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REALLY FUCKING PRETTY


At the very top of the world you can’t see very much mostly you can just see places that are close to the very top of the world. Hearing that I’ve been there people are always eager to talk to me they ask questions like “I bet it was really something, right?” and they ask me to tell them about it and I give them answers like “The very top of the world was alright, but I prefer Albany.” They are almost never satisfied with this some are so unsatisfied that they become determined to journey to the very top of the world. When they return I ask them how it was and they give me answers like “The very top of the world was alright, but I prefer Sacramento.” After a while of this I started telling people, when they asked that the very top of the world was better than it was, I started telling people that I was thinking about going back. And some of them became determined to journey to the very top of the world. When they returned I asked them how it was and they told me that the very top of the world was better than it was they told me that they were thinking about going back. Now I’m sitting at the very top of the world


and I can’t see very much and I’d prefer to be in Albany.


The wanderer roams for ten months out of the year and rests during the other month.


Iconoclasms I was in the middle of a seminar I was giving about the seven bridges you must cross and the one bridge you must burn to attain true love when someone in the audience interrupted and asked about my qualifications about why should I know about this and I pulled out the tabloid my romance being the most well documented the most well photographed of the decade, but the audience member was fractious and stood up and walked out in protest. I don’t know if they were protesting me or true love or what the difference would be.


The farmer’s boy had never been off the farm in his life. Since you can only dream of the things you’ve seen, the farmer’s boy dreamt of corn stalks with cows’ heads. When the farmer’s boy would lie in a field and look at the clouds, all the clouds would seem to him to resemble sheep. The farmer’s boy knew every fish who lived in the duck pond, he had caught each of them at least three times, even that old, shy, fat catfish, and always threw them back. The farmer’s boy had a rock collection, he would keep every interesting stone he turned up while plowing the farm’s fields; one of the stones looked like a pig. Another looked like a duck.


AUTUMN LEAVES and winter shuts the door behind it.


The War When the war came Casey’s brother signed up quick to do his duty. It seemed like it was only the day after that two officers showed up to present his mother with some medals and she cried. It seemed like every mother around was crying with some medals. Then the war came closer and soon there was no sugar and then it crept closer till you could hear it from your bedroom, but you can act like it’s not there, easy if you just turn up the dubstep.


The Handsome Mouse “Please, won’t you psychologize me?” he pleaded. We wouldn’t and he started acting up, yelling “Squeak! Squeak! Squeak!” until we had enough and went downstairs to watch TV.


Murder/Arson Twelve detectives examine a crime scene There’s been a murder says the first. Yes, to cover up the arson says the second. There’s a lingering smell of burnt cash says the third. They were trying to cover up the counterfeiting says the fourth.

But where is the body? Asks the fifth. We are detectives says the sixth. I have a badge but no notebook says the seventh. I have a notebook but no badge says the eighth. We are all covered in blood says the ninth. One of us must be lying says the tenth. Not all is as it seems says the eleventh says the eleventh.


Yr flesh’s turning into miniature cattle. The miniature cattle realize they are on a giant & stampede off and out of sight. This mostly happens under yr clothes. The girl you’re talking to @ the bar is kind of impressed by this ostensible magic, but later when you bring her home she is less impressed by the exposed sinews and veins that populate yr form and says maybe we should just sleep with our clothes on. She answers yr text for five days, then stops


the problem with your whole life is your floors are dirty every headache you’ve ever had could be fixed with a mop


Greeting Card Poem We walk around with greeting cards introducing ourselves to everyone we meet Our greeting cards are decorated with unnecessary representations of flowers All of the people that we know have received one of these greeting cards. We fill the cards with unnecessarily specific information about ourselves so no one comes away with a wrong impression of us, but our writing is also long winded and verbose so no one comes away with a right impression of us. During our downtime we watch reruns on daytime television, or, if it is not our day to have the A/C we hang out by the pool. Topics that we have exhausted include our mothers There is only one taboo subject during our downtime: our greeting cards. We talk to the children at the pool, and, as stand-in authority figures, have meticulously documented the top 50 cannonballs of the summer. Each of the children from the pool have received a personally addressed greeting card detailing precisely what they can do to improve their cannonballs. These are always mailed to their home addresses in order to avoid downtime conflicts of interest.


The Wedding At first sight some of the children were most drawn to the pony ride, a few however tumbled over towards the moon bounce where other laughing munchkins in face paint were somersaulting etc, with cotton candy halos round their mouths.


We should turn around they said that’s not the way but they were wrong that was the way


Parrot The cries of the Arctic winds blend with the shrieking of the ice. My friend told me she bought a parrot. I thought about that on top of the glacier, shivering.


The Grey Palace I live in the Grey Palace sometimes my hands smell like feet and not even when I’ve just put on shoes sometimes long before or long after sometimes from the balconies of the Grey Palace I watch the stars or passing cars on the street in the springtime the new greens leak into the Grey Palace and the old greys leak out In the basement of the Grey Palace there is a slide that goes to the center of the Earth


Hanging Out I was in the treehouse by myself when you came up “can’t even let me be lonely,” I said. “What’re we gonna do?” you asked, so I got out the telescope. “I’m tired of looking at the naked ladies,” you said, so I aimed it at the fat man’s window and we watched him, his belly lolling out like a panting dog’s tongue. He had a naked lady over, though, so we got bored and stopped watching. Since there was nothing else to do I brought out the liquor. We took turns drinking straight from the bottle. Neither of us spoke as we passed back and forth until your grasping hand didn’t grasp quick and it slipped and spilled. “Even though you’re here I’m going to be lonely anyway,” I said, so you passed out to make it easier for me to do it. I didn’t even have any old love letters to read or burn. I talked to you while you were sleeping. I told you all of the things I didn’t like about you. Then I felt bad so I told me all of the things I did like about me. Then I looked through the telescope and the naked lady had left the fat man so I watched him, his belly lolling out like a panting dog’s tongue, all by myself and it wasn’t boring.


Though I’m not sure how it ended up under the couch cushions, I couldn’t help but appreciate the new family dog


The Sing Song Days On the sing-song days we sang together, all of us. the sing-song days were good cleaning-the-dishes days and also good decorating-the-house days since we could just sing what we were doing. Sometimes we had quiet-all-together days which were much better than quiet-separately days, when everyone just did quiet-things on their own. On the quiet-all-together days whoever woke up first would wake up every else like it was Christmas with a shh-finger in front of their mouth and everyone would have to wear slippers.


My mother died. The War came. We’re getting a divorce. Jesus and The Buddha are helping me cope. My hair is falling out, the kids don’t call, I’m putting on some weight.


Song Goats Up in the mountains you can hear the song goats sing. The song goats sing the same songs over again over and over the same songs. People from the nearby mountain villages go up into the mountains to go crazy. One villager went to teach the goats a new song but came back crazy singing the song goats’ songs.


I THOUGHT I SAW THE SUN SHINE “We do not believe in miracles,” one said. “We like to hear the sounds of falling snow,” said another. “We imagine ourselves within an infinite afternoon,” said a third. “We breathe on frozen glass, put our eyes to its thawed circles,” said a fourth. “We do handstands in green grass in summertime,” said a fifth. “Our whispers always echo.” “Our birthdays make us anxious.” “Our parents don’t remember us.” “Our nights are soon forgotten.” The last was silent.


Half a lemon if you were a houseguest and i were a host i would feel bad for having left you in the fridge for two weeks.


Grumble


Shrimp & Tuna You will be costumed as a tuna i will be costumed as a shrimp. our costumes will perhaps be made largely out of paper matche but also partly of fabric. Though my costume will appear larger than yours, because i am the larger of us, we will act as though we are the size of our respective sea dwellers and i will act like you are a giant and run from you and hide in the shadows eating dead things and you will be caught on one of those lines that require multiple men to reel in. And your body will be eaten by cats and my inedible tail will end up on staten island under a diaper.


After the War There wasn’t much left. it looked apocalyptic maybe it was. You smeared ashes on your face your arms your tattered clothes I wore an apron that said Kiss the Chef “Those ashes from all those burnt down buildings are probably going to give you cancer,” I said. You laughed and asked if I wanted to play hide and seek. You won every time You blended in perfectly with the burnt down buildings.


Skinny Love we are starving to death and you are hot for me i don’t have any energy, i say looking at the dirt we will die soon anyway you assure me i am only a sack of bones, i tell you, but you don’t care and start saying dirty things in my ear i am hot for you too i can’t stop thinking about biting off a piece of your ear or leg


The Number One I am a traveling salesman everywhere I go is exactly the same in the exact same way Every night as I am waiting to fall asleep in some motel I am counting to one million. Every night I resume where I left off the night before. When I get to one million, I start again at one. My favorite number to count is 37,563, but I also highly enjoy 137,563 and 437,563.


The Haunted House down the street burned down or did it?


Significant in the postcards you wrote you dotted your i’s with dots “everything matters—or nothing does, is some peoples’ point of view” you said in the postcards you wrote


Dead Horse Fucker What do you know of gallop? Yeah, in a field. Where else? Under sky. With my footprints in the mud I spelt out love. A hoofprint next to mine; love.


Heart Beat Frantic We are playing space bandits; I am the bandits robbing your caravan. The sound of my magnet boots on your ship’s carapace makes your heart beat frantic. The strobing lights of space cops are planets behind us. “Give up your precious cargo,” I yell, “those space cops will never catch up.” “Drats,” you sigh, looking at Sven, panting, a hundred feet away. “What are you carrying, anyway? Open it up.” “Instantaneous Transporter Devices,” you say, unzipping your backpack to let Sven through. “I won’t go out like this,” I tell you, pulling my space blaster from its holster. “Not like this.” I shoot and we are ripped from the caravan. I float around your backyard for two hours, staring into far off galaxies until the stars comes out.


The Falls You are standing on or in a waterfall and you are beckoning to me and I can hear my mother’s voice in my head saying “if someone jumped off of a bridge would you jump off of a bridge too” but this isn’t a bridge it’s a waterfall.


The Stage Donkey “He’s just a stage donkey,” you said. “He won’t just carry stuff for you, it’s not in his contract.” So I wrote a script. Act I, Scene I Donkey carries things.


Refrigerator Love Story A refrigerator is an end of a love story shared lives shared shelves they say we shop at a store at the top of our street to keep our shared shelves stocked A Marxist-Leninist walks into an analogy where the train is late and everything is scarce. The night is dark and sitting on a cold bench the Marxist-Leninist struggles to stay awake. To fall in love is to trip into a hole. While doing some shopping we discover Our favorite cashier has quit the job “Will we ever see you again?” I ask “No,” says the cashier A Marxist-Leninist falls asleep on a train and misses their stop. Then Our favorite cashier gets on the same train and sits next to the sleeping Marxist-Leninist. The store at the top of our street is now understaffed. Their new hours are as short as winter sunshine. We wake up after dark. Our end of a love story has empty shelves. Our favorite cashier and a Marxist-Leninist leave the country and become adventure capitalists. Their trail is a locusts’. We keeping digging holes in our back, then our front, yard. But to trip into a hole is not to fall in love.


Two adventure capitalists are wolves and the world is their caribou. They buy a banana plantation in the Caribbean. We went to the store at the top of our street and bought a bunch of bananas. Putting them on our shelves we found a note attached: “I told you you’d never see me again.”


The Orphanage we barely see kids anymore once they have parents maybe on a birthday or running into each other on the street.


The Hoarse Race We run around the track screaming as loud as we can. Our friends watch from the stands; one of them is taking bets. I scream I can’t do this anymore. This is useless. I’m tired of screaming. My wife comes down from the stands and tells me that she is leaving me for Frank. At first I am elated that she put her money on me, but, as her and Frank’s silhouettes disappear, together, into the horizon, I am less and less certain.


The end of the world blue sky. cloud in days? Who hasn’t seen a Easy connections, but faster to change, the birds hop, where is metaphysics? A one dollar tomorrow, our jackets stained with mud, out from once again we arose. Time now, “your face is obscured by shadows?” ha, weaver and choice. I am trying to find my way into and out of the forest. Direct and inmistakable, here will change “Where are you going?” She asked me and I didn’t know how to reply I thought of saying “nowhere” “to the cloud cuckoo land of color wheels” “a happier star than this” “where the weather suits my clothes” “hell” and instead walked to the bathroom and climbed out the window and up and onto the neighbor’s roof and onto higher and ever higher buildings until I reached the moon. After we realized we couldn’t make the hole any deeper we began to make it wider and wider. “If you average the weight of every sidelong glance you ever got you’d find out exactly who you were” he said No one ignored it and no one spoke. They sat in silence. A cat yawned.


I was talking about kissing a baby You were tying your shoes You were tying your shoes for a very long time and when you stood up they were less tied than tangled It would take you weeks to unknot those tangles We ate hot dogs together under a tree You got a lot of mustard on your shirt I couldn’t stop thinking about it It was too much mustard I couldn’t hear anything you said for the rest of the day I couldn’t talk to you for weeks I couldn’t talk to anyone.


Your peach tree is barren, it has not grown a single peach in all the years you’ve had it a few cherries, some pears, a passion fruit have appeared on its branches like adopted children, but never any peaches You keep cultivating the tree though and one day you find, growing from a low branch, a field mouse.


The people on the streets, I looked into all of their faces. None of them looked alike: I made a love radar, but, I can’t tell if it doesn’t work or does.


Helen walks around with wet cement. Occasionally, when she sees something she likes, she’ll smear some cement on it. Helen would like to be made out of cement herself, she thinks, some days. Helen’s liked a lot of her neighbor’s things. Her neighbors’ve put up a fence. They were appalled when Helen cemented their cat. Their cat didn’t seem to mind the cement too much. Helen mixes cement in the mornings in her underwear. She is quite attached to this morning ritual. It is when she feels, even if only briefly, that she has the most control over her life. In the garage next to the old bikes with flat tires, gray-blue light straying in through two small windows, Helen might pause, for a moment, over the bucket with a soft glow in her eyes and her face will relax, just a little until she comes back to herself and finishes mixing the cement


A flight, a flying. There are no terrified.


Tintanabulation One after another are years, and snows coming down quiet to quiet. The throughrushing rivers thawing and freezing; your boots fading and breaking, all your footsteps are gone, sand or snow or mud, are gone now. You are not always even into imagining, some days the twine ball in your head sits on the floor under furniture, with the dust. You would like to sit still so long you were covered in dust. You would like to be at the end of a rainbow, covered in dust. You would like to carry around dust with you to dust the things that should be dusty.


i will count to ten on your soul until you remind me of my mother and I cry until i think of dying flowers in pots by the window that i don’t know how to save until my voice gets soft as the ground after the snow melts whenever i celebrate your birthday in my head it looks like a child’s party everyone wears conical hats with white elastic and bright balloons conference in corners and i feel embarrassed i wish i could draw on the sunset with my finger, i don’t think i have anything on the Creator, and the sky would like like amateur hour, it would be like pounding on a piano i don’t know how to play i will count to ten on your soul until the birds come back in Spring until the water gets warm and the leaves drop


The Case It was a classic murder whodunnit. (the detective over breakfast eggs, toast, drinking milk felt it coming) At the detective office in the morning the report came in. There was an heiress. There was an old lady with furs. She had a small dog. Someone had an aristocratic British accent. It was the detective. The detective was assigned the case but with a caveat from the detective office sergeant "Don't guff this up if you pull another one of your stunts I'll put you in the evidence locker." The detective was a good and thorough one but possessed some unfortunate behaviors including certain opportunistic interpretations of 'the protocol' and perhaps a few matters skewing towards vigilantism, which were disparaged in the force -- as was assignment to the evidence locker. Already at the scene of the crime there was another detective. "Some place here, huh?" the early-arrived detective asked. "Amazing how much blood there is everywhere" said the disparaged detective. "Amazing how much everywhere there is." The mansion was abundant. They gathered, bagged, photographed evidence. A bloody trail led through half the rooms


and terminated with bloody handprints on the first few steps of the imperial staircase, as if the deceased had stopped trying to hold themself together and begun trying to pull themself up, to apparently die at the bottom of the stairs where an oriental rug slowly absorbed a large pool of blood. Another detective arrived while they worked. They greeted each other somberly and divided up the workload. "I'll dust for fingerprints," said the first detective. "I'll write up all the evidence," said the second detective. "I'll line up the witnesses," said the third "from shortest to tallest." They agreed to reconvene in the ballroom where the third detective would line up the witnesses. Two more detectives had arrived and were standing in the ballroom when they reconvened. All the detectives lined up from shortest to tallest. "We could dance if only there were music," said a detective. Just then four detectives walked in, carrying their instruments, and started playing. The first detective waltzed with the heiress. The second detective flamencoed with the old lady with furs. The third detective fox trotted with the butler. The fourth detective tangoed with the maid. The fifth detective jitterbugged with the lawyer. More detectives arrived as they danced. The fifth detective, being the most acute, saw the problem. Handing off the lawyer to one of the newly arrived detectives, the fifth detective said "I'll go fetch more


witnesses" and ran out. The other detectives stood against the wall waiting for their dance partners. "I don't really dance," said one. "It's all in the hips," said another. When the fifth detective arrived with the new witnesses the detective band felt a renewed energy and launched into a hip jazz number. More detectives made their ways into the ballroom, following them were more witnesses. Everyone was dancing. Detectives dipped and twirled witnesses. Witnesses dipped and twirled detectives. Everyone was dancing. "You know who would really enjoy this?" asked a detective. "The detective office sergeant." So they called him up, told him to come on down. He arrived in a fabulous pair of dance shoes, and began to tear it up he later admitted he hadn't danced so hard since his sister's wedding One of the detectives was a close friend and confirmed that the detective office sergeant had indeed been the talk of the wedding. The dancing lasted until well after midnight. It was hard for the detectives to sort out whose shoes were whose the detectives all being the sort who wore nondescript shoes. The witnesses mostly found their shoes without any trouble and trickled out. As the last witness giggles faded away from the manor, and the sound of the last engine pulling away faded too a quiet came over the ballroom.


"Detective!" called the detective office sergeant, over the hush. "Yes, sir?" responded an aristocratic British accent. "I'm giving you a medal." "Thank you, sir." Then all of the detectives walked home barefoot rather than put on the wrong shoes.


L/only We are afraid will you comfort us? No you must learn not be afraid. Were you never afraid? Are you never afraid? Know thyself, there is comfort in love. When will we know love? & will love know us back? or will love know our backs? Do not tell us, do not lie, that you cannot walk out on love. what of those absent fathers? what of those scorned lovers? How can we stop those stories from being our stories? I don't know. I don't know. We hear that love is always different. We hear that love is always the same. We hear our heart beat when we cover our ears. I am nauseous to tell you anything you are yet like clay. There must be something? There is sun and there is cold. There are good days and there are others. If I told you more I might be lying. There must be more?


Really fucking pretty  

Poems featuring animals, space, mountains, glaciers, war, fruit, detectives, my mother, children, holes, cement, the sky.

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