andrew demčak 

*The Applicant*

*for Ted Hughes*

bright eyes and a hole to marry

the warm

hook of her breasts

the way her empty hand


and wrote away from you

paper doll

just another Fulbright Scholar


for the poultice

a ticket to her own


remember you were stark

in your *Saville Row* suit

stiff and fire-


but naked

wearing your salt stitches

and she lent a wily hand

how scored

her spirit was

like a punch-drunk eyelid

guaranteed to cause you cups of sorrows

think of all the life you had completed

tiny wonder

she was not a bad thing:

sewing socks

and making heady thunder

* *

*La Bonne Chanson*

close up of Paris Hilton

far a-field

the look of orgasm

filaments of



ready to

rewrite her footnote

*Be here *

*now, on E…*

* *


only a short clip of that

penetrative moment

the evidence:

key in her name on a certain website

in the throws of numeric action


and zeros

an example

by hidden


she would live it again


on digital

quicker than some demon

of fast-forward

she was all there

her lean

body appeared


history watching itself from the screen

* *


who knew those light rooms

that ancient somewhere

its rotting joints?

there were no photos of

the place

just a myth needled in

a rope

tethering the throat of the capital

what restraint and fear among the broken


or the hollow of Helen's

bed that would swallow you up like Scylla?

and were the drifting

sounds of enemy boats



those skiffs coasting in full

of knives and bronze spears?

didn't some God speak

fighting his hair

about a kidnapping


the nature of human-rights?

all this lifted from bric-a-brac

a boot

buckle in the attic

from an island


a horse found

given out of love- or

the prospect of war?

*The **Munich** Mannequins*

intestines twist like hydras

empty as

the rattle of bones beneath slacks

weeks of

exact diuretics

while complex lace

entwines around necks

a glittering black

a noose of billboards unloosing no blood

Absolut Vodka on calcium smiles

domestic inkling

of a white city

Paris or Rome

the choice positions

there they


a perfection as bitter as snow

*The Rival*

*for Doris Lessing*

* *

the moon left you something of her O-mouth

a puff of clarity

no one was safe

in your annihilating cloud

here at

the new hospital


so nervous

you sat up in bed

a stone

dropped from height

asking for cigarettes

thinking about your dissatisfaction

African and white

grieving at the gift

of emphysema
death's pink valentine

«±   ±»

*Note on Process:* All of my poems are "cut-ups" of poems which originally appeared either in *The New Yorker *or in Sylvia Plath's *Ariel*.  I use a variation of the "cut-up" method pioneered in the 1920's by both the DADA and Surrealist movements, refined in the late 1950's by William S. Burroughs and Brion Gyson.  I have further augmented it, moving the praxis farther from the creation of non-objectivist "collages" and into what I can only describe as facilitating textual "mutations."  I edit the meanings of the poems as they evolve from the various permutations of word fragments.  I further edit for syllabic line length and maximum line total, making the end product a hybrid of English blank verse and French syllabic, e.g. OULIPO method.  Each poem retains its original title.

andrew demčak is currently working on his second Master's Degree, an MLIS, at U. C. Berkeley.  When he is not hard at work driving the Bookmobile for Oakland Public Library, he can be found attending "Guy Writers" poetry readings at Anthony's house in San Francisco, or eating Tibetan momos with his partner, Peter.  Viva Wallace Stevens!

Read here about his fantastic life.




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