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STORMY MONDAYS

SKIP FOX

BLAZEVOX[BOOKS]
Buffalo, New York

Stormy Mondays
by Skip Fox
Copyright 2016
Published by BlazeVOX [books]
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced without
the publishers written permission, except for brief quotations in
reviews.
Printed in the United States of America
Interior design and typesetting by Geoffrey Gatza
Cover Art by Rhonda Robison Berkeley
First Edition
ISBN: 978-1-60964-261-7
Library of Congress Control Number: 2016943913
BlazeVOX [books]
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Kenmore, NY 14217
Editor@blazevox.org

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Why the need for all the protections? (all these and more ...
I wonder what would it be like to be the guy about to get horribly
tortured then killed pain straight to the grave for no good reason
maybe Id tried to skip as they say but Im innocence-on-a-stick
(almost) so I ask the man if he couldnt just let me go after all
things being nearly the same as I frantically try to think of ways I
might be of assistance to him but my worlds on another planet (as
always) so I attempt to pull some lame existential shit out my ass
one last time but it doesnt work he just laughs and says You gotta
be kiddin Wheres your nuts man? and for the last bit I get there
fast so fast I surprise myself Cant we just skip the torture part and
just get to it? I wouldntve believed my own ears if it wasnt for
the words my mouth had been saying but hes already thinking
something else as he turns deserting me to silence shaking with
anticipation surrounded by goons muscle iron facing the inevitable
fast approaching the past quickly disappearing beneath the near
term there is no long term absence binding the little left of livings
eyes and time yes I wonder what it would be like to be cast into
that exact moment alive to enormities never previously imagined

Write in Footnotes
Perhaps another Book for the New Millennium in which a delicately
phrased, invitingly rich, half-page of crisp, letterpress prose hovers above
the anticipation of an empty half page (sheets made from rags of the
authors shirts), containing only ascending numbers, variously spaced
down its left margin which correspond to the numbers superscripted into
the text above. The author has placed these numerals at various distances
from each other down the blank half, the lovely void, that the reader
(now collaborative writer) might feel the space, anticipate the limits it
activates and thus, if he or she is attuned, levitate in its presenc e (as
though a hand might out of blinding nothingness appears) to intuit
addendums thrust or torque (apposition, extenuation, slight of mind to
sight, contiguitys attenuations, meek self-explanation, hysterical
confession, arch distraction, wild assertion, repetitious doublings of
counter-intuitive negatives, losing oneself in the real or seeing through the
scrim deeply into the limbus wherein the not-quite-yet extant almost
condense . . ., etc.) A few might continue on the following page.
Consider what the text might be. A marriage of Stanford and
Scalapino? Berrigan raising the off-spring? A jumpy little prose piece
about a mouse with human-sized problems like getting all the blood and
body parts out of the house before dawn, but its already four-twenty-three
and hes exhausted from hours of mind-draining activity just staying
barely ahead of it. Arms entombed. Each swollen nearly to the size of the
corpse itself, as he pauses with a wet rag, thinking, This situation, this
rupture of ease, could as well be happening to some other mug, some
other shambling approach to nothingness. The texts very existence
makes that case clear and sharp with every letter, ascenders and decenders
akimbo, with every ligature, syllable and word as well as in the breath that
flows through the emptiness of every line. His heart beats in the darkness
at a rate of thirty-four-thousand-eight-hundred pops an hour. Time slips
by like a screaming banshee sweeps through a fevered dream, yet the
interstices seem to be forever dilating. Accordances of footnote and text
might relate terrains of thought far beyond their actual saying, as though
words with wings could fling us upward and out, until we are finally home
(at last!), where words were meant to mean what they mean,1 and
significance saturates language and world equally, each part of each a part
, assuring us that we belonged to a life other than this, all these bloody
rags & cloths & fragments, skull & bone, body fluids they never tell us

Nabokov

about on television, a tub of flesh-and-guts twice again his weight, as he


closes his eyes for just a moment only to be wakened by the sun coming
in over the back porch, the front door suddenly hammering in his head
with blunt insistence: Police! Open up! A jumpy little piece. What will
the footnotes be?2

Birthday Card for the New Millennium


your ass in the sling of the song
they found a cure but not for you
and the elements are hysterical with
laughter precisely at your expense, so
what do I care? surely not enough even
by twice the amount minus your minims,
or, . . . Do we really need another year?
Angelou, step the fuck aside! A child can write greeting-card circles
around your dying animal poetry and road-kill prose. Case in point, heres
one for the new parent:
For the New Parent
You inconsiderate swine!
I cant imagine the presumptive
bloat that would be required to believe
that the world might need another you in any form
much less a living creature who might do as great a harm
to his or her social and psychological environs as you have
to yours, reducing the quotidian richness of possibility
branching from each moment to your petri dish of
naked motivations and so we find ourselves
struggling to recalibrate to compensate
for the sudden shift of weight
towards mans crudest
state and it makes
more and more
sense to live
only with
animals

from Childrens Corner


Skunk Blue
and Slippery Butt back slappin you smack on the flat of your face
with a fat fish, muscles back, pissin up your caboose like a tranny
vaudeville act with grisly mugs, shark-blue, a darkened revolver
sheen beneath their eyes, bagged like dead game, tutus sprouting
swollen clits the size of little league baseball bats, gnarly shafts
bloated with veins. (Their holes are monstrous and blind, their
minds. . . . Imagine what a cliff of ice looks like to someone
encased inside for an Arctic ten-thousand-and-twenty years. All the
characters out of some hideous childrens book, the kind I would
write, where the village idiot never becomes the sage whose
wisdom exc eeds his cultural coordinates, but a merely a small
town drunk, incontinent, a whiny child molester. Invariably. No
remission, none, much less redemption. Nails driven thru readers
skull, nutsack and dick. Like Paul Bowles, only not so squeamish.

Sure Shots
. . . anyones a fool to become a junkie or a poet. (Jack Spicer)
The only way some of these spuds can get anyone to read their work is
by taking a poetry writing class. Some are so desperate that they take
creative writing classes in graduate school. (Richard LaPauvre)
No pain like minds pain.
Biercian quip: The only good thing about a wife is that she cant testify
against you in court. (Which isnt true, of course, but qualification would
hobble the joke.)
A million dollar idea in two words: Rapture Insurance. The ad:
Youre sure youre going, but just in case, . . . why not be rich? or
Youre going, of course, and your wife is as well, but what about the
kids, . . . and the dog?
Addendum (Scooped by the World Again): I have recently been
informed that there actually are some joker-entrepreneurs
promising to feed and care for pets of the raptured when the
grand translation takes plac e for a small annual fee, . . . small,
of course, in terms of what the raptured will get in the end.
Entropy is what distinguishes the past from the future.(Hawking) What
distinguishes the present?
What we cant stand is how other people take themselves.
During creation man is part of the spirit.

if it didnt exist I wouldnt believe it myself


driving in each morning through mans haphazard arrangements land strewn with houses & sheds vehicles
wires poles signs buildings standing and falling apart pocketed in the drear light of late february, early
march, the clatter of creatures in their cars, trucks and
trailers, codes of public traffic, fetal sleep, all prime
pissing steroids, livers grinding to keep up, hearts the
dying of horses in this fragile fuselage the chest, so
were going to market are we? delivery vans flatbeds
roads streaming over roads, now were getting someplace! theyre screaming in cabs lost beneath glass
grasping and gasping at the wheel, all that cement
and nowhere to go, the land of their lives forgot under-considered over-subscribed or just plain fucked

sure shots
from Titles for the New Millennian: Fate Cant Wait: A Disquisition on
the Continuance of the Species and In Memory of Mind: Alzheimers
Memoirs
Ive got more to learn than I could ever teach! (Boring bumper-sticker
for boring high school history teacher. Then embroidered on a tapestry by
one of his students who he invited over to see where it might be hung and
the rest is history.)
Whats faith but honed desire? Though in the hands of those who Ive
seen mauling it, I imagine it is a great many other things, sticky and warm,
or dried and crackling like someones desiccated nuts wrapped in holy
linen, or ___________________[fill into satisfaction, as they say].
from Services for the New Millennium: Creative Bloodbaths.
Sunday Morning: State of Our DamNation: Summary: Nail driven thru
skull as mornings warning. Crows blot on sun-drenched sky. A
tightening in their stride as they begin to walk downhill, and in their
sphincter always. Check the mike. God spore no longer an insane
scrabble, but an alphabet entire, complete with wings and genitals, entrails
and bones tossed to charts extent, across sc reen of our minds with
mortars and air-strikes, country in knots. [And more of the same unsame
same, wanting only those who would attend such garbage, . . . never
wanting long.]

from Channel Surfing


infandum, rgna, iubs renovre dolrem3
What employment have we here?
Richard LaPauvre
Having set into such sureties unconscious as youth, dispensations in
accordance
with the putting forth and natural talent, I thought I deserved such
deserts, that life
was for the living, its wide empty grin drifting late into age, for
whatever time
be accorded, when at last I lapsed onto the stinking plain where now
you find me,
the opposite of clarity and health. All I remember is struggle, listening
was most
difficult, yet had I not seen, I asked, the worst? The world turned
forever
farther from my favor for all reply. Imagine a wall clothed in velvet,
studded
with the portraits of famous whores. In arrangement, delicate and
ominous,
a constellation of mal-intent, organs painted on mars black cloth of sky,
each
artist selected for attributes most closely aligned with whore or with
interesting
and exciting juxtapositions of artistic temperament determined by a
quicksilver
intelligence, sinistro. Each portrait signed both by artist and whore. At
any rate
it seems to vibrate, a malicious fervor beneath the banal. Now I find
razors hidden

M y queen, you bid me speak unspeakable grief.

in all my tender habits and rats slicing my anklebones before I can beat
them back.
Theyre as large as a house. Absurd! How come I keep finding myself
lost? This
sufferin business, boss, is getting to be the better of me, an old song
already,
maybe not, fate kicking my bony ass about this farcical stage where
young
and old do meet, pretending to discuss whats in between. Another
grammarian,
another funeral, Id have them say, rather than go into these last years
of lifes
walk-around darkness, as in someone elses dream where the lock of
night opens
and suddenly that wall of famous whores makes sense, its burlesque
caught
on skys horns, life lost in senseless grief down stations of pain,
wandering
before times indifference, poised before its empty grin. Listen, youll
never
see it coming, My Queen, what you can count on, woven into fortunes
fabric,
each pattern exact, its nature entire, and nature malign, if mine be the
measure.

10

start here
at the opening of the abyss, chaos darkening the edge of extremitys
almost while bearing the load of its extent, tuned and torqued, merely just
riding the cusp of the extant, excess of nothing with a cutting edge searing
fringes foremost tip, sharp as a super-serial killers intent, randy as an
Irish toothache early on a Saturday night, honed and ripe, on the prowl
(pollen bearer!), a compass so massively not there, the pulsing head of
which. . . . But I wanted to write about stupid preachers and the dead crush
of their voice on all things italic because they dont know how else to read
it,4 like driving with a flat, yet the italic worlds wait, ripe and ready, all its
vast and supple existence poised, as though it might announce an opening
through which a presence, a font aloft, might rise. They have no outward
concept of this, though perhaps they live within some other engagement,
their bodies, say, or families, pastimes, I hope, and not simply sports
baseball basketball bingo bowling bridge and NASCAR but worlds which
might lead to sporadically meditative, if basically inarticulate, soundings
of their existence. . . . But back to that clubfooted insistence, the Field of
Jars, Jughead in Love, Archie on the Crapper, stupid wooden, arse-eared
clump, like beating a small animal to death with a soggy, rolled-up
newspaper, or running over your father in the old mans Ford, forward
and reverse, over and all again, the body a series of diminishing speedbumps, a crumpled rug, yet beneath the sweet crunch of bones lingers the
same mindless, staccatoed self-insistence, sermon as the stuttering of a
single valence (worth decades of study) cast against the vast universe ever
blooming over minds evacuations, this meagre coil at wordless edge
whereas the preacher of dread booms above the tediously acknowledged,
ever shallow, void in the collective self, a prerequisite for his parishioners,
voice rife, as though riding over thinking itself with all other overly underrealized conceptions, buoyed by what he thinks he is feeling or thinks
what feeling might be after a few repetitious and ever more tepid
considerations, thick as the stew pouring from his unconsidered presence
while vocables boom in his nasal cavities, rushing through him in clotted

Their voice is a hammer pounding at the lock on the massive gates of heaven shut
to their understanding as though ultimate meaning pounded through each blow
when in fact Biblical italics signifies the translators additions of prepositions and
other words so that the phrase might make syntactical sense. But it is not from this
alone their errors arise.

11

phrases, undigested emotional lumps up coming surely, projectile


cadences meaningful as the brutalities of a bac k alley, and yes, probably
a very sharp longing as well almost breaking the surface of his inelegant
secretions, . . . all these have contributed their share, slam-fistedly and
knuckle rich, to a melody, a grace which fills its time and place as well as
many.

12

from Librettos for the End Times


What is it, the f uture, to save for? When has it done
anything for us? thus our complaint lightens evening
into night where sullen blackness of fury gathers, neon
staccato stutters thru a small seasick city, goes sudden
dark as in an old film, wind slashing strips of fenceline along the coast, crashing on cliffs to the vast irregularities of surf and sea and wind, nearly the selfsame
rhythm shuttling thru summers airy season like the return of something lost, forgotten, otherwise flashing in
and out of existence, a shimmer which we nearly cant
discern, especially since it is directly before us, blind
and insistent, absolute in distance, starry crest wound
round its sheer, unbinding surge, as winds or worlds like
creatures rise from what it is we think we came to see

13

Allen, Donald J., e d. The New American Poetry. New York: Grove,
1960.
For many of my generation Allens anthology was a source of sudden
recognition and expansion. I remember Al Goldings paper at Orono on
its history, all the bitchiness of its principals, their luminous centers,
heads falling together apart. (The steadiness of Duncans hand holding
Allens.) What was it like to have found it (poetry, open and fresh,
incarnation pointing forward and back) as it came over the first years of
the worlds horizon, when you could still search out Kerouac, say, and
give him a blow-job if he wanted (purely out of respect). Where Welsh
yet wandered and Whalen was wisely young. And Spicers face mirrored
your own. Or as it came over my horizon, a gift from Nancy Gerding as
she headed south to San Francisco. She knew I needed it, she said. Rarely
has anyone been so accurate in my regard.5 I mean right then and there,
late summer 1969, at the Elwah Campsite beneath Hurricane Ridge, in
hearing distance of the Snyders Elwah, as though pouring from storys
source, where Ronnie and Gail got the tent except when it rained and we
all climbed in, but usually it was those two, just before and after their
marriage in the early rush of living with each other, wrestling beneath the
canvas, while I got the picnic table, the lantern, and Allens anthology,
page swimming in a pool of lantern light, wavering yet precise,
illuminating the text, and I woke into a dream of words.

Nancy gave me the book in1969 and due to the insistence of a number of poets
therein who I quickly came to love, including Olson, Duncan, Creeley and Dorn
(three of whom were the subjects of a secondary, annotated bibliography I later
wrote), I searched for Pound, finding his Translations in a Port Angeles used
bookstore that fall, dreaming of Cavalcanti. I had two copies of the Cantos before
the next summer was over (gave one to Brian Richards), wondering what Homer,
Browning, and Dante were all about. End of first year.

14

Sure Shots
from Definitions for the New Millennium: Capitalism n., 1. The worlds
longest running snuff-flick.
from Music for the New Millennium: The Amplification of Clouds.
Whats a blog but someone yacking all the time in the near distance? An
insane convenience store of the blubbery self, 24-7. Never sleeps. Never
listens. Someday in the near future, well pay to have these blogs run far
beyond the limits of our lives; that way well never have to think, not even
when were dead.
Rule #1: All writing should be interesting, even the most utilitarian, even
scientific writing. Precision is beauty.
from Genres for the New Millennium: Singing Necrologies.
from Poetic Economics for the New Millennium: Take what you want.
Keep what you need. Pay me with interest.
from Addresses for the New Millennium: To a crop-duster: I love to
listen to you work, but when I think what you are doing . . .
Tailgating in Heaven (Another Headline of the Gods!)
Epigraph for ReachAround.com.: The Kinder, Gentler Gay Web Site.
Slogan: Reciprocity is our business.
from Names for the New Millennium: Running Sore.
from Generic Blurbs for the New Millennium: At listenings edge.
Freak n., 1. In common with one. 2. Isolato in excelis. (Origin obscure,
application ubiquitous.)
Heres to hegemony! There will come a time you will envy the flea its
existence.
from Definitions for the New Millenium: Viagra, n. 1. The boner on
loaner.

15

group of coworkers (that phrase has a tiny anus which can wink)
another Bumper-sticker for the New Millennium: Plays the Thing.6
Things were so bad even the bums were out of out-of-work.
Nothing Wrong with Fucking. (Another Sticka-for-Sure.)
If everythings zeros opposite, then their ideational weights must be
precisely the same, not just similar. How can zero, then, be said not to
exist? How can zero be said to be less than everything? In that sense it is
multiple. Ubiquitous, for instance, in todays thought, and in many
varieties, howling down the corridors of the dialectic, sodomized by the
teleological, self-interest, and so forth. Zero, more and less. Like death.
from Tombstones for the New Millennium: No One So Lacked Sense.
Another Title for the New Millennium: The Mayflys Rav enous Orifice.
6

One theory about the continuance of Homo Sapiens while the Neanderthal were
extinguished (though a plume of their blood yet unfurls in many of us), is that, due
to the evolutionary demands of climate change on the human structure (narrowing
of the cervixin the service of upright mobilitys and its advantages), the fetus must
be expelled long before it would normally be considered viable which resulted in
an extended childhood for the species. With such an extension, we p layed for
nearly a dozen years, following the whims of variation with all its repetitions,
differences , inventiveness, newness, etc. Thus the childs entire imaginative
engagement with the world was encoded into the culture in a manner only less
insistent than onto our genes but nearly as effective. Thus adults having known the
delight of play and its usefulness as well, continued such behav io r, making
different types of spears, chipping their stones in various manners, trying different
materials, hunting in diverse ways, etc. Evidence for this theory mainly rests on the
variety of artifacts from human sites in Western Europe ca. 30,000 years ago in
comparison to the sameness in the sites of their neighboring Neanderthal. The
archaeological sites of humans indicate they used various stones (some indicating
pilgrimage or trade), their methods of chippin g v aried, and various tools were
made, experimented with, etc., whereas archeological sites of the Nean d erthal
indicate a similarity of highly effective proces s es and materials millennia after
millennia. Effective, that is, until environmental stress changed the world and their
processes were no longer as productive, certainly less than those of our ancient
forebearers. By this account, we owe our existence to play. (But what a deadening
manner to make a point which should float to mind of its own accord, or rise from
a different sort of page.)

16

from Ancient Dialogues of the Gods:


Lets give them brains.
What are they going to do with them?
I donno. . . . Lets see.
O.k. But only very tiny ones.
Yeah, . . . they probably wont use em anyway.
Birthday Card for the New Millennium: [Front of card: ultra-vividly real
photograph of a revolver lying on a desks green pad with the curled,
white knuckles of two hands just visible at the right bottom margin beside
an advancing blood stain. Text along bottom in a gothic, funereal black:]
Dont you think its time you really thought about it? [And inside the
card:] No, . . . really.
I have always been aware when writing, of throwing balance forward,
which may be part of or similar to the state Duncan described as the tone
leading of vowels. Falling in a manner, opening oneself to falling, falling
with faith and grace but without certainty that words will be there, or is
it like following such thoughts while falling forward as Heideggers
luminescent entranc e into the extant? Perhaps this sense of unsupported
suspension only applies to some artists some of the time, or it may a part
of everyones process, or for some its relative role may be relatively
small.
How many poets over forty would still be writing without the creative
writing rage in universities today? Of this I see no end. (Outside of that
which climate change proposes.)
Another Tombstone for the New Millennium: Only Undeceived by
Death.
Dear Hyacinth, Hows the creature? Is it getting any? Is your monkey
under weather, or house arrest again? Will it defect? Is it going to market
or growing new corners? Doing its toenails blue? And your little boat, .
. . how is that? Your flower, too. With all respect, Max.
We are given to dream may seem to anticipate that state whic h is to
waking as waking is to sleep, then waking to dream again, continually,
each accompanied with changes previously unimagined, and each
illuminated by a different light, and this goes on for as long as you
know.
17

a miracle of bad taste


The truck that turned onto Gloria Switch behind me, from styling to
detailing as though a bored mother gave a her seven-year-old allAmerican-boy a kit, Design Your Own: 4-Wheel Madness!!!!, and since
its Saturday morning, and the televisions blaring while hes working at
the table, heart trying hard to keep up with a mind racing through the
morning on the steroids found in sausages, fructose corn syrup in bowls
of cereal, and tunes designed to by-pass whatever consciousness might
occur within this jungle of jinglish jigs on their way to the a bottom line,
driven by numbing calculations, a throbbing mantra at the base of being:
Gotta have! Gotta get some! Eyes mined. Tongue ripe. A manic sheen
burnishing the continent. But it was the phrasing itself, a miracle of bad
taste, that hit me. A weighted blade crushing nape, severing forever the
fortunes of the 6th and 7th vertebrae. I felt Id never been as accurate.

18

might imply
A table. And a chair. Over there. Here. Now
the crowbar and blanket. Stuff them down her
throat if you hafta. Barking up the wrong trees
a metaphor about scrub hounds bounding about
in the obsolete air, but what does a rape, torture, and
brutal murder indicate? Whats shimmering just beneath
the skin, warp-like bulge of memory? Pain wasp at stings
end? What does the silence over a shallow grave imply?
Yawns expelling signifiers exhausted but for the iteration of superficialities into the otherwise color-blind green of spring where
each referent chokes back black rage or reveals the deadliness
of the headlong unsure, facile certainties in a frozen swamp
of consciousness, vaguely aware of desires diminishment save
for the most banal, insipid, or aberrant, the buzz of acquisitions
cluster-rut, say, or busting their nut over everyone and anything
they can, a distension of the ego displacing their inadequacies
while daily given to a shoddy dissemblance which cannot
(or can it?) even believe itself (deception is of such nature),
despite the slight crackling at its borders, so that each time
they wake, their mind goes limp, finger collapsing for want
of referent lasting almost a perceptible moment until
habituations affirmation allows a semblance of satisfaction to
creep into the vicinity of their considerations, the serious almost
not even quite, their fingers, sticky with jizz, selfs mortar
gumming up the interstices (no wonder theyre impermeable!),
creaming over everything theyd care to name, until lost in
the conviction that anything worth pointing to constitutes
a joke-without-a-punch-line, yet therein they occasionally seem
to hear the echo of a presence gliding past, across the interiors
like footnotes in a dream, to which they might have listened
and may, perhaps, have seen a world worth pointing to, if not
a condition thoroughly otherwise and distinctly superior.

19

squabs
Plan for aging learned from my 2-year-old grandson,
Max: Stand up, bend your head down, parallel to
the floor, and run hard at the wall. When
you get up, do it all over again.
Etcetera has nothing
on this.

Even the birds left the garden,


the mites followed, and it became
a hollow, empty place like the back
of your head on a Saturday night,
so Lilith, who had snuck back
during the confusion, invited
the newly fallen to revisit the old
estate and then filled it with screams
and horrors for one of creations longest,
most brutal nights. This is a slick little
metaphor for what I see in your eyes.

Song for Ending


First dream, then rending,
the waste of stores unending,
abnegation, destruction,
sorrow, at times a little
mending before the morrow.
Same song, early spring to late
fall, where winters stare clears
the air and the horizon extends to
a contemplation of an end which wont
include us, its principle non-participant.

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