Paul Siegell

*mountaineering the knewledge region*

a sprained knee with a set of yellow-jacket stingers

the firewood of oatmeal

raingear still drying from when it fell in the river

                figures as much,
airport security confiscated my pocket knife

yours works tho

the reawakening scent of a newly sharpened pencil
scratched into the map:

                if to write is to find the fun in fighting
                then to read is to clean up the blood

my goodness some stanzas are too damn demanding

and there’s no way of knowing if the parts of speech
even give two shits—

                somewhere a paragraph is laughing

words hurdle/huddle, punctuation fluctuates, but which
one of us is holding the compass?

                the awkward water somersaults in the canteens
as the alphabet inflects
                                                             as questions lead to
switchbacks stamped into the mountainside
                                                             as our pursuit goes from
having someone to hike it with

                               to a fork without a marker

*forearm poem*




*mr mint*

*guess well pretty much kinda sorta yeah exactly to a t*

toppling over another predicament of syzygy and pyramids

how out-of-place we were
late last century Los Angeles


such unbelievable obelisks we are
constellations above all the spices and specifics

voluptuous mustard seeds make it last all/lay it down all night

and oh, the vagenitals! a rousing hymn-up-from-the-hymen, amen


when we were leaving
she recognized while riding over

for the night sky’s the hieroglyphs of a glass-bottom sarcophagus

products exotics obligingly oughtn’t alleged illegal ferocity society

*rallying on a rock in a birdbath,
the “bee island” bees
of the Barnes Museum arboretum*

his cannot looms as land-air grasps
at certain shaded artificially started hearts
lingering off like honeysuckle swimming bees
until her gentle archway reaches out
for the soft and vanishing
his cannot

*On the Counting Off of a Newly Formed Busload
of 37 Teen Tourists Headed to the Grand Canyon*

                                                                             —for the bus driver

“One” came from Etie in a slight Israeli accent; his
surname starts with “A.” Then, no joke, Adam Baum
said, “Two.” Eliot from Toronto, “Three,” then his tick
blinked his eyes, stretched his jaw: mild Tourette’s.

Jeff from Colorado, “Four.” He kinda looked like me,
taller tho, but had the Adam’s apple—The night before
at dinner, group leader Danielle & I called him over
with a long, “Jeff-ffereee!” to where the staff was
eating and told him we were glad he was in our group;
he came on the trip with a great smile knowing no one.

“Who’s five?” I asked, breaking the wait, and it still
took Evan too long to say it. Curly-haired Maddie
from Philly, “Six.” Claire from Miami, “Seven.” Little
Jollie, a pause, than an, “Oh, eight; sorry.” Havana,
another staff member, called “Nine” in a snap at the
front a-the bus. And then Nikki, my anchor from
Camp Coleman, the one teenager pretty much
responsible for me even being on this trip, totally
flaked. Headphoned, eyes out the window.

“—Who’s ten?” shot Danielle. “Hello? Who’s ten?” It
should fall like dominos. Deirdre hit her. “Ow,” Nikki
griped. “What was that for?”

“Say, ‘ten’.” Everyone laughed. Danielle stood,
demanded quiet, all headphones off and everyone in
the back in their seats.

“Get used to this everybody; we don’t go anywhere
without making sure we’re all here. Now let’s do it
again—Etie?” I got the feeling Etie was gonna get shit
on all summer just for being first.

                                                        —St. George, UT, July 10, 2003

Paul Siegell's cubicle's trashcan says he's just had a few bananas and now he's hoping it's not true what they say about bononos and constopopo. Ah, either way, this note is being written on a Friday before heading to the shore for the weekend. That's pretty cool. Paul's the author of Poemergency Room (Otoliths Books, 2008) and ReVeLeR @ eYeLeVeL is what he calls his parking lot. It's where the party starts. "Let's get into the song!" OK, so, he's used that line here before, but he still likes typing it. Well, he pasted it in. Dick. Paul is a staff editor at Painted Bride Quarterly and has contributed to The American Poetry Review's Philly Edition, MiPO, BlazeVOX, Coconut and elsewhere. "Elsewhere" is useful when you're ready to bolt for the weekend and need a way of shortening things.

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