Ham & Cheese Appendices: Being Three, Unretouched Notebooks with Provisional Titles Containing American, Ham and/or Cheese



And all the many helmets of elsewhere—

Statues also die.


The godforsaken workaround on the broken path

To October—

Elsewhere, a habit is formed.


Ne’er broke.


Stand in contradistinction.







Today’s tools include—

Ella Swings.

Hawk Flies.

Monk Stews.

Miles Cooks.


Brick & Mortuary


Robot Sliced Noodles.


Somehow summer.

Summer somehow.

April— nuggets from Das Vaterland

Mit Monsieur Arp in untranslatable concrete.


Here’s another dime for you, Mister Songman.




Groinal— tight pants

On tasty ones.


Downtown breakfasts of long ago.


That is not the actress—

Disastrous as a dime.


Today’s family’s many splendored

Fingertips— spread wide across

The wooden keys.




One eyed hot dog vendor winks hello—

Seeking lucrativity among the metallurgists.


The boys can live awhile

On cinnamon and macaroni.

An occasional onion

For some good measure.


Round up all the gents

With drinking problems

In the Composition Department.

Have them convene

With the delivery fellows.

Give them punch, should

They require it and they will

Require it.


Not as if love was as easy as capitol T.

Because everyone knows that love

Is the difference between blue and green.

(Add your mother)


Often, after

Reading awhile

I put my hand

Under my chin

For a little

Sleep or some such.


My horse is a bird.

So over the snow

And next week

Will be warmer

The songbirds

Are saying

That next week

Will be warmer

With a droopy groove

It’s a droopy groove

On the double tome time.

Look! Drunken lesbians

Leaving the strip club!

Times change daily!

Blowing into the valley

In midtown all the backdoor



That’s so funny!

You’re laughing me!


The rigorous filth.


Jazz bone behemoth.


The snow peas of thirst.




Homeless Los Angelino on Grand Street in the pouring rain—



Day laborer

Tamale lady

Empanada lady

Iron worker


The conversation

You’ve requested

No longer exists.



I’m in the rectangle of New York!


These are animals.

I am an animal.


Off book—

In this cloak

I always feel awesome.

Most high, unholy


A snack in grandaddy’s hat.

The porcine portrait side panel

Of Flushing Meats’ delivery truck

Avenue D of a Thursday.

Crown Chicken

Church Chicken

King Chicken


Fragile compassion

Hymn plaque.

Hymn plague.

Hymns from the homeland.

The tomb

From Friday


Homemade ham salad

And black coffee.

Like a grandmother

At Paul’s Diner—




Tuna fish

And coffee.

Paul was not

Only the best Tuna

Sandwich in town

He was also the mayor.

Only twenty years later

Did I realize how good

The combination was—



Third Grader



Big Sister


& Her



Their father

Was a chain smoking

Lyric poet

Of some regard

In the north

Of England.


Second impulse to poetry— 1981

Super tight, dark brown corduroys.

Double date including Jimbo Durns, who became

A religious. Can’t remember her name.

Needed to fluctuate the entire date.


Flatulent “STEMS” of drums.


Third airline beer $18 left.

Airplane sausage

Airplane cheese.

Wind warning.


Empty Tuesday

On scaffold street.


Irregularities in screw & bolt fabrication.

We bend.


Almost feel

As if I’ve

Spent most

Of my life

In mourning.



To Canadian girls sing.


To bongo and banjo.

Eating cheese

From a far.


Dog named Barney.






C: Is that the wonderful bridge?

T: We are monsters! We are important!


Blood Thinner Alert!


Is the money obscene in baseball?

Is the money obscene in the movies?

Is the money obscene in politics?

Is the money obscene in celebrity?

Is the money obscene in reality?

Then shut your yap hole about art.


I’m not the least bit disenfranchised.


At this level of acrimony.

Air fluff. No heat.


It’s not his fault he’s from Toronto

And the wind is brown with Adriatic teeth.




He rented a room

To draw in the dark.

That was his idea

Of shore leave.

Lucifer shone the light—

Torch-bearer, luminescence

Divinity in the latrines

Of Rome, the grip

Of a great white rock

Of a light that grows.

Maybe he played

The radio, perhaps

He blared the radio

Loudly. Only

The drawings can tell

And they are mutually



Mute. The news

Relates a crash

In oil prices.

He drinks a bowl

Of milk in the dark.

Other parts

Of the kingdom

Require robes.

The sagas relate

That way before

Leif Ericson, way

Indeed, before

Columbus discovered

Canada on my birthday.


Separating iron

From rock

Is called SMELTING.


They die too.


Nobody quits

While they’re ahead—

This isn’t France.

We toast

With distant Pabst

As well as the immediate



I chew my bloody Mary

Like a nook midget.



LEFT PANEL— where a large, bearded man

Halves a loaf of cheese and then halves it again—

Dirty hands leaving deep, groovy, prints

In the loaf’s malleable surface and edges.


Manual as a tube of royal blue.


The result being a painting

Worth retelling with words.

Echo Niner says the pilot

Through his relentless, static stutter.


Northern men in southerly climes—

And the difficulty of their times.


Solid like spring

Time when the water

Is a wall. When you know

The morning’s broken

In a sack full of plastic



Perpetual trouble

Shooter’s manual.


Pile of plastic.

Big bag of wigs.

The children of sleep

Are cheap and the books

Of Jersey City are safe

As the central stairwell.

Stop at philopater.

Stop at wisdom.

Be better.


Got his in Michigan

From above, when

The clouds break

And a shore appears

Out of nowhere—

Like a zip line through

The evaporation of milk

That the sky was when we

Were struck rough by indignities

Of the old east flying fast

For a foreign sun, knowing full

Well it’s been dead the while.

And again an hour

Later, a new shore wavers north

In order that wheelwrights

Might steer their handiwork

Toward an end

To the argument of water.







And so it is that after

All these years

The light up high

Becomes a miniscule

Orange ribbon

Like one sewn

Into the oversized sleeve

Of a simpleton’s ceremonial cloak.

Stuck between the sweat

Of earthly cares and the bruising

Weight of smog from our supposedly

Spiritual delights.


That’s a lot of dead passengers up there

Says Mitch from under his moustache.

And that tiny wisp turns into a smart

Weft of tensile threads and disappears.

Abundant as the box

Of jack threads what fell off the truck

And just as suddenly the charm

Of color outs the sky

Leaving dust and sleep and a blue

That is widely described as black.


And so we rose west regardless

Watching clouds rolling west

Fast and toward the sun—

Knowing still the sun can’t run

But stands still amid the pile of white.


Billy Dollar on Juanita Street.






I’ll have the Ass Burger, rare.


Coat smells like Hood River wood smoke.


T: Your treasure is our light.

C: So put this in mine treasure.


Eat a canoe!

Eat a surf board!

Eat a ski!






Among the footmen

Among the many

Amidships, aplenty.


Velocity, volume, veracity—



Hand me that granddad-made spade.


Miguel! Bone to see you

Last son soon sir!


1965 club—

Empty can of bitter rain.


This I have seen


This I have seen


This I have seen


This I have seen


There I have gone.


Abby versus Abe









Manhattan in May—

300 slate blue

Jerseys fell off the truck.

Dog sniffing decades

Of piss rusting on the hunter

Green RELAY MAIL box.


White man in a black shirt



Very white man—

As in translucent.


The world is Robert’s toilet.


Woman with a box

Of lemons, seeking

Fourteenth Street—

One station late.

Hikes her Husker shirt

Gets up so she can sit down.

The sailor’s face is rubbery.

The student flicks her proof.

Fire stops.

Green spots.

All along the bus route.


The amount of hard rubbish on a single

Street in Manhattan, walked twice daily

Thrice or more some days, could house

A village if repurposed. Today alone I saw

Four perfectly functional, full-length

Mirrors leaning against a dumpster

Near Eighth Avenue. That dumpster

Is always full due to the college dorm

It functions for— college kids— whose

Lives and reflections are disposable, apparently.





Hard as the sun

On skin.

Mean as the old

Old wind.


Young and naked

As the night.


Watch the workmen peregrinate.


That condo’s grown a helmet

Made of clay. The hut next

Is dormant with two ears

Of greener wood steam.


Wooden Manhattan (before electricity)


Or we could be in Italy

With all the others.


Gene Kelly’s greatest role—

An American Embarrassed.


Ah! Spring!

Stink-hole of seasons!


Walking the dog—

And there he was—

The devil in the front

Seat of a Pontiac sedan

Of some sort—

I was never good with models—

Only the make.






The dimpling cistern’s quivering meniscus—

The quarter moon drips like a sleeve—

Flimsy as the thermostats inside him.

Riding a small tractor, waist-naked

Dented helmet, cocked and dusty

From the dormant orchard and gullible

Garden grit—

The smithy cooling newly

Wrought wares in a barrel sawed in half—

Barrier full of rain, the bone mayor’s

Quarter moon dry as a plaster trophy.

Rent by the virid middle-far, afloat

In its own cyanosphere.

Over the river was a paper mill—

A paper will, paper nil.

Storm. Drag. Stroll. Hay road.

Lid. Waffle. Another waffle.

Batsmanship among tall trees

And balls. One should be prone—

Of the warmer holidays. One

Should allow the scud of alto

Cumulus in sky blot-hot—

Between lungs and terror.

Ducks eating dumplings.


Darkness and a mist settled grim

Upon the green. It was morning when

The dogs came smitten by their visage

In pools clustered low behind fell trees.

It was noon when the silhouettes appeared—

Black one in front and the darker in back.

It was after when the slight light torpedoed

An otherwise blue room all but slatternly red.

It was dusk as the rain began again in earnest.

It was night when the dogs left with both legs



Checking today’s idle hour

For Vienna Sausages

An overhearing

That went a little some

Thing like he was a forge

Now eating ham

In his dotage.


In your brother’s basement

Bedroom, such and such a so and so—

Small, red guitar in flames, under a throne

Of falcons, under a three of door-fogs.

The drapery’s industrial mustard

Short as the window well it balconies—

Memorization of birds, pipes of famous

Men, wilted Hampshire cabinets in the steam.

As for lunch? All flesh. His stack is stag—

Up-rearing stallion in a world of mere horses.


Words were windows—

All lighted.


Also, being lost, without

Windows— words, light

The pier song’s way.

In an old tin bowl that held

Our potatoes like a hug.

Summer squeezed us too, a warmth

Like butter on corn, and welcome

As such delicacies in the bitter

Heat. Rages blazed with char

And wiped by sharper knives

Of meat. We’ve gone from bitten

Winter rumpus direct to these—

Boiling fumes.

No longer any

Spring, just hell freeze and hell

Fire. We’re still hungry. We’re

Still hunting while the train snorts

Not very far away from here at all.

Every train is a-hurry just like every

Bowl sings her best song with a spoon

Inside her belly.


The radio is broken— poor fool.

The yelp accompanying a triple.

Congratulatory minor-league wide-bands.

Helicopter ponds and awkward hawks.

Rat in the hopper of a chicken-bucket stop.

Healthier specimen of the genus—

Of the family, of the gene-pool, of the chain

The kingdom, phylum and class disorder.

He feasts on what the infirm and hungry

Let remain. Change your flag, old man.

Be wise, down deep, be wise. Get gas

With your chicken. Let the vermin rest

As the sky loosens to the flight of a knife

Through the soupy aires—

A millionth tongue, a tabernacle’s

Pageantry, a rich caress of cares

And a gout of kisses. Gallantry, snorts

Chortles, a nearer moon. Flash. Dapple.

Sweet ducks! Derriere. Sloop. Thunder

Blooming the Sunday room, decided

Darkness, then pouring the streets

With salt. Drum reports twice across

The echo floor, loose bureau, cavernous

Davenport. Puce bureau. Porous

Davenport neverlasting—

Grief as thief— blue

Ink common as a robin

In the deep, old grass

Of a summer’s middle—

Belly full of worms

And sturdy as the chalk

Brick buttress of below—

With a sharp fork

Inside the calm comfort of her mouth.


At the touch of a broken button—

So says the smoke in the rain—

Anything to see you naked again.

He hangs his nasty hat on the bannister

Against her wishes.


Steeled by good, crooked clay—

The cool rooms each born skew

In different bricks just past

The brush line in the window—

There is where a carnival

Does its parking. You can

Hear the music and cackles

Prim as the sticks

In this wall full of nestlings.

Lost music putting purity

Backwards. Imbrications.

Vortices wayward forward.


The mailman is a little old lady.


A basket full of babies— bright calls—

Trains are clear. Partly that they are so

Rarely seen, as much as heard, as clear

And partly cloudy is the enchantment of darkness.


Letters add up to sideways cartography—

Pure pyre meaninglessness. Robins mock

The venerable window wells which were

Swollen by the flood and brought the cellar’s

Eyes to pour forth lachrymose, copious

Horrible, silty rivers. But the babies bounce

Back, noggins of bedrock, ensconced in rubble—

Dreamless yet, despite the disposition of bliss.


She hammers the keys, an ivory saunter.

Her boutonniere itches menthol. Lime

Dangles in her gin soak, several days old.

She gave up prodigious for a gory life

Full of dropped kerchiefs, straps off

Smooth shoulders, bruised gropings.

Seven suns dot the micro-sky. The heat

Vectors, like knuckles on an owl—

A stray horn’s clarion din.

Taciturn terns at the taco shack

An honor of fossil fuel.

Cushions moist— of aging ocean done.

Deep sleep like syrup over the whole—

A drowsy dowsing.


Butterfly lost in the vestibule.

Hot dog. Dray horse. Dread nought.


Mountainside knife works of Pigeon Forge.

Come hear (from here) the jolly

Cries where folly lies—

Both ways down and dirty.


At men and their harms

I mumble. No charms, nor

Pipers neither.


Jesus Is Lord = Pother

We Buy Guns = Proof


Well-worn hill home

West of famous grass—

Head of a youth in profile—

Inside stands a vexed man

Who wants to cut

The hair of his first

Born son.


He needs a Getty martini.


Whoso is the god of this?

Wind splats the frontage.

Wind is fuel for the furnace—

The holy hallway full of uncles.

Tectonic, terrific, tricky.


Meats Cheeses Pickles Bread Chicken

Changed my mind but quick

She’s my buddy’s chick

Meats Chesses Pickles Bread Bacon Beer

Anchors, screws, nails, magic.

Magic, anchors, screws, nails.

Pastor with two different shoes.

Heart-shaped shorts. A bit of toasted

Pig and some liquid cow on bread

Or pain as the French talk it back

In the long gone away before good

Bye Brokeneck, before good bye fatso

Before good bye lispy, good bye other

Fatso. That is when the rocks were piled

High on the pillow dust called once.

Shrikes in flight surround the eagles—

A bell-tower claiming noon.


By comparison— there is none.


Value at half staff.


His boat is bigger than the sun.


Blue scape                   Stone boats

Sand scape                  Salt pillows

Green scape                Rock water

White scape                Cream stable

We mull the berries in the not sun.


Groan beds rolling

Like an ocean gone

Coaster. Rogue, sage

Booze or death—

Black Port end.






Are not—


Bright as new lung.

We could weed it purple.

Bone chance.

Rustic as Rome.

Whereby the sky

Splits into arrows

And planets beam forth

As leaps across empty

Caves of teases

In starlight harking.


Violins and cheese.


Looking up a word

In the dictionary—

Haven’t ever heard

How knuckles grow hairy.

Wasting time, a dally

A tarry.


Two truck drivers eating

Salads at a gas station.


A plain explained— very

Mischief. Tesla at Sweaty Rock.


Sky bream

And grunty sleepeth—

At last.






The limpid reflection off cold

Water onto hot brick is the same

Visual as the rise of waves over

Boiling pots of water. As air, so





The honeybee that hovers

Over lavender, heavy

As the smell of children



Hill idyll.

Love lyric.

Dance across.


Guns are contrapuntal

Punctuation. Green gone

Grey. There’s a trio

And a wonder star.


Starlings dash the valley silly.


Just a touch of bloom sleep

Juice through a Slovenia of peace.


Garage jolly.

White, fresh seaside

With decrepitude

And gull-savvy boat

Scrotums float—

Escarpments bent

Around cement silos—

Cloud-ward glades

Over milky turquoise

Streams, remaining



The castle was very beyond.


The water man eats a dozen peaches

For his breakfast. Lion

Says put your pants on.


Tingle tango.


Marble belly up, sleeps on a pile

Of coins, watched by a two-headed



Of yore.


Blind girl

With broken


Thanks a thousand

For the happiest hunter

Green barnacles on the canal

At six of the clock—

Two gulls eating a pigeon.

Or as the songstresses

Of Calle del Cimitero

Always said— if life

Gives you lemons

Smoke a cigarette.


Hover over the pitkin ingle.


Doused in Greece

We misunderstand

Rome squeaky

As a daydream.


Thigh-bone skull cup like

A world class trombone

When all you want to do

Is play the trumpet.





So dangle delicate decades

Behind on the straight-aways

Just ahead on the curves like nuptial cans

Clanking with bent abandon’s microgrooves.

Blistered by hungriest sun bleach

Yawning, gaudy, exhausted ever after.

So we swerve onward and forward, on

The nose of same and the factory’s Russian

Enclave keeping poetry 900 years

Ugly. Super Eye with spent boat

And flamed out China bomb

Across the subjacent street where

Two boys bully a junkyard dog

Who stares through the pig

Worker fence-bulge in shame.

All nineteen men on the street

Are scavengers. At home again

The smell of Brooklyn halls

Has not changed these twenty

Five and counting quickly.

Yankee ninety nine give me

The Triple Animal (a sandwich–

Local pig, chicken and cow

Dash of salt with pepper) and smile.

That lump in your drum roll

Is bacon. That beggar is no

One’s brother. Liquored formica

Like a foot path to Shandaken

Circa 1929, in a poet’s tarnished

Pants, pants of worn tarnation.

Speaking of blemishes, the box

Of books, the box of books

The box of books. As such–

Whomsoever’s grief ever enters

Exits un-retouched in gelatin grays.

Howsoever their Koran stammers

Through in Spanish, howsoever

Their Torah knows of Zola or Lorca’s

Foible of fountains making

Mist from the tears of jilted retirees

Long departed these old breweries

Of Bushwick yon, the one nobody

Remembers. The rankled, dank

Brown stink hole and the like.

We mean 1929.

Rock Dove loose underground

At Broadway Junction. Lamp loose

Too bent for attention. And on

The return leg realize I like a little white

Lip or gully around and image

Because of stickers from the sport

Hood of childscape. Recall

Always also Throop like Norman

Like Alabama Avenue now.

Salvage yards mostly, exhilarate.

Abound, the flatbed, the open

Summer farm, gut north. Builder

Roman. News from Paris as regards

Boris on a cool and drizzly Sunday

Indoors, sorting at home. An American

Embarrassed. Coffee and cream

Salami. Interior with outré jazz.

The list is long of artists writing

Poetry and poets making art.

Their waiting room is crowded

And the lobby at their Hall

Of Fame is full to bursting.

How then to proclaim one’s tiny

Territory, blanched already

By middle May, buried by empty

Boxes. After a spank of flooding

The wood still un-warped. Stay

On top of your Stanley Dance

My son, keep the Duke in your

Front pocket. Wear your billfold

Like a middleweight on fight night.

Keep the muscles in flex, in situ

In excess, the maximal answer

To manhood. Keep the iron pigs

At bay, the tire fellows too are poison

To your sculpture, albeit golden

For your poetry. Go forth like a third

Baseman batting third in the order

With a count of two balls, two strikes

And if there are two outs Grandpa

Is happy in a heaven made

Of cotton flannel and chino.

Be a gong at the end of a long song

Whensoever of a Monday afternoon.

Ever the time, ever the day, ever

The month and if whenever only

Imperative the year, because

If it’s now it’s then. Blasé heat

Loosens minty back spasms.

Tiny empire full of windows.

Welladay! Welladay! Welladay!

Wellaway! Wellaway! Wellaway!

Oh Yankee Captain Beef hat

And ankle to hip adoration

On the west bound elevated

Day all fond and done unto dusk.

First there is a probing, akin, say

Perhaps to the opening salvo

From the expulsion of Ezra

From Pennsylvania proper

Boots caked with sewage raw

Gloves caked, each septic paw

A ruddy pummeling of oil, gas

Liquor, jazz, grease and charcoal.

Also a box of sepia chalk upon

The occasion the King’s been

Dumped on our streets again

Fat as the pigs yester-breakfasts

Pimped by groovy-aproned grannies

Grinning big for a decent duck egg

Once in a market while away.

Ice cold can of pants. As anchor

Leans gentle ‘gainst the iron wheel

The whole shack bolstered

By several dozen disused tires.

As the fence, so the swamp.

As the Bayou, so Brownsville.

Meanwhile and meanwhile

And meanwhile does the digger

Do its duty on the avenues.

Does the steamroller on its sag

And sloppy diligence jag.

Does the kerchief waver, bull-horned

Into corners made of tar and feather.

Furthermore and furthermore

And furthermore clanks the empty

Bullet, gold and silver slivers.

Look at Myrtle’s girdle if you can.

Clear spot a solace for this orchestra

The fidelity of originals, being Bingo

Mingus, and that’s why we hired

A sculptor, for his uncanny sense

Of space and all the records

He has on the skronk Actuel label

And his orange shoes, which match

The master’s old Mayday angles

From Snedicker and Van Sinderen.

Oh Atlantic dawn. Half tank house

Half bladder spasm. The cartographer’s

Poem to your name, your Monday name.

And then Mungo amid the yarmulkes

West bound full of beer and thick

Russian ankles, thick Chinese thighs

With an apostle’s holiness, goes

Through the gritty gorse of East New

York. Such coasts are storm drenched.

High test rain dog with a blue haired

Girl, so the muse arouses the siren

Who kicks the groin of morning.

To the end of the line, we take this

Train to be self-trained and take us

To the end of the line today.

Enter the green bump on a wave

Scented smoky like the cold hair

Of lanky, limbless dancers with heart

Cans in both hands. Crooked

Like a turnpike, limping like a punctured

Dirigible, like a slumping, tangled

Turnbuckle singing duende

On a Yankee dis-harmonica. Spank

Herman’s lobster sauce. All you

Jersey douche-nozzles. All you

Bitchy dolphin flippers. All you Florida

Tourniquet softies. Green bump.

How easy it is for the salient man

To hate the man eating an apple

In public like an animal. Mango

Leather. Even if that man is a woman.

Even if that woman is a manatee.

She eats the apple like another animal.

The peach inches. The travelogue

With a book per diem. Call it a sawbuck.

Call it a wooden book and a wooden

Notebook and call it a wooden watch

Made from benches of the 1923 Yankee Stadium.

New corridors between under

Ground and the ever loving street.

Good morning bright windy Monday.

Dolorous drear and endearing Thursday.

Wilson Avenue’s skinny ankle of sun.

Aberdeen dunks again. Dirt under.

Plod we our arduous way. How-so?

This same through movements south

And/or abroad? Naked Memorial

Sailors, that’s not music, it’s Althea.

All the goddamned gods laughing.

More balloon fire. Booming home

Barrel merging left says he doesn’t

Have any physical symptoms, just

Bad blood, an American embarrassed.

Weird American Wednesday. First

Taste is like spaghetti and meatballs

Second tastes like Orange Ceylon.

Just another long holiday weekend

Celebrating our pre-eminence

And no garbage men on Tuesday means

Just that kind of American Wednesday

Stench. We dance a fancy line. Give

Us this day our daily Drambuie.

Larger jars across the mahogany slide.

Old shenanigans of the morrow, the eager

Morrow, microgrooves of jazz-land.

The endlessly dented morning rhapsody

And the long night’s brutalist threnody.

Horse shit that’s a strike. What say you

Of the sharp end of the tournament

In Paris? My money’s on the young-blood

From Latvia. The green of goodness.

Such dreams whole cities scuttle for.

Such blown bridges, such clay-stained

Knickers, nothing dainty.

Nothing done.


SPRINGS & SUMMERS 2015, 2016, 2017

New York City, Los Angeles, Dallas, Portland, Nashville, Brownsville


Scott Zieher is a poet, artist and co-owner of the contemporary art gallery ZieherSmith with his wife, Andrea. His 5th book of poetry was published in 2016 to coincide with a solo exhibition of recent collages at Ampersand Gallery in Portland, Oregon. His latest work, HOLY DADA HOLY DAD was seen at Usable Space in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in May, 2017. With AMERICAN CHEESE & HAM, New Theory inaugurates the serial publication of the 6th of Zieher’s proposed 13 volume, book-length poem project, TRISKADEKALOG. He has lived and worked in New York City since 1992.