Thursday, May 26, 2011

english professorisms

A rolling pillar of half-tone smoke
half-tone grey in the tonnage
of the heavy effacing self,
heavy in the legs and shoulders,
I came crawling out of the fetor of a weasel:
I, I roared a sickness inside
and out: thunderheads piled
like poisonous sky-stone within me,
poised above my white-hot heat-death:
boiling oil, all I am is boiling oil,
heavy in the porkbelly and coinage,
potted basil plants with placid bookish
rage, thrown red clay and feathers
out into the yard, all the potshards
and lefty goatsherds to gather there
a third world mine own, a sandpainting
for my cross, a mother for my Christ,
a holy but whorish version of Mary Godmother
for you the students, 
the Christ-child born half-Jew and half-Roman
in the alphabet stew; 
no matter: we are in this soup together
now drinking the susurrant milk
of our manicultured fathermothereraser

Friday, May 20, 2011

the stephen king and john berryman write a sonnet sonnet

Welcome to the end of sunshine
and the end of picnic, which
you missed. Thank God. Here’s red rain,
red rain. Sally’s being a bitch—

surprised? Johnny say he’s in stitches,
she so funny. She so gurgle, plarp,
she gutter. Johnny get knife, swing for fences,
hit homerun. Oh God. Can you help?

Blood on my corndog. Blood in my cup.
We not got fun. Dick and Jane,
no, not here. Sally, all fucked up
and lips not here. Sally in real pain.

We need revenge, so let’s get Johnny,
he ain’t patient & his jokes ain’t funny.

This poem in response to Sherman Alexie's "The Facebook Sonnet," which can be found in the May 16 issue of The New Yorker.

panda porn is better than my poems

They say great art should edify
and enlighten. But fuck me
if I've ever enlightened myself
much less anyone else.
All my best poems make less
and more sense than the others.
You could watch panda porn
and you'd be all the better for it--
and you probably will.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

ivan walks away

My confession, dear Alyosha, is this:
I broke into quiet tears after
reading the Inquisitor's poem come to an end:
Ivan turning on his low-slung
right shoulder, pivoting

on a fractured limb,
a dove falling from the air
twirling on the severed
bloody stub of its wing,
blasted by a wounded little boy.

(My poor father, my poor father,
there's your money, THERE'S YOUR MONEY
and there, there alone, there's your freedom:
200 red rubles
balled up in the mud)

Where Ivan walks, no hand
to hold him; no extended arm.
No counterbalance for the weight
of the ears carelessly nailed to fence-posts
or girl left alone in the outhouse

all night to freeze.
His look is too familiar, Alyosha,
too familiar to me, like driving away from home
the last time it's still home.
I wish I could dissolve with you.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

on the reaction to bin laden's death i will

Dance and sing the spangles,
all the angles of my swordy love
to vanish in the abscess
of the wound which is my country,
my country, my country, my country
spangled like an eighteenth
century street lamp with an amber
purple glow; fragile glass;
a tea light; a flamethrower
dying to die out or start a housefire.

when you don't come soon

Poodle-dog looks sad when she walks Riverside
Park, shitting on every bench,
and homeless people,
folks of the world with
pork and beans in their cans,
no fork, no spoon. Arrange
the call of a Canadian Loon.
Make it sad when it rains,
dear Father in Heaven,
so that I will be properly
prepared to feel bad,
'specially when and if
you don't come so soon.


"It is not miracles that bring a realist to faith. A true realist, if he is not a believer, will always find in himself the strength and ability not to believe in miracles as well, and if a miracle stands before him as an irrefutable fact, he will sooner doubt his own senses than admit the fact. And even if he does admit it, he will admit it as a fact of nature that was previously unknown to him. Once the realist comes to believe, then, precisely because of his realism, he must also allow for miracles." - Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov (Pevear trans.)

Sunday, May 1, 2011

song for a sofa

Rundown sofa emblazoned with pink and blue flowers
full of sleep, remember me
when you are dumpstered for good.
When on the garbage heap full of GI Joe's
memories, remember me and my sleeping
on you. Throughout the night
think of my cloistered eyes:
I dreamt on you
of her whose couch you reluctantly were,
and drooled.
Foolish and full of sleep,
you the sofa kept me
She smiled at me. I smiled, mumbled;
twitched awake.
I regret everything I ever forgot to say.