Monday, December 31, 2007

One Hundred and Forty Eighth Entry

Happy Brew Years everybody!!!!

Lot of colossal changes here in the Roberts camp, but at least I'm writing new poems, and this year is actually looking up for me which is odd, I know. Here's a happy dappy scrappy little bit of new writing.

Here's my poem:

NEW YEARS


Keep continuing, hoping that some powerful essence will escape me.
The next day will feel so great, a breeze at my back and my empty body lighter
than before. Continuing on towards the bank with small pieces of paper to be exchanged.
Next, my friend, I dawdle by your grave, happily pressing my face area
against the rain-wet stone. On the wheelchair is printed a special sticker. My face
is later pressed against the rough wood of my hand-carved living room furniture.

You are no longer my robot plaything, no longer my man-servant.
Now each can of dried goods in the cupboard will hold a special glow for you.
Are all my nervous fantasies off the mark? Each time I close my eyes and tense,
you appear, as if to do or say something. All fingers wiggle inside my glove,
the maps start losing their cities. Time stands frail, a feeble old man doomed
to watch the teenagers of fate destroy his lawn. Fingers fall off the hands for want of a face.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

One Hundred and Forty Seventh Entry

It's getting too long in between entries. I've been working, and I've been re-writing a lot of stuff for a special project. I wonder now if this special project is going to happen. But anywho, I aged an extra year. I got through another semester. I just watched a movie. I hate how this blog cuts off my poems no matter how small I make them. I'm going to move to a new address soon. Watch out for it, single reader!

Here's my poem:


METALS

I'm elderly here.
I flex, my coils stretching in pantomime of a creative film --
Man in tandem with dog -- protected with plastic bag glove --
we codgers celebrate our youths as The Only Youth --
intelligence in animals mistranslated = violence becomes mating ,
philosophy becomes violence. Three cheers for Young Monster Party,
men battering their nipples in mid-holler, the future is being emailed to them --
the apes let their earphones shudder -- tattooed remains muttering nationality = stupidity,
the doom economics as effortless smoke folds forward, earphones in place --
overall the chatter of insect wings. This means my skull must be built of tougher stuff --
my metal cockroach -colored, no one's skull retracts like mine --
long shot of body self-propelled through window -- now the host asks me a question,
and I rehearse my response before I answer.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

One Hundred and Forty-Sixth Entry

Why hello there. I've been neglecting you, little blog. I've had work and play and mid-terms and blogging and movies and smooches and arguments and, most of all, a top secret project. But I'm back, and hopefully we'll continue to see a lot of each other.

Those of you who might be interested in seeing this guy read, come on down to the Four-Faced Liar on this Saturday at 2:30. I'll be reading with Dan Magers, Alex Smith and Nathan Austin. It's going to be a lot of fun.

Here's my poem:

CHANT II

Screeing of born universe, belt-chrome signifying “what a waste” – sprouting limbs, twenty Athenas of television color test bars, yes, old addresses replete with shadow-pasts, ghosts liberaling around peeking in closets made for limbless shut-ins from the third world – beginning of life on Discovery Channel – “fuck protesters” is built into the fa├žade on Brooklyn wall viewable by train, glass fogs in reaction to moist sponge bodies – game developed, incorrect gravity, character falls in hole of the program – epileptic shutter-speed in unlit haunted house room, sweat in plastic visibility greatly decreased – limbless protesters ask passerby to kick and spit on them, placards gently hung about necks – suction reforms face, rich blood taste from injury in mouth – cold while grass sticks to shuddering mass, eyes cataracted into pointlessness, sound from mouth open to re-adaptation, directors sniveling behind chairs and cameras.

Friday, October 12, 2007

One Hundred and Forty Fifth Entry

I'm finding it harder to write poems these days, to be honest. I feel like I can't put two words together. I'm not lacking for inspiration, but somehow I'm lacking something. Oh well, no apologies. I'm working on a revision for a top secret project coming up soon. And also, I'll be reading somewhere in Manhattan in November so watch out for that. In the meantime, here's a kind of halloween-ish one.

Here's my poem:

CHANT

Whiskers drip, their shine stings off the sheen but no face of the beast - in the morning fall was littered all over the sidewalk, orange like nasty sunset, happy because the dying trees mean the walk becomes easier. A shadow inside of grey codes, snot-paint on blacktop, innards taken out instantly and spread like banquets for troubled homeless cats with blood-hair – I’m talking about a website killer who sneaks in through the night-glow – every dream with bare feet where I end up lashed to a tree. It’s time to shiver. Rat inside the meat, small eyes/gut instinct subdued by smothered air and wet darkness. There’s a placid place among trees, barricaded by damn cement, meaty hands neutered. Candelabra hangs twisted – now the red cloaks enter from stone passage – unbelievable, the weight of the gold blade on the neck. The sex of your blonde and white underwear murders sustains you. Necklace bone-shake while descending to antechamber, dim through the lightning. Dial tone empties into empty hall with wooden floors - steam mirror wiped clean. Fingers split as a reminder – bones brothing in the black burned cauldron.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

One Hundred and Forty-Fourth Entry

No excuses for how long it takes, I'm back with a new poem. I am losing steam though. I'm finding it harder and harder to balance my work and social life and girlfriend (yep) with my writing, but I work in cycles and I know it'll all come back. Also, I've been living with a horrible roommate, and we're finally getting rid of her. So maybe I'll spend more time at home working on things.

p.s. Hi Steve Caratzas!

Here's my poem:

ALMOST VIRTUAL

Sometimes I actually disappear.
The gloves for heroes leave no prints or traces -
not to say I am a hero for standing still
and shivering until the form is blurred
and breaking open the combination lock.
I ask everyone if I can help them,
sometimes repeatedly, in my uniform
at the mall, "here are tears," they say,
and hand me many jars of glossy
liquid. I empty them in the fountain
and walk off with collected wishes -
being fictional is like wearing flannel,
the pattern becomes you, its heaviness
surrounds your words - second week
in the bubble palace and my reports
have all come in just under the wire.

The hero mask allows him or her
his or her privacy, the small spaces
in the apartment crevices - the sugar
dripping from the insect mouth -
in nature's mouth the filth is not filthy -
hideous is a burka used by patriots
in the real war - gentle noise brushing
your face in your sleep - my finger
when you don't know my finger.

No one gets to see me because I'm your tongue.
You wear me and I have nothing to wear.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

One Hundred and Forty Third Entry

Sooooo tired. And I have to be up very very early tomorrow. But I wrote a new poem and wanted to share it with you.

Here's my poem:

ALMOST VIRTUAL

Sometimes I actually disappear -
it's late and I can walk on the tearful face of the dark god -
Brooklyn is a garbage-heap and it's all mine -
storefronts live by themselves with dull metal faces -
I wish in public, twittering like a nervous branch,
but my mouth controls my face - finds a way out -
there's no light behind the scrim -
I spit something into my eye -
my feet control the streetlights, unimportant hills
flatten, I disappear on the topic of photographs -
drawings stop looking like me -
items in my bed continue being there.

Someone is into combining anecdotes
and transmogrifying them into people -
they love each other. I'd be listening
for them curled in sleep but my breathing
holds me back - echoes in hollow halls -
I know how to obtain silence - puzzles fall into place
when played backwards on tape - there is no weather
in the reflection of cars, but swelter here,
I peel off everything I can.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

One Hundred and Forty Second Entry

Sorry about the pause, busy social life plus a new semester at school plus not feeling incredibly inspired equals not a lot of writing.

Poems of mine have been accepted in a couple of places, not telling where yet until they come out.

Hope you're having a nice day.

Here's my poem:
SLEEVELESS TEE

Plans to destroy the south.
Every newborn is pressed against tree
and reminded of history of lynching,
left to their own devices.
Many survive, new human territory
combined with bees, new hives,
skin formed from blood and detritus,
another Cormac Mccarthy novel.
Books on my shelf also include
particles of dust and the aroma
of indifference. Tried to get into apocalypse,
sweat-damp summer sheets,
me looking off in a direction.
Dirty floors and empty objects,
the wall doesn’t change for hours,
and the changes are minuscule.
Some sort of secret volcanic transition
beneath the surface. Eyes act funny,
eyes don’t record, and they don’t “see,”
only reflect images.

The person I sort of knew died.
Clothes get folded and then stretched
over the body, crumpled-abandoned,
pushing chair back from desk
on its little wheels. Hell is the apathy
of loneliness, objects being piled
as they fall forming unwanted architecture.
The weather often inspires in me a parallel reaction

I cover my summer body with blankets.

What are those dust particles floating towards.

I miss you

I love poetry.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

One Hundred and Forty-First Entry

Nothing to update you about, but here's a new spreadsheet poem that I like.

Here's my poem:

fractured charm girly everyone attended you better be sad
my first defense
you are inconsolate prisoner's dilemma
somewhat irregular hour game theory goodbye to the ending

wristwatch false alarm offset the threshhold too early
your expression
the body is hollow please leave
no courage empty crater take care of yourself warm to the touch
destruction is easy
notified by intercom sweat hiding in clothes

conversations I want to make it alone

it even makes a hollow sound
theater lights come on it has to be empty
but well kept
how content am I dry as a bone

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

One Hundred and Fourtieth Entry

Ingmar Bergman died. That's a bummer. Things are going normally for me, although I'd like to be sending out and doing readings more. I'd just like to be writing more. Here's an idea I tried out using some original lines, some found lines, and Microsoft Excel.

Here's my poem:

Grammar willing
whatever the falling object hits
notified by the members
lean the drain

golden heart in harmony
hand emptied of flying object speedway
terrible
personal defense and "competition"



cruel breath rejected from body fried terribly on the open ground
celebrity by statement category


fictional superhero
abstract psychology
fighting nobly
dipped in fruit frenzy

goofy friend


now business and manufacturing
hierarchical database introduced
should it be required


intercourse with an orderly white women celebrities
national airline
conditions of animal


number failed to take a seat press harder
prime money market
attach faces to diseases

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

One Hundred and Thirty-Ninth Entry

I've always loved the Kenneth Koch poem "To You," which Robert Pinsky talks about on Poet's Choice. Although he says very little, Pinsky's characterization of wanting to give his "You" something more significant than metaphors to sunshine and flowers, and by using quirky yet touching comparisons like "laid a red roof in her heart" he makes this poem particular to one person. Too many poems, not only of the love variety but of every kind, settle with something acceptable as metaphor, some comparison the poet knows his audience is quick to understand. Koch's poems were risky because of his allowance of cheekiness, humor, and ribald sexuality (not that he raised any eyebrows, but it's still hard to get taken seriously with overt sexuality in poetry. Unless you're Jorie Graham.) This poem inspired me to write not about what I thought I "should be" writing about (dead trees, thunderstorms, the human condition) but about reality, which is full of odd and funny moments even on your worst days. Michael Shurtleff wrote in Audition that he hated to see actors play super-serious in dramas. If you're at a funeral the last thing you want to do is be sad; you try everything in your power to avoid those dreary emotions, which makes you crack jokes and hit on women at a wake. Anyway, "To You" is one of my favorite Koch poems, and a great love poem, and I'm glad I read Silliman's blog today to find that up there.

Here's my poem:

EVERY DAY AGAIN

Dried cat parts, heavy on solid hot pavement equals summer.
In the apartment, something comes from the refrigerator, an odor, a presence.
Cat combines with cigarette butts and dirt from shoe scuffs.
The way standing in front of the refrigerator means you’re alone.
Combines drift from their cornfields to attack the city.
Way in the distance past cop cars and firecrackers.
Drift into the bedroom, heat rising from the tenants below.
In the refrigerator, plants and animals harden their hearts.

Almost feeling a kinship with the cat, connection of mammals.
For example, knowing how the fish feels while being gutted.
Combines almost near the point of contact.
Reaching for the light switch and finding the door.
See outside how the inside looks, how a stranger sees your house.
Instant weather punctuates the personal anti-climax.
You see your coat as blue, darker where wet, hanging lifelessly.
One instant is commentary on the last, meat still runs as animal.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

One Hundred and Thirty-Eighth Entry

Here's a little diddy that has no connection to Bad Vibes. I'm not sure if Bad Vibes is over or not, but I think it might be. There was only so far I could go with it. Maybe the next project will mesh with it somehow.

Here's my poem:

PYRAMID

It is in packing and unpacking, now, the amassed stories of individual happiness, it is in packing up and moving to the new office. It is in taking everything from the pockets. It is standing in front of the machine, waiting for the machine to work. It is in thinking of where the machine was built with tools, it is in thinking of where the tools were built by machines. It is in climbing into the machine. It is in processing food into something edible. It is in unpacking everything from the pockets, it is in noting the temperature in the logs. It is in talking to the machine, it is in noting the time in the logs, in noting the date in the logs. It is in filling the body with the necessities of life. It is in turning the lock with the key. It is in pressing keys that signify numbers and letters. It is in adjusting the temperature for human livability. It is in turning the machine’s dial until communication is reached, it is in talking into the machine. It is in allowing the machine to record voice patterns which indicate information, it is in ones and zeroes that, when combined, decode into patterns. I’m resolved now that it is in these patterns. It is in entering the new office with the old body. It is in amassing the stories of individual happiness. It is in organizing these stories in an understandable system. It is in storing these amassed stories and moving on. It is in these stories where patterns emerge.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

One Hundred and Thirty-Seventh Entry

Almost through with Lethem's Fortress of Solitude. Just burning through the books these days, and still it seems like I'm out every night, never getting any chance to sleep. Not sure what I want to read next, maybe one of the Cheever or Boll books I bought but never read.

Also, my other blog, KA SHEE STEES, has moved. Respond accordingly.

Here's my poem:

KIND ANIMAL

Broken marble piled atop marble,
the remnants of my spreadsheet - screed transcribed in wall-scratch,
cement autographed - my neighborhood succumbs to the swell of pixels -
material assembling itself into aggressive nuclei, over-ripe produce -
this isn't my Creation, just a wet day with a bad friend
digging into my pockets, trying to sanctify a morsel of flesh.

I blended into the bread of the wholesome table,
white of the calendar border dampened by body-fluid -
I slip on the calendars, twisting to remember the argument
in which I cover a human female in plasticine,
hands feeling wooden, caked and saturated as I ski my fingers
over what is not really your flesh.

I roll on the carpet sparking miniature furies;
light rain puddles the window, soaks the trinkets of the average dwelling -
alone and dull, glossy with shock, the animal stares at its trap -
frozen burg reflects out of
primitive's beard - here's a city
to you, music played in daylight, lights on in a clean room
where the rabbit twitches and rattles, its delicacy devolving into a plea.

Wine bottle gone, underneath the waviness of your bodies.
You form together like warm candles on a fool's errand -
a sad fondness graying this campsite into a memory,
tomorrow you will snap under a falling rock,
watching me die while you and your friend enter into
a lonely fraternity, your eyes scorched to the retinas

by an endless succession of dawns, lungs filling with
pine needles, dust and fur. The sepia-tone highway
will carry me next like the sea its travellers,
reliant on mercy and a wind in the right direction.
My chrysalis is ever-present. I rejoice as even now
I feel the new bruises swell, scars from the buds forming on my limbs.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

One Hundred and Thirty-Sixth Entry

I know it's not as hot as it's been but it seems to be getting hotter every day. Busy as always, there's been a pleasant surprise pretty much every day these days. Making it tough to keep in the "bad mood" I put into the poems I'm working on. I'm only going to write about 20 of these (if I can) and then work on another project, either Dr. Strange (I've mentioned this to some of you) or a project I have been tentatively been calling "Me Reading A Book." Mysterious, no? Ultimately the two (or three) projects I hope to put together into a manuscript, while fixing/shopping around my napowrimo-inspired manuscript, VS.

Here's my poem:

THE SHAH

Slept in the audio shed, glass housing the shark-bait-
new video game, a good dream, no talking,
shoot towards the sound of the shape,
commence entrance of cartridge, spaceship
program inside the bloodstream, being turned off,
body turning over-a clear pandering maneuver-
don't ask our makers for approval once too often,
don't burst out those salty trucker tears.

Now hacksaw, now muscular trucker's arm,
the navy is built on bulk wrestlers with
irregular tans. On the night in question
we were arrested in another county for
something less spooky. I'm in love with
the concept of the convertible, how
should I go about marketing it?
The face is a sponge for entropy
and the entropy goes right in here:
correctives given have done their job,
now we can move him, put the tools
back in the trunk and scatter.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

One Hundred Thirty-Fifth Entry

Been working pretty hard (for me, anyway) and been busy besides, so I haven't had the time nor the energy to keep up with Bad Vibes. But, I finished Ed Sanders' THE FAMILY finally!! I broke that book's back! No literally, the spine on the book is super-messed up to where it's basically trash. Now that I've read two super heavy books on the subject of killing people, I'm taking a break to read Jonathan Lethem's Fortress of Solitude, recommended (and left at my house) by Will. I've been saying "yeah, yeah, I think this guy sucks, but I just want to read something stupid and light after the Family," but that's b.s. and I should come clean. I've read him before, and although I had my complaints, they mostly had to do with his self-centered essays, and now I'm reading his novel, which is supposed to be self-centered, and it's a pretty good read. I'm already a fifth of the way through it, and it's a big book. Feel free to suggest something for me to read in the future, keeping in mind I need to get back on the "Bad Vibes" train and read something regarding evil.

Here's my poem:

BAD VIBES/GIDGET COMES HOME

The van, patches of color,
cheap paint-overs and rust
lives on in hibernation-
side of the mountain road-
here is a book of acquaintances
to the act, those who watched
her but never met. Holes
struck in upholstery by who
knows what: the history
of who knows what. Squirmy,
indifferent little lonely people,
itching, convulsing to be claimed
at the crowded depot where my bags
are laid next to my seat.

The edge has gone dull. No one
told me. I can't start a fire with it
and I can't rig a phone and call
home, and this sticker won't come off.

Names of interest slip through her speech
when I don't expect. Sticker had a joke
on it-not funny now. Maybe never.
Certainly didn't go over in court,
should have worn something fancy,
said something worth remembering
now, talking to you about safe topics,
my clan's mythology clearly not panning out.
She's wearing parts of me on the outside,
showing the bloody night my clothes,
used to sit outside and wait,
in flames with a scary optimism-
shake around all night and call it
a dance, speak telepathically
(or used to) with my girl.

Don't go vacant on me now. The only thing
I still need is the future-mask made out of
my hair, up the road dragging the rope
made out of jeans torn out at the seams
and the getaway won't drive itself.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

One Hundred and Thirty-Fourth Entry

What are you guys doing for the fourth? I haven't decided whose roof I will be on and with whom, couple of choices for each. Should I go to roof A or roof B? And with person A or person B? DECISIONS. But freedom of choice is what makes our country sort of great. Although South America is looking pretty good. And Egypt looks great now that they abolished female circumcision. Way to go, dead fifteen year old girl!

Almost done with Ed Sanders' The Family, and it was pretty tedious for awhile but now it's getting good again. Oh by the way, the Manson family probably didn't kill their lawyer, sounds like the guy drowned in a flash flood. But this other cat, the English satanist? Oh, did he kill people (probably), and is he ever at large. Sweet Dreams. After I get done with this I'm going to read a novel, something stupid and light, probably the Jonathan Lethem book Will lent me.

p.s. My sister is getting married again! Yay!

Here's my poem:

THE BACKYARD

Everyone should be happy with their motor-
the tempo at which we hang from black wire
hoping to fall because that's more fun,
nightmaring about our obligation-
the dry powder on tongue-good for some-
breakfast leaves you sunning hungry,
the summer calling you away from the asphalt-
a chorus of backs turning, sudden gust drying cheeks.

It's cool to holler into the mouth
of the dry wash-squeeze your head
into the skull, listen to the privileged
denizens of nature, blood replacing
skin. Museum planner of wayward emotion,
pity me that I don't answer my phone-too busy
with the inexpensive golden cord, imagine
in all directions what we might hang it from,
what might hang from it. Rice and boulders
are no longer a game, and have become Wednesday-
flies congregate in the bed, the river smells
of a fond spring season, stuff did not bloom-
the leather would not adhere itself to the strap.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

One Hundred and Thirty-Third Entry

For those of you not in the know, the IRS sucks big bones.

The mermaid parade was cool this year and I didn't get too badly sunburned. Gina has some pictures of the floats (and I believe one of us, actually) here. Rode the Cyclone for the first time with Scotty. Well, not with him, as we were both "too big" to have anybody else in our car with us. Oppression.
Still working on Bad Vibes, having interesting conversations with literally everyone about evil. Is it merely the absence of good or is it an actual thing? You be the judge. As with other poems of mine, I think that my purpose here is largely to try and avoid the subject, but allow the subject to seep in anyway.

Today's poem has a title that's directly correlative to the Charles Manson story, chiefly the antics of one of his main disciples, Sadie Mae Glutz. I quote Ed Sanders in his reference to a seemingly strange statement made by her parole officer regarding her release from a marijuana charge some months before the occurrence of the murders.

"Sadie managed to pull off a charm job on the deputy probation officer up there, one David Mandel, because he wrote a sympathetic probation report, which might be called the damaged soul document. It concludes, "Your Honor, it is our opinion that incarceration for this defendant would be of little or no use to society or to herself. Even while she was still a minor, she was well on her way to a career of minor confidence-style operations, high styled prostitution and prostitution of herself in a more general sense, as an object of entertainment and vicarious satisfaction for other damaged souls.""

Essentially he was saying that although she was guilty of crimes and would continue to be a lifelong criminal, jailing her would do no good because she was a born reprobate. The thinking behind this is strange, and it intrigues me. But the poem has almost nothing to do with that, as usual.

Here's my poem:

DAMAGED SOUL DOCUMENT

Big hand on the keyboard, diagonal
striped glove, difficult to remember past
christmases, the blur of memory, several
coffee cup stains, row of imperfect circles.

Moron wanted to be the life of parties
unknown. The woods, several years ago.
Annual rememberance of empty box.
I don't want to use the word 'you' anymore.

New and selected strands of hair, mix
myself a poison, call it a potion, endless
nights on the couch, party with wine,
restless clothesline begins to flap.

My glow is not alive. Someone
has spread blankets over ourselves,
morning is sneaking up. Car won't start.
Parties are the in-between, these moments.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

One Hundred and Thirty-Second Entry

Working at LVHRD today on their new issue which is coming out surprisingly soon. And maybe I'll even hit my deadline. Anyway.

Here's my poem:

EVIL FUCKFACE

I'm a human radio station, got it?
Swallowing the mortals, vomit as discourse--
I'm Vincent Price no I'm Charlton Heston--
at current elevation I'm neither of those,
my bachelor life proceeds with canned products.
See you in the valley, you'll be dead, a movie
about vampires proceeds with an orgy of neck ripping--
long story, writer disappointed, standing in light
smoke from teeth filling the image, discourse
as discourse--bad actor explaining the political cause.
Cigarettes unpleasant, bees fucking locusts
become topic of discussion, economics effected
by some guy talking, population control, let's
us kill ourselves a human, tribunal against justice,
taste in mouth found to be garbage, homeless envy--
reasoning hampered by cybernetics, here's the book
you're going to write while in the theater.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

One Hundred Thirty-First Entry

Working harder on my new manuscript project, BAD VIBES. Though partially inspired by reading about Charles Manson, and partially inspired by a bad mood, these poems are my attempt to address the subject of evil, a "force" in the world that I strongly believe doesn't exist. What I believe is more frightening when witnessing an "evil" act is not what we would believe to be evil, but the absence of it. Therefore, these poems aren't going to be goth or anything, I'll be playing my game of poetic avoidance just like I did with the VS poems, which a fellow poet recently pointed out to me were anti-definition poems, a concept I hadn't really thought of but that is surprisingly apt.

Here's my poem:

MUTINOUS SPIDERS

I have invoked a powerful gin-goddess.
Child exposed under rockslide to undue pressure-
here's the real trouble, intentional meeting by the Founders-
trapped in the malaise of the swamp, cigars alight
in the distance to taunt me as the trappings of men,
pilgrimage all for naught, pariah becomes king-
shirts lifted in lieu of flags, as foretold by Bostradamus.

Digital cracks become worse, face of internet demon.
Intelligent whispers don't sound intelligent, and I lead
my phalanx astray, anxious young braves dying bold
to fill out the color palette. The mythology to come
is a supreme apathy-some success with the college tour.
Celebrity is the mother of invention, each of my cadillacs
has been implanted with a device programmed to hate you-
exposed in your thriftiness, threads like vile little hairs
from your clothing, refreshment is the mother
leaving her children in the trunk dipping towards
the spillway, and this is our spillway, and I intend it
to spill.

Monday, June 18, 2007

One Hundred Thirtieth Entry

Hi there. Taking a few days off from New York in D.C. It's been pretty fun here and the weather is great. Going to hang out with one of my bestest friends, poet Danielle Deulen, a CSF alum like myself. We're going to the Hirshhorn Gallery (sp?) and we both haven't gotten enough sleep. Should be fun.

Here's my poem:

OOH LIGHTNING BUGS

The insects got into the chemicals-
cannibalized by lightning bugs exploding
onto my wallpaper and then sucked
into a singularity-straws are good
for suction-I burnt my hands on that surface-
here's my recollection-a sudden imbecilic
invasion of vapours and there goes our city,
and after we bent ourselves out of shape
in an effort to support it-three jobs, no more
sitcoms. The science is only skin deep.

I never know where to finish when you say it's over-
should I complete the last task of tipping
the garage on its corner so all the dirt falls out,
my safari has been a cover-up: zebra,
wild boars, lemurs with their shiny frightening eyes-
my world ended; you saw it happen while rewinding
the tape. Guess this balcony is more accessible
than I thought but it's time for the terrible ghost-chant;
the mask becomes the primitive god and the dancer
acquiesces his nature to nature. The right thing
to do would be to ask Shuma-Gorath how he
perceives the situation.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

One Hundred and Twenty-Ninth Entry

Hey there little poetry blog reader. Bet you thought I forgot all about you? Well, you've never been far from my thoughts little one. I've just been frustrated and trying to get some mo-foing work over the summer. And when I'm down, it's harder to write. Plus I'm pretty active with KA SHEE STEES. Also, two little bunnies named Amy and Alex atarted a blog that has something to do with me. It's over here. Also, big ups to my man Nathan Austin, who has won my heart and also received the most improved blog award from me for constantly have more and more interesting stuff to stay. I struggle with an interesting paragraph. This next poem is hopefully the beginning of a series.

Here's my poem:

BAD VIBES

Soft rock hits the champagne tilt,
drive you up the mountain in the dark.
Sing for your shadow, you keep the things
in me you most want to use, old format TV,
case of smokes, borrowed wooden tool, instructional
book with the first chapter missing. We made
whatever it taught us how to make.

Wallow in the foreground, you are a character.
Popular in the navy. Blue in an iceberg,
but not now. Softened into an action figure,
comatose, movie-watching, place one hand above
head, an obvious gesture. Hugged into the action
figure’s form, ask the office manager, what is action?
Fallen behind the desk from the exhaustion of Chinese characters
in the movie. I know how to plead. I’m getting tough
like whale-skin now, get me out of this office,
thirsty for gas, it’s tumbling time down the narrow
hallway of burnt cubicles, too timid to fall apart.

The desert is boring. Let’s blend with the outer edges,
Becoming what was once thought to be phantoms
as we wiggle inside your house, your rifle pressed
against your sternum up against the wall, sweat
masking your emoting, nobody cares. Quit freaking out
about the cluster of strangers who engineer your death:
you’ll never see em. Who knows how to be dead
anyway, you can’t just coil up and pretend. Noodles
come right out of the bowl, avocado refrigerator memory
plagued with roaches, time spent in childhood nearly
always non-refundable, action isn’t emotion, nobody
wants to be there when you do your “thing.”

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

One Hundred and Twenty Eighth Entry

Things I have been doing other than writing poetry:
writing a screenplay (don't ask)
working on my AWESOME new blog KA SHEE STEES!!!!
finishing the last days of my job
hoping another job will fall from the sky
re-filing my tax return for the fourteenth time!
basically wishing i were dead

Here's my poem:

RAZOR VS THIMBLE

Ran out of friends, the list just kept dripping
super slow, below the belt while I inflated
my biology. Together in tribal chant we can
make a stand for extra meaning, I've outlined
my throat with your faces to make a funny sound,
Your mine when dead wrestlers assert their legacy
across my barbecue. I bought the feelings your synths
made obvious at the funeral. I ran away from the broom,
frustrating me with its imperfect jogging gear.
I we can't clean up stuff in my fingernails, what can we do?
Some music farts all over the floor, every day, exiting this grand
hall, the palace guard licks clean my empty apartment.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

One Hundred and Twenty Seventh Entry

Finishing up my semester of teaching. I have a lot to learn in order to become a good teacher, but I think I might be good at it overall, and I do actually enjoy it, so hopefully I can stick with it.

Working on a new top-secret poetry project, but I'll show you some of that when I'm happy with the results.

Here's my poem:

DOLLAR VS EGG

It seems it's not as exciting,
this canal where my daughter
gets away with my diamonds.
I've acted badly, echoing murderous
intent a little too quietly, Ed Begley
kept me up all night, standing in a row
of expensive beds. We're dissolving out
of this habitat, it's okay to fall out of a tree,
looking cool, drunk on our beer.
I'm not sure of the koala, but I won't worry
if that joke ruins my life, because it's just one
DVD, certain books tell me I'm a pointless
artistic jaunt. I've signed up for everyone
French working for me, bending their arms
in that bullshit way, european though it may be.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

One Hundred and Twenty-Sixth Entry

On day 3 of a horrible cold, not that every cold isn't horrible, but you know...

Was at a party with fellow literary types recently when we got on the topic of re-reading books, specifically how often do we re-read. I found out that I was odd man out, since I re-read about as much as I read new books, if not more. And if I was to be honest, I'd have to admit that it's a lot more, probably 60% of the books I read in a year I have read before. I don't have any problem with that, do you?

Here's my poem:

LEAF VS SUITCASE

Buttons at the tip of being re-written
through bulldozer, all my patrons enjoy
five hours in a bus, I skate up the middle
of the ice in order to encounter the universe,
throwing pails of paint where I sleep.
Disney characters do no harm, always spreading
those rodents, garden parties disconnected
from writhing queens, legs cut off and sterile.
I've left harbor and dropped to the floor.
Tear-wet letters no more: what is every lover
now? Twelve stories asleep on the pale brawling
lilt of wooden windows. Newspaper at noon,
striped tie flying like an open summer shirt,
Shit buried all over the place, somebody
ought to gather those simmering vegetables together.

Friday, May 04, 2007

One Hundred and Twenty-Fifth Entry

I am having a very busy week, and I'm am more exhausted than I have felt in months. I just can't seem to catch up and I'm not getting any real sleep to speak of. UH OH.

Here's my poem:


CHALK VS PLIERS

Day Six:
Dragon skin whistling through skylight.
Vacation disaster is nominal, terrible
haunted restaurants remain closed this
weekend. I painted the boring sign
to represent the direction your instrument
should go. Remember to peel skin off for
my taxes and plant the seeds in beaches
filled with sand, cheaper beaches are good
for our people. Sunflower lives on the coast,
in the pot I own on the windowsill that should
be mine. I read a book about eskimos fighting
someone, and doing well the only way
they know how.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

One Hundred and Twenty-Fourth Entry

Octopus extended their deadline! This annoys me. They extended it after the deadline! They should have done it before so those of us that were hustling could have some breathing room. What's done is done. I'm betting they'll publish my book (hubris!)

Here's my poem:

PENCIL VS TELEPHONE

Borrowed a sweatshirt and resented the road.
Up the hill is a symposium driving in a circle.
Quality is my horse giving up the chase.
When I first stepped into the fox, the marine
learned to live guarding the vanity mirror,
blurry with your finery. My chest feels all stormy,
breathing weakly seems wrong-headed. I shake
my face like a crappy accordian, I've quite lost
my taste for the racetrack. These lesbians own
a line of beer cans, the purpose is seventy-five
thousand dolls surrounding me in my sleep.
My blue cheeks rule, I usually keep the stereo
broken, thanks for thinking of leaving the light on.

I tacked your feet up to the pencil sharpener,
alone with some other dude, now it's my hallway
sweating with its smallness. I put my uniform
in the drawers and it came back the next day.
I saved mpegs and got fired. Clarity will saunter
in around noon. My cucumber-colored sweater
is glued to the mouse, and it's all that's left
of my cubicle.

Monday, April 30, 2007

One Hundred and Twenty-Third Entry

End of the beginning of the big move today, and most if not all the poems you've seen this month are flying across the country on U.S. Postal wings, going into a manuscript contest.

Here's my poem:

BACKPACK VS VIDEOTAPE

Events vibrate at the the end of my life:
that's how backward I pretend I am.
I have a little system of kids, my wife
feels goofy in the shower and smokes,
leaving her pants on next to the tenement.
This hot suburb is rolling in the dark.

On the fancy desk, enjoying the flood,
surfing the moisture makes my window
sweat onto the toilet paper. The robots
hurt my tummy and the bikers look nice
with the colored lights, we're close to death
at this jukebox, and the Apaches are hanging
out at this bar we like.

Everybody's face hurts the wild plants,
everybody's stripping their muscles down
at the nightclub, we're enjoying ourselves
and I say it's good. Let's stay home while
the movie characters die, the television
person's a porno, an inch above his head
is a long black wig. It hurts me to look at magic,
I'm going to buy whatever this guy hums at me,
I've got this funny feeling the cops are arresting people.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

One Hundred and Twenty-Second Entry

I'm gonna put up some stupid stuff today along with today's post. I'm trying out being more "bloggish" in my blog, if you haven't noticed. Let me know what you think.


For those of you who were as enraptured with the Montgomery Flea Market Youtube video () you'll enjoy the "spooky remix" Here.


Here's my poem:

CANDLE VS GLOVE

Here's every handy native known by police officers.
My first vacation ended in cold friendliness, traveler's
checks in a room, colorful faces wondering about
the good music. I like swimming and eating expensive
shampoo. Fancy tattoos you can't touch with your
disjointed hands, a broken promise in the wallet.
Mom and Dad play that guitar, somewhere else
I pretended my childhood was a smoky cubicle.
A garbageman is where modesty gets hatched.
Don't send this noble jumpsuit through the mail.
That dark corner has an apathetic architecture,
this game is funny about the details, the filthy
side of my lapel feels the full force of age,
and my cold nose bends at an angle.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

One Hundred and Twenty-First Entry

I blew it. I've been under stress because of my bushwick to bushwick move., and boom! two days went by. The funny thing is that I've written poems in both those days and was just too tired to email them. Oh well, i got through most of the month unscathed.

I'm now combining my "thing" poems into "vs" poems, where I combine elements of both and...well, it would take a scientist to explain. The two poems I combined can be found here and here.

Here's my poem:

OATMEAL VS PILLOW

It takes time to freeze the currency,
where I step away from the button
and hum into the teacup, sleeping
outside of our arrangement, take
your bottles off of the record;
nuzzle the sides of buildings and
pretend we are window cleaner.
Why can't I pretend to be busy?
I dropped the scroll in the submarine.
Deferring to people will get you into trouble.

Everybody's leaving the library, wearing
the masks to impress the sounds of fanfare,
the party-goers enjoyed seeing it but they didn't
talk to the ebullient tyrant. I'm important and
I'm filled with forks. What a funny kid towers
over me, balls his fists, laughs and fights
over Google Maps, the wind outside
will be with you in a minute.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

One Hundred and Twentieth Entry

According to certain drinking friends of mine, Idealism is good. Just updating you in case you were wondering.

I read Sarah Vowell's Assasination Vacation and enjoyed it thoroughly, with two major complaints: 1. she really gave McKinley the short treatment, not saying much about him and making unfair comparisons between him and G.W. Bush. When he chose to invade island nations, he was basing it on the best wisdom of his time, and looking at past precedents or lack thereof. The whole reason we know that American Imperialism is dumb now is because it failed in the past. 2. For such an obvious American Indian enthusiast, she makes the understandable accusations towards Andrew Jackson, but doesn't even bring up the failed assassination attempt on him, which would have been keeping with her general subject matter. Don't worry, I'm writing her a letter.

Here's my poem:

STAPLER

Hold tight to the mast or forsake
the whole journey, go bumbling home
to the mid-west, land accustomed
to humiliation, trail of beers poured
out flat and hot, bodies of water
left stagnant but for the swishing
underneath the surface of the drowned
water-skiers. A lot of water imagery
is good for a poem, and a lot of water
is good, planning this trip has been
the greatest pain in my life, you didn't
break my heart but you fucked up my spine.
Here's pennies I don't use, lay me on the
trolley tracks, watch me flatten.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

One Hundred and Nineteenth Entry

I'm not going to lie to you. I'm drunk and I have an hour to put this poem up, so here are the results.

Here's my poem:

PIZZA

Alone on a lake, my politics
stark as the jumping fish in the twilight
of early dawn. Listen to your governor,
DJs spinning the hits, a clock reports
to be broken, and I am to judge it based
on our modern understanding of time,
then I went to the library, now I'm here,
falling asleep to the video game, eyes
shuddering like poor people in the rain,
never wanting to be there, my eyes closing
like restaurants too early at night.

Monday, April 23, 2007

One Hundred and Eighteenth Entry

Feeling mopey because of the many things that need to happen that aren't happening.

Here's my poem:

GLOVE

Handy to be known among natives, my first
vacation ended here, no traveler's check with
their colorful prints, historical faces telling me
the good times, like swimming and eating expensive
foods, fancy little things you're not supposed to touch
with your hands, all frivolity exists within the wallet,
stood bested with that empty wallet's moan. Call
my mom and dad, accept charges that I am not
what my childhood pretended I would become.
Only wanted the life of a garbageman. Noble,
wind in the face, jumpsuit. Feeling love for the contents
of that dark corner, walking by the shadow, knowing
lyrics to the funny song, the filthy side of this business
is feeling the full force of indifference; my cold nose
turns red on the roof.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

One Hundred and Seventeenth Entry

I love how New York just completely skips Spring. If you ask New York what happened to Spring, you'll get that smart-ass "fuggetaboudit" kind of response, so I don't know why I bother bringing it up.

Here's my poem:

THIMBLE

I am no longer on the list of super friends.
It hits slow, below the belt where most of my biology
is handled. In tribal chant the nonsense of words is
assumed to have extra meaning, I hit my throat
with my hand to make a funny sound, I watch wrestling,
wrapped up in those dead wrestlers asserting
their legacy. Simple as spelling, the feelings I have for most
of you will be obvious at the funeral. You called me,
I missed it, I call you, you missed it. The particles
of dirt always get away from the broom, frustrating me
with the broom's imperfection: if we can't clean up dirt,
what can we do? It just sits all over the floor, every day,
feeling sorry for itself. In this grand hall, the palace
guard lick what is not clean off the princesses' feet.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

One Hundred and Sixteenth Entry

I'm a seething cauldron of angst today, but I did buy a new DVD yesterday.

Here's my poem:

RAZOR

Ran out of glue; it just kept dripping
down by my smile while I inflated my bed.
Together we superheroes can make a stand
for true justice, I've outlined on this map
your faces, not much of a likeness, but
it's clear who is who. You're mine when you
bend your fats across my barbecue.
I bought the inspirational synths on your first
soundtrack, and I ran with them, neon jogging
gear ablaze. Clipless clipboard, stuff
in my fingernails, some music farting out
of a boombox, exiting someone's apartment
and entering mine. While it's still my apartment.

Friday, April 20, 2007

One Hundred and Fifteenth Entry

Way too busy to post a lengthy diatribe.

Here's my poem:

WALLPAPER

White screen bent out to let flies
mosey in. You are not my boyfriend
just because of this, it is random
and without emotion.

If I’m not going to throw
gold candy wrappers into the plastic
trash can, the least I can do
is throw them somewhere.

If I was a fly on the wall,
I’d know what to put on my resume.
This experience, this pain,
would only float briefly in my stupidity.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

One Hundred and Fourteenth Entry

I hate Fridays because they ruin my Thursdays thinking about them.

Here's my poem:

EGG

It's not as good, this exciting
canal in which my daughter films
her slasher flick: badly acted echoes
of murderous intent keep me up all night
in my fucking expensive bed. We're
breaking out of this habitat, it's okay also
if we fall out of trees, drunk on our juices,
we're safe. I am a koala. You know the rest
of that joke, I'm busy searching for the case
for this DVD, a pointless artistic jaunt
with everyone being all french, bending
their arms in that european, slightly annoying
way.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

One Hundred and Thirteenth Entry

There's a baby whale in Gowanus!!!!!!! CUTE!!!! I need to go get my little baby harpoon!

Here's my poem:

DOLLAR

It seems as if you'll get away
with my diamonds. I've stood
in court and spoken a little too quietly,
as if Ed Begley knew these people,
standing in a row with diamonds
dissolving in their beer, looking cool.
I'm not sure of the forecast,
but I won't panic if rain ruins my life,
because it's just one life, and certain books
tell me I'll live a couple of times more
or somewhere else and that works
for me, bullshit though it may be,
I've agreed to much worse bullshit in the past.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

One Hundred and Twelfth Entry

Yawn. Back to work.

Here's my poem:

BOOK

It's darkness on that videotape,
we are the coolest empolyees, hidden
behind that counter, gray formica, check
out my mixtape, I held you and also
your scarf, I kept it from flapping,
there's pretty much nothing I'd like
more than to buy you something.

This is computer language for something
hideous, coupons emblazoned with regrettable
logos, graphic design sissies will be the first
thrown at armageddon's fangs, pretty fancy
stuff if you ask me, ketchup being one
of my favorites.

You're on candid camera. Wave like you mean
it, slime yourself if you don't know.

Monday, April 16, 2007

One Hundred and Eleventh Post

Almost missed it! I was at a friend's all day and then we saw Grindhouse (Don't!)


Here's my poem:

SOAP

I kicked you in the head with my hand
I forwarded your mail, hanging off
of the palm tree as if it was my tree,
I'm just confessing, I'm not necessarily
sorry. I felt your hand while I was asleep,
you told about a story in prison, men
who tell other men things, and then forget
to have known, but that's an older story
than you would like to believe. I just saw
you roll your eyes as I hopped in my car.
I put my car on your head until you told me
it was alright to leave, you dirty stinker,
why don't you use my hand as a shovel
when we look at children sitting near
the sand?

Sunday, April 15, 2007

One Hundred and Eleventh Entry

Of course, the day before my reading is a really nice day, and the day of my reading is a weather disaster. LAY-YAME.

I've been commenting too much about stuff and nobody cares, including me, so we're getting right to it.

Here's my poem:

PLIERS

Day Six:
dragon skin holding up. Vacation
disaster, morbid weekend at haunted
mansion with terrible weather, bored
enough to take up an instrument.
Must remember to peel skin off
of seeds, seeds are good four our
people. Sunflower in the pot on
the windowpane, what song is this?
It sounds like eskimos battling
the only way they know how.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

One Hundred and Tenth

Oddly, I'm feeling a touch, just a touch, sympathetic for Don Imus. By no means is this an advocacy of him or what he has said or his douchery in general. Should he be strongly reprimanded? Of course. Lose his job? Sure. But his life and future career is completely ruined, over three sentences. And I worry that because this guy has been ruined for something offensive, well, where does it end? I mean, sooner or later someone is going to say something offensive that's true. People say incredibly offensive things on TV and now, ever increasingly, on the internet, all the time (Ann Coulter? Michael Richards?) and nothing happens to them. In fact, sometimes the bad press can generate some activity in their careers. Also, Imus is not a newscaster, he's not an authority on anything, just a public personality. He's a sports commentator. And everyone's acting as if his comments on CABLE were a national address or something.

Just consider if the entire world heard you say one of the offensive things you've said. Would you deserve this treatment? Apparently so.

Alright, just thinking out loud, please don't kill me.

Here's my poem:

CANDLE

Here's every police officer in the country:
I'm judging their average weight and general
friendliness, cold men in a room wondering
why the music is so slow. My favorite kinds
of shampoo are as follows. My tattoo got all
messed up, now it looks disjointed, flawed,
like a broken promise written down. Play
that guitar. Play it somewhere else. This smoky
little cubicle is where the enormity of false
modesty gets hatched. Don't send this kind
of stuff through the mail. Jail is an ugly place.
The architecture is kind of oppressive, but also
just apathetic. This game is attentive to
the details, the smell of my burnt lapel,
as it thins with age and bends at an ugly angle.

Friday, April 13, 2007

One Hundred and Ninth Entry

I wrote today's poem super fast in between classes.

Kurt Vonnegut6 died. BUM-MER.

ha ha nice typo, I wonder who Kurt Vonnegut6 is? Some type of clone? Too bad he died too.

I'm reading this Sunday at the 440 Gallery, please please come!


WHEN: Sunday, April 15th from 4:30-6:00 pm
WHERE: 440 Gallery, 440 Sixth Avenue (at 9th St., F to 7th Ave.)
CONTACT: Brooke Shaffner at brshaffner@hotmail.com
Admission Free

Here's my poem:

MOUSE

Don’t thrust me into that opinion.
These vegetables hurt me, they’re so
unfresh their grimy, water-logged flesh
overcomes me, and I become happy again.
Time for the street, the street
which has started going a new way. I fight
against it and I make myself a wall.
The other walls kick me out which is pretty
prudish, I start my own society and collect
my cult. It’s not a dark cult but a badge
of pride. No candles but big overhead
lights, I’m no appreciator of the strange
but I have seen it, and this movie attempts
to correct that flawed assumption. What
we eat eventually hates what we’ve become.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

One Hundred and Eighth Entry

Today was the first day that I almost forgot about writing a poem. Oobs.

The Gehry documentary was playing while I wrote this one. I used to talk some shit about this guy, and watching Sydney Pollack's movie about him makes me like Gehry the man less, but like his architecture a bit more. I like modern sculpture but I think his work is a little decadent (which is odd because he believes himself to be "non-decorative") and, like Gaudi, who I despise, I think his work won't age well. But I can't deny that a lot of his work is beautiful and awe-inspiring. Just not all of it.

Here's my poem:

LEAF

Buttons at the tips of batons,
all my patrons enjoy my marches,
I skate back up the ice in order
to encounter you, I sleep covered
in prints representing those favorite
Disney characters, those children's
rodents, disconnected from its
socket, dropped to the floor, legs
cut off and left sterile, lamp no more:
what is it now? Twelve stories
held open with brawling windows
all sorts of newspaper and shit flying
like a white, open summer shirt,
like a vegetable simmering on the skillet.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

One Hundred and Seventh Entry

While I'm at work I'm posting poems later. And frankly, it's becoming harder to get it together, so let's hope for your sake I don't miss a day.

Also, I'm writing like 19 articles and they're all due this week. Busy.

Today's poem has an Adlai Stevenson reference. See if you can figure out what it is.

Here's my poem:

SHOELACE

Get ready to lick the piss off the chain link;
that’s what the people pay to see, now hurt
horses in your stable and walk around the block.
Your girlfriend is gross, I envy the lunches
the two of you ate with the food looking at you
and then talking to you, don’t wait for the translation,
scan the photos and tell me which one of these men
hit you. I was involved in the construction
of a rotunda, but it ended up not being rotund
enough. I’m breaking a contract that I never
agreed to. So what about your contract, this story’s
about me and who I choose to fuck around with.

I bent the edge of the bed, I’m always
doing that kind of thing, dear diary, Troy
said he’d take me out this weekend, but I
already have a date! What should I do?
Throw your dress in the stream and then
jump in after, some mockery of a fable,
ghost story turned boring.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

One Hundred and Sixth Entry

I'm getting really into Chopped and Screwed DJ stuff lately, and I'm not sure if it's bad or good for me.

I'm really enjoying all the NaPoWriMo blogs and it takes up a fair part of my day just reading old and new ones. I'm starting a blogroll for them and I'll finish it tomorrow.

Here's my poem:

TELEPHONE

Borrowed a desk and went on the road,
it doesn’t drive well, up the hill is a pain
but we get the job done, quality is job one.
When I first foolishly stepped into the uniform
of a marine the air was blurry with its heat,
now my chest is all funny, breathing feels like
a crappy accordion, and I’ve quite lost
my taste for it.

These lesbians own a bar, they’ve spent
seventy-five thousand dollars on the jukebox
but it’s worthless, it almost never gets used.
My new headphones rule, thanks for buying them,
now my car drives are more miserable
because I have to think about the music
because my stereo’s broken. Still, nice of you
to think of me.

I tacked a piece of paper up on the cubicle.
Now it’s my cubicle, although some other dude
works in here when I don’t. I left burritos in the drawers
and glued the mouse to the desk and got fired.
Still, something new will saunter in around noon.

Monday, April 09, 2007

One Hundred and Fifth Entry

My body is tired after last night, but I think it was a real success. Thanks to all the readers and especially the audience. My back hurts so I'm going to keep this short and go lay down.

Here's my poem:

BACKPACK

Events vibrate through my bones,
that's how I hear about stuff,
I have a little system of my own:
feeling goofy in the shower, can't
believe you left your pants on,
but forget it, we're rolling, action.

Fancy desk and fancy pen, this
is later. The moisture makes
my window sweat, it hurts, baby,
my tummy is red inside, I look
nice with the colored lights
from the jukebox hanging out
on my face while I hang out
at this bar we like, telling a story.

I don't expect everybody's face
to be able to follow me here,
but this cave is really a nightclub
and we're going to enjoy ourselves,
false alarm, let's stay at home,
that television person's face floats
an inch above his head, which is
hurts me to look at, it's the perfect
size, I'm going to buy whatever this
guy tells me. Back to the show
about cops arresting

Sunday, April 08, 2007

One Hundred and Fourth Entry

Today's the day of the Dick Pig, so if you don't already know I assume you don't care. Here's some other things that happened today:

Jesus Christ rose from the dead.
Grindhouse opened and I thought it was lame (sight unseen!)


Anyway, Nathan and I are debating poetic process and inspiration and he brought up an interesting point: the elitism of poetry. Though he was using it to describe inspired poems over procedure poems, I think both forms are equally presumptuous, as I think all art is. An artistic statement is, at it's most simple a "look at this!" statement, and believing you the artist have something worth looking at is presumptuous. That is, unless you believe everyone does, which I'm afraid I can't really go along with. Even if I were to believe everyone on this Earth creates art worth looking at, it doesn't mean they do. Also, if I were to be honest with myself, I wouldn't want to see a lot of people's contributions. My personal taste would then dictate what was worth looking at. Wow! The audience member is elitist too!

Even if you work with found art, your perspective, your "hey, look what I found" instinct is what makes it art. And that statement is an elitist one, especially since you believe that your art has value to you, but more than that, that it will be valuable to others. It could be argued (actually it should be argued) that art has worth to the community at large, as the 'antenna' as Pound sort of put it, a force inexplicably tied to the pulse of humanity and thereby a way to come to terms with that which we don't understand: namely, the future. Anything that could really be considered art looks to the future and thereby addresses the foibles of the present. But maybe it's the self-evaluation as an artist that's elitist over the actual art? What do you think?

Everybody come out tonight and party it up.

Here's my poem:

SKATE

My water has a name, and it has a past;
we can walk up the incline and find our car,
cheap wine dribbling from our stupids,
empty car, now it's amazing, we hung around
in the snowbank, I am given scissors
and told to prepare the statue for its destruction.

I kick it off of the mantle. Let's use caps lock here.
Let's find new places to drink that stuff, let's enjoy
the mall, it's our space, clean architecture and fountains,
oh my god you left your diary out now I can read about
the ice, how it hurt the inside of your mouth how
you spit it out. Every single day walking
train tracks, don't lay down for the ants, swing
at the gnats but they don't go away. This summer's
so wintery. Let's do this now. I own
this town, I can't get enough of this coffee.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

One Hundred and Third Entry

I'm doing that day before, what-am-I-gonna-read game today. Also, today's poem is kind of out there. Nathan and I have been politely arguing about a number of subjects and it's starting to show up on our blogs and it's a good thing, so says I. See you tomorrow, 8 o clock at Galapagos.

Here's my poem:

CALCULATOR

We're all doing really well at this rave,
my sequins rustle in the dark, melting
like wolf-faces, it's time to dance, wolves
smelling my genitals as I wait in line.
The ferris wheel contained gum wrappers,
beasts and vampires live together
with heavy coats, the vampires don't fear
death. The vampires cash in their chips
when they leave Trambulin's Castle,
which is a place I just made up.

Empty your plate before you kick out
your shoes, no swimming now. I guess
I'm pretty good looking to you, won't
you accept this gift? Your honor,
I never accepted gifts before but the lady
was covered in rain and my shirt
was all wet, this is who I am, your honor,
a machine climbing from the tomb
ready to claim my bloody-eyed children
and enjoy your products.

Friday, April 06, 2007

One Hundred and Second Entry

So I'm not opposed to process poetry by any means. I write in a process, although a rather strange process by which I will alight temporarily on things on my desk or things in movies and books. That's a process, just as any poets is, from Keats to O'Hara and on. But it worries me that "process" is taking over the process. By that I mean that the poet is becoming lost in what he uses. This happens from time to time in all art, the medium over-taking the message. As much as Lichtenstein and Warhol were great in the Pop form, there were plenty of painters who got overwhelmed by the style. In fact, how often have we seen a poet get overwhelmed by formalism? Sonnets and sestinas often sound forced and stiff because the writer isn't up to the challenge of overcoming the challenge of form, and it is a challenge: Here's a form of a poem, let's see you make it your own.

Those poets who are fascinated with the randomness of internet "poetry" or "spam poetry," and I've seen from time to time poems fashioned from pre-randomized words found in an email. This, to me, often is less interesting than other forms of 'found' poetry, and it gets on my nerves. Those poets who choose to use this stuff as ammo for poems should be wary, I think, of the submissiveness such a move implies. Anyone can randomize words; these programs you see in your spam mail prove that computers can do it just as easily as you can. This is a rant and the first of its kind on my blog. It is not directed (honestly!) at anyone, but rather at memories of past such horrible poems and imaginary poets I like to believe are gobbling it up. Anyway, wasting time.

Here's my poem:


OATMEAL

Frozen inside a form of currency.
This is where I step away from yon teacup,
motivating a walk outside and a talk
of our "arrangement." Let's carry bottles
of window cleaner, we'll climb the sides
of buildings and pretend to be busy.
I dropped a key into the drawer of scrolls.
It's not mine to get back, and now I'm in trouble.

They were gathering in the library,
wearing masks, I enjoyed it but I didn't enjoy
seeing it, just the sounds of the fanfare
filled me with the ebullience of the tyrant;
now I'm important and others aren't. Why
don't I tower over you with my fancy rings,
laughing like a Colossus on Google Maps?
The wind outside is driving me bananas.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

One Hundred and First Entry

If it's late in the day, it still counts a today's poem. Just because I'm not early to bed, early to rise, I don't want to hear any belly aching.

Here's my poem:

CHALK

Air whistling through skylight.
Today is nominal, restaurants remain
closed. I painted the sign to represent
the direction your car should go. My taxes
represent a year of holes filled with sand,
beaches dug up and replaced with cheaper
beaches. My house lives there on the coast,
not the one I own but the one that should
be mine. I read a book about someone doing well.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

One Hundredth Entry

WOW! I've written a hundred poems since I started this blog in (insert correct date here.) And not only that, I've written who knows how many very dreadful poems? I usually put up incomplete or imperfect first drafts, but some things are too bad to even be shown to people. Also, I got a fair distance into a novel which I have shelved for the time being. Okay, okay, only fifty pages. Still, I'm writing a lot, huh? I'm gonna celebrate by drinking. At Danielle Ilyana Ben-Veniste's birthday party. Anyway, it makes me feel like I'm starting out strong this month, and since I'm attempting to put most of what you'll be seeing this month into a manuscript, I'm glad to see the poems a'piling up.

Don't forget the DICK PIG REVIEW at Galapagos this Sunday.

And then I'll be reading at the 440 Gallery on the 15th.

Here's my poem:

PILLOW

It takes time for appliances to come on, first
you press the button and then they hum. While I'm
sleeping in the basement, why don't you let that record
play? I nuzzled with warm coils, reading my submarine
books, why can't I be the leader of a certain adventure?
I'm constantly deferring to things and to people.
This is my first day of school. Everybody's leaving
my records out in the sun, or dripping the remnants
of their meals onto my clothes while I'm outside,
arguing on the phone with one of my mothers.

Everybody's leaving. I was dressed to impress
but it didn't impress and I couldn't talk
to any of the party-goers. I opened myself
to you with a fork from the kitchen, we looked
and we looked but there was no sign of life
and the case was eventually left unsolved.
What a funny kid I turned out to know, the kind
who balls his fists at the chess table and smiles
at the bar fight. I'm the sheriff of this town now,
and I'll be with you in a minute.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Ninety-Ninth Entry

The excitement is high as I reach the one hundred poems mark, I'm sure.

Actually it took a hell of a lot longer than it should to get to one hundred poems. But what am I saying? I might die tonight! Boy would that look foolish.

I'm unhappy to tell you that today I had my first difficulties in completing my poem. Hopefully I'll shrug this off and keep up my pace. I think I will.

Preparing things for the mother of all poetry readings, AN EVENING WITH THE DICK PIG REVIEW. It is going to be a hell of a lot of fun.

Here's my poem:

UMBRELLA

Can't tell what animal is wearing human clothes.
Got your note. I'm going to sleep in the attic
which we constructed inside a box in the cellar.
The windows shimmer with weather,
and I cling to my little sweater.

I held the phone to my ear, anticipating the tone,
knowing the loneliness of the late-night operator.
I could see the single light on in her office,
the massive switchboard, muttering low with
clandestine behavior. I need you to sit
on the edge of the bed in your underwear
while I dial.

I tripped in the park, a deep puddle,
suddenly I was drowning, my bubble mouth
emptied, there was a green light underneath
the rocks, but I decided to swim to the bottom
and hold my breath.

My parents finally gave me what I wanted.
Now it is morning, and rain snuck in
through the window, blessing all the sheets
with cold, it didn't leave my body the way
the arrow did, and I stayed prone as an animal
until someone cleaned me off.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Ninety-Eighth Entry

I can't believe I overslept and was late starting this year's NaPoWriMo!!!!???!!!!

No use crying over it, I'll just be adding a day onto the end.

My friend, co-worker, and poet extraordinaire Nathan Austin, and his co-conspirator, the lovely and talented and funny Gabriella Horn are both writing for this month too. And of course Maureen, Shanna, and a murder of other more popular bloggers than I (not that I mind, mind you, it's the work that matters, damnit) will also be participating in this grand poetic feat of arms. Golly!

Here's my poem:

SUITCASE

Textbook re-written through bull-dozer
song stuck in head, five hours in bus,
here's where I am in the universe: the middle.
Thrown pail of paint on red wall does no harm.
Always spreading the waves of the questions
throughout garden parties enlivened with writhing queens.
I've left harbor by now, tear-wet letters addressed
to every lover, now asleep on the pale spanish lilt
of wooden guitar. Asleep at security post,
enjoy striped tie. Triangle at noon, square at noon,
circle at noon. People buried all over the place,
somebody ought to gather that stuff together.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Ninety-Seventh Entry

Friday is a busy day for me, but here goes nothing:

Saw quite a few poets the other night at Cafe Loup, some I see a lot, some I hardly ever see. It was nice to see all of them. Now that I'm writing more frequently I feel like I fit in there more.

I'm currently working on a manuscript (these new poems you're seeing will be in it) and I'm researching book prizes, etc. So if you know of any good ones, give me a holler.

The Dick Pig Review will be having our event at Galapagos Art Space on Sunday, April 8th at 8:00. Should be a lot of fun.

Also, I have two poems up in the beautiful Sink Review. Here's my poem:

FORT

Humorous childhood analogy. I’ve been there.
My body was small. Now I dominate hallways,
grasping at fluorescents like a monkey at vines.
The demure orange of horizon’s line is nothing,
a function we devised, like TVs in movies,
always with the plot-specific information,
never with tasty static. My organization
is prepared to sell you a tee-pee. Resisting
the choice of raincoats and dwelling outside,
rose-colored berries, the hue of a choir-boy’s
cheek. The empty pail of my bank book. Long
gone are the banquet days, the seemingly forthright
simplicity of the coin being flipped, then resting
on the top of the hand, then revealed.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Ninety-Sixth Entry

Kseniya and I are going to the Boston Zine Fest or Zine Fair or some such. I've produced a whopping three zines for publication, which I hope to turn into one decent new chapbook which I will sell at my readings and on this site for a less-than-princely sum. Kseniya's desire to make me a self-started is beginning to pay off.

Here's my poem:

PENCIL

Resentment of sweatshirt
for wearer of sweatshirt: A symposium discussing
a circle drawn in this dirt. My horse gave up the chase,
the fox has learned to live outside my sight. I promise
your finery will guard the vanity mirror, actual pearls
on a pink night of stormy wrong-headedness. Weakly
I shake my face in the truck-stop pisser. Here goes
nothing. The racetrack emptied of cars is a Stonehenge
lined with beer cans, the purpose equally vague.
The delights surround me like dolls in my sleep,
blue cheeks from a strong gale in the alcove
in front of my door, where I usually keep the light on.

It is my policy to smell your feet after the day
you walk towards the pencil sharpener, alone
in the parochial school, in the hallway sweating
with its smallness. I put my uniform in the mailbox
and it came back the next day. I save mpegs
of myself seemingly working hard and leave them
open on other’s computers. Clarity,
while once the terrain of medicine men,
has recently opened up shop on cable access.
My cucumber-colored sweater is all that’s left
of my happy times. Your skin has withered,
blown away by the vacuum. I seem rutted
in a lottery run by the local police. This promontory
seems easy to jump from, skidding through the brambles
like a turbulent plane. The difference is the calm
when your body is picked up by yourself
and walked back towards your car.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Ninety-Fifth Entry

Approaching the hundred poem mark, and this blog is circling the drain. You know what's gonna fix it? NAPOWRIMO! National Poetry Writing Month is very near at hand, and I for one and taking it as a clarion call to get some new work done. And I've already made some major progress, having finally started a manuscript project in earnest. Also, two readings are coming up. One is the Dick Pig Review reading on April 8th at Galapagos Art Space, with the estimable David Lehman, some Dick Pig regulars, and the cabaret magnificence of none other than Miss Harvest Moon. The second is a reading at the 440 Gallery in Park Slope. I'm forgetting the date, and the last time I went to a readinf there, I looked for the place for an hour and couldn't find it. Hopefully I will find it the night of the reading.

Here's my poem:

SKELETON

Worried about New Wave?
I can remember so many chilled white mornings,
the warm red of my sweatpants, the shine of green
glinting off of the wrapping paper. That convenience,
like that convenience store, disappeared and was replaced.
I go by the hair salon everyday and wail on the rubbery
glass and then run away. The hot air mixing
the tobacco cuts through the lung. Tiger
in display case, passive lips, a night
at the county jail, immobile like a fossil
with a grin on its face.

This imagination is more pleasing than flannel sheets,
in which I tangle. I’m not uncomfortable while sleeping.
I have a crush on the girl who hands out tickets
at the outdoor theater. The night is always brown
with geraniums bouncing out of the creek while she sheds her skin,
like peeling a chicken, slow and noisy, and sliding in.
I like when she glows in the water, like I imagine a radio wave.
Unhealthy. Something alien about seeing her bones in motion.
Once a fish has curled in her swimming ribs,
They shrink it into a crumble of scales. I’ve been trying
to talk to my mom, sagging and growing more pink and skinny.
I’m great at sulking. I break every matchstick
and put it back in the box. Someday
I’ll tell her when I hand in my money for the ticket.
You see, everybody I know is a widow.
Even my best friend smiles with a skinny widow’s grin.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Ninety-Fourth Entry

In the office, preparing for the new semester. Boy oh boy do I have a lot of work set out for me.



Here's my poem:

IRAQ

Homeless. It's time to pick up that bag
and make a winner. Every day
I read in the paper about how great I am.
I've developed computer hardware
to process this manly slaughterhouse
of journalistic data, and it's small enough
to fit in my esophagus. There's a new kind
of fishing hook in my esophagus, and it tears
the red tenderness of my muscles. Here I am,
writhing, wet, disenchanted. Just in time
for my meeting.

My mule senses the potential in me, emotions
bursting from my surfaces. He goes back inside.
He's the best editorial journalist I've got,
and even he can't explain his own inner workings,
dented as they are like a cheapo clock, to his wife
in the blue twilight of their cold bedroom.
When someone takes more than two minutes
to buy lotto tickets in front of me at the store,
I get so hot I need popsicle shoes.
Don't involve me in conversations about economics.
Lest you see my claws.

It all comes from those virulent decades
walking my beat in pizza delivery.
Sometimes you meet a wreck. Sometimes you catch
a tip. And sometimes the white cold air bends
your neck back when you stick your head out the window.
If you want a cure for senile dementia
just take a geezer and put him in my step-mother's
basement for one winter and make him drive my car.
Soon enough the old so-and-so will be eating solids,
making 8.50 an hour, after taxes, and if I'm lucky
he remembers he's my grampy. That way I get
my deposit back.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Ninety Third Entry

I'm not a "lifestyle blogger," but I'm currently writing weekly music and architecture reviews for LVHRD.org, under a clever pseudonym. I'm not gonna come right out and tell you who, but it'll be pretty obvious.

Also, I'm not a lifestyle blogger, but I've been reading a lot of lifestyle blogs, and I've decided I love Zarf. Wow, it feels good to let it out.

This is a poem I wrote after seeing Gina at the Poetry Project. It's sort of dedicated to Gina, and it sort of has her name in it a couple of times.

Here's my poem:

STEVE AND GINA ARE DYING

Distressed to say the least. Folkloric design mit colors media pressed conference against white of hospital wall, the doctors keep their lunch-pails in the room off the hall. At lunch we transgress our mortal states, video-camera mit kit undetectable extensions. I’m new at this. This is my first film.

The models in government magazines dressed black, time she shakes her long-haired head. A porch, bottles of beer, nice of them to accommodate by skipping the cover charge. Pre-3 o’clock New Mexico prairie, chilled like a champagne glass, all yellow and clean. We, or at least you, are obsessed with the japanese. One mound clean, seems like popcorn went a little bad, must have left it out. Cut to slutty night, falling flat as if from the bed. Now a balloon manufacturer’s no-good son, tomorrow a pencil sharpener.

Let’s focus on the thing’s insides. Out bright window-shades, Marcel my ghost follow bright and placid. Not like a shadow and not like a skeleton. Forced, as you might say, to parade in the traditional manner but for all unexpected reasons. Flat like the flag they let touch the ground. That flag gets burned, Gina. An apology for the smell. I took all my tear-streaked bodices upstairs, combined them with a cuisinart and some rusty watch-springs, and made a stomach pump. Up goes the feather and down comes the brick.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Ninety Second Entry

It's very late at night. FINALLY getting some prgress into the novel, so someday soon I'll have it done (yeah right) and I'll havde many more posts for you. Until then here's something I wrote today. Gina-I'm finding the poem I wrote after your panel for next time!

Here's my poem:

POUCH

Tomorrow rests in the realm of snakes.
When did the river lose itself, bashful
and glad? Proud, as young salmon always
are, taking the late night flight to Fort
Lauderdale with their girlfriends, where
did they buy their glasses? I really like
them, thin and inadequate, expressing my
generation's wanderlust and basic inability
to carry themselves past the glass boat
of puberty. You see, these salmon
are actually men. Men who root for the team
nobody likes, but there are so many of us
clinging to the chain link that now
everybody likes that team. If we weren't
so timid, we might create a parade for them,
but I spend my time walking around barefoot
without the assistance of carpets, feet
against winter floor, pretending
I understand a world without central heating.