Saturday Apr 21

berrigan.jpg Anselm Berrigan is the author of four books of poetry, most recently Free Cell (City Lights, 2009). He's the poetry editor for The Brooklyn Rail, co-editor of The Collected Poems of Ted Berrigan (UC Press, 2005), and former Artistic Director of The Poetry Project at St. Mark's Church. He teaches writing at a couple different schools and lives in New York City.
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from Primitive State

 
 
The problem with not being a creep is the problem with applying logic to honesty.
 
You shouldn’t think of the phrase “snake in the grass” as an indictment, but rather a documenting of your natural behavior as if broadcast on public television.
 
His psychology was twisted without being interesting.
 
The cold reality of the small statement is lost on all of them, their offspring, their pets, and their infestations.
 
Fumes of newness at the heavily finished tavern cost a three-dollar cover per human to breathe.
 
In the thick of an expression: a vulgar and retrograde fact though such a combo enhances your level of retractable tragedy depending on who is willing to listen.
 
That fan blade is awfully close to decapitating that huddle.
 
The money clip isn’t used much in poetry these days.
 
My self-critical nature has blinded me to my own lack of safeguards, as well as any sense of image.
 
Speaking as an ex-version of one, the camera really should be on the boss at all times.
 
You think you can dull the perversion by embracing it secretly.
 
That plaid scarf, the tan one with black and white stripes, stalks my generic memory.
 
I distrust Halloween, as if people weren’t costumed already.
 
Basing ascension to ultimate power on a tactic: even I know better than that.
 
To honor her work you have to set your bars extremely low in terms of taking and extremely high in terms of giving.
 
And be nonetheless conscious of one’s inadequacy in the face of supposed fact’s recitation.
 
As representations of honor go.
 
And handed the problems.
 
Viscous tourmaline jetty, I’m there.
 
They resent the implications of my tally, while I merely resent implication.
 
Scores poured in.
 
I remember digging through the trash for empty cartons to fill with water from the hydrant sprinkler to splash on friends, and strangers who would not be friends.
 
Let me down into a glen.
 
I just crossed out the dumbest sentence ever.
 
While shivering I was commended for posing properly by a witness to the shot.
 
I refuse to take interest in anyone else’s management of time.
 
Kindly whisper a theme on fate?
 
Or the rejection thereof, dismally activating fate’s tangibility in order to promote an unbudgeted defiance?
 
Cheers erupted, and their echoes bought property.
 
It’s also possible to no longer know what you’re like, and who exactly is like anyway?
 
Out the window across the alley on the other side of the street under a red neon ACE sign a few hazy bodies represent all sentient response.
 
Ghosted by organizational fervor.
 
An arbitrary treachery recast as medal of honorarium.
 
Enemies turning out to be merely agents, twisted in the headlights.
 
Call upon me to sacrifice, bring a proposal.
 
Take me outside and edit my poetry.
 
Barf, hip again, mars the happy cushion.
 
Representing possibility you’ve been mandated to end an endless war.
 
I can’t remember if she’s an analyst or a therapist or an analyst and a therapist.
 
Despite the illusion of t-shirt costume, the bearded beer drinker with two books in his lap really was Green Lantern.
 
Was all the torture worth one moment of spontaneous weeping?
 
Here come the bobcats out of a timeout.
 
He’s a work by work mystic surrealist comic sex fiend.
 
To be a columnist, to always be type.
 
Friar wired putty, for one.
 
I pardon myself!
 
Unfortunately I reject my feelings before exposing them.
 
Roach karate is real.
 
Slay me with peach fuzz.
 
I guess I let speech override memory and ideas, but what I really (think I) do is use speech to bump into what I don’t know and ask it for company.
 
With my feelings.
 
What might I accomplish with all this exhaustion?
 
It means a lot to me, your recognition, changeling, of devious behavior as more important than wealth.
 
I can’t be scanned.
 
Fly into garrison.
 
Grass fed meatballs grazing on B.
 
Vortex blues.
 
Sturgeon funded gambit.
 
Weak in preview.
 
The quiet desperation of the cocious.
 
Leaf blown onto nose on First and Seventh: nature attacks.
 
Note handed over during tipsy singalong: “You’re too conscious – it’s a problem.”
 
Like the eighteen-year old dusky conure, she panics at the sight of a turned on vacuum cleaner.
 
Their inability to embrace was due solely to a mutual lack of physical coordination.
 
Overnight it became hip to be smart, further obscuring the possibility that intelligence is an illusion, or some form of mass hallucination.
 
Because “nice” meant “fool” or even “jerk” hundreds of years ago, he resented any use of the word as a positive descriptor.
 
Pigeon, don’t be passive-aggressive like the broken traffic light.
 
I vowed to say “bacon double cheeseburger” around him whenever I might ordinarily say “nice.”
 
The bigger the family, the more fluids they bring to bear.
 
When I write three more I’ll give myself a treat.
 
She’s very bacon double cheeseburger to indifferent children and feral cats.
 
Not all buyers will qualify.
 
Supreme implies a little too much jurisdiction.
 
Backs in touch, vying for time shares in empty space.
 
New curves, splits, slides, changes, sinks, spits.
 
The chicken’s pleasure lay in freaking out with audience.
 
Being small and a thing on the floor she gave it a taste.
 
It was a fair lie.
 
We’re still perfectly capable of electing any con artist, hack, tool, or assassin that comes along and has an idea of how to be in front of all the cameras.
 
Volatility blues, strung across a camel’s employee.
 
Vigorous stagnation orders cappuccino.
 
To be influenced mechanically by the totally absent of character, the sealed in, the unspeakable legions of futurity.
 
In between fantasies he blamed his problems on nostalgia’s overpopulated skyway.
 
Every food item in the area cost a dollar more when we came back home.
 
Hardest crawling roach in wall biz.
 
I remember making myself puke.
 
Surveillance stopped being an issue once we all agreed to be seen.