Amanda Earl


excerpts from “the small of July”


at parts of the center the sweets and news
are placed to help you suffer living
in mouth and eyes

             --Fanny Howe, on the ground


the printer is a critic that prefers constipation to plopping out yet
another sheet of dribble from its mechanical orifice. this excrement of
pages secretes noxious gas. its circuits used to spark at every fresh
page that rolled off its spindle, but after bleeding toners of vacuous
phrases, began to jam repeatedly, silly optimistic nature making it
believe the author of the excruciating document would suspect a
connection. instead the perpetrator is a recidivist who repeatedly
commits text crimes. in anger & frustration the printer sometimes
overheats, fusing bland alphabet blobs together to create helvetica
sculpture from syllabic scrap heaps.





we have been everywhere, suddenly,
and twisted the clarities into bottles
and casements
             --Robin Blaser, “the universe is part of ourselves,” Pell Mell


to discover pudding is proof that eating exists

to spoon bitter into broth

to coffee sing sweet n low chariot

to text edible oil product

to sidewalk worry about global worming

to lust over pornographic numbers double entry

to switch on switch off switch on a neon “welcome to omega numerica” sign



She is feeling brisk at the heel. She loves feeling brisk at the heel.
             --Sina Queyras, Lemon Hound

the lost sock cries because it lacks affection. from its position
beneath the bed watches touch, toes slide along calves, misses
satisfaction of offering cold feet refuge from hardwood floors &
january drafts. pines for when it provided comfort to a tired heel or
fallen arch. is a soundless ball that no longer rolls on carpets or
gains solid ground through shoe, wallows in lingered aroma of sweaty
foot, assembles with underbedfluff & dust mites, sometimes allows
itself sad luxury of conjecture, imagining other sock. has it met a new
match, is it cavorting with lace red panties & argyle tights in
unmentionables drawer or is it alone too, crouched against the wall of
a dryer, hiding.



forage for words. store them in cloth pockets, in satchels, in every room of my house. they fall away. from every stitch and seam.
from every clasp.
             --Steven Ross Smith, fluttertongue 4, adagio for the pressured surround


the pen is a slob with a dirty collar, is never satisfied, must be
endlessly refilled.

is creatively blocked, producing nothing but smears, its barrel clogged
by meaningless phrases, is jealous of the clean & speedy printer.

becomes frustrated by lack of discretion when crossing paper, metal tip
scraping & plodding to final punctuation. frets about empty spaces or
extra curls from bad penmanship. can’t help but wrinkle forehead at
sight of incorrect subject verb agreement.

has an uneasy detente with the pencil, which gets picked more often
than the pen, who still resents not being selected for childhood
baseball games.


          drinks the bottle of darkness

             --Dennis Cooley, “one fine morning,” Perishable Light


to hear no tales from twenty stories

to press slow on keyboard so not to click awake

to seek existence & find automation

to interpret out of desperation camaraderie from refrigerator hum

to tonguedig for hamburger bits wedged in molars

to sit side by white unmoving cloud

to wonder at destination of shoes by the door




to go back to the home page