{Click here for PDF version}

        Music. Order. Tenderness. Without brutality yet instructed by an emptying
cause for a word like “love” unrefined

        Unrefined, where I too fit approximately so. Who made you simple—
pure as an organ that way

        In a crisis, in a vision, in an act of desperation to foment the banal—to say
“love” like a word so coarsely defined—

        Or the pattern-making of how do you go on without a “story”—to hit
return, rethink and again begin to cancel a sound

        The exercise in sleep—in a day the pattern makes—less the story of how
to mine a kind of pre-war-time belief in “life”—

        What the project is made you begin to focus the sun in a mirror to light
the corners of the room—

        And in green output, a bloom beneath the blinking of I too want to feel
a void reversed—in you: think over an inheritance—of elections, of convictions,
of evictions and victims


        Laying in bed, blind and playing the feel-up of out there—you: “you”
—I turn—I keep turning facts of unmade shapes

        So, the problems of industrialized civilization drop you suffering—
in existence and in suffering beget a kind of “dismissal”—

        Green to add you and green to leave you let-down-feelings in the national
ring—in a pastime of absence

        If you can’t hear, listen: that’s my sexuality: how I lean over me in my own
way, in my own embrace: I kiss you. You kiss me. You is me.


        Obsessed with slaughter, preoccupied by crime—I am as masculine as you
think I am—I turn off a signal, I pivot toward you like a weight put down

        My songbird begins and the plain material of pre-shame spells a shadow
on the trees and the trees are bright green trees full of no shade the same

        What future then to disarm the senses—to unharm this texture, as in every
face is a face of discovery and every face: a face of past—

        A song redoubling, receding into weather and a song chalking out
the apple-colored sun, drying in the horizon

        A mute song for the headless statue and a squint song for false “release”
and a queen song for my spinal column

        Notes for the coming catastrophe and auctions of emotions of what could
be done for doing something “wrong” and what part of “right” play is paid for

        In adoration the display makes an arrangement as light and pink and wet
and tongue-colored as any tongue

        Some necessity for the shoreless song of difficult sun that lights the waves
of the black-green sea

        “Unreasonable” in love—to be like “music” in anyone else’s song—
is everyone together, diamond cutter? am I only fingering singularity

        Just to over-make a day in an outpouring of silence and just to single-
handedly command oneself

        By the bywords of a generation—by a sequence of beginnings—
to telephone oneself is to find oneself in a meme of wind sounds

        Life and times. Life and death. Life in debt. And the bloodgold crowns of
the past pushing back

        The back road of my commuter’s sentence. The footsore carry-me-further
from-my-own-body-thoughts—I think between parallel wants

        Poor thought for one “seeing” or one single “waking”—night and dawn
and the prowl around self-exacted discord, looking in on you, “you”—

        Rose-colored, overexposed feeling: the mouth is ready: I am ready:
secrete this slowed-down moan

        In the bug-house of authority, in the can of attachment, in my turbulent
drink—I can’t think

        A crowd of people. An anxious crowd trying to talk me down, trying to feel
me up

        And all the phone-glow wash in your eyes, and your mind full of your own
tackle, stuffing your own tackle into your palm like hot silk

        Requisition. Medication. Saving myself the teaser of a full year of
yesterday’s life

        To order the tiny gold hairs for broadcast in get-off fuel and time out
a single gesture: to bring love that type of petition

        Brown hair. Blonde Hair. Black Hair. Green light beneath the skin
builds the analog show

        I’d write a chapter and you’d write a chapter. Inhaler practice. Sleeping it
off. Getting healthy and moving on—


        Cautious of the late, huh, I sat down: time. I stood up: star—a star as
deadbright as any star

        And yet, no show. No ist, no ism. I loved watching you. Crushed by a
moving car, ramped into each new day. I left space to unroll myself, the original

        In affectionate frustrations: remember me negative acceptance,
remember me crisis, remember me consequence

        The bridge I feel in the sheets shortened. Young defenseless, young
touchlings—young vibrations

        I haven’t been home tippling “mutiny.” I’ve not been burning old
notebooks, “suffering” “visions”—

        When they were young, I was young and too hush to report to this world,
“truly.” You could “feel” it:

        Their “freedom” standing over my “freedom” to define it, though I defy a
word to define it


Douglas Piccinnini is the author of Blood Oboe (Omnidawn Publishing, 2015) and Story Book (The Cultural Society, 2015). His poetry has been anthologized in The Sonnets: Translating and Rewriting Shakespeare (Nightboat Books, 2012), and recent work has been featured by the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day, Elderly, Lana Turner, Denver Quarterly, The Poetry Project Newsletter, Prelude, The Seattle Review, Tupelo Quarterly, Verse, and The Volta.

Previous Post: Hi, I’m Carter by Chelsea Hogue Next Post: Pear of Anguish by Bridget Brewer