Saturday, March 27, 2004


Margaret Mead spent her summers
Learning how to bartend.
It was a useful skill, and every
Young lady ought to know
How to mix a proper Bloody Mary.

The natives clapped,
Sang their precious songs
For a chance to guzzle her concoctions.
Although they had their own drinks –
The Armless Monkey,
Mayan Death Grog –
Margaret’s own Cosmopolitans
Were the chief attractions.

She chatted gaily of New York.
They clung to every word
As the cranberry juice swirled.
And in this, a great anthropological secret:
All parties are the same.

By Clay McCuistion and Yakimoto Harlequin
(3/22/04, revised today)

Friday, March 26, 2004

keyboard logic_delete

it is four am in the MORNING & I still don’t know what M______ saw
windows fogged and trainstation memories
FLOODING my head.
my head. my head.

i wish that i could reboot myself sometimes. Take out the bad files. The
SYNTAX errors.
i still don’t know what she SAW.

again with the garbled befxefxis

she saw MXPZEIpan_file_delete
my SECRET life? The IP address where i imagine i will
STOWAWAY my binary soul?
no secrets. no secrets.
my soul a collection of jumbled data, SPAM
streaming into delete_delet_delxty

1011010, 1101001, 1101001.
i am machine language now. i am language. i am machine.
i know what M______ saw.
i know it now.


By Clay McCuistion and Yakimoto Harlequin
(3/22/04, revised today)

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Strange Fonts

Typesetter Terwilliger ate,
Every day,
A lunch of olives and
Black bread.

After so many years
Arranging the type, pouring
The ink, he
Becomes rather an eccentric.

The boxes of cast-iron letters
Leered, taunted him. In
His forty years
They had never changed.

He built a fire late one night, after
All the other wretches shuffled home.
He tossed in every tired, old-
Fashioned letter there.

The printing plant caught
Fire like no one has ever seen,
Burning everything – the plant, the city, the
Whole Goddamned island.

Only the letters survived, now
Twisted, contorted, wondrous
Alphabets to make mothers weep. Nonsense
Characters to tell the same

Strange Moebius strip story.

By Clay McCuistion and Yakimoto Harlequin
(3/22/04, revised 3/24/04, today)

Wednesday, March 24, 2004


The Houston water sags,
Clouded particulate
In gummy fluid.

Outside, steps climb
To an inch-high floor,
Defined by circling cars.

(written today)

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Inside the Head

The mind an empty room
With piles of books in the corners,
Spiderwebs on old furniture
Collected late at night
From dumpsters outside
The apartment complex.

I will learn the Appalachian dialects,
Grow my chin whiskers
To inordinate length.
I will learn to cook goat stew,
Sell it to reptiles and insects
I meet over the Internet.

(written today)

Monday, March 22, 2004


He wrote the poems
That a couple of people read.
One of them, years later,
Would half-remember a bit
Of one of the lines.
But that person wouldn’t connect
That memory to the poem,
Dim as the memory was.
That person would instead
Assume the sentiment was his
Alone, and feel smugly
Self-satisfied by its

(written today)

Sunday, March 21, 2004

Prank Call

The phone rings every week
On Tuesday, at 3:45.
No one answers when I pick it up.
It just beeps at me –
A languid, spaced-out sound
That doesn’t care it called,
Interrupting the afternoon.


It rang last week,
And the week before that.
It will ring next week too,
I know with a certainty
I can't explain in
A family newspaper.
It rang before I came here
And it will ring long ages
After I'm gone.


(written today)