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

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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

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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

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

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

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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

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

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a line of sand is a finger through remnants of bone