Saturday, December 31, 2005
this fluidity of spirit that,
when chafed with suffering, rose,
a genie in a lamp,
offering the sample of three wishes:
to be known,
Come with me.
Live in the teeming understanding of self
tormented with perpetuity,
silver chords of unity defying
definitions swallowed by fledglings.
Resurrect the energy of living barbarically
when stabbed by the epiphanies of pain.
Force our symphony,
amalgamated swoop from the tree
wiped away in exchange for these wishes,
vibrating in our breasts
having lost their rest when polished
by a savage magic.
by nancy jewell 2005
Friday, December 30, 2005
a memory turned like a favourite song
into the strands of a siren wife
floating, cavorting, in the ice
of a common life.
I have seen and I have sung
the channels dry to the earth’s rich dung
and roots and usurping life,
the polished scissors and sharpened vice
of our common strife.
I have crept the moon’s harsh pull
onto the beaches of our days
and loved and left
my kiss stone by stone down the path
of a thousand dreams.
And I am gone, being sated, full,
into the imagination of the haze—
inundated and quite bereft—
courtesan to the hurricane’s wrath
against the struts of life’s shattered beams.
--after Where Once the Waters of your Face,
by Dylan Thomas
Where were you blue skies and timber?
A pastoral myth without Pan to honor
our most gutteral truths--this was our
love before the winter and wrists, carved
memories spilled onto tile. There is no faith
when old stories don't hold up after two
bottles of pinot noir. There is no sunset
after the sweeping of the floor, dust
removed from the cracks, while roaches
move in, covering our tracks. Tell me, Love,
who writes these stories?
Who tells me these lies?
Kerry James Evans
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
Tuesday, December 27, 2005
Chiaroscuro, you are mind mettle
and iron to the core. Slide free
and skoosh behind the eight ball.
The duck soup has canary segments
so grab a cup of java, snap a cap,
and give me your mazuma.
Steal a Chicago overcoat, grab
the getaway sticks, and
we'll call in the ringers with vigorish.
The nippers are hungry,
their eyes have bees swarming,
danger signs. Wrap them some jam
in orphan papers and whisk them
away to Samarkand.
Toe tap with dazzle,
lip smack and frazzle,
the speak-easy bourbon-mix cocktail.
We're flapping for freedom,
these crazed-paving days
in a gangster's bloody, last stand, haze.
Sunday, December 25, 2005
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Saturday, December 24, 2005
beginning the day that it was supposed to.
They brought him in and strapped him
onto the stylish gurney. The labelled him 'being'
and then they strapped him down like livestock.
Did you watch our custom,
did you do the right thing,
did you take a meteor
and smash it--guv'nor?
For Tookie was a mild muscular man
out of place in that Wild West picture show.
They trotted him up the steps
and they waited for his knees to buckle.
They wanted him to tumble.
And the cowboys galloped hard,
hard, to see it.
where were you?
Mr. Sidney Poitier of Austria.
Life wasn't a fucking film, anymore.
Friday, December 23, 2005
Like a probing jealous lover,
x-rays drill through my pelvis.
I hold my breath,
of you taking root in me,
you and me in every conceivable way.
In a second it finds me innocent,
shows me smug evidence,
nothing but held-together bones,
not even touching in spaces
that are a hollow cry.
I smile a quiet victory,
knowing it isn’t always so.
by Rebecca Flores
Thursday, December 22, 2005
the ever pacing beast
that walks across my soul,
wondering if its warm and wet
inside the outline of your lips,
thinking that your skin
would match its burning hands
with the red bumpy texture
of sweet ripe strawberries
if it could touch you.
You need not worry.
It is safe
behind your blinding light
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
where light has brushed,
she is light and rising.
Her hair is white where it has absorbed
the sun, and her blood is white
with tiny salt crystals
that rise to the wound,
cleanse and cauterize,
burn and sodomise.
Ever after screwed to the mizzen
of her Cinderella shipwreck,
decks awash with accusations
and deprivations, she is the dispossessed,
despised, and wonders why
her feet burn and bleed.
There are a million splinters
from glass slippers seeded into her soles.
The sea is master of stones that shatter shoes,
how the wreck totters and rolls,
the promised day
dies upon the horizon.
falls toward the dark. We shall eat it
as we watch the light come up in
the morning. We are contemplating
the confinement of song birds. Can
canaries and Java sparrows live kindly
together in the same cage? Green
onions, root ginger, winter melon. He
looked so calm, so not beaten down,
in his Chicago Overcoat, there in the
Fleet Street Family Mortuary. I had known
he was a lunger, but not so near. . . He
told me he was behind the eight ball.
Chicken stock. Arrow root. All those
orphan papers posted on the board.
Who will bother with them now? He had
to have the bees. Five hives in the middle
of town. Peel and chop the ginger. Slice
the winter melon. He had the oddest quirks
with words, especially words for women: long,
long getaway sticks; great nippers; man, she
snaps my cap, but I can't carry the vigorish.
They're ringers, all of them, he'd say, wanting
to ring my bell; wanting my mazuma. He loved
duck soup, loved the way the duck came last,
after the chopping and peeling; after the salt,
the monosodium glutamate; after the shao hsing
wine or dry sherry. The clearness of it. The hot
and soft, the sweet and salt and dryness of it.
The rich and stringy empty body of the duck.
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
Sunday, December 18, 2005
Saturday, December 17, 2005
..and who could speak of those days;
the trees carving gray slashes into
an indifferent sky, cat cowering
on our back patio, the tic of my den clock
mocking me as I sat, fingering
poems into the air?
He never could tell me, you know,
tell me that all I would have of him
was a mist of breath on the bathroom
mirror, the chance glimpse of a receding
back, his best shirt flung to the floor,
still warm with his angry sweat.
I walk out into the scent of Jasmine,
dress dew-damp at the hemline, think,
who can know of that kind of death
that ambushes us while still living,
or how long one can endure chaste limbs
blackening and tumbling off for
the wolves to carry away as bounty.
My laughter once rang like fine church bells,
but his shadow has pressed me flat.
I've forgotten my name, my mother's name,
the town of my birth, the face of my first
lover, the color of my father's hair.
I've forgotten it all.
Every single bit of it.
the season &
to the hip-
dark-green fir trees
in our arms
northern mountains when
branches drop down
music coming in
radio station &
can lanterns strung-up
saws-off the tree
keep the stem
teaspoons sugar everyday
if come spring
pine needles &
all over everything
that we've passed
up, if you leave
I'll die, if I
another, that would mean
captivity, but how
I still can't stand
to say goodbye,
we know that fish
have no hands,
I would still
wait, wrap what
I had around, and
walk you home
I did it so much. I loved your mouth;
it was a napkin, I said. And your face was a wide
white tablecloth with a red rectangle in the dead,
white center. Distance was not contriving then,
there was no picnic to go to. Not a leaf
in the perfectly circular table which had accepted me.
(Symbolic of your prettiness.
You were open to me; unrealistically so.)
--but the void threatened us.
It was not definitive or personal, but it hit us
as if we were sitting down to eat. As we really were
bartering for the blood on each other's lips.
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
guide your hips
to the rhythm of the tide.
Gradually, how it
creeps up the shore
and flattening castles
despite the color of the sky
or the direction of the wind.
And how it becomes
possessed by demons
screaming the lord’s name in vain
when the storm is near
and men drown shipwrecked.
And how, late in the evening,
it multiplies the feminine
face of the moon
in every rising crest.
What a pleasant, dazzling fire
The tide can make.
the flim-flammer jumped in the flivver
and faded (leaving only the moonlight)
the heart grows hard hiding behind
the eight-ball. i remember you
the canary of first light. treading
the dust-weary streets in my chicago overcoat,
i think only of long nights and the salt
of dry bread. duck soup i'm not.
counting and re-counting getaway sticks
i come up short. have the bees
mumbled their secret yet? stale honey,
cold java, in the aging hours.
like the dying fish, the blue lunger
on the beach at mazuma, staring up at us,
gasping for -- up the shore the party-happy
nippers oblivious with their gaudy balls
and sand buckets. and now a pile
of gray days bleak as orphan papers.
late at night, somewhere out the window
the last ringers stumbling home
snap a cap and break up laughing,
loud, sloppy-armed, vigorish as the living.
The rules have changed.
You choose, in general outline,
your character. Perhaps
last time you were the king
with the magic sword
and the unfaithful wife,
a hard and powerful life.
The time before, a dragon,
with a mouth full of fire.
This is a new game. You
will be a well-fed, insignificant
woman. The rules have changed.
When you enter the game, you
forget who you are. You forget
all that came before. You enter
the white light of this game
from amnesia's darkness. This
is a new game. This game
has gone on without you.
Everything has changed. One
day, while washing a plate,
you may notice the thick blue
veins in your hands. You will
wonder, did I choose this? This
game with its incomprehensible
rules? Soap bubbles will pop
on the skin of your hands. You
will raise your head and look
out beyond the curtained
window, to the falcon in the tall
spruce. You will think, Yes.
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
The Flim-Flammer Jumped in the Flivver
and Faded: Fraidy-Cat's Last Meow
I'm tired of hoppin behind the eight-ball.
This is one canary who's goin home
in a Chicago overcoat. Cmon, cmon,
shake out the duck soup already.
I got a place to jam out in the getaway sticks.
You know me, you know how I have the bees
for you. Put a clapper on the java
I'm tellin ya. I aint no nickel
and dime lunger. Think I won't?
I'm tellin ya, yer lookin for a quick ride
in the big mazuma. I had enough.
Time to see the knock-knock man.
When we get done won't be nothin left
but last year's nippers. Okay, Hokey Joe,
hand him his orphan papers. Ringers
don't dance to this tin can tune.
Gotta fly this kite before I snap
a cap. No ups or downs to it.
It's gettin too damn vigorish in here.
I posted a poem for the "flim-flam / flivver" thing, but didn't like the way it looked with double spaced lines, so I deleted the post.
(In general I don't think poetry works well double-spaced, other than individual exceptions here and there that are done for special effects. I write all of my poems single-spaced. Spacing is an important issue with poems because it can affect the overall flow and movement and sound of a poem when you read it.)
I couldn't figure out how to make the lines single-spaced. It looks the formatting is defaulting to double spacing. Is there a way to get around the default formatting and change the lines to single spaced when you're posting?
****** Update -- problem solved. See poem posted above. If you're trying to figure out how to post with single-spaced lines, see the comment by David in the comment box for this post. (Thanks, David.)
been unwrapped from a Chicago overcoat,
he slammed his hand on the bar, cursed
that canary who'd once been his getaway
sticks before his long ride to San Quinton.
He ordered Java, downpoured with cheap rum,
and guzzled. I slithered over in my shimmy
sham red dress, knowing I'd be heavy behind
the eight ball with Jimmy The Boss, if this
lunger slipped me Orphan papers instead of mazuma
for a john thomas dip in the back room.
Acting more vigorish than I felt, since
this dude wasn't quite ringers with Clark
Gable or Sam Spade, I wriggled my plump
peaches, remembering what mama always
said--'choose the ones, darlin', who
have the bees & don't snap a cap
once the honey tree has been too long
relieved of its sweep sap.
Reeling him in turned out to be duck soup,
so I tucked my nippers back into my g-string
and screamed OHHHHHHHHH during his fifteen
second ride into nirvana behind me.
He slipped me some green, melted out
into the night to the soft windsongs
of Glenn Miller while I re-adjusted my dress,
strolled out in search of some other
lonely, dead dude just waiting there,
hungry to buy himself a dream, too.
The wind wheezed like a lunger.
The clouds, a Chicago overcoat,
hung heavy and black.
The sun was a canary in a mine;
rain drizzled greasy as duck soup.
The trees, bare limbs beseeching
the sky were dead-ringers
for mourners. The grass, bereft
of green, was the color of java.
My getaway sticks got stuck
in the mud. My get up and go
was gone. Where were you?
It was November. Then this:
Suddenly, snow falls
like mazuma and accumulates
as fast as vigorish. I dislocate
my shoulders and slip the nippers
from my wrists. I hold out my paws
and catch ice crystals that melt
on contact with my skin. Baby, I’m hot
and bothered; baby, I’m rich.
Understand? I’m out from behind
that damned eight ball. Write
all the orphan papers you want;
you can’t put a cost on this.
It’s not even spring but I have the bees
in my blood; my heart is a hive.
My body is wings and sting and buzz.
Say I love you. Cut me open right now.
Who knows? I might bleed
honey. I might whisper: Low,
low, low. I might snap a cap: Yes!
I just might say it back. Out loud.
Sunday, December 11, 2005
for laughs. A little breaking of
the ice for you guys.
This town is dirty and dull,
blanketed in a chicago overcoat
dead factories and papers
flying in the wind. Garbage
scattered into empty spaces
with nowhere to go, nothing to
do, but drink and have sex.
I took a nap, got up and showered
painted my eyes thick
in canary shadow
then flew out to Nippers
Dive for a few drinks.
No sooner did I walk in the
door did I see him. Damn,
he was hotter than vigorish
on licorice. Well, okay
he was hotter than duck soup.
Okay okay, he was HOT.
Those tight jeans, god-damned ringers
I could tell he was a real lunger
and before the night was over I'd
snap a cap, I'd cap his snap.
The mazuma was on the table but
I was looking at the package
and the ringless hand that might
as well have been orphan papers
waiting to be signed.
I made sure my ass was right behind
the eight-ball before he took his shot.
I shook it good and sweet, java
with cream and sugar.
When the game was over I
strutted it over, whispered
in his ear "I have the bees,
they're humming and buzzing
in my mouth just waiting to
make some honey, honey".
That flim-flammer jumped in the flivver
and faded, jumped in the flivver
and faded ....
all night long.
the glee in his eyes
his cock stiff as it had ever been
the way my three and a half year old
was allowed to tease it for him as he bathed her
how happy he looked
wishy wishy washy went
his prick in her little ripples
prissy cunt he called me
his voice echoing around the plush tiled bathroom as I
hid behind our bedroom door unable to
1) Behind the eight-ball
3) Chicago overcoat
4) Duck soup
5) Getaway sticks
6) Have the bees
11) Orphan papers
13) Snap a cap
Saturday, December 10, 2005
nor concrete: quite
hamartiological constraints. All
the correct stance as bundle, as fibre,
threads at most. It
might be a handle
or lock or hinge or
latch one entrance embrace
memory – any case to stand
before a maker,
drawer, box, dark little
corner World Former
entire in Its beginning
foot covering colloids
a belt buckling
sucks not dual effectively
but like if touting bare
upon fire-nails safe. Bare
also before also a singular facet. I
have gone there many many
ventricular sleaze even
kneesness after the asking of
to my maximal entropied Samson
any resource striked was
were rare ductility than wanton original
the catch to let in
we; serial serial ill id one ad nauseam
blessedless ephemeron that I am
Rae and I started posting together almost six years ago on the now defunct OZ board, then posted together on Poetic Inspirations. Our poetry back then was...well, not so good. Rae, you've come a long way, baby! I'm happy for your many successes.
Friday, December 09, 2005
caustic [have breath
taken treatment] lay
chance 'flicted "as
it gets darker"
street lights 'day
250 watt's "couldn't
remember't" dialect skills
need to (walk
across the street
November (warm) night)
"yeah, I can
wear my shorts"
minded door closed
at home barred
clean clothes home
here] chemical cans
envelopes cotton swabs
receipts color'd matter
oily skin slip
"half parent cells,
chromosome" dialect'd mediocre
skill'd extreme (ly)
know I've been
irresponsible, but I'm
clean'd," another proportional
'cious every range
short'd wear n'out
wider ('ering) ledge
less know 'scribing
"you know, I
say it smells,"
the finger streaked glass
visitor greets prisoner
and it must be me
trapped in the locked side
of the smooth surface
because the clean shaven man
that stares back
has no past nor future
only the look in his eyes
of the absence we’ve become.
Thursday, December 08, 2005
shades of rust and earth,
and the shape of a face
that has not remembered itself.
The woman I know has a voice
clean as a magnolia bloom,
hands with the names of friends
lacquered over the pearl polish.
Upon a charcoal ocean
where dreams are webbed in froth
and roll wave upon wave,
she sets a wreath of lilies
to decorate mermaids' hair
and sweeten the salt-laden water.
She is a spectrum of colour,
radiant in the spray, adrift
between sun and sea.
*a poem inspired by Pris' self portrait.
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
light, perhaps even
your unwavering belief
purposes the free
pour of your
through the city
and across fields
treasured accumulation of
your living for
defined by choice
to lift or
the two into
a needed evidence
always enough to
instigate new forms
do not fear
and the suppression
the better choice
the actual occurrence
reality of healing
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
fall out of your hand,
as it did from its giver.
You take this gift
as if from anyone you know,
tear it out of the wrapping
of all other gifts
everyone else gave.
How they are by now
part of the things you barely forgot,
as if forgetting
is too much a consequence
of trying to remember.
timeless and tender bookends
I am word in a page in a book
unspoken and undefined
waiting to be said by you.
Whisper me gently the first time,
then slightly louder repeat me,
until I am a stream of incense
flowing from your lips.
Unleash me from
the meshwork of these red
ravenous snakes, that make me flesh,
like music unleashes
the motion of the dancer’s step
with the marking pace of tempo
and speak me out of the darkness of
these leather binds
that confine a small universe
looking to orbit the amber shade
of a sun at its center.
It is there that my flesh becomes divine.
Close your eyes and speak me
surrounded by vowels
and we shall become one
greater than each other
until the sun rises.
What were you doing 10 years ago; and five years ago; and one year ago; and yesterday?
10 years ago
I was working in downtown St. Paul relaying phone conversations for people who were deaf, hard-of-hearing, and/or speech impaired. It was a non-profit agency funded by the state. When I'd first started working there (1990) I liked the job, though little by little corporate-style management had crept in, and the job had become bitter and hostile. (We'd formed a union and had been on strike once.) I still liked the work itself, sometimes, even as stressful as it could be. I could write while I was at work -- I got much much writing done during the time I worked there. Marking time, waiting for what was next.
A long relationship with a woman I'd known many years was slowly drying up, finally going nowhere. I felt sad but it no longer hurt very much. A short intense erratic friendship with a poet 20 years younger than me exploded and ended badly, though (later) mended somewhat. I spent much time hanging out at local coffeehouses in Minneapolis, especially the Coffee Gallery and Cafe Wyrd, where I wrote a lot.
5 years ago
Mulling over the implications of the "election" of George Bush. Had been largely idling in neutral for much of the previous year; this was in part, though not entirely, a slow crawl back out of numbness after my father's death by suicide in 1999. I was coming somewhat back to life by this point. The poetry open-mike scene in Minneapolis -- highly active and lively through much of the '90's -- was starting to thin out, as little by little the more serious poets began to hole up and get reclusive and concentrate on writing. My book of poems If There Is A Song was forthcoming at the publisher during this time. (It came out early 2002.) I was writing a lot, and reading. Working for a living in the billing department of a large corporation, in an office with gray cubicles and gray windows.
1 year ago
Mulling over implications of the "re-election" of Bush. Locked in mortal combat with Microsoft "customer service" trying to figure out why I was having problems installing MS Word in my computer. (Turned out to be a simple stupid thing that it took three phone calls and a couple of unanswered emails to figure out.) Two poetry books forthcoming at the publishers. Firmly entrenched as a recluse, enjoying relative solitude. At around that time (or maybe shortly after), I was posting a lot on a couple of poetry message boards. Not blogging yet.
Woke up mid-morning. Bright and clear and cold outside. Snowed here several times during the past week or so, not heaps of snow but a good covering. Read some of Late into the Night, translations by Martin McKinsey of Yannis Ritsos, which I like; and read some of Winter Hours, new book of poems by Thomas R. Smith published by Red Dragonfly Press, which I also like. Read a couple of pages of The Story of Gosta Berling, novel by Selma Lagerlof, translated by Robert Bly, to get a sense of the writing. I'll spend more time with it. The novel captures well the spare silent quality, the starved isolation, of the northern European culture that remains such a pervasive undercurrent here, even with the great changes that have happened in the local culture in the past thirty years with successive influxes of people immigrating from southeast Asia, Central America, Somalia, and elsewhere.
I watched the Minnesota Vikings play football on T.V., and ate pizza. This time of year it's cold here and the daylight is short. Good time for hibernating. Two books of poems still forthcoming from the publishers. Writing much.
Saturday, December 03, 2005
Alligator, you wouldn't believe what the liars
are calling me now. They say I'm an export.
That I'm soft, leather-clad, a knock-off
channeling the bars' songs through
hip. But that just isn't true.
I fell out of the nest early.
I was on the street with my quick feathers;
they were working. Jackhammers
letting us know that the people were up,
cars in a parade down the street.
There was a long line of birds
outside the studio when I ducked in.
It was quiet.
I drank until 6 and then I exploded.
I pulled my guts behind me.
2. what matters to them is the blinds are drawn
pigeons must be engrossed
chammering at the bars
outside the windows
when the shops open with fell swoops
they flex their wings
they settle with unusual hunger
it's not easy for them to utter
their (-tails-- easily injured)
which don't grow back
but consider the history
of the bird sciences:
made famous by a death
wherefore, the sidewalks are covered with shit/
3. birds are first metaphorical, then banded
birds' suffering is not normally recognized by humanity
but birds suffer from a multitude of diseases
(that was almost sins)
they suffer from
Airsack Mites Allergic Alveolitis Aspergillosis Avian Brain Disease Avian Goiter Avian Gout Bacterial Infections Breeders Lungs Blepharitis Bordetella Botulism Broken Legs/Toes Candidiasis Cancer Cryptosporidium Coccidiosis Diabetes Egg Binding Egg Peritonitis Emphysema Eye Problems Feather Lice Feather Plucking/Chewing Fowl Cholera French Molt Giardia Hemochromatosis Herpes Kidney Disease Laryngotracheitis Lymphoid Leukosis Marek's Disease Myialges Nudus Mycoplasmosis Necrotic Enteritis Newcastles Disease Pasteurella Papilloma Pneumonia Psittacosis Pseudomonas Polyoma Salmonella Scaly Face & Scaly Feet Skin-Mutilation Tuberculosis Trichomonas West Nile Wet Vents
or perhaps they suffer from melancholy
we really don't know
yesterday a man was hanged 49 times
in 49 places
with 49 touches of his wing
and we can't figure out why he went on dropping, why
not once, but 49 times
he wanted to flinch, jerk, remember, reposition, try it
(why can't you, reader, relate, too)
the quote-unquote miracle seems to be
that they wouldn't let him dive
wherefore, it was cold when they pushed him from the cliff
(you see James Joyce first
you see James Joyce
and a peregrine)
4. two in the bush, with salt
Alligator, I'm sick of this hiding,
aren't you, for the water?
breathing through a tube
it's because we forget
the birds were not meant for an audience
they were mechanical
yet they went on bickering and fighting
background noise to the archipelago
it isn't time you wore the #1 fan shirt
you're smart, and you've got to get your glandular
magazine rack fodder, yardstick passion
together, under the cloak-image. Passion,
where the innards
"dovetail" (as John Keats would say)
heaven is seething
wherefore we fly--wherefore the lizard-skin feathers--
surface along whose surface (the elephant)
it is passionate, it is willful, it explodes
wherefore they will all do:
archaeopteryx, diatryma, ichthyornis, and others such
that we already know about
the bluer heron
green tufted flamingo
redcrest, little robin
tearing up the worms and exploding
5. tastes like chicken
Police blotters roped up on such high stuff
jackdaw and emu, po'ouli, black-faced spoon bill
crested ibis, black stilt
one in there for
one in there for
and the seasoned veterans of slingshot wars
well to poke at them
Elizabeth they have small electric brains
they are thin-boned
60 or 70 in an omelet
given a skillet
smack someone in the face
Of the judgements given by the hand of Saint Thomas
the Apostle in the city of Calamy; of the devotion and
sacrifice offered to idols there; and of the procession
round the city
and carve as far as the earth
to build upward
by the fifth idol
to an amputated ridge
before the last idol is cut
from ‘frazzled stalk’
to the intention of likeness
the repaired plants
will cover the one who once
whose mount begins from ashes
the unpaved hole
by depth and comeliness
Thursday, December 01, 2005
saxophone's moist, centered reed,
finds sacrament in jazz vespers.
The history of sanctus,
sotto close to southern
blood of hand drawn
light. It's summer somewhere
pumiced to a shine.
Wind has body, turns
pale breeze filling hollow
night with the geometry
of softly open window.
By morning, present tense
will seem scuffed intonation
an invented room of
free poured sweet containment.
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
That John Lennon Can't Fix
Ted Nugent used to be so cool,
now he’s just a fool.
We’re all going that way.
Michael Jackson’s moved to Bahrain,
no man is an island
until a continent disowns him.
Marilyn Manson shows off his man boobs
and then his Mongoloid ass
to kindergarten class.
Paul thinks he’s the equal of John,
he should have died when he was barefoot
crossing Abbey Road.
What’s wrong with your rock and roll star,
disarm him as soon as you can,
cut the strings from his guitar.
He’s got cat scratch fever,
he can’t beat it, he’s no Marilyn Monroe,
if the long and winding road didn’t kill him
what the hell are we gonna do?
John, of course, would have none of this
and gave peace a chance.
What's wrong with your rock and roll star?
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
the following day
was so cold
that there were two ways
yet many people thought
there could be
a third way
to look at things
this quickly turned
to much biblical
and bouts with
on the part of the select
who were now
they often were
thus the impression
so much so
that the common
of the usual
were set aside
for the time being
where did they go
as if they were
when they were
there was no other way
was really fishy
so much so
that certain people
then and there
to move away
so they took
what they could carry
pets should be their guide
by what the animals
or slept through
or chewed on
to get their attention
while a few
urged the others
to take to mourning
once the weather
Monday, November 28, 2005
and as the room filled
with a soapy smell, clean
I remembered you. Your
smooth chocolate chocolate
chip milkshake skin, ribbon
candy nails and neatly pressed
dresses with pockets bigger
than my chest.
Hot soapy washcloths
at your bathroom sink.
You showed me, told me
wash behind your ears,
clean before dinner.
Now I lay me down to sleep
At your table I sat, small
before an empty plate, yellow plastic cup.
Watching you through the door
careful and exact in the kitchen,
brown beans and rice
sliced long fried bananas
in the pan. The back of your
dress swayed like love as you went from
counter to stove, stove to counter,
in between wiping your hands on
a dish towel tucked to your waist.
I give the lord my soul to keep
Your couch was wrapped in plastic.
I wanted to take it off, feel the fabric
underneath, it looked like gold, but you
reminded me how we take care of things.
How we take off our shoes at the door
and fold the washcloths drape them over
the side of the sink. But it was cold on the back
of my legs, and I never lost the facination
of wanting to feel the fabric on
my skin or following zipper tracks to
see where it where began.
If I should die before I wake
Clean before bed, warm soap, brush
your teeth. You taught me to kneel
in front of the bed, fold my hands and close
my eyes. Learn words I didn't understand.
Then tucked me in and said goodnight.
I give the lord my soul to take
I was safe as your temporary
child with this permanent skin
of mine. I was clean vanilla. You
Michelle M. Buchanan Nov 27, 2005
Saturday, November 26, 2005
and the plows rumble by in the dead of the night.
Under blankets, we're warm.
We cover our eyes against the coming of light
and the start of this day,
this day of our feast, and the pretense of joy
amid their unabashed bliss,
the daughters who'll sing and play with the boy
as if he was theirs,
a jewel to be won, and a jewell to be worn.
Soon their voices will drum
against my solitude, and then I'll be torn
from this bed and this home.
Why measure despair with family and friends?
Why measure at all?
Because reader dearest, all means have their ends.
Friday, November 25, 2005
The way to the centre by Jill Chan
Bone by Michelle Buchanen
Go to my blog link for details.
Thursday, November 24, 2005
I am hoping for more regular posting again in the near future. In the meantime, I think that the three most recent posts here (http://asianamericanpoetry.blogspot.com/) may be worthwhile. Thanks, and hope you're having a happy Thanksgiving holiday!
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
in the tub. Dead, sevens
floating round your head
and I lost count--seven--seven--
seven--you lost count--seven--seven.
The shower curtain came down too,
wrapped us in a clear mold,
the drain swallowing your hair--
dear, forget the dreams
let the cold water drain, frail
body fallen--I'll soap you,
if you soap me. Red curlicues
dangling, sucked through.
Kerry James Evans
a branch of peace
mouth contain weather
were withered daring
and arcing these
given find fly this
watching were them
think fence further
each other hummingbird
when summer ended
now and are umber.
as the lurches toward the admired
from human beings
she scraps this look before the gathering roads
shade her from
her one machine
either act stands to rejoice
as a part from walking
hand in hand
among the abandoned
over the dreamed
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
This is the most ambitious effort I've attempted writing in original Spanish. I'm not fluent by any means. If anyone spots any basic errors in grammar, etc., please feel free to point them out. This apart from anything else about the poem, of course. -- Thanks.
el culo de bettie
el culo de bettie — ¿dónde está?
the moon is a bull shouldered and grunting in the field.
el narciso tan rubio de valor.
touching the cup of the morning,
las manos de bettie, ¿por cuándo?
yesterday, tomorrow, i will see you, i have seen you,
fresca y azul — hace mucho tiempo.
tiny fireflies of ice
tocan las campanas del aire encendido.
in your eyes you offer secrets
de las olas ocultas del mar,
a dance of wind, the wings of your name.
baile conmigo me dices, ¡tan claro!
i call out to you and you are somewhere and sometime
y fuente de calor y puente de palabras.
the question of questions, who are you,
¿quién eres?, la misma de bettie tú misma,
you answer speaking dawnlight and nightfall,
caminando en aurora de cual y cualquiera,
moving my feet on the drum of the shifting earth,
sombra a sombra bettie el canto el susurro de tí,
shadow by shadow calling out your histories of light.
already I am missing
sweet water I am
your human fish,
lap upon my chin
my lips, deep breaths
take me down
to the bottom
you make me small
and it is so
beautifully quiet in you
here, I breathe
Your etiquette is prompt
Divination upholds its reputation for seeming saline prompt
If I could hold you in my arms I would be prompt
Ever say things to yourself about the borderlines of justice
What does safety have to do with divination when rules in general retreat
The held momentum of a reputation in various saline solutions
Promise me you will have held me in your arms by the time the safe is closed
The fraulein of most copious dimension aggravates hypotheses
No one has made a claim that rivals excavation
"In the scheme of things" plays slowly on ingenious nerves
The nevermind of quasi pique occurs the ampersand
Meridia go easy on opposing traffic patterns
Have you been rivering through beads of like
The margins have been spun in gold finagle
Champion a cause that marks up wrinkles during flight
Monday, November 21, 2005
you’ll think of the things you couldn’t say
Listen to the rain
in your voice
Words are bound
I tell you
the story about distances
If words are roads
then tell me why they confuse the way
blind to the sights
ever walking away
from that which keeps me here
Saturday, November 19, 2005
squatted conceive chairing
just "greater puncture
that crap that was crap
it said exceeding gray below"
spills extracted used) stench (mephitis)
way," (never that comes this
(s) alternative table "structure porta-potty
night," smell outside here each
dry'd "no, (lity) dozen eucalyptus
in excess as the stable
that (form) the pyracantha berries
help it," stock card "cannot
fan supply shit human being
from the moved away dab
incline sitting down way," to
it all the dragged) "pushing
reacts (if they fact examination
steady structure) inside foot (no
one examples stump edges (o)
is it 'tresses the way"
part ankle, in mush back
shoe way mouth twisted low
never comes this way that
to come this "it remained
(for JD Salinger)
I am not the little boy on the cruise ship.
I am not the little boy staring out the porthole,
ignoring my parents while they argue.
I am not the little boy who has been dismissed.
I am not the little boy wandering the decks,
hair tousled by a female passenger
who thinks she has the right to touch
with concerned affection any passing child.
I am not the little boy who scribbles
in his journal. I am not the little boy
who knows what life is and writes it down
in pencil. I am not the little boy
who flaps his lips during the random
encounter with the stranger
who sits on my father’s lounge chair.
There are no strangers;
there are no accidents.
I have been here before.
Don’t look it in the mouth.
That’s what I would’ve said to the stranger
if I had been that little boy.
I would’ve said: Life, my friend,
is just a portal. Then, I would’ve kept
my appointment, taken my swimming lesson
and drown even though I am not,
and never was that little boy;
maybe next time ‘round.
After, of course, telling the stranger:
You look familiar.
You have been here before too.
I dreamed that Norman Dubie
was one of the Doobie Brothers,
I dreamed that Dylan Thomas
pronounced Robert Hass
to unrhyme with oz.
I dreamed that John Ashbery
wrote New York verse
to please his hearse.
I dreamed that Robert Lowell
hailed a yellow taxi
while his heart took a cab.
I dreamed that Sylvia Plath
sat in the bathtub
and dreamed of gas.
I dreamed that every poet has a dream,
some like coffee black,
some with cream and sugar.
I dreamed that Henry Haiku
don’t agree with you or me,
Ooby Dooby, Ooby Dooby.
Thursday, November 17, 2005
“it isn’t right!”
‘guage peculiar “and,
vinyl folded (ng)
squad cars lined
joint connecting sphere
saliva (knobs) window
this needle,” liquids
clasped complete leg
parts rested head
nouns head slamming
opposed ‘isetionism (grill
there” (turned out
back (rea son)
less stamping feet
rolling back left
sleeve (think) context
back high hat
even “right?” accusing
fragile crystal cup
sing as I circle you
do not feed me,
I will not eat
let my bone grow closer
bone, close to broke
bamboo wind chimes
knock in the wind
do not measure marrow,
I will not extract
let my bone
bone, close to blood
beating loud at night
do not stop,
let my bone rise
bone, close to bone
seeds drop from trees
like hail hit tin
do not hold me,
I will not resist
I will not go home
let my bone rub close
bone, close to dirt
fill my ear,
the sounds are gone
do not cover my daughter,
do not cover my daughter,
I will not emerge
let my bone be covered
and close to dirt.
mmb Nov 17, 2005
sleet found our obscure
southern town, limbs cracked
like old bones and birds skied
down iced slopes of sagged
telephone lines. Huge bags
of rock salt were dug from
their cobwebbed hiding places
by cold fingers and spread carefully
across steep steps and walkways.
Only bald Mr. Peterson, the
transplanted Yankee from Boston,
with chains for his tires, dared
that treacherous mile long ride into
town in search of a morning paper.
Mrs. Smith's monkey, Harold, got
loose late morning. He rushed between
houses, terrorizing both rabbit and
possom. At noon, he climbed the First
Presbyterian Church steeple, ringing
its bell incessantly, in claim of his
throne as King of this strange iced-over jungle.
School closed, we played cards, ate
red-eye ham and grits, warmed hands
over fireplaces and stoves, pleased
to be freed from lectures of other
cold wars and from plump knees bruised
by kneeling too long beside desks,
prepared, lest the bombs come flying tomorrow.
By morning, we slogged through dank
puddles under still bomb-free skies,
books clasped to wool chests, unaware
of dogs howling and cats meowing
about yesterday's clear, silent miracle.
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
even if by accident, when to happen upon the compounded reappearances:/
waiting, the sitting nearby, the unsuitable spoons changed by the lost softness/
from their lips. What is meant by the possible wealth that accompaniment curves/
for the idea of passage? Two to the surface lean—the caught below seem large/
to the crevices below. They have the success of avoiding the shuffle of the filled sleeve./
What camps before the mirror or the letters that make up the mirror? The light/
that fixes after light, overcome and returning the undergrounds of measurement,/
who continue throughout the core and invention and the straight permission to complete.
Already, I record the movements of winter birds
On tree limbs, inconspicuous as with nicotine patches,
Take notations on train tickets, margins of guide books,
Used envelopes, library slips, and parts of bakery boxes.
Just listen to The Weather Station's 500 watt incantations
And remember to scrap each and every reference to timepieces.
There is no need, I've also got my pulse set on alarm function.
Therefore, let us take care not to rush head-long into this,
We must invite what shines only in secret.
And yes, you may remove my things and burn them
For fuel on cold evenings. I have gone all to sequins.
Covered in all these defects. So here we sit
Among a multitude of small flames and nearby water sources,
Under a positively zodiacal assortment of stars--
A fugitive discussion of adornment, underestimated and counter.
El perfumen, la piel, y el sudor
la noche, el silencio, el beso.
Ojos camuflados en Otoño.
El destino, la lagrima, la risa
la nuca, los labios, y el suspiro.
El borrón verde que traza
un lucero a través del cielo.
El cuerpo, el pecado y la libertad
la seducción, las piernas, la unión.
2. Piezas para el Olvido
La niñez, los sueños, y las nubes,
el viento, la Biblia, los muertos.
Ojos camuflados en Otoño.
Canciones, poemas, promesas,
el dolor, mentiras que dije, el adiós.
El borrón verde que traza
un lucero a través del cielo.
Miradas, números, y nombres
el reloj, la edad, la historia.
3. Piezas para el Recuerdo
Las llaves, el cielo, las flores
el camino, el hambre, hechos al prójimo.
Ojos camuflados en Otoño.
Las madres, los hijos, el vino
la risa, la patria, sabores
romances, recuerdos, besos.
El borrón verde que traza
un lucero a través del cielo.
El sabor de la mujer.
Ciertos latidos del corazón.
El olor del amor.
El toque de la lengua.
Incrementos de pechos jadeantes.
Piezas de adoración.
Piezas para el olvido.
Open the drawers first.
Check for forks. No.
Knives. If there are knives
crossed, straighten them. No.
Check for knives which are out. If
they are, straighten them. Crossed
knives attract lightening.
Then put any knives
into a drawer.
Spoons. Light is crescent upon a spoon.
Turn spoons over.
Spit. Not to polish but to shine.
Shine remains when darkness covers,
even if it is dark inside.
Keep fingers busy.
It is show time and pretty soon a morning star
will wander for a manger.
The Madonna's hands shall be Raphael eclectic
and not one bit bloodied: an edict unwritten
in her wrists.
to have missed stains.
Pause. Check for rain.
Rain heralds anger.
Keep no thirst. Never call spades. Recognize
a pot when it bubbles over. Moreover
place all cups within shrines.
Allow irons to cool. Strike not, nor linger.
Take measure. Pool any present danger.
Hush. (No, hark.)
There may be breathy strangers
haggling cupboards. Hurry.
She might unswathe, or tell
hordes where she hoards
more treasure. Myrrh for example. Although no
one knows quite what for.
Friday, November 11, 2005
Thursday, November 10, 2005
Please do not post any new poems until I am done with this open interview. This interview will be available as a whole on the next issue of MiPoeisas Magazine. I will post one question at a time and you place your answers in the comment section. If you would like to ask a question yourself to the community, please e-mail it to me and if I think it works well for the interview I will let you post the question to the community as well. (e-mail me at chinavieja at gmail dot com with questions).
How do you really feel about online publication vs print?
what’s known to turn remembered, slipped place beyond these places,/
still there for being what’s needed, what’s to know,
what must’ve been mainly here, always with the lived in of returning,/
doing so without some famous departure, even in the always
or the staying, it’s all bound to find or fall as it is
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
statue of street
light frown a
taken time some
hour "the comparison,"
place reference a
cinereous well source
paper knee(ing) "and,
I spoke, I,
I spoke to
it," pant rolled
foot glove above
support flooding drawn
blooded "the food
6pm, compliment that
general remember't" its
green mold the
main forward rest
stopped natural rest
", stopped in
70," natural complicate
some shines below
the arms that
squatting above link'd
chain sun (circa)
babble firmly tongue=piece+(ing)
for outside tongue'd
is commentary (d)
"is nobody," in't
sunk particular sack
(in sunk sack)
rank between birds
"approved" not diagonally
sung shout fuck
(ly) immense to
to these [question] "knows,
you yesterday" the breath
shining neglected sick continuum
indicated under the natural
cold clear elevator elbow
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
cuz you is gonna be in the next issue of mipoesias.
how do you like dem apples?
We'll be getting started soon--draft on Friday, games next Monday--and need a few more participants. If you're interested, send an e-mail my way or post a comment on my blog. (It's totally free!)
Sunday, November 06, 2005
Welcome Marcus Slease's first review for MiPOesias:
David Need's second article on Rilke:
Stacey Harwood's and Michael Parker's second article will be coming soon.
If you have a book/chap/journal you would like to have considered for a review, please stop by our guidelines.
Jenni and I are looking for KICKASS poems for the next issue -- Send them.
If you are in Miami this week, see you at Books and Books on the 11th.
Thursday, November 03, 2005
lean cloudy above
the hands four
lopped is "hey,
you (using this
mount above great
arm (1) edges
(broken made) in
(however the definition,
'dency that defines
way never known,
clearer more opened
the needle (s)
walks," syringes clamped
you) apprehension asked
for "alright" no
sermon (mayor's) left
cuts desperation skirt
skin fed "oh
walked one stage
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
Friday, October 28, 2005
could not see your hands.
I could see them for you.
They were white.
They were not
located by your wrists.
They were not old.
Things were starting to
come open for me.
You asked if I could see
the white walls.
In the book,
the king who banned
boats from his coasts
No one could get in.
The people mutinied,
on both sides.
geranium petals over detrital browns.
They have burrowed from the house
and cored into the compost,
their preference dog hair,
I pay a price for doing it correctly:
shredded utility bills, mallow prunings
in alternate layers with greens: grass clippings, banana skins, slipping
on other rotten morsels, moulding cotton buds,
their choice atop the lot
a glutinous leftover
This skittering breeds a forlorn record
like felonious bacteria murderous
within a negroid angel cake,
drawn through dry then wet.
Yet the king rat knew no rules of decay.
Left anyway for another home: meals
we ate together
we all ought mourn
at the spent heart of things.
The clitoris is a hard, clean picked chicken bone
which should not have been thrown
on the heap. Falling back
to basics, irreducible
by dawn's hungry
It will take more than forgotten prayers
and a leap of faith to fend
off its gnawing.
Whatever can be put
in place, replaceable by morning.
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
This is a story, where no one can tell you their memories are pure.
A tale without limbs. A tale of words that are missing.
Where voices were once heard.
Someone said beasts roamed the land without anger.
And trees grew without being cut down, without growth being owned.
Their fruit brought forgetfulness; their fruit brought no pangs.
And wind. I recall wind at its gentlest. Always a breeze.
Bird calls at sunrise. Birds with colorful feathers.
The colors were different.
Black was absent; had been banished from our presence.
Blue, green, yellow, red? Scattered patterns return to mind.
And water filled every vista: rain, snow, ocean, river.
We drank from fingers held over our mouths.
Leaping, arms across bodies racing, screaming to the world.
In pursuit of each other, we fought for each summit.
Your hills went unnoticed; my hills were mysterious.
The hills that we traced were like carpets, and smooth.
When we found them, we left all caves unexplored.
We left them without wanting their pearls.
I can't recall sunsets. Only a brilliance that dimmed.
At the close of each day we washed ourselves, dried ourselves.
Your hands were my hands, your feet were my feet.
Touch was convergence. Touch was ecstatic.
My tongue swept your hair back; your tongue wiped my lips apart.
Smiles? Were there smiles?
And darkness was velvet, purple, stained with the stars.
There was awe (now I'm sure of it).
On the morning I left it, I left you with my scar.
You may still be there, asleep to its charms.
But the names that we gave there have eroded to dirt.
They've disappeared as I've aged.
But long ago someone said a child was foretold.
And all I remember is that she's here now.
All I remember: my child; maybe yours.
Long ago . . . is she yours?
Rosa Parks Elegy In A Rolling Stones Song
Hey, you, get off of my cloud,
you can’t buy your cigarettes
in the same place as me!
Hey, you, get off of my seat!
In walked a rebel dressed
in the Confederate flag,
I’m sick and tired
of this talk of equality,
it ain’t gonna happen to me
said the white man
to nobody in particular except you and me!
Hey, you, get off of my cloud!
But, Rosa, rode that cloud all the way to jail,
proving that you can never fail even though
the white man wails---Hey, you, get off of my cloud!
Monday, October 24, 2005
Three poets who were writing in English around the same time as Blake, Shelley, Wordsworth, Keats, etc., and who are not usually grouped with the Romantics (by people who concern themselves with such groupings) are Walter Scott, Walter Savage Landor, and George Crabbe. Thomas Hood is another. (This is in response to a specific question Marcus posed.)
The Romantics (Blake, Shelley, Wordsworth, Keats, etc.) were not necessarily the first in the history of innovative poetics. Certainly not the first in the world (consider, for instance, the Chinese poets of the Tang Dynasty, or the first Japanese tanka poets. The poetries of India, Persia, the Arabic world, have seen wave after wave of experiment and innovation for centuries, to name a few.
In English, an early innovator was Chaucer. He wrote, in English, at a time when the aristocracy of England spoke French. To write in one's own language, the language of everyday life (rather than the language of the aristocracy) -- this perhaps has relevance to the passionate work of some of the poets of today whose work might be described as avant-garde or post-avant?
Another innovator in English, later than Chaucer, earlier than the Romantics, was Shakespeare. Chaucer and Shakespeare, obviously, lived and worked among the many other poets and writers of their times, and in the world at large. They did not live or work in isolation; they were not the only ones.
The avant garde does not always "narrow the distance between life and art." Some poets usually described as avant-garde (at least during their time) created work that, in its effects, resulted in creating greater distance between art and life. Ezra P0und, for example. Even Pound's best work (and I admit here I'm not much of a fan of his poetry or other writing) -- the "translations" in Cathay, for instance -- seems to me to have a nostalgic stand-offish quality, as though one were looking at a highly mannered drama frozen in time in a painting on a wall at the far end of a large room.
I don't really agree that there is such a thing as the School of Quietude, or that there is such a thing as the Post Avant. Labels can be useful at times; it's nice to know whether a can contains peaches or green beans. I don't object to all labels as such. I disagree with the particular labels School of Quietude and Post Avant. I don't think that these labels describe things that actually exist.
The way I've seen "School of Quietude" used, I gather that it usually refers to poets who write in (mostly) standard grammatical sentences, using more or less standard syntax, usage, punctuation, and so on. I gather that some writers and critics feel that these practices tend to result in writing that evokes a mood or sensation or perception of quiet, a calm or meditative mood or state of mind. Something like that.
The way I've seen "Post Avant" used, it seems usually to refer to poets who attempt to disrupt standard grammatical sentence structure and syntax, using words without regard for (or in deliberate or ironic defiance of) standard usage or standard spectrums of usage. Poetry in which the communicational function of language breaks down, frequently to the point where the poem no longer appears to be written in a currently existing language. (I think of Marx's phrase "the anarchy of capitalist production.")
Each of the above describes a very narrow aesthetic range. I have questions about how much use either of the terms is, as any kind of category or description of actually existing poetry in the world. I agree with Marcus in his skepticism about this.
I was fascinated with Marcus's comparison with Republicans and Democrats. I'm not sure if I agree about which is which.
If we say, for the sake of discussion, that the above categories do exist, then to my thinking the majority of the poetry of the "post avant" definitely reminds me of Republicans. I'm not sure who the "school of quietude" reminds me of -- maybe John Kerry. I work in the billing department of a large corporation. A typical poem by a "language" poet (possibly one of the branches of the post avant tree) resembles, to me, the pages full of fractured disjointed data I look at on the computer screen all day long. Or, maybe, a speech by Bush.
A typical MFA program poem (maybe a branch of the school of quietude) reminds me of an office memo. Or, maybe, one of those corporate "mission statements" one finds at the front of an employee handbook.
There are many poets whose work has been important and useful to me for a long time, which speaks to me about the world I live in, and leads me to ways to speak about the world and myself in my own poems. Ultimately, the best way I know of to say what I think about poetry, about writing poetry, is to name some of the poets whose poems have reached me the most deeply and passionately.
Some of them are:
Thomas McGrath, Sharon Doubiago, Federico Garcia Lorca, Tomas Transtromer, Kenneth Rexroth, Etheridge Knight, Joy Harjo, Yosano Akiko, Tu Fu (or Du Fu), Sappho, Paul Eluard, Nancy Morejon, Dafydd ap Gwylym, Rene Depestre, Audre Lorde, Robert Bly, Anuradha Mahapatra, Ruben Medina, Anya Achtenberg, Zoe Anglesey, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Miroslav Holub, Anna Swir, Sesshu Foster, Janice Mirikitani, Adrienne Rich, Agostinho Neto, Margaret Atwood, Nazim Hikmet, Ibn Hazm, Pat Lowther, Adrian Mitchell, Andrew Salkey...
Not many of them are in either the Rothenberg or Norton anthologies.
Saturday, October 22, 2005
phased heard love-command
simply wanted too run to
of get out
my fantasy’s back(s)
scratchnote but quiet
blaze-ond so tedious
banner led pontification
had to take such walk time
womb contractions etherous
Menonnites by said-Lubeck waters
rest of life could possibly not
go on quite like this
nothing firmer than a male firm
pregnant several days
away would stand no
was my first dealer
a hushful brazen
dropped at full moon
pseudo intellectual menstraull load
threw there one spot
there left not their right
disgusted by the stink
oso so many maternal corpses
behind closed curtains
jealous witch haggerers
but quite ordinary
rose-umami musk bleach
phrase submission guide
pushing up daisies
corpses rant lines
rent boys high beach hashish
as no man can
malaria meds matter
dead squat staring his lungied butt
lets the steering wheel watch how
slips through his fingers
designed to regorge
shall keep quiet about
arse entire suite feels
decurtains a worldfulla dead women behind
warns against personal and anecdotal
mayhem and how I
hoping I would never speak
is a male firm?
spats in nothing firmer than
walking along catty marrieds
quite ordinary hands up me
would like to get his make
off to be imprisoned
put his arm around her
13 called slut
she is, leaning head
down to yesmother
did not make her complete
seeds, trees birdful ready, be
grappling after high spots
disproportionate to pastorals
sucked passports into LSD-Goa
sunsets came off
literal high Everest or make me
spill knowing I would want
Tengboche monastery one day away
tourist boat-spotted waters
broke, their blow-spumes
an art to growing
old, mile after useless mile
saplings youths skin n bones
keeps quiet about spill rooks
consort afterall post-three
strapping Maine laughed off as Stephen
King novels wanting myself mayhem
old Lubeck degorged him like pushing
a safe outta
hews pastoral hues to be felled
in the afternoon unbinding them
embues blistering pretence ormolu
dropped at full
approaches deatils correctly or not we
vertical with his tempo
used this phrase
who your nothing
rose multiple Magdalaiynas
sister friezes species undespises
prises causes shone
after the night
an exhausted spring
you feel wanted
rain white tea
brand new garden
Friday, October 21, 2005
The more contemporary poetry I read, the more I notice differences between SOQ and avant poetics. But I had to read a shitload of all kinds of poetry. Both wide and deep as they say. I think the poetry from these various traditions is much more than style.
Maybe those differences are challenged with the youngish poets whose work is published with Fence, Verse, Jubilat, Conduit and so on?
I am not sure, but I would lean toward saying no. But that doesn't mean I don't enjoy reading some of the poets in these mags and books from these presses. Or that their poetry is somehow not as "good" because it doesn't feel avant to me. I try to read books of poetry on their own terms. I am very familiar with a wide-range of poetry (Albert Goldbarth, Seamus Heaney, Dean Young, James Tate, Stephen Dobyns, Jorie Graham AND James Joyce, Bruce Andrews, Ron Silliman, Robert Duncan, Clark Coolidge, Zukofsky, Basil Bunting etc.
I also don't exclude a poet or poetry if it doesn't "fit" my idea of Post-Avant or SOQ. But I do think there are significant traditions behind both. I find almost all of the poetry at Barnes and Nobles uninteresting and most (not all) do seem to fit into SOQ (for lack of a better term). The Post-Avant and historical avant garde are much more diverse.
It makes me wonder a bit in terms of American politics. The common notion is the Republicans kicked ass because they managed a unified front whereas the Democrats had too many splinters and were less centralized.
In no way do I think so-called SOQ are like Republicans in terms of politics, but the structures might be similiar. I mean, the various avant and post-avants seem very decentralized and therefore less seen (small press history is essential to any study of the innovative traditions in poetry).
All in all, I think avant garde as a label sends up too many cardboard one-dimensional assumptions. Maybe innovative poetics is better? Ditto SOQ. Maybe the terms need to be more descriptive (and tentative) than evaluative?
Labels suck. They should be questioned. But no one reads poetry without all of their previous reading experiences.
I love Rennaisance English poetry and the Metaphysical poets. I also love The Canterbury Tales.
I think the assumptions of fads and "make it new" in terms of innovative/experimental poetry need constant re-evaluation.
The Romantics may be the first in the history of innovative poetics.
One big project of the historical avant garde is to narrow the distance between life and art.
As a whole, I don't think this is the case with more mainstream practices.
Even the easy-going conversational poetry needs constant tweaking (Billy Collins uses language to break down the distinctions between life and art so does that mean he is part of the innovative tradition in poetry?)
There are a lot of poets slavishly imitating the romantics with their descriptive nature poetry etc. To my mind, that is not in the spirit of the romantics.
Yet, even the Romantics are diverse. In terms of canonization, can most folks name three poets who were NOT Romantics writing around the time of Blake, Wordsworth, Shelley, Keats etc.?
Anyway, for me it's about the possibilities of poetry. The sheer range of avant or post-avant practices really opens up possibilies for my life (and art).
I wanna question art constantly.
Solved it all this way. First of all, I downloaded OdeoSyncr from The Odeo Site. (The link is at the very bottom of the page). By the way, I always create a system restore point before installing a new program since I never know if it'll conflict with something already on my machine.
Once that's installed, if you go to the Odeo link Didi or Birdie post, you can hit the forward arrow under the picture for the show and it'll simply play for you. No download. No wait.
If you hit 'subscribe' the music then goes onto your computer to stay there to be played later. That was my next hurdle. It wasn't in temp files. It didn't suddenly start playing in my music box. Couldn't find it. Finally did a computer search and found the programs in My Documents//Received Podcasts/Odeo. By going there and clicking, they then come up in my preferred music box. I have them on my hard drive and they aren't wiped out when I clear out temp files. For shows I esp like, this allows me to save them.
See if this works for you.
D, feel free to edit this or delete it if any information is incorrect.
Thursday, October 20, 2005
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
Lyrikline -- (needs RealPlayer) Includes poets from all over the world in a wide range of languages: English, Spanish, Arabic, Russian, Chinese, Turkish, Farsi, Breton, Wayuunaiki, Icelandic, Welsh... to name a few. The site also gives the printed text of the poems, a choice of translations into various languages, and short bios of the poets (the bios aren't always translated). The site also has a good page of links. (The website itself can be viewed in a choice of five languages. Click on the language you want to view it in, and that will take you to the main page.)
Another good site features Russian poetry --the site is essentially an online anthology of Russian poems, including the original Russian and English translations, and also online audio (in various formats) of the poets reading their work (or, in the case of pre-20th century and some early 20th century poems, other people reading the poets' work). Especially stunning to me are the couple of recordings of Vladimir Mayakovsky reading his poems, an amazing revelation. The site also has bios of the poets and many links to related material. The site is hosted by the Department of Slavic Languages and Literature at Northwestern University.
The Factory School website has a Digital Audio Archive which features online audio (RealPlayer) of many poets and writers (mostly of the United States, though a few from elsewhere) reading their work. The recordings cover the past century, from early wax cylinder recordings of Walt Whitman and Robert Browning up through the 21st century. Elizabeth Bishop, W. H. Auden, Edward Kamau Brathwaite, Mei Mei Berssenbrugge, Nelson Algren, Bertolt Brecht, William S. Burroughs, Wanda Coleman, H.D., Robert Duncan, Robert Frost, Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks, Allen Ginsberg, Myung Mi Kim, Soleida Rios, Louis Zukofsky... and many many more. * The quality of the audio in this site is highly variable -- in some cases not very good at all -- but is sometimes fine. Worth checking out.
And, last but by no means least, miPOradio is actively building an online audio library of wonderful exciting poets reading their work, many of whom are contributors to this blog. Go and listen.
And enjoy --
The canoes are put away. Inventory has been taken,
and here I am, waiting for the lake to freeze.
Why? So I can cut across to take you ice fishing.
Why? Because this is how it begins. Ice fishing.
Most anglers are waiting for the lake to freeze.
Most boaters have their boats layed up till spring.
However, there is one flaw in the logic of waiting
for the lake to freeze: cold wind. Anyone knows this.
I had dozed off again and could recall in a dream
something about waiting for the lake to freeze.
Reconnaissance tells me deer are on the island,
trapped since the previous spring and waiting
for the lake to freeze. Tens to hundreds of polar bears
stand on shore for weeks, waiting for the lake to freeze.
Usually these animals travel alone. Not so in autumn,
when they all congregate on the far rim. Like them,
if I am not found fishing or praying for snow to come,
then I am here, waiting for this lake to freeze.
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Aftercare, these images scattered like seeds recalling their inversion
Monday, October 17, 2005
Thursday, October 13, 2005
around our faded bell-bottoms and
defiant hair, igniting us.
We were the Revolution, the
torch clutched in Lady Liberty's hand.
King's dream led us to Selma,
to Washington (and oh, dear God,
when will the Dream come true)
Where did we go? We of the burnt
draft cards, the discarded bras,
we with the voices of a thousand trumpets
and aching breastbones, hoping
to turn water into wine and so transform
Questions and more questions...
Maybe our dreams ran through our fingertips
until the tired fires finally died.
Perhaps disappointed tears doused them,
bright vibrant colors running down
through dead uneven grass
to the seas where even the dolphins
have grown oddly quiet.
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
Here is a link to the podcast of the show:
Here is the new issue:
Please help me share the news. I am Christopher Columbus' daughter and today is my sister's birthday. I am off to celebrate.
A special thanks to Tom Beckett and to everyone who has made this happen.
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
If you would like to go on the cruise, please call me at work at 1-866-456-6752. Ads will be coming out in Poetry Magazine soon and when the ads hit, there may not be a lot of space left. So book early and get onboard. Hope to hear from you.
Monday, October 10, 2005
as Pablito’s daughter.
My father died a few days
before he would have turned 41.
I have already surpassed his age.
No one ever introduces me as
You’d think there are plenty of
Pablitos in Miami and they may
confuse me for someone else's
Yet there is no need to say
my last name.
I am introduced as Pablito’s daughter.
I never correct the introducer.
I simply smile and look into the eyes
of the person being introduced
and all of a sudden they recollect
their youth, Cuba before Castro
and my father
Sunday, October 09, 2005
I haven't yet told him the tours could include a trip to AnnMarie Eldon's house...
Saturday, October 08, 2005
Here is a link to the listing of contributors. Many of them have their feeds already and you can start subscribing to your favorites. Please share this news and if you happen to be on the list share your page on your blog/web sites.
If I am missing your bio and photo, please send it along.
Whenever you wish to update your page with audio, please follow our guidelines.
Help spread the sounds......