The Death of iPhones
Waking up beside
bodies of twilight and steam
and soybean asphalt.
Sad death of iphone
factories, sick in purple
of alien glare.
and patronal codices
with passenger slime.
art by JohnMoProductions
Other Bad Omens
I raised up on my toes to get a better view
& saw that stupid shits were everywhere.
The 911 operator suggested calling back
if it happened again, all the things that make me,
me, the sense of having quotation marks
around them. Night flooded in, & I was amazed
that there was such a lot blood for such a little cut.
art by Javier eme Castro
Witnessing other couples slow crotch grinding at sad indie gigs
makes the lights strobe brighter and the air smell of gardenias.
There’s a term for this:
Long train rides home listening to music like an inner monologue,
hearing the inner monologue like a movement of music.
Why do all the shapes in certain darknesses
appear to be a woman’s arms?
I’ve come to the conclusion that my repetitive failure in love
has something to do with my inability
to be violent in public.
Dogs with two owners snout in the wet parks after snow,
the buildings go on climbing over Wollman Rink
and absolutely no one believes you
when you say you’re happier alone.
A father of daughters looks at me indifferently.
I grow an inch of wiry beard and think in questions I can’t ask.
The Lovejoy comet continues on its suicidal rounds.
Groceries are so expensive in Manhattan
and the rain doglegs like irony.
Though I love to see the steam rising from the grates
or hear a horn like a brief stone on deep water.
San Francisco is just an idea
formed in a 3am noodle shop in the thick of the Bowery
in the sexually repressed bear-fear and pure-land pining
of a thirty-year-old chartered accountant.
It just goes to prove that even the lead beater turns,
eyes upward, and dreams in gold.
If I say only one thing that carries, let it be this:
Not all mental illness manifests
I’ve just realised I’ve been insane for years
but I love you.
I promise that I think it.
I promise that it might be true.
Anonymous said: Hi there. I've been working a lot from your prompts and I'm planning on submitting a few pieces to your blog. However, I would also like to submit some to a few other journals. If I submit, say, an octave to another journal, would you prefer if I included an "After Brooks Lampe" under the title?
Not necessarily. I don’t expect credit for prompts for non- or low-radar publications. If you’re up to something more serious, I’d love a shout-out, but it can be informal.
What I do ask is that you send me links to the stuff once it’s up so I can promote your work and keep a record of where these prompts pop up.
Will Time Ever End?
Raisins are popping in the black brain of Monday morning.
Mickey Mouse-shaped hands point at me
in my corduroy jacket biking to work. “It’s fall,” they say.
Who says, “they say,” anymore? I might pull an old
surrealist rabbit out of the hat and say "they say"
no one will ever invent a boiled egg peeler.
That will make the agrarians feel real smug.
Classic hard-ons come from only certain parts
of the crowd. As kind as the chivalry
of raving skyscraper beams turning brown in September rain.
When things are well-rested and organized—only then
does one start to get a kind of poetic spirit about one.
So listen to those people: they say get enough sleep
in college. They’re right. And the aftermath of
a giraffe crackers becoming grownups with sticks.
A great treasure trove of surrealist artifacts just disappeared
and all its infinities forever lost. The gas lamps react
with clothes and sleeves and colleagues.
art by Mariano Peccinetti Collage Art
What Happens When You Cross George Hitchcock With Theophile Gautier?
I tumble headlong, down… down…
into the edges of the mirror
into the sanctuary of machine-guns.
Too high, those hands of white!
The death-march band, with lean brass,
coagulates on the ground.
Paris is muck—lorsqu’il est sans blessure—and it
prefers flesh. The codfish cantaloupes
take off their black bones, nodding the haberdashery
of small birds.
How sweet to see, at one moment, the right angles
of schism. At the next: a great flower
in the waves, and monsters blazoned of old
extremely into the liberation movement for mosaic Barbie
and her ear-rings of melodious bronze.
seed text: Selected Lyrics by Theophile Gautier; The Wounded Alphabet, by George Hitchcock
art by Michael Tunk
they’ve got style this family
with its epaulettes and sciatica
they’re thinkers they make fans
to cool the ants and teach bees
how to pomade their moustaches — George Hitchcock, from “Group Portrait”
umbrella shaped moon
the weather was a night-dribbling patois
patrols of light not daring to cross
half-human ribs, boulevard Saint-Germain
thick, looping taxitram trains
smoking fires parked
even segmented breathing
possible kicks behind
the umbrella shaped moon
muttering into his mustache
seed text: first page of The Last Days, but Raymond Queneauart by holly pilot
What Happens When You Cross Richard Wilbur With Ben Mirov?
I’m nervous and feel left out.
I take huge leaps to get to a garage
full of leicas, binoculars and jewelry.
I’ve taken on too much of everything.
The wind can only stay for a moment.
A cracked brain is sold for amulets of mistletoe.
I don’t know who sleeps, don’t know who
issues rebellious from the leaves.
Now beget together, strange leaves,
and a little black fist.
Now, something, blaze!
Release, O rawhide bowstring,
the stillest arrow. Tie a bandana
around my head.
seed texts: New and Collected poems by Richard Wilbur; Ghost Machine by Ben Mirov
art by anthony_cudahy
Chance is already retired.
I wished to assume that
she protested the continued
definition in my mind.
-My poetry is rooted in altered book art; pre-existing text is burned away from discarded library paperbacks with a soldering iron. The remaining text reforms to create and reveal new poetic narratives.
A Project Called “Nothing”
It was the second long, black day in a row. An older couple stood off to the side with their bags and electronic devices. Around them, wisps of primary colors lay on the floor. “This is wrong,” she said, using a small mirror as a guide. I had a vision of her carving a star into her stomach with a razor and screaming until her voice gave out. Then one night, in the middle of the night, I woke up thinking: “It’s not that I’m doing nothing. It’s just that there is nothing.” And so now I close the empty palace at 6 p.m. with my key.
Seed test: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/12/arts/international/marina-abramovic-making-art-in-an-empty-space.html?emc=eta1&_r=0
art by Caroline Alkire
clever foreskin holes/ like noodle jaws
entire hardship wads/ caught up rot
Hanging moons -
To live like she does demands a talent for hanging
crescent moons, curved as a ballet dancer’s
dead nails, for more than a decade. For hanging
rotten fruits back to their trees to turn them into
pendulums that tell time after death, until the trees
themselves die. Even though she is weak
Where Would You Be If We’d Sent Your Great-Grandfather Back To Where He Came From In 1910?
Somewhere in the walking distance of the future,
purgery will be available for the price of
your least favorite lung, the one you hate
to hear inflate, and that’s why some
things come in pairs, so one can be sold off
or sewn open. The executives will make you infamous.
Back in time the lager used to be imported gradually
along the silk road mirage, where secret mice
and baskets of blankets wait to be
eaten. A comma is commonly
used to stroke an ego until less flaccid, or flat line
the existence of a casual sentence.
Remember: bottles roll regardless,
your family forgets to plant a tree
and instead transcribes history to stacks of
paper, plans out plots in a graveyard, and
that lung you sold to become more well off
will come back to satire their dreams.
But that’s why some things are negotiated, to
break your life in two halves.
art by A.T. Velazco