chapbook


august haunts

ghost stories



to do:

buy a garden

& sell it.


somewhere in

the world today

somewhere is

 

a place-set on the kitchen table

the knives are perfect perpendicular

to a roast              the couple singing

 

their caged-bird hearts silent

if seen                  from the snowfall

 

somewhere in

the world like a subway

 

steam is rising

from a roast       my childhood

is that steam      i am that knife

   i am that snow

 

my mother's dress is a cage

my father's tongue is a knife

askew

my tears are snow indoors

falling falling falling


king queen

fine line begins:

 

btwn mad | genius

cf.     | mad genius—

genus: erect      |

species: phallus | common ancestry

                                ≠ the platypus | : Common

                                   ≠ the gorgon |  C. STALK

                                                           C. FIG-BAUBBLE

 

mating patterns […]

e.g.:

'most delicious bird is

preferable, manic, delirium, pushed

the cage was pushed!

just a “little”—

o! a nudge! in ribcages! all around!

lookitit squirm       that bird all plump

                               all feather

                               weight like a bramble

 

she got eyes

she got legs

she got hands (these make BREAD

catch

a jam

bone btwn

 

ask a mayfly how shit so sweet

they know like hit-a-drum-hum

 

fine, passt,

ein Teller,

collect in arms'—enough, for tonight they show

enough for tonight, they show

 

& i winter the felled log froze a new

white paint iris white eggshells white


odd socks

for Maud Lewis

 

“[…] says:

 

'maudie,

place yer hand on my Halloween heart,

the dogs come in, jus' like yeh painted it,

panting, the hous got boards to mend, but i bend

@ my chest like all men, a compass turns me

inside out, a sweater is on yer place there

where yeh scratched yer nails 'gainst yerself, the knife stuck

in the table, but no matter, the hens call

& i come fishin', the hous stays, a big hook

wranglin' us on the road, & yeh wer straight on

up the long leg, a rose left, right there's a sock

i ain't seen before, in the snow, i hid it,

panicked, in the sock-drawer goes socks, but all this

metal from paint cans spun my compass for those,

directions every which way, was north, the same

as being, none […]'

but saying breathes out

& Maud cannot breathe

so white turns to red

turns to green”


oh yes, i heard

i heard how it was

& how she was like me

 

& i knew it because it was

mapless how her eyes went

 

when she laughed @ her lap—

were they quartz? did they spangle

 

sparrows catching mozzies;

or did they bake, alike

 

of heart-heated kilns? both, perhaps. she froze

chained, no Thomas @ the sea-break—

 

that much was certain.

she was a comment

 

'RIP' like a stoning stone.

a map for maps for me, the teary taste

in the first-rain lave—

 

oh yes, taps foot the ground

    where everything is

            superheat tectonic

& what was her name?


(which is the rainbow, currently above missouri)

you walk to a bank

in snow the chore

is clearing your soles

 

beyond that procedure

did they take your gun away?

 

forms

you can stay

an option

you're already

25

how exciting!

good

duck the question

but also

are you sure? see,

you're @ the window looking in

 

teller's

lips open in shock there are no

open windows but her's

but she doesn't just go

 

you hold up your finger

& thumb & your palm unfolds

a single green feather

 

there is an eye

 

did they really take

 

your gun away?


perhaps,

do you paint it beyond

the hall-chime, in

 

the tea-leaf budding;

where giggling teens

 

zucchini-toned zip

into suitcases

 

seed-full as a pepper?

perhaps you give them back empty—

 

or do they kneel forever, Padre?

shouldn't you take the Uhr

 

away from the wall

& pack it too?

in my arms

 

i hold a different painting:

this woman stands,

 

baroque portrait strokes,

strange; back turned,

 

head a half-sneeze

of the cupola, her

 

left arm wilts above;

she holds a mistletoe

 

@ the trident light, split

like noodles from a father's chin;

 

her crown is mistletoe,

but her body is

 

chiffon & permeable

through which silt slides

 

& collects to block pores

which can never be cleaned.

 

this painting is behind

the hall-chime now, signed “INVICTUS”,

 

facing the wall. still,

 

my father's suitcase locks.

his cloth car-seats puff dust

every time you smack them.


daddy

shame isn't it

 

i hate

how

 

you can't stay still, you move when

you type 'you fucking

 

fuck.' i have to say,

i love you, but

 

your rejection

notice is a fucking

 

disgrace. i read it once         burned it

into my fucking       skin     ('we greatly enjoyed …' )

& signed it w/ an iris.

 

i get great compliments for such

a great accident

 

such great

slopes @ my keyboard

 

swirling great

hurricanes on the black keys

 

these fingers have touched

mothers they too are daddy

 

& daddy always

right

 

? i hate

but is this dalliance a great

 

sail set to great

great shores? daddy, i have been

 

a whore & every daddy

loved as sweet

 

& i was a great great

waveonawave

 

crashing now here

nowhere, apparently, like

 

a bore.

o but let me go

 

back & get rid of

the fucking curses

 

though are they

well fucking placed

 

are they timed well

do they land

 

well? don't speak i know you won't

please let me

 

know from your towering

island by way of gales:

PR, a knuckleball,

& those warm warm regards.


danny boy

don't worry your pretty little head

about it

someone should've

 

said it all before

 

you're watching the news from a down lens point of view

don't you look good in the reflection

 

i'm yours as long as you're mine he said

& what's easier than that

possessions ring like chords on Instagram

& i'm open

 

to a drive thru window

he said

in the dm

she read

 

again&again&again&again

he spelled

there wrong in every line

& she knew

 

golly

love in every sense


die Eselsbrücke

hello?

oh Annie love

you          old piano

tell them that riddle! you know:

 

we dance

but dancing step

wrong foot       first

a tango when dirges

solo when waltzes

 

we kick

our teeth

a-doo-bee-doo

we grind

our heels

doo-bee-doo-da

 

what are we?

 

but answer

sharpish w/ ivory—they'll never guess US!

cloaked in a mother

like a mother

 

that thing of a lap

for examining skulls

my own there useless

& dangling

mad as a sausage

 

i'm @ the bridge, though

i might lose signal

 

o Annie        love

dropping      but

 

yes remember

   quick

before i drop

you             just when

you're @ the lock

spin the key

close the top

i'll lift my knee

pullover       stop

@ the count of—


PROTEST SONG

'tis the season

maybe

 

i'll be

allowed

 

march comes

been gone

 

but when