Mike Tyler’s “The Most Beautiful Word in the American Language”

Why 12 Steps
why not 11 steps
or 39 steps
howbout 1 step
I’ve heard that first step’s a doozy
humane beans
are unlike the street of bending trees
they fall quick
if that 1 step is
revolting, sickening, bullying, damaging enough

you only need the one

I’ve heard that first step’s a doozy
thru the arches of trite self-examination
witnessed by nodding fiends
a pudgy baked complicated marshmallow
is machine rolled into flat dough
and cookie cluttered
on a grey tan ton tin pan
alley waste of flat little bitter
crunchy duplicate yellow xeroxed spills
faux sugared treat
with pathetic stiff hands
reaching out in exactly the same position
to pathetic stiff hands
reaching out in exactly the same position
to
fingers never bend
touching is only
abutting

Abutting we will go
But isn’t it a good thing
to stop the demon drink
to turn winos into whiners
boozers into bozos
to remove the grape from the expectant gape

to put a towel over the tv set

(“My friend is thinking of putting
a towel over the tv set. Doesn’t want
to get addicted.”)

what’s willpower and personal freedom
to a dead person
but that’s my point

What’s the most beautiful word in the American language

donut
tire
tornado
spasm

rally
fret
nose
fodder

farm
stamina
element
hose

fill in four words here

 

 

 

 

feast
love
warm
kind

drink
sing
snuggle
fuck

tumor
kidney
cancer
death

bunny
breakfast
sleep
purr

noodle
nightmare
work
will

damage
death
(already said it)
drink
(already said it)
stop

What’s the most beautiful word in the American language

clumsy
target
erase
checkers

evil
evolution
alternative
upsidedown

kite
dumb
munch
elephant

satire
hedge
orange
fast

believe
fight
aware
resist

What’s the most beautiful word in the American language

She used to listen to Joni Mitchell albums

she knew me as a baby
and hammocked me gently in her arms
she knew me as a kid
and protected me with sophisticated teenage charm

now her original tone is a busy signal

What’s the most beautiful word in the American language

When the weapon wants you
when the cross hairs meet at your heart
when the butcher’s massage is bloody and forever
when it rains inside

When the toupee is amplified
when feeling good is a pin-prick of intense anti-self
when groups are formed by groups
when language is shallow and compelling

When the noise is quieter than the silence
when all you can hear is yourself telling yourself to be quiet
when dripping is a function of turning the faucet off
when you hate you

When magic is explained
when the magician claims mystical powers
when love is stuff
when beauty is a sawed-off personality

What’s the most beautiful word in the American language

She used to listen to Joni Mitchell albums

Resist

Resist

Resist

Resist

The most beautiful word in the American language is

Resist

by Mike Tyler, published in Aloud: voices from the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, ed. Miguel Algarín and Bob Holman, Holt, 1994.

 

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