The Brooklyn Rail

APR 2018

All Issues
APR 2018 Issue

visual notes on the constitution



When a right becomes a compulsion the empowered become cannibals.

When a suggestion becomes an order the disobedient dogs are contained.

The web masters have tried to reinstate Pursuit but were met by a socius

of howling dogs who had a country and were therefore arrogant.

Above my poetry palace is writ: “You need me because you are not me.”

I am Metaparanoia: I am the Maker who works for a bigger Maker.

I posesss meta-faux-innocence but I don’t collaborate with metaphysics.

I'm on my way to The Virgin-in-the-Grave to get my Messi@ ID.

This is me breast-feeding in the snow holding a bucket of sour cherries.

I sold eggs and onions in town, had lunch with Dr. Klaus Hysteria,

bought antique vibrator for M. from the Black Hawk Pawn Shop,

uploaded a blackberry emoji and saved it for you to put in your ear.

I established two clubs: the Virgin Memory Club Sunday mornings

and the Quadrilateral-Movement-Gym in a vacant storefront in my head.

Women who build homes think only wine is faster than poetry. Ha!

Watch the pot where sex-in-context books are stirring capitalist junkies.

The rhetoric of ethics without muscle makes hair grow on forehead,

credit chokes the flow of ideas, debt insures social stability, slavery.

The lack of courage for renewal is appalling in such weak flesh.

A druggy mailed an anti-idea from a bookstore into my friend’s brain.

She flipped when he opened his pop tent in her crypt. The dead surprise!

For the right wings try our fascist chickens. They are pledged to scandal.

Hi, I’m technology, I have nothing to say but I’m saying it anyway.

What does this say? I insist. I’m not saying anything, I’m technology.

But when you’re not here I am saying other things that say nothing.

We say a lot of nothings when there aren’t any humans around.

I’m painting at you not painting you but you’ll think it’s you anyway.

This is the La-De-Da.Doc if you want to meet my beautiful hairdo.

Grootan Ustashi kisses the wall with the mezuzzah while I hold his fez.

Yesterday my toy broke up with me just before climax: it was jealous.

Skeumorphs are landing at the rate of 600/day around this poet.

When life seems more interesting than writing I introduce both to death.

Then we see how much they weigh and how things stand (or not).

Five lives, five fairy tales is how porno disguises itself.

The line for wings forms in the archives with everything in the world.

After you snap them on fly down here where you can order a language.

Complexities in graspable units stabilizing the migrating flock

that is also writing which is the archive of language that is the archive

of the world, that is to say (again) of everything. Hi!

My relics reside in a series of cathedrals that resonate with each other.

Our musical project is to archive everything in a vault that performs

noninstitutional certainties and narrates our adventures in a style that

ignores differences caused by the disaffected or worse.

Pubic hair, lbarefoot, naked, lots and lots of pubic hair.

Everything dies so I won’t have apocalypse with that. This is New York.

The apocalypse boring like mayonnaise in the 60s.

The young can’t be left to their own devices because they will revert.

These wire cages are 100% plastic 50% of flesh und blood.

It’s truffle time at the Peccary Club.

Was writing your life got you on live? On Johnny Carson?

“By the end of the seventh inning I was a hero! I escaped legally.”

Moses parted the water for the great El Duque. He stepped, he threw.

Instead of cringing in fear we used the occasion to applaud the baroque.

The dead studied us for flavor while we rehearsed our epitaphs.

I forget them now but they are brilliant collaborations with demons.

The lack of vigilance afforded us the opportunity to meet demons,

our fellow travelers whom we checked for bombs.

The end of the 20th century turned out to be my biography.

I think I’ll call it Elvis.

There is no redundancy when everyone reads a book twice

but now we read parts of so many books they all seem redundant.

They opiate. Only oracular forays keep the minimalist standard.

Reality shook when Spock ordered sausage and was served penis.

Things were not going well on the Enterprise.

The Replicator was paraphrasing.

The first Art Brut show after the Velvet Revolution featured mushrooms

for visitors to sit on and watch 1968 Soviet tanks facing bare breasts.

The Fred and Ginger building hadn’t yet been built but when it did

Ginger’s head was a mushroom and Fred looked like a tank turret.

Friedrich Neitzsche is the reverse-Ikea of contemporary philosophy:

easy to take apart, impossible to put back together.

The reason he is alone now is that his name is hell to spell.

Unless they are German, new philosophers are tired of googling.

Imagine if Jesus was named Grootan Ustashi.

The Ikea instruction booklet is written in cryptographic English.

Jesus was lucky with King James who hung all the bad translators.

The Bible is the Ikea of Christianity, more packed than Neitzsche.

I hate artificial intelligence because it changes every word

to fit into crap it learned from the Bible and Neitzsche.

AI has tastes of an Iowa MFA, an MIT PhD, and a Harvard MBA.

You can disagree but you have no choice: you must reread yourself .

Your freedom extends no farther than the menu.

You can order off the menu, it will be produced for you,

but you won't leave without paying or you'll be shot.

Judgements of value are luxuries the current gastro-market can't afford.

Aristotle said: “everything is an exercise that erases its nature.”

His name is easy to spell, what he just said not so much.

The silence of wilderness the strangeness of knowing people and words.

The heavens decreed that I should diversify at the expense of intimacy.

You need to have a rough childhood to have an interesting life.

Yes, I am a search engine but I don’t know what I’m searching for.

Finding anything will be difficult: in the future there will be only 3 of us

inching furtively past one another until we come to a great wall.

For now we are safe with translation, “the most radical form of exile.”

The Jewish ghetto was razed when the Community House was built.

Time has too many houses: umbilical cord, Pobeda watch,

sex slaves in Rome, mother’s wrist-watches, the coocoo clocks of Bavaria,

a meeting at 4, the self-wrapping snake, plus now.

When you mix peasants with aristocracy to hear the simmer of kitsch.

A huge cloakroom holds the overcoats of the whole Czech bourgeoisie.

Is this a Maltese falcon for use by a lesbian cult of noir?

We were sitting around the wrecked car Jesus

wouldn't let us examine until the police came with the Pharisees.

Jesus was partly in body and partly Coke machine. He needed quarters.

By the time I got the Coke Jesus had started the car.

It didn't sound right so I went to get John who got a wrench and looked under

the hood and said: “We are not exceptions to the laws of nature.” He meant GM.

 That night three women came to see if the car was ready. One was a postage stamp.

There was a gradual erasure of difference. In the morning they were wearing each

others' bodies. Jesus stayed androgynous all day. I made a child version of spirit air

and that was the pancakes for breakfast.

My Indian friend from Guyana and was launching her first book

in English in New York, but her daddy couldn’t come to the launch because he

was in Mecca wearing a flat black hat and was training birds for a rajah

who needed them for his wedding. OK, daddy, Jesus had the same experience.

I consoled her: "Your wit went to college before his brain went to kindergarten."

Jesus rose & said: "The default make of my soul is joy. It's not natural."

The sadness of the fall from seems safe when operating a tear factory.

There is a market for these fears and accidents.

My brain is in its case and I'm home in my body like a popsicle

in the freezer even though my halo doesn't quite fit.

Can you call somebody? The treasure hunters are loose in the archives.

The vulgate names for reality were rarely written down.

Manners will be lost, and every side of an issue will be on display.

Synchronicity is symmetry in motion. Be sure if you draw that it moves.

I called for the price and got Richard Feyman himself on the phone.

It wasn't cheap, but I understood science. It all starts with a phone call.

The water whistler has nothing but his spout to lose.

Best place to hide is in a hammock woven from a tissue of lies.

You can also hide on Facebook where everybody who loves their face.

That's where efficient work of self-drowning is doomed to posterity.

I know you're tired of wisdom, so let's talk barley. I don't like it.

And check the weather. It always comes from the outside.

Rye bread is European misery, it must not ferment to become lysergic.

Jacob Lawrence, Georgia O'Keefe and Robert Frank met at Stieglitz'

where they met strangers who liked to draw, photograph, and gossip.

They forged bonds that translated into a dense currency market.

An archive of small souls was stashed in the cellar by Carpe Diems.

Freud was either as a conman or the founder of Deep Man

but nobody denies that he used needle-nosed pliers for dreams.

Don't be fooled by the paper planes from the Vatican vending machines.

Birds of hubris fly overhead all the time. That’s the Rome we love!

On Mount Athos you use a bucket & a leaf. In St. Louis the evangelist

Dingo Smith experienced antimatter on pilgrimage to Epiphany, Mo.

Dingo Smith also experienced the divine in an Egyptian whorehouse

and five years later when he was a professor at Bob Jones University

he wrote a memoir: 'Effluvia and the Birth of the Spork."

The internet failed to keep up with itself so the 100 or so people remaining on earth

had to bail it out by pretending to be many more.

There is a minaret in my dreams. Is it possible for 2 wives, 3 cities, 4 countries,

5 languages to dwell in one man's dreams?

Infante's Inferno began on the Yawning Heights.

This is a literary reference from the last century.

Nobody flushed Solzenitsyn down the toilet because he wrote

the fattest book nobody ever read, and also his beard caught on the seat.

Seven kilograms of pure book-meat and never finished by one reader!

A miracle! Ah, retired myths of let-be and deja-vu

with your 2 screens overhead, I heard your alien ships whence raspy laughter

came bouncing off the stars. In those days I checked

my tendency for the baroque religiously, like my blood-pressure,

which was mostly high, like I was, in my youth.

In Autumn I felt like being in cathedrals in Rome or Istanbul.

When you weren't even a seed there were the free boxes.

The tough ghosts in the samurai fairy tales collected taxes from the dead.

American museums evolved from freak shows, circuses, kunstcameras.

My many tattoos are an archive that will enter the lampshade market.

My body is authorized to tatoo itself whenever I don't give a shit.

I never forget and I never remember I never left and always got there.

The door-to-door salesman keeps ringing, has nothing to sell but we buy.

The unsolvable crossword puzzle of youth is in Italian.

The wasp nest in the eaves of the collapsing roof is a wobbly barque.

Inside a mirrored wine-cellar the placid lake beckons.

Humble rug-weavers use matchsticks and fruit loops for our living room.

I'll go into the morgue to ask Reverend where he keeps the voodoo dolls.

I know that you associate happiness with the smell of small engines.

The house of yawns is just over the hill. There we will fix dinner.

Leave the fingerprints on the doorknob and the potatoes in the ground.

This chicken is for laughs not yawns. It's an ashidoi, a mandarin duck.

It's like shards of God in bed watching TV and eating cookies.

Erect with affection I rise from the dead.



Andrei Codrescu

Andrei Codrescu ( is looking for an agent, a patron, a venture capitalist and a scribe. His favorite recent books are Whatever Gets You Through The Night: A Story of Sheherezade (Princeton University Press, 2010), The Postman Dada Guide: Tzara and Lenin Play Chess (Princeton University Press, 2009), and So Recently Rent A World: New and Selected Poems (Coffee House Press, 2012).


The Brooklyn Rail

APR 2018

All Issues