pankmag

Scientific Method

I found a small bump on my wrist
and inside it a profusion of eggs.
Each egg screamed out for love.
Every thing is a kind of center.

Scientific Method

There is a God particle
and it has promised to tell us
everything.
Except it responds
to each of our questions
the same way.
Are you sure you want to know, it says.
No, we say. We are not.
This too is a kind of knowledge
and we fill with it.

Scientific Method

You kiss me in your gray shirt,
the one that says what you are made of:
oxygen, carbon, some trace minerals,
more calcium than I had imagined.
100,000 calories, give or take.
God! I am in love with having a body.
The idea that my lungs work.
The idea that I am so much food.

Scientific Method

I wanted to name a body part
after you and so I did.
It is a new organ
hidden behind all of the other organs
and the scientific community
can’t stop talking about it.
The truth is I wanted to hear
your name on so many smart lips.

Scientific Method

We discover a new island
where there are no taboos.
The civilization living on this island
do whatever they want,
thank God.
The civilization is you and me.
Our island is surrounded by danger.

No more conversations about fucking in the deer blind,
no more deep throat maneuvers or month-long make-up sex.

No more beginning love with erasure or ending with tattoos.
My banishments pile up, outlaw by outlaw. I curl up, lash out,

sequester your come-on with a whip’s speed. Glowing, you
reminisce on how your tongue could split my thighs, how

you could trick me into bed. This is hard-on nostalgia. This is
fierce unhooking. I say: if I am this light-stripped, I’d rather not be.

But you, with your need, your happy groin begging for a cleft,
you ache to unshut me, to re-wed me, but I am no simple

box. Not porch but back door. Not synonymy. Not bed or
baby or fuck but long and blue and wind. Not love anymore,

but uncoupling, primal and good. Spoilt love, here is the anti-
cocoon bucking silk. Here is modern astronomy breaking its physics.

Here is the latitude of my mouth emptying you out canker by canker.

I hate the sound of the human voice
as it bursts from the radio
at sunrise, when yellow holds its breath

and pretends again to be orange.
Daybreak: blood in the palm of morning,
prison-soap pink spilling onto the horizon
in the so-what of dawn.

I hate the sight of the human form
casting shadows on the grass at midday,
when sky blue becomes handicap in the anti-
freeze of the green afternoon. The full sun
streaming caution tape in the what-difference-
does-it-make of day.

I hate the scent of the human body
as it sweats in the subway. The earwax
of the setting sun, sunlight shines
through a prescription bottle
in the whatever of evening.

I hate the touch of the human hand
as it bids farewell. The suffocation
blue of sunset, when the moon rises
like grease cooling in a cast iron skillet
in the never-mind of twilight.

I hate the taste of the human heart
rising bitterly in my throat. Dusk
like a spike of black
ice growing from a stovepipe,
darkness, the dead eye of the stove.

In the biting, wordless, get-on-with-it of night,
love me.

Hunting

There is a place
in this field

where the rabbit
has been caught.

By a hound
and her rough lick.

The rabbit’s heart
became a circus

of sound.
And the hound could feel

the chest parade—
wanted to taste peanuts

in farmers pockets,
watch children leap

through hoops
and air.

(1) 

J loves whiskey
whiskey hates J.
M loves animals.
They have to do
with going out
on a limb
with acting nuts
once in a while.
Yelling their troubles
to the bartender.

‘You’re drunk
and repulsive.’

‘Don’t change
the subject.’

‘I’m going home.’

‘I’m coming
with you.’

Next to his
big maleness
his strong face.

Love has a body M.
Eyes and lips
legs and sex
and stubble
moving
with easiness
ahead of you
his bristling
crew cut
shining
in on you.

but the
short haired
girl seemed
somehow apart
from them.

He had taken her
by the hand and
led herself from herself
he had abandoned
her there with the
bones of the others

Our November online issue is LIVE and it’s filled with awesomeness by these awesome people: Bob Hicok, Rauan Klassnik and Russell Bennetts, John Thornton Williams, Kaj Tanaka, Laura Smith, Matt Petronzio, Kenny Mooney, Joel Smith, Raven Jackson, Sara Crowley, Bindu Basinath, Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz

[REVIEW] Songs From Under the River: Early & New Work by Anis Mojgani

~by Stanton Hancock

$15/88 pages

Write Bloody Publishing

If you’re not familiar with the poetry of Anis Mojgani, you’ve most likely been making a concerted effort to not pay attention.  As a two-time National Poetry Slam champion and the winner of the International World Cup Poetry Slam, Mojgani has more than demonstrated his performing prowess.  Likewise, his previous poetry collections The Feather Room and Over the Anvil We Stretch have aptly demonstrated that his poetry sings just as beautifully on the page as it does on the stage.  With his newest collection, Songs From Under the River, Mojgani has pasted together a vivid collage comprised of new works, previously unpublished early poems, and classic staples of his live readings. More on the website…

When I was three, my father asked me
what does James Brown say,
and I shouted, Ow! I feel good!

At five, we danced to Bob Dylan’s harmonica
on a splintered redwood floor, buckets
placed about to catch the rain

leaking through the roof, the dark,
knotted beams with human faces hidden
in the wood grains that looked down at me…

Granddaughter places Grandmother in a good spot, shady but with sun streaks. She kisses her head and leaves her there, but does not forget to bring food. “This is the problem,” she says, about the grandmother just sitting there. Out in the open. In her spot. She brings crossword puzzles and kisses to the grandmother also, but it is still the problem. She buys fancy purses and runs around with young men so as to change the subject.

The grandmother becomes particularly interested in a family of spiders. Spiders are usually lone creatures, just they and their spindlies and whatever they catch. But nope, not these, they are a family. Mama Spider, Papa Spider, Baby Spider, Middle Child Spider, and Oldest Child Spider.

The web is spectacular with overlays of silver upon silver. The children dye their corners of the web in putrid colors to express their individuality, but the web gets wind blown and trampled often. This provides Mother Spider with redecorating excuses. The grandmother marvels at this web making, the beautiful tendrils. How each strand shines. Each family member has particular threads they travel upon in each new web. Their feet like accordions, their bodies strew their own patterns atop their mother’s.

Baby Spider prefers black and likes to torture his prey for an inordinate amount of time, citing despair as a condition of existence. The grandmother can’t hear exactly what he says, but she can intuit it. “Ah the futility of it all!” she hears. “The certain death!” He asks her questions like, “What would I be if I could no longer make silk?” She picks him up and holds him when he prattles like this. She feels sorry for him.

Mother Spider did not at first appreciate this behavior. She bit the grandmother’s ankle and it itched for a week and left a mark. Now she’s gotten used to it. She even climbs atop the grandmother’s finger herself when Papa Spider has disappeared again. The grandmother can see where Papa Spider goes. It’s a shame, she says and shakes her head. But she doesn’t give the mother the details. She doesn’t want her webs to come out less delicately enameled, or for her to stop visiting her fingertip.

I value pornography for what it illustrates
about our ever-changing sociological construct
says the balding man swirling his merlot

like a bloody hurricane in his glass
and as I contemplate how full of shit he is,
I remember that first heady rush

Jarred Thomas Blair Sorci immigrated to his current visceral corpus after the destruction of his home planet where all beings, and the world itself, were made of a mostly odorless gas. Hardly positive that he was matter to begin with, he reaffirms his presence in the universe in the form of paper and glue. He can be reached through Facebook.

We had a great run but everything got fucked up and flooded, and you know that. There wasn’t any place to go so we sailed, you and I. I said, I love you. Baby, we’re the last people on earth. I smiled a big, unshaking hands smile and I said, I can really see us repopulating the earth. I am in love with you and we can go anywhere. Here we go to it now. I lowered a serious voice and eyebrows from thick hand over hand cables hanging like clothes from dresser drawers, loafing from our hoisted sail made from bags of chips that spent all day firing back light at the sun like they were both pretend outlaws who needed to go to bed soon, and said, we’re going to have to make all the doomsday TV shows we ever loved if we’re going to be entertained right. Our boat was like a couch facing the right direction. Baby, I said, I am so in love with you. I’m sorry, but I don’t feel the same way about you, you said. I struck the water with my palm. The gravity circled nodding around the little time we were spending on earth. Candy wrappers floated by. Books broke the surface like waking hands of the sickly, then spread like unwatered tan plants reaching for the sun out of reach in my old apartment when I lived somewhere. The water threw up colors. Dishwater milk white foam. Wooden kitchen counter cayenne pepper dust orange red. Black plastics from broken road tools from the shadow snuggles of unlit car trunks we emptied together. The colors of the water were just measures of ourselves we dumped into it. But when we aren’t together, don’t you get that feeling, I said, where there is a sinkhole inside your stomach and everything drops into it and you listen for a sound and don’t get one? People know people by hearing if they’re there. Don’t you feel like there’s this big no-zone and you can’t see into it and you can’t fill it? I do, you said, but I feel that way about someone else. Are you crazy? I yelled. Are you fucking stupid? The cables lowered again: it is so pathetic to hear you talk like this. What are you thinking? I was crying, then you were. We made more water to offer to the water. There was a very long pause that was many phases of the moon, and we weren’t the water, we were just on it, not invited, not given. I’m sorry, I said. I’m really sorry about that. It’s just that I really like you, and also that we’re the last people on earth.

In Hungary

Our father wakes us gently without
bargaining or threats in the sound of
knife against cutting board eviscerating
the peppers he’s bought at market

How the wooded sound wakes us when
The opening and closing and opening
door did not we cannot understand
but he’s already gone to old women swathed
in skirts rising from chairs mountainous

A man so rich, so young, learns to expect favor.  Youth tells him the world is an eager thing.  Wealth says it holds presents.

The dog Basil had two purposes:  to scent quarry, and to unspoil his master of these expectations.  Because everything about this dog was a trial.

This time it was a flaking door.  A brown flaking door that once was red.  The dog Basil was now scratching at it.  A hovel in the middle of a humid wood with a brown flaking door.  What this dog hunted was mischief.

Just as the man and his manservant caught up, just as both bent to wrench him up by that scruff, the door opened.  The men straightened.  In the doorway stood a woman.

“Which one of you hates my door?”  She said this to the dog.

They looked at her.  She was a different woman.  She made her own light.  Or parts of her did.  Her eyes flashed, and her teeth gleamed, and off her hair danced coins and flosses of shine.  The man forgot to say something.

“Silence all around,” she said.  “A genuine mystery.”  Finally she looked up at the man.

“My dog,” he managed to say.  The butt of his long gun was resting on the ground.  He dragged it forward as if this helped explain.  “Apologies for my dog.”

The woman put a white finger on the barrel of the gun and pushed.  When it leaned quite away, she removed the finger.  Without retracting it she leveled it at the dog.

“You and your masters and their apologies should come in and have something hot.”

Indoors it smelled like mountainside.  There was only one room.  Surprisingly it felt spacious.  Or perhaps just sparse.  The only things were the chairs they sat on, a bed and a hearth, a yellow stove, a kidney-shaped mirror.

And books.  Many appeared to be music books, but nowhere was there an instrument.

They had something hot.  None of the cups matched.

“Haven’t had many visitors since my mother passed,” she said.  The words suggested apology, the tone none at all.  “I may have gotten used to the solitude.”

She stood to refill the manservant’s cup.

“No offense to present company,” she added quickly, sitting down again.  “I do enjoy the occasional guest.  Even the kind that stares.”

The man looked stricken.  “I am so sorry,” he said.

“I was speaking of the dog.”  She cleared her throat.  “What is his name?”

The question was charity, to cut short his embarrassment.  He was grateful.

“Basil,” he said.  “After the herb.  He’s a scent hound.”

“A dog named after a food.  Two of my favorite things.”

“What about trouble?  Because that is this dog’s favorite thing.”

The dog raised his chin off his paws and, using the corners of his eyes for each of them in turn, gave a yelp.

On their way out, the man could think of nothing clever, and simply asked the woman her name.  She told him and asked his.  The manservant picked up both guns.  They had left them outside.  When after a few steps the man looked back, she was still at the doorway.  Her mouth seemed to be moving still, as if repeating his name.