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About this poet

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.

He is the author of five books of poetry: Notes from Irrelevance (Wave Books, 2011), Free Cell (City Lights Books, 2009), Some Notes on My Programming (Edge, 2006), Zero Star Hotel (Edge, 2002), Integrity and Dramatic Life (Edge, 1999), and co-editor with Alice Notley and his brother Edmund Berrigan, of The Collected Poems of Ted Berrigan (U. California, 2005) and the Selected Poems of Ted Berrigan (U. California, 2011).

From 2003-2007 he was Artistic Director of The Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church. He is Co-Chair, Writing at the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts, and also currently teaches writing at Pratt Institute and Brooklyn College. He was a New York State Foundation for the Arts fellow in Poetry for 2007, and has received two grants from the Fund for Poetry.

He lives in New York City.

Zero Star Hotel [At the Smith and Jones]

Anselm Berrigan

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
ever happened
except everything's
wet, singed cork
rubbeth face, pay
concierge/owner
in red-checked pjs
for Ross' 8 nights decapitate
writer head and sacrifice
to gods of buried vocals
  
DugRoth says id Keats
Was here in our burgers
He'd slug him every time
If he played the Welt-
Meister? Double
Slug. West Nile Virus
Strikes Bill Five Times
Tho' he's scared to enter
Queens, despite status
As honorary Met
Metro musician speaks:
"If the global workforce
continues to be decimated
by disease & natural catas-
trophe it will be necessary
to clone a workforce.
please give in advance
to help create this force
in exchange for these
accordion songs. Merci."
  

It takes a dick
To raise a pyramid
Motorcycle crash
On the tongue, small
Business buried, this short
But expansive demonological
Expose is, in all probability
My own diabolized & garbled
Version of raising "the listener"
To the rank of dualist "believer"

three nines, plus fifteen
two fours king high, lose five
two fives ace high, lose five
nothing ace high, lose finger
right index. Zilch, ace
high, lose left thumb
ten and seven pairs, get thumb
back, doesn't fit. Two fives
hand back thumb. Six high
lose hand, split.
  
The moral right of the author
Has been deserted
And tearful words that rhyme
You are not crumbling and
You are tired of crumbling
The moral continuum
Of the gobot's heresy
Has been dejected
With feelings of paranoia
Thank Augustine, for
like Leonard Nimoy
you and I are made
mostly of water. But
when the assholes play
ukeleles and gloat
about cheap rent
the sight of the world
quarters me. Thus I regress
shame and embarrassment
fucking up the life
  
Many otters are also
Making current loans
Whilst unable
To find the function
Button next to the
Pause button.
While you were invisible
I was privvy
To the seamscape
Brutish preconfiguring was there
end poem with gambling
write out dreams
another personal rule
broken to quote face
death unquote, with
apologies to the just now
stomped roachie.
"they were all my friends
and they died," an old
thread and a new one
  
Coptic are, blue lady
Bahrain coin, midnight
Medoc, Eddie snickers
Insects attack, denim guy
Who robs drug stores
Yearning to speak:
Cocktail fugitive angst
Ball refuses to be thrown
Be not frozen in cigar
Store scared to emote
basically we need
a cultural tilting of the bowl
or diseased markets. Interrogation
chairs pile up outside
guides. Primitives drool
intelligence. I can't find
the light. Two degrees
outside. The city at odds.
poetry is my strength
clothes are my weakness
  
Nobody comes over
And never leaves anymore
Incidental back to a sill
Calm, poignant and terrified
Volunteer me a busride
Chase middle fingers with bats
Blooming by the pond
I did not hug the tranquil
Endowment after a wedding
Drank everything I could
pigeon now weird big
books everywhere jogging
in hollywood t-shirts
we raised this park
and built a pond by
which to shoot movies
they shot us on the pond
and it was the best I hate
that dog I ever had
feeding with a bottle
  
Now Eddie's bored
People invented God
To excuse their bad
Habits this roach
Says to me. There
Isn't anyone it
Even wants to imitate
Eddie and I play anti-
Chess, both begin
In check
now Ross is gone
bearer of sock herb
impresser of exiled
temps. Um is my
comment, leaking
uranium on the sea
bed. Others tilt
ever so slightly
swoopward, blame
the spiritual outsider
  
At the reading reaching
For the bar food "Well
We've got to put those
Subs somewhere or else
Sell them as staples
Of a fast food fat
Reducing diet. Find
And replace he said
I see a crabby
Peering through a crag
passenger next to antagonist
all my darkness is product
I sell it your way as wisdom
you lose blue, use red
I see my feet sometimes
artificial's the right word
clinical joy unreported
poke a hole in a blanket
and with your head
go through it
  
I've never met any
Mysterious musicians
Sorry. I wish
They stopped saying
Lord, and ended
This Pope business
My relative Clapp
Died at the Alamo
Let's give Texas
Back to Mexico
the original of this
poem is available
for $5,000. When
I sell it I plan
to buy a debris
slide. I'm broke
but I make more
money than my
parents did when
they were my age
  
Solid boundless freefall
My connective tissue
My fine citizen centering
Circles this frame
Upside down flying
Back first into
Woods, flipped
Over handlebars
Brake cord detached
Leaf imprint on back
what is interesting
about him is also what
is wrong with him
rendering him electable
he's the guy who poses
for trophies, biologically
but he is turning into
bio-seitan, to be eaten
by a despicably healthy
human extending a lifespan
  
I can get a sparrow
With a bow and arrow
I can buy anything
Cheaper than you
Who wasted the miracle
On the dove?
The subject is SAME
NAME. There's nothing
To cross out. $5,000!
Have a happy warning
if you don't understand
don't be ashamed
to ask three times
the answer is TIGHT-LIPPED
you have won $30,300
can I have a glass of water?
the Americans had Judy
Garland & we had Edie Piaf
he was set to do another season
of Superman, then he was shot

Copyright © 2002 by Anselm Berrigan. Reprinted from Zero Star Hotel, published by Edge Books. Used by permission of the author.

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

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

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
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