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


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


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


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


Peace over night - quiet          obvious

But some days the night refuses to rest

It howls - not well - dying cackles

Poem-A-Day #316 : 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


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
                                                       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

these faces only want
to recount how
this woman discovered

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


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

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,
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

03 January 2017

Poem-A-Day #309 : Nostalgia


Nostalgia is
a broken idea

But when I
saw your
on the clipping
about the fire

I tore myself

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