Mary Harju: Portrait: 4 Poets (P.F.S. Presents, South Philadelphia, 5-12-07)


A P.F.S. Post Anthology

A new way of looking at P.F.S. Post: an Anthology collection of what's on the site.

P.S. Another P.F.S. Post archive


From Ocho #11...

Christopher Goodrich re-published on P.F.S. Post


Wittgenstein's Song

Merely brilliant is no match

         for being intimate. When you catch

a wave that breaks, you can only
         half-determine its course. Lonely

    is the determined man, whether

 it's he who decides his fate, or fetters

       the world lays on him. This
           I learned from a young man's kiss.

Thus, I've learned, said nothing.

    To be silent is something

        for the wise to practice. Words

          go too far. How much have we heard

worth holding onto? How much said
   that can placate what we dread?

Wittgenstein's Song originally appeared in Kevin Killian and Dodie Bellamy's Mirage in 2009, and in the 2010 Mipoesias chapbook Returns


Vlad Pogorelov in P.F.S. Post

Vlad Pogorelov's At the Train Station, originally published in the 1998 chapbook Derelict from Repossessed Head Press, re-published in P.F.S. Post


Speck: Stone the Devil (feat. Adam Fieled, spoken word)

And back on the Highwire...

As has been said, & Poetry Incarnation '05 notwithstanding, the meat & potatoes of the el primo Philly Free School "glory year" ('04/'05) were the shows we curated at the Highwire Gallery, when it dwelt several floors up in the Gilbert Building on the PAFA (Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts) campus. The shows were wild, crazy, debauched, and also profitable; we made a reasonable amount of money on the surface. Yet the theoretical & spiritual backbone of the shows, worked out between myself & Mike Land, is presented in this 2010 piece published in Otoliths, and the piece goes some distance towards defining how a bunch of guys attempted to stage something unique in public spaces.


Cheltenham Elegy #412


Each thinks the other a lonesome reprobate.
That’s what I guess when I see the picture.
It’s Elkins Park Square on a cold spring night;
they’re almost sitting on their hands. One
went up, as they say, one went down, but
you’ll never hear a word of this in Cheltenham.
They can’t gloat anymore, so they make an
art of obfuscation. That’s why I seldom go
back. Elkins Park Square is scary at night.
There are ghosts by the ice skating rink.


Germantown Pike: A Mini-Collage

“Why Plymouth Meeting at night still haunts me— when you look down Germantown Pike from a car at, say, 2 am on a Sunday morning, if it was merely desolation to see, there’d be nothing to say. Why something must be said is that Germantown Pike and the environs (Plymouth Meeting Mall, Fed Ex, Starbucks) all exude such a sense of foreboding, menace, and compressed anti-matter or anti-material nothingness, from having been built in a jagged, ill-shaped, ill-placed fashion, that the consciousness of the individual is sucked into a vacuum from seeing them that it cannot (in my case, at least) ever really recover from. It is man’s inhumanity to man hewn into architecture; and crisp, poignant to understand that Plymouth Meeting by daylight looks innocuous or even impressive. Daytime world and nighttime world in Plymouth Meeting are diametrically opposed.”

                                                       the individual,
                                                            who, if
                                                          will wander
                                                            all night,
                                                             to death
                                                            in cement—
                                                             also, by
                                                        Germantown Pike,
                                                             sheer drops,
                                                               pass away—

Pat offered to give me a ride,
as air was being sucked from
my lungs, oppressive wafts from
parking lots layered over other
parking lots layered under other
parking lots, hewn above concrete
fields, more concrete fields, hewn
in rain-slicked black on a November
night, splattered like black paint
with silver dabs for icy moonlight—

Pat could barely drive her car, we
were trapped in the maze of the first
parking lot for fifteen minutes, Pat
encouraged herself past all the criss-
cross lanes, zany yellow-striped
other lanes, even more zany sense
that cars were converging at odd
angles to us (they could destroy
us, I thought, they’re demon
vehicles sprung mechanically from Hades)—

Pat slipped inconspicuously onto
Germantown Pike, which stuck out
its tongue to lick us, turn us white
as sheets, where all was concrete
& sodomy beneath concrete above us,
yet we escaped, over to Chemical Road,
it was only half as sinister, Pat
almost crashed, but found herself
surviving, as did I, as Germantown
Pike laughed, saying Not next time, babes—


New Poems in Otoliths (57)

Two new ballads in Otoliths 57. Many thanks to Mark Young.

Here is Otoliths 57 in its entirety.


De Profundis: A Ballad

The crowd is called in, to witness the kill;
   drunk and disheveled, bitter and chilled;
he follows them in by an effort of will.

The tiles are cleaned, to be spattered with blood;
   trickles or gushes, geysers or floods;
a yellow-ish light drowns the faces, like mud—

he likes who he is, in this outlaw brigade;
   not a lightweight in the price that he's paid;
he'll fatten up this devil's bargain he's made—

so stands at the edge, and yells with the crowd;
   overly hostile, overly loud;
the victim lies prostrate beneath a white shroud.

It soon gets uncovered, revealing a man
   he thought was another, not from his clan;
but seeing his likeness is more than he'll stand.

And yet he still lingers, as needles are drawn;
   screaming and preening, a circuit turned on;
he wishes he lay there himself, nearly gone—

yellow the light, and more yellow his soul;
    stripped of pretensions, stripped of controls;
he runs for the exit like rats for a hole.

The man was my father, the shrouded quite near;
   hounded by anguish, hounded by fear;
I don't have to wonder what I'm doing here.


Feel: Cop It

Feel is now a Top 20 chart hit on Soundclick


Stain Bar on CC Mixter

Me reading at Stain Bar, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, on March 30, 2007, for Mipo, Mary, Mary, & others.

P.S. Live in Brooklyn is now a Top 10 hit on Soundclick.


Ry Mullen: A Collage

Ry Mullen: A Collage attempts an entry point into the literary 2020s


Red-Headed Corpse

"You pushed me, Deb, you pushed me," I say,
   to the red-headed corpse who begs an answer-
then banned in Cheltenham, banned from plays
   whose runs made you twirl, torque like a dancer-
dead, dry bone, ribs cracked, earth smudges,
    grease, soot caked onto the derelict frame,
       once could blinker me like freckles & roses-
"let me correct, recompense all your grudges,
    all you astounded by changing your name,
        all you inverted by striking your poses-"

No, I tell the fearful mirror, myself skin
   & bone, brain smudged by understanding
the past I could never live in, get in,
   fly through the air w/ out crashing for landing-
"I won't be corrected, cadaver'd by your Highness,
    (as though I'd accept such vulgar mandates,
        rivers run dry into spiders & dust),
won't lower my voice, to mirror your dryness,
    then or now, applying no band-aids,
       letting myself come up roughly, brown crust-"

"Then why don't you shut the fuck up," I spat,
   splitting the Elkins Park air like an atom,
hitting the fifth you'd been taught to flat,
   from clowns who amused you, to nuns, to your Madams-
why don't you shut the fuck up, it was,
   spit out in venom, from someone in pain,
      who you had been taught to subject to starvation-
forgotten the Eros, forgotten the lust,
    just a mad prostitute cunt & a brain,
       both fugue-stated out in unnerved enervation-


The Ballad of Robert Johnson on PennSound

The Ballad of Robert Johnson, recorded at Westminster Arch, Logan Square, Philly, 2011, on PennSound.