one day in palm * all I think about now are suns buried deep in soaking eyelashes I mean there's a shooting averaging to every day I mean it's undoubtedly always been out-of-hand I mean it's a lot of me in an apartment sleeping through everything important cottonmouth'ed into the ground you are beckoning me glassful of meandering and posting and I mean I'm just scrolling through openings for public service and choosing gratuity all day mason jars of lettuce or five dollar bills or a better image a film flickering through my retinas Iâ€™m daydreaming of reading more I mean etching --through theory or time-pieces to convince the world theyâ€™re important this is a text of saved changes wet slate marked by stoned and daggers sprouted from the gardens I mean what are we doing if not praising the gleaners? * Iâ€™m erasing a lot of things lately
* this text is sutured steeped in idiom/idioma * this, I suppose, is my answer to language * I haven’t reached for my cutting board today this is my way of saying I’m hungry my lead gone game dead a dead game of horror I stopped eating meat for six months then for two days only ate honey butter chicken biscuits and I felt knots I stopped eating meat again yet in those two days I said to her “I just can’t focus anymore” my lead body is in a gulf of sandpaper my lead body is in blown glass alone my lead body can’t make out what flowers are * the president is furious and making politic all over propagating gun smoke is there not gun smoke everywhere you look?
* a voice is perched on the window of a sedan how am I gonna write a poem when I’m okay?\ * I’ll say my prostate is diamond snuff I’m sitting on cases of water bottles knowing full well the cost of plastic * in beginning a question with “do you still,” there is a shift from certain to uncertain like in a single bag of tea is medicine like a velvet tongue glossing a sidewall like a leg I am unable to move I google’d the etymology of the term ‘shell-shock’ * a wall is lined with dusty electrical outlets. I want to ask someone around me to explain how electrical currents work, but maybe not. just blow the dust into my nostrils. knee me. gulf me. spit me. my gravel pit in the nostalgia of nicotine. the nostalgia of front porch saliva pale ales and rooftops spliff’ed out. the outlets keep making faces at me. * milk is running down my legs I mean I’m looking up at the cereal ceiling--a pasteful of eyelids a sound in one lick Is This Becoming Of Me Or Am I Sensationalizing?
lint, let verb be: dawn; let verb be: foliage; let sun be: lit; be: leg I’m reaching for a lozenge to tickle my lung in a motorcade of Crown Vic’s a mountainous trachea will border me will you skin me but not in how lungs hurt? will you skin me in how I want to hold leg // lung // dust // milk? * the infrastructure is not asleep it is dead * Meredith called me last night weeping she saw another father shot down on the television * in the cold morning my braille skin screams concerned the sweat soaks into the linens my braille skin is no longer surprised by backwards--the direction and the spelling of the word my braille skin isn’t listening anymore * I burned myself on the cast iron griddle. the sun burns drunk in front of me. wake me, cherry pits. wake me alive like ice water. I’m awake now sitting by the traffic’s tunneling wind where being alone is a thumbnail for this poem * is it weird I still ask questions of craft and occupation language and merengue death and solace?
* when will the sun birth me calm? when will the sun burn my scalp? * a marble counter is eating the sky let talk be like blah blah blah blah and then the word ‘lichen’ I keep referencing lichen and buying olive oil. my father is in jail again I’m mostly eating kale again mothersky peel me like right in the mouth where I eat the fertilizer of a floral bed I’m dreaming of a splint for my lung I’m dreaming of a splint for shoes, hollowed through their sole the sky is beating me with a splint * in a room full of thumbs spelling their names in condiments is one gold helium balloon Meredith is fingering a rosary someone lead me to my kin through the sound of steel in the way steam works its way up in the way sandpaper grips * #3 this is my fourth time writing of my first night in philly and I might be missing the woodland canopies I can’t breathe so good
#5 a splint chalked into me, my throat I’m breathing a locust I mean it’s created when I makes its image out into the brick dawn I’m tipping over a box of language it’s a dollar or two too heavy my linens of mint juleps soak into me * I searched for warm socks in a pack of Newports and found a photo of me kneeling in a pew I could post it somewhere but then it’s there forever unlike burning leaves or bark with a little bic lighter the white one you read about white lighter pockets you read about embargos you read and sever the glue or staples you wish you didn’t bend into themselves *
bloodlozenge a sound in the concrete sings me the rim of a glass I'm throwing my banana peels on the ground mold bends into a viewfinder seeking me a lozenge a bolt is scraping at the sky / a bolt is scraping at the uvula the language of a son is dictated by the grammar of an empty father o, how so stranger so bloodloss such eyesocket a loaf of bread does me so good right now it's a locket of ivy a barrel of lint tells me I'm cleaner than I used to be Iâ€™m eating the patsy cline song in my ear an hors d'oeuvre of bloodlonging uncouple me the fence I border my arms with when will you call me back and say you miss me? EVERYTHING IS LIKE BLEEDING ash trembles from plastic into a lead sun
the sucking sound of teeth puts me in a pocket with dust from the road a song coming from a pocket ringing / unringing its bell and singing a way to count for the lozenge rattling my throat
a party made its PSA: “I have so much echinacea” / “I think you’re taking too many vitamins”
Iâ€™m counting on my hands a sound like interstates
I told myself I wouldnâ€™t write more about family because Iâ€™m becoming an object of circumstance. Everyone, though, is writing about destructive properties in capitalism and I'm here like, yeah, but a fat check is pretty tight every once in awhile. Especially when it can get your mom groceries from a market and not a food bank. I need a check in palm.
* the sky is in my palm a river runs through a lead pipe a dilation a silkscreen a mountain of candles a sound like the sky is eating at the worldâ€™s mouth
* I left my identity in a piece of meat with eyes. a tongue battles the earth in how it will grow next. ¿should I include the image of a bodega peering out the window of a pharmacy asking how did I get here? ¿how do I wire money through my urethra? lichen has become the sound of an organ wrapped around my legs. the dust from ceiling fans will be inside of me. her mouth is a dustpan. ultimately, I couldn’t believe she let the tea olive tree I got her die. I’m searching for a place where silt eats the salt. fill my mouth with something like candy. let me hold you and cower. * this is a book made of placenta. this is a book sucking me brittle. * text now serves me like lint collecting all the dirty.
* my mouth a sticky note / my mouth a receptacle I shot myself down / I shot myself down in the dark * I saw a body reach into a woundmarble they sang out lead / sky
plastic bowl a row house burned some of its body today, it was an anniversary of sorts outside, the smoke stuck in its choke a bead of ash lit me from below the ground or above the mammatus clouds I saw myself in a tin flower bed perched over the flames there was no reflection just my pores opening to reach inside I place action in the sky hoping it begs me to stay the smoke is sucking off mercury Sustain me. Make a dock with me, please. A lot of twobyfours in palm calling you now. I’m in a sleep where I’m roasting coffee I’m in bed candles lit in droves tiny oranges peeling away at the concrete a memorial On the bedside counting turpentine mentions in the morning of blind hounds sipping water and eye sockets. There are eggs innocuous and inert slipping into plastic orifices. The fumes of grandfather parrot painting sit with blood steam. A twin-sized bed wagon-wheeled to a wooden dresser is covered in perfume and prescription. The lace of scripture draping the wood is a foxhole. Rosary beads dangle through mother knuckles nightly with nicotine after insulin abdomen stabbings. The sanctity of scent is assumed to be that it has risen, yet the perfume and its neighbors slant to the bedside’s foundation.
Papá, why couldn't I say anything at your funeral? You sang me from your altar.
I yawn while in the bath my towel still wet from after work last night now after work this afternoon. I’m so tired is the name of a Fugazi song. I am speaking out loud in spaces of talk tonight, the bed bugs may bite my bed to death and me I’m worried about myself only myself THERES SKIN EVERYWHERE there’s a dog slopping up all the water we are all very proud of the dogs I kept trying to write into a poem the line: don’t worry I’m trying my best. is there a way to figure the size of milk in a bowl unmarked and unable to communicate? I'm bearing myself here in language unheard of like a dog whispering thank you to the bowl the dog wants milk by the tongue the only size it knows and I’ll tell ya the dog is licking me up and down the dog is on two legs sniffing the iron out of blood clots godammit the dog has woken me up
I am unsure of how to make out the cole eye morning the curtain is heavier than I remember the curtain drapes from two bulbs hung like the image of men in frocks I want to understand the curtain itâ€™s weight bottoming out the curtain is in front of a wall the wall is licking the curtain the tongue of the wall in the curtain is alone in the curtain I want to sit watching the tongue I refuse to service my eyes for the tongue I am accepting all of the threads in the curtain as a way to cope with the curtainless window next to me I still have not begun to even come close to understanding the curtain â€ƒ in and of itself I'd rather not even tie my own shoelaces anymore I am sitting under a sink the rust the grease like a clock eating battery acid the battery cannot rest the sleep when I miss my grandfather is not sleep I'm throwing all my sleep in the blender this is the umpteenth time writing of my umpteenth night in the city and I know if I do this someone will eye me a glove I, me, a horse-drawn carriage of plastic
I’m plastic I’m plastic I’m plastic I’m plastic I’m plastic I’m plastic I’m plastic I’m plastic I’m plastic
I’m the smell of cigarettes and nickel plated casino tokens swell my wrist and I don’t gamble and I’m no payday feedback loop I’m in ink and nickel plated strings like medicine
There’s no lye in a flowerbed gutting out into the methane firmament. A lentil burning under a cooked brick house is lending me Adobo. I want to speak more about the sky, but it’s burning above me. I can’t make out its image.
my mouth opened / sealed shut on the couch is my mouth caulked I said NO I AM A LUNA MOTH WITHOUT A MOUTH with my mouth however holey I sipped southern comfort gunned caulk down my throat we watched the CRT glisten come over by me you said & I no longer a moth rather a minute mouth cradled the cathode mask your bargain mouth bendered me in the sense of cosmetics you bendered in the cents of a couch sitting between boxed blue plush & you’re scared & I’m sorry for your mask in a mouth incising a luna
a rubber body clouds the room in light in the balls of feet eyes jut through eyelids usually I could be wrong eyes could be in flux there’s a circling of the wrist now when in a batting cage bathroom everytime it’s sounding off a dead lung I don’t want to be porcelain in the sun just barely wrapped in aluminum.
A leg is eating the sky, I tell myself, eating the leg, I’m totally a blood mouth now pencilling liquid to the floor from a water cup. I’m trapping text in a body made of pulp
a body posed in sealant
A tiny scratched cornea was my entire afternoon the other day. I missed minutes like water. You stole me under medicine, like how can the sky beat me an egg? Like how can the world bleed me? What is my fascination with blood and ticks turning white? I am in light now talking and eye is like don’t talk no more.
***** ‘one day in palm’ to be featured in NOÖ Journal, Issue 17 Special thanks to Barrett White helping me work through some of these poems.
A chapbook of poems by Steven Perez released in conjunction with allscum album, lozenge. https://allscum.bandcamp.com/album/lozenge