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Saturday, April 30, 2016


your head
for beauty
you were throwing rocks for so, so long
your body became
complete action
destruction           nobody is trying to harm you
yesterday was bad to all of us
it didn’t discriminate
anyhow the fabric is the same
the blanket covers all of us
some parts are old
and just see-through
if I were you I would
bury some things
practice the long wait for them to pop up again
in the meantime
hold the expectation
they are there to grow, feed 
or live for a while
with all of us
all of us

Friday, April 29, 2016


In my new driver’s license picture I look dead. Blue like I was just fished out of a lake. I was sad with the idea that people think they know who you are on the inside, when they know who are you on the outside. Who hasn’t thought about dying a lot? The picture was taken on a day I thought I was recovered. The hours passed without deep consideration of whether I should be here on the planet. I was kind struck by how happy the people were at the DMV on a sunny Saturday. The anger babies we bear are always crying, always batting out their needs. “Your whole face changed,” the lady said, after I smiled for the picture. “2-4 weeks. You’ll get it in the mail.” “You are so efficient,” I said. “We try, thank you, we try.”

Thursday, April 28, 2016


come give me a home
tired of the made up memory
of how things went
when they didn’t work out

come give me a home
scratching at the end of April
telling it to be over already

for the jasmine to liven the sidewalk
for the steps of the apartment to lean
a little less

come give me a home
come give me a home

Wednesday, April 27, 2016


have the patience to accept the delusions of others
they don’t make
anything possible
but they exist
for me, 7:30 in the morning is as
good a time as any
to tell myself:
keep going backwards
until you find the nest
where you created
a stable cradle
before people
came in and fucked it up

Jen's for 27


Tuesday, April 26, 2016


the end of the day regardless
your rude mind tasking
the price of cookies at safeway
where you want to go
for the mandatory vacation you had hoped
to spend with a lover
the theory behind it
the delusion created
most people
busy on rabbit trails, cooking meals for the week, fixing cars
while some parents astutely respond
to their bad children, “who do you think
you are?”

Monday, April 25, 2016

Jen's for Day #25



__________ never comes
we go to the grocery store
tired of ticking on another
timeline                     magic doesn’t give
the viewer too much credit
to wow, to appear
is normalized            some bright freezer aisles
go dim with no one in them

Sunday, April 24, 2016


we are our own buildings
stability a basic body function
ankles, knees, hips, shoulders
but the drinking water isn’t safe for drinking
frantic, but not without foundations when we are
without others
I learned to give time to the hesitant
to distinguish between pain
and suffering, one possessed by an agent
powerful and invisible beyond control
despite everything about our childhoods
we exported already

Monday, April 18, 2016


even with change the blue blue mountains continue to be blue
the sidewalks stay bumpy
the ground underneath
demands freedom
and cars and people are unreliable as you expected
don’t let it ruin you, ranges from which we pull averages
can be quite large
our human problem is housing understanding
for these wrenches
when do they teach us
to let go of suffering?

Sunday, April 17, 2016


what meaning you 
choose to owe 
to people
is on you
you listen
like not listening
mother nature has a plan
for surrealism
to open you up
like the world of egg sandwiches
made eggs make sense
but you still didn’t “like” them

Saturday, April 16, 2016


what deal
really pulls
the room together
don’t farm criminals
care anymore
what to
expect when you’re
expecting, if you move alone 
be part bullish
do you really think
command answers
not hysteria
it erased you
part blah blah
and yesterday

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Hours of Opening

 My students are much more open to experimenting with the space of the line than I am. And it’s because they’re better poets. I tell them to write work I would only dream of writing. I lied this week and told them I had written a poem about a special object from my childhood in order to gird them into writing with their objects in mind. The Owl and The Pussycat, the famous Edward Lear nonsense poem, recapitulated as an illustrated book by Hilary Knight, is back in my possession. Every page arranges the scope of an idea’s transition into image and back again. I don’t think I’ve ever been alive. Daily I pass a Polish beer garden and the sign reads, “Hours of Opening” as if the structure were a great plant astonished by its breathing. I walk by the same man in his cubicle forever leaning over to consider his calendar. There is no context for anything we do. As my mother tells it, I used to read The Owl and the Pussycat to my younger brother upside down so that he could read the images. Why does it feel like my life started when I arrived at the foot of a bed. I would read the words upside down but I was reciting. Around this time I killed my older brother’s fish by filling their tank with too much food. The flakes formed a film over their lives and shadowed them to death. As I understand it, recitation is a kind of overfeeding. It is important to connect the girl’s scarf with the growth of the girl’s tail, the shapely feline overtaking the girlflesh, how the shape overthrew its captor is how I first learned to starve. When he lay me down and when he lay me down and when he lay down my neck was the noose around my neck. It was easy to imagine being taken in a boat to elsewhere, freedom became a talisman I stroked to keep me animal. Chronology is a denture and the landscape removes me from its mouth, I the viscous silver string drooping to silk in the parabola. No one has ever sworn they’d change for me. They see I have already brimmed with the blades of my childhood and I’m done for. They see that I have learned to sleep with gold insects swarming my legs. And when I close my eyes, I cannot, for the life of me, ignite. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Rhythm Thirteen

 Never put value in a belief. All I do is repeat.
I’m astonished by every mouth I’ve had. An orange
pushed down my throat. This afternoon I left
the office to run in line. My discipline is straight.
A crystal falls through me. Fiber drips down my chin
as I assess the world smashed into me. I ran 
in a line to a window. Every object on its side
looks like a beached whale. I think the problem
with scene is my death can’t fit inside it. I’m hurt
by narrative, the promise of humans to be their verbs.
The times I’ve been intellectual, my lips were wet.
I pantomime in the pretty gloaming of my youth
and push myself through a disc so I don’t have to look
anyone in the eye. I need more space. I repeat.
I lay down in the road as a girl because I wanted
someone to stop me like no one stopped him.
Because the car never came, they called me 
an attention whore. I’m relearning inventory
to repeat myself better. Tonight, Paul said the word 
ichor in their poem. I can still feel the god blood
melting through the snow. My landscape flattens
to one without snow, without rain, without land.
I draw the word ichor in the steamy mirror. It drips.
I splash the glass with bleach. It drips.


the night grew
collectively best friends with normal
wrapped up in a blanket
were the discounts, oiled aches, “theories”
the city unfolds its fist
the fist has been rolled into itself and is
in systemic ways an attachment
that can’t be undone
no matter the manners of night

Tuesday, April 12, 2016


hello monday mask
the coincidence of pain
promise you won't retaliate
drive home in another car
there have been people here before
they have been capable
of the same yes and the same no
how's the afternoon for you?
are you in danger now? 
or hanging out ---coffee or whatnot?

Saturday, April 9, 2016


Ghosts are actors and their parts are forgettable     It isn’t intentional but poets are made by belittling      How to stop this from happening is the struggle of allowing mistakes to be not such a big deal          Crossing the street has become a way of communicating buried anger at different forms of transportation      farming out our responses to gesture which other people understand even though they pretend not to

Girl to Complete a Portrait

I can already see the way I presume teenagers are too un
formed to make decisions but I remember my destruction
well. I masturbated to the livejournal community _nakedparts,
a blog made of livejournal users who showed off various
quality photos of their naked bodies. There was a beautiful
woman naked and splayed against a tree, her butt in full
bloom. Spiky blurs of genitals. It could never be fully
satisfying, which was the greatest arousal of all. I read comments
and the tiny wars winnowed in the flesh grids. A man 
commented on a woman’s vag shot, Shave. Another man
condemned the comment, because her full growth was hers.
I was 14, believed feminism to be an older, won battle
despite my body’s multiple invasions and the natural silence
expected. The silence was a tautology and I needed its shape.
Everyone loved a winner and to speak was to lose. So I touched
my naked parts to the safety of a flat screen. I fantasized
posting, amazing the community with my firm figure.
I learned I was desirable when a stranger at the mall threw me
over his shoulders and ran with me screaming to his sedan.
My friends stopped him. Everyone laughed. I was 13
and knew to cry meant I was a prude. I swallowed terror.
I knew I was desirable when Ryan, 21, kept grabbing my butt
in the food court. Everyone laughed. When he found out
where I lived. Got me into the car and led me away.
I show my students Mary Ruefle’s essay, “I Remember, I Remember,”
and she has written “I remember saving everything” after
saying she never did like to save things. Last night I dream
my apartment suffers an electric fire, the second fire of my life.
My landlord screams that I’ve ruined her beautiful house
and she is right. I mastered cateyes. In HS, wrote Chuck Palahniuk
fanfic. My best friend returned from college and said L
drugged and raped him. He slid his hand up my knee, in a gesture
I’ve never allowed myself to understand. My other best friend
fought three women at the mall, ripped out a hoop earring
and kept it on her nightstand with her bracelets. I learned
I was desirable when I used textbooks to cover my butt
in the halls. When S taught me skinniness required a finger
and vigilance. A student comments on Bhanu Kapil’s “Text
to Complete a Text” that she is having difficulty articulating
its genre. Risk is a kind of twin of permission, says Bhanu.
I woke up this morning stunned by the confidence we have
in our houses. There is a belief about houses that is in line
with our capacity to live, that they are upright, secure, impenetrable.