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Anselm Berrigan

Two poems

To protect my piracy

Data mining with occasional muzak
                                                                  skids utilizing the versatility of the egg

              Do I feel most like an animal
              staring up at the dental light
              I really don’t know

                                                 And will the world end
                                                 in the day time
                                                 I really don’t know

Fluid resistant face mask makes the case:

                            I’ll be wearing my Gorby blemish today
                                   in memory of our record of no kills

       You wanna live my way?
                Whatever that is?

                                                     Rational compomise
                                   and the politics of the situation
                                           the next one
                                                       their compartments
                                                        a little blow

         Every stranger near you
                       the situation
                  the next one
                       and so on         mid-air captivity refuge for the mind


Defensive advantage.

Zoned in its place, decapitation on screen                     genocide in its place
                                                                                         off screen

                                         semantics denying the dead
and dying                                                                      
                                                                their right to the word

       This is my space
          to decompose

                                        a little joyless form
                                                     finds its way in

                 live car crash
                          preview a head

                                                          King of the softies

                                                          Friend of King of the softies

                                                          Rocking on

   If I’m blank you can write
what you want on me

              It’s you I write for
              & it’s you I don’t trust

To the earth

kiss my lifeline pet tomb guardian

‘tis no facet of truth that obstructs

this misshapen happiness as I

conceive of it: ride the flock out

of my padded sanctuary, let me swim

in the grease I love families gone to dissolve

in states of red I’m taking tomorrow seriously

America, but not today. Maybe I don’t live

for that failure to protect the massacred

anywhere haunts my game of sleep.

I got nothing to silently cycle, need

a new approach to work, want, have always

desperately wanted to help, we know

death too well as a family, we know other

families get it worse; we know how to handle it

through poetry and song, but the little shreds

of memory that make the gone dead spring

back to the mind’s shock-resistant stage

burn holes in my heart. Now Peter’s coming

to town and I want words to pick me, for

a minute, to lay a little mat down for him

to feel welcomed on. I don’t mourn what

never was there. Mourning taught me that.

Quickie slasher sequel distributes a fog.

Behead, bejewel a square filled with words

pushed out of windows, brittle arms

cordoned off. Rite aid heating pads a mid-day

gift. We will not register. Buy yourself

a flak jacket or give the dough to someone

on the street who sings critical thoughts, plus

Jameson’s. A little rocks or a lot of rocks?

Finally, a confusing question I can grasp

a fashion to. Shoot me for your freedom.

Anselm Berrigan photo

Anselm Berrigan

Anselm Berrigan is the author of Zero Star Hotel and Integrity & Dramatic Life, both published by Edge Books. A new book titled Some Notes On My Programming is forthcoming from Edge in late 2005.

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