Friday, December 31, 2010

221. Stories of Ice

multiple stories
led to the same point
the same location
in space the same
place at the highest
point of remembering


the lake is Caroga
two-eyed and staring

at twilight
it blinks

its seeing is clearest
in snowless winter

the icy lens of each
eye staring into blue


the ice
is a black sheet
of road

north and south
at a slant

the axis of a car
at this point


the pages
of the book
have transformed
to sheets of ice

you can still
read the words
which appear
to be squirrels

or fetched acorns
in their mouths
or the trees
they run up


the windows’ve
covered with crystals
of ice that grow
into veins or roadways
a honeycombed vision

you look into
the window
and see everything
that is left
expanding in place


children arrived
the suspended light
of icicles
bearing in their hands
small balls of ice

they have
in their tiny hands
balls of snow
for hours
in the cold

when they play
marbles with these
spheres of ice
they imagine what
a spherical eye
loose in the world sees

Thursday, December 30, 2010

220. Lessness

Lest & not
unless less

ginger for
a fingerwidth’s
breadth of

& holding
your breath

waiting for
it to happen

the less of it

there are in the sky

     birds birds
  birds birds
         birds birds
 birds birds birds
      birds birds
           birds birds

that fall
like snow

     s     s
  s     s
           s     s
   s     s     s
              s     s

snow is
the shadow
of the sun
so it doesn’t
show as black

Comes under snow
a warmth
or the snow soaks
it in and melts
into the earth
evaporates into
the air

for snow is
merely an earlier state
of disappearance

in that way
it resembles sleep
or apnea

breaks in pieces
and breaks in pieces again

first as solid flakes of snow
intricate tracery
skeleton of a fragile frozen
body of water and light
flowing through it

back to liquid
water seeping down
to disappear
from sight or breath
eventually too deep
for finger to pull it

Dark earth
full of ginger
and gingerroot
rooting paw of dog
can’t reach it

Dark earth
full of ginger
bright and sweet

filled with
snow water

and out of

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

219. After Snowmelt

puddle of a sequence

or take a puddle
in a sequence of the day

where the puddle was
how you came upon it
with what degree of trepidation
did you approach it?

a puddle made
of snow melted
snow fallen
into water and mud
snow pushed by plow
into it Do you imagine

the puddle has no end to it?
that it is deep
beyond comprehension?
something that might
take the whole world in?

(If this were a dream
there would be a danger
of your disappearing
down that hole

so be relieved that
this is only a poem
and you’ll probably not
encounter a puddle
anytime soon.

The puddle is just
a metaphor for
anything that might
befall a person.)

[The idea here
is that something
strangely white,
naturally “clean,”
something that covers,
could be transformed

something dark, of a different
physical nature, something
that hides, a trap that might
hold us, something that
reflects our deepest fear:
not being able to breathe.

There is no puddle that
burrows deep into the earth,
no puddle anyone could
disappear into. That is only
a fear that dreaming brings,
nothing real. But what is
actually real is whatever
we believe, because those
beliefs allow us to
interpret the world and
the dangers within it.]

{I’m digressing,
I think, because
this letter is meant
to be a letter of good wishes
for the future.

The puddle is merely
an image to open
the letter, an image
that suddenly occurred
to me, and one
I thought could carry me
through the writing
of the entire poem. It couldn’t,
because the image
wasn’t right, even though
I still find it interesting
and even though
I enjoyed the language I created
with it, more so than
these words, which I use
only for rhetorical purposes,
not ones of imagistic
or aural beauty.}

—so I write
these words, frag-
ments of what
they should be,
to you, as I’ve
written to all
the others who
will be leaving
us, against their
will, because
the least you
should know is

that a puddle
is something
you step over

on your way

Monday, December 27, 2010

217. With the Season’s First Snowfall

Early evening meteorologists said


wind thru a drftiing

snow from
a diffrent form

torn as
a sky
out of

& gilt
by sun

as it
in a
& slid

out of


tle to


but snow
piles &
the earth

tain re
from &
the re

a snow’s
came &
& stays
in white
w/ white
& white

on the

early evening meterologists said

Sunday, December 26, 2010

216. Paris Too

Arrowroot polymer threaded vision: voice like crystal, like glass
appetite for snow in fragmented sight: plangent bubbled thinkinG

Bruised pillowed cordoned waist: piston as motionless refuse
bodily forms arranged in order of width: ribbon bony protuberancE

Curtain cotton milliner bed: slender serpentine, severed sleepings
calibrated versions of the forgotten past: extensible ingest manifestatioN

Dullard coffee liquid wrench: slip the slurry through the cheesecloth
dust alighting on marzipan crescents: depilatory content wrapper infesT

Echo loquat station bird: call in fertile petulant grave
eastern reason, western for speed: cattle calling spur poontanG

Fever never river reach: tropical notions, nautical clues
fewer manners to undress: leavening manna hand manaclE

Garbo pocket wafer signal: finding fortunes’ siren prelate
granting portion flurry Mass: overland bus trip to predictioN

Harvest marvel eyelet vine: limited entry, limitless stretch
hundred mottled bottled lights: stellar fulcrum docile vriL

Iris witness febrile view: accordion, two itch, flanneur
indigent tendency to measure panes: window waver iridescent waveS

Jocular mandible fervid caught: insipid disquisitions intending minions
jostled vehicular cortex spewed: wrinkle ankle tank disgorgE

Knoll troll boll brigade: assembled massive fairy tale bridge
klesmer singing merchant’s stollen: musing purchase bagel voicE

Launder fold dissuade meander: lose the run the pulls the stocking
licit lovers found erected: torpid potion extract demoN

Missile turnstile selvage merman: sundry spinning hybrid fringes
maudlin costumed grey eye-opener: opera oracle mud topcoaT

Nuzzled fondled breaded fried: touching tender heat and skin
nibbling from unwanted biscuit: longing lounging late longueuR

Open purpose billion bulb: expected energy of certain desire
operated for that maculate intent: spotted mentioned driven dotH

Prickle stipple region void: heretical interstitial autobiographical
pistil of lovingkindness fertility: fennel lovage penis growtH

Quartzite lucre vital breadth: widening light of sturdy station
quadroon quaking split platoon: halving halves of salivating assemblageS

Rising raising raiding rate: water for the covering of all dreams and sins
rivulet twisting through an open sore: pustule muscle pubic bonE

Sorrel slumber silver skink: enter from a green gorge-de-pigeon resting place
snaking seasons of a session’s slant: adder winter gather skeW

Treble feeble marvel broth: bottom of my foot in bloody bolster
too much weight in my falling to stop myself: holding hard hardly hefT

Uvula tourniquet lotion song: yodel vocal slipper garrotte
under optimal orbital swings: playground planet oranges storM

Vindicate abdicate elucidate date: cancel clear and obvious muddles
vaunt taunt aggrandize fault: particular stupendousnesses of failurE

Wriggle wrinkle wrangle wink: in handful squirming massive beings
with particular attention to: eyeliner eyesight idol I

Xenophobe telephone telegram grammar: stranger lengths to make a line of words
xerotic parables of future tenses: desert story recoil twiN

Youth belief crisis faith: the grave emptiness in the cemetery
yearning in the manner of the dead: pitcher vessel hollow shelL

Zone edge miracle lure: twinge of a tinge of twinned tendernesses
zippered reticulated passionfruit: what is closed in order to be openeD

& I would extend a word in the shape of a hand forward into space to you
& you might allow the opportunity for the thought-out words to wander in yoU

(dervish because personification was not favored by the regions)
(perfervid for the reasons laid out in the papers provided to you beforehand)

{crinkled along the ends as if pinched in order to hold it all in}
{punctured for the purpose of releasing the ecstasy of self}

[boxed up along with the Christmas decorations and temporarily forgotten]
[given to all manner of wordplay and wordsmithing, but never to worry]

Saturday, December 25, 2010

215. Not My Cat Jeoffrey

I’m sorry to tell you this, but
there are no cats in poems.

At times, people have reported
sightings and told stories of such cats,
yet none has ever been found.
None of these stories could be
corroborated. That is because
they are imposibble.

Don’t worry about this, though,
because a poem cannot hold a cat
and could not manage it
if the cat showed up inside it.

While I was writing this, the whiskers
of my cat appeared out of
the darkness around me (because
I am sitting in the dark as I type),
only his whiskers. Beside me
there appeared a small tuft
of glossy whiskers, white
in the light of the computer screen.

They quickly disappeared
back into the darkness and without
any sound, not even the sense
of a weight leaving the couch
I was sitting on, I am still sitting on.

This cat is quiet, voiceless, unless
he believes it is time for a meal.

His name, for he has a name,
for he is a real cat, and for his name
isn’t Jeoffrey—he is not my cat Jeoffrey
even if I am myself Geoffrey—his name
is Gate Wilder Squid, which is not
a name invented for him. The original
Gate Wilder Squid was an imaginary cat,
born in a shoe closet at the top of a run of stairs
and between two worlds separated from each other
only by a mirror, itself the portal back and forth between
these two worlds. And I told the stories
of this Gate Wilder Squid to my two children
when they were young. These were bedtime stories,
some of them scary, but my cat is named Gate.

Gate is a Manx, a large grey tabby, with
all the circular robustness of a Manx, the two coats
of fur, the higher back legs, and he is
a rumpy riser—only three or four vertebrae
in place of a tail. He is a beautiful cat and larger
than any of our small dachshunds, with their miniature
legs. All of our pets are freaks of nature.

He is a friendly cat, my cat Gate,
though not usually demonstrative.
He likes to sit beside me as I type,
or he might nudge me to pet him,
and when I do his fur releases its hairs,
which then float in the air and cover
my hands. He never wants to sit
in a lap, even thought he always
wants to lie beside someone,
especially on a cold night.

My cat Gate,
whose name is almost Gato,
is not much of a cat. He will come
if I call his name or run my thumb
and forefinger together. He is lonely
without company.

Still he is enough of a cat that he will
dart away at the sound of a sneeze.
I call him a fraidy cat for this
and other reasons.

He is a good mouser. It is winter now,
which is the time of year when mice
return to this house to escape into its
relative warmth. (I am typing this
from underneath a blanket.) We have
no mice this year, but most years we have mice
for a few weeks, until Gate has waited for each
of them, caught each, and then played with them
until they’ve died. The process can be brutal,
with the screaming of mine going on for
a half an hour, maybe more. He never eats
the mice, though. He only kills them.

Once again, I apologize that I cannot
give you a poem with a cat in it, so I give you
a poem that talks about a cat, a real cat,
a real beast of fur and startling green eyes.

Friday, December 24, 2010

214. &

Geof Huth Reading "214. &" (to mIEKAL aND), 25 December 2010


advansting & movering or mundering on

onder to a thirdst tymne after
& advansting

quayr n th quayverr of’t
& lest frequency


mynd & youvered blynds
th’whirled n s|L|a|ts & slayking

thnow’s snowd intyou intwo
form blck to whiiiite & straytching


fittyfree ears of eggs
& harts of palmd quoins

foldolded intwn [cor¬nrs]
lyff lyke paprz & perzn
flodedded in halve


exissential undumbrations & lyres angst cold dearth
brynge out in bulbous twobers agoe th’ryght wrinch to maek ye
lyff underr th’fallin s’nows and sthens cater-of-wauling nyght

natalis & nautilus
wht’s borne of see & sayling
warter of th’bodysated
warter of th’bodywanting
wht wht flls wht & wht
in fl’k’ng travel & flurrys wrathe

f’ll’ng & f’l’ng & fl’ng a/way
naym nt kempt or crept from skyn
seaing in th’skigh
a kname 1nce bean a kname 1nce was
wht a knaym myght mien for yew
wht a woord myght bee
wee ayre schmall & mayde of woords
“mein nummen ist” ist unended

I m eye m aye
u r yew r yu


mayd in the fleet’ng & fll’ing flyght
in the flec of fll’ing of whyght t’whyght

wht gros in bundance & in tyme
takn for acccummmulllatttionnn
takn in to acct for’t & cold & hard

wht srounds & srounds
& wht srounds & srounds

pleyzhure in th’scent of wht
in th’nose of snoe & in th’wards 4 snoe

in th’langwedge of yr toes
they are cold & fr’z’ing &
in th’lingwage of yr tung
they’re th’tugns for’ears


thurr’salways th ggnashing of teats
(bearst of a new-f’lln now)

thurr’salways th greating of teaths
as you sleep intwo drum and stang

thurr’salways th ggreetyng o’fam’ly
at th’entránce to th’other daygh


l’v’n’n Lyff
& th’lyfe of’t
oft taken bt
never’ve recd

make as ingest
t’ing (to ing)
at th’greatest degree

everyviewed th’ng
a th’ng t’place
t’make intwo or thr33
gnew th’ngs

everymayde th’ngs
there’d be mayde ’gain

lyff as’n art’st
th’greatyts of
a plagiartist

in this journey
of a plagiartist’s ear

in such aweigh that
only a snigle woord
can make the saound
out of’t as pwoermd

So Far, but Much to Go

advansting & movering or mundering on

onder to a thirdst tymne after
& advansting

quayr n th quayverr of’t
& lest frequency

mynd & youvered blynds
th’whirled n s|L|a|ts & slayking

thnow’s snowd intyou intwo
form blck to whiiiite & straytching

fittyfree ears of eggs
& harts of palmd quoins

foldolded intwn [cor¬nrs]
lyff lype paprz & perzn
flodedded in halve

Thursday, December 23, 2010

213. The Processes of Water and Light

The windows from that height seem to open onto the hills
or the light sweeps in to fill the room

There is a river in it

Or the sky releases through the windows the light
you use to illuminate the process of your day

Sometimes you draw the heat out of it

The light pulls you towards it
and the mountains rising from below

Mountains as a rift between two worlds

Always in that window during the day
but separated by the twilight into two states

Either sunlight or nighttime

Always at that window
to see the world from the other side

Living in a light and looking through it

There at the point where two rivers come together
and we could call it the Chenangquehanna


These rivers could convince you of something
about the means of water

Of the way water comes together

Or of the way water diverges
moves in two directions at once

Divides itself

Doubles its range
and ranges farther from this city

The waters of the rivers
do not seem to move away from you

The hills do not appear to shrink or grow

But everything changes in small ways
and constantly

The window gathers gallons of light

Even as the light moves through the glass
the windows remain unchanged by light

But are scarred by wind and rain

Rain that comes through the sky
fills the rivers

Everything keeps the rest of everything else moving

Processes that are circular
and recirculations

Everything goes into them and everything comes out at the other end

And then returns
as if a new day were created just for the next second

And again a day later

The only surprise is the lack of any surprise
or a newspaper fallen on a doorstep a day early

Or words reduced to marks in a field of light

So far as we are we are processes
and their continuities

We move on even when things have stopped

The Opening Stanza but I'll Continue to Write More before I Go to Sleep

The windows from that height seem to open onto the hills
or the light sweeps in to fill the office

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

211. Days of Commuting and Being

You hear the sounds of the street before
you feel the wind traveling through

Winter like a scrap of paper
scuttling down the sidewalk

its scratching almost audible

en la voz de la última vez
con los nombres sin números

every numbered street passes by your feet

Descent into the city is south and down
into darkness or where darkness would be

Trains through that darkness
move through tubes of defined space

and inside in a cylinder of light
you sometimes glance out the windows

at other windows almost even with yours
slipping slightly faster or slightly slower

through what remains a darkness

mira el milagro de la noche
todavía la noche y los ojos mirando

at the end is the opening up and out

and into the light and the cold
surrounding it and the cold that surrounds

Turning to the right and up a street
on a new sidewalk and a new island

moving to a building and a space into warmth
into warmth made out of the space of winter

an elevator and a square tube upward

a la luz de la voz de enero
la voz de un futuro sin pájaros azules

everything just a memory of the future

Space is divided by squares and rectangles
a drawer in a filing cabinet against a wall

window opens the wall to light
a square of blue sky enough for remembering

the hole of a door through a wall
desk by a table with a computer screen

what opens are words after words to you

un día con el teléfono a la oreja
la boca con las palabras perfectas y mutadas

what is done is in a sense speaking

In a sense collecting and putting together
or taking apart as it is a process of connection

uncovering or rearranging the order of facts
the address of the name of the place

of the person of the question needing answer

y por eso somos los artículos de la razón
estamos viviendo adentro de la raza humana

you as a process of an answer

a conduit to resolution and the means
of making an idea move forward

forward so that it might eventually move away
Eventually there is the return and the steps
to a return made with the steps in reverse order

after a while it all seems as if it would never end

Days seem like days past and days future
and somehow miraculous for that fact

everything seems to repeat unendingly
but there is eventually an end to it

and sometimes it is sleep

Monday, December 20, 2010

210. 210 Reasons to Write You This Letter

You may not believe I’ve got anything to say,
But I’ve 210 reasons to write you today:

For you see, in the first place, you’re a nephew of mine,
So could use a few words to make sure you’re fine,

And you’re given to dreaming of riding grey horses,
But I’ve got to start keeping you from riding off courses.

You eat lollipops like they were bubbles of air.
You wander your bedroom in search of a fair.

You spend every evening reading TV
And mornings on Sundays waiting to pee.

You arrange all your books into towers of cities
And when they fall down you search them for pities.

You once met a tiger for lunch at a zoo
And asked that the bill be made out to you.

You’re orgeous and eutious and given to smeuls.
You haven’t had reason to bury your tools.

You mother buys vinegar to add to your milk.
You father refuses to wear any silk.

Your brother’s suspicious and probably toils
Like sleepy-day spiders before evening boils.

Your dog smells like Jupiter, which isn’t too good,
And eats almost everything, even pieces of wood.

Outside in the daytime the world’s too bright,
But nighttime is too dark and causes you fright.

At the tip of each toe of your leftermost foot
Is a blister the size of the lesser Bigfoot.

You scream at the screens and admire the greens.
You’re lost in the scenes and never eat beans.

Your gait is determined by the will of the weather,
And you eat bowls of cereal with the tip of a feather.

My friend Davie Bean thinks maybe you fart,
But I say, if you do it, it’s as some kind of art.

I’ve heard that you sleep with a rubber baboon,
A slingshot, a boomerang, and stolen bassoon.

Your mother insists that you eat Apple Jacks
With gravy of turkey and honey-sweet wax.

Sometimes, in the morning, before you awake,
You dream of a falcon, a rose, and a snake.

You’re known to be rautious and ebrile and ool;
Your friends always complain that you never drool.

You waste all your crayons in vegetable soups
And make, every evening, such colorful poops.

Your mother makes orkons for each Thwibble’s Day,
And your father discourses on weevils and drays.

Your grandfather complains that your talent is wasted
On the painting of turkeys before they’ve been basted.

You save all your yennies and trickles and brimes
But never a twarter to rescue the mimes.

Your uncle, the middle one, insists ever formally
That you practice your hexes any way but normally.

(I’ve written but fifty of the reasons to write
and wonder if this note will come out alright.)

Your friends are bedroozled, gebursted, and borked
Without ever learning how they’ve come uncorked.

Your aunt in Bahrain keeps everything secret
As if Wikileaks hadn’t revealed every asset.

Your brother is powered by butter and jelly
And bounces about on your poor purple belly.

It seems you’ve become all pertubered by knaults
And cankertankated by neegles and prawlts.

Your divver is vivver, your sonjer is bonjer,
Your preepers have dreepered what you can’t conjure.

In times of diversion when you are all pooped,
Your friends hire villains to make sure your duped.

You run with the walrus, and rise with the nuns,
You single out neurons but excoriate huns.

You keep five little toads warm under your bed
Discovering later what you’d always dreaded.

Your uncle, the bald one, is bald on the head,
But so hairy elsewhere that he seems to be breaded.

(Oh, wait just a minute, oh, wait just right there,
You know I’m the uncle with problems with hair!)

Rumors abound that you’ve taken up golf
And are thinking of changing your name back Rolfe.

Your knees are like bees, your feet like a beet,
Your ankles just rankle, and you’re uncommonly fleet.

The piece of your nose that touches your face
Enhances your chances of winning a race.

The youngest of aunts that you have in your family
Is apt to make pizza and talk to you amiably.

In place of a house on the side of a hill,
You’d rather reside in a place called Brazil.

You’re beetled and bottled and bolted and blue
And arrange all your quadrants as if there were two.

Bedizened you dazzle, yclept you are surely,
The distaff isn’t you, and neither is surly.

Awash on a beach you could hide with the crabs
But never expect to subsist just on scabs.

Your tautologies are taut, as you’ve just been taught,
And your mind is so swift that it’s never been caught.

For your simple teleology you give no apology,
But instead must explain your own seismology.

You crush every cracker, and crack every cookie,
You read every fortune for you are no rookie.

(So far, I have given you one hundred reasons.
Will you read on or be guilty of unspeakable treasons?)

Intentions are good for the people you’ve met,
But you think they don’t know how best they should bet.

The sun on the Hudson is nothing you’ve seen
And never you’ve eaten a sweet xanthous bean.

Your cousins they number in the millions or billions,
But the grief that they give you is easily in trillions.

They say you are coy, unsated, and wrinkless,
But that you’d be better if thirstless and blinkless.

In times of confusion, you avoid every contusion,
So people request you in glorious profusion.

You tinkle and wink and blink like a pauper
But never have told your family a whopper.

You buckle, break, burst, and burn your bazooka
And find yourself left as a sorry palooka.

You agitate, cogitate, masticate food.
You extricate meat from your teeth with a spoon.

You ask about ostriches, curlews, and wrens,
And wonder why pigeons do not live in fens.

You auntie, the youngest, was nursing a bruise
And you came home anxious to tell us the news.

Your friends are complicit, explicit, or timid.
Their lies you describe as entirely vivid.

If you had an emu you’d feed it some gruel
Or amber or quinoa or some biofuel.

You expiate, dissipate, anticipate actions
And muffle or kill off all hostile factions.

Of colors, your favorite is chartreuse or puce,
And your favorite meat is dark chocolate moose.

You raise tiny scorpions to spice up your dishes
While asking your mother to grant all your wishes.

Entirely common are antlers and chandlers
Because your abode is run by panhandlers.

(The reasons I’ve shown number one hundred and fifty
But I’ll keep on going because it is nifty.)

If you could caboose or papoose or bamboozle,
You’d definitely be in charge of the ouzel.

Your mother eats cherries and berries and crumbs
And leaves you the food that sizzles or hums.

You decorate trees with orchids and androids
And sing Christmas songs as if lacking adenoids.

The sounds you enjoy are dribbles and sniffles
And mumbles and murmurs and all kinds of iffles.

Encased in a plastic embossed with your name
Are all of your pets of nefarious fame.

Your peeing is splendid, your pooping stupendous,
Your burps are so loud we call them tremendous.

In times of hysteria when all others are scared,
You calmly accomplish what no others had dared.

Your life is historic, caloric and doric
And your fame has become quite meteoric.

You uncle, the third, who is just the youngest
Is also the one who’s not at all lungest.

You drink only bottles of aerated water
Convincing your mother that she needs a daughter.

If given a chance, you would buy yourself myrtles,
Or eagles or bagels or seaworthy turtles.

You estimate height, weight, circumference, and shoe size,
But never explain the whos, wheres or whys.

Entranced by Columbus, you irrigate France,
Though Napoleon complains that he had no chance.

Your friends are named Norgid, Bertrude, and Sergrid,
But you call them by Salvo, Deliver, and Turgid.

Your wishes are washy, your tresses are dressy,
You wanted a brother, but not one so messy.

(I almost am done, only ten more to go,
I cannot remember why I didn’t say, “No.”)

Your friends say you’re lucky and plucky and fine,
But all I recall is you’re a nephew of mine.

If you were a king of a country called Bolder,
You’d wait to reseed it until you were older.

You’re never egregious or rancid or queasy,
And you never complain that anything’s easy.

And finally the reason that I must now write you
Is that you are the best you that’s ever been you.

So those are the reasons two hundred and ten
That I must now write you this note with my pen.

And now that I’m finished with my enumerations
And now that I’m done with these adumbrations

And now that I’ve listed every why and the wherefores
I cannot remember the so’s and the therefores

So I’ve nothing to tell you except what you know
About who you are and how you must grow.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

209. Lilted and Lifted

     vireo vision virgule
this version of events replaced with the events themselves
     there is a bird for light, a name for swimming through it
           fallen snow comes to be another form of illumination
                 cold as an inclination, not an absolute

     water weaving word
threaded water pulsing in a single braid and run
     faucet forcing out the lilting liquid through fluorescent light
           pressure behind and making bars of water fall right through
                 heat as fire surrounding water till the water gives

     closing cloisonné claret
vitreous are the measures of our vision of the earth
     everything through the glassy eyeball’s marble insight
           layers of ice thicken over the pond in gracing fingers of growth
                 what and who sleep frozen under the water and the earth

     missing melted missive
a message moves in steps both backwards and forwards
     we make meaning out of nothing and move it back to its home
           the whispered ear lends enough time for getting or forgetting
                 every word weighs the same but their heft seems various

     bluster bludgeon blurted
not rock but rocking through a silhouette you cannot hear
     the sifted wind wedged into the corner of the house swells and bursts
           against the balustrade of winter we bolster hope and sleep
                 behind the window behind the screen behind the screen of snow

     cinder psalm serviceberry
winter woodfire and the sweet salted smoke of it
     fluttering only in the sense of a flame that disappears at the end of each flap
           wall and window flickering with yellow firelight
                 palms illuminated with a warmth too hot to hold

     parcel pardon parvenu
I have come here for the first time in pieces sent from a distant place
     encased in skin I’m little more than viscera and bone
           articulated for movement even breathing comes naturally
                 the edges of the body against the edges of everything else

     tarot tattle tenderly
revealing and distributing the delicate secrets of an individual life
     bargaining for a do-it-yourself revamp of the form of that life
           cautious or caustic but subtly enough so to keep it undifferentiated
                 a thumb barely touching the soft hollow of the neck

     swindle swagger swaddle
tricked out like a merger of past failures and future disappointments
     secure with the idea that a gait could open into a larger space
          wrapped in a self-same sense of self as security blanket
                 enough layers of night and the cold seems warm

     derelict distinguished distilled
differences among the particulars in a set of people
     sameness as a matter of degrees between horror and succor
           those of us made of themselves in too purified a form and function
                 those who believe the sound of their words to themselves

     foreign fissure fistula
opens in the ground a hole and the steam blows up out of it enraged
     some say a mouth spews in the same manner streams of steamy words
           nothing is not alien to the sentient who see always as if with new eyes
                 dark and unnatural passageways between desire and reality

     liquid lilting lifting
water running over rounded pebbles moves to the sound of its own voice
     the body is liquid segregated and recirculating river
           the body raises its voice to hear itself over the sound of its blood
                 the body in concert with bodies in concert with liquid flowing

     quarrel quaking quandary
an argument connecting two versions of belief
     the quivering of breathing when releasing an arrow in response
           torture as the totaling of all the memories you would give away
                 the problem solving a problem designed to last the ages

     nautical notional national
wander by star and water for curvature of the earth you call curvaceous
     a temporary thought captures your attention off the stern
           trailed by seagulls trailed by clouds trailed by the spinning of the earth
                 assuming everywhere the ocean is is the thought of the ocean

     kicking kissing kill
throw off a shoe to relieve or reveal a foot
     head cocked to the left and the other to the other left
           magnets in the correct orientation and the pull is a draw
                 a stream doesn’t struggle but coasts at a gentle angle down

     hard hardy hardly
in solid frozen winter the soil’s the strength of the covering ice
     what plants rest frozen through frozen winter lie black against white snow
           leafless deathlike lying void of warmth and waiting as if for waking up
                 knowing depth of cold is bigger brighter than the summer’s way

Saturday, December 18, 2010

208. Self-Portrait as a Means of Misdirection

You don’t know me,
which is good. It allows you the possibility of objectivity.
Your view of me is not muddied by direct knowledge
of who I am or what I do. Only in this way
can you understand me.

We will move
through the progress of numbers
to the summation of self.

in the case of the first

eventhough, the trough, by troth, I move through&through
is tough to thought and oughs me naught but nought,
the bough that bows beyond the brace of two,
in heavyweight, a twelvemonth span expended, then snow
will now impress the weight below the wait for now to make
the winter bellow, in ice, like hollow echo’d hearts of men

after the fact of the second

a heart runs blood like water through the rusty pipes,
in the sense that night is always blackened into worry,
or ice in creeping crystals covers windows into foggy views

a heart could pause from feeling or from beating out its drops,
the blood could stream like data, or stop and eddy in the chest,
dream resembles sleep except it never leads to waking up

besides the reason for the third

something rises
within irises, either
color or the perception of color,
a purple spiking, regal,
raising its head,
its eye, up
to send, to see,
to gaze through
whatever it is
you are

beyond the tendency of the fourth

life is African more than otherwise,
meaning western in continental sentiment,
burgeon and surfeit beyond breaking belief:

a storm of termites battering out
the sun, against the jalousies, a storm sung
against the thought of daylight, and leaking
through the slats, puddle, that a pair
of insects could pair and burrow, to grow,
eventually a mound, a hill, a termitary,
a single organism, which, if wounded, would
reveal the writhing white
blood cells of its still motionless body

birds in weaving music and of nest,
of action in constant flow of song and flight,
the thrumming movement as the trees
sway in force of breeze and sunlight,
dropsical nests building
balls of sound and certain flight

or through the fact of a step into a warm stream,
how the fluttering swim of leeches, flattened forth,
extends to each intended footstep, as an array of moving,
to take the blood by drop, and leave a fluke to grow,

in each instance of living the secret
or secretion of death

through the expectation of the fifth

music isn’t made, but found,
as through my minor ear to the visible line,
the only effort possible as a denizen of the minor earth

in anticipation of the sixth

first of six in a set of eight,
born on the west, live on the east,
between as a sequence of 46 moves,
nine countries, four continents,
fifteen schools between kindergarten
and senior year, three schools
after that, married, two children,
fifty years of age and aging fast

but there is no-one in the facts of my life

within the boundary of the seventh

bound by snow
born by water

borne by water forth
come by air back

entrances entrance
exits require

tendency of a body asleep to wake
urgency of a body, urgency of a body

slipping as if moving
filling as a body fills the air and with air

hair left on a counter
hair curled in the shape of a nonexistent letter

character of light approaching sunset
character as the letter A walking through a play

being as a state of perception
being as a state of inertia

distance from
distance between

in a way

with reason given for the eighth

in the right light, white
(as ice or frost or snow)
turns blue, maybe in
the color of an eye, the
reflection of the sky

the eye sees but only
through misdirection
nothing visible save
in light’s presences
and its various hues

like watching a word
on a page recollects
sounds of the true word
in flight not light

beyond the realm of the ninth

the feel of the muscle of the hand
of ink flowing
like blood through pen pipe
and out to the pages
in swoops and swaths

in dance, a swish through air, the sound
of sweeping, sense of slipping ink to fibers,
this permanent mark, a human record,
fact of blood and body’s bone,
evidence on the sheet of movement,
distraction, thought and crumble

thus the body carries its marks
as scars, a specialized form of writing

keloid, ropy and read down
the center of a chest, bisecting sternum

scar across the upper knuckle of the left index finger
from an errant whittle

thin cicatrix on the sole of the right foot,
exit incision for a large splinter
that rested in that padded flesh
for three months until the foot burst open

scars across the soft inside of my forearms
across the tendons at my wrists

smaller scars over the body
one so small under my eyebrow
I cannot even find it

all this writing
all this writing over my body
the page of my body covered with
all of these words
telling so many muffled stories

for the purpose of the last and the least

eyes hazel
(so not of one color but various)

hair brown

height average
weight optimal

nose broken
from a push down stairs at age two

head bald

hair otherwise
furring the body

feet wide
fingers thin

big toe shorter
than the second toe

Only to the Point of the Title So Far

Self-Portrait as a Means of Misdirection

Friday, December 17, 2010

207. Peggy Lee Marvin Hamlisch

muffled distaff vinyl
scratches and stylus
against the throat to
catch a moving voice
running dull & dumb
toward forgetting &
the leaving it behind

piston, piston, piston
motion and moment
what goes through &
goes into what must
go through and into
piston process potion

syringed into a jazzy
whiteness cumulous
in general outline of
and skin slipping to
white & the latticed
shadow between the
sound of jazz as life
and jazz drained of
the blood of a living

if friddle were word
she played her voice
around then he was
an actor like soldier
like gunman like an
errant cowboy given
away to gruffness &
rough & guttural in
an approximation of
a way of speaking as
the personality that
hollows out the chest

the eyes squeezed to
shut out the streams
of light from sun and
humans flattened on
strips of thin plastic,
bright lights shining
through & revealing
the limits of skin and
hair & small releases
of light from inside a
dark well of every eye
even the single glossy
eye of a camera stare

if every film requires
light flowing through
it can’t be left to eyes
alone but must sing a
music to replace eyes’
dominance with that
irreducible sense of a
sound to guide us by
our ears to the truest
meaning of movement
and moment of those
flat beings, completed
with feeling such that
a flat light could wake
it especially with a bit
of music pointing back
toward solid, rounded
forms of speaking out

might be that a music
could fill a space even
the space of a kitchen
with generous, plump
sounds, and might be
I should have written
you a letter about food
or one about the taste
a tongue might ask of
food or those who cook
our meals into shapes
of flavor, deep enough
that we remember how
we came to seem alive

The Only Piece I Have of a Poem that Will be Called "Peggy Lee Marvin Hamlisch"

If “friddle” were a word
and she played her voice around it

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

205. A Place We Once Called Tangier

I awoke

in the middle of the light
I remember waking
in the middle of the light through
the window

and a voice through the window
maybe later coming later
and singing
with the light on my face

A voice

as a modulation of sound
a form of flight
of light and slipping
down the street up
to us through our bodies

a song recorded
of calling and bringing
and words tendered as
offerings made up
for a particular day

A scorpion

zippered in each of
the two pockets of my
brown pillowed jacket

taken from Volubilis
and zipped against
tiny crustaceous
hearts never
giving to a beat

I have

or keep
I save the skull
empty skull of a cat
on a small shelf
suffering sunlight

found on a field
beside our school leaning
into a slope north but
downward and toward

the Mediterranean
everything reaching
out to Gibraltar

We were

the children we
had always been
the children we
will always be

young enough
that our skin would
glow with the slightest
tinge of sunlight

I am

leaning heavy
into sleep and forgetting
the shapes of the streets
taste of pastries

sugared mint
tea every afternoon
and a weekly paella
enough for us

to wonder
if we were from
the sea or destined
for it

To hold

a memory
for so long is to let
it slip from you
dulled by use

but to feel
the warmth
of the light
within it

or the energy
of a hive
of memories
for one place

I would

ride a skateboard
down that long ramp
and turn sharply
and right at its end

riding beneath
our classrooms
and around the pillars
holding them aloft

before exiting
onto the basketball court
where I played as if
it mattered who won

We were

actors in
a Thornton Wilder
play and actors
in a life

took the train
to Rabat to perform
we were traveling

because a life
doesn’t allow us
to stay in one place even
if we return to one
as you have to Tangier

One day

I’m sure you’ve forgotten it
for almost everything
is forgettable but almost never
to everyone so I

remember it
that one day we were walking
in the city maybe had
stopped for a cup
of coffee at that little shop

and we were talking
about handwriting and
the simplicity of yours

that day my hand
changed not to be yours
but to emulate its
simplicity there seemed

no time for complication
or space on the page
for unnecessary flourishes
our lives would be
too busy for any of that

So I

write you this letter
to remind you
of that sliver of space
where we once lived

to thank you for being
the friend that you were
to give myself

the opportunity to be
one of those people we were
for a moment and to hold
onto those memories

Just now

I pushed my head
into the fireplace and blew
hard enough to make
the logs turn yellow

with heat but producing
no flames and I felt
my skin contract
from the heat as if

burned only slightly
a powerful experience
at some level but
likely one I would have

forgotten by morning
that I’ve written it down
to make it a memory of yours

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

204. Q & A & B

Q. What is the first question?

A. “What is the first question?”

Q. That’s what I said.

A. That’s not a question.

Q. Why do I have to ask the questions?

A. Do you think that is the question to ask?

Q. That isn’t an answer.

A. That’s not a question.

Q. Do you think questions are important?

A. Yes, because my answers never come if a question is not posed.

Q. Do you believe in the beauty of questions?

A. Of course. Questions are beautiful in that they are shapely but empty forms waiting to be filled by colors of liquids or lights.

Q. Do you believe that?

A. I believe everything.

Q. Why would you do that?

A. Because it’s easier.

Q. But don’t you see that some ideas contradict other ideas.

A. Of course! The possibilities are infinite!

Q. So you are happy?

A. I imagine so.

Q. You do not know if you are happy?

A. Well, I suppose so, but there is so much I don’t know about myself that I wouldn’t want to assume I was happy. There might be something I’ve forgotten that proves I am indeed happy. But the opposite is also true.

Q. How can you survive and persist with these opposing forces within you?

A. In the same way that the earth.

Q. Are you the earth?

A. At times, and of it, and tending back towards it with time.

Q. What do you see as beautiful about the earth?

A. The birds, sky, the clouds, the sun.

Q. What do you see as beautiful upon the earth?

A. Water filling crevices of different sizes.

Q. What is so beautiful about water in crevices?

A. They are lakes and streams and rivers, maybe oceans.

Q. You have a strange sense of what a crevice is.

A. You have a strange sense of what a question is.

Q. What is the different between a crevice and a question?

A. A crevice contracts and expands and holds little bits of darkness like water, shadow and air. A question is something used to plumb the depths of a crevice.

Q. Do all crevices have depth?

A. All crevices have depth, but not all are deep.

Q. Do you know who you are?

A. I used to, but I grew bored with the knowledge of myself.

Q. Is this a play?

A. This is play.

Q. Are you alive somewhere?

A. Whenever someone remembers me.

Q. How often is that?

A. More than I would like.

Q. Do you wonder when you will go to sleep?

A. I assume it will overtake me before I realize it.

Monday, December 13, 2010

203. Stitched Together and Coming at You in Rumbling Mono

on an island narrow, shallow in height, and stretching far out into the cold water

the night slips across it, stern and starboard, in the form of air or ocean

on your island sailing long and slowly through the night and snowfall

the island surrounding islands and surrounded by islands, two fingers out

out into the infinite Atlantic, two fingers dragging in the water and waves

can you tell the difference between ocean at your feet and waves that cover them?

do you long for the island that longs for the sea, the sound, the sunrise over it?

at a point where the pines twist into gnarls of wind in the barren sand

thinking to beyond the point where the last small rocky island holds a lighthouse

thoughts of that one great storm that will wash it all away from you

moving forever east on the highway to move forever back west to a point

beyond Utopia but signs guiding the way, exit past exit past exit to your exit

the land so low low buildings hide the forest till the island slips down into the sea

tendency of perception of sound to diminish as it continues until onset of silence

the use of the “the” that gives your short long island its first and forgotten name

the belief that we cannot leave behind that which we have lived right into us

the credo that we cannot shake that which we have made a part of us once

and only sun that will show the strand of rocky beach at the end

and only night to show us the entire panoply of dreaming that dreams cover up

you do not leave us but live, and the light left on shines more than it glows

at some point in the fireplace’s night a log will burst into flame

a length of your arm held out to replicate the land you stand firmly upon

each grackle black against the sky a tear in the fabric of the atmosphere

look through the black hole, maybe a spyglass, to see what you otherwise cannot

a new way could be something as simple as a wrong turn at the precisely right time

you will find your way because the long roads go left and right, east and west

you will keep your bearings because the short roads go up and down, south and north

the sea at sunset has a golden veneer you are sure will crack into slivers

too many words, too many words, but no stopping them now, these too many words

you heard the turn of a bird and learned the kerning ways of flight from this earth

what opens ahead of you are the words for a new way to live a good life forward

sand in your eyes from the beach at the shore between land and the sea fallen from earth

reasonably assumed given the assumptions you had grown like a multicolored crystal

all the colors of the world are things we think into them for our own entertainment

sometimes sleep is the only way to end the day even when the day shouldn’t end

the sound of the cars along the long highway, the sound of the surf along the long beach

unfurled gently onto the beach, a gentle green aluminum can filled with seawater

arisen from the sea, their skin is salty from water not sweat, even in summer

what you know is your home that seems to continue forever unimpeded

O, Babylon, O, Bohemia, what secrets have you held from us these many years?

when you sleep at night, do you dream of driving over this flat world?

when you dream at night, do you sleep through the sound of the island breathing?

Incomplete, But I Can See Where This is Going

on an island narrow, shallow in height, and stretching far into the cold water

the night slips across it, stern and starboard, in the form of air or ocean

on your island sailing long and slowly through the night and snowfall

the island surrounding islands and surrounded by islands, two fingers out

out into the infinite Atlantic, two fingers dragging in the water and waves

can you tell the difference between ocean at your feet and waves that cover them?

do you long for the island that longs for the sea, the sound, the sunrise over it?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

202. Running to Ronkonkoma

You must know this is happening.
It’s been going on long enough.

This writing I’m doing,
these letters not asked for
and sent forth in the form of poems to those
who might not want a poem.

Poems are, after all, slippery beasts,
not so much beautiful as about beauty,
and more often ugly because of it.

And this one is hardly a poem.
I am hardly a poet anyway,
just a wordworker. Words
are merely my medium.

Working my way through the evening,
I became burdened by extreme weariness,
eventually falling asleep on the couch.

It was early still, but my sleep lasted hours.
My body had given up for the day much earlier
than it usually would have, and I didn’t fight it
(because, you see, I’m more of a mind than a body).

Inside this sleep, my mind kept worrying about this poem,
this one here, one that didn’t exist at the time of the worry,
in the middle of a dream, but my mind worried enough
that I began to write this poem in my dream and wrote
quite a bit of it, more than you might imagine,
a few strophes, enough to make a poem of some kind.

But a mind can’t hold onto much of a dream,
not even if the dream is about writing a poem,
not even if the dream writes a poem for you,
not even if I tell myself from within the dream
that I must remember the poem, because I need it,
because you need it (without your even knowing it).

With all my subconscious effort, I did remember
the poem, which is to say that I remembered one line,
a single line isolated from the rest, and maybe not
a line that has anything directly to do with you:

To be the one who always gets the same result.

It is a strange line for me, a line of iambic hexameter.
Not that meter is strange for me, not at all, though this poem,
which works with a more loping and conversational meter,
might lead you to believe that. But this is a personal poem,
one clearly directed only at you and only for you,
so it follows different rules. It requires more syntactical clarity,
full sentences, a direction, a more prosaic way of being.

No, what is strange about this line is not
the fact that it is so systematically metrical,
or even that it’s iambic, which is hardly unusual
in our native tongue. What is slightly odd is that
it is hexameter. Given over to my nature, I use
iambic tetrameter. Giving into convention,
I use iambic pentameter. A six-footed line
is foreign to my ear, though I like the sound of this line,
its meter, how it flows just a little longer than I’d expect it to.

To be the one who always gets the same result.

And maybe it’s not a line about you, maybe
it’s a line about me, maybe I’m writing about myself
in my sleep, for, you see, this is the 202nd poem I’ve written
in a string of 202 days to people I know, some whom
I know well and others whom I know only a little, some of whom
I’ve met, some of whom I might never meet, but I know these people,
and I send them letters to tell them that I’m thinking of them,
that I want them to think about my words, that I want them
entertained by the words, that I know that the surprise
of this foreign way of writing, which appears unbidden
in their mailboxes, might be a little disturbing, might even
cause them alarm. That is the danger of writing,
and the danger of speaking, but silence
isn’t much of a way to live. Life is a risk,
and speaking is one of the greatest risks.

I worry, I suppose, even in my dreams,
that I’m doing the same thing over and over again,
making the same points, using the same words,
exhibiting the same fascination with language,
in these hundreds of poems written out of my body
as if there were a way to cleanse myself of this need,
to say, and to say, sometimes, only to hear something
go forth from me, this mind, this body, these fingers typing.

To be the one who always gets the same result.

I am trying, in these many poems, to show the way
a language works. English, that is, though a few others
appear, as evanescent specters and only momentarily,
within these poems. English is my material. Its syntax,
its word-horde, its multifaceted way of being, its grace,
its awkwardness, the richness of its many sounds,
how it looks always uncomfortable and inconsistent
on the page, on the screen, on whatever material carries
its textual form forward. But I fail and keep failing
and keep going, because Samuel Beckett said to.

I am not a poet.
I am a worker of words.
Sometimes I work them poorly.
Sometimes I work them well.
But I work them.
That’s my only job here.

Still, I hope you enjoy these words, clumsily presented
as if they were clumsily thought out, but I don’t think they were.
I meant this, all of this, this way of speaking, this colloquial voice,
one maybe a bit more like the voice I use out in public,
as a person of flesh and blood and bone, which is what
I sometimes am, but not always. This graceless writing
is exactly how I want it to be: seemingly mindless, almost
random, as if written by a tired mind unable to think straight,
as if written by someone almost incapable of stringing words
into a new and remarkable sequence. These are prepared words,
so these are lies, obfuscations, prevarications carefully
attempted. Even revealing this fact is a lie.

To be the one who always gets the same result.

We always come back to that line, which is all that remains
of my dream, so this poem replaces the dream, and I give to you
my dream of early evening, a dream of an exhausted man,
but a dream written late at night when I am wide awake.

Maybe, I think to myself, you will enjoy this poem
because you are from Ronkonkoma, my favorite place on earth,
but not for its highways and convenience stores. I love
“Ronkonkoma,” the name of the place, not Ronkonkoma itself.
It is, probably, my favorite word, and if I pass by
a sign for it on Long Island, I think of you but I also
say the word aloud to hear it and its queer little rhythm,
and I wonder what native language the word had come from
and how twisted from its original form it had become
when transferred to our own native tongue, even if both of us
trace our own names back to France.

Say that name for a second:

Say it aloud.
And remember one thing:

To be the one who always gets the same result.

Just a Single Line so Far

To be the one who always gets the same result

Saturday, December 11, 2010

201. Folding into Place

The convoluted
way that the
world comes
apart reminds
us of the way
everything folds
into everything

of the left hand
through fingers
of the right and
something holds
together, hands
in tandem, or
holding steady
if the rain falls
cold and sharp
through that
last grey sky

The foot can’t
hold but it can
walk and wade
through what-
ever needs

stances appear
at the most un-
expected times
and place a
burden on our
(so much to make
sense of or
make into
a story to tell
sometime after
it doesn’t matter
that it’s hap
pened) for we
are the ones who
write our lives
down or open
them up

could be about
the weather
if cold enough
or a meal if
good enough
or a trip thru
weather to
a meal where
we recalled
the pieces of
a bigger story
we almost
never told

remember the
remnants of
a world we
used to live in
and vaguely
the contours
of it, how we
made, without
help from the
rest of reality,
a new way
of doing and
doing it well

stops all of
a sudden
and all of
us, and it
seems to
but it be-
comes just
a thing to
back into
place enough
times that
we would never
forget it.

Friday, December 10, 2010

200. Stars and Startling


a fish in the place of a wish

a swim in the lace of a limb

seeeeems like the stars are startling now and starting to come out
dust of the heavens and the words within them so small I would breathe them in


cherish and perish


take in a piece of it
and make for me from it
a piece of its self
take out of a slice of it
a piece that is left
for me. what is
the smallest piece
of loss or lost
to make a piece of it from?


saved in the eye
of the cardinal
was the glossy black seed

saved in the color
of the cardinal through
the flying snow
was the blood rivering the eye


piece of checker
board of field


distance for deliberation
centering on certainty
pursing and pursuing
deltoid or ovoid
shape so sharp for it


and the golden
mean of them


each word left
to be replaced
by the next word


bones in the form of gills

direction pointed
by a nose

fish as an illusion
of type

what form of thinking
caused a letter to form
so tiny on the page?

if I could read it
I would likely not

best to be
by the world

to wake up
to snow

and understand that each wandering flake

was a word
drifting down

onto your hands
that you could draw
it into place

onto your tongue
that you could pronounce it

so the world would become word

and slightly whistled
through the lips

Thursday, December 9, 2010

199. Five Meditations on the Ways of Seeing Forward

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

lovely are the forms of thinking that make a thinking work

in the matter of a life of living a thinking thought is you
in the manner of a life of living a thought thinking is you

you do not leave anything behind of yourself when you yourself leave
but neither do you take anything away for you are always present

a gift of presence is a form of being real in the articulation of being

you might see how you think through the shapes of language
you might see how you think variously through the various shapes of language

what you do and make is what you make possible by doing it
what you give is the possibility of making do with possibility

the shapes of waves are the shapes of tongues in the process of speaking

= = = = =

everything is equal to everything else in the sense that you think about it once

surrounded beneath the early winter bitter cold you are equal to the weight of rock
surrounded among the early bitter winter cold you are equal to the weight of breath

it is in the management of the extension of figuring that you regret the balance

there have never been times like these to measure the length of the river till sunset

dimensions are the means of finding relief from what pressures days bring
it would be better to be alone in one’s thoughts than surrounded by those of others

the weight of a chorus of voices is more than the weight of the house holding them

the house itself could be as tall as the sky if it were not for the limitlessness of sky

¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯
you move the car in a straight line towards the place where you work each day

you move yourself in a straight line through the range of a day’s work

there are lines between two opposing streams of cars to keep them apart
a fight is a temptation between two opposing forces for primacy and power

cardinal are the rules that guide us the bird having disappeared for a day

autocratic are the requirements of an abandoned human system to be followed

you remember the day when the sun seemed to be an arc of light in the sky

everything that is still is moving more quickly than you can believe
everyone moves as slowly as they allow the fact of their sleepiness to take them

there is nothing lost by keeping everything in a straight line

≈ ≈ ≈ ≈ ≈

in the approximation of what a thing might be is where you find what a thing is

nothing can be exactly what it is or it would be perceived accurately

in the first place there is never a first place but there is sometimes a second place
in the second place there is never a second place unless there is a first place

which there never is

what seems to be something is how a string of water between two shores is a road
what seems to be something is how a string of water becomes a solid surface

you walk upon the black face of the parking lot as if it were a river
your confidence is that high in the ability of the lot to carry your weight

you are approximately what you always were which is approximately what you should be

attempts at estimating guesses can hide the fact that something is measurable

^ ^ ^ ^ ^

some marks are signs of what is left out of something
sometimes an s disappears into the sound of a word and there is only one of them

silence is the sound of esses disappearing from the words around them
nothing can be whispered with the s to give it a sound

some marks are invisible upon the body because they do not appear there
some marks we carry with us like an s-less whisper

what we mark on the floor is time so we know how to dance through it
no matter how many changes we are given we still forget how to dance

the sound of feet on the floor is almost the sound of thinking yourself away
even when you don’t want to think yourself away you move in that direction

A Start

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

lovely are the forms of thinking that make a thinking work

in the matter of a life of living a thinking thought is you
in the manner of a life of living a thought thinking is you

you do not leave anything behind of yourself when you yourself leave
but neither do you take anything away for you are always present

a gift of presence is a form of being real in the articulation of being

you might see how you think through the shapes of language
you might see how you think variously through the various shapes of language

what you do and make is what you make possible by doing it
what you give is the possibility of making do with possibility

the shapes of waves are the shapes of tongues in the process of speaking

^ ^ ^ ^ ^

some marks are signs of what is left out of something
sometimes an s disappears into the sound of a word and there is only one of them

silence is the sound of esses disappearing from the words around them
nothing can be whispered with the s to give it a sound

some marks are invisible upon the body because they do not appear there
some marks we carry with us like an s-less whisper

what we mark on the floor is time so we know how to dance through it
no matter how many changes we are given we still forget how to dance

the sound of feet on the floor is almost the sound of thinking yourself away
even when you don’t want to think yourself away you move in that direction

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

198. *:*::*:::*::*:*


:nto the even:ng
snowflakes full of l:ght

w:nter :nsects

:nto the even:ng of
snowflakes full of l:ght
& w:ngless fly:ng

snowflakes full :n fl:ght

: am :n the even:ng
be:ng snowfall :nsect
:n the n:ght


Something about Ohio (not the place, just the word) makes me think that it is both the center and the very edges of everything, or that it should be, so it makes sense to’ve met there, and to meet in the center of something, in the center of all those people interested in making sounds and shapes and sense into art, into poetry, into a semblance of the human act of being, the act of being something more than a simple eating, breathing, and defecating self, the act of exceeding bounds.


n• ^n•w
but the pr•m:^e of ^n•w

n:ght :n the ^hape of ^n•w
& ^n•w fall:ing in the ^hape
•f n:ght ^hattered :nt• p:ece^


Tom Beckett is right: “Sometimes you meet people when you’re ready to meet them.” And sometimes you don’t. We live in a sequence, but not within a purpose. The structure of reality is arbitrary and variegated, lovely in its disorder, surprising in its order.


^n•w a^ ^sand
acr•^^ +h" gr•und
a^ du^+ a^ ach:ng
f•r a ^"n^" •f ^+ab:/:+y


We are of the body, so we use the body. We must perform our poems because we must claim them as our blood and bone. The sinew of sense runs through these poems and holds them together. And since they are objects of the body, they are controlled by the awkward inconsistencies of the human. When I sang, yellow shirt open, wearing white pants, I became slightly self-conscious, enough so that I stopped my song a little early, suspecting that people walking towards the performance (which was, after all, in a library) were coming to shut down my singing. What I didn’t realize was that they were coming to listen. I didn’t avoid those members of the audience, those on the periphery who had become the center of my attention. Instead, I walked towards them, through them, back out into the library and away from the performance space. I did that because I never ask for applause. I merely return to the audience and stop performing, returning to my self, which I had never left.


^n•w *^ w•rd^
^n•w d:^*pp"*r:ng :nt•
w•rd^ ^n•w d:^*pp"*r:ng
:nt• ^"~^"


We sing songs without words because there is some music in that, some sense in that, some emotion, evidence, in the end, of the human spirit. Because it is beautiful, or surprising, or disturbing. But it seems to me that we should learn spishing so we can extend the realm of our singing—and so we can extend the realm of our audience to birds.


^π•≈ :π +#" ^"π^" •∫ ≈•»∂^
^π•≈ :π +#" ^"π^" •∫ ^""=:π¶


Even I would say that a dead cormorant upon a wheelchair ramp in the middle of a large urban university campus is a strange sight. Things are always falling from the sky: birds, snow, words.


^π•≈ :π +#" ^"π^" •∫ ^π•≈
^π•≈ :π +#" ^"π^" •∫ ^π•≈
^π•≈ :π +#" ^"π^" •∫ ^π•≈

Progress on This Night's Poem and Letter so Far

:nto the even:ng
snowflakes full of l:ght

w:nter :nsects

:nto the even:ng of
snowflakes full of l:ght
& w:ngless fly:ng

snowflakes full :n fl:ght

: am :n the even:ng
be:ng snowfall :nsect
:n the n:ght

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

197. A Letter of Saying a Song

A letter, besides being a character, might be a message or a poem or a play, or simply everything at once

(Night, maybe outside, possible inside. Either a sweaty summer night or a suddenly frigid beginning to winter before winter has officially arrived. The sound of a small windchime plays furtively, moved maybe by a breeze, maybe by the convection caused by the steam emitted from the vent a radiator. If it is a radiator a slight whistling is heard from time to time and, less frequently, the sound of the boiler coming on, and the hardwood floor is blond, or blonde. If it is outside, the sound of crickets, but no other insect, is heard, and a car might occasionally be heard in the near distance.)

(There may be two women on the stage, at two different versions of a corner, in two different seasons, with two different sets of sounds around them. But it is night.)
(A woman stands in a small piece of light that illuminates part of a corner of a room [thus, almost an enclosure] or a corner of a house [thus, a point]. Her hair is short and dark. She is dressed simply, in muted colors, except for a bright red heart over her right breast, which the audience sees on the left. She moves slightly, looks carefully around herself, but away from the corner, before she begins to speak.

(The woman moves slowly and trepidatiously as SHE speaks, without ever allowing all of her body to leave the light shining at the corner.)

I speak extemporaneously, as if
beginning without knowing what
I am about to say. Every word is
evidence of the active presence
of a mind. I am surprised to hear
myself speak so clearly without
any practice at all. I must assume
that my body had grown into
these words naturally, over time.

(A man’s VOICE is heard coming out of the darkness, maybe from behind the stage, maybe from behind the audience. His voice is insistently but it comes forth deliberately.)

In a surprise of having
started, or at the beginning
of having finished what,
in this case, might have been
a good reason to have an excuse
to fail against the fall of
the spring. It was a surprise.

(without seeming to notice the voice)

I am alive in the moment of
my voice, which arises out
of me in the form of pigeons
taking flight all at once,
moving in a certain direction
but moving suddenly and
independently. I almost said
“suddently,” but I didn’t.

(speaking slightly over the words of SHE)

When I think of my hands, I think
of the veins of my hands as conduits,
of the blood of my hands as words,
of the fingers of my hands as pages.
If I drum my fingers on the table,
message transmitted in code, and
I cannot stop it, and I cannot
make it have any meaning.

(The sound of FINGERS DRUMMING is heard, but there is no visual sign of fingers being drummed. SHE seems to listen to it, without turning her head in the direction of the sound.)

(pirouetting as well as she can)

In the form of a body of light,
in a body of light in the form
of a shape of a body holding
a body together in flight,
in the shape of a dancing or
in the shape of a dancer, I
can think in the voice of a
dancer dancing in the space
available for dancing, in the space
of the light, in a fragment of
a space of life for dancing, and
in the shape of a sound of the
dancing of a song.

(SHE begins to sing, but the tune changes as she does, it is occasionally out of tune, and it contains no recognizable words. The VOICE speaks over twenty seconds or so of her singing.)

She in her spirit, as I remember it, of
a meaning of motion in the manner of
the ancient apostles of the word of
the one for whom word was wrought.
Or in such a way that there was left
nothing but the right to leave it behind.
It was simple except for the singing.

In my fashion of being the sound
of my voice or in the fashion of
the night. Levels of tiers of stages
of adding to the sense of what I say.

She was without, though it was such,
in a cautious manner of making on the spot,
or at the spot in which the making was made,
a word of it, she was without a sense of
how what she said continued through what
she had never intended to say but had said,
even if at the last moment before falling.

(SHE falls to the ground, but there is no sound of falling. She lies on the ground with her red heart pointing towards the audience. She doesn’t move.)

Within the arc of a sense of falling,
she fell within the arc of a sense,
of falling within the arc of a sense
of falling she fell. How in the sense
of the arcing of a fall of feeling could
she find in the fall of an arching feeling
of sensing the arc of the sense of
falling down. In the job of singing in
the sense a song about the sense of
singing in the sense of song a song.

(SHE rises slowly, beginning near the end of the VOICE’s speech, and dusts herself off. By the time she speaks, she has entered, so much as she can, the light on the corner. The light upon her grows as she speaks.)

Me as a form of I in the shape of eye
on the cusp of an event of speaking
within the limits of creating a means
of sifting the sounds that I might
push into shapes on the date of the
feast of doing at the time of the place
where all beings have been or will be
or exist as if never have been and,
thus, set free to continue in the style
of the manner of the people I had
been told would be available to make
whatever sense could be made out
of the meaning of my words, released
into the wild of my thinking with a tongue.

Deliberate in the form of rations.

Extra in the sense of ordinary.

I always know what I am going to say
because I write it down beforehand,
because I write it down aforefoot.

Nothing could be more boring
than knowing what you were
going to say when you were
going to say it. I hear a voice…

A voice.

(Footsteps approach the stage. Vaguely, the audience can perceive the legs of a man, but nothing else: no face, no arms, no torso. The feet go to as close to SHE as possible without entering the light surrounding SHE.)

(raising her head)
A noise

A song.



(The legs of the VOICE turn his back to the audience. SHE turns to the audience, cupping her hand under her red and open heart.)

I am read.

(The stage goes dark.)

I am dead.

(Exeunt omnes. The sound of footsteps leaving the stage.)