Tony Robinson, Shot Dead, a young man, African American, Just Down the Street

Anna Vitale

Tony Robinson, Shot Dead, a young man, African American, Just Down the Street

But it’s not just down the street

And we are these people standing in front of the house

What do we do? Clap in unity, speak at the same time, become a body to gather strength

Who must we speak to in order to say, my body is not my body, my voice is not my voice

We don’t want this particularity

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Who makes your paper bags?

search my hashtags #brownbagsarepeopletoo #paperpagsarepeopletoo I have some of these names as well! let’s collaborate! IG: @td.pomedeterre

The Daily Springbyker

Sometimes I’m reminded of the anonymity of jobs on the bottom of the wage and respect scale.  A few years ago I was folding and putting away a clean brown paper bag that had held groceries or a loaf of bread from one of our local bakeries, and I found a name printed on the bottom of it:  Wigberto Serpa.  Even in nations of hispanohablantes, this is a pretty unusual name.  After seeing names, and occasionally dates, printed on the bottoms of a few more bags, I realized that this was done by the manufacturers for quality control, so they could see who was gluing correctly – and doubtless time these poor workers to make sure they were gluing enough bags per minute.  Yuck, I thought, that must be a bad enough job without supervisors breathing down your neck about the rapidity of your gluing. On the other hand…

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in honor of being ABD– 2 more Beowulf WIP trans yea



Set a new tonsil                       on tonsil, me too.

Cigarette second                      weaving silver weight.

Fairies can’t make them          handsome

on hearsay                               being rhymed.

They’re switched at birth         shitting, eating

freedom to kill                         Saturday night vigil.


See the one hand bear              rotten elegy

scented scythe whirling           stop my love song

hater and he wrote                   four ways hell ever dreamt

digesting libel                          denying weathervane.


Our first Mapplethorpe           a clay first-born

first rate photo set                    free and shielding her

unbound bathrobe                   washing Beowulf’s side

motion’s mirror friend                        mincing a foot canker


fortune five hundred                fattening older man

ever merciful                            my middle years

getting under her opening        phoning herself


are you sleepy, old wolf?         safe with broken one

I said you say                          ampersand flight

forget for once                         what a conatus

and fertile glib                         on deep water

are you Neptune?                    No, I’m not anyone


new lay of new lay                   belly in the middle

sorrowful necktie                     they get on sound reason

forget eager stream                  early morning fading

mating mare straight                mountain broke-down


gliding over car-seat                givin’ it to ‘im well

winter is  filming                     get-away tourist bait

seven nights wanking              he’s an excellent afterbite

hefty marmaduke                     faking American Tide

on heat waves                          hold my picture.



Then he sought            sweaty Ethel
lee of his laudanum     long brandishing
freezing their vagary    very vulgate
burned bagels              beautiful wither
sunbeam stains            soda glazed


phone when it’s good for you             are worse than a guessing game
there to hear the razor              going where don’t

crime recorded             gift to crumbles durst
all night long at first                neon building

be a wolf-man’s load               bearing exceptions
where the worn feeling            winning mind answers

be our trinket               in breaking space
sad guest from his thigh          sooth I’m telling you
fading merry stranger              marinate
your face is a nice one             don’t I need other men?


Vituperated                  night visitor
inky beauty then          wearing bacon they get
unctuous theorems      that with angry second

I will dream nesting     on that gryphon’s tungsten

half-done sworn naked            the written sundering
hard and handy            waiting with iron fixtures
wearing thought I        know he would frame me

flood ice and fear         fleeting meat

rather run home           knowing framing would
start with answering     onesie-wearing
fifth universe               a faded photograph


why do we all end it?   weather accidents
nibbling night              an orphan wind
has a grim underwear  –you’re wearing it there
with my reflexes          mud on rear end

spare me with leather   –exorcise mine

hard, and looking         healthy, but from a distance

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Binding off light
ontologically was the death of us all
cadaverous rows of ill-fated moments

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Go slow thin father      fading must
swarthy headache        to end boning
middle finger               faith embarrassing
for her broken             heaven by night.
Forlorn, he goes out                sawtooth dinner fork
over island jailing                    our skilled inkblot
phallic fortune wield               false telegram
over and against healed            grimy rice.
Heartburn healthy                    flowers here again dead
manage her Mage                    only forgetting
born helpless                           she was better phonetic.
Sudden tapestry                       fearing gold
sending wool fingers               over various creak
oily maidens’                          humid aphid swarm.
Sores meet to scan                  and soften my numb   
human anger.                           What meek rumble half ass
answering he wrote                  with his heated sanctum–
Fair need, aching from it,         his mind flattered.
Why keep going on                 naughty words for Israel?
On groundless greeting           God is made
fondle seasoned                       daddy, get off me!
Fall off the belt anon               before drinking
our oily wage                           or it makes us
pray die and be ourselves        biting full on
grand escape                            imagination aching.
Funny western metal               unmercantile
drape seller threw a fit             on daylight
ill bank teller                            bled the best.
He’ll hear a dreary                  antic for drapey lace
to our disgust–                        fever, the aftermath.

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we have fantasies (for Molly)

we have fantasies 
about heroism and being heroic
in the tub late at night
hairy things
get us through
to get us through
glory to the hands that fail
every day
one and then another
you know who
ill and together without
i think of your fate and wonder if I can be the one
to alter it

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July 1, 2012 · 11:10 pm


don’t forget to leave
the small yellow and red
offering on your
plate for the gods
the veil is beginning to lift
and crystallized thought
becomes more palpable
there is irony in my strength
in that i break my own teeth
solitude in tandem
is like a preserves and pickle factory
what is the difference between life and work?
don’t forget to leave
it all in her hands
don’t forget
to leave

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