wait did that just turn into a poem about poetry. i am so totally not voting for you, mike.


Will he read it? Are you warm yet?
If he doesn't, will you tie me to a
sheepdog who will never brag that he's
"people watching, you know. I don't get
bored: I'm a people watcher." Wrong.
In 1954, the last documented case of
"real people" buried a milkshake recipe
and two coupons for used boxing gloves
outside Sparks, Nevada. Don't have a fit.
No points to get from me, I'm afraid.
I'm so afraid of overdoing it, always.
Like this, this is just for more friends.
Ten to my keychain, six to my Rub List.
We'll raid something. Grade movies. Bowl.
Chuck carrier pigeons down the tunnel:
"Hi! Hi back! Hi back back! Yum, the
sun is a little jealous. He's not a
secret, like our handshake spark."
You're my friend because you're not
"I'm a person"-this and "I'm real"-that.
You'll never demand I check you for lumps
or call me on behalf of some hallelujah
screw. You'll never stuff a prairie dog
in my freezer with a note: LUV U MIKE!!!
This army of ours, this army of ours.
I know what you're thinking and yes,
you can. Step one: Is it dawn yet?
Is that chocolate? Are you cold?


mc oroville news

MC Oroville's Answering Machine, if Logan likes the title, will come out from Transmission Press late this year, along with chapbooks from cool people like Dorthea Lasky, Mathias Svalina & Julia Cohen, and Aaron Lowinger. I'm excited. I hope Logan includes little paste-on beards with each chap.


blogs are for blogs blogdamnit


No, I am not out to start a smear campaign.
For you who you are and stuff you’re good,
ripcord! When I grow up, I want to be
patience, an asterisk, or the kitchen when
“I’m not trying to be an ass but honestly”
is frying and frying his cardigan to chase the
New Real. Us mood thieves, weren’t we
not invited? Why are we going off about
snot bouts, hey ho, no way, the sigh dial,
like the first rule of polite company is
don’t talk about polite company. I really
hate it here, which is such a stretch.
Strong feelings, I mean. I never got
buzzed in to those. I take a Z-shaped
fire escape up to the hospital of feeling.
What an anti-ripcord sort of beauty that Z!
And I stroll on up whenever it is I consider
you. For some reason, right now, I want to
love you in what they’re saying is orange
and endless, honestly. Shrug. How’s it feel
to weigh that much in news? Orange and
endless. That’s good for what it is, I
guess. If you’re sure you are, I trust you.


every dreamer's got a skinned knee

from MC Oroville's Answering Machine

Delbert shaves his chest hair to accommodate the heart machine. Thanks to MediCal he'll taste next summer's olives. Rock on. There's paperwork. He's already got a motorcycle license and another for the AK-47 he had to buy in Oregon--fucking Sac-town Democrats. Now he's got numbers that tell him when to plug in, how to hotwire ventricles. Delbert hangs drywall and rents a studio at the Inn. You've never met the people he loves. There's a girl at the mattress factory who won't return his calls. No returns on much. Rock steady. For his heart walloping turn as Count Lonely at the Birdcage Community Theatre, they spell his name wrong. Instead of applause they throw scones. Muffler coupons. Deepfried action figures. Bad tacos from Grande Burger, landlubber lobster from The Depot. I'm just putting it out there. I'm not saying call me when you're lonely. Whose heart, hands up, sucks a little? When you were just a boy, MC Oroville, full of goosebumps and frozen Snickers, I'm guessing someone told you rock on. Saddle your shit and ride her home. Rocktacular. Rockspastic. When a big flood yells hi, Delbert drywalls the whole town. He buys Buck's Lake. Delbert's Lake. Heart machine with his shirt off. There goes Delbert with his fucking rat-a-tat squirrel hunt. Never thought I'd see a happy man so loud. Hog parked outside the tattoo parlor, flossing ink. This one I got because it fucking rocks. This one I got because I'm fucking loaded, which is rock as fuck. Now every girl swiped at the Keg Room is due a new promise. Fuck your momma: you don't gotta stay there. You know the Inn? I'll buy you that shit licking Inn. Listen. No, listen to my mouth. That's just the thing in my chest, doll. It pings. That's how it works. I'm a rock star. I've got music up my ribs. No one can keep me quiet, not for long. No, baby. Don't even try.

amy hempel: "every story could be re-titled 'the day i was sad'"


Account, really: royalty counts.
Crown the orphan hockey goons, tea
peddlers, lie menders, good drivers.
Then freeze. Pay someone to stall your
quiet. Go dredge for enough light
to make home by. Someone buy shovels.
Don't weep for that bobsled of fire ants.
Old solutions sunk you in this free for all,
jibbery King Saul and all. I've got his nose.
Don't I look like the new king of naked town?
If you'd figured it all out, I wouldn't need
to name your needs and let you nap here.
Don't go nodozing on that bulldozer.
Buy the best walnuts, bloody fits of
reputation. Steal circumstance. Milk
the leaders of the survey for their
no shit moments. Everybody needs a
moment. I would give you mine, but
sweetie, they ain't done. I'm not useless.
This is just where we're at right now.


overdue your sweet fist

Absolutely what needs to be done isn't my endorsement of the praise draped and prize nominated Sleeping and Waking by Michael O'Brien, but whoa. It's a terrific book of poems, real poems. Thank you Joe Massey for the alert. Before the hooplah! It's taken me this long. Johnny come lamely.

When you read a terrific book of real poems, it's like people are interesting again, and their caws. Orange paint on the fuse box. Even the protesters of that bad thing.

You don't need Greek mythology to read this book. Or even the mythology of the current poetry scene, which is maybe just as bad. Maybe all you need to be is on the wet-ish side of lip appreciation. Henk says "The pipes have been snoring all day." Or Kendra asks "Is it weird to think that eventually, your name will be ironic?" No one would have said those things if I hadn't been reading this book. That's how the work of hearing goes, the alert work, stepping lightly off the skids to receive our days without the goals of "traction."

Like every good book of poetry, S&W is easily abbreviated and features at least one stanza ripe for stealing and turning into a country song chorus:

from "ONCE"

on the street she
yawns, her jeans
yawn, her knees
rhyme with her eyes

Oh just buy it. Don't make me dump a bucket of water on you.


AWP = train / mike = deer

Thanks to Amy King for the photo. I am so fucking spent. Had a delicious time, yo, and will post about it when I can confidently remember how sentences and breathing works.