He do the police in different voices

“He do the police in different voices” That’s how the orphan Sloppy reads the paper to his foster mother in Dickens’s Our Mutual Friend, and that’s what Eliot titled The Wasteland before Pound crossed it out. Have you often resisted the injunction to “find your voice”? Thought that it’s our own unique mission, our racket, our sensitivity as poets, to be able (and allowed) to shift, voice to voice, register to register, sometimes within a single line? Here are polyvocal poems, poems from different tenors, with addressors/addressees that change between the beginning and the end; and works that go from bathos to desperation, science to prayer, strophe to declaration. Because what’s the use of a simple leap? Like the great drag queen Dorian Corey said: “If you shoot an arrow, and it goes real high… Hooray for you.”

from Advice from 1 Disciple of Marx to 1 Heidegger Fanatic

The world gives you itself in fragments / in splinters:
in 1 melancholy face you glimpse 1 brushstroke by Dürer
in someone happy the grimace of 1 amateur clown
in 1 tree: the trembling of birds sucking from its crook
in 1 flaming summer you catch bits of the universe licking its face
the moment 1 indescribeable girl
          rips her Oaxacan blouse
just at the crescent of sweat from her armpits
& beyond the rind is the pulp / & like 1 strange gift of the eye
                                                                                    the lash
Maybe not even Carbon 14 will be able to reconstruct the true facts
The days are gone when 1 naturalist painter
could ruminate over the excesses of lunch
between movements of Swedish gymnastics
& without losing sight of the rose-blue tones of flowers he wouldn't have imagined
          even in his sweetest nightmares

We are actors of infinite acts
      & not exactly under the blue tongue
            of movie spotlights
for example now / that you see how Antonioni passes by
                            with his usual little camera
observed by those who prefer to bury their heads in the grass
to get drunk on smog or whatever / so as not to add
                                                    to the scandals
that already make the public roads impassable
by those who were born to be lavishly kissed by the sun
& its earthly ambassadors
by those who talk of fabulous copulations / of females you can't believe
                              in this geological age
of vibrations that would make you 1 fervent propagandist for Zen Buddhism
by those who at 1 point were saved
from the accidents the crime rags call substantial
& that by the way—for now—aren't counted among the flowers of the Absurd

That's how it is on the trapeze on the tightrope
                                                          of this 1,000 ring circus
1 old man rattles on about the thrill he felt at seeing Gagarin
                           fluttering like 1 fly in outer space
& pity the starship wasn't called Icarus I
that Russia is so fiercely anti-Trotskyite
                             & then his voice dissolves / collapses
                                          between cheers and boos

Reality & Desire get thrashed / chopped up
they spill out over each other
like they never would in 1 of Cernuda's poems
foam runs from the mouth of the 1 who speaks wonders
and it would seem he lived in the clouds
                                 & not on the outskirts of this barrio

The humid air of April / the lewd wind of autumn /
              the hail of August & July
all here present with their fingertips

piss / what hasn't fertilized this grass
how many sub-minimum-wage gardeners will leave their watery proteins
                            in this trap

from The Country Where Everything Is Permitted

We have the Sun by its mane. The firefighters have
written of everything in signs and still the fire-alarms are
sounding. A Letter to The World(s): you are all whores –
where there is good, you break it down until all that was
good is now whores – because this planet is an
incomprehensible whore-planet with nothing in it worth
comprehending. – She is a succubus. – She is the (third-
world) suicide of modern Philosophy (which she never
studied) – why debate the true-or-false-ness of this
demon-woman-hybrid – when all thought is the
awareness that she wants nothing to do with our human
organism and its every function – Doubt is a hysteria that
relieves the frustration of those who have undertaken to
make her up – You are not sages – you are spacemen –
see you later, then – the weed’s in the drawer – do you
really think you can handle what will happen next –
really, on this planet you’re barely on? – someone’s
demanded the total postponement of the mailmen’s
acidic routines – someone’s demanded all these
frightening grotesques be placed into a slow
bureaucracy until we learn through perseverance how to
ban all failures of expression – Behold her, she wants
you to take her Moos literally – Let’s go back to the times
of the steam-trains and the telegraph wires when you
could lose weight as easy as smoke lifts from a railroad
baroness – from page 50 of Dynamo 13: When someone
passes through pleasure, as through a room, he passes
between doubt and certainty – Pleasure is a plastic thing,
is placed in acid – it is what lasts the desire for it. Thus,
we, the Good and the Just, control our own separate
badnesses for the possibility of living without pain – Shed
the red strings of despair – The whale-bones in the
corset collapse at the feet of the endlessly weeping-
willows – the answering machine announces the undoing
of its animal-life – at this, the ham begins to dance again
– the nomadic houseboat rots in the harbor – the caravel
you keep in your lil’ Susie suitcase will never again run
its feet over saltwater – In the Kasba Noissette you strut
around with your nappy hair like one of those Pakistani
widows, sometimes wearing burgundy, sometimes
bustling around like a vacuum cleaner untying knots –
your boys wrestle over the last of the heroin – one falls
asleep in the hallway – in the lobby – in the lab – so he
can get injected with whatever it is that will let him take
off his face, finally – to abandon the mask and enter
tranquility as into sudden applause – the way one
unlaces a boot – They keep my mask in the ice-cube
compartment – in the fridge – for your dinner – Zap-ada! –
Someone must govern the foldaway beds of the
pedophiles – with their hands and asses out on full
display – O, Gallery of the Queen! – Crankily, the little
gentleman barges through – the unkempt bush of the
labiate-badlands – into the thick velvet. – The viola’s
small thighs, – slotted mandatorily under his arms, –
attend his final monument – He is their musician – he
plays “Love or Confusion” by Jimi Hendrix – And
suddenly his instrument is transformed into something
half-bicycle/half-machine-gun – Within the institution of
marriage and animal husbandry everyone sidles up to
the white enamel bar – and with a little help from the
bartender, the girls loosen up enough to waddle off
deeper into the cave to lie down in the hay – like dogs to
lick themselves thirsty – it’s not entirely the opposite of
disagreeable – Mr. Stationmasterrrrrrr – I am the phantom
ghost – I follow the sun because it is leading me to that
paradise – that is my fist – raining down on your little-
doll’s-tea-parties, you dear, you sweet little cabbages –
Meanwhile us admirals are strophe-ing ourselves –
sometimes the cream-cupboard darlings call out: help –
hup – TAXI! – Your luggage rotted – you can never
associate with the malt-shop-Suzies – you, with your
constantly shaven head – I will stand with you in the
shade of a fern, slowly rising into time, and lead our own
two selves, humble and certain, from scrutiny – But it
must be that I am constantly myself and chaos – and am
myself in every remnant of myself – albeit a traumatized
version of myself – on the coast, meeting some future
twin or ghost of myself – You want to take the subway – I
want to buy an ice cream cone – HA! – we are,
essentially, milksmiths – we love our beaten path and if
the sheepdog is crazy, there’s nothing we can do about
it – but graft our pleasure to this EXIT – You can’t take
the boys with you – the amateur sailors you keep on
balconies and on terraces to make it with at your
convenience – who you haven’t granted permission – to
overflow from their ashtrays – to inject themselves with
death – to sever – all that’s you from them – They’re
planning to steal your patio furniture – after putting away
all the leather accessories you keep them in – even their
adorable singlets – because the only life is a life of love –
Destroy – yours, theirs, and the others’ bright academy –
it isn’t necessary – to drink pure lemonade, with two ice
cubes, at all times, endlessly smoking menthols – Quit
your, their, and the others’ constant bitching – it isn’t
necessary – in your parents’ basements, where you hide
away, honing your pinball-skills – two lips and two shiny,
plasticized filets – like your grannies’ gigantic clits – the
cat with its hair standing on end —- like a cumbersome
anxiety – you don’t smoke the joint with me – I am here –
I am there – not here – the wet figs eat themselves – they
eat the other figs, the dates – the cherries – as thieves
tug at the policemen’s sausage – The cops stand around,
mutely eating horse-meat – they never speak – of their
own mythology – but pass into it like the legend of the
hidden airplanes – flying on a train somewhere –
preferring the rhythm of the tracks, passing under – you
wish a Happy Anniversary to the Israeli War – MAO is
becoming younger, bowed at the feet of his great AGE –
China advances – say it – the color-television hen agrees,
in Italian – sometimes mumbling in French or in English –
how at all times they will never love the men they are
saying they love here – the suns’ pin knows that when
the moon fills its basket that the other side of the basket
will be empty – speed’s superb and grandiose
demonettes – are their translucent green – and a trance –
and LUCID – and the winking green eyes’ confessions –
and I am persuaded by – the crisis of phosphorescence –
the 9 black arts of language will turn the palm trees in on
themselves – like conches turned to music – the same
palms feed the air – their exotic makings – each fruit the
color of television – each color for the color blind – a
constant green – little changes in the blue range – and
the red range – a little acid in the orange’s fluorescent –
something’s turning it yellow

poem that wrote me into beast in order to be read

samira and aziza nabila awatef and 3adaal isis and ma’at yes ma’at of the 42 laws and ideals we used to live by you of white feather and commandment who made us taught us of stars and named them named us made nout and systems of irrigation nile delta source inventors of mead and kohl for drawing of lapis and woven cloth and harp sinai berber pen and paper we were winged creatures werent we tell me because i still dream of flight sometimes i trumpet waiting to be sound i who have made earrings of arrow reporting now to you of the mythical creatures i dismantled in order to become the one writing words you are reading tarsal by metatarsal i disjointed false to be true sometimes i am cell with eyes made up of five strand DNA quintuple helix amoeba bond i would claim you as my ancestors thrice but once is honor i am trying to be worthy live to have learned so much that god made arab to know what it is to be both black and jew to be arab is to beast in order to be read like scripture etched calligraphy wooden metal i ask you to marvel at poetry they tried to make us forget in guantánamo and all unnamed time will ask us of this time come back again and again while we were out the world has become image we made in our own image and this is what we hunt now ive caught my reflection between incisors i beast of no nation who want only to be read excuse me        now    it is time    to be fed

In the Zone

Finally, you're tired of being tired
just because the world is.

LITTLE SHEEP: We are little bridges
     that are sheep.
THE EIFFEL TOWER: Virgil died.
     Homer did that too.
RELIGION: I'm open to things 
     like Papa Pie X.
INDUSTRIAL ROAD: Come and get it.

The windows are looking at you.
Noise is a nameless bird

that is a parakeet and noon.
BABY: Mom made me be a baby.

RENÉ DALIZE: Me and the baby stayed up inappropriately
     late and adorable in the profundity of our amethysts.
THE FLAMBOYANT GLORY OF CHRIST: I'm a pretty li'l lily
     and a redhead

(in that my hair is on fire).
My mother is sad. The star has six branches.

I hold the world record for getting up there past the aviators.
It's that I'm god is why.

THE 20TH CENTURY: Eat your heart out, Amelia Earhart.
     I'm a bird that's also an eye.
EYEBIRD: If it lifts,
     it's a lifter.
THE ORIGINAL AIRPLANE: Me, Icarus, Enoch, and
     Apollonius (from Tyana) are hanging out
      like priestesses in an owl-swarm.
THE FLYING MACHINE: Put enough birds in it.

Get one of each of them
and the first skull of the first human machine.

A phoenix and a peacock and a dove and a flamingo
     and a crow fly into a bar.
     I walk out alone into Paris.
DARK MUSEUM: Look closely.

NOTRE DAME: Someone put some blood in it.
WHAT YOU CAN'T STOP SEEING: I can't sleep either, but
     I can

hover just above your face.
Let's get on a boat with our friends from everywhere,

despite the giant squids,
and hunt the imaginary fish.

SOMEWHERE NEAR PRAGUE: It's nice to not write novels
     and to think about what roses would do
     if you were a rosebug in the rose.
LAZARUS: I like the ghetto where the clocks move backwards
     and the drunks sing.
A MILLION WATERMELONS: Marseille is nice,
     because it has a million watermelons.
YOU: This hotel is for giants.

Bad taste makes things pretty.
I like Latin Cubicula locanda

and that I've visited Gouda.
THE JUDGE: Sadness is terrible,
     since it's what happiness is.

LOVE: I hate twenty-somethings.
HANDS: Do not mention the hands.

We lived
like a fool

a lot.
Sometimes we mentioned the hands.

ANY MOMENT: The sad things frighten you.
ANY OTHER MOMENT: There's a child at the train station
     and gold in Argentina.
DIVE BAR: I've seen you in me and in a café.
NIGHT: I'm in my large restaurant tonight.

I left
like someone named Ferdine.

They say that creatures are poor.
EVIL: I'm just a little over it.

THE UGLIEST: I'm from New Jersey.
GOD-FETISH: Let's do some shots.

The morning's about to happen.
Sun + Decapitation =