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Michael Tencer

Michael Tencer


Born in Canarsie, Brooklyn, 1983. Poet of the Esemplasm & former American. Albeit still living in America. His first book of poetry, a collaboration with Ken Fox, is Frack the Deuteronomy (Earthly City Productions: Saskatoon, 2016). He’s also co-editor with Andy Wilson of The Assassin: An Association of Musical Marxists Reader (Unkant Publishers: London, 2014). Tencer maintains J.H. Prynne’s online bibliography. He’s also compiled a checklist of Anna Mendelssohn’s publications. He’s published criticism in Hix Eros, Cordite Poetry Review, AMM/Unkant, Militant Poetics, & the forthcoming Prynne festschrift For the Future (ed. Ian Brinton; Shearsman Books: Bristol, 2016). Please address his failings directly at


‘Bathroom Break’: The reading of ‘Bathroom Break’ is by Ben Watson, on his Resonance FM radio show Late Lunch with Out To Lunch, in the episode ‘Chris Mc Cabe Poet From Liverpool’ (29 June 2005). The poem was previously published in The Gallatin Review, 20 (April 2005).

‘pitstop’ / ‘Public Squirm Rummage Burst Scruple Pap Lingo’ / ‘internal memorandum’ / ‘NOW RIGHT NOW’ / ‘x-ray spex’ / ‘Holiday in New York’ / ‘Squatron’ / ‘[CXXXSXX]’: This recording was from the 2nd UnAmerican Activities reading, ‘Virtual Cabaret’ (at Page Poetry Parlor, NYC, simulcast with the Judith E Wilson Drama Studio, Cambridge, UK, via videochat. It took place sometime between 9-11pm England-time on 7 July 2013). Three of the poems read here were published in Materials, 3 (February 2014), one in the pamphlet that accompanied the readings, & three with some revisions in Frack the Deuteronomy.

‘Dastardly Booya Sex Furniture, Meat Professor’: The recording of ‘Dastardly Booya Sex Furniture, Meat Professor’ was made in my bedroom, i.e. the only room, at 555 Edgecombe Ave., Apt. 14K, NYC, 17 November 2014. This recording was also broadcast on the Late Lunch with Out To Lunch radio show ‘Meatus Allreetus’ (10 December 2014), alongside a part of Frank Zappa's Thing-Fish played backwards with Ben Watson overdubs on stylophone, starting at about 29 min. By improbably weird coincidence, Ben Watson plays the same Zappa track forwards following his complete gonzo reading of Fox & Tencer’s Frack the Deuteronomy on its own eponymous Late Lunch episode (3 February 2016).



Late Lunch With Out To Lunch - Resonance FM, June 2005

The reading of 'Bathroom Break' is by Ben Watson, on his Resonance FM radio show Late Lunch with Out to Lunch, from 29 June 2005.  The poem was previously published in The Gallatin Review (April 2005).


‘Squatron’ was published by jwcurry in the 1cent series, as (part of) #398 (24 December 2008). WRITE to Room 302 Books, #302-28 Ladouceur Ave., Ottawa K1Y 2T1, Canada.

‘Thorngrip’ was published in Frack the Deuteronomy. This poem was written in response to a poem by Ken Fox, ‘Shorncliffe’, which itself was a response to a pile of words on a page by Michael Tencer. In the book, Tencer’s poem is printed on facing pages alongside Fox’s poem, while the original pile of words was scrapped.

Sample Text


Low scrotum escrow sodium mildew,
assport sport frugal pole hone salute.
Squat Tango Pabulum, 18 & overture,
War is always just like camping to death.



Maypart ramp ember thaw cooed wicket, slim window tick tick scones on the rifle. Each home toke front loader balk to bae socks warmly host none after.

Often sook repulsed she heard his shadow import voice soothe itself of of, replies a dream’s dream seal what more he wants or maysoon. A syrup imp unworthy gives a fool deserving whatfor.

Request unmarked address’d himself, so backwash songspread fork of yous, too fresh to count the inbreath fat too rich to walk away. Say again?

Awake in bed of toenails better still, unsteady peace to wipe the tacit time menus with bets & highhat braces. A wish of taxis flood the bib & sing in homeless puns. But nothing red can spark it, no ripe star or even tussle.

Bouquet of papers dump to cure, greener past her pickgrass stolen, filed down death cab undundee punk & moxy stomach.

He did this faithly donkey show, a politic gab at bribery.

Mute swingle sisters dawn for dumb, rud jumpers zip & borax.

Swell twink knick & chip a single tooth pizzazz for pickax hip, he knew this much was wrong, & blundered o’er the dateline speedbump honey-burnt, & bearing mermen.

Obstacle horse tickled herpes smile click preserve for best face forward, march into brick when the widest of ease dropkicks antacid, knob’s a niblet.

Limp desists a born outwash.

Laugh unpacks itself in snack repeats for cottage chews.

Rev infested weed dreams of losing his keys in the sea of song.

Bred erstwhile fuzzy paradise lumps donate to crisis hopetown criers.

Lickpenny hark majeures, newfound boredom pooled eastendem.

Frigate willowbloom auscultation, osculating wraiths for gonad grooms with seven stumps for heaven pumpers, coil shoots in beak read rakes to beam up him to backup bureaucrats. O lonely stocking stuffers, ingratiating stowaways lay tracks, cleanup on aisle five.

Keep abreast the wrong trajectory, commit to dud sticktoitiveness, when in doubt argue the point with made up facts, proud norman hacks & froth wroth, unhappy accidents.

Lose in loops to leave a place to reset, say little less than stoogery, regret your mouth the page it’s on.

Return postdictum predilective to hot weak paella, to dream with fishy sidedish emotive lexicon of fast redemption cram exemption tickets.

Quickly think intolerant divisive shirk light shrivelry for smithy lyrics.

Identify with tech warp speed the dribble conscience like decides.

Upstanding hands convince the deck that jackoff streaks unpredictable, hold on tight you’ll never guess what happens next.

Propel a love swallow pill to suck with drill bit two ply prandial tease.

Rewind the inheritance tape to keep your appetite petite.

Avoid the words that hurt your image, ape & oops is best in show when targeting new territory.

Spilling gaps the wash of thought, not worth the malignite stick that lit it.

Shoots were feats deleted escapades when he couldn’t afford milktooth -

but past the sickly sweet horizon rocking him in slumber trumpet blast the too white self to blame & scurry back to earth


Reviews Weeeell under the radar, tho Esther Leslie says some nice things about Tencer as her 'sparky' editor.

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