Shane Anderson


The heart is a vase with two ears
in hieroglyphics, my mug,
saline stained,
is to blame like all the others
for my unquestioned hatred
of lopsidedness.
Let me erase it tonight
with a click of lamp shadows
and deadbolts and solipsism,
not much different
than indigestion,
would ergo my accountability
for being shaped
by the laugh track, my moral code
of up up down down
left right left right b a

If there were one thing
I should like to be
it’s a member of Prussian
nobility. No longer
finding the newest happiness
in jury duty and sadness
in a cassette tape taped over,
I would measure a day of Kaiserwetter
in senators or thousands of guilders, laughing off
the botanists’ heaters
as a hot glass
of water thrown into polar temperatures
as they shadow
play the ribbon cutting ceremony of a
thighs and belly
looking seed
to be cracked open, delaying
for more donations, giving
me occasion to harp on the length
of a Purcell piece for recorder.

Instead, honest in my crimes
of not using words
like egalitarian as liberally
as possible, I’ll hit on this seventeen year-old
that looks much younger,
fifty at most, ecstatic
as she is
that she has finally worked out
her retirement checks
with the government – some luck,
to be born
on the twenty-ninth
of February! – and I’ll find consolation
that my heart,
glued back together,
is pumping up pomegranates
like jock jams,
loving, the sequel.
How did the T-shirt have it?
Life’s a bitch and then you are one? Shit.


Wearing a wig of snakes
I’ve turned the reef
of her limbs from a sponge
into granite, tragedying desire
in a last act of blood,
incanted – dehumaned.
Hot after, I went to the pool
to leave my feelings
in the water. A lone Marco,
blindly answered
with a vision of what I wanted
from this pinkish world;
not of hours
of fuddling or fiddling with foil
not from eggbeaters or combustible
engines, represented,
– polo!

O! I’ve been in the zone for
I don’t know how long, hunting down shadows
as the world Bisquicks
from a spoon and I hiccup through the paranoid
truths of what you shouldn’t do
like wishing I was a court
musician in a cupcake
colored hall, wielding a peacock
like a viola de Gamba
or a chandelier
thrown through a window
to learn the real meaning of encore. No,
the correct answer here is not
‘what is my childhood?’
but like a sand dune on a coast
whose road signs have all been torn off
it should be unseen mush
in the fog. Listen:
show me something
you value and I’ll show you
an opportunity for journalists
to royally fuck up.


There’s so much to be
mad about and so much
to love – folded cloth napkins
that need to be washed, big lips
on doors that stub toes –
I love, I’ve learned,
like someone who can’t stand up,
in diapers, proving
the existence of its, like an empiricist,
with my tongue. Having glided over light
bulbs and buck’s points at yours
I then painted self-portraits
in dust, licking
my way through that smorgasbord of the real
and reflected with my M.O.:
if what’s rational cuddles
with what everyone agrees
then this is like three days of meatloaf
then hamburgers then spaghetti
Bolognese – the traces
of love and frustration don’t
until the meat is a grapefruit
with a cinderblock
that is,
juiceless, reduced to resistance
only (hard as it is
to explain this to desire
that keeps earplugging itself to be a toaster or a bottle
rocket launched into the ether).
That period felt like going down
on a pregnant chick:
the added weight
of the impending ending
made the last bit zaftig, gooey,
thick like Jell-O.

Shane Anderson is a writer/editor/translator living in Berlin. Other work can be found in Abjective, On Earth As It Is, Everyday Genius, > kill author and the playbill for Matthew Barney's KHU. His Etudes des Gottnarrenmaschinen will be published by Broken Dimanche Press in June 2012.

All portraits of Shane Anderson by Ger Ger.