Michael Gizzi


A Self

The sign of the dead is addition
a name to live up to


Bunk Beds

Weather set us apart
everything is somehow a surprise
an alternate Beau Geste
starring Illinois Jacquet
—you bet
English broke our mother tongues
to make us all
American of course
this woke everyone
homo duplex and then some
item: to be as wide
as sleep
eyes lie through their teeth
‘til they’re blue in the face
—just in case


Chimes at Midnight

The father in exile
stripped of his sundial
borrows the equator for a belt

would love to behave like midnight
for once

the son in translation
misrules on a run through
for eternity

the past
rides out of houses
green with red breath

only the billowing overcoat
is left everything else
is made up


El Wraith

I knew your mother

I am renting the house
where they have you installed

no deeper than mustard on bread
where paramedics wiggle their toes

on the head of a ghost
who knows

they might have missed you


Memory on Parade

An armory with no
army which every year
the leaves obscure

call it a respite
say a train wreck dreamed it
a purchase in the blur

that after all
these years a translation
disappears adding

elements to private lives
that can’t recall an oak
is there a rift in the arborist

a hand goes up
flanked by a pair of magicians
a story told to pigeons


A Rappelling Powder

Out there holds more answers
than a wallet anywhere
there’s no logic to it it’s not
your cuirass that goes way back
there a polestar pole vaults a polecat
soon vanishing cream gets caught in the act
and breaks your balloon

Human nature is a public nuisance
but one is to independence
as a prime minister to obstetrics
it’s a large thing to always be due
I was in the front row
and the conjure man has a time share
coming to a rooster exactly like you