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Book knows

how it goes: if various,

then sundered,

if delicious, then demolition.

The year punk broke

in half, he shivered

meat embers

& sliced at smoke

of boa

constrictors,

let her rootglimmer slither sidelong

‘til sparks arced across

his iris & burned him from

the inside

out.

The Black Book hates the hesitancy of pencils, the numbness of condoms.

Written in The Black Book: “Mistakes were made.”

Written in The Black Book: “How thick my blood became.”

But Dyslexic Black Book can’t even spell the word orgasm, let alone have one. When he comes unhinged like this, he’s nothing but scratched-out names & out-of-date addresses. Sometimes he gets so anxious he skips straight to the falling action.

Some nights, he just sits there & Googles you. The moon

looms. The Black Book slogs

along the sidewalk. He’s stooped,

scurvied,

adrift in sudden squalls &

fits of cabin fever. Still he

stops to scrawl the occasional page

& slip it through mail slots of the sleeping, his meditations

on an emergent

sea.

She sells snake broth

& The Black Book bought

it all & shot the wadded

dollars just to watch them

fall & he got a little

hang-dog starryeyed & he thought about piety

& he thought about fiery

rain & he thought about

the apple pie that’s

baking in his

brain.

The Black Book lacks a bed on wheels. In the lexicon of The Black Book, there is no difference between lack & like. The Black Book contains the following phrases: egregious eros, supreme friction, spf XXX. Within him are dreams about pears & the politics of pubic hair, the faux pas of quiche when it’s gifted in grief.

The Black Book never

forgets a

face, embraces

even the Greatest American

Martyr, the Dollar Pollyanna.

He sees their teeth meet

& goes swollen w/ noblesse oblige, declares their groping to be godless

& pure. He already has cake on his hands &

he wants to trade your fries

for slaw,

maybe two

thighs for a

wing.

Hates the medication

but takes it all the

same. Changed his name

to Unchained Caveman,

then changed it back

again. While wasps spin

circles inches from his

skin, some half-chewed

candy corn dribbles

down his

chin.

Slutty Black Book misses your body. He wants you to read these recycled one-liners as come-ons embedded deep beneath a cipher.

But Sensitive Black Book just wants to be held, fears you might shelve him under “Self Help” & move on.

He wants you to flip through his pages & clip passages at random, maybe cut & paste until he’s finally free from narrative, nothing left but bits of flesh pressed into fresh positions. Chris McCreary is the author of two books of poems, The Effacements (Singing Horse) & Dismembers (ixnay). He co-edits ixnay press

(www.ixnaypress.com) w/ Jenn McCreary, & reviews poetry & fiction for venues such as Rain Taxi & Review of Contemporary Fiction.