Raymond Farr

Poems in the Age of Strange Uprisings thru Space

I was the man in the fun house reading yr palm like it was only
Practice & you believed in how I was leading you somewhere yr poems

Just couldn’t but you never slowed down for me so I whittled you a clock
Our words were the conflagration of a century of poems about perdition

& took a lifetime to utter & so we thought ourselves invisible
While off in the dark 12 men & a puppy emptied their bowels Hollywood style

In dark comedic empty lots—& every night was supernatural
I dreamt some bees chased us from the ice machines I dreamt we tempted

The cartoon mice in our room—no mouse traps just catch & release—
With bits of grape & rock candy & I woke & found you draped half naked

On a chair & reading Pnin—the breeze of a thousand snowdrifts
Tending you like a sister—we tried speaking Chinese in the shower

But we felt it boomerang, each figure of speech daunting as a storm trooper
I tossed some of it in the coffin of tinkling summer in the Tetons

The long false grasses of August already dying & golden
In this snow field of pure imagination we puzzled over everything

You wrote—I couldn’t get the huevos out to explain them
& the bed creaked when you shifted yr weight on it even slightly

Exchanging Things

one authentic American train goes by
& someone is yakking their heads off in the window

we are left only an ocean of wooden sky
a sticker on the shy toy of the long afternoon

dear novel pictorial noise…peep, peep, peep
“come sit in the pool of our sloughed off clothes”

the pigeons are American pigeons & only love progress
the dogs know the drill & they will come looking for you

dear pin-up girl on a gas station wall,
no cog has a will quite like the cog in cognition

or the dodge in the cash dodge of a rapier wit
dear great American grass hopper,

you hop into my shoes
& like too much time you stand towards the back

yr fingers are steeples—
a hack at a bystander laughing at birds

& taking the cough syrup out of the sun nobody’s home
sick geese lap at the entropy

& fall dead overlooking a battle
the formula I make I make out of Kansas pond eels

I make out of old rain water pooled by the shed
just the last of the whatever

the kitchen sink, etc
& even here it is obvious—

tasting the wrong words still tastes like champagne
& so I scatter like dust in my big box of steam

I have electrical nightmares
the hatchet I bury is feudal Americana

The Opposite of Time in a Bottle Happens

They sd—
Ideas are bathtubs

& you sd—
I copyright

My larceny
They sd—

Quiet manor Sunday dinner
Galumphing around on

Burly Picasso-feet
& you sd—

Quixotic faces
As far as I can throw you

They sd—
Yr high tide of unsettling dreams!

Yr oceanic stupors!
Yr mosh pit with its death ray!

& you sd—
These grapes are ubiquitous!

All over the attic!
& they sd—

Define the organic
& you sd—

I am the cunt
Of a woman

So graphic
I need someone

& cement-like

To protect me
From what I want

& they sd—

Something big
& small

In the same box
& you sd—

& they sd—

Someone sd our names are not on the list
So we couldn’t get in

& you sd—
Instead of eyes

We have chrysanthemums
& they sd—

The opposite of Time
In a bottle is happening

& you sd—

Who isn’t
A second tower

Suited in dust?
& they sd—

Love me
Love my irony

& you sd—
Flowers exist

A Song Is Perused in Somnolent Glee

The bathroom has seven doors leading the voices away. The bathroom counter is straight & flat like Iowa & instantly there’s a lack of paradox. The pipes go limp like spaghetti hair all over the floor. & making sense of a confined space, a poem is computer space, a shoe box & like a yellow street, the sun.

The insect & the perfect pitch of the unsullied broad jump is unexpected. The glue is a different mouth holding onto its words. Our words are temporarily a large metal broccoli. The looker is the one with more minutes than breath.

& while a song is perused in somnolent glee, a man in Peru contains all the right syllables for smoking on a chair. The clouds are fat like the gold ear of a glance backwards & stretch like somebody’s mother. They are the ghost of an apple tree & blossom like bacon in the paralyzed sun just after the bathroom.

A bosom in a cherry tree is drinking the earth. & suddenly there’s lightning—a shovelful of sawdust for a brain. Ironically, everything we know is unknown like a seagull—the small dark thing haste makes of a page. & slope is defined as the perfect setting for too many movies in August & not the hovering bottle of slow light we thought we had imagined.

a frolic of jasmine

in love

I chew 5 Gum

& spitting out
ironic chicken heads

of darkness
I thought the blood

was a prank
I saw Ozzie

bite heads off
like Ozzie was meant to

relax, says Ozzie
biting our

heads off
almost sincerely

it’s just
a dirty


& like a man
so involved

with the dice
of a curfew, I

the same irrelevant

12 months
of a new way

of seeing
abstract things

& so we talk about

the end
a lot

a lot of the same

are there—

bitten off

as now

Raymond Farr is author of Ecstatic/.of facts (Otoliths 2011), & Writing What For? across the Mourning Sky (Blue & Yellow Dog 2012). His chapbook, Eating the Word NOISE! was published in February 2015 by White Knuckle Chaps. Another full length collection of poems Poetry in the Age of Zero Grav is due out from Blue & Yellow Dog in 2015. He is editor of Blue & Yellow Dog.
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