ISSUE  1   2   3  


 5     SUBMIT

The Dead Check In

Chris Murray

There is a close resemblance between the notion of appearance as used here and
the concept of preternatural appearance or apparition.
--Theodor Adorno, "Enlightenment and Shudder"

the dead are howling
at the eyelash curve
body lettering
in the crow's feet
of a presidential outmost

the dead balloon here freaking
the president out & are seeded apparitions
& “Signed [for by sayin']

X,” they are ideological givens
checking in
to the machinery
of presidential dumb-numbers & the “Dated”:

a registry of military clerks do not howl
up a training course

on internet dating
or favorite PBS wild mushroom sauce & romance
novels looking for fartsy photographs of the great


to pacify presidents the dead throw Him plain kissssses:
a democratic notion
& tall
orgies of golden
banks of dead dead dead

of grain or
grasses howling

leaning or watching the outside sparrow
flock turn to a familiar
silken tent resemblance
the dead

sprint toward a demographic concept
of death

while presidents consider laws about death
in an artsy mood
a filmy preternatural no

howls on


the dead are crossing now
at boardwalk
sea thrashing apparitions

& the dead are arriving in boat droves--
droves I'm thinking in science
to have six presidential shudders
only six

mirror, red, yellow, blue, white, absence, uranium

something is unclear
or nuclear & where
is our goddess of smiling & smoke
broke by nuclear (applies to) family
warming the designated


howling bricolage of cinder
block frames

afire the rail view backyards of limp dead
refuse moist brown
paper bags

war bodies coming home cortege
across Arkansas with the dead, who
are howling

into our fast food
our daily oink of oil
cartoon cars
for which we have games

not unlike
the manila business of envy
the fear that truth howls
& goes dead
or scarred by afternoon’s stringy
presidential sun


presidential aids never
come filing in howling
& pale to be alone
or alive with our

husbands & sons
or daughters here
is the starched grand
cradling another bawling

howling in rain
crossing the bloody
avenue dripping of brow, cheek
the dead lie still


renewal clerks
at the motor vehicle
department howl who might give the dead
the state’s precocious
stamps of FRAGILE & red pens
& give way to those born with
penises or forever draft cards
to be dead
to wear badges
of dwindling

forests bringing back the terror of impermanence
howling the primal worlding
in gray bored
or hollow metal
sounds over guns
the curled hair of the dead
strand by strand & simply

idle in the late winter gloss howling
& scrape of plastic fork on paper
for the in or the out wire

baskets of the dead float howling
& grimed at presidential desk
trays next to 17
inch monitors of living
oink rhetoric