Willie Smith is deeply ashamed of being human. His work celebrates this horror. His amazon page should be here:
Let my becoming today become me,
whether I be coming up the walk,
running down the way,
skipping stone to stone,
or standing all alone
in a river quick swept away.
Let my becoming look how today looks
to become, and so on me look becoming.
How I’d so love to be coming on,
always coming on
to the past’s oncoming drug;
past the ear echoing
empty with vacant teeming. Let
me team with a void nothing to avoid.
Let today my becoming me become.
BURGER FLIPPING ROBOT
I’m a burger flipping robot about
to flip out. Every fat patty
beef mooing at the moon.
Fry after fry too big for its britches.
Buns Pat Boone not white enough to gobble.
Mustard recycled mouse turd.
Tartar sauce giving me the
mechanical trots. Ketchup coming up.
Fishwich on a broom stick it up your butt.
Plastic fork my eye; white spoon rectum;
polystyrene knife in ear. Drop napkin
over satisfied corpse. Curl up lips
for a happy stiff. Notify next of
kin with a takeout grin. Now the crowd
to assault and pepper. Take out a stripper,
take out a leper, take out Jack the Ripper.
Take out, without rhyme or rhythm,
the everything-to-go al-go-rithm. I’m
a burger flipping robot about to flip out
Gunnar swung out of bed. Stumbled into the kitchen. Fed himself coffee to vacuum the cobwebs inside the head. Ate toast. Killed an egg. Downed juice. Cleared the table.
Cleaned, oiled his piece. Snapped in a clip. Concealed the heater in a pancake over the left kidney.
Left the pod. Boarded transit. Reported to the cube.
Input pins. Shuffled through screens, dealing with routines both numbing and sharp with pain. Reminded himself – clicking icons, dropping boxes, selecting options, suppressing yawns of nerves – the next jerk sneers he produces the Glock, squeezes the trigger.
Never jerk out, never jerk back. Under fire keep cool, stay smooth. To temper be – above all – no slave. Because you are, Gunnar, no jerk. This much in your bloody unbowed you know.
No, Gunnar – no!
A moth’s oath haunts the hem of my haw,
swears never again any cloth to touch,
loath either feeler in my shoes to slip.
Chet Baker along the baseboard crockpots
arpeggios nobody listens, although everybody lusts,
to. Conclude my own claim not to jump,
sixteen stories up, identical tale down,
the grass greener on the suicide of the fence –
wrought iron dotting parking strip,
cars bitsy as r’s on the Merry Xmas card to my
efficiency’s far wall tacked. Concrete sharp as
garlic stew. More than a lick
I ache not to hear, never even here
to have stood. Turn from the window
a style twilight hung before starlight clicks.
Her name in my skull Eve. We from the
together swing last night bailed,
paradise dry ice in a heatwave. It’s
Cherokee I finally see Baker cooks,
my mouth evaporating with never meant
to be. On the couch before the speaker
I slump, a note alone wholly thought.
SOME ZERO GAME
Nursing gin and lemonade,
toying with memory’s engine.
Why is yes minus es. Memory of
an echo in the memory echoes.
Swallows desolate the colonnade; a
distant couple’s berating
from hearing passing.
Little boys in the shadows
A bat slices the air,
reverberating in the ear.
Stars not yet there
in the purple poise. The gears,
the worms, the shifts, the buttons
down the suit disappear. This early fall
early evening suits itself, leaves
blowing across the lawn
blowing across the lawn,
the soul the sole remains.