I’m not sure I should be writing
about Carmen Miranda, but if I don’t
I’m not sure anyone will, and
shouldn’t you at least get a poem
when you give it your all and then
collapse just off stage? If she’d
collapsed just a minute earlier,
she would have died on the Ed Sullivan
Show, and everyone in America
would have seen her die, and
she’d be in this special category
of people who died on live television,
like Lee Harvey Oswald, or Jerome
Rodale, where no one had time
to censor it. My host family in Russia
thought I was silly for turning away
from the hand-held corpse shots
on the evening news and I tried
to explain that in America, we have
a little more decorum and I tried
to tell them about how they airbrushed
Jayne Mansfield’s head out of the
newspaper photos of her car
accident, but they thought I was
talking about censorship
and recently I heard that it was
just her wig, not her head,
even though she was decapitated,
and really, how can I talk
about American decorum when
there are all those photos
of lynchings, where no one turns away,
and everyone wants to be seen
with a corpse, but then they want
to be on the other side of the camera,
to be seen, and that’s different
from wanting to see, or wanting
not to see, and I don’t want to see
them, or know that it’s America,
as American as Carmen Miranda
became, with her appealingly exotic
fruit hats, and her appealing exotic
accent that could only happen here,
and that all American death,
because she couldn’t stop
dancing on live TV, except
to die, which she did.





1. “u slut”
2. “hate you”
3. “no chance”
4. “work it”
5. “who, you?”
6. “dog style”
7. “no undies”
8. “sugar me”
9. “lick it”
10. “here?”
11. “too big”
12. “smell me”
13. “I wouldn’t fuck you with my ex-boyfriend’s dick”*

*too long to actually fit on a candy heart





I. Poem for John Cage (I)

II. Restoring the contract Modernism Broke

(Ask everyone in the audience to stand up and turn to their right. Ask them to turn to the back. Ask them to continue in their revolution until they are facing forward again, and then to take their seats. If you are alone, undertake these actions yourself.)

III. Erasing the line between art & life

(Write down three things you have recently eaten every time you come to this page. Even if you have already written the three things, or someone else has. Line break after every item of food.)

IV. Meditating on the line between art and life

(On this page, write whether you think that the poem you wrote in III should be considered a poem—briefly elaborate.)

V. Poem for John Cage (II)

(Slowly count to ten on your fingers. If you have fewer or more than ten fingers, count to however many fingers you have. If you are reading to an audience, do not explain what you are doing.)

VI. Reviving poetry with the thrill of the naughty

(Take off one article of clothing. Ask your audience to do the same.)

VII. Expanding the genre limited boundaries of poems

(Draw a circle in the margin. Now a triangle. Now a rectangle. Do not let their lines touch or cross over each other. Do this each time you come to this page.)

VIII. Remembering the material nature of the body

(Spit on this page. Let it dry. If you are too delicate to spit, you may lick the page. But it is very important to let the page dry before turning.)

IX. Isolating the subject from any idea of the real

(Close your eyes, and press on your closed eyelids. The colors you see is the poem.)

X. Hyperoxygenation

(Tear off a piece of this page. Burn it.)