Author Archive: Mark Mandel

space race

you’re becoming
a mountainous liar
depending on which voice you listen to,

she said to me
as she swished around pure grain alcohol
in an almost empty brown bottle

i know what you’re up to,
she said

her tits are bursting seeds
that drip down her belly
her lips look like a sweating sow’s
and her breathing reminds me
of an old jimi hendrix song

it doesn’t even matter,
she said,
same difference

let me stand
next to yoo fyah

the only thing left to figure
is whether you have anything
more to offer,
she said

i once had and itching desire
but i can’t even recall why now
i can’t even feel

it was a hoot,
she said,
it was like the space race

i didn’t stand so close
on the way out,
you see

i didn’t listen
to that voice


the bell in your sleeping hand,
though you dream of silence,
makes a noise like a blade
slicing open the room

feelings tones pour
out of the void
like cool, sweet rain

the puddles of your mind
dance in anticipation
of profound mystery
drenched in being

beyond seeing and believing
there is sacrifice in place

for you to realize
what, then, remains
to be undone?


you are not now what you were
said my self to my me
not matter
nor later
not psychically

you were ten minutes earlier
than you will by then be
what’s being

and ten minutes after
the same being may be
but you aren’t
what you were

yet you are what you’ve been
though you’ve changed what you see
not viewing
your past

you’re ever the union
of all that can be
the moment

bespoke opportunity tranche

i’ve wandered around this lackluster town
with a slug in my pocket
and my debts all around

i’ve taken to wearing a hulkbuster frown
with my rod in its socket
and a toe-tapping sound

i’ve challenged your word, you adjuster clown
with your now-empty docket
despite what i’ve found

i recently took all your fuck clusters down
exploding each rocket
while going to ground

i’ve certainly earned a well-mustered renown
though you continue to knock it
as truly unsound

i know that as soon as your ad trusters drown
you’ll break off your sprockets
from dollars to pounds

they’ll be nothing remaining no luster, no crown
with no one to hawk it
and a global melt down

just start writing

just start writing

you don’t have to do it, man
just put down the pen
lift the nib from the paper
you can do it all later

artist schmartist
who cares?
you won’t be needing this
who will be reading it?

will you text it to your honey?
will it make you any money?

these thoughts go through your mind
as you mull over the word “preamble”
which sort of rhymes with bramble

you wish you *could* put down the pen
but you can’t
you’ve never been able to

didn’t matter if you were doodling
unicorns pointing at flying saucers
with a bubble saying, “Swamp gas!”
in elementary school
instead of taking notes

or if you were capturing phrases
from a boring meeting at work
trying to fit them into cut-up verse

after all, you can’t help it
and you could be cursed
with dancing instead
and pirouettes or worse

your toes ache just thinking about it

but it’s not your call
what draws you to that white wall

be it dance or painting or writing or song
you know you haven’t got very long

it’s really only a few instances
strung together
that are your creative bellwether

your mysterious muse
that gives you so few clues

so happy new year’s
mes frères
have a few more beers

put some wax in your bramble
no more need to preamble

just start writing