Once there was a mountain here
then a glacier came and when
the glacier melted, the ground looked
like brains so some critics came along
to decide who was avant garde enough.
Those that weren't attacked Russia
where some structuralists were saying
everything was a structure even your mother.
Like deaf mutes in airports selling cards
saying they're deaf mutes, the avant garde
sold poems saying they're poets.
Or everyone's a poet. Or what's a poem?
Or die whitie die. Or representation =
kapitalism's whore. Meanwhile someone
writes about smacking a deer with his car,
feeling kinda bad, and that's not avant garde
so off to Russia, here's your carbine.
But then a whole class of poets
gets out of going to Russia through connections
and bands together to form the Academy of American Poets
to protest high dry-cleaning costs.
Then someone comes up with a book
that's not even in words, publishes
20 copies on butcher paper and burns them
and that's so fucking avant garde,
the sea floor rises 10,000 feet
and becomes a desert, perfect
for a school where the poet
slash critic slash professor says, Take off your clothes,
and when the students take off their clothes,
shouts, Too late! Wreck subjectivity!
Too late! The blood of Walt Disney
is on your hands! Explode syntax
allude to the renaissance metaphor
is fascism memory is a lie.
Too late too late too late.
Roses are blue, the quality of mercy
is chow mein, first thought butt-shake.
See this shoe? It's a text.
Hard not to miss attacking Russia
even with only a frozen rat to eat,
powder burns, constant concussion
so you can't even think. Hard
not to miss trying to slip a potent
image by the censors, some sort
of uplift in the end, a talking
rose or kiss made of mist.
— Dean Young