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A Biped Without Feathers[1]

Where did you Buy this Body?[2]

A Percentage of his Body claimed as Tax[3]

A Rumor makes its way Around my Body[4]

Mortal Body – Nexus of your various Holds on the World[5]

Perhaps I am not a Man at all but only Pretend to have Arms and Legs and Head[6]

All her Body like a Pallace Fayre – Ascending up, with many a Stately Stayre[7]

I Point to my Body and Say Oh, this Old Thing? I just Slipped it on[8]

Bodies are Pools of Nothing Crude[9]

A Bleeding Piece of Clay[10]


Sleek with no Wasted Flesh[11]

A Wilderness of Human Flesh[12]

I Wear the present Itch for Flesh[13]

We’re all Imprisoned in the Castle of our Skins[14]

Let what is in the Flesh, O Muse – be brought to Mind[15]

Oh, that this too, too Solid Flesh will Melt, Thaw, and Resolve itself into a Dew[16]

They aren’t Naked enough – they are still Swaddled in Skin[17]

Flesh shapes Constellations over the Golden Breast[18]

Anguished Fumblings upon Flesh[19]

My Flesh Abides[20]


The Body is just a Bag of Rocks & Skin[21]

I’m a Skeleton Dancing around the Bio-Draperies[22]

Air Embraces my Body – and Instructs my Skeleton[23]

Flesh Hardens and Collects around the Skeleton to Protect what little it Contains[24]

Mere Skeletons, Draped Loosely in Draggled Hides, with Blazing Eyes and Slavered Frames[25]

Look at the Skeleton: the Father – the Brother – my Counterpart – my Self[26]

Our Backs tell Stories no Books have the Spine to Carry[27]

What is Bred in the Bone – will Never Out of the Flesh[28]

Love my Heart for an Hour – but my Bone for a Day[29]

The Spine is a Metaphor for Freedom[30]


What Dread Hand Forms thy Dread Feet?[31]

Loose and Gangling – all Legs and Feet and Wrists[32]

I am all Limbs – Attached to the idea of being Human[33]

The Hand Shaped right Tells you how to Shape the Feet[34]

Use Hand to Write me – use Feet to Convey you out of Town[35]

This is Me: this is my Hand, this is my Leg – I’m Real, I’m Solid, I’m Alive[36]

Her Arms Spread in Amazement as to where her Legs might’ve Gone[37]

Sinew and Limb beyond the Measure of Mortal Kind[38]

Our Heavy Limbs Twitch with Enchantment[39]

Limbs so Dear-Achieved[40]


Her Speaking Hand’s a Canvas[41]

All Stories are also the Stories of Hands[42]

Reach hither thy Finger – and Behold my Hands[43]

I find Nothing in my Hands but Unmoored Symbols[44]

Those things which you so Laughingly call Hands are in fact Two

Brown Butterflies Fluttering across the Pleasure they give my Body[45]

My Hands, now Indiscriminately Dangerous, now Vagabond and Prodigal, now Cruel

And Careless, now without Remorse or Forgiveness, now Reaching up with Longing,

Now Clasped in Prayers, now Feeling for Reassurance, now Pleading my Desires[46]

Only the Hand understands that it is a Larger Design that moves the Universe[47]

I take my Hands to show how Empty of Symbols they are[48]

See on Every Hand an Ample Plain[49]

Hands Hold their Vigil[50]


His Body can’t Keep up with what’s Inside[51]

A Person is a Tangle of Nerves and Veins and Relationships[52]

What Strange Turbulence lies Curled up inside their Bodies?[53]

Body, Small and Shrunken in on itself, is all Bones, Veins, Skin and Muscle[54]

Bones and Flesh, and Under-Currents & Flashes of Electricity in this Small Vessel[55]

Beneath the cover of Flesh, stretching Inward toward a Singular Point of Life-Sustaining Unlogic[56]

His Body thinks about it for him and Remembers it Precisely – in every Joint and Muscle[57]

Within the Immeasurable Palace of the Pure Energy Channels of my Body[58]

I am a man of Substance – of Flesh and Bone, Fiber and Liquids[59]

Just Parts made from Imperfect Materials: Sinew, Scar, Cells,

Fluid, Fat, and Heart – such is the Shape I take: my Body[60]


Inside me – a Hollow Chronicle of Blood[61]

There is no Wine like the Blood’s Crimson[62]

Your Veins are using up the Redness of the World[63]

The Corpuscles of his Blood, rather than he, Decide

Which Opinion he should Hold – and for How Long[64]

The Blood cannot Unknow the Turbulence it was Born into[65]

The Involuntary Circulation of the Blood is one Continuous process with the Shining Stars[66]

A Pantheistic Penetration into the Pulsating Flow of Blood

In Nature, in Trees, in Animals, and in the Atmosphere[67]

Blood is the Best of all Riches[68]

Bloodstream’s Hallelujah’s[69]

Blood is Rich in Stardust[70]


I know Every Cell of the Heart[71]

What Lyis on Heart I will nocht Hyd[72]

Her Heart Crowns the Walls of her Chest[73]

An Immaculate Heart – is already a Luxury[74]

The Heart you have come to think of as your own – Keeps Beating[75]

It is with the Heart that one Sees Rightly – what is Essential is Invisible to the Eye[76]

The Earth keeps some Vibration going there in your Heart and that is You[77]

Heart once Pregnant with Celestial Fire[78]

The Heart your Body Forms around[79]

Large is that Ether within the Heart[80]


Yarn Ball of Aching Tubes[81]

Whose Bodies don’t come with a Warranty[82]

A Body made Physical – by his having Breached it[83]

I have had enough of what my Body brings – and Wearied I turn Away[84]

Everyone that has a Body is an Heir to Suffering and a Stranger to Peace[85]

The Body at Best is a Bundle of Aches – longing for Rest it Cries when it Wakes[86]

My Body has been a Good Friend – but I won’t need it when I Reach the End[87]

The Body from which one is not to be Freed this side of Death[88]

Bodies are Heavy Furniture Coated with Dust-Time[89]

Our Bodies Remember their Internments[90]


Sometimes I Forget which Body I’m in[91]

Each a Jiggling Voyeur of its own Ardent Body[92]

Filled with Himself, right to the Edges – like a Swollen Pond[93]

A man Carved out of himself – so Wrought he Fills his given Space[94]

How much would this Body have had to be Otherwise in order Not to be Mine?[95]

A Body less and less Yours – a Body, God Knows, is not what Makes you anyway[96]

Every Man is the Builder of a Temple, called his Body … We are all Sculp-

Tors and Painters, and our Material is our own Flesh and Blood and Bones[97]

A Body Exits All Pages to be Inscribed on Another – itself[98]

Your Body will be of a Piece with All other Bodies[99]

The Body is only Mine Provisionally[100]

[1] Plato’s definition of man

[2] Marty McConnell, The World Tells How the World Ends

[3] Cortney Lamar Charleston, Devotion (“I Am on the Battlefield for My Lord”)

[4] Danez Smith, 1 in 2

[5] Forrest Gander, Stepping Out of the Light

[6] Anton Chekhov tr. Constance Garnett, Three Sisters

[7] Edmund Spenser, Epithalamion

[8] Warsan Shire, Bless This House

[9] Lupe Mendez, How Candles Are Made

[10] Henry Glassford Bell, Mary, Queen of Scots

[11] John Ceely, Jon Reilly

[12] Byron Rufus Newton, Owed to New York

[13] Sylvia Plath, The Eye-mote

[14] Nikki Giovanni, Poem (For Nina)

[15] Wendell Berry, History

[16] William Shakespeare, Hamlet

[17] Yukio Mishima tr. John Nathan, The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea

[18] Muriel Rukeyser, Ajanta

[19] Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale

[20] Ed Sanders, quoted by Peter Gizzi in Ode: Salute to the New York School

[21] Christina Solson, I Am a Giant Ground Sloth, I Am Not a Giant Ground Sloth

[22] Olga Ravn tr. Martin Aitken, The Employees

[23] Devin Shepherd, Smoke Signals

[24] Alan Dugan, Sixteen Lines on Marching

[25] Jack London, The Call of the Wild

[26] Italo Calvino tr. William Weaver, The Dinosaurs

[27] Rupi Kaur, I Will Tell You About Selfish People

[28] James’s Aesop, Venus and the Cat

[29] Edith Sitwell, Street Song

[30] Tishani Doshi, Conversation Between Tishani Doshi and Timothy Green June 17, 2021

[31] William Blake, The Tiger

[32] John Steinbeck, Flight

[33] Lisa Gill, Post-Traumatic Rainstorm

[34] Thomas Eakens, quoted by Philip Dacey in Collage Sonnet: Thomas Eakins on Painting

[35] Philip Whalen, Minor Moralia

[36] George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four

[37] Mary Gaitskill, The Arms and Legs of the Lake

[38] J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King

[39] Cynthia Zarin, Sunday

[40] Wilfred Owen, Insensibility

[41] Christina Pugh, Head’s Up

[42] John Berger, From A to X

[43] John 20:27 (King James)

[44] Miriam Bird Greenberg, Unmoored Symbols

[45] Nikki Giovanni, The Butterfly

[46] Jamaica Kincaid, Wingless

[47] Paulo Coelho tr. Alan R. Clarke, The Alchemist

[48] Kurt Vonnegut, Cat’s Cradle

[49] Dante Alighieri tr. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, The Inferno

[50] Paul Celan tr. Nikolai Popov & Heather McHugh, La Contrescarpe

[51] Julia Kolchinksy Dasbach, Bone Appendix

[52] Hilary Leichter, Temporary

[53] Emily Fragos, Unrest

[54] Tayeb Salih tr. Denys Johnson-Davies, Seasons of Migration to the North

[55] Zoe Hazen, Ode to Existentialism

[56] Joshua Jennifer Espinoza, Birthday Suits

[57] Ursula K. Le Guin, Old Music and the Slave Women

[58] Padmasambhava tr. Gyurme Dorje, The Tibetan Book of the Dead

[59] Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man

[60] Laura Hershey, Monster Body

[61] Joanna Klink, Stillways

[62] Ezra Pound, Sestina: Altaforte

[63] Frank O’Hara, Romanze, or the Music Students

[64] E.M. Forster, A Passage to India

[65] George Abraham, Binary

[66] Alan Watts, The Eternal Transaction

[67] Franz Marc, on Weasels at Play

[68] Miguel Hernandez tr. Timothy Baland, July 18, 1936-July 18, 1938

[69] Larry Levis, My Story in a Late Style of Fire

[70] Diana Khoi Nguyen, Family Ties

[71] Melanie Rae Thon, The 7th Man

[72] Robert Henryson, Robin and Makyne

[73] Mary Ward Brown, The Cure

[74] Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird

[75] Susan Griffin, Absence

[76] Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

[77] Edgar Lee Masters, Fiddler Jones

[78] Thomas Gray, Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard

[79] Ishmael Angaluuk Hope, Love Letter to the Future: A Book of the Land in Eight Acts

[80] Chandogya-Upanishad 8.1.3

[81] Nick Kroll, Andrew Goldberg, Jennifer Flackett, & Mark Levin, Big Mouth 1.1: Ejaculation

[82] Kazunori Itô tr. Paul C. Halbert & Taro Yoshida, Ghost in the Shell

[83] Daniel Vogel, A Residual Volume

[84] Addhakasi tr. Charles Hallisey, Therīgāthā

[85] Bodhidharma tr. John C.H. Wu, Discourse on the Twofold Entrance to the Tao

[86] Edna St. Vincent Millay, Moriturus

[87] Cat Stevens, Miles from Nowhere

[88] Philip Roth, American Pastoral

[89] Denise Levertov, Six Variations

[90] Erika Meitner, Loss Prevention Starts with You

[91] Tom Hennen, Made Visible

[92] Mark Waldron, How scrubbed-up clean

[93] David Foster Wallace, On His Deathbed, Holding Your Hand

[94] Charles Olsen, quoted by Denise Levertov in Three Meditations

[95] Rae Armantrout, Later

[96] Solmaz Sharif, Personal Effects

[97] Henry David Thoreau, Walden

[98] Fady Joudah, Epithalamion

[99] Donika Kelly, Catalogue

[100] Charles Wright, Derrida/Coleman

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