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Levi’s Straus

When Tel Quel’s darling entertained

Jackbooted sons & daughters of

The Emperor of Opera Hats,

Louis Napoleon,

At the Socialist salon

In ’68,

His razor wit guillotined

The thinking from the feeling part.

Constructing a frequency chart I found

The words most often employed:

Langue, bouche, l’invisible

Lacan, libido, & repetition

Which in super-maoist semiotics

Seems to mean

Something like “rehearsal” as

The fiasco of ‘05

Was a dress rehearsal for

The reversals of


Below, the rabble & the paving stones

Inherited the street

While the Head of State ascended

Loudspeakers in the trees,

Choppers from a cloud

Or disappeared into a maze

Of plexiglas visors, shields.

Behind teargas barricades

My Fulbright days &nights

Overflowed with manifestoes,

Flesh-tinted pinups

Of revolutionary whores & heroes,

Color photos of napalm

& the atom bomb

Until I couldn’t tell ground zero from

Vagina, ear or anus

As I confessed, in a weak moment, to that prick,

Von Kramm,

Famous paperback & talkshow advocate

Of electroshock therapy

Gentially applied

In the defense of the aggressive tendencies

Of homo capitalismus, who is,

From my perspective as

Participant-observer in the race,

An innately nasty creature

& a human worm.

Years later,

Doing fieldwork in the Adirondacks

I discovered a Puertorican pearldiver

Flash his firehose – ca-rum-bah!

& on day reading Honey & Ashes on the can

Began an on-the-spot investigation into

The morphology of the hand

That blows the nose

& the hand that wipes

The shitty grin.


L.S. Asekoff

Askeoff has published two books of poetry. He directs the MFA Poetry Program at Brooklyn College.


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