WSBJ Radio



I am on a street in Sunnyside, Queens, the
City of cities, the reflecting pool of the world,
When a jumbled reminiscence hurries in.
A rubbish removal company has parked its vans
Outside a house. Odds and ends of a life are
Stacked at the curb, though it seems the
Good stuff was picked away by the workers.
The pictures are gone. The notebooks, too.
Those summary memories confiscated --
It is a perk for the workers, one which I envy,
To salvage unique traces of a life lived,
Though I understand the treasures are rare.
The truest junk makes the curb:
Computers, televisions, electronics;
Workers have removed hard drives and
Some salvageable/saleable innards but most of this
Behavior-sculpting gadgetry will rot, like the
Vanishing gestures that attacked them,
Never crying out for salvation or re-use.
I remembered clicking through my uncle's hard drive,
Looking for his e-mail password, just steps from the
Spot at which he died. His drunk wife ridiculed me.
"I thought you were smart," she drizzled.
My retort -- "I am" -- crumpled unspoken.
I often see the text that voices speak,
Slithering into oblivion or rising to nobility,
And that day the words, hers and mine, drowned.
I never found the password but I landed in a
Swirl of text, a surprising storm of words from my
Uncle, who was not the sharing or reflective type,
But who seemed to have played along with some
Diary software that appeared, demanding use.
His trail of thought was dark and sarcastic, and
From it I wish I remembered even a single word.

No word for the day.
Wordless, textless, crimeless.
None can find me if I cease to think,
no surveillance can spot a thumpless mind.

I sit at a table and think about this day:
where will it travel around me
like the ancients whose everything
revolved around themselves -
the suns, the skies, the strangers on the bus,
all these ghosts of the present and of
centuries gone could be mined as
material for this cage of words that
slowly tangles the reflection of my face,
imprisoning it in a computer screen.

Then I swept the crumbs from last night's dinner
off the table and into the trash, and
onto the floor. I keep these particles of
continuity on the ground, where they
jab at my feet. I never walk comfortably
or loose in my space. My feet wad up like
the guts of a cuckold, anticipating nails but
grasping only at a phony presence
calculated by me to emulate experience,
the counterfeit traces of adventure
wasted by whispered cliché.

How can the communication mean anything when
I could barely recognize the surfaces?
The patterns of crud on the kitchen floor
could be anyone's spotted clouds of dirt.
Under someone else's feet they might evolve to
outline the passages of invisible medieval trains
stuffed with sacrificial popes. These spills of
sudden archaeological spit resemble
nothing but mercurial passage out of
restless distraction into forget.

O but the mercury becomes work.
The buried human solitude is
crushed into unseen, unseeable space,
soiled by itself as it peers into emptied
apartments, lurches into conversations with
sleeping strangers and double-teams itself with
powerless noise-makers.

Dry grins, dirty smiles, gritted jaws in the theater of an unopened mouth.
Your inept silence strangles the cold night air. You stare at yourself.
You think of obvious solutions to problems you will not confront. You.
Imagination lost to a high squall of teenagers: Judgeful combat, rain of
consequence, greeding a political homework assignment hung low to the
cardboard floor. The windows opened wide, the sky soaring over your room,
you recall a cold groove felled by sarcastic wind chimes. It was years ago
but the anger burns. The surveillance of memory squeezes coffee from rubber.

Yellow for the 
honey for the 
gravity reels in a 
ocean ,

Do you remember the
hollow moments?
The shoeshined cowboys?
Does she remember
playing with the 
Does she remember

"The people are dying," 
you say.
"The people are creased and
dull. The people are
paddling through 
memories of sand.
They are squinting to see the
riots at rage in their 
private spaces."

You say I planned this,
then you say I lied,
then you say we
disappeared but the
soil says you died -- an
erased smear of air.

a touch of exploding perfume, a splash of mental artillery, a godless flame of formlessness stumbles through your quiet afternoon as you end a week spent swapping lies with prisoner and priest, a month of puzzled correspondence with names chosen by dart-throw from decades-old white pages, you drink from a settled store of memory making gullibile your old ambitions, assembling on a mental conference call the mossy patchwork of you, of you, of failures and mis-educations idling in your day, they lean back in squeaky chairs like beefcake federal eavesdrops cruising your neighborhood in 30-year-old cargo vans looking for your big garbage mattresses, desks, toilets, beds, televisions, the drained furniture of your dis-assembled lies, the lies you barely remember to forget, the nebulous falsehoods none would prosecute for their joyful completeness, the lies you forgot were lies, the mortar of your life patted into the shape of a 70-pound contortionist with her ass in her mouth and her hands directing you to the next of your life's fabled organisms, you arrive at the drug-crazed suicide of a neighbor by a mosquito-infested lake, the body's freshly dead hand pointing you to the sac of cancer in a young friend's brain in which the wrinkled reflection of your face directs you to your sympathetic interest in the clenching of human being's feet and hands at the moments of their death, an ugliness too beautiful for film, too strange to share, you echo the gestures in strident, silent confidence as you reach the end of a swirling mental sprint over words formed only in unspoken tongues, electricity darting through your still afternoon like a balded jackrabbit leaping into a bombmaker's curdling ooze.

Mariela's hogs batted down the waves of drying, fresh cement, allowing bluegrass propulsion beards to send Keyshawn Johnson's helmet upstairs. The parishioners disappointed Washington's record-holding discus and shot put athletes who felt Mariela's squandered dishwashing liquid should have eased accumulation of barnacles on city buses and picnic tables. Harriet's flat screen necktie absorbed most of the excess dishwashing liquid, comprising thousands of ounces of Palmolive, Dawn, and Caldrea brand products. The clumsy use of rotary dial telephones was ultimately blamed for the cement tsunami that buried Chicago. ROCK CONCERTS ARE INEFFECTUAL AT PREVENTING HAIR LOSS. THERE ARE 7 ROCK CONCERTS IN THE FREEZER. ROCK CONCERTS USUALLY REQUIRE SUSPENDERS, BUT A BELT WILL WORK. IN THE INTEREST OF ROCK CONCERTS ALL WILL NOW BUMP. WIRELESS ROCK CONCERTS ARE A TRADITIONAL CUSTOM IN MICRONESIA. ALL OF MONDAY'S ROCK CONCERTS ARE BLANKETED. HARRY SPAARNAY HAS HOSTED ALL OF MARK ROTH'S ROCK CONCERTS. THERE ARE NO COMPLAINING ROCK CONCERTS. ALL ROCK CONCERTS ARE IN ARIZONA. FREE ROCK CONCERTS ARE AVAILABLE ON ANY FLAT SCREEN TV 17 INCHES OR SMALLER. THERE ARE ENDLESS ROCK CONCERTS IN SINGAPORE. EVERY ROCK CONCERT IN YOUR OVEN COSTS $14. MY BUS DRIVER EXAMINED THE ROCK CONCERT IN MY EYES. I SAW A ROCK CONCERT AT THE BOTTOM OF A BIG HOLE. I SAW A ROCK CONCERT IN ONE WINDOW OF A LOW-LANDING JET PLANE. I THINK I HEARD A ROCK CONCERT IN THE GOSSIP WHISPERS OF A PUB ON 2nd AVENUE. SO BILL GATES, A PRIEST, AND A ROCK CONCERT WALK INTO A BAR... WALGREEN'S OCCASIONALLY HAS BINS FULL OF ROCK CONCERTS FOR 29 CENTS EACH. THERE'S A ROCK CONCERT BEING FOUGHT ON THE TURNPIKE, AND A BALLET BEING FOUGHT OUT IN THE ALLEY. I HAVE KNOWN ROCK CONCERTS TO BE IGNORANT, WEALTHY, UNDERWATER, TEAL, ROMBUS, AND FLANNEL. THERE ARE NO SECURE ROCK CONCERTS. MOST ROCK CONCERTS REQUIRE SATIN SHEETS. FEW ROCK CONCERT ANNOUNCERS HAVE EVER PLAYED THE GAME. MAKE SURE YOUR ROCK CONCERT HAS VALID ID. THOUSANDS OF ILLEGAL ROCK CONCERTS ENTER AMERICA EVERY WEEK, MOSTLY THROUGH MISSOURI. THE HIGHEST POINT IN ARIZONA IS A ROCK CONCERT. THERE SHOULD BE MORE FLATSCREEN ROCK CONCERTS. THERE WERE ZERO ROCK CONCERTS IN THE 19TH CENTURY. MASTURBATION IS A ROCK CONCERT. THE ACTION AISLE IS A ROCK CONCERT. THE SECRET SAUCE IS A ROCK CONCERT. Tough telephone, poets complain. Arrogant neckties, strangling bowling balls For a $2 internship opportunity, Carve front teeth cavities in the elderly. A proper jail lies under magnetic concrete. Punctual ooze appears on an antique map of Russia's billiard tables, but model bridge builders Serve cremated sprawl on Khachaturian's busy steak. Brunette pillows never leave the floor. I just planted 47 audio neckties in 12 cakes of Sand, but songs from the apocrypha raided my farm when Gwynyth Paltrow poured mirrors into my grapefruit.

Monday's hangdog bartender glued safety cadets to Japan's vinyl military. Clipped but hungry, Johnny Carson's cadenza buttered Asian livestock and other automobiles.

Where are 2,567; 6,887,210; and 54,098?

Hungry trees. Gracious yams. Kiln-broiled Frito corn chips. Dying hernias. Drizzling pecan juice. Liquid wood. Drowning eyeballs of unspoken drama surface in distracted conversation. Large words embody the American concept of Big Things. Cataclysms. Puritanicalisms that death is certain and dramatic. Tall tales. Big, exaggerated beings. Kitsch roadside attractions. Big things. Big events, decisive turning points. Elvis Presley. The American lottery system. Sitting at a bar waiting for success. Vertical backspace.