I gave four prompts to collaborating poet Rocío Carlos. She conducted three minutes of “fevered writing” with each prompt. Here are the results. These words comprise the lexicon I’ll use to create my dis•articulations poem.
Dutch University says student cannot defend PhD dressed as a pirate
Have you heard of the flying Dutchman/ his ship is a ghost and he s a captain/ hook. In Spanish we say Garfío and for a long time I thought it was strange that Captain Hook’s name in Spanish was Captain Garfield. The flying Dutchman steers his ship of dead men (did you ever hear the dead man’s tale? In which he confesses to harassing his employees but goes on a retreat and is all better now and start’s a new project coming to a screen near you?) through mist so thick/ it makes waves (stop rocking the boat). The flying Dutchman has a sweetheart in every port or so the song says. The song doesn’t say the rest of it but for that you can sit on the fun ride at Disneyland.
When a deaf singer gets death threats from other deaf people, something’s wrong
The sign for death is two hands turning over what they want is this turning over this you are a stranger to us, not a brother as in rolling in a grave as in turning over in bed as in belly up as in you are not of us any longer you may as well be buried as in buried in hate email. Email, like dirt, lasts forever. I have only ever been buried in grading.
Elegy for a False Sense of Security
The question of how did you get here is a big unmarked (w)hole in the ground, please enter it. The I am from is a spoon to dig oneself out. The I am from answer from this face is not true. The man at my friend’s party who insisted my accent is exotic or the millionaire who demanded a birth certificate from the president. They always want documentation from you. Well, my people were murdered motherfucker and we have the receipts.
Little Fires Everywhere
everywhere everywhere like everywhere like Thomas/ El Sereno/ Monecito/ Carpinteria/ Monrovia/ Sylmar/ Ventura/ Santa Barbara (donecella que en cielo fuiste Estrella cuidanos de rayos y centellas)/ Lilac/ Skirball/ and ah Wine Country and female convict firefighters and those thirty burned horses and that man saving the bunny and the commute to hell and my mother covering her ears at the table saying don’t tell me anymore I don’t want to hear anymore and my ballet teacher and my father’s house when he was a boy and his father and his little sister licked by that kind of light. And the word acres and the word devastation and the word alert and the words state of. One recalls miracles, one recalls a burning bush.
Collaborating poet Rocío Carlos gave four prompts to me. I conducted three minutes of “fevered writing” with each prompt. Here are the results. These words comprise the lexicon Rocío will use to create her dis•articulations poem.
Take a young, beautiful girl, 16, 15, and others and they slice them and dice them with a knife. My girlfriend sometimes says, “Fuck me in the neck, sideways, with a knife.” She learned it from a childhood friend who was in the military. Young girls are always being sliced and diced, and not only with weapons but with expectations and with fashion, and by the words of mean, malicious girls who think they’ll building themselves up by taking other girls down. I learned my niece is being bullied by a girl in middle school, who tells my niece’s friends to stay away from her or the bully girl will kick their asses.
They are prospering in a modest way, people are not starving to death.
What do we imagine to be acceptable for people who are not like ourselves? Is it the same as the life we dream of? A roomy, secure home with nice furnishings, pleasing aesthetics, healthy well-prepared food and the latest electronics? Or do we imagine others might be content with a dirt floor, an airless window, grateful for beans or rice once a day, government cheese, a few bottles of water dropped from the belly of a helicopter? Do we imagine they should be grateful for the refugee camp, the detention center?
They forgot who was dying, who was already dead
The electrocuted don’t look that much different from you and me, as we stumble about now in a perpetual state of shock. Those amped up on selfishness and greed and righteousness have holes blown through them big as any gunshot wound. Those in thrall to evangelical hypocrites are brain dead as any accident victim. Who is to say we are not already dead, wandering around without our souls? Wind whistles through our slack jawed mouths, fingers clenched in rigor.
I took an axe to a mended fence
Sometimes the only thing that calms me down is to break whatever I can break. I throw dishes at the wall of a concrete room and the shards boomerang back. Even the cutting is a relief, an ancient blood-letting. The Amazons wielded their double-headed axe, cut off one breast to better accommodate their bows and arrows. All women face outrageous fortune, and when we become outraged, watch out. All the clocks will shatter and all the altars will burn.