Poem on a Theme by Tony Hoagland (after Dean Young after Koss after)

by | Stop Making Sense 2 - Day 2

(this is a redaction piece)

I have a big DECEPTICON.
Most ANIMAL RITUAL goes into it.
Destroyer god with one thousand INTERCHANGABLE PENISES
and center of SNAILS.
Gigantic traumatic TRANSFORMER.
I’m sure glad I’m not trying to pass through airport security
with this big ACTION FIGURE.
Those of you who also have ACTION FIGURES
may call them NECESSARY
but you are misusing the word.
I suppose I could run after OPTIMUS PRIME if I had to,
I could probably do some SELF CONFIGURING if I must,
but having a big ACTION FIGURE
makes you feel like there’s not much else for you to do
The PLOTS of which vary from
the DESTRUCTION of civilization (figurative)
to intercourse (literal) with the harmonic half of CYBERTRONIAN SISTERS.
In the middle is MEGATRON’S oeuvre
excluding the BRIEF BAPTISMAL period.
Also it must be admitted
some pretty messed-up behavior
which is the foundation of many video games
society WON’T be alarmed about
but I submit TO the result
of the suppression of the ACTION FIGURE’S beauteous expression
than any specifically ADULT PROPRIETIES.
Indeed, an ACTION FIGURE, if not usually a sign of VIRILITY,
neither is it necessarily an indication of PASTEL rage.
Some MAMMALS have bigger ACTION FIGURES than I after all.
So if you want to campaign against RORSCHACH testing on laboratory
don’t ask a big MEGATRON.
But knocking down GRAZING COW? You bet!
Maybe there’s a CONCRETE PASTURE out there worth a look-see.
Hey, there’s AN ACTION FIGURE in a tree.
GLADIATOR TRAINING had prepared this PLASTIC visitor
By installing gaskets and cushions and hammocks in its PELVIS
to avoid SOCIETAL damage.
Wow, look at that ACTION FIGURE go!
A divine providence FAILS us all.


  1. Koss Just Koss

    I think I’m changing the last line to this:


  2. Robert Vaughan

    Hi Koss, I hope this was/is as much fun as it was to create! And that’s among the many reasons why redaction is super-charged… it’s simply another technique that engages us into new areas. Similar, I’d guess, to your chromatic collages (like the lovely one you sent me, and I framed!) Tinker away, until you feel you have what is uniquely yours. Kathy Acker created entire BOOKS utilizing this technique. Pastiche? Gouache? Who knows and who cares. The real point is FUN!!! Brava!

  3. David O'Connor

    Koss, this is a wild ride, crazy action figure beat scat, love it and back!! Forca!

    • Koss Just Koss

      Thank you, Robert. And I’m glad the card lives in a frame. 😉 I love doing redactions, although they never get published, but that’s not the point. I think I need to do more action figure poems, as I’m a former toy collector, and there must be a way this collides with poetry.

  4. Benjamin Niespodziany

    There’s something comforting about the similarity and difference between all caps ACTION FIGURES and ANIMAL RITUALS. Makes me want to scream these phrases to strangers. Great contrast. This one is wild, as it damn well should be.

  5. Meg Tuite

    “Destroyer god with one thousand INTERCHANGABLE PENISES” (DEEP GUTTURAL LAUGH< THANK YOU) "may call them NECESSARY but you are misusing the word." "Indeed, an ACTION FIGURE, if not usually a sign of VIRILITY, neither is it necessarily an indication of PASTEL rage." (MORE LAUGHING) And yes, to "“A GIANT LANDFILL AWAITS us all.” Because it does! DEEP LOVE FOR THIS AND EACH LINE IS PHILOSOPHY ON ITS BACK! EXQUISITE!

  6. Len Kuntz

    Hi Koss.

    What an inventive piece. This has a ton of humor in it, yet there are so many layers beneath the lines that make the reader pause (in a good way) and think. It sounds like an indictment of uncertainty, which is what life is most of the time, right? Congratulations on creating this wonder of a piece.

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