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
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:


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:


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:


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:


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:


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:


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.