POETRY – 5 Poems by Michael Newton


Correctness makes things happen on thy face, human

The thingness of that thing

That your brand is

watching a business take off like a goose



And you get


When inspector is surly

When inspector is surly

Liquor flows

Round here, in the night

Without animation, degradation

Doesn’t know how take care of itself

Tired feet wipe the rug of

All the fog
In your room
A chimney
The boundary of
The effort and the secrecy
Of welcoming into the fold
Another resolution

Walking up the stares but
There is nobody home

And the world of activity outside
Is abstracted and emphatically NOT REAL

It is all for a second animated by a faulty verve,


A pituitary alarm clock goes off you pump five-hour energy drink
combating 2pm feeling, the eternal danger of

the boost

your steps belie




My legacy in cartons of general tsao’s chicken in the fridges of this world going bad at a slow even pace. Today, tomorrow, it all becomes time.
It wouldn’t do to eat it wouldn’t do to be eaten,
the food left to its own devices molds
squanders, like most of us do
going bad at a slow even pace
the time is fact, is now vaguely now + or – 5 years
proximate reality = 100% acceptable
like in polling,
you are really just trying to get a sense of the drift
and put a shape to the feeling
-‘put’ you’re such a man about it

we accept the intention and move onward, that’s executive break-out
the executives are break dancing behind closed doors in the whimsical papering over of brutality fantasy sprinkle me with a little bit of the light
focusing on there not here or here but not there
always proximal
like a choice
a real drag
slouched over a post
puking off a bridge
carrying a banner the wrong way
political reality entirely
self contained point
fancy having been all our lives the people who bring it




How did you hear I was here
Did you hear that the price of milk was dear
Did you hear me speaking? Did
My voice sound like her/

Hers, I get lost, all the ways it could say
The word the sentence
going into you going into a picture
brighter picture our feeling
is not the real of it
fuck exactly
always inexact
That we don’t know what
It can be said to be all
The ways you could
Say it

The way she would, the way she would; see?

See, I just keep projecting that you would be cross to me.

To me, or with me? To me, or with me? See, the trouble is

-with me-

That I just get turned around;      no shit;      Yes! really, I do 

That I do turn and turn and spin and turn 

grammar hums in your ear, grammar decays
grammar makes all its moves in the night
you know what I mean, man, do you know
what I fucking mean, do you fucking know
What do I fucking mean? Fuck-

Where did she go? I want to follow her more.

I’ve not met her, though I’ve listened to her voice to her speak.
She whispers when she reads,
it’s all on pennsound,
go, hear it while you can. 

What regurgitated speak. Mine not hers. I regurge her.

I am the regurger

language is a   proposition being pitched to hostile board

toss it around nice and easy 

From harsh to smooth,
like the sea, the passing of a storm.
1 am, riding the 2 back from Port
Authority on the 16th of March, 2014,
With my sweetie and my book and the
Tired boys and women on the train,
Like the man says, the quotation is out there,
You just have to go check it out if you want to know.
Why would you want to know? Why would you not?
Fucking think about it. What does it matter
if you do
or do not know,
ask yourself for real time beyond the money, time and a half 

Assimilate Into Your Schema of Values
The beyond violent drunkenness of that fucking Tony
Tony Debord, the drunk of all drunks. Mr. Drunk.
Tacitly drunk. The war-thinker. Tony. From harsh to smooth.
Tony is harsh, he is smooth. He is harsh, he is smooth.
That Guy.
Tony, fucking
drip in his voice box man
down swallows song like a pigeon

In a joke, you don’t realize your terms have shifted until the very laughter. 

Til it is gone
Yet Exact




The style now is faux-peasant,
Rough letter, leathers, flowers in the air,
Unvarnished, cut pages, end stop lines, declarations,
Beverages in hand, always, fuel for the body machine,
We work we are moving, planning, all the time
Progress in bits, transformation, the rough work
And the fine work
we are inured to
Reality, stone turned to clay

Orders upon orders upon, I remember discovering a bodega
Selling fresh guava juice in a styro foam cup;

I remember seeing the sun set—as if it were a man, hesitating
To leave a room; everyone shrugs and keeps working;

The bunker is subterane and windowless;
The unvarnished real is varnished but one coat less;

The trees and the silence are proof
Mystical is relative and relatively direct: you enter

A ring: the droning, the silence, dusk,
The scent of cedar – you start to want to pray

But how and who to, you earnestly ask
You feel a welling, the seemingly real internal lift

The wheel goes round its circuit,
Questions are the technology of spirit
Allows sincerity to pass,
And irony
I have been inside these rooms,
have heard these people speak
You must ask
What is the gamut?
There is always a dark wood chair
Soaking up touch. Administration is holy function of passage
easily abused, lowly, connects
The events and the elements,
ensures the wheat
Reaches the mill,
that the employees get their checks.

Administration is a servant, should have no ideology beyond the necessary.
Admin is servile.
– Hello, Bob
– Good Morning!



You become. You because. I become. I because.  You become. You because. I
Become. I Because. You Become You Because I become I because You.
Become I You. Because become You become I become
You. become I because I become I because You. you because become

I become you I because you.
become I become you. Because I because you
I become you become I become. You because I because
Become You, because I become I, because you Because You because I become You
You. I become you become I become you because I because You.


because You I because you because I because you

because I because you I become you.



Michael Newton is a Presse Manager for Ugly Duckling Presse, where he also serves as a member of the editorial collective. He lives in a tiny room. Michael is a writer/performer for 40 Story Radio, a monthly show based out of Jim Thorpe, PA. He is dogged by a sense of doom. These poems are from the book Michael Newton’s Styrofoam Cup, forthcoming from Third Floor Apartment Press. 

Featured image by Kenny Ong.

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