GIANTHOLOGY (Steve Dalachinsky)





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Steve Dalachinsky


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doowop groove


chi bot shi bop

wo oh chi bop shi bop

whoa ohhhh


so crowded ya can’t go anywhere

why’nt ya go to the cemetery

he says


grandma’s there





mom   – aunts uncles

friends acquaintances


rich folk & poor


sounds crowded there too


i says

it’s up to stairs &

down 3

then out the open opera

i only have eyes for you but can’t remember

where or when or even the hell you are

peeled & one-stopped

a backyard is after all a backyard

jus’ask yer local pawnbroker

too live too staged

put out pretty petty another time

40 dark pills

lips pursed & waiting

gone badly treated softening rocks

pale cave dwellers piping pink noise

like a bottle of sirens / roost

complaints compliant w/holding floods


did this sky hold high above itself

above our creamed soup

then opening like an eye      un helped


heep upon itself   –     taxing?

itself by breath & sounds

fast & out of …………………………..


lost inside shi bot shoo bop shooo bot shi bop shooobopshibop.


the mandarin’s skin

for Steve Cannon


a back rub
a thanks for coming
a story of relationships
that only I.V.s description
& friendship can convey >

the SUN is a mandarin ORANGE
tonight / covered by clouds
we peel the skin back & there
it is in jagged lines
the blind man’s mouth
opens wide to receive the taste
his eyes remember

it’s too early for a poem
it’s never too early for a poem
it’s too late for a poem
it’s never too late for a poem
“READ THE POEM” – the blind man
says harshly hoarsely
with a brutish love for the POEM
there is no poem – then be the poem
i think he must be thinking
as i wish for clemency for the

the blind GUY remembers everything
from his childhood
from yesterday
from tomorrow
the texture of paint as he touches
the canvas
he remembers the colors
remembers the image
from before he was able to touch it
hears the music in it
hears the music in everything

he is unrefined
yet sophisticated
educated lavish gruff honest
has taste – like right now for this
mandarin orange of a SUN
as we pull back its skin

he can sting you with his truth
embrace you with his humility
he can spin you never ending stories
BEEN THERE DONE THAT – this happened
WHEN – didn’t you know that guy too?
sorry i was barely born yet

the blind man peels back the skin of history
reveals the gathering forming about its edges
the bitterness of the rind
the sweetness at times dullness
of those sometimes not-so-juicy slices /
the stringy mess that often gets in the way
the parts & their WHOLE
the beauty or futility a poem
can produce / READ THE POEM
there is no poem then be the poem
as you describe the tops
of trees to him
his thumb parts his lips &
rests on his upper right teeth
his eyes close & he is poised for
listening & he listens deeper
ever deeper to the music that
the peeling creates
he knows from years of
experience how exotic & chaotic
the afterglow can be
he pushes the upper lip up a bit more
smiling a quiet naïve AHHHHHH
of a smile a child’s smile a wise man’s smile
a wise guy’s smile
as he peels away the layers to get at the JUICE.


catchin some lzs

for Louis Zukofsky


le urug trimspa
walk impotent memory
glish glish agleam
argar merging within / casino of dreams
alz tied to
he i’m hers
health mix dare i
say dreams memory whys winnings
to catch a gulp
of reality score a gultch of back money schooled
i graduated but………….
someone else’s scenario
wanker mr.lexicon
no one belongs in the ice too long
teach me how to booby trap
the crocodile
show me how to lobster
the ideal
how to corner the border


spin nose adorned
well we ask the litter
genes writ be A
beginning learned object
trajected columns (c)on text
graduated but youth 16, 23,
19 tense tortured body
student ravenous
immigrant hatchery
skipped area
invincible proletariat

ahecht ahecht a critic coughs > information
trilling trilling trilling like a sterling bird

chambers witness experience
cracked carved leaves
borrowed from a vanquished repute
vanned couch askin askin great tooked
movin chandelier 1/2 lit
a vanquished culture
little magazines pethair (c)loner
hand-dated juvenile stew
fool the young girls don wit
va(r)se (ity) who does?
voce homme
quiet old eyes patient wander
a figure at the edge of the flux & figurine
dropped the books to the floor
& they remain closed tho one he flaps open
shut open shut
with a whhhhhlop a whhhhhhhhlop
type scripted
all is done with
all is done with
son nets sun nets
on a cloudy day where’s the denim
where’s the rest of the chandelier’s
why’ve we lost the losses?

lift zeal left
where does the bright go
when tented by
the storm?


control the phrase please


is a look that penetrates me
free affordable

” i said i’m sorry – relax – relax”

la pintura devino a donde as she pulls the young
boy’s fingers
& laughs
go anywhere memory as you step toward the end

fresh is the better of the whys
tho age tastes the better in the wash.


another long wait in the waiting room

for John Farris


i’m not a happy guy
even if they could
things wouldn’t go my way

no birds sing in the back of my head
no crackers crack
i abuse the little bits of knowledge & speech that i know
tho i know i know the difference
always know the difference

phil is a good poet because he’s witty intelligent & famous
he’s published in at least 3 languages
people laugh the minute he gets on stage & opens his mouth
his hard work & efforts have made him so
i’m not really sure if birds ever sing
inside his head

will is a good poet
because of the color of his skin
he may or may not promote this fact
but it is a fact none-the-less
he is this he can not change it
we can not change it
i’m sure he must hear birds

the people out here are at the bottom
no matter where they may appear to be
they are still at the bottom
they abuse the little bits of knowledge & speech they possess
they thrive & survive within the banana republic
they have helped to create
sometimes they hear birds outside their windows
sometimes they see birds on the sidewalk in trees
in the gutter on t.v. in the movies in the dirt in their small

& so do i        & so am i
i try not to partake but am trapped within the peels none-the-less

bill is a good poet despite his station in life
despite his wit his color his speech his anger his habits
his affect on or his being affected by these genes we all have to wear
these tight genes
that with great pain

he sometimes peels away
& sometimes defiantly only thinks he peels away
he hears birds everywhere
he sees birds everywhere
the way only a poet sees birds
& he lives to tell their stories

i’m not a happy guy
even the birds that call me out of bad dreams
on sleepless mornings
know this
i see them
& hear them
but never really let them fly into my head
to live inside my head
to visit with me even for a while
I know that people will say that these birds i speak of
(let’s call them my birds)
are not original

they are i swear it
everyone else’s birds came to me after i started writing these words
these seeds that i didn’t even know were planted
suddenly they (my birds}
started pecking at the language beneath my forehead
as if behind my skull there hung an abandoned birdfeeder
or an open palm
with traces of birdseed still sticking to the surface

hey i fill out forms just like anyone else

people say things
people call names
appointments are broken & kept

pictures hang on walls
sometimes these pictures are of birds
sometimes of flowers of mothers & babies of moons over barren landscapes

vultures (tho unpopular) are good poets
because they’re ugly & wait for things to die

pigeons are good poets just because they’re pigeons
& they are perhaps the most famous & recognized poets of all

whatever happened to the robin with its red breast
did it smother within the peels of this banana republic
while trying to swallow the last virgin seed

the river is cold today
the wind chill is minus 10
there’s all this ineffective sunlite in a clear blue sky
& this month will never come again

there are pictures of smoke on the wall
pictures that tell us what we can & cannot do

even if things could go they wouldn’t
even if they seem to go they don’t

i step aside but the birds keep coming their mouthes shut tight
their voices mute
the birds keep coming none-the-less
the birds keep coming.


a tribute to creeley


in slow motion
like light
& their

i can see clear rain
thru this bitch
believe in
a voidless piece
a not so trusted edge
as humans collapse
within this “animal debris”
we are so endeared to


a false faith in staying
in belief itself

a false hand held.



friendless & damp
the sky
as threatening as
but not happening below this belowly
always wet somewhere
always silent somewhere
always understanding

always dead somewhere
in no particular place

always hungry somewhere
in some unknown place
inside us


(culled from heaven
man – I – fold)

wearing something
to go
in our oddly shaped
so many edges
in there
out there
eyes all over
every where
complex unshaven
tables separating “bulky sums”

it’s all there
a given
horizons in there somewhere
days nights
scales to measure
our beings
full of….. the high point
of low life
is taking a piss some times.




to shit is a good
tho we know
we’d rather not be
as close(d) minds
cannot relive


go in too from (to/from)
on wide street
is better than
being stranded on a
narrow street
she thinks
particularly in New York
tho in Paris
the narrower we
are the more we feel the flavor of.




creeeeee creeeeee creeeeeee

passed away
passed on


who needs a thing
after it is passed
on         (night mare)
he said
are you a friend?
i said WATER is subjective
friendship is circular / is
0val it seems!!       at times


dry clean only ( on wood )


soprano sax is scene to be only
left blowing
on this planet (even lisped a phone)


sunlight thru certain stained glass
cannot stain certain rooms w/light
if they are already filled w/bulb light

certain children remain small
even as they grow old(er)
– equal facts –
one must make one’s own way
in the world in the long run
someliness        as        wave & particle
from         up/stairs


a hammer
a stein of ears
a painting of sight
a metal ball that stops
ala roulette wheel
halting            Mem or I al
tri-b(r)ute ®
the brightness of that silver-colored
metal ball as it sneaks away numb(erless)
to grasp & breathe the gasping air




these notes
were meant
to be noted
abstracted like the very ground itself
a marker along the roadside
a graveyard
full of senseless




a plaster shadow cast inside the heart


salvation is a b(r)ook of salvaged good(s)
intimate reflections in the distance
boxed again in evening / tones

we turn the clock back
but there is nothing
no years then left us
no echoing story to retell
nothing that can stop time


could not even lift the flowers from the vase
(dense jingling)
even dense seemed so airy

the fluff
the fringe
& then
where bulb light’s less visible
shadows are cast by the sun
colorless shadows of banisters
staining the wall
sunlit manuscripts of age old tales
illumined & fragmented
’til the clouds regain their


i feel

even more /or
less     secure
knowing that
you kissed me on the lips.


the photos of Roy De Carava

 @ MoMA – Jam Session


2 boys          talking
2 shadow lights
we dark hats         hanging from the
speaking street
sitting on corner bench
a couple talking
a subway window
with shovels
& moist with hallways
of ketchup
my self-portrait a gaping hole
graduation from this

from my adolescence then to my adolescence now

woman – you are my kitchen

i am man baby
stove there in
sewing stairwells

i cook lightshadows

2 talking us smiling not smiling at tables

you are my pot
i am the stew there in
dancing wet branches

are shoulders laughing

embrace shadowlight

without convention

remaining nameless

i sell you me half/man


½ mannequin

scarf half-wrapped
such eggs

eyebrows fruit sack
such hands

you leave again & again I wish that you would never return

such returns
such hands

a couple of shadow & light





counting stripes

wearing gloves
removing gloves
putting hands in pockets
white shadows 
lying down
counting steps
you & i

out of order




why do you

did you

(why did she leave her baby in a tree) ?

mirror split



why did you call?

why did you lock me in the phone booth?

atoms of energy
we talk

the action of words

the strong session of jamming into us.

dancing dark cardboard.

garments between friends.

out of fashion


forced shouting freedom
across the

sun & shade

way up on the silver
fence / we are the tool of color & light
we are the memories that we



BIO: Poet/collagist STEVE DALACHINSKY was born in Brooklyn (1946) after the last big war and has managed to survive lots of little wars. His book “The Final Nite” (Ugly Duckling Presse) won the 2007 PEN Oakland National Book Award. His latest cds are “The Fallout of Dreams” with Dave Liebman and Richie Beirach (Roguart 2014) and “ec(H)o-system” with the French art-rock group, the Snobs (Bambalam 2015). He has received both the Kafka and Acker Awards and is a 2014 recipient of a Chevalier D’ le Ordre des Artes et Lettres. His poems “Particle Fever” and “Giverny” were nominated for the 2015 and 2018 Pushcart Prize respectively. His books include: “Fools Gold” (2014 feral press). “a superintendent’s eyes” (revised and expanded 2013/14 unbearable/autonomedia). “flying home”, a collaboration with German visual artist Sig Bang Schmidt (Paris Lit Up Press 2015). “The Invisible Ray” (Overpass Press – 2016) with artwork by Shalom Neuman. “Frozen Heatwave”, a collaboration with Yuko Otomo (Luna Bissonte Prods – 2017) and “Black Magic” (New Feral Press – 2017). His column “outtakes” appears regularly in the Brooklyn Rail. His most recent books are the IBPA award winning “where night and day become one” – the french poems (a selection 1983-2017) (great weather for media – 2018), “The Chicken Whisper” (Positive Magnets Press – 2018) and the book/cd “pretty in the morning” (Bisou records -2019.)

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