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The Brooklyn Rail

MAY 2019

All Issues
MAY 2019 Issue

dandy aisle

        $40,000 expense
            report this month
    ’s exchange rate, my dream
        of a unified and standardized
Currency, my master of hours.
    $600 mohair sweater weather
        ed scotch loafers (195
    GBP) Women’s Wear Daily
        on DWR Eames desk
    and Noguchi coffee table
Every morning Bard BA’s best
    Rene Ricard impression
On my newsfeed sassed old poems to
        change into new ha! mezza voce.
    Band of Outsiders’ cardigan’s
            tipped cuffs
        on the run
Today's client Lunch
    325 wine & food pairing
        (at) Ladurée SoHo
    Duck Confit 21
Hot Foie Gras 19
    Vol Au Vent De Volaille Aux Champignons Sauvages 30
Oefs Bio Scrambled, Benedict, Ladurée Style (black
        truffle) salmon, bacon, soft-boiled, sunny
    side up, Plain Yoghurt Basket Filled with
        3 Mini Viennoiseries
            Pain Au Chocolat
        Au Raisin Cannelle
    Croissant À L’Ancienne
’s twirling and flaky crust
    rising like a phoenix
        made of $
    out of a spreadsheet
At accounting, the corporate card
        clean CT sub
        ban fan
    tasy daddy-po
model-stylist blows C.E.
        O.’s hair
Inside, I’m with J.,
    trying to not
        be a boss
    trying to listen
through the screaming
    white noise on
        the blue tube
            a face-save
    feed whereby what’s left of some
        poor and sub-literate
    childhood friends wave
The flag of the state, mourn
    the death of a CVS
Whilst the field, choir o
    sunburned blonds
        for a pub, uni ad
        tenure-track, ally hack
            tongue-graze the tip
              o the class-war in praise
         o the shot-up cop, replicate
Photo of graduate photo of Michael Brown
       hung above K.G. then
             tie to
        aesthetics and
    compositional methods
        as if one’s own ethics
              might meet
@dronestream: Oct 5, 2014: Five people killed and three wounded when missiles struck the valley
@dronestream: Oct 6, 2014: Eight people killed & six wounded. “The target could not be independently verified”
@dronestream: Oct 7, 2014: Third attack in three days killed six people
@dronestream: Oct 7, 2014: Hours later four people killed when a missile struck the village
@dronestream: Oct 8, 2014: Two people killed in the 5th drone strike of the week
@dronestream: Oct 9, 2014: Two missiles. Three people. Sixth @CIA drone strike since Sunday
@dronestream: Oct 11, 2014: Multiple missiles killed four people in Khyber
@dronestream: Oct 11, 2014: Two people killed in a
                        bad week
                3 to 12
           each week
    the Philippines
Since ’06, but—not to equate atrocity
    w/ oppression, second w/ third-class citizen
ship-sailed, lack o life, rights/fight/flight, our mistake, your pursuit, just another slice of any multi-million
    /billion/trillion-dollar yearly pie chart: this quarter’s expenditures heavy 6, 8%
        overhead must resist F-35 or temptation to purchase
            100ml Bois Verde Di Mere, Spigo,
              and Aethereus, Hylands
        Foxglove, John Varvatos Artisan
          Acqua running over
            towel over
    detainee’s face, 3 min. on
Repeat at a black site w/ hummus
    up rectum on hunger
Strike match to spliff / $3,600
         in Bushwick
    (ex landlord-fire tenement)
Draining shit painter’s U.I. checks
         and not
    to conflate artistic
“Atrocity” w/ oppression
Non-judicial detainment
    interrogation—I know all too
        well who is speaking and
    whose hands typed this up—
The Wars (Sign your name)               
                 you are here
    and their absence in everything, every pop-star-washed, domestic, and inward turn
        your poem proliferates via the annals of Menlo Park, signaling, so blue and clean, its divorce
From the red and mean sortie of names, unashamed, the inculpable, bubble-gummed, burst-proofing
                now—post-husband, post-job, she bought
        new blue couch flat TV juicy couture handbag
            and boots striding past B-Side,
inside, alongside, and hand-in-hand w/
    capital's inexorable? march toward The
        New (Are, will, or can we
            never-ever be
    where it fails
        even now
    to end (this) history
        (lessonlisten) tho to do: feel quite right post-post-
Human knifing through haze w/
    my dentist’s mask and my bright tools
        popping pills
At the front door’s dark threshold
        $1.2k day-rate producer re-
Quests one foam latte ($4, raw sugar) I order
        w/ a $3.50 capp (also grande) for the dandy from
    Starbucks barista making $8 (maybe)
        an hr., on the Bose speakers, B-I-G
(Late)—S-P—E-N—D-A strides in, no info
    for his partners or the IRS at least though
        pockets and envelopes
            in which
    receipts hide expenditures
        and forged signatures
mad flagrant, sure, though he
    stays clean as every man
Standing in suit or starched collar
    behind some young trick
        moving numbers
    or payloads does, and so too I
            ever dreamily
        triple-beam balanced and
            accurate, finding
    more money (than in publishing)
      more problems untrue.
    They still pay shit
To solve them.


Mike Lala

Mike Lala is the author of Exit Theater, winner of the 2016 Colorado Prize for Poetry, and the chapbooks In the Gun Cabinet and Twenty-Four Exits: A Closet Drama (2016). Other works include the libretto for Oedipus in the District (OperaComp, The Juilliard School and National Sawdust, 2018) and Infinite Odyssey (Pioneer Works/Contemporary Temporary: Sound Works and Music, 2017; Patient Presses, 2019). He lives in New York. www.mikelala.com


The Brooklyn Rail

MAY 2019

All Issues