Mark DuCharme



I Become Distracted by a Poem of Bernadette Mayer's


Flinging the effortless paper copy

I saw a superb derrière

Held together by smoke

Cutting its teeth on a diamond sleighted

Til all singing has been lost

At thronging corridors (soldiers)

Then I invented the self-grading paper

It wore a camisole in a spatulate landscape

I found it playing Word Sweep with my daughter

Then I pounced on the repertoire of postwar interiors

& Found my name in a poem by a writer I admire

While playing hooky or hatchetry come what's foolish

As central as prose in the wee hours postulates

Anything like a mango in arrears




Gee, Deviant Distraction Perfume by Bernadette Mayer


Jet me the copy paper without effort

Evoke deviant, superb lies

& By parlance fumes dismember

What recoups seasons' sleighted diamonds


Just as that which chants becomes

Replaced by colored dots

Until I have invented the paper art of self-portrait degradation

Destroying the camisoles of speculative wage earners


Am I too late to rekindle The Champ with my girlfriend?

To assail botched practitioners of postwar lies?

The primate becomes lost in place of the poetic author


Like faint hatcheries of a central breakdown

Idiot prose of stinking, minute import

Come eat me in sad westerners' clanging ears





I Think I Cannot Go Running


Lovesickness strafes all harbingers

Who root among deathmetal. The captured boy goes leaking

In the night, the suggestions of primitive

Imprimaturs can be very costly


The word is "fallow." I will crank it up

No use, then, to tyrannically behave

Or belie some pirates' upstarts

Exacerbated by the primitive rave


Until then, I cannot go running

Toward you, as some private experience

Better to have my toes curl downward

Than become variegated by any stance


The costly purities were excoriated

I become tangled at a puritan idiom

You lied to me, honey, & that's a sin

Not that I believe in sin, or staring