Lilo at the Museum Watching The Fence Thief by Adam Frelin, 2007


Let’s watch again. The man steals

a fence, drives fence to forest,

saws the fence to pieces,


hammers them to the tree, climbs up.

Do you think we can transcend

what we are born into being?


Fence to ladder, tree to tree.

Once I tried to, with a man,

behind a fence, beside a forest,


strip him to pieces and outdo him

in a shower with vinyl curtain. 

He was in the shower, you see,


and I was not. I was beside himself. 

Watching, whim and evolutionary

instinct, such that his being, who he


imagined himself to be—victor, big easy—

disintegrated. What am I getting at? 

I sucked him through the curtain.


He made a sound like a hiccup

or agreeing with directions, right

right on. He had the hierarchy. 


There is a hierarchy. And he had it.

Except. I did wear the crown a night.

I did to until he was done to.  


Forgive me. He could not speak. 

Some thievery. I drove him

into the ground. A great distance.   


(Poem correlates to http://www.adamfrelin.com/images/videos/The_Fence_Thief-web.mov)





Lilo Asks for Directions in Walmart


My heart started before yours did

and I've been down more red carpets.

You've seen my sprained wrist

in bandage held to my left nip


on the cover of Maxim. I put hot

in the hospital. Why am I not surprised

that you are a regional dojo master and 

intend to get your Associates and


are uncertain if people ever change and

worry that you're one of the ones

who doesn't. Stop telling me things

otherwise you're going to miss me.


Now take me to the fish, please.





Moments Later, Aquarium Aisle


I am looking for a blue-capped

oranda and a calico fantail.

What is this carnage? 

How would you like to swim


among your dead?

I'm starting to think you don't care,

you're just here for the whip-its

and Carla, in Health & Beauty.


I'll take that fantail, and O god

what have you done? Putting guppies

in separate tanks, side-by-side,

so they swim-swam all night—


their itty fish heads wagging

can't do can't do can't do

their bitty fish tails but i love you

but i love you.





Lilo in Rehab


Charlie sometimes I have to ask myself

What are we doing in the world?

And though this usually occurs to me

while I am high on oxy, crank, x


or phetamines, and though I realize

my dirty work does not equate with

the maids of America, I think it's a valid

question, crossing all occupations,


hallucinations and humanities.

What, Charlie, are we doing here?

I for one am not interested in John Donne.

You read to me and you read to me.


I for one would rather get my flea on

with Samson and you didn't see him

reading verse by the viaduct of Sorek.

You saw him bound, gagged,


webbed and whipped. Then

his soul was vexed to death. 

My soul is being vexed to death,

and the only thing stopping it is


will you please put your hand

on my soul? My soul is

a little lower down.