The Brooklyn Rail

JUNE 2019

All Issues
JUNE 2019 Issue



The Dean made the announcement for your funeral today over email. No flowers. Here at AWP Tampa it matters. Oh excuse me I didn't know who I was sitting with. This will be awkward honey to take me to the opera with. Who was it who told me NONE OF YOU HAVE THE MORAL AUTHORITY TO WRITE POLITICAL POETRY. Who does? a student asked. Stanley Kunitz, you said. A decade later your poem was in an anthology of political poetry along with the poems of your peers and students. Moral authority is taken not given. But how you poisoned us to make us find that out. Or we found out our own way whether you wanted us to or not. Or some of us did not and lie buried. How you plugged your ears with your fingertips and yelled LA LA LA LA LA as I tried to tell the class about Gertrude Stein, how she was not just "existential angst" as you called her, but eros empowerment female verbing replacing the phallic noun hoard of war. You did not want to learn and you humiliated me when I tried to learn and teach publicly at the seminar table, the butcher's chopping block, and I refused to be your pig slop. I refuse still. And now every one is competing on Facebook to see who will mourn you more, O how can we outgrieve each other in this blue and grey hollowed out gourd of a planet it really matters at AWP Tampa it really matters even more. Palm trees knock on your door waltz in and join the orgy. Wait let me wipe the chlorine out of my eyes or is that poetry. The recently deceased never would have even come into your consciousness, O Friendscape, had I not experienced their opus so voluminously at the beach clambake of the nerves of Rex Tyrranasaurus. Rex! Kyrie eleison Christe eleison. Now the student body will huddle together in shock and no one will dare say a word about how you mentally abused us. I never told any one except my terrible Lacanian analyst Onan about how at the graduation party for our class I offered you a fresh spring purple tulip I plucked from one of the campus gardens as a peace offering and you took the flower from my hand in your kitchen and whacked me with it on the left shoulder and said "Wham! I take away your powers!" I was angry not at you but at myself for believing it for a moment. I have no power for you to take away. Power can only be taken but you can't take it from me with a flower I'm going to send you flowers. Not the ones that grow from the earth but this one this mauve roarer that grows between my phone and fingers. Sendflower sendflower sendflower send. Rest dear teacher. I miss you and remain yours in the idiocy of our cosmic occupation in this ancestral infirmary of syllabic negotiations and disintegrating lungs in cigarette fumes of the tobacco saunas of our rooms, goodbye, dear wizard, no power for any of us when we all rejoin the breath and are not separate from it as bodies as wind as flowers as gyms full of stunning young new gymnasts testing out their limbs in the absence of our limbic systems. Refreshments will be served following a short service for the unheard.


We were just talking about his shoes:
"New shoes," he said
"Just in time for Branka to bury me in them."


Now what? He asked. We could jump
From rock to rock.
Uncle Dragon lime green triangle flags
Or blankets
Dry on the terrace
Beside the--
Ortogonal to the
Rusted blue scaffolding bars
And plywood planks. How large.
Three buttons. You are super fast
To undo them
But what then.
So therefore
Very nice to meet you.
I haven't seen you in twelve years
And now you're dead
And then you guys did the mile.
Light a candle tomorrow.
Cremation Wednesday.
I light an orange candle
With several striped shades of bluegreen wax
Grooving through it
Crowning like an infant
The new colors are born
And will have to fend for themselves
Before orientation weekend with parents
With larynx.
Ooh. Don't try to impress me just think.
The last fireflies of the the season lie to me
They are the first again. Nothing previously
Thought can be repeated. Potchemou?
Motley cruiserfish.
I'm going to kiss
The dusky paths of Entrail Park Palace.
This is the last stop in the park
Please leave the park now.
The crunch underfoot is fastforwarded to Thursday.
What is the cream of the river now crematorium rigormortis
Oratorio menace sheetmusic tube telescope
As poetry must never be used for the microscope
Ways it was intended for
For anything used for its own purpose
Lacks perversity, the only cure for
Utility capitalism.

Electric protein perversity
Better than biodiversity
Windmills at the edge of a grey flooded field of famine.
There's a bear tongue cut off of
Your trophy apron.
The beginning of that Saturday
Is moleskin trouser leg loose and open
For anything but legs.
Put the botch on it.
Last minute is my senior year.
What if we did it at Union Station New Haven?
Create jobs. Burn in an insurance fire like heirloom furniture at dawn.
Can you put your leg on the same step you're sitting on?

No I just don't know what to do with this arm.
Next week I can go running so fast I grow an orange crow beak.
Heckle and Jeckle will be my foreskin attendants
As I undress my pink turtleneck pecker for the first time since castration.
Auto-castration, that is,
The only carpool worth following up on over the George Washington Bridge that
Must cut down the cherry tree just like its namesake
The Father of our Immobilities and their bomb test island territories.

I resign my post as nephew
So my water tower uncle can find me
A person who can sing him
Across in a bardo boat. A bong load.


When I drink this juice it swings me around the room. They have a heat map and they act it out, the juice particles, with me in them. I am the ingredient Fingerlemon Lingam Conclusion. Occlusion is my game. I am is. I am a low cold front coming in through your shorts and low slung belt and the striped green suspenders you wear when you want to whip yourself. To punish yourself. It is too easy to be unkind. Later you just reward yourself with junkfood and tv night. Discipline means love comes in and you let it and it arranges the furniture and you listen to where the sofas land as they go thudding on the floor, or skid when towed by a speeding wild betusked extinct boar come back to show you what snorkeling is for with the snout of it the snout of what the snout of what the snout of it, what with the million smell openings you can sit over here.

There's plenty of us working here and we can all sit at the same table, silently besotted with each other. You have an intense ear to mind conductivity. Yes because I build a laptop in my skull, why should it be for the lap only? This would be anatomically incorrect and lapocentric. I think I have baby dementia, I'm starting to forget like my undead Uncle Dad in Denmarkish Connecticut. Ah, he's not with us in the picture. He's our fossil and one hundred ninety ninth person because Spontaneous Fossilization is invited to the event and it will show in the costume of an advent calendar long after Christmas, the east coast thing of not getting enough Vitamin D so Darth Vader steals into your room when you sleep and injects you full of some, he's a good guy really, like octodosing. I almost just passed out from the headrush juice. I will stop drinking it now. It is orange so I think it's healthy but when you are sleepless everything is

              concussion lovely. Concussion is so very lovely, who can say no to it later? The dental hygenist addresses me. Thank you, friendly torturer under whose instruments I disappear, come back, and almost pass out every visit. I wish I disappeared but that is not the case, you never give me gas, and I don't ask. Give me the gas! Will you read this and know? I want to laugh! Moon Hour. In my feed and inbox and inunreallife inundationstrife

                    I keep seeing DEATH like it's all anybody wants to talk about anymore. Who drinks it. Is it a smoothie that makes you pass out. My teacherfriend wrote to me and the whole class today and said: FOR YOUR WORKSHOP ON DYING. I am not in or leading a workshop on dying. I do not want to read or think about sticking a living will in the freezer for just in case or write a just in case I die this year here is my death poem, pre-ordered. No. I do not want to die this year or ever. In fact I will not. Ever. Die. A sure sign it's coming. Well, it will come anyway, for every body, but why must we always harp on it these days, and we are not harpers. Our voices croak we croak the croaker croaks the frog smokes on the stove. The apartment is going up in names: did you get that one? That one is funny. I need to prove myself. People don't want to know about their grades or graves and I don't want to know the bacteria count in my mouth, I want to kiss other people with even higher bacteria counts so we can all get immunized together through making out. Not by keeping regular dental death tile visits. I don't go I'm going to Sweden or Denmark. I want to go to Denmark. Oh I heard a news from Denmark or somewhere, double latte to stay. It's a very friendly environment, Denmark, but it got that way from centuries of SOMETHING IS ROTTEN IN THIS STATE OF DENMARK. I doubt New York will last that long. One white coffee cup with a red cardboard heatshield band textured holder halo around its waist, I dip you and kiss you, we are dancing, coffee cup, and you do not care about my bacteria count mouth when you reach Denmark without me yet we will always be together in the memory right here make suds with Paul Medication in the dishwashing sink of nations, actions, orange juice bottle, black glasses case, reading glasses take me away, your thick lenses are strong sleds, when I ride one to the hill bottom, the other waits for me at the top so there's no dragging one back up but then when both sleds are at bottom with me I drag them both back up one in each hand and we go down again my two selves go down again now sametime happy sled glass crack against the silver Chevrolet towncar fender and let me get on a painkiller bender so I can listen to all these people talk about death and not hate them. Do they seriously think obsessing about death means not squandering their life. No. People lack the courage to talk about love and what and who they secretly desire most and by people and they I mean I, ai ai io io, ai ai, sky yoyo moon waxing to full eclipse light in the bull soon gone lion high and raging on the stage above the buildings red and black and grey and the cement steers with limbs scissoring above on elliptical machines in the well lit student discount gym. So what are these secret desires you hide? I want to make love with everyone alive and die.


Filip Marinovich

Filip Marinovich is the author of Wolfman Librarian, And If You Don't Go Crazy I'll Meet You Here Tomorrow, Zero Readership, and The Suitcase Tree, now out from The Operating System. He teaches the roving poetry seminar SHAKESPEARIAN MOTLEY COLLEGE at Torn Page Theater and various locations throughout the ten directions of New York City and the hard to see nearnesses of our purring cosmic locality.


The Brooklyn Rail

JUNE 2019

All Issues