Anselm Berrigan

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Anselm Berrigan reads "We're Not Gonna Turn Me In" from his forthcoming book Some Notes on My Programming, which will be published later this year by Edge Books. Berrigan is the Artistic Director of the Poetry Project at St. Mark's Church. He's also written three previous books of poems, including Zero Star Hotel.

We're Not Gonna Turn Me In by Anselm Berrigan

Apparition host turns on sight
of a barbed sun. Warmth to gouge
a way with, catch flesh upon
and display. Western garden
will cut a deal: grow something
and be rewarded with growth
A city kid's green things: plastic
and metal veins pumping ideas
out of every tag-a-long fantasy
of changing names, time zones
or body types. I'd like to be
ocean-shaped and crashing
at my edges, vicious and open
Become an outpost of irrational
compassion instead, on the interior
run at all times while my surface
adapts to all these faces, these photos
of blood-soaked children carrying
each other between blasts. Sleep
so well I dream of bills. Why so
afraid of the bear in the closet?
It will shake me out of my ideals
the attractive drunk and her unfinished
sentences. Doom is pretty sexy:
the track lighting and pictures of plants
the ambience of an audience expecting
what it will receive. My heart does not
beat too fast, is replaceable. The same
themes slap me into inaction, but I run
owe, program, state, lift, grasp, love
Having lost all sense of tone and its enemy
shame. I worship no one, idolize
no one, have no heroes and want none
A magnetic pansy rocking the division
in our sheathed collateral wreckage
Won't take my life. Won't take yours