To dance around in the kitchen to a song sung in harmony by two men in the 1950s while two cats look at you, after Auschwitz is barbaric.

To pick up a cat while you are sitting on the toilet and peeing after Auschwitz is barbaric.
To hold your hair over your closed mouth in such a way as to cause your index and middle finger to press on your nose while you are thinking after Auschwitz is barbaric.

To overthink pronouns such as the “accusative you” as you are composing a work of “literature” after Auschwitz is barbaric.

To reach back to scratch an itchy spot just under your bra strap after Auschwitz is barbaric.

To notice that it is too hot in the apartment after Auschwitz is barbaric.

To fantasize about getting a puppy that is a mix of Pomeranian and Husky, a breed called a Pomsky, and then naming it Gnome, after Auschwitz is barbaric.

To spray ginger citron aromatherapy spray on mufflers that have languished in the basement over the warm months in a cheap suitcase that had an awful plasticky smell after Auschwitz is barbaric.

To go to sleep after Auschwitz is barbaric.

To think about what you are going to put in the wild rice pilaf – apples or cranberries – after Burundi is barbaric.

To think about when you are going to make your next trip out to Queens to visit spa castle after the massacres of Mayan peoples is barbaric.

To buy hair barrettes made of cunning crystal beads and to eat this amazing rice bowl wth slivered takuwan, maguro, and ikura  in Shinjuku after the Holodomor is barbaric.

To endlessly permutate Adorno’s probably tossed-off aphorism in a repetitive literary piece when you are averse to obvious repetition in writing after Auschwitz is barbaric.

To try to rouse the rabble, preach to the choir, and otherwise use poetry rhetorically after the Nanking massacre is barbaric.

To think about how you should put the floating candles in the fishbowl for a centerpiece  after the Armenian gencocide is barbaric.

To write conceptual “engaged” works that won’t make any significant difference in the world although it might make you feel better, after the persecution of Falun Gong, is barbaric.

To ignore street people who need things like socks and sandwiches and beds, after the Assyrian genocide, is barbaric.

To deliberate over the sort of cocktail you might order, if you actually drank cocktails, after the unrest in Ferguson is barbaric.
To get up and brush one’s teeth with special anise toothpaste from the health food store after the 1971 Bangladesh atrocities is barbaric.

It is barbaric and vulgar.

To fondle the cheap necklaces at Forever 21 hoping that one doesn’t look too cheap and will give you the sense of decoration you are desperate for in a hideous world that has experienced the  Ustashe genocides of Serbs, Jews,Roma and Croats is primitive and contemptible.
To stay in a zen temple overnight and eat with the monks in the morning as they chant their sutras and serve their food into three little bowls while bowing to accept food has the veneer of civilization but in fact after the Japanese War crimes of world war II is savage.
To write poems against type, to abandon grace and decoration and a wandering imagination is a lomd of betrayal is therefore positively atavistic.
To neglect the home keys and type lomd when you mean kind after any sort of genocide or massacre is idiotic and therefore barbaric.


The cops come in on twinkletoe,
in dickies and bad hats, their sidecars
limply idling. They slink sidewise with lowly
simpers, the cops and their bagel foreheads
and snowy disasters, plump in starchy
regalia and loosely waddling. There are
all breeds of cops: shaggy and muffy cops,
bright sleek mean cops, cops with weasels
down below, and cops of normal squalor.
The only cops I like are wrinkly cops, all
done up in tight panties. Then there are
the hulky burrito cops, the filigree mango
cops, the cops that love the words “sin” and
”sin.” They police a city with needles, say
rawwr and grr and cannot keep things
down. These are the cops who finger
nozzles muttering “rue” and “rue” and
“rue.” They are real lulus in wiry tutus.
Green bald cops. Murky annihilation cops.
Liminal space cops in the gap between
the jeweled dust and the other jeweled
dust. There are striped and spotted cops,
idly scribbling marginalia on the snow.
Overcome by a wave cops, the cops struggle
through the cops and find more cops
inside their pyramidal beards.

Become a poet, and you will regret it.

Become a poet, and you will regret it.
Do not become a poet, and you will regret it.
The clubs, the cliques, the clans, the coteries,
The narcissists, the dons, the climbers, and the bullies —
All this you miss if you another passion seek,
This caravan of literary freaks.
Some are alcoholics, and the very best poets,
But they secrete themselves to drink in little huts.
Some proclaim themselves the very latest thing
And posture in museums in their bling.
Some aim to do good, or foment revolution
While others shrug their shoulders, and join an institution.
If all these options leave you feeling numb
You’re better off an ordinary bum.

If you’re determined to be avant-garde

If you’re determined to be avant-garde,
Don’t hesitate! It really isn’t hard:
Erase a few words here, or add some new
Or cut them up and stick them back with glue!
Since summer’s lease hath all too short a date,
No need to work too much: appropriate!
You’ll find a little niche to call your own –
A magazine, a press, a group, a throne…
And when you’re sitting up there, like a fool
Some whippersnap will say, “now make it NEW,”
And all your dreams of glory will be spoiled
As well as will your precious little world…
And when you’re on your deathbed you will cry:
“I really wasn’t avant garde, was I?”