Thursday, December 30, 2010
Saturday, December 25, 2010
Thursday, December 23, 2010
- Walker Percy, from Lost in the Cosmos
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
but . . . there is a grizzly bear
big and brown at my window.
He's howling like a dog.
Rococo, what an interesting French building.
What were we talking
Dear God I have grown
bored, drowny-downy bored,
baroque or no baroque.
I love Campbell's soup
but Warhol seemed rather sick.
Look at that bear! Look, how he
takes my trash
in his big black paws
and pitches it across the yard!
Oh world! Oh world, that thing
I'm not surprised, but why?
He's been making grandmas happy
and happier for years now.
Don't tell me
my grandma can't be happy.
Just don't. She's unhappy enough.
I'd buy that mustached
painter a drink. I talked with Judas,
he said he would, too.
But shit, man, those pictures
old T.K. paints are so bad
he'd probably sue. Sure, I said,
but it's hard to rip off a real fool.
Hard to sell out when your art is in
the homes of every geriatric Bible
collector that'd cry wolf
if your lighthouses didn't
glow so brightly, or didn't inspire
the comment: Sweet Lord,
that sunset is pretty.
(I was loved once, too.)
Monday, December 20, 2010
out that day.
foolish dog's skull
with the buckle--he hit me.
No, my father said,
I've killed him,
daylight turning on a hinge.
(My coat frayed in its closet,
waiting for worse weather.
I needed to get out to the fringe.
Things, when I grew, would get better at last,
out there, away, not silent,
not quiet as cemetery flowers
growing through twilit evenings
before night-time ripe with rain.)
But that day he stained me
and I ran, chased my pate-broke
around the shed, not knowing
if he was alive or dead.
His throat rattled down
to his lungs. I shivered
what rage would come
were I the dog and not the son.
Friday, December 17, 2010
I’d think your eyelids would blister
from so many tears,
your wet cheeks unwalked-on
in a sea-side city. They’re natural;
no need for cement
You look intoxicating when you cry,
No deadpan jokes can alleviate
that pressure. Just kiddy-chalk,
in pastel measures. Your sigh
devastates a world within me,
hurls twirling stars across my selfish
my nervous twitch.
It’s because you’re it baby,
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Sunday, December 5, 2010
Saturday, December 4, 2010
Thursday, December 2, 2010
the fall of a sparrow. If it be now, 'tis not to come; if it be not to
come, it will be now; if it be not now, yet it will come—the
readiness is all. Since no man, of aught he leaves, knows what is't
to leave betimes, let be."
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Monday, November 29, 2010
Damn those plans I've made,
those ones I keep trying to make.
If I could wake up with you
for years on end I'd try and live
through this rain -
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
beneath a murder of crows holding forth like politicians,
my thoughts cower beneath what I feel,
in the place where the cut bleeds
beneath the bandage, a flowering of crimson life
flooding over dry, grey skin,
—I am, and I’m squirming.
My cell walls are thinner than wire threads,
the color of copper-flavored capsules,
without mediators or helpers.
My self, awkward as it may sound,
is like a sperm helplessly swimming
in hopes of an unknown
(but much thought-of) egg,
an intuitive disaster of a being.
Sunday, November 14, 2010
of my cellular phone I spoke
to she who is named Donna,
mother of my mother.
I picked up on the scent
of my granny's fresh-washed
skin, right before she turns
in for bed. A touch of baby shampoo.
(This was from over 2,000
miles away.) I smiled
as she said for me to enjoy
my youth and its vitality.
"Got a bit of rain, lately.
When you bringing that girl
of yours down here, Nate?
Trying to say Laura like
"or" instead of "are" was quite
a challenge. I murmured
a laugh and imagined
the smiles I've had at her
expense. Being a grandchild,
however, covers up
a multitude of sins -
she's forgotten all of them.
Saturday, November 6, 2010
that's all that lies upon life's way.
Do you, sullen poets, agree?
I feel, do not think, to be:
They're two such very odd
ways to be.
something of a polish,
a lacquer, a veneer, sacked
by salient divinity.
and I'll get sold:
growing less cold, we'll use the proceeds
to procure waste-paper baskets
for the heavy-but-well-set,
the shakers who put the salt on the table -
still insisting on silver -
and the movers in love with the meaty,
the thirsty, and the able - the ones 'got skills'
and 'got time' of day and no need
for time of sleep 'cause they got
someone workin' on that too, what's more,
don't they not know it,
Dig it up, sweety-pie.
I'll not deny you no pleasure or pain.
But the one's got my name
has got me running.
caught in the mower,
their guts torn up
by the unfeeling
yet not quite consciously
cruel blades, he walked
through the high yellow grasses,
feeling the heads of grain
glowing gold on his nicotine-stained
fingers, sifting the seeds, heading for the waters
that rippled clear as the glassy stones
beneath the surface, he walked
and listened, waiting to feel
death's hands cutting the bright
green flower-stems, waiting
to feel those hands
wrap their long fingers
around his swaying body,
singing in the wind.
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Monday, November 1, 2010
Thursday, October 28, 2010
- John Berryman
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Saturday, October 9, 2010
Monday, October 4, 2010
Sunday, October 3, 2010
April's eyes narrowed then as if she were thinking the same thing. "So . . . do you ever think about what yours would say?"My--" Remy opened his eyes."Your portrait in grief. They're not like obits--see. They're not resumes or tributes. They're more like crosscuts, a strobe flash on one part of your life. One moment. One theme. So what would yours say?""I don't know," Remy said."I know what mine would say.""What?""She saw death as just another wedding she wasn't invited to."
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Monday, September 20, 2010
— William Carlos Williams
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Reading, in its quietness and sustained concentration, is the opposite of busyness. "We are so distracted by and engulfed by the technologies we've created, and by the constant barrage of so-called information that comes our way, that more than ever to immerse yourself in an involving book seems socially useful," Franzen says. "The place of stillness that you have to go to to write, but also to read seriously, is the point where you can actually make responsible decisions, where you can actually engage productively with an otherwise scary and unmanageable world."
— Lev Grossman, from the recent cover article in Time on Franzen and his new novel, Freedom.
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Monday, September 6, 2010
Sunday, September 5, 2010
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
whispered line by whisper.
The grime, dirt, mud, and shit covered both of us
as the soil of the night was sundered;
Judas opened his mouth
and let me see him eat
the last tart he'd bought in Normandy.
We joked uneasily about the blood
between his teeth.
He seemed - almost -
as nervous as me.
And when the small echoing note
became a repeater
in that symphony in the unquiet dark,
when the quiet chorus
of water running in the trenches
between the starkness
of the stripped naked trees
sang in my ears, when what was once reloaded
became automatic: a pounding sore,
I began to know - as I quoted Homer and some of David's psalms,
that I would be
one of the dead ones
watched only by the salt-filled eyes of the night.
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Monday, August 30, 2010
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Jenny is christened
in a little pool by an elder
fool with flowered robes.
Mmhmm, says her papa.
Her atheist mama
is quite skeptical.
Watch out, you wee parental things.
Judas wants to eat that child.
Monday, August 16, 2010
Some days I do this. I get confused.
That happy blue is too much.
Too much for a funeral.
Mindful now, Sun - we're wearing black.
We, the smokers hiding
behind the church can't take such exposure,
we need a heavy rain
or at least the relief of loaded clouds
unloading themselves, releasing weirdly
sexual tension upon the earth.
Oh, Sun, you're waiting for me
to get around to discussing grief?
You poured yourself on us,
you saw it, you shouldn't need to hear otherwise.
Wisdom says let the dog lie. So let it.
We're going swimming.
That's the whole story.
First we're going to Safeway,
and then we're going to drink, or smoke
a hundred or so collective smokes.
(Come back when you're wanted.)
Soon you'll be a necessary light.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
(May 29, 1991 – August 7, 2010)
Sunday, August 8, 2010
Friday, August 6, 2010
as I sit up in bed, the sheets full of sand,
emptying of me. The bus
comes later every day; I contemplate
not one but two prework smokes
but there's no time. My chest
is developing a hole anyway.
Yesterday, I shaved. The usual business
of turning into sandpaper has already begun,
a kind of madness. The hairs grow.
I cut them, the dark brown and red ones, and rinse the sink.
Sometimes the hole seems to be
growing into a kind of forever.
I watch the summer grass dying. I miss you.
And then bus comes, the scenery moves:
I imagine the touch of my lips to your ear
in lamplight, feeling the music of your mouth,
soothingly, -- and 22nd street rolls by.
Thursday, August 5, 2010
On the screen the world breaks apart. I'm believing:
A hailstorm of meatballs, spaghetti, burgers, and sauce
falling out of the sky. It was a children's book once.
I read it, eleven years old, at school.
Smithville Elementary, a long brick low-to-the-ground
building that met itself at a 90 degree angle,
the library in the hinge, my granny at the desk,
with a hill sloping down to the playground
still made of steel and painted
six or eight primary colors.
(Red green blue
red yellow orange red
blue green white?)
We dug holes in the ground
pretending to be archaeologists.
We ran around hollering. Shot each other with toy guns.
Fell to the ground, quite dead. Counted to thirty,
resurrected to live again.
The book - I loved it. Now I cry, stupidly -
watching an outdoor film in Riverside Park -
for what I'll never have again - a second innocence -
& perhaps the beauty of what I have now . . .
a second's worth of windlovereality,
but is it anymore graspable? I'm believing:
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
August skies from the dust,
I now sit in cool-skinned shades.
Red shoulders and redder
knees from sitting too long by the canal,
colored from water reflections
and from thinking about your paler
skin, skin unsunned, mostly
in classrooms, bookrooms, libraries
and busses. (It wouldn't take much
to be paler than this scorched
tomato shade.) I twist the cherry
from my cigarette in the yellow
grass, make sure it dies alongside:
no one appreciates an urban wildfire.
I slap my hands together
and glance up at the glaring sun.
It's feeling less like fall than Seattle
summer is wont to do, and I like that.
Monday, August 2, 2010
And full of rising winds, through my wild hair,
you toss me toward the light.
And perhaps one day, in wheat fields
you'll chase me,
or on sandaled desert planes
near Santa Fe,
or climbing the golden pine-scented hills
of northern Colorado.
We'll see, won't we? We will.
You, the best of my wild hairs.
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
My fingers determined, my fingers ready to touch your skin
in warm yellow latesummer light, ready
to keep warm under the cold evergreen burn.
I distract myself with purchasing books, reading perhaps half at best,
stories by Dennis Johnson, poetry by Whitman, his disciple, Hart Crane;
and minimalist novels which speak to my slowed-down heart.
Inside my chest there's a dull thudding in time
with the opening and closing,
replaced by a latent smashing in the night
when you visit me in my sleep, when you crawl in bed with my sleeping self.
Your whispering floods my dreams with pages we haven't filled yet;
I wake only to knock an inkwell over on my sheets,
which is, with my morning cough-cough-wheeze, a true catastrophe.
You're not here yet. The calendar
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Monday, July 26, 2010
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Friday, July 23, 2010
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Monday, July 19, 2010
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Saturday, July 17, 2010
heaven in hell and hell in heaven (a series of messages i sent myself or myself sent me or some other thing)
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Where were you love last night, when my heart
was pitching and whirling like a sailboat
in a high-break sea?
My dreams nightmares and nightmares dreams,
I woke up with Death in the sheets next to me.
He laughed and shook his scythe.
He knew it was a lie, he knew he was just being efficient
scaring the shit out of me, that fuckheaded bastard,
he made a face and said he was havin' such a good time,
working for free on his offday, no killing,
no taking-of-prisoners-to-the-great-blue-fiery yonder,
just scaring, like halloween.
But without the candy?
The candy is essential for shitless-scared nights,
nights when you're not next to me
but the nightmare is, when
it's not right it's all wrong and not real,
and then I wake to a pillow,
lime-green in a house I don't know
on an air mattress, hungover
or under my grandpa's dried open eyes.
(Everyone else's overseas somewhere.)
There's no punchline, just a harrowing arcing climb.
There are a million stars in the sky, lovely
but too much humidity to find
them or sometimes,
to even breathe.
As I woke I started thinking about Rumi,
about weeping, about just wanting to exist.
I sat up in the dark bed and knew it was okay.
The shadow of the old man and
Death-on-holiday were invisible.
I cleared my throat and tried to think:
The stars are up there firing off, making newer and better lights and there's nothing I can do to stop them, though I'd give it a go.
The stars are up there firing off,
making newer and better lights
and there's nothing I can do to
stop them, though I'd give it a go.
That's what I told myself,
and keep telling myself,
until this hibernation is over;
until my insides expand again and quiet this dull night roar;
or when at last the morning winks at me,
and I find you on the other side of the sheets, grinning,
a smile on your morning voice.
Monday, July 5, 2010
Friday, July 2, 2010
I listen with all my ears:
The night is full;
coyotes howl in the hills
beyond my Papa's pastures;
the insects crescendo, climb to a monotonous, lovely roar,
and the old rusted propane tank still holds vigil.
I've journeyed far to sit on this porch
built with his hands and fine for summer nights,
summer sweat-heats and rains.
(I am here,
have journeyed far,
only to listen.
This blackness is a canvas singing;
I will sing with it.)
The moon hangs in the cleft of these green oak mountains,
full and huge and orange,
a childhood thing to be eaten
and savoured; savour I do, thinking of the mountain names,
Indian names: Boktukalo, Kiamichi, Ludlow, Zaffra,
and the moon, unnameable, watching them all.
My smoke hesitates in the air,
full in the humid warmth, winding
and expanding, expiring above me.
But this place has not expired.
The cows are in their pastures, silent
old dead Keith's house is still and empty on the hill.
(The insects roar and
the moon fills the sky.
The song I knew has not ceased.)
Thursday, July 1, 2010
Walt Whitman, from the 1855 Preface to Leaves of Grass
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Monday, June 28, 2010
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Friday, June 25, 2010
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Sunday, June 20, 2010
as hot as it is there.
we were all poor
end up "killin' themselves"
in the seat next to Vic Hopper's dad, mysteriously,
there were drugs in the car -