Sin: winking, convulsions.
Virtue: a halo on the
tabletop. Death: a spring
hanging loose in a smoky
glass bulb.

Notes on Seroconversion

Notes on Seroconversion

Then & only then was it made clear: I was to be no different than the rest stepping out to toke menthols at the curb, standing tall & slack-jawed as we joked about our aging forms—this fresh stretch mark, that odd crash course—did you know there was more than one way to snake a drain? to sump a pump? to earn one’s crust?—eventually snuffing the butts to reenter the song & hall with an edged finesse, as seen in certain sub-sects of eels—the swarm of us, looking just as lithe & cosmopolitan beneath the stroboscopic lights; fueled by syrup & ice & salt on the rim & in these stolen seconds, when the self-loathing lowers its pitch, who wouldn’t be convinced they could exist: bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, not subject to bad trips or high rent or low T cell counts or tear gas or squalor— who wouldn’t be convinced, utterly convinced, to live might always feel



Because what isn’t

Fed back? A time and place

For everything, my mother said,

But everything is A time, a place,

If you know to trace.

I carry my own face

And my mother’s,

And my father’s

Graceless shape; Both are overlaid.

A boy, I tried to rail against

The sect of men Who pick up rage but fell

Among the ranks anyway.

A boy, I was made

Effective in a lowly way, a ditch

In which this country’s scat

Falls fat.

When you’ve seen the image

Become word, the word

Become image again, “In the beginning” seems A useless trope.

Don’t speak to me of ends.

I’ve seen the legislated ditch

In which you’ve dropped

The dispossessed and young, hoping

We’d choke on our own

Mass. Why would you think that

Would last? Grown, we’ve come

Into our own, we’ve seen it all

Must be overthrown—

We, the people, the rank, the poor Muscled things

The ditch spits back.

Virginia Slim

“My idea of abstraction is white lightning”
Jack Whitten
Halfway between Gonyon and Ophelia imminent splendor. It doesn’t matter what I don’t know.
Clouds creating a blue fissure in the sky, whose grammar whose sadness hurries forth?
I want to speak to order: soybeans, corn, wheat rows browned to torpor.
Mercy. Protozoan, water-shorn, hotly I listen in the pines for my green name. Whoever can
stop reasoning, stop. Is it too much to ask tobe remade I who’ve just begun?
Adagio of light, copper-hued diadem
hanging on twilight’s hem, Virginia sun— I’m yet released from the
sharp language of being: make me anotherby morning lest I stay
in this vestibule wholly unmade


self/hood   Wearing today the diacritical preconception of otherness Approached thusly and code-ified, solidified in…