Dee Dee Kramer
Legal Odes, Sets
The snake changes its skin / out of honesty.
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.
a job, the poet tells me, defensive
& I don’t
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
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
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
(Serves us right.)
an anti-autobiography for Creeley
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
(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 &
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).