DAVID TOMALOFF




        TOUCH MACHINES

Rub my face on a lot of different kinds of buffet glass, lie on some floors a lot, get several haircuts, grow more hair, touch machines. —Blake Butler
[ i. ]
The endless makes for a boredom quiver. Illustrious is a word I hold best when I hold that word on my tongue; when I scrape at the tattered skin of it, how the metal makes a sound like two squirrels fighting inside the belly of an especially articulate armored suit.

                                     c l i c k,
                                     c l i c k,
                                     c l a n g—


                                                         c l i c k
                                                         c l i c k
                                     c l a c k,
                                                         c l u f f

[ ii. ]
And then the joke is over, and how the audience packs itself into midgrade luxury cars that will carry it back to meticulous little boxes marked home and enough. Where they are then tucked into the clamoring silence by lovers and husbands, by wives and other such bodies and effigies, without reference to names or topographies or numbers, stacked and ordered to determine their mathematical outcomes based on values and determiners that were never their own.

                                     just the sound
                                     of fading footsteps
                                     landing in the space
                                     between
                                     the rafters—

                                                         t o p p l e
                                                         t o p p l e
                                                         t o p p l e
                                                         &  h u s h

                                                         h u s h // h u s h

[ iii. ]
When I am standing on the rusted iron lip of the bridge looking over, I sometimes hum to the charge of the angry water below. I wonder where everything is going in such a cool-burning rush. And the earth is silent, still. And everything resembles a well. I keep my watch clean with the hopes that these hours will notice the detail to attention I have paid them in their absence and gone.

                                     nightcrawlers
                                     in the cellar—

                                     rabbit
                                     rabbit

                                     rabbit,
                                     says the snake

                                     my, & such a terrible hiss

[ iv. ]
A pair of end tables rubs immaculate holes into the dark. The carpet bites its lip, and you are too lying on the floor there to notice. There is no ceiling. The ceiling is made of spark and the riot demands of relief maps gone flat—a plot seceding from itself is the thought you won’t betray. Your slack-done fingers, fondling for the rubber of a robot, pressing the machine down into the bend and sway of the cushion of a nondescript couch.

                                     the words  n e x t,
                                     & then  n e x t,

                                     & then  n  e  x  t
                                     before  f   a   d   e,

                                     the weight
                                     of a whole city

                                     under dark—
                                     notwithstanding




David Tomaloff is a very important something. His work has appeared in several chapbooks, anthologies, and in fine publications such as Connotation Press, Metazen, Heavy Feather Review, The Northville Review, CBS Chicago, Necessary Fiction, HTML Giant, A-Minor, Pank, and elimae. He is also co-author of the collaborative poetry collection YOU ARE JAGUAR, with Ryan W. Bradley (Artistically Declined Press, 2012). Send him threats: davidtomaloff.com