My Vocabulary Did This For Me

is blob love something that never goes away?


After two years I have returned to the scene of the crime.

lo! a damn examiner

with a coil fixed around its

black-eyed throat

major bosses sporting

anime-style jackets

I’m going to be sick

when I see them moving

in relief against the light

I don’t want to work

here no more

a promising lad dreams

of the dung gang

in Lad City

all lines lead to crime

every object drapes over an acronym

expanding to fold in every evil intention

and all diamonds rust to blood diamonds

in sleep, a motive goes rolling

over cars and fixtures

all things standing wrecked by morning

a tremendous crime against the sun

blots out the main objects of sight

a kid with bright red pincers

might go far in this town

goes the conventional wisdom

when the people lift their flaps up

and scratch around the ditches for snacks


when he said he was born

with a snake for all teeth

he wasn’t lying.

and like all snake-tooth babes

he drew milk from treachery.

and like any milk-tot might,

smashed his bros against stone

to elicit blood juice and reaction.

predictably, horror:

pursuant, automatic sovereignty.

when he flosses,

the whole city goes hiss

nothing in this page a metaphor
but all of it in code


just like my mother I married philogeny

all the bells were arranged in white circles

everyone was eating shrimp puffs and crying

my whole hand was black champagne

and a slim young dialectic put a ring upon it

blah blah blah who cares who cares

stop being literal

eat a lily as a cat would, that is,

in the spirit of poison and water

my mother too was subject to a Stone Cold Stunner

from the thing that moves with a chime inside the neck

with a sinister back-and-forth motion. I too was

assembled on a formal frame. That doesn’t really matter

but my brother was clotheslined for fun in a dorm

or a body being rowdy, I don’t remember,

the book of our sleep was a book about power

climbing up on the ropes then descending

and destroying every fact about a body

that was contingent on another

I was a billion pieces shaped exactly like similar pieces

except there was no blood because it was afternoon television.

everyone there imagined I was the unravaged heel of quietness

even though in my youth I loved the talking candlestick.

having been recovered from a bog and not a person,

it was unclear what my taxonomy would resemble.

In general, doctors drew a moustache on a satellite picture

of a tropical storm that drew itself apart softly over water.

even in the wilderness,

it was not I that donned the championship belt,

but the white shape

with my name mis-spelled

upon its naked torso.

Everyone was chanting

their favorite part of the Bible—

the part where the folding chair suddenly
meets the back of the spirit’s head

A Roller Skating Jam Named “Prions”

No poem is worth the wait.

No thing on earth is worth more than $2.

I’ll drop my lunch on the ground to avoid

hard contact with an ideological body

but when I’m asleep I pay for meat

with soft tokens like anybody else.

The poem is a thing for people who like puzzles

but eventually prefer a wound to the limbs

and being thrown out of the vehicle and

onto a moving sidewalk.

One cool thing I learned from this book

was tactical ontology. When it seems useful,

become an insect, a cup, or a void.

When it isn’t useful, everyone plays dead

or a sweater hanging from a conceptual body’s

shoulders like a funeral jacket.

It is tactical metonymy

when a sweater becomes a jacket

to make the sentence more serious.

At 15th Street Station I saw a guy

walk around casually with a chainsaw out

I said I think I’ll die today at the hands of a guy

with a chainsaw out

but he was casual for business and passed

onto the trolley line with perfect stillness

in his chainsaw heart and in his dreams

cut birds in half as a gesture of total amelioration

of the dream of cutting birds in half

as mediation of the body of the birds

and a delight.

I think I over-reacted cause we were both covered in blood

one way or another. And I knew

what a prion was from reading.

It was protein badly misbehaving.

It’s basically what a lyric means in English:

unfold from central dogma once,

without repeating

Bertran de Boring, Keeper of Lands, Revenues, Records, and Enrollments

This is a poem about how not to cure diseases.


So it’s been a little while.

I was a cephalophore trawling

the deep trenches where the trains go.

I had never been a big fan of

beautiful sentences.

When somebody asked me what Rilke to read

in English I said I guess don’t bother and off

went me back down the trench with

a little sashay.

There’s that element of the text that

bears a mark on it, I mean I guess

by a mark I mean

some aspect of a trench running

through it and beneath it that like

a falcon or hawk could breach

with horrible bird teeth and like

suddenly like a valve from a chute

comes some viscous black pulp heretofore

undiagnosed as a feature of the text

that nobody knows what to do with

but void

put a little in the flask

get sick

it resists facticity

falcons can’t read

it dwells someplace or other

if a hawk could talk

I’d have no reason to ever stop howling

if a hawk could translate Apollinairre

I’d say that’s fine

but inside I’d be literally dying

my example would be that part in Matthew Arnold

where his whole life was missing the point

of how sad he got from the poem

of the guy who got so sad and went down the volcano

or how much I wanted to bite off Norman Mailer’s haircut.

Someone put his whole hand in the body

and it came out chilly.

What he described he described

in the fashion of ink or milk.

When I tell you I get paid for all this,

please be nice and pretend not to believe it.

This is the house that money rents

when I put my head in the catacombs

while my whole above-ground body cheers.

Contemporary Poem Without An Economy In It

In the literature the bad maker didn’t need a conception of history

to go ahead peopling the current moment with cute, small, people

with specificities and discrete locations in the world.

One person got onto a train,

one person got thrown mercilessly beneath it.

A conception of history felt

blowsy, like an uncool object

fluttered from out a window in the Springtime,

a tacky white cloth with a black stain at the hem.

Somebody said “chaotic city+” it was

Anne Boyer

she was right. The bad maker in response said,

“furthermore, chaotic city++++++++”

Simultaneously, medievalists capering and twitching

in a separate time-zone, away from a conceptual city,

spasmodic in the highest degree in a mystery forest.

Everyone in this milieu understands implicitly

the importance of performed blood,

and leaks it with various touches of practiced grace.

Blood, for instance, on a constructed fang.

Blood on a tusk made of papier-mache.

Blood on a diamond ant.

Blood offered on a plate to an actual bird.

Satyrs lap it up. Actual, I mean,

actual satyrs.

Some important detail I don’t remember.

A charcoal cult?

That could be from history. It sounds sort of like history.

Medieval miners becoming black with objects

at hand?

A big pick-axe?

There is no Thomas Munzer University

signed or unsigned with the Sword of Gideon.

It feels important

that they cured by chemistry

deep below the earth

instead of blood-letting

which was aesthetic

and they bound up their feet to the earth

and they sank beneath the earth

which was aesthetic,

the medievalists.

One person got into a train,

And each one with a tattoo of a different pope.

This guy George Thomson

got the plague three times

the third time with a bubo up his ass

which he said was the size of a tennis ball

all his friends died

he walked from place to place

carrying a plague

and when he got home

he wrote his zine about it

a servant lanced the bubo

and what came out he said

it was black milk

awful milk

It was the traditional way of rampaging

mercilessly into the future— all as one,

with cinema blood.

People from history

with their name tags buried in the earth.

Encomium Macklemoriae

fresh sprig of whatever with an idiot haircut

who or what anyway licensed your continued existence

what’s coming down in Philly is either snow or ashes

and you’re a blatant public nuisance on your red bike

looking exactly like fucking Macklemore.

Let me sit around considering Tom Raworth about it.
I hate your haircut in part because it clearly wasn’t free.
I could have combed certain canonical poems gratis for the pleasure
of cutting off their ears but
I guess you and your shitty bike are not canonical
nor poems
nor swiftly becoming.

If only any other poem had been called “Rock drill”

I could have invented some patience

but things being as they are I remain one among numerous

glib academy morons hovering just shy of sub-normality

drooling slightly when I walk from the subway
because the air still smells like Cosi.


A person in the city is not actually necessarily

that invested in paintings.

Some are even sleeping at this hour,

some even on a Friday night.

She mentioned strong guys carrying canvasses

through the fake forest. It made everybody feel happy.

It felt great to see real muscles at work,

making fake forms visible.

A person in the forest is not actually necessarily

invested in seeing or being an abstraction.

Everybody was doing their art for the dogs.

Me too.

Infinite black wet noses

emerging from the bottom of the ocean.

Translation from Gottfriend Benn: “What’s Terrible?”

You don’t know any English

and you hear about a good new English crime novel

that hasn’t been translated into German.

You see a cold glass of beer on a hot day

but you can’t pay for it.

You have a new idea

that you can’t wrap up neatly in a line of Holderlin

the way the professors do.

You’re on vacation hearing the waves beat at night

and you’re like, that’s what they always do.

What’s even more terrible?: being invited somewhere

when your space at home is more quiet,

the coffee is way better

and there’s no smalltalk.

What’s the most terrible thing of all?

Not to die in the summer,

when the world is clear

and the soil is easy for the spade.


title from Pepys’ diary, August 11-12, 1665


I’m tired of poets acting smart in a remote and heroic and disaffected way and purchasing furniture demonstratively. No one currently active in Manhattan has an interest in my death and the Starbucks on Wall Street extends underground and you can walk there from the Oxford publishing house offices. I know this empirically, I am showing you the empirical evidence of my walking back and forth among the bodies looking for a body in a Starbucks beneath the earth. “I am as well as can be” said Pepys to his book expressing a lack of interest in forgetting to eat when alone. He masturbated in French because the theaters shut down which I read in his book. These and similar tendencies of wildly negligent somatics. I’m going to retreat into the woods and join a cabal of anti-intellectual poets drinking water out of a damn crick and eating otter bones non-stop, writing simple lyrics about object oriented ontology and ritually administering concussions to each other until we all forget every single fact about Proust. Just like that part in Jean Luc Godard’s— but there I’m doing it again, neglecting the tasks of weaponized forgetting in front of us. In August 1665 I fled the city like every other skilled artisan the weather was hot. The weather was “hot as bells.” It was extremely hot. Lacking money for lodgings and my deportment too rude for the country gentry, I spent nights beneath the hedges dreaming and taking selfies of myself with the surgeon-barbers and apothecaries. Feeling beneath the arm-pits and over the chest for tokens having read the small book about the sin of retreat. A little ways away Dutch ships sank and everybody gave a shit so loud forever. Bells ran in a particular way to communicate affect. It was a feel-good Event in the capitalized sense. The poem was about buying stuff from Dean & Deluca. I’m like I don’t even know where that is. In happier times the aldermen went to town en masse to see the opera, drink good shit, get handjobs, try on wigs. Go home in a sweat and have a dream about Lady Castlereign. That felt good— so put it in the poem. I know. I went to college too but the opera days are shut up behind red doors. That’s why I’m out here in the woods with my head beneath the surface of the water held down by comrades driving pitchforks into the base of our collective neck. I explain to them patiently: the Greek root is plaga— it means blow. Yes, that’s Greek I’m speaking. Or the Latin pestis. It’s a dazzling display of erudition masquerading as a point about consumption of which 29 in July 1665 died in Cripplesgate Parish. 21 to fever. Spotted fever, commonly confused with plague, 25. Shadowing the “death curve” of plague two, three, or even a dozen minor epidemics performing a chunky increase. It was easy to aestheticize the work of the demographers. Hacked away at the hands and at the wrists. And the shoulders. Dies ex peste August 20 but recorded in the Register as dropsy. I was warned about that before— a jagged shape pastiching the round-shouldered labor of bodies. That’s the signature sin of my hometown.


This is a part of a long poem about pharmaceutical knowledge in the 1660’s.


this isn’t my passport no

it’s a blue notebook that looks like a passport

no I’m not going anywhere

glottal sound induces fair amount of vomiting and the men at the door are ehh how shall we say, unseemly, putting my body by a team of two onto the body, ie, a wood slab carried through the streets and into the pit.

those were the men

the women were old and looked drunk.

I didn’t make note of their labor.

They observed one thing and noted another.

Proclamation of the Lord Mayor, July 4, 1665.

As stiff as any other animal,

read: organism,

He’ye any rats, mice, polecats or weasels?

Or ha’ ye any old sows sick of the measles?

I can kill them, and I can kill moles […]

I went bodily into the archives for this

and coughed and lacked heavily.

I left a material trace on valuable objects

via snot, blood, hair, actual bones.

I owed a lot of money 

so I turned off my actual phone.

In the popular literature of the time,

everyone possible appeared dead