That slick monster sat down with us all.
A man wants to know mouth-first

           what my face does looking at him,
           if my eyes are cogitating wells

of sweet soup. He imagines me forward
then bent as in over. The idea is I’ll say yes, 

          go to the car for unbuttoning
          but a wife flashed back in the way.

So I don’t visit the details of convention.
When I say I like a man who knows

           what he wants, there’s nothing more
           about him to like. Nowhere else to be,

I stand under the snow face-
first, the mouth my summoning shrine.

Lineage Anagrams II

I sit hard down, write down rules, an age of alg-
ebra I will not renounce for any good shake of god’s ale or angle
or some other father. Here’s my noes I mouth to no one but two flies alining,
amounting, in air clear between them is my sliver of grace, élan
for no one, the di pteron fold and again my sliver, this grass, genial
grass I’ve known my whole long life this grass, this green gee glen:

cupping my proclamations I will I will I will, lag and nag,
weren’t those the magic words when cupped, my hands glean
this earth, this earth retraced me my unlearned effort, gin of nil
it wills it wills it wills. Claimant am I who turns turns away, ail-
ing away until the edge is a place I home until I am alien,
a line at the edge of a line, a nile.

Related Poems

When Bad Things Happen to Good People

You can only hear you look like a hooker so many times
before you become one. Spandex was really big 

the year I stopped believing.
I babysat for the rabbi’s son, Isaac. There was luxe carpet

in every room of the condo. Isaac liked Legos
and we made a pasture and a patriarch and lots of wives.

In his car in his garage the rabbi handed me a self-help book
and put my hand on his crotch, ready to go.

I didn’t care. 
I made good money. 

Isaac lived to be 180 according to the bible. 
Isaac is the only patriarch who didn’t have concubines. 

Isaac is 30 now. Modern scholarship tells us 

the patriarchs never existed. Experience taught me 
the patriarchs are all we’ve got.

I Never Figured How to Get Free

The war was all over my hands.
I held the war and I watched them
die in high-definition. I could watch

anyone die, but I looked away. Still,
I wore the war on my back. I put it
on every morning. I walked the dogs

and they too wore the war. The sky
overhead was clear or it was cloudy
or it rained or it snowed, and I was rarely

afraid of what would fall from it. I worried
about what to do with my car, or how
much I could send my great-aunt this month

and the next. I ate my hamburger, I ate
my pizza, I ate a salad or lentil soup,
and this too was the war.

At times I was able to forget that I
was on the wrong side of the war,
my money and my typing and sleeping

sound at night. I never learned how
to get free. I never learned how
not to have anyone’s blood

on my own soft hands.

Currency

a pocket can sometimes be
a kind of prison,

I have never lived in
a cash economy where the bill

fold unfolds to find someone
creased in the middle,

but perhaps credit moves
the same, the way it scores

the pocket and the body
boxed and bureaued

the edge of a card
cuts anything  akin to skin

a Dollar, a Euro, a World
Bank, a debt to erase, a wait

a race, a weight.