Peter J. Grieco

At the Musarium (4)

[20101 – 20200]

The bagpipes of the dockyard henchmen
overhang obliteration—excrescence
of hairless vainglorious alpaca
that jangle a bucolic maelstrom
interminably. Cornstarch & uncooked
bovine oat, perspicuous & satirically
mazy, exonerate the logician
of his dyspeptic naphtha & pointless runes.
His turgid formalism is unemotional.
His gritty semen outlast his stockbroker’s
migrating by subtraction as antic
cassava sugars & cutlery hurdle
Herzegovina in a shoddy huff
of impish mesmeric equipoise.

[20501 – 20600]

It’s out-and-out improvisation
unambitious looker-on. Before you
unroll your teepee under the ozone
periphery, head rearward. Promulgate
plumbing. Outgrow your sanctimonious
Delphic salamander. Juggle awareness
& verbiage like the incontinent chimpanzee
who dwelt upon the smokeless empyrean.
Fertilize drubbing with abetting, basing
hardwood on emulsion & schist.
Anyways, mope no more. The kingfisher
is high-strung & seventy-one, topmast
to stocky shepherdesses & your goldfish
eyeglasses can only impoverish the spunk of him.

[27401 – 27500a ]

Lilo-like & lupine, Czarina Kirsten
encamps, til galoshes eraser, s’il
vous plait. Metatarsal patina
spearhead her philanthropical umlaut.
Firecracker finals fascism, overconfident
ingestion, & slaughterhouse addenda.
Flivver lewdly outstay their sacerdotalism,
prostate with agave, tenebrous, yet
accusatory. Authoritarian
inappropriateness, though internment,
fails to rationalize the washroom payee,
magnetically acclaiming the troglodyte,
now a scintilla, now a bowlful, of
beatification.

[20601 – 20700]

Penurious landsmen booze & polka
the Javanese interregnum between
Rangoon & protuberant, ironclad hotbed
of padres & nitre who embroil typewriting
with absconded commas encamping near
an equine parishioner. Crocuses wheeze
& exorcise, worshiping columnar
telepathy, the satanic avoirdupois
of stratification. Kinda. Don’t sulk
beneath the minaret, damosel. Your
favoritism bucks extrinsic acclivity
for both soggy terrapin & fractious
crustacean, bedridden on the sandbank.


This group of semi-procedural poems is “At the Musarium (4).” They are based on word lists found at Wiktionary.com. The source texts for the frequency rankings is Project Gutenberg. The bracketed numbers in the title of a poem refers to the 100-word set from which the majority of the words for that poem are taken, such that the higher the numbers the more “rare” the words.

The poems are “semi-procedural” by virtue of the fact that words for the poems were not initially selected for their “meaning content,” but had been pre-selected by a given procedure that had counted, ranked, and arbitrarily grouped them. But once selected, “intention” re-enters the process and this results in a “semi-procedural” method, which could also be termed “semi-intentional.” From a given group, I “select” for “content,” for emotional resonance, as I weigh words both for meanings and associations, while endeavoring to order them in a rhythm of grammatically varied sentences.

The poems are “semi-procedural” by virtue of the fact that words for the poems were not initially selected for their “meaning content,” but had been pre-selected by a given procedure that had counted, ranked, and arbitrarily grouped them.

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