Chris Sharp


A Book of Milk

How pale and how possessed a night it is.... —Wallace Stevens

Even if hope I
see you again, I never
my face, the book
filth as a mind of its own
you can read out loud
I don’t care,
I would call it all filth,
filthy as this white belly
flooding in through
the window. It is
the window, this belly.
Through the belly
button I see the tiny
things. So small
they are not even worth
looking at. This filth
of white, blotting out
everything, like milk.

This milk obscenely
arcing out of
my sleep, an ordeal
to whet the distended
etc. Better to abjure
language and all
its would be alabasterisms.
‘Cause this milk
simply has no bottom.
I stare into it for days,
it tells me nothing,
but dreaming in public
it’s milk
and creamy, groovy
to look at
but dangerous
to feed. Don’t feed
the milk.

It’s a dirty book,
but someone has got to
milk the fools bobbing
up and down the
Dear Berthe Morisot
your milk most kindly
rendered, but for a thimble full
would I commit acts
most unmentionable
just beyond her lady’s
most duplicitous ken
pasteurized, fully
to the edge being
where I am adrift
about a little
boat, gliding through
the milk bombs
bursting in the raw milk
spattered sky.

That funky feeling
a would be sentience poeting
day in and day out,
wiping milk from the brow,
where it sweats, since you have
so thoroughly integrated yourself
into the inexorable milk
flooding away into the horizon,
and not falling from the sky—
this hanging milk of hanged-men,
of somebody crying for milk
from the gallows just beyond
the city walls at twilight,
warning the weary that it would
perhaps not be so pleasant
to take a walk there.
No, let us walk elsewhere.

The milk a violence
as surely
as the milk riseth into
the throat of consciousness,
tenderly scalding,
and something
crawling away from
milky shore (in vain), these
bodies by the half light,
this milky thrall,
this all milk, draining
the blood away from
extremities, numbing
and cleaving
toward the senses
of thereunto the milk sea.

The milk money
milk man milking that
midnight cow
in the secret milk land
of dregs and other
fables music

Where will this all lead?
To Africa, of course.

Dear lord,
relieve me of my daily
milk, bring me
a milk which,
which never,
a milk
that I did not,
a milk to end
all milk.

So a guy.

So a guy walks.
So a guy walks into.
So a guy walks into a bar.
So a guy walks into a bar.
So a guy walks into a bar

So a guy.
And orders.
Walks into a bar.
A glass of milk.
This guys walks into a bar
and orders.

So a bar walks into this guy
and milk. This fucking guy.
And orders a glass of milk.
A fucking glass of milk.
Of fucking milk, crying, "So what
so what the fuck, does a
guy, a fucking guy, a guy
gotta fucking do, to do,
to fucking do, to get, get
a glass, a fucking glass
of milk, a glass of fucking milk
around here?"

"Deformation Has Taken Place"

You would lead me to water
but you can’t I am
the water, pouring
out of myself, I stream forth
withdrawing back into
as water I dreamed of milk,
I dreamed I was the honey
to your milk. But we met
in a very dry place, the desert.
And then we became the desert.
And then I woke up,
and I was what the desert
dreamed, dreaming
myself the honey to your
milk in the desert
that, as already stated,
dreamed of us.

Un Coup du Lait

Je te porte un verre,
un seul verre, unique,
nu (est-ce que mon verre est nu?
est-ce que c'est possible?),
complètement vide.
Alors ce verre, il est vide
tellement vide qu'il déborde de toi,
déborderait de toi,
si je pouvais me rapprocher
pour prendre
qu'une goutte. Cette goutte
qui n'assouvirait rien.
A part te goûter
à travers ce verre qui
est vide et que je lève
à ma bouche, à mes lèvres,
ce verre atrôcement vide,
sans cesse, ce verre
que je lève
à mes lèvres. Surtout
quand il est vide.

Long the waxing milk
damage the mystical
milk undine
dissolving into the milky
moonlight of your
milky shores
come alive
at the break of
the infernal
love milk baby
outta sight!
A forest, for which
I cannot see the night
to throttle a milk demon
these milk trees
whose evil
ever pure
laying waste
so seized this mortal
milk of nape,
of thighs.

Because You See

Because you see
we really are
the good ones,
or at least
we meant well,
now that we are lifting off,
drifting up
(no use struggling)
a little higher and higher
each day
towards the open sky
where we become clouds
that resemble ourselves
finally as harmless
and amorphous
as the small children
who point us out
just before disappearing
into their milk.

Coffee at 11:30 at night
blue milk, red milk,
yellow milk, green
milk, brown milk,
black, gray, etc,
something hurling
across space so
loud beyond
that a swimming
back to your specious milk
from I should
really eat something
before it sinks too far
because don’t be fooled
that nadir is not rising
to greet you
it has an afterlife
and it ain’t pretty.


I am sorry you got disappointed.
It’s disappointing.
It’s fine. Great even.
No use, anyway.
As they say.

Had I been there,
I would have cleaned
you up. Or at least,
I would have spilled
myself too, been right
there with you, where
their feet. I am.
We catch 'em
as they fall.
Did they fall on you?
They fell all over me,
fell from me, disappearing
into you.

A puddle like quicksand
in the lowering, lowing light
this puddle that extends
like quicksand all across the city
swallowing up whole buildings
how the milks grows
at six in the morning
(to know nothing of six
in the morning), even if
I heard if you don’t move
just stay real still,
don’t even breathe—
somebody might come
along and say, "Hey man,
you’re sinking!" And you
can say, "Oh don’t worry,
it’s just milk!"

A milk white shuddering
heave ho
A milk white to bleed, splattering
all over the screen
I shall, I shall
"eyes and fingers."
Disguted, I shall.
Grow old. I shall,
out, extending
virtual, beyond
belief. Beyond
repair. Beyond,
"beyond." Ever
and over
the great milky white

What can I say but that
you are not here. That it is
3:30 in the morning. That you
are not here and it is 3:30
in the morning. That if
you were, you would be milk
and I would drink you
and then I would probably
just go to bed.

A Response by Adam DeGraff