Mark DuCharme

A Few Things
                                          for Ken Mikolowski


There needs to be a poem
Called “Wrong Word”


This, too, can be tedious
If you confuse fate with knowledge


Try writing a long one


Ghosts of metastasized

It’s not the living
Who are strange;

It’s you


                    The mirror
The woman
                          The mirror

                        for Caprice Lawless

It’s not so much
That you are full

Of shit, but shit
Is full of you


“A poet is one
Who writes

Yes, but what
Is poetry?


Sometimes, things
Aren’t all I flee



To hear
The birds


I think I saw my youth in stages
I think I heard my birth in cries

All of what you did not see
I’ll soon find out what had gone wrong

I think I held my worth in breath
In youth, hardly anything’s free

& Earned my work in doubts of song
In the truth of no one but me

Meanings Left to Be

Christ on edge
Sees mirror

A convivial jabber
Upending trees

Breaking & slipping
Awake, it seems

The notion— without rivers
Set in balance

Skewed, tangential artifacts
In heat of breath’s

Where you go
Follows me


Freed, in idle
Jabber— bees

& The mountains

The buttresses & tangled slopes—
New horizons

Down in the hole
To render thought as grammar


The train is nothing new—
You feel it

In strains of fluttered

Moon, yellow

Hammer, under
Walls, the

Fidget to linkage?


In breath, the
Fates, the

A human, I might slip
In a primer for angels’

That other humans
Might not need—

Only now & then are we
What we say we

If you wrote life in a fever
Where could it

In whatever other
Breath the fates


Restless letters move me
I wander nights with barely a word to my name

Some of the memories don’t stop there
In dreams, you want to be anywhere

Still outside your means
Love’s program down to zero

Trees a reckless gramarye
Love’s surfeit of denial

Even though I’m tempted
“It can never turn wild, wretched”

As if some saints were flowers on weekdays
Some days, I hardly know myself

Perhaps I am you again
In a cradle of bureaucrats

Out of whom some rare exhibits aren’t yet born
Where zero equals zero times capital

It takes a long time to remember
To steal each other’s dreams

In a public settlement
Under windows with lights on the fuselage

Bright dusk cries
Memories full of sand

You can’t disclose what you don’t remember
Though the wicked also flee

You are up to no good upgrades
Throw out the ticker-tape basket

Final cries are due on Tuesday
Pretend you invented the bicycle pump

It’ll do you good
& The swans can bear it

Who appreciate each other’s cries
As bold impostors flee 

Sugarmoney; or, A Sentence or Two

It was at that last impasse whistled I the sender of some dull appointment lipogram tombstone aspersion sacred thief I found out dully scored at intervals scratch explicit headrest dull as waking parlors heaving sinecure contrition lope article jabs or jabber doubt implement suntan Durango chop clip hunker down in roots sliced leather meaning hitch dark service material rustle nestling valves or velocity placeholders hard-of-living stops capture all all that you are or ever were all that life itself shall be also replete with arc libation captured stop more text stop please stop I can’t see you are all we as you do is doubling the key of what went wrong start hurry up go back the results are gaps you long for a rhythm a predatory calm that encompasses sound movement ideas embodying something resolutely shifting like the ideals of college presidents something protean emphatic Spicer in Hell come down to a run-on periphrastic quotidian inherent whispers botched insolvency some don’t even speak these words these mangled glottal contortions these algorithms lacking a search engine whisper stuff meat into your dreams or only panic when you go down in real-time payloads the hinterland is an outsized imagination stuffer research others’ circumnavigations count from one hundred to before the earth was lost.

Illegal scenes of lost or lying in the rain if you love strike variants laying the land started ill to dream went sideways you went to the lumber yard is where there is such a thing as anymore let yourself revolve go elsewhere another way I can (not) mean & I is it is I who sets foot & I on this land its hesitancy & with a great forestalling stop read last part start reread stop read & turn over all poems in the well meaning town funny how it’s always the well meaning who succeed at crushing the unwritten boats as they move toward shore in the course of illegible stopgaps to become apparent in illegal slogs meaning trees meaning what you see is I mean but just not anymore before the duty is bound to your smartass self-disclosure & if I write I leap determined tripwire if nose-guards under the clandestine deranged transparency got a light a trigger a source for alphabetizing seeds of money ’til the money just goes off.

The money gets you off before you do I mean money means scratch what character I mean I mean money means money means more who will mean what you moan will get you too I’ll do what I will I mean you I mean will you will you do & go on will you go on & get critical a silent erasure it doesn’t happen sometimes money is money because money owns the vacant lot next door it ruins in transfixed useful sabotage money is because what is money is what money sometimes becomes because money becomes money until it wants more money & it always wants more money for or if it’s money money’s sometimes blank there can never be enough money & this is exactly the point just like for some sugar there is (in the anterior) (seemingly) never can there be too much well money is enough sugar except that the purpose of money is money whereas the purpose of sugar is sugar why else conceal it were it not added to it to in almost everything you buy with your money if your asshole could taste it it would probably be in toilet paper too money is money but sugar is sugar as humans are with no goodbyes.

Sentences are tongues placeholder engines hollowed leveled out goodbyes.

The Listeners

They swore they were
 Who knew before
  The land they were starting to linger

     Snow will be snowing
      Find a way

Were starting to leave
 Who stood again—
   O moon, fraught with determiners
    Minefields especially

      Fled altitude
       A sense of place
        Loss dimmer

          I didn’t think you were
           Hitting on
            Until I don’t
             Think hitting
              Is adjacent,
               Scattered form

  Disambiguation tuneless
   A sense of here, only louder
     Comes creeping

             Sensibly sensibly all the white snow
               Playing fields
                What playing fields wore
                  White or snow
                    Snowing sensibly sensibly

    All light reflected back to light

        They won’t come nearer


            The child isn’t where
             He probably needs
            The judge’s money
            A landmass activated

            Not just them, but the clowns they mimicked
            With their raw winter hands

            Replete with firewalls
            In a future I am

            Adjacent avenue farewells


        Hope this finds you
        OK keep
        “Deflower” need not be
        On proof’s hidden page
        I have included the mentioning
        Will have to be moved
        Ask any good
        Sentence if that clause begins
        True novels
        “Then rebloom”
        The best & busiest
        “Then” can mean
        A few
        Meaning, because the word
        Meaning yours, of course
        We won’t ever be taking
        This way it works for me


                  The listeners spat out their ammo
                  Trundling a bundled cure
                  The page sat out its repetition
                  Was it something we’d eaten?

                  I didn’t hear from him after that
                  Here, have a tizzy
                  A way to go with wisteria clinging
                  Numbly to your hair

                  The toxic flowers are not demons
                  You don’t possess the truth
                  In grace of the planted seed
                  ’Til even devils care

Mark DuCharme is the author of We, the Monstrous: Script for an Unrealizable Film, The Unfinished: Books I-VI, Answer, The Sensory Cabinet and others. His book-length work Here, Which Is Also a Place will be published this summer by Unlikely Books. Also due this summer is a chapbook, Scorpion Letters from Ethel. His poetry has appeared widely in such venues as BlazeVOX, Blazing Stadium, Caliban Online, Colorado Review, Eratio, First Intensity, Indefinite Space, New American Writing, Noon, Otoliths, Shiny, Talisman, Unlikely Stories, Word For/Word, and Poetics for the More-Than-Human World: An Anthology of Poetry and Commentary. 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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