Three Poems by John Latta


Which confer’d such high additament

To my discomfort. Whose lines

Raketh. Which—like Eben. Scritchsoule

Poked by a sticke—is

Love’s lewd Pilott. Whose restlessenesse

Abrades sinnews of landskip to

Right the commodious junk of

Man’s complacency in a fit.

Whose naughty money is what

I got, & empty pocks.

Whose time uncomb’d consumes ticks

And tacks like a guinea

Hen, and songs with confidence

The bones of memory stuff’d

Into small urns. Whose antecedents

Shape a wreck’d constant heart.


Cuss-drunk the Pious, you

Overwash a particular lossy comprehension

System, one whose first peck

Of notoriety is a lust-

Breath’d tango stop’d. They’s no

Diviner wash for the great

Unwash’d massy fornicules than licker,

You announce, Incke of thy

Pen accrescent and dip’d. And

What perchance’d sod down thy

Brunt accrual in small-beer-

Prose? Old retainable earth, its

Malt scurve, its boreal scrum

And watery fastnesses green’d and

Blue’d. Besides earth and us

Leers nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing.


People’d with unimaginable shapes, you

Draught a rough prospeckt whilst

A certain verecundinous opacity graceth

Your worship of sow bugs,

Saps and garlands, the sopps

And frequencies of th’unshorn I.

‘He unsat the unit I’—

Charles Olson in a fit

De-complacency re: Keats, he of

The blew presumptuous wings, lording.

So love’s length grows naughty

By degrees. In our greasy

Torpor is Sum smal accrwment.

Or in pranking oneself up

To say ‘No musick with-

Out discord.’ Y’r ob’d’n’t, &c.

Comment from Stephen Vincent (posted on his behalf):

The lick, tick and burn a wick
see-saw, whick-lack and sweetly
twisted syntax, mr. latta
thy wit turneth me into a sweet fit
I think I will me unto my bottle
and get quickly, even more so, lit.
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