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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

1998

--for Nick McCabe

As the India Palace burned to the ground

caramel light poured from warm windows,

swing dancers stood still. Weathermen frowned.

Laws too complex to be implemented
curled like a liver on Friday.

My teachers told me long ago
to breathe in deep
when things got rough
but now they say I sigh too much

and like a decomposing theory under test,
the body racking up debt,
one of summer’s last cicadas

forget metaphysical
revelations in the sidestreets.

The future is hungry
for what we are lacking
it will never receive--

a sense of purpose all but blown
to my mind
as to pudgy adolescents,
wrists in their hands
wondering when
their completion's achieved,
when confusion will slow
when scenarios
cease to cancel scenarios.

When caramel light pours from warm windows
every school year

I stop and dream
what it must feel like
to not be forever eighteen.

Two

On the seashore of endless worlds children meet. At first they do not discern very clearly whence comes the strange agitation that reigns in this place. A wax bubble moon trembles on the honey blue horizon. The sea is black as a field of violets. How will they ever enjoy being in a land to which they are not accustomed?

A vast similitude interlocks all—all identities that have existed or may exist on this globe or any globe. Advancing rapidly to destinies beyond the reach of mortal eye. They say to each other Let us be like two falling stars in the day sky. And so this night is divine, more than any of the others.

But no time is given them to reflect.

What they believe in waits latent forever throughout all the continents. Latent forever.

To fall asleep here is to wake up there.

Last night a white apple fell from the loneliest tree in the world.

Not so much as a seed of that apple exists any longer.


I still hear them singing the rhymes of goodbye.



DECKED



File download: http://armacost5.opendrive.com/files/54295527_asRbj_76f0/Two%20Individual.mp3

Thursday, November 4, 2010

possum

I'd become a successful omnivore
scrambling fear and grabbing what was offered when available,
destined for a roadside end, no trophy head of mine.

So many idiotic deer,
smug birds, perverted dogs.

At home there's a cat and 10 kids
who don't know shit and can't help you.

Maybe I stink, look nuts, work too hard to live.
Starvation and rivals everywhere--
all that slinking just to thieve an egg
knowing you'll never be wolf-sized

all balanced by the
you are no deermouse, it could be worse
routine routine routine.

Neither good and bad nor in between seems tenable.

99 times out of 200 I do the right thing.

Before long you’re just moving on inertia
and if you stop who would know?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Lines from Club Charles

x. mach 9

Pregnancy. Thunderstorms. Postfinancial coronaries.

The days are ferns unfolding in a crystal-granite sea.

I sit in the city's erotic enormity-- a tsunami of architecture
encounters a tsunami of fog. High mist
plays tricks, swells the buildings
like breasts under gauze,
larger than life,
almost a real town.

From such overestimations
I deduct my dreams and voila,
reality downs,
a fearsome, wounded bird:

slanders and promises in front-page ink,
young ladies ordering birth control loudly,
bad kids on bikes
spit, the word Bitch
rings through midair.
I ignore, I pretend, I resign, idealize.

Where did I go on fantasies and lies?
Full throttle into the oscillation--

to pace the globe on airplane flights
sipping industrial orange juice

a life as wholly without context
as the asteroid kiltering blindly toward its demise--
some trillion dollar purse of nickel and tin
recreating a world where the deaf see
the mute think
the blind move.

Now I'm finding the limitations of the miracle,
the black zone where there is no error
and nothing changes no how.

Right back here on Planet Earth:
slanders and promises
young ladies,
bad kids,
green shade.

Voila, bitch:
A tsunami of architecture
encounters a tsunami of fog.
I ignore I pretend I resign.

I see angels with orchid wings in the sky.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Five Days

Touchdown
Truffula trees
With the car radio
she left me
holding her flowers
and feeling Thanatos'
first fuzzy sentiments

12:12
Fuck off
On the bench
a trio of smokers sit
like a three headed dragon,
too well dressed
for the skaters and the punks

Success
Coffee cups
You'll sing a song and I'll sing a song
You'll pick me up from school at noon
and we'll cross Main Street
to eat lunch
in the back of the library

I hear trumpets
Stay here
blindfolded
and recite Shakespeare
to the wall

All night
no sleep barricades
the dark and the dawn
as days grow attached
like siamese twins

The Hardy Boys Go Nowhere

XV.

“I’m baffled, Frank. We’ve been here six hours. I think I’m going to be kidnapped. I feel cholera coming on. Let’s call Sam Radley, Dad’s assistant.”

“Nonsense, Joe. The truth often lies. If you don’t see it all. But where there’s one clue, there’s bound to be another. All we have to do is wait…and here it comes.” A giant stork entered the ballroom bearing a scroll that fell from its claw into Frank’s hand. The elder lad unfurled a treasure map and exclaimed, “A-ha! It all makes sense now!” But Joe saw something else. “Frank! The X covers the whole page!”


XVI.

“Don’t look now but we’re being followed,” murmured Frank. The steps were steep, but Joe turned slowly. A shudder ran through him as he noticed the grim specter of a 1955 Corvette following them down the stairs.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

King Solomon, remixed

And I was a witty child and had received a good soul.

For I also was my father's son, tender and as an only son in the sight of my mother.

My son, attend to my wisdom, and incline thy ear to my prudence.

I will shew thee the way of wisdom, I will lead thee by the paths of equity.

Choose knowledge rather than gold.

Her ways are beautiful ways, and all her paths are peaceable.

Therefore the desire of wisdom bringeth to the everlasting kingdom.

For wisdom opened the mouth of the dumb, and made the tongues of infants eloquent.

Hear, for I will speak of great things: and my lips shall be opened to preach right
things.

One is as it were rich, when he hath nothing.

Give me neither beggary nor riches. Give me only the necessaries of life.


It is better to be humbled with the meek, than to divide spoils with the proud.

When thy enemy shall fall, be not glad, and in his ruin let not thy heart rejoice.

Be diligent to know the countenance of thy cattle, and consider thy own flocks.

A joyful mind maketh age flourishing. A sorrowful spirit drieth up the bones.

Practice not evil against thy friend, when he hath confidence in thee.

A man amiable in society shall be more friendly than a brother.

I love them that love me, and they that in the early morning watch for me, shall find me.

For I look out of the window of my house through the lattice.

The natures of living creatures, and rage of wild beasts, the force of winds, and reasonings of men, the diversities of plants, and the virtues of roots, and all such things as are hid and not forseen, I have learned: for wisdom, which is the worker of all things, taught me.

I was set up from eternity, and of old before the earth was made.

The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his ways, before he made anything from the beginning.

I was with him forming all things, and was delighted every day, playing before him at all times.

For all men have one entrance into life, and the like going out.

The good man leaveth heirs, sons, and grandsons (and granddaughters)

Children's children are the crown of old men.

He that hath found a good wife, hath found a good thing, and shall receive a pleasure from the Lord.

She will render him good, and not evil, all the days of her life.

The steps of man are guided by the Lord: but who is the man that can understand his own way?

The meadows are open and the green herbs have appeared and the hay is gathered out of the mountains.

If thou sleep, thou shalt not fear: thou shalt rest, and thy sleep shall be sweet.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Lines from Club Charles

ix. autodidact

Another attosecond another metamorphosis
another Russian roulette of jelly beans.
Gather in stimuli--
fake ecstasies and press conference meltdowns.

Life after excitement keeps secreting new products:
170,000,000 pages or more
of interactive global index fantasies,
wacko textile designs,
sunshine you'd better love.

Omnipotent terror negates every fear.
Flip through any magazine:

You can feel the crashing planes
turning sculpture into sculpture,
events unfolding the way lava sets as it cools,



dirty pictures of sleeping canyons,
computer-modeling images,
the shaved rock of Appalachian highways,
glossy shots of isocelean hair,
the 30,000 years it takes the sun
to send its love this way
with a brightness blind as the cave lizard
groping for footholds in frozen streams.

I never could see
what was right in front of me.

My wayward learning maybe
confounds the few remaining
who take our kind to be a gem atop the kingdoms--
Human in the sense still propounded
by rarefied nuns, banjo troubadors,
neocons on safari.

But I know what a diamond's worth
to the pressures of the universe,

cuz I am just an object of divine consumption,
a squid sprawled on the cutting board
soon to be calamari.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Iris


O Mississippi, urethra of the American beast,
I remember your low-lying
turbid
simplicity

very vaguely

like the moments before and after
car accidents that could have been avoided.

There are things we know
that we do not know. For real.
Words are spoken silence is heard.
Money is gathered money is taken.
Arrests are committed.
Death is awarded.
Numbers are given.
Questions are questioned.
Silence is heard.
Predictions are made.
Nothing has changed.

Everything is recorded nothing is found.
Dead dogs are drifting toward their masters
dissolving in the bathwater
of the Gulf Coast’s industrial chyme
as the sea eclipses the sun
and the night skies throb like a radio tower

pustulent

useless

endless.

Wake up again.

My life on the balcony—
gothic trees uprooted in blue light and contraflow.
It’s not my tragedy
but I’m standing in the midst of it,
no camera, no healer.

The neighbors let stray Christians
in their apartments
to pray the monster moves on
to people who pray
the monster moves on
as masses move throughout the complex
like a giant human hand
shouting Fuck the Quarter,
I don’t know what I’m gonna do but I’ve gotta get some ice,
My family has drowned.

The mayor says Sewage, Snakes, Sharks, Sharks with Guns,
Rape in the Streets, 40,000 Deadbodies, Dead Dogs, and the Darkness
We’re all Fucked
Thank God for the Army, for the helicopters over

Baton Rouge tonight

Baton Rouge tonight

Baton Rouge tonight

throbbing like a wound on fire with emergency,
arming itself at the WalMart,
closing down its windows,
opening its doors,
aiming at the road.

Don’t panic—dogs everywhere—the sky

chrome as the holding tanks next to the cosmar facility,
feral dogs spilling fu manchus of drool
over intersections of concrete and dead grass.

A billboard still stands:

You Need A Reason to Smile. Louisiana.

The Lottery.
And you begin the awful
autopsy of communication:

This has been foreseen for years.
This could not have been foreseen.
It was so obvious, it's hard to believe
nobody thought
something like this could ever happen.

Thus the governor wants immediate aid
retroactive to her latecoming realization.
Thus Washington says it’s forthcoming, postdated yesterday. 

Clarification is for idiots
afraid to withdraw from their handshakes
appearing not to know the details.

Conspiracies go mosquito on the death:
Was what she said she said
ignored or never spoken
to a man who never heard
or never acted?

For real.
There are things we don’t know
we don't want to know.

The refinery’s pennant isn’t flaming today.

And everything I see it seems
through some hideously morbid and tumescent purple glass--
the tentacles of war,
the glaciers in motion,
the sound of the country going down,
sickening as silence in a party town.

Louisiana.
The Lottery.
The Conspiracy
gets easier to believe—
never a good sign.

But if corruption, topography, the state,
and every economic law
have all conspired to drown you,
maybe it’s time.


Saturday, August 21, 2010

blizzardays


Right turn • Red lights • Left turn • Red lights • Straight on • Red lights • Red lights
 
More than enough is enough is never enough.
Too little for too many, too much for too few.
The accidents play out in limitless frames
and we go limping through the stoplights home.

Left turn • Red lights • Straight on • Red lights • Side street • Red lights • Red lights

Snow keeps on coming,
hangs out like fleurs de lis and chandeliers
on streets of neon cashmere,
painful to the touch.

Straight on • Red lights • Side street • Red lights • On ramp • Red lights • Red lights

Whatever happens seems an omen of Rome:
the thrill of agony and the victory of defeat,
the feedback loop of the on-and-on.
Laughter a murder laughter again.

Side street • Red lights • On ramp • Red lights • Lane shift • Red lights • Red lights

So I roll on reality, one-lane highways, growing gaps,
executives come downsize time,
how a carefully engineered face waits behind every door.
Functionaries, understanding
settled like a watermark upon the eye
regulated to the brink of disorder
and blameless for their bombshells.

On ramp • Red lights • Lane shift • Red lights • Off ramp • Red lights • Red lights

Solutions are subversive
and our ills as we desire them to be--
big bad unsolvable
infinitely profitable.
What will we take back when we reclaim remains?

Lane shift • Red lights • Off ramp • Red lights • Red light • Red lights • Red lights

Look, a vehicle breaks from the herd, spins into whiteness.
Cop cars, cherry and snowball blueberry, alight,
butterflies en masse around catastrophe.

Off ramp • Red lights • Red light • Red lights • U turn • Red lights • Red lights

Do we control our destiny? Did the dead?
Up to a point that never settles
like snowflakes lost in outer space, 
shifting down around around around?




Red light • Red lights • U turn • Red lights • Wrong street • Red lights • Red lights


Oh, all you Mercedes with no track to run
aiming your afterburners into
Mercedes with no track to run before you,
are you tuned in to catch the latest contradictions,
are your wheels spinning in ways beyond design?

U turn • Red lights • Wrong street • Red lights • U turn • Red lights • Red lights

You can stop it if you really try you see you can't stop it.
Snow keeps on coming
keeps turning to mineral in white lot light
to cauliflower dark from the dirt.

Wrong street • Red lights • U turn • Red lights • One way • Red lights • Red lights

Two hours on, red lights have me filled
with so much hope and doubt
waiting for something to catch fire.
Almost home; til then
we must submit to aspire.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Still 2


Smoky Polaroid with dingy drapes and antique dolls
Hot flowers with black peach and quetzal

Black string and white foam

X-ray with lemongrass

Tequila, silver, and gloves

Tarantula, tangerines, keyboard

Honeycomb with shard and mandala

Soil grapes and ingot on plate glass

Vincristine, yarrow, and worms

Prescription pills and perfume mister with windshield shards and bloodstained nylons

Pumice and milk with cobra

Teddy bear and retaining wall

Parvati with opal iceberg and Norwegian sky

Monday, August 16, 2010

Lines from Club Charles

viii. yankees

Speed balance clarity cleanliness humanity precision and detail--
passwords of the aftershaved pagan
open up the door and pour another panacea.

Every day is like trying to drown a fish.
You can see on the faces of hot moms
longing through the fritted glass
three stories up on the parking lot become their dream

(conveninent symmetry, smooth as ice,
your basic temple forget the god)

the world goes on
for those who need it to:

sweaty bureaucrats with bloody cigarettes;

raccoon, patron saint of car crashes;

Gaddhafi, Berlusconi;

fleshbound megatons wavering in front of the Cheetohs;

endangered birds in human weather
lifting up its thunderhead
landing in electric fields;

lost voluptuaries
tumbling through time
when all they're really after
is a little fast food and wine.

There, there,
exact to the necessary,
among the resurrecting jets
in suburbs bleached
to gulch and culvert
I'm holding fast to ancient laws
as frills dissolve
and the brownest clouds go unresolved
to slough brown rain or carry on.

They carry on.

Now a roll of the dice separates what's fetish and what's fear,
chewing the enlightened fruit to breaking news,
doing to the universe
as it has done unto you.

The game is the same. The end is written
before it begins.

Yankees win Yankees win Yankees win Yankees win Yankees win



File download: http://armacost5.opendrive.com/files/32384149_XqGaF_b4a0/final%20yankees.mp3

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Gentlemen I Remember and the Things They Said to Me in Passing

Do you like classic rock, sir?

You don’t say much. I like that.

Don’t underestimate the power of attorneys.

Stop! That’s licentious material!

Of course I remember you. You were the last person to see my son alive.

No it’s not tainted. I just tested it last night!

I always liked pro wrestlers until I learned they grab the hair under each other’s armpits.

Hey man, your girl ever been DP’ed before?

Are you gonna catch the damn thing?

I really want to masturbate in front of you right now.

What do you think should happen to you?

I would have taken you boys down to the station.

You might turn out to be a cocksucker for all I know.

I like this very much. I don’t have any tolerance for this at all.

Man, you some kinda bookass librarian.

I have serious doubts as to whether you wrote this.

What in the world do you want to read that for?

Lines from Club Charles

vii. ecstasy in the boardroom

So many loopholes, so little time.
The numbers begin to take meaning.

Bothered by the facts, caffeine-free headaches, the arctic sugarcube:
Good morning. It’s 10:30 in the United States.
But I could be anywhere

more or less unstable on those
tectonic plates of intercontinental time—
neurons limp as boiled sage,
the sphere diluted to experience of optics,
quondam possibilities resurgent again

scented of chicken-fried woodsmoke,
nailpolish-colored construction
cones, tail lights lost

the summer evenings
original elements grow appetites,
meet, plead, and wait.
Having heaven now,
I must make peace with hell
and cancelled sitcoms.

You future kids,
don’t hate me because I’m serious.
I tried to be an organ I’m a cell
devoted to its process.

I don't dream much anymore,
but when I dream
we’re Easter egg hunting on Mount Vesuvius.

A Merry Life and a Short One


I had no captain to begin with.
The navigator was a basket case.


All compasses went haywire and the anchor rusted through.
The birds mocked me as they took the sails
This man is the opposite of what he wants to be!


Tired of being a stingray in a world where meaning has no time
to be established as the continents I witnessed move,
I saluted all flags, I accepted
all things.

Very soon I was marooned.

The whales were speaking in kazoo.

Comets and sea turtles
told me secrets and lies.
I took my pages from the proverbs of a given sky
prayed with one hand and an ocean wave—
Give me my pineapple wine!



I thought I was really something.

Then I wondered
why no hunters
blazed in search of me
across horizons bluer than cologne;
 

why I'd left no wake of golden bones
and found my torture,
a Manila fortune,
in nothing but new days now shining
too bright to be healthy or real.


One morning
my head wide as the sky
I could not tell if I was breathing
because I was the air

counting the silver
stars up above
listening into the glistening,

a black magician for good.