Colliculus = “little hill”


For now, I’m tapping holes in the preserved midbrain

and planting flags for each aspect of perception I conquer.


Once, ice picks hammered out personalities like pollution

and we fished in unknown lakes for the Lochness monster.

We used to read the brain as consequential bumps.

Now, we have to tackle the mind as a mountain range


named after devoured gods, mythological storms,

shapes irrelevant as constellations.  Erecting

religious symbolism for each psychological corpse


in absence, as if we’ll find something more meaningful

than chaos and asymmetry in the flesh.


Margarine Stars

Suddenly, I am an oasis of sucrose and butter –

pregnant with batter – smiling with lipstick of maple

glaze – yes, I have risen like a sunny dough

kneaded out like horizons under a dopamine surge

but there was expansion in the midst of doubt

and new planets, golden with lard, lace the cooling rack.


(I decided to take today a little less seriously after a lovely local fritter. It is Spring Break, after all, experimental duties aside. Also, I heartily recommend The Book of Donuts, edited by Brown and Latham. Like many proper lab animals, I am readily motivated and inspired by food!)


The landlord will build you a waterfall of granite

collapsing to its knees along your hardwood floors


just bring the apples, prop up the broom

and drape novelty towels over the faucets

so the appliances sound like laughter


stock the dishwasher with the evidence of hungry ghosts


wipe down the reflections

cackling back from the polished steel

scrub away the phantoms

and convince me that we’re home.


Down here, we hang our visitors’ coats

beneath a menagerie of specimens –

we congregate their tongues in the tip jars

with an aromatic swirl of bitters and whiteout.


Take your stories back to the thirsty blacklight.

Shoes will be polished with the amniotic fluid

of your new throat. We’ll pull out an old voice

in umbilical ropes and ask you not to breathe,

if only momentarily.  There’s something fresh

and zesty that lingers here, the flickering bulbs


hanging from exposed pipes like empty lemons.


We taste our light and we take our fruit

beneath the diorama of fluorescent pink,

buoyed in a martini of birth and erasure.


Let it be – we are comprised of pale, mismatched Legos

and upside-down jellyfish colored like smoke over a sunet

without the immortality.  Phantoms pulsate in the roots

and tell us to act – this is a transient sermon,

forming pulpits from membranes and organs from foramina.

There is no scenery like Apollo nesting in the vesicles.

This is how I’d recite the spine: lucent and finite

in its homily. Movement, the lucky alignment

of windows – breath, as busy junctions and fragile stoplights.


Instead of cracking textbooks,

I’m booking tickets we can’t afford

until graduation


I’ve mistaken sobriety for sedation

and I believe I’m fixing the economy with broken staplers


But I’m doing well.

I’ve started printing out my greens in high-quality ink

and getting my acne treatment from the health aisle –

my cosmetics are organic and come in recyclable packaging.

A gym membership has reached autopay status.

The transcripts have sprouted teeth now,

which I guess is better than tumors

or something else malignant

and it’s similar to composting, I suppose.


But I’m exhausted,

and I’ll take the trainride through the Northeast autumn

even if the tongue dissolves us to pulp.


Our car swivels in its tracks like an indecisive season.

My mouth is ripe with papercuts and a malnourished fall.

I’m tired, honey, and so are you. We’ve built

a maze of failed staples without the plans

and broken martini glasses – coat the floors

with loud olives, swing until we’re melting

on the juice of rotten gin and call it a night.


but there was succulent wax


sternum coughing like an ancient crayon

when it cracked


I asked them to be careful with the lungs

when they attached our viscera to moldy twine

wove a splintered basket

lit a saccharine candle

and charged admission after the inflation


what they called an attraction

we claimed a defiance of anatomy

drafting patents in useless oxygen


and there was blood, there was drowning

there was another breed of burning

but hell, we lit a smile

drawn from the corpses of pastels

and then there was the impossible