Wednesday, June 30, 2010

judas speaks (fragment)

You skip ahead, skip ahead,
to walk among the dust and raise up the dead,
always over-head of us; can't ever buy bread.
Now hunger kills me, you skip ahead,
skip ahead - burn your bridges - wake the dead.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


I can feel the wait-time withering me -
it's the sum, the reel-rhyme,
the distance of that Atlantic
sea, that hole of whole blue and whole
green, the water I can't tread

or love or see. The time ticks,
turns at its fastest, slowly -
I sit with the night's clock,
sleep - dream memories and green
with slow growth, slower patience;
read Kerouac, at intermittent stays -
he's either too high
or too low - Buddhist? - for me;

but I like his simple monastic happiness -
it's like you, out there. Singing.

Rev. 8/9/10

Monday, June 28, 2010

she speaks

freezing on the
on-ramp of an
interstate, you just want
the warmth
and nothing but
elsewhere, to flood
through your chest
and your hands,
to get yourself
to the other side
of the looking glass
between you
and the whole
fucking world.
To cover you
like your sleeping bag
can't. Maybe just
to hide in
another darkness.
To not piss
in the rain where
the ice-wind
cuts your legs, cuts
up inside of you
where no one
should be you don't
Sometimes that's
all you want -
the warmth
elsewhere is;
might be . . . impossible to tell
with all this

Saturday, June 26, 2010

not inscribed by will

"I'm puzzled, not emotionally but logically, by the contemporary determination of women to write as women. Puzzled because this seems an ambition limited by the existing conception of what, exactly, differentiates the sexes. If there are such differences, it seems to me reasonable to suppose that literature reveals them, and that it will do so more interestingly, more subtly, in the absence of intention. In a similar way, all art is historical: in both its confrontations and evasions, it speaks of its period. The dream of art is not to assert what is already known but to illuminate what has been hidden, and the path to the hidden world is not inscribed by will."

- Louis Gl├╝ck, from "Education of the Poet"

Friday, June 25, 2010

week end

You sit with no lights on.
The city hums. Not to you,
but to no one and
everyone here. The day's
small talk is done with,
and you're thinking about sleep,
sleep is on your mind.
Not small talk. You can only
take so much workplace
banter, even if it's all right.
A day skipping over the
surface takes more.
More than you thought.
Now only the night speaks,
the lights sparkle slightly,
the fridge sighs, the fan
squeaks. The one roommate
is asleep. You wait for
a couple more seconds,
think about a smoke,
but simply closing the
eyes sounds like
real pleasure, almost
like hope itself. You smile.
How simple hope is
at this hour, and how
utterly uncomplicated.
The old monks said:
Go to sleep before witching-hour.
But you're too tired for
witching or even wishing
for much, other than sleep,
maybe a sandwich, or a
good night kiss. But you're alone
and too tired for witching,
so you smile, listening
to the soft static hiss.
The city hums,
the lights sparkle.
You'll probably even forget
to brush your teeth.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The rain rattles you
after awhile, after so many days
of the grey
spilling over your windows.

Then, the sun
comes charging into the sky.

look much better.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

impediment culture

In Oklahoma I grew up with Indians.
Didn't know that they'd ever left anything
but Florida, which at the time
didn't sound that bad to me,
as hot as it is there.
In Smithville
we were all poor
as possums going through the garbage;
it didn't bother me or my
Indian friend Steven,
who could barely enunciate because
of a speech impediment
but learned to say fuck long before
it ever occurred to me.
I'd always pretended

to be a cowboy,
riding right next to John Wayne,
where heroes wore guns, not face paint.
(And the ones that wore face paint
were usually white guys anyway,
so what difference did it really make?)
You would've figured I'd have gotten

a better idea of how things had been
if how things actually were
was not the normal human shit
every little no-light town has to deal with.

The sun comes up. Goes down.
People are poor, drive drunk,
go to jail, die alone or they
end up "killin' themselves"
in the seat next to Vic Hopper's dad, mysteriously,
and no one cares -
there were drugs in the car
because it's just "thugs killin' thugs," that's all.
And nothing about their color, nothing
about their color at all,
just the shit we were all swimming in,
and the stupid mostly-
white men running the school.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


I keep wondering -
when the shit finally gets out of my head,
where's it going to go? Who's going to listen
to my babble when you're gone?
When you're across continents and oceans
and I'm still here, taking the bus to work.
Who'll hear me
when I read something funny
when I get up in the night to piss?

(for lg and tc)

Saturday, June 12, 2010

thoroughly persuaded

"No distance of place or lapse of time can lessen the friendship of those who are thoroughly persuaded of each other's worth."
- Robert Southey

Friday, June 11, 2010

the present

"And I asked myself about the present: how wide it was, how deep it was, how much was mine to keep."

- Kurt Vonnegut, from Slaughterhouse-Five

Monday, June 7, 2010

"Of all nations the United States with veins full of poetical stuff most needs poets and will doubtless have the greatest and use them the greatest. Their Presidents shall not be their common referee so much as their poets shall. Of all mankind the great poet is the equable man. Not in him but off from him things are grotesque or eccentric or fail of their sanity. Nothing out of its place is good and nothing in its place is bad. He bestows on every object or quality its fit proportions neither more nor less. He is the arbiter of the diverse and he is the key. He is the equalizer of his age and land . . . . he supplies what wants supplying and checks what wants checking."

- Walt Whitman, from the preface to Leaves of Grass

Sunday, June 6, 2010

sensible of conditions

"On the whole, I do not find Christians, outside of the catacombs, sufficiently sensible of conditions. Does anyone have the foggiest idea what sort of power we so blithely invoke? Or, as I suspect, does no one believe a word of it? The churches are children playing on the floor with their chemistry sets, mixing up a batch of TNT to kill a Sunday morning. It is madness to wear ladies’ straw hats and velvet hats to church; we should all be wearing crash helmets. Ushers should issue life preservers and signal flares; they should lash us to our pews. For the sleeping god may wake someday and take offense, or the waking god may draw us out to where we can never return. "
- Annie Dillard

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

(we are) the body

I cast your foundation like a stone.
I lost myself - moving from home
to unknown, to seeds sewn,
seeds wild and lovely, and perhaps not in wisdom;
but in beauty.
My self had dangled from your back pocket
like a rag-doll,
off the edge of your limericks,
your repetition and your rhyme,
your song out of time. Too long. Too long now.
I'll show you how,

and declare:
I dove into the deep when I dove with her.

Now, right now,
to Hell with you.
You, you children of darkness.
William Blake will show you how.

Listen! Listen up, I'll say it loud!
Listen, you pirates of morals, you makers of locks
and locksmiths, you bastards, you blockheads:

I aim to bury you.

(Also, apologies to Emily Dickinson.)