What the Vortex Said and other works by Skip Fox

Skip Fox worked in the woods of the Olympic Peninsula, the warehouses of San Francisco, and the mental institutions of Ohio before taking his current teaching job in Louisiana, where he lives on three acres with a log cabin and a pond in one of the poorest parishes in the state. He dates his birth from his first reading of Donald Allen's The New American Poetry, 1945-1960. He (as Willard Fox) has published a secondary bibliography: Robert Creeley, Edward Dorn, and Robert Duncan: A Reference Guide (G. K. Hall, 1989), which was the culmination of six years' work. He has also published poems in Talisman, Hambone, Pavement Saw, Prosodia, YAWP: a Journal of Poetry & Art, Ambit, Blackbox, Dirty Swamp, Fuck, and Gestalten, among others. Fox's recent books are What of (Potes & Poets 2003), At That (Ahadada Books 2005), and For To (2008 by BlazeVOX Books 2008).


Hot Shots Gots the Juice

you gets the jolt, runs up dripping leg
to thigh, yellows future in curdling smoke,
steamed piss, like wallpaper peeling
your cheapest dreams, What did you
think?, as they say, Who said anything
about it being simple much less
convenient?, Where came the belief that it
should be at least satisfactory if not
comfortable?, Imagine every morning waking
to the disease of your own life, hip deep in ripe
confusions (decaying bud), belief like a skull that
forgot to duck when the world's bum rush ran into
it, a hillside exploding, echoes in rocks rolling over
rocks on the bottom of your most articulate river.


What the Vortex Said

The sibilance of the vortex over the northern
slope of the enchanted valley sent us on our
way, kissing mad mirrors of mind, drove
us crosscountry (and back), sewed a ferret
in our nutsack (for a wee snack, or for our own
drear heart's sweet sake, gave us a deluxe
lobotomy-on-the-spot, sucked the marrow
of our spine for a "jolt" while pissing steroids
into the fluted openings at the tops of our minds,
then tore our new one several more. "Pass"
was all it said, but its hiss was the scraping
of metal on stone, rising, and went on forever



poppin' hot buns <cross stage, tightenin' the cinch, kitty
waddle, walkin' the gator, plump colter, ridges running down
mountainous rapture of spine in ripples of rivers, palmed,

to hymnal vault, an evening, neighbor, like any other,
writ a bit large, I'll concede, yet hath not each night
in its grip a hot grain, a seed of flame, that sprouting,
would create such a conflagration, that only a wide
brush would do, colors borrowed from an insane clown's
kit of makeup where everything is left behind except
an appetite to climb that ladder of flesh all ever and over
again, a locker for your keys, rings, wallet and clothes,
when you, naked as a cadet, walk out, humping with all
the rest, workin' your nut and crackin' your neck simultaneously,
or would you rather just stay home and watch television?


Like Talking to Dog Shit

only its eyes occasionally blink or face
twitches as acne's glow exhibits a subtle color-
shift, . . . Don't get me wrong, I love talking to
eighteen-to-twenty year olds all day every week
down these years into decades, each wave
successively more lethargicBnowhere to rush to
in their lives, not much to resistBand now, it
seems, their lethergy has overcome even a desire
to mask their unconcern, thus they have succeeded
at last!, the proof of which might well be gauged
by the difficulty of telling what precisely is going on
beneath their face beside a series of reflexes as when
a proto-thought, caught, becomes hopelessly mired
in liminal "goop," or when the subject passes gas.