Thursday, April 29, 2010

grammar, bitch

"Grammar in learning is like tyranny in government - confound the bitch I'll never be her slave."
— John Clare

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

haunted with love

"All true love will, one day, behold its own image in the eyes of the beloved, and be humbly glad. This is possible in the realms of lofty death. ‘Ah! my friends,’ thought I, ‘how I will tend you, and wait upon you, and haunt you with my love." - George MacDonald, Phantastes

the poet / the measure

"The poet... imagines himself the measure of life and pays for this with his life." - Boris Pasternak

Sunday, April 25, 2010


Who knows
how to write a poem?
To create a living creature
on the page, to watch it writhe
and breathe, to capture eyes. To want desire,

love, perhaps both. But
my typing? Not a chance.

Console me, O Muse. Touch my hands
until I forget the fumbling
to find the true words.
You say,

on the page the words are black for everyone,
like sin. Or soot."

dear mr. roethke

I thought about writing a good "public
poem," one for the eyes of all who read such shit
from my pen, but failed. Again. The words
were personal and scared me. I hid them—
forgive me. How about light verse?
The question never occurred to me before,
always making the longest fucking lines,
always imitating the poet I love best.
Are my own lines fair, Mr. Roethke? Fair
enough? Public consumption is not at high
demand these days. Not for my style—your style—
my poor imitations. Jesus, if only the weight
of your heavy lines didn't hang on me so
strongly. If my love of lineage wasn't
limitless. Dear God. Sacrilegious and pious,
my two best loves, in tandem, and now
the clean scent of my Papa's cologne. (I asked
for Old Spice, just to be like him.) I try
and make a good line, or two good lines,
a string of words pleasing to the ear—hell,
Papa, just one good phrase between
commas would suit me just fine, if only
for you to nod your approval, embrace me.

(rev. 4/30)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

good things

"Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book, or another book; give it, give it all, give it now. the impulse to save something good for a better place later is the signal to spend it now. Something more will arise for later, something better."
— Annie Dillard (The Writing Life)

Good advice for writing a book. Good words to live a life by. I hope.

Friday, April 23, 2010

rusty words

"And when at last you find someone to whom you feel you can pour out your soul, you stop in shock at the words you utter— they are so rusty, so ugly, so meaningless and feeble from being kept in the small cramped dark inside you so long."
— Sylvia Plath

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Prayer bell
sounds the
a clear pool
in rain,
in rhythm, a
shimmering note
us inside the
still song's

Sunday, April 18, 2010


When Spring comes, she comes.
She comes with joy. She carries
light in her hands, which is joy;
coming, going, growing
into Summer, with warmth, comes
on; and I think, if only I
could be that Godly man,
Hopkins; for one green moment.

Friday, April 16, 2010

fragment of a reflection

Found with waves that tore themselves from the shore I ran from that place and found the ends buried under a table that no one ever uses anymore - loose strands - the faintest trace of ancient air and a rope covered in stars severed from my hands long ago and barely able to wonder that far with eyes on knees on that gravel driveway - mouth asunder - but now to live somehow

Thursday, April 15, 2010

from a text message i sent earlier today

"A cough drop and a cigarette taste like a cherry cigarette. I'm so classy."

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

a vulnerable mystic said

"Those who are willing to be vulnerable move among the mysteries."
— Theodore Roethke

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Been playing with this piece for awhile, decided to cut the line lengths to see if it opened up. Let me know what you think.

The Young Widower

looks out
at his garden
and becomes old,
there in the
The buttons
of his sweater
and fray,
hanging loose on
his bones.
Just above the baked
brown soil the
and the corn,
dead in its stalks,


"Forbid yourself to judge life during these fog-bound times that allow you no sight of its sweeping panorama." - Rainer Maria Rilke

Sunday, April 11, 2010

To the pretty girl in the dining hall with the buzzcut -
you couldn't look as if you wanted more to be celibate.
You wouldn't know it's spring by your winter-look,
the heavy, long skirt made of dark ash and tilled soot;
sackcloth doesn't become you now. But solitude forgets
to move outward. Forgets to look past potential regrets,
through the light of the Book instead of at it, instead
those pages fill you not with wildness but a cold dark quiet.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

anti-manifesto, or, i hate the internet but am doing this anyway

I'm not really sure what I think about blogging. With my rather arcane ideas about most technological forms of communication, and the way that stuff on the internet just never goes away - I've deleted most of my older blogs out of sheer embarrassment - it would follow naturally that I wouldn't blog. However, even though I'm less interested in shouting to the internet all of my troubles and personal rants, there are some of you out there whom I know and love personally who have taken to this, and I'd like maybe, in some small way, to join that dialogue.

But I'm still suspicious. One thing that has kept me away from blogging has been that there are only so many hours of the day and only so many creative sparks in my head. So perhaps I'll just keep the content here relegated to the things that go boom in my head while I'm elsewhere, working on other things.

What will follow from here may be poems, may be one sentence thoughts and may just become a collection of quotes I like. I doubt I'll be particularly good about updating often. Not that you're concerned, dear reader. Or that I'm concerned, really. These things usually take on a tone of their own.