Friday, October 14, 2005

Thirty-First Entry

REMINDER: I'm reading at the Ear Inn on Saturday Oct. 15th. (TOMORROW!)
read about it here:

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:

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:

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 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:

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:

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: 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.