Do Good towards Every Insignificant Thing Always Until You Are Dead

Raul Alvarez



Words do not initially enjoy the sensation of being read

The spine not yet been broken into like an apple

A Christmas play I did in church fifteen years ago when still in California/a boy from the play is still a friend of mine/he moved to Chicago/we do not see each other often/he moved back to California

I will place you on hold during the following: dreamless sleep, routine, familiar television, feeding, submission, apathy, liturgy, laughter, lust, inebriation, possession, murder, pain, shame

Some dreams are terrifying until they aren’t

In her poem ROAST BEEF Gertrude Stein pulls from her experience of looking at/eating roast beef in order to make roast beef that can never be looked at or eaten

She isn’t a farmer. She isn’t a butcher

Insufficient punctuation is aesthetic and also an issue of control stemming from being a person

Do I wish myself in the deepest unconscious or subconscious layers of my being to be the founder of a new religion?

Again sun dirty mouth in the morning sleep headed socks to the eating of breakfast the calming of an ill disciplined stomach again a shower brushing sweating imperceptible both working and fretting chores cleaning of the daily space delusions of grandeur conversationally off and on stooping towards the ground farting when alone moving earnestly just beyond a reaching

Most of the content in literary journals is well written in away that screams acknowledge that I am well written

When there was a God there was a God

The pleasant clack of jewel cases while riding shotgun in a car

Microsoft Word does not recognize the word Millennial

You are a tender button I keep on my tongue when all is loud

In the book A MOVEABLE FEAST the chapter EVAN SHIPMAN AT THE LILAS is the best one. It gives me a shell

There was a copy of McSweeneys on my coffee table for years. I only read 23 pages of it

A person can never truly escape their mother

For someone who thinks empathy is the most important human quality I write the I in nearly every work I write

You left me. You moved back to California

In successful poems the YOU should enjoy being trapped

One of my warmest memories is when I was told by the girl that agreed to go to prom with me that she did not want to go anymore because she realized I actually ‘like liked’ her and she did not ‘like like’ me like that and we had this conversation in a very large Tower Records where we sat in the travel book section and she was wearing a green sweater and cried but not until after I said I was okay because this is a run of the mill American memory and it makes me feel connected to being an American

Understand the opposite of the thing to understand the thing itself

X has noticed Y in the park eating a sandwich far too big for Y. X has noticed Y is out of toilet paper. X has noticed Y has a bloody forearm indicating self harm. X has noticed Y has a degree from a lesser university. X has noticed Y has no food for the cat. X has noticed Y is speaking to a body that is not a body

I think nostalgia is ruining my objectivity

The wife myth is the central identity of straight Christian males

If you are looking for a word you are probably not fully engaged in this but also I totally get it and you should try YOLKY

A normal reaction to very nice breasts is whatever you or I want it to be unless of course it is not

Attack that Borges collection

The small succulent I used to keep on one of our speakers died a long time ago and I can not remember what it looked like but I know it existed because I wrote about it once: the small succulent we keep on the speaker is almost entirely dead. God Leonard Cohen is good writing music!

Fucking anthologists

It is hard to accept that no one cares about my childhood

I wish I had a sun tan I wish I had a pizza and a bottle of wine

If I were to tie my thoughts together would they make a little chain or could I even build anything with them or the smallest thing I could build would be a dust holder or something to put your dust in or something little for dust

There is no God and I am not a famous person

Show don’t tell

Better get the trick of throwing the whole back into the melting pot and recasting all in one piece. It is better than patching.

Salt flats are a thing you do not forget seeing for the first time because they are geologically impressive and we are powerless

That man was a devil in a past life don’t be like that man

The song Ashley by Yo La Tengo is the song Green Arrow by Yo La Tengo

When you see God you will believe you have gone insane

I will be there holding you

Forever on my tongue


Raul Alvarez is the author of There Was So Much Beautiful Left (Boost House, 2015). He holds an MFA from Columbia College Chicago and works for the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project in Seattle.

Fanzine’s Fall poetry editor is Julia Cohen. Her most recent book is a hybrid collection of lyric essays, I Was Not Born (Noemi Press, 2014). Her other books are Collateral Light (Brooklyn Arts Press, 2014) and Triggermoon Triggermoon (Black Lawrence Press, 2011). Her work appears in journals like DIAGRAM, Colorado Review, Entropy, The Destroyer, and Kenyon Review Online. She’s currently translating with Jens Bjering the Danish poet Theis Ørntoft. She lives in Chicago and is looking for snow pants.