31 December 2016

Poem-A-Day #306 : Alien

Alien

I want to go to Mars -

They are sending them in - are going to give them the keys to the place
experiments and the building of bubbles to live in

I dream of the bubble housing the smaller bubbles

The small growing things in the shield of man-made ecosystem

Think about the likes on those selfies -

God this is boring - is broken - there is a sense that a hole in the window would send everything in this world into space

It will freeze there

Lose itself in the not-black not-dark

Why don't we have a word for the color of space - the vacuum of our heads

I want to go to Mars -

Put on that suit - drift in the expanse for years - and come out the other side alone
where I would send cryptic emails and video messages

Where I would piss on the dead sand of that planet and make castles from the mud

Mainly -
I don't want to talk to people anymore

And that is the thing that resonates - the internet has left me not wanting to hear or be heard

I long for a rotary phone that only clicks and never receives but that's not true because Candy Crush -

Here is the buoy in the open wilds of imagination - it blinks seven times
is silent -
is even and calm - it only knows what fingers have touched it tell it to know

It beckons -

30 December 2016

Poem-A-Day #305 : Shirts

Shirts

There are nights where the monsters in the closet are real

The open mouth of breathing becomes too embodied in the darkness

Those shirts that hung on a body only moments ago contain too much memory to be lifeless rags

To hang a shirt properly you should button it on the hanger - allow it to fill itself - hold shape

This also keeps them from escaping

The open window is too much a tempt - they would go - leaves from the tree - and they would find a wind to sail them because shirts know what you know

There are noises in there

The scent of skin and his skin and your unshowered self and the pancakes from breakfast

The stains of it are all over the place - teeth on paper leaving the indents of canines - they are flapping their tubular limbs and trying to un hook the hangers

They are attempting to smother

Try to picture a moment without monsters - closet or under bed - it is difficult perhaps impossible - did you make the right decision yesterday - was the adulting up to par - how about the grinning spectre of death

True to purpose - these things are a cover

They are warm when needed - soft as well

They find their sharpness in the pins left on accident - the button that always falls off

To you they look for forgiveness of what they did in your name

29 December 2016

Poem-A-Day #304 : Bling

"Bling" is the Oxford English Dictionary's word of the day for December 29th, 2016. I had a hard time finding the beginning of this poem. I'm not sure it coheres. But it does a thing. And it's mostly a true thing.


Bling

The top of the Hostess Cupcake sparkles - mica
on the surface of a road - salt crystals suspended in slush -
the color of your lips after gloss

On the package << PARTIALLY PRODUCED WITH GENETIC ENGINEERING. >>
the DNA code of the icing rumbles on - is eaten
which of the 43 ingredients isn't modified

There is a word for a question meant to get to the root of the matter
and for that moment when someone refuses to answer -
it is named for a character in Goethe's Faust

I mean - we eat them anyway -

Earlier there was a low-flying plane over the apartment complex
and it was noteworthy for the propellers on its wings
even the homeless men stared at it in silence

I grew up around planes - I know when they are searching
but I never knew what

28 December 2016

Poem-A-Day #303 : Aisle 3

Aisle 3

There is the idea of a person who builds a bridge - an architect of spans
but I am not sure that these crossings exist

Here is a fire starting at the base of a tower - and there is always someone dying in fires
always a fire in need of someones to die

At the grocery store the faces all look like milk cartons
I scan them for expiration dates - fine the barcodes on their irises and tick them off my list

An overwhelming sense that this is a toy unwinding - collapse in aisle three
it's devoted to cleaning products - I am rolling on my back - a dying beetle

There are picnic supplies and they are all about keeping food away from things that live outside
and there is a canyon opening and closing its mouth between one shelf and the next

Legs to the sprays - arms to the plates
allow each cart to roll over the spine - train cars going to who the fuck knows

I do not burn bridges so much as not bother to build them in the first place
this suits - ill-fitting - but it does

27 December 2016

Poem-A-Day #302 : Fragments of An Organ

This is not a finished thought. I have no idea where it is going or what it wants to be.


Fragments of An Organ

Against the wall                    pieces of the doorway
begin to connect themselves in ways
foreign to passage
                                                                      There is a sound like paper burning
                                                             the joints are grasping          making out
tonging               They are making themselves a cathedral
                                              a soundway

                                              They will be an organ before they are done

Pieces of hands lay about the floor
fingers
                            like dynamite        
                                                             They are not real hands
they mannequin and pale themselves and become sand that could become glass
if only someone had fire

-

What a sound - the end of days - the reeds on the water will be the only thing to communicate with - the color of the moon before snow - a scent of lilac and sweat -

-

Impassive

&

Unrelenting

                                        Words tossed against a chest of drawers like laundry
                              - how did you begin to see into the crystal ball of this skull -
Motionless & -
                                At some point the doorway had to be reconciled - burned
                         or released - or -

                                                                           There was an inability to let it go

                                                                                                                     A sort of keylessness in the vetting
someone said that the man before us was a sociopath - others said he was just emotionless and distant - one called him a monster and pushed him into the burning effigy of Guy Fawkes

-

We are in a basement and there is the sound of music above us
It drifts through the sparse boards of the ceiling
It is a dirge
For others perhaps a wistful memory keeper
Here it plays out the burning of a church that is a memory

We are terrorists in this mind
Here to burn holes
The door frames attempt to re-
And we laugh at their feebleness
They manage to make noise

That is all before they collapse
We use them to construct a barrier

-

I was trying to find my way into the memory of sound in the giant room with the giant organ - to discover if the emotion rang there - if it hung from a light fixture - if it was kindling - it was not there to be found -

26 December 2016

Poem-A-Day #301 : Cheapen

I was looking at old posts and came across THIS one from 2009. In it I talk about the unexplainable sadness that I get at poetry readings. Then I wrote a poem about Abraham Lincoln and how we are all reduced to the images we leave behind and eventually not even that.

I think I can explain my issue with readings better in 2016.

They render the work dead. A thing to recite. They are dull and boring and not much fun. They are staid and quiet and people nod their heads as readers render language into stupefying meaninglessness. They ivory tower. And most damning, they are not interesting.

Before you think I'm advocating for slams...I am not. They are hooting and hollering for buzzwords. They are waiting for the speaker to say a thing in that voice that indicates sass and skepticism. They are equally dead and equally ivory tower.

I think the reading as a form of delivery system for written things is not really worth much outside of a self-aggrandizing need for claps and book sales. That said. They are a thing that is done. Because how else do the words get into the faces? People don't read journals really. And few buy books unless they know the author or happen to find something randomly that they are into.

It's an issue. My solution is to do readings in non-traditional ways. At bars. Online. I don't think it fixes any of the issues with readings. But it means I don't have to go to a book store and stand at a mic and stare into nodding faces going 'mmm' at obnoxious points in the evening.


Cheapen

We break ourselves for what -

          There is a sense that we are ships docked together
     but what exactly are we afraid of

The drift into horizon -
A sound that is the collapse of self -

          We are paper rotting in the hold of night
     the only thing to be done is to take that and be it

Poem-A-Day #300 : On An Aging Cat

On An Aging Cat

He moves a little more careful
a sort of think-pause before settling

He stares into the sunlight
as it fills the living room with warm

Hungrier and restless
he is a shuffle about the house at night

He is drinking only from the bathtub
the blankets are never empty of him

Somehow he wants more lap
his claws less ready

Poem-A-Day #299 :The Hand of Glory

The Hand of Glory

All the locks - this one
the one in the dream about the abortion clinic bombing

There is the room - it smolders
bricks as rockets as pieces of living tissue
raining down on screaming people

If only everyone had been sleeping

*

I fear that I am not done with you
that I have somehow cursed myself
to think about you too often

There is a stability in forgetting
the atoning of it - cleanliness - like sweeping
up after winter

I dream about you often
they are angry dreams - are biting
I wake up screaming or crying or both

Somehow the circle was drawn around me
the salt I laid and the sage I burned
did not rid me of you

*

You take the hand of the killer

It will be puffy and damp it will bleed

Into the bucket of piss and salt for a month
you should know the herbs you 'll need

It must dry in the sun

Rest as a crossroads

Be nailed tot he door of a church

You did keep the killer's fat as well
you did make the candle according to tradition

His hair will be the wick

*

The sound of a lock engaging

Finality - safety - it is the sound of sleep
the eyes lowering as gates at the tower
a sort of dam against the light of the moon

Here is the hand of glory
it has powers to render all motionless
static - a stasis from the terrors of night
about to and already come

*

In the dream about the abortion clinic bombing

Everyone stood at the barrel of a gun

Your face was there - it was terrifying
because your face was there

The killer held the gun like a candle

No one had the milk to put it out

22 December 2016

Poem-A-Day #297 : That Woke

That Woke

I want to write something inflammatory
about how you are all about that
woke life

But I am tired

And uninterested in the discussion
not because the discussion shouldn't occur

But because the discussion will change nothing

Because fingers will point at the problem
will call out the problem
and will remain distant from it

Enough to not be bothered

Outside the hills fill with mist - they roll
like turf before a football game
they turn black and white

Here the vision of snow falling
the problem is covering in it

The static of it fuzzing silently

Let's both say something about our privilege
it will make us feel better

You can whip out your dick and compare it to mine
and then we can all feel satisfied that
we did all we could in the face of all this injustice

21 December 2016

Poem-A-Day #296 : Baking

Baking

Small ring encased in egg whites
and those silver ball bearings
that pop in your mouth

Leave the butter in the sun

Collect sprinkles like change

There are bottles of anise and violet
and bergamot
they are interchangeable

A sense that none of this really matters
that Christmas is inside the oven

That heads can rest on racks

A grandmother made these
even invented them
this has all happened before

20 December 2016

Poem-A-Day #295 : Mari Lwyd

Mari Lwyd

Beyond the fence at the edge of town
the boy will be sent alone
                    he will have a shovel
a dog at his side
it will be night

It is time to dig the thing from the earth
to place the now naked skull upon the pole
                    dress it in its robe of white
the dog will whine
the boy will brush dirt from the eyes

It can see
can speak and run
it knows the dark districts and the light
it will come to your door
and sing to you

          Well here we come innocent friends
          to ask leave to ask leave
                              to ask leave to sing

When the horse is at your door
Punch will rap on the wood of your door
Judy will sweep along your walls

You will have to sing your denials
have to outwit the unburried spectre
                    it will come in
will dance in your fire
and take your food



Poem-A-Day #294 : English

English

Let's again discuss language

It is unable to explain the noise of cars on the road
the color of breath in cold

Language does not know how to talk about feelings

It muddles across the page the best it can

A sort of clawing thing a hand
reaching never quite reaching

18 December 2016

Poem-A-Day #293 : Reminder

Reminder

I cannot help I cannot help
I cannot help I cannot help I cannot help
I cannot help
I cannot help I cannot help
I cannot help
I cannot help
I cannot help
I cannot help I cannot help I cannot help I cannot help
I cannot help I cannot help I cannot help I cannot help I cannot help
I cannot help I cannot help
I cannot help I cannot help
I cannot help
I cannot help
I cannot help
I cannot help
I cannot help I cannot help
I cannot help I cannot help I cannot help
I cannot help I cannot help I cannot help I cannot help
I cannot help I cannot help
I cannot help

Poem-A-Day #292 : Refusal

Refusal

I hear that you don't want the flag to burn
that you believe we are divided
and our hands are hurting for lack of holding

Across the table I see your eyes
they are reflecting and moving like fish in a bowl
'darting' is a word that one would use to describe them

I must confess that I am tired of kumbaya
and have little interest in comforting anyone
this is perhaps a broken part of my soul

Your words bounce around the white space
they say things like 'politics is boring' and
'we must move beyond' and 'color isn't real'

I want to throw water in your face
slam your head into the wall until everything cracks
I want there to be blood when I am done

There is the sound of winter from the doorway
a sort of whisper death come to sit at the table

The flag will burn and your hands will grow cold
is what it seems to be saying

Again
this could be a fracture in myself

The idea that nothing is politics is a refusal
a turn from the world from ourselves

Politics is just a fancy word for feelings
which you seem deeply concerned with

16 December 2016

Poem-A-Day #291 : If

If

Write beautifully
words that could sear and pop
with the light of stars

They will cause palpitations
be boxes opening into boxes
revealing one lone puzzle piece

Rend yourself
the scraps of white cloth
will be made into scarves

Language will fill sails
or at least bring to mind
the image of full sails

Fragility
everything should wreak of breakage
and the feeling of tears on fingers

These true blunt instruments
these lines could be claw-footed bathtubs
that would fill with blood and flowers

Poem-A-Day #290 : Nightscape

Nightscape

On your skin

A color like purple

It thighs and glides across surfaces

A woman is thrown into the pool of a taxi

There is night and then there is city

Each thing defines itself against the void of space

Your eyes are glares

The streetlight blinks yellow banishing color

Mono

A wish to be the reflection in your sweat

The smell of garbage

A rat across your foot

Uber and crash

Your teeth are violet

14 December 2016

Poem-A-Day #289 : Tension Break

Tension Break

Sight of a dandelion about to open

The tension

Paper tear noise of it

The fabric pull

In there a small quietness

The center

A vision of things as they could

Poem-A-Day #288 : Breaking In To The Graveyard Where ___ Is Burried

Breaking In To The Graveyard Where ___ Is Burried

Fold your shoulders
until you fit
through the iron
of the fence

Around you - air origamis and collapses
the fractals of it shrink and expand - this is
a moment where physics cease

Light cannot escape your eyes

I want you to birth yourself
                    - now

The leaves are worried - they red and drop
immediately in response

You
are buttered

A scrape along the expanse
of your
torso

Dislocate your memory

Attach it to the string of a balloon

At the horizon of your vision - a sort of
whirl exists - it is a spot where boats can
manage - can decide -

In the interior
a sound of geese hissing

When you find the grave you are seeking
there will be a garbage truck
rattling in the streets

Did you bring a sandwich
wrapped in cellophane
or brown paper

It matters which

12 December 2016

Poem-A-Day #287 : Some Days

Some Days

Clouds are striating
they form a road into the distance - telescoping
there is a forgotten city beyond the horizon
where everything is perfect

Some days I just don't know

The letters lay themselves across the tracks
they tie themselves down
and they wait for the train to come

This isn't about poetry - that is tired
this is about the break along the horizon
that birds peel themselves out of - a cartwheel of fire
contained in the barrel of the sky

Let's plant things there
see if the line melts if perspective will allow
the flowers to look like skyscrapers

Words cannot stand today

Or any day really

Language tries to reach - to unfathom
it calls to us from a distance unmanageable

The lines of clouds race themselves
like soap down a drain

11 December 2016

Poem-A-Day #286 : Twentieth Century Motor Car Corporation

Twentieth Century Motor Car Corporation

The process is the thing

To see the car in the tree - the wood nails and glue

The idea of oil crisis - a sort of fracking
cracking the shell of the idea of a country

We want to see the yellow box on wheels as savior - we
want it to drive us to a future we cannot imagine


I pump the gas into the car that was bought as an afterthought

It is cold dark out and the station is bright

The truck across from me is empty - the door open - there is no one around

I hear the sound of the pump fulfilling itself


Saint Geraldine Elizabeth Carmichael

Our lady of broken promises of lemons and car making

Industry science and technology - I want to talk about
the abandoned - the people who held their money out
and felt the rain coming


Light the candles - there is the repetition
                    desire need poverty and fear

It is a sort of cycle

And then the promise of freedom that cannot be

The mind convinces itself of its cagedness

And she stands up and points to the horizon - and the horizon responds
with light and with lines of dollars

A moment arises - it becomes prophetic - cool to the touch

The process is the thing
at the end of it there is no result - the hollow space
of new event and new horizon


Ad for the 1975 Dale

10 December 2016

Poem-A-Day #285 : The Alarm is Going

The Alarm is Going

The alarm is going again -

It has been 15 years 8 years 2 years 1 month -
                    it was yesterday -

I stood in front of the Madonna - the one from 1290
Duccio
               - the painting is on peeling wood

Around her head the gold is sculpture - it is an object grown - the tree gave birth to this fully framed woman

The child reaches for her veil -
                    not yet - not yet -

A etches across the surface - it highlights her sadness - is a weight on her
like the oddly proportioned child -

          too small - too adult looking - a doll really

He reaches for her veil -
continues to reach -

You died on this day - or that day -

                                        the alarm is going again - I am not sleeping -

                         I blame the moon for this - it gets fucked by us too often - blamed for all atrocities - I blame it and the light it steals - the fucking rabbit that lives upon its face -

The rabbit hitched a ride on the back of the heron
          its small white paws going raw from the gravity of what they were doing

they landed and the rabbit reached one bloody hand towards the heron's face
and marked it forever -

The alarm has been going for hours -
                    and I feel like I should have burned up by now

Death isn't fear -

          at least not on the surface - I like to think that I understand this but -

The child reaches for the mother's veil -

                    His hand touches the edge of the loose fabric - blue and shimmering -
          his oddly small fingers pull at the edge - her eyes reveal themselves -

The leaves of gold peel steadily -


Madonna & Child (1290-1300)
Duccio

09 December 2016

Poem-A-Day #284 : Body

Body

          How
                                        far          is the border
of the body

                    Press finger          to rib
                                        the soft places between on the back
until
                    there is bruising
                              and separation

Poem-A-Day #283 : Sir Bedivere Waits For Dawn

Sir Bedivere Waits For Dawn

I could run

The sword
                    in my hand
                                        heavy - cold - stones inlaid feel on my palm
across the bridge of the fingers - calloused numb

It is cold on these rocks

The mail is heavy

He wants me to throw it to the lake - it's written on the blade
                    cast it away

Could I be king

Raise this to heaven and sit at the table

I see the crown - lowered to my scalp - it sits
                    everyone falls to their knees - the coin show my face

It is night

The rock is slick with green

Sigh the thought

Would I could throw the might away
                                        I shall sit and contemplate the shoes needed
                    to outrun myself


Winchester Round Table

07 December 2016

Poem-A-Day #282 : On Sean Bean's Numerous Deaths

On Sean Bean's Numerous Deaths

Does Sean Bean die in every movie he's in ?

I wonder about actors and their type - are we too so categorizable ?

Here is my face
what is gleaned from it - the breaking line of mouth
the slightly lower right eye and ear

Do you sense the phrenology of me - colors across the surface
of my glasses are light and dark and project a lot that could be metaphor or not

I think about the times Sean Bean has died in movies
each one a slow motion shot of his tortured face in scream

His eyes a crystal slough of ice

What type is it that dies all the time ?

His deaths have started and ended and coalesced plot lines  - have ended fellowships
and launched wars of secession

The ur-man

In the mirror my eyes are tired - they green - the red in my face
is amplified by the red in my face

A sort of repeating trance - spiral - would these lines start or end anything ?
there is a daylight ending and I have only stared into this window -

I fist the glass

Imagine the stack of scripts on Sean Bean's table
each with a death inside it



06 December 2016

Poem-A-Day #281 : I'm A Little...You Know The Rest

I'm A Little...You Know The Rest

Of course I want to rage - kettle myself

I know how to whistle

The man at the corner was screaming repent into traffic
his mouth a dark hole into which pennies could drop and never fulfill a single wish

I thought about the unsteady hand that drew the sign
thick black scrawl against sunflower yellow
these are Charlie Brown lines I thought I wanted to yell out the window
          THESE ARE CHARLIE BROWN LINES

But I drove through the intersection - his wild hair in the wind

It's cold in Santa Fe today and this man is freezing to message

His temperature must be high

The problem with my raging - it evaporates quickly
becomes herbal tea

I never said this was going somewhere interesting
though you came on board and probably assumed it would destination

The reality is that I stare into the abyss of life and I don't even see an abyss

I see a thin cloth - loosely woven and unevenly made
full of holes and without pattern other than the continued overlaying of things

And I don't think raging helps thin cloth sustain

Steam does though - maybe - in directional ways

Iron-like ways

What I'm saying is that I don't want to rust but I don't want to shine either

05 December 2016

Poem-A-Day #280 : Dilly Boy

Dilly Boy

Bitch you're meese

Nanti pots in the oven
shite ecaf but bona drag bona ends full basket

Bitch you so ?

Zhoosh yourself
hang the cards

Switch the ring on your fambles you look married

I'll let you doss me get down on my lallies
show the dish and all that in the cottage

Have you the measures to trade ?

Poem-A-Day #279 : History

History

The world as gold object
spins in a heavy space
it flakes - gives off green
rubs itself against your leg

04 December 2016

Poem-A-Day #278 : The Wind Convinced Them They Were Ice

The Wind Convinced Them They Were Ice

                                        . . . their voice
                                                                 is one of curling
                    leaves
                    a sort of unfurling
                    that resembles rolled fabric

          a tent holding its bones tightly . . .


I said that I didn't mind the cold that my hands and feet are cold even in the summer that this violent weather was perfect for sleeping

But there is that spot on the inside that stares into the distant fire and wants the forest to ignite around us


          . . . we cannot endure because

                         we see things as outside
          or
                                        inside ourselves . . .


There are things in this world that one does not want to embrace and there are things that one wants to take up inside themselves and curl around and absorb

The curling of the wind is a part of us and the freezing could be as well the only divide is one of listening and one of finding another story to tell

                                                            . . . bullshit
                    the wind is nature and voiceless

                    I hear that

                                       but you are made of air
                                       and it sometimes finds ways to curl

03 December 2016

What I'm Reading : December 1st 2016



Gather Journal is an amazing food/drink journal that comes out twice a year. I had the good fortune of having my poetry featured in an early issue. The recepies are luxe, the photographs are insanely beautiful. Each issue is a mood. The current one is on the seven deadly sins. There's a cocktail in it that involves cotton candy.


I started Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie yesterday. It is part one in her Imerial Radch series. I'm not very far in but the book is fascinating, the main character is several thousand years old and has had several thousand bodies, including space ships. We join them as they have been reduced to one lone human body. Unique in the use of a non-gendered point of view of the world.


Benito Pérez Galdós is widely considered one of the best Spanish novelists. Many consider him second only to Miguel de Cervantes. I will be honest, I started Tristana weeks ago. It's only 170 pages but I am finding it HARD to get through. It's the tale of Tristana, a woman (a girl honestly) who is taken in by an aging (he's nearly 90) Don Juan type. He refuses to marry her, she is deflowered, and then falls in love with a painter. It's VERY Victorian, but maybe a little more honest about the creepiness of the era. I am just not being taken in by this story though. It is perhaps an issue of time. I am in the midst of teaching Existentialism and the sexual problems of people in big houses is maybe...counter that. The 1970 movie version was directed by Luis Buñuel.

02 December 2016

Poem-A-Day #277 : At The Illegal Bar in Spanish Harlem I Really Tried to Sleep with You

At The Illegal Bar in Spanish Harlem I Really Tried to Sleep with You

There was a lean-to against the building : Spanish Harlem : it was night dark there were shots of tequila rumors of the place being shut down : literally a dude serving liquor from his kitchen window into a shed : there were lights of all colors and I think I threw up on the Brooklyn Bridge :::

Did I sleep on the floor of the bathroom : did the night open and close : I am pretty sure I worked the next day : pretty sure I wanted in your bed : you had built yourself a loft it was warm looking and the lights on the ceiling were endlessly nebula-ing :::

Recalling the moment I stepped into the sun : how noisy New York could stop being sometimes : the street was blank with 7 AM light : the trash of the night before across the fronts of us : how did we get from lean-to to lean-to :::

At least I woke up alone : the clothes on my body : the keys to my things in my pocket wallet moneyed and unmoneyed : how longing of me to think that getting drunk above 120th would somehow make you love me :::

Memories stack like beads on a necklace : my mother had one that I would slide beads back and forth across and imagine I was counting myself into something : out of : think about the strings coming off of things marionetting every single one of us :::

What are you up to today : images flash across divides we live in such perilous times : how can we forget these things when Facebook reminds us every few months : here's a picture of your failures and of your wins : eat them :::

Poem-A-Day #276 : SoH je brutus

SoH je brutus

Remember that line from Star Trek:

                    Time is the fire in which we burn

Christopher Plummer says it in bald cap
Klingon ridges making Alps across its surface

wab QoQ ghor HuvHa' chaH rur HIvje'

That's Klingon for "the sound of music breaks on them like glass"

It's funny
because it's about a different Christopher Plummer movie

                    At least we don't live in Ancient Rome:

276 was a leap year
that started itself on a Saturday

In June
               and again in September

                                        an Emperor died

It was all about money
Tacitus devalued the currency
Florianus is assassinated by his own men
Probus returns everything to how it was

But even Probus gets only 6 years before he dies in an October by blades he supposedly leads

SoH je brutus

The Alps on Plummer's face
                    on all of our faces
                                        time draws topography on all of us

The sound of breathing rushes them like canyon walls
it crests and causes weather good and evil

makes us light ourselves on fire and lash outward at the ticking seconds around us

30 November 2016

Poem-A-Day #275 : Cum

Cum

How does evolution

Here the pin prick -
The drop of electric wires
on your chest

A stew of self bubbling away

You want to eggwhite it
but it's not even true

There is a vanilla here

The pus of it

I cannot swim but look at this go

29 November 2016

Poem-A-Day #274 : To a Friend Whose Work Has Come to Nothing (after W. B. Yeats)

To a Friend Whose Work Has Come to Nothing (after W. B. Yeats)

Couch yourself in the comfort of stone
the broken seal, the mouth of earth
and let your heart be hard, let your tears
be gold streaming across your worth

You hear the calls to dismantle even bone
the flag waving in the night, a hearth
breaking like Alexandria across the world
allow your words to unfold engulf give birth

To a moment where you renew, arise
there is not hopelessness in defeat laid prone
the rut you call home will expand, cocoon
your throat will give new life yet, defeat will atone


Yeats' poem:

To a Friend Whose Work Has Come to Nothing

Now all the truth is out,
Be secret and take defeat
From any brazen throat,
For how can you compete,
Being honor bred, with one
Who were it proved he lies
Were neither shamed in his own
Nor in his neighbors' eyes;
Bred to a harder thing
Than Triumph, turn away
And like a laughing string
Whereon mad fingers play
Amid a place of stone,
Be secret and exult,
Because of all things known
That is most difficult.



28 November 2016

Poem-A-Day #273 : Myth of the Mother Virgin

Myth of the Mother Virgin

I want to talk about bare arms - the pull of gravity on a mother's arms - the feeling of the flesh and the darkness of stretch marks

How shamed we make them - these arms

I want to take your hand and tell you that I abhor your politics and your husband but your choices are your own

I am tired of hypocrisy in all forms - Melania - I want to talk about the fact that you wore an identical dress to the one that Michelle Obama was shamed for - the one her arms hung out of - and you sat and talked to her and we both know she noticed

Your body is identical to this one - we cannot accept that we share parts with the ones we hate

I look at my arms in the cold light of late November and I see that I am ugly

I am certain that you have looked in mirrors and felt this

Certain that you have made yourself a golden nest and that the universe is appalled that it hasn't been so lucky

What do shamed arms look like

They are covering themselves - they do not allow the hang to show - they pretend that nipples are the color of cotton candy and the size of dimes - they imply that labia is to be only seen when it is sexual

Shamed arms are unable to carry the weight of much

They find the black and white photos of history and color them in acid colors

I feel for your nudity - I worry it - the universe has discovered that breasts exist and that even the most visible of women might have bared hers for money

And it has recoiled - retreated into the arms of childhood - wandered into the woods and retreated into the forts they built themselves - Get Rid Of Slimy GirlS

There is a pile of snowballs - a sort of pitchfork in the gut

27 November 2016

Poem-A-Day #272 : On the First Hold the Collar Close to Your Neck Night

On the First Hold the Collar Close to Your Neck Night

The sound of train tracks cooling is a baking sheet in the oven clang

These are house noises - the world
is a house making noises - the cooling
is the world making house

The pie was delicious
                         at least everyone said so
               why is it so hard to believe those sorts of statements
          conditioning - because - praise is ego and ego is inflatable

And no one can float on it alone

The oven cools it has a stone in its belly and the stone is blackened

On the first hold the collar close to your neck night the world sighed deeply and said that the years are getting harder to come back from

It closed up itself
curtains and all the doors
were resealed this autumn the windows leak still but...

Picture a train track popping - the back
of it breaking and curling upwards into the dark sky

It shatters into ravens and they
shatter into a rain of snow hard as glass
glinting like fresh asphalt


Jacobin Pigeon

Poem-A-Day #271 : My Trouble With People

My Trouble With People

               There is
                    the sense that
                         we can only hold so much

The image of a sunset that one time in France when there were donkeys braying in the distance and the sunflowers caught the gold-ness and leaned themselves toward the nuclear power plant while the sound of dinner being cooked drifted up the stairs

That house had no windows just the thin aging wood of shutters and the cool plaster of the walls it was white with it it was beading cold sweat with it there was the smell of a wood pile everywhere and the hills around the place felt like lazy cast aside blankets

               What memory
                    was erased
                         by this

At the grocery store we are standing next to each other by the frozen bags of vegetables they are candy-colored and delicious the bags make ridiculous promises about life lived inside these bags there are giants here

I do not notice that I know you and you seem to be breathing in my inattention which clouds the space like a mountain top like snow storms like the exhale after a cigarette you turn and I turn and your eyes flash at me like headlights on a curve at night

               Perhaps erased is wrong
                    it implies accident
                         when a finger must press delete

26 November 2016

Poem-A-Day #270 : The James Ossuary

The James Ossuary

1
Draw a circle on the blackboard :

Circles are more difficult than you think - they deceive
                    find ways to flatten under your hand :

Make an ouroboros line of salt eating itself :

Lot's wife turns her head to look back at the burning bed of Gomorrah - it is the moment in the movie where the score drops out and the silence hangs there like wool drying in the sun :

If you could step into the chalkboard - into the circle with the flat side you have drawn -
                    you would be standing on a chalkboard in a classroom -
          looking insane -
defying gravity :


2
Chalk is the compressed shell of history :

The ocean's dream of itself :

Darkness bleached of its inky crush :

How does the weightlessness feel in your hand - I remember
               slapping the felt erasers
     against each other

                         until the cloud of dead things welled around me - there
is a feeling of erasing the self a sort of tossing of a smoke bomb - you are Batman
making your escape

     in their blindness
bullets will not find soft places to press :

It was a reward - the erasing :


3
The chalk box had James in it :

And I don't know what that means - he is not here now :

You find a box in a field and it is stained with the brown of dirt and the red of iron and the holes along its surface are oddly beautiful :

Inside the box are the bones :

I dreamt about removing my skeleton again
                    this time we refused to go grocery shopping
          it was Black Friday it was Boxing Day it was the 4th of July -

          we sat in our -
                                   my
                                          - pajamas - we watched episodes of The Simpsons

                     and then I woke up :

4
The box that James was in - sits in front of you - it has been litigated
declared fake - the very idea - !

The issue is that is is historic evidence for Jesus - the inscription :
                    Ya'akov bar-Yosef akhui diYeshua
                    James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus :

It is another scene in a movie where the sound drops out - unless
          it's that kind of movie
                              where heavy strings rise up out of the darkness around us

          telling us that this is now :

This
is now :

5
How goes the circle - the standing against it
          the pausing of physics :

The box is compressed history - your hand
compressing itself - is also a history

You realize that blackboard chalk hasn't been made from chalk for decades - the piece in your hand is made of gypsum -
                                        from the Greek - gypsos
                                        when burnt and rehydrated it can be used as plaster
                    it can build - it is drywall :

The room around you is a box of chalk :


The James Ossuary

25 November 2016

Poem-A-Day #269 : Your Fandom Is Not Helping Us Live

Your Fandom Is Not Helping Us Live

At the edge of the cliff - a seance is forming

The sound of humming is as loud as the wind rolling int he canyon below

There are plenty of words that could be used here - Trump Clinton environmental collapse America - that could be used to convey concern or mood or tone -


At 1:00 in the morning the post on Facebook seems like a letter from the end of everything

It talks about rowsing the Hufflepuffs and casting some bullshit to fix the world

There is the impulse to post a response asking if the parents of these children know they are awake on a school night - but this is a college communities page and it's a Friday


I believe in magic

This isn't about your hopes and dreams

But this is not real - the swirl on the screen and page are imagination - and I know that I sound condescending right now but it's hard not to when you seem to think that there could be a room larger on the inside and that using the word 'cast' instead of 'pray' is worth something


Is this the start of a religion - I see the roots in it - in some weird future the Books of Potter will be debated for what is and is not canon - will there be factions that stand on either side of the Dumbledore queerness debate

I'm making light of this

Because it's deadly serious - fantasy will not save the world from destruction

We stand on the edge of a cliff and there is very real erosion happening beneath us

And we are thinking about levitating when the time comes - not taking a step backwards

23 November 2016

Poem-A-Day #268 : Floor

Floor

We dance like we've seen everything :

                              The light channels the look of venetian blinds - 80s music videos :
                   
                     There is an inexplicable horse :

There is a child walking along the road - she is 6ish - she is alone - there is a baby carriage yards behind her - she is tired of this shit and is heading for the train tracks :

          I am tired of being told everything will be alright :

                    An endless consumption - the lights are on then off and the sound of music is a thrum on your sternum - a broken pen pressed into your trachea - blowing your neck like a balloon - you collapse in the waves of time coming off the 4 on the floor :

There is a need for semicolon :

                              The ability to hinge :

                                                            Trains run on time - half the time they clack until they hit the bends - the other half they wonder why the sound dropped out - there is a sense that everything is conscious - that the world is not a cold dead thing - but the yet that hangs on the end of that is where the beat drops and the room goes dark :

22 November 2016

Poem-A-Day #267 : Comfort Food

Comfort Food

Today

I need quiche

Lardons - cheese - I need fats - my body needs them
craves the deepening that comes with it

This is a comfort thing

A coming on of winter thing

But its a cyclical thing as well - I taste the ozone and it is snow-filled - the fireplaces are puffing pinon and there are Christmases going up all over

And I need an armor against it

One that a walk in the woods will not fix

That singing Beyonce on repeat will not fix

Today in my class a student began to cry while talking about codified hate and on CNN they literally asked if Jews were people and I want to start fires

But I will quiche

Not because I am running

Because I need the fats - cheese - lardons

I crave the deepening that will surely come as the tart rises and bakes - as the custard forms itself around the bits of bacon - I need the baking

Someone said that the codified hate would metastasize and congeal

The fats of it would become a solid in our system

And I am already tired of feeling this way and I know that everyone is tired of feeling this way and that generations of people are tired of feeling this way

I watch the sky for signs of storm

My car isn't ready - I'm not ready - no one is ready

21 November 2016

Poem-A-Day #266 : Highway at Night

Highway at Night

          Curving sounds

                                        green in their echo

               There is evidence that everything will not be fine

It moves

                        in that moving it settles like salad dressing

          and the curve is a spoon

                                                            How sound curves

                                           enters the canyon

                              of your ear

                                                            settles there sets up home erupts

            The drum

                             a sort of rainstorm


                                                            Sound of snow

                                            Volcanoes of color becoming solid objects in a field

          a herd of rams waiting under electric lines

20 November 2016

Poem-A-Day #265 : The Latest Poem About Violence That I Have Written

The Latest Poem About Violence That I Have Written

I often think about Matthew Shepard
and what the last thing he heard was
and I hope it was a bird or
wind in the leaves

Not the sound of his own skull
cracking like an egg
on the side of a bowl

But deep down I know that was what he heard - engulfing
the sound of bone becoming soft - islands drifting int he ocean of brain
and then becoming nothing

And I fear that sound

I sleep restless with that sound

I dream endlessly of that sound

I hope - at least - that he could see the stars

19 November 2016

Poem-A-Day #264 : Unrest

Unrest

Wake and the arm is cold again - outside the blankets
like it wants to escape the comfort

The arm wants to tell you something - you were sleeping and it has a message for you

There are marks along the skin - birth and otherwise
notice how uneven the color and the veins are so visible in the darkness

The sound of celery breaking

Knees collapsing on pavement and the glitter of light on everything

The arm wants you to remember fear and agency

The arm wants to sweat with you
there is the sound of a siren - it is the sound of all sirens - the room fills then empties of it

A moment before the most beautiful dream ever forgot - it lingers pinkly in the haze of the brain - calls in sing-song that it should be returned to

This arm has thoughts of going through the window - it cannot understand how one sleeps in troubled times like these - there should be blood on the steps of the capitol

Blood is hard to clean

If it is forced under the covers to warmth - the arm will form itself into a mouth and begin to whisper all the promises that have been broken

If it stays in the cold it will purple - possibly loose itself and never come back

Poem-A-Day #263 : But It Is Response

But It Is Response

I'm letting the aloes die

This isn't a sane response to winter - but it is response
so that's something

Last night the wind was strong enough to strip the adobe from the patio ceiling - the bare concrete is stained with white - patterns want to form there but manage only to look like patterns

When the pots were broken - I broke the pots - the earth inside was infested with flies and I watched them struggle in their new found freedom

No one actually expects patterns to form - the world already has its order and it won't conform to ours - but the idea that pattern does happen is nice

I felt the idea - nature abhors chaos - and it rolled in the back of my mouth like phlegm

You throw the shards of terracotta into the air and they all land in a circle with the sharpened points inward - they make a strange portal

17 November 2016

15 November 2016

Poem-A-Day #260 : Fellfield

Fellfield

We erode -

                    The computer was no longer working - it was big - it was out of date - we threw it into the dumpster after trying for a week to find somewhere to donate it to

          for parts - education - whatever

                              the sound of the screen breaking was the sound of ice cracking in  glass of scotch - sharp - you could picture the crack across the thick gray surface - could feel the crack with your fingernail


Eventually all mountains turn into scree -

                    The pile of weathered glass looks like marbles - it feels like marbles - like an oddly smooth skin

          colorful skin - breaking skin - the remnants of oceans

                              why do we come here - why do we roll around in these piles of glass what good does it do to stare into the compactor - the dump is not a place for us we are attempting to not be trash


The rubble will hold -

                    The broken computer still houses the memories of what it was - if there were a way to turn it on it would still window itself would probably even bring up the last file

          like a basement in flood - the molding folder would open with a resounding crack

                              inside a map of what once was - topographical and emotional - green and fading and barely legible - it would smell like moths - you could plant it in the ground and it would grow another mountain

14 November 2016

Poem-A-Day #259 : Lucy Looks into a Wardrobe

This is an erasure of the first chapter of The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. I'm not entirely sure it works. But here it is.


Lucy Looks into a Wardrobe

Once
something happened
during
the war

There were children
sent away
because
of the country

The odd
afraid
night
trying to talk like mother

We've fallen and no mistake
this
anything
won't hear us

Doors empty
beginning to feel
an owl
falling so thick

Quite empty the
dead blue window
always expecting
woodwork

Cold queer
open
other light
coming

13 November 2016

Poem-A-Day #258 : Species Complex

Species Complex

.
There a body
orange black under sodium-vapor light

Eyes a void
                    don't look in the void

What colors the body
in day

.
The butterfly
lands on the drying plant

It is November why is this thing living

Wings fold unfold
                    scales are enormous eyes
that move
like snakes entering narrow spaces

They are liquid

The impulse to bathe in the copper wetness is unbearable

.
It is easy to say - we are all the same - without enacting it

Language is a seed
                    it will sit dumbly on the pavement until watered

Language is a turbine without water
a magnet
                    coiled in copper wire
left to collect dust

Feel the sound of water through the tunnels of the dam

The turbines long to be harnessed to it - they rub themselves raw
in this longing

.
Sound of buzzing

The body
                    yellowed - like paper - always everything reduced to paper

There is a thing in that
a sort of comment on ledgers and graphs and the way our lives are grid-ed

On every corner a lamp destroys the color of the world

Sepias the entirety

The body and the other body
                    every body

Jaundices - lands on the dying milkweed
growing between the sidewalk joins

Hums

Corrects pitch until in line with the light



Repeating Patterns of Mimicry (2006)
Axel Meyer

Poem-A-Day #257 : November

November

Burnt skin          is tight across fingers
the prints are shallow          there is whiteness everywhere

At some point your self was erased and why didn't you notice it

The red in the wagon was a warning          you could sit in it
pretend that you could steer it downhill          how does chin feel on pavement

One morning you woke up and the birds wheeling in the sky didn't recognize the land

The two children hit each other with rebar          it is November
the land is in the midst of its throes          the mountain snows in

There are ravens in New Mexico they croak in the treetops they are alarm bells


John J. Audubon - Birds of America (1827-1838)

11 November 2016

Poem-A-Day #256 : Migraine

Migraine

                    My head is a burning sigil -

                                        Cloth in a bottle -

     Words form and then spread across the page until they are a smear -

                             Listen to the broken vials of pain meds -

                                                   Light will shatter -

                    Pop all the vessels in the universe -

                                       Cover and run from this -

10 November 2016

Poem-A-Day #255 : Tired

Tired

In the face
                    the tired

Along the eyes mostly

A sort of indescribable thereness

                    Here

a lake to stare at

                    A sort of attempt at mirror

                    Imperfect in its temper

Can the water be tired

                    from its journey

                    from its pulse to the surface

Think about those rocks it leeched

The minerals that it described

                    A finger pressed

into rocky flesh until it gives

09 November 2016

Poem-A-Day #254 : First Frost

First Frost

There is the moment when the night comes up to us and grabs our hands

It is not a threat but it feels like blood in the water - the tendons are always just about to kick - the fists are always clenching and unclenching there is a grinding sound under the skin - it is velvet but burned it smells like canned air - we are on fire together

Getting out of the car tonight may feel like a death - air escaping like prisoners fleeing labyrinthine hallways into the cold of everything

But

Above will be found the stars where they were left still silver in the blue expanse of space - Orion notching an arrow at the backs of the Pleides

The roof of the car beside mine was covered in frost - thin and translucent - I was urged by an unknown force to rake my finger across the surface - and I did

Fingers come away cold and wet and covered in light - the ink of winter seeping into the bones of autumn - around us the cars all twinkle it is a calm

There is a moment when night comes up and puts its hands to our throats

Not a threatening gesture - an honest one

The rasps of its nails speaking about the darkness within us - the heat of its eyes a cipher - night is a void filling with the answers to questions asked in daylight

At the top of the cycle there is death - at the bottom there is more

Somewhere in between is a sort of daylight - a moment where hope exists - where the growing isn't futile and it will not just end again

Fuck - it burns -

08 November 2016

Poem-A-Day #253 : Poem

Poem

I close my eyes as I walk down the hallway

Light reds the space - it oranges skin and pops along the carpet like sprouts coming up

I want to be free - the air does it - the light makes its way from the eye to the eye along the way it breaks for the hills - somehow free happens - somehow

Spread arms like skin coming away from a rabbit - heat in there - light - a paw on the end of a key chain

07 November 2016

Poem-A-Day #252 : Vision vs. Sight

Vision vs. Sight

Tesla stands at the edge of the canyon - a glacial scar -
                              he imagines a hollow earth - he imagines taking the stones and setting them upright in a circle - he imagines mining his own salt - he imagines breeding pigeons - he imagines the lizards standing on their hind legs and talking to him -

You island you - Tesla finds a smooth stone and tosses it into the space between edges - a gulf of air that swallows endlessly and never exhales -

The stone skips across the surface - it does - seven times -

And it ripples the sunset just so - the colors merging into a matte brown - an orange cat sits at Tesla's feet - there is a breeze -

06 November 2016

Poem-A-Day #251 : A Series of Quakes

A Series of Quakes

The arboreal script pulls across the trunk of the tree
glacial - a sigh in the hills of Scotland - one lone rock in a rut

Out in the ocean - a puffin gives egg to rock

Weight is heat - press and brush fire - the movement of warming
a finger lick up the lip of canyon

Scotland is experiencing a cold snap - a few thousand years

The loneliest rock will dance - glacial kph is one per year -
human expansion clocks the same

We seek the bloodstones in the hazelnuts - burn them to paste

Poem-A-Day #250 : Re-See

Re-See

Above - the moon - endlessly talked photographed landed upon - known to the point of boredom - even its rabbit has cleaned itself from the discussion

How does the change occur - the sudden shift in views - the magic of fire leading to space travel - how does the child mind say 'FUCK THAT'S AMAZING' in its current mood

It hovers - like a balloon - jaundiced and slow to blink - it mythologizes itself - collects the news clipping and will have to go to therapy to get its hoarding under control - the dark side of the moon is covered in cats and abandoned satellites

How does one re-see for the first time - the things in your hand - in a changing light they may become strangers - your own fingers are sausages in an overcast moment



One of the first photographs of the moon
Taken by John William Draper in 1840

04 November 2016

Poem-A-Day #249 : Nearku

I've invented a new poetry form. The Nearku. It's basically a very close haiku. So close you could mistake it.

There are no rules other than the second line must be longer in syllables than the first and last and the lines must come very close to the 5-7-5 form of a haiku.

The idea is that in nearing the old form, it reaches for perfection that can never be achieved.


Nearku

The umbrella is spinning

In loose moorings - a rainbow movement

The world around us grays

Poem-A-Day #248 : Mute

Mute

Angela Davis is talking about Palestine - again - still - forever
she is the dynamo at the end of the universe
spinning wildly free of man - and she is talking about Palestine

That word - Palestine - it renders us incapable
it drops into the already formed puddle and only renders itself mute
part of the unknowable whole - but we clap and nod in agreement with it

It is Tibet - Putin - hunger in Africa - it is the inescapable
destruction of cancer - it mutates with the passage of time
it is hard not to hear all human voices as records helplessly in groove

History is nothing if not unclean - at best
perhaps the broken turntable is a metaphor - the stupid cycle is stupid
the needle dull - the speakers are geese demanding your sandwich

The water in the pool of Palestine is unclear - still - reflections numerous
there are endless ampersands - their barbs catch in the back of the throat
they render everything as ellipses

02 November 2016

Poem-A-Day #247 : Sartre Means Tailor

Sartre Means Tailor

The bag of a thing - it hangs like felt thickly and fort-like
          draw the chalk lines across the dark surface - crimp it in
the drawstrings will pull will shear - the cliff face of a scissor will slice

The internet sends endless photos of cats - of politics with cats
          politicians wrapped in cats - there are cats running for President
your one friend who likes dogs will have to be culled - blood let

Crimp the edges cleanly - find the matter in the matter
          discard - this pile of left overs is a heap of could have
it is the hair on the brush - the egg cracked for breakfast - blooms in November

There could be a burn along the rough edge - fingers working
          along the splitting fabrics the wools trying to resheep themselves
the sheep - for their part - care nothing of what was lost they are fine

There is no meaning here - the internet is a vast mirror in which
          we constantly ask who the fairest is and constantly find only others
a shrink-wrapped bar of chocolate tastes only if we can imagine instagrams of it

Let's not Luddite on this - crimp the edges - find the chalk lines
          eventually a jacket will appear - eventually it will fit form well enough
eventually it will be discarded for another slab of unform

Unform and unform this fine felt in lines of calcified thought
The internet has patterns for it - has plethora of them - has litte rboxes full

01 November 2016

Poem-A-Day #246 : &

I have always found myself a bit obsessed with the Titanic. I've always found myself a bit obsessed with mass erasure in all forms. The idea that the dirt we walk on is sometimes the left over remains of those who came before. The glass we drink from is sad that was shell that was living somewhere at sea. That we can ressurrect them simply by noticing the origins... These things. Obsess me.


&

a line of sand is a valley a broken slope a sort of falling apart - it is Hadrian's Wall a floor in a tower that is crumbling the gently worn stairs into the dungeon

.

a line of sand is where the water ends up - the sound of tearing fabric - it is the breaking of waves across the bow of a sunken ship

.

someone said that Titanic sinking was faked that it was for insurance that the nameplates had been swapped with the Olympia and that the whole thing went south and people died

.

someone else said that there is a cruise ship called the Millennium that has wood panels from the Olympic in one of its restaurants

.

a line of sand is also a scar a memory a thing that occurred and could occur again but not in this exact way

.

could you imagine eating in the ghost of the Titanic - walk to the fireplace in the White Swan Hotel in Alnwick and light a damn fire

.

the pieces of glass recovered from the floor of the Atlantic are revelations of death

.

a line of sand is a finger through remnants of bone


31 October 2016

Poem-A-Day #245 : Lips

Lips

Not today

Or any day really - if honesty is policy - which it is not but still at least there is the potential of a day
               where they are not not -

Periscoped from this point out there is the mind that wants to speak to others - that wants to be that
               kind of guy - social etc... - look there is an arm and it could be around your shoulders - and
               those lips could be kissing you -

Every lip could be kissing you - here is a room of nude lips - a bowl of them - they are dried apricots
               - the look like taffy or jerky or another soft problem to think about - they are 2+2 - a broken                dish against a wall - they are the sunrise the eclipse but in a storm -

30 October 2016

Poem-A-Day #244 : Of A Broken Wheel

Of A Broken Wheel

A broken limb -
               the eye - a wheel carrying you towards that gas station over there -
          not that you are on empty but you never know...

                                                               There is the impulse to lake - to
                                    find the tree this thing fell from - to
              rub the bark across your chest until it reds

The aesthetics of clouds -
                                                                            epistemology of algae -

                                                                 There is a greenness in both - the wheel
                     of the car kneecapping the day - the Emily Dickinsonness of
a broken wheel that is also an eye looking at a broken wheel -

Here death -

                                    Everywhere the sound of cicadas -

                 How both are ticks along a carved piece of wood -

29 October 2016

Poem-A-Day #243 : Impulse of Lateness

Impulse of Lateness

Your hand on the trunk
of the tree

Leaves making their
inevitable suicide

Here a sky
being unexpressive

The tree symbolizes
absolutely nothing

Even though you're sad

Your phone is ringing

Does it feel like stone
the trunk not the phone

Rough
we all know the feeling

It is time made physical

Your phone
it's the thing you're late for
calling you

Poem-A-Day #242 : Parkinson's Law

Parkinson's Law
There is an equation for everything - it's exhausting
          right now the man next to me is doing complicated figures - it's calculus
                               but could be advanced geometry - physics
I don't know
and that's my point - there are figures on pages for every damn thing
and I don't know them -
                                                  I think about the things unknown
                              there are expanses of them - not horizons enough
            you are standing on a mountain and you can see the whole way
around the world right to your ass - and then inside your ass to your stupid brain

But sight would fail you first - the world fills and fills and fills
because it is an expanse - humanity is bureaucracy - a steady fractal -

          we multiply to fill the space given - we are at our highest number right
before collapse -

I don't know if we collapse - it's exhausting
thinking about apocalypse - I feel that numbers are ants marching across
the corpse of the forest - sifting the leaves for foodstuffs -
                                                    that could be peaceful -
                                  but if we go with the proof in the math
              it's probably unpleasant - it's probably equalling
there's a diagram I'm sure - it's probably a triangle closing its sides to us

We can multiply to fill the space given but if the space shrinks we're fucked

27 October 2016

Poem-A-Day #241 : Everywhere / The Dream

Everywhere / The Dream

It's hard not to see apocalypse everywhere

The dream of drowning again - the one with the boat
and the attempt at fleeing - the one where your arms just
give out and your lungs are only shrubs not trees

The one with the darkness of water - the tingling
necessity of cold - spikes of jellyfish tentacles
never teeth not sharks this isn't that kind of thing - it
is a gentle death - so fucking quiet

Remember when you dreamt of bees all the time

They would land on your cans of soda - somehow find
the hole in your jeans and sit on your flesh - tongue
the salts there like miners looking for veins

Those were good times - less cold - often so full of sun
that you would wake up needing aloe on everything
feeling itched like poison oak - you drew oak leaf
patterns across every page of every book you read

At 7 AM the phone alerts you that a child has been taken

It is the sound of alarm - a sort of bleating in the darkness
that also resembles the klaxon of air raids - a unexploded
bomb in a churchyard - the mine your foot just ticked

The child is traveling in a beige car - are there
still beige things in the universe that do not travel - that
do not move constantly towards being less beige
do they all have children in them

Then at 9 the notice of a bomb downtown - a robot
lobster clawing at it - digging in a trash can or a strange
backpacks large pockets - there is a question in the sound
of alarm and that question is not why

In the dream of drowning there is a moment where you want ice cream

And that is natural - you probably want to go back
towards the kitchen - the boat sinking breaking falling apart
about you - you want those churned salt-licked milk crystals

There isn't anything clear in all this is dark - it is night
will continue to be so - the bomb will not be found - will not go off
the boat will sink and sink and sink because it is an unreal
a fractal inside your brain of what a drowning looks like

26 October 2016

Poem-A-Day #240 : Hill House, Not Sane

This is the end of the Hill House Poems. I think I ran out of ideas at least 15 poems ago, but I stuck with it. One poem for each chapter in the book. Sorta.


Hill House, Not Sane

Houses conspire in other ways - steadfast until collapse
          fuzzed hills pile
                                     until they sky themselves - there is
no truth in these things - we lean into each other

Speak in the tongue of brick and mortar - safe - not sane
          our skin entangles
                                        with this permanence

The crutch of reality flexes
          until breaking - until fracture and stardust
in our eyes blinds us - we drive into death - we fall into
the mouths of the world



25 October 2016

Poem-A-Day #239 : Ends

Ends

It is a quiet hunger - not a thirst - not the kind that forces people into the woods to force leaves into their mouths -

The sound of leaves of metal accordioning - the folds are pleats in a curtain that moves quietly in a breeze - it swirls the dust in an attic the hair under the bed -

No one can satisfy this hunger - one must forget to survive - oleander in the veins - it smells like old houses creaking in the ocean of night - like trees turning yellow and mast-like before winter erases them -

You must go the way you came - must arm the threat of starving - there is a tree and there is the road and the choice of allowing yourself to move -

And there is the breaking sound of digesting


24 October 2016

Poem-A-Day #238 : Parted

Parted

Love affairs
become our skin -

A second layer of mist
on the grass -

Toe the rocks in the bird's gullet
and find the places that need to smooth

Perhaps the cliche of parting and sorrow
should be broken

Whispered into the cracks of a stone wall
turned - such sorrow is parted sweet

Once the lovers meet -
journey towards each other

The destined touching of fingertips -
separating the newborn twins

Is a deathly business
journeys end in lovers meeting

and then peeling themselves
like the sound of oranges - until they pith