Scoundrel Time


who will prosecute
the wind’s unconstitutional
surveillance of skin?

hands up if they told you

snowflakes speak
for diversity.


I held my breath
like a basketball passing
through the projects
to pan-am plaza.

my sister concealed steel
blades, a leopard-skin
leotard, stretched thin
as child support
after the check
for lessons cleared.

from the penalty box,
mom starred
passages from my posse
don’t do homework
as hannah crash-landed
lutz, axle, & salchow—

two studies in kerrigan
courage, both bruised
by the same goon.


I only chewed ice,
cut my teeth
at the makeshift arcade
by the locker room.

my world was flattening

dollars wadded
like donated clothes,
cursing the change

machine’s discriminating ethos,
a crudeness confused
for sophistication.
tokenless, I lost
myself in gameplay
demos, the blue screen’s
looping propaganda:
winners don’t do drugs.


explain kayfabe: the story
I tried to keep straight
when I grew addicted
to wwf wrestlefest,
the cabinet that beckoned me
to inhabit the badge worn
by big boss man, a correction
officer who made opponents cry
rodney, his long black night-
stick the sad advantage
I needed with lack burning

a hole in my pocket.


it’s a crime that no one notices:
the contrast of white on white,
the figure 8 an imitation of the infinite

interrupted by a stray puck, hard & dark

as those who have drummed more
into me than they could ever scare out.





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