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.

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:

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.