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I was a psalter once and didn't mind it,

sitting closely in a coat pocket, cover leather worn and warmed between practiced hands.

I was not buried with the man who carried me,

otherwise his body, too, would have been hauled out of the Tipperary bog,

by a peat-cutter, would have ended up in the man's bucket along with the smoggy dirt.

Did he drop me there,

or was I thrown in a fit of anger, one quickly regretted?


I have grown used to the ground,

let it envelope me,

become friendly with the compressing mineral compounds in the soil,

learned their language of silica and mica, carbon and salt.

In turn, they have pressed against me,

absorbed in part my parchment and papyrus,

my leather and my inky chemicals,

my devotions leeching into the earth.


I was hauled topside once again,

and the earth came with me, too,

packed into my bindings.

A crumbled architecture of exchange,

book of peat, of prayer, of porousness.

Faddan More Psalter, c. 800 (found 2006)
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I want to lick your teeth,
Drive my tongue between the gaps,
Fleck you in imperfect palindromes.

Ardorous arbour
Dented tacnode
Lave me, my love

Press my hands against the crisp pane,
Eye fast on sugared window,
Lèche la vitrine.

Colled hard to your small sharp spaces,
As one holds a glass cut for mosaic,
Pricked with glee.

Une humeur fenestrière
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perched up & hunched over
curled corned toes on cliff edge
articulated joints
wedge-pointed into torso

avid watching the greynubbed
waves of dirty bath
mat silverfish sliding
among knotted static tides

patiently hunting the
fabric depths with seagulllike
fury. I have been
too long at watch for meat.

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Who could look away as you frantically pulled at your ties?
Your breasts, so rarely covered, heaved against the restraints.
Despite the soundless world, I swore I could hear the horn of the approaching locomotive,
the familiar tac-tac of steel over wood, your heavy breathing.
As black tears streaked your face, the train announced itself with a front of coal smoke.

The moments ticked by deliciously as I sang your final rites.
Oh! distressed muse
Oh! crafted being
Oh! bounded lament
How gracefully you press against your bindings.

You felt the hot sparks approach your skin,
The char and soot invade your nose,
The rumble of your imminent death.
Eyes rolling as you searched for a prayer, but all you heard was a pounding
The End The End The End

My sweet Erato, now you lay across the tracks unbound and exhausted
at my feet, eyes closed.
The scene is over, the melodrama is complete,
and songs of laughter are seeping across the set.
Are you surprised to find it is the sound of our own joy?


Come now, Erato, and I shall tell
of how you were captured in black and white,
of our history,
of the state of this desire when first I pulled you down.

Sweating in my three-piece suit, anxiously curling my moustache,
I waited for my moment to pounce,
To clasp my hand over your sweet rose mouth.
Once over my shoulder, you were all
kicking, thrashing, muffled screams, but
I had to hold eros in my own hands.

I hauled your plum-ripe body to where the metal hit the earth,
My fingers digging in delighted to my future feast.
When I reached the railroad, I threw you down,
Thrilled to see in person the same dazed creature Vouet captured,
Open-mouthed, eyes glazed, body loose.

My greatest treasure, you were carefully wrapped in chains,
Padlocked, placed across the rail so you could feel the vibrations
of the approaching train. Placard reads:
“The Limited will be here in a few minutes—then tell your story to the angels.”
Your whites went even bigger.

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flesh red blue snap touch click

smarting under such a

bruise stoked hard to spark oh

shudder sweet on palm crease


flat hard repetition

slake me hair in taut fist

pinched caress setting right

the burned radiation


please it's time hurry up

tsk knots are there to hold

an obscene joy log-lashed

beg pretty caked in muck


carbiferous embers

drawn in supplicant pose

awash in aftermath

lace-like smoldered ash 

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I eat my words deliberately,

choking even as I swallow.

As eager as a Roman or

frat boy pledge, I puke and rally.


The consultant says, too assuredly,

“screens aren't natural.”

I think of printed sour animal stench,

amoral pulp.


No empathy for hides gored by sharpened friction—

the world of creatures is all passion.

(If crows could write,

would they too be ruthlessly blind to their own art?)


No, better to take these dried, bound husks as necessary—

the fractured curse of Eve,

an unintended blessing with a natural edge,

to slice with kerning knife through scraped flesh.

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The ball strikes against the blacktop hard.


Propelled by arcing viscera and

compressed, it flattens on one side,

forced up against baked crystals,

rubber creased, deformed, tightened.


Across the court, I squint,

mark the beat,

pull myself up and together,

hold my breath for it to pop.


Fence doors clank in the wind.

The stands are empty,

my opponent is gone.

Another coiled swish, and


The ball strikes against the blacktop hard.

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We figured one another,

Each bodily outline pressing hard into dirt,

Fingers, nipples, and tongue articulated and

Intact upon impact.


Then we slipped in together.


Our fleshy raw materials dissolved

In manifold silent, unseen explosions,

Tendons, hides, and nails tendered electrons,

Tergiversating forms,

Creating a new


One blurry around the edges,


A halitus of light.

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