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Jeff Alessandrelli

It Is Especially Dangerous To Be Conscious of Oneself

Lilac. Jasmine.

Camp Oswald 4 Life (1)

Camp Oswald 4 Life (2)

Midnight in a Perfect World Redux

How The Music Sticks in the Air These Days


It Is Especially Dangerous To Be Conscious of Oneself

The kind of light
That only grows

In tenement store,
Basement floor,

Greenhouses, every plant
Candlelit, none of the sun’s

Milky fluorescence.
Boo Radley lives nowhere

Nearby. The claims that
He lives right down

The street are just that.
Countrywide, lies solve

Actual problems. Boo Radley
Is one type. Another is the ruinous

Ass of these expensive pants.

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Lilac. Jasmine.

I have found the secret
Of loving you

Always for the first time
Breton insisted, his wife’s bangs

veiling her dark eyes.
A somnambulist, Breton believed love

was nothing if not the answer
to a series of unposed questions

posed by an invisible someone else
as irrefutable facts.

The night is an expensive toy
no one can read the instructions to.

The result of a bad translation perhaps,
one mumbled & scattered, without end.

This afternoon—a very beautiful one,
grass & clouds & trees—

I wandered the hills aimlessly,
in search of nothing.  

I smelled lilac I think. Jasmine.
And: André Breton is a liar.

With foul, horribly foul breath.

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Camp Oswald 4 Life (1)

The longer the sun tanned the water the less it burned: the bubbles that eventually surfaced up probably symbolized something, senseless hope or pain or some faulty science based on nothing but pure animalistic instinct and emotion.

And then later—a very exciting day—we discovered a dead snake that to our wishy-washy eyes appeared as some kind of ignoble root, one that—because of its tail and emasculated head, the snake’s forked tongue—would undoubtedly never grow up and into anything, never grow tall and blossom.

Strange thinking that in the forest most of what’s below our feet is having a constant insatiable orgy with everything bright and visible right above.

Without saying this we all thought it as we slowly made our way back to camp. To mark our territory better, we ardently desired high-powered paintball guns. Some un-innocuous splatters of yellow, red.   

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Camp Oswald 4 Life (2)


Throwing rocks at the trees’ chubby armpits, the starlight lightly pissing on us.



Errantly picking our scabs and bleeding all over the pretty flowers.



Quickly surrendering to the doughy knots of air upon reaching the top of the lake



From its muddled bottom, grabbing at the savage, natural bric-a-brac



To escape our prospective happily-ever-afters. At the end of the week leaving



Sand-thick with memory and habit, the cars arriving to take us home reminders



That what they resembled was the same exact thing as what they enveloped and contained.


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Midnight in a Perfect World Redux

Dear One-Who-Absentmindedly-Nostalgizes-Clouds-From-a-Window-Seat-on-a-Half-Empty-737,

Thus begins a new day every hour by the minute of each second’s arrival. Says who? Certainly I share the blame for the myriad of dreamscapes I myself have not yet dreamed: water balloons filled with blood, ice cold bottles of blood on sale at every mini-mart and bodega, the dizzyingly pure bed of science crouched behind every frankenstein’s creation.

Half-shark/alligator/half man.


half man.

I wear a resplendently bejeweled hand puppet on both hands all day every day of the week. Picturesque doesn’t much begin to describe it. But neither, for that matter, does a beautiful sunset or a perfectly acceptable translation.

Go fuck your soul.

Do it now.

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How the Music Sticks in the Air These Days

“And just as he had already lost his skepticism, so now he began gradually to lose his self-control and the rest of his good sense also.”—Jaroslav Hašek

Once I denied myself nothing
Because I knew, later, I would be shameful
Of everything my diet guru tells me.
Her eyes are of a blind infant’s only blue,
Her posture that of a smoke signal’s
Corkscrewed yet relentless ascent.
(In all honesty this ambient music floating around
Everywhere these days seems really abrasive and loud.)
The full name of my diet guru’s eleven year old son
Is Christopher Maximilien Douglas Schmidt
She’s informed me on several occasions. The first step 
Is realizing that by its very existence
The strawberries and cream parfait
Is smarter than you. A world to refuse
Everywhere you look. Some music
To guide you in and out of each.
Austria got Hungary and fried Turkey
In Greece she tells me by way of admonishment.
People die everyday and are reborn
Just as quickly. People grow into their bodies
And can grow right back out.
My diet guru with the flat blue eyes
And posture tells me that when
She was a child in secondary school
She was unpopular, always the last
To get a chance on the swing set,
Always having to do all the hard work
Herself. Behind me there was nothing
But the ghost of a push she says.
I am here, I am slowly cinderelling myself
Into focus and position. Fitful, listless,
All of the music is coming around.

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Jeff Alessandrelli lives in Lincoln, NE, where he co-curates the latest incarnation of the Clean Part Reading Series.  He is the author of the little book ERIK SATIE WATUSIES HIS WAY INTO SOUND (Ravenna Press, 2011); recent work appears in Sentence, DIAGRAM, Quarterly West, Laurel Review and Forklift, Ohio.

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