the writing disorder



New Poetry


by Jose Arturo Flores

shrink sentences with labyrinth
avail yourself
preconceive multiple sides
ricochet against knuckles and pedestals
identify personal belongings
itemize using words: shouting...powdered milk
pick all the locks
position sentence in the midst of faces
cradle no images
covet one secret thought
bid stress to strings
bid on her bruised body
list eyelip
spill eye along seams of threnody
recontextualize girl in black
cobble subsequents
curry text
untangle labyrinthine bodies

choose a copious point in time
stack up your words like fertilizer around base of cassia
aerate…spread…curl…hook fingers…into`it
make a fist and pull weeds…feel soil give knots…baubles...
draw near to whimbrel no longer a fist of hummus…
keep cuff free of…all declensions…entanglements…intimacies...
drive…gloss block…intuit window sill…

think of girl in black frock
wait for zigzag of pigeons to plummet out of blue sky and onto bubble gum shingles
command nervous system to roll balls of dung across the throat-slit
chip away with nervous system
stretch sunlight like a latex glove
remember floc of clouds
bite on increments of shape and light
stare through mottled windshield
simulate flock in flight like the multiplicity of planes formed by arms shoulders head of a boxer’s bobbing
                   and weaving
stimulate flight patterns by dint of fluctuating ratio
egg on muscular contractions

ask yourself: is this a building or a thing going up?
sink stem into`it…
shake moonlight from palm-tree-cuneiform…
dilate spinal cord...
harvest et ceteras with brush of hand...

sniff leafmeal hair
plié air through sinuses
desist-squelch mosquito over computer screen: parallel: neither makes a “szzz”: neither
                   concretizes a therapeutic buzz
delimit singsong air conditioner without moving parts: vortex: head of beer: it

walk to new leek farm with a post and lintel mind
multi-task your way lapel upon lapel
sneak partner into probability
throw vortex into et cetera pile

play with et cetera’s sagging ropes
field from this chain: commands to myself

apprehend one scallop at a time
canvass:                    flies                     herpes                     wigwams                    cerulean
continue cutting through with nervous system
brim with seedlings
hatch a pair of cheek bones for shells pinpoint shells
twist talk out of such words
buttress poems with et ceteras
release leash
pinch nerve with a pair of attention spans
slide the possessive in and out
have scene of crime call attention to itself
dwell in cursor

read the following chain of commands
ask yourself: can i get there from this wicker rattan chair?
then neatly split hoof in two hemispheres
spell antiphony in each
dangle one crosshatched leg from balcony
adopt pedestrian point of view
butt Rx into pod-
jot down
season to your liking
claim a wad of posterity for yourself
sit behind the i.e. wheel
sound off numbers against roof of mouth
desensitize morceau
dangle from your errant tongue
abide in factors of:                     fetish                           carmen                     charm                     paper cut                     throat                                                             lobster claw              dust mote
locate avid next to mouths
generate a piece of fiction between them
then wrinkle semantic current
insert lack of a better word
blow through elbow of straw one of your prime sentences
dispel this image
crease your hair with teeth of comb
push peanut down row
spackle honeycombed windowsill with oneiros
spit out termites through neglected points of view
tuck squid between cheek and gums
stand by in ribbons (sine & cosine)
seesaw your textures              in the husk of a hush
argyle argot             voluptuous vice             in relation to       fluency              affluence
pigeonhole homing device
oil your chain of commands
pedal in good faith
release pedals on slope
add a sloping scenic view
push together caesura       debauched as a pea pod
crack limpid sheath with mortar and pestle
scald forearms with suffixes like -cide
grow postcards from biarritz on bald forearms
cure futures into poem
retract lily of the valley from poem
wrap lines in sawdust
add symptoms
return to sender

insert spiral handcuffs
rungless pope

                                    slope of light

penumbra of penumbra
commas quicken
spin wheel of fortune
submit to feathers             soundless             scanning
map caracas’ starry carcass
count spells
lump together retinue and retina
edit cliff diver and gust of wind
tack on griffin in a grief of wind
how many sutures in structure?
how many las vegass?
presence             wasp butts into bedroom window on and on snail enters bell shaped ribcage
confess christian monroy is no longer literal...but how a thing is cupped
witness as one who spirals out of reach
strand ornament
think fluffy as floc
succumb to ply-at-my-trade ash

search for oion in the offing
solicit fresh omissions
connect scant possibilities
breathe pairs
pare down moon
include hyphenated hoof
reincarnate subfusc bodies
wed word to dew

versify vice versa

hang expressionless coat

draw near sun baked oracle
duly dice in whispers

reckon meter of bucolic

soothe twin faiths

open hand             raceme…beseech
close hand           corymb…cloister

salt around limits
add chronic vertigo
remove acute vertigo

conjure spit enveloping larva

let yourself be wounded by consensus


in paullette oak priest pails of slosh
few hand held whims
she takes the cellophane avenues to northumberland
inner lined with roadkill
climb coarse valleys
flax a flailing on her way

she drains the tendrils of muskwheat
dreary torpor boards her limbs
her phlegm lures the logs downstream
she tends the sickly limb to limb

in paullette oak priest pails of slosh
this word meant the world to her
succinct as her waist
transparent as a dust mote
she takes the cellophane avenues to northumberland

dotting my pensive lap with objects
she leaves the imprint of her teeth on a blade of grass
influx sedentary moronic butterfly
fork in the road
to the placid pinnacle of juxtaposition
in paullette oak priest pails of slosh

transparent as a dust mote
fickle as a pronoun
inner lined with roadkill
drained of all tonguesling
testified hotbed

meddling in khaki
burning at the stake
in paullette oak priest pails of slosh
bouncing off the walls of my tiny acumen
she drains the tendrils of muskwheat

corrected by tea cozies
she takes the cellophane avenues to northumberland
lizard on fine sheet of heat

curio picked apart
her phlegm lures the logs downstream
succinct as her waist
in paullette oak priest pails of slosh


i pity the vowel
so much work for nothin’
my mother’s terry cloth language still sings to my ear
the venom coos you to sleep
two eucalyptus leaves over my eyes kept the world at bay
the rest could be begged for

i grew up under her herringbone skirts
where ice-floes formed sentences
and shadows held their value
i was slightly taller than a proboscis
yet shorter than a figure of speech

i clung to swatches of her quilted body for warmth
estranged from my father who swallowed canned oysters from sunrise to sunset
i stayed home from school drooling on boardgames as i replicated the virulent south american beheaded chicken


a chevron’s length from the core of consumption
i have decided to describe my hesitation by counting

the dream that squeezes the blood from the white cloud
boys grow up to be men i heard the old woman say

you climb out of your chrysalis
and into your chrysler

a body craves its come-uppance
the narrative cannot breach the immune system

the limbs flail onto the mat
the meaty part of the palm

why is my zigzag incomplete
this stuff is unteachable
men grow up to be pockets of wind
their legs never touching the boardwalk on coney island

i dust off my harmonica
i press my warm lips to the cold steel
even this gesture is schematic

language is lighter than the limp cherry tree
everybody in the neighborhood protects your name

a body wants to wrap itself in drapery
a body walking man unfettered
let his speeches certify his marks
let him fight his way back from the diaspora
let him witness the chrysalis and chrysler (kindred sprouts) as they are woven together


my fall exists in spite of my inner grumblings
so softly she alighted fashionably bruised
i lift my diminutive voice from no place as pale-white-my-edging-wakefulness

bits of rain looped into my thoughts
dilapidated snows of reflection

i wanted to enter into the nectar of forgiveness
through a nave filled with thorns that could still remember to puncture the skin

seasonal labor
laborious light

my mother’s scissors sat on the kitchen table deep in reckoning
tomorrow’s work would call for dexterity
slashing and measure


built-in motivation slipppers function solely on a bead of water
pagination of a cancer cell
confluence of commas
awnings hunt an ossified soliloquy

at the cinema one pares a skin of language
one frame at a time

potent pouch lined with a macadam of antioca
want light bulb through a dehydrated bully
soft clay passed around rows of sharp teeth
damage to lip of sentence is not irreversible

at the cinema one pares a skin of language
parallel to the fixation of weeds

gulfed a panic
in a minimal lock
on the brink of bordello
judith ditched a dutch of magnificent consumption

can’t chop onion by rote on cutting board
lily-white layers are brought to a boil out of focus
cork floats vagueness undulates why why not reds

at the cinema one pares a skin of language
culling through a pile of quotes

petrified body-of-movement
banjo is a binary fission
pluck out heart liver lungs windpipe

at the cinema one pares a skin of language

motley decomposition of a cheek
egress of calico binoculars
spool of stammering in a petri dish
a movie star cooks an egg

at the cinema one pares a skin of language
hatched from a kernal of kennings

gullible gulietta massina
eye to eye draughts
arms akimbo convex screen
twist of lipstick lucid as a pit

at the cinema one pares a skin of language
hewn by the ax

new york is a juxtaposition of taxis
rabbit plunge around stone flux
ventriloquist’s voice is a sedimentation

at the cinema one pares a skin of language
sitting under a copious shade

to place a squeak in scum
recitation in stitches down the aisle
encroachment of a topiary topic
delayed ox dust
hooves connect cobblestones

at the cinema one pares a skin of language
measuring the extent to which one substance is able to dissolve in another

root canals inform the succinct annals
a wide heliogram of a phone booth
polka contraption
shell shocked participants tumble (in semitones) toward a door that is not true to the frame

at the cinema one pares a skin of language
damascened in a snake-like pattern

cold bubble gum chews itself to a pulp of quandaries
feathery vexation surrounds a casual reader

on cue (a literary capture)
fist down throat
relative zeros complicate gourds

at the cinema one pares a skin of language
cropping of event horizon

obliterate vast exhaust
chaff of cheat-sheet lies on floor
pleated at 45 degree angles
landscape from which no wedge of coral shall escape
most of all a cussing trust

so went thespian speed bump in a smoke of blue paint
to masticate while circumcised and luring structures

at the cinema one pares a skin of language
as sentenced by the public crier

squint into syntagma
chain-linked for your protection
casualties loitering your reconstructed eyelids out of sequence

at the cinema one pares a skin of language
crwth-orifice grows blissfully detached


the acorns begin to freefall against the cabin in the evening
they are carried far from their dwelling
your body is gutted by the crest and trough of doubt
your smile is an abstract fruit bowl on the windowsill

you and i ate limpid lumpias on highland ave.
as the fog rolled into Tina’s
dewdropping the greasy booths
i rolled the dough into our babies
soft and buttery babies with wings floated over our lunch special
lumpia appeared on the menu more times than any other word
seeking a protective coating of sorts
the booth was crowded with the dowels of our babies
each one a bargain

it is imperative that the moss between your legs grows acclimated to high altitudes
you will leave a trail of pee on the tile
gravity is not safe
it is a turgid tone that you covet as you step through the conical hallway
your utterances have always inhabited moist shady sites
to run my finger along their obscene curvature
was to never roll off the edge of an enigma
to want to delve into their gregorian vaulting
to stretch their spongy surface with my finger
or to do so over and over under duress

the acorns open in the sunlight like cut lips
you walk along the ridgeline carrying a knapsack
you will not gather a thousand hushed acorns from the forest floor
even though it is your own body that stretches and breathes
what i am writing must come as a surprise to you
waiting to be stimulated by execration


the knuckles on your fingers turn into lumps of sugar
each grain of sugar is a translucent cocoon vacated
we must scour the earth for cumbersome antonyms
our bodies must obey

your bloodstream is clogged in the attic
but you cannot walk away from the thickness of your senses
from the dream of your exoskeleton
you return to the cabin with skirl in the hollow of your ear
it is a form of writing
you try to drink a glass of water before going to bed
you shiver and close the rubbery lid of your eyes
it is still light out
where blueberries indifferently ripen
you scatter your drawings on the floor
hundreds of leeches you had to scrape away with a piece of bamboo during the monsoon season


it is still light out
the fibers are rolled back and forth until desire is pieced together
your strong jawbone sits on the mantel embedded in a series of expressions
light filters down onto these harsh spoken words
varieties of a clearing
you were wearing my body
glue and strings that could be plucked
your penis grew claws hammers scythes wings
the opacity of things populated your thoughts
i was but one of many reflections
you thought i was everything
you said to me-you are everything
i was nothing
but you could not hear me
for ears your penis had colorful feathers
you could not hear me

you were wearing my body
an idea crossed your mind wearing an old pair of jeans
you decided i wanted to steal your idea
you said-you will never have my idea
you hid your idea beneath a persian rug, then beneath an appalachian quilt, then a zarape
you polished your idea with cartoonish fervor
you proclaimed your idea to be self-sufficient
you gave it a name
you finally emancipated your idea as you would the layers of an onion under running water
you were wearing my body
it was a sentence
hoping to bring harm to my sentence
you mutilated your body with cultic objects
you threw your body off a cliff
you became a sword swallower traipsing through traffic

Jose Arturo Flores is a graduate of Columbia University, and received an M.F.A. in creative writing from California Institute of the Arts. He is currently putting together a modest book of poems.

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