And all the many helmets of elsewhere—
Statues also die.
The godforsaken workaround on the broken path
Elsewhere, a habit is formed.
Stand in contradistinction.
BOX & GLOM
Today’s tools include—
Brick & Mortuary
Robot Sliced Noodles.
April— nuggets from Das Vaterland
Mit Monsieur Arp in untranslatable concrete.
Here’s another dime for you, Mister Songman.
COLLECTING PHOTOGRAPHY BREAKFAST
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.
THE WHOLE ENTIRE UNIVERSE OF ALL TIME
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
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)
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
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.
VICTORY HAS A HUNDRED FATHERS. DEFEAT IS AN ORPHAN.
Homeless Los Angelino on Grand Street in the pouring rain—
THEY GET TO SLEEP ON THE BEACH FOR 30 YEARS!
No longer exists.
I’m in the rectangle of New York!
These are animals.
I am an animal.
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.
Hymns from the homeland.
Homemade ham salad
And black coffee.
Like a grandmother
At Paul’s Diner—
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—
Was a chain smoking
Of some regard
In the north
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.
On scaffold street.
Irregularities in screw & bolt fabrication.
As if I’ve
Of my life
To Canadian girls sing.
To bongo and banjo.
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—
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
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.
Of the kingdom
The sagas relate
That way before
Leif Ericson, way
Canada on my birthday.
Is called SMELTING.
They die too.
While they’re ahead—
This isn’t France.
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
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.
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.
THREE STANDING WOMEN
TWO SQUATTING WOMEN
GIRL BY THE BED WITH GLADIOLAS
And so it is that after
All these years
The light up high
Becomes a miniscule
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
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.
JOKES ABOUT BACON
RAINBOW ON THE CULVER LOCAL
JOKES ABOUT JEWS
JOKES ABOUT BEER—
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!
REMOVING INTACT ALL FOUR CORNERS AT THE EAVES
EVERY DAY DREAM OF AIR RIGHTS DASHED
Among the footmen
Among the many
Velocity, volume, veracity—
Hand me that granddad-made spade.
Miguel! Bone to see you
Last son soon sir!
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
JOSEPH CORNELL— THE TRUFFLE PIG OF FOURTH AVENUE
FOR LOVE OF THE GLOAMING
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
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.
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
Mean as the old
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.
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)
(MORE CHEESE PLEASE)
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
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
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—
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—
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
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
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
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
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.
Bright as new lung.
We could weed it purple.
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
Two truck drivers eating
Salads at a gas station.
A plain explained— very
Mischief. Tesla at Sweaty Rock.
And grunty sleepeth—
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
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.
White, fresh seaside
And gull-savvy boat
Around cement silos—
Over milky turquoise
The castle was very beyond.
The water man eats a dozen peaches
For his breakfast. Lion
Says put your pants on.
Marble belly up, sleeps on a pile
Of coins, watched by a two-headed
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
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.
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.