Sweet, Robot sometimes love greets you warm like dry clothes hanging on a line where ice cream melts down your hands and her arms all you taste is the sweet and salt of her. all her metal eventually in your mouth changing everything. do you remember how it began? evening fell and she asked, can i take you on a walk? then, can i kiss you? you both entered the part of the forest so deep there are only echoes here. and soft light. dust dance like stars. and dark beautiful birds disappear, one by one, from the corners of your eyes. you fall deeply into the small of moonlight. fall deeply into circuits and glow. im still learning how to listen, you confess. im still learning how to walk as i'm learning how to ask, she says. but here we are. ALGORITHM SWEET 1. config = source 2. loop 3. loop 4. greet 5. melt into here 6. if (config == goal) return goal reached; 7. if (config == plus step of size) 8. light 9. dark 10. fly Stanley Drive me, like a human would. Ignore the shadows, and tell me if it's a divergent road. Your algorithms were wrong for us. There are tumbleweeds in this desert, but let's accelerate anyway Wire-feed for Chris ...just more machines that do not think, and are made to think with springs. - Rousseau Collapse suspension. Moonlight refines my language. Your body against mine is like a grain of sugar between our fingers. Pull out the wire until it can clasp unto the lid. Consider the axis of my rotation Consider my depression then Uncoil
To Fear the Self The changing body, the hungry Aswang We blame, Her reflection when it’s become familiar We conceal, Captive, afraid of her own body still We hate the self. The inverse body, cleaved in two We disrupt, The self interrupted, the mother of this We avert, Old skin, nerves, and circuits – Listen. We lie to live. To Slaver Blame the Pinay, We split ourselves in half Sad like her country Blame the Pinay, We leave our bodies behind Work that bitch properly Blame the Pinay, We fly, and we feed She won’t give you pussy Blame the Pinay, We unmake your marrow The kind who fight back
Location Location Location Of all the reasons to relocate, shame disguised as wanderlust became my cover. I feigned big dreams, to blur the fear of rheumy looking booze light in the eye, baptism by evaporation of a lapsing holiness. I knew not one of us was pure, despite immersion in the many non-contagious principles. Transition has long ago grown truer than its impetus. All players are gone. No blaring FM radio, no gut strings, no first safety. Mi Casa Every time she tried to move, Her sisters followed her, ran up the phone bill, Ate all food in the fridge, and when she’d found new digs, they followed her again. She held no hope of solitude. “What are families for?” They asked, explaining that they knew she knew they knew her loneliness. They were always comfortable, they told her, in her home, their home. They would always be together. Evolution I decided not (Settle to stay (or repent there. (for making change. Form (Seasons inherently seasoned is not (draw us equal to style. (back, Individuals break apart (Marginal families until (blue color families (of infinite sky retreating (replaces the canvas have lost (at least reasons for being. (once.
When Space Dislikes You
backyard jitters are manifest aplenty
when the grilling season approaches
it’s tough having to listen to the retronauts
who won’t stop their endless nostalganating:
“Yessir, they ran the numbers on him,
and sure enough, it was mighty grim”
sometimes one learns the hard way
about how & when space dislikes you
maybe the evidence will be viscerally hilarious,
or else akin to whatever lands on the front porch
& if one embraces the mundane hallucinations,
the entropic creep will certainly further the vexation
as by roughly doing a random psychogeography,
this should keep the circumstances fiercely valid
Walking is its own Mythology
trodding through the hypnotic dust,
through the vague street subcultures,
under a late sky spiked with
tactical pedestrians lurch onward,
propelled by strategic ebb & flow,
the rambling folk dressed in kinetic surprise,
these contradictions that walk their walk,
this might be where blur is the Zeitgeist,
and wayward feet groove the pavement
propelled by these barely braking strides,
surging steps taken towards omniscience,
this intrepid walking with long purpose
has a tendency to reshape the terrains
through days littered with abandonment
through a wasted world of defiant plastic
live on these malleable terrascapes
beset by blowing sands, this serving
as a rocky rolling metaphor for time
geographic delusions usually occur most
unexpectedly in places without names
by a leveraging of the ancient ways
by a determining of the values of light
a proper regard for chaos is retained
fraught with so many Dirty World problems
for Mario Susko
He tells how
when passing to freedom
an official hand seized his dog,
tossed her over the fence.
You won’t need this.
Which hurts more?
The heart that rages
at five fingers of power
or the heart that weeps
for a little white dog
drowning in a pile
of clothes, suitcases,
decaying food and
the man with a badge
chooses to heave.
[Previously published in Porter Gulch Review, Spring 2010]
She had escaped to America
and worked for my aunt and uncle.
She hadn’t always been a housekeeper.
Her friends were musicians from Berlin.
When she came home in the evening,
she would unfold a screen
to close off the dining room
and change the couch into her bed.
Classical music streamed from her radio.
I was thirteen and afraid of making her sad
so I never asked Mrs. Glass about her life.
Had her family vanished into those camps
where our cousins disappeared?
I wondered what Mrs. Glass thought
when my aunt and uncle entertained:
one evening with Jewish relatives,
another with new acquaintances
from the restricted country club
they had secretly joined.
[Previously published in Jewish Women’s Literary Annual, 2013]
POETICS #2 the old cellist comes to grieve his mind is going wild lilac the Dry Mountains in sight of the Inyo Mountains language as the water inlet knife blade dusk one hundred miles from Alturas double hummingbird and the early work SOUTH TO TIJUANA 1 eucalyptus trees in this regard havoc in the hills cows roam the danger some say, we are strangers 2 my family in the old taxicab in Tijuana cardboard shacks we’re lost owls twilight dream crowd and the faded soul NIGHT #1 Oakland early airport dreams and fractured light inside barriers convinced of the pathway full moon consideration yes all the old ways distance psychotherapy silence made of earth resistant to change changing anyway mountain with a new name STRANGE CARS women and children belief in the unknown churches scattered across the continent even with the loss of religion driving, driving strange cars move through the night we are passengers in a dream or occurrences in nature emptiness the transformation of gold death as alchemy the resurfacing of the roads
Look for work.
of no return.
Nostalgia brought us here, to appease
anger and loathing of previous geographies
that conquered our hearts. The calm
of Echo Park Lake floods through
polyvocal memories of castrations and
fruitions around Lake Tanganyika,
Taal Lake, and Lake Como. Smiles and
hellos welcome us with reluctance,
part of the feast, of an idea, of
being eternal wanderers clawed with
startling visions of beginnings,
as though standing under noctilucent
clouds above bodies of water
haunted with superstitions. The streets
offer silhouettes of remembered
lives, masks dawns must burn and
tear apart so we can start all over again,
amidst endless freeways that steer
the sun into our plans.