While reading a treatise on zero democracy law

Little brother pushed his fingertips against


Chapter One

he pressed so hard that his bones

tunneled out

The librarian leaned over and said,

That was my favorite

chapter too.

The pages got wet.

Little brother felt embarrassed, holding bones in front of his eyes.

Took a first step, his long foot bones in his left pushed through and cut into his sock.

He took a knee

nothing hurt.

I have


things I have to do before I crumble like a pot roast

The first is that I have to tell someone

I love you librarian

His hand limped at his wrist like a rubber glove caught on a watch.

Fetch me a blackboard! Fire up the projector!

If I kill a man we have determined the exact number of years that is worth.

Another number of years if I rob him or if I hit him or slander him.

Dollar amount too.

Think about that for a bit.

whole library quiet

Little brother outlining the principles of how we do what we do. His arm moved fast and shook off muscle and sinew and detritus.

You know, the extra stuff.
The way it happened was hard to explain

Have you seen an old screwballer where a man gets a

living lobster hooked up to his fingers and tries to shake it off?

It was like that but with blood.

little brother

human candle

so much verticality in the way he fell staggered

The third thing he needed to do was this:

I’m sorry.

is what it should have sounded like but he had only a


of a tongue remaining, the rest having sluiced past

little brother no jaw melted like a pile of clothing at ankle.


silver colossus that, I swear,

symbolizes nothing. It steps

on a lego that was cruft

in the shag.


It doesn’t feel it.


Because this specific Gordian not, or wasn’t,

travels, sinews

nerve from floor to foot

and up the leg.

should he be surprised

if he wakes up as less?

Maybe silver is hard and gold


And his blind ventricles will entangle

And rend.

his skull will


slowly with pudding

and when he reaches down

to peel lego from fallen arch

he’ll miss.

Get Total

on Tuesdays

she could think about

skates and the rays and

all the ways that main stream troubadours

(that were, to be sure, like 97 percent water)

ignore them.

I’d be a nurse shark, I’d be a total nurse shark

she writes with her finger, tracing the syllables in tress




you know what they say about the ocean?

nothing insightful or big.

what if the white noise was the whole school cheering


writing “metaphor” in the sand

writing “metaphor” in the water

this town needs a fire

and I need to sit, watch ash lap up

get some  sand between my toes


there’s a total nurse shark

out there and every time I see something move

some grisly flotsam

broken shell, timid crab

I know that I could grow up to ten feet in length

and I am too long

for local aquaria