Super Arrow Issue No. 4
























Grace is a ladder of circumstances
on its lowest rung I am ashamed
to have noosed myself T-bone
parked car counterpoint mother-
in-law’s Camry converted accordion
I am ashamed hit run sob Mississippi
River roads steam hisses out hood,
planet tastes like imminent domain,
trees play Who Cares About the Dead,
Riverboat gambling, thin-crust pizza,
bridge to strip clubs where women
lapdance erections of folly, someone
named Me blood pouring out his back
onto the lacquered, crisscross floor,
black & white, evil & more evil,
the starlight a stark Japanese
lantern of the most insane
motherfucker known to earth
a long time I sit in mother-
in-law’s driveway—O yes, I rode
the white line white knuckles
sobbing like a mis-medicated puppy—
thinking the N-bomb took out
both shores, the upper crust
cleaved into the sea, Odysseus
clapping next to Ahab, Ishmael
on Quee Queg’s pike, the dock stop-
clock rang over & over & still people
moved their mouths, refused to slip
a dry cleaning bag, pinch, cinch,
O bright white light All Souls
Day skeletons morph to quartz
that’s heaven, but these corporal
vessels—wife an astonished akimbo
stance, her mother a guidebook
on someone else’s messes—return
me to ice patch, skid mark, street
lights operating room unscrew
cranium, pour in salt, sea
slug gone gone gone baby like junk
in the veins, I got that lazy scratch,
I drool that Cuckoo’s Nest drool,
that would not happen to be my
kidney saints are playing soccer,
no baby, that’s the delinquent son
burning off the slaughtered fattest calf
in his honor, actually a roast of many
of that era’s greatest celebrities,
one dressed as a cop thick
like a Colonial wedding chest, on a cell
phone, voila, woman in headdress
thin silk from the Nile on her shoulders
standing on this shithole street, no one
arrests me, batons me, berates me,
you see my husband in Mali, Timbuktu,
Country Where Men Do Not Flee Like
Crows Off Carrion, I am ashamed

you, my daughter, slump
my shoulder, five degrees, wind
doing atrocious wind spinning
vast blank plasma, star poison, you
huddle against my neck, pink puffy
jacket elephant sewed to lapel, the cop
gone, the woman’s phone number
in my hand, after this accident I have
dreams where I burn your crib,
evacuate in your diaper, formula
drains down my shoulders,
I am ashamed of every fiber
unworthy pulse, I am ashamed belt
cinched a year later, I am ashamed
neck mark, red face, my last breath
stinking like a pier in the Great Lake
in the squat town, you were my anchor
I am ashamed you were my anchor,
by anchor I mean pitter-pat foot-
step through the ceiling where
family a joyous clapped hymn
a cacophony of utter unbridled
laughter, where was the grief,
the long hard sobs of my long hard
you need to understand I have fits
like an epileptic owl, me me me cry
to the morning, still standing
beneath the Cyrillic sign of pastries
I wolf down—I wish I were a wolf,
I wish I were a clam, a bulldozer,
anodyne, Lipitor
injected indiscriminately, you see
I am ashamed or else the planets
go dance beyond my horizon
possibly a baby
walrus on an ice floe
when, holy shit, the meteorologists
were right, my roar meconium-
jammed, my feet east toward Mecca
after scorching, cigarette butts,
an exploded dentist’s chair, veiled
I strapped to a grenade waiting
the pin the pin is it stuck fuck
I am a subscriber to more earth time
I guess I am ashamed to say you
should have done better in the daddy

department beneath billie lights
pupils these things socks fall off
these things so small things things
nothing I say nothing sounds
like scissors through gift wrap
more than an episiotomy, knee
buckle, there you were there
I was, were & was, a state, a place,
let me explain I am no good
at talking about tornado sirens
ruptured sleep, your mother,
holding you four a.m, your mother,
blood dried in hair, your mother,
your mother, she was a marine
of maternity—at this point
my life if you need to know
I will begin Lowell’s I am not
right he was crazier than a bedbug
fed tranquilizer syrup, hopped
slowly, evenly, the words I think
failed him at the end, O human
condition turns us into freaks
needing confinement so we
can lie say not my fate
you see our bodies
are our betrayals
what I
I grew
a deer
into a hippo
straw-hearted, baby-brained,
dog barf my day’s vocabulary
wayward, AA souls folding up
dented chairs remembrance that
railroad track, what could be said
about the cabooses’ graffiti, anger
of cursive, there’s a reason
why a flock of crows is called
a murder I am ashamed

to say I lived those days
of your birth running
from you under the auspices
of training like a pet parrot
who says the five bad words
that gets boring fast & you’re
left to feed it & feed it it’s part
of the family, that dumb winged
beast, as I was saying I wanted
to be a deer, a motion
a prayer the muscle makes
a kind of music so thin
tinny reverberating the pallid
dawn fell the arboretum, hill
repeats, tripping over exposed
roots, plyometric bounding ,
jays just opening little eyes,
my wrists flicking against
my outer hips, breath
a vacuum taken to
lungs, sweat mouth
nectar salt, magnolias
in mist, dirt trail
twisting, slope grade
growing I had this monitor
strapped to my chest,
measurement of temperance,
self-talk, teeth grit, body
a dashboard of subtle cues,
mind converts pace + % HR
max, beep beep beep, nausea,
quadriceps fire, my ego
the jays won’t shut up,
I am here at 5:30 a.m.
to be good, fail better, 20
second PR three months
to goal race, save my tibia,
it is the season to let go
of my will, a life laid out
ornate schedules
detailed daily diaries
waking heart rate,
hours of sleep, weight
+ Body Fat % + monthly VO2
& Lactic Threshold tests ventilation
masks over my mouth, hopping
on one foot while hurling
a 20 lb. medicine ball skyward
I an obscenely ripped Ben Franklin
spouting 13 virtues toward perfection
I wrote the diary of a lunatic
each day the sun descended, I
self-sequestered to my altitude tent
7:30 p.m. I am ashamed I left

your mother to adjudicate a cosmos
of coughs & cribs & ad-hoc melodies
we used to talk at night long ago
I a ripe 300 lbs, my body yoked
to let’s call it a certain disposition
where each cell on each plant
whispered certain things
involving an ending, I leaned
on her, I was her HUD project,
the neighborhood with young people
believing in grand young ideas
despite propensities to contract
venereal diseases drink too much
pass out in the pool, we laughed
a lightness, we made love
to the sound of ripped apart freighters
it was the most perfect year—see
I think the sane intrinsically breathe
an intersection of two competing
winds, drink where the clay red
river runs out into baby blue bay
the herons lost in flight & unknowing
grandeur, I like to think my Sunday
17 miles @ 8:00, 7:30, 7:00,
6:30, 6:00 progression runs by feel
(my coach wrote after !!!!!) possessed
an air where I turned inward
to Forest Road 710’s clumpy dirt,
the dirt inward to racing flats, my error
I guess I would tell you thinking
those moments were bright beacons
of my mind, like I moved backwards
in time & supplied Greek, Renaissance,
Eurasian deathbeds a perfect formula
for the last corporal breath, I have to say
in the winter it rained on the forest roads
plodding along through slop bronchial
infections borderline anemia blown-
apart animals the hunters not 300 yards
off not sure to know if I were prey
or dipshit in black tights a red skull cap
let me tell you there is a point
where motion does not speak to you
it is not you it is you making
your own statue & the real
statue makers sit alone,
solemnly drink watered-down
coffee, ask where the freighters
they’d laugh about post-coital
rested now I’d say they’re mostly
twisted junk in an overgrown field
next to a meth lab, I’d say I wish
I stuffed my brain in big, black
garbage bags thrown adroitly
Monday morning into the truck,
I am ashamed I have this trundle
of medications meant to make me
stand sans quivering yammering
interrupting friends so much they
quickly nod in the halls return
to other people who own ears
eye sockets that could delineate
the self’s mouth
from the friend’s hand
I do not know why
your mother did not shiv me,
every ounce of every
meal weighed, oil-measured,
punched into a calorie counter,
the living room lights snuffed
she left to books knitting
she should’ve punched me
in the brain or taken a fishing
knife gutted me flipping
a bass no stream, I am ashamed
I invented my own cocoon
too silky the summer ate
through it I dropped into

your little cheeks, yellow
those first few days, you ate
like a broken sparrow, things
I never deigned about a mouth
not doing, like an owl not knowing
it beats night into light
in the forest before black
flies emerge, repeat 150 times,
your little blue eyes not turned
brown yet, just making out
the outline of faces, what
did you see that day my sesamoid
fractured you kicked the Saint
Anthony night light passed down
through the 20th century, was I
a vast assortment of dots, a howl
one-footed jump that marked
the final season where the roads
simply eroded into ten Twinkies
crammed into my mouth, you
learned to eat, a photo your big
quarter-Pollack head covered
in a can of peas reeked a fungus
glazing a gym sock, I am told
your first word was kitty, told
many things who own mouths
dining upon my stomach lining,
I resented other people holding
you in the air like a smile
were a continuous airplane
circling a landing pad of daisies,
everyone of your blood
in the grass, clapping madly
like you were rescued, I by the
barbed wire fence, a buck
cursed with ingrown horns, legs
folded in lying, the eyes a certain
inward illness transparent in
eyes’ eggshell hue, liver failure,
heart murmur, a worm born
from a horse hair dropped in
a bucket, that little beast
moved through my beast
ate what the Founding Fathers
coined dignity—I founded nothing
that ushered people into a parade
filled with gossamer rolling & rolling
like a dead sea-scroll of film I guess
I partially paid the movie mind
I was texting in the audience, your mother
starts by grabbing my hand when
the gunshot blows out the villain’s
last days confined to a wheelchair I return
no grip, the movie goes by, more guts,
more climax, my thumbs stay glued
to the stupid phone, eventually she learns
I am ashamed to say that I am texting
myself about myself before I turn
into a pile of bricks I pissed
on a long long time ago
she could build a house
or she could live
a life
this is what she tells me
on an eight hour drive through eroded
rice fields, every time I scream I swerve
up against a big rig’s flank, I learn that day
the patience of a human is inductively
finite, I mean those fields could have
been saved, rice in the summer
would abound if anyone took
the time to raze the couch
& hand-hoe every damn row
Ecclesiastics went out the window
on the highway I know this now
I guess what remains untenable
is the spot it landed, crows, billboards,
exit signs, so many repetitions
a routine + a slow erosion, a body
+ a Max % soul sometimes needs not to be
the exoskeleton, lower mammals & insects,
I tell you daughter these creatures
we should emulate, a life of un-meditated
industry, we should explode the cash
register, take our simple doors
& extricate the imported French knockers,
we should realize the company we keep
is contingent as our lungs & as needed,
we should be kind, we should be kind
to the people reaching their hands
to pull us from the swimming pools
& know these people are not lamps
we turn on & off daily. Your grandmother

asked nothing of me. She pointed to
the mess of a car I made, nodded slowly,
shook the cop’s hand, hugged the woman
crying able to work her three jobs, we
went down the road I looked at your mother
who was a carousel of mysterious grief
knowing something triggered I am ashamed myself
I want to shake my now back-to-fat ass,
drinking beer, inhaling pizza, until my thin
self falls out of my obesity I can punch it
in the face only one time then offer it
a deskjob transcribing the hair of each doe
it long ago missed in stride, shrouded only
by an asp of autumnal kudzu & swamp
where something decays, turns into nitrogen,
gives slow slow birth a microbe I guess
could end the world or obliterate
kidney stones, you’ll never know, Daisy,
you can never know, so says Berryman’s
ghost Merwin channeled, you may never
know who Berryman was I tell you
he was a man who leapt off a bridge left
behind amazing books saddened friends
which one is more
you may ask
you may ask Daddy, were you a good runner
I will say let us go to Virginia Beach
we stand on a track with once upon a time
the state’s best female athlete
until she menstruated all her aspirations
she shot herself, her parents said never
a day went by she never suffered, we are
relieved, they took her ashes, mixed
them into the track, Daddy,
were you a good runner
let me tell you
that question’s most important word