Monday, June 29, 2009

The Day

On the black granite
in the path of fresh water
squeaking over the edge
with the risen tide
between recreational movement
and waves,
jugglers bend their knees to
their circulations.
skateboarders smoke
doing tricks
over inconsistencies in pavement.

We jumped at times,
peddled past the tween groups
snapping photos
in suits
and actions which
made me wonder the story.

the radio played and
strangers filled with tears
over a familiar voice
and a face
morphed grossly over time.

continents crowded the forum-
'regards from Poland'.
'burn in hell from England'
'questions from the US'.

The Irish pub exonerated his face and
we took deep breaths into our glasses.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

MEDALLION: Ezra Pound (1885-1972)

      UINI in porcelain!
      The grand piano
      Utters a profane
      Protest with her clear soprano.
      The sleek head emerges
      From the gold-yellow frock
      As Anadyomene in the opening
      Pages of Reinach.
      Honey-red, closing the face-oval,
      A basket-work of braids which seem as if they were
      Spun in King Minos' hall
      From metal, or intractable amber;
      The face-oval beneath the glaze,
      Bright in its suave bounding-line, as,
      Beneath half-watt rays,
      The eyes turn topaz.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

ugly interstate

Bus hums compete with residues of an argument-
modified words translate into nonsense,
boxing zingers fly from the arena, into the air and draw a crowd
the unbound phrase was cannoned
like the destruction of a fort
the walking away
the driving away
the spilling of a hamper;
contents rain down the stair.
my forehead bled
and bumps and bruises
permeated the moment.

I foresee a lull of conversation
a teeter-totter of allies
guerrilla warfare of phone calls.

I needed a blanket between
the ant hills on the unmowed grass
and the art of the skin on my back.
I needed a formative coverlet between
the few stars peaking through the blue
and my tampered lungs.

I no longer require these protections and
will see to the pursuit of future needs
through different tunnels and doors.

All was quiet behind my voice on a strangers' stoop...
my constricted throat failed to switch gears into safety
but I knew the walls
the walls which harbored the unforeseen blood
would laugh at me
or frown at me
tower down or encapsulate me
if I'd sat down for a breath.

even my eyelashes wilted there-
like the sprite of orange roses
in my kitchen which I'd loved
then killed by mistake.

every chair rattles in this vacant piece.
A permanent mark declaring,
"do NOT open this bay"
initiates my imagination to run, just as I do...

left and right, right then left,
north past tortillas and tapas,
jasmine rice and tortellini.

South past mesh shirts and leather pants
sleeveless t's, vests and hats.
East into the waves
West over the picket fences and caravans.
back to where it began,
in the hot lot by my address.
possibility more entwined in grey laces
or in the strength of patellas.

Maybe that Bay is filled with bees,
balloons and bubbles for parties?

I sympathize with the cars and trucks
on my east-bound parallel.
but it gets prettier now,
one tree at a time.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


very aware of my right hip
the pulse of my heart in my ankle.
too much pressure on my ear
pressing down my left elbow.
my foot is cold
my left calf is sweating.
the fan is too loud.
silence is scary.
repetitions of songs I shoo away,
imaginations of notes on brown paper?
some crop circle in England
was shaped like an eagle.
unwanted adrenaline because
even a cynic saw that the
radio was on, askance.
I search for cricket sounds
and the shades make white flowers
on the brick.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I want my zune back

It was one of one thousand white
strokes on your bedroom wall.
you were watching London
pastures on google earth
and whispering exposition to me
of some French foreign film.

That black garbage bag was full
of Vonnegut's 'hi hos'
tickets and pictures
oh, and a green pepper.

The transmogrification of metal to man
-Shelly's Frankenstein-
took place from Michigan to Illinois.
I watched the sunfall
and laughed into my seat belt.
You tailgated
"two men and a truck"
the entire way.

lips tuning guitars and
when the snow melted
my birth certificate was on your lawn
and squirrels were scrambling for a
piece but it had no taste.

ships nazis pirates
all tattooed in the knife
on your back.

you hate it when i quote voltaire.

It was unnecessary to throw the entire
box of donuts into the street.
I was wearing a black shirt
you'd bought me at the time and
pigeons ate the sugar rocks
as my shoes echoed into the night
"I do this, I do that
I do this, I do that".

I liked the turqoise necklace
noodles cupcakes and
wasabi mashed potatoes.
you did give me Anthony Aronicka's
Newsweek, every week.
those death diamonds,
political blunders,
Palestinian periscopes.
I learned.

Please destroy the executive documents...

Oh, and that mint mojito tasted
like a dirty river, by the way.

the green chairs with the
chipped paint face
each other in my kitchen.
I've taken my own advice
stick to being serious.

Do Not Talk About Religion

The thing about finding and losing faith
like keys misplaced
during the switching of a purse
is the consequential question
discussions of theories
between international strangers
about suffering
and what is the meaning of an ache?

A nuisance crept into my eye so
I sat alone in a quiet spot light
confetti lined the floor and collars
button-ups Mary Janes and seeking groups
sort of scattered the plush room.
there were eyes everywhere and
there was nothing anywhere
but expensive looking ceiling lamps
and what appeared to be apparitions of
leaf silhouettes engraved on the fake brass bar.

interesting because the leafs on the bar
were covered in plastic glasses
and acrylic nails
silver watches and flyers
of big boobed girls.

Attendants in every bathroom on the
parallel grid blocks would really like
to hand the paper towels to the
makeup applicants
in exchange for an early or
more convenient bus pass.

I've gained a clear vision
of an energy tonight.
an energy of a frown
of a kick in the shin
of a dance upon a platter-
which can each tread various
sustaining circles in a room
which cannot be generalized.

while my eyes are incredulously cold
and the lids when down scream the
ample feeling
it was a preemptive notion that
puke smelling stairwells
in a maze of Billy Idol enthusiasts
would be the dichotomous choice
to sleep.

A crowd of Irishmen crescent mooned us
and each pointed out the suggestion
that I've practiced or adorned
some faith.
"To each his own" I said
while comfort levels contorted in knots
when whispers of depression
and aggression were bulleted
into the universe.

It did however achieve the remembrance
of forgotten religious experience.
5 years old and covered in recreational dirt,
swinging on the swing set
swimming across the lake
strolling passed the
shifting unknown grumbles
of the leaves-
safe with my omniscient friend.

I attribute my likeness of learning
to the random heavy conversation
Forgive me for forgetting
that no stone's been carved,
"she was swallowed by the woods."

Monday, June 15, 2009

Song of Myself, Walt Whitman (1855)

I CELEBRATE myself, and sing myself,
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you...

Who goes there? hankering, gross, mystical, nude;
How is it I extract strength from the beef I eat?

What is a man anyhow? what am I? what are you?

All I mark as my own you shall offset it with your own,
Else it were time lost listening to me.

I do not snivel that snivel the world over,
That months are vacuums and the ground but wallow and filth.

Whimpering and truckling fold with powders for invalids, conformity
goes to the fourth-remov'd,
I wear my hat as I please indoors or out.

Why should I pray? why should I venerate and be ceremonious?

Having pried through the strata, analyzed to a hair, counsel'd with
doctors and calculated close,
I find no sweeter fat than sticks to my own bones.

In all people I see myself, none more and not one a barley-corn
And the good or bad I say of myself I say of them.

I know I am solid and sound,
To me the converging objects of the universe perpetually flow,
All are written to me, and I must get what the writing means.

I know I am deathless,
I know this orbit of mine cannot be swept by a carpenter's compass,
I know I shall not pass like a child's carlacue cut with a burnt
stick at night.

I know I am august,
I do not trouble my spirit to vindicate itself or be understood,
I see that the elementary laws never apologize,
(I reckon I behave no prouder than the level I plant my house by,
after all.)

I exist as I am, that is enough,
If no other in the world be aware I sit content,
And if each and all be aware I sit content.

One world is aware and by far the largest to me, and that is myself,
And whether I come to my own to-day or in ten thousand or ten
million years,
I can cheerfully take it now, or with equal cheerfulness I can wait.

My foothold is tenon'd and mortis'd in granite,
I laugh at what you call dissolution,
And I know the amplitude of time.

There is that in me - I do not know what it is - but I know it is in

Wrench'd and sweaty - calm and cool then my body becomes,
I sleep - I sleep long.

I do not know it - it is without name - it is a word unsaid,
It is not in any dictionary, utterance, symbol.

Something it swings on more than the earth I swing on,
To it the creation is the friend whose embracing awakes me.

Perhaps I might tell more. Outlines! I plead for my brothers and

Do you see O my brothers and sisters?
It is not chaos or death - it is form, union, plan - it is eternal
life - it is Happiness.

Friday, June 12, 2009

perception pillow

I read a book through hail
those filmy pages were thrown up muck.
We j walked and you kissed me on the double yellow lines,
some car honked on the next block for that
point two second brake
"what does that even mean" you said.

The view of afternoon was
exaggerated by the telephone lines
and linear trees,
like two walls of a dead end.

half close eyes made the
black cat white speckled
and I thought of dualism
and how I perceived reality in that explanation.

I painted a napkin and folded it
three times.
that hole in the wall beckoned me like a vacuum.
once inside something whispered
'there's no need to be down here'
I ran.

I pondered opening the French doors
when suddenly Spanish wrestling blared
from the speakers. 'eres mio.'
I hated myself for becoming upset
and when i woke in the morning
on the stiff hotel bed
a turquoise ring was under my back.
-atomic branding.

I placed a net over the minds and a note popped out.
it read-
laugh and be laughed at, asshole.

T.S Eliot, The Cocktail Party (1949)

It will do you no harm to find yourself ridiculous.
Resign yourself to be the fool you are.

You will find that you survive humiliation
And that's an experience of incalculable value.

That is the worst moment, when you feel you have lost
The desires for all that was most dersirable,
Before you are contented with what you can desire;
Before you know what is left to be desired;
And you go on wishing that you could desire
What desire has left behind. But you cannot understand.
How could you understand what it is to feel old?

We die to each other daily.
What we know of other people
Is only our memory of the moments
During which we knew them. And they have changed since then.
To pretend that they and we are the same
Is a useful and convenient social convention
Which must sometimes broken. We must also remember
That at every meeting we are meeting a stranger.

What is hell? Hell is oneself.
Hell is alone, the other figures in it
Merely projections. There is nothing to escape from
And nothing to escape to. One is always alone.

Half the harm that is done in this world
Is due to people who want to feel important.
They don't mean to do harm — but the harm does not interest them.
Or they do not see it, or they justify it
Because they are absorbed in the endless struggle
To think well of themselves.

There are several symptoms
Which must occur together, and to a marked degree,
To qualify a patient for my sanitorium:
And one of them is an honest mind. That is one of the causes of their suffering.

To men of a certain type
The suspicion that they are incapable of loving
Is as disturbing to their self-esteem
As, in cruder men, the fear of impotence.

I should really like to think there's something wrong with me —
Because, if there isn't then there's something wrong,
Or at least, very different from what it seemed to be,
With the world itself — and that's much more frightening!

Everyone's alone — or so it seems to me.
They make noises, and think they are talking to each other;
They make faces, and think they understand each other.
And I'm sure they don't. Is that a delusion?

Can we only love
Something created in our own imaginations?
Are we all in fact unloving and unloveable?
Then one is alone, and if one is alone
Then lover and beloved are equally unreal
And the dreamer is no more real than his dreams.

I shall be left with the inconsolable memory
Of the treasure I went into the forest to find
And never found, and which was not there
And is perhaps not anywhere? But if not anywhere
Why do I feel guilty at not having found it?

Disillusion can become itself an illusion
If we rest in it.

Two people who know they do not understand each other,
Breeding children whom they do not understand
And who will never understand them.

There is another way, if you have the courage.
The first I could describe in familiar terms
Because you have seen it, as we all have seen it,
Illustrated, more or less, in lives of those about us.
The second is unknown, and so requires faith —
The kind of faith that issues from despair.
The destination cannot be described;
You will know very little until you get there;
You will journey blind. But the way leads towards possession
Of what you have sought for in the wrong place.

We must always take risks. That is our destiny.

If we all were judged according to the consequences
Of all our words and deeds, beyond the intention
And beyond our limited understanding
Of ourselves and others, we should all be condemned.

Only by acceptance of the past will you alter its meaning.

Every moment is a fresh beginning.


Our first snap was the ultra sound shot,
then that day in the park.
your hand was on my shoulder and in your
buck teeth and striped blue tank top
you looked drunk.

I was always first class when we played Titanic
Although I don't know why-
Because I'm the one who smoked the cigarette butts,
pissed in your wind pants pocket on the mountain,
and blew my nose into a leaf all over your neighborhood.
I was cool.

Like that night I dressed up as a pumpkin and
turned a funny story into the tangent that wouldn't end
or when I slapped you across the face in Mrs. Larabee's room
and we can't remember why.

We cheated on our homework together too-
she caught us faking 99's on that impossible shit
when everybody else failed. woops.

Then we went to Baltimore and got high on the Gap-
like the climbing wall
the happy song,
and showing off our trampoline dance
that was just terrible.

No one figured it out that we could balance
on those giant balls- or that when I'd push you
through the hills in that stroller
you were smoking,
dressed up as a baby.

You chugged 7 beers when we were 7
and played college with my boat as our dorm.
We sort of both do live on the waves.
My bike was my car and that's still true too.

We'd make believe about boyfriends and shopping
playing shark underneath my paddle boat
but you didn't like it because diving scared you,
still does.

That Christmas at my house your pigtail braids froze
when we painted the snow pink
and my parents wouldn't let us keep
Stinky the cat
because he really did smell like poop and Runt hated him.

And when the man that ate bunnies came to capture
my 70 and counting,
we hid the cute ones in my closet,
but let him take away the white litter with red eyes.

The only thing on our restaurant menu was noodles and cheese.
Making it's like clockwork and
a slimy noodle pan sits in my apartment sink
three times a week.

We sipped wine on my parents bed
and watched Zenon at 12.
Those Disney originals were priceless but
we sipped too much wine in high school
and forgot almost everything.
Atleast the bad.

Mr. Bridges said 'a sip counts!'
but you weren't the one that threw up in the hallway
at I.C (for the record)
It was Griffin Benson.

And it was Dave Ogden who blew up the
microwave at the 7th and 8th grade dance
when Mariel was too embarrassed that she
didn't grow hair in her armpits.

You can't makeout in a fort.
You can only laugh in a sleeping bag
and watch flashlights bounce off the blankets.

You got sick from 'bad seafood' when we were caught
drinking and you seduced Erik B. at
that weird cool party.

We dove back into your window at 5 a.m
and left for practice at 6.
We sweat out beer to the oldies
and were still more coordinated than those girly buffoons.

We always won everything.
Like the rope climb and
the jumping contest
or the rock record at ESPN zone.

When all of our pretty friends came to your house for
that summer party
we hid on the roof and threw water balloons.
We refused to stop when no one else laughed.

You broke 7 of my mirrors for some odd reason
and maybe the bad luck came that day P.P
told his mom you were a cougar.

I still feel like we're playing college
and drinking because we can't
and we think it's funny.

We probably shouldn't have smoked
cigarettes in 5th grade at the baseball game.
Those prisses cried for us.
But oh well because we cried at your party in the duplex
when you fell asleep watching The Wizard of Oz
and I had to see Becca doing naked cartwheels
in the basement.

I still laugh when I think of you wearing
that Christian singer t-shirt
with only leggings underneath.

No one knows why we watched the Parent Trap
3,000 times.
It wasn't because Lindsey Lohan was cute
or good at faking a British accent

but because in real life she was
just one person playing two-
and so are we.

Lady Linda

She regards the cats
colors coordinating bath mats
nutritional value of a meal
a menthol cigarette deal
the right to have a glass of wine, or two.
the comfort of a shoe

the color of her fingernails
leaves outlining dog walk trails
the tone of a voice
dinner of her daughters' choice

the lack of decency in a creep
random likelihood of a necessary weep
silence of the lake
muscles needed to rake

bragging of an artist, a teacher, proudly
watching the bug run and cheering loudly
recipes for treats she will not eat
marinating meat.

announcing 'yay!' in momentous times
making guacamole with fresh squeezed limes
lighting candles, folding a sock
wide legged strides around the block

going to hardware stores for free popcorn
insinuating honking the broken horn
caring for the girls' sickness of a sneeze
wearing thick socks so her toes don't freeze

snapping her fingers as a signature dance
walking very fast in her very little pants
traveling and knowing procedures each time
watering deck plants and hearing wind chimes

hiding from spiders and locking up bees
exaggerating a sneeze.
eating chicken, chewing the bones
reliving days when voices were not behind phones.

Hour Plastic

Every one of the yellow temples
cringed under the falling sky.
The new black cotton dog drank
and explored every mud puddle.
what were these lakes?
How could the sky yesterday
have been perceptibly black-blueness..
was it space?

It's stupid to get mad about someone elses' skin
and the digital everything caused
twelve hundred whos to follow the
fact that I went out last night
or that I stayed in
or that I like The Shins

there isn't a point to the
pop-up conversations about upward things
and abbreviated answers
-- destroying the beauty of a syllable.

For whatever reason my mind boils
like water on a burner
over meat and information
and personality and the perfect temperature
functions of hemispheres, sightings of specters...

I paused during the first of two walks
to smell a random orange flower
and a homeless man gargled words at me.
I wished seeing his face would reveal
the incomprehensive story.
On the same block in the Wien coffee shop
that pair on the right with
Chicago accents and Chicago frown lines talked-
strictly business.
"i made an offer"
"I signed yesterday."

So we can't help but talk about all
of the money everywhere,
which doesn't grow on a tree but
flew out of a printer
which I have and don't have perpetually
like the moon changing shape when few notice.

The staccato conversations about passion and order
were cream in my coffee.
Sometimes I want to turn the volume down
and be a rock at the bottom of my lake where I grew up,
in those silent springs.

"don't you ever relax?"
asked a former relation, once
who later would make me cry
and regret
and ashamed.

I've searched in vain for the tenacity
regarding important things.
Ambition to generate these businesses and degrees
endeavors for the resume and a future three by five
but no amount of appointments or metromix events
can make me forget the notion
that every actuality dies.

Where things are located in relation to the street grid
is aggravatingly pointless
and the fact that your knowledge of it is flawless.

An uneasy feeling exists in my stomach momentarily-
due in part to the floating head in my room last night
assuring me I was not dreaming
Transcending from face to box, box to face.
It teased me about a face,
being inside a box.

The clue for this meaning does not exist,
but face to box had me cornered in the pillows
and wishing to be absolved of all things
red, cautious, and unreal.


For the ignorance of talking traffic signs
I draw shades and retreat into my mind.

A man in a blazer and beret
pressed a tape recorder to his ear.
the switching of buttons sounded
like a bird slurping a straw.

everybody sort of listened
and I decided I'd like to pass
someone in the act of graffiti.
I pretended the man was just
a bird, sipping on a coke.

How can THIS be June?
Declined temperatures and greys blanketing puddles
pisses everyone off.

All of the bricks on all of the shoulders
have different inscriptions though.

I go back and forth and back and forth
but realize how alluring it is to disappear.

I used to enter a room arms flailing-
I prefer to sneak through the back
on my toes now. 'tip tip tip'...

when you descend the stairs,
imagine just a tumble.
Probably sometime soon,
maybe we could make some decisions.