Three Poems for Posterity

Hello. It’s been some time.

The site is now accessible without the “.wordpress.”

I pay dollars for this so don’t type it in the old way – then where would we be?

Chris Mars, drummer for the replacements, paints these portraits.

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Update
by Rob Rice

 

No I’m still around
Reading different books
But not writing much
I did see a red pen
Smashed up in the street
I think it had been run over
At Stop and Shop
One cashier said, “I didn’t have a headache until earlier”
To which her bagger said, “It’s so hot. I didn’t think they’d let me bag all day”
The doops and beeps were general
Each exactly one aisle quieter or louder than another
All the way down
Stripes of beeps and doops and the clicking
Of expert hands entering whatever number
Means banana here
I began to understand the hypnosis.
On the sliding automatic exit doors there was a taped paper sign
That read, “NOW HIRING SHIFTS”
It was over and over
Crushed when
Letting people leave
I wondered why it was on the internal,
Moving and not the safe for signs,
Stationary part of the door
But, truth be told,
As I watched it cycle,
I unfocused my eyes
And it seemed very natural.

 

 

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Ever 1 
by Rob Rice

 

I stake time
at the gymnasium
among the open-ended
smells and the comrades
baring gore their fins their
shoulders. I get to swish down
urinals left full of piss full of protein.
I converse in pulls, grunting I fake it, reluctant to
agree: people like us because they feel bad for us or
people don’t like us because they feel bad for
themselves.
I put in an application to have my head opened sagittally,
hoping to helplessly scream out narration while they’re uncoiling the ridges,
that canned tongue. Exasperated I admit, “Yes – we’re born – but for
the most part our organs remain in a kind of womb.”
Dine in tonight, moongoers, sing health at me until I live.
Bodies breathing well look like trips underwater, organized,
but with everything scandalously dilated on fresh air, a done flush,
forehead a mess and chest a red huff.
Pores
eating up humid rooms their sheets newly wrestled into good rope.
Cardiac nodes gulp and click like static,
crimson; our gamey crotches
where all the muscle’s bound.
Great class in the flat stretch of grass yard, drama that daring one
tree. Don’t worry, we’ll not score you to collect sap in pails.
Nomatterwhat
feast weeks end in real sorrow, us all blinded white
eyes welling up with cholesterol.

 

 

chris mars painting

 

Epitaph
by Rob Rice

 

I dig the ground
Searching for water
But find pipes

Warm Water

 

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Warm Water

by Rob Rice


 

 

jazz drummers are in the business of letting us know

exactly how many right nows there are per second

 

creased at the eyes

face like a book

dog-eared anthology of dense smiles

 

how satisfying it would be to rip

a medium sized tree out of the ground

 

if you were a giant

 

i know you’d liberate

the little breath trapped there

 

is the city like a chandelier

arms folding like a thin fingered fist

in maybe by magnet

like

a hanging spider’s legs

that gather miserably around

the caught can for a hopeful second

be interpreted as loving

 

in a way it is

 

a surprise then

affirmations of sadness

like yeah

right

this is experience

personality

study it

 

shop thought talk of the dead

isn’t qualified

but definitely

they can sleep anywhere

if they’re depressed enough

 

electrical energy amassed

enough in the shoulders

to critically ablate a brain tumor Veins lit through skin

filaments that take a second to blink away go

migraine grey

as an afterthought

 

impression

 

our whole culture is driven

by that shit

it used to be

a small town

 

thing

 

the statistics

will

anyway

negotiate this

 

people enjoying the company of their dogs

say off hand

we need to add minutes between the hours

 

that’s their plan

to get away with it

 

 

Green Need

 

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Green Need

by Rob Rice

 

 

 

A notice arrived

From the almond willow

 

A consensus sourced whole from the Salix

Community -integra, babylonica

They wish

Generous in consolation

For us to know

They need us

 

That they love like we do

In mushy drooping gestures

Mealy and partly of

Regret

and apple it is

To say that

The children hiding in that skirt

From their future

Their one common boogeyman

Have found a place to hide

That’s worth it

 

And that

Glamorous apple

Skin already like candy

Or an ornament is

Spiraled off with work knives

 

That thumb eating beauty of

Wedges

That too

Is worth it

 

Despite then

Surprise Malus

Poison avoidant domestics

No knowledge

Of that

history Us children of cultivars

 

We’ve seen

A graceful field with tall birds

All that individual grass

Reedy and wild

Full of time

And maturity no wonder everyone is still a girl

In the woods

 

But just

Cross talk of cold air

Brittle-skinning old trees

Who blossom anyway

They’re going forward

With sexy abandon like a woman

Who doesn’t let it get to her

Who you still imagine

Bringing the sun in on her skin

And letting you have some

 

 

 

Outandin

 

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OUT AND IN

by Rob Rice


 

 

Outside 

 

Sweaters set

In sync with the leaves changing

Highways in New York and Connecticut

Surprising

Their charm

In disrepair

The asphalt feels harder and more brittle

Loud

Like cold ceramic

Something in the families and water

The leaves that stink

Like creek bed and salamander

Fungal threads

Walks with dogs long since dead

It used to be

That you couldn’t make it once around the trail

Even in your imagination

The trouble of nutrient rich childhood

Weighing you down

The cold cheeks of a fat kid

Patchy red and white

The whole face is cheek

Brief exceptions

Expressions

New York and Connecticut

You’re a visitor there

What is it

It’s too deep

Grade

Grain the wood of those saccharine houses

And huge of them

The intricacy of the family systems

Not giving back

Like a forest

In a German fable

Wealth obfuscating everything

Disorganized and teeming

It’s so hard to lace

It falls asleep

into myth

Defeated lazily

into myth

Sinking with a smile like the French woman

It would take your whole life to understand

And then you’d try to explain it

And ruin everything

The natural

Exists right up until you press it

Then the domesticated

The museum

No one looking for proof ever witnesses magic

 

Inside 

 

You stand there

Your sharkskin muted in the afternoon lights off

The apartment so well arranged it’s hard to speak out loud

The wall with one arm and bowing your head

Musing about what it would be like to be her

A woman your wife

Is this the first time you’ve thought like this

You think

And how exciting that could be

You could have an affair

She could have an affair

She’s still so beautiful

You’re so dark now

So late in the afternoon

A good hour since it would have been fully undepressed to turn the lights on

She could have someone over

Someone career army

Glass eyes don’t give

All belt and pleat

And he’d snap

Or he wouldn’t

But she’d know he could

He wouldn’t even have to

It’d be so obvious

You lost that

Or never had it

Your power’s gone

It’s out

Who bought this apartment

Where is she

How did you two meet

Can you remember

She can’t

She’s not even home

Enjoy your wealth

She has him

Or might as well

You could find someone

With all that

But you couldn’t hide the power thing

The lack there

Panacea Politics

 

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Panacea Politics For The Relevant Poor

by Rob Rice

 

One

 

It’s insubstantial empathy marshland

The greens are going brown

Wet tan foams

Wake with each step as you introduce air

As if you have the right to

 

Your hand is

Thumbing the lifeline

grip returns a sulcus

a think tank for conceding to mud

 

 

Two

 

 

A knocked loose tooth

Spent on two more chews of hard water candy,

salt taffy carousels a movie

made in the image of war

 

A king and lost kid lie frozen by the same storm

A body can come up with the flesh for a whole other body, somehow

More than once, fray, the body bank writes loans

 

You can raise a family on humiliated shopping carts

Shuddering back into their pens

Skulls full of electric worms

Nervous in their own societies

 

I spoke the words of neuroscience for the making of service

I clasp and listen to the news and it reads true, don’t let it down

 

We feel hard crabapple wet and like our own jelly

Happenstance of spread

A kink and wallop of cream

Shallots stripped bare and brutalized into stink and sweetness

Plating a modern meal

 

The food was good

But the waiter was awkward

Is what I’ll report to god

 

 

 

Three

 

 

 

Cardboard box packed with little

Bags of caught rain

Poor family daughters like white cheese

Somewhere between ricotta and mold

In their stare and in how it relates to mother

Whose massive sloping bosoms still hold such water

Their shelve tops oddly flat like a left and let dead thigh

Heat from life cooling against the floor as it rises

Leaving that mold

 

Chaperones on day trips to reenactments of life before war

Dancing the way they did

Steps forgotten completely by the civilian most

Wrecked down by loads that creak rouge knees

Courting just one quick shuffle or dip at a granddaughter’s fifth

And last before it’s too late to have her

Grow up with it

 

Half trails cut and stuck standing

Upright from the mass of walls and collections

Of one day saviors searching for themselves

 

It’s a house lost to its owners

Mauled by a sign on the door asking

Stay out

 

And why shouldn’t it ask

Richness enough to deny the filmsy pools of our character

Portions that set us back, up

Find us there pleading high crime

For games harder to play

Than when she is young

And sleeping

 

Some cities are becoming too difficult to use

Tubs of what I can believe it’s not

Street signs stuck resident yentas

Other herds thinning out

Red dick tech

It’s all porn

 

 

 

 

Four

 

 

 

 

Knees and modern hate

A killer bands together with a master a mistress of power in cognate

A flower woven through a fence, lianas like a drowning man

Drowning the man who saves him

 

Procession of whitebike memorials

A minister a prole a neonate

A closer a showroom a glass patch

Affluence a miracle of here and there

 

After too, now where would it be without our

Oars they layer folds

Smooth liquid showings up of

White sky and a mobbing of panicky limb ends

Through flooded jungle glades bloodlines

Boasting tox spotted flowers yelling out

Panacea politics for the relevant poor

 

None come to serve the outside worker

Raking the dead from the coops

They’re often in the back

Unions

Between boys and the men they’ll become

Girls and the men they’ll come to resent as figures of waste

Figures and figurines

Archeology of progress and a wet smack like

Clay on clay

 

 

 

 

 

Five

 

 

 

 

 

Mental work borrowed pro bono

Self support by sabotage and gavel

Losers

Defined by the winners they laud and lost to

 

Tops

Of buildings

Sick of identifying patterns like it’s great to

And corporation as human

Spit back in the face of the movement

Here’s that for your picket and choose

 

News people bored for words

Sit perched in the hot southern sky and glare down at cars

Heat distortion

We see some

Piecemeal from their predecessors

Necessarily no longer them

 

Leftovers from the time before they wondered which the war

Key links

Between lakes and their kettle beds

Aloof

Just wandering off like sublimation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Objectivity

 

We all believed the machine reached this “deep space.” No problem. We listened to the spooky noise and heard the NASA guy when he said that’s what it meant. We barely cared. We barely noticed. Who would care, a thing like that. And that’s how we let it slip by. Just like that. So who are we now. We sped it down. More than a thousand times slower, signal flayed from noise. Signal, that’s who we are, we almost missed it, but then here it is:

http://hosting.soundslides.com/37zgj

What does it say. Listen. What does it say?

 

 

Faithful

Part II of tonight’s double feature. Maybe they’ll like this better.

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Faithful

by Rob Rice


 

You get to know the size of a room best

As you’re sweeping it

You feel it’s mapped flat and physical

So hardtop obvious

 

They kept a bazillion records of faithful people

Acting accordingly Models

of interpreted force and lust built like water

An ice monument melts in a pond and the water surrounding it becomes unswimmable

And irresistible you feel it inside your ribs between beats

 

“I hope it isn’t much longer”

Captured in real cassette tape

That inert sound it makes

Scudding your thumb across

We have a strong blood together knowing

The microwave makes the milk flag

 

Where the dream starts

At the verge of the room

Toeing over to bed and getting in with you

It’s a dream of a little girl

Standing skewed on cement at the right edge

Of a flat slab room

The moon shining in through crossbar windows

Exaggerated and loose

The only light and it makes a spectacle of her shadow

Pure long black and creeping up towards the wall

Getting faster

Until it whips around and out

The car passing

And the dream gone with it

 

The thing with death is

It’s forever right away

 

There’s a tree in Maine

Much like the others around it

Medium sized and just grey

And that’s all that can really be said of it

Other people’s work

Featured in other people’s work

Is hard to fault

Failing dissertations

Even using moon samples

But about before, the tree

The hard part it’s like you feel it in your teeth or appraise it there

There’s some function that deems things edible that it engages

And no, it’s too hard

We’re bonded by the ways in which we’re mutually disadvantaged

A nook in space we share bother in and warm

I saw personality templates

Reused out

near Nash Cabins

Who could think of anything else while

passing Pond and Gendreau

in Naples Maine

near the school at Songo Locks

Lauded hub tangle of great northern docks

Unenthusiastically buoying the day trip of stumbling émigrés

Dusting off their laps

A confused and joyous congregation of cars

At the Gagne family home and place of business

In simple unperverted well drilling

For clean water by men who don’t mix their velleity and concupiscence

But about before, the tree

It’s so calm and androgynous

Inaccessible but somehow

Warm enough in the winter

Holding its breath until the huge spring exhalation of leaves

The silent relief

Release that lines the scenic route

Itself a gentle reprieve

From the highway

Where an engine inhales a half-mile

 

Faithfully

Part I of tonight’s double feature. There’s something for everyone so show mom and dad.

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Faithfully

by Rob Rice


 

 

Faithfully and

All over spacious America

Our criminals are ripping pedophiles

Apart in prisons

 

It’s steady work

For steady men wordless

About their broken backs

 

And sticking up for our

Or their

Maybe at any rate someone’s

Intact morality

 

Or stratified morality

Just the idea of the thing

They’re keeping it alive

Generative in those furnaces

 

Regularly interspersed among the windfarms

And rolling lulls of corn orange

Reactors that keep our American decency

In stock for if we need it

 

That real violence moves us

The motivation in

The argument

To make relative their own misdeeds

Or our own

 

At any rate

Someone’s

While state reps send aides out to score Sodium P.

 

On the blank streets they organize and redistrict

Slinking in the alleys reluctant Dane and Roma people step

Bringing something home for pop to pray over

Then admin Back pats all around

Ex-pats

Time

 

And the search for it in small things

Pallbearers wetwinking at secrets they think He’s in on

Context boys gesturing at the ceiling not called anything

Without intersectional ideas motivating technologies

 

What happens as everything catches up

Cancers and strange base psychologies coaxing waves and

Drives into tonic grand malware

Applying themselves

Calmly seeking the same ancient sate

Of maligning systems

 

Server farms come down with datapox

Towers felled by bad blood

Reach into the news and extract the wet present

Remotely the ‘castersadness and plainness of living

In homes that fear

 

The synthetic grooming and clustering of cropped

Dot buzz hijinks

Misery of puckered vision

That works through grimaces to wager questions like

What can trick us into regression and

As a comedian generously allows an audience

To be satisfied by misdirection

What will send us back to the small communities

 

Ice Iron

Bronze Man

Succeeded

Without a ballooning commotion of pride like

Red cream clouding up lucent blue coffee

 

Freakish research and restaurants

New wave and

Undulating assfat in squat capital D due thighs

Isolated and frozen

Cheaply individuated with a candid look of surprise

But lasting and walking and introducing

And hating like scumsunk beans in water brought watched to a boil

Salted Explain and coin satisfying universal terms with

Definitions only as applicable as they are ambulant

While ingredients through the alphabet and back

Cost prohibitive

 

Too soon to bloom

Divorcing the past in daily tranches

Waking up unsurprised and comforted

To encounter once again

The fetal position

 

And when you start to wake on your back

With your hands laced prettily on your chest

You don’t notice

Because solace is solace is solace

 

And maybe there’s some honor in being the first the defining

Progenitor burial in a formerly functionless plot

But it’s negligible

 

Dying men of the flat night

Debriefing already dead sons

Saturating them with secrets for the grave

Secrets are currency there

They can swap them at the hellwait card table

For some simple jerky to drape over their collar

And recreate the skinfeel

Or a rotten peach to finger fuck

And let sticky the bone dribble

To attract flies

That then they all gather around

Giddy to praise life

In its mechanically full forms

 

Hard exampled irrefutable life

Not just spectre and memory and its progressing haze

Coming in hissing like rain curtains blottingout over the counterfurious ocean

Each story becoming less believable as told

 

And even though the audience is motivated to endorse

They are starting to itch with worry

Precautious to fully engage with What even is it

And they wonder which of them is still sure it happened

And defer to him

 

Let blond the black sap

Disoriented passenger-conductor

Like a citizen-soldier

Mock lost after a nation building exercise

 

The wonder of edgeless dull blockage

A whole sleeping calamari core of brain

Calling on

And getting nothing but clammy potassium slick

White matter’s breathy sweat sent

Out at pressure Nothing that feels hardcast but molten

And washing

And of soap

 

It feels like an expanding tinny aphasia

Leaving us without the proper words

That area having been overcome

That area having been overthrown dirty and hallow pained

Tried too much and too little

To have an effect

But they don’t

 

So TV persists

We think

Pleasantly At least now they’re including makeouts

Whole wet ones

In commercials about tech dating

The real and the super real

They’re worked matches

 

So they makeout

In the commercials

And I guess the logic is

Also in real life

 

Until eventually in super real

Matches and marks

Similar and often overlapping friends of the cause

Duped into daddyhood and mommyhood

Some worse for it

Some fed by it

Will always have

That mutual record

 

A shame foundation to accuse the other on

Persistent in boiling back up

Years after the early apartments

The natural laughs and parks and uncannily seamless vacations

Dixie cones plugged fat baby hands

And striped ice cream was thrashing around the stroller’s workbench like mercury

Taunting barometric augury was

Missed When they drove to Phoenix and

That bizarre night they stopped in Texarkana

 

But now the house is bought and the long

Yelling dullness

The vertiginous extended eternity and super eternity

To wait love and endure eachother through

 

There will be nights of creampure accusation

Where that basis will underlie each taunt

And they will abuse each other’s

Real or otherwise love

For its being bought on an instant

Neurological default to gameplay like cards

Futures

For sad and individual men

 

While inexhaustibly still

Spoilt on admiration

Cataract skyscapes peacock

Espousing they’re fully blind

Begging at least that for their son’s sake

They be entombed in oil

 

And Jokers

Pervade decks

Pervert them in sinister and mocking laughter

That’s sticky and smells

Shading the grain

Outing the creases at the dog-eared edge

That superimpose character onto quitting muscle

And again argue for age

 

Movement and concert

Spinning is to cones

As bones pose as all matter of things

Half buried in red desert sand

Half in red desert sun

Bleached waxy yellow

The fat still grinning

And fed from the life it had

 

In Massachusetts

Innocent dead kids stand by

The rites of chemical passage

A duty

They feel

Whining a gift of imaginary context

To those responsible for them

That lets poison into their memory

Like smoke drawn across the moon

And into a mouth

 

And out in Arizona

They’re unaware of the other

Too focused on the laced X’s

The scoring of their sleeping ankles

The viscous slowly evaporating spit from a

Copperhead’s tongue having thatch-licked hexes

 

Gratefully crosscutting that well organized chickenmeat

Tender against the grain and

Committing it to muscle memory

Bodies outfitted with the means

To tentpole electrofinance

Self-sovereignty as routers and

Conduits subliminally participating in

Redirection And trafficking in commerce and signal

Counterfeiting data as status

Completing the transfer from society to market

 

Sensual bad news when that sweet Thai food smell

You’ve been tracking with your mouth watering

Turns out to be the default funeral home

In the midst of the cooling unit emergency that will finally shutter its doors for good

 

I am just not interested in your blood

Like I am mine

There is no great fascination

It just looks vaguely dangerous and flavor-poor

While mine is pomegranate and impossible

Exceptional in color and content

Flamboyant and evident and

Minerally opaque

Surface tension tents pools upright

Must be magnetically floating cell rafts saying north

 

Too much so to dry and grey

Fibrous and supporting scaffolding of an interstate bridge

Straddling an unnamed and municipally nuisance waterway

Silent and humiliated and passing with its head down

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nuclear Family

 

Here is tonight’s recording of the redmilkroe radio hour on Boston Free Radio.

 

You can catch them live on bostonfreeradio.com Wednesday nights from 8 to 9.

 

All of the passages being read, other than Jamie’s “there is no such thing as a thing not in flux,” are from Don DeLillo’s Underworld, from somewhere between pgs. 450 and 500.

 

 

Track List:

A Supermarket in California – Allen Ginsberg

Good – Morphene

Slow Coming – Benjamin Booker

L’idole – Jacques Dutronc

Canary Island – Houndstooth

It’l All Work Out – Blake Mills

No Such Thing

 

Jamie speaks for himself.

 

 

there is no such thing as a thing not in flux.

by Jamie Thomson


 

HELLO?

 

 

No one looks at anyone because everyone

is disappointed in each other and also

themselves I realized this when I realized

I wasn’t looking at anyone and no one was looking

at me

 

 

 

———————————————————————————-

RITUAL CANDOR

 

 

Vexed is a funny word for a pretty typical

state If you say new moon backwards enough

it sort of sounds the same

but not quite Instead

I stood up and declaimed ON THE BALCONY I POLISH A PEACH

(I was wrong) Upon flapping my wings

I discovered the shortcoming of certain glues

To say that we all experience episodes of the blues from time to time

is totally asinine and therefore I say it every day Dear x

I’d love nothing more than to be that thing

you hate At least then I’d exist for some might be reason

 

 

 

—————————————————————————————————-

 

STATUS QUO

 

 

The thing happens happens happens Empty shoe

= end of dreamlife A small crack

pursued the one big break I had built

the immaculate trapeze but where were my monkeys? Where

was whip and pony? Sometimes bones grow soft boiled as potatoes (slip

a

part) It’s time for dead then

I mean bed The thing happens happens happens

 

 

 

————————————————————————————-

VERTIGO

 

 

Dismantling every last peony and swooning

in all that sun Nowhere was I more beloved

than in the one dark alley What always held us there

was but a very real rope Of course I laughed

when a cow squatted and shat It was the simplest thing

to do Once-upon-some-time-ago a horizon was nothing

but any long pancake and such a feast No no no

at a certain point you just watch ten too many trains

depart and every room becomes the blue one then

 

 

 

————————————————————————————-

ETERNAL SYSTEM MALFUNCTION

 

 

Everything you learn gets put in a little room

in your head each night and burned This explains

how you’re alive but still so dumb This explains

the pile of ash in the sheets The real reason

you’ve hung around so long is it’s always so new

for you For me it all gets put in a little room in my head each night

and then buried inside 10,000 other identical rooms

so that I’m always left with the feeling of looking for a key

in a drainpipe or of stepping into a room full of light

but is not a room is not light is just a place I sometimes fall

 

 

 

———————————————————————-

NEW LIFE

 

Falling in line

Learning the steps

Smoking because the others do

Lacing my boots with both hands and spitting

When I say, Time is killing me boys

I mean it

Growing a belly

Seeing how they scratch it in the early morning light

Chewing and spitting more

Becoming one of the others

No longer others

Becoming us

Mastering all the daily chores and tugging on my cap when required

Doffing rather

Going to mess is not what it was before

I am together and totally changed

I do not weep for the old pathetic reasons

Not from the hopeless pit

(There is no hopeless pit)

That was just a game I used to play and it was wrong to play it

I am a solider now soldiering on

Carrying the brunt of it

I snap and hum and smoke I smoke

When the quart comes round I pull but once then twice

Then pass it along

Then some idle chatter at times like this

But most of the day it is all business

Moving the objects

Recording where and when

Nodding

Placing the stacks in rows and ready to burn

Can this really be me

Yes it is

It is