i

 

I can almost hear the waves sweep in, their soft susurrations,
tips of their lips breaking between my curled toes.

Noise is now everywhere I want to be
without it. Cars swoosh past Galveston beach roaring their inept monstrous lungs. I can barely

breathe. Or think. Why do trees and blades of every green thing shudder?
Because we are a hyper-intelligent insidious poison? Cats and dogs cling to us in shock and awe.

Ninety-five percent of a car’s energy goes towards moving simply itself not the passengers.
Or rather that’s 2,500 pounds of wastefulness before the crux of tissue steering the steel.

In Hermann Memorial Park a yellow-blue finch tries to sing and fails
in the roar cars shed in their wake on the I-10 adjoining the beige greenery.

I nod off under a canker tree. A whale whistles out of its water spout, breathing. I roll under
such plushness, floating with barnacles and sticky ambergris. So glued are our dream’s illogical logic.

I am a sticky carbuncle tearing through the earth’s thin breathability. It’s afternoon in Houston.
I shower again. I scrunch into a starched shirt. I rope my throat with a dead worm’s shiny excrement.

 

ii

 

My right ear is dead. When I was three
German measles like dappled freckles

grew in me, killing the nerve. My left ear
still good, at thirteen, I hear pretty well

the unprettiness in my parent’s voices as they divorce
and I listen in, in the mosquito bitten dark

roof above the living room window, then roll
on my back to swallow insignificance

in the drifting milky way above. Now
the frogs have started up. A few ducks quack. A splash

might be catfish come to nibble at the stars
tangled in cheap tabloid, suspended on the pond’s scum. My chest

makes a soft squelching sound like tossed gravel granite
settling into the decay layer at the ponds pitch black bottom.

 

iii

 

Some sounds have no feet, like running in a dream
with something chasing behind. Once, as a boy

in the Bahamas, in Freeport, in a wooded area
two older boys forced me to be

naked, and dance for them, my penis
slapping around like a snake in the beak

or eye of some predatory bird, I forget
which one it was that kept me, held

squirming, until I ran screaming and
pounding my way past the low palm trees. Power

is holding the thing that does not want you
to rape it into a display for you to play

with, you’d think. If you could think.
Those are pearls that were his eyes

nothing of him that doth fade but suffers.


 
 
copyright © 2015 Kurt Lovelace All Rights Reserved

While sipping coffee, I read what one student wrote:

“The surviving fifty rare whooping cranes

with their seven-foot wingspread that propels them

in their annual migration from northern Canada

to the Gulf of Mexico fly unerringly and

swiftly overhead as they migrate southward

using a kind of built-in radar

in their search for winter quarters

near Aransas Pass.”

 

Surviving fifty myself, feeling rare and whooping

with my six-foot slouch that propels me nowhere

in my daily migrations from the kitchen to the couch,

I live by the Gulf of Mexico, sleep unerringly and

swiftly, undercover, my dreams migrate southward

using a kind of built-in slinky

in search for vaginal quarters

near my wife’s Aransas Pass.

 

To be surviving melanoma is rare

with its seven wretched drugs I puke, that propels

me out of the gothic hospital to monthly migrations of chemo;

swimming in the Gulf of Mexico, on my back, I float unerringly

and slowly, overheard, the nurses’ whispers migrate southward

out of memory, which is a kind of built-in shit-breeder

when I am in pain and searching for the way out

near the dark rings of Uranus.

 

But survival is everything rare as whooping

or her pubic hair spread to propel me

in my daily migrations from her coffer to wherever

it is in the Gulf of Mexico I am off to, I unerringly

admit to caring enough to love her butt

less than I ought too as I migrate southward

using a kind of built-in stupidity

in my blindly succumbing to what is expected of me

clearly perfecting it into a fairly fucked life.

 

 

© 2015  Kurt Lovelace – All Rights Reserved

 

Definition: a German “thought-word” meaning a change, upgrade or improvement that makes things worse.

 

On a bench, downtown, lipping a latte,
my eyes pause at the vast new construction
that glistens across the street. In its huge shadow

I watch a tiny bird
die into the third story
of its reflection.

Falling, it intimates to me
the terribly intimate stupidity
of the engineer

who flowered the foresight
that birds might mistake themselves
for their reflections,

but the engineer, who, nevertheless,
got up every morning and shaved
money from the budget of his building,

now grows his dead birds on our pavement.

 
 
 
 
 
copyright © 2015 Kurt Lovelace All Rights Reserved

Aliens are orbiting earth, dining
on a dimmed diamond table. Oceans
float in front of windows the size of walls.

On transparent aluminum toothpicks
hover two lips with tongues, sans mouth, sans face,
sans head, sans bodies — wrapped like bacon

around each other, pushed through the intact
lips arranged as appetizer, the whole
human entrée standing up behind it,

anatomy impeccably arranged.

 
 
 
 
 
copyright © 2015 Kurt Lovelace All Rights Reserved

There’s a certain joy in watching someone you hate
suffer. It was likely a German mind
that first cobbled together and joined
the words schaden and freude. I see

how it might have happened. Pointed helmet
on head, my great grandfather, Peter Kessel,
seated atop his rust stead in WWI
came crushing over a small patch

of openness through the forest
he guarded. Little yellow and pink Spring flowers
had commandeered the fields with their beauty.
His horse snorted and slowed. Ahead,

what had been hidden
in the small heights of grass
lay a man sprawled on his back.
Peter dismounted, pushed a polished boot

into the man, who jerked and moaned,
left hand, zigzagging like a baguette
conducting the breeze. He began to sing
“C’est la vie.” Grandfather kneeled,

ungloved his left hand, touching the man’s forehead.
Schade — he said,
too bad – it was schade. His own supplies
meager, he’d been told not to bring

enemy combatants back to camp.
The Frenchmen was rotten with fever.
Peter trotted on leaving him. Without much thought
he’d have shot a crippled horse. Behind him,

the man’s cries rose like larks into the meadow.

 
 
 
 
 
copyright © 2015 Kurt Lovelace All Rights Reserved

lis-will-laser

I’ve never really felt in control of my life.
So unlike Will Robinson, who walks alone
confident in the dark, navigating rocks

jutting up from soil like jagged giants.
Will moves without tripping, welcomes
vast rivers blocking his way, ahead

where his cleverness already owns solutions
waiting to unfold from his brain, his small frame
skedaddling before enormous painted draperies

of a B&W planet. Chalk light
shines on slate grass. Black insects
ooze over black leaves. Undaunted, Will

squeezes his walkie-talkie, hailing
Alpha Control. As if we could call out
waiting light years for an answer

to find its vast way back
between the vacuum and the stars
for what is control but the hand’s reaching

out, manipulating, from the rotation
and twisting wheels of the shoulder
the things we love and hate that sit before us

when there’s no one there to tell us how?

 
 
 
 
 
copyright © 2015 Kurt Lovelace All Rights Reserved

Originally posted on What's new:

Many problems and results in analytic prime number theory can be formulated in the following general form: given a collection of (affine-)linear forms $latex {L_1(n),dots,L_k(n)}&fg=000000$, none of which is a multiple of any other, find a number $latex {n}&fg=000000$ such that a certain property $latex {P( L_1(n),dots,L_k(n) )}&fg=000000$ of the linear forms $latex {L_1(n),dots,L_k(n)}&fg=000000$ are true. For instance:

  • For the twin prime conjecture, one can use the linear forms $latex {L_1(n) := n}&fg=000000$, $latex {L_2(n) := n+2}&fg=000000$, and the property $latex {P( L_1(n), L_2(n) )}&fg=000000$ in question is the assertion that $latex {L_1(n)}&fg=000000$ and $latex {L_2(n)}&fg=000000$ are both prime.
  • For the even Goldbach conjecture, the claim is similar but one uses the linear forms $latex {L_1(n) := n}&fg=000000$, $latex {L_2(n) := N-n}&fg=000000$ for some even integer $latex {N}&fg=000000$.
  • For Chen’s theorem, we use the same linear forms $latex {L_1(n),L_2(n)}&fg=000000$ as in the previous two cases, but now…

View original 2,531 more words

– after the 2014 mid-term elections

Tuesday was wet. We couldn’t have bothered to vote.
Panhandlers huddle, unlike football players, anonymous

under a corporate freeway. Chubby constables
watch them from their warm cars. Is politics

what happens on FOX or CNN
in some distant country? We wait

in lines for a hot latte to warm our hands
at Starbucks, muttering before starting second jobs

assembling complaints of failures on a phone line.

Copyright © 2014 Kurt Lovelace, All Rights Reserved

It used to be beautiful but people got there
with ideas. I don’t know why a parking lot

should cover the green velvet moss that wrapped
the long slippery slate-stone path to the water

under thick green sun-spackled trees that was like walking
through golden pollen hovering inside the vest of a vast leprechaun

before opening out onto a beige pebbled beach
of bodies bobbing naked in the sunned shallows

or reclining like purposeful porpoises that Manet
or Seurat would gladly have painted, hips

and breasts, with their delicate French brushstrokes.
I decline the five dollar asking price

and drive on, back to Austin, talking to myself
feeling like Matthew McConaughey in a Mercedes commercial,

famous in my own mind, alone, and bewildered.

 

In Soonest Mended, through a humbling out of self by means of a sequence of self-referential questions and answers, through a process of bringing forth by rejecting and flipping answers and questions around, through a discourse that levels itself out by qualification as it proceeds, John Ashbery achieves a beautiful and stunning sublimation of self through the mere act of talking, thereby discovering, almost as if by accident, the nature of the poetic truth he had, apparently, been aiming for all along.

I posit that Ashbery hones a reductionist, almost mathematical, technique for approaching the truth. His speakers engage in a series of approximations to the “truth” using argumentative qualifications. It is precisely these qualifications that allow the speakers to wend their way to truth by discovering, recovering, and discarding the many “truths” — these weaker version of themselves — that argumentatively lie along the path of such self-referential discourse. This is a key technique used within almost all of Ashbery’s poetry: talk that uncovers truth by qualifying itself at every turn.

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