Local Custom

At the diner
all they got

is rotgut
radio sucks

and cops twirl
their hooks

to a beat only
they can hear

the river is
smoldering dirt

all our art is
kept in cans

it’s very

and better
that way


As part of our ongoing going green initiative we weep and weep
until our tears slick the sea indistinguishably from the sea.

Abstruse news weakens our knees by the bassinets
of the next generation of supreme commandants and

we fudge loyalty into factions in hopes of painful employment.
Our kings are many and missing, our queens married to death.

We receive their tweets after years of prayer and sacrifice
and even then we can hardly breathe their holy smoke.


Ars Hermetica

Administration is the best
bad bubble. It foams
in the queasy sea.
It pupates in a long red tie.

A marshmallow fist
is puny against a politician
grown 50 feet tall, spreading
gray sleeves beneath

spreading gray skies.
Greasy financial grammar
introduces a new age of exile.
A chosen few return

as undead entrepreneurs
smelling of language, cream,
their sweet guts
a sacrosanct classic.


Today is a Perfect Day for Living Online 

All evil prophecies
promptly come true.
Small snakes sneak
into your eyes

where the world turns
into a weird smell.
Your crudely rendered
hopes and dreams

are circulated online
by an algorithm from
the lukewarm wastes.
Was this the face that

launch’d 1,000 gifs?
Your ex is several
hundred people and
more beautiful than ever.




Brad Liening lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and at bradliening.blogspot.com.