Joe Milazzo

Conny Plank

I like to take myself skinny-dipping.
To liken skinny-dipping to likening,
I like parting algal runs like moiré’s
subtle purples. Bold shame free-styling
out towards air taken with itself. Air
taken for what it is underneath itself,

that splay of old toes carpeted over
by fracture’s cockeyed herringbones.
Like all the forms of self-pleasure
I like, I wriggle myself into hating myself
or at least my most vigorous strokes.
I like surviving the drummer’s night shift.

I like how molting goes, I like thinning
those crankcases until their assorted
vulnerabilities lock into their soft spill.
To rub pans already shimmering with
oily nudity, that strikes skinny-dipping’s
chords. Like 3 in the left hand and Spanish

factions of some 7 underfoot, I like them. I like
them poly-. I like them to hang back. Skinny-dipping
vanishes, like bodies into tempos, or daytime
whitening on a diver’s water. I like water
to be captured, to be basined, to be
murky and mostly quieted. To take myself

into the undifferentiated depths of fun,
I’d like that. To loosen the denser thicknesses
of higher arms, the calories of knees

and dug-up muscles. Skinny-dipping stills
likening’s lapping, like libido, whatever thrums
through me. Skinny-dipping isn’t as wide

as the sea, or green. To be as transparent as dance,
I have to be as what? A what all at once, submitting
at my elbow, submitting like a structure dropping

its couplings. To submit, what is that? Like
a belly-button unbellied? Splashing big like that,
shallow like some “ahhh”-ing never minded? A hole

whose might is anybody else’s, drowned in teases
and bubbles. And helpless, like a tickle, like far.

Palindromes Are The Fascistic Imagination’s Anagrams


patriarch of tailless jays detail
every section 8 asphalt
swooping creek-crossed
fluorescent vest choruses

(you can yes and
if you can be)

some opera of squabbles starring
police the weary won’t keep
in their pants
off the ground
on foils onward
dubbed heavy metal in the doppler of
wolfing oud
and whatever
repossessed installments rhyme
limp exercise trailing
the mad pudge of gesticulations
the glutinous curl
opening “cool”
onto neighborhoods onto


where we started

foundational unboxing
shriking at brown tape like
black bread
the bawds and cream of
hostage faces
beside the want of what you get
in how it all works
the roof over each desire
the weak ink pursuing hidden
nested puddles (I’ll leave you here) where asking is
absolved of favorites
bamboo or nursery fowl
while building
the all in what you handled was that you were handed

a frame of diaphanous
patent control
skies of clicking casements instant
reaches of irremediable culminating now truncated
blue of draping escalation adequate and clear
of any “whatever”’s point

My concern in these so called “name poems” (themselves contributing to a longer and still-evolving sequence, tentatively entitled Acrostic Aspic) is with the conditions of celebrity as they are lived by non-celebrities, i.e., “you” and “me.” Or: I suppose these poems are all about minor celebrity, as these titles borrowed from the outer limits of fame suggest. Our subjectivities so often cohere in the back and forth between narratives intensely our own and those widespread narratives with which we cannot help but make contact, or which are in constant contact with us. But the latter narratives are so much more easily represented, not to mention “relatable,” while the former remain largely untranslatable. So this self-exchange can never be equal. Still, people live as they live, and their names mean something to them.
Joe Milazzo is the author of the novel Crepuscule W/ Nellie and two collections of poetry: The Habiliments and the forthcoming Of All Places In This Place Of All Places. His writings have appeared in Black Clock, Black Warrior Review, BOMB, Drunken Boat, Prelude, Tammy, and elsewhere. He co-edits the online interdisciplinary arts journal [out of nothing], is a Contributing Editor at Entropy, curates the Other People’s Poetry reading series, and is also the proprietor of Imipolex Press. Joe lives and works in Dallas, TX, and his virtual location is
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About Posit Editor

Susan Lewis ( is the Editor-in-chief and founder of Posit ( and the author of ten books and chapbooks, including Zoom (winner of the Washington Prize), Heisenberg's Salon, This Visit, and State of the Union. Her poetry has appeared in anthologies such as Walkers in the City (Rain Taxi), They Said (Black Lawrence Press), and Resist Much, Obey Little (Dispatches/Spuyten Duyvil), as well as in journals such as Agni, Boston Review, The Brooklyn Rail, Conjunctions online, Diode, Interim, New American Writing, and VOLT.