30 October 2010


Ghoulish (Jersey Devil) 10/30

She is pushing and she is moaning and she is in pain and it is her 13th child and she is swearing to the heavens and to hell and the baby’s head is bald and red and shaped like a horse with two deep black soulless eyes and then a neck and arms and it has hooves and wings and is covered in wiry black hair

It makes a sound like nails on metal on chalkboards wet shoes on linoleum and grabs its mother by the leg and bites into her ankles and suckles blood like milk and the doctors are speechless and the mother is screaming and the universe tilts out the wrong way for a moment before it crashes through a window and into the sky


My work schedule is all sorts of crazy. I will continue to post two a day when I miss one until things level out. Bear with me y'all.

Parathyroid (Con Rit) 10/29

And all things that fall
fall into the gyre of river
beneath the Tower Bridge
and spin for eternity
plus your age when you
first felt sea salt in your hair

The great lymphatic system
of the continent stucks itself
at the Thames Barrier
and newspapers collect until
they are putty against the
metallic sails

Up and down go the footsteps
and the small waves of high
and low tide reek with gray
a dog plays in the lines
between water and sand

Another is a head only in surf
and it rises and falls
becomes a thing unlike dog
is serpent is giant and menacing
will come up to London and eat

28 October 2010


Regurgitate (Dover Demon) 10/28


I            was walking

and then

with these fleshy            men
light from
            what is
if I am not
            where I was
where I know

27 October 2010


Backlist (Chickcharney) 10/27

& on the rocky path I will meet you
furry-legged and nodding

& if I treat you well I will be blessed
with good tidings and fortune

& if I mis-treat you a fog will lower
on my life and my eyes will fade

like lights along the east river at daybreak

like rusting wires on the tracks in Altoona

I will melt into history and never be thought about

26 October 2010


Consume (Kongamato) 10/26

The universe is a broth
spilling from the open beaks of giant storks

We are but bits of meat
floating in the periphery of such beasts

Remember when you were a child
and you wished you could live with dinosaurs?

Here is a target painted on your chest
and a rope to hang yourself with

Loop it over the pick of the bird’s beak
and knot it under your apple

What flavor is the universe?
mostly dark and reeking of the Cretaceous

The scent of asphalt bubbling
and the call of seagulls off the coasts of Africa

25 October 2010


Duplicate (Flying Rods) 10/25

And in the sky the parachutes are falling
like seed pods in September

Across the clouds a blurring line of light
a plane and a flock of birds

It is a dragon a fish of the air

It is the drama of things you don’t understand


Dole (Kala Bandar) 10/24

Little buttons on its chest with glowing eyes
a helmet made of silver and sharp claws

The monkey man comes from the sky
and attacks anyone alone in the dark

It is sadness and its black fur shines with tears
it is Hanuman it is deliverance

23 October 2010



I need poems.
Send me a short poem about Thanksgiving.
The concept, the holiday, the food, the politics.

Use Thanksgiving as the title.

I'll post the best (or all of them if I get 1) on Thanksgiving.

Send your poems to wilsonmj@gmail.com


I stumbled across this article by Anis Shivani called Is The MFA System Corrupt and Undemocratic?

The main thesis seems to be that MFA's are very similar to medieval guild systems. Shivani sums it up thus:

Talent, in the modern writing guild, has been discounted; it is craft that counts.

Then concludes the piece:

The apprentice produces a "masterpiece"--a chief d'oevre--to pass muster and receive the license to teach--the ius docendi--upon conclusion of his period of training in the workshop. This signifies adherence to standards of production, and forever after, as a journeyman and perhaps as a master himself, he must not deviate from these standards. The master always retains the right of correction--the ius corrigendi of the medieval guilds--to guarantee quality; there is an infinitely intricate system of withholding rewards and recognition from deviants.

Basically, Shivani goes to great wordy lengths to say that MFA's tend to turn everyone into the same writer as their teacher and that everyone is afraid to veer from the 'norms'.

And I agree. To a point.

My experience in and out of the MFA world is that, as with all things, connections and nepotism matter the most. That you must play the game perfectly. I have never changed my writing to get published. The one time I was asked to I withdrew my poems instead of change anything.

Not that I'm above the idea.

I definitely feel the pressure to change or play a different way. The question I always run into is - what can I live with at the end of the day?


Collide (Owlman) 10/23

It’s behind you

The pricks on your neck
are up and tingling

What if you turn
and are faced with
glowing red eyes

With stretched out wings
with hovering above
rooftops and falling
feathered claw hands

It is behind you

Tall and burning
and then it will be gone

So what does it mean
this floating ghost of
bird and man

Who does it protect
and who does it destroy
the feathers of your neck
will fall will needle


I'm going to go ahead and note that October is the month I've totally botched when it comes to being on time with posting.

So here is yesterday's poem. Botch.

Botch (Fairy) 10/22

Imagine we are in a garden
that our hair is gently folding
in a breeze we cannot feel

And that the sun is autumn rich
orange and everything glows
amber lamps in a dark library

We stay here until a chill
rises from the leaf-covered earth
and the sky is burnt purple

This is why I whisper
in your ear and around you at night
while you are sleeping in our bed

Because us holding hands is like this garden
and it is silly and trite to say so

21 October 2010


Review (Peluda La Velue) 10/21

One tortoise foot into the river and the banks will swell the pricks will stand and aim into the heart of the nearest maiden
Let us count the evils:
            withering crops
            shooting quills
            flood steps
            flame breath
            strike of death
            acidic vomit

And everyone will fall like dominoes until one can reach the tail and slice through the thickness of it and the demon will die

A Point.

One thing that I am disappointed by in my 'blogging' is my honest lack of interest in the publishing world. Truth be told, I don't read much poetry. My reading habits aside, I pay little attention to who has what coming out when.

This isn't to say I don't absorb some of the information.

The new issue of Poetry arrived today. It has a very beautiful cover by graphic artist Seth. When the new issues come I usually gravitate towards the reviews and letters to the editor first. The poems inside Poetry rarely interest me. A quick run down of who is in the November 2010 issue will tell you why : Donald Hall, Alan Shapiro, Billy Collins. These poets have appeared so many times in these pages that I simply don't care what they are writing anymore. I will give the editors some major credit for including 7 writers who have never appeared in their magazine before. But this is faint praise and a magazine devoted to the art form I care about with as many resources as Poetry has should do better.

Every letter to the editor this month is about a review of Robert Haas' The Apple Trees at Olema by Michael Robbins from the September issue. The review, Are You Smeared with the Juice of Cherries?, is long winded and mostly ambivalent to Haas' writing. I wouldn't go as far as the responses this month do in calling Robbins out for being overtly negative towards an 'elder' poet. I would also not call it a young man pointing a finger at the older and crying foul. A glance at Robbins own poetry leaves me just as cold as Haas' if not more.

Robbins has no warmth, a problem many poets of the Y Generation seem to have. I see that he likes to toss around war, airline security, computers, movies, and a sort of wide overt intellect that is meant to quiet the doubters. This is also a problem with my generation. We like to appear smart, we like to toss around the things that make our grandparents alarmed like they are badges of honor. We are at our core spoiled children throwing an oddly quiet tantrum on the page. And it means nothing.

This is not to say that Robbins is not talented, that my generation or the last or the next are any better in any way. He is talented. Each generation is what it is. History points out that things never actually change we just have slightly different gadgets.

I started this as a sort of quiet tantrum. I was complaining that the same boring poets show up time and again inside the pages of Poetry. I don't take it back. I think that Robbins was responding to the same thing I am. A frustration that the game of poetry seems to be for the over 40 set. That the young have little place in the world of writing poems or talking about them seriously. Was Robbins over reacting in his condemnation of Haas? Probably. But Haas can be dull and can be achingly terrible. So can every poet, Robbins and myself included.


Postilion (Black Shuck) 9/20

The angels in the rafters are hiding their eyes behind wings
they cover themselves in worry of igniting royal flames

Lightening will strike and destroy the spires and the devil
will leave his fingerprints on the northernmost door

He is a dog with burning coals for eyes and a flaming tongue
and all who see into them will die within the year

Everything is a herald of something else
it is not a line it is an algorithm a continuous looping sigil

19 October 2010


Flatness (Flatwoods Monster) 10/19

Spade-faced glowing-eyed cloak-man

Your head is an air shovel and you came here in a glowing orb of red

Claw fingers you are a barn owl in a man suit

Bringing rain of illness

Bringing the doubt of emptiness in the universe

18 October 2010


Upraise (Bloop) 10/18

Calm glass surface rippling like water
then bubbling then boiling
the bubbles pop and sine waves pulse
across the expanse

It is making blood into sound
and sound into air


I know that there are about 4 of you who read this blog.


I want to try something.

I'd like people to send me a short poem about Thanksgiving. The concept or the holiday.

Use Thanksgiving as the title.

I'll post the best (or all of them if I get as many as I assume I will) on Thanksgiving.


Send poems to wilsonmj@gmail.com

Singing Dixie


Molombo (Grootslang) 10/17

in the

a virus of the land

from here to the sea

this cave
fills with diamonds


a nightmare

in elephant
            and serpent

16 October 2010

Miss Baker If You're Nasty

Josephine Baker is amazing.

So is THIS essay about nannies and caring for children in the US.


Whorl (Kraken) 10/16

The world is a sewing machine
spun with crimson tentacles
and ships running through sea

Stitching space between sun and center
between this continent and the next
the clouds swirl faster

One cold hand on the rocks
threading the beaches with purple
highlighting every gold ray

15 October 2010


Non-voting (Bigfoot) 10/15

It’s going to be November
and you live in those places
where politics are hot

Where are your door to doors
your promises of military service

Where are your inalienable rights

When you go to the polls
and cast your vote the ballots
aren’t even in your language

Will you stomp the ground til it breaks

Leave your size 18s in concrete

Tell me what sort of campaign promise
a Bigfoot desires from a candidate

More schools healthcare



14 October 2010


Probationer (Naga) 10/14

You must wait – until the full moon rises – until the fire begins

When the sky is dark – and the river spits pearls of flame

Then –

Privy Seal

This is a day late.

I've been experiencing the NYU Dental School.

It has not been enjoyable.

Privy Seal (Kelpie) 10/13

In the field
a black horse
with 9 children
on its back

The tight skin shines in the sun
like seals basking on rocks

Its eye is the size of the moon
and the universe reflects in it

You touch its nose
your finger sticks
and it begins to gallop
towards water

In your pocket is the penknife
it will only take a minute to be free

The Kelpie is screaming in the shallows
and the blood in the water and the blood –

12 October 2010


Hide (Beast Of Bladenboro) 10/12

1700 people

1 cat monster cougar blood sucker

In the bushes
leaving behind a trail
of dead dogs
goats and cattle

This is some Mexican shit right here
coming up North Carolina way


People – 1700 and 1

Mine Craft

I don't know how many of you have heard of Minecraft.

It's essentially a world building game. With some zombies and giants thrown in for why nots.

This video is both an amazing example of the game and of someone using a video game to create something beyond the playing.

11 October 2010

Home Invader

Home Invader (Mongolian Death Worm) 10/11

Sleeping in and then the storm starts

Hail and wind like tornadoes

It is the coming of death with its electric stare that kills from twenty feet
it’s corrosive and yellowing mucus

The streets fill with water and it looks like winter

And all three red feet of evil are staring at me

Are preparing my end

Go to this...if you can

If you happen to be in NYC on October 23rd Birdsong a great lit mag will be holding a show to help raise funds to support their various publishing ventures.

The show will be at Silent Barn (915 Wyckoff Ave off the Halsey L stop) and the doors open at 8pm, show starts at 9pm, $5-10 dollars sliding scale.

The show will feature sets with B0DY H1GH, Paps, Algae & Tentacles, Baby Alpaca and Making Friendz.

These guys are putting out great content and are doing it on a shoestring budget with a great home made feel. At the least head over to their site and check out their goods.


Skatathon (Yeti) 10/10

…and your knees will give out before the day is done
you will be skating and it will be cold and everything
will be white save that tall man by the rocks watching
you and crouching and pulling at the small plants that
grow in these altitudes

…and by skating you know we aren’t being literal
because you’re waist deep in snow and wrapped in
all these layers of fog and fur and wool and that man’s
eyes are coal black and silent and the wind is the sound
of blankets in the dryer or the telephone at 3am

…he is wearing a long coat is going to whip it open
will be naked and exposing to the elements and you
are just going to stare until you turn red embarrassed
and fall over yourself to run the other direction as
quickly as you can in all this mountain

…and your knees will give out before you could even
start to climb the Andes before you will make it half
way between base and sky and this yeti will still be
standing there at the rock maybe he is a rock maybe
he will be eating shrubs and waiting

09 October 2010


Potwalloper (Sea Monk after Guillaume du Bartas) 10/9

The water is parting

And the bald head is rising up

The seas have – as well as skies – Sun Moon and Stars

Not enough for the mytred Bishop

He comes ashore

Water spread like a book – peeling open for him

He spreads his cloak and the Milky Way falls to the sand

Spills like a jellyfish

Shapes itself into a sand dollar – spins gently

08 October 2010


Cadge (Kaijin) 10/8

Out of the sea
knotting sea weed in your hair
across the rocks

with webbed fingers and thick

You sit at the bar
order a scotch on the rocks
and eat peanuts

07 October 2010


Epoche (Loch Ness Monster)

Saint Columba is walking in Scotland

And there ahead – a funeral by the river

            How did this youth die?

            He was swimming the river – the beast
            came up and chased him down – dragged
            him under

            Was there nothing you could do?

            We chased after in a boat and threw a line
            he came up in two pieces – bloodied
            a foot fell off in the boat

            I will see for myself

Saint Columba sent Luigne into the water

And there – the beast rose up and chased him

From the shore – Cloumba signed the cross

            Go no further – do not touch the man – go back at once

And as if hooked – tied to the water

The beast sank below – vanished – and was quiet

06 October 2010


Sell-through (Almas) 10/6

As a child I played with a little boy who was covered in hair. We would meet behind the shed in the woods and run until the light dimmed in the sky. His whole family lived in the caves near the big valley that ran deep in the woods. He could run faster then I could. And he never wore clothes.
My parents say he doesn’t exist. The old man down the street says he does.
That he had a friend when he was little.
Who lived near the valley.
Who ran faster.

05 October 2010


Misdeem (Hoop Snake) 10/5

A field a desert plane
A cycle of fire and then of ice

Small green snakes
bend at the head and feet
bite their tails

They roll off into the rocks
to hide to sleep to cool themselves

Then up behind you
to sink poison teeth

They are the beginning and the end
they are the day and night

04 October 2010


Spouse (Simurgh) 10/4

At the lakeside
I touch my finger to my finger reflected

The ripples send out waves across the water
and break the clouds of afternoon

I was looking for the secret to living

I traveled far and crossed many perils

There is nothing under this heaven
but the rock and air and water

Only a reflection of everything
and I notice the quiet of this place

The calm of myself in this place

I inhale deeply and feel my lungs expand

The lake was meant to house a secret
all that is here is my face and everything else

I leave the lakeside
my finger singing with the chill of the waters


Varicose (The Grinning Man) 10/3

Always alone
and then this
tall man this
tall man in a
metallic green
always on the
other side of
a fence or the
road or outside
a window at

He’s grinning
like a nightmare
big and toothy
and like it’s
painted on
and there’s no
nose or ears
and possibly
no hair

Then he’s gone
and it’s still
night or you’re
alone and there
is a space where
this man was
staring back at
you like a hole
being burned
in paper

Slow and steady
you never sleep
without thinking
your eyes
will open
he will be
above you

02 October 2010


A heptathalon is a seven-part race run by women.

This is a poem about a strange creature/man who attacked mostly women in the 1700s in England.

It is not in seven parts.

Heptathalon (Spring Heeled Jack) 10/2

In October
a girl – Mary Stevens
worked in Lavender Hill

On her way through Clapham Common
a dark man – possibly a man
held her arms tightly – began
to kiss her face – rip her clothes

She said with claws
she screamed – he
leapt into darkness

The next day – near Mary Stevens' home
a dark man – probably a man
jumped in the way of a carriage
and escaped by jumping a nine foot wall

They said – bell-like laughter

Jane Alsop – months later
February – answers the door
on vomiting blue flame

She said his eyes were balls of red fire
wrapped in a dark cloak – a helmet
and white oilskin

He held her arms tightly – began
to kiss her face – rip her dress
his claws were metallic – cold

He caught her on the steps
tore her neck with his claws

She said her sister saved her

Eight days later – Lucy Scales
returning home from Limehouse
with her sister

Along Green Dragon Alley
dark man – maybe a man
standing at a angle

She said – a quantity of blue flame
fits for hours

She said – tall thin gentlemanly
carrying a police lamp

In August – years later
in Aldershot's barracks
a sentry – in darkness

A figure advances from the gloom

He said – stop or I will shoot

The figure is quick and upon him
slapping him – one – two – three

He is shooting at the dark man
most likely not a man
then the figure is gone
with astonishing bounds

01 October 2010


For October, I'm writing a poem about a cryptid or mythic creature.

I'm going to be interpreting the word of the day very loosely.

Today, for example, I took the word and used it as the location for the creature.

Kalamata (Scylla) 10/1

You are a beautiful woman
Tall with as many earthly talents as one may have

And you stand here
Your waist ringing with the heads of wild dogs

The tail of a vile sea creature
Flicks about your ankles and wraps around rocks

What have you done to deserve this
How did one so young and precious anger the gods

To become this hideous wraith
Reaching out to any sailor and breaking every ship

Was it the love of Glaucus
Whom you turned down whom you ran from

There is a dark tale hidden in your breast
One of women running from love they cannot bear