Despots and crooked elites, fluffy dark horses, suitors on Tinder apps. Home delivery and free digital access. The new rules may backfire. As in this breeze will hurt, it’s carrying metal. Big risks are the hallmark of big commissions. We will prune gems from junk. When gadgets talk back, time realigns itself with your hand. Wave it in front of you; enact a signal. My stomach hurts. Every minute counts on opening night, but this isn’t opening night. It’s morning. Everything is fine. Catch the quaver in your wrist. No longer will you be dragged down the hall yelling. There’s room, now, for trending. A table for one. If you put a fat cat on a diet, will it still love you? Barely broken darkness, and sunlight’s slim escape. All that mind-stuff. It glows and flares — an atmospheric clash of liberationist yearning and doomsday fear. Go grab me a glass of water. Abuse looks like a complex portrait, but it’s really just a sketch. A bunch of sticks looking normal in the yard but surprisingly difficult to get your arms around. Time gearing up for Armageddon. Lots of people in your family have died. You circle back more often, the older you get. And dreams, too, are increasingly full of occult spirituality, utopian politics. Morality seemed to have its roots in art, but that was op-art. Pure wailing and swelling, head in your hands as if stunned. Shock-and-awe. Sundown psychosis. Head of a sick person. Twilit pallet. Lost and abroad. Shoved into storage. Loose to a fault, flabby. Patterns spell it out like easy quilts. Trivial gestures drawing interdictory loops.



It’s a shadow-candidate thing:
follow and mirror.
Show potential and then

introduce the meat kit.
Bag the acrylic-blend suit.
Snap the pants on.

The big white smile
implied between sentences
chatters in your brain

like a plastic wind-up toy.
A rising arc to full phrase:
selfhood aria. Then back

to the pitches. Back
when it seemed possible
to pose for pictures:

floppy, glossy, one. This
was the prominence code.
I have no idea how to pick the code.

The admission of bad investment
is all over this nude hue
like a slow-mo horror sequence —

the hag behind the shower curtain,
the clear preference
for closed mouths.

Back to the teeth again,
with gums receding.
A porn sequence, then —

a bunch of quick, jerky appeals
to the almighty visual world.
We live mostly in a visual world.

I’m sorry, what
did you say to me?
It’s that feeling, you know,

of not-quite-right,
of finger-over-tooth enamel, like
rubber on glass?