The Condition 10 – END


you’re still not the quite the answer

these are still not quite love poems

believe me I tried I’m conflicted

I’m distracted by paper by a dance made

of keys I’m tugging at a surcoat I’m twice

your size with razor-sharp horns the river

is just rain we’re diagnosed bleak and bored

don’t leak don’t search retract every article

remaining there’s a hum from the library

it’s gaining momentum gangplanks are

for leaving the sea is for hiding

waves can’t subdue and chatter

won’t do draw a line through every

word I ever wrote with thick black

ink tell them I steal language tell them

to drink sake and hope when they sat me

down they said my condition is stable

I unlaced my sandals I bathed my own

feet cutting words don’t leave scars

don’t break through the skin when I’m

finished I’ll curse you’ll let the cursor

slip slowly until it falls from the screen

I know nothing about nothing

there are no words to close this scene


The Condition 9


are there clamp downs

all over do you calibrate

a heartbeat your hands

are like my grandmother’s

they have the same veins let

me hold on to them and see if

it rains when it pours I’ll stay

dry I’ll use nostalgia as a hood

there are countless kids on the road

there are too many beneath bridges

extracting a toll I’m restless and I’m

testing your limits don’t say that

you mustn’t we’re conditioned to fade

The Condtion 8


no gabriel hounds howling

no scent for the hunt whisper

this quietly it’s you’re first

time in a car unbaptized but

cherished I stood on an altar

I held you in my arms no one

noticed the words no one

wanted a sermon they leave

footprints in solid rock this is

a requiem not lore there’s nothing

but memory behind the closed

door I shift and I shiver I walk

home too late I stand on street corners

and will you to wake there’s a pageant

approaching there’s a rosetta stone

to unlock when I stand I get dizzy

when I fall all I’ll have is my sleep

The Condition 7


reprise the harpsichord overprize

the bassoon it’s too soon to say

but like a romp you’re suddenly done

give me a sense of jubilation give me

time to reminisce I’ve a condition

it’s not contagious but you can’t

get it out of your head the piano is

searching the drums are all lost

the go go girls are great but they’re singing

instead of swinging I never beat up

a boy or a bass or a band it’s experience

that make me thoughtful it’s

fears not resolved it’s why it was canned

there’s something uneven

about the lay of this land

The Condition 6


I won’t compromise on

entertaining I like my narratives

joyless and cut up there are

hymns for that addiction about mercy

and mountains there are hymns

that buck the trend hymns never sung

I get my first glimpse of arthur

trying not to stare at godiva

some said he’d return I left your

cheek unkissed I left the cheque

unsigned you can’t pay through

the nose for a softball game a toe-end

a closed trunk a summer gone wrong

we wheeled through chinatown

we sniffed out char sui we passed

through a gate we’ve been dead half

the while I found the same page

then I found it again in the center

of town they’re singing psalms

at the wicked in the center of silence

they’re lousy with life

The Condition 5


let us go then you and

I because when you mutter I retreat

it’s like this every night but I still

write love poems for you I mean

I still read love poems to you

I mean I still steal love poems for

you or regret or I read them

to the evening to make it

turn to night I read them to

usernames I tell not to linger

I tell to meet me in the streets

I describe deserted streets

I type how old I am when I tell

you how old I am you say I know

when I say we should go you and I

you say we’ll drown a child’s voice

wakes us she can do different voices

now when I pull the bed sheets away

you’re not there when I go to the window

I can hear an inhuman voice singing

you turn towards me I read stolen words

until dusk you never question trust

The Condition 4


I want to be a diaspora or

at the very least a dispatch

driver we call him youssef

because he might have been

youssef once we call ourselves

godly but I keep becoming

ungodly there are segments

and sessions layers and treatments

there’s a jewel in their cannon

waiting to be fired it won’t

bring down any walls it’s

not a jericho shaking trumpet

there’s no one who can play it

just a saxophonist with no

standards when I ask him

what he’s seen he never mentions

turkey when I press him about

ataturk he disappears into work

into the fires of a furnace into

the yellow scars in his eyes

sometimes I see him as if half

hidden behind a gate a line

of smoke rising when it’s dispersed

I tell him he shouldn’t gamble with fate

The Condition 3


no highbrow purist no variant

on the commercial I’m talking

about eyebrow purists you see

them on the apprentice refusing to

prune nurturing ruin no matinee-idol

no one born with their real names

everything is changed when you travel

to canada don’t call it an escape

when you take his advice don’t lie

it’s not too late you spoke about this

two years ago over pie and mash he

drew all the acres he owns on a beer

mat he drew all the women he owned

on your hand he said when you travel

to canada don’t call it an escape you’ll

never return not with such open skies

you tell anyone who listens that open

skies aren’t the issue there are too many

words to cut up and combine none

as sweet as clapchoir none as sad as

cradlehollow there are two parts to

every component there are two strings

in a row I said I won’t bow to

a balladeer we sang keep the home fires

burning just to boost out morale

The Condition 2


everything is owned or stolen

liKe unexpected capitals like UNEX-

PECTED line breaks I mean

expected capitalists I dream

of being a capitalist I go on

to my friends about all

the houses I’ll own all the property

I’ll manage we’re spliced together

we’re at the perfect pitch we’re

doing everything unexpected

we’re turning corners brilliant

corners yesterday I couldn’t

approach complex harmony couldn’t

unlike everything I’ve ever liked

I want to walk with a limp I’ll

come to the aerodrome I’ll

watch the planes dancing I’ll

dance with your women and tread

on their toes you’ll section my

rhythm I’ll rhyme that she’d be better

off with him you’ll let the closing

track play we’ll have nothing left to say

The Condition 1


I know nothing about

nothing I’m sick of wall to wall

books wailing tales don’t hold

any hooks or pull me in

they say get a plot I say get

the lot put it in a van

screw the quota they only

have quotas in gulags I mean in

history not now not when we know

nothing who does these days who

knows anything beyond reason I

don’t want to be reasonable I want to

fly a plane into your silence I want

to crash a plane into your education

I want to pay for it all they put on

shakespeare every monday but none

of them can read shakespeare couldn’t

shakespeare was a committee I mean

a gulag I mean he died in a gulag

he froze in the wastes he walked out

into ice and the storm took everything

he ever knew he’s like me he knows

nothing I’m like you I lie too much

someone read to me it’s the only

way I’ll ever learn I mean forget