Patrick Lawler


Cliches pile up. She showers compulsively. The story opens in a remote village.

Tips for positive parenting: the ominous bloom, appetite without a soul, a dash of hopes.

A self long ago shattered. A transparency of language.

Kurt Vonnegut, we love you.

I was a thaumaturgical assistant. I'm slowly disappearing into the realm of pure spirit.

I am a double agent. 

I am a quadruple agent. Words stagger inside their sentences.

The endless condition of disappearance. I'm reading the History of Shopping.

Captivated by false necessities.

Another now is being pulled into view.



The taxis move like sentences through the dark.

I am writing an essay about my life; it is called "My Death."

In a mist city, I enter music.

We tell the story in the only way we know how—the third person plural.

We drink vodka with the dead. "From the folks who brought you ozone depletion."

I am home-made. The past is a flimsy structure. Exceedingly humid.

Words work their way into my system. A rhapsodic meditation.

Drained of tawdry pleasures. The shellacked tomb of my prose.

The numbed condition of the souls of the affluent.

A disassociative fugue: A trauma causes a person to flee.


History is written on the bodies of women--with magic marker, mascara, and map-tattoos.

The propulsive melody. The negligible narratives.

I am an undeveloped country. The myth of progress.

I cut open my throat to put a bird inside.

Veil: shadow, translucency, reflection, refraction, blurring, vibration, moire, netting, layering.

Call it a myth, a virus, a mass psychosis.

I decorate my life with the shadows from Plato's cave.

Could you help me unravel the map? At first, this was intended to work as a mirror.

Deadly parasites multiply in the balmy air. It is a kind of pollution that enters the soul. 

I melt in the age of Chernoblyl. I dream of ice caps and cloned sheep.



We must always talk as if there is something we do not want to think about.

We always look as if we are surviving something.

I suppose we still have the time to reflect on our own blindness.

I am investigating what is the going rate for a funeral.

As I'm writing this, I'm thinking about the movie options.

Democracy means we have the right to shop—the right to choose between Coke and Pepsi.

Seduced by toys.

It scares me to think at any moment I could be off camera. Then I would truly be alone.

I would be the cryogenic empress of self-absorption in an anthropological puzzle story.

Pathetic and Fallacious. I ride the horse in Guernica.



"I will not sacrifice my temporal-lobe epilepsy for your ordinary life."

One of the characters says.

I make a career of locking myself in boxes—of having myself submerged.

The easiest thing in the world would be to escape. It is much harder to learn to stay.

I saw god on the television. Such abundance.

Rimbaud lived all the myths and then repudiated them. 

Beautiful Rimbaud clutching his bullet scarred wrist.

I enter the identity parade.

My tipsy detachment. A lepidopterist's pin piercing. Fixed in a velvet-lined case.

In the background there are all of these fantastic events.




I don’t know why, but I’ve been thinking a lot lately. I was an algebra teacher until I was "let go" for having an "unbeautiful mind." In spite of the accusations, staggeringly optimistic, I began to use language as if it were an equation. Hope = Affliction. The Fallen = The Melting. Then I became crushingly sad as equal began to baffle with its seductive simplicity. Fibonacci and Mandlebrot were waiting in the shadows. "Lies = Thought,"     I write over and over in a spiraling loop.