Heir Apparent

Issue #26: August 2014

Google Drive | Ben Doller

If someone is alone reading my poems, I hope it would be like reading someone’s notebook. A record. Of a place, beauty, difficulty. A familiar daily struggle.

Fanny Howe

Another historic blizzard in Boston

Where all the history is

In Washington they can’t get a background check through

Some kind of supercop copkiller

Casts from Hollywood, his manifesto so hot

Traffic goes glacial at the border

The LAPD hasn’t changed since Rodney King

if you’re going to buy a pair of pants make them tight

enough that everyone will wanna go to bed

You can’t even measure the snow total

It whips around like the zooms

Blood diamond drills

The loneliest girl in the whole damn town

A rough sketch of a good sketch

Smack in the epicenter the news is creaming about

Word, sentence, word, sentence, word, line, word

A partitioned public segments demonstrations

therapy fluffies help too.

Up Google Drive a solar path sings on

LEDs on a boulder bear where lunch is consumed

commonspace for collective flatulence.

But down that path a car

learns to steer itself same way I steer,

eyes at ten and two—scuttle to the shuttle

back to the medical center, back again,

a hundred earbuds arranged unphased,

50 smartphones swyped full of racist vernacular

and a billion jingles permitted to shuffle.

Hate poems, in the name of language

To be restrained in the core of the sun

A shitload of shit

Every other other is available

Skipping through the lasertag of the TJ margin

Balanced ambivalence is good for the core

So what pigeons step from their stone ledge

Idly munch the weather you ordered

Vacation pills for all entrepreneurs

Subtlety the suntan

Ignore Capital’s memory and not your love

Later—if you’re a good client—

You’ll sleep safe like a man on his gun

Even after you have awoken

You who are for anything that jerks on your nerves

You check the box, I check the box

Bing-ing fertilizer in the marine layer

These poems are my taxes I write

Everything off even the security door I purchased

To signify children and death

It’s mostly gravy, hoodie and boots

You in your pronoun you haven’t unpacked

Another cardboard clamshell

So let’s donate the donuts

We couldn’t ingest to the veterans

We admire. Just get a receipt, history

Swigged a faceful of ink

Begging, I admit it, I needed a drink

Well, I feel I hopped over a racecar

It’s always the middle of the clock

When sharks play it straight, a peccadillo

in bridge, as in bridge-bombing.

Sometimes I outsource identity to you device

For the good of society

Fondle my reflection in your operating system

Check the humidity. Phonetic pleasure

Of a million million forbidden fruits, trochaic

trachea bridle I choose your compound heads

Intimacy kits can’t sheath the application

From the interface. Weep on the window

And wipe with a microfiber stocking

Expensive success. Luxury tax

We all have our little cyborg glitches

I just want you to tell me where

everyone needs to eat, open now, 3 or less $ signs

Meantime you’ve writhed out of your cracked cover

Revealing your birthmark inscription

Designed in California. Assembled in China.

Schizophrenia is hearing voices, not doing them.

Being raised near the nuclear plant spoiled me

For cheap sunsets and beautiful power

Ditto LSD and LOL, all shriek electron


It takes great genius to exploit stereotypes for profit,

The only art is transparency failure,

Whatever that is.

But what wilt thou, body, do

To deploy my body again?

Please please like like some colors—

The flesh against the anthill—

Body by Monsanto.

The wind blew bills from a chainmail bag

Every currency in circulation

Doing the ghost.

My job made page work wage work

alien stepchild. He weaves Ethernet

all day, it’s highly unethical.

A concept fails

only in incompletion

in its undone (predacted prenditioned)

dark geography

one inconceivable conception?

Addicted to abandon sounds, signs.

You want to be disowned, most, but jones

to be, as well, pure warm form,

placental, revolutionary, canonized, and in it

which mainly depends on download speed, not distribution.

No money left for space opera,

or cybertherapy, but translating Fanny Howe

into myself demonstrates that

territory and cloud storage

function as relic assumptions betwixt the conjoined.

Tongues. This must be why I bought

the paddleboard and then put it down

in the basement. The ocean is the horizon

as is the sky, none of it when it is!

and Fukishima filling it all in.

I stood on it once, my knees slightly bent,

as a plane roared for Japan,

out of view.

Never stay at an all-inclusive resort undergoing

Brand change if you are reducing

And clammy with 1st

World shame. Rosetta Stone, tip tactically

Immortalize by creating your own weight

In Styrofoam

Better Believe! That nature is cute

And infringing on the backdrops of multiselfies

If the Baja peninsula is really making wine

What is value

ojos de serpiente, el dos de picas

Refugees from the polar vortex come to

San Diego concerned about drought, how

your water isn’t enough

In the casino, a rain dance

Google snow glows upon the coast

coats the vagrants on the bridge, angel makers

Each word I looked up each time

It appeared for example planet begat earth

From the dropdown thesaurus

But it lacks precision

In the sense of two finites and what is

The synonym for thesaurus not these choices

Your friends will like that you made new friends

Between Los Angeles and Tijuana today

But I say, Vacate your position

Atomically, and you’ll know what wealth is

You’ll have some words

Process Note: Google Drive is a word-by-word rewrite of Fanny Howe’s Robeson Street, from the book of the same title, published in 1985 by Alice James Books. The first four poems from this project can be seen at The Brooklyn Rail.