03 June 2019

Uli doesn't care about anything. He's a nihilist.

Penetrating the fa├žades buttressing convictions, the nihilist discovers that all values are baseless and that reason is impotent.

04 August 2017

Nickole Brown

A Prayer to Talk to Animals

Lord, I ain’t asking to be the Beastmaster
gym-ripped in a jungle loincloth
or a Doctor Dolittle or even the expensive vet
down the street, that stethoscoped redhead,
her diamond ring big as a Cracker Jack toy.
All I want is for you to help me flip
off this lightbox and its scroll of dread, to rip
a tiny tear between this world and that, a slit
in the veil, Lord, one of those old-fashioned peeping
keyholes through which I can press my dumb
lips and speak. If you will, Lord, make me the teeth
hot in the mouth of a raccoon scraping
the junk I scraped from last night’s plates,
make me the blue eye of that young crow cocked to
me—too selfish to even look up from the black
of my damn phone. Oh, forgive me, Lord,
how human I’ve become, busy clicking
what I like, busy pushing
my cuticles back and back to expose
all ten pale, useless moons.  Would you let me
tell your creatures how sorry
I am, let them know exactly
what we’ve done? Am I not an animal
too? If so, Lord, make me one again.
Give me back my dirty claws and blood-warm
horns, braid back those long-
frayed endings of every nerve tingling
with all I thought I had to do today.
Fork my tongue, Lord. There is a sorrow on the air
I taste but cannot name. I want to open
my mouth and know the exact
flavor of what’s to come, I want to open
my mouth and sound a language
that calls all language home.

15 July 2017

Margaret Ross


The socks came in a pack of five.
What is the most boring subject
possible? Translucent blue
with punctures pierced to shape
a star around the ankle.
I carried them along the aisles
as if I needed them. I fingered
lacquered dishes and the rubber heads
of mallets, crystal trinkets
stitched to underwear.
Wherever you go, this buffering.
A dull hour. All that time
I could have touched you and didn’t
or did absentminded, getting in
or out of bed or trying to reach
something behind you.
I didn’t need anything
I could buy. I bought the socks
and a slatted spoon I haven’t used.
Blue interrupted by the living points
of constellated skin. I’ve been
looking for a long time
at the stretch of table where you had
your hand. I am afraid
to touch it. Love, all I’ve ever
seen is things in airless dense
configuration and no transparency.

07 July 2017

Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib

Ginuwine - Pony

or: what it is to ride or be ridden
to have a spine bend under the weight of what you carry
to sit atop what will take you to the promised land
by promised I mean any land that is untouched
and precious enough to be stolen a thrashing and noisy child
ripped from the fingers of its only mother
what it is to ride fast on the back of something hungry and claim whatever meets your arrival
run your tongue across anything naked and name it conquered
what it is to have your sweat plant a flag in new earth
I claim this land in the name of what exits the skin after it has had its fill of our reckless want
everything we hold inside of us always ruining a good set of sheets
or a good pair of pants
or a family
or a whole country
the darkness is spreading earlier and earlier. I have stopped looking for myself in pictures. I ask my therapist: if I cannot see my hands how will anyone know to love me. he tells me that it is best to not speak of what happens at night. I do not speak in winter. I watch the news. I think about what picture they would use if I died. it is a miracle babies are born at all. I think a baby is what happens when you get tired of leaving notes on someone’s nightstand before they wake up. if men could carry babies we would watch childbirth on ESPN. we would place bets on it. the world is on fire again but I’m not alone this time. I just want to touch someone who thinks of me while their coffee cools. I just want to kiss a mouth that has grown my name inside. I just want to make good use of all this nighttime.  instead I make lists of everything outside that can kill me. the organic market next door is at the top. how much is too much to ask for nourishment. take what is left of my hands. give them back when the sun comes.

25 June 2017

Solmaz Sharif

Vulnerability Study

your face turning from mine
to keep from cumming

8 strawberries in a wet blue bowl

baba holding his pants
up at the checkpoint

a newlywed securing her updo
with grenade pins

a wall cleared of nails
for the ghosts to walk through

12 June 2017

A. E. Stallings

Not my photo, not my fingers.

23 May 2017

from Paul Bowles' "A Distant Episode"

The tiny ink marks of which a symphony consists may have been made long ago, but when they are fulfilled in sound they become imminent and mighty.

favorites from Coffin Corner number one, Varsity Goth Press

Failure Is the Largest Animal to Have Lived on Earth - Justin Karcher

On this Fourth of July weekend,
I would like to apologize to all my exes.
I'm sorry you've seen my eyes narrow
Into little ghost slits night after night,
Real anxious for the exorcism of a kiss.
The pressure of passion has always
Gotten the better of me, but I'm not making
Any excuses. It's just that
I'm slowly losing my lipsight
Due to mistletoe glaucoma
Caused by excessive dreaming.
These last couple years I've been good
At missing the mark of my heart
Like US drone strikes killing scores
Of civilians in Afghanistan.

I expect America to do the right thing,
Just like lovers are expected to kiss
Under the mistletoe. All that beauty,
It's there for the taking, so for the love of God
Just do the right fucking thing.
I want to do what is right, but I don't do it.
Every day I wake up, I tell myself
That today is the final day
Of my addiction to alcohol, the final day
Of my addiction to terrible lovers.
Every day I wake up, the sun
Looks like a dead humpback whale
On a Los Angeles beach that needs to be towed
Back out to sea, because failure
Is the largest animal to have lived on Earth,

And it's very important to blow the whole thing up.
On this Fourth of July weekend,
I want all my friends, all my exes,
To stuff fireworks  into the mouths
Of their own beached whales,
Whatever it is that's weighting them down,
And blow their heavy sadness to smithereens.
I want to walk along the water, right before
Independence is about to blow its load,
And see the porta potties burst into life.
Angry, like animals breaking out of testing labs
And destroying everything in their path,
Until their junk-withdrawal eyes are buried deep
In the optometry of absolute freedom,
Where everything looks better

And nothing is bloodshot.
On this Fourth of July weekend,
It would make me happy if the earth
Looks right at me with bleared eyes
And lips swollen, its green and blue skin empurpled
And monstrous with fossil fuel afterbirth,
And tells me to get over it, that the lover
Crucifying my confidence on a cross
Made of birth control pills isn't worth it,
That the office job I work to pay the bills,
Because no school is hiring full time,
Isn't worth it, that I should put up
Or shut up, that I should stop walking naked
Through a sea of other men's smells,
That if love doesn't shine on this whiskey boy

Or whatever's left of him, I should finally grow up
And be a man, that I should stop sitting cross-legged
On my lonesome twin bed eating Chef Boyardee
Out of the can. The chicken alfredo is always cold,
But I'm always pretty buzzed. Even the strongest kind
Of love can make you feel like a crocodile
Climbing a tree. Crocodiles haven't changed much
Over millions of years and a lot of people think that
They have stopped evolving. Well,  maybe that's true.
Maybe it isn't. But whenever I hear about crocodiles
Climbing trees in Florida, I think it all makes sense.
They just want to taste evolution for the first time
In forever. On this Fourth of July weekend,
I want to evolve. There's no desert nearby
With ancient ruins to show us just how old

"Old" can be, or how sophisticated our ancestors were
In devising their lovemaking methods. It's important to know
Where we come from, but too many of us don't care.
Too many of us are scared of digging deep within
And discovering ruins off the coast of memory.
Not making mistakes if the biggest mistake.
There are no important bones buried in Rust Belt dirt
And that's part of the problem. What we do have
Are dead animals washing up on the unsalted shores
Of the Great Lakes. Their ghosts hibernate
In our bloodstreams until they're hungry for life once again.
Just give them time to grow and beef up,
But in the Rust Belt, our concept of time is distorted.
You don't wash your sins away with hourglass sand.
You can't build a city on the backs of mummies

With no life left to live. You need vibrant life
Or something close to it. What do have
Are vampire architects licking their chops
And building sandcastles out of kitty litter and rat blood,
And sometimes their skylines kick the piss out of me.
Despite all this, we can't be at each other's throats.
On this Fourth of July weekend, we need unity now
More than ever, especially when everybody in the club
Is getting shot, especially when everybody's like,
"Run — get out of here," especially when the lights come on
And there are rivers of tears, especially when the better angels,
Of our nature become janitors trying to clean up this mess
With used q-tips. On this Fourth of July weekend,
I want to walk along the water, right before
Independence is about to blow its load,

And see a nation of heartbroken people
Choosing what will lift them up,
Choosing what will break them down,
Because when it comes to breakage
Or building your own set of wings,
You better make it count,
You better make it worth your while,
Because failure is the largest animal
To have lived on Earth, and sometimes
You have to put it out to pasture
Or push it back into the water.

ship of theseus - Dylan Krieger

these bows were made to be broken    vs.    this aft will still be here after i’m dead
a former foremast sold my soul    vs.    O captain my captain won’t go down without a fight

same false bay, different day    vs.    never skinny dip in the same river twice
nothing new under the gundeck    vs.    complete cerebral rebirth after 7,000 sunsets
feeding seamen to the sirens    vs.    sure to leave the shore celestial fixed & syphilitic
now mix in all the new pieces of ship + skin & bone + row your boat straight into the apocalypse there’s something sudden about the horizon // how it slips like silk down the earth’s domed ass fastest way to go insane is just by being left alone // you think there’s a hard line, and then you don’t 

tell me the difference between rock and skin - Kristie Shoemaker

my nails are breaking
like a fault line
one rock trying to establish dominance over another but in the end everyone loses
there are little chips of pale pink
scattered all over the floor
like sad confetti after a pity party for one
there is a wound in my mouth from your acidic tongue i try to keep my broken rust covered nails away
but the temptation is too great
and i play with it like a cat plays with a dead fly
in the end everything breaks
in the end everything is dust