The Brooklyn Rail

MAY 2023

All Issues
MAY 2023 Issue



an ear cut from its head
is a ticket Here! granting en

trance to an arena
blueish sinuous ear

o rot’s troublesome mans
ion takes dirt as it comes

situation by sit
uation it is spring

arrived eerie semi-

zapped so oracular
ear cut from the kingdom

(just like that) profusion
decomposes (over)

us ticketed i list i be
come a listener a grief-

struck bloodshot moron
forlorner than winter

’s minutes i phone
a camera operator

press metal to my ear
ear to metal press


Jeffrey Beaumont finds an ear in a field
where Bobby Vinton sings She wore blue

what an ear discloses about the man
who wore it once velvet i’ve wondered too

Friedrich Nietzsche called his
little labyrinths
loved them truly

walked around ring ring writing
unruly Camera Operator says hi

i am near the sea (not thinking of Nietzsche)
our voices float over salt, float

and halt, a boardwalk is a strip
of wood between the ocean and street says loudly

someone from behind What? C.O. asks
metallically. 1889:

a horse beaten in Turin, Italy
forever Nietzsche

i pour over my lit books
quiet as old horses

getting herded it is spring
at the shore here’s a thicket

for what’s un- tended/toward
toward Camera Operator (i go) he

frames the scene. and me? i is griever
a repeat repeater

Purity and Danger
plus a little Nietzsche but the sea the sea

recedes reads illustriously
labyrinthine here again

is my delinquent
my Camera Operator

is my delinquent
my Camera Operator

who shoots me angularly
so creepy sweet

the tone is low
Rococo’s decorous rot and such

Fragonard-like summer prop
hesied by spring’s one shoe

shoving off towards marble statue
sickening soaring

soaring, sick, a body
quick dissipating

spring’s middle: a minotaur
turns and turns with thick neck

his bull head around alluring
is his animal ear inhering

i speak to Camera Operat
or so slow untoward like Nietzsch

e e e he prefers phone sex to philosophy
that his writings sprung from pathology

sounds like bullshit to me, oh! the ear’s dis
ruptive puny impunity dis

closes nothing. nothing! but
so gloweringly thrown my

C.O. given freely to roam
low angles. the tower the sun

there. not. but. where lives
what’s been cut

slain and slaying the sky they swing

The Swing (1767)

was called frivolous
by some so-called
enlightened persons
and the painting is
quite gorgeous
obnoxious just THINK
              confectionary pink
man to man she swings
statue watches everything
wing’d more bent than life
and death still littered
like the ears that’re both more
and less cut from heads
thrown over the fence
left to drip wax
from which Icarus’s
wings will one day get fashioned


soon from under KOOL and MARLBORO signs
of the gas station we (the Camera
Operator and me will leave leave leave)
by now it is no longer not much spring
i read from a book of cut things as he
captures 3 cicadas belly-up orn
amental under 5pm matte sky’s
sapphire blue not eternity but moon
shadow lambent powder on firmament
’s lid              shut the sun so off!
in the new cinema
Nietzsche’s dirty talk
plays from a terrarium in the lobby
of our first motel


Van Gogh cut his ear off near
a century ago but the fact
remains startling, no?

would you rather approach
an ear in a field
or receive one via post?

what compelled Vincent to mail his ear
only he or sun-
drenched Arles, 1888 knows

where he painted alarm bell yellow
perishable sun thicket armchair armchair
sucked brushes with teeth

i drop a dozen eggs
pour salt on thick yolk
Camera Operator, hand

some as Van Gogh, sits
watching from a chair
as the sun stunning pours

now we’re driving driving:
terrace, wheat fields galore,
irises in the fore as i think

absent-erotic God of medieval mystics
there’s a newly closed cineplex
neath the red symbol for ExxonMobil

which is Pegasus, sprung from blood
dropt from Medusa’s chopped head
the bull is a beautiful animal

whose red head i mistake for Camera
Operator again and again
lights flash yellow yellow red

in the myth: an error, a turn
or: there are neither errors nor turns
only Arles only Turin

the stars get bolted
to their vault
and the sun dumbs and dumbs

as KOOL and MARLBORO signs crawl
fly’s-eye view across our thighs un-
done/sound/spun the light

’s so mad knowing humming de
composing me and him, him
and i, paint-thin/calm dissolve


The Brooklyn Rail

MAY 2023

All Issues