Expecting an Upgrade






by Rob Rice


Now almost satanically ugly men and women are holding phones.


With counterintuitive and unimaginably perverse grace their casual hands are like precision scaffolding for a jagged obsidian sculpture that primitive cultures starved in agitated pilgrimage to.


The sun drunk security flippantly cosseting the museumed Baetylus, counterbearing exactly the principal points of load share by some occult intuition of calculus.


Fat mauls turn out to’ve been machine reinforced at several structurally key places revealing once and for all engineering and clairvoyance as the two most natural things in the world.


Deft poise in stark, perverse opposition to every other performance of gait and gesture behaved by their bodies as they prance two fingers, silent like prey animals of the historical plain with their inborn acuity of posture and hoof placement.


They sit divorced from their lower bodies; stalk sending up whatever macromolecules it can hustle off of the overtime kidneys and liver.


Sour-sweet kidneys and bitter liver.


Receiving no thanks and no, no honoring of receipts as its shorts bunch and dampen, involved in strata of noplace.


Fabric wicking flu-green expellant, overfunded by woolgathering’s prolonged contact, as legs go sparkling numb, crossed.


Flip flops throttled indiscriminately between toes now protuberant-blue, between indistinguishable larval toes that will never steady walks through the markets in Fez as their globe holding captain flushes one page, one capsular phosphorescent ask, into synthetic nowhere in return for the next.


A three-year-old, body’s composition a strict mirror, with puffy ruddy salmon lips and translucent skin, shows a valley’s complete set of rivers on vein mapped knuckles, moving with a synovially permissive stomp as the dad theatrically behaves its stupefied disinterest.


Now the person prequel’s expressing itself, lunatic enthusiasm about a series of sweet biological nothings, elapsing habitually disregarded, though not so long ago were unconditionally indulged.




The Lobster


I am not sure if this sort of cross pollination is going to be a regular or tolerated thing, but for the time being I think it might be fine to try, for everyone’s mutual benefit, or, at the very least, to one time make you aware that there is this other place where things are, for those of you who, and I am sure you are many, know of nowhere else.

REVIEW: The Lobster (2015) dir. Yorgos Lanthimos


So far it’s been a month of spring. I’m realizing that of the things that wake florally up, most don’t get to stay up for that long, frost pruning those bold ones that break ground too soon. It’s sad, especially with the weather being so increasingly unpredictable, to see the little green tips that wager on a warm day in late February. I guess it’s like the frog or mosquito strategy at laying eggs: send as many shoots into the realm of the living, and nurture only those emissaries that report back. But what about those that don’t? Where are they commemorated?




I’ll Pick Which

by Rob Rice




Passing him, him not interested in looking at me is

in me forever

off packaging life turnaround


People gave up known people

known open gnashing maw

now they’re feeder cells


Sea beads populate a Ferris wheel

a chill induced in-folding fern bud

pockets dew



When you suspect through supplied theatre

the street

as it is


the people

as they are


without with what

you made them more than


Space and


and Mark



I would never be happy if I didn’t think of myself

in ways I




so manipulation

means making

them think

you think

of them

the way

they hope that they’re thought of



Is the size of the town’s graveyard

a credential

a breast of military metals

a flashed badge

a fake one


The smaller the town the longer the obit

the more dedicated Death of one man’s hero

seems like permission

to save the world

if not to slush it



My own synesthesia meets the man

brings me face to face me


It bends around the right few things

and acquaints us



nested intentions

tune humiliate rather

than procreate



Blame my scattered interest tines

that like Braille

are tactile agents of change



substrates that mill


Dripping seamy invasions

of private space


sensitive thin skin

her inner forearm




affectation involves it in a gesture so

intentionally his affection’s a freezer full


of steak fat clippings



Devil matter spans material like film

and becomes projection


while no less faithful a record



Rigid phase walkers pass through brambles


Brushed aside they’re

leaving stories of their own on that forearm

its etchings are three-dimensionally

deep maps


Clue engineers in there

allowing them to back-solve the structures:

a simple nature



I’m let down when you’re like me

when I realize the smoke is

of what’s just like the mirror


I train myself

blindfolded to sit in my room smelling

bombs Tell me what to fear

faces made bizarre by makeup

startle mine as they turn

to register it



Chest used like the beauty of consent

from tree to future canoe


Hollowed out with tools the anthropologists are grabbing

out of our hands to stick in museums


My heart and lung gore still riddling one

solid and trusted handle

brings new hope for purchase and center placement


Where fat older brothers point it out


Though they haven’t been much for the other pieces

this one has something to it

something it took





An Order of Operations



When he went in, sorry, under, out of vanity, out of anger at his current beauty for hinting at such huge power. So he went all elective on it, on his Crow’s and cleft and high bones. In there, he grabbed the marker from the doctor and started circling on his own, designating whole ambitious swaths for removal from his face. Despite the doctor’s protest he put himself down, hit hard at that gas, looking, while still on the edge, at his engineer, making sure he knew to follow the lines laid out for him.

Waking, he saw; perfection. Sharpness, then high and wide shelves of bone barricading his eyes from his long, vulpine cheeks. He was crystalline, dangerously beautiful, and he bore it, for long years, crippling passing people with it, them submitting to it, their instincts taking over and bending them into a bow.

But eventually, that wasn’t low enough. He got used to them, pitched at the hips, seeing the tops of their heads, and he’d fed himself and his vanity off of it, even sated at times, rich and fire-eyed from the nourishment, but, as was his way, he wanted more. So, some dark raining midnight, he returned to that theatre, once again wielding his own pen, this time attempting not to derive beauty but derangement. He wanted to see us on our backs. So began, as we have come to know it now, The Revision.




by Jamie Thomson




So I go and I ride horses with no hands The horses
they are the ones without the hands
As for me I’m not some total full-blown dunce
I’m doing much better since the procedure
thanks for asking With all these additional limbs
I can now firmly hold everything I love at once
and so close I think it is good for the things I love
to see precisely the other things I love Roast beef
for example its presence should not then presuppose
the exclusion of bocce balls from the equation My hands
are so full! I have so much of things!





One fine morning there were birds
in every tree and they were singing
so many songs and I was singing too
and right on key and my onion was alive
and well and filling the room with her sweet
onion smell and the ducks all there in rows
asleep in their eggs and downstairs shining
in the light or rather the source of all light
my toaster! my pretty green toaster!




*For Alistair

Under a fingernail a man grew until that fingernail
broke apart into a pile of its own dust The man
wiped the dust from his forehead and entered
his life Of course he did not thank the fingernail
for what it had done So I came and I wept
for the fingernail I swept up its dust into a cobalt
box I carry that box along with the other boxes I carry





In that line to have my candle lit I said How lucky
to be one of the chosen few standing here in line
with my little white candle beneath the trees
who are like strangers or some very old friends
All was dark I imagined I was finally departing
per my most urgent wish This happened
many years ago in the room with no walls
Remarkable how long they kept us in that room!





Now in the backyard in the pit I am chopping up
the mice because the mice were being
naughty It is my absolute favorite chore
I don’t even think anymore I just let the knife
do all the work while I daydream
about beef until night when I can close my eyes
and dream the Eternal Dream of Beef
unimpeded To a beetle in the grass today
it would appear the rain has turned
to blood It would appear it is raining blood today




GAME #17

I am taking my left leg and sticking it
where her nose was because her nose
was needed to replace the toe in his teeth





When a flower dies I cradle that flower
high upon the marble steps It is my one
true calling to gaze and whisper small happenings
of the world into wilted stalk I say There goes
an aeroplane in that determined way
that only aeroplanes know I say The wind, the wind





I talk to chickens because chickens are dumb
Although I am dumb I am not as dumb
as a chicken Herein lies the crux In many ways
they are just like little dust bins I am like most people
in my resemblance to a somewhat larger dust bin
but also my general incompetence and this desire
to be king I walk from room to room addressing my flock
I say It is a long way to Reno folks I say The pancake
was not a pancake and is the reason Esmeralda is dead
When I stare into the eyes of a chicken I see a field It is always
the same field It is covered in snow A man walks away
toward some other thing I call to him but he does not turn

A Season’s Sporting



A Season’s Sporting

by Rob Rice




I never called you back because you brought your bag to the bathroom and that seemed like secrets

Memory gone as of ’05’s accident

Thought it’d be funny to ask if you remembered


What accident

You thought

Not funny


I guess we didn’t fit it

Your trustless crumpled posture

Vertical fetal position

And my seated intention to euchre you

As you scolded yourself for expecting




Exclusivity by demeanor and fashion’s

Integral to some self-esteems as it

Justifies the distance

They educated between us


Though like money it’s relative

Comparative purpose objects

Are no value less the idea they buy

Which is valueless if you have the object too








Remnants of the front

Of the war that exists now in as many bodies as can hold all the blood it spilled

Then, soaked up the confused purpose, salvaging it

Filling future generations

So furtively ire’s semaphored



Those must-be-moments of apology eye contact



What do they count for

And how to appraise them


Me? incapable of a moment like that’s solving in a lifetime

A clear liquid’s not being water flips me out


But then I see it run; endlessly cold ethanol’s endless cold being my fault

The ripples in it poured are like heat distortion




Rightly it’s impossible

The little croutons of contact

Day by day wearing it

The salad of each other

Us obsessively dieting

Swear by it

Fills us up



Isn’t it ironic that most muffins come already wearing Spanx?


And mixing Dew with powdered milk for breakfast

Into the frosted flakes

Lights ‘em up!




Passing those guys on the street with their tongues screwed out unaware

They pass people everyday

Just not me


They say

It’s good to stretch on either side of the Matins

And is it easier to measure tablets or days?


Most people die with so much love still in them

Probably sadder than paying for the rental company to do a full tank

Then not even driving it in empty

(i.e. the losing money)


I wonder how many of the people I assume are sad are

They all seem it, and each one I’ve asked is

But they all talk tall tell of others

Laying in the lambent lap of

Having been heard of




How can you trust a person who wants to be a leader

That should immediately disqualify you

What indelicate world is it that we let people have power that want power

That’s a wrong trait


And their mixing media

The seat of civic somnolence

Who never even noted

The great bizarre truth in

How Oprah’s Law of Attraction

Relates to Pasolini


At the very least they want to be a conduit

And to feel it run through them even

Taste it on its way

Never negotiating with forces on the ground

For our release




Tell me a story or I’m turning a TV on

Open up

I’m the quiet sage stalking you

My primary source

Unbeknownst I’m bivouacked on the street




I see faces I’ve never encountered when I close my eyes

but I recognize them they’re these fully formed people


Enough so that I can get a sense of what they’re like

I supplied them


I’m always attracted to them somehow

How they are seems fine to me


I never kept

Chaff or fleeced it

But I can weave


I know I can

Spiking the hook

With wire and lacing up a bobbing string of days

Globes that I’ll use to drape the railing

On the patio in festivity

Where we’ll have wine

Despite my not being totally sold

On the outcome wine

My not knowing about structure




Snuff films for sale

Snuff films for sale all taking

Place in an elevated ash boardroom

With a standing line of people shuffling circles


Their hanging hooded crania

And him seated at the slab oak head


One by one they arrive to face him

Bow permission turn

Oak-draping belly down

Avoiding ally eye contact while lowering their pants

Allowing him thus inspector’s access to their genitals

Which he considers

And then shoots into with a rifle


Gathering up pants

Cupping the bleeding

They resume the recovery line

To generate some resolve in

In the small interim pre-resubmission

Having updated their résumé

We’d expect


Dimensions of ‘ROE



Last week I asked some people to spam their friends and, with them having done so (thanks, them), it seems now like a good time to launch into a phase new.


So, now, any new piece that we write will debut on Wednesday nights, right around 8 O’Clock, so that you can follow along as it is read aloud, to you by its author, in studio or by phone or by avatar, on Boston Free Radio. You can TuneIn, stream at bostonfreeradio.com, or do whatever you’re privy to.







Establishing Capture

            New York 2/13/16

by Rob Rice




Mill and machine into

Inclusion’s round logic

Those little crescent shavings

Don’t inhale them


The broadness of it

Its yellow-grey lights the sidewalk

Which is rough and sandy when

It’s broad daylight


And where does the crime come in

Inextricable recondite tertiary crimes

The beam of sidewalk

Some side street’s grey girder


Some crime dripped all over it

And was collected in cups?

Balanced on his feet

In broad strokes

(He said)


Look at me

But don’t look at me

But look at me

Look at me

I can’t have this

This not looking at me

You’re doing

I’m the parade for these pants




And you want to be taken home

You brat

Everyone’s looking at you

In your bonnet and sack

You’re such babies


You’re dead

You’re dead moose

Your last moment, seeing yourself mounted

You’re sold as atmosphere

To hover over the haute meal

Where they’re “still thinking”


Clean kitchen

Clean kitchen

It’s a constant fight for balance

You wanting the sick from the cleaning products

And me the dirty surfaces




Spinning in

A cream enters the rotating basin

Of chocolate and is absorbed by

Eminent domain

As a formality


Or begrudging for a moment a salve of affect

Bactericidal balm at the scar line


And leave me back here wandering

Ein kinder roaming

Waist high grasslands on the moon

Which are bound by physics/the definite need for water


Endless, even generations of water

Still silver sliver of moon

Its blue edges swishing





Wake up and use energy, valuably, ever?

Why do you think of your hands as a different person


Go away

And be thankful the sea was so exhausted

It bowed and accepted of

What would have otherwise been


Piles of former kipsy


I feel a bit of resistance or occlusion

On your part

And it treats me to the threat of all this’ ending





I’d like a snug answer

Satisfying like the massacre of an ant hill





Less tragic tragedy

You’re relatively embarrassing to mourn




Sleep celebrity

Make out artist

Makes a killing

Slimy eek

Bottling public trust water for profit


Better than better!

Bigger is back!

Bigger is new!

And better is now free!




You have critically contaminated the experiment

Hence the pending eviction from your share

Leave me alone with that little anencephalic pout

Why is it grounds for a photo?


I have a miserably feeble language

Such that

I feel aimless and acting when I think

It’s like hard air, everywhere


Like the plumbing that formerly scored the city

Rafters, baffles, cowl, sweeps, wye

Were started in on by cement at the source


The disciplined

Assault themselves

Purposing deliberate miscalculation of your banality

/Your permissive rearing and allowance

/Your defiance to a bringing out broadness

As kenosis


Habit and Route




by Rob Rice



Broken man speaks to

His wife on the line

“I don’t blame her”

In response to her saying she’s not coming home anymore

Startled to hear it aloud


He almost notices his eyes are dry

from not having been blinking


Somewhat to her, somewhat to himself, somewhat to god and the accounting

This man has said before “that’s the most insulting thing anyone has ever said to me”

as he is a pretentious man


Although that stems from the fear


He feels like the sound an empty can makes when it’s flicked

But heard through the wrong end of a binocular

He see’s a kid on the sidewalk with his mom, telling him something about

the propriety of street crossing

And he realizes the kid is a lot like a chicken egg

still bound primarily by one edge of time


Babies must dream in such abstractions and with such potent simultaneity of confusion and comprehension

he thinks.


He lost that in his teenage years, an understanding of affective co-incidence


He grew up and delivered himself, returned

when he remembered it


The same thing when, noticing that, on their first night together sexually,

she did not have a flattened stomach, he congratulated himself on his maturity

Always sucking off the rotten yoke, hardened orange and just below the rind.


He impaled his knee in early life, on an icicle, and after it melted it reveled,

him briefly windowed:

a subcutaneous gurgling fat held up knee’s dry skin.


A busload passes and on it more diversity of intention than can be measured

but just fills any space easily like gas.


One man is foreign, so much taller and built for a whole different life,

a life with so much pain and so: so much joy

that at most the other passengers get depressed by the intensity of his and his kind’s celebration and music.


It’s an unpopular music now too, on the surface because it seems naïve

but really more likely because it’s a devastating thing to be reminded of the potential for joy.


His hands are long and so slender

pronounced at the knuckles like arthritis while he’s young.


Another on the bus likes to show off her boyfriend

pouts in his absence.


Some riders ride every day and so know the couple

and unanimously they dislike her

and unanimously they came to realize it one day when the boyfriend didn’t board.


She wears a hood those days

prominently more sweats and soft fabrics

like his absence is flu

we’re all coming down with.