To further support Action Books’ growing community of writers and readers, we’ve decided to launch a new initiative on the Action Books Blog. Selected by our editorial staff, a recurring series called Action Fokus will highlight excerpts from 12+ radical manuscripts submitted by poets and translators during our 2022 Open Reading Period. Today we are featuring excerpts from Leanne Ruell‘s Earthling Data.






You are Jim, the trucker, who makes me feel part of the world. I say to you, hey, Jim––I could love you. Jim, I could be you. I’m Jim and have found myself. I want to love Jim as much as I love his name. I want to love you as much as I think of loving you. It’s Black Friday of last year. It’s me hurling you into a river. The river holds and abandons you. You’re just a little dead. It’s Black Friday of last year. I’m saying names and thinking of buying clothing un-ironically. Clothing at a discount. I’m thinking of feeding myself to you, Jim.




There’s a red truck praying while climbing in the snow

Jim you may or may not be driving0000but Jim the truck struck me

as being very important this morning0000thinking of you

There is peace0000you’ve got to know

The peace existing without you is Circular

You can drive the boys around all you like

You can feel for it later when you are

lashing yourself with the cherry blossom branches

you brought back from the war0000but not right now

Right now we are communing in the mind motel

and I’ve got to tell you Jim

my brain is also on snow praying inside Circular

Fire0000the fire I had put out hours before midnight

the fire I had put out with Christmas Eve snow

went live again at midnight

I saw it happen from my bathroom window

and was embarrassed for it

like I am for you Jim

The peace existing without me is a circular resolution

It has resolved to wait

For your whole life too Jim it will wait

You and I have completed our own versions

of the midday seance

on our custom ambient cement slabs

but we’re still driving to buy the essential high-

end life0000so many construction workers drinking cokes

and laying inside their car trunks for privacy

Can’t privacy just be enough?

How is it we cannot endure

our own methods of capability

I for one am in a monogamous relationship

with the earth and yet I want

the exposition of being seen

before and after it’s too late

Feeling such0000it is always too late

To do anything about it

That I should fear anything (!)

The inadequacy of fear is that it never accomplishes

never being able to save for long enough

The body is now faithless









Here I will bully a deer with analogy

and the deer is very afraid of you Jim

and cannot observe itself exposed

asleep in the silent woods under the alien star

when you are also asleep









In someone’s arms

freedom is exposure

and it’s waiting to hold us


existing with no one to watch it

watching us

So here is the plan Jim

I will wait to be given less and less

until I know what to do with it

It’s been weeks I couldn’t breathe

and why now can I?




I don’t want to tell you what I thought about the river but I‘m disappearing. The river is perpetually falling off its own face. The river is the stockbroker on vacation after leaping from the skyscraper. The river is the big-box store of ghost matter. The river is all disappear, like you. The river is the main thoroughfare of septic for other universes, of which the mountains are the toilet.

Nothing ever goes away, said David Bowie. I think of him sometimes, like I think of Jim. Sometimes I think about the river, I’m swimming inside David Bowie.




/* /
A hype man hangs in the pit
waiting to change a tire for the mustached god
The electrical systems within the stadium are failing
the man’s feet are sparking against the black
No one is coming
so he lies in the dark pool of the drag-way
which is a ribbon on his cheek
The pool is eating him as he eats
although the man is very busy eating
and cannot know he is disappearing
and also currently changing the tire
just by thinking of changing the tire
all while eating donuts upon the mustached god
who has transferred to the man a new idea
about the very nature of eating
that one could choose an infinite power source
by consuming only one food variant
for the very long duration
as if the man could choose a thing to live
eternally by and so live eternally
in someone else’s stomach
never making it out
And inside the man’s chest we swing




Infinity is blowing you
inside the glass cigar case
collecting like the impenetrable
wind0000you cannot see
the ways you are inside it
soaking in the pool
of phantom fluid
You cannot see
the tiny frog who just before
the sun explodes
grows to be a woman
stretching its quivering leg
toward the lord
Infinity is drumming up
the parasitic New World Order
but nobody wants to eat each other
anymore0000nobody is that nervous
about what they will eat





I’m working on a theory that suggests
those drawn to cruelty say god bless the most
but just go on in my mind
about how particulates of plastic
float in our blood0000how we don’t really
take this into account on the mornings
we feel shelled-over within
our own very specific culture
which looks like a dollar folded
into elaborate shapes
I buy an entire room
of houseplants to commodify
my untranslatable feelings
which resemble the word for swallowing
the guy who is perpetually flipping over
a metal table at a wedding in your local VFW
silk roses spilling everywhere forever




Hello I said
to the lame sky
Why won’t you let me
up there
Opening my mouth
to the rain
I took it like payment
having slightly
less than enough
I am like the piss poor rain
which dropped into me
like a sex worker
who only wanted
an evening of Poirot
and old horse-drawn carts
over endless fields
but had to perform
like the virgin mind
in the lap of a sugar daddy




You are the last living person
on the planet and I am also
the last living person on the planet
and we are both below the digitized moon
as the Economics of Suffering hovers
overhead in a Celestis Memorial Spacecraft
We now have a compact extraction
of beauty from suffering
Looking at it all night we feel nothing
the history of man’s purpose blinking back at us
from its own funeral0000we enter the tomb
of gas station snacks and stockpile Coca-Cola
And it’s not the end of the world!

Watching a reality show on Survivalism
I fell in love when a woman said
If I die let wild horses gallop through my ashes
and that’s just the way love goes
isn’t it






Leanne Ruell believes that love exists as its own origin point. Praise (love in) the void, surely moving all by itself. She now lives in Vermont with Greg and Theo and works for the Ruth Stone House as a grant writer and assistant editor of the journal, ITERANT.