ARS POETICA or, I wanted to unlock my phone

by on Sep.13, 2013

[It’s been suggested that I preface this. Well, I think the world is drenched with grief and I think poetry is the map of the grief, continually mapping and remapping itself and saturating and resaturating itself with ink and image and sound and damage and contaminants until something else breaks through. Another viscousness or viciousness. Not necessarily better, but next, or again. I don’t know whether there’s really a way out of the anthropocene with its lethal logics but I do think that Poetry is anthropocenic (though inhuman?) and has a lethal (ill-?)logic and is therefore up to the challenge of going up against the anthropocene, just as a bacterium with a porcine vector can go up against a person with a gun.  I guess I do want the world to end and reboot without us. This ars poetica is made from the contaminants that influence my writing: technology, hacking, corpse jewlery, corporate hegemony, environmental degradation, dread, ecstasy, haruscopy and augury, fashion, art, etymology, sacrificial rites and the classical world, those doomed and doomy bastards.]

Like dead Etruscans on their couch...

“like dead Etruscans…”



ARS POETICA, or, I wanted to unlock my phone

I wanted to unlock my phone.

I wanted to unlock the geode. I wanted to press it to my skull. I wanted to go right through the temple. Bedazzle my occipital. Be dazzled like a jeweled vagina or an improved corpse.

Incipio. And you can come in now. Bedazzled like a victim or an improved phone.

Nuncio, you’re fired now go home.

Get back on that fucking U-boat you rowed in on and float.

After I gave birth, an immediate labial tuck.

Cataract surgery, a backing track, and a ticket for checked luggage sutured to my gut.

I took exception.

I woke up a walking garment.

My innards for a pennant, a permanent crest or crown

crimped and crenellated, filleting my brow and my baby for a pigskin clutch. Accouchement.

On a couch, we rowed like dead Etruscans for the afterlife, clutching

thick slick magazines and

the handgrenade named for the pomegranate.

Bon chance, bon chance, shit out of luck, up shit creek on a

leaky horseshoe hung up the wrong way

twin emblems of closeness: horseshoes, handgrenades.

More weight.

In that pink slick (Grenadine)

rode the drowners

pulled from the Seine with a seine net. With a purse seine.

And set up in the Paris morgue as in a marble parlor

A bejeweled purse, a lime sluice, a pearled vagina, a pullulating designer

dog, in puttees, the puttied vault of the sky, the ovulating

cranial crate which was about to be wider  as it

split at its eyeteeth

It was a civic duty to visit them on Sundays

amid the gropeurs and pick pockets

To copiously paw and snuff the nose-wrinckling tissues

To bring them back into the human family.

To try to identify them by face, clothes, or posture

That piece of shit is not my father.


The bodies hit the ground in a fusillade like fuselage

You cannot hear this sound except on a snuff site

You have to go out as shame to hear this report

more like handgrenades than like pomegranates

with their little list of Hadean jewels inside

twisted inventories for the Christies auction

nextbodies texting their nobiles

fifty and two hundred bodies hitting the ground like exploding

I wanted to go live there

I wanted to go live in shame

as blood floods the vaulted chasm

I block the run-off-channels and snuff up the charnel-chum

I wanted to stop the clock

I wanted to give my brain a tuck

I wanted my brain to fold over.

I wanted to close the incision with cat gut and tungsten.

I wanted to hack my own phone.

Edison wanted to make a light bulb.

Franklin wanted to make a kight light up at night.

They both needed a conductor.

Franklin used his son’s arm.

Edison used the groin hair of a sacred goat, later slaughtered.

gh gh gh

you can’t even say it it’s voiceless

you can’t even hear this sound unless you hit the snuff site

so rank it rankles

too rank for superfund

I wanted to defund it

I wanted to give my head a kick.

I wanted my brain to double over, holding its gut.

In the train compartment. Its tank top riding up

to expose its kidneys to a kick

up the luggage compartment.

to stuff it up a suitcase

like a prettier girl I could waste on a snuff site.

The thread of life narrow as a jeweled thong for the bride

disappearing up the crack

reaching through the crack to hug the waist

to find the egress

up the ass of the egret

into the afterlife

the birds we are wasting in Iraq and Iran

know the only route to the afterlife

Bereft of sense

I don’t want to make sense

But I want to make something


as it leaves the body

the cloth of Veronica which wiped the face of Christ

producing the fake  known as the Shroud of Turin

Fake like a purse is fake and flashy

and sold on folding tables or a sheet

grab it and run

when the heat comes

it cuts the air above the android  in his android suit.

The bull is wearing his bull suit.

To cook what’s inside like a sacrifice.

Oxygen cocktail. Interior force.

I wanted to wear the fake mask of Christ.

I wanted to wipe the face of the crisis with my heat.

I wanted to make a mask of sweat, urine, sucrose, and  dopamine.



I wanted to grow chesthair in the mirror.

It’s breezey today and the leaves flash their asses.

Something hangs down under the line of the short shorts.

Something like hell-fruit: lemurian pomegranate.

The puddled cloth, the placket of blood

like a garment for the flagstones

below the smashed skull

sewn on the bias

the seam lies flat

as a cellphone in the street

after it snapped the precious picture

the picture more precious than a skull

that smashed up screen makes a star in the sky like



panties in a vending machine

coolant pools which smirk and leak

an attempt to build a thermonuclear barrier at the beach

going to the beach


catching the fish

under the flagstones

sandals made of a tank tread rubbed with fish guts

ceaseless report

a gun firing

a tracer whistling

the house folding

a satellite crashing into the Indian Ocean

croupier’s flourish

as air douses his hand of guilt

like money

stacked flat and veronica-ing

like a hiccupping GIF

a mortgage or flat tummy

a smart fabric tensing infinitely

into the air like the gut of a gull

that’s hauling a plastic reel

so thin it’s not a live anymore

so thin it can slip through the net of the sky

through the purse-seine up the Seine

and become the parenthesis for the next event

so thin it talcs the air with boanmeal

as in a nursery

ashmeal moanmeal  veronica powder

4 comments for this entry:
  1. drew

    I hate and love. And why, perhaps you’ll ask.
    I don’t know: but I feel, and I’m tormented.


  2. Joyelle McSweeney

    These are the symptoms of ‘true’ aesthetic experience.

  3. Joyelle McSweeney

    I’m stoked.

  4. Johannes

    Clayton Eshleman asked me to post this comment: “The poem as a massive crash site. Very impressive. I appreciate the syncronicity between her poem and the 12th anniversity of the 9/11 assaults. There is now a very valuable and long video on the controlled demolitions, called “The 9/11 Pentegon Attack: Behind the Smoke Curtain, by Barbara Honegger.”