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Wendy Lotterman

Garbage In Garbage Out



I don’t feel like I need to

be the machine to address it;

procedure may be a stronger fortress,

but I doubt the softness of its center,

which, sticky, like duct tape,

like dry soda, like my own emissions,

is what asks for this fabulous protection

that atrophies in columns without it.


My attendant chameleon courtyard.



I go soft in uttered walls

and tread heavy on the newsprint

that identifies with my thighs

as they become legible to everyone

as soon as I stand up.

I wish I knew where to reach you,

it’s so repetitiously romantic so

I barely want to say that

every foiled mission makes

the object go home early—

the vigilant mole escaping whack,

vulnerably unhermetic crab,

softest pupil, wet center, cotton candy,

the batting in all replicas of beasts

blinking phantomlike,

like light burned into

the air under eyelids,

just teasing its legibility

as it plays teenage ghost-games

inside the fortress.



My fortune performed me

while I went soft in the walls of traffic.



I feel I can talk about the machine just fine,

or the gospel that its loom spins out daily—

or is the gospel the sweat on my hands

and not the salt I believed to be native

to the objects I ate without fork?



Nothing new about me

questioning bad affinities

in a stadium on Christmas,

like I like to hail first-responders

already heeding some other call.


There is a cool barbarism

to the Zen that replenishes itself

like any good miniature waterfall,

supplanting primary walls of sound.

The message is split like crystal

between the fact that I want it

and the fact that I broadcast

the negative output of all I put in.


Information precedes me.

My mechanical habits cast a relief

in the tenderness of each attempt;

these angels, flailing arms, taking shape,

impressed in the trash I continue to yield,

reeking old choruses like sport,

––an oracular treadmill

of the most illusioned sounds.



I’m sorry I got glacial so quickly,

I forgot that ice breathes something

that looks like heat, the fog in that photo

indistinguishably tempered to one extreme

that lays flush with its opposite,

just as I lay flush with the sorcery

contained in each object,

denying the distance implied by desire,

as if proximity were a violence to unison.


Redundant subject, I yield only me.

Nothing to be born in this courtyard.

I clear the bed of every gust because

in the end it’s not for me,

but I am glad I tried it.


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