Misfit 101

Kelly Shaw

for Dean Young

No one knows how
to do it – congratulations!
Your plan should be
wrecked – chutzpah! It always intends
otherwise, so be ready
to abandon and
attend to the conspiracy. It is and needs to be
messy – more so
than your spilled
oatmeal on the floor. But business is booming?

Go on, rival the world

you mitigating agent,
you enabling accelerant
of spectral love, for
time is running out!

Draw your conclusions

past the edge of the page
to their own extinction,
be it through

the impossibility of

their existence, or their
self-ruination by attacking
the perpetually porous ones.

Always gather fuel,

sometimes mixing the beakers
to see again what fuel is,
since Monster Will
will not die.

Triangulate yourself

into the transubstantiation
of your choosing.

First urges are best,

don’t be an old fogy
and wreck them –
wreck yourself
if you have to,
not your work!

May it coincide with

the babble referents
of Tonka trucks
and Barbie-loves.

“I feel the imagination

plays no part in my work
because I certainly wouldn’t
want my work thought of
as imaginary.” – Fie! Oh
for shame! Oh blasphemy!

Ok, maybe the unicorns

have been a bit abundant, but
now in the fourth grade we’re
now social and it’s making us
ill, no longer allowing us
to riot in the unattainable!

You can’t have everything.

Why not?
Because.Let your body pursue
its own ideas, not
having the same ideas
as you do.

Read about lovers
in a book
if you want control.

But what’s it all for?

Nada et tout.

And don’t take yourself

for the CEO of a large
multinational, for being
a big honcho is as much
whim as smarts.

Were you born in Ghana

or Greenwich? Maybe
Poland has the right
tongue for the human

Have one foot in

the tribe of your camp
if you like but
for God’s sake
not both feet.

Late in the party

sleep in the chandelier
for once in your life!

When it’s opaque

it may finally be
seen? Why not?

More wreck and less

discourse please.
Wouldn’t it be nice
to make birds
instead of birdcages?

If you hit a wrong
note, lay on it
like Coltrane.

If you want to be
a wizard, just make
sure your dog pulls
back the curtain
so you can say, “Pay no
attention to that man
behind the curtain.”

Next slide: ____________

A lullaby to frighten us out

of our pitiful impotence
would be swell. To be an unacknowledged
legislator, or to be
a legislator of the

It’s better if we don’t

fully understand it,
so take it out of the stable,
ride it to God-knows-where
and let it find its way back.

May you get better
at not knowing,
in order to sketch,
botch, slog and grope
your way through.

Sometime find

your lovetime,
when the flowers
are on your side.

If you found Grace

Slick at Trisha Nixon’s
wedding, trying to dose
the punch bowl with acid,
what would you do?

Insert M-80, light and let

the pages of the Norton
anthology fly!

So that meaning can

begin, and in doing so
be undone again.

What’s a Teddy

without a tantrum
and a good smack
upside the head
now and then?

Can I get you a number

of drinks? The audience? They’re
either for privacy or
they’ll think you mongrel,
so don’t worry about them. Think of someone
arriving and now standing
next to you in the poetry
section of the bookstore
(now extinct).

You don’t say “Hey there,

how about ol’ Wally-boy?”
but fold in upon yourself
in shame, guilt, embarrassment
and many other glories
of literature to express.


Was your poem drawn up
by committee? Then
why sell it to a committee?

Performance: clash
of the seen with
the unseen, glimpse

of the nudge between

love and endsville.

Be careful of the rhyme

bloom and doom. What I know about form
could fill a thimble,
what form knows about
me will be my end.

If only for a liberty of

unimaginable opulence –
I still don’t know
what I’m doing! Don’t reactors have
somewhere within them
a radiant core? The explosion is creating
a group of ash-colored

What if I turn myself into

a laboratory to cultivate –
but here come the monsters!

Exibit B — – — —-

As the Liberty Bell is more

convincing with its crack,
is not everything more
valid while obtaining

the desired suddenness

of particular associations? Is not the day darkness,
compared to the lightening filled

When wine is flowing
with the sound
of thunder – oh happy
grocery list!

When blood in

the erection is
taken from the brain –
oh happy unthinking!

Constantly disrupted,

constantly regrouping,
like when one meets

another’s eyes, how else

account for that voltage?

Rather than seeing it

as a brittle cause
for crack-up, what if
it be conducted as music
since we’re nimble?

Why work on craft

when we could be
clobbered by angels?
Maybe we can’t make
them come, but
we can sweep the steps
of the temple.

Don’t skip the vital rogue

data; let the primitive
reassert itself.

Like the early delight

of third graders who are
natural-born surrealists
and saboteurs, reckless,

ready to plunge in

laughing, their hearts
kites wired to
a hundred ears.
Or like Hamlet,
who was no soldier
if soldiers march
in straight lines
to premeditated
mayhem, but to Yeats

he was a soldier

of the zigzaging search
and joyous despair
the onslaught helped

Reading by flashlight

in the storm, ask yourself,
will it be worth those
last moments of
the batteries?

For information

is a corpse to the synaptic
mad-hopping hope,
beginning again

and again, reveling in

mortal being, aspiring
to the everlasting.

Like the geometric proof

of a foxglove rising
through cement,
like the body breaking
through the idea
while the music

reinvents us, a signal

going through
us like an inkling
of God.

Secessio Vol.1 No. 1, Spring 2012