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Three Poems


Rob Halpern

D I S A S T E R L Y R I C

        for kari

Let’s go, my little so-and so, to where real big things go
Bad—go home!—we’re no longer safe in the eyes of all
Our dried-up colonial needs and real people waving

Neo- Ghandian ideals go kitsch when our own schlock’s
Flak installed for a new urban poor here’s a vaporizer
For your condition, dumbfounded by the old queer

Sympathy they’re showing these convicts a post
Human face once belonging to the moon’s broad
Bands we can’t name and the rural white machinery

Delicate boys caught doing big things, bad things
Behind the barn’s this dreamy mix of arms and aid
Going to all the users and trade who don’t even need

Our sisters who throw rocks at shields, disputed waste
While birds deliver my speech on the anniversary of
A classic, say Lenin’s Leftism, an Infantile Disorder

It was circa 1960 when something about the future makes
The past go — no! — down here we walk big gadgets
Limps inside my groin and I’ll kiss any singing thing at all




D I S A S T E R L Y R I C

Whenever I try to
Communicate, love

Disappears, says
Monica Viti as

Valentine, La Notte,
Antonioni’s, as in

Poof, or bang
It all goes up like

Smack in the back
Yard there’s livestock

Keepers, sheep please
Monitor my hearts

And mind the
Difference boosts

Our nameable
Values seem

To cooperate
With static

Points, I said,
The view!




from Music for Porn

We arrived by night in sleeves to drape the need, coming in this absence of birds. Another skin had melted to my cock, a urethane veneer, and there we were, exposed before the others. High on all the drippings, steel pressed through unripe smatterings. Traffic goes on flowing thru all our partial objects—“population,” “some sick incomprehension,” or “technique”—becoming our own unsavory implants. I still dream of fat. Trying to preserve the subject through all this, procedure takes the place of each intended fuck. The ordinance being one such cited custom, why did none oppose it, and woe that none was me. A measure of this world’s duration, our meanings dissipate or gel. Once there was the sun, but even that’s gone now. Let’s restore some semblance of the lost remove, we said, and make brave contact with our absentees. But none of the military age males were interested in seeing my hard-on. Having flushed subtracted figures with bleach-related products, these human tolls arrive in even more accommodating terms, like those of the vehicle and its plush interior. We’re so replete with room. Now let’s ease ourselves of this incomprehensible work. That’s what my fifteen year old hustler said—“terrorist, nigger, thug”—when he was discovered dead with an even more disreputable man several months later. Disinterring utopian scenes like this one, it all contracts a rather brackish taste I’ve grown to love. We were unwinding into national moods, looting the blank debris our forms so endlessly fulfill, nursing on spectacular slaughter. But it didn’t take long before we emerged, together again, from a hole blast thru the audio feed, our ears at last prepared to hear. There it goes again, we thought, meaning safety gleaned from market share.