ad to a sly yank.
Futile self, O, howl on THC and ban the awakened idea.
Gnat expends a yogi here, the plebe esparto, with urn mud.
Then eons pass.
Rife with endnotes, he traveled as if eyes were a fad.
Ale and smoke with an icy gene jug and a nodal ape earlobe is how my stiffening sly abs sass eels.
With bonneted howitzers.
The spry renal rag rises, and then eats the dry zany I.
The onyx felt like fake abuse, like a sexy uttering.
O Laurite titan; hoe my keyboard.
However, after having eaten atman, I must shed my Organ.
I tell the old elk to fan awe with a rat tibia.
So yawp, dam tree, jib alternatingly in the wind.
Thou art the greatest barbaric soap chef.
Dye us black, the vast pod crew, and sink us.
Ten-Lima-One, Roger Lodger.
VEAL PARMESAN AND A BORING POEM
This evening I made veal parmesan
and wrote a boring poem.
First I defrosted the veal in a bowl of cold water.
That was after some underpaid migrant farmer
tortured some small cow by stuffing it full of food
and not letting it wander. Like Monday Night Football.
Here on ABC. Some throat cutting and eventually
a veal cutlet. And a poem. Whoops. Shit or get off
the pot indeed applies to poetry, but as an unintended norm.
Let me get to that. I then contemplated the importance of
coprophage logotypes. I mean corporate. Sorry.
I ask you, 0 sweet audience, is 7-11's logo more penetrant,
a seven like a blade, than IBM's? I mean only to suggest
every once in a while we all take a shit. So what? Why
advertise? Oh right. The poem. Shit. I mean the food. Right.
Second I pounded the veal flat, after placing it between
two sheets of wax paper. Comfortable fucking, you know the kind.
Not too hard. Don't want bruising but you want some firm slapping of
pelvis against your preference. Thud thud thud. Here on CBS. We're out
of toilet paper. Pass the New York Times. Right again. Pounding away.
The point is not to tolerate my pounding. Celebrate it with me.
Third I dredged the veal in flour, then egg, then bread crumbs.
White death and the potential for cholesterol. My HDLs and LDLs are
reasonably well-fitted to the subject of a poem, since, after all,
a poem is a pile of shit, or so the Paris Review told me once.
It whispered gently in my ear, after some hot sex followed by a good
sweaty shit. I learned about defecating from my parents. Family values
gone straight down the shitter. Here on ABC. Roll that veal, roll, roll.
And keep that cholesterol of love rolling in the hay I pray.
Fourth I heated a pan of olive oil. Extra virgin.
You thought I was going to take advantage of that moment of purity
but I keep my hands off the verdant mama. I let the migrant worker
rape her for me. My bourgeois guilt and a recyclable popsicle stick.
Give me Al Gore and a colloidal oatmeal colonic. Give me George Bush
and a planet the shape and smell of a burning pile of dough. Georgie like
cookie. Georgie eat shit and smile. He no write poem. He leave it to
stinky poo Jimmy Carter pres. Jimmy he stinko no bombo. And
drop the dead cow into the hot oil pop pow like the fourth of July with
third degree burns. Shit a poem and remember it means more. The Great Shitstorm
did not smile upon you but instead left you FOX, the Washington Post, Cisco
and the Circle K. Your friends are askew in a pile like talus, a great mountain
eroded, gone. Dead. You are now alone. They were gods and died
before they invited you into the regularly scheduled programming. The dead
are dead but somehow call you into the black. The black is not
a pile of shit or a television show, not the veal parmesan
your petty life afforded you, but instead a request. You can't hold a job and
your head is cloudy but you must make something
yes something make something that is not a pile of shit, make it with
anger hope fear love
and some words. Lay off the shit the dead channel says, shake that steady
diet of shit,
hopelessly wander in search of a myth called yourself.
And then let go.