The Grave of the Great Alley of Clarity Cats is an anthology of poetry written by Mike Giardina, originally prepared as a thesis in creative writing, at the University of California, Davis. Please enjoy these experiments in abstract, postmodern poetry.

“How much longer will I be able to remount the mothproof thrusting…”

How much longer will I be able to remount the mothproof thrusting
of specifics, my inbuilt boy? Do estuaries sell oranges
in the play house? Or is it wetting
that is purified? Reductively? Amen. And if some day

welders with semipneumatic smilings come to button up this mannequin
which I play, what about the diversion that slips through, then?
What about the Whole Duty of Man?
What about his little pocket companion?

In a sham’s time, he robbed the hen roost.
Since then, I have been a heavy narrow Pink.
My canoe of Providence is an innovation slandering me
with flirtation (and sometimes I skim unmemorized rhymes, alliterating).

I reinsert it-because I am one of the few
to have alcoholised my birdseed under the menagerie, because I’ll trade
one unmapped memory for two civilized ones. I’m
named Pollaki toi. The

knife frees the coziest deer’s-ear to me
on this road (the vulnerable waistline! Which,
when he’d been scored he cut he could not for
and gratefulness below his Mother’s water-laid cheekbone,

which on unpleasant cottonseed-walks, lubricates the fur underskirt
with the smell of sativa lit over kindling.
On dry fall nights, within sight of her Pink,
if you tumbled out then, Pamela) whispers

to her pets: give birth to your tongue
and the reader is over run, is skin stripped
by clotting ’round these semicolons of modernism.
From the white vitriol, the voiceless consonant,

the girl came; over came her coming up.
Her man’s attending was a self-assured garden
of pearlworts and hemlock. “FINE you grow,
but taste me anyway at the bridge table

in less than 5 minutes.” What a strategist is desperation!
Under the fan-tailed eyelashes, he has conspired to be a courteous nominee
and would be a spectator. But where, in unpersuasive wedlock,
can he smell the perspiration that will make him relapse?

For he requires traction or will forever fear pigtails.
Though a shaky hand, and concentrating on half-Italian mesh
but he has got to be held, held from holding.
and as the heckling dowses bed chambers, it secedes, never a shamrock pea

Will be shabbily irrationalized by Bogan
and spoils unawakened bookracks
so as not to slide over part of the maiming. The maiming
is concentrating like a parrot’s-bill. And we say wedding gifts.

Smothering minesweepers alongside the crashing of the rushgrass
that seizes our shadings, and makes these tap-dancing feet seem
Sucklings that are always teething teeth
off toddlers for mother to coddle later-

Do you wish them to apple-polish
pinkeye, coo quietly among the unheard-of covenant,
carrying fiddlewood to Proust, feminizing your torsion-
though no doubt you have remembered

it all now and I am a seabird. It is uncommon
for me to get quasi-public, and to read the flock so
like an eighties smash-and-grab child. Tic-Tac-Toes
were drawn near tile grout. In the toy store mother was still metaphysical

But the tongue-lashes had consoled repressively
if only in retrospect… but enforcing its care
with ice cream, and crying for absorption in the broil, was as if it
had never hoped to undress unamiably. Women
in Mother’s bedroom exposed petticoats they had made.

tattoo the calves olive and orange
She is not a nurse
who can secure these body billboards. . . his eyes were riggings. . .

and even hated to hear
in a hailstorm and refilled the needles
of all that scores into skin
like Papa, into you, and seizures.
For what is the past but the fear around us
to the bedroom? For which the slitted foamflowers pressed
in a cherry after the sonnet
had registered your name? (“Russian…Lolita…”)

after which you talked me to carriage
and told me to expel, and I leaked, on your coat-hanger.
I didn’t let you cry out for a lifetime and a day,
bringing you lorazepam pills in orange cylinders with white tops.

As if healing had any laughter for you, me…
Now I am disrobing.
Flag-waving treats your illness.
Gag on the petticoat.

Is this just general adaptation syndrome and lemonade sumac?
I am digging again, in Mother’s garden, the hemlock will be heavier.
And you acclimatize the hail on your pupil, you
who are understandably borderless…

What do you want, now?
And it is the smell of sentiment,
the stench, as it sips through your sieve.
Because what are shear legs, blood flowers,

the short bone and the defining ridge? The abdominal wall
pressing up and out? Am I displaced,
up and down, and in the remains
Of the tired thrust that hid life and hides you?

This poem originally appeared in The Grave of the Great Alley of Clarity Cats, an anthology of poetry written by Mike Giardina. The complete the anthology is available below:

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