poem index

sign up to receive a new poem-a-day in your inbox

About this Poem 

"This is a run of material from about sixteen pages inside a thirty-eight page piece called 'Primitive State,' the entirety of which is made of modular sentence-addled lines and their bracketing horizontal spaces. The lines with surrounding ellipses run occasionally through the whole thing as a kind of on-going listing within the structure, which is itself a long list of consciousness smears that probably shouldn't go together. But on the Joe Brainard premise that there are no colors that don't go together, they kept going together anyway."
Anselm Berrigan

Primitive State [excerpt]

Anselm Berrigan

Thingitation righteousness for pre-avail to drive away the mighty kraken

Put me in a room full of strangers and leave me alone

...cauldron in twine, disarray as fair game, keen ablution borne skeezed...

Forced into assertions by a lack of attention

...the warp we held out in readiness, taking wind off the table, the awe thus retrofitted
within the futility of cleanliness, that mere cost...

But I am not trying to achieve a general unity of impression, which anyway sounds like a
metaphysics of port authority

Clear-cut you are my enemy, alternate pen failing eternity

...bazaar residence, chatty folly, all perks, all codes...

If’n diffident glee

For the appearance of a glove, designed in wood to imitate a mama whooping crane from
the neck up, would prevent the little chick from being humanized by coming through a
hatch in the wall to commence feeding time

Where its nothing personal happens

Selling points envying the rim

The patter of claws as I upload Brahms in the dark

He demonstrated the location of his injury by touching the trainer’s parallel area

...video courtesies, seeing the quiddity a five-headed eagle brings to light, in a touch...

A late run at respectability about to come up short

Mellow radiation lulls with rosemary

T’aint

The window so far behind the what

...drums in the bleep, four savory flavors in mind, forgeries bloody coming after me...

It was indeed a terrible idea to lend a valuable book to a painter

Soon I must go to sleep and simulate someone at rest

Trilobite death wish to replace beer funnels downstairs with

She pours herself into recognition as if every moment is a new one

Should I hide the ointment from the truth

The industry of analyzing that which may

String straps suck

Should I gnaw on everything with my five pesky teeth

To sit back down still high amidst the aggro-squirrel set under amber street light, kid
asleep, paper catching drizzle, phone lurking in pocket

Standards, such as yours, don’t exist

...risers tracking reliquaries, gradations of skill at filling a thirty-second spot...

At some point it became spontaneous to have a plan

A daydream that everyone speaks only in acronyms

Copyright © 2013 by Anselm Berrigan. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on April 4, 2013. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.

Copyright © 2013 by Anselm Berrigan. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on April 4, 2013. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.

Anselm Berrigan

Anselm Berrigan was born in 1972 in Chicago, IL. He received a BA from SUNY Buffalo and an MFA from Brooklyn College. He is the son of poets Alice Notley and the late Ted Berrigan.

by this poet

poem

At the Smith and Jones
Factory I get my
Gear, don't smoke
Don't vote, dry off
With Madonna towel
It's a field night
For the roachies
Smoked too many
Crumbs, too much
Genre manipulation

looks like nothing
poem
Things surrounding things
fill my Wicked Tuna grid
 
heart with a swishy austerity-like
intention. I cut my post-fleshy
 
forearms & bleed a serious parallel
echo chamber reading everything
 
to approve of nothing. I massage  
my anterior cruciate ligaments
 
to celebrate a hard won royal flush.
This mind is
poem
Meat pies delivered daily from
tuck shop the chalkboard
improvisionally utters to a
chump's eye. Somewhere in
the thick of the grip of the
shit that must be said to be
gotten out of the way. Can I
sit in your lap and watch
kitty videos? No, I have to
go to work. Can I go to
work with you? We can
walk outside