26 October 2010

What We Defend

But, we like morphine.
We like the smell of DDT,
walking in flocks behind such trucks.

Brains wrapped in cellophane just last longer.

We coax you to remember, glands swollen
with exercise. A decade is a long time.
He kept hitting us until the welts

grew conscious of themselves. Don't you

remember? These lines fall apart. These lines
graze on the same oats, awaiting the same winter.
We will collapse, eventually.

25 October 2010


Lonesome gentleman,
cornered imagination,
tries so hard to squeeze drops from his skull,
tries so hard to be dangerous.
Whipping up something literal,
he offers an answer, eternal and pointless.
The night is quiet, mentally searching for a metaphor
to describe the junkies on the news.
Yard signs will have to suffice--
the caliber of silence.

18 October 2010

Berkeley Shuttlestop

I don't need to be fifteen minutes away to feel Judy Butler. I wonder if she ever went to the Subway across from the hot dog stand, the American Apparel. I wonder if she would stoop so low as to be one of the everyday people she's always fighting for.

There's a reunion of some sort happening today. Kids in their early thirties are dressed like Hollywood, lacking cigarette holders and the charm that comes with them. They're laughing about how cold it is, waiting for some bus to take the load of them somewhere, to some ball, to some fancy restaurant. A caricature homeless man walks unashamed through the herd of decorated cattle. "Down with Corporatism!" He yells, throat swollen, unsanitized. "Down with fuckers with money! Fuck you! Fuck you!"

They ignore him, or try to. They check their phones. They glance, understand enough to let him pass. They continue making polite noises, touching each other's arms politely, smiling in polite, unassuming ways. The bus appears, silent and stoic. It's bright with tinted windows, like a tall limousine. "Graduates from the law school ten years back," someone informed me when I asked. Neither of us mentions the homeless man.

Someone gave him enough change throughout his busy day to buy a Desi dog. I can almost smell the relish in his beard. The kids are gone as he sits to noisily munch. The sky is preparing for sunset, lining up the clouds just so. The pattern that forms is uniform, consistent. The girl sitting next to me is making her own clouds. I fail to notice my own. The shuttle is late, but its warmth is welcome.

17 October 2010

Delaying the Clamp

Dogma is the middleman, standing in my way. I remain the semi-recluse, curious about others. So I poke them with a stick. There, in the middle, the fleshy part that gives, that bounces back, is that the gut?

While dissecting cats, we learn that the intestine is like a rope, tight and strong. Tight and strong are the threads gods use. Can we pull threads apart, reveal molecules of molecules, symbolic wool from symbolic sheep?

I'm not good on the phone, which is why I never call. I miss the curly wires, umbilical cords separating me from the real and physical, the space between public and private. These strands of strands, invisible, are like those cords. They kept us safe because they marked the distinction.

How safe are the rules that guide our gestures? Can we trust the middleman? We pluck the threads, regardless of what they protect.

08 October 2010


Your mouth: a lion's den.
A period instead of a question
mark, you argue until you get nothing
done, until the other team scores.
This is the purity of queerness.
In bold letters: the name of Cain.

I can't sharpen the claws when you
presume we fight with broom sticks.
I cannot be what I seem, a period
instead of a question mark. I cannot
give mouth-to-mouth
when your lungs are threadbare.

My mouth: a filter, trapping
dusty honor, white cobwebs.
Who is the hypocrite.
Who is the charmer, snakes dancing
by her side. Well, queerly,
snakes are only evil depending
on the fairy tale.