The City Is Too Full

Who works very hard not to see
Past the fence past the buildings
Past the road to the plain beyond

Who works very hard to keep from
Chewing its lip from grinding its teeth
From obsessing about stamps

Who is obviously not a horse
Who wears a tie who eats sushi at lunch
Who knows the words who must shout

Who works very hard not to stare at
This speaking in tongues streetside
Who thinks the city is too full

Or —

your bird
pressed up againt the bars

becomes a
hoarder of newspaper

whatever scraps
remain shitcovered

she will
take them
wash them
knit them
paint them
bend them
iron them

until that other bird
that 2/5 of a 1/3 frame

returns
or —

The Republic

the magnificent plundering animal
all brilliance all deception
tilts at mirrors
blows dually bolted smoke

jealous for its spangled unborn children
who can’t understand
why you can’t understand
you unumbilical
who must gulp great gusts of air
and exhale roughly the same

the scintillated homiciding beast
its razored horns its soft-furred arm
speaks peace peace
to the cradled corpse
who wouldn’t have any of it

its spit-dribbling children speak:
we in the brazen belly about to die
salute thee

the feathered frenzy mounts sunward
ever calling with another’s muscular voice
behold the glory
of the
republic

The Wish

That you might burst into this world
Screaming

From the category that contained you
The banded cradle

The hushed amniosis
Its hand over yours for the season

That you might burst into any world
Blooded

Wet
Shimmering oil on water

The bent and bending future pavement
Fraught with

That you might burst into flame
Summary heat

The reading of which
Turn also into fire

Turns as well into fire
Turns and into fire

That you might burst
A storm of feathers

Down
You go

The ground will
Not refuse you

No, You

Say,
You can manufacture love out of anything

And watch them say, no
you don’t understand love

Each in their own way
Wrong

Each chained to an imprecise
Metaphor

Love, after all
Is in the liver

Who else
What else
Could do it

i,

look at me

i mean nothing
i speak nothing

i born to great gasps of air blue
i exhaling now bluegrey

i present evidence
i anonymous fine dust

i sift
i finding nothing sift

i on the flat wheel turn
i am not fingers

Just Like That

Ten years later and I finally thought of what to say.
I’m in the shower and it comes to me, just like that.

I rerun that conversation at least twice a month,
Where you say that, and I say this, et cetera.

It’s almost certainly warped beyond recognition.
I’ve altered it and changed it just enough so

I can finally put these words in your mouth
And these other perfect words in my mouth

And we can… I’m not sure what happens.
Almost certainly you say something,

And I say the wrong thing. So
I’ll see you in another ten,

When I’m in the shower and it
Comes to me, just like that.

a small bird

i think
what i think
i think

as always
twice removed
from it

i think
some small bird
lives in there

to narrate
for me
me

i think
i am not this bird
yet i am

a story
who tells
himself

you think
unoften of me
since you

are also
listening intently
to a small bird

2017

so ends its many-fingered chord
ever-counting its audience

perplexed
leave via riot

7th 11th 13th
no no none of these

aftermath
we swindle down corner thugs

yes the usual please
just the usual

whose composer tried
oh how

as ever
tried