‘>GET LAMP’ and other poems


The screen says it’s simple: one button
and every bit gets flushed from memory.

How many polygons does it take
to build all those dead bodies?

How long before the blue screen
says forget about the bomb?

Ghosts turn away
when we look them in the eye

which presents the question
these games can’t answer:

Who are we to say
this place needs saving?

Maybe we give in
to the sounds of Bob Crosby,

grind the polycarbonate
into piles of plastic dust,

raise the warm mounds
to our mouth and blow.


Kirby of the Stars

Last night my mother died
in my dreams. I went on

kicking piles of snow into televisions,
inhaling bombs, throwing apples at oak trees.

In my bedroom I hang
myself some reminders:

A broken star rod.
A fountain filled with hammers.

I only know how to be other people
by pulling them inside myself.

I turn into a tornado,
blow through a megaphone.

It’s Christmas and I remember
her saying time is a flat circle,

and stars are just burning balls of hydrogen
that expire before you can see them.

When I wake up, I’ll turn all my clocks into triangles.



you are standing
in an open field.
north of a house
with a boarded front door.

>open mailbox
your finger thumbs
an orange leaflet.
Eviction the only word
you read. The rest forgotten.

>go south
you are behind
a broken window.
enough to slip in.

>enter window
inside: stale popcorn,
candle wax crusted over
an oriental carpet.
under the wooden table:
a sword.
a brass lamp.
a cellar door.

>get lamp and sword
you’re left heavy
raising the scabbard
while your other hand holds
the lamp waiting for kerosene.

>go down
a staircase descends
into a dark basement.

you can barely see
through the dark
the boxes of baseball cards
a pink panther action figure

>ignite lamp
ignite is not a verb that’s recognized.

>kill with sword
there is nothing
to kill.

>kill with sword
there is nothing
to kill.

>go back
you can’t
go that way.

>go home
you can’t
see any such thing.