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Dear Doctors Docent

Dear Doctors Docent,

Why are you plural?

Questioning,
Everything

*

Dearest Questioner,

If you are truly Everything, then
you know. We are plural because we is.
Because The Shining, because bees, because
we are not legion but we are field. Because
we have done thunk, and we are done
with all the singularities. Done with
black and worm and ass holes. Done.
On a darker note, also we are plural
because of the authorial tone it confers
and fashion-wise because it suits us.
Have you ever seen an arthropod
in a tuxedo? We have. Still, we prefer
Odilon Redon’s crying spider to his smiling
one, and also we like the smiling one better.
Unlike Cyclops, we see how we see fit. Each day.

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[untitled yule tide]— draft, page 9

[untitled yule tide]— draft, page 9

a calendar of salt & tides
& birds scything the full sky

it took me so long to write this
it’s over — but that’s

the way with everything we
say in unison with briny

tongues— tide me
over — if you put 

something in a circle— no one
will want to cross it

•for April I will try to work out one page of a draft per day from a long poem in sections of 10 pages each

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Ocean Shores

“Death is not a gentle falling asleep as I once believed. It’s brutal, hideous, and foul smelling. I wrap my arms around myself and rejoice in my youth and my health. Otherwise my youth is nothing more than a deficiency and a hindrance that I can’t get rid of fast enough.” —Tove Ditlevsen

I believe is not a phrase I use. It’s a guess with heart
but I’ve scooped the meat from mine out, a bell pepper
denuded of seeds. On a plane, the boyfriend gropes
at his girlfriend in such a way. I am seen for what 
I haven’t done, a sequence of negatives that make sense
in exposed light. I went a year without starting a poem
with “I” and it was like removing all the forks from my drawer.
The work we do is necessary, I say in a commanding voice.
I am exposed to the light. I scatter and descend. I tell a man
I have lived in the present so long it has scorched me. 
This is a lie. Out the window, snow-capped mountains,
hard as a fact. I can hardly make sense of  topography,
that is, a positive so real it temporarily dulls me. I think
I could reach down and stroke the mountains like the spine
of a kitten. I think I belong anywhere at all. The boyfriend
in front of me wears a black nail for a thumb, his elbow
greasing his neighbor’s belly. I’m trying to be as alone 
as possible. A dark cloud over a peak, a sex toy forgotten
in a drawer. I want to be better than the acid in my throat
but it will eat me when I die, each wretch a threat, a thought
called up. Later, I’ll follow an illegal trail through the dunes,
fox scat and crushed Glaucous egg, a torn seam in the Pacific
where men putter on ATV bikes to dead bonfire sites, a longing as cheap
as a Goo Goo Dolls song. I am willing to call such things belief.

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The theory of the ory

Pulling from the everything grab bag
The etch a sketch, the litebrite
Four score and twenty equals 4×20+20?

Ogle the ogre
The ogre ogles back
Letting the steam out the open door

Task-doer possession-haver
Left foot yellow right arm green
The wind rises the eyes widen

I stake out my end of the teeter totter
Heater hotter
Theater thoughter

Outlasts the competition
Compassion outlaw
Petitioning compstat

My you minds their I
Though I suspect they couldn’t care one way or the other
How about you

Flicking a crumb or a beetle
This little piggy
Going to market, staying home

I’m a person, you’re a person
And you, and you, and you
<&U&U&U>

Cosmology, cosmetology
Astronomy, astrology
Asteroids in space, stalactites on the ground

I have a trick
To remember
I wear the poem on my person

Before you write it down
Do you hear the scribbling or the drumming?
Even light makes a sound

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POPCORN CHALLENGE

Of course when a dog falls from the drainpipe you catch it

Turns out I didn’t have anything to worry because they’re people too

Pillows were probably on the floor when they arrived

An anthology is a record of a conversation

which is never perfect

What happens when we say we’re going to make the internet better

What happens next year

Meat has been used as an offering 

but can this bag of venison represent peace and safety

Often I think of the cow in Apocalypse Now

Can you visualize numbers

My favorite parenting books are the kind that say don’t read parenting books

Walking down a YES hallway

Rationing contacts

Giving his foot a message from me

Sanctuary for yarn 

Video letter for Tokyo

A feeling that there are about to be multiple pets

First a bee then a tick it must be above forty degrees

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11.

we recall the distances by their smells.
too late for magnolia, we’re on time
for rosemary, fir. eons of pollen.
we tolerate the ambiguity ‘tween
us: a heart orbit, those dudes who pine
their hour of use. ferment. first we cleanse.

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[ # ]

at the center of the room, another room

tuck into crook of ceiling, i’m the nocturne missing a chord
i’m wooing the late creatures with an incomplete sound
could stay here ’til morning
where’s made to catch a sound of any quality
i’ve used every door in the place, they all lead back inside

the ears on the mantle, not originally made to hear me, absorb
the little noises my body makes, devise a shitty sonar to remind me
i’m being reflected with no map for my return

under the ears, if we’re skipping errant senses:
layer of metal
layer of wood
mind your voice: one absorbs & one amplifies
if you say help me only the furniture will keep your secret

years later you’ll leave a mark where a mark’s due
you’ll notice the box wasn’t for holding anything
you never found the courage to crawl inside, you never learned
who would affix a sheet of metal to a slope
having pounded it into a sea of faces,
who are they

(place this card dead center)

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RESTLESS BODY SYNDROME

Or: Domestic Tableau Squirm.  Seven mutant summer guests from the ridged crystal domes of a milky nano-dom. Somewhere back on dearth the house is chaos when you come back as if for you to name it. I lost my MILF too. The one that bled sugar-thick pearls when provoked but don’t pick at your scab! I spent the first decade not thinking about fetuses really then topped the basket with a pot lid so the cats wouldn’t intervene. The cosmic prairie affirms this desire for a green gothic–because it is a uterus when you hold it upside down–mysterious, prophetic, howling bike people want in too–don’t forget bullheads–I remember the pixelverse of simulated destiny and MS-DOS death by cholera–wheretofore I see you more little larva–rife with the overwrought and divine feminine distress, like a Heathcliff. I do not overstate but I want to overstand. Then dive into all earthly textures. A body plunged in flux, secreting it. The last–a kind of reserved psychic space found on the sidewalk and shriveled–mobbed by ants–I later saw LIQUEFY–spinning in gyrations from the cremaster–(read attachment)–ostensibly MELTING in spiral into that green mutation (read) with the golden necklace–the liberation of nothing coming back–a spectacle that made very clear the poem IS the body.

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10

Born in a town named for it
she never worshipped

a sundown song strung between
any two upright things

She slipped right by & nobody
heard the radio retune itself

the lake roll over into an impossible
bloom of perpetual summer

every knee in the place
brown with exposure or bruise

He called her down the hall
He called her from the car

He called her everything but
her given name she’d trashed

retuned toward anywhere 
anywhere anywhere

else away


—
The place where we are going
is the place where we were
before we were born 
(Joanne Kyger, “Saturday Radio”)
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9 (on day 10)

I wanted the natural 
but all I had was the pale green

so the monster’s
not getting made today

In New Orleans a bar & clinic
team up to organize Shots for Shots

& I envy everybody, the bar, 
the clinic, the shots, the bared arms

the street outside with folding chairs 
lined up, the bands that happen by

& stop because people waiting 
need something to dance to

the window several blocks down
with you a shadow in it, 

swinging out, spooling to reach me
ready to take in as much as you can
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Frequently Asked Questions — A Checklist

(A Post-Second Vax Still In Bed Because Of Body Aches Thing Composed Of Today’s Way Better Poems + Random Word Press Crap)

1.) How many times this week has my morning commute, or just plain driving to the grocery store, turned into a road-rage-inducing nightmare?

2.) Did a failed reporter bond to an alien entity and become one of the many symbiotes who will destroy Earth?

3.) Will I ever get over “abbatoir is a grammar”?

4.) Is the too-late start even a start? Even if I love unpeeled light?

5.) Are all of us who haven’t slept well in years the same people that get eaten by wolves in pornos?

6.) ¿Hay leche: Como puedo iniciar sesion?

7.) So You Want To Make Block Patterns?

8.) Brute force attack protection for the Jersey Community Meetup Flash Talk?

9.) Is the smell of Sbarro slice grease and Kool-Aid coming from my hair? or the sky full-lit and full-tilt?

10.) heart worms can crawl out of a dog’s nose?

11.) Do you know why this street is called My Lapidary Fears Have Become Unguents?

12.) Why should I unfriend her when I enjoy reporting her racist QAnon crap?

13.) dmv written test practice or elvish translator?

14.) If poets wrote laws and lawyers wrote an onomatopoeia of eyebrows?

15.) Are aging and living mostly thermodynamic?

‎16.) ¿Dónde? ¿Cuándo? ¿Quién? ¿Cómo? Ecstasy is some sugar daddy, si?

17.) Contiguous areas of what?

18.) the lizard starkly still against the boiling leaves but the devil just putzing around?

19.) Artist, Anger, Abortion, America, and . . .?

20.) any old blue roving?

21.) Are you finding strength in the softer vowels?

22.) Is that Elton John? (No, it’s John Candy)

23.) Monster buck can’t mate?

24.) the vulnerability of order under afflicted stars?

25.) You know what I’d really love right now? (Crackers?)

26.) Ja Rule, just because?

27.) So what are people? What is a fork? An ancient spoon? Are heebie geebies Jewish? Where was the first hullabaloo?

28.) the Doldrums or the Dardanelles?

29.) Sam Sundown: to rise or to shine?

30.) not the same robot?

31.) there are secret notes hanging in mezuzahs?

32.) What if Peter hadn’t caught the wolf?

33.) degrees

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If There is a Past to Go Back to, Meet Me There

It’s like bounding down the steps
of an escalator
in a mall in 1998
where is the smell of Cinnabon sweetness
or grease Sbarro slice
down your favorite t-shirt
the Co-Ed Naked Volleyball one
hideous in the hetero gratuity
When do we begin to take it all back
the tornado/hurricane phenom
of feelings, say that’s not right
or true or how it was
How detached it all feels now
the world pulsing
a center fountain spray of calamity
how water fixtures are curious
in a world of no water
how junk food emblems radiate
in the sky full-lit and tilt
When I had kool-aid in my hair to color it
and you licked it with your dark tongue
from forehead down the part.
The first time I heard poetry
I thought, fuck the poetry,
let’s get down on this boozy dynamic
and crush our blue-flavored enemies
when they weren’t enemies yet, or at all,
I just needed something else bigger than me
to fight against when everything is bigger
than me, fighting against it all.

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WORKERS UNITE DUH

Heart worms can crawl out of a dog’s nose

A new place to get yarn

You’re still alive so here’s a scarf

In the I’ll do it later syndrome

Why the tail light went into the wall

Oxford scooter daddy says let’s go

Marks up house of the golden worker

The police will be replaced and renamed

The Family of Nonjudgemental Adults

Turns out you can have everything 

Advertisements for water

The umph of my sabotage is nose in books

Do you know why this street is called Union Street

Do you know why these buildings were here

How the company paid for them