from The Sugar Book

Johannes Göransson


There are gangs in the rape fields of Los Angeles because there are sons.
Killers are beautiful in Los Angeles because they care.
That and because they are white.
Beautiful like a killer in the sun, as that one song says. It’s a date song, I’ve heard.
Face the rat music!
Up against the wall rat face!
Faces are important because they have mouths and eyes and sometimes they are
chewing on disgusting meats in my house.
I have one daughter I call our “outside daughter.” But most of them are “inside
daughters.” Too bad they are constantly coming and going and getting sick all over
our floor. I should make them all outside daughters. They make me sick.
My wife is definitely an inside wife. She sits in the couch and is almost dead from
mercury poisoning, aka Art.
… bloated cadaver of the bourgeoisie… I am the one in the greaser room… nazi
glamour… Dear friend, I see your pig lips and your pig eyes and your pretty pink
body everywhere I go. Dear Los Angeles, stop cutting yourself, I’m not you.


Johannes Göransson is the author of five books, including most recently Haute Surveillance (Tarpaulin Sky, 2013), and the translator of several more, including works by Aase Berg, Johan Jönson and Henry Parland. He edits Action Books and Action, Yes, writes for and teaches at the University of Notre Dame. This poem is from his forthcoming book The Sugar Book (Tarpaulin Sky, 2015).