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.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

seventh entry

So, moving to bed-stuy has now become sleeping on an air mattress on the floor in bed-stuy for at least a week. Sigh. Beats working for a living I guess. In a related story, I need to start working for a living. I'm poor. Here's a poem about that.

Here's my poem:


He gives you the card but he doesn’t let go and it stops you stupidly.
Gives me the impression that basic human interaction hasn’t changed over time.
‘Me no speak’ said the caveman non-linguistically, with the back of his throat.
No amount of charm school will keep my ancestor’s forehead hair away.
Amount of time I spent studying evolution: none. But I know it happened.
Of all the times I thought I went deaf, the worst was the MC5 reunion show.
All I could hear for the next day and a half was warm whines and the sound of my fear.
I am deaf and need money/please help/god bless the card says.
Am I that gullible I can’t help laughing out loud but it made no difference.
I call out to my ancestors who can’t understand because they’re primordial fish.
Call him what you will, the deaf guy on the corner is several steps ahead of a fish.
‘Him no talk good cause no am hear’ says the caveman again (a very advanced caveman.)
No doubt in my mind that the primordial fish wouldn’t give him any change either.
Doubt rises in me that he’s even deaf at all, though I have no evidence to support this.
Rises from the blackened pool of pre-history that we have no textbook illustrations of.
From the cave to the street-corner took practically no time at all in a sense.
The card stays tightly gripped in his hand. He must only have so many of them.
Card to my mother I never sent. ‘happy mother’s day! I am too poor to send this.’
To the caveman I now say ‘dig up some gold in your cave and save it for me, okay?’
The money I don’t have causes an equal number of problems as the money I do have.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Sixth Entry

Must now pack up everything I own and say goodbye to the internet for a couple of days. But I really like my new home here at blogspot, where I can finally get my line breaks how I want them, even if they are in tiny type.

Here's my poem:


Too many times I’ve seen cat food splayed on the cement like a human outline.
Many cats began following me down the street so now I don’t go out.
Cats don’t like me because I know inside their skulls are diseased alien satans.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I’m turning State’s Evidence against them or anything.
‘Get out of our heads,’ the cats say telepathically but the satans won’t listen.
Out there in the universe are millions of planets where each cat is a satan.
There. I just finished scraping the cat food into the sewer grating.
I know that the cats will slip down after it like freakish furry worms with big eyes.
Know what? Inside the cat’s head even hot air blows like bitter wind.
What they don’t know is I’ve recorded this conversation and I play it back in reverse.
They would flip and spit if they could hear the nice things they say about me backwards.
Would their melancholic meows become spirited ‘woems’ if I played this tape often?
Their hisses would suck back into their mouths like retracting claws.
Hisses won’t hit their mark when I stroll down the lane with sound-reflective clothing.
Won’t cats eventually shake their demons free like humans pretend they can?
Cats stands for Criminal Alien Traitors and they’ve been banished here by their galaxies.
Stands to reason that they’d be so silent, sulky and prone to lash out.
To these cats I say ‘Stop whining! Try harder to be evil,’ from my black altar.
These days I stay inside and worship myself while recording my backward chants.
Days pass and I feed the cats that have inexplicably swarmed to me.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Fifth Entry

A word here about the types of poems you will see here: I am writing mostly twenty line poems, which I've taken to calling Twenties recently (I found out Jackson Mac Low wrote Twenties and Forties, but I couldn't be further from him style-wise). In the Twenties, the second word of each line becomes the first word of the next line. The lines are long and this blog actually can't fit the lines, so they overlap and look kind of silly. Continuing the mass exodus from Chelsea to Bed-Stuy. I'm gonna feel a lot less nervous in a week.

Here's my poem:


Includes several pictures of the author doing his casual myspace pose.
Several times I put my marbles from Hungry Hungry Hippos in my mouth.
Times change and things on your face move around a little bit.
Change in my pocket is either valuable or worthless, I throw pennies in the trash.
In time Lincoln will have his own fanzine, with superimposed emo glasses.
Time till the end of the world is measured and said to be definitely a number.
Till the land, stuff will come out of it like squeezing greasy pores.
The land is like the skin of your fingers as they walk on your face like sweaty land.
Land on Normandy and no one will shoot at you. But I can’t guarantee it.
On my face is your face. Get off of there. I don’t want that.
My self is a term I use to describe my body combined with my ‘soul’ and other things.
Self-evident ends a famous sentence in the Constitution of the United States.
‘Evident’ begins this sentence: Evidently you won’t stop touching me.
Begins is a verb. Beguine is a form of song. I don’t think I can describe beguine to you.
‘Is’ is a verb. As in ‘Is you is or is you ain’t my baby?’
Is that a song you’re familiar with? Read my Screamin Jay Hawkins fanzine.
That Lincoln fanzine emo theme song is still in my head, but who wrote it?
Lincoln slept in the same bed with another man for several years, don’t read into it.
‘Slept’ is a verb. ‘With me’ is a prepositional phrase. But you never slept with me.
Is Lincoln’s myspace pose better than mine? I wish I had been the emo president.

Fourth Entry

so very tired, but i must continue working for the man. Danielle's reading is tonight, EARSHOT is such a cool series. Nicole is doing great stuff there. we took a class with Matthew Zapruder about a poet's career and whatnot. He was very big on not trying to play the established game. He urged us to go our own way, start our own readings, publish our own magazines. Nicole was way ahead of him. On that note, I'd like to announce that I am in the very early planning stages of starting a magazine myself. And, if you are reading this, feel free to email me some of your work. The more I have to choose from the better.

Here's my poem:


The seeds were varied, green, black and brown
I cut the belly with the belly facing down
Once opened the seeds began to dive
Out of the body, like a bursting hive

I climb inside the body. And find myself lying on the ground in a vast field. Nature itself is so alien to me I feel like Neil Armstrong standing up. I look down at the scalpel in my hand. I lick the seed juices off, cutting my tongue open. Two farmers come up and yell at me. They are scared of me and I can’t ask them where I am. A pumpkin is thrown at me and lands on my head, becoming an ad hoc helmet. Now I really feel like Neil Armstrong, except I am breathing dark orange pumpkin seeds. I drop the scalpel and raise my hands, murmuring as blood drips out of the pumpkin and down my neck. I feel blind and the smell is overpowering. The sound of my own voice blasts back at my face. The farmers push me down to the ground, and I fall back out of the body onto the hospital floor. The farmers chase me, with a pumpkin on my head, bloodstain on my shirt and covered in seeds like a sprout-shrouded scarecrow. I bust into the maternity ward, I yank the pumpkin off of my head. The doors swing closed. The white lights blind me. The young nurse screams in my face.

Third Entry

Yesterday had a magical quality to it, got up early to get lost in Tribeca (which always happens) looking for the loft of Anne Tardos, wife of the late Jackson Mac Low. Finding it, and climbing up six flights, left me hot and winded. Anne was immediately warm and kind-hearted. I've promised to be discreet about my internship, but I can say that the work we'll be doing is absolutely amazing. My friend Danielle BenVeniste is working for Anne as well. Danielle will be reading at the EARSHOT series this friday, hosted by the saucy Nicole Steinberg. Go check it out.

I myself will be reading Sunday, June 5, 5-7 p.m at the FEAST series, hosted by Emily Gordon, who I've read with earlier this year and she is super-funny and talented. SO please come check me out, if you get a chance. Read about it at Emily's blog.

Here's my poem:

I fall asleep watching a Fritz Lang marathon in hour one of The Woman in the Mirror.
In my dream I murder a woman. I wake, walk outside and meet a beautiful blonde woman.
I kill her. I let go of her throat, seeing the red marks on her pale skin in the snow.
I lie in the snow and fall asleep. Fritz Lang meets me and tells me about making a movie.
He wants to call it ‘M,’ but I suggest the multicultural ‘Ch.’ Peter Lorre shows up.
Hello Peter Lorre. I’m Fritz Lang. Hello Peter Lorre. I’m Steve Roberts.
Peter Lorre tells us about a strange dream he had and is having. Fritz Lang falls asleep.
I fall asleep and have a dream about killing a woman and being chased by a cameraman.
The cameraman looks like Peter Lorre and is killed by Peter Lorre wielding a knife.
The cameraman falls down the stairs like in PSYCHO. Peter Lorre is played by Fritz Lang.
The end credits begin flowing from the bottom of the screen up like reverse blood.
The credits look like a beautiful blonde woman who chases me until I am killed.
I am killed when a huge brass bookend is bashed into my head. When I am killed I wake up.
When I fall asleep again I find myself naked in an ethereal Eden, paradise on Earth.
Eden is played by Peter Lorre. Peter Lorre is played by a beautiful blonde woman.
I kill Fritz Lang and run away until Eden picks me up and swallows me in two gulps.

Second Entry

This is the beginning of my concerted effort to be more semi-proffesional as a poet. Tomorrow morning I have a meeting with Anne Tardos regarding an internship putting together her late husband Jackson Mac Low's papers together. This is a very exciting prospect. Also, according to Joshua Beckman I will be working on a second internship for an offshoot verse press thingy. There's name-dropping for you. Hopefully I will be doing a reading soon. I was asked to do one after I read at Frequency but I have recieved little information since then. I have read at literally every reading series that I know about so I'm running out of options. Help! Packing up preparing to move to Bed-Stuy for the summer has made me very antsy about the many books I own that I haven't read. Like Kafka's The Trial. But I probably never will read that. Let's not kid ourselves.

Here's my poem:


So much of new york is about pretending you’re not morbidly bored and boring.
Much can be found in my fingernails when I return to the city from Oklahoma.
Can I hate being crammed warmly in the airplane again any more? Sure.
I talk about armadillos because armadillos talk about me, although impolitely.
Talk Talk was a band but also a song by the New Music Machine from California.
Talk can be heard in the stairway when I wake up early and get scared.
Can the New Music Machine be regarded as great although few people know them? Sure.
The air in Oklahoma makes you feel flat on an empty pasture or two-lane highway.
Air is a band from France and something hot that smells when you’re in NYC.
Is pink in the skin a sign of health or of malaria? Sure.
Pink octopus is your octopus, so you know, while my octopus is pink.
Octopus refers to the Beatles plus the Who, Unit 4+2-2.
Refers to bands from England who are long gone, transitory and who cares.
To you I leave the bracelets from my eight arms, Enid, Oklahoma.
You talk and you talk on the phone then you stop and look down the empty road.
Talk can be heard on your celphone. Wow is that highway long and quiet.
Can is a band from Sweden that Scott and Jon like and I don’t and you might.
Is a band from NYC important to Sweden or pink octopi? Sure.
ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ is the English language alphabet.
B begins ‘be’ as in ‘Beatles’ or “be careful, there’s an octopus.’

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

First Entry

i'm steve roberts. i live in new york.

here's my poem:


In a few weeks rain will be shining on leaves like the lungs of your young.
A few t-shirts in your closet will sink on the hanger they’re taking on water.
Few t-shirts hold your body in when it wants to escape its dogmatic shackles.
T-shirts are called “T” be cause L and W wouldn’t describe your torso’s shape.
Are torsos swimming reminiscent of food boiling in the pot? No.
Torsos are called torsos from the Spanish for “container of various organs.”
Are Spanish people more attuned to their hearts because they used to duel? No.
Spanish Harlem is like a cage full of interesting antique knives and hatchets.
Harlem comes from Anthony Lapelle Harlem who was the neighborhood’s founder.
Comes to mind that lungs expel air through the esophagus, to sustain life.
‘to Harlem!’ the man tells the cabbie who snaps his fingers and drives there.
Harlem is a place I only go when I take the 125th bus to LaGuardia airport.
Is Harlem dangerous? Is Harlem tragic? Is Harlem exciting? Is Harlem facetious?
Harlem (Anthony Harlem) died when he tripped out of a second story window.
‘Anthony!’ cried his wife holding their young daughter but it was too late.
Cried into the arms of night and never escaped through depression’s throat.
Into a tunnel with no helmet with no light on top why would you go down there.
A helmet was what a roman had on his head to protect from swords and hatchets.
Helmet comes from the German for “brains are more important than hearts.”
Comes from the cold with no coat and curses because it’s frigid in Germany.

Germany was named after Germanic tribes named after Ulan Vortman Germanie.
Was it cold because Europe was cursed by gypsies? Probably not.
It is not unlike air getting trapped in your mouth when you’re trying to talk.
Is talking called talking because ‘talk’ is the natural sound your mouth makes? Yes.
Talking is usually the first thing that people do when they fall in love.
Is there any importance to where a word came from? No.
There in Germany drinking glass bottle soda was where I figured this out.
In these countries talking is different to each person, like styles of kissing.
These are continents I haven’t been to: Asia, Africa, Europe, South America, Australia.
Are continents stylistically different, do they kiss differently? Yes.
Continents are containers of people who contain fluids that contain nutrients.
Are not unlike huge musty closets composed of ancient red-lacquered oak.
Not imposing, but continents have a puffed up opinion of their daunting size.
Imposing as an older boy trying to kiss you in the closet at a party.
As an exercise the older boy may try to kiss as many of you as he can.
An older boy who drives through empty suburban streets thinking about himself.
Older than the boy you want to kiss outside the school at the pep rally.
Than the boy who wants to kiss you but in his one chance can’t get the momentum.
The kissing is a continent-large concept that basically makes you feel free.

Kissing is difficult when you can’t empty your throat so you gasp in between.