Sunday, December 24, 2006

Ninety First Entry

Ran into my old friend Steve Caratzas on the street and was inspired to post another poem. I am writing, sporadically, a few poems (finally had a good idea for the manuscript) and a novel. You'll likely see a lot more of me because I just got a new laptop! I'm excited.

Here's my poem:


Thank you for coming to this,
the last time I will ever puke.

Afterwards I gurgle and wipe my lip
and kiss everybody.

I’m being born in the metal observatory.
Don’t worry. I’m quiet.

There’s a whisper and a squeak.
I’m rubbing all the erasers down also.

The poem is taking place in a suitcase.
It’s time for a game:

I’m being born in a coal mine and I make my own luck,
made my first dollar.

I broke my hand like china,
like brittle wood, terra cotta,

china the plate not china the country
the country is swell.

Happy birthday,
here’s what I got you:

today is remembered by my documentarian
a dandy yellow fuck.

The poem is placed in the separate suitcase.
Part of the trick is distracting the audience

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Nintieth Entry

I'm gonna start using bigger type, so's people can read. I was using tiny type before and it was fucking with my line breaks, but not all of my writing should suffer in tiny fonts, such as this one today. For those of you in the know, I never left New York. I got a job teaching college freshmen the finer points of grammar, and I have a girlfriend, for now. I'm writing less and less. But starting to do this site again will hopefully push me onward! EXCELSIOR!

Here's my poem:


I’m taking classes. Being born in between heat coils, wrapped like bacon, freaked out of the lights. I liberate my nation through quiet grassroots means, through timid committee meetings, my Bastille lives on in the silent peace, untouched like museums. Taught how to speak by friendly monks. I was born against bricks, and came out running. I wasn’t good at tennis nor at model-making, so I began my life in the theater. I am actually Legion. I bent wild cobra on my knee, spanked him, corrected him. After my kabuki studies, I enjoyed steaming plates for the passengers. For the finale, I emerged in the cluster of noodles, pressing my face from the wet wiggly surface. I looked south. While fishing, the hook entered my chest and wrapped around the essence, the lion’s share of my organ. This is considered to be the traditional way.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Eighty-Ninth Entry

Wow, I must have fallen asleep there for awhile.........

Oh, well. No excuses. Right back on the horse.

Here's my poem:


The sans-culottes were muttering in their graves that night, rolling in pseudo-fury. Their ideas and a confiscated printing press sat blandly in the museum. Conflicts between night watchmen over when to take breaks were never mediated. The night watchmen have withdrawn to the forest, and the public have been freely admitted. We were obliged to listen to several speeches, orators spitting, spraying and drooling on all. As if to say a last goodbye, the exhibits trotted in a circle through the crowd before marching out the exits and leaving us holding their coats. We were forced to admit how dark it was. On the horizon, campfires appeared to light themselves. Towards the end of the month someone suggested leaving the museum but this was voted down. Jumping from the windows, a deputy stood among us and spoke. “We must find relief from the pain and irritation of the skin disease which is slowly putrefying our flesh.” I responded that I liked the way I was, just one voice in the growing stir. Stags and rabbits were then slaughtered wholesale. I began to wonder why I got involved in this poem in the first place. I saw some very young boys playing with human heads. Rather than interfere, I became the ad hoc referee to their sport, which eventually became our great nation’s pasttime.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Eighty-Eighth Entry

CHECK ME OUT WITH ME NEW SITE! Kseniya is a tricycle. Anyways, going to Texas for a week where I may or may not update, but just saw the Dada exhibit at the MoMa and was inspired to write Dada poetry. So hopefully this will resemble that. ALSO: I hereby pledge that my long-running threat of publishing a poetry journal will come to pass before the clock strikes 2007. Wham.

Here's my poem:


The hero despises his adrenaline;
O! The ax melteth within grandpa's withered hand,
O! forgotten amongst innocent commitees,

The idol knows not to worship the idol, the mirror,
dypropoline glycol, glide product on,
glide product on rememberences of dales in summer hill country,
glide product on great sucker for a cheerful day
glide product on a great sucker equals tipsy hairdresser

equals spotlight glare. O! O! has not man a hard service on earth?

Cocks and hens deemed not true friends to the reich
glide product on steamy sports display case
on cows stopped short of forty yard line
one two three four five six seven eight nine ten eleven twelve thirteen fourteen fifteen sixteen seventeen eighteen nineteen twenty twenty-one twenty-two twenty-three twenty-four twenty-five twenty-six twenty-seven twenty-eight twenty-nine-thirty-thirty-one-thirty-two-thrity-three-thrity-four-thirty-five-thirty-six-thirty-seven-thirty-eight-thirty-nine

He said "Father S said "I have heard Nancy quote him saying he had heard it pronounced "paper"" he chuckled."

Am I the sea, or a sea monster, that thou settest a guard over me?
Am I the sea, likelihood of the removal of lighthouse by city planners?
Am I the sea, for a few moments I leaned forward and rested my elbows?
Am I the sea, little baby soviet flask empty hey buddy I'm warning you?
Am I the sea?

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Eighty-Seventh Entry

My mom thought it would be a good idea if I mentioned on my blog that I was unemployed, and that if anyone out there has a job for this young man they should let me know. I can be trusted with all manner of work.

Going home to Texas in a week or so, can't wait.

Played KICKBALL this weekend!

Here's my poem:


I made a deck-chair out of you.
Every Monday, I hear you squeak
as you begin your breakfast routine,
bacon, sausage, steak, chicken, squid,
vulture, tuna, duck, turkey, buffalo,
camel, as I trot to work I can hear
the grate close on the sewer
and I know you have arrived safely
and I begin to worry about myself.

Then again, at night, when the children
chase me around, I light a fire under
myself and I do that little dance.

I sit in you. You are my solid
accomplishment, and I can see you
from here, inside my bedroom.
Who is in my bedroom?
You mean, besides me? It's
about time you leave me alone now,
in case someone you don't know
is coming by. Someone you don't
recognize at the door, with some
present for you, and when you sign
your name, it looks back at you
as a signifier of who you are,
which is how you know who you are,
by what's written on the slip, and then,
by what's inside the box.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Eighty-Sixth Entry

So, happy birthday to OH SWEET DEATH! My blog's one-year anniversary came and went without me saying anything! Because I didn't have a poem. Which is one of the rules of the blog. I didn't start it to talk about myself, but I've been doing some of that lately anyway.

What do I have to show for my one year? Eighty-six poems. And not much else. But that, again, was the point. I've been published a lot since I started, and I have a Master's in Creative Writing now. And, for the moment, a girlfriend. We'll see if THAT one is around next year. Oddly enough, I'm not worried.

Anyway, I was recently published in Maureen Thorson's NaPoWriMo chapbook and in classmate Mark Lamoreaux's My Spaceship. You can find out how to order those duders by clicking the corresponding links on my list. Also, Silliman reviews Spaceship and MENTIONS MY NAME!!!! though not anything about my poem, since I assume it speaks for itself. Badly.

Here's my poem:


Finally I tore the lambs apart.
I laid down in the field
and breathed in my bones
and expelled movement.
The smoke was my first sign
something was coming
across the plains
where I had been born
and had rolled in the mud
fearing this day.

I ripped one of my own limbs off
so I would empathize; and here
we are, in this courtroom,
about to convict an innocent man.
I warned you about the wallet-black voice,
the scythe swinging on a moonlit night.
I warned you about the troubles.

The meat had been gamey
and we threw it in the brook.
In the sweltering morning,
mosquitoes, tan from the heat
would slap us all day
out of our dreaming
and help us concentrate on the work:
separating skin from bone.
Keeping bone. We were always
more interested in survival
than in surviving.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Eighty-Fifth Entry

Hey guys, I've been sick for awhile and so no poems. But FEAR NOT! Here's an idea I've been working on for awhile. I've been writing poems based on my super-buddy Robert Szot's paintings, particularly his The Generosity of Women series. Here is the first, uh, poem. About that. here's a link to his site. check out the "corresponding" painting

Here's my poem:


the moment you stopped moving
you became skin, white and white,
in my memory you eat, I remember
Portland, a bare mattress bathed in
pink light, the air lying still
on a plate, it is raining,
you were always
the only blonde, the only redhead,
at first I was repelled
by your eating, but then I enjoyed
your eating, in Portland I ate Greek
chicken, a writhing arm of chicken
that felt like squid, I loved the trees
in Portland, I remember
being in a car, my phone was used
several times, to record your voice
while it was somewhere else.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Eighty-Fourth Entry

Hi! I should have mentioned that the previous poem with written solely by me, without the estimable help of A.Grayson, but he and I are beginning a poetry challenge, the rules of which I'm horribly unclear about. But it will involve us both writing more poems. Today's poem is, I think, free from the restrictions of the challenge. Enjoy.

Here's my poem:


Interrupting my sleep,
maggots swell in feverish
fits. The skin I’ve always
assumed was mine bursts forth
like an inadequate sack. It’s
always about sacks with you.
The white of their skin(?)
turned to grey in twilight
I couldn’t see, I was
holding my writhing hands
in front of my face, larvae
swooping inside each open hole.

The next day I was immaculate.
In the mirror, the maggot-white
bathroom wall was there but I
was not, I looked behind me,
then back. Had I been eaten?
Where were my remains? I always
Wanted to have remains, but this
way wasn’t fun.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Eighty-Third Entry

Hi ya'll!

It's been a little while, but I can't keep reclining in the easy chair after NaPoWriMo so A. Grayson Benko and I are gonna write some poems, starting with this little diddy.

Here's my poem:


Enough to fill a teacup.
I live inside the human thorax.
These are my notes.

My finger shivered with the scalpel,
I was looking at the shine of the edge,
enjoying the touch of things is only
half the fun, the hands, like sensitive
mittens. With my free finger I pinch
a shoulder, wipe the blood from the wood.
Only half the book is available
to me now, the blood now wearing
my clothes instead of me, walking
unadorned with an eye-patch,
not consoling the empty socket.

I pretended to be the owner of this great land.
The blood walking down the street in my clothes.
I never liked it. That’s why, when the moment
came, my hand moved swiftly and gratuitously,
scalpel striking deep within myself. Hesitation
was not in me, I have always loved watching
my fingers do horrible things. I washed my hands
but I’ll never be sure that they’re clean.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Eighty-Second Entry

NaPoWriMo is over! No more stress about writing, at least not poetry, and there wasn't that much to begin with. I started the month with an empty slate, with absolutely no ideas and at the end of it I'm completely inspired! I'll definitely be participating next year. And in the meantime I'm gonna write a poem today, and maybe one every day. We'll see.

WARNING!!!!! This poem is not suitable for children of most adults.

Here's my poem:


The vomit pail, tin silver
tinged in yellow. a crown
masking liquidated beans.
I grinned mercilessly as I pissed,
dousing the flames of the human penis
I had found smoldering inside.

Squat and disconnected from its host,
the penis, scorched black and a deep
red in many places, soaked with sterile
clear urine, partially nibbled upon
by ants, seemed a subject worthy
of my interest.

How did it get there? I knew it wasn't mine,
as it's skin was a different tone. In my mouth,
with it's squirming white-pink tongue, yellow-
white teeth covered in white mush and pinkish-
orangish gums, bile seemed to wash against
the inside of my lips. I had to do something.
I placed the penis delicately on my tongue.
The ants silently drowned in my saliva,
or else crawled along my gums biting me
in an exquisite and decadent fashion, almost
as if they knew what it was I was looking for,
not that I did. The heft and size and crispness
of its skin surprised me, as did the sharp salt
of the urine and the tasteless crunchiness
of the ants. But in the end of course, I knew
I was being foolish. I knew it would provide
no new information in my stomach, so after
taking one or two good solid bites against
it's tough gristle and cartlidge and swimming
them around as best I could, I, with thumb
and forefinger, fished it out of me and put it
back where I found it.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Eighty-First Entry

Continuing on in my gross poems vain, I warn the squemish that this stuff is gonna get grosser before it gets less gross.

Here's my poem:


Rich's vomit was pure red, the Manhattan
sidewalk steamed with this out-pouring,
this shedding of skin, I spooned
the mixture into my already full mouth.
Broken glass, uncooked franks, wine-
flavored sick, watermelon rinds, uncooked
scabs, scabby chicken legs, it took twenty
minutes or so to horribly gag it down.

As I was punched it spewed from my lips,
leaving me new and empty like a fancy chair.
Someone decided to make me taste my blood,
which wasn't as sensory an experience, but
rather like the wine, Rich was nowhere to be found,
and I didn't dare open my eyes. The experience
was perfect as it was. Later, at my focus group,
I tried to re-create the effect with toothpicks,
wet cigars, whiskey soaked raw ham, etc.
We sat in a small circle and discussed. Then later,
I tripped walking down the stairs and tore a hole
out of my left knee (and jeans.)

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Eightieth Entry

More of the Gross poems. I've actually found inspiration in this term. Also, my life is a horrifying depression, so why not find beauty in the gross? Is it like flarf? Who knows? Who the hell knows what flarf is anyway? Not me, gentle reader.

New links are up. Robert Szot is an amazing painter who I adore and who gives me drinks. Kseniya Yarosh is a talented zinester/artist/social commentator who put together my chapbook and who kisses me daily.

Here's my poem:


The thoroughfare. Parades always end like this.
I pride myself on my work. It is always about
the pure biology of a given ejaculation, given
moments, I take them. I used a paper plate
with straying stains of former barbecue foods
to wipe the liquid from my face, rubbing
till sore to clean my beard. This is a change
in my ongoing descent, one that always nestles
in my skin waiting for a proper or improper moment.
There are things on my lips, dangling liquidly.
The pavement seems a very nice canvas and,
more than that, social commentary! My face
is pointed in a given direction and that direction
symbolizes the future but it is really just
a direction, one which I will now take in my quest
to find the purity of vomit.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Seventy-Ninth Entry

Man, my days include a number of ups and downs.
Dan Hoy inspired me to write this poem.

Here's my poem:


for Dan Hoy

Wearing new clothes against the mist,
sitting down, the cacophony of my bowels,
mixing with the symphonic music, time
for a change is the proverbial electoral chant,
not unlike the Gregorians. Not unlike
the ancients who climbed mounts and
sermonized. I heard these words rip
back at me while the surf burst in my face.
I became tearful. I stretched out my fingers
but no other fingers were near.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Seventy-Eighth Entry

So horribly insanely ZONKED today.
Kseniya recently described me as going through my "gross period," so today's poem is something really pretty with her in mind.

Here's my poem:


Fitful nights disturbed by rustling sacks
formerly made of skin, piled up in the street
neatly, bodies with green smudges, reading
the paper on the train has never been my thing.

I drink orange juice. A woman's bloody, jaundiced
arm stares back at me out my window.
There are pine needles sticking out of the skin.
I throw the thick pulpy concoction back
and see the outline of the woman's face,
hiding behind the stretchy skin of the bag.

I go outside and into the park, sticking
needles in my arm and punching myself
till bruises. Then I wrap myself in a bag
and wait all night, finally being transported
by truck to the pile of eviscerated torsos
with nothing to do. I am fascinated
by a particular human thorax, I believe
it used to be the one I love. I still love
her, and I collect her bowels and stuff
them back in herself and begin to dance
and she seems to say all the old things
to me, shredded crimson lips dangling
against my cheek.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Seventy-Seventh Entry

Well, we had a fun little reading, didn't we? John Findura was in rare form and read some great poems. The other reader whose name I can't remember was also good. And we had a nice little party that quickly got out of hand.

Here's my poem:


Stoking the fire with aluminum foil,
black toes crisped by the night air,
I eat potatoes mashed together
with beef, afterwards, I muddle
around to find my fallen teeth,
which are so hot they burn in the dry leaves.

That's why it's easy to find them.
In L.A. I found my first tooth on the lamb
I was eating, sunglasses reflecting the newly
hot sun, wearing shorts. I like pork
as well, and turtle meats, and mice
that poke their reddish tails into
my taco. I'm not much of a chef,
I merely throw together what I find.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Seventy-Sixth Entry

Alex Smith is writing this one with me before we go by the reading. Hope to see ya'll there.


Here's my poem:

The lawnmower
went over
the yard of bats,

leaving cropped
grass and a field
drawn of flesh.

A sea of maggots--
quick everybody
get in my skin.

Inspecting further,
nothing really in there.

Maggot face scrub
and shampoo
for the lost children

by the out of ground
pool, hair coarse
from months

of chlorine,
no black water
from the shower head,

they wash themselves
in the white husks.
they wear tusks

and dance the rain song
waiting for fire,
who's gonna show them,

the maggot tribesman.
I really like maggots.
The one in my foot

sent me a letter.
"I have never seen daylight,
I long blindly for many things."

Monday, April 24, 2006

Seventy-Fifth Entry

The days are getting more stressful and more surreal. Please someone take care of my life for me. In the meantime:

Reading at Cornelia Street Cafe Tuesday the 25th at 6 pm.
Cornelia Street Café
29 Cornelia Street
New York NY 10014
(212) 989-9319

Be there or I'll find you and kill you.

Here's my poem:


Melted from stone into shade,
hiding on the back surface of a tree
just when I want to go inside.
I sit on the day bed surrounded
by plush dolls with blonde yarn-hair
and begin my diary:
"Today began too early, I have mixed
the contents of my sack lunch together
and now I swing it over my head. Inside
are black worms, crawling, cute little things
I took as my own offspring, and built
them a little community out of plastic
forks and paper plates. They elected
a mayor. They watched a lot of movies
with Italian actors playing Italian
career criminals, while career criminals
are out there playing innocent. I'd like
to lick the blood from their fingernails.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Seventy-Fourth Entry

Hanging out at the pad, you know, just chilling. Today's poem was written on Amy's typewriter.

Here's my poem:


Tumbling comets, staying
out of sight like video game
minions,buggered in ruddy
tunnels, awaiting
editing, hidden in the dark
production suite, suit
hanging on the coatrack,
elegant protagonists outside,
polite, awkwardly walking
in the directions of said storms,
watching my body in the midst
of an imperfect dive, just
at the edge of decadence, sad
that the point of the quest
was to be cool and sage-like
not wandering the highway but
chasing a lovelorn valkyrie,
broken in half by the plot
straightened and re-connected
and then torn back apart
before the final chapter.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Seventy-Third Entry


Here's my poem:


Like a dork, you sleep your shift away.
Guess you had to be there is something you say,
tilting your head and tilting your glass
to get the last bit of pepsi. Now is when
you button your shirt and forget who you are.
Work is a way for us to separate ourselves
from the apes. But you spend your days
hauling apes away. The prisons hold
together the hands of America's men.
Not often do they come back, bend
to kneel, thank you and confess

Friday, April 21, 2006

Seventy-Second Entry

The days are getting rougher and rougher. There's light at the end of the tunnel. I just want a job to be at the end of the tunnel, as well. A. Grayson Benko and I wrote this one together because I'm fatigued, and I'm a consumate cheater.

Reading at Cornelia Street Cafe Tuesday the 25th at 6 pm.
Cornelia Street Café
29 Cornelia Street
New York NY 10014
(212) 989-9319

Here's my poem:


Beginning now, I'm only shirtless
in water or hot weather. Buying
stranger's love is new
like collars on dresses, and timeless
watches melt inside
pockets like crayons. Once
you've found stores,
you've found yourself.
No amount of money
can change that.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Seventy-First Entry

My neck and back hurt really bad.

Come whet your tongues on crisp evening cocktails, and cutting edge poetry.

It's time for another

Graduate Reading Night
Cornelia Street Cafe

Please join us on Tuesday April 25th to hear:

John Findura - New School
Steve Roberts - New School
Alli Shaloum - Sarah Lawrence

6pm, $6 door gets you one free drink

Located in Greenwich Village, the Cornelia Street Café, opened its doors in July 1977 and has become known for its diverse range of artistic performances. Nightly scheduled events include poetry and fiction readings, musical performances, and visual art receptions.

The Graduate Poetry Series, one of New York's longest-running, is held on the fourth Tuesday of every month. It was established to give students from NYC's graduate writing programs an opportunity to read their poetry in a safe, intimate and supportive environment.

If you are interested in participating, please submit a cover letter with contact information, name of your school/current semester and 5-7 pages of poetry electronically to
Cornelia Street Café
29 Cornelia Street
New York NY 10014
(212) 989-9319

Here's my poem:


What is worn around the arm
leads me to believe
in a higher purpose
for arms, and a more serene
existence for their hairs.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Seventieth Entry

I will be reading at the Cornelia Street Reading Series this coming Tuesday, the 25th. I will be selling copies of my new chapbook, based almost entirely on NaPoWriMo poetry. Consider myself warned.

Here's my poem:


I briefly enjoyed Philadelphia:
obnoxious South street smells,
small armies of cops, love
is a ratio here. I begin to classify
various types of mammals I can see
from my girlfriend(?)'s roof. I love
the way she walks down the street,
preparing to yell at me. The air
tackles me like a warm wrestler.
I think I hear the liberty bell
being struck. It is actually someone
being shot. It is not me. I grab you
in your sleep and you grab me in mine,
and we try and pull each other out of there.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Sixty-Ninth Entry

In light of my 69th post I was moved to write something on the topic of sex.

Here's my poem:


In the days in which people had it
I often heard them referring to it, how
this was done to that person,
which chandeliers or candelabras
the various skins of the practitioners
would reflect off of, in light of the camera,
facing forward towards the projector.
In the magazine about sex, articles
represented it as occuring the world round,
constantly, but this was a fair bit of hyperbole.
I know now from reading up on my history
that it occured once, in the Bible, and that
those involved lived to regret it
and I can show you the pages
stained with their remarks
though you won't find them terribly interesting.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Sixty-Eighth Entry

Note to the readers/founders/practicioners of NaPoWriMo:

I've been enjoying this quite a bit. It's jumpstarted me. I have a reading coming up next week and I'll be reading almost exclusively NaPoWriMo stuff. But I don't own a computer! I know, how pathetic! And events are transpiring to make it harder for me to update regularly, so I'm going to miss a few more days in the month and for this I apologize.

Here's my poem:


Everyone's so friendly I feel bad explaining the lyrics.
The first part is about a ghost, I'm not really sure
what he looks like or what he says, it's a mood piece,
there are fourteen ghosts in my real life and I wanted
to dedicate it to them, but the song doesn't really
refer to ghosts as much as it does to funerals.

Funerals are like theme parties. Every time
I kill I have to play the part of repentant,
kneeling before some family. Using glycerine
for tears. The second part, the middle eight,
I think or maybe the bridge? I wrote it
in the backseat of a bus coming from Philly,
it was about longing, which I had never felt,
and continue not to feel. I am most likely
a sheep, somehow converted into human form,
I do what the big boys tell me, be it
crime, punishment, it all paid the same,
so who cared?

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Sixty-Seventh Entry

Man, I just seem to be getting more and more tired the more sleep I get.

Here's my poem:


My first fortune became stones in Wyoming.
You can see my statue there, chiseled hollow
pupils staring down the empty highway,
symbolizing my dominion over earth.

Now I sell cheap metrocards

Friday, April 14, 2006

Sixty-Sixth Entry


Here's my poem:


I found nutmeg in my coffee
and coffee in my shoes
and shoes in my backpack
and a backpack in my purse
but I ran towards Macy's
elbowing my way towards you.

Between many mannequins
in a world of pinks and reds
you were buying anything
half-price and wearing
it right out of the store
where it would get wet in the rain
and you would take it back.

I grabbed you and pulled
the tag off of your collar.

You looked at me
and asked where I got my glasses.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Sixty-Fifth Entry

Here's my poem:


There is no blood spattered on Doric columns.
The faces of the elderly have not yet been erased.
The elderly are not slowly climbing the tower’s steps.

Surely the lives of the young are not different.
The young do not believe their lives to be virtual or insignificant.
There is no blood affixed to the trunk of the oak.

What I am is virtual and insignificant.
Who I am talking to is the trunk of the oak.
It is cumbersome to keep the air in my chest.

I am muttering about the air and the words escape.
My relatives are not the type of people to sit on the beach.
There is a thin partition between me and my relatives.

The opacity of the sky makes seeing the neon implausible.
I have been many places, seen few.
I impose myself as a guest on the beach.

I show them my tattoo of a neon rectangle.
I am given white flowers and am allowed to stay.
The young consider themselves native to nowhere.

The elderly clothe themselves in their traveled distance.
A typical week will include slumber and scent.
An ocean is quiet when it wears a shroud.

The virtue of the ocean is the weight and the volume.
In a haze I can peer out and see the blue towers.
The sketch will not convey the virtues of the ocean.

I could cheat and explain it.
My mouth would swell as the air escaped.
I like to think about details.

It is plausible that the young do not consider details.
In a rustic setting, the young may forget the details.
Years from now, there will nothing but details.

From afar, I can see the other side of the desert.
I then throw the amassed accoutrements into the sand.
It is always easy to find yourself swimming.

The elderly have foreseen this.
The tower in the desert is majestic and white.
For a moment I climb out of the fountain.

I design a tower in my sketchbook.
I refer to it in conversation.
The desert is central to the understanding of youth.

I am sketching the top of the tower up.
The tower is reflecting off of my eye.
I am speaking deceptively about details.

The bizarre thing about the ocean is what’s inside it.
Conveniently I am at the bottom.
The young do not care to know the terminology.

The elderly are content to remain immobile.
I swam to the bottom to find the foundation.
I found a society in its place.

I simply looked and I found it.
But it is harmful to anticipate it.
When I left I was bordering a woodland glen.

Including myself there was nobody there.
But I found ruins of an elderly civilization.
I aspire simultaneously to be brash and wise.

The civilization was left unfinished.
The ruins of the civilization appeared uncertain.
The ruins were waiting there for someone.

Perhaps when the person came the ruins might leave.
I leaned on the sill of an ancient window.
I misunderstood the pebbled trail.

I assumed the ruins were almost a tower.
Whatever was there had no obvious purpose.
The inside of the tower is empty and tall.

Standing at the top, I could feel the rush of popularity.
I found closed curtains and a comfortable throne.
I pretended these objects were my new companions.

One had an annoying laugh, the other a sympathetic cough.
I quickly became sick of their politeness.
I stole a carriage and rode hard into the city.

The skyscrapers shunted out like stumps in the dusk.
Finally I found a computer lab.
With proper indentation I began my history of the elderly.

The perfection of the city is that it grows as it dies.
The event that sparks a city’s birth is interesting.
I also like colored illustrations of cities.

And skyscrapers aren’t so bad, like mottled towers.
The elderly sit at the top, sounding practical and correct.
The throne was well-decorated, all in all very nice.

I climbed up the tower even though there was no reason to.
My breathing intensified as I reached the precipice.
I waited anxiously for the arrival of the flying machine.

I beheld the bottle of liquor in my hand with amazement.
I was wholly unaware of its existence.
It had slept unseen in my hand all this time.

Years later the pilot descended from a cloud.
The tower had been re-plastered and I was a bearded ragamuffin.
In fact the tower and the city lay in ruins.

The pilot had no discernable imagination.
He shouted at me when I dropped the bottle of liquor.
He scowled while we continued our idiosyncratic ascent.

All told the entire trip had been a delicious bore.
Including the surly pilot and his secret schemes.
And our visit to the clouds which ended with much exhaustion.

In fact the white tower was a most awful place.
I spent much of my time there sitting on the curb.
I ignored the virginal maidens spinning about the horizon.

They chatted with the pilot for about twenty minutes.
I drifted off like a genius.
I appeared to slip through a hidden hole.

I plummeted towards land, limbs flailing about.
The moment you perceive the end of your life is the most fun.
For refuge I pulled my shirt over my head and hummed.

I landed with a wonderful smack on some nation.
I got up and glanced around for my next endeavor.
I found myself in a startling fiery chasm.

Ripped from the pages of our planet’s infancy.
With a representation of a facsimile of the ultimate evil.
I didn’t enjoy it and I was covered in germs.

I made an attempt at looking scared.
I crossed a hot catwalk suspended above flames.
I thank my young friends for being discrete.

I borrowed a trident and a demon costume from work.
At the gate, I found a lost soul and asked her
for directions, given this purgatory’s sprawling nature.

Before she could answer I wriggled out a window.
I formed a shapeless mass like a mercury ball.
I left a suitable tip and found a ride.

The sky had an unhealthy tinge that I liked.
I wanted to find a grotesque way of life.
If it’s too clean I sort of lose my edge.

I also don’t like windows with too much sun.
The afternoon blue is a lot like a soft kiss.
The youth don’t find me imposing anymore.

When I was born, the elderly were still kind of young.
I was altered over the years and got much larger.
Adults are taller, and are wizened by their elevation.

Another thing I can’t stand is the weather.
Together the young and the elderly combine to form everybody.
Actually I’m not sure about foreign people.

When I was a certain age I was given a vehicle.
I had glass lenses to regulate my vision.
This is before I really fell in love with shadows.

I wasn’t concerned with the meaning of things.
I went to high school and slept alone in bed.
My head enlarged as I got older.

At that point sleeping alone wasn’t unbearable.
Years later I was polishing my laurels.
Even as a young man I felt I possessed a certain wit.

After my travels I missed arguing with my parents.
I was ready to begin gaining several fortunes.
I tried to and weathered the ensuing disasters.

Then I became elderly, rattling around my old home.
I’d like to think I peacefully stood down.
Life became something for others to investigate.

I tried to enjoy the September of old age.
I became sullen and impervious to all happiness.
I think I might have missed the point all this time.

Was I really available for adventure this entire time?
I went on multiple quests and gained many treasures.
I puzzled over the mysteries of science and got dumped.

I traveled the world and through the great beyond.
These adventures made me cross and tense.
My presence never seemed to change people.

My adolescence was a bit of an adventure.
Now I am dead, unwilling to live anymore.
Events I have seen have colored my overall opinion.

I wrote about much of it but it got smudged.
My parents thought me ingenious for surviving this way.
Past death, I’m not sure where else I could go.

It’s apparent this is meant to be the end in some way.
I’ve reviewed my life and it’s satisfactory.
It’s easy to stay composed at the end.

I’m a professional of sorts.
I won many decorations from some country.
I am dead so I see no open alternative.

After all this I’ve become unfashionable.
I’ve heard too many words at different volumes.
Hopefully there was some sort of pattern to it.

Hopefully I didn’t interfere with important actions.
I only did what was in my nature.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Sixty-Fourth Entry

Coming up with a poem each day is sort of easy. Coming up with witty banter is becoming exceedingly difficult.

Here's my poem:


My feet never fit in my shoes.
Even when I use my glues.
I walk on my hands
because nobody stands
I guess feet just aren't something I use.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Sixty-Third Entry

Welcome back, your dreams were your ticket out....

Here's my poem:


I'm a mess who needs to stop going to confession.
A while ago I didn't do my penance and now I'm paying for it.
While I'm sinning, I like to watch the creatures squirm in the creek.
I'm on the bank counting money gained from loan-sharking and drugs.
On that topic I never say much, what drugs I do, how much, how often.
That a minnow can survive in the muck of the creek is uplifting to me.
A thing like prayer is useless if you don't know how to pretend to believe.
Thing is, I like the unhealthy color of the creek for some reason.
Is that odd? I've often been attracted to muddy greens like that.
That is why I don't pray that often, I feel I'm some sort of subversive weirdo.
Is it time for me to abandon all hope in the church and enter "here"?
It (the church) hasn't helped me the way that parents do; invisibly.
The time spent praying could be spent throwing dice and making money.
Time is like a prison guard. It's not very nice and it won't let you escape.
Is swimming natural for the minnow? Is it something it has to learn?
Swimming gracefully as a child made me feel innocent for once.
Gracefully I slit a loan shark's throat and later wash my hands.
I dump the body in the crick, say a worthless prayer for myself.
Dump or not, the ghetto near the church is where I've lived my life.
Or most of it anyway, the parts not concerning the creek I don't count.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Sixty-Second Entry

I just saw a person get hit by a car.

Here's my poem:


I abided this wooden country long enough,
threw my hat in the muck,
ran for office. Now I am clothed happily
in my defeat. People back home don't know
I've changed, and recently while shaving
I found a whole nother person in there,
but don't tell him that.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Sixty-First Entry

SORRY! Didn't have a comp this weekend.

Poem for Saturday is here!

Here's my poem:


Barely conscious of the difference,
we hustle along the bridge, trying to get across
before the storm's throw reaches. When I want
to smile, I smile, no matter what you say, and I
also feel it's time to clean my closet: off-white
shirts face out like teeth and bother me. They
want to drape around my shoulders and
instruct me like an angel and a devil in a cartoon.
On the way back, the bridge blows mist and cold.
I want it to be dark like this at the end of my life,
I want it to mean you have to work to die.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Sixtieth Entry

Night One of the Grand Ball of Ashbery. It wasn't too bad, many of the readers were entertaining. The Polish poets, who seem to have a feverish love of Ashbery, read with thick accents and quiet intensity. Ron Padgett was great, as was Anne what's her face, the young one. I bet Amy that David Shapiro would talk for half an hour and surprise surprise! But, as I commented to reader Mark Bibbins afterwards "It's David's world, we just live in it." "It's David's world, Kenneth Koch just lives in it," he said. Then Amy and I and some friends went to the Cedar in order to avoid being confused with shmoozers at the Loup. Which of course we are, but it's important to avoid the impression being given. Now on to round two.

Here's my poem:


Heads made of destruction derby wreckage,
a pine branch snaps in the glen, aboard
a stealthy clipper I entertain
my crew, dancing the day away, holding
hands with the rough-skinned sailors, eyes
to the heavens, hearts in the water. Only
later are the bodies found below decks.
The highway blurs as the camera
sticking out of a speeding car
is clicked on by the crew, and behind
the lighting display, in a tarp-covered tent
my makeup is applied, hair glued, glue
painted, like the old masters in Europe
might have done, thick with color,
lousy with oil, canvas strecthed like
skin while it's young, expressing
something, being seen by people,
quietly walking through white rooms
looking at walls and talking about
how they understand it.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Fifty-Ninth Entry

I am soooooooo god-awfully sick. It was probably from that date I went on the other night where we walked about 15 blocks in the rain, and me with no umbrella. I STILL think it was worth it though.

In the words of Atom and His Package, "people in this computer lab should shut the hell up."

Today's poem is titled after a Chrome song that I particularly like. My challenge to you fellow NaPoWriMo-ers (if you actually are reading) is to write a poem based on a favorite song title.

Here's my poem:

ZOMBIE WARFARE (Never Let It Get You Down)

Your skins have encountered my faces
several times, unfortunately alone in dark
places, for this I can only shrug my shoulder.
Let's stumble down the street and watch
the fight between bitter dead arch-rivals.
Are there sufficient answers
for our meager, half-pronounced questions?
Enunciating is difficult, the sun takes
its toll, laboriously melting me into
some sort of soup, if possible, we could
eat this soup and gain some sort of power.
Ever since birth I have been obsessed
in a middle-class way with power, having
never really had any, I muse on what
exactly it is. I will probably (now)
never find out, but at least I can walk
deliberately in the street without fear.
No cars are coming, and they would do
no significant damage. Now it is a question
of continuing on, as in "how long
can I continue?" Is there method
here? With whom would I discuss it?
The coffee bar is closed.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Fifty-Seventh Entry

Coming in just under the wire for this one.

There was a blizzard for like a couple of hours and then a clear sky. What the heck?

Here's my poem:


I place them on the stolen refridgerator.
We have a gig tonight. Issac's band
has twelve guitarists who taught themselves
how to play. I take you to a photo booth
and rub my face all over yours. I miss
you now, like I miss home, not because
it was so great, but because nothing else
has happened. When the Beatles were in
Hamburg they went by the name the
Mighty Blue Birds, they had three
guitarists who taught themselves how
to play. When I steal their photographs
I will fashion a medallion of their tongues
and this enchantment will surely,
finally for once, give me some luck.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Fifty-Sixth Entry

Taking a LONG lunch break to write a poem today. Would Frank "Lunch Poems" O'Hara be proud? YOU BE THE JUDGE:

Here's my poem:


The skeletal skull,
freakish alien hood, yellow work gloves
because we don’t want to be tainted.
Curving the blanket around two,
built for one. Now there are four of us,
did you hear that howl? Should I wait
for the swinging whines of the train
to jump or just jump? Why are we eating this?
The trash in the park has developed
a society, often while walking through
I will bear witness to a cultural event.
Often some sort of sporting event
is occurring, often the bridge falls
into the sea as the sun rises, it’s
really very emotional for many people.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Fifty-Fifth Entry

Man, I keep having a hard time sleeping ever since my curtain broke. The garbage truck woke me up at like 6 in the morning today and I haven't quite recovered.

NaPoWriMo seems to be going quite well for people. I have nothing else constructive to say about it.

I'm featured on my college's website with a few sample poems. Goody! And a picture. Although my stupid anti-bush sticker is edited out, which I find hilarious. Go here:

My poem today is about a Japanese video game called Chu Chu Rocket.

Here's my poem:


Chu Chu Rocket is a video game about sinners, welts, heroin, violence, snot, grime and oil.

Chu Chu Rocket is a game by Bradley in which the spaceman must confront his nimble mistress with his sudden, aching disease while the General Hospital organ music swells.

Chu Chu Rocket is a visual representation of liquid circuitry, denying the existence of the Torah and the popularity of comedians Rowan and Martin.

Chu Chu Rocket sees your alluring creamy naked form, patting the pillow and winking a mile wide, it sees you as a series of ones and zeros.

Chu Chu Rocket injects me (as I play it) with squid sugar and wraps my face in scotch tape like I was Pee-Wee Herman.

Chu Chu Rocket has certain viewpoints about homosexuals.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Fifty-Fourth Entry


Jackson has been singing a song using my poem as lyrics while I've been writing it. Here are the results of our "collaboration."

Here's my poem:


Hymen encased in foil.
Now we remember our youths as janitors.
The potion removes skin, encases the lucky ones
in a foul bag of humours.

Claws scratching the midnight, oh you,
Now we remember the minutes with skin
backwards, blown out under the bridge
old newspapers worn by deaf urchins.

I stay away from the doctor at night.
I hide in moss like a secret, yowling
eaten along the path. Moments later
I enshroud the moon with my delights.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Fifty-Third Entry

YAY it's happy NaPoWriMO day! for more info please see Maureen's blog on my links.

I'm writing a poem a day all month. This one's title is again supplied by Shanna Compton.

Here's my poem:


I tell you my intestines are full.
The parasites within them are bloated,
and are relaxing on couches
and are unloosening their belt-buckles.

They are watching the Dallas Cowboys lose.
I am telling you about diseases I could get
that I might enjoy, you are telling me to eat
chex mix because the salt compliments my beer,

and how long have you been a witch? I noticed
the cauldron but of course said nothing
until you threw chicken dumplings in
the hot tub. I was using that,

and you were using me. Our friends
will be along soon, I wonder what
I will do when you’re gone, when
the spell I cast is finally broken.

I like candy, too, but my real
passion is chips, so before
the party starts let’s put a few things out
on the table, and hope no one suspects.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Fifty-Second Entry

Oni's piano thingy is tonight! Please come and get some culture you heathens!

Nothing much going on with me. Same old hassles. Scott and I played catch the other day. The weather is getting wonderful. I'm REALLY tired. But thesis work continues.

Here's my poem:


they put these random images together
for me to ignore, sinking in the couch,
plates drowning in the sink,
waking in static, what is wrong,
the television acting as sunset,
you are blind within my woods.

they put these random images together;
the doctor placing hands over my skull.
You can run and you can hide
if my hands clasp the hour.
hearing the mist slap against
the window, you are so great,
those woods I feel like hair
brushing against my face
encircling, scarring me
with their leaves, why now
do you scream at sight, the blood
drenching your lips, why not
another victim crying out, empty
in the street for you to savor?

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Fifty-First Entry

Hey! You!

Poet Oni Buchanan is playing a bunch of piano pieces to fund-raise for Alice James Books, which published a book by my friend and really great poet Jon Woodward recently, check this out and go! It is mandatory:

Wednesday March 29, 8 pm Christ & St. Stephen's Church, 120 W. 69th St. Manhattan (obviously?) It's a benefit recital for Alice James Books, the small independent poetry press with impeccable taste in publishing the finest contemporary poetry Earth's crust has to offer. On the program: Rzewski, Four Pieces, no. 4 Bach, Prelude and Fugue in C# major, WTC Bk 1 Nancarrow, Blues Beethoven, Sonata no. 7 in D major, Op. 10 no. 3 Chopin, Sonata no. 3 in B minor, Op. 58 We'll take donations at the door; we're suggesting$15, but whatever is whatever whatever.

SO GO DAMN YOUR EYES. For more info, write to Jon Woodward at

Still writing poems from Shanna's titles, and gearing up for Maureen's National Poetry Writing Month. If you're not aware, Maureen made that up and will this month be writing TWO poems a day! So, I'll be attempting to tag along with one a day. If you're reading this, you're also required to do so. This poem was written today with NaPoWriMo in mind:

Here's my poem:


A man is a kettle of fire,
a man’s mouth is volcanic, a man who likes to sit at home after work is a forest fire cooling, a man who smokes is a fire with a fire coming out of it, a man who sleeps with another man is really asking for trouble because that’s two fires going and also a woman is a kettle of fire, too, but a different shaped kettle and when the fire is done, we sometimes take it out and spread it on the plate and then eat it. When we eat the fire it pleases us and we sit back down and watch football which is a bunch of fires running into each other, a football is a fire, no, a football isn’t a fire, I’m not sure why I said that, a BASEBALL is a fire and sometimes when a man(kettle of fire) hits a baseball(fire) and it goes out into the stands filled with men and women(kettles of fire) and one of them catches the ball(fire) there’s a whole bunch of fires going on out there, more than I can really grasp. I guess by definition I am also a kettle of fire but that doesn’t mean I have any great understanding of the world of men just because I am one of them and I know even less about fire. I probably couldn’t make one. I’ve seen many of them. I have a lighter.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Fiftieth Entry

Hello everybody.

Quite a lot has happened in between posts as always. Some highlights:

I rode a bike for the first time! Well, the first time with no training wheels. Jackson and I were going to a show at Northsix and he made me ride one there, and I was scared crapless. But I did it. And the show kind of sucked.

Played probably my best games of ping-pong on Sunday EVER.

Uh, I thought there was a bunch more stuff. I didn't go to AWP, I'm broke and I don't exist in the poetry world in any definable way. I got my copy of the Tiny and am enjoying it. It's even better than the last. Also, Dan Majers gave me some new stuff of his and I'm really enjoying that.

Here's my poem:


Wet wet shoes shake off on the mat
up the stairs
hold my hands because I feel very young
hear the rain
pummeling the little window in the hall
turn to face me
I doubt I have ever met you before
it is gray
snow on my feet, I look up at groggy clouds
don't wake up
keep shuddering under the blanket like a fish
I fell down
the back stairs while you knocked on my door.

We opened it when no one answered. It turned out to be a garage, with dim lights dripping on our faces and turning us into melting snowmen. Our faces became bright and colorful after that, we became American burger advertisements. We left the garage back into the dreary afternoon, it was really beautiful inside your great big meaty heart, which I lived in before I ate. Then we lived in Cincinnati, sharing a two-bedroom apartment with two lesbian step-sisters who left weed scattered all over the coffee table. I found a hole in the wall. I drove my green Volvo out of the garage into the mist and past that into the shadowy woods.

These woods had biology professors and evil wizards. I slipped in a ditch and buried myself in mulch, filling my mouth with slick damp leaves. But I couldn't sleep, and I developed a thin sheet of hypothermia. This is what has kept me alive through my many travels, once I forgot how to hear your ghostly voice. I often sit at the coffee table, flicking bits of stuff off of my clothes, waiting for you to return. When it rains, the man who lives across the hall screams. New books come in the mail. I mail them all back. The envelopes get soaked and look like whale fins.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Forty-Ninth Entry

Hey there. Washed up poet guy here.

Things have changed in my life. But the Earshot reading went well. Everybody go to the Dick Pig Review reading at Frequency this weekend.

This poem's title was made by Shanna Compton. We are now collaborators. Officially. She's neat.

Here's my poem:


Muscles touch in confused abrupt moments,
red uniforms stir, I cannot leave my homeland
by slipping into the air, I cannot blush
like my mother did, rubbing the snow on her cheeks.

We aren't the ones afraid of being evil.
Let's all pretend to be American,
sliding icily on hands and knees,
this time I am spinning in mid-flip,
cold in the still air, trying to think like a cloud
over South Dakota, knowing
I can never land without the weight of love,
I float like a lithe ghost in outline,
Yuri's sweat cools his palm,
I can smell it while still upside-down
and waiting for him with arms tucked towards prayer.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Forty-Eighth Entry

Well, it's a been a little while. I thought I was starting to dry up.

I hit 'the wall' at work today and found that I wasn't able to do my job for one more second without losing my mind. But I stayed on for several more hours and did not lose my mind. Then I had a very awkward encounter with someone on the street.

Here's the info about my reading this Friday. It should be a good one.

An all-Texans reading featuring
Shanna Compton, Shafer Hall, Susanne Reece & Steve Roberts
Earshot SeriesHosted by Nicole Steinberg
The Lucky Cat*245 Grand Street(btw Driggs and Roebling)
Williamsburg, Brooklyn
$5 includes one free drink(beer, wine or well drinks only)!
L to Bedford, G to Lorimer, or J/M/Z to Marcy

* Please note the change of venue for the Earshot series!

Here's my poem:


There’s a man in a suit lying on the sidewalk
and there is a puddle forming. The man
is be-suited and we’re standing here
watching the puddle grow. And the man is dead.
It is night time, but when I ride my motorcycle
it is daytime, a few seconds later. And there’s
a man on the sidewalk face down, in a suit.
Is he dead? I keep thinking about Levittown.
When I ride my motorcycle I keep looking forward
while thinking about what’s behind me, the tunnel,
the people who stood in a rough circle around
the man who was lying there.

I stand at a great distance from Levittown,
just built, and I’m frightened by how repetitive
and vast and never-ending it is. And I can’t stop
thinking about the man, and what I might say to him,
and at what rhythm our conversation would tremble,
and if he stood up from that sidewalk,
would he have eyes and would they open? And would
they turn in my direction? And would I have to answer
for something? And I think about who is behind
my motorcycle, and who is watching my motorcycle
and what that means to them.

I’ll tell you what it means to me.
It means I can defy myself, for the briefest
of moments, I can fly right past a problem
as if it were a parked car, shiny black chrome
panicking against the horizon, and it means
every second I twist the throttle
that I am not that man lying on the sidewalk.
I never want to be on a sidewalk again.
I never want to lie down again.
I never want to be a man again.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Forty-Seventh Entry

SO, The Dick Pigs have updated since their killer launch party. They will also be squealing at the Frequency Series on March 4th, I'll repost that when it gets a lil closer.

It is well known that I hate all forms of life, hu-mans in particular. But I will be braving you horrible scum to do next week's EARSHOT reading. I'll give you more info about that later as well.

I'm in a foul and curmudgeonly mood. It seems as if I am a grump.

Here's my poem:

1998, YEAR ONE:

"Call me Joseph, dad," was my favorite
nonsense phrase that year, I would slide those fingers
through my longish hair and look down with forgiveness
on my chemistry book, or sit alone, fiddling
amicably with my empty teacup. Wind would fly
through my face when I walked outside, faces
looking at me in the abstract, clinging to myself in wrapped flannel.

From all this I was able to create an interesting lie:
February was the month I said my parents died, among the yellow
flowers, I would look at the stranger across the table humorlessly,
falsely accusing him with my eyes. When I wasn't lying,
Fridays I would walk or run White Rock Lake, 12 miles
flinging my hands loosely in the air, like a dead man
follows the light, out of obligation, out of a practiced fear.

Fast and amorous and deceitful was how I felt.
For no reason I would kiss a girl, and for no reason I would fight,
fists pumping the air, yanking drastically at my friend,
fraying his collar because he wouldn't talk to me that fall.
Forgetting why I started this experiment, in my hand I found
fractured pieces of my teacup, and looked around for my father,
frantically trying to think of things that I have now forgotten.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Forty-Sixth Entry

Hello hello hello.

It is my considered opinion that the winter is for all intents and purposes over. It is also my conisdered opinion that my roommate ate the rest of pizza last night without asking. For this he should only drop dead.

My dad is writing poetry, in case I haven't mentioned this. I think he's poised to be very good, he has a lot of life experience and, unlike most poet's I know, he isn't fumbling through being a younger artist with their head up their ass. Kudos to you, pops, keep up the good work.

Everybody seems to be talking about this Legitimate Dangers collection. I wish someone had told me about it. I know a handful of these writers personally and they are pretty great and, I suppose, could be considered the 'new young generation' or whatever. But really they are all pretty well established poets with a good start on their careers so I don't see how they're rebellious, but maybe I'm missing the point. I'll be picking up the collection because there's doubtless some good poetry in there. But it IS a rather pretentious title.

Here's my poem:


All the advanced dungeons are in the advanced class.
I write about parabolas on the overhead projector
and the dungeons stare at me, clinking their chains,
when I ask one of them to solve the proof,
they slam their heavy gates shut, trapping me
as I grab for my velveteen bag of die.

I allow the dragons to light their own Bunsen burners
and they burn the school down, every child's fantasy,
and the dragons are filed outside to stand and watch
it burn, while the dungeons fool around with their graphing calculators,

and I lean into the flame like I was peeking in an oven,

singeing my hair off and reddening my peeling skin,
I spent so many hours sitting at those desks,
and having my locker slammed closed with a metallic boom
and opening it back up every time, it must have felt like hell
and I want to walk inside and burn and open it up again.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Forty-Fifth Entry

Oh dear, I am so zonked out that I have no intention of pretending like I have witty chit-chat. I'm goin straight to the poem.

Here's my poem:


I found it on my left wrist this morning
after jamming open your window and slipping out
this morning, I found new scars on my knuckles
and a band-aid on my arm, the watch had no arms
and yesterday neither did I, they both fell off
in bed with you, they fell asleep and so did I
and now, here, in Brooklyn, on the street-corner, me,
I feel like Columbus stepping onto whatever island
it was he stepped on, or rather the guy on his ship
who stepped on it first. No, wait, like the island
native who was the first among the troglodytes
to become self-aware, the first point of recognition,
that's how I feel,
like when you realize your phone is ringing
and you walk down the street fumbling
to get your phone out of your pocket while
I walk by tapping my new watch and you
are imagining who's calling you and
the conversation you will have when you then
see me and poke me harshly with a needly finger
asking me why I left and I don't know what
to say and neither do you so we turn around
and walk back to our points of origin, back
into the hospital wards of our birth, it takes
awhile, I check my watch with my new arms,
I call you, and we decide it's time to break up.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Forty-Fourth Entry

It's really not my place, but if any of you know where EARSHOT can hold their readings this month, you should let a brotha know. They lost their space indefinitely.

When the heck is it gonna get cold around here? Not that I want it to, but I'm apprehensive that any day now there will be a blizzard.

I just finished Alan Alda's biography. What an interesting weirdo.

A. Benko was here for a week and filled my heart with sandwiches. And he forced me to write several good poems in spite of myself, which I will be putting up over the next week.

He also helped me begin a novel. Oh dear.

Here's my poem:


Attempt to Translate #1:
I am speaking in English.
You are on the terrace of a townhouse in the Netherlands,
trying to forget life as a dental assistant,
hoping the brisk mist will swallow you up
and you will drift away.

I am catching you in a butterfly net
while you attempt to drift away. You knew it would be hard
to replace my tonsils, because of your feelings, and I’m
an important head of state or Indian Ambassador; in short,
there are security issues.

Attempt to Translate #2
In India, I recite the poem
“I am a piece of ice.
You are a napkin,
used to wipe up the spilled nutmeg
mother has poured onto the ice cream
that cools my throat,” I recite this over and over.

You are at the desk, finishing the puzzle.
The puzzle is a diagram of a tonsillectomy
with a cartoon mouth agape, if you do not
finish, I am not sure I can conduct
the operation on myself, and you will never
get the chance to touch my hollow, swollen throat.

Attempt to Translate #3
I am my own tonsils, cooling on the terrace,
and I am trying to speak with much difficulty.
You sing your wayward American song, hot,
drifting, your hands across your chest, my young bride,
singing your American pop song in the mist like you were on fire.

We are rich and live in such extraordinary circles,
we have traveled the continents, our cocoa-colored lips
have accepted honeysuckle, tibouli, pig’s knuckles, mole’,
tom kha, curried lamb, quarter pounders, beefsteak tartar
and chicken chow mein, our hands have touched rough wood, soil,
sand, riveted metal, checkers, silk, and one another.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Forty-Third Entry

Well, had the first of my advisory meetings, and I talked M's ear off and complained and was paranoid and he said i was going to be fine which is I suppose part of his job although I still felt it was an imposition. I also figured out I'm jealous of other people's sucess. I define jealousy as not wanting to be that person or be in their place, but you begrudge them their success/happiness in relation to your own. I also figured out that I was worried that working on a blog like this would 'dilute' my work. I don't think that's true. It just makes me more prolific and it makes my better poems easier to identify because I have so many. If I just had a few, I would feel proprietory about all of them. With many, I can easily toss off a poem without caring, it's not a huge disaster.

Anyways, here's part 2 of my collaboration with Catherine Meng. You can check out her poems at my link to her on the right.


You are my little whimpering cricket.
I like to hear you outside humming while on acid,
waiting for you to come back in with spaghetti
dripping off your face, spreading an amazing amount of butter
on your bread, which I know from personal experience can be delicious.

You are literally a cricket, as of now you are nesting
behind my wall, chirping right next to my calendar.
For an insect, I had to come to terms with finding you foxy,
and hoping that another species would be interested in this old fossil,
and imagining us vacationing to a non-judgmental country like morocco.

But that could never be, which is why you are now reading this letter,
my sweet cricket love, and why you see me hanging from a cord
tied around my neck, looking like an accident with a parachute.
Humans call this suicide, but DON’T leave in a dead sprint
for the E.R., that’s as useful as buying me a cruller.

I just picture the daisies planted on my grave in the shade grown
taller and taller, with each passing year, so don’t scrub
the tears from your face, cricket, but admire that beauty, plunge
into the waters of forgetfulness now, teeming with kelp,
deep and dark and forgiving, and like our hearts, abundantly porous.