Tuesday, July 10, 2018

fantasy

ask me about the labor of liking
a narcissist
while you try to rinse that cooking oil
off your hands
maybe we’ll get to the present
which was whose idea
or my old foolish hope
that one moment of trust would
overcome the relentless branding
of every single person
that is the constant erasure
of difference
and therefore of commonality
that wherever you go in public
you’re a customer feeding
another customer their status
and that you’re expected to smile
for the camera
that that’s normal
that celebrities are gods
who aren’t worried about nazis
or the democrats who serve nazis
while chiding the working class
for not voting
for someone else’s money
what would happen if we stopped
petting the newsfeed
what if there’s a respect that’s only
attainable through solidarity
and what if that solidarity is only
attainable in a street
where you cannot own or control
or manipulate another person
where there’s no such thing
as a president
and presence means mutual aid
and what if this street made us
talk in new ways
and our words led to new kinds
of pleasure that we can barely
imagine right now
and someone said i’m searching
for a home that’s not just a drug
at sunset
and what if we got addicted
to this street
like one can get addicted
to someone who fucks them right
and what if this addiction
started pouring from one street
to another to another
and the streets were full for days
and days that never end
and what if in these days all the pain
and betrayal and abandonment
in every single person’s past
fed one strange collective ego
and in one breath
we stopped taking shit and got each other’s backs
and we rose up like an ocean
and what if in this fantasy
that makes me breathless
at the thought of the end of being used
and the great release of pain
that would be so just
we’d have to make up a new word
for justice—what if even then
the zombie still wanted a cut—

the zombie still wants a cut
so i return my body to my body
to say what it needs to say—

you can use what i love
against me
you can kick my head
into the curb

you can use what i love
against me
you can kick my head
into the curb

you can use what i love
against me
you can kick my head
into the curb

you can lie into the mirror forever
you can you use what i love
against me

you can gaslight the ocean forever
you can kick my head into the curb

you can gaslight the ocean forever
you can kick my head into the curb

you can have yourself
for dinner
you can have yourself
for dinner

the street will still be there
the ocean will be here
the language will be made
the people will be free


nightmare

because of the pain of your grievances
said the administrator
i will hide behind this brand
as if it were a shield
from the nightmare
that sustains my ego

Sunday, April 22, 2018

reviews

"Did the dream of speed begin with the birth of the car? Or was that the dream of escape–of hopping in the car and going, leaving your life and responsibilities behind? And is this desire for speed and escape a particularly American thing?" Gina Myers wrote about General Motors for Fanzine--read it here.

And Noel Black wrote about General Motors and Stephanie Young's new book at Hyperallergic: "Taken together, It’s No Good Everything’s Bad and General Motors feel like a reawakening of old, important truths about labor in new, urgent, and direct poetic forms." Read the whole thing here.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

in the kitchen

Here's one of three chase scenes recorded by Alina Pleskova for the sitting room series--listen/watch more here: https://twitter.com/sittingrmseries

Saturday, March 3, 2018

General Motors

This new book is now in the world, thanks to Split Lip Press. 

To celebrate, I'll be reading with Laura Jaramillo on Saturday, April 14th, 7:30pm at Morning Glory Diner, 10th & Fitzwater, in the FOH'LL reading series. 


Booksellers, you can order copies at a discount directly from the press right here.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Coming soon

from Split Lip Press - you can pre-order it here.


Thursday, December 7, 2017

keeping saint monday

you can always hide in the idea
that no one cares
kick around the desert
waiting for some chin music
to come make it new again
when i think of the years
i think of a line across a page
to erase history & any love
that could gut a house
for good reason
my cold mouth in the wind
like a kite
as i return to work, park
under same hard shadow
where the ear of an organizer
got sliced by ambition
or the police, hard to say
though it’s understood we should
just accept reality, ronald reagan
& mickey mouse are the same
after all, your kids will turn out
fine, unraped & voting
for the rich in the dark
the good life won’t stop
for anyone
there are the tracks
& here is some rope
a rumor of piano w/ keys
of brick in a cellar
played by permanent mice
to our memory
associated flowers reports
you were only a tourist
priced out by weather
grasping at the rain
of a song
until we tossed the news
in the hole
& became something else
just like that, a line across
a page to step over
& a stranger on the other side
to take us in, here, sit down
let me tear this fog
out of your chest

Sunday, November 26, 2017

chase scene

Here's a chase scene published recently in Dusie's Tuesday poem series, edited by rob mclennan.


Sunday, November 12, 2017

dream

because i carry no hope
the moon smears itself
on the trees
like a dirty soda can
from another notebook
on the tip of my tongue
an old feeling’s dream
i hate that word, “dream”
its glassiness of water
in pictures and nothing
under but tomorrow
what a rip, knot in my back
snowballing again
to replace my heart
w/ an amazon headquarters
and more yuppies begging
the super-rich w/ hashtag
*phillydelivers*
please come ruin our city
we promise to help you
tighten the cement
one isolated incident
after another
year one has begun
it is luxurious beyond luxurious
it fits in the overhead bin
it bites my arm off
and pulls me into the sewer
home of the employee-employer
relationship
i keep waking up here
i unroll my tongue
like a red carpet
for socialism
we discuss thirst
we discuss the pesticide
in the wheat
which blows us up
in service to the revolving door
all alone in the field
nothing goes
i watch the door struggle
to make it new
blood turns moon into rain
a movement of people
in the rust of waiting
walk out, mouths opening
like the hands of a clock
running away from each other

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Tripwire 13: Dialogues

The new issue of Tripwire, one of my favorite magazines, is online--"Dialogues"--which includes a chase scene and an email exchange with an anti-union employer--and a whole lot more. You can download a free pdf or buy a print copy. Thanks to David Buuck, the editor.



Friday, September 22, 2017

3 new poems

3 new poems are online in the tiny, a fantastic magazine edited by Gina Myers and Gabriella Torres. The new issue includes poetry by Maged Zaher, Carlos Soto-Román, Cynthia Arrieu-King, Colette Arrand, erica lewis and more.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Two Spurs: Germantown and Northeast

Two short essays from General Motors are now online at Entropy Magazine.


Sunday, July 30, 2017

recipe


if you wanna wallow in the pig trough, you can light sparklers
in the street w/ the dudebros

--

i was a dumb kid when you arrived
and now i’m not

--

now i can get off the internet
and just be a person

--

my grandmother outlived her ability to speak
her first language, she was 97

--

your dropbox is full and is no longer syncing files

--

in the time of convenience stores, i got treated
like a convenience store

--

what doesn’t the revolving door
deserve

--

how do you give yourself to yourself
if there’s no such thing

--

keep peeling the potatoes, will you, and
we’ll let you know when it’s ready

--

you ride someone’s tail, i step on the fake brake
and nothing happens, we’re safe

--

i mean if you’re gonna be a nobody
have some class about it

--

shake up the pepsi before you hand it
to the scab

--

there’s no such thing as a good millionaire
everybody knows

--

tuck the corpse into your billfold
like there’s furniture in the mountains

--

for just a minute, maybe longer, stop being
everything you’ve made

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Sundog

The new issue of Sundog Lit includes my essay-poem "Passyunk spur", one of four spurs from my recent manuscript General Motors. Thanks to Berry Grass & the editors.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

for what we will

you can stick a 7-11
right there
like nothing happened
the city flushes itself
all day
people couple off
like the poem’s over
i got divorce flowers
for everyone
i got water
for the vase
you can tax the sun
you can mow the lawn
of little ears
peddled by squirrels
made of thanks
to hollowed earth
what “let” means
is the squirrel’s anybody, all
squirrely, night splashing
onto stairs, keys
to love the bar’s
emptiness
a subway entrance
in my bedroom
like a pillow
your scent barked home
in a shirt
a string whistled thru
utility’s erotic
in defiance of
uniform
you can take off
what you need
you can lick your bowl
clean
for no credit
you can pledge allegiance
to the floor

Monday, May 1, 2017

injury music

april is not a thing
i’ll be there in 20 minutes
just shy of dust
w/ dry red wine
national safe digging month
is almost over
thank god
we can dig once again
w/ abandon

Monday, March 27, 2017

SPiA #6

The new Slow Poetry in America newsletter is five poems from a manuscript I recently finished writing called General Motors. You can order it or subscribe to SPiA right here and get poetry in your mailbox every season. Thanks to Mike Cavuto, Hoa Nguyen & Dale Smith.

Boneless Skinless

Boneless Skinless is in the world, featuring work by poets who've read at Housework at Chapterhouse, the great poetry reading series run by Mel Bentley, who also edits the magazine with Jonathan Hamilton. Two of my chase scenes are in volume 1, which you can get here.

Whirlwind #10

Check out Whirlwind #10, published out of Philly by Sean Lynch and Lamont Steptoe. The new issue focuses on the meaning of "empire" in the 21st century. Happy to have two poems as part of it. You can read the magazine online here or get it in print.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

injury music

when they say “nothing is free”
they mean “you work for me”

when they say “we don’t condone violence”
they mean “you work for me”

when they cart you off the field on a stretcher
thousands of little boss-slaves cheering on
your pain

the super bowl of cheerios
in a sink

this complete breakfast
of losers

i wipe my mouth
w/ a napkin

everything is free

the anthem is a dead white prayer

silly string in the street
the day after

waterfalls are not
hair

states are not
stars

what flag are you
talking about

what do you mean by
“nation”

do you mean the bruises
all over your body

do you mean the people
who nursed you back up

who are you now
all washed up