18 May 2017

Poem : gonna go

gonna go

          — gonna go for this

— gonna hold the stick

                    — carrot 'til it rots
          hold the end of the branch — the end of the wick
a candle over each eye

snuff the lot —

the instrument of good — pincers
of domain and collapse

                    — thank you for the booming violence —

          — the bull the horn the melting

          — the hangin' swing

     — the thermometer of the clouds
a swirl of bait n switch

11 May 2017

Poem : The space - of a letter

I wrote this for a friend who is hurting. It isn't going to help anyone but myself.


The space – of a letter

               The space – of a letter – the –
void within the Q –

               A soft rain – holds itself
rocks itself – this is the thunder – popping the floorboards – rain
trying not to feel – desperate in its lack of color –

Think about letters without voids – ones
          zeroes – the whitespace –
          around an I –

          Someone laughed – it was fireworks –
in your peripheral vision – it was a sudden peel of a Band-Aid –

That you couldn't stand – let alone think of white space –
               well –

               There is an answer to the question –
that answer must unfill – it must –

07 May 2017

Dust Jackets : Snowball's Chance

Snowball's Chance (2012 edition)
Designed By: ???

Let's get the weird thing out of the way first. I don't know who designed this cover. Melville House has an in-house design team. As far as I know that team is Kelly Blair and Carol Hayes, but I can't find trace of this cover on either of their personal sites.

Based on the look of this cover I would guess it has more in common with Hayes' other work. But both have a minimalism aesthetic going so...

If anyone has thoughts on this, let me know.

The Neversink Library is Melville House's attempt to "champion books from around the world that have been overlooked, under appreciated, looked askance at, or foolishly ignored" and they all have this silhouette design as the starting point.

I picked this book up because it is a sequel/satire of George Orwell's Animal Farm. Here, John Reed imagines Snowball, the ousted pig from Orwell's book, returning to the farm and introducing US-style capitalism/democracy to the animals. It is really worth a read, if for no other reason than the incredible way Reed has both captured and made light of Orwell's vision. That and the take this book has on post-9/11 America.

But the cover, right?

So I bought the book because of what is inside the cover, but I was immediately taken with the cover. It captures the absurdity of the pigs in both Orwell and Reed's books. The nobility in the stance. The "visionary" quality. This is a pig as Lincoln. As Shepard Fairey's Obama poster. It's PR. And it makes so much sense.

Now, Reed wrote his book in 2002 as a response to the September 11 2001 World Trade Center attacks. So the aping of modern propaganda techniques is interesting. The lead-up to the decade+ response to the attack has been a massive lesson in PR. One that culminated in the Brexit vote and 2016 US election. It is nihilism and cynicism dressed up in logos and advertising dollars.

Fairey's Obama poster is an obvious callback to cold war propaganda. But his entire aesthetic is dependant on that referencing. What is interesting is the clear parallels to Soviet-era posters.

Lenin Lived, Lenin Is Alive, Lenin Will Live!
The 'visionary' stance is an obvious trope of political discourse. It goes back centuries. Think of any statue of someone on a horse. Think Napoleon. That many of the examples that are buried in our cultural memory are also tied to oligarchs and emperors is perhaps something to mull over.

That desire to influence memory is hugely tied to both the plot of Animal Farm and to that of regimes that use propaganda.

And we do it in small ways too.

What else does that cover remind us of?

It immediately recalls the decorative form of cameo carvings. That form, where successive layers of alternating colored stone or glass are carefully carved away to created an effect that recalls block printing or murals, is most famous for the silhouetted faces on Victorian brooches that show up in every period film ever made.

Portland Vase (c.1-25 AD)
That a cameo comes to mind isn't really that strange. The Romans heavily used the form in jewelry and containers. The famous Portland Vase is a beautifully preserved example of a glass cameo.

The form also resonates to any kid who went to a fair and had one of those black paper cutouts made of themselves. An entirely different form of PR. That of idealized childhoods.

It also echos ancient forms of shadow puppetry and the links to allegory and fable-telling that come with that. A form of cultural smoothing to spread information with ease.

And through that we come to the work of Kara Walker, which addresses historic and modern evils through the simplicity of paper cutouts. A form of reverse PR where the work emphasizes the darker things left out of these sorts of images normally.

What I'm saying is that is that this cover evokes a history of public relations. From antiquity to this very moment. And it drags a lot of baggage in its little pig head.




Dust Jacket is a sometime article about the design and art of book covers. The idea is to shine a spotlight on the work of the designer separate from the author. Literally judging a book by its cover.

08 March 2017

Poem-A-Day #365 : One Year

One Year

Let the year — crack like an egg
the yew of it drying out your mouth

                    Spit
                    if you can

Amber
if you can

                    — There
is a bird inside you it is
flapping the cage apart

05 March 2017

Poem-A-Day #364 : Weird Sisters

Weird Sisters

I dreamt about The Golden Girls singing
the abused child they had taken in was soothed to rest
and I awoke -

In some television Miami a pastel universe
expands quickly from Blanche's ranch house
not a bang an immense zoom in

Here is the universe
and now a kitchen table where the fates of everyone
are knitted and decided over a very large cake

Dorothy holding the umbilicus knowing when to shear
Blanche measuring out the lengths of twine
Rose picking the thread

Sophia standing watch
deciding which skeins to toss into which basket
all the while singing Bobby Darin

04 March 2017

Poem-A-Day #363 : 36

36

6 years pass
& you seem to remember the cake
from the party

There were faces then
instead of paper bags thinking themselves
into humanity

At the corner of bakery
& Waldorf School was the same feeling
you always have about relationships

What the fuck

& then what the fucking fuck

The impulse to speed away
is so strong that the blur lines come in packs of 100
for $.99 at Party City

They run the gamut from black
to neon anime hair
& even then they all seem too realistic

Looming near the Barclay's Center
the Nets seem to want to play water polo instead
of basketball

And the apartment you sat in
for 7 years melts
into a pool of metallic Studebaker gold

Here is a door frame
it goes to the roof
& manages to deposit you in Bed-Stuy

Don't look back
it wants you to feel fear it can blood let

Instead stare into the ocean & feel its boil

Poem-A-Day #362 : Hearts Have A Way

Hearts Have A Way

I beat forever my heart don't want to
what of this house in my throat

The sun beam broken on sea shine is the summer of things

Cephalopod dreams and champagne wishes
are sponges to the blood stains from the crime scene

Dune this but forget how to dune that

On the lighthouse downs the horses come rabbit
they antler and speak of the black mass with raspberries

At 3 o-clock exactly there will be apocalypse loons

I forever my beat don't want to heart
but hearts have a way they spleen themselves through

28 February 2017

Poem-A-Day #361 : Recipe :

Recipe :

          broken hand
                    mill gris
               sound of ball bearings catching
     sleepwalking murderer

Mix thoroughly :

          until smooth
                     poster paint
               smell of egg
     pours like density

Bake at 350° :

          until a knife comes clean
                    golden like waves
               sizzle
     then

26 February 2017

Poem-A-Day #360 : When I look up and try to speak the shifting world wakes me

When I look up and try to speak the shifting world wakes me

At the table - in a field
no
a parking lot - two tables
one crowded

I tessellate leaves
alone
as they discuss - climbing
Mt. Everest

At least one - a man
I wanted something of

Desperately -

The second - the one
about airports - I help
a woman
alone with a stroller

That I dream in fragments
and that they connect
across seasons -

Dreamt the first half
a year ago - the part
where
I run off with the man

He sings to me as we go

And at the airport - I am
detained - trapped
on the escalator
by a woman with a stroller

It is hard to know where
the table fits
in the narrative - or where
Everest aligns

I fix my car and drive from them
when was the car broken
hovers - a future question

Poem-A-Day #359 : List 2011

List 2011

The Submission
Absolute Monarchy
Conscience
Inside Scientology
Paradise Lost
Book of Secrets
Rules of Senility
The Swerve
Incognito
Something Happened
Into the Silent Land
Paradox Lost
Stone Arabia
The God Species
A Machine, A Ghost, and A Prayer
Persistence of the Color Line
The Grief of Others
Confessions of a Prairie Bitch
Who's Afraid of Post-Blackness
Einstein's Dreams
Medical Apartheid
River of Shadows
A Sideways Look at Time
A Natural History of the Piano
Do Justice to Someone
I may Be Wrong, But I Think You're Wonderful



24 February 2017

Poem-A-Day #358 : Fire

Fire

bees
          in
                paper

Poem-A-Day #357 : Bathing every vein, etc.

Bathing every vein, etc.

In the horror movie the man
with burned skin uses the tendons
of the teen like puppet strings

We are meant to laugh
at least smile it's hard to say
it was the 80s

There is a moment of tightening
around the heart a beginning
of disease that will kill you

A metaphor in that and in puppets
muscle twitch and horror tropes
what beyond the shore calls it forth

Is the only question
here - a sort of answer:

you will be stolen in the night
the thief will be your dreams
you can die there can be reborn

22 February 2017

Poem-A-Day #356 : Stuffed

Stuffed

i
The bear has a birthday hat on
is sitting calmly - pink chair - is
staring at the ceiling

ii
The eyes are cataract - chipped
glass - they are windows in
a church bombed in a war

iii
Pray at the pew of it - hard - unfeeling
the sort of colors streaming on your face
that make everything seem alive

iv
And the hat came from a night concert
the man who I have obsessed over
placing it on my head - no reason given

v
Pink like grapefruit
faded to bubblegum on your shoe
Grandmother's chair

vi
Addiction to history - ashes on skin
bear that traveled in boxes and bags
- it's too much honestly

vii
Let's pretend that we had kissed
that the chair had been reupholstered
that the fruit had been bruised

Poem-A-Day #355 : Acid

Acid

Glass

A steady fall

Sound of cue ball
breaking

Steady lights in the eye

Here comes the wave
of flesh

Pop of shoulder

Purple fingers
shaking truth

21 February 2017

Poem-A-Day #354 : Ars

Ars

lingering
like a child in the labyrinth
trying not to get closer
to center

my mind
endlessly recycles itself
a loop - coming undone
at the ends

snake refusing to eat its tail
but caught still
in the woosh of it
the idea of the eating

here is a comment
about lights and obsession
one about Tesla
play the hits -

ok - the path is wide
is covered in dead leaves
underneath is -
something

19 February 2017

Poem-A-Day #353 : Trigger

Trigger

from the Dutch trekken "to pull"
the rope is attached to your spine - your spine
fleshless taken exposed lost tail that it is
you are a dog on a chain you are
a dog sniffing the crotches
of every man in the place
from Latin catena it was always just a link
to be held closed soldered
silver shadowing the fence hides a monster - you
are the monster
here a needle thread floss make a wish
a bullet of yarn a trigger of hemp
beads of silk and bone the teeth of every dead soul
that burned across this earth

Poem-A-Day #352 : Weary As Water

Weary As Water

                                                                 The sound
                                                                                    the sky makes
                                         as clouds overtake the sun
                       makes me
                                         want to leave my body.

Be weary in this.

Allow the water to soak your fingers until you can no longer grip the mug of warm tea.

Cranberry sage. Then everything is colder, right
here the rook

moat yourself.
                        Scream into the paper bag.

                                                                     Let's pretend to be pangolins.
                                           Break our skin
                   plate the bone
                                           until we roll like cinnamon.

Let's be cream and just as weary.

Light,
          from star to starship.

Resist the impulse to build a city on rock and roll.

Fingers are less prune, more drum head, they hold things. Again they feel.

                                               Dandelion seeds
                                     must
                                              have a name beyond pinwheels.
                                                                                                  The sky is a seed bank
                                                                 endlessly emptying
                                                 the body.
                                The body.

17 February 2017

Poem-A-Day #351 : Rorschach (after Jeanne Marie Beaumont)

Rorschach (after Jeanne Marie Beaumont)

I spill water on the old coffee table.
Too simple. Grains expose themselves like privates.

It feels like the kind of wood - HA -
one searches for when lost in the forest. Dry.

That one stain from the burrito - think
about culture spilling forth like foam. Go on.

The bones of a cripple
left to bleach in the winter sun - taking way too long.

Crutches left in a church hallway, no souls around,
desiring to grab one and hobble forth newly less.

Not my table. Whose? A woman's, dead and ringed
by the ivory of dogwood blossoms, spring's crown.

Her face, sounding. A flute? Sure.
I said privates because this shouldn't be seen this way.

Count the rings - Kim Novak in Vertigo -
the scent of pine will fill and fill and fill.

Next. It sat in her townhouse
filled with its early 90s neon and chrome and whiteness.

Oddly cool. Not particularly desired
but the face of those men she dated.

And if I say "tree"?
I'd say - life we cannot fathom.

Cabinet? Container.
Tell me again.

A map. A map of the universe
breaking and disintegrating.

16 February 2017

Poem-A-Day #350 : The Emperor Has No Clothes

The Emperor Has No Clothes

1
The chair ruptures - extends
into the ceiling - meets the sky
it reaches with intentions to choke

2
The ass in the chair is absorbed

3
What does the gold of a crown
do in a blood stream - hot and mobbing
can it maintain points - hold its stones
against the tide of cells

4
The diamonds are from this hole
and this hole is dry and fucking

5
That the body was nude when absorbed
that the chair a sort of live tree
turning root in its chamber -

6
To the skies with everything

7
Place the amethyst in your palm
and pray to whatever god
that you remain clear-headed
in the face of this

14 February 2017

Poem-A-Day #349 : Infinite Projections Into Space

Infinite Projections Into Space

I'm so tired of thinking about Zeno

...

Here          a space to occupy ourselves
droll and whatnot          a second space that fills halfway on will alone

Look - I said that we could be friends - and in doing so negated the chance

...

In the slipstream of the canoe
one lone fresh water salmon
pinks about          it doesn't roe here
nor does it          understand that it could
it just               becomes a thing
eating               at the muck on the bottom
of the river
thinking about sex and food nothing else

...

Let's not kid ourselves

we can tangle any time

...

The purple in the light bulb screams burn out          the rattle
a sure sign of darkness to come

In the instant of night - out in Los Alamos - there is a green flash
and it reminds us of the fires

But it's just the horizon eating itself         just the breath exhaled
by the horses pulling the chariot

...

The tortoise tho

...

In the video          the woman is tweezing a snail shell
the parts a broken cup and saucer          a clear kintsugi
upon the brown fragility of its surface          the detail
that the glue is only on the outside -

A naked snail - foot like - a weird sort of digit          sits
patiently

...

It all just spills outwards

The dam giving way to the winter melt          the sound of it - crunching
like a wafer - there is a need to hear this sound - concrete crumbling
edifice and economy          collapse

We watch Walking Dead and hope we'd not get wire to the head

But we all know we'd die episode 1

...

12 February 2017

Poem-A-Day #348 : Knife In Water

Knife In Water

The darkness of thought - knife in water

imagine that kind of jump

                                          where body can
                                vanish in liquid
I crave that kind of
going

Imagine me knifing the water each time I say goodbye -

I re-read the ending of The Anthropology of Water
and do not remember that the final image
is of a dying cat -
                              The cat is looking out from very far back in its eyes now, from a huge room where everything is running slowly away

                                                        - and then -
                                                                             The soul of a cat is mortal.

                                                                                                                          - and then -
                                                                                                                                               It does its best.

Think about Anne Carson's imagined dead and real dead - and then add self to that

A hacking cough that results in a claw-footed tub in your toilet

the words
                                               tangle knot
                                       find purchase to foot on - there
is beauty in the glass knife piercing your rib cage

What is best? -

The dying distance themselves from the living - not
because they are afraid of infecting us with their death
but because they may want to turn back

paths become dangerous backwards

Poem-A-Day #347 : Ritual

Ritual

waking
the crease on your nose
becomes the sign of roots
in the pipes

a growth - twitches
there is a need to cleanse
the night from us
enter newness

shed the pillows and
down water over
shoulders over heads
pop the bubbles

in the dim
of shirts and pants and
you will seem less
but also more

10 February 2017

Poem-A-Day #346 : I Look Terrible In Photos

Now is a good time to mention that I am about to hit the one year mark of this version of Poem-A-Day. I've been debating what I want from this thing and have found myself deciding to alter how these work.

So...the project will continue, but I'm going offline.

I will still post 2-3 poems a week on here, but the majority of the poems will live in a physical, handwritten form. This is to free up the project from the constraints of blogger and to give me a bit of breathing room to explore posting more essay-type things on this blog.

I may start posting more of them to Instagram or Twitter as a result. We will see.


I Look Terrible In Photos

In every photo of myself I am a tree ,  arms reaching out their wires attempting to dig a wall ,  being a tree in photographs results in a body that is constantly a seedling ,  it never fruits ,  always in flower ,  I remember the smallness of the earth and the press of roots but there is little calling from the sun ,  it is an orb in the sky that will not quit smiling ,  a cruel thing that ,  the camera an eye unblinking (  an image no one has thought of before  ) ,  a shield pitted with arrows ,  here are the results of the capturing ,  the soul is iced and held and in constant summer clothing ,  eyes will never catch the glint of the stars because the stars are forever behind the blueness of daylight ,  the sun has won here and the wooden feeling in the body has as well ,  in every damn photo I stand there with a hunch and the arms of a dead man ,  it laughs in its suit and tie ,  the blue of blood pops in the black and white of the moment ,  here everyone ,  an offering .

Poem-A-Day #345 : Breakfast

I think I get weirder as I get older.


Breakfast

How smile you
are today a leaf
fanning chains
of fire -

Smoke is teeth
purl & knitted
sound of fog
growing -

How ominous
cooling though
ice forms from
coffee
          it didn't
have the chance
to even operate
to glow -

08 February 2017

Poem-A-Day #344 : Martha Wayne Is Dead

Martha Wayne Is Dead

Crack in the sidewalk
A string of pearls breaks
Fills each pivot - the spine
Of the city pits & burns


The Dark Knight Returns (1986)

Poem-A-Day #343 : Vermin

Vermin

Maybe there is a cockroach in my skull
just behind the eyes
running legs along the sack encasing the brain

There
a drain
a run in a stocking

Feeling like a constant faucet
houses creaking in the night cools
congestion pooling post-nasal

Would it live forever
die and
create a void of longing and eventual rot

At night
I would see it in negative
a butterfly against a lightbulb

07 February 2017

Poem-A-Day #342 : A Thin White Line

A Thin White Line

Line of white
heated
bullet tear-drop thing

Carrying so many people

Ark

A joke
about chemtrails

Who
is going today
and where

05 February 2017

Poem-A-Day #341 : Theory Of (Google Poem)

I typed 'theory of' into Google. This is the results.


Theory Of (Google Poem)

relativity evolution

mind everything

a deadman for kids

natural selection

psychology cast songs

time summary

Jean Piaget podcast 2016

Poem-A-Day #340 : Bar

Bar

History
the steady yarned mallet
against the stretched human skin of a timpani
scythe and chaff and all of that

We discuss time
God are we boring
always burning hapless fuckers
a series of fields being made fallow

Fallow is a yellow word
stalks of corn limp
inkspots bloom across them
they salmon belly in the anemic autumn sun

Roe on the tongue fizzing like pop rocks
endless present melting at the vanishing point
leaves a lump of cooly green radioactive slag
in elephantine shapes

It isn't such a steady beat
this history
percussion as drunken bar fight
and whiskey spilled on the already sticky table

04 February 2017

Poem-A-Day #339 : Hope Chest

Hope Chest

The box full of things - unnamed as they are -
hold the history of place in the reflection imposed surface

The sun comes from behind eclipse - it
momentarily explodes - loses itself - becomes a break in the lack of air

This is opening - a seam of paper tape - a fold
sun echoing in pulp - in dust

What are these broken lines of thought
burning a hole in the universe of a closet - they flap like broken doves

Beak cracks - the rubble of it - a light bearing
fruit - rotting and burning and searing the faces of memory

02 February 2017

Poem-A-Day #338 : Sleeves

Sleeves

Tendons snap like the old rubber bands by the sink - that gray in the light - that pull just enough to make it look like the job will get done then -

no

I look at the man in line at the coffee shop who is so muscular that his arms will not - cannot - won't - will never - fully sit at his sides

they do that thing under the cotton of his shirt where his flesh looks like slabs of ice in an old fashioned - where they remind one of horses flanks - where it would probably be terrifying to be held by him

there are stretch marks pulling from his armpit across his shoulder - they are bands in the rings of Saturn are the left overs from a lightening strike - they are the signs of skin growth - one could dowse here and discover a thing -

My     own     naked     body
is
reedy

knocks about in the wind - is a folded paper crown - sugar and meltability in a casement of thinness

the skin is paper the eyes are paper the moves are paper that has been licked at the edge and folded 1000 times

it does not order coffee so much as ask if it will gain today the ability to see into the future - be high as fuck over a vent in the earth and tell the secrets of the universe - the spine is the mast Odysseus was tied to - it is a gnarled tree - a dogwood that will not flower and therefore not leaf

it is a sight in its paleness -

I imagine that our shoulders would roll the same if laid back to back

there is the need to see the ugliness in that man and the line of coffee - a desire to find the tears - because my body allows itself to fold its arms tight to the side - allows its underthings to hide

a stretch across our backs would pop and curl and a lightness could envelop there

a sweat-skin would for real form -

01 February 2017

Poem-A-Day #337 : Manhattan

Manhattan

On rocky tops the lighthouse beaming
its mirrored sun - arms
spread a veritable wide embrace -
there is a sand in the gleam - winking
causing pearl in the ducts of the eye

That pool created dip of earth
sinkhole - cocksure - earth loosing itself
a new address would be best - the beam
pressing buttons of travel making lease
on a room in Crown Heights

Oh the sound of gulls - this city on a hill
garbage belched from below it echos
reflects itself - reminds
what could an echo be - the
whole a twin sun binary edging

31 January 2017

Poem-A-Day #336 : [Yesterday - there was]

[Yesterday - there was]

Yesterday -

there was a Constitutional crisis -

a glitch - it
                    skipped   & caught   & tore
                    in alltheplaces.

It is hard
to ask paper
to hold ideas
for this long
without burning.

Poem-A-Day #335 : [Failing - at It]

[Failing - at It]

F a
     i l  i     n
                   g  -

    a t     It  -    the

O     N     L     Y

thing books

          c a n n o t prepare

    for

29 January 2017

Poem-A-Day #334 : New Shoes

New Shoes

The website is selling shoes - highlights thinness of the sole
color of variety - daily dance in neon for $60

Imagine toes into them - tightness of new a swaddle across arch
that leather fresh rubber - moment of paper in toe

Putting the shoes on - sock of ground beneath - sudden support

Safety is - a broken pair - foam cracked burned
rounded into parody of a clown

How aches the back in those things - how creeps the body
for $60 made in Americas you too can walk the streets in glowing style

Thinness and feeling renewed - the opening of eyes -


Classic Wasp Trainer - Gola

27 January 2017

Poem-A-Day #333 : Narrative

Narrative

Toss - the match - right ? - I mean -
the fucker deserves to go up in flames
and God - I am tired - of sympathy -
so let's get this over with

26 January 2017

Poem-A-Day #332 : [I don't write political poetry - but]

[I don't write political poetry - but]

I don't write political poetry - but
breathing is political

Take it through the mouth - in - to - you
as a cave
draw rope - and tie it to the nearest tree that bends to the east
that wakes with dawn and serves only the sun

It will lower inside you - a bee
in the throat of a lily

Oddly gentle - it will come - with caveats

Words don't become politics - unless
they are traded outside these walls

The caught ball of air in your throat - will
not carbon dioxide - unless
you keep breathing

Poem-A-Day #331 : Letter of Discovery (after Columbus)

Letter of Discovery (after Columbus)

you - will be pleased - you
will learn how

I found very many - have taken

I gave the name - in honor
gave a new name

so extensive and nothing of importance


24 January 2017

Poem-A-Day #330 : When I Am King You Will Be First Against The Wall

When I Am King You Will Be First Against The Wall

I sleep in linen vestments - break
all bread at a bloodwood table - a chair made of silver
in my mind - it is so gleaming -

The crown has thorns - God - does not allow this image room to expand -

Under these robes - a terrier warms my ankles is
a dust mop of a thing - I want to tell you about the letting go -

At some point you have to unhinge
your mind - make it a door - a chest that opens warily
it will only house curtains - a dead moth but it will house
these things well -

But you have to allow it to be emptied - God - the room that is needed
an economy of space - a sort of draining swamp -

Nothing is my own - everything is my own - my Voice
and my Fear are my own - and those things build themselves a castle
that becomes entrenched immediately in vine -

You will plant the seeds - someone
else will eat that bread and be nourished - or poisoned -

That rule is necessary and necessity is rule - well - everyone
loves a fascist until they are the one getting the rod -

Here - I will show you the interior rooms of my mind - gore - all the way down -

23 January 2017

Poem-A-Day #329 : [Cornmeal on the hands - a burn - a polish -]

[Cornmeal on the hands - a burn - a polish -]

Cornmeal on the hands - a burn - a polish -
that becomes the glue sealing the broken ceramic bowl -
that lived on grandmas shelf -

It is like a gymnast at the double bars -
this bread making - it is an act for the cameras - will be scored -

Perhaps the fingerprints will vanish in it -
give way to rising and lowering tides - it would fit -
a buttered flesh for a buttered flesh -

22 January 2017

Poem-A-Day #328 : The Gay Looks Like Snow

The Gay Looks Like Snow

I set my gay on the table, it spills
napkins only spread it around

A gay comes on that reminds me of the 90s

Working on my gay becomes a problem
when the wifi goes out

All the heads look up, turn to the counter
watch as they gay the router

Outside, on the phone, I hear reports
on the gay of my grandfather

He was gay then out of the hospital
grumpy but well

The gay looks like snow

21 January 2017

Poem-A-Day #327 : Gay Manifesto 2017

Gay Manifesto 2017

In the logos and glitter a haze : we cannot see : through dancing bodies a sort of new-oldness arises and it feels like things we've seen before :

The first Pride I went to : large and omnipresent : New York City in the summer presses down with the weight of wet felt : it was a parade : a caged revelry and the tourists clicked their things at it : the plumage of these exotic and safe birds did not escape the trenches of avenues and Budwiser logos : it was so gay :

That safety : caged and wrought : that we helped build it ourselves is exactly the point : that we enact a static form of homosexuality : that a culture that lives in stasis is destined to die :

Imagine the parade as one long column of gray : rows of queers in camo and black leather : queens dressed as reapers and demons : all stoic and facing the future expressionless : unsafe and unwilling to give comfort to the audience : there will be no haze of music or perfume or the reassuring touch of feathers :

Imagine signs demanding only progress : let us scare them again : let Pride be inferred :

20 January 2017

Poem-A-Day #326 : Broken Poem

Broken Poem

Your zoology is confusing
A tongue on your skin - mine - in the creases of your arm
Let the broken blood be the broken glass
A light comes into the room - it is a ghost expressing discomfort with limes
Trees become fish for you
Scales leaf and collapse - they make a paste - they pop
Animals on our bodies and our mouths and our left parts
It spills and spills and spills
Cages erupt around the world - they fill and open - they burn
A missed connections ad on Craigslist mentions the figure of Orion
The arrows land in the yard
We chase the Chinese New Year and try to name the puddles
Squeeze citrus - squeeze eggs
There are things we can build and not build - nothing else

19 January 2017

Poem-A-Day #325 : On the Evening Before the Inauguration of the 45th President of the United States

On the Evening Before the Inauguration of the 45th President of the United States

The cold has sat on my face - holed up
in the caves of my sinuses

I sleep - wake
sit with the cat
an endless stream of movies runs by

I feel as though I am waiting for someone to come home

I have strange sentimental thoughts about an ex-boyfriend
and almost text him
but do not - and this proves something

I fall asleep and miss the sunset - it is the night and it is cold outside
the snow from last week melts and turns into mud

I found a patch of rust on the hood of my car this morning
a pock or orange-red amid the green - it is rough to the touch
it is probably spreading - I think about ways to patch it

Are there patches

I noticed that the cat is walking stiffly - that
age is creeping in him

Age is creeping everywhere

I math - I will be 39 in 2020 - the cat will be 17
will possibly not be here - will have turned into glass

On the eve of my 40th birthday will I know where I am

There is a progression of things - I told my class today
write towards the future
because whatever you write will date the second it is done
and the future needs you in ways the present does not

A moment of folding occurs

Tonight the world will go to sleep and I will not set an alarm
at 9:30 in the morning things will occur that I will not see
paths before us will have quietly lessened - and multiplied

Poem-A-Day #324 : To My Sick Body

To My Sick Body

It is difficult to think with congestion in your face
you can f e e l the styrofoam thickness of the tubes within you
your heartbeat thrumping on the pillow

This is your blood in your veins and it is making sound

We are so resilient
our bodies take the endless radiation of days
manage to up and down stairs and cycle our habits like whoa

But when things fall apart          they do so spectacularly

They crystallize every mistake ever made and cough
them into a mirror at 3 AM
our bodies turn on us so quickly that they cannot make the turn fully

And they will crash in their haste

Will erupt into fever and pitch and fall into a depth of exhaustion
that will leave them in a state of need that only we ourselves can deal with

17 January 2017

Poem-A-Day #323 : Amber Alert

Amber Alert

Across the restaurant phones begin to siren
a child has been kidnapped
people glance          silence
               some read

A woman mumbles
she thought she had turned it off
she shows her friends how to turn it off

White sedan with New Mexico license plates
tinted windows

The child is 5          was wearing red
               shoes that light up

Normalcy returns
near immediate
a few moments and a single phone
repeats the sound

A muffle in someone's bag
embarrassed to be there
               no one looks up

And it must be ok
because within 8 hours they find them
they arrest the man
               the child goes home

It must be
because despite no one helping
everything went well

Poem-A-Day #322 : After Joseph Charles MacKenzie

This "poem" went viral for a reason. The reason is that it is bad. And everyone can see that. I fixed it.


After Joseph Charles MacKenzie

Ye proud tyrant - snatch
ill-gotten reigns

Solid - self-righteous
plump on forgetting

He's enriched gladly
off the migrant - the worthy

A murderous norm - lives
and nation deformed

The black man - the poor man
the sick man - the soldier - the young
hapless - defenseless - but born

O! - ye tyrant - a great crowd arounds
that you might lay down

16 January 2017

Poem-A-Day #321 : January

January

The aloes are growing -
it is cold - but - they shoot themselves at the windows
dark green - moving - outside the snow becomes fog - becomes breath

14 January 2017

Poem-A-Day #320 : It Is Hard Not To Think Of Gods As White Men

It Is Hard Not To Think Of Gods As White Men

I want Michael Fassbender to come in the room
right now - carrying a bunch of balloons - pink ones

It's important because it's January 14th and sometimes this is how these days go

The man who killed those two 30-year-olds has been charged with homicide - it -
I didn't know them and it isn't my pain - they were friends of people I know

And someone should talk about death today - all days - I wear my skull necklace
and pay for a painting of a canyon and it feels like a Turner storm and that is why I want it

I will never own Turner storms so -

Why Fassbender though - he came in first - I asked the universe
who should deliver January 14th balloons and it was him

We can talk about his choices of film if he is - in real life - this into comic books and video games

I often imagine being hit by a car as I cross an intersection - T-boned
is what they call it and it feels too graphic to discuss

But I imagine my body passing through showers of glass
swimming in a way I cannot in water - and I imagine what it would feel like
the rendering of bone and flesh and the images burned into retina that will never see again

In my head it is a jumble - like a screwdriver - a sort of whirl

An indecipherable - though maybe if you stare long enough but there is only a few seconds before the eye will hit the pavement - it is a cloud of brown colors washing over everything

A pop of sudden pink in the corner - the sun somehow still there

The face of a very European person taking souls out of the world


Michael Fassbender
Esquire Russia Sept. 2012

13 January 2017

Poem-A-Day #319 : Oracle 1990s

Oracle 1990s

In the 90s - a sense of end times - the fall
of airplane engines from the sky

We would hoard water until we had no place to sleep -

There was that drill - under your desk - hands
up and over your head - head
down and in your lap

The same thing for tornadoes - useless -

A sense that oral sex could only occur in the Oval Office - that
everything was going to get worse before it got Star Trek -

You used to be able to see the horizon - now. . .

12 January 2017

Poem-A-Day #318 : It Is What The Brain Does In Response That Causes Concern

It Is What The Brain Does In Response That Causes Concern

In the stark light of January it is hard to predict where it will come from
the broken man missing all of his teeth or the men in their "nice" clothes
coming out of the diner

Conversation in the parking lot our gayness on display by virtue of existence
the voices may come harsh and faggoting or they will whisper followed
by laughter and stares and cackling as doors to cars open and shut

And in that moment everyone who is a target will be hushed and silenced
and kept from being as loud and real as those people who get to drive
out of the accident that just occurred

A cell phone may go off the ringtone a Tina Turner song and someone will
have to decide to answer it the cars will move silently by the small pressed
selves and eyes will lock

On the phone a parent or friend or sibling and they will be asking what's up
the moment will elongate time stopping a hung phrase looping itself to death
there could be a fire in that rubbing second

"Fine" will be the answer because there is nothing finer than coming through
the micro without a fat lip or a worse screeching of tires or blood on the snow
there is only fine here

11 January 2017

Poem-A-Day #317 : Insomnia

Insomnia

Peace over night - quiet          obvious

But some days the night refuses to rest

It howls - not well - dying cackles

Poem-A-Day #316 : Insta

Insta

My self worth is on 4chan
getting buried under piss takes

I pop all the bubble wrap I can find

A sense of cat emojis comes over me
and I want to have a night in

Draw the bath then draw
the orgasming face of St Teresa

Salt the water check your likes

Ask people on WeChat
how they feel about your self

09 January 2017

Poem-A-Day #315 : Romance #201

Romance #201

                    Blah
     Blah
               Blah

Sound of hearts pretending they're disinterested

The music of an anime getting started

I want to tell you I will hold you until you bleed
and that this will make you take your clothes off

The tongue is stupid
                                      yellow
                                                       a lie in a bath of goo

I will tell you a joke and you will laugh it off
and no one will pretend that it isn't a kind of sex

We fall down a well do we get news papers noticing us

Maybe if we profess in front of the temple

Maybe if the notes rupture like bubbles

08 January 2017

Poem-A-Day #314 : The Voices Of The Dead Only Say The Things We Make Them Say

The Voices Of The Dead Only Say The Things We Make Them Say

A book flips open
a random page
painted over and over
with the faces of your dead

An alphabet of ghosts
the words of the novel
replaced with
their eyes

Just last night
the book had been
about a woman
solving a murder
in some small
Irish town

Who signifies 'A'
and who got the 'X'
is perhaps a sort of
shade thrown wildly
in several directions

Is this psychology
a clever trick
of the dire mind

You sit in the chair
and by oranging light
you attempt to see
a thing in these lines

Graves are closed mouths
books in theory are
the vessels of dead who
cannot help but speak

Yet
these faces only want
to recount how
this woman discovered
whodunnit

They only stand for letters
they sentence plot
metaphor fails them
but they have emotional climax
and denounment for you

An ending that in some sense
could satisfy all that came before

Poem-A-Day #313 : Worn Out Shoes

Worn Out Shoes

The shoes need to have velcro

It's just a thing - I can tie laces fine - don't look at me like I can't tie a lace

They look good

Straps across the narrowness of the foot - like weapons - like leather jackets with buckles - there is a shit-kicking aesthetic in it

It snowed the other day and these old shoes have a hole that I didn't find until I stepped in it

Cold up my heel - a feeling that comes with it - a needle at the base of your nail bed

This is not how one walks in weather

You pull that thing tight over yourself - it is swaddling - you are prepared for the day then - anything that could possibly come will can then can because you have been sorted

Kick a rock and it will continue on its millennia journey

Add a pair of new shoes and your several decades worth of walking can go on

06 January 2017

Poem-A-Day #312 : Pyrite

Pyrite

Let the record show that we were at least genuine - in some things - that the field of ourselves was sewn with attempts towards beauty

at times it was fallow and covered in snow - and in those times the seeds could relax - they could - wheat rests in ice to grow for early summer - can this not also be true of ourselves

I know the arguments for and against - the sighting of the hawk fighting the raven over the rabbit - there is a wheel that we are tied to

it perpetually takes us under water - rocks us against the spokes - winnows us - separates bone from meat

Field metaphors are about growth and death and cycles - they crop up like weeds in the words of great and lesser poets - they are reserves of water sitting beneath the earth - waiting like oil to be drilled from their ancient tombs

what a beautiful nostalgia - the wide-brimmed farmer aloft his perpetually churning machine - no sign of drought or of hail or early frost here

The lie in that America is obvious to any reader of any book on any subject - even not farming - but the hope in the bread belt - the grains of it a sort of pebble across the water of culture - that is nice to look at to hold to the light and to see ourselves in

does that negate ourselves - make the want of truthiness to be invalid - it at least makes our claims pyrite though no less amazing in their reality



05 January 2017

Poem-A-Day #311 : Listen you fucks -

Listen you fucks -

The plaster
falls from the ceiling -

Molds -

Spiders come for us -

There was a city
flooding with fingers -

Direworks going off -

Crumbles galore -

Someone sneered faggot
another wet themselves -

No one was holy -

A man named God
lost his car keys
while picking up a pizza -

He swung
a flashlight at the sunset -

A mantis rode a beetle
black went pink -

There was a sense
that the tape holding it together
was cheap -

A horse walked into a bar -

A sandpaper crane burned at the sky -

A ballgown in a weed dispensary sobbed -

Sound of ice cream melting
the universal 'you've got mail' -

04 January 2017

Poem-A-Day #310 : When Lilacs Last

This is an erasure of the last section of Walt Whitman's "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d" is my attempt at distillation. Whitman used 100 words where 1 would work. He was amazing and infuriating for this reason. I think this version gets the same point across. Quickly.

You can read the full poem at Poetry Foundation.


When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d

16
Passing the visions, passing the night,
Passing, unloosing the hold
of my comrades’ hands,
Passing the song of the hermit bird and the tallying song of my soul,
Victorious song,
death’s outlet song, yet varying ever-altering song,
As low
and wailing, yet clear the notes, rising and falling, flooding the night,
Sadly sinking and fainting, as warning and warning, and yet again bursting with joy,

Covering the earth and filling the spread of the heaven,
As that powerful psalm in the night I heard from recesses,
Passing, I leave
thee lilac with heart-shaped leaves,
I leave thee there in the door-yard, blooming, returning with spring.

I cease from my song for thee,
From my gaze on thee in the west, fronting the west, communing with thee,
O comrade lustrous
with silver face in the night.

Yet each to keep and all, retrievements out of the night,
The song, the wondrous chant of the gray-brown bird,

And the tallying chant, the echo arous’d in my soul,
With
the lustrous and drooping star with the countenance full of woe,
With the
holders holding my hand nearing the call of the bird,
Comrades mine and
I in the midst, and their memory ever to keep, for the dead I loved so well,
For the sweetest, wisest soul of all my days and lands—and this for his dear sake,
Lilac and star and bird twined with the chant of my soul,
There in the fragrant pines and the cedars
dusk and
dim.

03 January 2017

02 January 2017

Poem-A-Day #308 : Prayer-curse For A New Year

Prayer-curse For A New Year

Coyote's bowed head in the flashlight
and the thickness of frost out across the field
is a sign of something in the New Year

A hunted thing - silence in the crook of a tree
mistaken for meaning and darkness

You could crawl in that space - live out a life
unexamined - the hermit - a cowl and staff ready
if only you could open your drawn-on mouth

On the drive home you cannot escape yellow eyes
the sign of possession in every movie ever made

The trickster god opens his mouth and fills
the world with flies and sparking lanterns
polyhedral dice fall in clatters on the tin roof

The sound of grass shattering is a year-is-over sound
a year-is-starting promise that could -

01 January 2017

Poem-A-Day #307 : Jan 1

Jan 1

Won't the sky just drop it

                    it just stares with those questioning clouds          knows
          that answers are stupid - listless
                                                                    broken masts on beaches

The fucking sun will not stop unblinking

                    another wonderous day has set upon us          years even
          in their ruminations - they are villains
                                                                    knives to throats and heels

Perhaps we war because we see the tempo and cannot keep a beat

                    unable to un-bond from the churn of the calendar
          even in the face of all the universe - we cannot          yet
                                                                    do away with it

Bring ourselves to unhinge that door rusty tho it is