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A User’s Guide to the Miracle


Shoelaced, hamstrung.   I didn’t want

moving to my own couch in vertigo.  Coddles it.

              face partial

                         skulled nerve





I moved to the couch because of a condition that kept me
from standing, climbing ladders.  I stayed there most of every day,

             kept. Waiting

                                    on end of this lunacy, this private and inadmissible

                                                    demonstration against my body
                                                                             and its divination





BEING A MAN is ability


what I cannot achieve doesn’t exist yet,

I smothered it.   His dogs: barking.




I held no job money.   No big friends to carry me


                             stubborn wolfy adolescence

Where you now are 

great breeding thoughts    of tomorrow,
float across the Seine just young

and into my life

great big cliffs




Epicectus. Cynic.

To pass a life that flows easily.   How could it be 

that a man.


                                   zen beatish. subjugating
                                   drive. king of no masters




John Clare, tormented on himself
                              walks out the madhouse & into the woods

                                                                                         never to return
                                                                                         anywhere again




The Fool is the one who gets his own way, who can’t
stumble off the cliff because he steps too high, who never
goes to bed with madness he’s too busy dreaming.

Nobody believes in me that it’s pleasant
to be overlooked.  Framing chicken
wire around the text however you want,
around yourself. Make
fashion.   Watching the pills
turn me against myself.  My self, which had

already turned.  I said look:  Frida. 

All bodies need
frames.  They are inside or outside.  Fashion and
power.  Material.  Matter.  It does not

allow you.




When I withdraw I will carry you out.  This promise
you cannot make to yourself, only
hope.  This beaker designed not to spill over.  Not to carry
minutes.  Watch

it draw back, pour in the you
that you know to the you that they
assign.   The symptoms go under 

the text.




When Clare counts on magic he finds it.  Tricks himself into receiving.  Dons a hat
and sets out throwing gypsic footsteps in front of himself, smoking cigarette
when he can, sleeping in the ditch.  Being a man is tiresome.  Trying to get away from it
even more.   When your body breaks down it takes your mind along, I don’t know
what else.  Studies show that when people can’t perform emotive facial contagion
they become less human,  Botox being our best example.  Half of my face froze: Two-Face
coin flip.  Half the time I felt touched, marked.  God’s little human. Half the time
taking the train I found myself having to hold on to the pole when it approached
against myself.




Sometimes I think of never
making another sound. It is sudden

all of a spring, the lamp
loaded       walk out on the impossible
porch,  pull up hard
                                   and again

how could there possibly be two
of anything       in this way
                                          forwardly   dastard

Trying to imagine
the particular geographic fear
of some people
when far from coast, or more
specifically, the bodies
of water just beyond.  To journey all day
and still,

                            I, however   believe
                            in driving     in
                            its limitless nature

    hit the beach


the color reach is unimaginable
                            if verdant were for blue


coming up against, just once

it takes thirty six hour batches
to fix my bones. I am tired, have to go

to work, so put my appliances on, to work

plug them. bathe them, sing them
when I am away

Turn turn turn
Up    up    and

takes my breath 


Brothy,      lovel



Dave Morse

Dave Morse is a poet, musician, and bookseller living in Brooklyn, NY. He has published one full-length collection and a handful of chapbooks. He is currently at work on a second book which contains these poems and considers masculinity, illness, and ability. His other projects include being half of the Bushwick used bookstore Book Row, half of the poetry imprint IMP, and playing guitar in punk bands Nandas and Terrorist.


The Brooklyn Rail

FEB 2019

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