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Exquisite Corpse - A Journal of Letters and Life
Five Poems
by Michael Ives
Author's Links

Sooner or later
each of us
gets to play
the D.A. don't
you worry
and watch
from a teal sofa
while the
trousers of the
terrified perp
harden into
a bud vase
of piranhas
and make
soft gravel
out of
his legs
I watches
trembles . . . by
that is
until it's
my turn
and it

Pocket History of Colonialism
That day
the major-
ettes with
tenter hooks
for hands
from the
coal black
to buy our
I might
have been a
little out
of it
you didn't
see dick squat

Précis of historical consciousness

how a pattern of (a.) violent reciprocating ventures among enemies giving way to (b.) dense rotarian calms and (c.) back again, that is, how, from (d.) continual interruptions, to plot an (e.) uninterrupted trajectory, stands alone among (f.) accomplishments as exemplary of (g.) totemistic thought caught boinking (h.) hot trophy wife of (i.) imperialist justification, thus to reinforce the (j.) vernacular belief that (k.) sound government "returns" to the "job" of (l.) "running the country" as one would (m.) a garbage disposal or (n.) sex toy, as if to release the (o.) individual consciousness to (p.) enjoy its attitude toward history as a (q.) thing forever passing into (r.) nothingness, since whenever (s.) serious matters are finally reduced to their (t.) non-serious essence, and eunuchs are opening splits of champagne and setting out (u.) exotic cheeses, some (v.) buff theory of time always rushes in to announce that (w.) roving thugs have (x.) defaced the herms, and concluding with an (y.) ac-
curate explanation of (z.) herms

A Flower Blooms in Waco
"The clan recruits freshening at the cutbank spigot are as so many jar-headed variations on bible college, fell manrumbles waiting their turn to swear, 'Never again with the animals.' And another thing, hell is only the seediest elder of them that gather in the corner of the glassed-in porch to hash off about bourbon enemas and capital gains. How do I know this? A voice come out of a gash in the upholstery of my vehicle that even a dead bird stuffed in bafflewise would not baffle, a voice like unto some rough market of sound from a bakelite radio sideways shoved between leg brace parts and the jarred brain of Abraham Lincoln. It said, and I quote: 'Where the action is, there you will find a suction very unlike the indifferent
'thwuck' of the refrigerator door closing on its cold, moist treasure. Go home, boy, and tavern quietly your wife's agitation till it cheese up and bubble into yearning, for only that way lay any promise that the closing oval of spikes rising from the divots she makes in the elegant quadrangle of your trespasses will fast meet and become one spike, and you shall fang your sweet fuck upon it like a receipt.'

It ain't never too late, junior, to learn to tail loveliness westward, to where the golden apples core themselves on squirt pine and the moon orbs back with jerks behind soft fenders of the accusing sky, heckling the oracles, making little more of the standard enigmas than you or I when we played chicken in stolen Cadillacs or pressed the pulpy surcharge of last winter's promises into a bouillon cube's worth of sham regret and methamphetamines. At the end of the day the Dalai Lama is only one more kind of coconut dessert telling us that our desires must sooner or later yield to the oily surfaces of death, which accounts for the lithe pinochle of things, so stop complaining. Besides there's always a little bit of untame buried in the audit that the big name help don't know about. You just gotta comb your legs out straight over a chaise lounge and enjoy without misgivings them penultimate gins and tonics, which do to soft lobed evenings pressing lazily against the teak decks of yachts at dusk what a thong does to a pair of uncurdled buttocks. Now be a good haircut and open me a beer, and forget I ever said any of this."
Outside Vic's
"Let the
gut go,
fuck's sake,
be your
own Nile,
nor push
the imprompt
'I am'
out of your
divine carpbody,"
Thomas in the
setting an
immethodic six
notches higher
than yo!
you big
thing you
big lovely

Not Quite

but never Quite, follows Quite into bar saying, "I'm Not Quite, following you." Quite, nervous, holding his money close to his genitals. But Not Quite, close enough to see it, asks Quite loudly, "Am I Not Quite, able to see your money close to your genitals? Sure I am!" And Quite, liable now to run away with his money near his genitals; Not Quite to his left, so down stairs to the right, on his heels Not Quite running after him asking, "Did he go that way, because I'm Not Quite, sure that he didn't go this." Far into the cellar now, Quite, but Not Quite down far enough to yell to him, "Quite, alone you are, and ever shall be as long as I'm Not Quite, following you, Quite, to the end of what said Quite, naturally holding his money close to his genitals, would call his life!"

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