Apartment Poetry Quarterly

3A              3B              3C              3D              3E              3F


2D Joe Milazzo



By the light of the blazed city primed white
with wheat-paste-posted bills, gentle sub-
prime reminders—they’ve taken all that,
ox-carted, restructured, and left it a tagged
and metered glint off some hurriedly sanitized structure
recently reoccupied, that is, plushly retacked
with deeply piled dazzle pattern and modular stock-ticker
funfetti blending blood and cum. At intervals, it falls
and falls to us some pitter patter
prodding at our pons for a better tomorrow
than how we found it, discretizing aeonic slime
into some repeatable or reputable empiric milking even
the unconditional, the basal contract,
like Brad honking at pedestrians, their dignity filched in a






flinch, so that this petri and pipette primeval fail to launch us
toward what I’ve never gotten a satisfactory answer on,
much less could advance myself: Pleasure Island,
maybe, a wish-this-summer-would-never-
end-slash-blissed-out-to-the-max sort of freeze frame
under endless credits, and yet,
and yet, it is the good of every thing whether reparable
or repudiable to find its end in this suffocating petrichor,
a drinklessness
in the lingering blood
after a hot drizzle;
besides, white chicks get choked on operatic griot. White lions
I’ve envied in white linen trolling the verdant verdure
so vital with virtuous virtuosos, green,






green ivy breeching mortar, Japanese Ararat
loosening the Canterbury limestone,
shells and skulls of sixty-five-million-year-
old whothefuckcares cause what don’t kill’s fucked,
bagged horsecum, dis flossie crit kooz
squadmode pinned down in the thread’s a cocky sliz;
noob’ll exp. bij who outed all tuff fags in my
medieval futurewar good-old-days piecework
with elvish vector-tit starring Kevin Richardson Avatarvad
and Touko Laaksonen Einsatzpunkt. In the cut
scene, dumb Chip-Pedo keeps my wood senseless.
Ack-ack, motherfucker, ack-ack, goddamn.
Ammo Real Boy go, “Thumb my long nose
to the drum of the beat.” This is what we’ve got






to look forward to, blanched pleasures out here
on the peripherals, where every gesture
is a decadence, each thrill a theft, balling smut
from the drivetrain between finger and thumb, some
gratifying instantiation, repukable or perruqueable,
of a friction that even this workweek’s inertia can’t absorb,
singing, no more waste means no more breaks means
no more waste means no more breaks. It’s not as if the drift
washed its hands; there only is only one the drift only, mad
puppeteer or bi-curious superman
welling up from my dream hole for which I am solely
responsible. It just asks too much of me, this life, to be
something other than this homo
Vader, party animal, animal in bed,






waking up to its unswappable shittiness, my
thought boring through necessity, a thought willed
as precaria from a lessor relic particle,
irreversible jubilee of the arrow of time
reaming its must; there is no
where to return to, just this half-
textured polygon where the funding fell out,
lucky if you get a standard status code,
but more often than not, you’ll take whatever
glitch you get, parsable or parsnippable, for what you’d wanted
all along (a style of Levi’s), thus a user always
is feeling lucky, whether it requested it or not, and
like the gaze of a starlet, pornographic or agoraphobic,
you are the letter (get it?), you let it happen;






it’s not your fault, but it is your responsibility,
in the sense that “let” once meant “to hinder”
or was synonymous with “obstacle.” Now, assembler
sump tank pumps me into performance technology,
defib pitcrews standing by with
pluripotent replacement limbs at the ready,
holstering Ped-O-Jets chambering cortisol,
propranolol, catapres for startle response,
oxytocin for Besetzung; all aleaisomerized within
acceptable bioequivalent ranges so that my brain,
remedial or remediable, can’t compensate. What was once just,
just once, a pinhole tyrant floating in glaucous cerebrospinal
spit, is now a septum-pinching bulldog
handed off to hired hands who might husband me. It’s just






this pencil keeps wanting to write “home” or draw
a heart around the limits of the being of which I am,
which drill for me a hole through
the vestigial vigilance of my faculty
of imagining, which lets the plumage not become
chilled plums, the extinction of its reflection not be
filled in by reflex with genetic fallout
put up as guarantee, senile dowry,
the resorption of imperfections or
of senescing leaves before they fall.
The ornaments are stripped, which proves
all poets are churchwardly, downshifting the case
to unbraid a demyelinated thought, like saffron
between finger and thumb, like how the wishful






trichotillomaniac lashes out against a shouldabeen
that everything should be still (seems no one ever
told her her desire’s but
a misapplication of layman’s nomenclature
or the mindless psych folk of a niche charlatan). A desire to have
everything visible is also that none of it
any longer should at all be. That it all should come
to rest on a single symbol articulating the entirety of it
by means of an immediate or a midget glyph.
So when anyone, as a way of illustrating their point,
makes use of Borges’s “The Library of Babel,”
which conceives of a universe in the form of a
vast library containing all possible 410-page books
of a certain format, this person, the one making a point,






must assume no one has ever read the story
much less heard it used to illustrate a point
so that this person must do his auditor the favor
of summarizing it for them, so that there are
as many summaries, all more or less incorrect,
as there are books in Borges’s fictional library.
And it’s people like this keep me from being
commie, let me let myself embrace
my darkness, my important sadness.
“I’m proud of you, son,” I say to myself
to get to sleep. I don’t want to be
a white negro cain’t I be a black honky?
Cain’t I be a sickly hick, an idle hammer,
a Branch Davidian, flamboyant or flammable?






They’ve taken all that, what wasn’t yours
or mine to begin with. Such that the plenitude
of the multiple assumes its final shape smeared
in the red ochre of the mortgage, the pain, guarantee
of death, by default a kind of extortion.
Every throw of the dice expresses a thought,
and all thought exists to end up the rigorous
calculation of resource distribution across terminals
(repair time, pilot workload,
scheduled maintenance). What a thought opens,
the abyss over which turns a white hull
stalled beneath the desperately sloping incline
of its own wing through an advance
falling back from ill to take flight, is finally






a kind of helplessness, that we should always be
falling into the arms of one stranger then another,
one stranger than the other, rather than tonguing
the corn syrup slathering such rare solitude
or solicitude. Nope, always
headlong in high heels, reaching up to touch
the fetishes that hang between our breasts from our necks
on long leather thongs to remind ourselves
to remember—by the light of the blazed city
primed white with wheat-paste-posted bills
may we see everything there is to see and nothing
of that of which there isn’t anything to be seen
and prefer this blindness to a fatuous intuition or if
nothing else eschew the morality of the food pyramid.