Leon Baham – A trembling incantatory yearning with a revolving chorus stumbling in and out. Nervous, theatrical swarm of language, lots of wry humor coming from contradiction, repetition, strange syntax, punctuation choice: I live with my mother. She is a nymphomaniac. She tells me about it. No she doesn’t



Leon Baham, Ponyboy, Sigh: A Word Problem, Birds of Lace, 2011.

leonbaham.wordpress.com/

Ponyboy, Sigh: A Word Problem is a hybrid story-essay by Leon Baham wherein Ponyboy, of The Outsiders fame, is submerged in a queer (un)conciousness that swins through the murky waters of desire, fear, love, brotherhood, race, violence, mothers, tenderness and memory. A complication of faggotry with an inquisitive chorus and echo like a bloody cave.
Leon Baham is from the Inland Empire. He now lives in Seattle. He is currently working on his first long book titled The Book of Imaginary Boys.“

Excerpt:
Anything happened when they met. They could have said not a word and pushed their lips together immediately, neither of them knowing really how to kiss another man. They could have seen each other around for three months glancing out of the corners of their eyes. Johnny could have seen Ponyboy in the shower and fled quickly with his half erection. Ponyboy could have followed him. Ponyboy could be Johnny’s father. Johnny could be any age younger than Ponyboy. Ponyboy is 17. Ponyboy could be a space invader and Johnny could be an earthling. Anything was how they met the point is that they were looking from eye to eye on the others face. Ponyboy with a shit eating grin. Johnny looking like a saint as he will be throughout the rest of this story. A plain bored face of ecstasy. Johnny was close to God and Ponyboy was faithless.


„&Now – wasn’t it awesome? I am aiming to stretch out my inspiro – and the swag I picked up (new Birkensnake! new Anna Joy Springer! Joyelle’s Necropastoral chapbook! etc) – at least until the semester’s over and I can climb into radical writing as much as I want.
Among my enthusements:
1) meeting TC Tolbert – what a pleasure! TC is, with Tim Trace Peterson, co-editing an anthology of trans and genderqueer poetry. It’s an incredible, exciting project; trans/gq folks: consider submitting!
2) meeting Leon Baham, whose chapbook Ponyboy, Sigh: A Word Problem is one of the most interesting pieces of writing I’ve read recently. Didn’t catch his performance but chatted with him and c. vance at the mixer – awesome folks! Great to meet you.
Re: Ponyboy, Sigh, a minireview of sorts: This thing is all voice, all affect — a trembling incantatory yearning with a revolving chorus stumbling in and out. In moments, in its nervous, theatrical swarm of language, reminds me of Johannes’ Entrance to a Colonial Pageant.
Lots of wry humor coming from contradiction, repetition, strange syntax, punctuation choice, which I love:
I am Ponyboy. I’m 17 years old. I don’t like girls. I live with my mother. She is a nymphomaniac. She tells me about it. No she doesn’t

I am Ponyboy. I am ruined. No I’m not. I feel like it but my mom says not to trust even one thing I feel which is so hypocritical. When I was underwater right now it was cold or I was thinking Johnny Johnny Johnny. How many people get to drown in the name of their lover. If I ever acted badly it was only to elicit a response. Only to see if someone loved me enough to say my name. If I stabbed Johnny it was only to hear him sigh Ponyboy. To see him look at me like more of a little brother than he had ever been. If I drowned in the lake I did it for Johnny Johnny Johnny.
Enter Chorus
A chorus of disassembling birds
First wings
The rhythm and timing, so good – kind of Acker-esque in its turns. Indeed, at one point “a chorus of Kathy Acker” enters to announce:
Ponyboy was a little girl who wanted to be nice and new and loved. Many daddies handed her to one another slipping a 20 in a handshake as she was sent away. Ponyboy sat on the knee of a daddy and said but if I am your daughter than I must surely get an abortion or else I will give birth to a strange dear monster. The daddies had a conference and agreed…

You’re right, that is a chorus of Kathy Acker.
This book will be a chapter in The Book of Imaginary Boys, which Leon is working on presently. I am impatient, Leon. Work faster!“ - Megan Milks

"What was your relationship to The Outsiders prior to writing Ponyboy, Sigh and how did writing Ponyboy, Sigh shift or disrupt that relationship?
- I read it in the seventh grade. I don’t think I thought much about it for a long time. I started having the name ponyboy repeated in my head like a spell or something so I started writing. I thought it was kind of gay back then and now I still think it’s kind of gay.
What are your latest and greatest obsessions, in writing/reading and otherwise?
- The Vicious Red Relic, Love by Anna Joy Springer is probably my favorite book to come out this year. I’m also really into work by Tisa Bryant, CA Conrad, Christine V. Nguyen, and I’m totally looking forward to reading Kevin Killian’s new book Spreadeagle. I’m reading Virgina Woolf for the first time and I’m pretty into it. I’m also learning about hip hop right now. I’m listening to a lot of Mos Def.
What are your expectations of queer literature, as both a writer & reader?
- I like queer literature that is open. The work that does not shield itself from the outside world. Instead it engages and makes brave choices. It may sometimes be wrong or not have the desired affect but it tries and is honest in this way. I’m really influenced by Jean Genet and he said something to the effect of wanting his work to be read by more people than just writers and artists. I like this idea. I think queer literature should not separate itself from the rest of culture. We’re as real as any other motherfuckers and so we should not be afraid to be read by those who may not understand just yet. I expect queer writing to be less afraid.
If you could time travel to any decade in history, which would it be & why?
- I would travel back to the sixties and try and be one of the original Temptations.
Tell us about your current writing projects and writing process- do you work on one project at a time or several?
- I have two large projects that I am working on as well as a side small project where I am trying to recreate my mother’s dream journal. The first large project is under the name The Book of Imaginary Boys in which Ponyboy, Sigh will be a chapter. The second project is a memoir piece called Supercool where I am writing about my grandfather murdering my step grandmother. The memoir piece will be mixed in between damaged writing and movie stills of a more complete history of black science fiction that I’ve created. The idea is kind of playing with the dead sea scrolls and lost sacred text.
What role do you see feminism playing on your own work?
- It’s at the core of my work but I think it is shifting. I want my feminism to be hard to place in different situations. I was really close to my mom as a kid. She made me read and taught me science but also danced on tables and took off her top. I have a lot of dreams where I move from room to room and the rules change but are not explicit. I think feminism in my work moves like this.
Name five songs that you feel could serve as a soundtrack to Ponyboy, Sigh
1. He Needs Me- Shelley Duval
2. Four Women- Nina Simone
3. Music from ice cream trucks
4. Kill the Wabbit- Looney Tunes
5. Fastcar- Tracy Chapman
If Ponyboy, Sigh were being made into a film, who would you pick to play Ponyboy and Johnny?
- I’d want Ponyboy to be played by a life size puppet or doll made by Kara Walker and I’d want Johnny to be played by a young Rock Hudson.“ - Interview at Birds of Lace

Leon Baham's blog:

You All Smithereens

It was the table cloth trick of the year
My hands— I matched you gesture for gesture.
Tongued over some Martian landscape where there
around corners he my love stood fancy
where there was applause stretching the madness
of the body. I’m real baby. Stuck to
dreams full of wiener dogs hilarious.
Somewhere a father dances with his son—
stretched my face thirty feet across and down
caught up in midwestern expectation
You with one million tiny good thank yous
of adios banditos gracias—
Traded all of our basic miracles
of the rockets that still looked like rockets.

Cochlea

Everything is better now that Daniel
is a radio. Cute blond girls and I
play weapons everyday now. I can throw
knives too close while they laugh coyly away—
I whip Daniel with an extension cord—
He says R & B things like I’m still in
love with you. Like I’m so in love with you.
And I hit him without smiling. A
blond girl says let’s throw him in the water.
No one really agrees. Someone throws a
ninja star into my back. Someone hands
me the radio— Through bad reception
I can hear Daniel make a plea— Tonight
I’mma be a naughty girl do you think—

Joseph Robert

Later— would only
remember half of the
words— listening to
toe bones on little lips—
afraid I was a little
brother— traded all
of our slow fanfares—
splashed through shin
deep— made of banjo
strings, sang—
Someone here disturbed
the water—
Someone here had
thirsty legs—
sang, now we’ve
done it— we’re
in first name middle
name trouble

Macrame

Faker, I saw rules careening to the
ground. Gadzooks, I’ve been barbecued Nigga
And now for something you’ll really enjoy—
The theme of the party was recession
To run in covered in blood and laughing
To make the place a cathedral. I was
a gentleman caller. To convince the
stairs we were rich and climbing to the point
where we could see rooftop quinceaneras.
Later we rode bikes. Castles do scare me.
Speaking human to human. Everything
is better now that snakes are totally
a daytime thing. Is that a rocket in
your rocket pocket. Gone and reappeared.

From Under the House

The miscarriage of my baby brother
my hands are stained a yellow with saffron
a thousands Persian New Year to tell me
that masks are in this season. Audacious
queens falling out in a funeral of
fecundity and alas. Karen lost
her baby. The floor is lava. The safe
places are upstairs like the balcony.
It’s a great place to don’t wake daddy.
Better place for the almond in my eye—
blindspots for all of the jimmys to fuck
each other like teenager— mistaken
for whoever is on the cartoon milk
cartons we use to make bricks for children.

Meanwhiles

A thomas is a great name for a trick
Your lips are so different from your palms
I want to can I mammal now. I love
the tightrope walker but leave him for the
racecar driver. I want now but can’t us
mammal. He fell. Leon, You’re so golden
brown it’s nice. It’s so september it’s fall.
But when you disappeared and despite much
searching no men returned you to your moths.
Covered in dust those were not our bodies.
So can that mammal fell gesture? Can’t it?
Your lips are so different from your palms
And of course the tightrope walker upon
finding out and without hesitation

ryan, ryan

I am for you what you want me to be
at the moment you look at me in a way
You’ve never seen me before: at every instant
— Helene Cixous
I
When I’m older I’ll own Ryan Phillippe.
I can’t wait. I’ll feed him smarties one at a
time when he’s good. He’ll sit in the backseat and look out the window and I’ll look back in my rearview and say Ryan Phillippe what are you staring at— and he’ll say nothing, with a sad smile. When we get to the dream house I’ll ask him Ryan Phillippe why did you never age and he’ll trail off and I’ll catch only two or three words:
—Visited —cello —verybig
and he’ll wander out from the kitchen and I’ll suck on these words. This isn’t a sex thing, though on occasion I will bring home a young man and make him pretend to be Ryan Phillippe while he sits on my face. I will
make him be really very quiet so the real Ryan Phillippe can’t hear us like some insomniac pre teenager listening to his mother coming through certain walls. How much sound are you made out of Ryan Phillippe. In the morning after these nights Ryan seems very normal and so he probably didn’t hear or he is a very good actor and so he probably didn’t hear. I say Ryan Phillippe Can I take you to the park to see fireworks because everyone outside is celebrating and he says he’d probably like that. Later or Meanwhile at the park I’m looking at Ryan Phillippe’s face glow red. Behind us there is a baby crying. Dogs aren’t even scared and Ryan Phillippe looks up like he is proud of the fireworks for exploding—
And in the backseat he falls asleep on the way home—
And very suddenly I have the most serious task in the world because I am responsible for his sleep—
And I handle all of the turns with a lot of care—
And I never drive faster than 30. When we get home I pull into the driveway caringly. This isn’t a sex thing but I think about waking him up and asking him Ryan Phillippe would you kiss me. I decide this is probably a wrong thing and I go inside leaving him in the car.
II
Ryan Phillippe sings when he thinks I am not present. He does not know how great the acoustics are in the house are and so I never sing. I only talk quietly just so he will not become self conscious and I will no longer be allowed to hear him because singing is
the nicest thing he does. He is tone deaf and his voice goes silly high and you get the impression that Ryan Phillippe is great with children. He sings all of the notes that surround the melody so that there is only the outline of a perfect sound. A suggestion. Tonight he sang the theme song from Taxi.
III
Ryan Phillippe sprains his ankle while he is outside. He comes in and he calls me. I come downstairs and he is lowering himself onto a chair. He’s more angry than hurt right now. His body failed him standing walking.
You are no athlete Ryan Phillippe but you are beautiful. I go and pull a dusty box from on top of the refrigerator. I pull out an ace bandage. Ryan Phillippe lets me his ankle and here we are in this house playing doctor. And so yes, I am touching him. Holding him delicate and firmly like you are supposed to hold full grown birds. I apply ice for twenty minutes. I remove the ice. I make him chamomile tea and tell him that the best
way is to elevate his legs. I tell him that I will make dinner now but he says he is not hungry. Limping makes a different sound than walking and at night I hear him stutter out of his room and then back in like he is performing a slow stop motion series of himself in a hall. In the morning I ask him to see his ankle. Ryan Phillippe says no. He is done letting me play doctor and now I have been demoted to just a witness. I play witness to Ryan Phillippe all day.
IV
Ryan Phillippe makes a blender full of sloppy margarita. He walks outside with it in his hand. With his other hand he forms a little gun and for one full hour he simulates shooting the birds that fly by. A crash wind comes out of his mouth. The gun recoils. He blows on the barrel. He comes in when the blender is empty and goes upstairs to take a nap. He wakes up around midnight and comes into the living room and sits down on the couch next to me. He doesn’t say anything even though I want him to. I want noise for a lot of minutes and then I ask him Ryan Phillippe are you happy here. And he says nothing just moves his eyebrows vaguely. Ryan Phillippe undoes one button at a time on his shirt. He removes it with I swear to god not making a single noise. What a talent. He could be removing his clothes in my house at anytime and there would be no way to hear him. He removes his shirt entirely and then he walks outside. The moon is only a little bit—
And the night is clear—
And in the middle of our giant front yard Ryan Phillippe begins to shake—
And all I can do is watch him—
And apologize because he shakes and then falls on the ground and I have to watch him for the whole time.
V
Photo
In case of an emergency Ryan Phillippe will return his head to the set position which is thrown back into a plane crash. In the case of Danger he will wink and you know it can’t hurt his cause to live the fact that he is beautiful. Ryan Phillippe had a drug problem two years ago but now he just drinks and plays pick up soccer. I don’t know anything about Ryan Phillippe the father but I almost want to know more because I have been ready for a lot but one of the things I never prepared for was a baby. Ryan Phillippe knows all kinds of knots used for climbing and hanging. One night Ryan Phillippe grappling hooked himself into my room and played breathing on me until it was either his breath or my sweat that covered my skin. Sing me to sleep Ryan Phillippe. There he is. His back facing the camera. His front facing light outside of a window. His head thrown back in the set position. Light trying to hold him all the way around his body like I know the feeling where it’s not a sex thing because sex or a serious handshake is not enough. Like I need to have all of him. So there is Ryan Phillippe facing light that wants him.
VI
My neighbor Tessa steals Ryan Phillippe. The rich bitch. Today I asked her if she has seen him but she just looked concerned and said she hadn’t. The bitch. I see more lights are on in her house at night. She seems to think that it’s as if I have not spent hours outside of the dream house staring at his shadow taking a shirt off putting the shirt on taking a shirt off putting a shirt on again. Slower each time while I am crying uncontrollably. She seems to think that I don’t recognize his outline and so she must not know that I am one of the leading experts when it comes to the subject of Ryan Phillippe’s edges. That since he will not let me his body that I have built a life around all of the space that is barely not him. For three nights Tessa has Ryan Phillippe and
for three nights I watch their shadows run through the house playing games that I deduct the rules to. Like the Tessa shadow will run upstairs as fast as she can, which is not nearly as fast as I could run upstairs, and she touches the east wall three times all the while Ryan Phillippe chases her on all fours and then they have a tickle fight ending in Tessa riding on the back of Ryan Phillippe. Ending in a game of horsey. On the fourth day Ryan Phillippe shows up to the house. I try and touch him but he doesn’t let me. He does tell me to turn around while he blows on the nape of my neck. No one needs to apologize.
VII
Photo
Position your hips so that when a breeze goes by you are prone to it. Say I am your man. Stand by me. Why would you just watch me fall instead of making noise. You love me too much. I’ve never been able to understand boys who climb trees. Who have that upward compulsion. Trees, buildings— just please don’t stand so close to the edge. Beauty that is damaging. Everything falls because Ryan does. Takes some bread up into the tree. You’re not a human when you do these things. He fell. Out of the tree. I see him inches above the ground. It looks like he could be floating. Light as a feather stiff as a board. This is all very romantic science.
VIII
Ryan Phillippe and I play a little game. It’s a thing we do where I lock him in a small box until he has a panic attack and passes out. When he is sufficiently silent and not even snotting I begin to play him jazz standards on my little plastic recorder. At some point unknown to me he wakes up and does not make any noise. Eventually I leave the box in the living room unlocked. I see him later in the evening. On these days he usually eats breakfast very slowly and then looks at me all daring and says Do you want to play boxes today. He knows I always do.
IX
I want to pile driver Ryan Phillippe.
I want him to put me in a half nelson
and then a full nelson. Violence is still
contact and it happens when all I wanted was to touch him and repeatedly he loved me but said no. I buy two guns I bring them home filled with blanks. At a close enough distance the wind from a blank can be fatal to an animal. I hand Ryan Phillippe a gun and I count to ten. He runs away like an action star and I say you’re no action star Ryan Phillippe. Around the corner I hear the release of a gun. I hear Ryan Phillippe say Fuck. I run around and then I say bang bang and then I fire my gun. The wind blows at his precious hair across the room. I run after him he turns the corner. I am too impulsive because he is just on the other side and he fires a blank only a few feet away from me. Ryan has just changed the rules of the game. I fall back and he winks at me and the runs. I’m turned on. I get up and I start to walk like the monsters in scary movies. I know Ryan Phillippe the sexy teenager will not get to far away. I can take my time. I pick up a glass vase that is light blue. When the silence is unbearable I throw the vase against a wall and Ryan Phillippe jumps out and fires a blank at the crash turning his head too late realizing me running towards him with a gun firing close enough to knock him out. When he wakes up we are done playing guns. He is not mad at me just a little indignant that he was not the one to take it too far.
X
Photo
Ryan and I are much happier in Seattle. Now everything I write sounds like a letter to home. Mt. Rainier has just exploded— will explode— Never has exploded— doesn’t matter because we are on fire now. Ryan Phillippe is even more beautiful when he is on fire. His level of relaxation is notable. A lot of people think it is necessary to act very largely when they are on fire but some things you just accept. Ryan Phillippe does not love me but he does. In a way that I need him. Nothing is less confusing here but sometimes I wonder how he sees with the light all over exposed and fucked up.
XI
Ryan Phillippe invites himself into my bedroom one night and I don’t know why he does just that he does. He is entirely naked but neither of us is turned on. We lay there very still. At one point Ryan Phillippe says he could use a glass of water and then he rises to go downstairs. I am sleepy and so I fall half asleep listening to him open the cupboard, listening to him turn on the water faucet, set down a glass. Ryan Phillippe comes up the stairs and I say to him I was dreaming that you were standing there just looking at me and then I heard footsteps in the hall and said Ryan Phillippe who is that in the hall— But it was you— there were two of you.
XII
Photo
It’s Christmas with Ryan Phillippe. Making Jesus time sexy. The TV in the back is all white. This is winter. The suggestion of a fire is here. The suggestion of something naughty is here. I have a dream where I am a coward. A gun is a type of volcano. I shoot him he falls down gets back up shoots me. Laughing in the dream house. Later we’ll play boxes. I want to sex his body but I’m covered in smallpox. Moments after this exposure a lot of glass broke. I mean a lot of glass it took us days to clean it up. We got in trouble for being covered in blood. By who. Who gets us in trouble here in the dream house. Ryan Phillippe is mister clause.
XIII
Ryan Phillippe goes missing one morning. Like a responsible citizen I wait 24 hours before doing something irrational like calling the police. News travels and someone says they may have seen him throwing rocks at bottles but on the other hand it was dark and who knows. The police come and ask me to describe him physically. I describe something scary and realize that I’ve failed and so I pull off a photo stuck to the refrigerator with a silly magnet. The photo is of the right side of Ryan Phillippe’s neck and collarbone and a little part of his chin. The wall behind him is white. The police officers say this will be plenty and then they leave me alone. I have nothing else to do but paste together a flyer saying missing person using the photograph I showed the cops. Have you seen me. I
realize when I am putting these papers up that I have guaranteed a reward for information leading me to find Ryan Phillippe. I am shocked by this. Like what could I be expected to give. I check the flyer again to see if I said something like dead or alive or BYOB. I didn’t just promised a reward. I go home and look for what I could give somebody. I open closets and boxes— judge which prizes someone would find acceptable. I decide to just lay out all of the potential rewards on a table to just let a person choose. Three weeks go by and no one has come forward with information—
And I have taken to removing one potential reward from the table every day. I don’t know what I’ll do when I have to take the last one off. I have 8 left. The posters are all falling down like they were wilting to let forward a new thing like a garage sale this Saturday and Sunday. I have a dream one of these nights where a guy who isn’t but who totally is Ryan Phillippe is walking at my side in some shower from the future—
And I can’t decide if it’s not a good thing that even my dreams star actors. We are smiling coyly and it feels really good and so I go in to kiss him but he backs away still smiling and I say or want to say Why won’t you kiss me Ryan Phillippe. Why don’t you just kiss me.

Willy Nilly

He still had prizes in his pockets. Tiny dentist’s treasures— All of the gold in china. When he took off his pants he turned out each pocket fully— slowly— and out fell clackers and leap frogs and parachute men we would throw off of the roof much later. Out fell stickers and plastic vampire teeth and this was before or after his little baby brother was bitten by a rattlesnake. This was after we were all positive. I said you’re spectacular. Pantless we looked at each other and decided that the question was—
So like what’s the deal with your blood?
There were temporary tattoos on our real tattoos and we were making plenty of money.
The boy genius was a big sleepyhead. I met him while he was tracking animals in the Mojave desert. He had a lot of things to say about rattlesnakes. This is a foreshadow. About half of what I tell you is a lie. He was into black guys and I was a hungry bottom. The boy genius wanted everything. He fed me blue candy so my mouth was stained. He said say ahhhhhhh.
He took me on a mission I accepted. We rose early to go on a three day expedition tracking big horn sheep in Anza Borrego. The boy genius’s eyes weren’t right till noon. I said I bet you’re a Pisces. He was but he said that was all magic guesses. I was a Virgo Libra rising early riser, so I drove. This meant I was afraid of snakes. I said I really hope we don’t see one. When we got there we hiked six miles into the hills with plenty of water and a tent which the boy genius set up in record time. My sweating working man.
He said he knew a man who woke up with a rattlesnake resting on his chest. I told him he was being awful.
There is not much to say about the desert except that there might always be a rattlesnake. There is not much to say until the big horn sheep except that maybe sky looked liked it was on fire.
At night the boy genius the Pisces was restless next to me which made me feel safe. He asked me sleepover questions and I answered them. I told him about backyard parties at home where there was a little dancing.
Later he tied my hands together to my feet together. I guess that it is awful that I let a white guy tie me up but I think it is just good evolving. A smart tactical move, like if I was going to be black and a fag I might as well be one of those who got off on oppression. Might as well be blessed. I would apologize for this all but that would only make me come.
After the boy genius untied me we slept and woke with no rattlesnake on either of our chests. We put on our boots and set deeper into the hills with plenty of water. We walked off our sex and the bighorn sheep to the left caught us by surprise. Half a mile away they were there.
7 of them
A lot of dominance— to mount a bottom gladly— to say no and yes— to have it not even matter— vain gesture— then napping, grooming— to sneeze and disturb a bedmate— A really hot day like yesterday— could not see us— were not looking— could not be bothered because there was heat and a bottom and no reason to know what a magnificent creature you were—
We watched. Staring forward like we were driving in a car, yesterday.
The sheep left and we did not follow them.
That night the boy genius did not tie me up. We woke up without rattlesnakes on our chests. Our three day trip was mission accomplished on day two. We turned around in the morning and reached the car by night.
At the car our phones were working. He had fifteen messages. Each one detailing the events of his little baby brother being bitten by a rattlesnake in the families backyard. Not on our chests. I drove us back.
After the little baby brother box was gone we left too. The boy genius and I moved to a grey city where he didn’t smile hardly. Where there were a million reasons for rainy day jewelry.
Things were not more simple when we were in the desert. There were not even clackers . There were not even super cute twinks with coke lines on their bottoms. No way to become positive. Just big horn sheep and maybe a rattlesnake that could be in your backyard anyway. Field exercise— take every item off of your person and lay it out in front of you. Pretend that you are from three hundred years in the future and what you have laid out are artifacts—
clackers, leapfrogs, pocket change
There was not even one relic in the desert and who can live like that. In the city the was a start or a yes. The end of things were a yes. Everything started after I was hit in the nutsack. Yes. Dropped my clackers. Had a before and after I was positive.
superballs, secret note, pants
reached my hand into the boy genius’s pocket grabbed his parachute men. Yes, he hit me in the nutsack, didn’t smile. The sleepyhead. Everything starts when I am hit—
shirt, gold chain, parachute men
yes, in the nutsack. That was a moment. A million reasons for animals. Yes.

No Tax

How safe do you feel on trains,
Paul?
Does it feel like sitting on your father’s
shoulders?

Dream House 1

We have a
fig tree
out back
and a girl who
lives inside of it.
The girl
cries
because she overheard
us talking.

To the Car, To Home, Ballet

The two little
girls are made of
bird bones and
silly putty. They
step on the
painted bricks
because the
white ones are
poison or
lava or
acid.

Jesus

Jesus, when he was fourteen, lit his robe on fire to see how and if it would burn. The flames quickly engulfed him so that he ran outside and screamed 
“Oh my God, I’m on fire.”
And the neighbors screamed
“Oh my God, the neighbor boy is on fire.”

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