A Poem by Alan Bernheimer

by: Alan Bernheimer1

The key to Alan Bernheimer’s “Ipsatude” is found in the first stanza “Everyone’s secret life/ Inside head fake/ Get out more.” The poet’s consciousness acts as a web that momentarily catches and holds bits of wordplay; the language of observable world and the hidden one; the poet’s inner life as reflected and refracted; the imagined experiences of others; memories real and invented, and more.

Brice Marden / Alan Bernheimer

IPSATUDE

Everyone’s secret life
Inside head fake
Get out more

Forget to forget
View from locker
Twenty watt brain

Looks at sky
One of punching nuns
Ants see molecules

Shady side up
I’ll be taking names
Shoe on other foot

But badly bent
Read up write down
Haven’t heard boo

Crimea river
Use for ransom
Stripped like this

Needle in thigh
Patinated bronze
Fat encircled eyes

Anything you want
Tricked the starter
Me Geppetto

Gorgeous rolling hills
Best dressed man
In for it now

Tiger balm wrench
Some way out
Habit of mind

Live fast
Leave beautiful archive
Everyone’s sex life

Touched by movies
Fix torn sprockets
Signs of prowl

Inside business
Pushing electrons
Battery angst

About our adventure
Ulteriority
Falls into faux

Smack dab
Metabolic grief
Taller of the two

Wants to be friends
Don’t go there
Invent perspective

Items you want
Lack means for comedy
Set up as new

Distance sensation
Needs more jewels
Muscular lens focus

Rearrange universe
No end to machinery
Knock self out

Stick ups in demand
World of triggers
War of tug

Blind spot for dance
A matter of time
Next performance review

Cellophane cocktail
Walk in the woods
Got all day

Skirting with disaster
Think on feet
Not without mustard

That for pills
Paid by word
Brook no denial

From third base
Sane and shapely
Who don’t belong

Contain the truth
Out of anything
That darling blue

Greek infinity
Talk self in
Comes from spine

Ask for Dennis
Philosophical garnish
On the lam

Intrigue each other
Out on limb
Postcard touch

Steps to wipe
Away your image
Came to grief

More than this
Like as not
Lid off life

Croupier manicure
Over and took
Placeholder enclave

Has no way
On the tarmac
Play the sap

Look at works
Test routine
Send you over

 

Alan Bernheimer’s latest book is The Spoonlight Institute (Adventures in Poetry, 2009). Earlier books include Billionesque (The Figures, 1999) and Café Isotope (The Figures, 1980), as well as Cloud Eight (Sound and Language, 1999), collaborations with Kit Robinson. Recent work has appeared in Hambone, clash of the lichens, Sal Mimeo, and Dreamboat. His translation of Philippe Soupault’s memoir Profils perdus is forthcoming in 2016. He lives in Berkeley.

  1. Header art is by the incredibly talented Brice Marden, entitled “Third Letter.” []
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