Process of Elimination

Process of Elimination


Bang, you’re dead.


Every day people recognize me and call me by my name.
Every day people say to me “I knew you’d say that, feel that, think that.”
Every day people remember the directions to their own houses.
Every day people understand that they are allergic to shellfish.
Every day people stop themselves from making the same mistake twice.
Every day people communicate with each other.

Every day I’m surprised to find that I can control what my hands do.
Every day I meet someone to only have met them before.
Every day I drink, smoke, and eat foods that are bad for me.
Every day I try to define a wordless word.
Every day I apologize sheepishly for something a literal sheep would do.
Every evening I open my eyes and the world is the same way I left it.


Walking down Shattuck, I saw
a dog trapped inside a ballroom.
The window glass was scratched.
I tried the only door. It was locked.
I left because I was very tired.
Meanwhile there is a dog in a ballroom
pacing the ugly carpet nervously
about her chances of getting out.
People are looking in at the dog trapped
in a ballroom. She is looking out, nose
against the glass. The room is empty.
On my way home I saw two people
at the BART station sleeping standing up.


Lately I haven’t been wearing makeup.
Lately I’ve been looking tired and upset.
Do I not put on makeup when I’m tired and upset
Or is that my natural state of being, tired and upset?

I once saw Matthew Sherling read poetry on a stage,
and at a party later that night asked him if he writes.
I once saw Brad Warner play himself in a movie,
and at a party later that night asked him if he’s a Buddhist.

I am trying to give myself a method of vanishing cues
so that my existence does not turn bat-like,
bouncing sounds off of solid shapes,
suggestive forms suggesting nothing.


Second Law

Second Law

The mass of this urchin succulent
Turgid enough to drag my frame
Across the desert landscape
Of a gateless gate,
A fateless fate,
on a dateless date.

Gnarled permutations etched
As a singular personality
Through the grooves,
emitting a high pitched
shriek, unquieting
The rustling of wings abovehead.

Looking into a dog’s sad eyes
Feeling the weight of the animal
tendency to run away
Chaining close to heart, or
exerting human power, or
using food to force love.

In this fiercely spinning disc
No time to tear up over
conservation of matter,
just manically ingest
one brutal fruit
after another.

The Alligator

The Alligator


This maddening silence is not your fault,

just a great struggle to connect

the red lights.


I fear opening the window

that the clouds of your sweat

may escape to rain on some other skin

that your long whiteness might fall

off some other old mattress pushed

against a wall.


It’s not that I didn’t sink into

want at first glance

because I did, and drowned.

It is that every night I dream

of your lonely death

and wake up puffy and ashen.


Blooming like blood in water

your mouth,

yellowing and bright

Is it getting clearer or darker?

Is it burning holes in your sight?


Each twitch and sighs rise

like red eyes from

that Florida swamp.


You fell while traipsing

on logs and slid through

a hole in the air

landed between

sea and fog.


So I called a plumber to dislodge

these balls of memory from my throat.

He came,

clad in ropes of unconsciousness.

The Night that Rachel had a Religious Experience

The Night that Rachel had a Religious Experience

Grandmothers selling roses and eating enchiladas
A braided quarrel over the price of sweet yams
Base notes of urine, top notes of warm bread

I’m trying to be chill!
No, I’M trying to be chill!

Wrapping windows in cellophane
To keep out the sucking chill
Hanging out naked anyway

Ugly colored curtains left over, never drawn
How many people know our bodies?
Ducking from a school bus

Pastelerias, pastel lavender houses
Drug accelerated adolescence
Launching a hundred open mouthed kisses

Rin crying at Wise Son’s French toast,
At the precision of Levi’s folded jeans,
Waving at his eyes hello

Al pastor tacos for $1.75 leaving a light
sheen of spicy orange oil over lips
licked over like Bonne Bell gloss

Every pile of restaurant trash
A monument to itself
Seven purchases of emergency cigarettes

San Francisco is so fucking beautiful
I’m not sure I can handle it
I’ll probably get hepatitis making love to the city

How to Make a Sauna

How to Make a Sauna

Chop down a tree with pale white wood.
Put a lot of sweat into this action, it will become important later.
Strip it into long creamy slats.
Inhale the woody scent deep into your lungs, it will become important later.
If there is no scent, apply a fragrant oil.
Construct a box from the slats no bigger than an ego.
Fit a graphite crucible.
Obtain a piece of gold perfect in its softness.
Mold the gold gently into the shape of a tree and a lake.
Drop it into the crucible.
Heat the gold with your fury.
Fury until the gold sweats.
Fury until the gold melts.
Fury until the gold sublimates into a thick cloud.
Hold hands with a lover and sit in the box.
Bathe in the gold mist.
Fury at the temperature of the interior of stars.
Fury at the rate of 1 billion million degrees per second.
Fury until the gold becomes a hard lattice.
Fury some more, it will become important later.
Emerge coated in a gold shell of your own hatred.
Burn everything in sight.

Evil Girls

Evil Girls

You’re like, “I like evil girls!”
I’m like, “oh shit you’re right”
You’re like, “ok, no not evil, really, but”
I’m like, “no actually evil is right”
You’re like, “but not evil evil, just like, you know?”
I’m like, “I do know, and evil is used correctly here”
You’re like, “yeah but you’re not evil though”
I’m like, “I know, shit, that’s what I’m saying”
You’re like, “ok maybe at some point I did like evil girls”
I’m like, “I recognize this fact viscerally”
You’re like, “but I don’t NOW because evilness is not good”
I’m like, “evilness is good in bed?”
You’re like, “whoa”
I’m like, “that’s it isn’t it”
You’re like, “well”

A Small Death

A Small Death

It is that time of morning, when flowers catch the water that hasn’t been used and Charles stares at the shadows of trees, half-naked and confused. A screaming comes across the sky.

All I remember is getting shot in the head at the very end. It was a horse’s head, from which small light-green eels were darting furiously. It broke and fell on the ground that pulverized the dust into tiny clouds of silica. The sand slept, the sea slept, the shells had been crushed and did not listen to my pleas. So I impersonated an hour-glass and at the same time tried to think myself into the role of Death by playing with the bones of small rodents. But there was no discernible reason that they should be set up that way! Strange patterns! But if I were to design this instrument I would not put its heart so close to its swords. I suppose decisions like that are for some angel stationed very high, watching us at our many perversities, all of it being carried out under a sentence of death whose deep beauty the angel has never been close to….

Instead I preferred to ponder the tricks I might play if given your beautiful pussy, some carrots, and a small live starfish. (They told me, “She’s no Kasabian goose, she’s a German National bird and tastes just like before the war.”) But it was a sensory ship that brought me here, something like scent yet infinitely more secluded and gripping. None of this was ever thought out. No, you wore it as one would an earring or perfume. Flowery, permeating, surprising, more than the color of winter sunlight—it is not often Death is told so clearly to fuck off. Only when the vanilla brought tears to my eyes, only when I began to taste mushrooms or some acrid spice, this earthy smell that contaminated me for all time with the taste of perishability—only then did I let go.

Ist klar. It was spring.