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otto bis-schnell


Edinburgh, September 2015 (26th)

I turned left towards a close-cobbled tangent
off George IV Bridge’s immaculate sentence. 

In front were two boyfriends,
American accents lilting

like the afternoon sun,
beards a chocolate pattern 

on coffee. The both-ness of them,
each looking in wonder upwards

at the Old Town, the curving possibilities
here. That’s why I love you, Right said

to a comment I and everyone else
was not part of, arm curving round Left’s 

waist. Encompassment. Then Left said
(approximately, slurring as if drunk

on his own emotion)

I read there is four parts to the act of saying
I love you To feel To think To say To react
And during this short time the feeling of guilt
comes in and makes me feel bad for you
when you say I love you Because that guilt
underlines everything Do you understand

The boyfriend smiled. Benign navigator. No,
Left was left wide-eyed. Right took Left 

in his arm and there was an understanding
even if it is never understood. I remember 

my train back home was past the way, so
left these protagonists I wanted to follow 

forever at a splitting road. Left.
Right. Church in the middle.
I can relate to Left, wondering what it means.


ryan vance

Musica Universalis in the Balance Hole


The Son!Q’s

mass is composed of

orange, X-shaped

yummy gingerbread s’mores.

Chunks of the dense weight within

evenly distributed, so the sphere

travels in a gentle curve.


Because they can use its movements,

let bowlers

adjust their form

or equipment choice,

tweak its performance

to read the oil pattern.


If they avoid

a low center of gravity,

the mass in

near the curve

rolls as well.




The Phaze III’s green core is
creating a hook,
allowing this sphere to

sharply swing from the edge.


The rotational forces

typically removes 3 or 4 ounces of



Roll with fewer,

firmly grip the lane.
Model the

pins on

mica mixed

with high density, and

with less spin.


Inside the intense
oil-heavy lanes,

the red bulges
into the blob’s bumps,
without majorly changing.


The crimson disk called;

even for those who throw

revolutions per minute;


for a strike

that concentrates heft at the center.




For the competition

will more aggressively

help swing the globe.




Despite the weird shape,

divots in the

“benchmark ball”

still ensures a nice

behavior generated by

The Sure Lock’s bright


on its bottom.



Drilling finger holes:

if they bore

toward the center,

the ball’s

weight block helps

add more curve

to their shots,

similar to the way

their finger holes


the orb’s trajectory.




The Optimus’ symmetrical core

increases friction once it hits

the model’s heavier versions.

On a lane during practice. and then

through its impact

with the pins,

the cover couldn’t

spin quickly

into the surface of this ball.


Thanks to that silver circle,

a weight block in this roller is

changing how the globe rolls.




Figure skaters

begin whirling faster,

back to center in slippery

dry boards,
causing this:

The extra rotations

Uneven rotational forces

making them more likely

to knock out others.


The mass

known as the slug

wouldn’t be able to influence

Taller than it is deep, and heavier,

will crash through

just after a bowler releases



Up to 16 pounds

pins with more force

bowlers who

when they tuck in their arms

leave room for digits.


Pros call this a

Code Red.





And just for fun,

Alpha Crux’s blue core

infuses some balls with a

heavy iron oxide.

Those design decisions create

the asymmetrical chunky green

material that can include

scent. This one smells like

Composed by re-ordering phrases found in ‘The insides of pro bowling balls will make your head spin’, by Stan Horaczek, Published Jul 27, 2020, on

erik kennedy


The Celebrity–Industrial Complex

I have lived my entire life with fame

as its object. You only die when the last

person forgets you. My public appearances

are timed for maximum impact. When I travel,

I let the local police know that there

may be disturbances. That’s how much

chaos a great figure can introduce into

the world. I have a room for honours bestowed

by institutions and gifts sent by school classes,

a system of stackable bins for frenzy-thrown

underwear. It is important to self-conceive

as a phenomenon, otherwise you will be

setting yourself up for life as a runty little mortal,

like a panther accidentally born in a human hospital.

Beyoncé, the BTS lads, Neymar, Silvio Berlusconi,

those sorts of people get where I’m coming from.

Oliver Wendell Holmes said that fame

is the scentless sunflower, with gaudy crown of gold.

He said this in a dismissive way, but he wrote

books you find in the third-best antique shop

in a holiday town and a poem about seafood,

so I’m going to ignore him. Ignore the haters

and everything left over is gravy, and if I have

more haters than there are teaspoons in Yorkshire,

well, I guess there’s only so much popular acclaim

you can expect as a dendrochronologist.

Creating Value

Everything I know about the economy

I learned from my study of

cinnamon challenge videos

where the only way to succeed

is to convince people that your performance


of an impossible task

is worthy of views and support

that your sputters are authentically agonised

that the brown-red cloud you expel

at high speed


is a new form of particular knowledge

particular as in concerning particles

particular as in unique to you

and only after

inexpressible criteria have been applied


and you (hopefully) haven’t died

do you find out if you excelled

or if you’re just another subject

gasping for water in a suddenly

parched and hostile landscape

The Australian Gannet Model of the Cosmos


On all fours, I crawled up the rocky sea-fronting cliff to reach the guru to get the advice to set my mind at ease about the world. All exhausted at the top, I heard the guru say: ‘My children, the only metaphor is this: the Australian gannet lays its single, precious egg on a warm mound of its own shit. This is why in 4 billion years of days and nights we have neither transcended our nature nor fallen from it.’ I’d never thought of it this way, though I knew from my studies that the world was an egg, and that it had to sit on something. I had envisioned a swallow’s egg on bubble wrap, or a crocodile’s egg on some strawberry mousse. But I had failed to notice the self-relating intertwinedness of things, how until death each thing leads back to each, and that was something to think about alone back on the beach.


The Dead Men of 2012

For J.M. and T.A.

Like sixpences tumbling to the sea floor

these men live slowly, half on the street,


half behind one window with one plant in it.


They live wherever it’s cheaper:


where they’ve always lived or where there’s someone kind.


They live in a city without their children in it.


They live self-antagonisingly, in a kind


of bland fugue, forgiving everyone but themselves.


They drink beer instead of vodka, even though vodka’s cheaper.


This counts as ‘being nice to themselves’.


They are weeds unfurling their petals by night, soft toys left on the floor.


You could greet these men and the sundown


at the same time walking home on 45th Street,


but no, the poem doesn’t end with a lovely sundown.

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