30 September 2011

Yips

Yips (Jyllands-Posten Publishes Drawings of Muhammad  2005) 9/30

And you raise the club – you swing –

You biff it –

With everyone watching
you miss downhill
from 10 feet away
with no wind –

And you blame everyone – your caddy –

The time of day – this climate
of war –

The fact that you receive death threats
at work –

The fact that you draw cartoons for a living –

That you didn’t sign on for this –

That the whole thing is kinda stupid –

29 September 2011

Lump

Lump (Construction of Washington National Cathedral 1907/1990) 9/29

In 83 years
not much occurred really

Theodore Roosevelt
laid the first stone
before 20,000 people
George H. W. Bush
watched the last finial
rise into place

Between
a few wars with little
to show for themselves

The invention
of television

Space flight etc.

28 September 2011

Strap

Strap (William The Conqueror Invades England 1066) 9/28

A body
on metal table
wrapped in
the flags
of the dead
Until
it is mummy
of color

Release it
into the water
or soak it
in honey
until soft enough
to eat

27 September 2011

Colour



















Colour (Champollion Deciphers Rosetta Stone 1822) 9/27

And there was understanding
across this great world

Things that we once knew were returned to us
and things we thought were known
were shown false

Everything turned an onyx reflection
inwards and then outwards

Like a ghostly version of your own face
staring out from behind the mirror
after a hot shower

26 September 2011

Mira

Mira (Francis Drake Completes Trip Around World 1580) 9/26

The Concorde landed in Texas today
493 years to the day
that Francis Drake completed his
3-year trip around the world

And what monsters were found
at such high altitudes
floating belly up like otters among clouds

That night we were looking at the stars
and just below Pisces you pointed
the sea monster Cetus with its star Mira
demanding us to look

There is the beast that swallowed Jonas

The hunger of deep space must be gigantic

We will keep our noses down to avoid our fate

25 September 2011

Scratch-Off

Scratch-Off (Last Magdalene Asylum Closes 1996) 9/25

These nuns sell some land

This is in 1993

The land developers find 155 bodies

Like some horror movie

They take the bodies and cremate them
toss them into a mass grave

These women
most of them just young pregnant
or mentally handicapped “socially dysfunctional”

They washed clothes and sewed

Weren’t allowed to talk

It started in 1767

30,000 women
most never allowed to leave again

Not one eye blinking

Not one word raised
for 200 years

It took a land deal

And the invention of cheap washing machines

24 September 2011

Brave

Brave (Unniversity of Mississippi Ordered to Admit James Meredith 1962) 9/24

James Meredith’s arrived in town
Ev’rybody’s got their hats bowed down

The sun don’t shine above the ground

At lunch when he comes ‘round
The bodies get up and leave him ‘lone
Ev’rybody’s got their hats bowed down

At night they bang on the floor and hound
James Meredith with thumping sound
The sun don’t shine above the gound

He graduates and thinks he’s done
But everybody wants him on loan
Ev’rybody’s got their hats bowed down

A peace fil’d life a family home
James Meredth won a war and is done
The sun don’t shine above the ground

Oxford Town, Oxford Town
Ev’rybody’s got their hats bowed down
The sun don’t shine above the ground
Ain't a-goin' down to Oxford Town

23 September 2011

Prejudice

Prejudice (Nintendo Founded 1889) 9/23

The Mariners are owned by Nintendo
You know how the Japanese love their baseball

And Seattle

            Apparently

22 September 2011

Polygraphy

Polygraphy (First Issue of National Geographic 1888) 9/22

National being the point it is said they push
some American view of the world
that it Transfixes its readers with exotic photos
of third world Individuals in native dress
or at least Ones that will be interesting on film
and if Not interesting clothes well
then At least some naked flesh preferably dark
Lean and not European

Generally it all seems overstated
sure Every time they go to Africa they come back
with photos Of bare breasts and hanging children
of deserts and General poverty and
sure its all about Raging scenic passes blinding
unwhite color the maps And environmental messages
but with those Pages they try to turn back time
and recreate Honest adventures for a world
penned In with modern grid streets
Canned air and blocky work life

21 September 2011

Foreigner

Foreigner (Galileo Mission Ends 2003) 9/21

Small metal traveler
your fourteen years
in space were dark
cold and silent

And it all ends with
a quiet turn and decent

Tossing yourself
into the fire the crush
and pull of gravity
into the endless void

20 September 2011

Glazed

Glazed ("Walking Purchase" of Pennsylvania 1737) 9/20

This is Edward Marshall’s shoe
the leather is rotted out and crumbling

Under glass permanent forever
pulsing with the history of a great run

How far in a day and a half can man run
if it is to land grab if it is to move west

Here is Shamokin Valley
full of the displaced tribes of Pennsylvania

They are under glass
hidden beneath this stupid shoe

19 September 2011

Beantown



















Beantown (William Joyce Sentenced to Death in London 1945) 9/19

Jairmany calling, Jairmany calling

We are counting out dried beans into tin cans
and this asshole is on the radio again
in his faked high class accent

Jairmany calling, Jairmany calling

The rumor is he’s from Ireland or America
was a fascist was the head of the BUF
and that he ran off to Germany in 1939

Jairmany calling, Jairmany calling

The beans are for troups
on the lines and he is telling us
that our cause is the wrong one that theirs right

Jairmany calling, Jairmany calling

He will be caught after the war
may he be hung until he is dead
may they leave his head on a pike in the tower

18 September 2011

Viscous

Viscous (Peg Entwhistle Jumps From The Hollywood Sign 1932) 9/18

A ladder is all that is needed

On the back of an H

In the hills of Hollywoodland

A figure in the night

I am afraid

I am a coward

I am sorry for everything

I wish it wasn’t so but Peg

Is suspended in the thickness of time

A sacrificial archetype

Sliding down a windshield

If I had done this a long time ago

It would have saved a lot of pain

           P.E.

17 September 2011

Biocomputer

Biocomputer (US Constitution Signed 1787) 9/17

The button is buttoned
lighted
and all the lights are on

Motors revving

Etc…

16 September 2011

Untune

Untune (Mayflower Starts Journey to America 1620) 9/16

In the air there’s that sound

What is the discord of 66 days?

The hole in the ocean floor
that eats water like light
spins the universe like clockwork

It ticks and whirls
gearing up and down like bodies
on the deck of the Mayflower

Sick over the sides 

Endless pull down and spit out

15 September 2011

Immunity

Immunity (Nikita Krushchev Visits the US 1959) 9/15

Nikita – you seem to not care about much

Computers don’t wow you – and the trip
to Disneyland was meant to be the highlight

What do you take back from this trip – what
is learnt from America – Self-serve cafeterias
and a supermarket in San Francisco?

Oh Nikita – did you run into Ginsberg?

I’m sure the Soviets will love self-service
and markets are a wonderful thing – but
the brink of change is only a few years away

It doesn’t matter what groceries you fondled
and I’m tired of knowing what foods are
bought anyway –

Such queer things – arms and un-arms

Nikita – would you have bought a mouse hat?
Carried it back to Moscow and shown the people
your name in gold thread?

14 September 2011

Croft

Croft (British Empire Adopts Gregorian Calendar 1752) 9/14

Suddenly eleven days are gone…

Here is a fenced area…small painted white

and perfectly square…

Eleven days rest silently inside…vegetables
in rows for them to eat…throwing pennies
into a well whishing for people to live them…

What of the adjacent house…where
the rest of the year lives…

What of the years before and after…milling
about in the fields beyond…

13 September 2011

Fisher

Fisher (First US Death in a Car 1899) 9/13

Loop and catch

The pull back is key
Stiffen the rod
like an extension of your arm
and release into the sky

you stand firmly
at the end of one era
Stepping off from a streetcar
into the blank road
at 74th and Central Park West

You are catching
like an extension of arm
in the air
You are releasing time
feeding the extra line
to the tugging future

Tug hard and the line breaks
Henry Bliss
this is a man named Arthur
he is driving he is coming
from below suddenly
The line is snapping your arm slacks

Everything gets away

12 September 2011

Red-flag

Red-flag (Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany 1990) 9/12

the track is sloped curved these cars go damn fast the black curls

they are blur lines color blending in time ink in water on paper

immersion

you cannot separate motion speed time from the space air breath

this spot            here the place all bodies will come to rest die end

applause

sound of speed curve breaking open the walnut the rip of fabric

here are four bodies blur of red relapsing into black and yellow

there must be release

letting go not forgetting but healing there are wounds in the soil

rock screams and falls and here is a spot divided checkerboard

the lights go red red red yellow yellow green

there squeal rubber smell fire smoke burn and peel out and track 

sloped to center pull churn twist spit back out into daylight

11 September 2011

Ransom

Ransom (Henry Hudson Maps Manhattan Island 1609) 9/11

The French Blue was stolen today
Then re-cut into the Hope Diamond

And Henry Hudson came across this
Ridiculous island and named the river Hudson
He sailed on to Albany leaving the natives
To their Manhattan

Pinochet began a coup in Chile and ruled 17 years

Somewhere in Maryland
Ground was broken
On the building called The Pentagon

It’s like a dare

What are you thinking about right now?

10 September 2011

Bloomer


  











Bloomer (Large Hadron Collider Powered Up 2008) 9/10

Health, freedom of movement

The beacon is blinking across the water, it flashes Morse
Code for the coming gale, the echo of an older one

Here is a crinoline, bending
terribly as you sit, it will thwap you in the face

The center of a fabric solar system in floral patterns

Are you the sun or a black hole?

See, there is a decision to be made, are you
pulling everything in, or will you benevolently spin your light
into a golden aura for space to absorb?

Health, freedom of movement

Here, let your knees knock, let the sound fill the room

Tap out the sound of woodpeckers, the sound of cicadas
the sound of deathwatch beetles 

09 September 2011

Fluster

Fluster (Elvis First Appears of Ed Sullivan 1956) 9/9

Easy to forget how simple it was
this small black and white box
glowing in the corner of the room

Not everyone could afford one

And then this man with pitch black
hair and guitar looping around his body
like a moon in orbit

The tide coming from that box –

How many eyes were fixed?
Were averted?
How many minds changed completely?  

08 September 2011

Challah

Challah (Unveiling of David 1504) 9/8

Over
in the church yard
the block of white marble
has sat as long as I can remember

Small pecks at it
what could be the start of a leg

Birds sit on it

And it grows green with moss

I saw them tilting it upright this morning
Men in rough cloth inspecting it for cracks

Then he ran his blackened hands
across the surfaces
held his ear to it

He pressed his face against the stone
and breathed deeply for what seemed hours

The stillness of the out of season cold spell

His breathing

I expected something to form from the air
to braid itself from the earth
and his dark eyes

07 September 2011

Umrah

Umrah (Atlanta is Evacuated 1864) 9/7

Think of it as sacred travel
a long line circling out of the city

Galaxy of families and things
circling that black hole that is civil war

Atlanta is gravity coming hard
you must break from the experiment

It is Umrah in reverse : kiss
center then trace your way out

The destination is opposite prayer
is fleeing the burning cross of Sherman

06 September 2011

Insensibility

Insensibility (Munich Massacre 1972) 9/6

Teeth marks on rope

The Olympics

Summer in Western Germany

The hooded man stands on the balcony

Israel

There are 5 no 8 no 3 terrorists

Palestine Ikrit and Biram

Three men shot at point blank range with a Kalashnikov assault rifle

Grenade in a helicopter

Tarmac smell in heat

04 September 2011

Visitor

Visitor (Founding of Google 1998) 9/4

So I met you on a dating site
and we are going out to dinner
on a Saturday in September

I type your name into Google
and see what comes up from
your digital closet

How many bodies under your
floorboards what did you steal
from your parent’s house
when you were 16

The first three are some other
person with your name then
your Facebook page

The picture is you
dressed as a zombie

It isn’t Halloween
and I hate zombies

Date cancelled

03 September 2011

Narrowcast

Narrowcast (Start of the Second World War 1939) 9/3

Today the sun rose
on the third day
of the thousand year Reich

And all of Europe declared war

And 5 years from now
the sun will rise again
as the last trains leave Westerbork

Anne Frank will watch the landscape
from breaks in the slats

Her eyes will search the landscape
for signs of life the fields will
still be green and the sky deep blue

There are sparrows a fox

A large tree standing naked
in the middle of everything
its branches black and heavy

It is a dead thing or soon to be

02 September 2011

Desert

Desert (The Great Fire of London 1666) 9/2

There’s that image of St. Paul’s during the Blitz
shrouded in smoke its dome clear and white and not falling

Not running lead through the streets like lava
it’s stones not booming through Ludgate as projectiles

St. Paul’s has burned down in 962 in 1087 in 1666
and each time it has taken London with it

Leaving a cinder smoldering along the banks of the Thames
that acrid smell of blown out things and death

Imagine standing outside the city walls watching it all burn
the flames sending the country into orange

An ocean of shifting black sand and searing air
latching to your lungs pulling at them like worry beads

Holy this burning and restarting
English in its simplicity

01 September 2011

Preach

For September each poem will be about an event that happened on this date in history.

Preach (Fountain of Time 1920) 9/1

Time goes, you say? Ah no,
Alas, time stays, we go

One hundred ninety years of peace

And these stone faces
Still pass, silent, before
The unblinking face of time

Many hiding themselves, in the folds of coats,
Behind the lock march of war, the flags of fathers

Here is the allegory of walking across a park at night :

The girl is young, is near a reflecting pool
She wears a red coat
She carries a basket of bread
She pauses to see herself and the moon
She is never seen again as she is seen that moment

Does she represent lost youth?
The rapidly declining British control in America?

One hundred ninety stories end this way

And the beginning is somewhere in history