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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

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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Are you talented or hardworking?

Learning to live interstitially

It takes a while but finally the fountains pool

And we can drink or bathe

The waters are warm

And slightly effervescent 

It is hard to choose

It feels, it takes, it seems, it is

Who is this it so busy with activity?

Where is the lapel to sticker the label?

Vote already!

So you might know me better

Horace, Sulpicia,

I stood under the shadow and looked up

Expecting a cloud

And there was the ostrich in the treetops

Or not even an ostrich exactly but some extinct giant

Molting in the canopy

Birds are dinosaurs

So what are people?

What is a fork? An ancient spoon

Counterpoint: no it’s not

Are heebie geebies Jewish?

Where was the first hullabaloo?

Once upon a time

Eating a tuna melt while writing this poem

Remembering malaise, a mothball miasma

Behind the taped-up door to the computer room

Trying to laugh while frowning, trying to frown while laughing

The mute switch stops the machine from listening but we can keep on talking

Or if you prefer, unspeaking

Deep into the night

Like a dry well

Making small improvements to the morning

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I compose a most delicate email

Facially granite, uncomfortably myself

Why would I take credit when I can share credit

Be the reed dad or the tree dad

In which my lapidary fears become like unguents

To help in the defeat

Of gravity, friction, the strong force

Let the weak force arbitrate!

The best sentences demand punctuation

I compose my fixed idea

If poets wrote laws and lawyers wrote poems

Three trombones for the wolf

Prowling the edge of a thousand lakes

Only to live in a kennel beside the lambs

Inscrutable is an onomatopoeia of eyebrows

Illegible for muscles around the eyes

Incomprehensible resides in the temples

Impossible in the shoulders and the chest

I hold my neck for abstruse

Stroke my forehead for abstract

Obscure crawls chilly toward my elbows

Hostile in my truculent hips

A blur drips riverine footward

In the rattling shadow of monuments

Are aging and living the same thing?

I compose my composure

Mostly thermodynamic

Piecemeal as non-fiction

But you know what I am

Do you know what I am?

If Peter hadn’t caught the wolf, what then?

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Poem for Generous

I try to be not proud, to feel no shame
Listening to kids and their inventions

Which involve perforations to deliver
Vaccines through the bottom of my feet

A metal plate leans up against my door
The diary evacuated beyond all imagining

Spectre all I eat is myself
A most nourishing meal but my sole protein

I should seek out other requirements
Climb the energy pyramid

Smoke of the burning bushes, glacial water runoff
In your long-range telescope viewfinder

The mirrors and parabolic dishes align
Is that a should or a must in your will

I can be located even outside parameters
Least world is the sound of the sound of my voice

This is what I hear from your perspective
Bitcoin ballet

Extinction springtime
Listen to me person consult the contract

Earbuds on the picnickers eyes on the phones
Some dogs have breeds some birds have songs

If the language has gotten too old speak it
I’m not so used to these maneuvers

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The Master Cat

Angling for a bargain then hoping merely to keep the lights on

I can remind my body who I am or be who my body says I can be

Drafting behind slow bicycles, serene as a raptor

On my shoulders I stand on my tiptoes and my fingertips

The sun can be too bright but other stars are way too dim

My shadows set off wind chimes

I’ll hear them ring first thing tomorrow morning

As I whip the eggs into a hot oiled pan

Then pull it off the heat to congeal more slowly

To a barely cooked texture

Older than the culture

I have this careful conversation all day long

Training the hammer not to hit my thumb

By offering all the other thumbs of the universe

Or notching thumb-sized holes in all the hammerheads

I put on my seven league boots always so begrudgingly

Will I ever learn to love cheesecake

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Mouse Manor

News dates the present

So it can harrow later

How dated it was

How if I had known

More news

Could I have felt more


Some sort of person with a suffix


Like communicating with products

Not knowing what animal they came out of

The shrimp in the flamingo feathers

The boredom in the silence

It’s an asset

But not an agent

Which distinction means

Too stupid to know who it’s working for

I’ll never have that thought again

I never had to have it in the first place

Keeping my head down

Flapping my wings

In a contest to see who stands on what step

So our heads are all at the same height

In the photograph of all the proud conversationalists

Silently listening

The list gets longer

The more open the more open secrets

Neither apologizing nor accepting submissions of apology

To keep the channel open




The part of the brain that knew all the phone numbers

What is doing with those neurons these days?

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Roy G. Bivouacked

The aftercolored dusk is where I tell this story

Mystery of the villain whose vials of mislabeled placebos

Applied to our bodies filled our bookshelves

With late style’s overwrought overwriting

Little songs in sharp key pulling at lenticular buttons

I have a rat brain who sees in every shadow a brother

I have to remind myself hello every word for I don’t know

Squeeze the we inside the sentence and vowels fall out

Plentiful rare earth metals from meteorites in the taiga 

Wishing to be helpful, punctual, so unobtrusive

A bed on wheels, a robovac’s endless inhalation

But 98.6 is a very hot afternoon! My personality is barbarian

Touring in my zeppelin the thermosphere

Tossing out books on hygge, tossing national anthems

Tossing personology acronyms Y for yes T for terday

Open the piano dip me in

The university of the future universe can dehisce

With my rods and cones I must live on the very top of the sun

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I’m thinking about the doctor in the riddle who can’t operate because that’s her child on the operating table.

On television it’s all thinkable.

Then in some poetic essay you don’t happen to mention terms of endearment, my, my, my,

I get a little kick every time

One toe squished up against the next

Incognito memoir

I think I love being by myself it’s being alone that gets uneasy

Calamari without fried breading isn’t that just squid

I take the tunnel off the bookshelf

Hoping for, what, harbingers of prophecy?

It’s like a ferocious beige wall, the closer you get, the beigier

Goodest, boy number one says

Most good, boy number two corrects

I have to catch them both before we can go on

But the same thing I’m writing in order to tell you, you are reading in order to tell me

Some friends sit at our table

I deal the cards

Last night I watched a video on how to play contract bridge, the game my great-great-uncle supposedly invented

I’ve seen his face on the cover of Sports Illustrated though history is apocryphal

The rules are nearly unlearnable but I could have played it with you all night a hundred years ago today

Imagine the luxury of that much luxury

Who has the time? What time is it?

I asked a celebrity by accident after a midnight movie when I first got to the city

He scowled back and gave me a middle finger

That’s one approach

Bad riddance to good rubbish

As of tonight even my eight year old has learned air quotes

Living in the country of innovation

Walking over the rocks on Paloma Beach

Waiting for the day to wear the hat so I can toss the hat into the wind

Today is always that day, right?

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The Animated Series

Glory, glory

I peel away the stickers

With the fingernail part of my brains

Then apply GOO OFF to the sticky remains

The glue is molecular

What is an enzyme?

Carried through the winter

A sheep fed on mutton

I’m so heavy every time when the time comes

I can’t figure out how to mention Henry Warnimont

I have it and I lose it

Acronyms long as sentences

Sweet music on the ill tempered clavier

The pendulums fall back into sync

Overlovely queries about philosophies of living,

A recipe for the bubbles

The pushpin you left point up on the table

Somehow affrights me all the way across the room

Like a troll I already turned to stone

When the green lake still waits for me

For some eternal return theory of temporary returning

Chitty chitty bang bang chuffs the wonderful machine 

It has no steering wheel

Only many DOOR OPEN elevator buttons

To give everyone something to push while they wait

For the doors to open when it is time for the doors to open

So thoughtful is this thinking machine

You follow it out into the meadow

Golden doodle

Sing the song and say the saying

Some cyclops have one eye, some have three

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When the dodecahedrons go the way of the dodo

I’ll follow the longboats into the afternoon

I tell myself that story, telomeres and waterbears

And breadfruit roasts in hot rock ovens under the sand

A vegan shark substitute I’m barely myself, I’m only a symptom

Waving to you from the balcony facing the beach

As enthusiastic as a tube puppet outside a car dealership

Humble, happy, pious, and silent

In the wind meditation feelings of loss are met with

Evidence of having and that freedom goes on many days

Forgiveness provisionally withheld

Down a river as it evaporates in the direction of the ocean

Until the toy boats get so small and densely modeled

They aren’t even fun to play with

Are polished rocks more magnetic

Do coins bathed in acid overnight catch your eye

Like allergy and family gossip, true only in a historical sense

Here I am seed in the ground living in the land of the future

Some clouds go on telling that story my story is

Maybe personless, or maybe pitiless, or maybe helpful?

Running my nails along the knots

Tied round my middle fingers to remind me of

Something I can’t remember what

My calendar is empty all of last year

X’s in boxes, a mustache made of cream

That’s how apocalypses are

It’s busy but I’m used to it and I have time for you always

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Approaching second childhood

With mouth open, tongue out

The clouds above the ringworld lift

Revealing rows of sharply illuminated bulbs

Through the world’s narrowest telescope

Plural of verb

Wearing a bouquet of primroses

Like the crust of last spring

To make or to find in a period under the worm

Good blood good mood

While balancing on the step stool’s high rung

Aviator with leather helmet and one piece bathing suit

Tchotchkele or memento mori

Caligula or Joan

Just in case

I reach for the owl talon

Hoping I won’t find one

Or hoping I don’t find just one

Pamphlets flutter over haystacks

Improvising a table from deconstructed wardrobe

Radio Free Morning

It’s a mixed bag but a mix of what or a bag of which


I try to tell historical disinformation from misinformation

I’m no inhabitant I only live there

Fair thee well

The fatter, latter voice

Knocks on my window

Wonder who it is

From the cocoon

Everyone comes out different

Astrophel’s asphodels

Mastodons and megafauna

Which ones are the annuals

And which are the perennials

You can say that again

The first two lines 

Of a limerick

Or a nursery rhyme