(on selection)

No one ever remembers that Philip Marlowe played chess.

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(on enjoyment)

To be flogged in a dark closet by a firm woman in leather surrounded by office supplies! This type of sublime is the most cherished by the working classes, Kafka knew, and makes slaves of all us voyeurs.

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(on light)

Shade softens the branches between green canopies but heightens their vitality.  It brings the leaves into a community of branches and trunks, into the unity of a great organism.  But where the shade breaks, crisp sunlight arrests the branches to outline the individuality of trees.

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October County Road Rag

after Eddie Izzard 

I’m like a giraffe trying to say “tiger”
on a savannah where only lions live.
Hard enough that that long tongue
doesn’t talk to begin with, let alone

find the word for, “Hey, that slinking
over there I’ve never seen before
looks rather, yeah, toothy and all,
and kind of like a weird, orangish

version of those tan toothy things
that run us down all the time. So,
what’d’ya say fellas, shouldn’t
we find a new watering hole?”

A giraffe only has so many
expressions of the eyes and face,
most of them reserved for “lion” and
“Holy Shit! Lion!” The rest, of course,

mean food or sex. Understandable,
then, the ruckus tigers must
produce when they surface in foreign
continents. Panic, headaches for days.

Comparatively, I’d say my behavior’s constrained.

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(on identity)

Hummingbirds are the insects of birds. Preying mantises are the felines of insects. Bats are a crossbreed of mantises and hummingbirds.

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(on Kafka)

Barry Hannah hated with a poet’s fire anyone who took Kafka’s name in vain. Kafkaesque, he said. A parrot could fly into this room in Oxford, Mississippi, and someone would say, Kafkaesque. Shit. That’ s not Kafkaesque, it’s just unlikely.

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Hey Mama, want to heart attack
in the back alley over by the trash bins,
cloudbust in the parking lot
on our cigarette break, we don’t

smoke those, we could take the time
to fog the moonlight, get frostbite,
avoid stray cats when naked being
where it’s at ‘cause your allergic

the awfullest? I don’t credit
our employer the best but we work
together shift after shift, so how’s
we drink until the police come,

don’t worry, it’s Oxford baby,
they’ll hurry right along, we’ll
get arrested for being too sober
to walk home. And your hair

in the blue siren strobe a halo.
How’d this start? Mama, let’s
runaway in handcuffs, steal us a Cadillac,
get some Gus’s, never come back.

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