Aluminum Ode

You hold everything, number 11 on the periodic table, hasty morning sammies and riceballs. You are the middle school crunch of a finished meal, a finalness wrapped around tomorrow’s plate. You get crushed by some weight, too, by the slightest cramp in a schoolbag and cheese oozes into the lining.   You are not foiled…

First (a ghazal)

The second to third to last men will claim first, penetrate a womb, build marble idols, name it first.   Petty rock spirits couldn’t keep Cortés away; The wooden and roped idols touched the Sun first   before a crown-wielding encroachment raped the shores, stabbing tongues with fire speech and crosses first.   Next, they…

Shank (heroic couplet)

  I was never made for this, Maryland of ‘87, to sink, to eat into the flesh of committed men. My brother, the knife, is the softer sort made from soft and approved plastic, purposed for dismembering tasteless chicken. But I, a stir in some prison guard’s cup of caffeinated dye, wasn’t meant to be…

an engine for madness (a sonnet)

  I’m seventeen and behind the wheel and you’re old, probably heart attack-prone in a thousand-pound machine, broken seals, transmission issues you never got to.   We’re both scared but you drove fear into me with most concern for your car above all: take a right, merge here, stay under twenty. But I’m not inclined…

Sam Sung

Mami sleeps inside the idiot box, 52 inches of Korean invention wrapped morgue-like in her brain; in her phantasms, she can benchpress 350 infomercial coffins and Slap Chop crisp vegetables like a cutting machine.   Mami enjoys the static hours because it’s a funerary service in her brain; it’s turned off for 3 or 4…

Swimming with the Ocean

  “Swallow the pill & I promise you’ll see.” Frank was keen as he strapped rocket boots to his feet & flew. I think we bought them in a Brooklyn bodega dream, pondering over words & how a blank page is our greatest enemy.   We traded world stickers, see, about how he’s the black…