Know Yr Stuff: Poems on Hedonism

32pp pamphlet published by Tapsalteerie, 2014.
Teaser poems:
the worst of my faults is a certain impatient gaiety of disposition

I’m trying to pass the man
in the superheated tent
with my life, then all goes hazy

so I go on a long vacation
close my eyes and sway
to the state of my mouth –

I want an immediate physical effect
a tactile, meaningful response –
but the weather has been

like a part of us left outside
and the moisture of some old sin
has grown too cold.

Sigh. And I know that this is only
a bovine volume –
but we all like that from time to time, don’t we?

This poem comprises a mash-up of Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr.
Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and various MDMA experiences as reported on,
composed using Gnoetry 0.2 (a poetry generator for Linux developed by Jow
Towbridge and Eric Elshtain). The title is a line adapted from Stevenson.

write poems, fear death


It’s getting late, and words
won’t get you anywhere my friend
except for late

so flounder with me here
and with the moon, always the moon
waiting to wane

let me count the hooks
that fix our cheeks to thrashing
in schools like these.

At the breakfast table this morning
reading cereal, I came upon a note
‘in three stanzas or less, complete this phrase:

I write poetry because…’ – ok
pleasure of making and the made thing
to finish and never to finish!

desperate desire to be loved
how emphatically phatic!
also, acute fear of death

ha – as if all this scribbling
of estranged little icons
makes me any less scared!


I’d rather be floundering
out here with you and always the moon
it is beautiful, but

made-up gills are pierced
with real hooks. Look, the moon
is waning

let’s – we can neither
have breakfast together
nor breathe underwater.

O to be dead and eaten
to be only the steam rising from my own guts
to be wholly and utterly caught

(if you want to disappear
you have to learn to do it
so that somebody sees)

or, to lose the hook, wholly and entirely
to be same as ocean
to be full as moon

(if you want to destroy something
the only way to do it
is to make it yourself)


We’ve floundered so long
the moon’s become hidden
by morning becoming

a box, a bowl, a spoon
milk. There is a happiness
possibly breathable

except for these gills…
will you please be the one
to go and get milk?

I’m sorry. I’m no more
sensitive to these things
than you are

or less so. Please
take an ordinary breath with me
before you go

write poems, fear death
is a kind of motto. It isn’t new
but it’s all that I can do

to utter it again