David Meltzer


where poems go
if they’re able to
cross over mort’s mote
where alligators & crocodiles
root & rut for eatables

eaten out from inside eden pure
as anything unknown or unnamed
no stain in skivs 
beyond juices caught in
Calvin’s basket

in garlic bulbed stalks
pulp out of loose bung hole
into great lakes of
snake filled flip flops
twisting & weaving around
cast off marquee alphabet
jumble jungle
swamp of lost poems
boggled where
deep sea scribers
snorkel through brain snot
upward to word held high
as crown like radium that
burns eyes out & fries
tongues among the chattering
bongo paradiddling monkeys

oh poets in the works
oh worked out bards
oh super slammed
dumbells ringing 
bang clang old dome bash
flash of dumb
who cares 
we’re here &
on the run 
on the make
chewing up the tiered
bugaloo iced cake
gibble gobble spit drool sugar
into each page of
easy rage that wrinkles
in sweet’s acid 
smokes & fulminates
& agitates nothing
but the burnt page

you gotta get the message 
this is behind the front lines
w/ phat back beats
the dancing troops
& tropes & troupes
gung ho in crazy rubber leg


the young man in a khaki baseball cap is talking across the table to a young woman whose black hair is tied back in a bun

The man assumes command of the discourse & she defers or retreats into the unasked & unquestioned

The young man is instructing
She is reflecting in the lights of his erudition
He can see it in her eyes

Nothing will be remembered


down for the count
the long count
no amount
or can add up to
the collapse 
the dissolve
of irregardless


the loss
that leads
bleeds into my white
socks into my
fake shoes


as ever
for ever
makes it now
even when
it was then


they sit opposite each other
he northward, she southward
across their diningroom table
in their big window across the street
my livingroom window faces


God fuck the loss that
leads me downward
not even in enjoyable spirals
instead dense dumb blank erase

Whose face there 
immediate & above?
Present but past.

So much confession
too much mea
too much culpa
too much
who gives a fuck
about losing a life
& gaining a faith?


& then we vanish to become the book which is our tomb.

& then we vanish not within but beyond all those photographs others remember time with

the ‘we’ is of course me

here in Ragas typeface
here in sensing Death
the end of seeing 
the book the page
the letter the word

easy enough 
‘tomb’ & ‘womb’
no immortal
needs the Ouija 
for that ah ha

clotted by layers
of wrong fuel & foods
building death within

yes, death
yes, da’ath
yes, the dot that
hits center 
to unfold
& explode 


uh uh
ah ah
(. . . .)

on the brink
beyond words worth
words, still a vessel
for their workings

if I really knew
wdn’t spew

art ordeal
a joy a process
a refusal & learning
words work & struggle
to get beyond words

momentary paradise
until the other eye






All the dead
the living
the in between
always here
& malleable as skin
in time’s impress
knowing everything
knowing nothing
praying & preying
we stay until we leave
& those who grieve
mourn themselves


poems are
not said

they can be anything
from shopping lists
to legal briefs

but it's what's not there
that's there

nothing to do w/

always something

words work best when
they know they can't

nothing changes
but vocabulary


see you around

gotta get my grub
already, I smell, burnt

so much
too much

all the yes
& no &
in between

the trotting hots
& forget me nots

the noise
& ploys

still open
still a closed book

an open instant
a shut door

my yes
my no

but the vein pulse
of love beyond


the big job
poetry prole
not only in the trenches
wenches & Senor Wences
but stuck in the rut of
profound piffle which
wags its tail under radar
screen screaming red lights


no don’t go there
stay here in the hairy
whose quills will mystery
as the romanza misery
manages masks & foolish puffery

no don’t go
no don’t stay
no don’t yes
no don’t stress
no mess
no no
yet yes yes
sail off
sell out
stuff alephs
eat all you can eat
at joints of gut grub joissance
no innocence or defense 
devour the hour
the meat you eat
meets you perhaps in some
horrid judgement


In like Flynn
may not have been
about Errol's
you know

but Kerouac's ecstatic
haunted lovelorn
immigrant confused
deep heart for landscape
& whatever America is
was undeniable
as Wolfe or Farrell
or really & truly
Walt Whitman

poets who embrace the All &
Everything in huge gulps
of vintage bliss blessed
from day one or two
either choke to death or
explode into
prophets, seers
fools & farts
conniving & surviving
in spirit's marketplace

US of A
Aleph us
you of serpentine hiss
bright day
klieg lit
Hollywood soundstage
"You Are My Lucky Star"
sings Gene to 18 yr old Debbie
& Jack listening to Sinatra records
like Lester Young digging Jo Stafford platters

wild boys
lost boys
wolven boys
boys on the road
boys in a jam
boys as scouts
in Sierras
boys running away
from mon mere
on umbillic yo-yo string
still bleeding

boys town
boys club
treehouse recluses
running away from
whoever she is
in solidarity w/ who
guys are on the lam
from hearth & heart

running to where?

vast splash of US of A
roadmap impossible to know
fueled by righteous charge
of deep jockstrap
fluid drive
tender homoerotic
yen for
same sex yack comfort
of familiarity
w/out confinement
w/out borders
w/out gated gender

blame it on Walt
blame it on Emily
blame it on boogie woogie
on blues
on bebop

oh woe
oh lost Wolfe
oh found pitbulls
oh & oh & oh


the glint
hints at light
around the corner

in his eyes
the spark he sought
in hers

fades to out



Buddha paper
inks stay
alert to all
going or
yr way
or anywhere else


Cathy comes
twice a week
to fuss over me
for a fee



tush cush
all the gevalt
outrage to my precious slag heap               
of bones
& sinews, who knew?
the "unit" (McNaughton called it)
sooner or later
a pyramid of bone meal
topped w/ smudged bifocals

Screamin' Jay Hawkins
is riffing fake Chinese & Mau Mau







DAVID MELTZER's lates book is When I Was a Poet (Pocket Poets #60, City Lights Books). For more check



Editorial Staff

Publisher and Managing Editor:
U.S. Dhuga (Toronto)
Editor: Ben Mazer (Boston)
Issue Editors: Mario Murgia (Mexico City), Flaminia Ocampo (Buenos Aires)
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