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.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Forty-Second Entry

I'm pretty excited/freaked-out by the fact that I am the first confederate soldier killed in the Civil War. as proven here: . And his name is often confused with the name Christian, which is almost what I was named because I was born near Chrismas.

Also, do you remember "Civil War" by GunsNRoses? Was that a really lame song or what? And didn't it have a quote from Cool Hand Luke in it? What is the relevance of that? I loved it though, I'm sure, or I wouldn't remember that.

Today's poem is part of a four poem project with Catherine Meng, a fellow CSF alumni, but we weren't there at the same time. Because of that we're now collaborators. We are writing two poems a piece that mention 40 previously picked words (which we picked together). I am making it sound WAY more complicated than it is, but that's just me I guess.

Here's my poem:


You make my cheeks flush red, ducking
waist-deep in the grassy knoll. I like it when
you finger my buttonhole as the sparking stars fade.
My tin suitcase sits on burnt umber table, eleven
and a half days ago it lay on my bed, agape,
me happily chucking clothes into its craw
with Jonathan Richman on the radio, yelping ‘Radio on,’

nine and a half days ago it propped open the door
while you and I, timorous sport-hunters,
trailed spiders until chills ran up the stairs.
My spine squeaks as the kelp dilutes in my tea.
Your oval face means very much to me
as we scrub vigorously in the mirror to get the paint
off of our faces, I like the suitcase you gave me by the way.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Forty-First Entry


How's your new year's going? Mine's going okay. Found another copy of Larry Rivers biography, WHAT DID I DO? after I lost my first copy, and wow! Didn't you really wanna know that!? Aren't you uplifted knowing that I, having lost a book, have now found one!? Today's poem has that in mind.

Here's my poem:


Yet I bet you it will not spill as I have spilt,
President as I am of the clumsy,
Thou wilt forgive me my cowish sluggery
As thou might forgiveth the January breeze

Which bloweth in thy face like the cannon-blast
Much like my voice bursteth forth as I falleth
Downeth. My book of bawdy biblical poetry
Casts itself down the steps into the land

Of misplaced books. I’m sick of imagining
My pile of lost and fully paid-for things, sick
Of the unforgiving January breeze, purpled prose
And of John Ashbery and his Charlie Brown ways.

I picketh myself from the floor
Like a leper with a speech impediment
Might pick his nose from the floor, saying
Something which someone might hilariously quote.