Metamorphosis II.nterrupted now published

A piece of my first unpublished poetry chapbook, Metamorphosis II.nterrupted, 2011 has just found a home. Published in Triggerfish Critical Review:

http://triggerfishcriticalreview.com/metamorphosis-ii-nterrupted-jared-john-smith-2/

For me this sort of completes my beginnings. These poems tell a story of my early twenties in a way I cannot write any longer. The only person I speak to any longer from these is my mother. Getting to know dad was really me getting to know her. And there are even glimpses here of a six year long relationship I will always hold dear to my heart.

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Pharaoh, from the character, J

Pharaoh, from the character, J

Hey, fuck. Yeah, you.

Cheddar chatter’s in, thick slices cut from holy cloth. Did your god forget he let you write his book and call it good? Do your angels monopolize the clouds, do they look over my daughter or do they play Guardian to the good ol’ American boys selling their positions on women’s rights or the power to transform bigotry into Law for dollars? Does Heaven wave the Confederate flag for history while your Messiah sports Swastika sleeves? Did my son die for Him or did he lose his limbs and his head for you? Tell me which helps you sleep so soundly: is it the bonfire raging from food stamps? Or is it your warm bed, tucked beneath your campaign funds, or is it your fat lunch helping? Or the grumble of your diesel beast? Or is it your sexist god and all the jobs he creates in the sweatiest fucken shops because I need a cheap office shirt so I fit into this cubicle so I can pay the debt for an education your daddy covered. Hey, what keeps you sleeping so soundly?

How naked can you get for me? How many escorts am I gonna shed my identities for until I’m bare and raw, a pinkish, rotting grapefruit dissolving from the inside out; am I all shell? Am I naked on the inside or just fucking strangers for money because I like a woman who can keep up or appreciate good sex? These escorts expect anyone but me, and I like being their gift. I can drop eighty bucks for a quick fifteen minutes, and they have me going at it for an hour or more, what a poor schmuck lacking stamina or length pays three or four hundred for. And the girls are smokin.

Maybe that older guy in Scouts robbed me of whatever wasn’t sexual I had to offer women. Or maybe it was the six years with my best friend, my fiancĂ©e, salvaging Whoever I Was Before Her. This could all just be a sad song, a groundhogs day of karaoke. But I like doing what I like. And I like fucking.

There’s a new girl who loves me. She calls me a god. I’m doing my best to ignore her because she’s sweet and cheery. And I’m none of that.

Hey, look at me: I’ve made it several hundred words without dredging up my dead dad. I wish I wasn’t afraid of men so someone could me. I wish I wasn’t afraid of true, plutonic intimacy so I didn’t fall asleep alone. But hugging too long makes me hard.

Hey, you. Yeah, you. Yeah, I get it. It’s easy to dress yourself up however you need when All That Made Up Who You Were is mush, heaps of bland, gray matter for the flies to pick apart.

You’re so naked, and your personal museums, your jet planes, cars, your acres; none of it can hide you.

It’s a bitch being broke and rich in vices. But I bet it sucks being rich and spineless and loyal only to the dollar. We both die in the end, Pharaoh, and you ain’t taking none of that legacy with you.

This Drawn & Quartered Moon, Klipschutz

Pope John Paul is in Jordan
President Bill in Dakar
I’m here at SFO
Wishing on an airport bar

Within my possession is a signed copy of Klipschutz’ This Drawn & Quartered Moon. Every couple of weeks, I flip through and dog-ear another page. There are versions of humankind and its anxious observer–versions I am drawn to more than others, depending on the day. There were the best ones, I thought. Then I read it again and found the better ones. Then it happened again.

Klipschutz has scrambled “form” and dropped an economical-but-loaded 109 pages into the reader’s lap. His style breaks what literary critique warranted but throws us in ways we never asked for. It feels like a fuck-you to my expectations. And my bookshelf looks empty without its modest white spine wedged between C.K. Williams and Bukowski.

“These days I bite my lover,” Klipschutz writes, a line stuck under my tongue for days. Or, “To make fires for Mommy and God / He swung the axe blade.”

Anvil Press delivers This Drawn & Quartered Moon in a neat package, paperback but resilient to being stuffed inside a busy backpack or balanced with paperwork and this morning’s coffee. San Francisco harbors a thick, brewing mind–Klipschutz is your next lunch hour or afternoon in the park or break from that noisy television you should have thrown out years ago.

Some pieces I dog-eared:

wild wild ways
the alpha beta male
the attorney arrives at his office on april 16th
slab of consciousness
two turns for the gipper (no sweat and horndog agonistes)
the tv weatherman rats himself out
the red wheelbarrow of fortune
housepaint is thicker than water
“I was a worried child…”