Doug Lang

Seven Poems

Volume 15:1, Winter 2014

Line Reading sonnet

for David Dooley

Timothy Carey in The Killing, “Red Lightning.”
James Dean in East of Eden, “Eight.”
Elizabeth Taylor in Suddenly Last Summer,
“I’d come up from the water looking naked.”

Robert Mitchum in Build My Gallows High
aka Out of the Past, “Baby, I don’t care.”
Marilyn Monroe in The Seven Year Itch,
“Hi. It’s me, don’t you remember? The tomato from upstairs.”

Montgomery Clift in From Here to Eternity,
“I don’t like the way you play the piano.”
Joe E. Brown in Some Like It Hot, “Nobody’s perfect!”
Colin Clive in Frankenstein, “IT’S ALIVE!”

Daniel Day-Lewis in The Last of the Mohicans, “I’m looking at you, miss.”
Alan Ladd in Shane, “You speaking to me?”

Written sonnet

In her memoirs Anna Akhmatova describes
Written painting and street texts, also
Beautiful and fucked-up Rimbaud’s bona fides
Conjure hand, lucky hand, conjure bag, trick bag, root bag, mojo

Toby, jomo, and gris-gris bag (Anna Akhmatova
Returned to visit Modigliani in Paris, where he created at least
20 paintings of her, including several nudes)
Marina Ivanovna Tsvetaeva committed suicide in 1941.

James Joyce died after surgery for a perforated ulcer in 1941.
Jelly Roll Morton died of an asthma affliction in 1941.
Banjo Patterson died of a heart attack in 1941.
Virginia Woolf committed suicide in 1941.

And now, loading the camel’s hump
With worldly troubles, heavy as a rock

Tipping Point sonnet

I ride through the slumbering shadows, along
The Laffer curve.  Drought is a paleontological fact
In the American West but the latest dessifications
Have a new signature, slumbering shadows as the spectral unrest
Sort of like the Web Bots…a major tipping point will occur
Data gaps and a derivatives bubble, as cocaine cut with the
Veterinary drug Levamisole eats away at human flesh
Across the USA.  Scientists have discovered black holes 10 times
the size of our solar system into which billions of suns have vanished
Like a guilty thought, like a boss, like a dude, like a prayer,
Like a librarian, like a kite, like a Babylonian, like an idiot,
Like a Pythonista, like a rolling stone, like The Beatles,
Like the Incas, like the old days, like the Jetsons, like the dead.
Hubert Sumlin died.  Socrates died.  Christa Wolf died.

First Responder sonnet

You look in the mirror and think “Erotomania”  you shower
Yourself with Calla lilies and inappropriate e-mail messages.
The response is haughty: puzzlement, indifference, irritation
Around The Milky Way galaxy. The Milky Way is currently in the process of cannibalizing the Sagittarius Dwarf Elliptical Galaxy and the
Canis Major Dwarf Galaxy. My love is like a filament which stretches around
the Milky Way’s core like a gossamer loop. Whose tower has crumbled
a single mental grouping I have read a great deal about you, how you
understand everything, how extraordinary your energy, how
wide your interests, why then these curl’d, puff’d points
or a laced story? You’re right, in the transpolitical, there is no more who.
In the year of our Lord 640, King Eadbald of Kent departed this life.
I have touched not merely upon very few speech acts, but organs
Are paragraphs anyway, the body is the body, alone it stands

Stiin if Miggik sonnet

For Corliss Skicki

Be warned if you should feel like doing this quest I think it has been nerfed.I have an agnostic enchanter and I cannot get the Ogres to let me do the turn ins.
I’ve slaughtered many Dwarf guards and still nothing.  I cannot even do the newbie
Lizardman Meat quest to raise faction.  Clurg and the Warrior guildmaster are

indifferent to me, and its not good enough.  I’ve finally raised my faction enough to
do the Lizardman Meat quest and after tons of tons of turn in Clurg still does not
like me well enough and the alliance line of spells do not work on him anymore.  As
much as I would like to do this quest for old times sake it just doesn’t seem I am

going to be able to.  I’ve tried Ogre illusion and DE illusion both to no avail.
Just trying this quest so my chanter could bake some more and as of today Frostbite
is still broken.  After reading many posts on other pages and such, I see that you
must now cast idenify on the Regurgitonic to see if it’s bad or not.  Guess I’ll try

that and go get a new one.  That’s a long run if it is so I would try it before you run all
the way back to Frostbite in West Karana.  Hope this helps everyone, i.e. fuckwits


Susan Boscarino, "100 Houses," sculptural installation, blankets, 1994

Susan Boscarino, “100 Houses,” sculptural installation, blankets, 1994

Golden Sardine sonnet

“I want to be anonymous…my ambition is to be
Completed forgotten.” Evolved during the 1940s
Changing consciousness and reciting nickname
Drawing bebop bebop written down a Buddhist vow of bebop

Silence voodoo North Beach watering holes Corso
Hardly oral into a coffee shop emphysema
Kerouac watering holes addiction sphere
The three spontaneous bars, man

Exposed in both New Orleans and on the streets
Magazine ginsberg a Buddhist vow of four shipwrecks
Circumnavigating Ferlinghetti walked into Vietnam
Nine times in the next twenty years

Bebop Martinque twenty and figured Abomunist
Broadsides Snyder ensued Rexroth Duncan ancient children


Asbergery double sonnet

“Though laurel wreaths my brows did ne’er environ,
I think myself as great a bard as Byron.”  —John Clare

Blinkers or rose-colored glasses? Ah, I
forgot about the possibility of both.
I forgot about the blindfold, tunnel
vision, double vision, hallucinogenic drugs,
altitude sickness, eye floaters, panic
disorder, presbyopia, farsightedness,
you know, all of that. Forgot about
the forested coast of Prince Willam
Sound 12 billion barrels of oil from
Prudhoe Bay pipeline less stable Palin
25 feet of snow Valdez Docks a grizzly
five miles Secret-Service grade
hind legs an ordinary evening disentangled
off-putting. You, you think you’re

going to run away and just dance… yeah.
You’re so asbergery. An efficacious
gallery of scathing flowers I never
knew before, elms and ashes, the need
for food becomes greed due to the yetzer hara.
Servomechanisms more fun
than fun, miniature blame-quests become
the Hegelian Bad Infinite. What
happened your legs? Allow your shoes
ultra-trendy molecules throwing money
around all Xmas-tricked-out as if Bill Knott
normal from the outside. He opens the
door fifteen years later on your laptop, in
the contrails of fabulousness a queen bee



Doug Lang is from Swansea in Wales. He came to Washington in 1973, the year that his novel, Freaks, was published by New English Library. He ran a bi-weekly reading series at Folio Books on P Street (where Second Story Books is now located) from January 1976 to June 1978. He recently retired after teaching Writing at the Corcoran College of Art and Design for 37 years. His most recent book is dérangé, published by Primary Writing in DC in 2013. In the Works, Selected Poems 1973-2013 will be published by Edge Books in DC later this year.