Two Poems by Joe Milazzo


Yaphet Kotto

Stardust doesn’t matter when you’re Will
Robinson-ed in the cleft of the leading man’s
chin, this rift tantamount to a laser show itself
the envy of the shock and awe dropping its nothing
like nothing under the sun. Meanwhile,
what would the sun’s shadow look like, I wonder,
panning for lens flares in the unmapped
folds of this hurtling doom while I further marvel
how it is it that my anonymity has yet
to lock into its concussion? Wordless and descending,
the last rayon and dickprint of rocky
empire Koyaanisqatsis on perpendicular
to perpetual nightfall.

An eclipse of an eclipse of an
eclipse just means more dinosaur
memorabilia. Every emission
is a father-in-law
who doesn’t cotton to you
drilling into anything that’s already not,
meanwhile, been drilled down.

The dandelion’s dream is an impact so deep everything
dies in seedy granularity. And I was a dandelion
once. Now, nothing grows here except the play of more
marbles. The truth is that stones skip from the wrist, and not
because the pond has all those webinars
on its resume. Meanwhile, I’m rooted. Island without

ocean, shore
without inland,
a prank Japan cruising on jets of interstellar obsolescence
towards the blind eyes of a terrible reminder:
what cracked up to create
this obdurate dum dum, this craggy
and fallow integrity? Carborundum, adamantium,
unobtainium, balloons of heavy
metals—you’d think
there’d be more geography here.
Instead, “meanwhile” is just a dumping
ground for radio “meh.”

Meanwhile, there’s a word for mummified
shit, and, even though I can’t
flick that bitterness off the tip of my tongue right
now, its name is more of a household item
than any of my odd jobs. Somebody
must care about this momentum.
I prefer the end of time as any trajectory
not named “we” knows it. The end of risk,
the end of Final Jeopardy and killer
potatoes. Look, the sun is super easy to blot out
as long as you can oppose your thumbs.
Oblique objects have a lot of crash in them,
and so does guessing. The winter is going
to fall regardless of whether there’s any sky left
or not. That’s the inexorable doom of
the waiting chorus. When the ending is that easy
and absolute, the old beginnings get
to be difficult. Just like

it soars past baking inside this suitor’s armor, and
my lower third doesn’t face-off with any sympathy
or impress itself upon resolve. I know how far
my witnessing can travel and it isn’t
parsecs. It’s about 4 and 1/2 to 5 minutes:
the predestined span of a song doctor’s
remixing attention. Meanwhile, you better rack
up as many downloads as you can
before the cosmos completes its own.

All I can do is check my reflection
in the polar caps, the extremes
of all extremes spinning wild and meanwhiling
in magnetism’s ghost-rich winds. I wonder
how wonderful it would
have been to have been
discarded at all. Instead, my extinction
splits. Part of me
says, “How horrible it will be when all
of love is but a crater
bigger than any ocean.”
And the other part responds
that the ocean is already a crater, only
one that’s learned the Method
secret to weeping.

There’s no “Oh” in this spectacle.
Instead, a few specks of gravity, frozen dust, some angles.
So rockets get revived, but stupidity
never needs the same kind of CPR.
Here I come, off life-support, looking askance at
my own mass. Can you hear what’s sheared
away in my howling? What if some better
form of life—one less fixated on luscious mouths,
and sentimental summons, and the problems of fire
escape sex, and erotic humiliation—is latent
in the great glob about
to abort the earth? We never ask Armageddon
if it thinks about its own blood moon,
or sweats as its sciatica erupts from its
nihilistic sowing. Meanwhile: that’s my fantasy.

Meanwhile, if I don’t loom and I
don’t admonish and I don’t
boggle, I might sink myself
far enough into myself
that I can nitro all recognition, drop
a mic of TNT and atomize
the very notion of renown
and its cheesy Anthropocene texture.

But envision me a derelict
with a toothpick, trying
like hell to break the gristly
heart of the world. Meanwhile, while
I plot some killer genesis, I suspect
I shouldn’t miss a thing and I should
get to work first
in the billboard tragedy of my teeth.

Kevin Peter Hall

There’s a story behind this head
they gave me, blackly bioluminescent
and pharmacopoeial. Its brain maybe mine
is a nasicorn wriggling thing, and thinking
through its fiberglass is like combing
a fork through glass noodles oscillating
their carp like some old Pink
Floyd jam. How many torrents
can this SnapTite chitin hold before its placebo skies
must unhinge their color corrections? I’m post-, a veteran

of cybernetics never off-limits and ranked
foramina all alike. But this head receives interference
only, canons plastered and prescience crackling.
It’s all grist, they say, and grist is a script
looping over heads that V/O whatever intelligence
they like. In the big book of baby superbug

names, in the comprehensive directory
of national interpretive centers, this head they
gave me lodges its protocols, shelf-stable as “OK”
and IQF. A discontinued head accessorized with matching
neck, fronded condom, patient tarantula of a head
whose argent carcinogenic markings ask for feeling
for, not feeling out. Enter the laudanum enchiridion: “Feel
your face to shrink your head.” Imagine: I was referred

to these sultry wards on a prayer, on
the extraterrestrial coattails of a
rhetorical question. And the answer they assigned me
(what everyone asks to know)? Its second mind doesn’t sauna
in its guts; it refrigerates itself in its lungs. Protean fluorescence
whose neuterings I can’t strip, think tank and helm, what
is interchangeable with insurrection? That flippant telepathy

insulating every kopje’s sentient core is a spiky
mycelium’s lightbulb indeed. I suppose cowards spill
whenever crowns rotoscope their roars
of centipede hunger. The ending to my story
is treated to a replica. My head, like a minim’s instinct,
can be had. Get behind to get
ahead. I am next in line and I am mine
to serve and—coincidentally—I lived.

Joe Milazzo is a writer, editor, educator, and designer. He is the author of the novel Crepuscule W/ Nellie (Jaded Ibis Press), and The Habiliments (Apostrophe Books), a volume of poetry. His writings have appeared in Black Clock, Black Warrior Review, BOMB, The Collagist, Drunken Boat, Tammy, and elsewhere. He co-edits the online interdisciplinary arts journal [out of nothing], is a contributing editor at Entropy, curates the Other People’s Poetry reading series, and is also the proprietor of Imipolex Press. Joe lives and works in Dallas, Texas, and his virtual location is


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