Reading of “Volcanoes/Organics” and Other Poems

On September 18, 2018, I read some poems with Julie Suarez-Hayes at SUNY Oneonta  in Oneonta, NY for the Red Dragon Reading Series. I read “Volcanoes/Organics” and “Nothingness Introduced into the Heart of the Image,” from The Rocking Chair (Blue Sketch, 2015), and “Fallout: New Vegas” and “An Open Letter to Narcissus: The Magazine by Narcissists, for Narcissists,” from The Shape of Things (Salò, 2017). I concluded with a couple poems from a new project, which I have omitted from the recording. Roger W. Hecht provided a wonderful introduction. Thanks to Ruth Carr for the recording, and to George Hovis and Bob Bensen for inviting me to read.

Here is a link to the audio.

And a clip of “Volcanoes/Organics”:

 

Fallout: New Vegas

[While going through some old poetry today, I discovered this little ditty. I couldn’t resist posting it.]

I am sick of the postapocalypse. Here we are,

eating human flesh on the Strip in casinos burned

by atomic fire about to devour some successful

rancher’s son while masked a la Eyes Wide Shut.

 

We’re supposed to converse w/ what seems like

an AI[1] but we’ve gotten curiously sidetracked,

this awkward looking young woman and I

as we’ve traversed the terrible wastes doing,

well, whatever it was to do that came along.

 

We’ve passed through this night waiting

for someone to sneak into a guard tower in

an old airport control tower.[2] In real time.

 

Here we are, perched on a hotel in Vegas,

a high enough vantage point to see the bombs

go off in the desert. Here we are, burying mountains

of nuclear phlegm beneath plaques bearing the universal

hieroglyphic for, well, death. The postapocalyptic

 

has infected us. We breathe its miasma and blow it

out our eyes in radiant spectacles of retro-horror

nuclear nostalgia from an alternative twenty-first century

 

in which some mysterious stranger rolled into town

w/ “a big iron on his hip”[3] and we were her, blowing

ghouls away. We’re all patiently waiting for the MMO.


[1] Nudge, nudge . . . Bioshock (Quincey, MA: Irrational Games, 2007).

[2] The future can only look like the past.

[3] Marty Robins, “Big Iron,” Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs (New York: Columbia Records, 1959).

Fallout: New Vegas

For anyone who recognizes the banner to this here blog. . . they’ll understand why I’m posting this.  But anyway, a new Fallout game set in Las Vegas has been announced, and though I don’t think a single detail has been released, we get yet another post-apocalyptic, freakout-wasteland to explore in the near future.  Thank Abaddon for video games that give us post-nuclear scenarios–I can convince myself I’m doing work when I’m really just wasting time.  Can’t wait.