Mark DuCharme

I Am Not Your Dictionary

Heck, plenty of scumbag emulsion
’Til gnarled bugs limit the banter
To a fine seething, & rigorous
Polyglots montage Rosa Luxem-
burg’s glistening visage to aspic canisters
While the crinkling moon is yellowed

Don’t revisit those lurid parlays
Which jolt the utmost revivifying residue
While debonair gringos chortle
Like basset hounds in sweaters
Wanting to inlay things (can’t spell)— & ha!
(I.e., “initiative”) upkeep (gasp!)

Then amble past the swag     the blowsy
Groove & those     torqued registers
Which jerk     then plummet all I amp
Like comportments of gagging.— &, If I froze there
How would you know that, you balletic machinist
You meme-noir that knows no flame? Nostalgic

Recoil for the days of phone books
Will get you zip spiffy fedoras
Through the windward ancient traffic
While the yellowed moon is private plasticized
Like an iconographer’s transcendent buzzkill
In death’s bitter canyons

A Cloud on Paper

The vetters cleaved in unison
With a demure look papering a book
In rotten salvos
A skittishness only the wicked see
Through first night’s frost
In the sun’s pink bristling

The house was wracked with perfume
A soft scum folding the easements
While unrepentant voices galvanized
The play group, whose strategy up ’til then had been
To avoid bodily functions of any kind
While wheezing gently & suffering an astigmatism. It did not work.

Instead, the bumpkins clawed their way from the fruit cellar
& Dribbled about the hyaline bungalow
In rapt inattention to its slipperiness, which eased them
Out of their platonic misconceptions &, gradually at first,
Foisted them into the raw light of misgivings
& Doubt, that soon festered all over their affects

Like an inconsolable rash. It was Tuesday
& The hammocks had been washed with rain
& Dried in the noon sun, so that everyone
Was ready for the party to commence, if only
Armando hadn’t forgotten to invite all the laggards
Distracted as he had been with dim pleasantries

& The linguistic study of jingles. Then, a note was found:
Who reads this shall grow dim
& Fumble about the winnebago
Looking for a spoon.
Dark clouds rose, & then we gathered
At the coincidence, but still thought it wise to run
Away, knowing evil as we do.


What can evil tell
                               Before we do
In the rain that kisses
                               All our births
Where storms conflict
                               What we most constrict
Bereft horizons botching
                               All desire that feeds
Us autumn
                               Which is no longer here
Until we fumble, then slip
                               In all
Constructions of
                               Our fatal knowing

The Room Where I Am Not

Among the noodling


The climate hid

At some kind of stillness

Out in smoke

Fetish broom

Undergone a great shoe

Enough rev blunt simple

Something else said

In back of standing

Bulk feathers

Cake eat radius

In the corners

On the rails

Until you’ve forgotten

It seems

Hid at the corners

You will excuse

Clad in brightness

Further up the

Await the radiant

To what

Until dusk settles

& Where I go

In back of the stack where

To me that I’ve

Enough rev

Me darling while I

What the thunder


Mark DuCharme is the author of several volumes of poetry, mostly in print but a few online, ranging from chapbooks and pamphlets to book-length collections to his magnum opus, The Unfinished: Books I-VI (2013). Most recently, Counter Fluencies 1-20 appeared as part of the print journal The Lune (2017). We, the Monstrous: Script for an Unrealizable Film is forthcoming from The Operating System in spring, 2018. His poetry has appeared in numerous journals both in print and online. A recipient of the Neodata Endowment in Literature and the Gertrude Stein Award in Innovative American Poetry, he lives in Boulder, Colorado.
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