big time cat fancier


The Dirt Mall Pt. 2 (demo version)



is that piston of our town upon / that hill
crumbling / piling maybe different
I hear the rain / some sigh of a not to myself
but to Helen wrapped in coat but still awful
so know something is different, Dogtown
with it comes the knitted colors of broken wharves
but our believers chase a snake back where snakes belong
this is a program amongst lamp light
this is letter signed to the king

the first song for Steven / the carpenter
built a book and rode it to a soft wood
turns are laid down and a boat leaves us
out like how land smells / hills are covered in fish
but that could be a sink in memory only

a coast
a coast a coast a
coast a coast a
coast a coast a coast a coast a coast a coast
a coast a coast a coast a coast a coast a
coast a coast a coast a coast a coast a coast
a coast a coast a coast a coast a coast a coast
is not to be ridden by horse

was then the beach his
because there are graves of him
piled up on ships, oil, blubber, men / a fort
we build ships with a tremendous yell
which is still a kind of sneaker / the best is soap

and it was the night we contended with
so near / like a beacon with his father
the kind of sailor that goes ahead
hacking at the mallow in great chops
this was a story / I didn't say anything
you do not sleep / you are stolen
that is why he never touched Helen

on June 28th the rain was left forever in the ocean / looking for youth and kill
no one walks by me / a whale maybe / I have a deal with meat and bones
with teeth / these are the teeth where everyone lies
but cannot plant in any missing litany / drowned and died


This place / the "hell of a tall man's life"
blood up and down
blood / that my father gave to me
in a place but not often for a seashore
we move away and out as a knuckle bends against the pole
I wanted / to wrap my teeth around it
this guitar string eyeballing Helen as she / in tow of some man of class
a great treasure like a cap of green but no one came out
and Helen bought a treasure for
it was there / in a box near her eye

these were Helen's things
that was Helen's yellow scarf
that was Helen's glass eye in a box full of green
that was Helen's eagerness to place notes on a shelf
that was Helen's note / unopened
that was Helen's whaling boat talking to the sea
those were her European things


  1. Alex, you continue to floor me. I think this could be the start of a tremendously impressive book project.

    This is the creative wing of your course project, yes? I think we talked about this (very) briefly earlier, but I would love to see it articulated with a critical piece on the Olsonian strain in the work of younger writers (like Tony Tost, say, or Joe Massey) who either explicitly or implicitly adopt the stylistic modes of New American writers. What role does this historicized self-fashioning play in contemporary structures of poetic community? How, for example, if at all, do these writers negotiate the exclusion of women and the general masculinist ethos that permeates the New American aesthetic?

    These are just rough ideas, intended to spark thought. Wherever you go in your project, I'll be very interested. And this long poem-in-progress is breathtaking.

  2. I'm with Kasey on this! I think these are some of my favorite poems of yours. Really excited to see more!

    "boat leaves us out like how land smells" = one of the many places in this piece where I am amazed. I think you are really starting to feel the voice of it.

  3. you pretty much make me sick. asshole. where do you find time to crank this stuff out? I am pretty sure you're going to do this for a living.

  4. I love the sense of place that I feel reading this poem. I feel the water and the sound and the soft soft waves piling up into mountains.