nursing homes of birdsong infiltrate wiry gymnasiums
enter the march madness canceling video game difference
distraction waking a blue wrist watch walking opening
the opening scream routine pop top funeral pushed oblique
twin roads from the greentip of stop sign bleeding down
memory yoked pyramid by pyramid to virus umbrellaed out
audience with trinity-shorn boiling pots considered neither
hand selected their obsolescent obscenities drainage-fastened
style by circus jacketless husks Kafka could purpled verify
nor theatrical promise victim velocity’s rabid dogs both ways
all day jackknife argues straight leftovers yourself versions
breathing fig crouched lipstick strokes capacity to seasons
of zero this year the microwave learns to coddle me to eggs
the oven method but by the end sink-chiseled blonde prizes
chalupaed ranks and size the most gangworthy entrance to
flank politician phosphenes ASAP something thinks we can worry
me privately justly done WedMD wonton tongue by tongue bulb
issues marching the couch by the ear by the crook of the arm
the sleep-numbered sheep paraded to a dial affronting all the
ugly carpet cardinals embarrassing to say they forget slack
stacked hardwood wrong ceramics don kinky and kinless but
bekilned brow beaten wrinkled work to barnacle payments
finer than eddying or bigger in drawing than glassing up
beachwater not cracking muscles old dusk pantsing seagulls.


  1. Robert Vaughan

    Hi Adrian, love the WHOOSH of this, reads like spoken word, like I have to, and am forced to read it aloud. There are so many incredible lines, and terrific images throughout, intriguing verbs and that POW of the blend of perceived ‘threat’ (jackknife) up against ‘breathing fig crouched lipstick’ are just terrific juxtapositions! I am a sucker for run-on lines, like a rushing train behind schedule. I have to admit, overall, am not entirely sure what is going on, but I feel confident that as long as you do, then you are onto something! This was truly a blast to read, so thanks!

    • Adrian Frandle

      Thanks for the quick read, Robert! it began with a bit more coherence and then i tinkered (maybe obsessively) with removing and swapping articles and prepositions (which revealed some surprising verbs, etc). i then removed all punctuation because it got pesky keeping track. so while it may suffer from some logical incoherence i hope it is still doing something (and i learned a new revision tool!)

      • Robert Vaughan

        I love a block of text, especially something that makes me “work” to get the words. So bravo, you have done both. So happy you are here!

  2. Meg Tuite

    Hi Adrian,
    LOVE the structure of this brick house and how it paces quickly! WOW! I’ve read through a few times and feel yes, I am tripping. Musicality is gorgeous and the word choice . It’s a beauty. LOVE!

  3. David O'Connor

    Adrian, love this, wild ride, this part really got me:

    all day jackknife argues straight leftovers yourself versions
    breathing fig crouched lipstick strokes capacity to seasons

    then I started thinking, what if there was a little more space
    to breathe, what if this was couplets, worth a try, non?

    Also thought you’d love a Northern Irish poet called Stephan Sexton,
    I feel you re both reading the same rule book, lovely work, loved reading, thanks.

    • Adrian Frandle

      thank you, David! good idea re: giving it space – i’ll try it out. and i will check out stephan sexton – thank you again!

  4. Sarah Freligh

    What a sonic delight this is, Adrian! I agree with David about the space, not only for breath but also to present a variety of ways to read the lines across breaks and/or stanzaic enjambment. Some of the lines feel end-stopped syntactically while others feel propulsive in their movement, so fooling around with space could either work with or resist that.

    Was wondering, too, about maybe expanding the title with just a tad of expository info– “Diary of xxxxxx,” for example — a strategy that would help provide a container for ALL your fabulous images!

  5. John Steines

    Hello Adrian. I see how others captured similar feelings, responses. When I saw the block, like a megalith I was to deal with, then got into it word by word, ignoring my place in it for it flew by and flowed so well. I almost don’t want to analyze it for that unspeakable response, the place it leaves me. I will admit the first words: ‘nursing homes of birdsong’ touched me as my mother use to sit by the bird cage in her last residence and sing, speak & play to the birds, and they’d respond. She was so happy in that. So, you take me there again, a way I love to remember. So many cool anchors like: ‘WedMD’, ‘sleep-numbered sheep’…. Yes, brave, and nicely done. Cheers.

  6. Koss Just Koss

    Love the long lines and imagery. I read it like an abstract painting and am comfortable with the irrationality. Interesting piece.

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