Dee Dee Kramer

3 Poems

Legal Odes, Sets


       The snake changes its skin / out of honesty.

                                                       —Robin Blaser


A little note to the one who in life was known as—


Everybody gets elliptical & us—Hello!—all salutary

under lax or activist statutes,


in the little boat, we read, moves always

towards the perviness & necessity of hope.


Do you reread it regularly? (out past castles)


What kind of a pervert will you be, exactly? (Hard to know

what to do sometimes with family.) Here goes


the refusal that gets outside negation

& affirmation, too—how like


a kind of disturbance décor an epigraph is.

The searing clarity & the searing illegibility of a disturbance.


That it wouldn’t look like relation, love even,

but the always redoubled certainty


that you could learn something

by circling back—but never quite coming—around.


It begins with an epigraph, you say, but you really mean

you’re stuck, so you’re just getting up


& walking away—a change of skin…

                                                                            My friend who prints dead animals


he collects in a gun safe, my brother’s

snake shooter he wears to Thanksgiving dinner,


& the scholar so illegible to the coherent room:


            What enlivens matter inheres

            to it but isn’t inherent to it.


In a hug situation, it's a danger, brother.


Another turn “away from what it was

had moved us” perves (alive in that turn).


The real trouble is our being related to converts,

& at the butt hut it’s just curse words & baby talk—


Hey I’m listening, finally,

is all I was saying. You just mean


propositions are where the law gets a poetics

—or religion? I like the one reclassified


smaller thefts as shoplifting…

                                                               Basement quote check


for a case on water rights,

telephone mic checks at night w/


a friend over the “vertical American thing”

& one or both mics drop I


still think that guy has no sense but aural.

Elemental fights about owning shit.


            Don’t try & make me dizzy & think you’re right

             cuz you're just saying it all the time.

Stirred by “defenses illegible to the law,”

cowed by others. Brother’s glad he didn’t interrupt,


so didn’t have to shoot, whoever drove off w/his truck

while it idled in the driveway. We took a twisted filbert


left w/some purloined plants &

abandoned w/the said truck.


Makes me think of Lance again,

who (post-vengeance) suicides by cop & my family


thinks it’s heroic. Situation doesn’t get unfucked.

I was glad to know Rob, but it was never easy,


who imagined a show about this sort of thing

called “Cop Out.” John B. Smith speaks


to a crowd of selfies & Lance

extends the castle doctrine into the world,


while Bernadette makes grilled-cheese sandwiches.

Formal pleasures, edible problems.


Hair getting long, shave beard, leave

mustache, send out for acid westernwear.


Eat affirmation. (Someone else’s mom, etc.)

Digital grief around Kyger’s passing:


just b/c we can do some things

doesn’t mean we should


So in this play, we’re the gentry.

The wind’s playing the house.


Sign the papers, they hand you headnotes

from the Marshall Trilogy.


Best not to get blameless, I guess.


Everybody needs

a job, the poet tells me, defensive


& I don’t

but naively



But fuck poets anyway.


Two poets walk into a bar

& nothing remarkable.




2d set: our talk, us failing

around my faithlessness.


The tiresome education

of case law & poets


(its own tired children)

just can’t wait


to get born legible.


But here, thus far, even action,

free-range animals—or later that night—


ibis, coming home. Week-

endings, stepping into his love


letter, missing its sentiment: re

the Petroleum Museum, great folks


around Chinatown.

That guy out back on a hillside,


playing fetch w/sweet Tulip. Or us in days

at the office (even in this heat) bundled up


for no remarkable change

in precedent, eyes trained on facts


sufficient to state a cause & can’t see

the law’s sentimental like you:


the scholar of the blindspot—


in every tent at the carnival,

your prize a feathered roach clip.


Missing even the sideview. (So Ezzie & Clover:

Why does nature hide from us, right?)


Uncertain occupations, notes on

some broken-hearted group.


Whole schools gone into the woods

& nobody comes out famous


or gets a loan from no bank.

Conversion, or personal relation.


In the vaulted love outside, which is

completely striated, hiding up


in a rafters but not living there.

Short dive off a friend’s long pier


(Napa Valley meth confession).

& that myth connection:


always loved how you pronounce

“the real” as “the rill”


& I doubt I ever really get over it.


Here we all go reborn

on Gamal’s sleeveless Thriller T-shirt


(best class picture ever).

Grows up rill cool & lands here anyways.


So to paraphrase:


With / in / strict / form

there’s problems.


Jimmy hearts it but doesn’t heart fireworks.

Bob insisted we should be able


to learn something—but boozy or not,

we loved that poem.


Primordial oohs and ahhs

in Ted’s honor (off being his own police).


Sit around try & hollow out

the sentence, thus to holler out


sorry we missed you.


w/a linden you might can make salad,

but these weeds you can’t make shit.


Call it a walkout but don't leave,

just get more spongy.


Violent times, ingesting deaths—

a fucking church how it tracks


or doesn’t, or some other time you touch on:

lunches, from the bench,


from the accessible crawlspace.

House built of cinder


blocks, safety scissors

(for warts), disappearing


acts. Lunch out over

the easement.


(Serves us right.)

“Inside Out”


      an anti-autobiography for Creeley



People (hitch-hikers)

moving, changeable.


To be a police.

To feel respected.


(We’ve been doing

possible sleeping business.)


“literally threaten to run

other persons down with trucks”


So that now our bodies

(fr. a Greek root, we sd)


may well be auto-



These bad guys, lovely

organic life (human hand held)


in feeling if not in fact

(someone else’s feeling).


Get the appropriate guys.

It’s your activity.


Aching garbage crew

(call it “lives departing”).


So keep the general

army confessing/confused/retiring.


(throat stomach & “boh-hones”)


“I” was a vehicle.

(we thought there were regulations)

Ode Misheard (“O you forget me” / “You love someone better”)

That morning, half-grey,

                 vision broken by half

& it was really something

                from (my?) notes.

Back stooped, half elsewhere:

                   “rare gold of sex-grass &

meadow pulse.”

                  Real shit piling over.

Or waking to

                 “unfinished rhythms as rocks”

or this morning’s coffee.

                  Weary to death of friends

so finally get moving (lingering

                  itch lumbers out onto

the stony surplus).