s e c r e t a m a z o n

Category: poetry

The 8th House

The title of my new book is The 8th House and it came to me only after a long editorial process which involved some emotional processing as well. Though I could probably name every one of my projects “The 8th House,” since my natal chart is basically a giant stellium in the 8th, (and hence most of my energy, creative or otherwise, is channeled through it), I believe that this maggoty project most acutely represents entering the 8th, the house of transformative, grotesque, perverse and mutative intimacy, death and rebirth. The work is a tracing of a very plutonian period of my life, when I frequently and regularly found cards 13 and 16, death and the tower, when I asked the universe to show me a reflection. I was terribly ill in mind, spirit, and body, but I was also experiencing, for the first time in my life, a loving relationship that slowly tore through the dead things inside me, and that eventually allowed me to awaken. Pluto, ruler of the 8th house, is (personally) best represented by the character of Justine (played by Kirsten Dunst) in Lars Von Trier’s recent film, Melancholia. It is an intense and penetrating gravity, the gaze that strips you down to your naked and ugly pith. It may destroy you, yet it may simultaneously give you deep strength and power before loss, before the morbid edges of a corrupt humanity. The poems written in The 8th House are the pieces of rot falling away from a human monstrosity as she trudges through a swamp in a wedding dress, pulled by the blue glow of a planet that represents The End of Time, her legs trapped and tugged on by a thick undergrowth of earthly sins. Mental/spiritual illness is so often portrayed as an individual struggle, but I know and see it as a cosmic reality we are all morbidly faced with. Passing through this twisted lifetime of earth, Melancholia is presented to us as a possible reaction to the evil in reality. Justine is an anti-hero. She is in love with the blue planet which is about to annihilate everyone. It’s crazy. It’s somehow paradoxically totally life-affirming. She inspires me more than many other imaginaries, perhaps because of her deep strength, the pure love that invites an uncompromised Justice.





now that my love has turned around and I can see his evil face
I have thrown up dogs and cats representing sorrow
when I pick up a book and open it, it is dead
I cannot feel when I read the interior design
of the refined soul
and even the ugly poem is refined
Oliver, what can you do for me as a gingery dream,
the sweetest of white men
can conspire with me and my triangulated support of their supremacy
there is nothing you can do for me
I can no longer write from the soul
because this is my soul now,
the landscape is still fertile and I am in exile
united garbage of the world,
what can I do for me and what can I do for you, savage soul
how do I know the beauty of the world and how can I show yourselves
when you are trapped inside a grand maison
hm hurry yes I stand
I stand for the ones who are lying down I stand
for my asexual thunder
instant stream
stops time and halts the black gauze carriage
is it different when you step in
the instant cannot flow
the center cannot hold
soft butcher soft femme soft devotional butcher soft pain soft radish soft radical sex
When I take you in the water is frozen but we fall throughout
you are a downtrodden rainbow of abuses and mistakes
and the most gorgeous of reflectors
baby toaster, sparks flying, your body sputters and you set fire to my hair and clothes
slowly the mechanics break
everybody has a heart but I do not
I have an academic wound and a hungry soul
I have a stomach that touches and envelops your rusty client box
you are my coughing divinity
wrapped in hydrochloric acid my coughing heart
I fill in the cracks
power surges

letter / which life?

i want to be some kind of witch

even though i dont know how to claim that from my impoverished roots
so maybe i can be a Twinkie witch
do you have mermaid fantasies?
some women are mermaids because they don’t think they have vaginas
and then they go through a lot of pain to get one so they can get fucked by a prince
i think that is coming into adulthood for a girl
at least it makes sense to me because i have lost many tongues
so i can get fucked and turned into sea foam
i was thinking how sad it is that i can only claim Wrong Life (adorno and theory i don’t actually read)
but maybe i can have a witch life
i will come up with weird healing concoctions
the only thing i believe in is an ethics of care
i am a bad naturalist a bad academic
a bad woman and a bad human
with a bad attitude
because nothing that has happened so far is good enough
the beastie bay game i play on my android is a cute version of colonialism :(
a history lesson as i capture beasts and make them build my civilization and fight for me
to make tourism possible
i watched a movie about bougie old french couple dying slowly
there was “exquisite humanity”
but all i could think about was how absurd the desire to extend life for its own sake
when it is already Wrong
why would you want to do that?
the ends of capitalism is so that rich white people can die excruciating slow deaths
surrounded by medical equipment and shame because the Body Exists
while the other people that are not in the picture live a life of slow death
because of neoliberalism? because you have to stay alive for the one other person?
because World of Two?
because there is no one else and you can’t let go?
sex and death are both affective labors
surrounded by classical music and art they turned the apartment into a nursing home
i refused to feel bad while watching the death
i don’t want dying to be something people turn away from or perceive as horrible
that we have to cover with drapery
in the end the old man did the right thing
and i left the theater thinking about whether it is possible to have a world
in which such a movie wasn’t necessary
in which museums die without dignity instead of people
when you have to give someone a dignified death their dignity is already lost
the movie is about who deserves to be given it
i don’t know
im not a witch yet
i’m not as ruthless as jesus christ
who left his family behind
how can i leave my wrong life
what do i become next, after having become a mute female/monster?
i don’t want to be sea foam
i live in minneapolis
it is cold here
i hope the birds visit your basic bird house
but even birdhouses are not exempt
and your birdhouse is not even middle class
it doesn’t have tinsel pine cones
maybe i can cast a spell on it?


my contemporary biography reads
no duality of mind and body, self and flesh, body and archive,
motion towards the earth/death
then i am calculated and the speculum widens

what touch/is

the body reconfigures
the sublime/linal
in living, continual opening
wound cultures
no commonness between firsts and thirds but in the compost of decomposition

somatic poetry
of the body as a site for inscription so
deep it becomes fracture, decay as the only
social body, the limitations
of understanding as it comes from the body
as the body is written it bleeds

how does my “work” relate? why do i work and how
does anything work
i am amazed at this force that drives without us
i keep submitting

please accept my submission that it is easy
to dissolve as a nonentity
the educated postmodernist undoes
unwrites the body into revelatory fields
flat as the midwest where i was born
so what do u give a fuck about
i made my arm bleed
and now it makes a line on progressively infinite skin
this is somatic poetry i have exceeded nothing but feel erotic

feelings intense
feelings intensity

clarity: the dead fold into munnies

i seek Princess Abandoned as i abandon her/self

the encounter of another / the sincere gaze / even of things /
what exceeds the self is not opacity
opacity is self without others
solitary confinement is worse than death
in death you are joined with the collective of the dead

you become munnie

but what about me
i’m made of plastic
i am more collective than a chinese worker

“collective social” not “impenetrable” but my being completely penetrated/porous/invaded, open to the accumulation/collection of others to the obliteration, not exclusion, of self
to become filled and turned inside-out
collective social is a Y axis and the self is an asymptote
all eros a banging towards invisible barriers
and visible barriers, a ruptured skin/skein


appearances do not make an appearance to me

because notes do not denote

my past forgets itself i cannot remember present past myself
to place myself

so i displace
even the in between is not good enough

it is

psychotic to imagine the real
apparatuses that kill
so far away from death
the art of dying

things are stupid like this

the beginning of poetry in the secret kernel that is stupidity
a stone
a snail
a riddle
an illumination inside a rectum

am i giving you the experience of your life?

the claim of others
over property and things
made by other others

then it is stupid to submit to the claims of others

i still am
a piece of flesh dribbling
my wounds speak more than words
i will not assume

and clams
remember when clams became the living things that died
for trade

i am thinking
therefore i am stupid
i have a cunt
like a smashed clam
chinese thoughts deprived or lazy of history
designated but empty
let my stupidity and hate
allow the dead the dead

bored by my own role as depressed heroine i wonder
if i can depersonalize more
the waiting quicksand quickens like a heart
hearts everywhere
a world of hearts

as a poet it is awesome to think about feminine me
trapped in image
to be trapped in the image
of a different register
lyrical absence
abstinent lyric
more or less
than the photogenic sea creature with dark lips
the poem as object
is an agency of waiting waiting to happen
do u want to penetrate me?
abjection beseeches

imagine the stone under water
ungraspable unbreathing millions of years
only a sound
not even a gasp
the labor on the body never ends the crushing atmospheres
so deep

i see
the eye implodes
i see nothing but feelers

the cold center of the earth happens in the future
heat death feels
the call of future within
if indeed relation is impossible and all the attributes of stone are
attributes of the new whore within me still
fuck the numerous
i am

polly pocket book tour

In late june/july I will be running around southeast/eastern-ish USA with Kristen Stone and water buffalo to promote/celebrate her amazing new book and also a bit of mine. OUR FLOW IS HARD is also trying to start a small reading series in Minneapolis, and some of the readings are going to be themed similarly, like gross lady poems. The queer and the deceptively formal. These will be all tiny events. Details about this and other readings soon!

i wrote a post on the velveteen rabbit and velve-teens over at montevidayo (caption from source): Riva London stars as the velveteen rabbit in Ballet Theatre San Luis Obispo’s holiday production.PHOTO BY BARRY GOYETTE (Source: http://www.montevidayo.com/?p=2784)

pre-subjects, radiant blood bodies, Bhanu Kapil

Bhanu Kapil has been writing for the Harriet blog. Recently this month, some amazing posts about chemical stories in the abyss and how she feels like wet meat slipping from a table and, simultaneously, a butcher. Today I was informed that she did a prereading and reading of my Paul Thek book! I feel like a flying pig, I am honored.

An excerpt:

“What comes: the image of a horse galloping, very fast, and it’s face/muzzle splits down the middle.  So that a horse blood outline is now galloping in place.  Blood, that is, in the shape of a horse: its membrane a curing: a way for the blood to have surface tension without clotting.  The blood is turning black as I look.  There is a quality of revolution and if I look behind the horse, to where it’s come from, there is someone lying on the floor.  The floor is a low-grade paper.  Or like outer space grey.  The person lying on the floor has been damaged—their wings are thin and oily, like torn lengths of skin.  There is a lot of bleeding in this image too: but also regeneration.  (This is palmistry.)  I see that the lower half of the body is a hand and the upper part is a non-human structure with human features.  An angel?  The body of an angel merges with a person’s hand, but also, it could be that the person’s hand is inside it.  The angel.  Now I look more closely and the blood leaving the angel’s body is black.”

Okay, now I will open the book:


Thank you, Bhanu,

glittering mermaid with hair on fire.

guest reading of blud

wolverine poetry


The second episode of Wolverine Poetry.


haha this is way cuter than potterpuppets! i dream of wolverine and bambi. together. in the woods.

I just finished reading Ghosts by C Aira and I need to read it again because it’s thick and I’ve only been able to drink thin soups because my brain has a cold and it has had a cold since last semester. I will be writing a few sentences about it w/ people over at Montevidayo. My left foot is numb and I have to write 25 pages of a screenplay today that has been deemed too much mumbo jumbo, and has scary amounts of fluids in it but doesn’t have a “thing” so as to say it is malformed. I saw the worst movie I’ve ever seen yesterday and it was Analyze That because I have to do a presentation on it this week (I did not choose the movie, just like I did not choose to be born) and so. That is why I am here, writing about my crusty navel. If you are in a bad mood for too long, it is no longer effective or worth it to relish the evil.

I wrote this for the 7th of April and in response to my friend Paul’s poem in which he becomes a toad.

i am also vaguely wishing
all the time vaguely wishes
like the cigarette butt stars of omaha.
the people i love most
are the ones i resent
and what more to resent in this world
than the things that make you want to live,
question mark.
for many weeks now or maybe months i have not been able to think
or care, ideas are getting more more dull like stars
in the city.
all the hypnotists are there
to give you real ambition and zest
they put that stuff through a cheese grater
and then you are tarred and the zest is thrown
at your face
but your genitals are burnt
that’s where the soul is
like mine it’s gross
and star juice comes out of the burnt hole.
i never want to do anything.
my siblings in the rhizomatic factory
work to sustain me.
i wish i were strong
enough to jump off a building
and become  a star
blowing kisses from all the mouths my whole body
fluttering empty toothless
star star star star star.
I also read something about a brother and it make me cry for many reasons, one being that I can’t remember my childhood very well, or I am afraid to. I feel very dark. Lately people ask me “Mary why are you so quiet?” and I usually say something like I am tired or sick, but maybe I’m not. When I was a child, I never spoke, except to my brother, maybe, and I also beat him up. I remember that better than the times we were loving, because guilt is more intense than nostalgia. Yesterday I ate a frozen version of durian which is the only thing I miss from Singapore and thought about how something is better when unattained. I wanted the “real” durian not the frozen kind. Seems like so many things attained in this life is frozen and not “real” including aesthetics, which is not to say that is bad. Thinking that rationality/humanity is special and unique is bad. Kindness is not bad. My hero is Justine of Melancholia and I am avoiding advancing myself career wise by making drawings:
In Ghosts, stars die and turn into humans and not the other way around.



“Poetry needs more dubious protein” -E. Workman

I push on my teeth
to push it into my head.
My tooth wants to be slower and closer to my matter brain.
All the world is
not all culture
I am almost 100 percent tiny tiny microbe microbe
vibrating noisily and unheard.
A long time ago I got really intimate
and saw that they were all
very tiny floating plants.
I take pills everyday to make me grow faster faster
if I don’t have to feel pain
the slabs inside touching each other
I will eat more.
But when I dream at night my eyelids remember
that I am afraid
for not touching all the things
in china moving is touching
the truth is that so many adjectives are verbs even more so than
this lettuce tongue.
Feeling is revolting.
Moving is touching here also.
Touching is moving.
I tell that to the cut in half tree and my dead animal.
And my future dead brothers.
All the pennies and my sisters.
So my teeth are no longer distinct and when I taste
the death on my animals breath
gray matter flushes out of those wells of my facing
I am the breath of mineral movement inch inch fast
towards incest and obliteration.