Sunday, October 31, 2010

160. Six Words You Use for Them

What they have is speed and

They might come
At you or

They might come after
You on

Some day like today
Some day

That seems like the beginning of

A day you’ve lived
Many days

Before but which is a day

You’ve never experienced
Before a day

Like no other
A day when

It all changes as if it

Had never been otherwise
And they

Come after you
Fast and hungry

They come for you
Fast and

Hungry and strong
Ready to break

Down the wall or
Window or

Door between you
Because they

Are hungry for you
For the

Meat of your bones
Your beating

For the brains in your

Fragile skull
They come at you

In a wave
As the feeling

Of breath against a neck but

Then a wind
Takes over and

They are a storm cloud

Rolling and gathering the force of

The voices and feet
A roar

Of muscle and blood
And ragged

Not ever speaking with words

Those without voices
Come for you

Because you have a voice
Because you

Can speak
Because you still have

That human spark
The absence of which

Leaves them
Empty but even stronger

Than you
For nothing holds them

Back from their surging forward

Alone on a balcony waiting

Where you watch
Him write out

His message swirled
In blood on

The board his message
Swirled in

Blood on the board
His message

Swirled in blood
On the board

Saturday, October 30, 2010

159. Rectangles around Us

Living in
a sense
of boxes

Living is
a sense
of boxes

that give
us what

We need
to sleep
to stay

We need
to find

That keep
us in place
and warm

When rain
comes dark
and cold

When rain
comes dark
and down

Onto us
and when
it comes

Down cold
on us
except for

every part

Of us
so if
it is

Just a
that matters

If it
is just
the cover

Of a
that holds

Us properly
in place
then maybe

Life is
after all

Maybe all
we need
is that

of the

to hold the
sky back

From falling
the wind
from blowing

Us down
the earth
from coming

Up under
us and
taking us

Over and
us away

the simplest

Keep us
how we
need to

Be so that
we don’t
ever need


Than simple
in rectangles

Friday, October 29, 2010

158. Ashberymaniacal

I can’t see how, in sycamore light and refracting
arc, that any bleating Henry could extend
a little finger from his pants thin enough
to be that corporeal cock he so valiantly
if imprecisely used against whatever women
might find him bare. Mr Bones: It must has been
the fingers of his hands, for his cock’s become but
a flaccid ling’ring thought of them others’ night.

Opulent I was against the riffraff
and the collected hoi polloi (these collected,
these people) wrenched against the stiff frame
of their desires. We had become entranced by the way the light
the terror of their visages and the tight grip against the tight
paper sticks of the lollipops that they popped into
and out of their mouths in a manner reminiscent of
. . . well, life is curious, even if they aren’t. It seems
her manner may have been a Veronese encumbrance
from a meeting with two gentlemen.

Sylvan except for the beer bottles and their glint,
mostly green and brown to merge with the scene, and a scent
off them for the twitching noses. Quotidian, he thought,
in an everyday way. —What we’s been is what’s we be,
twinkle not for a second’s thought of it. Live, we might be,
in the sense of sunlight, or purgatory, with baubles
to catch the eventual beam too slight to afford a perch for even
the least weight of a foot, and movement, like walking,
forward, into it.

Seems there’s no good reason to accept the putative
reason for autumn, Whose raiment’s too florid for the world
of dying. —Rot in the nostril’s fine fettle for what
them’s people gonna do. Can’t get ’nuff breath
t’ keep an empty body moving. They saw this as the last action
of a race, misconstrued, it appears, as a 26K rather than
a matter of genetics and survival.

Henry had, in case of fact, a small valise for all
supplies equipt for plumbing (gloves and rubbers,
dildos and strap-ons) that he carried
on his person and with himself, muttering, through
the long while something:
“Like I had and, having had, hid, and looked
ahead, and lost my head, then given it back
again and again, until I lost it,
swooning, like a drunk, like a man
like me, swimming in towards
these broken words.”

Or less than mutter, declaiming:
“Sweet hedera! Comely apostrophe!
What your viney little black heart makes of me,
and what of me I make myself of out of vinyl’s
stark stench and roiling bunch of stuff
that infests me and these open sores upon
my body so decrepit by its too many openings
so that what flows from and out goes
to you in a braided turgid river
of spoken blood and pus.”

They gathered about, as we did,
in the woods, standing beneath the faux-maple-leaves
of the sycamores—tho they are not plain trees—
and spoke in the tongues of brooks and kills
snaking through the words, feet muddy and wet
in the cold, wet, muddy earth. —Even mumbling’s a
word when them’s canst gets them’s own fat
tongue inside anything else. “Shh,”
said Henry, as if to
himself and alone,

“These ears are ripe for awordment,
bejeweled and glist’ning hears of ire, and pleasure’s
purpose is a little tripping sound
you cannot catch
or hope
to sing back to us in this dismal woods
or words or worlds, ’neath this swirling snow
of leaves in yellow coming down.”

And só I saw and would’ve said,
or something, but
my time was done, the mess was made and
made again. The unmaking of the bed
seemed cold to everyone
at first
until they learned how he had done it.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

157. What You Know about Me Only My Closed Eyes Can Tell

Seeing is a presence for you,
Bringing it all forward into place.

A small grandchild becomes
Eventually a woman and
Your daughter becomes
Eventually you. The wind runs
Through you now because
You have no cause to run
Through the wind.

On a cold bright day we might
Have lost a member of the family
To the earth, yet we could eat
Afterwards and admire the landlocked sea
Just north of us, where we’d love
The sun to set if it ever came to that.

Or there might have been a wedding,
Sometime years ago, and my daughter,
In a white dress and sunshine, might have
Danced with her brown grandfather balancing
A glass in his hand as they twirled together.

At those times when we wait,
If in bed but not sleeping, or cornered
In a chair for reading, or standing in a bit
Of sunlight at a side window, we realize
We are nothing more than a collection
Of memories, that the body, what moves us,
Is an illusion, merely a bag to hold
Those memories contradicting each other
Until we fall asleep.

Children, and maybe yours, sometimes
Try to see through their eyelids to the world,
Even try to dream through them, and most
Of what we learn about the world we do learn
With our eyes closed. We sense the world
Right there,
Almost at the point where we could touch it,
And that tells us all we need to know.

At the end of some nights in a chair,
You could find it, a sleep, the sleep
That tells you what it is that moves
In the room without taking up any space,
That moves without moving anything else,
Yet it is moving in its way, an approximation
Of a thing, really nothing more
Than a thought,
Which a memory is an example of.

Broken broom handle and this circular
Swirling of yellow leaves, the clear sense
That the wind is blowing. Hot on your neck,
And an inch before sweating, easing yourself
Into a damp shade near unseen water.
The perception of your body falling with
Every step onto the snow, and the sharpness
Of snow, of wind, even of the cold sunlight.

Memory of a child, memory of a woman,
Memory of a set of circles you lived within.
Take them all and keep them, for they
Are the gifts of your only and full life.
They were made for your eyes, even
When kept warm behind their eyelids.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

156. Frames in a Film without Frames

What in times of

                 / or breaking at the point of meaning

           take a vision of it

     in extremis

                       eidetic or edited

            (bismuth for no reason but the sound
           —is it chalky?)

                                   taking the pieces that don’t fit together
                                   to make a single piece of it

                 for instance,
                 the building
                 left alone

                                         seeing the film as a string
                                         without understanding
                                         the ends of it

there is no point to a film but cutting at the point of the fissures of light

     what did she say
     at the point where
     she disappeared
     into the editing
     out of her into the
     editing in of her?

                                   to accept the pleasure
                                   of being lost in the flow

                 that a tongue
                 might slide up
                 intimate ten-
                 dernesses, or
                 eleven, and the
                 wilderness of

                                               the eye knows
                                               what the ear wants

                       and it is
                       light for
                       taste for

                                   he had a sense
                                   there was a sound to it

and the sharp taste
of copper on the tongue
as a wafer as Host

                                         my inclination
                                         is to accept the fragments
                                         as a whole
                                         or upward


                             elevated to allow the blood
                             to flow into the depths of
                             my own abandoned body

     film as a form of sleep
     sleep as a form of falling
     falling as a form of autumn


                       or at least

     we waited until the last minute to begin to sing

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

155. In Gallons and Forever

awake, alive, awave, asleep

and the tendencies of extension
past a certain section of conscious /

deliberated thought as an action of breathing

tenses and how they hold
us in place
in time

(almost in time)

a living made from the assumption of burdens
pack on the back
pull of the mule
mountains slipping behind mountains

in a neverending way
but still torn in two
difference between river and sky

we knew a place divided by river
calling it the Cumberland out of deference to the namers
but we thought of it as water
as watery highway
as a way away

bridge goes over it
and sun comes down the whole summer
full of moisture
the wet of their bodies through the water of walking
without a river to trod through

there is a slog to it
as there is a burden to the inaction
of thinking

and it comes through at particular moments
of being

so that the beaded glass of water
seems somehow magical
in the way it holds water both in and out
both within and outside it


each one of us as water
is water
if water

as the substance of ourselves
moves in and through and over us

we are rained down upon ourselves
and become ourselves better and wetter
soaked to the bone soaking
in the watery blood of muscle

what flexes within us
is reflection
in a body of water
of a mind seemingly at rest
but moving

in the way a river
seems still and turgid
until we float within it
and float away

take these words
for a sense of living in the world
for a way of being as if an object of the earth
for the pleasure of the ear

because we hear it
the water and the way
it wanders

through us and by us
because it moves for us
and forward

leaving us backwards with the thought

pulling us backwards against our will

to a few set words
or four
just a set of indefinite things
of an indefinite series

something like the living out of a life

asleep, awave, alive, awake

Monday, October 25, 2010

154. The Lamb of Fog

Lamb sausage they say is the sweetest,
larded with fat and coming from
the tender meat of youth. To the tongue
it is as if a taste of springtime but almost
pungent, giving hint to the flavor that would grow
from a sheep, that inhabits mutton like wisdom.

Even now, when we are slipping deep
into orange fall and the maple leaves, each a map
to a certain genesis and a more certain death,
we can sense the taste of spring that will grow
from these wet and rotting orange leaves
gathered like mud at our feet.

Maybe a little fire would help at this moment,
a little flame to cook the sausage, maybe
burn the casing, if only slightly, something
to melt the fat within and cook the meat,
some way to release the flavor into the air,
onto the plate, over our speechless tongues.

A little bit of springtime in the wind today,
a little bit of sunshine, and the start of a few days
of forgetting that it is autumn now and, if not
grey, then always tending towards grey, always
waiting to be a leafless grey at the end of October,
and the world so wet with leaves that their smell
comes stuffed into our noses, a part of ourselves.

Maybe a little lamb sausage for breakfast
with maybe a little mustard, and eggs on the side
with yolks only a little runny, and as orange as
the leaves lying wet and flat on the lawn. Maybe
a little tea with a little sugar and a hot piece
of lamb sausage ready for eating on a cold day.

To bite through the casing and release
that taste of crumbled meat and spices,
and the taste of young lambhood in the spring,
gives me the sense of being alive
and discovering with my tongue the world
for the first and last time. We live for flavor
on tongues, through eyes, in ears, even
the flavor of the touch of a sausage breaking
open in a mouth and spilling its spicy sweetness
into us. Maybe with a little mustard, and hot.

On a cold morning, with the fog obscuring
the earth around us, before the water has boiled,
we wait for some warmth to guide us, for
the flavor of the day. We wait for the lamb of fog,
for that sausage cooked just that morning
and made into a sweet and tasty bundle of heat,
enough warmth to swallow for that sense
that we’d remained under cover of blanket
in what remains of our bed, alone save for
the dreams of being warm and of tasting
that little warm dream of sausage.

Or made out of dreaming, as any human is.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

153. A Small Bottle of Bourbon to Be Taken in the Night

What interests me about the existence of archives is that, if one goes into them, you enter the past, but you enter the past which is, as it were, in the present tense. And so it’s another way of people who lived in the past, who perhaps are still living or perhaps are dead, a way of them being present. This seems to me absolutely one of the quintessential things about the human condition. It’s what actually distinguishes man from any other animal: living with those who have lived, and the companionship of those who are no longer alive.
—John Berger, BBC 3, Sunday Feature: Harvesting the Archive, Sunday, 17 Oct 2010

the existence of archives
paper in the form of writing
pixels in the form of images

the form of voices
various and moving

time taken for the removal
of the human form, and time
taken for the creation of the record

left in the place of the blood and the breath:

the words and the sounds of
the shapes and the pictures of
the movements and the drawings of

remembering what you forget
and the forgotten thought captured
on a scrap of sentence seeming real

voice of the dead in your left ear
voice of the living dead in your right ear

and there is no fear but swimming
in the sense of the outline of the person
in the curvature of the body over the writing
in the posture of the letter p

the past continues
in the sense that the present holds
what the future will eventually seize

and taking in, and taking
in, and taking in your hands,
with the senses of your skin
the stacked blankets impressed
with words, and taking in through
your eyes the words how they almost
were, but without the reverberation
of that last voice
no longer sounding

and taking in the warmth
of these words left in pixels
and evening light and lifting
off the screen to reach your eyes

puddles of data on the screen
and a screen of words between you and
the one who seems to see
the sound of the word
that used to be right there

living with the dead
or a small bottle of bourbon
living in the place of the dead
which is the only home of the living
and living with their words,
their faces, their voices
talking, sometimes
their bodies in motion
as if they were once alive and
walking as if they were people
and talking as if they were

and each of them
sharing a small bottle of bourbon
to be taken at night

tonic for the cold
or to loosen the tongue
or coat it so they could

somehow be who they always were
and write it down and
capture it so
they would be who they always
will be

if you remember them
by watching what
they’ve left behind

Saturday, October 23, 2010

152. Stone from the Forbidden City

Night comes warm and dark
with walking and what walking does

And feet go walking slow
with darkness and what darkness moves

Stuck in the flat, far, tall wall
of the gothic Tribune are all
these stones from every space
we’d ever imagined we’d never
been to and those we’d visited

Embedded in the wall of this
building studded with stones
from the Forbidden City, from
the Great Pyramid at Giza

These named but unidentifiable
pieces of the entire world, a pair
of gargoyle nostrils from Notre
Dame, or a square flat stone

My interest is in firewords as
we watch the fireworks expand

Efflorescences of bursts of fire
and the words that make them real

Light taking the form of neon,
of fluorescence, of glowing, and
light taking the form of fire,
explosion, reflection on water

The night sees everything because
only through darkness can
anything see anything else moving
like light through water or glass

Light may seem to rise or
to fall depending on how it runs

Light always moves forward,
regardless of what it ruins

The Alamo, Trondheim Cathedral,
the Great Wall of China, the dome
of St Peter’s Cathedral in Rome,
the Parthenon, the White House

Squared stone upon squared
stone, and embedded stone that
comes from it, the squared forms
of seeing the building before us

Hold in your eye the sign of the light,
and hold in your hand the light itself

Light that falls as water-with-light
onto your now-dry pants and shirt

You see in the form of the shape
that the sense of the word gives you
as you read it, the shape of the form
of the light that you cannot see

You hear in the space of the sound
that light seems to take, as if it were
a thing of breathing, what you
would hear in the heart of your eye

System of walking together in place
of the process of sitting as we move

System of walking in damask light
as a means of moving through it all

Sound of the L along Wabash as
the sound of our thinking when
our thinking was done, and sound
of the L along Wabash as what it merely is

The L along Wabash moves in
the direction I move, in the direction
of light, moves forward, always
forward into the far and farway night

Friday, October 22, 2010

151. The Ramifications of It

Interest in the opening
of a day of words or how it closes
down at night for the rest of the mind.
For the rest of the night, in the evening
out of the trials that contain us
and that we cannot contain, as an island
surrounded by water and unable to extend
beyond that purpose of being the island
it is. The island, it seems is a particular
instance of the continent it is one
of a scattered fragment of, pebble
on the blue field of the map of a
continuing sea. A continuing seeing,
meaning that the eye doesn’t stop
seeing even behind an eyelid, even
in the thrall of sleep. The thrall of
sleeping through the tender terrors
of a life of waiting for the sleeping
to come and overtake a consciousness
in the manner that the wave
overtakes the lip of the beach if only
by a running film of surf and momentarily.
Of surf and momentarily, and in the way
that movement is the only form of change,
how a breeze coats the coastline with
a bristling of branches and leaves.
Of branches, and leaves a piece of the song
on the back of his tongue and not yet
sung out or let go, so that all the words
preceding it would branch out, bifurcate,
ramify, proceed from a single point
and expand into a wave of speech or
thought of as an expression of that
that one couldn’t keep inside. One
couldn’t keep inside the tendency of
the body to fail at the test of living
against the clock, in a way resembling
the way the body cannot speed up
beyond its need to absorb rest
and expend energy because there is
never a body at rest that lives. A body
at rest, that is the desire that eliminates
the act of expansion out into the world
awave with light and water and spinning
as if a child on a beach crusted with
salt water dried on her skin, arms out,
a top of a child, ponytail as her third arm,
and rotating at such speed that she
doesn’t notice that the sand beneath her
feet remains in place and waiting. In place
and waiting for the start of the closing of
the day, we might be excused for our need
to see the world as we have always seen it,
to accept expectation as an article of faith
and to ignore a warm fall day in Chicago
near the end of October and look northward
to another kind of sea for the welcome
onslaught of winter, snow, and whiteness,
for not all beaches are made of sand
or made for castles, and whatever cloud
and colony of humans that float above us,
nudged by wind and the torquing Earth,
might suggest through their slow
transformations of shape, we are still
and remain the only solid humans of
the hard bare earth, held in place by
the gravity of our lives, simple in their
seriousness, and we thus see our way
to see the sea before us as ocean even
when it is a lake that has no opposite
shore, that accepts not the limits of
vision, that runs up and over our feet
in an unrolling wave as if to say

Thursday, October 21, 2010

150. Penetration / Evacuation


To dream of filling or soaking
The space between space and spacing
Is to imagine oneself water,
And what flows out of those thoughts is the instinct to suffuse, to become a diffuse substance, to accumulate breadth and indistinctness over the physical need to be narrow and compact. It is in this way that we regard ourselves as properties over actualities. Imagine, for a minute (for that is all the time it will require) that your sense of yourself were not ingrained, something you were awarded at your birth, naked and wet, into this world, but ingrown, an ingrowth of your own self, as if you were injected with this sense of yourself, something that would dig into you as it was trying to grow out of you, or grow away from you.


To enter again with force
An object of intention and fact
Is to imagine oneself a pike blunted at its point,
And to go into something it must move outward and away from a source of energy, for only the physical pushing allows the dull point to puncture the lip of a doorway, the hip of a wall, the chin of a roofline, and thus break the skin, crack the bone, crush the muscles and organs within through blunt force and create the trauma of the body’s pain of the mind’s pain of the heart beating but broken and beaten and the blood running out with the remaining pulsing of the heart, that simple fist of muscle that squeezes blood through the tubes of the body, the blocked and hampered tubes of the body trying, as they can, not to transform into stiff and bloody pikes themselves.


To sidestep and avoid
The lunge of the pike,
The contagious spread of water
Is to imagine oneself a thin stalk of grass in a barren field
And to remain in the presence of danger even when the wind blows you sideways enough to avoid the slice of a scythe’s blade, the unseen snath swinging it hard like a wind set into a circle, a weight at the bottom of a sack swung out and away from the central shaft of the body and gaining heaviness and force as it does, a wide foot lain flat against the moist and giving earth, the falling of a felled tree down in scattering and twinkling fragments of ice and wood, leafless though leafless, and hard and heavy though also in tiny tender fragments of wood that settle through the air and down, soft, onto the earth that smallest bit of distance from the upright blade of grass who is you.


To imagine oneself rested,
As a spoon against another spoon, in bed
As your wife bears your child another bed away
Is to be frightened by light and imagine oneself a leaf
And floating, open and also down, rocking and twirling, spinning against an axis, from one of only a few trees, now far below us and growing in distance, to have broken and blossomed into flame, an orange or a form of yellow indistinguishable from orange, as the leaf itself slips far enough that it rests, sleepless but dead to the world, upon the earth now moist with autumn and accepting the leaf as a sheet from a book, two pages of translucent onionskinned bible becoming transparent against the sweaty body of the earth ready to take back to her body the infant she has only so recently pushed forth into the world.


To imagine oneself a bacterium
That enters the body to unmake
The body’s delicate balance of flavors
Is to be the smallest thing having any effect upon another
And something invisible to human eyesight and so small as to seem incapable of fermenting any change, but then to be the greatest reagent of change, bringing a bubble of fever up out of the bowels of the body to the head, due north of the heart, to cause the water of the forehead to seep out and bead into a crown of pain and, with painstaking care, to swirl that invisible witch’s wand within the cauldron of the slick and sacklike stomach to create a churning maelstrom, captured water of the body, edible and eaten flotsam and jetsam both, and move the contents of that aquifer up and out, as if the spilled and florid words, fluid but scattered with sharp and jagged pieces that no artesian well would need pull up from such depths.


To imagine oneself the end
Of a long and vibrant day without reckoning
But allowing the reckoning of one’s own consideration
Is to be whatever fades from sight and touch at the end of something else
And to be the quenched flame of a candle, its last breath curling upward until it dissipates into total night, until the scent of that breath, as a tiny burning of the odor of wax, hot and liquid to the touch, a puddle of wax bright as an eyeball or marble or even the tense and convex tent of water high atop a glass, disappears into a memory of what a memory used to be when the brain worked better and a slicing headache didn’t obscure from view the scent of candlelight, the sight of candlesmoke, the sound of candleflame, on the last day available to count the fingers of the feet to see if one could walk again, and upright, if possible.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

149. Gargling and Panting

even in the night when
the light on the leaves of
the trees outside the window
looks like frost and the cold comes
in good enough to turn my voice back
to mist even in the night when I am not
where I might be and wrinkle space in
a segmented stretch of darkness and
where she cannot know I am for I
am no longer there even in the
night when the sun’s burned
down into the low-lying
mountains even in the
night before I sleep

I write not a word
but a series of them
as if the writing of these
symbols of sound might send
a message out into the next day
to someone who’d not expected it
as she’d not expected the surprise of
the day itself not the simple fact of its
beginning but the way in which it actually
occurred because it is what happens that
surprises us not what we imagine will
happen because we’ve already thought
of that and that never had the chance
to become and to try to resemble the
surprise of opening to find some
liquid unexpected thing and
make from it the crescent-
shaped cry of two car
alarms going off at
once as if a sudden

throbbing and
then throbbing and
never warning anyone
of anything and it is the
sound of hunger of wanting
of a baby’s cry of the hand out
and reaching but never grasping
the other end of the handshake it
is a music like whistling down the alley
to the darkness to the streetlamp making
out the shape of a figure walking either
towards you or away or a representation
of what the shape of a person might be
if this were a darker night or colder or
given to exaggeration about its ability
to represent the deepest dread you
hold within you and carry like a
sad and crying baby through
the alley in such a way that
we see you are trying to
suppress its own tears

when you think of
those tears you think
sweet like cyanide like
crystal like glass like rake
like puddle of oil like clank of
one shovel against hydrant like
orchestra like ostrich like stone
like molt like organ like song like
minions like swale like swelling
like swollen like ocean like two
like dogs like bark like now like
you like aria like simple like
tremulous like slow like roar
like torpedo like diary like
paltry like pantry like swish
like swirl like asafetida like
notion like reaching like
twice like wholesome
like concentrated like
tendril like anvil
like soughing
like arc

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

148. These Grey Cities of the Northeast

It begins in the shape of a section of a thought presented as if understood.


One or, as I am, I.
You see, or so the assumption is, through
Your eyes or the dark holes
In your eyes, cylinders descending
Into sense, because—consider this,
As you will, as an intellectual—sense
Is not a naturally occurring state. It is
Created out of the whole cloth of
Existence by the human mind, though some
Sense might reside in the minds of animals,
Their perception is a mist. They see
And react
Without knowing, and knowing is all
We have, in the way that we know
Each other, or that he might
Know her.


To or also towards
The sense (here
In a different sense) of
What a human is
As a conscious automobile
Being, and as a locus of
Emotion changed by the application
Of alcohol, a change in the
Weather, her sudden change of temperament
That causes a similar change in him. There is
No us in this world, only
Separations of me from you,
Particles of human sentience
In isolated existence, of a
Thinking mind intersected by
Other minds but bisected
Within itself
From the idea of what it wants to be and the reality of
What it is.


Trinity as a singularity
Is less than a myth, just a confusion
Of thought, father father to himself,
Son son of himself, and the little floating flame
Above the heads of the disciples
To signify this evanescent presence
That represents some thing other
Within the godness of it
All, and we are nothing
But what is left after thinking,
After thinking it through. A moment’s
Hesitation of a thought
And we might not exist
At all. Everything exits
Without entrances.


Forth into the fury of the fulcrum,
The small force that bears a large
Object away, and we learn,
At the knee of our pity, what
Horrid space our own anger
Takes up, pushing aside even
Disappointment for the largest
Seat at this small table
Of a life. A lifetime of slipping,
And we might find away to
Keep our balance as we slide.
No-one person tractable to anything
But the singular purpose of
That life, like
Losing a grip but leaning into
The fall anyway.


A fifth of something brown and a V
Of geese heading south through the night, because
Sleep is the action of the dead, and we
Must go on living or approximating
The living. This zombie life, of repetition
Played over repetitions. See a life go out,
And something leaves you, even if the end were near,
Even if the life brought its own death
With it. No-one is alone so long as
The echo of a thought
Can reverberate
Within a skull.

It ends in the shape of a section of a thought presented as if never believed.

Monday, October 18, 2010

147. I, Quincompoix

photo in a photobooth photo
in a photoBooth photo in a
photobooth booth in a photo
photo in a photoBooth photo

harleQuin of squares and
colors of squares of faces in
a square of harleQuince
dull sweet fruit of dull eyes

or I’m imagining a magical
harleQuincunx of a set of
photos of the faces of those
facing the little blank black

I’m imagininGin a set of five
five faces like the right flat
five face of a die and I see
the little harleQuintuplets

wide fat rough linen tie of
harleQuinine design across
the flat white neck and what
blood or breath could it stop?

but [and I hear and say the t
more than the b] but I sit
here and collect [the sound of
the t and] these bits of photos

I collect these bits of rejects
torn and droPped to the floor
rubbed into the dirt like dirt
into the eyes and I squint

and sometimes I sit behind
the curtain to take a photo
of myself to take mySelf
away from myself myself

and sometimes I stand on
the stool crouching and say
“I, Quincompoix, yes, I am
happy, for I, Quincompoix”

even though I cannot find
these people torn in two
these peoPle torn in four
these people torn in five

and even though I cannot
find these people who have
torn their beauTiful faces
apart I am happy SisyPhus

my kingDom is small but
I can push it up or down
my noStrum is void but I
can swallow it like a song

handful of pictures as a
scrapPed of a life and I look
at them all day trying to
find the people within them

my little dirty rough handful
of scraps of a bunch of photos
of such beautiful peoPle in
grey and white and I look

I look at all these people torn
in two someThings else and I
see the two things they are
and I see the two things I am

little old lady in a baby carriage
comes at me like a runAway
traIIIIIIIIIIn and I tell her herself
that she should leave me alone

little old lady who won’t take a
picture of her little old lady face
comes at me and says “O why
do you pout with a snout like yours?”

she says “why do you pout and
where is your picture if you like
all your pictures so much?” and
I say to her soft and then loud

“I, Quincompoix, I, Quincompoix,
can’t complain, I’ve got pictures
of people I never will know, I’ve
found faces to love if I want,

“I am QuinComPoix, and I cannot
comPlain, for someOne will love
me for what I don’t know, for some
dark-haired woman will find me

“for some dark-haired woman will
find me and make me her own
and we will have pictures, we will
have pictures of those we don’t know”

Sunday, October 17, 2010

146. not quite autumn’

or the
brown we
into dust

not an
a fall

as leaves

and cold
of red


red fruit
the seed
of the
a bit
but I
eat them

of feral
when I
the door

a wind
with it

to block
the sun
and a
day of

there is
a glow

on hand
of neck
by arm
stylus of
thorn of
of red
or black
that I’d
cut out
from the

me even
in death

the dry
canes and
them in
and the
held onto
me were
the wires
cut free
that had
held the
in place
in rows
in sun
in rain
over and
over one

in two
pots of
one of
one of
both in
to keep
them alive
a little
into this
sliver of
life of

the cold
is here
but not
for fire

Saturday, October 16, 2010

145. Being in Manhattan

To the same degree that you can be
an approximate version of yourself,

through these articles of grace that
allow you to continue as you are

so deep into it all. And the taste of
sambuca on a wide enough tongue

to allow a little movement of the voice
over it. The slightest stirring of a light

and the world seems visible, though
you know it is only an illusion. We have

come to [enter name of place or state
of consciousness here] and found what

we had always believed we’d lost. One
whisper different and we’d never try

to believe it again, assuming our own
recollection of what it actually was.

The vanilla of the armagnac deepens
the tongue enough that I can hear

myself think these words. Yours
come forward as from a place distant

from this one but simultaneous as
thought that wakens then weakens

from the onslaught of sleeping. All
the positions of the glass on the bar

and the way the lights intersect
glass and liquid keep the mind

alert, and the eye doesn’t wander
so much as pounce. Awaiting a

change that is nothing more than
a number reached, you pause to rest

and wrest the sinew of a design to
move yourself forward into this

beautiful night. There is no weight
to the sidewalk, but the heaviness

of the air bears down on you, or
tries to, the way the black forever

always does, but this is a night for
celebration somewhere Midtown,

and even sitting is a kind of pursuit
when your eyes are working and

friends are near. The voice that
enters you never quite matches

the voice that leaves, yet they
twist around each other until

they seem like the same voice, as if
both had turned to song. Believe

in the motion of that voice and where
it takes you. Believe in the words you

make, and the words made for you.
This, you see, is a poem, and it lives.

Friday, October 15, 2010

144. Fifty Lines and a Half of Half-Thoughts

lower and lighter and

what does the l stand

running in place for you are already

territory without the

a song of longing for

distress along the edge of

in what water word’s

a drink both sweet and

enticing alluring eventually

crescent of a road or

fingering the flesh of

burst by breathing out through

courage of the medium as

paper as panting for

the sound before its

crush rumple crinkle

at the count of the thought of

the lens soft and brown as a cooked

seeing through an eye to

pulling to lengthen to

organ of sight or

hers in the sense of

knot in the neck and a

pulse braced against the
twisted into his or a

deliberate errors and

living as a wasted

breeze from the east but

the tapping of the typing of

what fell over to replace the

concupiscent as a custard of

glistening head and the winds

and then five laughing with

song surrounded by tile for the

echo person for herself or

a song sung as if within a

the crutch in the crotch of a

what holds warm at the place of the

not too long but long enough to

ringing in the ears like dog’s

broth and breathing and

cold in the place of

hands cupped around an

distilled quelled gelled and

the curve backwards of the back of the

ever so slightly

click so tick a clock or

o’sweet verity of my time of

taught in the manner of the sudden flight of

knees upon the floor of your

Thursday, October 14, 2010

143. Order as the Concentration of Pattern over an Array

here and
hear the belllike voices of sunlight
in a settled fog reaching deep then deeper
into this October morning
a fog like milk and the voices
of sunlight like lowing cows
and the still-green grass wet
in the morning and cool
so that you could lie down
within in and sleep yourself
into a dream or the resurrection
of cheese from collected cream
the sweet rich cream covering
your hands and maybe the sun
will eat through the fog by then

arrays of grassblades
under your feet and cutting
the soles of your feet
slowly cutting them apart
with the swish of a blade
against your feet and what
you don’t feel
is the cutting of the grass
the slicing of the blades of grass
these leaves of grass
multiple leaves cutting
gently across the soles
of your feet

athwart water
and ice and the transformation
of both into either
and a long way from summer
which has just passed away
with reddening leaves even
if the sky is not allowing
the sun’s setting
and the version of the word
used when you hold
a piece of ice against your forehead
on a warm day

but not burned
not even by the frost
delicate at first
tracings of tiny crystals
almost as dust
across the leaves
and causing them to
shrink allowing their
deep green leaves a
slight dullness but
the dark red stalks
are deep red veins running
through it all

the specifications of the day
that the sun appear that
the sky go dark that
the rain come long and wet
into the evening that
three wet dogs return
to the house that
there are no stars I see
nor moon that
the grass cuts nothing
for I wear shoes
over it that I cannot
imagine where
the specifications end

) this parenthetical life
all imaginings built upon
the manifestations of
reality in a sequence upon
a single person working
the words to make something
out of it in the form of
a letter or a poem or a
recreation of a life imagined
between the word for
something remarkable that
we never consider so and
the word for whatever
holds your attention
for a tiny part of the day (


I have caught up, finishing each of the four poems I had left undone or unbegun (just one of the latter). Find them numbered and below.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

142. crack’d & cracking

In a sense, HE is I, is me, is H, is everything I am. What I find on the ground, what I find in the aged concrete is crack and rupture and H and E in crack and rupture, the body in its delicate glory, that slow and languid deliquescence: plaque inside the wide fat veins of the body, these vines that grow and twist within me tightening their hold; the sour acids of my stomach rising to the throat and bathing the voice into a gentle rasp against the ear’s reach toward a sound; nasal cavities that if not sprayed with rose’s scent would close and hold the air both out and in; left arm numb from carpal tunnel and sleeping with a brace to quell the buzzing of the arm; the pressure of blood steady and heavy in the veins and good enough to squeeze sharp aches into the head; and a throat that closes during sleep so that sleep is never more than a moment broken by a moment of silent breathless panic followed by another moment, sleep and waking, and sleep and waking on and on. I am, it seems. I am, it seems, a letter cracked by chance into a sidewalk that leads nowhere but half-way around a huge flat grey official building. In a sense, the H is a sound, not a shape, though it appears stable and balanced (as my left foot’s fat from its leg losing a vein, and as my right foot occasionally reminds me of the three-inch splinter shoved fast into it in a burst of running through sunlight to water). H is the sound of air squeezed through narrow passageways, not to say anything itself, but to start the saying. It is a hollow sound, all filled with wind. I can find an H almost anywhere on the earth, even on the oaken floor I rest my feet upon, and upon waking I hear the H in my first woken breath swallowed hungrily in, as if every human delicate fragile impossibly sweet and breaking body were making its last sound, of a syllable of air, released slowly into the air. Numb with sleep and an H or an aitch on my mind, and a haitch let out like a breath, and I can type away the letter I see as a word and heard as a sound and fill myself with it, because it is my letter and if held in a row of them it would make a fence I could not climb over unless I could take my pencil and erase every penciled letter away. Easier it seems than learning is leaving, and my house creaks at night, never like flesh, but bone. As I swing or sweep into sleep or something in the shape of sleep, I understand the worlds of words I had forgotten to make today and all of them I’d made to make my body tired and tiring, and full of yearning and reaching, and eyes closing eyelids over themselves to leave my fingers typing the words I might remember in the morning or forget as if I’d dreamt them, as if I’d slept through them, a storm of words, and images about words. And what I want to find, sometime, is the letter H laid out on a table, forty-three years old (younger, you see, than I am) books of poetry and visual poetry and discs of sound poetry already made and in many piles and strange shapes, and the operation is over, and he cannot get up, and we cannot rouse him, because he is already dead, unloved now and just an H, the single rung of the shortest ladder.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

141. geese’s flying forth


















































Still Behind

Geese flying overhead
and the woods all around in the dark

Two Poems Finished

Finally, I have finished two poems in progress, numbers 137 and 138, which appear below. I still have 139 and 140 to finish, so this might take me a while.

Monday, October 11, 2010

140. inkings

m bers
or gettings

planations of
otted ruit

de mi vida

interred & en
& ranged in

atterns &
atters & ternated

enditions of
eason or the

anging of

eloj y

orej y

mi engua
& anguish

ervishes orming
ark & angerous shaps

eltoid, lmost
th’shape-of iangles

mi engua
y tu orejandale

& remors

aking & aching
for or nor

eading orth
& orth

orac at

yr tung
so tart

what word or
ort or ord wd

you say
to say it?

what’ll erish
fter we’re gone agn

what wd
or shd we

wash fr
ire to ash?

urn an

& keep’t
ogether like

an lphabet
of words

panding in
umbers & other

olors or olours
& olding


ntil they’re
othing eft

The Opening of Tonight's Poem in Progress

m bers
or gettings

planations of
rotted ruit

de mi vida

Sunday, October 10, 2010

139. Against Clarity

In justice and without
spring in the face of leaves turning
against green, and that hope
of moving through a cycle
as if life continues against
the end of life, I see

in justice and without
some fine entity of consequence
let loose to roam, the articles
of life’s lonely consideration
of the fact of alteration from
the movement of the spirit, and I see

in justice and the shadowed
recesses of eyes, in stairways of
deepening darkness and the echoing
sound of a swallowed word of air
and that crust of air, a single tendency
to exist as contemplation, and I find

in justice and without it,
and the weights levied on either side
to bolster earth up against,
the virulent tide, red and vacuous,
the sky at dusk, the sky at dawn,
onset and the living tissue rent, where I find

in justice, the rising of eyelids, the raising of
shades and sun spilling like water
spilling like light spilling and through
my fingers, head turned to face
whatever isn’t happening so that
it might not happen, and then I know

in justice for the lower ranges of
humanity, contumely against the least held
breath, released as if a bird against
the great invisible wind and woodsmoke
swirling the wind white-grey, and
it is a physical fact that I know

in justice and better than
I understand myself that the breath
of the earth surrounds me and
extends past the reach of reason,
slips into my mouth, my nose, my ears,
the various openings of my body, where I feel

in justice and without it, the weight
of water on my head, on my tongue,
sloshing inside the upturned and cupped
palm of my hand, and the currents of
each of those blowing hard against the palm
to rattle its spiny shadow, whenever I feel

in justice and the food in my belly,
the weight of ripe red tomatoes thick
and sprinkled with vinegar, olive oil, and salt,
red chile sauce on a cheese enchilada,
and beans, so that I feel ripe and veering
towards soft but solid soil, where I hear

in justice and its mantel, the sound
of birdflight against the bright blue air
and ribbons of clouds festooning sky,
as I listen to the oracle and auricle
and beat my blood into the semblance of
the future I cannot see, but I hear

in justice and with justice’s pride,
all perfected reason that leads to
every faulty decided fate, and the conical
formations rising out of the basement
of my dreams, perfect spinning spires
rising into rays of light, and I know

in justice and with justice’s sure aim,
the shot that fires straight and straight
across, what might not hit its mark but
that makes that sound of flying and
the sound of hitting hard
into the target of a single thought that I know

in justice and engaging every herded thought,
the means by which each striated fingernail
scratching against every plain but dimpling
surface, orchestrates regret and opens
into each blossom of the heart
the wrinkled thumbprint of this simple art.

All that I've Done So Far on # 139

In justice and without
spring in the face of leaves turning
against green, and that hope
of moving through a cycle
as if life continues against
the end of life, I see

Saturday, October 9, 2010

138. The Riches of the Ekkeko

Old Spice, cigarette smoke, and steam
make the scent of a father,
or used to, but the past moves only slowly out of place,
so much so that it remains there,
which means still here,
inside us, your children, six of us,
variously rendered, each a different attempt
at attention. Today we make

another attempt, everything
incarnate, halcyon, the last first
hope for something else
or different, in the same way

that the making of a child
is the making of a father,

which we remember as a mythical beast,
the slumber of Sundays, oak from an acorn,
verdant shade on a sun-soaked day, and


with the idea there was always
a place to go, an
other place to be,

knot of a thought of a
brow of an eye of a
man walking a street

of some forgotten city

Cuzco Accra Speightstown Oruro
Windsor Porto Casablanca London
Paris Munich Rome Antofagasta
São Paulo Mogadishu Asuncion
Torrejon Pisa Strasbourg Millbrae

walking as evidence
of waking of watching
of wanting to be of

something but never
of somewhere

just through it

taking it in
thinking it out
holding as a memory
on a little folded card
of a thought the sense
that some place leaves
inside those of us
who never were
of someplace

the world is shutters
before lights in flickering shapes
the world is a shuddering
sense of the machine moving
all these tiny images
so quickly past
that we can hardly grasp

even a scent of them
before they are gone

and we are no longer
in the Panamanian rainforest
or Altiplano cold and dry
or in the deep rich heat
of the Yungas or together
on a grey ship crossing
the grey Atlantic for
Morocco or in the Rome
that was our common but
temporary home or lost
in the streets of Lima
or on Tobago waiting
to be discovered again

We are the six children
of a father, and we do not
come from this place, not
even the places we were born,

not even the places
where we live

We are moving somewhere
else as if we were just
married today and are
creating a new life

for in our world
every day is a new place

every place is
a new home

every home is
a place

to move away from

A Delay on # 138 as Well, but Here's the Opening

Old Spice, cigarette smoke, and steam
make the scent of a father,
or used to, but the past moves only slowly out of place,
so much so that it stills still there,
which means still here,
inside us, your children, six of us,
variously rendered, each a different attempt
at making a life.

Friday, October 8, 2010

137. am a dreamtn. man

What is a son but something to dream for?

Corollaries of a forgotten fathoming,
yet the structure of them extends

tracery, erasery, in an orrery of thought

around us, to surround. It is
the gentlest hold on a mind,
even hungry for air or sweetening
into desuetude. Deepening voice
of a son who grows beyond us
yet remains within the shadow
that is the grasp of our arms.
He is

a son
of the first water
and light striking his surface
suffuses his being. He holds
onto it, allows it

to become him

to enter him

to become him

so it does, and even into the north
with sun
held in spires and flowings
of ice. He seems

never to disappear
even if he is not there
because he’s come
out of you like a word

and breaking flowing
drawing his own breath
and letting his own words out
he seems a mirror image

of himself

something to wish for,
such as we might wish him
happiness on a certain day
before the sun sets

into him

and bursts out through
his face, a man
set now for an uncertain future

(for there are no others)

and the pulse of it,
the pulse of him,
the pulse of her
beside him. If you

had never had a son

your dream of a son
would be the son you had

and waking from a hard dream

(corollary of life, the way
an orange arm of coral grows

(multitudes of beasts upon
each other, as every generation
grows upon the last)

and we accept the burden
of abundance)

you find your dreamt son
as a reliable fact,

a son who rises
in the west

a son who may some day
set in the east

but one shining
for now,

one to’ve dreamt of
into being.

Just One Line as I Collapsed from Something Close to Exhaustion

What is a son but something you dream for?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

136. Thoughts Scattered Like Leaves

You come to
your sense of daughter honestly
after two of them
and no-one else
after your love for your mother
a daughter always herself
after thinking on it
and taking your time.

Maybe you once thought
a daughter was something
to give away or someone
to give away but you don’t
think so now you know
that a daughter is
someone who returns
to her youth
to her parents
to her home.

We give nothing away
because a daughter
is never a secret
she is always that something
just there and a pulling
against an arm in
a direction away
but with you
a daughter is
a tug at a sleeve
an urging
rather than an insistence.

You never knew
what your daughters
would be and you
still don’t but
sometimes you saw in them
that idea of what
you wanted them to be
without knowing it
until that is what they were
that being the dream
of a father about his daughter
to find they had become
what he’d never dreamed
but always wanted
her to be.

You can hear her here
in your head she is
a voice in your head when
you are asleep she is
the voice in your ear
when you’re awake
so much so you cannot
think of hearing without
thinking of hearing
her for she is your evidence
of your purpose the reason
you still awake early
stack the wood
and make the tea
each morning as if
she were still there.

But to be a father
is to become eventually
to be a father is to
give up what
you never wanted to lose
to let slip someone
you always needed
because your life was
a trek towards her
creation and yet
her leaving is a way
of growing forward
wider out it is the
way your life grows
larger once again
larger than you
it gives you meaning
and meaning is all
you have.

A whistle when you work
because you are afraid
of nothing because she
likes to hear the music
you make through your
lips and sometimes
she thinks your whistled
song is a message
to her that asks
her to leave.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

135. The Form of Children

The little fences that surround
a life, the little children that play
within them, these small stones
they hold in their tiny white fists.

Listen closely enough to a child
and its breathing and you will hear
that it is a language that tells us
about the child. A child speaks

through her breathing and moving,
by means of looking, after the fashion
of the day and the night, whether
meaning to or not, when sleeping.

Gauzy dress of lace and light or
the girl is on her knees with mud
through it and prepared to go
forward until it ends, or the child

shows us she is fashioned of braces,
lashed poles, the subterranean flow
of cave’s cold water, a girl whose nose
points in what direction she’ll go.

Tiny sunrise overwhelms the maples,
still green but going into brighter
colors, and the child dreams of water
at her ankles because she believes

her ankles breathe and will blow
bubbles through the water and,
in that way, extend the sky, which
she looks up to with closed eyes.

Through eyelids is the best viewing,
unobstructed by objects, the best way
to understand the world, or so she
thinks because she thinks best

in her own head, where there are
sounds, like her mother talking
to her, but not you yourself, only
the afterimage, the after-echo of

you talking her back into the world
as she talks you out of it, and at
the point where you realize
no-one needs to be right, you will

feel the effects of her breathing
upon your neck, but not her breathing
itself, and you will know what
it is your child is telling you to do.

A daughter is a way of thinking
about yourself, and the way you breathe
tells us so, the way of breathing is what
makes the little fences sit in their

rows and squares, little white fences
the dog might squeeze through, and
the sense that there is not enough
sunlight when it rains, that the air

seems heavier at night, that a fence
doesn’t hold a child in the way that
your arms do, the way that your ears
listen to the breathing as much as for.

Hearing poetry is an unnatural act
not unlike aging, so it is that we
imagine it takes the form of children,
though sometimes of children asleep,

so it is that we take to it unconsciously,
the body merely accepting it without
understanding the possibility that choice
affords, without taking the sound fully in.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

134. Pens, but I am in Them

consequent disorder antimplied by restraint. her body in the shape and flavour of a meringue. the flower has a pistil, the mortar has a pestle, in such a manner that the pieces hold together. wren/ch and writher. bird in the shape of a thought, bird in the shape of a state of being.

litterature on the path
lying over the stripes of
the zebra crossing. take
a croft of the id/ea and
take a cross up a hill

sweet bourbon across the tongue, and not enough u’s to represent its stifffff caramel. my body is stiff, in a way that allows me to move into another, but only one other. anisette as if it is not a woman. feel my perspective as oceaned, as sea’d, as the seed I send forth. squ(ink)d.

wrtttn as if wrent
& endlessnesslessness
ongoing and going on.
versions of revisions
of seeing something again

night comes dark, words come slow. the interference of words against words against words. mannerist, and the shapes of the words conform to imagination in contradistinction to reality. she smells sweet. esses encumber, and esses eventually become what we call essess.

unborn upon a whirred
and whirling whirld.
what wretched wench
wrings wet wraps
ridiculously so?

if she is id and I am superego, if she is idder and I am superegoer, if she is idst and I am superegoest, where do I go? ventricle, ventricle, open and close, let all the blood move to wherever it must. I need a window to something but blood, to something but blood and waiting for blood.

upine and down and I
am the one who moves
with feet of unstressed
then stressed sounds. my
blood pressure proves it

incongruent intuition and intuition’s incongruencies. we believe whatever before us we find, or the public hair that we later discover is a pubic hair. the dance is not left to the dancers, because the dancers don’t understand how the body leaks: in sweat, in blood, in piss, in puss, in shit, in cum, in the sharp slick juices of the cunt.

natter every night in the
way that you speak of
those things you cannot
speak of such as the ways
in which you speak to us

there is a psalm between us. a song held between two palms in prayer. a sandwich of meaning meant and made. do you hear the words you say? do you see the shape of a man before you? do you see the shape of a man after you? in what reliquary have you stored the most precious piece of that man you no longer are?

unger and ongueur,
what sweet presences
might you expect to make
out of the stiff persona
of your body? what, still?

we have a structure before us, of vector. we have a structure before us, of raster. with the right choice, the world might be temporarily perceptible. I hear you like desire. I hear you like heat. I hear you like the touch of skin against skin and skin against skin and skin against skin until. but it isn’t you I hear. I don’t hear you at all.

everything stops, as if in
place, and placement is
important for it sets context
for all that follows, and for
much of what doesn’t continue

out of the past, I write a poem full of bourbon and bone, a poem of desire, a poem that destroys that sense that the world is something clinical. the word is the cock slipping into the cunt. the word is the cock fucking. we are human animals full of smells and smelling and we are fucking our way out of our thoughts and towards sleep.

victrola and the sound of a voice.
Queen Victrola and the cuntless
woman and how she moves without
scent and how she goes nowhere.
something could point her the way.

take the word now, and respect it. fuck her all you want, and make whatever out of her you want, fuck her and fuck her and fuck her four times and forget her because she is a woman, but you cannot lose her, because she is the sweetest thing you’ve ever tasted, and you have tasted her many times, enough to know what she is.

133. Impotentate of Beauty

Wise and wizened,
take a sample of a poem
and see if it is potable.

We are filled with
the sweet poison of words.

Ever taste the honeyed sweetness of a yewberry?
The beautiful red arils of the yew?
which are sweet and gelatinous
around a dark and poisonous seed.
I’ve eaten a seed
but its poison’d gone
straight through me,
so I live to warn you
of the perils of beauty.

There is in that soft red glowing flesh
the dream of poison, the dream
of sleeping it all away
back to nothing,
of release.

The needles of the tree
are poison, as is that dark seed,
so we grow the bushes
close to our homes
and in bright and happy sunlight.

The yew’d be a poem if it could be.
Or the yew’s already a poem,
for a poem’s but a metaphor,
hidden from or revealed to us.

These words are poisonous
only if you believe them.
The yew’s seed is poisonous
only if you break through
its shell to what it holds
inside of itself and deeply so.

To survive, we must expel
the poison of words, how
they make us believe what
is not true, how they sit
gracefully and entice us
in their direction, how
they force us to accept
this moment of grace
they bestow upon us.

Without the aid sunshine,
in a room dark, save for
the final bulb
of the chandelier shining
down upon me, shining
down upon my bald pate,
I write this poem to you
about the trouble with words
and their beauty.

I would like to read these
to you and Leevi, who is
not a pair of jeans, in a
bar in the port of Hanko,
in a bar where they would
not understand the rigid
imaginative verse that
your Leevi writes, in
the port of Hanko, whence
so many Finns departed
for this, my, homeland,
losing a beautiful land
between light and dark,
because they wanted to
escape the poison that
all beauty is, because
they believed it better to
die half the globe away
from the simple but
beautiful wooden houses
they were from, because
they had learned
of the danger of beauty
and they were intent
to avoid it until they died.

And they did die.
Only their descendants remain,
fearful of beauty to this day.

But the yewberry’s still sweet,
and I still eat it, but I spit away
the seed, because taking half the beauty
saves me from
the poison beauty always is.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

132. Two Faces of the Same Echo or View

At a bend in the Mohawk and sitting
on the south bank is what remains of
Adirondack Power and Light, four
unused smokestacks in a row and
a mien of ancientness, now used for
I can’t tell what, possibly storage, but
what the building is to me is a source
of dreams that this building inhabits
such as mine, where it appears from
time to time, as you might, but unlike
the building that was Adirondack
Power and Light, you speak to me
in these dreams even if I’m silent.

The body is sleeping but the mind
it keeps working, keeps working
things out, like what a word might
be used for or how it might be
abandoned by the poem for images.
My dreams are bodies of words,
words in the shape of people who
talk to me, words that cross a bridge
at night, words that come out of
your mouth, words about your talking
about yourself, words about your
own words, words about words and
the body of words the words make.

I hear you talking in my sleep, and
you are drawing what you are talking
about, and you are drawing yourself.
You draw yourself up into a ball,
and that ball is a fist that holds a pen,
and that pen draws the parts of
your body in the shape of a cartoon,
and every part of your body speaks,
certainly your mouth, but also your
hands and your cheeks and even
your feet, or at least one of them,
because you are a poet so you are
a person made out of words.

Memory every right of portion in a
variant station, lotion from the
manner of it, being so that there could
be, or be seen, as a matter of opinion
whatever reason its questions require
or what prerequisite knowledge
orchestrated the change, as if of the
seasons, or three ravens in a hemlock,
and their dark and raspy voices, never
a call but a croaking, creaking, jump
to branch from branch, rocking with
wind and weight and voice, the calling
out for no reason but shivering out.

That words might, in reduction to a
tighter sense of taste, sharper scent,
extend in the way that they restrict
meaning, shrink it back down to some
essence, a penis slipped into cold
water, what meaning might live so
small and wanting, always aching,
to grow, what growing could be made
of it, how it might expand, elongate,
cover more territory, take shape so
that it might better enter the mind
of some person, or that person, or that
particular person you meant to speak to.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

131. Bleeding for Love

constant & constantly

so & the thread of a needle
the blood of a drop
& how it splashes as it hits the floor

& she licks all your blood off it

& driven
to eat to live to love to be

she is of the darkness
& white of skin
the tiny splatters of blood on her face
are as beautiful as her eyes

every winter is darkness
beyond little day
& the whiteness of snow
is to make the light bigger
than it is

out the window you see
your face against the glass
& her eyes looking in

all of the night in those eyes

night & trees
standing leafless
the bare woods
wordless sweep
woodless sleep
eyes in branches
twigs broken
snow & blood
& the footprints
from the blood
& broken twigs
scattered on snow
under falling snow
& no leaves
layers of water as
snow then ice
then water as water
& moving
the dark movement
of water beneath you
beneath her
like a rush of blood
she stands upon
her desire & need
& want & wants
she wants for wanting
in the darkness
of night of morning
sometimes of noon
& she wants blood
that might be yours
that might be
a young boy’s
after hanging him up
to bleed down into
her mouth reaching
for that drop
from the sky
with her tongue
as you might reach
your tongue straight out
for a flake of snow
sifting & settling
down towards you
maybe enough of them
to cover up the blood
to take away that
memory you have
of her on her knees
on the bones of her knees
& on her hands
face down in your blood
& lapping up

because she loves you
because she loves you
because she loves you

Friday, October 1, 2010

130. Sleeping/Waking

The weight of sleeping
The weight of waiting to sleep
The weight of waking after heavy sleep
And the weight

Of writing as a weight of words
The weight of words as a hefting
The weight of thought
The way a word sways in place

The heft of words as the weight of thought
The way a thought moves
And how it moves within an enclosed space
The run of words as a thought

The weight of words as an image
The sight of words as a page of birds
The flight of words caught as in a photograph
The way words move but only through stillness

The flight of pages of a book of words
The flight as a seeing but not as a reading
And how the flight changes when a flight of images
How a flight of images moves as if alive

Words as images of thoughts
And the way in which words as images of thoughts move
And the way in which they don’t
Silence in the early morning as the words don’t move

Silence in the early morning after dream
Of the third and middle astronaut who doesn’t want to fly
Her worry and her crying at the thought of it
How the other women sit silently and wait

The thought of mine that they shouldn’t make her fly
The thought of hers of explosion and of death
How I watch her from the roof of a house
How the house melts under me and away

How a dream is nothing but a movement of light across the eyelids
How the eyes are shut but they still see
How eyes don’t see but make a seeing possible
How ears don’t hear but make a hearing possible

How a dream is nothing but a movement of light across the eyelids
But I hear it in my ears
How a dream is a sense of living through something
Without the worries of living through it

How a giant behind me makes the building melt
How spectators stand beside the spaceship before it takes off
How the astronauts sit almost on the ground in their spaceship
How the spaceship never launches

What doesn’t happen in a dream but I know it happens
What doesn’t happen in my life but I know it happens
The sense of everything not known but real
The sense of everything forgotten but real

A dream about the opening for a car to a garage
A dream about walking through that opening
How I climb down into the hole the door sits within
The sense of the door as being in a lightwell

The idea that the door can open for a car
But the idea that a car cannot lower itself into the lightwell to do it
The sense of everything possible but not attempted
The sense of everything possible but never made real

Or the dream that a woman prepares everything for us beforehand
Or the sense that it was beforehead or beforefoot or beforeheart or beforeeyes
And that she was there before and I had seen her
But the sense that she is not there now

The sense that a dream is always happening even it if took place in the past
The idea that everything is ready for us but she is not there
The realization that she put everything together for us but then disappeared
The fear that she was never there or never wanted to be

The notion that the flowers were roses
But the sense that my nose couldn’t smell them
The idea that the flowers were roses and thus were pink
And carried little flèches up the stems of their spires

The idea of a thorn as a flèche
The idea of a flèche as an arrow
The idea of an arrow as a prick
The idea of a pricking as a cause for bleeding

The idea of bleeding as blood
The idea of blood as red
The idea of roses as red
The idea of read as something that has been seen

Or dreaming of the heart as a muscle
And dreaming of its blood as a pressure
And feeling the pressure in a head
And feeling a buzzing in an arm

Or dreaming while sleeping and dreaming of the heart as a symbol
And a symbol as an idea
And an idea as a desire
And a desire as a dream

Or dreaming of containing a desire
Dreaming of desire as an object to hold
And dreaming of the little glass bell jar desire is put within
And dreaming of my considering that desire from afar

And seeing all these words on a page
And understanding all these words as a message
But seeing that message as a shape
And calling the shape by its name

And feeling the weight of a name
As the weight of a word for a thing
As something heavy as the thing it’s become
As something heavy when you wake

And feeling the weight of waking after heavy sleep
And feeling the weight of water in that sleep
And feeling the weight of sunlight as a weight
And seeing the weight of waking as a wake

And lifting a head from a pillow
Feeling the headache in the head
Breathing the air into the lungs
Taking sunlight into the body

The weight of waking
The weight of waking
The weight of waiting to wake
The weight of water and its wake

In Process

The weight of sleeping
The weight of waiting to sleep
The weight of waking after heavy sleep
And the weight