The cat has been on the wall
outside the window every night
for a week. It waits for—what?
Milk, maybe, or the Second
Coming of Henry the Hitchhiker’s
God. We close the blinds,
no desire to look over
the blasted plains. Go back
to sleep, dream of cookbooks.
The revolution is your boyfriend,
Psamathe. A fistful of hundreds
provides incentive to slim down,
get that Little Red Book body
that brings all the crust punks
front row center, but the curse
on your house leaves you
with an insatiable desire
for snacks. You haven’t seen
the ninja bodyguards
for weeks, but you consider this
a strength, not a weakness.
We wake up the next morning
and once again, the cat has
disappeared. Wind stirs
discarded newspaper corpses
in the empty streets beyond.
You search for your bra
in the bedsheets. I’ll put
the coffee on, stand guard
against stray katanas.
Copy for Files
stares into the space
cuts the sky
|It Was A Very Beautiful Dream|
Massive is a word. A word for maybe
You-adjacent, the dreamscape flourishes.
Dried fruit string cheese boiled egg nut.
100 healthy snacks for the office.
Wolf but spelled like “wohlf.”
Expensive white sheets for my new ex boyfriend
addressed to my old ex boyfriend,
who I walked with through your neighborhood
Your car was parked there. It looked like a cartoon car.
We love a bit of flounce
Some pomp, ponce and mince
Layers of lace and ruffles
Ribbons falling tied tight
We looooove a bit of whimsy
Some romance in the pastels
Blushed and damp
Eyelashes misty and touching
We loves a splash of fanciful
Crumpling sheer stockings
Handfuls of underskirts
Sickly swampy pink
We absolutely love your spit
Twirled around and dizzy
Eggshell blue and lilac
Sluggish velveteen tongues
We simply luv the afterwards
To lay still and unravel
Fog each other up
Peeling finished fabric from the loom
Yhorm Yhormbout Town 1
no, theres a meme about pepsi+milk=pilk, and now theres milk (mountain dew+milk)
It’s simply living this life that erodes the very earth and sense itself out from beneath us, ‘til we’re on a mossy overhang tamping edgemost rim down with a long stick to try and save ourselves thru conscientious prevention, living this life until the dirt beneath our feet isn’t milk but milk. Yhorm understood this. Yhorm didn’t need the stick. Yhorm didn’t care. Milk was milk to Yhorm by sheer will. Pea Milk. Soy Milk. Dew Milk. “Milk milks,” Yhorm milked from Yhorm’s one-udder mind. Yhorm didn’t mind a thing.
*The mobile delay was killing Yhorm’s vibe tonight. Yhorm commented the witch emoji but the OBS translated it to the warlock emoji with the floating beside him like a staff of power. No one even replied to Yhorm’s arcane quip. It was embarrassing to Yhorm that the streaming platform’s on-screen software was less hip to diversely gendered emojis than the average iPhone boomer was, not that Yhorm worried about all that nonsense.
Yhorm’s phone binged a notification from the drycleaner and Yhorm muted it.
Yhorm stood then tugged up the pleather chair’s height toggle but it didn’t rise any further. The chair only went so high, and Yhorm was a little creature. Yhorm may’ve needed a high-chair to comfortably sit at Yhorm’s computer screen and redeem Yhorm’s Mommy-Me’s from Yhorm’s favourite V-Tubers; casting to the t.v. was comfier most days, but the fucking chat delay.
Yhorm paid Yhorm’s many entertainment tokens (ET) for both the MommyMe and the MiddleFinger redeem and NomNom combined the two and ripped a strip off Yhorm’s ass, and Yhorm took it personally, which she didn’t know would happen, but Yhorm knew Yhorm’d would take it that way no matter how illogical that was, which was the appeal for Yhorm, not that Yhorm was resentful of NomNom for it, but instead that, in Yhorm’s dedication to complete seed-retention and not dating, Yhorm wasn’t really sure how to mature emotionally, or how to get motivation, because that was only ever borne from scathing disapproval of a woman in Yhorm’s life, and Yhorm’s fucking mom had always been too nice to Yhorm and so now Yhorm was what Yhorm was, so it wasn’t an actual Mommy thing, and Yhorm was pretty sure Yhorm didn’t just use women as proxy-Mommies, and it was funny because NomNom was so mad about the new ten-thousand token gun skin—“a stupid little pistol skin, smol pp skin”—that it was impossible to parse when her paid-for hypothetical criticism of this wriggly little regular in her chat turned into real rage about the money-grab that any and all independent game studios were indebted to employ just to pay their workers, angry workers who weren’t being paid enough, Yhorm was sure, worked to death (about biannually a literal expression) every forthcoming patch; every forthcoming patch introducing more ‘known issues’ to the untended list and cooler, newer cosmetics; “and why call it a cosmetic? You can’t wear it! Yes, I know Pinger6969, that that means two things. It probably has more than two meanings. But I’d rather save for makeup.” Her throaty worn voice crackled like Pop Rocks on Yhorm’s brain; NomNom only did the loli anime girl voice on certain expensive redeems, which made her eminently more watchable than the average streamer, Yhorm thought. A sound alert demanded Yhorm only cum in anime girls, a prospect Yhorm loathed.
Yhorm tongued the waning battery that was the periphery of a melancholy epiphany when the Fresh Mestizxo Gr!ll ran out of Khurro right before Yhorm got to the ordering terminal, and Yhorm wanted to punch a wall, but then instead saw three R.A.T.S 2 splitting the thing on the creosote bench float out the side bay window and in Yhorm’s human way winced when those wayward three met Yhormgaze.
Yhorm had simply wanted a little dessert before Yhorm’s shift at the eco-depot. Oh well.
It was, as usual, uneventful. Across the conveyor sat Yhorm’s phone and, there, just a slow-moving river of uneven shiny aluminium trash between them, sat NomNom “Just Chatting,” with a record low 204 viewers in the chat tonight. Someone—who it was rumoured had just been a viewer in chat but after years of showing up and spending ET (entertainment tokens), had become a close, personal friend with NomNom, and then started his own stream (a lowly .png-tuber, an icon of a sippy-cup with cock-rail tongue piercings, tongue always hanging out his mouth)—that Yhorm didn’t like was on with NomNom tonight, but Yhorm didn’t let that sour Yhormood.
NomNom deftly curved one simp, then another, always thru absurdity: “Thank you! That’s such a nice compliment. That’s the nicest thing anyone’s ever said to me. My ability to be a Kanye-level no-shame le-dollar-bean streamer, praiser of pussy, a purveyor of only the finest rotisserie pussy, is in fact, a gift, and you are all wet and welcome for it.”
The guest was going on about his children, which weren’t children (there was no way this idiot would score high enough to qualify to be allowed to have kids, Yhorm thought with a jealously Yhorm did not consciously note), but were his chronic kidney-stones, which he refused to treat because his G.P. had triggered him by refusing to acknowledge he was a sippy-cup-kin on the legal paperwork; Yhorm couldn’t tell if this was a joke or not.
NN: “But chat asked if you ever cum them, that’s all. The bro-sauce is children. If your—”
Other: “No. It’s different. It’s not like I cum thumb-tacks.”
NN: “If that were the case, then I wouldn’t like cream pies so much.”
Other: “Oh god, no.”
NN: “But what if you could cum kidney stones? Would you still fap?”
Other: “Yeah no for sure. I’d hit her with the boulder blast.”
Yhorm took one last draw from Yhorm’s vape pen, then finally closed Yhorm’s chosen momrade NomNom’s stream, pulling off the long latex VulRubberTM Ducky-yellow gloves that reminded Yhorm of cattle insemination gloves from the memes about “‘Member Milk?” Grow All Ways, Grow Always; Alberta, Allberta. Yhorm’d been living in Standard then, as a youngling.
When Yhorm was but a Yhormling Yhorm had known a few R.A.T.S., all of whom were Marxists, mostly DarkMaoists and or HyperMaoists (+ a few CatBoyMaoists too), and who all, when badgered by Yhorm’s inquiry, “what about farming” (we hadn’t yet been growing food primarily off-world at the time), bonded together in a rare moment of inter-Marxist solidarity to shout “just read Mao” at Yhorm; unusual for the group, not a one of them had a pithy quote to entice Yhorm, no hook nor no summary. Yhorm would pass the crazed plastic Hookah nozzle to the next in the circle and ask “okay Yhorm will, but which book, where Yhorm start?” And Yhorm was disappointed as usual when none of them would deign to share any insights.
Yhorm was not very online at the time. Yhorm didn’t see any Mao anything on their bookshelves and in fact w.r.t. that, mostly Yhorm saw Manga with very young looking girls on the spines, cartoonishly large breasts compressed together into fracturous omni-cleavage as if by the narrow plane the book’s spine entailed, the structure dictating the content, boobs boobing boobily on the body of a girl-child. Yhorm was born with brain-damage and Yhoreading and language-acquisition we’re both compromised for it, and Manga, in what Yhorm had thought of as literal backwardness, was impossible for Yhorm to interface with. Yhorm stopped meeting up with the other alumni of the “Buckshot and Benny Diagnosed Child Genius Young Adult Support Group Anonymous” (B&BDCGYASGA) after legislation against Hookah bars came into place again.
Yhorm was to this day unsure if the young Marxists had read Mao at all, or been trained by the old Marxists (who Yhorm knew often hated the young Marxists for their youth) to offer that as a doorstop rebuttal to the common Q&A. Yhorm, in most every scenario at the time of Yhorm’s life in which Yhorm met up other people at all outside of token-based relationships (one might loosely define this as youth versus adulthood, and not just for especially Hermit-like Yhorm), had always blamed Yhormself for having doubted the sincerity of the B&BDCGYASGA’s convictions and reading-knowledge. Yhormind-udder was underdeveloped at the time, and Yhorm’s two brain cells in a cute felt trilby were wily enough to recognize such naivety. All those befanged aged-out child geniuses arguing over errata and translations, lips peppered with the dark lustrous mineral-looking grounds of Turkish coffee, caffeine anchoring everyone to the earth against the antigravity of their light-headed Hookah highs.
A More Perfect Union; III
Join the nighttime dog chorus.
Join the society of the concrete nose.
The train cars are rattling through
carrying steel which soon will be transfigured into train
Old women in the villages and young women in the cities,
each with their own earthy cigarette, their own painted
bus station, their own dancing fingernails, their own
way about themselves.
That which is good resides in a place!
There are no cemeteries. The things we build have made
the gravestone redundant. The forests we sanctify have
made the grave redundant. A good brown place makes
Freedom is the beauty of a nose.
In war the nose rears up like a warhorse.
In autumn the nose points the whole of the face.
In winter the nose reddens.
It has not the wit to know
That beneath each grain, each atom
There are nerves pumping, gasping, boiling, running,
burning, and sweating.
A freedom that is allowed to think
Has no good in it.
Baptists stand in the white snow,
Guided by the hands of children in their grayness.
But the disease of the heart remains,
And the child carries it, between finger and thumb.
A wayward nature can be cured, a man could be helped,
A man could.
The heat of these nights is stagnant and humid.
The day bakes the earth, the trees, the vegetables, the life.
There is something in the warm that makes a man stare.
We have no dogs.
the flower unflowers
where they are
from what flower
did this flesh sprout?
how did water
brief, naked, screaming —
of our earthen cloth
stuck with clod
so shaven, we forsook
and furthered on
yet the dirt still clung
not rid but riddled
it had no leafage
to beg water
of the sky
from every pore
the sun baked our disgust
into clay, moulded
children of wet ash,
the middle claws us back,
all is collapse
the throat petals
the teeth skyscrape
roots push up
through hot earth
tastes of iron
the teeth seed
a spine sapling
I an andless root
root for substance
& the fruitless wine
until all is ungapt
gapes with presence
palms the eye
its smoking wick
the world roars
like blood around me
am obliterated in blue
pure colour ruins the soul
and the wreckage is fact
too deep to make a sound
the flowers you do not see
bloom on an inner soil
the spine a root
shitting the root
we were not put on
we make manure, maraud
the rain slaughters down
sky a blue fact
the personal sky
the joints clench
the bones are like nails
on a cliff edge
screaming for a hold
on time’s featureless wall
tensed with falling
the impossible ecstasy
of letting go
the endless dissolution
as if there were anything
to hold to
to hold it –
but all is held,
suspended it itself
Sunshine is a rounded, fulgent, and super-keen thing. Sunshine is the keenest there is—is whatever there is that is too much to bear, whatever is overdone, all the things that are too bright, but that remain regardless.
The Colossus of Rhodes (C.O.R.) was a very big sculpture of a standing figure. Assembled in ca. 280 BC, under the direction of Charles of Lindos, it was made to stand up and be gigantic, 108 feet tall from down at the foot-soles up to the top of the head—a head that likely supported a fanning halo. C.O.R. was made from cast bronze, with iron armatures running and bracing all through the insides like rigid guts. C.O.R. stood up like that and was all full and floruit for 54 years in a harbor that can report 300 sunny days in one year. It stood at the entrance to the harbor and then fell, coming down on everything, during an earthquake.
C.O.R. was a Sun-God. C.O.R. was a sculpture of the Sun-God Helios. In being sculpted up very big and titanic like that, the Sun-God had been brought down into the grind and muck and throb of the world by the sculpting of many very human hands, and was held in place there in all those materials that all those hands touched for some time, for 54 years.
Making a note now that I am using two pictures of C.O.R. as my references throughout, those two being Sidney Barkley’s picture from 1880, and another by Martin Heemskerck from the 16th century. These pictures are necessarily interpretive as neither artist would have seen C.O.R., however, in place of a real inherently out-of-reach, I elect them to be the real now, here. Sidney Barkley has rendered C.O.R. as standing to one side of the harbor, with both feet together at the ankles. Martin Heemskerck has opted for C.O.R. to straddle the harbor, with legs spread out wide, one foot on either side of the harbor entrance so that ship traffic would be made to pass dramatically beneath the gap of the huge bronze legs.
C.O.R. is a sun-god made to appear and to stay in place by many sculpting hands. If C.O.R. is a sun-god, and C.O.R. was made to occupy the real of the world that was the real and the world of those many fleshy and living hands, then C.O.R. is a thing that is living by proxy and by intent.
If I take C.O.R. as living and grant it the functions of a living body, and if I assume that C.O.R. straddled the harbor entrance, the way Heemskerck pictured it, then C.O.R. would have shat and pissed upon passing boat traffic. C.O.R. would have been shitting and pissing all over the movements of an ancient economy. Further, if C.O.R. straddled the harbor, making a gate of itself, how would the perineal expanse have been sculpturally resolved?
If I take C.O.R. as living and grant it the functions of a body that is living, and if I assume that C.O.R. stood to one side of the harbor, with feet and ankles closer together, as Barkley pictured it, then C.O.R. would have shat and pissed all down the front and back of himself. C.O.R. would have been covered and surrounded by the slop and reek of his own wastes that would dribble hugely out of him and with regularity.
A commonly held ratio for the depiction of human figures calls for the head of the figure in question to be 1/8th of the height of the figure as it stands in-full. C.O.R. was 108 feet tall from bottom to top. 108 divided by 8 according to the above ratio tells me that C.O.R. had a head 13.5 feet tall from chin to crown.
Using Sidney Barkley’s picture referentially in conjunction with this 8 headed ratio and bearing in mind that C.O.R. was a living body, tells me that C.O.R. had humongous lungs, something like 15 feet tall and 24 feet wide. With lungs like this, imagine the horror of C.O.R.’s song in the harbor, and imagine the big savory grandeur of C.O.R.’s breath and burping.
Using Sidney Barkley’s picture referentially in conjunction with this 8 headed ratio brings C.O.R.’s 4.5 foot cock into perfect evidence.
A large intestine from a human body that is not colossal is five feet long. If I divide C.O.R.’s height, 108 feet, by the 6 feet of a tall though distinctly non-colossal body, C.O.R. is divided 18 times. From here I multiply the 5 feet of low bowel by the 18 bodies it properly applies to and thereby conclude that C.O.R’s larger intestine is 90 feet long. A large intestine terminates at the anus, that flesh-gate to the external. Imagining the flatulence generated by a 90 foot large intestine with a giant linked anus. In sheer volume and olfactory violence it could have provided the tall sailed ships of the harbor with propulsion, the ships could have sailed with ill-winded speed.
C.O.R. is what is big. The sun is big and C.O.R. is the sun made to stand in the harbor. C.O.R. is what is big, and C.O.R. is a body with functions, and so those functions are big things too. C.O.R. is gone but bigness remains. Bigness remains and so C.O.R. is not gone. C.O.R. is the sun.
Google me, learn
how to fold a body in half, what’s the easiest way to flatten it?
I’d like to be rolled into a tube please
and shipped, so
Don’t touch me (without latex gloves)
Put me in your basket
and I’ll ride to the lab
where you can use some heat,
Make me a plastic straw
a Colchicine bowl
No urge to hold on to debris
my mother likes to call it
a kind of dwelling
but you can store it
for further use
Last morning, it was summer.
The grass had been watered,
The sunflowers becoming increasingly fragile at the edges.
Image has now ripened and turned.
What is it I must remain satisfied with?
Not “what should I do,”
But, “how do I continue on from here?”
Month which passed by a month ago,
Month in which I damaged the month
And damaged the month before.
The sunflowers were a sign,
The air felt it was holding something.
The sunflowers were named one thing.
The air began to ignite. You loved me.
The sign was a frayed edge, recommending itself to surface.
The sunflower was a sign. We used to be together
Before you vanished before my eyes.
I want to keep adding brushes to my hand—
I want to keep concealing things in plausible appearance.
That which appears to be a dissimilar image
Conveyed by way of various angles:
The sunflower bent backwards against the wall,
or in a jar, buckling in distension from its roots.
A bouquet is a severing of continuity.
I feel a new bouquet has reached me here.
I want you, but let us not speak of that now.
Image is just the circulation of a fact which has occurred to me before:
Painting by way of repeating certain insistences.
There is some kind of tree situated adjacent to me.
Sometimes it seems as though the tree has changed position.
Of course, it is I who has moved.
One object is paralleled by the continuous functioning of another object which appears similar yet remains formulaically unalike.
I am still able to ascribe this kind of movement to the tree.
Formulaically, I remain capable of loving you.
When I resist, this constitutes hate.
I think the thing I love in you is that I resist
that which I hate
I love in you what I resist:
That which I hate.
Most often, I speak across a colourless plane of silence.
singularly incapable of speaking to you.
The sun cast an impenetrable measure of gold across the silica of the world.
All image then fractured into a painting.
“All image has fractured into a painting. Nothing remains of the image it used to hold. The canvas has been altered, changed out. That which the image requires has again been denied: its unendingness.”
All image would alight onto soil.
An image of the painting… alight.
Some morning in which I began again,
Beauty seemed retractable.
The light at once did and did not bring me clarity—
All was at once
and cast into darkness.
How could this have this been?
That I could be, at once, all things,
A moment of doubt—
That despair could surmise me here,
Inasmuch as I continued to expect it.
My mind witnessed it.
All day I gazed at a fountain
Until it bled and ran dry. It was I
Who had fled from its waters,
Fled from the waters
That would become my sustaining ground
For the years to come.
I created this sustaining ground
So decisively. Not even I
Could look away from it.
Does not everything look
even more beautiful than before?
I did not purchase the crate of figs.
The figs are no longer being sold.
Where has this image been laid?
Something changes me
And it is through this contextually unaware process
That I become an aspect of it—
Become an aspect of its change
as the change occurs, is occurring…
…by way of certain insistences.
Continuity is, at best, conjecture.
I am not fearful of the dark, per say—
To the extent that it is an excision or remainder of the light,
I have no pressing opinion. To such a surface,
I avail myself. I am not fearful.
In the leaves of beyond, I pass
Sadness is an exchange or a filament.
“Whatever could you want from such a thing?”
There’s usually something in me that seeks to cancel itself out
On such days, nothing appears.
For there to be appearance, we must present our role to the subject.
At times, the perpetuity of the unavoidable subject.
At times, knowing something about finitude.
Keeping you in mind,
I know that you exist.
I know this as much as I can know anything.
Appearance is a refutation
That so often vanishes
But I maintain that I can know this.
The sun cast its impenetrable measure across the world.
Once again, I had forgotten to close the door behind me.
It is oddly unacceptable to forgo acceptance of the seasons
Of a fact which cannot be absolved,
Its immediacy, inalterable contingency—
It is inescapable for me to desire the high noon of summer
Even as it escapes me—what choice do I have?
Singularly inescapable, time weighed upon me.
A forest beckoned with the same voice it had used before.
A sunflower lit the way;
Lit its intolerable way.
The rain falls,
And for now,
I am certain that you exist.
That the rain falls, that you exist.
Certain that you exist, the rain falls
and it is this falling upon which I am able to predicate
few or many things.
Such a condition necessitates the subject’s irrevocable change.
The rain falls
and but for the rain falling, I am
certain I exist.
That the rain is falling and you exist.
For now, I am content to know this aspect.
The rain falls—for now.
the 11th, the bridge the 2nd, hiding the 13th, the silo
Object of Desire
This piece originally appeared as an exhibition at Afternoon Projects in Vancouver, BC from February 26 - March 27, 2022.
How does one contend with carrying the weight of what it means to be an Asian woman at a time where anti-Asian hate is hypervisible?
How are we supposed to move through the world when this hate is deeply intertwined with misogyny (Dewan, 2021; Wang, 2021)?
We are continuously met with headlines in which Asian women are harmed or killed. Another Asian woman was pushed into the subway. Another Asian woman was struck with a bat. Another Asian woman was followed and killed in her own home.
Another. Another. Another.
We are told that we are nothing but disposable, packaged, objects.
We are seen but not really seen. Only seen in a way that’s suitable and desirable, becoming the Other.
How will others truly ever see us? Or as Anne Anlin Cheng questions, “How do we take seriously the life of a subject who lives as an object…?”
In Object of Affection, artist Hau Pham shares her own confusion, guilt, and frustration of relating to the object, being perceived as the object, and desiring the object. Her works in a sense, become extensions of her body and document the nuances of being an Asian woman and more specifically, a Vietnamese woman. For instance, in Vietnamese Woman Figurine With Her Hat Broken Off, she challenges both gendered and cultural expectations and the desire to be perceived as flawless.
Throughout the artist’s debut solo exhibition, Pham confronts the historical principles of Orientalism in which Asia and the Asiatic character are always “ancient, excessive, feminine, available and decadent” (Cheng, 425). At the same time, Pham explores how these notions still exist today as Asian women continue to be hyper-sexualized and fetishized through popular media and how this influences her own perception of herself.
She addresses how sudden self-perceptions can change where brief moments of empowerment can quickly shift to confusion. Her portrait, Satisfaction (for a fleeting moment), based on a photograph, preserves a moment of self-confidence. Yet through the process, Pham continuously gazes back at herself. The longer she looks, the more challenging it becomes to understand her sense of self.
In the installation of Step on Me, Pham’s portrait is printed on a door mat, and she becomes what society has told her she must be: docile, passive, bought, and owned. Here, she is transformed into a literal object. The mat invites the viewer to make a choice: to step on her or not. To consume her or not.
Object of Affection challenges viewers to reconsider the ways in which they choose to see Pham.
Healing in Colour– an online directory of BIPOC therapists https:// www.healingincolour.com/
Project 1907– an online reporting tool to track anti-Asian racism, hate, and violence experienced in Canada https://www.project1907.org/reportingcentre
Cheng, Anne Anlin. 2018. “Ornamentalism: A Feminist Theory for the Yellow Woman.” Critical Inquiry 44 (3):415-446.
Dewan, Shalia. 2021. “How Racism and Sexism Intertwine to Torment Asian-American Women.” The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/18/us/racism-sexism atlanta-spa-shooting.html
Wang, Marina. 2021. “Anti-Asian racism and misogyny: It’s time to call it out.” CBC. https:// www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/road-ahead-first-person-anti-asian-hate-crimes-1.5968785
I was crafted to be Great, 2022
Oil on Canvas, 48 x 36 in
Satisfaction (for a fleeting moment), 2022
Oil on Canvas, 20 x 16 in
Step on Me, 2021
Polyester microfiber face, polyester back, foam cushion, 16 x 24 in
Step On Me, detail
Vietnamese Woman Figurine with her hat broken off, 2022
Oil on Canvas, 48 x 24 in
Artifact of the Present, 2021
Oil on Canvas, 18 x 24 in
Daylight Savings Address
The sun would not set It was snowing I was hoodless
Walking side streets wanting Recognition Substance to collect
Beneath The possibility of nighttime Walking until Hope Street
Dead ends into the expressway Promise not to forget
The waste below Nature of worry encircling
Possibility? I am not forecasting Everyone will veer
I did not plant poles in the sidewalk I trace suddenness
To conclusion Dressing for it Trusting
Spring happens to the ground first
It’s true that you don’t need health to have a beautiful life.
I have a beautiful life, but I’m always too tired to live in it.
Every sensation a line of code
with a typo in it, every backup system
a new choreography of failure.
My body original technology
set in a digital landscape. Google nest
on the wall in the kitchen,
Siri in my hand. In the clouded
vacation photo, I hold my phone up
to the ocean. My storage is full
on every device — already too much
has happened that was not supposed
to happen —and the webcam sees me
more clearly than I see myself.
Each sense offers my brain
a different version of reality
and my brain remakes the world further
Body / Portal / Nothing / Yes—
*The italicized lines in this poem are drawn from Wisława Szymborska’s poem “The Turn of The Century,” in the collection Miracle Fair.
In green box
put ovulation dream
two mandelbrot meeting
deep mirror of V
solarized desire hid
inside quick compartments
played spry in lines
by leafed mind
how is a shape
Legs and singing of
Long tree of clogs
chanted as the fractal of masquerade
glasses, elastane Panty
just a lineament cut
out vaping at
meniscus of groin
bodied reared analogy
thighs can calculate it
is the point
A food body
preceding ‘body made
in Hot Pink box
was belly button
its dreams of tea leaves aptitude
searched of theories
for straddling beige and
hearts quickened like
dogs seeing terrors
in Hot Pink
you cannot pick
she-ing as ribbons
on the tracery
braids do not pass through sieves
they dance only cognizance
the task was
move out of Brain
and live in Throat
port of beirut, lebanon (august 4, 2020)
before receiving the video (of the explosion that killed
218 people) from my mother
i was most likely moving from room to room
of my apartment like some privileged pollinator
hoping to catch a wifi signal strong enough
to post a picture of myself looking sad on instagram
mothers are most likely moving from mound of swollen
rubble to flame-swallowed storefront
gasping deaf and blast-blind still
half hoping (dreading) to catch a glimpse of a familiar childish
foot that they’d once washed and kissed
like some heirloom
and surely there is doom
when young ankles are loosened and yanked from piles
of hot brick and plastic and the face that used to stare
cry moan giggle whisper question
isn’t a face anymore but rather
as deep and as black
as that beirut port
pumped blacker is
the heart of lebanon
and again (2006)
and again (2020)
who the fuck forgets about 2,750 tonnes
of ammonium nitrate
(the shuddering shadow of khalil gibran
offers tears from the dust cloud
and the wind cries haram)
who the fuck forgets about 300,000 humans
scattered and torn
to be lebanese is to be born
with a thorn planted tightly in heart
and marvel when roses spurt
somehow behind the hurt
“Two new studies warn that a hotter world will be a more violent one”
“We found that higher temperatures and extreme rainfall led to large increases in conflict”
Hot tears turn to steam
It’s my allergies
It’s my sinuses
Chance of rain: 30%
Feels like: i don’t know what to tell you
Air quality index: 34
Iced post nasal drip
Don’t forget to take tincture
Fingertips grow back
5 cinnamon years
Every siren calls my name
My food diary
And that's that bitter melon
Lopside the brekky
Metal husk feels too
The grain truck ran over it
Saline pocket rag
I’m gonna wring you tonight
During the full moon
Shadow of a gnat
White dandelion dancer
In NewYork subway
The apple is bad only around the top
Military time suspended magically over her face
Widow in window
Femme table holds more power
Misandry feels right
Sheepdog left her post
Ginger thumb in my pocket
And my sinus drains
Make up for lost time
Discuss bodily function
With fermented juice
Bit calcium moons
During Rachel’s hot poems
Flicked behind my back
All the different ways
My neck can articulate
Counterweight to exploding sky garbage
In the porous corner of a shnoz
I spoke overconfidently about Anime and pie crusts
And got deepened on some sand and surf
Near the ground garbage
While loud angels
Carved plunging necklines near
Standing on a crane
One might ask themselves: “New York?
Rain on honey cake
Hips replaced Mountain
Lady brandishes birds
Like tarot cards spread out
Goddess chooses taste
One taloned chicken egg guard
Am I writing less because I'm happier?
It smells like ladybugs
Cranes in repose flank
Central vein to city of
Two in front portals
On their third or fourth cheezits
Chained up behind my throat and
Ears to my ankles
Raw end of the cloud
Bayleaf the cashmere eaters
The lesbian butterflies
The driver launches into
A speech about the 5 loves languages
This is before 7
Cilantro queen wave
Out the bag into the wind
To the tune of dog
Flat tire arrhythmic applauds
The diner in the distance
Greasy pinch and spread
Little crystals shimmy in
all those devices
Fuck the cops bracelet
Flirty camp counselor vibe
My blood blister trot
The open maw like split bivalve
Walking like pretty pony
Inundated rivulet burrows through the infrastructure
Strut gorgeous it smells like feet
Bacteria erasing this platform
Upstairs it runneth over from above
and lateral slide out from under tire dirty hubcap
Corollary pressure towards violence
Alternating hot day wet day
Vicious milagro bracelet like Tiffanies for witches
Wet and crispy eyes
(Picked the brown leaves off the plants)
Like gravel tumble
On the tail of the bones
Sat in mulberry
Three white dervishes
Harvey, Irma, Maria,
Rides the earth elevator
Minerals kicked up in the air
japanese maple canopy
Mucus cold from melon
mixes with gypsum
Will my bones become mortar
Or fossil fuel
I lay in bed all afternoon sweating the Professional Golf Association Tour Championships on my laptop. One guy tripped up and another charged towards him but they missed each other when the first regained his balance and the second tripped, seemingly on the other’s regained balance. My brother wanted to get a pizza for dinner.
We walked down the stairs but my stomach took them two at a time, and then we passed my brother’s roommate on his way in. He handed me the Gatorade I’d requested, although it was orange I drank it very quickly. Good. The street was changing, not me. A Lebanese corner, and a vape shop wow. The pizza place, when we sat down, became closed. We wandered north but I couldn’t be sure. We went left, more changes. Craft breweries. An OXXO reared its head and I tripped up behind my brother crossing the street towards it. I bought two Powerades because there was a deal: blue and blue. He walked more and I stumbled, sucking my powers into my stomach.
We came down a street that had had its roundabout turned into a park and so become a dead end. There was a blue lowered modified detailed Subaru that had been painted with the coolest galaxy splotches in lime green, and it glowed-in-the-afternoon. We sat on a bench but all the garbage bins overflowed like a hot Sunday and my eyes zoomed into them and leaked, oozing smelly pixels. An old man shared the next bench with his dog. Hairless save for a grey strangled mohawk. Another man shouted at the children. We went into a papeleria and I, being only a tourist, only bought a notebook with a fast car on it. Not only maybe.
A big concrete church rose out of other buildings and a concrete grey saviour with sharp edges and shoulders looked down on or out over the city. Here, Baz Luhrmann filmed Romeo & Juliet, my brother says. Another OXXO or the same one again? My brother disappears to buy chips for dinner and I stand outside with my powers. A building looks at me with heavily reflective glass almost mirror. It projects the sky eye at me so when a plane emerges from within it it looks as if it’s coming from the sky. I take a video but no other planes come out to play. My brother comes back and says, “these are called Japanese nuts in Mexico, do you know what they’re called in Japan?” “Mexican nuts,” I hazard. Yes. That’s all. Good.
|it’s not something|
|that I used to know—||I am the audience|
|that sometimes ppl do|
|what they least want to||comeback mouse|
|or fall silent|
dead in the dead of
what we needed or what we once wanted was
a glass a glass half
full of honesty
don’t loo k now
a hamster sleeping
outside with the squirrels
I’m on the hill, again
to morning clouds, over
– sniffing the view
alone, but together
in the lot
that's becoming usual
I pull grass
I hold seeds for a step or
I let them go – with a thought for the day,
up there, ahead
in brick – clicking and
breathing and holding
I feel the dirt, shifting
off my shoes
– gifted, recently
to walk comfortably
into something new,
but what will that be?
I ask the sky each morning
and the ceiling each night
I close my eyes and find myself
on top of the wall,
I know I’ll fall
but to which side?
darkness is unity
silence is unity
(back in a place where i have loved like that)
why are the butterfly plants named after you?
with a serpent wound around your staff
or your daughter's waist, vision of health
where the possible feels tangible
where i can grasp the edges
where i can heave and pull
where have i felt this before
if it wasn't here, wrapped around one thigh
it was cast off the knee of another
O in a day
what we know
what the other is
We are moody
chestnut shells in bed
lessened by love you pills
dream of paralyzed girl who steps
on your chest with stilettos, sexy, on
Jealous o’clock turn (still in bed)
but flying out soon
thumb over my breast eyelash
this in June
One day man will have 6 fingers
I will have a hotter walk
Why I cannot say
I’ll be moonlit delivery,
pizza man waning in the brilliance
of the unknowable woman
parked car piss here OK
at my window I don’t see any of this
Your reflection, walrus object, my favourite animal
All it does is tickle itself
Tickling is the catastrophe of getting what you want
so thoroughly it’s funny. Let’s take each other seriously.
Arrowed light divides love and like
Love without the word for it
I speak to those who already understand me
There are rooms for this. There are vastnesses later
IN THE ROOM WHERE IT CAN BE SAID
THE MEETING TAKES PLACE
I telepathized eyelid
You said Iranians in Thailand
I’m a snitch for you
I would prefer separate houses one pool
two jackets each at least you
not so many more than me so I want more
jackets, also to eat on your desk not mine
I am yours as much as you’re in mine,
lured out of each to the other is closeness,
glare-glazed sour me
Cover to cover
a wide full fact of yellow
Two olives at dusk
as much an ocean, darkly,
a beast in prayer
Beauty is its tender ruthlessness
At the laundry we drink a can
I read Angel’s laundromat
You look for estate-sale auction items
I like your new hobby
It’s the day before the first day of spring
toward his brother
I wash your jeans
in the deliciousness of this dusk
To take them off
is Pruning the Miracle,
is the full grace of fact
steadily to what is
from what is not.