Doren Robbins / 2 poetic texts

Watch Dreams

Don’t waste one drug for how hard it comes down on you, the congenital vengeance types couldn’t care less.

Wouldn’t’ve been my choice.

You’re gonna’ start now with what to have done otherwise?––Go eat the dung of wood peckers––the bottom of the pot you burned out of shape you’ll get a bill for that too.

I’m not putting a leaf back on a tree, what hadn’t happened hadn’t yet turned into what came about. The main thing is resistance––afflictions have their own calendar. It’s the lack of will, the luring process, I defend myself, it catches me, it comes up my genital feet, the color rim, the vivid dye. Desire’s alphabet. Desire’s backlog. Desire intrepid.  

In the side yard where this happened, a leaf configuration. The redeclining. Is it or isn’t it decay?

Elegance of particles coming apart, two leaves driven off, a disintegrating layer, two connected, they

withered into lace film, almost cellophane, almost smoke, almost without either, no part to be rebuilt.

I picked up their private branch, it was like cutting rosemary by flashlight, their blind structure, almost gauze, the viscera part, almost without their vascular bundles, the process of vacancy, they split the interior part between them, the rust sheen layer, there was a dried brush fiber, you almost never see that fiber, the ridges that made it that far. No one envies that layer. Sure they can. They were part of the sour ground, a section fed the dogwood, it was a type of reverie.

I was in that chapter of the html of the unreliable character’s existence in the passage. He’s not the only person that fell on the left side of his head in his

mother’s womb. My mother the lady never spoke of it (not with any details). I could’ve been raised with less kindness than forbearance. She had to have been on top of my father…facing––who knows which direction?––they weren’t exactly at the race track.

She had her reasons she went back to Detroit Town less than two years later. I think the money ran out.

I think somebody lied about a loan, lied about another family, no lie walked off drafted off somewhere off to Okinawa before the Okinawans largely disappeared mostly unarmed. I don’t know the camp where they programmed the assassins, Killer Donkeys who walked on their back legs with seventy-five lb. packs making up their supplies, their supplemental weapons, their suicide pills in case there’s a torturer with an erection. Okinawa relocated him. Invasion relocated him.

As if we have any part in it. I eavesdrop on aggravation. I’m not splitting hairs. You get soft in the ears from the falls you have to take. There’s always a mix up, no words for the exact condition, the stammering malady (not known by that classification).

Forgetting remembering is not the issue. They’re all rag pickers, appetites memories instincts. Better and worse. What’s the debate? My mind shrunk with advanced reductions enough in relation to those hackers snipers suicide explosion enthusiasts––the other Diseased State––sequel to sequel––Hall’s Balls!––my lower back has a mouth it cries and drools. I’m planning a trip to Chinon, Rabelais’ birthplace. Heraclitus and Diogenes had no address. Emma Goldman’s and Villonski’s remains were stolen, maybe they were auctioned off. The other parent you look for…the other Sappho, the other Rumi…and not so Rumi (you could meet The Raping Guru). There’s no consolation. Not in your head. You have to make a statement to your head. It’s not about tools, tools have their own destiny. Not your option.

It’s the ovulation of habits, it’s the gardener, what

I recognized as an appendage. I don’t dwell on Illuminated Manuscripts or know how to repair bicycle gears for right-handed riders. I saw a gardener in the middle of the brain, a half-a-loaf on either side, the parallel saga, the intruder that preceded me clandestinely accompanied me. I would know him anywhere. I would know him by one eyebrow. I use him in the scene he uses me to water things, he’s the surmiser of what he means me to do. I follow orders.  Indentured slavery is not the issue. Am I a lodger to him or is he the lodger? Which depends on which? Time’s up. Good enough and not that good a one. Keep the extra morbidity part out of it.

Our parents, they look the same age for forty-three years, the ones that lived, the fortuitous couple, obscure realized attraction, at least they gave a fuck,

at least they almost got over their annoying bickering (not the backbiting) (her part anyway). I don’t remember any conjugal monotony to victimize themselves in my lifetime. But how easy or careless is that to expose…or for a child privately to divulge?

I snoop around. Since I didn’t contact one of the Kevorkian brothers today I’m letting you know, it’s depression with industrial clamps…same day… melancholy with a half-eaten éclair. Symbolism isn’t the naïve progression of an atrophied organ. You get pulled out of the kitchen to watch dreams that include someone that looks like you. It’s unswitchable.

2001-2004 he had the lower back unit where he kept

a garden inside a wagon. He moved it around the driveway. Southwest exposure.  That’s the procedure. He watered sprouts, greens, mostly herbs, not everything there appeals to him. Some of it he grew for a neighbor. Normal to him.  The idiosyncratic toll. Distraction eludes you. The exceptions halter. Umbilical luck regards you. I’m in the southwest procedure. I’m listening to the mind of a sea bird.

The Emoticons


The fact is there were several nightmares. They don’t just leak out of themselves. It’s a pattern. I’m not apprehended. A voice made statements about vanishing introspection. I reread the passage. I was looking for ivory in a rat’s mouth. I started flossing my teeth with a rubber band looking up streets for the one I came in on to find my way back from. Inside the car I’m aspirated. When I close the car door I get the raw in lakewater feeling. I keep the cigarette in his mouth. What am I regulating to live through this?  I think it was the favored location. The mouth expected it. I had to find my car in a darker ore than I stood in. Composed thinking this through his jaw. The fact is, I was closer to Millie but I dream about Mindy. She was almost flat, her nipples were neither half-full berries nor octagons. Either side. He was above them, he was below them, they were both acrobatic. There were athletic considerations. Her feet peddling the air. He couldn’t see what. Something imaginary over his shoulders, something she said later he should stop exaggerating about already. She offered something from a plate, something in the shape of a corn nut, something the size of a Portobello mushroom in the shape of a corn nut.  Neither corn nut nor Portobello.  She said, I would have had your baby, you will never forget my bed pillows, the park bench, the rowboat, my white chile, either trampoline, the galactic sleeping bag, the tree house, the isolation tank. And part of him should have married her. If only he was poly-marital in more of his parts. Even while the hyperbole counselor cautioned him about the peddling in the air delirium redundance she accused him of she talked on the phone dealing with someone not possible to outsmart, in this case: her daughter-in-law’s mental derangement facility and the shallowness of her septic tank. Her feet had an erotic posture. To be loyal to.


Oceans meet, so do oceanoid men and women. Maybe regularly. Maybe only when you’re unconscious. Or he was dreaming, or dreamed he dreamed about it, from the night before when he dreamed he wrote everything down, but didn’t until he went back to sleep again, he dreamed. The Emoticon Makers will create a Business Psych International Face Likeness for the tone of the dream, for the voice of the tone, for the primrose burnt at mid stalk, for the roof tar on your fingers, the hawk moth stuck to your hair––Emoticon for dying clover pine roots lapped, for the rectangle with no corners, for the broiler man catching a smoke––Emoticon likeness for the downward current of the mood, the heat element of the broiler in the hottest section, the bolts with melted threads––Emoticon for the kicked away, the heart of an excited anchovy, the place the sea-facing part of the leaves break––Emoticon for none of the consciousness you know, for the lynched pyromaniac, for Scylla Godzilla, for none of your damned business.

Karma became refined and emphatically about deserves to the point extreme karma can be embodied through inanimate form. What happened to Mr. Buddha’s disciple who for negligence in his service­­­––he was reborn, he had the experience, he appeared again reduced after death to the form of a broom-stick. I don’t have facts on what the degrading negligence was. No one does. No one knows.

What if George W Bush actually was reborn? He said so. It seems like it. What if you’re reborn a pump-action 12 Gauge shotgun, what if you’re the junkie’s spoon, what if you’re a Thalidomide baby Crack baby’s diaper. Emoticon for the knee pressing the suspect’s black neck, for The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, for the mirror for the mind the heron drinks inside of, for the infant petals, for the sixty-eight year courtship, for everything that went down––Your honor, the fact is I blink things together. You get consumed. You locate the smudge on the glass, you scrutinize the breath fading in a beveled corner. Less and worse. Everything has a portion like that. Out of rhythm, out of sorts. There’s the ready and willing panic to the impending panic of a type of helpless ode to panic receding. Without disappearing. Otherwise,

what if you aren’t carried by the experience enough to understand the significance of the outcome?

Judge, I made a literal appeal to ice plant, field stones, fennel. I am not a landscaper, there was a fennel section that made a wave swept down. More yellow orange than black and yellow butterflies. They were Skippers, they maintained radiators, I think a few were copulating between blossoms, they radiated sideways, they made the abdominal flinch, their wings never contracted. I made an appeal. Waves, I’m hearing waves, I said, I’m grounded past one of the surfaces, repositioned facing the sound where the kelp in the waves begins. I’ve never seen the Pleiades arranged over the half-moon like that. The Pleiades fit on a petal of sand. The Pleiades’ tails’ Emoticon. The shredded expression Emoticon.

Originally from Los Angeles, Doren Robbins’ is a poet, essayist, and mixed media artist from Santa Cruz, California.  

His work has appeared in many publications, including Kayak, Sulfur, The American Poetry Review, Cimarron Review, 5 AM, Hotel Amerika, The Indiana Review, The Iowa Review, and Nimrod. 

Past collections of his poetry, Driving Face Down and My Piece of the Puzzle were awarded the Blue Lynx Poetry Award 2001 and the 2008 PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Poetry Award, respectively. 

Summer 2021 Spuyten Duyvil Press will publish Sympathetic Manifesto, Selected Poems 1975-2015. 


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