an on-line publication of Potes & Poets Press, Inc.
e-mail: potepoet@home.com -- communications welcome.


Elephant Surveillance To Thought

Molars are born into them under consideration of too many
options to separate them into homogenous groups of people.
If she's reading Nietzsche, I'm reading Stephen King.
Who cares whether or not the people who do not read
don't know how to spell. The highest levels of the state
have underminded the central authority. The central
authority of the body begins to take its residence in low
intensity hallways with a wide variety of grassroots.
Peasants may refuse to produce to shoot them. Or, better
yet, export them to another democracy. Western civilization
needs only to empty its self-nature to the extent that it
wishes, at which point dogs react to strangers like foolish
men. Nevertheless, the people who approach and depart
remind the rest of the civic body that it had better
recognize this universe can also lead to death, and so on
in backward sequence. Several possibilities converge
in sense of direction one hardly feels -- cosmopolitan
saturation with a personal guide is harmonious impunity
against misfortune. Over the top enthusiasts consider
such travel like a pram in the snow, and gather quotes
from their favorite authors to prove it. It's natural,
some argue, that these new organizations of control
escape their own logic merely to become spines in a
spiritual prose. Cynicism of this kind, that Paul McCartney
tendency, like the novel of ideas, one may link and
cooperate with to drive tourists into compassion with
syntax unlocked and rolling over the ice. In the winter,
it's often best to narrow one's own efforts. Further,
any idiot can call it cold, but those who refuse to lie
down in the sun of corn will scorn those who walk on.
Perusing such literatures is not under anyone's wing.
That carcass of talk vs. walk emerged out of quite ex-
plicit rejections of subsequent attempts to remedy
the supermaternal as it was felt to sleep too late in
the day. Hey, Mom... wake up, for christ's sake!
Andrew is running in the field, etc., to look up the
home addresses of the dead. You've got to stop him!
The future is suffering and we're caught smack dab
in the widesprread. Since the poem and the world of
things seem to swim at the contact of acid, you will
slide between my fingers, starting from this curve,
like no other human construction. Until that day,
the external world, a plague of darkness, or mistaken
identity (the audience's evening) had a wonderful
time. Ejaculation gets rid of that tension, but it doesn't
necessarily follow or generate more clouds in my mind.
In fact, quote the kind of people who never think
twice and you'll have a pretty accurate idea of what
this landscape looks like. Still numb from that
contemplation look over your shoulder and see what's
going to disappear now. "Poetry isn't beauty, it's
inquiry." The sight of Medusa's head makes the spectator
sniff the terror permanently fixed in the bitch's anus.
I'm not the only one who smelled these things. To be
stuck (in a rut) of literary tradition is both important
and amusing. The need to dominate and control it,
on the other hand, is not. The ideal place for the joining
and fusing of these solutions is again stupidity and
knowing how to profit by it. Maybe that is the most
successful aspect of capitalism. To get the entirely
expected out of each one. Successful hostages
and hostage taking. Microsoft vs. whoever likes it.
Freedom has lost its glamour, its time for cyberspace
to be acknowledged as the triumph of 'readings'.
The suggestiveness of software buying and selling
confines one's activity to the aphorism of terminal
authority. The form of the sentence is transience,
however, instead of going under (as it once did), it
now is taken out of circulation. In this scenario to see
is to see verbal materials themselves as so much
poopoo. In fact, I'd go farther and call seeing a dewey
decimal clogged with swine shit. What are we going
to do with all that bacterial matter? Swim in it?
The waters of our stinking rivers are fouled beyond
belief, the shit makes it so. Its predication is not
an adjunct root of Heidegger's archaicism. Strenuous
loss of blood a philosophy's forgetfulness duplicates
no world worth the ambiguity of Being. Others
not yet ripe for freedom hold on to something,
usually the poopoo alluded to above, for much
too long -- this is unsuccessful transmission. The
elephant remembers and "cannot act otherwise
than," hence I propose the surveillance of thought
via the model of the elephant as the political conclusion
to ivory exportation as 'the' most promising solution
to Kant's rigorism. One body, under God. Atlas
in an ocean of definitions resembling affirmation.
The body says, enough's enough. Give that
elephant a break. In this scenario now is taken
out of verbal circulation. In its stead, strangers
like foolish democracy consider misfortune
hostage to their own illogic. The dewey decimals,
in fact, make loss of blood an adjunct root
ripe for reform. The shifting terrain continues to
shift nostalgia of a more horizontal intelligence.
A homeophatic concoction, Arnica, both orally
and as a gel, is very good for muscle trauma,
bruising, swelling. In the dream his parents home
rested upon a foundation of water, or the entire first
floor was water at the same level inside as that
of the pond or lake the house was built next to.
And all of the homes built around the lake were
constructed the same way, so everyone
shared the same body of water, and took care
to keep the filters clean and the mind clear.


		era forgot

what jumps 		what jumps on
history on a cage,   of,   as if in a page,    why those young lads,
history keeps penetrating,  echoing,  drums inside drums inside
a hole for sound and air, meat clock wakes and sleeps
ready to break
as if tempting the river
as if the fish wont act with one mind-- that's their faith

not a long skirt but a freight train, like dead mammals clipped to each
others tails
wanting to see, to be seen, of the scene
to get the light in the interesting places and be able to see
near enough to smell, not too near to fall in, to drop the batteries
rubbing opposite parts together,
even if three of me were in a large room

as if im being spoken by
a flute complex with memories and hang-ups-- i blow in
and dont know what will come out from where
like a random neighborhood of identical housesfront
with no way to get under
a continuum of dissonance, diversion, displacement or dangerous
to add a bite
vine aching for the moon
sample the soil with millions of snifters
an elixir one pours on the scalp     shy fumes


			city gathers in the drain

drops of positive what
			 say one word:
        stamp it      own it      say it over til embeds your skin-mind like
a memory tattoo 
           gaining in density in nerve ends tied up with the questions/
  the way silk thread on a cavernous tongue;  how parts inverted like a sock
on a whiskey glass

pops to split the dream like a dust of mirrors or microscopic tv sets--
where can the satellites be 
like venereal diseases   like time release anomalies falling thru an
arena-sized colander--
					the steam of my screams		white bathrobe fur
      like duct tape on my mouth;    like gasoline soaked thistles in my nose

			what will fall away
						dried cow flop revealing hallucinations
milk with tiny cities inside
			   as if almost every house in the subdivision was hit with a large
each house as big as one pore of my skin, a bowl of cereal with bodies
instead of cornflakes, 
			 was somebody's dog,   somebody's accidental goldfish
			     just showed up in the washing machine
  		 clanked like balsa wood armor hitting the brakes when the horse imploded
		      as if he'd never been there,  as if cars had never been invented 
	         but dropped off plants that parasitized abdominal tenements 
                     	    some would wear as slippers or tucked under
pillows of former lovers 
    to embroider their dreams with unraveled black silk, mirrors constricted
with black leather
           i unskin through the shards where my eyes have popped their
cathodes with greater bandwidth 
       like tommy dorsey flattened to half an acre
					          from trombone to syringe, 
				      from campaign button to private jet with naked stewards 
				          my origami jellyfish keeps adding strings to the air:
     	 are they fuses or fortunes, encoded gene strips 
		       or floss about to give birth to fishing line 
	     so effectively severing or seining together like a cheese sandwich
pulled apart in an hour
      or plywood sprouting into layers of shale raise half a state a 1/4
mile closer to the calcified sky 
 	         where stars lay incandescent eggs in the shadowy seams of skin 
our universe is some wrinkle or illuminated shoud of forgotten dancesteps 
	spinning to contain all cuisines with dull stapes of elements randomly
				    coz when the menus too heavy to lift, 
	 when the kitchens big as a mall we either get lost or over full 
	      and seek the vomitoriums of conscientious recycling
     still need someone to re build  restore   rear up and say those
uncopyrighted words 
          of a face beaming in love,    of hormonal crocuses giving winter a
180 of cacophonous stimuli
					  where else would we go and why
       its april and something green is hemorrhaging in my fingertip, my
teeth are white as flowers
                 telling the villages to cover their eyes with protein rich
leaves, leaves theyve never seen before
	but remember the taste, remember falling asleep and meeting the earth in a
womans body,
	        meeting a man as bumpy as europe, the dog lifts its leg and shows
us mississippi & the nile  	    entwined like dna to delta the world, make
it more interface and less state, 
		  the vein powering my thigh feeding hundreds of unclassified species:

				i see them coming to work, asking for my ID,
unaware of how their posture is the keyhole to more light, more distance
that i can comprehend
between my plate and mouth,  a gargantuan christmas tree draped with orange
pierced with cloves and allspice we hurl into the hovering paraclete
    reminds us of the work week     utility bills     the car who wont start
without clean underwear
	leaves evidence on the street, not territorial but cumulative
	  like buying a lottery ticket with fervid presence with a commitment to
the pearl disguised what
as irritation creates value, as rarity becomes a sinkhole   a self directing
hook     a high pitched wail
no one else can hear anymore-- the strength is in the pitch as throwing a
baseball at 90 mph destroys an arms evolving to the robotic linking mind
against innate judgment and nerve tendons replaced with superconducting
	           flowers explode in light the sun disguises   so full      one
more      too many
	 shoulder to shoulder mooing in the visual clamor til restraint becomes a
		sheets like mud, like a chrysalis holding me til i evolve
	     to take dreams with me as my room loses its walls & furniture
			 as the breakfast sky suddenly 10 pm
      each step i take approximates a new body hoping what it keeps from
these billion trades
	         can lead back into airs soothing hallways,    places too salient
for gravity to sway



  a corrugated line knits this tight diffuse sweater
  thru the asphalt, the latex, the momentum of routine
       canalized like sugar, cannibalizing this ghost zoo of images
      melting in the waste-stream of self-desiccating tear ducts
		         	       i can't imagine that chunky, that prolific in color,
intense organic value
					  an economy too diverse to exploit without killing

       designer body germs fine-tune our spasms like optic cables
		              flossing  the inner kidney's endocrine hosanna,
	            running ridge-tops at 10 miles per hour for days
 		   		 with the green leaves thru every orifice
	    	           so the sun won't set       the moon forever in my pineal
			     i'm 6-legged 8-armed frisbee pollen
			           germinating between a thousand unnamed species
           to croon       to set a fine table       spew energy beyond our
needs and laws
	since we're all family		   since we all speak separate languages
			        the way your eye is a tattoo of a dog
		         wearing a flame skirt and thermonuclear ear tag
			 jumps between the 19th and 20th vertebrae
		      ribs straining like the radiator on the 18th floor
	        with walls removed by acid vision dealing a realignment of dna
			             despite layers of pavement         despite a lack of

              There's so much work unacknowledged in replacing knees with
stained glass
		         never wearing pants or leggings;
       an environment for the numb;       a church for those with several
					    knock and you're at risk, ask
					& your voice is no longer your own

	   we slowly strip search the earth:
		 fewer species are easier to count, easier to inventory
	           scanning dna's complex bar code, a treasure map encrypted in
alien physics

		   so we drill in the backyard    on the moon
 		             in long volcano teeth  psychics show beneath wall street icon
	morphing into textured phoenixes rise from the desert
       					     to greenhouse this land with no official history;
       		  	        preserving old structures as batteries to focus meat-time
	       as more bodies gather to tympanize the substrata,
	          	   		     to throw me onto a pavement of rain and possibilities,
					 floodtide of used condoms and unopened labelless cans
			i pray my deepest instinct/luck to know
	what won't react,    what is safe enough to eat
			safe enough to stick your mouth on the exhaust pipe of

"they say the best things in life are free.    but you can give them to the
birds and bees"


Bakery mirror

My oculist witness has turned to bread
A club of a loaf
What was that that brushed against the cheek--the side of my face?
Like the whisper in an ear pinched to a suspicious squeal
or was it a puffed up exhalation on it's way to a love canoe cruise?
The plastic scent, the fiberglass bottom bent in two over 
a cavity disguised as a head.
In it's teeth the stale loaf...bitten only whole.



Propeller blades turning
and i can't see it fitting
in the space of your book rack
tucked neatly away 
and categorized.

My octopus arm moving in 
softly out toward you
to simply shake your hand

If your sense of touch is sharp
you would then feel
the fossils in my suckers

Sucking in water to move
faster than you thought
Arms too many to count.


the implication of the blowfish

the blowfish stuck to the roof of my head.
sucking out my fear. there it is, blownfull loaded spines pricked OUT.
a hat.
eyes drawnshut like some old witches blinds, not wanting you near but signing
to read 
in her window..... we walk past the house slowly.
a cool white skin pulled
enough for the stretch worm parallel.
the spines pricked OUT.
Lopped a blood pinch to my nose the blowfish flaked and i gave a big squeeze
in cascade the fish halved.
frozenwater, ice.
my lips parted to hear, my ears bent to word you
tumbling past my two arms downward scraping me
I shed the blowfish.


Goals to not dash and inadequate teaching fears

To pour sweat on foreheads
so it appears as though they are working 
and not feeling entirely tense

I admit to spoil  to the collecting of dust
your bin is full not half empy
(so empty it)

To produce juice a juice to drink
directly from the pores
and it may be, too foreign

To stand and not make reference
but be instead pointy and inserted
into sureness.



A duct too small to crawl through
The esophagus rapidly closing and opening 
ears the earthquake at length
centrifugal force denied repelled wheat stalks
Space open and expanding measurable only
with a tool that hates.


Donkey Ride

What if I were dead
without an expression of concern
or had freely forsworn
the crude scheme, eyes blinking
unreflected, merely a taste
of the epiphenomenon--
the child setting his finger
in porphyry
rose to distinction
beyond the land of Tyre
spurred to truthfulness
by an idiosyncratic enchantment
under its baleful sign
he remains upright
materialized in the frozen
twisting doctrine
by which death brokers
the privilege of irrevocability
on a threshold none can see
named for limpid need
where a screen of tall trees
is painfully expressive
of silence disturbed by memory
absorbed into the heart
of grandmother dust 
bright in the northern sky 
liberated from the otherwise unlit 
mobility of wolves

La Couperin

The deferent is not fixed in a single simple motion, in the little
limbless cross, or caliginous movements of the snow-feathered fly. You
taste, feel, imagine, understand. Privation enters you. You was bad. You
was sleeping
in seas and rivers
by grace or gift abrupt
it bears toward you
to be kindled in seclusion
see where those mysteries
the shoots and grasses
by their simple subsistence
will not obscure the voice
as embellishment of
quickly fading sonorities
it is said
the land felt nothing
and the book of ornament
was seen in you
barren but everlasting
awake in the desert
let the sparrow be
where it apprehends itself
out of descending hexachords
relentlessly discarded
but fit for fading light
do not offend
those who have seen it
figures and colors
wind-blown, deep inside
the efficacious place 
incantatory, but less
a matter of words
trees and flowers
in primitive perpetuity
whence and whither
it reverts, in freedom
their pipes can blow

 Harmonious Verification

_The various Mother Hubbards occupy the mind of the cat. The dog wears
his reward, a talking feather._

The Flat-Top Steel Company calls out by distant resolution. From its
mitered desks, the Company regards; unascertainable, it has and holds,
then dies. Its death evokes standards we mourn, even as our mourning
evokes an ellipsis within us. That ellipsis we now express.

Ellipsis acknowledges that the transitions it supplants are meant to
disguise it; it confesses a lack of belief, turning this confession into
material. Inwardness is a tonal effect of the elliptical. 

The poetic--that element available to thought only by means of
poetry--comprises the intricate self-oriented motions of a few words,
vanishing into imaginary depths. 

These depths are entered by way of a remorseless concision. Inside them,
each detail takes its turn as anomaly. The whole becomes deformed in the
act of grasping the part. Thoughts are loosed which have no shape.
Grammatical elements meticulously express themselves precisely where
that expression becomes superfluous. The energy thus suspended
acquiesces in the changing scale. 

One exemplary strategy is embodied in J. H. Prynne's  poem, 'Her Weasels
Wild Returning,' where the resistance to conventional semantic pattern
is carefully structured into the sardonic shadow of such a pattern,
which slips in and out of the text in pursuit of the pronoun 'she,' to
whose half-lyric figure accrete dense configurations of irreconcilable,
yet rhetorically precise and pointed phrases, each tracing terse and
fitful relationships with one another. Through compression the
connective tissue is deleted or distorted or transformed, and the act of
expression forms a hard exterior, an impregnable, defiant autonomy
broached only by intimate attention.

In rhetoric ellipsis designates the omission of an element that, as
Puttenham says, 'may be supplied by ordinary understanding'; it is the
figure of defect. In traditional poetry this figure represents the
compression of syntax for the sake of meter. To extend this narrow
technical sense to a more general principle of artistic design
comprising 'defect' as a thematic structuring element (wherein what is
insufficient or flawed is conscious of its insufficiency, articulating
its exemption from the compensations 'supplied by ordinary
understanding'), we view ellipsis in conjunction with related figures,
such as enigma and noema. Of the latter Puttenham observes, 'The
obscurity of sense lieth not in a single word, but in an entire speech,
whereof  we do not so easily conceive the meaning, but as it were by
conjecture.' The act of conjecture, as applied to elliptical, noematic
texts--the act of divining meaning by 'throwing together,' as in
geomancy, the elements that have themselves been conjectured by
writing--carries out thematic struggles inherent in assembling what can
never be built. Whereas Puttenham's ellipsis readily presupposes a
remedy for its defect, and its meaning already contains a reflection
upon that fundamentally implied remedy, the defects in noematic texts
are remediless.  They signify an irreversible dissolution whose
depiction and decipherment have now become the tasks of artistic

To throw together, to cast before. To elaborate what organizes at the
cost of its own efficacy. This is the happiness of lambs. Their eyelids
flutter in omitted space. Consolation sweeps over them. Inside, more
fragments, abandoned and observed.

Open your Harmony Book. This is the first note, silhouetted in freedom. 
This is the last note, gazing from its horn.



in this dream dad
you're twenty years dead
and when i woke up
there's a knock at the door
and you're standing there with a tan
and over seven months i tell you were dead
when the door knocked
and i'm dreaming you standing somewhere from sun
with the woman i'm sleeping with under your arm
but it could have been anybody's house
when i leave and don't wake her
closer to you
before the house dissolves


i look at people in the eyes
to see if there's somebody in there

wide digital almost sky 
with the strength of an answer

almost a hope in how vast 
and curious in the same place

the same troubled half-squint
faraway like a question

or tedious wish to be somewhere 
like last night left over from something

forgotten and seen inside a book
looking up carried into a smile

i saw you with my same eyes 
we were tired and old


it's true death doesn't fully kick in
for a year
but this wasn't what i was talking about
on purpose
i dragged my bed out to the sand
as if you can really choose who you come from
the way they sound
there were never any books
and the old ones who fed us we never saw again
only in dreams
do you want me to take you shopping mom
  no i want to shoot pool
but this isn't what i was talking about
the sky opens the diameter of a mail slot
and the sun
orange of a child's wheel behind the sea
once it almost got midway up


tide out and crossed
for two days i couldn't step through
i had to backtrack to the highway
around how i saw crossing in my head
i made everyone's life miserable blaming the full moon
it wasn't how i saw it in my head
i should have just sat down on the rocks and waited
there was too much sun
too much blue sweeping the dirt clean on the other side
who i used to be roving with dogs in that village
i couldn't get back the way i saw it in my head
every way i heard different was a war
like you said in the dream it was perfect
i sounded like a monster
for two days i sounded like a nightmare
trying to cross over to who i used to be in my head
miserable and perfect non sequitur


Save As...          for Peter Ganick   

A kind of freedom in erasing whatever I say. In this way the writing
becomes my world, nobody else's. But that is not possible. I would rather
write about the word "evening." Consider, if you will, the beauty of the
world. And add on top of this, it can be felt and then just erased. To
save or not to save? Postpone for 15 minutes? The whole world, my entire
life, not to speak of everyone else's, and I am here deciding to save or
not to save these words that I write just to write. In a few mintues I
will be deciding. But is this or is this not, literally, "too silly for
   Silly words, that you could ever think you were recording this silly
world. But everybody knows the "no-world" argument would never hold water
for very long. The brave thing to do would be to "delete." Have the
courage to just say "ciaou."
   Then again, wouldn't it be nice to remember how it felt at the very
beginning to deal with the save/no save option? The very thing that drives
you towards the computer becomes the very thing that makes it useless. Now
you can save every useless thing and not have it take any room in your
room. Boxes and boxes, files and more files of thousands of letters,
thousands of documents all falling under the impersonal sway of the
alphabet, in a memory bank without end, forever available according to its
place: the new alphabetical aristocracy. No more random places to rummage
around in, no more associations to a particular texture of paper. Soon to
be forgotten, no, soon to give way to universal access at your fingertips.
The whole world concentrated in your fingertips, the dream of the master
pianist of words.
   You needed a talisman to guide you. You consulted oracles, inhabited  
empty postoffices remembering forms you'll never see again.
   Naming never knew. Nothing anybody ever really felt needed one.
   There is a beautiful cage in the empty sound, but you would have to
stay around long enough to hear it. This, of all things is definitely
worth saving, and it will not have to take any fraction at all of a
kilobyte of memory. This sound is what makes memory.
   Still you might have to spend some time compiling some physical
content. The only way to get started is to go back to the beginning.

        In a mirror; in a haze, darkening light
        The river by day and by file edit view
        insert format font tools and by window

	It is so hard to picture
	What has not yet come true
	Yes, the lamps are still there
	And the pillows and sheets
	Mom is waving goodbye
	Just like she was in the picture
	Then you hear some music
	Perhaps from a radio
	But this is unclear, because as soon as
	You try to make out the words it
	Changes into a blank screen
	into a blank dream into a blank scream
	into a black steam into a light beam
	into an old scene

	Down by the clocks you listen for a change
	You read out loud, you think about the
	Cold spring air
	As usual,all the sounds are heard in reverse
	As the sunset becomes more and more passive
	More and more streaked with dark lines					                   



		See the object as a semblance
		Moving towards an assigned space
		A reason to include confusion
		Encompassing,not inhabiting, an idea
		The sketch finally faded into
		A comprehensible image. Erase it
		And begin again, with color. Will
		Is an abstraction. Starting over,
		The artist herself vanished into a texture.

		Say the object was a hindrance
		Taking in an arranged surface.
		A raging to forbid illusion
		Engrossing, and infusing, a career.
		The catch ultimately involved
		An invinceable pursuasion. Hold it
		Or confront it before you speak. Words
		Translate emotion. In reverse,
		The philosopher himself evolved in a paradox.

		Hear the statement as a structure
		Tracing an inevitable release.
		A premise for arranging connections
		Enhancing, not contracting, a facade.
		This switch dissolved completely
		Into a forseeable translation. Trace it
		And endure it because you can't. Thoughts
		Prefigure commands. By analogy,
		The critic herself emerged as a perception.

		Touch some feelings like a zither	
		Forming a musical entr'acte
		A setting that forbids intrusion
		Enlarging, or embodying, a mistake.
		The crux was amply disclosed
		As an arguable transposition: state it
		Or suggest it as en event. Dreams
		Precede desires. In effect,
		The musician himself is an instrument of his melodies.

		Proclaim the words as a proposal
		Provoking an invisible collapse
		A vessel that transports convictions
		Embedding and exporting a delight.
		Thus chance came to represent
		An unalterable conclusion: Recite it
		Or pronounce it as a chant. Songs
		Select a voice. So to speak
		The language of the poem constructs the poet.



	What other voices could it have been in?
	Hot dog man, woman screaming in the street at a kid
	on a tenement stoop, dog howling.

	The skin grows darker...wait...

	Must it all have been there? I don't seem him anywhere (you? him?)
	escaping...in between

	We see only parts. And the whole "sees" the whole.		
	Things find their way to the surface. And we let them in or not.

Curly tune

This is a line on screen or paper.  Its metallics are taxiing in space I
imagine.  The morning star's so close.  Nothing added, ummm, here's my
outflow, and bring a towel for reaching 

Green fields rip  
kick the door 
that's the way

To the sweet bays
and guillemots..
to the bagpipes!


It's not that I don't head feelings 
or hold you the occupier.
You're my knock off in flight
scored in one black note.

So quit moaning.
Though how could I go 
beaten up outside
and repatched 
if you wept?

You're but nothing
I'm actually shipping.

In sickness and health I thee embossed dabs o' 
each... gosh.  

Today is worse, trains everywhere comparing 
swathways to stake a slick with ink goo.

Sculpturing against the odds, memories along 
with fixations grow on trees that were going to 

And not just trees, but coal sycamore.  Coal, as 
the hue.

"Strafe at the dictate" 

The eye opus:
Some boardgames lashes are very good at..
sew it..
frame it
on to the next --

These are the poems.
Their drawdown is not fire
...you can't contain it..

Their lay in ancient places we had visited,
where I can't spell 
and can't stop, 

And without which a sigh could not be written,
an ultimatum,
a loose stare


Guided Tour of Skyscraper 2000

We take the elevator up to the top, 
stepping out onto an open platform, into the full light 
and ceaseless wind of the high steel. 
Construction began in 1900 and is not yet complete. 
Some Native-American workers mutter "manifest destiny" 
as we pass along a narrow gantry, 
all around the clank of metal, acetylene blue flares, 
the foreman shouts as the workers push to finish 
the last four stories before the end of the century. 
We take an unenclosed stairwell down to floor 96, 
loops & coils running everywhichway, computer cable 
and phonelines, a tangle of television monitors 
slung under the ceiling. Spread out over a conference table
milled from ebony, chainsawed then dragged out of an Indonesian rainforest 
by water buffalo, there's a high-stakes poker game going on in Eurodollars 
and yen-value derivatives, winner-take-all, 
but the developing countries don't have enough to buy in. 
Down another stairway, we walk from room-to-stark-white-room, 
hospital wards where AIDS patients lying on gurneys, emaciated, 
wrapped in sheets, are daubing open sores 
with the newest salves, waiting for The Cure. 
Other rooms taken over by garage bands 
cranking up huge amps to the point of feedback, 
full of power chords and lung-busting angst,
beating on rows of empty oildrums until the fossil fuels run out. 
Paisley people in palsied dancing, naked in the rain. Dogs let loose 
on black children. Long cars with big fins funneling down 
ramps of parking garages emptying onto freeways
headed for model neighborhoods, many square miles of homes, 
all alike, perfect green yards without trees, kids playing army 
get cut down by the machinegun fire of sprinklers, Vietnam, 
Korea, steaming casseroles laid out on formica-topped dinettes, 
then flashlight tag 'til aproned mothers call them home. 
Stand back and shield your eyes, there's a blinding, 
concussive light behind the glass doors to Hiroshima-Nagasaki Ltd. 
Floors in the 40s are still burning, a fine bone-white ash wafting
from the offices of the Reich III Corporation, dust blowing down 
rutted corridors on 33, whole families in trucks moving west 
toward where the sun fails and falls each day into the Pacific, 
outside only the suicidal rain of stock traders leaping to their deaths. 
A speakeasy down two flights, jazz seeping 
molten from under the door, just knock twice, at the bar 
a man sips a gin fizz, a hundred dollar bill tucked under the brim 
of his fedora, shell casings loose in the pocket of a pinstriped suit. 
A few floors below, hallways like trenches cut through mud, 
glint of bayonnets, gasmasks, whistles blowing as light fixtures explode 
illuminating a no-man's-land of twisted barbwire, bombcraters smoldering. 
Farther down, in the basement, all the dead are being stacked 
like cordwood for stoking a great cast-iron boiler 
which better never breakdown, because by now no one's left alive 
who really knows how to fix the thing. The eyes 
of small animals flicker beneath a wooden skid, 
and roaches scatter under gaslight, growing dim.


Maybe yes and no maybe
The heart's secret sinks into the jungle
Humble bird spreading its wings
Who knows the exotic bird's nest

Maybe yes and no maybe
The ocean of the heart is deep
What good is it to leave our prints
Prints a nocturnal rain confuses

Maybe yes and no maybe 
True the heart is nothing like a stone
In vain to resist sea waves
The swept beach is always new

Maybe yes and no maybe
A young heart is so inconstant
Rain must ignore thunder               
Jars fill and water pours out 

Maybe yes and no maybe
Let's keep the heart's door closed
For birds there are many preditors
All is finished and all begins again                  

Firdaus Abdullah
from LIRE magazine, April 1997
translated by Jordon Zorker


Part 3:

apex of an era follows either simmering or a retreat from frostbite
heady little winters linger in enjambment
mint condition is a prize or punishment in context
of the sediment and fluency and put-together
confines that mesh syntax with light
whose poise maybe meanders to a space
the brain had near the thumbs
or that the fingers Olivetti-ed in a swoon
approximating all rejuve and maintained
jaunty rope tricks slide their way into 
hypotheses as if to break them down into
a level confidence that folgers us back into
houses we'd constructed of a prior frame
we've vaulted out of in the proceeds of astonishment

tyrants artlessly devour mentors
thoughtlessly spear dieticians
moving through the harbored portions of fear
while deftly assuming no ultimatum
will scold bingo-playing church-goers....
dreary advice columnists arrive later than
the poison-pen anarchists that suffer to
engrave upon the hearts of the multitude
a mercy complete with heartache
noisy with tympani and trumpets....
the hamstrung spot-chaser reels in time
from the marvellous ocean of sighs....

a visionary tact wears braces to the tune
of calderon's tristesse 
newscasters' v-neck metronomes 
may wizen instruments in sync with luminarias
glowing and not pointed any way
what sorts of free time does a painting need
what rhythmic chelsea contradicts prevailing
sentiments their roots their ivy and their gravestones
become parking lots of impresarios
and syllables perspiring egos 
back into the atmosphere
volcanic actresses tip icebergs and retract speech
released from passion sacrificed for clarity 
now and at the hour

overt suction-feeds debit their accounts
indignantly adamantly researched
"i walk run down the street" to the pretty writer
at the weekend sideshow....
hundreds advance their soulmates' efforts
there is no shred of denial
to the amassing of music and light....
any hourly drama
sold to the hopping kangaroo
veteran of the minority rule complications....
prayer aftermaths an evening with song's
levity and leverage showing telling
happiness remarked upon
by others so I don't know what to say
is not the same as acquiesce merely
the gentry pearled and riding an amalgam
of repeal I watch her impiness be very much
unchained she'd like to be this
after all the discipline she's no such thing
and as for me the instruments beseech
my kindness and the keys all need
a cleanse most of my dream connected
to the wedding garment wearing the denim jumpsuit 
belted and the blazer wool maroon pretending business garb 

only a long time will toil resume affecting
nothing else those common placements
of dust and infinity....
reasonably autistic elements 
artlessly offered where it helps....
the day in the square, planned to an exhaustion
whose orbit  curves under the bridge of units
common to reason....
noxious infants, celibate amateurs
that immolate binary codes over the desire
of feet padding through grassy fields of silence....
the impact on free fall was not exaggerated.... 

POTEPOETZINE is an electronic publication of Potes & Poets Press, Inc.
The editor is Peter Ganick, who likes to correspond by e-mail.
Potes & Poets also publishes A.BACUS and perfectbound books.
For a complete listing please send your snail-mail address to:

1997 will see the appearance of books by Susan Smith Nash, Dennis
Barone, Shiela E. Murphy, and Andrew Levy in the perfectbound series;
Dick Higgins, Rod Smith, Carole Maso, nico vassilakis, Hannah Weiner,
Elizabeth Robinson, Robert Sheppard, and John M. Bennett in the 
A.BACUS series.

POTEPOETTEXTONE will be sent to subscribers to POTEPOETZINE in a week.
Those interested in submitting poetry to POTEPOETZINETWO should do so
through e-mail.  Send no more than four pages, with subject line that
reads: "ZINETWO submission", and include your return e-mail address.
I will try to respond to all submissions in prompt manner.
>From June 1st through June 9th, I will be reachable at: 
pganick@ibl.bm, though may be tardy in responding to inquiries.
Submissions to POTEPOETTEXT can be of any length and should have 
a subject line of: "TEXT submission".

POTEPOETZINETWO will have a section for e-mail letters received.

If you know anyone who wants to receive POTEPOETZINE, please give
them our address.  Or, an attachment of the announcement you saw
is available to send to them or to any personal or public mailing
list you wish.  Your help will expand POTEPOETZINE's subscription
base, making it a more exciting magazine.

Look for POTEPOETZINETWO around july 1st.