it is so easy to exchange meaning
                —Gertrude Stein

The liminal zone
between boredom
and aggression

or the poet as an empty sign
upon which the Other (poets)

in systematic arrange-
ment of the senseless

what’s important is the process
flipping off the sun
every day

Vladimir, Frank, Bob and Roland

Dante going down
to guide them

an equal opportunity employer

reading the phrases
of the moon or other
medium orbit systems

to think of reminding yourself
while nodding off in assent

or just falling asleep
at the wheel as if
your queer shoulder

were a piece of shit
upon which Elsie
the American cow

or admit that I’m tired
of writing for you—
a mere figure of speech

or why move
when the world
will do it for you

its billions of names
denominated crisply

Malebranche, Benjamin, Celan

Attention is the natural prayer of the soul

My snake is not non-comedogenic
nor am I laughing at the rounds
of a man laughing in the hall soon
a cat or body cries outside I can
never tell the difference yet the
is how all meaning arrives mowed
or unmowed like the bed and it
changes more regular than am slips
page from state to state to state
the changes implies a continuity
of attention a work plagued can
from the bed and its changes amen
that at has no meaning its sheet
will never decay skin or wrinkle
it has no meaning so long as I
watch it snoring on the couch


«±  ±»

rick snyder is the author of three chapbooks of poetry, Blueprint (811 Books, 1999), Double Ear (811 Books, 1999) and Flown Season (Portable Press, 2004). In 2003, Situations published his translations of Catullus’ poems 1-30 as This Charming New Chapbook. His work can be found online at jubilat, Milk, and Readme, and TheEastVillage. An e-chapbook, Forecast Memorial, and an essay on recent translations of Paul Celan appear at duration. He currently lives in Los Angeles, where he is a doctoral candidate in comparative literature at USC.