Apartment Poetry Quarterly

2A              2B              2C              2D              2E              2F




a poem for, but not about, Herman Cain and Joe Paterno

9.           Before any of this came out, we took truth very seriously. Now we ask: can we still take truth seriously? We don’t think so, but it’s what we want. We wander around villages aflame, we are naked and the heat gets to us: yes, the village is on fire and we are charred. Uh oh, you say to me, I’m afraid I might be lying again.

9.           Sitting cross-legged on the bottom of a well, not calling out for help. I mean, you can’t keep calling out for help all day, there are certain hours, hours at a time, in which you are sure there is no one nearby, there is no one up there, so you do not call. This moment we’re in was preceded by exactly one hour of not calling out. In the next hour, a squirrel will fall in and join you.

9.           How is a person supposed to make a plan? To do anything at all, I mean. There is no positive reinforcement for planning, only the anxiety of responsible men. I am not a responsible man. I plan to stay here for 84, 403, 9, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, it doesn’t even matter. There will come a day when I am scolded for my failures, asked impolitely (and I will have earned it) to leave.


One it contains a thing

Two it confuses a thing

Three it continues relentlessly

I knew I could keep going because I didn’t need to stop immediately

Here was a man I met in the forest
a phallus where the mouth would be

This is the main way in which he differed from other people

He was the occasion to be in the place

He continued me

Four I continued relentlessly

He is a joke someone told

I would like to make something of it I would like
to say for instance HOW I LIKE A QUIET FOREST

Five an end is not the same as a punch line: we all die

Though I didn’t mean to bring that old thing into this


1. Deer Enclosure

after Wang Wei

Big waiting mountain. I don’t see you
but I hear your talk sounds. The dark is back,
here with me & deer & trees, back again
buffing the moss until it shines.


2. Climbing Hooded-Crane Tower

after Wang Zhihuan

The sun puts all its white onto the mountain
and then it has nothing left.

The river goes east and east some more.

Do you want a thousand miles in your eyes
at once? Is what you want exhaustion?

Then go on, keep climbing: one step and again one more.