5 poems composed for strangers in the street on a manual typewriter, and 1 found-poem of news anchors from around the country reading from identical scripts in mid-December, 2013

Benjamin Aleshire
Benjamin Aleshire
Benjamin Aleshire
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5 poems composed for strangers in the street on a manual typewriter, and 1 found-poem of news anchors from around the country reading from identical scripts in mid-December, 2013

Benjamin Aleshire
Benjamin Aleshire

Breaking Noose

Who are  you  really  shopping  for, this  holiday  season?
It’s okay. You  can  admit it—you  bought an  item or two,
or  ten, for  yourself. Well, you can admit it if you  bought
an  item or  two—or  ten,  for yourself. It’s  okay. You  can
admit it—Todd—if you bought an item or  two, or ten, for
yourself. It’s  okay. You  can  admit  it—if you  bought  an
item  or   two  (or  ten!)  for   yourself. It’s  okay,  you  can
admit   it—if  you  bought  an  item  or   two,  or  ten,   for
yourself.  It’s  okay. It’s  okay! You   can  admit   it—if  you
maybe  bought  an item  or two—or  ten, for  yourself. It’s
okay. Admit  it: you  bought  an  item  or two, or  three  or
ten,  for   yourself.  It’s   okay,  you  can   admit   it   if  you
bought yourself one or two or ten things because a lot of
people do it.

Covfefe Goes Viral

“Why this sudden bewilderment, this confusion?”
                          —
Cavafy

In the hills above the swamp, the drums
grow restless, the incantations swell—
galaxies of campfires populate the horizon.
Our potentate’s fingers tremble over runes,
their meaning assembling, disassembling—
his mane thick with a swarm of alphabets.
Each fawning consigliere is defenestrated,
cast from the tower which is also a sundial,
an inexorable clock. His inner thighs
scream sweat. Somewhere, a guillotine
sharpens itself, drools & drools.

Golden Shower Kompromat Haiku

O Katya        O Sonya—
only you could love me enough
to wash me clean

Space Needle
—for Jeff Bezos

And again I say onto you, it is easier for a camel to pass through the
eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven”
                  —
Matthew 19:24

Its steel pupil dilates, gapes
    to hold the Seattle skyline
as the wealthy exhort their caravan through:
    our pharaohs            our masters
our amazonian barons gliding silent
    on their circuitry of rivers—
liquidity            cash-flow         flood-plain.
    A spire pierces the vellum of sky,
sharp as a cathedral, but blade-thin—
    No nave, no altar, no congregation
to get in the way of stitching shut
    the fabric of space-time look look man
    look on what ye have sewn.

Telescope

Sailor, the words assemble
    as you peer through your sextant:
constellations of hieroglyphics
    coming into focus
even as the sea beneath you yaws,
     & you’re illumined
by long-extinguished stars—
    a light you translate feverishly,
galaxies of Morse code winking
    across the firmament,
a broken missive you strain to decipher:
    . . — .   . .  — — . . h ow
. . .  . . — h ow  d dare  y ou — — . .
    — . . de . .  d estroy your gift

Those Who Hope Are the Beautiful Creatures

Not nihilism precisely, but honesty:
            watching the naïve
            grow more beautiful
            with every sentence they utter.
As if robots named Reapers aren't raining death
            as if our economy isn't based on slavery
            as if we aren't racing furiously towards apocalypse
            as if we ourselves aren't the horsemen.
(Absence of fear is erotic
            for biological reasons: how do you think
            we made it this far?)

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