30 June 2016

Poem-A-Day #122 : O'Clock


Every thing is a mirror for mortality

The tick of the clock is obvious though it hides gears wearing each moment rounding their teeth like a rodent itching a plank of wood

Think about the grease pasted over the turning mouths

In the back of the mind a story about how oil is the remains of dinosaurs that was pressed like apples until the cloudy mists collected in cloudy jugs

The clouds settle themselves on the horizon like vinegar under the oil blueness of sky

A news report of a bird wing preserved in amber and then the image of a bird losing its wing in the thickness of tree sap the image of it chewing its own limb off

We always end up talking about James Franco cutting off his own arm in that one movie

Not 127 Hours

29 June 2016

Poem-A-Day #121 : Orbit


We orbit each other
like an ocean and a shore
each doing damage to each other

I want to kiss your face
to know that your skin is also salty
that the appearance of it is indeed the truth

These thoughts are captured by the gravity of itself
an asteroid possibly
a moon locked in tide

There are so many bodies in space
going about their business
like it's nothing

I press my body into the fabric of the air
I feel the flayed molecules
I hear the sound of your breath crashing to the pavement

28 June 2016

Poem-A-Day #120 : The 4Runner in the Arroyo

The 4Runner in the Arroyo

Broken tree limbs line the arroyo -

A sort of nest forms
          in this space - you are the egg
here             the sky lowers its
                    feathered ass right on down

This could get real new age in a second -
                     so -

You pull the collar up and brace for waves -

Does the burnt-out SUV pressed into the soil - forming
a wall for the dryness of this riverbed

Here - words become smoke -
shells popping on a battlefield -
          someday -
                    in the future -
poppies will red on this spot

Their spiny fuzzy heads will spin into tulle -

The small gnats of their seeds swarm against this space -
remind the SUV that it was once mobile -
red and full of gas -

27 June 2016

Poem-A-Day #119 : Trees


The sticks that are the trees surround the house and then like chopsticks picking dumplings take it into the sky the mouth the dark

Poem-A-Day #118 : Poem for Sunday

Poem for Sunday

I wonder about resurrection - about how things heal -

The skin on my finger has sliced open the two cliffs do not align and one becomes a tectonic subduction - there is a sucking - what can only be called flaps -

Someone jokes about the future - a wave of the Star Trek device over the wound and new skin is formed - the resurrection in seconds -

Each morning the world wakes - though this is only a phantom - the world never truly sleeps - the sun is a 24-hour lover -

Resurrection must take longer though - the two cliff faces have to weather to a smoothness that will not leave holes behind - the canyon must unfill and fill and monsoon often -

This gray skin - it must come back to life - I do not pray - I stare into the face of the unsleeping sun - I worry about fission and my retinas - but these too will heal -

ādityasya namaskāran ye kurvanti dine dine
āyuḥ prajñā balam vīryam tejasteśān ca jāyate

26 June 2016

Poem-A-Day #117 : Poem for Saturday

Poem for Saturday

                                        There were rings -
          : : : : : : : : : :
                    a sort of idea - placed on the scalp a liniment against burning -

     You've got your head in the clouds - you are standing on the earth - you are floating atop your body - a balloon tied to a pole beating itself against the weather -

                              Gold-colored sign posts holding red-colored signs -

          Not stop signs though -

               There is a calmness in the tight feeling across your headband - the metal inside metal inside leather inside an old store room in a prison -
                                  this is not an execution per se -

Not not one either -

23 June 2016

Poem-A-Day #115 : Poem for Thursday

Poem for Thursday

Can we all just agree that Thor is boring ?

Here - on the life-blood of fated men - paint your doors in crimson gore
the sun will beam black and everything will fallow treacherously

Or something like that - the end of gods - the twilight of myth
the sun setting over the hill on every damn thing created

Whether we want it to or not

Thursday is the turn day - the hinge - it is the day things will be decided
you will have to strike the hammer or not - what is being fashioned ?

Do you still seek to know ?

A wedder is a gambler

          A wether is a castrated goat

                    A bellwether is the sheep who leads the flock

Weather is what is happening right this moment

The serpent who circles itself around the equator and holds its own tail in its mouth is feeling tired - hungry for another kind of flesh - it is going to let go

And what ?

Thor in Hymir's boat battling the Midgard Serpent (1788) by Henry Fuseli

22 June 2016

Poem-A-Day #114 : Poem for Wednesday

Poem for Wednesday

The thunder is green - it is the air too - green and dismissing

How many pennies for the ferryman - we no longer bury with coin over the eyes - perhaps all of the dead sit on the shore waiting - Mercury is forgiving but the job would be mighty

That word - psychopomp - it's a bundle of things - a backpack full of items - baby wipes in ziploc bags - medications without labels - a few rocks from that trail in the mountains

It is a green word - the kind that calls thunder - it is dismissing in itself - it will take your hand and lead you into the forest of suicides - the word is off your tongue before it is on it

On the floor - it becomes a serpent and the man with the rod will render it in nine pieces - will destroy it - these words that crawl will brown like apples left on the counter

21 June 2016

Poem-A-Day #113 : Poem for Tuesday

Poem for Tuesday

Today Constantinople fell

Mars himself caught fire on the field of battle - his cloak went rust then black
frozen on the spot the reaching vines of darkness covered the globe

Hang a rope over one reaching arm - the scales of justice knotted on the ends - the day will be for sacrifice

How much does all the blood of Byzantium weigh

Tiwaz Rune - An invocation of the Norse god of war and law Týr
Tuesday derives from "Tīw's Day"the day of Týr

20 June 2016

Poem-A-Day #112 : Poem for Monday

Poem for Monday

Somavāra - missing miracle plant - sap flowing like rivers from stone
Day of white ageless horses rippling across the sky - the chariot - blazing - unidentifiable because of itself

Roots white and blind - a lotus filling slowly with dew

Moonday Blue (2013) by  Lim Heng Swee 

19 June 2016

Poem-A-Day #111 : Typographic Music 1

Typographic Music 1






18 June 2016

Poem-A-Day #110 : The Most Gentle of Destructions

The Most Gentle of Destructions

Smoke fills lungs - water - a sort of pool

You are a cave system

The roots of trees reach through the topsoil of your skin - there is not a violence in this it is the most gentle of destructions

Like a tree falling in a silent wood without a set of eyes on it - it is the crumbling face of the buildings resurrected in Pompeii

You are a three thousand year old visage - weathering

These languages against you are salts splitting their ways into your strata - they leave a snail trail behind them - they want you to follow their journey

The cracked open mountain - broken by dynamite and willpower - reveals a strange cake-like interior

Your layers are less complicated for sure - there were fewer lives involved - but they are just as interesting

What is this red thing your finger is on - where was it supposed to go -

A relief from the ancient city of Nimrud - a site destroyed by ISIS in 2015

17 June 2016

THIS! 6/17/16 : The Super Queer Edition

I'm going to revive THIS! my Friday list of things that were catching my interest for the last week. I will be up front on this - it may not happen every week.

1) Small Town Security

This show is so insane. I cannot even explain it. It aired on AMC after Breaking Bad from 2012-2014. The premise for this unscripted show is really simple: a small town security firm owned and operated by Joan Koplan in Ringgold, Georgia is followed by cameras. The end. It's a basic weird workplace reality show, except...it's really REALLY weird.

Joan is basically Roseanne. Except even less likable, but that somehow makes her more likable? And she has a series of tiny dogs. And battles cancer and other illnesses that dominate the third season.

Joan's head of security is Dennis Starr Croft. He lives in the office. He's a transman, which is revealed early in the first season. This is one of the lease interesting things about the show but the handling of his trans status is treated with compassion and amazing nuance. He goes on dates. He discusses surgery. He deals with bigots.

Joan's husband Irwin is there too. But he basically wonders around in the background and goes off and does the strangest things imaginable. Like manage a roller derby team or become obsessive about mini golf.

The weird sneaks in in the surreal, almost Twin Peaks moments of just...oddness. Irwin roller skating backwards while humming as a disco ball fills the strangely red space with points of light. One episode begins with the security team in a shoot out using machine guns, but it's Joan fleshing out the plot to a new training video. The original McGruff the Crime Dog actor comes to help them reach out to children, but due to copyright they can't use his name or let him speak while in costume...and the final episode involves Dennis' theory that Joan is actually an alien sent to earth to save us...I mean...come on.

Only season 3 is on Netflix, which is a crime against culture, but you should still watch it.

2) Katie O'Neill's Princess Princess

Princess Princess tells the story of Princess Amira and Princess Sadie. It begins as a traditional Disney-ish fairy tale. Girl in tower needs saving, other girl saves her. It quickly dovetails into a tale of two princesses kicking ass, saving the boys, and falling in love. And it is a great representation of two kinds of femininity.

It's beautifully drawn and so awesomely cute that it hurts. It's available for free at the link above or to purchase (which you should do - support queer artists) on Amazon.

Katie's Tumblr is also fun. Give her some love.

3)  Frog & Toad

Arnold Lobel's classic children's series about amphibian best friends began in 1970 with Frog and Toad are Friends. Between 1970 and 1979 4 books would be published, all amazing and wonderful and so so so worth revisiting. They are about love and friendship and just goodness.

Lobel came out as gay in 1974 at the height of Frog & Toad fame. He kept this mostly a secret from the general public, which, as a children's author was probably smart in the 70s. He died in 1987 from an AIDS related heart attack at the age of 54.

The New Yorker just ran this amazing article by Colin Stokes about Lobel and his sadly forgotten biography. But the article puts for a shockingly simple idea - the Frog & Toad stories are about same-sex love. A relationship that is presented as platonic, obviously but take a look at this plot summary from the article:
Take, for instance, the story “Alone,” from “Days with Frog and Toad,” in which Toad goes to Frog’s house to visit him but finds a note on the door that reads, “Dear Toad, I am not at home. I went out. I want to be alone.” Toad begins to experience a little crisis: “Frog has me for a friend. Why does he want to be alone?” Toad discovers that Frog is sitting and thinking on an island far from the shore, and he worries that Frog isn’t happy and doesn’t want to see him anymore. But, when they meet (after Toad falls headfirst into the water and soaks the sandwiches he’s made for lunch), Frog says, “I am happy. I am very happy. This morning when I woke up I felt good because the sun was shining. I felt good because I was a frog. And I felt good because I have you for a friend. I wanted to be alone. I wanted to think about how fine everything is.” In the end, the trials of their relationship are worth bearing, because Frog and Toad are most content when they’re together.
And sure, you could say this is a reach, but seriously, go read these stories again. They are about the strong emotional ties between two male characters. And it's kinda revolutionary when you begin to think about it in context to a society that has a hard time letting boys feel anything, let alone love for another male.

Poem-A-Day #109 : Pastoral


the knuckle of the grass is a black doorknob - a shine to it - so many hands - like the nose on the tomb of Elizabeth I in Westminster - the particles of these hands mingling with that metal edifice - a sort of smelting

the knuckle is bending and that is why it is a knuckle - the grass thickly bends in the wind off the mountains - the Sandias are not pink today today there is a creamy haze over them - there is a fire pushing out the smell of burning piñon - a factory of smoke piling on the horizon - the cotton batting from a quilt spilling out after being torn open by a child or dog

it is shiny because it is grass and the joints of plants are always shiny - like the flesh is stretched just to the point of tearing - it is a swollen knuckle - an old woman knitting knuckle - you can hear the cartilage pull

16 June 2016

Poem-A-Day #108 : Sure / No

Sure / No

Think back to that time you felt safe
then back further

What sort of primordial space are you in

Has your tail receded into your spine

Or are you where you are now
staring blankly into a wall

Are you safe ?
          Do you know what safe is ?

A hammer to the head
will only bring the tweety birds

You are safe as houses I am sure

No flies on that shit

Take my hand the horizon is on fire
with sunset and I am in need of touch

15 June 2016

Poem-A-Day #107 : Assimilation Is The New Weapon

Assimilation Is The New Weapon*

Wind is picking up drops from the silver clouds and setting them on the heads of the people gathered around the monument to dead Spaniards killing Natives

And this is how we begin - we pray a Catholic prayer that mentions Conquistadors and imperialism - this is how we honor our dead - many from an island currently in the limbo of colonial rule

And the gay mayor will stand there and call himself the MC for this event like it's a prom and there will be bands and refreshments and maybe someone will get lucky in the bathroom

Politicians and activists will stand and congratulate themselves on their progressive bona fides and talk about the children they have and how those children just hate gun violence

You will be forgiven for thinking this is a rally for assault weapons bans and sane gun regulations and not the vigil for the dead - all the dead - in Orlando

The joke is that Santa Fe is a Disney version of Spanish colonialism in the Americas - the adobe and rounded corners a sort of hall of mirrors to attract tourism

But where are the fucking queers in this vigil for dead queers - the nice heterosexual white lady up there needs us to clap for her tears so let's go ahead and clap

The politicians certainly want our votes but really Javier - M-fucking-C - like a fucking party - like we're in the nightclub and it's only 1AM and the idea of violence is so far away that we can't hear it over the sound of music and drag and alcohol and dancing

Like the moment isn't coming when the sound will drop out and the screaming will start and people will fucking hide in bathrooms and play dead and be killed like cattle in a yard - is that the party you want to MC Javier - we expect our queer politicians to be better - to not only mug for national cameras and claim community when it serves a career

Heres the thing - Peace Choirs are bull shit - gun violence is a discussion worth having - but the sky is opening up and the clouds are sending down freezing cold drops and this is what you bring us - a woman who was shocked that gun violence exists in America - a politician in a suit clapping for his colleagues who bothered to show up - letting the queers speak 45 minutes into a vigil to our dead

Look at their bodies - this is how it begins - the club is dark and packed and sweaty and amazing and the music is a heartbeat - the heartbeat scatters into the corners and then there are bullets tearing and it is a different but equal kind of awe - a different kind of rhythm because even then - as those queer people - brown people - our people - were dying there - we all knew how this would go

Hands can only wring themselves so much - skin is not like paper but it does go raw and your tears are not cleansing like this desert rain and your ambition is not the same thing as grief

And maybe it is a dance and we are all moving sullenly and the band is terrible because it just keeps playing the same damn song about loss and redemption until our ears can no longer hear

Near the memorial to the dead Spaniards who came to this land and conquered it and killed the people who lived here where they stood - a man collapses

In grief or tedium is unclear - but his gray hair is slicked back and his shirt is open and he has on a pride medallion and the urge to ask how many dead in his past is too sharp to bear

How many vigils has he seen - how many in rain - how many were attended to by the wings of dark angels bearing news cameras and platitudes about guns

* Quote from CAConrad's The Library of Congress Censored Interview (Bloof Books)

14 June 2016

Poem-A-Day #106 : After Isn't What We Were Promised (An Apocalypse)

After Isn't What We Were Promised (An Apocalypse)

skin is sticky :
there is a tear-stained face and a lot of dirt under your nails
               it's hard to imagine them clean :
the breeze is oddly motionless

sky the color of dirty wash water : if there were rain :
IF there were rain :
it would feel like bathwater

this is not to imply that all is lost :
                                                      though :

this is summer : or a facsimile of it :
there are only facsimiles :

you watch the video of the end again : a pixel is blanking on your device :
it is a tiny white eye : it wants to blink into color :
it is blind :
it knows its limitations and dunces

how many metaphors for 'that was the end and we knew it' can we find in one youtube video :

in the video a man stares into an abyss of water :
                                           water :
                                           a lost thing :
and then there is a cough : simple :
a reflex of the esophagus :
and then there is blood :

you know those zombie movies have it all wrong :
there is so little running : so little ability to run :
and to where :

that building over there where some people are also starving and dehydrated
or the one over there that's burnt to cinders

and what to do once you're there : sit in the brokenness : cry :
you don't have tears

13 June 2016

Poem-A-Day #105 : Ça va

Ça va

At some pointI will laugh
until my head comes off

The lines of my mouth stretching until the skull
pops like one of those plastic easter eggs
there will be nothing inside
save the remnants of an abandoned spaceship
that you lost when you were 5

This is the only sane response
to the story of easter and to mass killings
that feels appropriate

The skullcap makes a great bowl or so I'm told
it's one of those rhetorical things
that we know but don't Know

Recently I was explaining trepanning to some horrified person
they didn't understand that the hole is a hole
that you could blow into it like the end of a Nintendo cartridge
keep those webs away and those bits forming levels
there was confusion that it would repair itself reknit bind
and of course it heals skin covers everything eventually
but I mean a hole in your head is a goddamn hole in your head

There is a joke in this
somewhere a man drives
to a bar and opens fire

All those people opening like gifts
blood ribboning into the night
what song was playing when it happened

We are unaware of how much we tear each other apart
and until we get to the yellow fatty bits and the bone
it is hard to cease our hands
now tell me we both matter don't we
look beautiful in the reflection of moonlight off pavement

I imagine the bowl that was my skull
it is full of candy
there are so many hands that cannot be bitten

Skull of girl (3500 BCE), Natural History Museum, Lausanne

12 June 2016

Poem-A-Day #104 : Open Letter, Ongoing

Open Letter, Ongoing

America - I don't know why I'm even doing this - you won't listen and it won't make me feel better - the itch inside my skin is way passed the point of terminal but here we are -

You are a deadbeat - a slumlord - you slap price tags on everything and then refuse my credit - you would gladly pay me tomorrow for a cheeseburger today -

The sound of you congratulating yourself on your continued inactions is deafening - I can't breathe through all this noise - you sit on my chest - you laugh like a deranged bird - I try to focus to ease myself into rhythm and yet I cannot -

Your prayers are dim and boring - they would resonate more if you were whipping yourself while lazily tossing them from your mouth but you'd probably get off on the irony - if you could even see it staring you in that Manifest Destiny of a face - that lipstick sure looks nice on you -

America - tell me how safe your house is - how structurally sound - is the foundation free from cracks - does it have curb appeal - how are your servants - how much money for one of your faggots - how about 50 - or for the black ones over there - the brown ones - I bet you get a good penny for those maybe you can get them to clean your house before you sell them - and they're women too - even better -

I want to talk about how you are still those frightened Puritans standing on Plymouth Rock staring into the darkness of the continent and praying that you can find the cockles to dominate the whole shebang but I'm beginning to think that you don't have the cockles - you deal in snake oil - this is why you lash out - are you feeling fragile - do you need a time out - a nap or diaper change - you are so very full of shit -

I hate that you demand this address and that I am happy to give this address - you are a rapist who claims to have been destroyed by the act and can't handle prison - you demand internet access while in prison - and while in prison you brag about your offenses while publicly demanding a retrial - you are fleeing in a car to Mexico the first chance you get and you are building a wall behind you -

America - you are a motherfucker who refuses to get the mother off - a loaded gun that manages to find itself center stage and cannot help itself - you are hollow and false and act only on bad faith -

This is what we're talking about - faith - you like to throw it around until the word means nothing - you are so faithful you have faith there is hope in your faith faith will get us through - faith fuels your terror you drone on and on about your faith and the righteousness of it the impenetrability of it - you are so very impenetrable - your ass is clenched and your eyes are closed -

How many not white not straight not cis men died in America today - how many will die before the week is done - and how many could you have held to your breast and rocked to sleep - how many of your children have you ignored - how many have had to run away before you locked them in the basement and tried to reprogram them to deify you -

America - you are violent and stupid - you watch babies bleed on YouTube for fun you hold anyone you can to the ground and wait for them to die under your knees - you are phobic - you fear the mirror being held to your darker corners and even the lighter ones do not please you the way they once did - why are you so afraid of yourself -

America - every one of your children grows up knowing that you have to get out and keep running -

11 June 2016

Poem-A-Day #103 : Wall (fragment)

Wall (fragment)

The view from the window is of a brown wall that softly curves at the top
a road extends from it into the distance
every car a sort of promise of something going on out there that is wonderful and good
the temptation to leap into it -

To go out the door - into the lot - the car - drive until the gas light comes on -

10 June 2016

Poem-A-Day #102 : Wolves


Her face is a radiating dial -
The gate beyond the garden that hovers behind her through the window is open -
Wolves -

08 June 2016

Poem-A-Day #100 : Things - I Argue

Things - I Argue

     Someone asked me to describe my writing - I paused for millennia - my tongue a hunk of coarse liver in the canyon of my head -

               Eyes are the color of deep water - the Sonic Youth cover of Superstar is on - there is a discussion happening about how art has two definitions - one where it is a commodity and one where it's a dark room with a bathtub full of water and candles and the smell of piñon -

Ultimately personal - don't you remember - the smell of being young and in love with creation - should I quote heavily from the song - baby baby baby oh baby until you feel the same way I do -

     Hardly commercial - not an object you would want above your bed -

               There is the soft glow of something upon a pedestal - the conversation moves to Jeff Koons - his art is fundamentally tied to it being a commodity and what does that say about his process - we are not able to tone that specific bell - being neither known nor interested in balloon dogs ourselves -

How would you describe the sky - a better question - what does walking in the woods feel like - who is water -

     Is Superstar about obsession or about the power of art to control others - or is it a love song - or a stalking song - is it minor that it's all of these things -

               I argue for hours that Post-Modernism is cold an unfeeling - that it only engages with terror and depression as modes of existence -

It's just the radio -

07 June 2016

Poem-A-Day #99 : A Cup of Coffee

A Cup of Coffee

The hands that touched these beans - they are sticky with the picking of the cherries - they are short and thick and calloused - this is a romanticized idea of 'the worker' it is held aloft by images of wrinkled sun-scarred faces missing teeth and wearing straw-based hats - it perpetuates through National Geographic correspondence from X Y Z - this wasn't supposed to go this way -

This cup was manufactured in China - was it pre or post 'we are now ok with this' China - is the ceramic kilned in some hive - the glaze is black and there is English on it telling us about the codes of hobos and the one that stands out is 'cranky woman or dog' - the image is a potato or a turd -

None of this is about the taste - it's too hot to drink the tendrils of steam off the surface are like those from hot springs - the white mist spends a time caressing the dark meniscus and then releases itself to feel the surrounds - it thinks it is free in this but then the weather realizes itself and the temperatures coincide and the white vanishes into nothingness - everythingness -

These are neither tender nor buttoned thoughts - this is a bitter drink - it feels as it goes down - the charcoal in the roast the turning in the barrel of that roaster - you can taste the flame on the gas - this is not Malaysian fat roasted coffee with its salt and butter and smoothness - this is edges - it is so very European despite being not at all European - and that is an important  discussion on absorption to have as well -

06 June 2016

Poem-A-Day #98 : Here Reflection - Here

Here Reflection - Here

The arroyo rapid fills - a tub about to over

At exactly one o'clock the clouds will open - book jackets who's words bold

The house groans under its own weight - cobwebs eaveing the roof

Something here about the start of summer in the desert - crack of lightening

The police car pulls away from the red light - leaves itself behind

Here reflection - here

05 June 2016

Poem-A-Day #97 : Speculative James Bond Plot

Speculative James Bond Plot

Asparagus breaks cover deadlining each fucker going high
It jolly kills love

My nelly old poof
queer right southerly til u vaporize

Why exonerate yourself zebra?

04 June 2016

Poem-A-Day # 96 : Line


The line becomes the edge of the forest that you weren't allowed to cross when you were nine and then the line turns green and then the line softens and branches fall into the cornfields that run up to the line they are yellow and sometimes fallow and always delicious over a grill with butter running on your chin the line becomes a symbol for things not attainable for the mysteries of life and within the line is darkness moss possibly bears oh my what is that sound the one like celery bring twisted in your fists the one that is both dry and so very full of liquid is there a creek in there full of frogs and small fish to stare at for hours we could name them naming is a fine thing to do Adam named the things in the garden is this a garden are we even religious is there even a grounds for religion in a world where that could happen where this could happen where the line is hardening is a thing drawn in trapper keepers and thought about is a monster that attacks in the night out of the closet a line like a knife trying to two dimensionally suffocate you by filling in the spaces in your lungs with scribbles -

02 June 2016

Poem-A-Day #94 : Making Brownies (An Apocalypse)

Making Brownies (An Apocalypse)

There are days after the apocalypse where we only eat brownies with whatever berries we can find

This is appropriate - it is the only recipe card left - the others are burnt
the ink on them invisible under the dark colors across their surfaces

One still has a smudge of red on it - jelly? - and another has a little drawing of a strawberry - but the foods on them have faded

How are we still making brownies?

There are no eggs or chocolate - there's water and flour but it's made from grass - no milk or butter or anything resembling sugar...

But here they are - this time with those little red berries that are bitter until you cook the hell out of them and then they are just mush

The card says to bake them in an oven that we don't have - the sun does the trick

01 June 2016

Poem-A-Day #93 : Boudica


Part heroine - part terrorist

Just what you need to build an empire
                       or destroy it

Boadicea & Her Daughters - Thomas Thornycroft 1902
Source - steeve flikr

*Found poem taken from the script for the Boudica episode of Warrior Women