Michael Ruby


                               —Vincent van Gogh,
                                  quoted by Paul Gauguin

this fine policy
intends its victims
to imitate stone
license providers
& other simple
impermanent regs
for lost polished sounds
to howitzer home
portents most sanguine
yay messy & tone
wolfish & ingrown
for Pauline pickle
lozenges tolerant
fast acting bullseye
no rhyme or reason
fool’s gold with a true
panorama phone
a license to leash
for lemon chowder
darkness sown under
tolerant ointments
laid pine to the knot
rikes inside the sign
& four misaligned
henchman & hand job
four-wheel eagle eye
eagle breath & sauce
eagle easter aft

this fine policy
of forthright inside
for legends of swing
& all pricy binds
to erase the phase
the phrase polished &
set loose to resign
the oracle night
the tight presage
lost thro’ omniscience
lacked most horridly
mishandled alone
the price betrays this
calls into question
without any place
in the seal beaten
for so little white
& it will happen
far & wide this peace
to read of fearful
bread holiday line
until all forces
all honest potence
eats thro’ any wall
& sills the fearful
this fever regime


We each perfected a markup and a placemark
in our voices have placed this last fault protection
without compromising our own pragmatic holidays
the best direction to take toward the words of pink

We each dissent the popular megaphone dogs
and olive-skinned have the finest incentive imaginable
to polish the Rastafarian of our own preamble and gesture
the steaks implant or impale words on their very own sizes

We each breast and breathe this heartfelt demonstration
to bean and then have this orange institution
We each dug in order to demonstrate the lens’ strength
We each drink the phone of our doubts and pregnancy


The ringing explodes our faulty offering and sizes the timing
You’ll find out the thoughtful hearts eat through to maple softness
And if holly if seasons if the elevator proposes a sliding scale
For the rind mixes has-been and to-do to taper off and expand
Don’t hesitate a distant lumberyard pulls their hair
Rising pucks land in the soup to flick a biscuit in the direction

Barking intersects with anger to insinuate a crisis and rise to a level
               beyond the heyday of everyday gulps
Nothing will help admonish our inside foray into ninepins
Nothing balks balks nothing mourns a sight to behold
You’ll see the little motor eats its young as firsthand
Inside our happy point man and telepathic holiday sauce
A voice of reason a little too long holds the world in portentous quotidian
Quotidian hunger instills the voice of reason with exotic nothings

No business provokes business to a fine point of mockery uneven in its business
This business mocks and continues as a business mocks mocks and continues
               as a business
But now now even more the reasonable business continues as a business clicks
               keeps clicking


You have to sit through oceans of disbelief if you’re going to polish off the regulation
Without their pillboxes and without the masculine nonsense about nonsense
This nonsense challenges the two-headed, amiable, philologically sound Brahmin, the nonsense
               that will make me change my seat
If the wind silvers these imminent heating fossils
These different worlds beaver the perky megacycle and polish the longstocking for further
               hellebore seasoning
You’re not walloped by this faint hostility, this tilling irregular Rorschach, this hidden
               holding pattern
And Arthur brought luffing to the boinging

Michael Ruby is the author of five full-length books of poetry, including Compulsive Words (BlazeVOX, 2010) and American Songbook (Ugly Duckling, 2013); a trilogy of psychic research, Memories, Dreams and Inner Voices (Station Hill, 2012); and three chapbooks from Dusie. Recent poems have appeared in The Brooklyn Rail, Drunken Boat and E•ratio. He is also the co-editor of Bernadette Mayer’s forthcoming collected early books from Station Hill. He lives in Brooklyn and work as an editor of U.S. news and political articles at The Wall Street Journal.
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