Friday, May 28, 2010


------ for Chris Burden, Maya Lin, and Arthur C. Danto

When I stare at the stars of a winter's night,
and think how they too are far wiser than we,
unthinking obey their own stare decisis,
relentless explode but do not disagree,
I am

When I walk by the black wall of long dead invaders,
when I walk by the black wedge that numbers the dead,
and I think of how they were betrayed by their leaders,
in the white marble dome where the Congress convenes,
I am

When I look at the black and white photo of children,
as they scream and they race from the chemical fire,
and Pan Thi Kim Phuc the eleven-year-old naked,
the terror on her face as the naked skin sears,
I am

that the wall of their dead would continue for miles,
that the wall of their dead rises high in the air,
that the unnumbered millions graffitti the silence
to the space and the silence the nameless adhere.

Friday, May 21, 2010


Icebergs of granite float on an ocean
of fire, a luminescing sea of
liquid rock. We know this.
We know
this, though we talk about it
little, agree for the purposes
of discussion to heed
the pock marks of lava only
intermittently, when active
or threatened.
'Like a rock
I was wet as I could be
Like a rock
I lit up reality.
Oo-hoo, like a rock.
As if solid ground meant more
than an eggshell on molten
albumin, shaved ice
in a boiling martini, as if
the bubbles did not
wash up the erections
we call the Himalaya, as if
the collide-ascope of continents did
not shift with the churning
currents below. The certainties
we call foundations, the bedrocks
of knowledge vanish
with a swirling dream we are merely
too quick to see.
Just so, just so.
The hard becomes
soft, the permanent
fleeting the dead
alive with candent

heat. Our metaphors
us. Erroneous as sight,
shaky as a cliff,
solid as the wind,
superficial as the sea,
our metaphors fail
us, and we
them. We rehearse
the chains
of thought, the script of progress pre-
ordained. Know that
we ignore and in ignoring
beneath the script of marble
tongues the very planet
lives aglow.

Friday, May 14, 2010


Oh to be cosseted with russet
potatoes, gussets on our crockets,
our pockets full of Rimbaud
and ducats. Banquets of suppose,
rainbows of ribbon,
troves of Flaubert
and busloads of Gibbon.
Oh to be nestled in soft down and kittens,
nuzzled and cocoa-ed with steaming hot milk,
songs that are Orphic and tunes out of
Rilke. Oh to be jolly in gullies of
golly, to spool like a fool unaware
of Fate's tally. To rally around
like a kid in no hurry,
amused as a goose
in a Newfoundland flurry.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Division of Labor

At least you had a mother. All four of mine
denied responsibility. All four denied
maternity. The sensibly-shoed girlnextdoor
firstwife of my selfmade
millionaire sperm-parent: my
contracting-mother. The chesty blonde neo-Aryan
Ivyleague Phi Beta Kappa who skipped Con-law
to mine her uterus for its haploid yolk-sacs; my
egg mother. The highschoodropout daytime
soapaholic who
triple-trimester-timeshared her belly
with my wormfishchildlike zygote: my
gestation-mother. And last,
the onetime stripper trophywife with the
silicon-valley for
cleavage: my
What, with a post-restante
prenatality, an au pair roulette-wheel
upbringing with a
UN's-worth of nationalities, and
the synthetic mother's-milk, it's
as if nothing in my life isn't
artificial, isn't queer as having a
hypodermic needle for a sex-partner.

I spent my formative years with
laboratory mice wearing human ears on their backs:
among french fries classified
technically by FDA as a natural
insecticide: where cornfields grew human
antibodies and Monsanto implanted patented
Terminator sterility into next-generation

Is there something wrong
with me that I wanted
a mother's love and not just
a fertility protocol and a sequence
of genes? That I resent being conceived by
the division of labor? That I
need something more than
things to eat that have been -- "linked to"
items that were once
food? That I suspect these biotech
improvements have less to do with
feeding the hungry than
digesting their souls into intellectual

Only Hallmark loves me
on mother's day.
No one's ever even bothered
to hate me. It's like I'm a jigsaw puzzle of a
Jackson Pollock and it doesn't matter
how, or when, or even if
the pieces ever fit
together, the box makes it clear:
some assembly required.

Why should you, why should anyone
care about me, this handful of nucleotides
grown on a culture medium of
fee-for-service medicine and
recombinant genetic pride? When three-fifths
patented, the motherless mammal leaves
a five-fifths hole, in the for-profit
subsidiary, replacing
a once human