Jesse Glass

yOU WiLl nOT WEaR tHe nIgHtMaRe liKE a mASk

                              bolted over yr. f,o,r,e,h,e,a,d
               crushing the frontal lobes
               making the breath come harder
                                             cutting the eyes
                              when they move to right or left
                                             until you are blinded
                                             by tears of yr. own blood
                              (misidentified as the blood of the Lamb)

You will not suffer tremors of the hands
as you draw a bow
over digital valves

of the lords of the night
shadows in sigil-heavy void

nOtIcE tHe ThEaTeR-lIkKe
CuRtAiN ThAt appears within the above utterance.
Though some SpEcUlAtE that this veil
was placed over the utterance as a sort of cAuL,
it definitely appears within the uttering of the utterance.

but you will turn
               on the pivot
                              of one muscled foot
                                             & the world will turn around you
                                                            a whirl of summer light
                                             clean & filled
                                             w/strong voices questioning/
not afraid to speak out against those who murder
our songs
w/their bells of lead

DoNdO dOnDo

those men who meet stealthily
by the light of a burning cross

those Whisperers
& layers-on
               of hands
were once children
w/rocks in their fists
waiting for nightfall

we will drive the Tplabc out
w/a handful of red beans

[& did you make his broad back the ceiling of your rage
blocking out moon & stars?]

[& did he
Scar your forehead with his clutch as you threw
Him spinning
Into the fire?]   What magic did you mutter
To protect you from his s,a,l,a,m,a,n,d,r,i,n,e wrath?

DoNdO dOnDo

we will drive the Tiiio out
w/a handful of black beans

for Eterapape-Abron from Aberdeen, Maryland, shaped yr. head, son
& Meniggestroeth from Hershey, Pennsylvania created your brain
& Asterechme from Gary, Indiana, packed your brain with yes/no, son
& Thaspomocha from Boring, Maryland, created your left eye.
& Yeronumos from Waltham, Massachusetts, created your right ear
& Bissoum from Boston created your left ear.
& Akiroeim from Baltimore created the curve in your nose, son.
& Banen-Ephroum from New Freedom created your lips.
& Amen from Bird-In-Hand created your canine teeth
& Ibikan from St. Louis created your grinding teeth
& Basiliademe from Bagdad created your tonsils, which were cut out & thrown to the crows
& I—I created your right eye, and drilled the nostrils clear so that you could take breath enough to sing, son,

sKuLl fLoAts, lIfTs-
pLaNet nEaR
BlUe-rEd cEilIng oF tHe bLaSt-
FUrNacE:::: iRoN bEcOmEs
               AN eLeMeNtAl PiG ReSpOnSiVe
TO SaTaRel. The human s(HE)o(u)l
TUrNs LiQuiD & RuNs On
MOtIlE feEt, cLiMbS
The SpIRaL StaIr tO wHeRe
System becomes metaphor
& Heraclitus becomes a gandy-dancer,
Believing in the moral equivalency of iron rails.

“Hear me Hell & Co. also Fate: I fear nothing from ye,
& the heads of pomp foot it lightly
When I draw my bow.”

Now sleep behind the brick.

Bean I. (Culture Confessional)

WE CoNsPiRe tO aRtiCuLatE/ NeIThEr
DRoP HaMmEr nOr LoGAriIHm NoR KYdS
DOn JUaNzIt NoR FaUSt PlAtEn FUrNiTuRe & QuOiN
AdDlEd BiRd nOr VoCal FeAtHeR tHrUsTeR

N’s tender vesicles—leak, speak
Stare off way to wall-er left

December’s hard-boiled ink
signaling n,O,n salt feet, ramifying

my face. & when I fall I see
them all free & proud in death
while I awake choking, stone guest
shouting, wake up, get up, c,l,o,g,d,a,n,c,e !
To the fields!


rotted summers before
               (my genes dueled sweetly with matter,

rHymED wItH hIS MaTTeR.

A child’s desperation,
ThE PlUcKEr Of PaSiGrApHOuS FoLiOs BrOOdINgLy ShUcKs.
From the ill-stored palimpsests
In the root-cellar vault


WHaT iS tHe MyStErY Of ThE YOuNgEr BRoThEr?

                                             VICTIM (Laconically):

danced in air.

to listen
out of diffidence
to every distance:

a conveyor belt
of tongues

dragging the newsy stone
down a dim gullet

drags it back
up again

& out into
spring air
               B.                .

Suffer this black spot from which
THe VoIcEs OF tHe DaMnEd aRiSe—DaMnEd
From too much conscience—Suffer it, world, or unite
Against it.
               (The disc spins about its axis) & (the instant sphere
Rides the leather orbit of the world.)

               Sickly licking man sits upon a green bank, & when the
               Dog-star parcheth the Plains & dried up Rivers,
                                             He lies in a shady bower and feeds his eyes with
                              Variety of objects, herbs, trees, skyey Steganography,
                              To comfort his misery.


               The sphere collapses

To a dot large enough to contain
Every scream in hell.
It cleaves the air to music
Small & complete as the opening of the fingers.

               I raise

               this dawn

               a machine
               to fling up song

               & cast eclipsing
               Against the tutelary sun

               These speak for me
               While the remembered gArDeN
               Drags itself under
               With a gray-green slap. All

               Grow fat & callow
               In this light, drip

               Cold precision oil—

               & now I
                                             The whip-poor-will

                                                            & the answering of a musical
                                                                           full & rounded
                                                                           as a pearl wrapped
                                                                                          steel bands—
               grace rides
               these broken

               please take
               the autumn light
               wave & particle in your hands.

Now it appears that we have reached the end of our za-za-za. I’m sure you’re interested in applying ga-ga-Gauguin to your new-found
Wa-wA-Wa-wOrLD-Vo,Us At LaRgE. cLEaN mY eYES
               w/My HaNd
BlISter Du JoUR
Notice the utterance’s.

Disappearing blade
An inch within the socket
Of the left eye!

They’ll demand their p,h,e,n,o,t,y,p,e,s, & they will
get whole albums to keep in the coming years, but for now
               LEt tHiS BrIefF FOsSiL liE iN LiGHt
LiKE tHe ARchAEopTerYx–nEiThEr BiRD nOR REpTiLe,
bOy NOr MaN–fAR frOm THeIR fEBrIlE AtTeNTioNS,
the easily broken vows,
the bottles of Jack Daniels,--
far from the cheap wage factory lines
& idiot fists flashing in bar light

far from every movement made in love or hate
let this final picture fade
upon its thorn, labeled:


Bean 2

                                             The kitchen floor sings
“Tennis anyone?”

               With the many voices

                                             Of the dispossessed

                                             The blackness of the crane

                                                            A high-heeled face explodes

                                                                           In stroke-talk-womb-twaddle-tongue

                                             Whiteness of the crow

“There is a mouth/
“There is no future.”

sWeDEnBOrG WrITeS oF I,t, SOmEpLAcE, W’eRe sUrE.

Talk, but it won’t.

Continues to t,a,l,k,

ROuNd Or TrIAnGuLaR aNd ThEy RiSE

Cetonia Aurata above the Choptank river!

Notice the theater-like curtain that appears within the utterance.
Notice a certain curtain...

Bean 3.

Historical documents have a purchase on reality, they define the limits that the poetic resides within or transgresses against according to both the natural condition of connotative language which is basically agonistic “or rough” in terms of modes of expression, and the transgressive, author-driven entailments of desire. However, held within the purview of the document is necessarily a dual slippage, and that is the result of the document itself—the overt and covert intentions of the “Other” writer of the document, many of which may be lost to the reader and even to the poet who chooses to use the document within the rolling—developing— argument of his or her poem. These “intentions” are implied visibly in the diction, syntax, orthography and other visual clues offered in the document, and invisibly in what can be reconstructed by the present reader of the absent writer’s vision of audience and the shifting socio-economic contexts from and within which the absent writer addressed that audience. It is in the process of reconstructing that context, that audience, and that absent writer, that slippage occurs which calls into question the document as evidence, but which invites the poet to transform the document into an object of aesthetic appreciation, rather than evidence of an historical event. The use of an historical document as found art, then, is my particular interest.

take, as an example, a section from Vesey

MeN HuNkEr
RoUndD tHe R,o,O,s,T,E,r, ThEy MUrDer. VEsEy
SPiNs DiZZy As A ChIlD. hE SpINs BeYoNd
WhIpS oF tHe WhIpPeRs
oN ThE HoOvEd-Up EArTh. THeY cUt
EaRtH bLoNd & BloODy.

stops spinning hisself, but the world follows
his lead. (It follows now.) Men chew

(act is utterance
iS uTtErAnCe An AcT?)

tough meat in dancing communion & laugh
at the red beak open in a preacher's scream.


it is flooding in every corner of the city. (MUcH bEtTer, I SuPpOsE, tHaN A DRoUgHt.) [WHISTLING, LAUGHTER.] Therefore, I would like to end with a flood-tide idea: one that concerns Walls denuded of little harmonica gods/ [WHISTLING, LAUGHTER]

STaRe bAcK bLaNk, MiNd-DRuNk DaMP BLiND wAllS.

tHoUgH sOmE CoMmENtaToRs SaY THaT tHiS VeIl, oR cUrTaIn WaS PLaCeD OvEr THe UtTeRaNcE aS a SoRt oF dUSt-cOvEr, iT dEfInItELy aPPeArS wItHiN tHe VeRy UtTeRiNg oF tHe uTTeRaNce.

All seemed quiet when we retired for the night, at about 10 o clock. We slept for about 2 hours, when we were awakened by the most frightful manifestations.

E.K. There appeareth here a great man all in bright harness sitting upon a white horse: he hath a spear all fiery in his left hand, he now putteth into his right hand: he hath a long sword by his side: he hath also a target hanging on his back, it seemeth to be of steel: It hangeth from his neck by a blue lace; it cometh up behind him as high as the top of his head. The horse is milk white, all studded with white: a very comely horse it is…

Upon his Target, are many Cherubins, as it were painted in Circles: there is one in the middle: About it is a Circle with six in it, and then a Circle with eight, and then a Circle with ten in it, and in the greatest , are twenty; and about the Circle of twenty are seven parts: at each of which points is a Cherubin; Their faces like burning gold, their wings be more brighter and as it were embossed. Their wings coming over their heads do not tough together. His horse is also harnessed before and behind. The horse legs behind are harnessed as with boots marvelously contrived, for defense as it were of his hinde legs.

Horsemen: “Kelly, was thy brother’s wife obedient and humble to thee?”

E.K. She was.

Horsemen: “Dee, was thy brother’s wife obedient unto thee?”

Dee. She was obedient.

(the lovers
               Find themselves
                              In themselves
                                             And a mountain between them
                                                                           A byzantine sky
                                                            An angel who blesses what he least knows
                                                                           & What the lovers understand implicitly
                                                                                          The simplicity of
                                                                           Changing from season to season
                                                                                                         The eagle
                                                                                          The lion
                                                                           The hind
                                                            The worm’s
                                                                                          Sing to me of what I’ll

                                             Deem: “an infinite nearness”
                                             Yet when I hold love
                                             Like a crystal to the light
                                             I hear a crow cough thrice

                                             In a dead tree.


This split-backed locust shell
You found hooked
To an elm riven by tylosis


blister eyes empty,
Scabs hardened around
Giacometti nothing;
may it bring you no good


May the beak, still sharp
As a cadaver’s toe-nail
Break off when you try to commandeer
My stains

in a

and the desiccated lungs
May they screech and buzz like a toy harmonica
When you puff them with your liar’s breath.


May the old men who still remember me
Crowd you into a corner with their fists raised
And the old women with their grown sons and daughters
pull the hair from your head & spit into your face
when you dare to draw my husks around you with a jangle of scars


may it become your flesh indeed
& may it rot
With a tick-stench of abandoned warrens

& pinch your fat away
So that every movement of each joint tears
Like a Spanish bit the brute articulations of your life.
May my rotted blood and serum
Find their way to your heart to thicken and slow its valves
& fill the empty places in your brain with explosions of light
spasms and tumors. & May the drawing on of my skin
Bring you nothing but maggots, bounced checks and bad dreams)


what sudden physics drove my cheek up
to the stars

part of me hanging up there yet

admires me as it falls

I grew a Voltaire. I harvested Lavater for a season. For a red
Reason I supported the sky.

Then she was Cagliostro.
She was an age, I believe.
I lanced her. I spread her reason and culled the sack of Newton
At the base of her spine. There they were, grey and speckled with
Suck marks. I lanced. A smell of logic. I schemed at the beginning
Of light for a peek up her Voltaire. There I saw a perfectly formed

“many actors engaged
“in this performance,
(silence created by reverse-orchestra)
“and a large audience in attendance.

As you already know “Vice” and vices are important for me in my work, sometimes literally ta[L]king me over,
as was the case with my encounter with Howard Y’ALLWAY
Nemerhoss at Spreadflarff
from which I woke up in Baltimore, Maryland,
after a hectic return holding forth with the same
Parkinson’s gravitas in my voice. I couldn’t stop myself—
the affliction faded after a decade,
yet I can still hear that voice calling after me in
the simple-minded garden, the giant CROW “METACAW”
guarding ingress & egress with ear-piercing whistles & foreskinned beak,

“God dam you to hell. Anyone who fucks with me…”

Schoenberg’s reflective, self-effacing voice has always struck me as exactly the way that I would like to speak in an interview, if and when I had the chance. Thanks for the chance, Mothra.

               City your hard hands
               City your wide feet
                 City 6x6x6
                   the measure of a man


I dance in my chains said Beethoven to Goethe.
What color is that? asked Goethe.
Black, said the dog.
And so the brilliant...
And so the brilliant...seriously awaited the...of the ordeal.
Franklin told his son always to cater to the demands of the age.
Always have plenty of soap, he said.
A lady asked for more lead.
Here is more white lead, said the well-mannered Franklin.
Always have plenty of white lead, he told his son.
I was a terror. I offered the terror apple to Marat, who considered
Himself to be greater than Newton.
Newton responded with a shrug of his shoulders.
The tree grew larger. Dr. Franklin unbuttoned the branches. The black
Dog of Cornelius Agrippa was waiting by the river.
She responded to the treatment. The convulsions passed and she was
Pronounced 'cured' by Dr. Guillotine.
Saint Germain refused to breakfast with the King.
And then the black dog of one Cornelius Agrippa appeared among us.
I was late for that meeting. Eternal friendship was on everyone's
Lips. I lifted her petticoats and applied myself to the new doctrine.
It was my ability to become invisible and I did so to the perfect
Astonishment of the nobles in their magnetic fluids.

ThE RePrSeNtAtIoN oF a PaNtOmIMe pErFoRmAnCE wAs PeRfEcT.


AFtEr tHe FiRsT sCEne, ThErE WaS nO oThEr. Immediately following, one spirit was heard to dance as if with clogs, which continued fully ten minutes. After this we heard nothing more except the representation of a large crowd walking away downstairs, through the rooms, closing the doors behind them.

(kiss-bruised lip,

wet breath-bowl

of evolutionary blades)

Fit flakes! sharper than whetted steel!!
to the core! light congreals on the platform!! bulb
& radial fissures!!! sugars chips!!! spalls!!!!!
& cuts come so quickly now to my fingertips
cuts so fine they’re almost painless as I reconstruct
hidden voices! so blackly luminous!!!!
rainbows bend within them!!!!!
rainbows & runes!!!!!


                                             How did I become this

                                             Phallic nose
                                             Visible one mile up

                                             Turning & falling

                              This earth reclaimed from sea

                                                            Churning & dissolving

                                                                           Vivid w/ earthquakes

& would press long fingers thru every silence
Drag mouths open in every air!

(image of a gingko leaf now 200 million years gone

Shovel-headed trilobite
Roots sow-like in the rock)

Where are you going my trillion-headed breath
Each day shower to return?

& the antediluvian breast heaves
Claws & ribbed wings scratch & stir
The monster somehow me

                                             How did I become this monster?

the memory
of my
son standing
in the
of water)

above mine,

the agate

Before I pull the trigger on the lunatical glock
Of the surreal, the franchised idiocy of the logo-centric,
The frenzied gestures of the drowningly performative & [the self-righteously correct]
& send these lines sprawling to the gutters of the page
The bullet of ink ricocheting against the integuments
Of logic, clarity & the needed contexts that signal presence & intentionality
So that one may no longer decode “the stubble on this chin”,
“my blackened, irregular teeth”, the “tongue flicking wetly over the canines”
The “pepper mole upon my cheek”, the “lunar pock-marked vein”
The “entrained tremblings of lips & uvula as belched words
Burst through the notches of this face”…

I take humanity hostage here: printable glock rubbed hard against
Crotch of history—law—logic—rhetoric—raw philosophy—art
Roach on rat rags, collaged, pounded, neutered=slit
Books for burning—stacked instars— nobody protest?
Tangled wires, indeed, burnt-out condensers soft and hard comment no slag, no gong
“the day” a silver comet “in a sliver-sectioned eye

& one flag floating over all on tallest flagpole steeple Triple tower with an outside pool on top of one world’s tower’s as good as another’s mother fucker & searchlights showing nothing up there a few ghosts grasping bits of radium in their fists.

& one need no longer decode: “scar on right shoulder.”—check.
“false bone—similar to porcelain— replaced the shattered humerus”—check.
The “blood that ran into my shoe,”

Before trigger trips mechanism & bellows deflate to void
Threats & jigsaw lockjaw into these tear-filled eyes n’ ears
The great explanations so much rectangular breath

Kukai’s Kobo Daishi wandering gutters of late Holocene
salute thru the notches of this face
The “entrained tremblings” of lips & uvula as belched words
salute thru the notches of this face
The “pepper mole upon my cheek”, the “lunar pock-marked vein”
salute thru the notches of this face
“my blackened, irregular teeth”, the “tongue flicking wetly over the canines”
salute thru the notches of this face
So that one may no longer decode “the stubble on this chin”,
salute thru the notches of this face
Of logic, clarity & the needed contexts that signal presence & intentionality
salute thru the notches of this face
The bullet of ink ricocheting against the integuments
salute thru the notches of this face
& send these lines sprawling to the gutters of the page
salute thru the notches of this face
The frenzied gestures of the politically performative & [the drowningly correct]
salute thru the notches of this face
Of the surreal, the franchised idiocy of the logo-centric,
salute thru the notches of this face
Before I pull the trigger on the lunatical glock
salute thru the notches of this face:

Green turns to husk as duration becomes memory.
The horizon contracts to a band of shimmering
Ozone. Inside we’re relatively safe.
X sings a new song about love while I hand
My son a prism, and he makes an “Angel” dance
A hornpipe on the wall. Dee & Agrippa
Stand in the bookcase, silver hasps pressed
To their deckle lips. This is the true alchemy
All humans desire: a quiet evening in the dusk.
Soon the moon rises low & red and it is time
To walk past the abandoned houses. A dog barks
While an angel maneuvers through the unlit belly
Of the Trostel Tannery, firelight in one hand,
Keys in the other. We see his beauty through
The broken panes. The sky lightens, dew glitters
On the burn front lawns as we talk with hoarse voices
Far into the new day, calling forth the angels, one after
The other, using their secret names in vain.
The flaming sword shifts its warning above us.
We know this paradise may be our last.

How can one dream in a place like this?
The sun leans its terrible weight upon the city.
The golden lash rises and falls. Buses
sigh at the intersections where we stand
clacking our gums in the heat. Shadows
contain our boldest thoughts, and if we brave
the day we find ourselves watching the lake
clap its hands in idiotic glee, then tear
at its own flesh. A ragged arc burns
through new clouds. As the orb brightens
—becoming more perfect—
we close our eyes against it, yet
the black disk remains drifting above
brain-grey marl. You lift a curio
from its cabinet. Smile appraisingly. A head
with a crown of fractures glows dimly
in the belly of a pebble (handed down,
you say, for many hundred years.) Its eyes
are furred with scratches and its mouth gapes.
"Press this rock against your forehead
and see the angels burn upon their thrones."
I throw the stone away.

                              & the constellations of questioning


                              in this precise movement
                                             of nothings
                                                            of coordinates
                                                            in the pit of the second

                                             rolling toward the moment’s lip
                                                            & GONE

                              the indrawn breath

Jesse Glass has recently had visual work featured at the Bury Museum, U.K., and is part of an on-going series of vispo and articles on same at Coldfront magazine. His complete long poem Gaha Noas Zorge is at press and The Knives Forks and Spoons Press will be publishing a volume of his painted books in 2016.
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