First the hair then the scalp which is not what they told you.

Hands formed the brain. It seems they were
these big grabby things reaching all over the rocks
pulling at lichen or mites. To keep stride, the brain
swelled up out of the cortex like a fruit fatting
fat on the vine only the vine is wrangling itself
so the melon better hurry hurry quick though
most cultures don't eat brains.

The fashion industry sprouted mindlessly.

A weed clings, serpentine

scales fit each snake in the grass.

Button holes waiting.

And strung across the line the outfits flap like prayer flags
under which we fold ourselves the story

[In the benigning]

Crown jury resolute, off with her hat!

(what was she wearing? Feathered? Taupe? who took it when her head fell into the bucket...

This is the 
the this that

so you say

Every good story has death, and a divine decorator.
                                                             if not detractor
                                                             john, mah deere

It starts with we the peephole

plug your ears say nah nah don't wanna

Here om

Toward fast tow th enow now oh!
It's always over before you get


SPEECH, redacted

it's harder we have lost the ninth straight including just here it came our week financial teeter yet instead campaign and spend boat attacks think for a turn economy we facing and wants us to turn i know the past eight years continue to defend understand but know you you can't the economy you can't you're worried you can't distracted thirty next you deserve you need every single day again yes oh we we don't doesn't ignores sweep em aok we don't gambling distract substance rather lift that's what out of time be i'm gonna keep talk talk talk about i'm gonna keep on fair shake we're not gonna hoodwink bamboozle hokey doke too forward of states because you turn disastrous and john spend one we can't care costs across understand personal my mother died at the age endured final when she taking stock comfort lying arguing company claimed condition because broken anxiety premium piles half half personal i know owners who can't day lay rising outrage doctor when praying night nowhere else i also that who are where young after full bills sister not i met a man nearly faced didn't right we are have to enough enough change now i when midst great how can institutions end beginning because fundamentals address now and health is question for you isn't how can we not in order forget some of the largest major foreign good track clear time right cut provide every we're gonna yes can we you think anyone highest plan achieve critically opponent don't know only reason touch you line basic explain starts leave basic rely how in a current open vigorous nationwide banking right deregulate we can all equally rules avoid cherry pick sell and that's shop fewest mammograms care and what mean folks care requires companies alcoholism appeal need rules make doctor decisions around those rights rights i think health profits ahead of president talk pay eager details all he tells ya credit pay costs choice freedom choose ads drugs fine print first history paycheck understand say decent no under plan now you're additional health proposing you directly company washington shell gives one taxes hoping news we better not when a lot of opt what expensive employers drop guess could based under 20 million rely your open with on your problem twice much credit cost broke tell individual fewer prenatal plan thing discriminating cancer charge much sicker need here's radical millions lose get profit class rely eyes change not better running gonna decent reason went this because bankrupt energy approach take best healthy luck else society own plant luck own health market condition too bad think now won't clear reject ordinary thinking free special please fend for i right fear everything diagnosis luck elected fix take drug families every lemme how start 2500 dollars lower keep steps no drugs afford stand it number focus weight smoking help in the place reduce 21st century fill quick health same tens of reduce less more with improving best outcomes for help tab federal part everybody less pocket that's a people there today 45 million don't great time who we be all unlike building like don't truth keep down but if choose same private employee postal senators you notice okay funny no one if change go you pay provide small their create good stay in i to know pay cut reduce lower eliminate save leave a lot portion ending year a minute raise less million contribution alright if administration not not not not no up if was still less and way you less less cut 95% 95% fooled of 300 billion corporations average break tough crackin more fooled hoodwinked bamboozled ha so to without gasket now end none easy up entrenched quo in say do everything are together we this we this nothing we eight we run almost mound because a month surplus people without poverty substandards young doesn't saudi arabia issues with easy hole but understand tougher depression wars rights time vote before every people met by us and this is one of those defining moments that we have to seize met back florida son events later ill white hospital diagnosed told procedure refused but medication activity school park friends after robin email feel failed why fifty grand ask tired uttering days who can't those down reach back say word down up never stop fix no family fight my mother keep everybody everybody every young college not up down promise stand ready bless yes we will


218 Roses












hand up the dress




fast forward


pistil scattered



Ocean separated from each wave, a niece nephew cousin by adoption biodaughter of the inserted womb from a Pakistani neighbor prince divorced wife great aunt stepfather's son. My Chinese mother a sitcom.

I am my own icon. I walk through traces of my outlines as they trail behind me like moving car lights in the night rain. I leave me in every room I enter.

Hindu goddess Saraswoti in lotus leaves; multi-limbed creating, she does not watch her own fingers pluck the sitar. Straightforward stare, all three eyes (maybe more). At what altitude will her air thin? Does Shiva care?

Can this float, how far? Falling cherry blossoms camouflage our tongues. Words at once within spring. Lilypad frogs these thoughts. To what to what to what leap.


Experience  //  Metaphor

          Whenever I engage in discourse, I am using 
          given meanings and values, changing them 
          and giving them back.         
                                              —Kathy Acker

I hand myself a gimme "atta boy!" non-sequitor

so that I will drag what covers my naked form

across the expanse of belly I call namesake. Without

I can't.

It may be that [this] changes nothing.

It may be that I do not agree.

It may very well be that you do too either.

Origins, like buttons, fix stories to place.

Upon a blouse, there was a conversation. It began


men women all that lay


the price of such a squander

                                      say uncle


Opposite of Sacrifice

I gave birth to a deer once.
Its hooves split me open
as the tender creature
kicked toward the light.

                                        buck body

Saliva-covered foal on its knees in the blood.
Folded over )facing east to pray( before  
                                                       my offspring

I still heaving from excruciating effort.
Lamb, this kid. Pair of slit eyes unopened.

Touch us now — pooled, vomited —
            do not clean us.

The masked father, where?


Cara Benson's book of interconnected prose poems (made), has just been published with BookThug, and Protean Parade, a book-length meditation on historical, biological and cosmological evolution, is forthcoming later this year. She teaches poetry in a NY State Prison and is a member of Black Radish Books, an international poet-publisher collective which attempts to make all decisions by bumpy consensus. Benson's "Quantum Chaos and Poems: A Manifes(o)ation" won the 2008 bpNichol Award. She edited the interdisciplinary book Predictions for Chain Links and edits the online text and image journal Sous Rature. Her net home is: http://www.necessetics.com