Justin Bell

In the rain where I passed out, where I became
Cloistered—in other words, more certain, though
Selectively certain, or more unnecessarily taken
With a sprained morality, in other, as I say, words—

In the apostate paraffin aesthetic of being the one,
Out of all your students, most seduced, certainly
Immersed in the tenderness of your stocking-footed
Steps—mothering the bother, the outrage, needless,

Cruel and simplified, only saved from being crushed
By an elegant change of mind—the most elegant, yet
Uninfluenced by elegant ironies. Her entrances,
The anatomical terminologies surpassed, simplified;

This time not cruel, but honest and hypnotic—I am
Certain, disclosed, despite these coenobitic dismissals
Of physical presence, despite the rise of mystery, poisonings,
Plastic accoutrements and plastic sheeting; impossible

Rhetorical layers as ineffective cures for a warm rain; costly,
In my case, as was going to the doctor, and imagining miracles,
And drawing down.
I needed to be more selective: I corpuses is.


"pumping both openings" is an effort to make poetry out of the random words and nonsensical phrases that often accompany "spam" emails—typically advertisements for pharmaceuticals, pornography, stock tips, mortgage refinancing, and so on. My process is to take the words and phrases in these uninvited messages, reorder them, introduce grammatical and poetic elements, and fit it all into my chosen subject matter. The effect, I believe, is transformation of rather thoughtless, impersonal, computer-generated writing into writing that is deliberate, reflective, and personal.