There’s a baby’s blue car seat up for grabs 
on the curb with a hand-lettered sign taped
to the handle:
wants to throw it out into the sea

of traffic just to see context trump text,
just to say I made some kind of impact.
(Not kind, but some kind of. A part apart.) 

The voice of our generation is:
A.         reverb in a packed stadium
B.         an echo in an empty stadium
C.         a playlist on shuffle
D.         the form of
I love you that your “basic” phrasebook teaches you
                         is an I love you used only by lovers.        It’sright          under
                            Would you like to dance with me? and right above
                            Get well soon
E. all of the above

                              or none of? 

Time to wake no there is no time to wake should have hours ago dressed in the dark
shoes and coats put on then taken off our dark shoes and coats for the machine
to better see through us a watch take off the watch that should have woken
us hours ago its alarm never set it sets off the alarm we are standing in

our socks cursing the sky as the flight takes flight takes
its place in the pattern without us. 

             (all right above all of the all above)

My own mind’s mirror
mimes what I want
to see in you
in me.

The news says
relative success 
compensate for past largesse 

now less of the “Western-style” excess 
offers context on the promise of this moment. 

Perhaps it was the echo after all.
Perhaps it was the echo after all.

Time to wake. The higher-ups are trading sleepers.

Still drunk, I see double
agents double going
about their double lives,
double kissing their
double wives goodbye,


Pinch me. A dream’s dram: the television
killing time on sci-fi:
I’m okay
to go. I’m okay to go.

Study questions:

Why did the “thing” take the form
of her father? What is the difference
between agency and department?
Only double? Awfully facile facets, no?

Reverb as verb as in do-over. Dare me.
Was it was more fun for the arbiters before

rewind? Dearly

departed lips

I imagine so

much more.

(more much so imagine I lips departed dearly)

My son would like to meet the pilot would like a pair of plastic wings 

pinned to his jacket but the cockpit’s locked up tight and the flight
attendant’s all business with that beverage cart.
We apologize
for technical difficulties with the in-flight movie and should
have the problem resolved shortly. On screen, but
silently, a heartthrob sweats his shirt closer to
the contours of his body as he dismantles
a bomb in the bathroom of a moving
train. Which wire? A shot

of hapless passengers.
A shot 

of a gun barrel as all else blurs behind it.
In an emergency, light will illuminate the aisle. 

to do: 
  • stage coup then recoup losses
  • tell the whole failed truth to strangers
  • take the bloody coat in to the cleaners
  • buy milk
  • buy time
  • age backwards into your arms 

Bystanders are standing by.
Did you say red wire? 
Cloud’s the sky’s cover.
There’s nothing to see here. 

(By force, by farce, they will make                 sure                    there’s  nothing
                                                                                                                  to see here.) 

Move along, now. Move along. 
Mother, may I say and stay preoccupied? Shall we
play a game again to pass the time? How about the one
where “one” means one but “love” means zero?
Or we could write in our breath on the window 
            XO XO
as valediction becomes beasts of burden
from the vantage point of window’s outside looking in. 

Whose son would like to meet the auto-pilot? 
Whose son would like to meet the unmanned drones?

My seatmate, a veteran with a purple heart embroidered
over his actual heart, or thereabouts,
tells me:
the cruelest thing God did to us was give us a memory
tells me: I don’t know why I’m on this side of the grass

To the left of the still life, an explanation in translation:
Even the dew and waterdroplets have not been forgotten.

I don’t believe I don’t believe
is not the same as simply faithless 

In every version of the story, the blade
finds her neck three times

Is this then what
we call the truth? 

The nuns scuttle out to stand above the saints’ remains and sing in
heterophony. The sky does its decent impression of a ghost. Each starling
a grace note, the flock unfolds its unplayable music, glissandi over the bus
station, ad libitum. Too young to sit on the piano bench, the child reaches up
her fists to pound the keyboard. The dissonance startles her silent. She calls
this before and after                                song. 

The film of fog, a nictitating membrane,
shields the city’s eyes.
You can repel the starlings with recordings
of their own cries of distress.

The sun liquidates its assets, brazen
blazing, taking us all                  down                   with it. 
CEO, presiding priest, inserts
the usual valediction here, O
most over and misused “Sincerely.”
My sister to her daughter upon
trying to grab the toy:

what do we say


What do we say when we want something?
So this is the lyric “I” of the lyric storm.
It’s awfully quiet in here.

Clearly, there has been a terrible accident.
A foghorn and an empty bench at the edge
of a cliff staring at what we know to be
horizon, now gauzed and bandaged blind, i
mmobilized indefinitely. The whole landscape’s
in traction. My phone gets no service here,

so if I’m the world’s emergency contact,
the world may be waiting a long time. 

Inside the accident,
our secret hands shake.
Here, birds are information,
call and re-call,

a tainted batch of verbiage.

The proper terminology’s
“first contact” not “discovery.”

We have created
the eye that we once thought touched us
with its light, the eye that we once thought
an attic annex one had
to stoop to enter.

Ye shall know them by the mapped
capillaries of the retina,
by the orbits of the fingerprints,
by their digital signatures.

There are two font families by which ye shall know them
any communication pieces designed with other type fonts
must be approved by Corporate Marketing prior to production
I’m no rule breaker.

I’m trying to cry into this
travel-size receptacle. 

No film no firearms

Echoes coo. Why won’t the distance think
for itself for a change?
I love that ring too much to wear it.

I confess I fear less that which pursues me
than that which I cannot not hold tight.

I’m sorry to be the breaker but stop looking here on land.
The end of the line in the sand’s in the sea.

Ask me to ask me yes or no questions.
Yes, I asked
(the “yes” in “eyes”— the “no” in “now”)

I am no blissful bored historian of heaven doing diligence to eternity, custodian
of clean conscience striving to keep blank pages so, so forever may feast its
blind eyes on the glow of all that need not be said, story-less storyboard, a row
of windows headed past the setting sun as the airplane banks toward the “See
fewer choices” menu option never to return.

Here’s the part where
I rest my case

in your lap. When the agents approach, you have

to insist that you packed it yourself. It’s almost true
to tell them that you’ve always had it with you. 


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