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McCannot

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sparrow and windowpane see also self and san francisco [30 Jul 2006|10:36pm]
my hands are not soft or strong
and play no guitar
busy wringing an american dream
i wouldn't wish upon an enemy
of all money + motor
betwixt the pacific and a hard place
live to find your name
scrawled casual, irrelevant
in a sidewalk
amidst subway platform sleight of hand
stuff of nightmares
spent fluorescence
space for rent:
basement apartment under left lapel
doctor your life savings
with honey and cream (reminiscent of sustenance)
and nurse it 'til it's cold.


lipsticked cigarettes
and other territorial pissings dissipating
into landfills:
inertia + the blood of virgins +
plastic surgeons:
everybody's humming with the thunder of the human condition
but those who saw the strike
and sing the words
also witness elvis
and cannot identify flying objects.
sure, make a name for yourself
but there's building codes and
raw materials and
the sales tax is stiffer
than the drink.
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glug, glug, glug. [14 Jan 2006|03:37pm]
no, you will never
play the harp.
a hymn will never drip effortlessly
from your lips.
till the brittle earth until
your stubborn fingers
bleed money
but gold without glory
is merely a soft rock.
thanksgiving day:
you press the banquet
upon your palate
and chew the cud
once more, with conviction.
you are an indian giver
of thanks.
what you call your home
is a handbasket en route to hell
in the crook of your needled elbow.
the whitest wine,
the blackest coffee.
darkness is not falling
for you.
every night you set the alarm clock
& passover begins:
sleep can smell
the lambsblood of caffeine
smeared across your doorway.
no one dares to cross
your churning moat
of cheap vodka.
some have drowned.
this is the last time
i will be sputtering
& tasting the dirt
of the wrong shore
knowing now for sure
that your palms were always pressed together
for warmth,
not prayer.
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david plucks a harp to orgasm. [12 Jan 2006|06:10pm]
today, the sky looms low & woolen.
today, my breath
sticks like a warm egg
in my throat.
enough space on our table
is occupied
by bread & coffee
like ink.
knives on china
are chiming midnight.
you may even choose
your food
by color.
everything is clean & useless.
everyone is clean & uses nothing.
our voices have soaked
into the walls without staining.
our pulpy bodies mop up smoke.
today, i choose an ironically white dress
& think of milk
while a distant door
slams twice,
like gunshots.
1 comment|post comment

please, oh god please dont make me beg. [12 Jan 2006|06:03pm]
the moon is a festering
white wound,
an ulcer in the grotesquely black veil
of november night
& its gaudy sequin stars
dissolving like
those special pills
that your stupored hands spilled
into the toilet
where none too soon
youll be down on one knee
where outside your one window
trees drop their scarlet costumes
in pools around their ankles
& beckon
through vulgarly crisp oxygen:
come hither,
my sliver
of tepid hope, my lazarus.
daydreams have dropped
below the boiling point.
sure, he still stirs
something inside of me
but it is something waxen & unappetizing
& freckles drench his shrug
in infinite elipses.
the telephone has sunk
into a loud vow of silence.
i swear
that i swore
that id never fall for
a blue-eyed boy:
it just seems too easy.
lest we forget
our regrets &
to greedily take comfort in
the things we have no say in:
the smell of a sad song wafting, saltpeter,
the soft sound of something burning
but unidentified.
feel what?
remember what?
whose naked body?
the cream has long since been skimmed
from the milky way &
which way is that?
okay, you may sleep.
you just cant.
okay, you may break
my heart, may kiss me like a photograph
of the reddest lips but please
dont leave me on the upswing,
some fucking pointless red feather reeling
as your breath fades & i discover
there is no other breeze
to keep me up here.
i would rather be
a kite obliterated on the beach
than one gnawed forever
in the purgatory of trees.
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bourgeouis. [12 Jan 2006|06:00pm]
cannot fathom
famine in
your ermine
furs &
bloated pearls &
fatted calves,
ass & thighs.
you have never laid
your hazy eyes
on the bare bottom
of the feeding trough,
tongue a pink maggot
lolling in
your cornicopia mouth,
as creaseless & virgin
as gideons bible,
your cardinal sins nesting
in the stunted brambles
of your heart.
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devol. [12 Jan 2006|05:58pm]
the grapes she feeds you pensively
are bruised & faceted
like dice.
father darwin lingers
in the kitchen,
trimming the fat
& whistling to himself,
picking his teeth
idly with our spines.
the milky way
is a pouch of silent marbles
& deep inside them
you are still blanketed
by her body, an avalanche.
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i am to sheath as he is to sword. [12 Jan 2006|05:55pm]
these soft mountains do not echo
& love to swallow
the oncoming traffic
whining past my head
like bullets
spring blossoming wildly like algae,
gloating,
as green as blood is red.

the highway flickers
between the hills
like a serpentine tongue,
peeling boulders open
like the white wings of a ribcage.

march sighs
as our frantic hands
dredge through cobweb.
the sun stares into us
& goes blind,
dusk rapidly hemmoraging
on the horizon,
fog gathering like milkweed
in the valleys,
pressing its gauzy mouth
over mine.
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i. soviet ohio - ii. imperial arkansas [12 Jan 2006|05:52pm]
i.
often, you escape
& we scramble through pastures
& our bare fingers aim
like guns,
still smoking slightly,
bleeding faintly
from burrs, thistles, midwestern flak.
the wind chokes,
at a loss for words.
a younger girl twirls
in a glassy-eyed mirror,
hem dragging in champaign.

ii.
hysterical no longer
implies laughter.
wind lets down
& two bodies
untwine
in the spotlights.
dont ever be
disappointed or shocked
or reminded of
your sibylline lover, yawning
in a bed of clover, crushed
& bleeding thin green.
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my son is the size of a kidney bean and sleeping in the toilet bowl. [12 Jan 2006|05:47pm]
his face is a honeycomb
only in the good light.
in bed at night
it gapes and leaks.
baby, we are a single link
in the foodchain.
if walls had mouths
if wishes were
if i had a penny for every time
her mind bobs
in the brine of boredom
& wine,
mosquitos frozen
in amber dusk.
you burn the curtains last
so no one sees
your stomach pregnant with cold water
& pauses
& mind miscarrying litters
of premature thoughts,
pitched mewing & sticky
as wet silk.
she sleeps
at the feet
of dogs.
no one wanted to
watch their own things lay broken
in their own hardworking hands.
no one touched the dial.
no one saw you stumble.
oh newborn, no one saw
your eyes first open
like stupid gourds.
youll never be a part of that nightmare.
youll never be.
youll never be a catacomb
of unhappy cells,
raised on tuberculosis
& cockroach
& kerosene,
your lips muddy
with bruises
as the television oozes
from its single panoramic orifice,
white noise yellowing
around the edges.
1 comment|post comment

tisofthee. [12 Jan 2006|05:45pm]
is laughing at your face
is laughing to your face
is wet belly of paper bag
is fallout humming tunelessly for years
is not a beautiful birth
is your children
preying at funerals & at night
is staining your breasts & fingers
is crumbling in the sheets
it overflows
is backwash
is the last sip, always
too small & too warm
is helpless but not unable
to reach your hand
is your sweat glistening
in your daughters palm.
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committed to memory without bail. [12 Jan 2006|05:43pm]
you never were immune
to your own venom but
the last cysts of hope
rose to the surface & burst.
you, my leavened manna,
are just
a tender clay thumbnail
of grave
on the hillside.
soon it heals.
the rain rains.
lightning cracks
its predictable whip
& i move on.
i tried to tell you once
that not all who wander are lost
or ever found.
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the final days of the pomegranate sun. [12 Jan 2006|05:39pm]
august is windless, a kiln,
& you find yourself suddenly
a spider
under a mason jar
& you are a calm collision
& you are a nervous wreck
& you expect the worst
& wait pompously
for the best.
when it comes,
you will not be surprised.
you will not be prepared.
you will already be hungry.
your final rations
will slip into the lowest bowel
of the hourglass.
the bombshelter will shrug
& become an unceremonious tomb
& your wallet
will vomit
a green foam
of meaningless paper.
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the mercury flytrap. [12 Jan 2006|05:37pm]
someone had to bite the bullet,
& here she is, the one
with teeth spewing out
the back of her neck.
the train of her wedding gown
derails around her hips
while her thighs spread
into a wide grimmace,
liquor growing
lukewarm & flaccid
in her sallow bathtub tongue,
the grout scabbed
black with mildew.
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the hoarse & massive earth. [12 Jan 2006|05:34pm]
while i was gone, you
let the ember of dusk go black.
i do not know what they say
about the side that grows moss
& i cannot skim
the north star
from this puddle of night.
kudzu has swallowed it all
in one gulp.
the cicadas sing cotton
vacantly into my ears
but i still pretend
to grope blindly toward
your voice.
i pretend the moon
has a second half
& they are searching
at the same pace for each other,
at night pausing over rivers
& oceans,
calling to their reflections
with their lover's name
& hesitating briefly, always
too long.
1 comment|post comment

the echo of a broken record. [12 Jan 2006|05:32pm]
a generation beating
its own arms open
with knives &
sex, the damp stitches
still holding us
to this earth & this warm blood,
our bodies rasping
like two dry tongues,
our bedroom, whetstone,
our hips at a high idle,
still burning on the fumes
of libido,
deiseling for hours
after orgasm &
slowly regaining composure,
four hands glancing downward
with flat palms.
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this lump in my throat is probably just cancer. [12 Jan 2006|05:23pm]
lust is just love in its fetal state and
i choose abortion,
one mute, monochrome depiction of red
encrusted on the sterile tile of regret:
be out by wednesday.
all's fair in love & war:
this, by process of elimination, is obviously war.
your words were sticks and stones.
the second i opened
my flak jacket of pessimism,
you exploded.
the only trace you will leave
is a cockroach infestation
and a learned lesson,
drunk-driving myself to distraction
through imaginary blue rooms
like a broken record,
your graffiti on the boxcars
of my train of thought,
derailing into a hiss of steam and screaming.
my love has never been so violently unrequited,
has never been spat back at my feet
like a mouthful of blood and teeth.
i will never again mistake pure
for empty.
the petals of narcissus
will never wilt.
i suckle myself plump
on my own orphan breasts
and i gingerly lick
my apartment's wounds
and hold images of you
under the dirty dishwater
until they stop kicking.
blue eyes are just the absence of pigment,
just proof that your maker
gave up on the details.
past tense
can finally relax,
is swaddled in tomorrow
and a self-portrait
in my wallet
so i can flash my true love
from barstool to barstool.
i crunch numbers
beneath my boots:
twice the rent, twice the electric,
twice the self-respect.
it will be okay.
i do not have to sleep
in the frigid shadow
of a stranger's turned back.
i steep myself in vodka
until my bare feet feel
as if the snow
is as warm as powdered bone.
without you,
i will dream of staircases,
of a cup of coffee,
of home,
of cornicopias,
of silken statues,
of poison ivy tourniquets,
of a pulse,
of the peaches and cream sun of the north
in memories always either rising or setting,
slathering white birch in its butter,
sycamore palms raised greenly to the heavens,
praising the lack of a god.
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first rays of mourning. [12 Jan 2006|05:18pm]
my last day in town is calm,
coasting mute over the storms
bloodshot eye.
the oaks share the common baldness
of newborn & deathbed.
i will shed
this ugly southern skin
& burn it behind me like a fuse
& drag his ghost
up the highway
by its frail ricepaper throat.
he could have been anyone.
he could have been no one.
he could have been ashes
stirred into my coffee.
a gun cocked
at the smug cream moon,
right between gods beady eyes.
turn the radio up,
drown sorrows
in the long gray panes
of cornfields.
the old bones and bridges of illinois
ache audibly.
here is my home,
its palms open on the border
to warn me
they are empty.
the midwests pockets
are turned inside-out
like white flags, frantic, surrendering.
all it has left
are the firey threads of autumn
on its back
& not for long.
1 comment|post comment

godspeed you blistered feet. [12 Jan 2006|05:13pm]
sweet nothings
of an atheist,
his fist shaken anyway
at the oblique sky.
in heaven,
coffee cures ulcers.
in his southern eyes,
the fondest memory of northern sky
lays defeated
blue drowned in blue
which thick disgust
begins to brew,
cumulonimbus, numb,
fingernails dredging
my blanched blackboard thighs.
he haunts me
beneath the white bedsheet,
caricture of a ghost,
linen bandaging sex like a wound.
my sanity drives me mad
to cities
where neons & marquees
stab blindly up into
the nights slithering belly
& tell us something
we didnt know.
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[12 Jan 2006|05:10pm]
venus and mars
blow smoke rings
through the smog
& cum-stained milky way.
weve won the battle
and found there is no war.
swords rust in peatmoss:
your maidens bosom
smells of mothballs.
come the revolution,
we will finally have to build that wall
weve been talking about.
drumroll, please,
we need a thunderstorm placebo.
plumes of searchlights
point out constellations
too vauge to be deformed but
you have made nothing out of something
& that is not a miracle.
turn wine to water,
walk on frozen rivers,
a christ in boots & furs
circling the world like
a vulture,
witnessing rocks & trees
arranged a little differently.
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and the rain rains down. [12 Jan 2006|05:07pm]
mammal eyes & reptile thighs:
oh, hold that pose
against me.
a mane of yellow curtains
is tied back in the kitchen.
winter sun falls odorless and limp
on linoleum.
mothers hair has thinned
into a gauzy gray veil,
leaden eyelids
january flaking away the ribs
of pink earthworm lips,
skin translucent and warm
like broth.
a peach tree from my childhood
slouches over its reflection.
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