Self-Portrait as Sparrows and Blood

For the price of a tooth, you can buy two from the boy with no legs. One to keep, the other to let. As in ancient times, the first slit open over a bowl of fresh water, the second dipped into the blood of its twin. Water beading on the sheath of its beak. As… More

Imaginary Shotguns

—Jordan Davis and many others There’s a teenager in an SUV, shopping mall, or nightclub with an imaginary shotgun. The weapon belongs to him, but he doesn’t—he can’t—know it’s there. That’s one problem with an imaginary shotgun: if one is unaware of its existence, one might feel safe enough to forget about the possibilities, to… More

Letter to Mike Scalise

On a flight from somewhere to somewhere else, the woman next to me vomits into a bag. She’s polite about it, as if trying not to disturb. The bag fills up, she seals it in a separate Ziploc, and puts that in her purse. Then she starts the process all over. And this, Mike, reminds… More

Isako, Lost Things I

Isako keeps careful chronicle of lost things. Mother. Father. Hairpin. During war Isako loses city which is also now. Always some nation under foreign attack. Air raid sirens busted brick and shrapnel. Isako’s History of Lost Things. Line after line persons lost or missing. Photographs of Isako as child. As bride shrouded in high-toned luxury.… More

Golden Age Drinking

From some neighbor’s place, “Moon River.” It trickles down the stairs & under our door. It puts chopsticks in my chignon & spritzes you with Youth Dew. In the Mansion of Many Apartments, the 60s is a locked rec room we can’t get into. They’ve changed the code. I guess we just have to stand… More

Our Books, Our Books

The question is whether to quell this profligate book writing. Everyone’s “putting out” books. We pulp our words before pouring them right back in. How many times can we fold the same bone? Dad used to fill our slack with dumb conundrums. He said: Would you rather empty industrial grease traps for a living or… More

“Resolution in Loving Memory of Sky and Gooseflesh” (four selections)

Having begun now to burn bright as the fires that bore it, having, As so many things, become of what it was from the first the apparent Equal, transformed only through atomization, through display, Those distinctive signatures of the miraculous and its window dressers’ Ongoing project–Design’s gentrification of a vulgar, impoverished Real–, Which, on-schedule, over-budget,… More