Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Fortieth Entry

Good Lordy I'm forty!

I just got really bored while working on my finals (yes, people, I actually work on them) so I decided to take my friend A. Grayson (whose work you can find in my links) up on his long overdue offer to swap poetry styles. I have a hard time rhyming, so writing one of his 'veintets' was tough, especially since he's so good at them. I just decided to write the goofiest fucking thing I could think of. Also, I wanted to write a poem about what happened to my friend a couple of years ago, when he looked out his window to find an elephant in his apartment complexes' parking lot. It was hanging out there while they set up a Mexican circus across the street. Anyway, I never got around to mentioning the elephant. Not a lot rhymes with elephant. Please feel free to comment and tell me what word YOU would have rhymed with elephant. Back to 'working' on my finals.

p.s. check out this: http://www.dickpigreview.com/
Here's my poem:


Plucky young adventurers sneak into my lair
I keep my TV on when I leave
They find my keychain which boldly says STEVE
They snoop on the floor and find most of my hair
When I get back they’re stoned
On my couch and the red-headed girl says hello
Out the window I hear a strange animal bellow
The gladitorial combat I sense they have honed
For several years is as useless as their dropped swords
I slip under my sheets
Folding the blanket carefully so my feets
don’t touch and I question the vandal hordes
and how they had traveled here and where
were they from and how today on the eve
of my birthday they cleave
each other apart and the survivor just stares
at me and hands me the blade like I loaned
it to him and I can’t take it because I’m yellow
and the blood has given me the frights of hell O
how I feel like a bird that’s been boned!

Monday, December 12, 2005

Thirty-Ninth Entry

well, I'm 26 now. I had a nice little dinner and a nice little party. I got some nice little presents too. I'm pleased. I'm also resolved. I need to leave this town.

Here's my poem:


On the roof
the amplifier comes unplugged
and falls over the side
the way we used to do

stealing your bed-ridden
aunt’s smelly brown couch
about four hundred years old
and falling on it

you used to do flips
I always knew you’d be a stuntman
I was “working” on my album
when you called

and said that you’d flown
off a trick panel in the ground
as the timed explosion went off
in the war movie

but my hearing’s not so good
anymore and I thought you said
your aunt had died and I said
‘you already told me’

Friday, December 09, 2005

Thirty-Eighth Entry


here's my poem:


Here is what I’m going to do.
I will pluck the green leaves from
the yard and place them randomly
in the grass. I will force
everyone to believe it’s autumn.
I will correct them and say
that it’s indian summer, and
I’ll think of distant braves
retreating into the woods
to melt into mulch, I guess,
or sleep in some cave where radios
will never find them, and I’ve bought
two ladders and a pair of gloves
and the neighbor’s boy said he would help.

My shirt is tucked into my shorts.
I mow the lawn. Slick and shiny
cadillacs buzz through like muted beasts.
The distant dog barks sound trapped,
like Laika wrapped in foil on re-entry
I imagine. Even my father called
to tell me he suspects I am a Communist
but really I’m actually quiet.
My lawn chair beams like a brand new smile.
Often I think about sitting in it
and sipping the kid’s juice, dozing
like a warm piece of meat, hearing
Lorraine call me inside for watermelon,
but my providence prevents me from
such idle joys, and summer keeps
so morbid and so long.

If I shouted in the den would it
be heard even in the empty bedroom?
If I threw the dinette set to the floor
where would I go? My daughters
and their husbands bought me a color
TV. They’ve told me to watch the screen
and drink a beer, which I’ve tried
to construct in my mind as a normal
and harmless thing to do, and
it’s flatly unconscionable.

For Jack Benny’s face should never
be that peach, and Lucy and Desi’s
house makes my straining, horrified
eyes twitch with its manic color scheme.
I want the trees to go ahead and give
up, I want the trunks to stoop
like old men’s spines, I want the static
on the screen to have no sound,
the hissing is disturbing my sleep
but I’m too tired to stand up
and turn the dial.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Thirty-Seventh Entry

Found this in an article about Alan Greenspan and thought it was worth repeating:

"Before the G-7 discussions started, Greenspan was awarded the Freedom of the City of London by Britain's Treasury chief, Gordon Brown. The award is a symbolic honor dating to medieval times and bestows the rights to drive sheep across London Bridge and to be hanged with a silken cord if sentenced to death."-Martin Crutsinger, Associated Press

Also, I thought the man's name was Golden Brown at first, which I was sad to see I was wrong about.

My classes at the New School are ending, and I feel awkward about it. This is all the education I ever planned to have (not that there was a plan...) and now of course I have to start doing something. There are tons of things I would like to do but I'm not sure which to do and which to give up as silly dreams. And how to go about it? I hate my job by the way, I am already looking around for a new one. DON'T WORRY, I'm not going to quit or anything, I just don't want to be asked to come in at 6:30 AM again for any reason but esepcially on short notice.

Here's my poem:


They dismount their horsies.
The thrill of the cold strikes the sparkle of the snow on her white-cloth poncho.
When the sun peaks out, the officers snap in unison, without looking at each other.

The gentleman doffs his top hat.
He spins and ruffles his tails, and rabbits pour out of the hat, too many for the eye to grasp.
The officers look at one another as if they don’t know what to say, and what they say makes her nervously grin.

The pink sky washes off the remaining stars.
Her breath is muffled and quick in the sea of white fur and frightened pink eyes, ready to burst.
When they do burst, the officers will ride down the gelatinous waterfall with both sets of arms raised.

You can feel their ruffly uniforms stir.
You can smell the dried blood from the slaughter and you can find the valley with the endless rabbits on spits.
You can find her there, rustling her long dark hair until the snows shake off before she bites the meat from the bone.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Thirty-Sixth Post

Wow, what a beatdown it is to live in new york and have a fulltime job! I have to get the fuck out of here!

At least I think I do. But I'm not entirely sure where I wouldst be going and whatdst I wouldst be doing. Suggestions? Donations?

Anyway, at least I've started to enjoy the job a little. I refer to the rounds I do (picking up doggies in midtown manhattan) as if I was a bomber pilot. Easy runs are "milk runs" and harder runs are Bremen.

My birthday is a week from Sunday! What'd you buy me!?

Here's my poem:


CRAIG: My poem is entitled “You Versus Me.”
I mention the time of day, I mention
the sun shining on the horse’s skin, the meadow,
I mention my political leanings, you and I
drinking coffee, and how the coffee isn’t enough
and even if it was, there is no “you”, and I
assert in my poem that the pronoun leaves
the arena before the fight is over-
ALEC: My poem is titled “Eight Ways
of Looking at a Blackbird”: I could only
think of eight, none of them are in
the poem, though I do mention baby
mockingbirds on my windowsill, which
is real, that really happened-
CLARA: My poem is finished and I want you
to read it, it’s a rock song, it’s called
“Exhibits Abandoned in the Museum
of Underwater Sunshine Overnight” and I play it
on the vibraphone and I sing it in
a shaky baritone and I project my voice
like ventriloquists do, the lyrics
are about an old boyfriend,
his harmonica, the American flag
and hay.
CRAIG: I read your poem and put on my coat
and went outside. My book is called
“Put on Your Coat and Go Outside.” I
wanted to change it before it went to print.
ALEC: My book is a book called “Forests of Envy,”
it’s too experimental, I like to contradict
notions of what poetry is about, chiefly
the assumption that it must be bad or good-
JUNE: My book is titled “Thermos Poems.”
Every piece was originally put
in a full thermos of tomato soup (hence
the red cover), shaken around and taken out,
damp, unreadable, and then typeset by my sister
a non-poet, with sometimes surprising results.
My favorite poem goes:

“the hate

once towards entropy


swa sweater gone all unravled
b caught me the ack ack

into the module of the pod

can’t change the
we will never know.”

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Thirty-Fifth Entry

I hate it when it's cold enough to wear a coat but if you're walking down the street you break a sweat. That's about the worst type of weather in the universe. I'd rather get frostbit than that. Anyways.

A lot of things have happened. One of them involved me getting on a plane and going somewhere and then coming back. Another thing involved me playing cds for people in a semi-proffessional way. For more info about things that happened to me, please buy the STEVE ROBERTS COMPLETE EPISODE GUIDE by Bantam Books.

Here's my poem:


I slip behind you like a fever of shadows. I wear your clothes. I paint majestic frescoes in which you are Thor and you are chasing angels about. On the elevator I met a card-carrying Satanist. He showed me his card, which looked like a driver’s license. I asked him if he had a driver’s license. Then he turned into the Devil. I hadn’t realized I was in Hell. I had realized, but I was embarrassed to give away the surprise. I was put in an empty room for all eternity. There I found a saw, and a mirror, and those other things in that riddle I had heard, but I decided to leave them alone. I started to write my novel. Even though I had eternity I never got around to finishing it. But let me tell you about it. You never let me tell you. Your clothes are itchy, small, and the wrong color. Not that I would know, but I do know, you know? And some of the buttons are missing. I spent most of my life locked in a clunky workshop without much light and with many abandoned bicycles building a deliberate machine whose ultimate purpose was to find those missing buttons. But they are missing for a reason. First I had to test it by flying it from New York to Paris and I was the first to do this. At a certain point, while in the air, I became missing. It was great. Everybody you expect to be there was there. Amelia Earhart was there. Judge Krater too. And a lot of folks I wouldn’t have expected. St. Stephen was there. “Why are you here.” I said. “No one remembers me.” “But you’re not missing, you’re dead!” “We’re actually all dead” he seemed to say. Because he was a ghost. And he was right. I went home and everyone was amazingly dead! So I went and found the electric organ I had given to my friend Jade and I stole it back. Then, while wearing a respirator against the stench, I learned to play it. Now I’m thinking about writing a song.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Thirty-Fourth Entry

I started a full time job and it is horrible! I knew putting my nose to the grindstone was going to be a pain but I'm pretty sure I'm not just a sissy and this actually is a really tough, stressful job. It involves puppies.

I'm going home for a week and am looking forward to it very much. I am looking forward to the silence, the cable, the food, the two or three people who are my friends, people who smoke inside and drink cheaply, and of course my family and the turkey they eat.

I really have a thing for turkey.

But I'm not looking forward to seeing a bunch of old friends who I think might want to punch me now. My strategy: keep a low profile. Also my friend Justyn came to nyc to visit and I adore her! She's from Mystic and she runs a gallery now and is a professional bra-fitter by day, which cracks me up.

Here's my poem:


Somehow I lost my green denim coat.
It was like a young friend,
constantly wanting my attention and advice.
I vomited in the trashcan,
and drug it around with me
showing it to everyone I saw.

But I didn’t see everyone. The stars
Sat on the roof, they were juvenile delinquents.
I slipped in the mop water. My face
felt snow and pavement. What am I
supposed to do now? How about that
hand mirror I gave you, do you still have it?

Yes, I am assured, you still have it.
Somehow duct tape got involved
and it also got on my jacket
and my jacket walked away
while I constructed this indignant face.
Did it work? Were you fooled?

I sat on the raft, I was
a vulture unashamed of his position,
you should have seen your face
as it separated from you, I’m so sorry
that I laughed but if you had been
where I was I’d be dead now.

In thy casket thou wore my denim coat.
I wore my indignant face and thy white tuxedo tails.
I sat on the bed and you should have seen my face
when it was your face and it was pressing against my leg
but that was never my face, when your head
came off when you were hit by that van

I was talking about your face and my face
was green and I was gesticulating, teasing
you with my delinquent fingers. I dig you up
and take you out every night: the mistake
is that others think that you are dead
but the vultures won’t even talk to you.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Thirty-Third Entry

I'm trying to update as often as I can, because I realize people actually read this blog and demand constant information. Such is the plight of the internet user. I'll try my best to keep you happy. Hope you like obtuse momma's boy poetry though.

Here's my poem:


I am not at peace with the puzzle.
I walk a deep circle into the floor
pacing the coffee table, and the game
seems to have won again. I pick up
the box of loose pieces cut into
eccentric pattern shapes, shaking
in the box like a wet maraca.

Casually, I throw the box
into the room of puzzles
I never completed , over 2078
pieces are piled in poker chip
precision, by my roommate,
who counted them as well.

While I switch on the radio
and listen to DJs bicker
with circular logic, my roommate
assembles a pile of pieces,
rubbing his chubby reddish chin.

His walls have been obscured
with splatters, randomly assembled
puzzles, puppy eyes mixed in
with dutch houses and cartoon
light-sabers, little patches
of a manic cobblestone collage,
and in the other room I’m sitting
in my brown chair and smoking
a jittery cigarette.

These are not metaphors.
Yet still I’m happy I live where I live;
my roommate’s an artist, he spends
and spends and shows his clean fat face
to an office break room 1/3rd of every day.
I’ve never finished a puzzle, ever, even
when my parents were here to help me
but they did give me this chair,
and my roommate stacking jigsaw
in his room allows me to write
stuff like this.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Thirty-Second Entry

So much has happened and I haven't had a new poem in such a long time! Sorry!

My reading at the Ear Inn went very well, and I then had a reading at Emily Gordon's FEAST series, a great series. I was very impressed with all the readers and had a jolly good time. Thanks to those of you who came out.

Anyways, as always, I can't remember what else I was going to say.

Here's my poem:


When I wear my tourist costume (bright slacks,
ignorant grin) the street seems such
a better place to be. Your skin shines
like an insect’s would, and everywhere
we eat is exotic and I think of you
even when it’s rainy and I’m leaning
on a wet shrub, shaking wetness off
and sneaking inside the abandoned bakery.
In my memory of you, I remember you.
You laugh like whatever I said to you
Was for the first time, but now
it is the second time. Such is the problem
with bargain-hunting time-traveling.

I grab my mouth and prevent the words
from escaping and you don’t laugh,
and I don’t remember and I stumble
against the branch, spilling wet sod
on my Hawaiian shirt and my cover
is blown. They know I am from here.
They know I am from now.
I steal some bread and dash away
with my hands in front of my legitimate real face.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Thirty-First Entry

REMINDER: I'm reading at the Ear Inn on Saturday Oct. 15th. (TOMORROW!)
read about it here: http://www.mbroder.com/ear_inn/index.html

A hearty hello to you and yours.
I'm reading tomorrow, I sure hope those of you who can will come out, but I wouldn't blame you for not coming if the rain continues. Why is this the most miserable stormy week I can remember?

I saw the new movie Primer last night with Scott. It was as confusing as it was wonderful. I recommend it. Especially since, much to my surprise, it was filmed in my hometown of Dallas and has a girl I had a crush on in high school as one of the lead actresses. Freaky.

Here's my poem:


I’m not sure how I enter into the smorgasbord.
In the lobby, my shirt matches the waiter’s coats
and the stripes in the wallpaper, and I lean
against the door with my ear,

the reverberations of deviled hams devoured,
the images in my mind of angelic lips dripping
the barbecue spit spinning to create a figure eight
in the air which I translate into a symbol of infinity

like those mirrors I saw in the museum;
they go on forever, making me mention to Andrew
Picasso’s “the Mirror,”
how there is the real woman and the ‘real’ woman,
but neither of them is the real woman
and we went out for burgers

and the hunger in my heart for any meaning
makes me heavy, and I lean on the door and I fall through.
The cacophony of plates being scraped with forks
and words sneaking past food in many mouths
all ends as my skin presses against
the lavish carpet the color of my face.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Thirtieth Entry

REMINDER: I'm reading at the Ear Inn on Saturday Oct. 15th. read about it here: http://www.mbroder.com/ear_inn/index.html

Wow, thirty entries.

Today (and I think probably the next few days to come) I really don't want to think too much about things I may have done that I may feel really bad about in retrospect. I moved into my new apt. My roommate and my upstairs neighbors are kindly enough frat boys. It's getting really cold outside lately.

Here's my poem:


He wrote to me on his stomach,
in blue marker, and he had rubbed the letters on
so hard they mixed in red and blue to bruises

“dear friend,

This will be my last communication. Also I have quit my opera training and the progressive socialists club. Also I have poured chemicals into my ears and throat. The correct question here is why. Followed by what. My answer will be unintelligible and I will find your question unintelligible. Exchange of ideas will be impossible. That is the point. After writing this, I will destroy the rest of my senses. If you consider yourself my friend you will throw a silent party in your mind for me because this is what I want. I’ll spend the rest of my young days and nights (not that I’ll know the difference) remembering things I said and did and wondering what is happening to my torso and head. DO NOT try and ‘save’ me. A bucket and a blanket is all I need and I’ve provided these for myself already. Oh, and I suppose my nose will have to go as well.


but he didn’t sign the letter.
And I had the hardest time remembering
who he was and why he was in my house.
And how he cut both of his hands off.
His transformation was complete.
My sister, a vet, plugged a primitive
IV into him, against my wishes.
I was curious. I wanted to see
what he was up to. And soon enough
he developed a primitive form
of code based on him hitting
his neck against his chest.
I dutifully translated and

“dear sir,

This will be my last communication. No doubt by now you have seen what elegant tortures an artist can create for himself while in the abandoned mineshaft of the mind. I have only my own hubris to thank. I was obviously mistaken in my enterprise. DO NOT kill me, I wish to live out my days in quiet shame and imagine a better life in which I never took up the hobby of hacking limbs. In the meantime, I ‘dictate’ this as a warning to you: the senses, bad as they are, need not deprivation to plague you. Live all your days in peace and prosperity and smell as many hot sandwiches as you can.


Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Twenty-Ninth Post

REMINDER: I'm reading at the Ear Inn on Saturday Oct. 15th. read about it here: http://www.mbroder.com/ear_inn/index.html

A little quiz I stole from Mark Lamoureux:

1. Alias First name? matt is my first name. steve is my middle name.
2. Were you named after anyone?my grampa (middle name matthew) and my dad (first name steve)
3. Do you wish on stars?nope.
4. When did you last cry?i've been cautiouslyn optimistic for a long time. oddly, i don't remember.
5. What is your favorite lunchmeat?turkey
6. What is your birth date?12/11/79
7. What's your most embarrassing CD?there are many. probably Texas, or INXS.
8. If you were another person, would you be friends with you? i'd likely hate me.
9. Do you use sarcasm a lot?yes.
10. What are your nicknames?thumbs, evil fuckface
11. Would you bungee jump?i wouldn't pay to
12. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off?yes. who doesn't do that? the taliban?
13. Do you think that you are strong?nope. i am quite the punching bag though
14. What is your favorite ice cream flavor?chocolate
15. Shoe Size?11 1/2
16. Red or pink?pink
17. What is your least favorite thing about yourself?uh, i dunno, i'm neither unusually pessimistic nor unrealistic. i guess i'm too hairy.
18. Who do you miss most?Alys
19. What color pants and shoes are you wearing?light blue jeans, white chucks
20. What are you listening to right now?the clickety-clack of the compuetr lab
21. What did you eat for breakfast?i didn't have breakfast. and for lunch i had wendy's
22.If you were a crayon, what color would you be?magenta
23. What is the weather like right now?blah
24. Last person you talked to on the phone?my mom!
25. The first things you notice about the opposite sex?personality/good heart/tits
26. Do you like the person who sent this to you?i like mark although i don't know him well. i like his writing too.
27. Favorite Drink?water/dr pepper. alcohol wise: bur.
28. Hair Color?brown
29. Do you wear contacts?no. tried to in eighth grade, but i was too pussy.
30. Favorite Food?uh, nothing comes to mind. crap, basically.
31. Last Movie You Watched?capote......................alright after that i watched serenity.
32. Favorite Day Of The Year?president's day
33. Scary Movies Or Happy Endings?scary movies, those HAVE happy endings, and the characters are usually covered in blood too.
34. Summer Or Winter?winter
35. Hugs or Kisses?probably. i'm not picky.
36. What Is Your Favorite Dessert?candy bars.
37.Living Arrangements?who knows? i've been on a couch for awhile
38. What Books Are You Reading?the Odyssey.....by Homer. collected Mayakovsky. In Cold Blood for the forty millioth time.
39. What's On Your Mouse Pad?it's not my mouse pad.
40. What Did You Watch Last Night on TV?i don't remember. seinfeld?
41. Favorite Smells?nope
42. Favorite junk food?any
43. Rolling Stones or Beatles?ROLLING STONES i can't stress that enough
44. What's the farthest you've been from home?portland, OR? or Ogunquit Maine. i don't know which is further.

That's the first and LAST one of those I'll do on here, okay? I promise this will not turn into one of "those" blogs.

And it seems as if my wandering is at an end: I may just pay some dude to live in Park Slope this week. The poem today is an assignment for Lehman's class: A poem written in the voice of a character from the Odyssey. I chose an obscure one and found myself doing things I don't normally do, like write about mythology and begin my poem with a quote. Please enjoy the change of pace with my compliments.

Here's my poem:


"Psst…..I hate it here."
-man in hell, Gary Larson's the Far Side

Being dead means
you know you were wrong
at least once,
and now I have the right
to turn a shunning shoulder
to the past, the gods
and their endless variety,
their bitter step-sister-ness,
who cares if they control
my finger's twitch, the storm-cloud off to sea?

We're happier than they are,
and the coffee here is great
and that’s the point.
See what they do
is grind up souls of servants,
heathens and the like
and add a touch of god-like
countenance (a hint of brain
or musculature, but just a dab
‘ll do ya) combine and stir,
and then they serve it black
as squid-skin and it goes down like a dagger.

It ‘livens’ up the weekend
sitting glum inside our ditches,
me answering mail from tourists,
asking ‘why did you hate the gods
so much?’ to which I dab my quill
in flat black blood and scribe
‘I shouldn’t have to explain
myself to you or them,
a man who’s fought in Troy,
who’s god-like and who’s nice
shouldn’t have to sink his ship
to make a point, what a world it is indeed.’

My office here is bland,
without a doubt, and the sea
rings in my dead ears like mockery.
‘Someone come down here
and kill me twice’ is
a common enough epithet,
but being dead means
I know that when Poseidon
brings the hammer down
and even Athena’s pissed
at you, I know that next time
I should learn to keep my cool.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Twenty-Eighth Post

REMINDER: I'm reading at the Ear Inn on Saturday Oct. 15th. read about it here: http://www.mbroder.com/ear_inn/index.html

You know, Red China's a great magazine. They aren't afraid not to have all their eggs in one basket. In fact, they're egg stealers, if they like a given egg at a given moment, they up and put it in their basket and if you ask them why they took your egg they just give you this look.

here's a link so you can see what the hell I'm talking about: http://www.redchinamagazine.com/home.htm

Also, Michael Broder put up my pretty little picture on his blog and I thank him for it. It made me feel, if only for a moment, like Greta Garbo. I have no idea why I mention this. I'm coming off a really strong nicotine high.

I'm gonna keep mentioning my reading until the day after. Sorry, Charles.

My friend Cutty (aka Red China editor Alex Smith) and I wrote some oddly religious collaborations last night and you get to take your pick from two of them. And yes, we had been drinking.

Here's OUR poems:

Alex Smith and Steve Roberts

An object darkens your glass.
Let us christen merrily
the imperial sands,
‘please’ we pray,
give light, forgive.
You, the alcove
of religious limits,
velveteen scarf.

Roots, remember the trespasses,
our shadowed legacy, our time
allotted. Bend
towards the home object.
When stupefied mumbling
becomes wisened. I
worship at the vineyards.
In deserts.

Alex Smith and Steve Roberts

Dead in the trench like an empty blood-coat.
An impossible wake,
an unlit match left stale in the box.

He says, “What the god, the
majestic carnie, said to me in the breaking dawn,
that FUCK is a god,
and I left my hat on the ground and found a church,

a cautious, beauteous place, slept
in the pew, rolled in a pocket of warmth
smelling salts, fresh soil.

I was happy that god hadn’t struck me deaf,
hadn’t smelt the blood in the mineral.
Crawling blind from the mine, I raised my hands.”

Monday, October 03, 2005

Twenty-Seventh Post

Wow. I'm still homeless. Don't that beat the dutch.

I'm reading at the Ear Inn on Saturday(?) October 15th with Shanna Compton and Danielle Pafunda. I know a little about the readers but I have a feeling that they will be packing the house. So I want all you die-hard Steve fans not including my mom to be there! It is free after all. Here's the link: http://www.mbroder.com/ear_inn/index.html Also, if Ali M. from CSF is reading this, gimme your email! Let's catch up.

Here's my poem:


The arms of the paper are flimsy and swing if blown upon.
Arms that do not bend, and have little muscle to them.
That muscle which holds the head above the stake-like wooden fences.
Muscle formed of protein instead of logical phrasing.
Formed in 1911, Gold’s Gym is a proprietor of free verse poetry.
In free verse poetry, the size of the weight is less important.
Free to use any weight he likes, the poet begins with the leg press.
To the untrained observer the legs are merely thoughtless couriers.
The poet knows the legs are similes of a variety of flimsy images.
Poet Ralph Waldo Emerson, donned in a paper suit, worked out every day.
“Ralph,” he would say in his mind, and while flexing pondered his name.
He stretched his meager legs pointing his little toes toward the stars.
Stretched paper out on his desk and wrote one of those famous poems.
Paper covers my muscles in lieu of skin, damn you mom!
Covers of Emerson’s books show him in muscular poses under the moon.
Of his books I can only say this: those poems need to work out more.
His comment on my poems: “Poems of a weakling who cannot hold a pen.”
Comment on this rivalry if you like, but be prepared to back it up.
On that note I challenge any poet to a boxing match.
That match will be won by the writer with thicker forearms.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Twenty-Sixth Entry

Well, it seems as if I MIGHT have found a place to stay but it's not set in stone.

After bringing in two of my best recent poems to class and not having them discussed, I'm now sure to be up for discussion this week, with a poem I hate.

Saw this first line in a collection I bought at the strand and I just had to try and write something of my own around it. Sorry if it offends any fans of the original author (not because of its daring, but because of its badness).

Here's my poem:


I like to watch the little children die.
Like so many snowflakes dropping from the shaken branch.
You kick the trunk, angry with the stasis of snow.
Glistening children’s bodies, each unique in death
lay quiet on the yard, as if making snow angels.
Angels lay silent among the frost-capped shrubs,
patient sharpshooters sent by the one you love.
Inside, I sit by the fire, writing a letter to each parent,
but the storm has obscured the letterbox
and I throw them into the air and shoot at them with a shotgun.
The wind keeps each black ink word aloft,
an unseen parachute allowing me
to grab you and dance a rough polka
in the powder-burned confetti.
And our reddened cheeks rub maliciously together
as if we were trying to start a fire.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Twenty-Fifth Entry

I am still very homeless and very worried and am now accepting donations.

Here's my poem:


I delivered the letter on a sharp October night. 7:24pm, August 9th, 1976. The paper was typewriter-fresh, the ink felt to my parents’ fingers as if it had just dried. Inside, my mother continued to murmur, as if her voice was wrapped in flannel. My father, upon reading the letter, furiously began sitting on the stoop in his undershirt and black socks. And gray slacks. And he kept that up for several months, a nightly vigil. I had recently made a werewolf mask for Halloween. With paper. And several brown lengths of yarn dangling from the facade. I sat in the uppermost branches of our family oak, glad for the shivering sensation. Watching my father as he looked down our walkway to our street. In the suburbs each car that speeds by is rare enough that it commands suspicion. My father imagined each one of these unobtrusive sedans slowing to push my brother out to roll towards our doorstep. My father would sigh in between cigarettes and wring his Boris Karloff hands. It felt like a classic tragedy, and although I knew plenty about tragedy from nights spent comatose in front of the television, I felt I had nothing to say to my numbly resigned family, and I took a bus to the coast and I wandered around. Everyone’s face on the chilly boardwalk looked totem-like and, only being 17, I soon found myself in the custody of the police. In the drab cell I began writing a second note to my family explaining my sister’s kidnapping. I would disclose no terms. I would ask for no ransom. I composed the note in my head with the intention of typing it later.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Twenty-Fourth Entry

Hay problemas!

Anybody got a room for rent in Carroll Gardens/Park Slope? I'm not picky at this point. I'd take axe murderers.

In honor of a poet I like and admire (Steve Caratzas) and his poetic brevity, here's a short poem.

Or rather a normal poem with short lines.

Here's my poem:

I stutter
to timidity
I blink my response and crawl up the stairs to you.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Twenty-Third Entry

I have no idea.

Here's my poem:


The spacesuit draped with sweat
appeared last night like the past whipping me in the lips.

I smelt the cigar smoke, felt
the shoulder cramp of huddling inside the heavy.

Did you hear the gunshot,
fading yellow across the street like John Wayne with Dutch Elm’s?

I donned my Stetson
and leapt from the roof into the arms of whispering stuntwomen.

When my skin was taken from me,
the desert felt of card game tables became my tuxedo.

My motorcycle twitches
with the Seminole fear I emailed you about.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Twenty-second Entry

I was just in an online magazine called Big Tex[t]. check it out here:http://www2-english.tamu.edu/pubs/bigtext/main.php

and as long as i'm at it, check out my poem in an old issue of Stirring magazine: http://www.sundress.net/stirring/archives/v7/e5/index.html i'm supposed to have something else coming out in there new issue. i think.

here's my poem:


Who mines the gold that paves the roads in heaven?
This miraculous highway with high billboards proclaiming ‘bend and toil.’
I stood quiet. I made precious love.
It was like crawling my body across a copy machine.
Each of these letters contains one of the results of that trial.
In a moment, a commercial will offer you majestic light.
But first the saint swings into your mouth with his sterling nine-iron.
This guitar is the guitar that coaxes open angel shells.
The person I’m describing laughs with a mirror-plate mustache attached with glue.
Like being high, I saw clouds and thought “don’t think about clouds.”
In the mine, blood leaks off faces and sinks into the intricate natural hollows.
Your dream where your fruit-like feet step across dainty wonders of your own creation.
That book about men.

Smoke exits the body and travels an unknown path.
The story begins with a character shaking his cape awake down the stairs.
IMPORTANT: due to the graphic nature of this program children are already traumatized.
You write your eternal nature on feathers and skin with an altogether original script.
When I began living in California the paint on the churches was faded piano blue.
This is the guitar we use to calculate light speed in our basement.
My brother Terry in the passenger seat, immobile, in agony, about to awake.
A vampire hawk swoops away when we had just finished rigging our net.
Each of these letters contains individual flecks of your body.
The castle of plastic that melts under the heat of an important supernova.
The unholy miasma cut down into the child’s crayon shape.
My body shrouded by the grim patagia of the barbershop awning.
But first this message.

From where does the cosmonaut pull the notes of his song?
Where is the hope of my wicked, fun-loving girl?
Who are you to explain the aura of my own sadnesses to me?
Did you hear the distant typewriter clack and ping?
How can I prevent the stranger from being the thief?
Where is your frightened calendar planning to go?
Who is the expose scumraker among my great-grandchildren?
Am I meant to let water slip from my palms to flatten on my feet?

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Twenty-First Entry

So, my computer is dead, yes. But I ingeniously emailed myself all of this last year's work before it died! Go me! Sorry to the patrons of this computer lab, but I'll be doing a lot of printing.

P.S. i updated this on a mac and i don't know how to fix the size of it so sorry.

Here's my poem:


things happen in slo-mo
in our lavishly overgrown back lawn, medium to sunny.
The zombies sit cross-legged and slowly, patiently
teach us everything: pushing us to re-read Salinger,
to finally 'get' algebra as a perfect system.
It clicks.
We begin to see the applications in our everyday lives.

It's bearably cool outside, the zombies cook a good meal.
Sitting at a long table, we hear their elongated moans,
we feel this strange warmth of contentedness swell.
The zombies are strong believers in zen
even without its Buddhist context
to sit is to sit
to walk is to walk
we feel the sun in the afternoon

falling through the apple tree to mosaic on our shoulders.
With so much time to tend to ourselves, the zombies organize
all kinds of walking tours, filled with enlightened commentary
and good-natured dirty jokes.

We find all these old tapes in the neighbor's garage.
We all piss ourselves doing pompous David Bowie stage moves.
We all scream the chorus to 'Rio' but hum wordlessly to the verse.
We bump shoulders with the zombie with the sash in her hair.

Then sunning on the back porch
without a single thought in our heads
we suddenly become unhappy
we miss things we never had
and silently begin to wonder what might have been.

That night, resolved, we sneak away from home.
In black turtlenecks we sweat and silhouette against the moon,
scared, conspiring, we want only the strange quiet void of freedom,
not realizing we are leaving it behind,
we escape.

And in the windows of our childhood home the zombies moan.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Twentieth Entry

It's my bicentennial! Not really. But I still wish Gerald Ford was here.

Missed two good readings last night because I couldn't accurately figure out how to get to either of them. Oh poop.

Here's my poem:


I walk alone at no particular pace.
Walk or swim in the lakes rain has made from its tracks.
Or breathe in the pollen and sneeze it back out for fun.
Breathe, I tell myself, seeing the brontosaurus for the first time in weeks.
I look over my shoulder in case someone is watching me like I’m watching her.
Look at all the things I used to think were dinosaurs; mostly trees and buildings.
At the top of the building, the dinosaur’s body looks big and nervous.
The feeling I get when my hands shake from hunger or I don’t know why.
Feeling funny, the brontosaurus hunter has to regularly examine his motives.
Funny how little I know about dinosaurs I have hazily skulked after for years.
How could I possibly stop? Or lose her trail? Sometimes my choice is obvious.
Could I have been happier with someone else? Yes. But that someone never came.
I waited all month in the parking lot for her and now look at me.
Waited behind a wall like when the brontosaurus’s monolithic neck would turn my way.
Behind me are all the empty apartments and all the things my parents don’t know about.
Me with my useless binoculars and elephant gun just standing there.
With my quarry I shudder and stomp my enormous footprints about.
My heart is light, my eyes forward with no regrets.
Heart? That is an extinct species, they say, that used to roam the earth.
That booming sound is not feet in the distance but far within my own chest.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Nineteenth Entry

I should probably tell those concerned that I have an apt and have had it for several days. I do not however have an internet....or a working computer. Which is admittedly pretty craphound, as I never backed up all the poems and other things I was writing this past year. Fun stuff. Anyways, onwards and upwards.

P.S. everybody go out and buy Dana Levin's new book Wedding Day it's awesome.

Here's my poem:


When I'm comfortable enough to empty the basin of my friend's cynicisms
and find the empty old envelopes inside
and I won't have to wait for the R train
to pull into the R train stop
and not let anybody on
and the cigarette I flick will bounce back into my mouth
and I'll smoke the filter to make it appear casual
the 2500 bassists will drop their medium picks
and watch morbidly as they fall through the space in the boards
like the four of diamonds in my new deck of cards
that I play with anyway hoping to gain some cheater's edge.
And the amplifiers will hum

when the rain spills off of the window I forgot to close
and the union street bridge will erupt in momentary
and inexplicable fireworks, unprovoked,
because I'd like to think I keep track of every holiday
and I'll remember how much Angela liked the sparklers
and I'll remember how much I did as well
and reading is the only thing I can do at my new place and I don't wanna

and I'll think about all the fun little internet applications I'd have running right now and when Dana asked me whether or not the sound your computer makes when it 'logs on' is a recording or not and I didn't know and still don't know. If it was a recording why is it so dissonant and unpleasant? Why is everybody so worried they won't be considered ironic enough to get laid? Why am I wearing socks when it's so hot just because that's what is expected of me by my culture?

And by culture I mean the proverbial moldy person in my freezer telling me what to do
and by proverbial I mean he commands me around the place using verbs
and in four/four the e note doesn’t really move at all, it just sort of sits there
like an old man who grew up in this neighborhood
and comes back every day. And by neighborhood I mean this carbon jacket
I flip over my head to pretend I have a bond with the people who inject themselves
into the buildings next to mine even though we have never and will never speak
that'll be when I'm comfortable enough
to mail all those envelopes back to the original owners
and tie myself to a roman candle and light the fucker
and paint myself an original unexpected color
and switch from E to a G blues progression which I know will sound weird
and hang myself from a shingle on the wall
and I will say 'open for business'

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Eighteenth Entry

So, didn't get the apt. I thought I would, and in fact got no apt. at all, and I'm currently homeless.

Still, being back in the city has inspired something, so off i go again.

Here's my poem:


Heat bounced off buildings
reminiscent of last august’s swelter
the maniac rush to escape the street.
New York,
you have given me so many regretful reasons
and so much cement has worn down the summer
of my shoes, I look down past the bathroom mirror.

The small curls of hair grown haggardly
longer than all advisements, the itch and sting
of hair against the eye, rubbed out with water
and shampoo.

In small groups,
and without any communication between one another
my bits of hair(dark brown) have wandered off
my mortal coil and have coiled into pattern
forming eighteen separate german expressionistic images
which I will now name and categorize.

New York,
what was the name of the girl who once wrote me a letter
covered in crayon and smelling sweetly
of some unknown variable, the girl who I met
on the choir trip to Universal Studios
from Michigan
who I didn’t have a crush on
but was mesmerized by
and, after receiving the letter,
was frightened of? I have no right
to ask this of you but I expect you know the answer.

The school supply scissors I use
opened a small slit in my palm filled quickly
with an amazing amount of blood
which I then smudged on several surfaces:
denim, plastic, cardboard, metal, bandage, skin.
New York I am counting the folds and coils
of my three ten dollar bills instead of the bills themselves,
regarding the half-inch hole in my shirt
that I bought with Olivia last year
when I thought life was doing me right.

And I couldn’t tell you what I see in the bathroom sink
of the person whose couch I’m sleeping on.
And the cut on my (left) palm makes me wish it was my right,
it is thin and black with a pink curtain of a bruise.
This is my one year to look down and see something
and the something isn’t there
but I’m supposed to go and blindly run with it.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Seventeenth Entry

Given the lackadaisical nature of this blog, the lazy updating, the boring personal updates, how all the titles are just the 'blank entry' and so on, one might get the idea that I was writing this more for myself than for any online fans. Right on the money. Not that I am not happy whenever someone views my page, but just keep it in mind and try not to think that I am trying to saidstically torture my audience, okay? Okay.

I'm in Dallas, my hometown. Something about this place just makes me never want to write a poem again, which is probably why I left. Even though, to be honest, I miss it terribly and want very much to live here again.

Also, I'm working back at my old record store while I'm here, which makes me happy to no end. And I wrote a record store geek quiz today because I was bored.

Take It!


Anyway, this is a twenty I wrote right before leaving Philadelphia. The title is based on an old advertising mural on a building in NYC.

Here's my poem:


To look at me, you would never know that I've invented.
Look at the 248 products I've made for use in your home.
At the inventor's junket last fall Ron Popeil gave me the silver cross.
The sky was advertising jingle blue and I switched my radio on.
Sky from Guys and Dolls was asking something specific of Lady Luck.
From that I invented the showtune simulator and retired early on the profits.
That invention earned me a reputation as an intellectual troublemaker.
Invention is the mother-in-law of intuition, but we're not related.
Is this too unclear for you? Let me paint you a picture.
This is my other hobby, painting, although I'm no Rembrandt.
Is this painting your cup of tea? I was attempting a still life of it.
This doesn't look anything like your cup of tea, cest la vie, right?
Doensn't the frame look nice though? I invented the picture frame.
The sides are made of weapons grade plutonium making this invention 250!
Sides of the record of Guys and Dolls contain both the first and second acts.
Of Marlon Brando: he has never enjoyed my inventions or still life experiments.
Marlon, why won't you return my politely phrased phonecalls?
Why I may just invent a disparaging still life of you, sir!
I also invented a new way of spelling disparaging, it's spelled DIs(PARE)a[JING}.
Also, I invented a Marlon Brando simulator who makes still lifes of teacups.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Sixteenth Entry

So here I go again on my own, sorry about the complete lack of updating, but as you might have guessed, I only update when I have a poem to produce, and I hit a bit of a dry spell. Some writers believe in writer's block, I do not, which means I often just write bad poems. I feel it is better than not writing at all, at least you're keeping your chops fresh. But life overtook me for a little bit and I wasn't even writing bad poems. I'm in Philly right now with my friend Elizabeth, and in two days I'll be back in Brooklyn. The day after that I will be going back to Dallas for the first time in almost a year, by far my farthest away from with home without even visiting. That was a particularly chewy sentence. Elizabeth has several vintage typewriters which always inspire me to write something, so there I went.

Here's my poem:


When I was watching daytime court TV, i could hear gray rain
tapping the window's shoulder. Looked in the depths of my jean
pocket, dark like a denim cave, where scummy yet erudite prisoners
hold out till the law forgets and goes back to their second floor
halfway houses with their semi-estranged families, hands red and raw
from baking endless parades of mirthless breadcrusts, sunny
and unpleasantly warm, prisoners in striped pajamas, licking
their nicotine stains on their banana-yellow fingers, wringing
sweat out of their once-blue bandannas. The tall one with
the reddish beard starts inventing adjectives to pass the time,
frabgenuous, jocumential, rendulent, and locuknojical.

The prisoners start imagining an allegorical novel about
American sailors left ashore at a nameless port in China,
who walk from Hainan through Laos, Burma, Bangladesh, Nepal
and Bhutan. Among the many valuable lessons they learn
in these foriegn lands is that you can die all too easily from disease
so brush early and often and that, for Americans, they know little
of the world and it's various forms of little regarded traditional music.
One of the sailors, who mysteriously died in the Algerian badlands
years later, wrote a science fiction novel that I am currently
formatting into a screenplay, and I would like very much to use
Walter Carlos's SWITCHED ON BACH for the soundtrack but that's really
not my call. The screenplay is titled Lady Be Good after the flying fortress
crew that got lost after their bombing run (for reasons historians are still
unable to deduce) and crashed in the Northwestern Sahara,
going blind from sand blown sdaistically in their eyes before dying painfully
and one by one from starvation and/or exposure. This title is admittedly
TANGENTIAL, but I and several other more respected artists say
that the accidental is just as valid as the pre-programmed. Ask
my mother for an explanation, and she will likely in grand and pleasant
detail tell you that I was born prematurely, and that my birth was
"the best thing that ever happened" to her, although I
have seen no documented proof of this.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Fifteenth Entry

If you haven't, you should go and buy the tiny, a nifty little journal some friends of mine put together. Where can I find this magazine you ask? Well, ask no further you annoying jerk. http://thetinyjournal.com/

It's hot and I'm poor, just to update you on my life.

Here's my poem:


our friends are on second base and heading for home
and all you can do is cling to the fence with both hands
and snap your bubbles of big league chew.

What horrible gang members we’ve become
we no longer are able to rumble, our ballet lessons
have faded and winked from memory

like a girl I fell in love with on the El
who I never spoke to, and she was all the way
across the car, and she waved goodbye to me at her stop.

I’m tearing the patches off of our jackets
and sewing the sleeves back on
and doing some needlepoint in my spare time when the kids are asleep

coiled in their simple dreams like happy vipers.
Dreams like their eternally incomplete lego castles,
They give the illusion of shape, the impression of civilized structure.

Look around us: our turf has crumbled to quiet ash.
Yet upstairs in the kitchen my wife is dropping the skillet

and whatever she was cooking will slide under the oven into the dark.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Fourteenth Entry

The number fourteen has always had special significance for me. But the story behind that isn't very interesting.

Here's my poem:


The motion of the adverb is that of the plate spinning on a stick.
Motion is equated to the sea that now holds the heavy weight of analogy.
Is “going” down with the ship a punishment, or a guarantee of martyrdom?
Going on that theme, I’d like to talk about how silly sailor’s uniforms are.
On my planet there are no oceans and so our boats just lean against the walls.
My fingers walk along the unused sailor’s knots like a make-believe little man.
Fingers often point, but more often hold and move objects like a mouse does.
Often I complain to my second mate about my slow dial-up in the Indian Ocean.
I am captain of the Hammurabi, a spaceship light years away from being interesting.
Am I boring you? I will often ask my multi-cultural crew, who often say yes.
I launch into a rant about how our duty as space-sailors is to be diligent, not excited.
Launch control, is David Bowie there? What’s he wearing?
Control Q doesn’t seem to do anything at all, and neither does my body while I’m typing.
Q appeared on Star Trek when he wasn’t helping James Bond. We watch a lot of movies here.
Appeared out of nowhere, a giant asteroid shaped like Mark Bolan says my captain’s log.
Out of the blue I wished I had never left my home planet for the navy.
Of all the professions I would have chosen, I’d like to write poetry about space-rock.
All the planets collide suddenly and I feel like that kid on James Cameron’s Titanic.
The feeling you get when you’re so full of yourself you don’t look out ahead.
Feeling like an ass, I go below decks, and read the newspaper reports about myself.

Myself, I don’t really feel like firing phasers at anybody, war or no.
I felt like they used too many adverbs in calling me ‘the wussiest space-pirate.’
Felt is what our uniforms are made of, and we still wear those goofy blue neckerchiefs.
Is it true that Brian Eno wrote poetry? Or that he spun several plates on sticks?
It seems to me Roxy Music was the only band deserving to be launched into space.
Seems like I should get to the deck, in case that asteroid starts singing ‘Planet Queen.’
Like on Planet Queen when the emissary gave us chiffon gowns and ‘physique’ magazines.
On assignment to the planet, we were confused with natives because of our gaudy uniforms.
Assignment: each crew member must write ten sonnets on solar systems or glam bands.
Each asteroid we hit makes me look distractedly at my fingers and think about my youth.
Asteroid is one of the movies we’ve watched up here, but I can’t remember the plot.
Is that all I can remember? Movies we slept through while sailing the skies?
That was a little florid of me, I try to be a much more prose-sounding poet.
Was Not Was wasn’t glam, I correct the helmsman, they were new wave.
Not like anyone on this ship has any taste for the finer things aside from me.
Like a snobbish teenager, we drift light years in the dark without asking for directions.
A wiser captain might email for help, or hail the klingons like in that movie.
Wiser perhaps, but this mythical captain probably doesn’t even know who Jobriath is.
Perhaps I should just fling myself off the deck like Hart Crane and be done with it.
I wouldn’t know. I’m no good and writing sailing metaphors anyway. Let’s watch a movie.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

thirteenth entry

So, the Feast reading was wonderful, even though I went through the most horrendous rigamarole getting to the city (thank you MTA). And gosh was it hot in there! But I really enjoyed myself regardless and was impressed with all my fellow readers (whose names I have linked in my previous entry.)
At the request of Richard, I will be posting my Andrea Doria "haikus" I wrote on the train ride there. But not today, because I can't find them.

In other news, Stirring, an online magazine, has published a poem of mine, although they forgot to tell me and have since moved on to a new "issue". No problem though, I'm glad they published one of my first experiments in writing "twenties," When You're Not Weird, which you can see here: http://www.sundress.net/stirring/archives/v7/e5/index.html

Here's my poem:


apples are spread on a table to ward off witches
(Not really. I just made that up)
I am sleeping on an uneven wooden table
and the apple rolls down and is so small it goes right in my mouth
I climb down from the tree and sniff the crisp wet air. I do not know which way to go down the empty road. There is a light coming from one way and I heard a foghorn coming from the other way.
I turn to hear and my ankle rolls on a stray apple,
the green shiny skin, my horizontal falling body
when I stay here in the medium-length grass
an apple drives by
my friend leans out of the window
“what, Tom?” “let’s go towards the apple store.”
But I don’t go. In my apartment someone has put up strings of apples.
I make breakfast. At work the clock runs slow.
Make me think of the time you were on top of me with your necklace of apple slices dangling above my mouth.
A monkey comes in carrying apples and asks me what time it is.
There are many colors of glass in the wall and I can see you right through it.
You are bright yellow, an apple, smiling, cool, plump, a lusty red, you talk to me about silly topics, when you hold a cigarette at your side, tripping on the sidewalk laughing, your apple hands hold your face like a make-believe house
hold your head like a crown made of red-yellow apples
your hands run across a map
of several overgrown backyards we went apple-hunting in.
I take a pen and carve earholes into an apple
and there’s your skull.
And I dig in that with my fingers and I mush about in your brains
they smell like gum and you shake my head around
you can hear the little apples inside
rattling like a heavy maraca with a dull liquidy sound
before we jump into the pool in our boxers, I give you a quick wink and then a quick kiss to taste your lip gloss
and we’re underwater and I can see the bottoms of boats and the bottoms of continents
my stomach bloats up and distends
like a pear or apple, it’s as if I’m being keelhauled
I can see up and up but I can’t go up
the crates of apples are weighing me down
but everybody upstairs is emaciated and cranky
I shut my mouth and walk the six flights with Scott at my back
it’s my birthday and I’m giving out apples with my face printed on them to Danielle, Nicole, Victoria, Sam, Chelsea, Jenna, Parker, Andrew, Faith, Katie, Matt, Antonio, Will, Brooke, Nick, Mike, Meredith, Myers, Rich, Dan, Joe, Mike, Charlie, Roy, James, Michaela, Jenn, Emily, Melanie and Brian.
We’re all going downtown to some place I don’t want to go to
till I drag everyone out by their ears
and we kick a bum on the corner till he bursts
and Ryan throws up on himself and falls asleep on the street
and we’ll all wonder whether or not he’s gay
and we’ll go for tacos and we’ll really like them at first
it’s May but it’s so incredibly cold it’s pissing me off
I have two Fuji apples in the fridge but I’m not hungry
why don’t you have them
you look dreadful
are you getting enough sleep
rotten, in fact, hollow, your teeth look bad
it takes a lot for me to say this
because you’ve meant so much to me over the short time I’ve known you especially since I’ve been strapped into my coma for so long I don’t even know what the inside of my eyes look like anymore but I still say that I can feel your hand because it makes you feel better and I know things like that are important to you.
I’m eating the new apple flavored popcorn
while we watch the popular indie movie
and it’s bad and the popcorn is sweet with salty
not a combination I care for, I walk into the alcove
you follow
we’ve both been avoiding mentioning apples all night so let’s have it out
I know you’ve been sleeping with apples in your bed.
I’ve seen the hotel receipts, I’ve seen the cores you’ve tried
to sweep under the sheets when I come by
like I’m some imbecilic Columbo
and I hold your hands on the sides of my face and look in your eyes
it’s okay
we have to stand on the roofs of the buildings we want to stand on top of
even if it’s dangerous or raining or illegal or my grandfather doesn’t like it
because the apple color on your jacket decal goes against his antiquated southern religion, not that I’m blowing dust off his book or demeaning what he believes in any way, but that’s his and this is mine and that’s yours.
If there is such a thing as the smiling apple fairy who wanders around
dousing people with liberal sprinkles
of apple dust with her frigid silver scepter
and does the trick where she can jump and hover
and spin and then do a skydiver’s flip
and hold herself up with one bejeweled hand
and talks about how up in the clouds
where we can never find
there’s the imperial apple palace
with ten thousand thrones for the chosen
and a hundred scimitared warriors
and a bunch of saints I just made up are there:
Saint Salome, patron of glass-blowers and colonial re-enactors
Saint Murray, patron of people who work in the sewers and plastic surgeons
Saint Rhoda, patron of jazz clarinets and double-dutch players
since I’m making it up I make you patron saint of apples
and hopscotch and playing poker with penny antes and of trying to remember the name of an old tv show with that guy who’s on arrested development now
and as long as we’re off on a run
we should make up prayers and virtues
correct people on how they live
get right into their living rooms with tele-evangelical programming
catch them in their fruit-of-the-looms
late at night
in mid-swallow of their microwave apple strudels
preferable to pop-tarts
IF all that is true,
then I don’t see what you need me around for anyways
I haven’t even paid rent, I moved all my things downstairs
and there hasn’t been the apt. I can’t clutter up for no reason
we walk dogs for the kennel today past the apple district
mine is named Hardwick (no joke)
and he catches some bread meant for the pigeons
and who the fuck’s feeding them
fuck am I hungry
I let the leash go and it slides along the uneven Williamsburg street
with a dog in front of it presumably, although I’m not watching
and even the most run-down condemned-looking buildings in this neighborhood have satellite dishes perched on the windows like owls
and all the button down shirts are ironic
and all the t-shirts are silk-screened
and all the hoodies that aren’t laced with apple-extract have ‘brooklyn’ written on them
and all the women appeal to me, even you, although we don’t have the type of relationship where it’s appropriate for me to say so
and when I buy you what might be considered boyfriend gifts such as apple bubble-bath, apple-based skin product or a giant clonky purse with a big smiling apple on it it’s considered thoughtful, gee, what a thoughtful friend.
But keep in mind the only things I’m thinking about when I’m around you
don’t involve apples whatsoever,
they involve laying you
on the hood of my aqua mistubishi I don’t have anymore
and there was never a aqua-colored apple
but if there was what would it taste like
and actually I’m not sure about that
they say there are hundreds of thousands of species in the rainforest we have never found
and plenty of them will die before we do find them
and I have a hard time believing anyone’s even looking
so sure there may be apples aplenty with stripes or plaid or paisley
I’m no authority on the many assumptions of science
in fact I have little to show for the work I have done
and if I were to be honest I’d admit I didn’t do near enough work
I just coasted on because I was capable of doing that
and no obstacles ever got in my way that actually were insurmountable
which I suppose is a talent in and of itself albeit not a very marketable one
so put that on your resume
one of my roommates hid my apples behind all the various and sundry other items in our refrigerator
and now I actually wanted one
so I go outside knowing full well I’m locking myself out
but those types of things don’t concern me
I turn the corner and walk into the small grocery store that could only exist in new york
especially at these prices
and I walk through the produce aisle to cool down and I look up your number in my celphone
maybe you’ll be there when maybe I give you a call

Friday, June 03, 2005

twelfth entry

Next Feast: Sunday, June 5, 5-7 p.m. 85 MacDougal St. between Bleecker and Houston; 212-673-8184. The unspeakably delicious readers are Richard Allen, Kirsten Andersen, Michael Broder, Steve Roberts, Jason Schneiderman, and Maureen Thorson.

in case you didn't notice, dear reader, my name is on that list. i shall be reading there if i can find it.

Here's my poem:


Trouble as an arching concept defining bad luck as my modus operandi.
As a child I had a very difficult time saying ‘literally.’
A child is told which is his hand and which hand is not his.
Child is a word I use now that I didn’t use when I was a child.
Is not the word you misuse as valid as the word you use correctly?
Not speaking was one of my hobbies, but now speaking is.
Speaking, controlled by the hippocampus(?) keeps us one leg above the primates.
Controlled by humans, the primates’ language is a poetry in exile.
By the monkey bars, I laughed at my best friend because he couldn’t lisp out my name.
The word rhythm has two H’s, but the Y and the T are hard to place.
‘Word of the Moment’ is a phrase or a title of a daydreamed game show.
‘of the moment’ would be literal, you would have mere seconds to guess the secret word.
The host would have a hair helmet and the co-hostess would wear blue-sequined gowns.
Host a message board and see how many Americans wave ignorance like a semaphore flag.
A through Z, all twenty six letters are necessary in the English language except C.
Through my 25 years I’ve found words, wearing them like a favorite rumpled coat.
My coat actually is rumpled, and cheap. Not like the Word Coat that I was describing.
Coats made of wool are best because they remind your skin that it is being covered.
Made by ape-like sweatshoppers whose language has devolved into defeated mumblings.
By and large a sweatshoppers’ day and night are defined by monotonous rhythm.

Monday, May 30, 2005

eleventh entry

SO, I'm doing a reading on the 5th, if you want any info about it just ask me.
my poem today is dedicated to somebody who probably won't read this.

Here's my poem:


With you I sailed towards the North Pole with too many wool coats
and only one shoddy compass.

I killed an elephant and thought it’d be funny to wear its head but
you didn’t like it and it was much too heavy.

We found a planet in our telescope and decades later flew into space
to find it but it wasn’t there but we had a good time.

We sewed the sails ourselves because we had the time, wanted to do it
right and wanted to be with each other.

We scaled down the canyon and decided we didn’t want to go back up
and were surprised by how many people came to us.

Because you didn’t like the elephant’s head I put it in the cellar
thereby ruining it and in retrospect I wish I hadn’t.

With you I climbed trees in the Amazon and we couldn’t see three feet
ahead so we gaily threw our binoculars to the ground.

We named our new planet Hera and it physically existed inside our telescope
and you wanted to keep it when I wanted to keep you.

At the North Pole I looked around and was anxious when I didn’t see you
because the places you could have gone were infinite.

I can’t remember where it was I killed that elephant but I did it
to impress you and you were around everywhere that I remember.

I looked all over the universe with you, although lying on the ground
next to the telescope was the best and I can’t find that anymore.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

tenth entry

I had this great quote from the Larry Rivers biography, What Did I Do? (love that title) but I seem to have misplaced the book and it's really starting to irk me. Irk irk irk.

I'm in the new Earshot chapbook, so everybody go to the next Earshot reading (do some detective work and find out about it on your own) and buy the thing, it's awesome, full of good poetry, and for whatever reason my poem is the first in there.

Today's poem's title comes from something Anne Tardos said that I liked.

Here's my poem:


Not even the water, really. Where does it come from and what’s living there?
Even the tidiest of reservoirs once had someone fall down the well.
The poem “Lady In Kicking Horse Reservoir” by Richard Hugo comes to mind.
Poems written near reservoirs tend to be happily dropped in them as well.
Written in 1602, Sir Cyrus Farrow’s ‘How to Reservoirize’ was flatly unpopular.
In my glass from the tap today I found fourteen burn-blackened fingers.
My heart rose: finally I could complete my burnt finger sculpture!
Heart is not all a reservoir supervisor needs, but it’s all a plumber needs.
Is a combination of all your fears and hopes sunk beneath the reservoir? Yes.
A thank you should be given to the builders of the hoover dam, but by whom?
Thank your mom, too. Even if she wasn’t Rosie the Riveter she did her part.
Your pipes can’t be cleaned, even by that white furry muppet thing.
Pipes shouldn’t ever be trusted, in the fifties they had communist ties.
Shouldn’t the Bubonic Plague be showing up in our water? I always liked that plague.
The plague should be a red plague in our inflamed organs, but not black.
Plague, unlike gingivitis, exists. Don’t believe animated toothpaste shuckers.
Unlike poems, pipes are actually full of disgusting indescribable things.
Poems about reservoirs are best, pure and clean and with a bit of sun.
About now you want tap water no matter what I said.
Now is when the bubonic boogeymen sneak to clog your throat.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Ninth Entry

Just wrote a long entry that magically disappeared. Oh well what the hell.

Here's my poem:


The windows of the Met Life are like the many holes in a harmonica’s side.
Windows wiped clean of the regret in the air and the suicidal gnats.
Wiped by spiderly wipers whose families have never known fear of death.
By families who wipe together like a group of identically clad acrobats.
Families of pigeons called vermin by verminous balding street urchins.
Of urchins out squinting hard at the sun, who knows where they come from.
Urchins, like harmonicas, are full of air and are hard to clean out properly.
Like vacuum bags, even cleaned the urchins are still draped in foreign hairs.
Vacuum hum of the street-sweeping machine in its robotic funeral procession.
Hum of subway cars slinking past like under-the-grating sewage eels.
Of newspapers spinning around in the air only to again flop lifeless.
Newspapers written by ex-husbands with bald spots just starting to begin.
Written by bald men that wear ties and short sleeves and are made of oatmeal.
By the writers of oatmeal boxes with full heads of hair who are still married.
The oatmeal tries to marry itself to your soft palette in a pushy embrace.
Oatmeal that is so tasteless you raise your hands to the sky like a preacher.
That preachers do this indicates the close relationship between hands and god.
Preachers spend most of the day washing their hands and they should know.
Spend your days forgiving sins and you’ll find your fingers caked in mud.
Your money is printed with this sinful finger-grime, by a strange someone.

A strange someone caked in mud should know god.
Like a preacher embracing those who are still married and are made of oatmeal,
just starting to begin to flop lifeless like eels in a funeral procession.
Foreign hairs are hard to clean out properly from verminous street urchins.
Acrobats have never known fear of death or suicidal gnats in a harmonica’s side.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Eighth Entry

So it's Broooklyn Steve now. I'm sleeping on the living room floor on an air mattress until my roommates, all younger then me, can get off their butts and move out. As a consequence I'm living out of my many suitcases and don't feel 'at home' just yet.

Writing a lot lately. Many people will tell you writer's block is a real problem for them, but I believe whoever it was that said "writer's block is just the fear of writing bad work." I do not have that fear, and as a result I often write bad work, but I just consider it an exercise and 'getting it out of my system.' How about you?

Here's my poem:


When you’re not weird you begin to feel dark and hard within your throat.
You’re not weird when you begin to talk about books as if they were ice.
Not weird, a pile of your hair on the back doorstep.
Weird, how science can make you want to scalp someone,
how you wonder why superheroes neglected you as a child.
You toss epithets at baseball players with true listlessness in your heart.
Toss kisses out the window so your pure love will find them and walk on up.
Kisses like slaps in the face that make you want to call a lawyer.
Like escaped jailbirds that sit at the bar silently and calmly still.
Escaped from a marriage of laws like a large perverted croquet game.
From a life trapped in an inflexible lariat that’s made of itchy yarn.
A pair of wings over your head so you can’t see what you’re covered in.
Pair of dice found in your sandwich that makes you wonder about your parents.
Of balloons that have sagged to the floor after months of bumping the ceiling.
Balloons are the trademark of clowns, which are the trademark of hidden anger,
are the ambassadors of diminished hope we hide in folds of street pamphlets.
The chemists that drop chemicals on astronaut’s heads for research’s sake.
Chemists who have fifteen chosen names they would have liked to been born with.
Who have grown their fingernails past Guinness records and are now bored.
Have written dissertations on their neighbor’s scalps when they’re not weird.

They’re not weird, they are bored to have been born for research’s sake,
street pamphlets of hidden anger bumping your parent’s ceiling,
covered in itchy yarn at the calmly still croquet game.
Call a lawyer and walk on up in your heart as a child.
Scalp someone on the back doorstep as if they were ice within your throat.