Thursday, March 31, 2011

311. The Promise of Birthday Snow

Heavy it seems
at times to wake
up, I’m sure, with
all the weight
that comes from
snow as light as
air but piled and
accumulated and
set into the form
of some docile
obese deity left
alone long enough
to become merely
statuesque but
not in a good way.

Heavy it seems
to think of, well,
just anything in
all its little
and difficulties,
all those things
that come into
a life to keep
it running even
if you just want
it all to rest so
you yourself
could rest, not
even the body
but the mind.

There is no
spring it seems
or way to get
there from here
and I can say
I’ve looked
behind doors
for it and asked
around after it
but it’s nowhere
not at all and
a snow comes
down on us, a
snow that is
beautiful enough
but also heavy.

There is no
reason to expect
a change to it
because it all
continues as if
it’s always been
here even if we
don’t remember
it all and are
surprised by
our mere fact
on the fat and
cold ground
covered with
snow as it
usually is but
that gives us
some stability
and even a
way to stand
high enough to
see something.

It’s not that
this is all bad
or that a truck
doesn’t come
down the road
in front of your
house to push
the snow away
almost far enough
so you cannot
remember it or
even remember
anything else
you were trying
to forget until
you figured that
forgetting so
much of what
you’d lived might
leave you with
nothing to keep
and you thought
to yourself, “I
really need to
remember at
least something.”

It is not that
you can’t bear
the weight or
can’t even grow
a year older, yet
it all seems
quite surprising,
to be in a place
you think you
already had
been and to be
reliving a life
you thought you
had already
lived and to be
thinking of a
place you think
you might never
reach, maybe
because you
don’t recall its
name, and maybe
because you
already live there.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

310. The Presentation of Self in Everyday Night

Gotta find out just why
there comes up out of the gut the whole of it
in a great mess, the black and slime
and unholdable masses, what
can’t just be held back or in, and

Gotta find out just why
the body is oiled but gritty
filled with hoarded bits of sand
and twigs broken off once-live branches,
all of it knitting itself into a moist and stringy web
catching all these things

I just can’t lose. Busted

bellies of each guitar, there is
no music to them, but their strings
swing into it. Maybe only hope
holds their music together or the breathing
of the wind pushing from the east

where snow comes from and we

pull back from. Can’t live through
the history of the Atlantic anymore.
Need something drained of history,
something unknown and wretched,
my neck cracks when I turn to see it,
moving west to where the sun goes black.

Seems this car can’t run itself
even though there is no car and I am dreaming
except that I haven’t dreamt for years
and live always awake or waking
or resting from

wanting to wake. Engine is a block

like my brother or the brick
that’s kept the door open so I’d pass through
as if there were no door but
only the mention of door whispering at me as
I pass through

the scanners and they see my body. Am I

naked? or clothed? or close to
getting far enough away that it wouldn’t matter
if either I were running through

(the branches cutting me in little places and ways)

the woods leafless and wet
before a real spring and my haughty gaze

King of the Skunkweed, King of the Oak

or standing in a two-piece suit,
piercing pink tie against a pure white shirt against
a black coat, the black of the pants close and snug
against my small waist
and I am held in

and I wait

for it all to begin, music of the morning,
pieces of shadow the afternoon falls into,
the turgid layered ways of the evening.

It is all so quiet

perhaps because I have fallen
asleep and over the couch as I walk
through the night trying to write
for someone I can’t find


but whose voice I hear
and repeat
in ink. What if, I wonder if, there were an engine to it,

something that could run it through
and through, a way to make it seem mobile,
kinetic, not static, vibrant,


or just alive. Engine like a heart, heart
like an engine, heat and motion, but the metal
beneath your hands, the warmth of the engine beneath
the metal, beneath the hands, a body in bed at night,

and to sleep into it
would be to sleep into warmth

to suck all the heat out, to let
or lease or steal, to feel the seep
of the heat all out

but, because of it, into

the body. It is a transfer of properties, a brightness
kept in darkness and close to the body, the scent
of cloves the color of the room at night, and it pulls
it together, over the head, and the body thinks

of itself

as the body as the heart as the eyes
which don’t blink with these sunglasses over them

night made into night by nightshades

(such a sweet taste)

and the body moves as itself
as a body beside a body and a berth
as a body beside a body and a birth
as a body beside a body

it is a mind
there is to it
mind in the body

that doesn’t break but is twisted

like metal and you cannot twist it back into shape
by the portion of a version of incursion
into the senses and the sense of the night
as something warm and cold and dark

and we don’t know what that light is
or like
and we don’t know what it is.

We never know what it is

Not Enough Energy or Imagination to Finish This Tonight

Gotta find out just why
there comes up out of the gut the whole of it
in a great mess, the black and slime
and unholdable masses, what
can’t just be held back or in, and

Gotta find out just why
the body is oiled by gritty
filled with hoarded bits of sand
and twigs broken off once-live branches,
all of it knitting itself into a moist and stringy web
catching all these things

I just can’t lose. Busted

bellies of each guitar, there is
no music to them, but their strings
swing into it. Maybe only hope
holds their music together or the breathing
of the wind pushing from the east

where snow comes from and we

pull back from. Can’t live through
the history of the Atlantic anymore.
Need something drained of history,
something unknown and wretched,
my neck cracks when I turn to see it,
moving west to where the sun goes black.


Monday, March 28, 2011

308. Soupy Thoughts

It seems
That you
Might be
The one
Who thinks
That he
Can have
Some fun

I bet
That you
Are just
The boy
Who might
He can

My dad
Has said
That you
Should be
The kid
Who just
Might want
To be

I’ve heard
At least
Some talk
That you
Are quite
The one
To bound

I start
To tell
You this
You must
To Not
To Miss

You see
I speak
What I
Will say
This has
The day

Your mom
She thinks
She knows
The why
But if
She did
Then she
Might cry

Your dad
That he’s
Found out
Just what
I might
To shout

But you
Should know
There is
No time
For me
To let
You know
That you
Can climb

I think
That it
Is such
A waste
That we
Must rush
And be
In haste

So let
Me tell
You now
What you
Will have
To know
Just so
To do

Me to
Ask if
Your dad
Is quite
The man
Who might
Be bad

And let
Me please
Just ask
You once
If there’s
A kind
Of beast
He hunts

And if
There is
A beast
Like that
Can you
Tell me
If it’s
A bat?

And if
He hunts
For bats
At night
Does he
Store them
In jars
Of fright?

And does
He take
Those jars
And make
A thick
White soup
Of bats
And shake?

And when
The bat
Soup makes
Him shake
Does he
That it
You take?

And when
You drink
That soup
Right down
Do you
The bat’s
Crushed crown?

And do
You think
That bats
Just must
Have taste
That’s like
The taste
Of rats?

And would
You drink
Your cream
Of bat
And think
There’s no
Thing just
Like that?

Or would
You like
An ice
Cream cone
So you
Could talk
To me
By phone?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

307. The Scent of Spring

Spring won’t come with cold aching
through the woods, bones in brittle cold
even in a light that takes on the sense that morning
breaks across a face in slats and warm.

Would that the world were real,
and made of hemlocks and deep brown shadows
only darker in summer and that the lakes
laid out in arcs and lines would lie
flat and still and hold their cold until just before
the tiny summer afforded us would end,
that there might be birds threading through the trees,
light wispy clouds against a blue and perpendicular sky, that
woodpeckers might move, jerky,
mechanical, unreal (but real) against the upright trunk
of a tree outside the window, that winter
would be cold and seemingly endless.

We wish, because we wish
far beyond the hope for gift,
that the world were real,
not metaphoric or orphic,
not a thing that points and
says, but a thing itself,
cold when we want warmth,
something solid but pliable,
made out of more pieces
than we could hold together
in a head, a place we could
intersect with and inhabit.

If we could, we would come out of a long and frozen winter,
kept white by snow that could melt only after winter was done,
and then slowly, or not at all, because the cold would
hold on, hard and fast, as if it were holding onto the illusion of life,
and into the spring that had become nothing more than
the flattened brown of grass and dirt revealed again to us.

If we could come out of such
a winter and into wintry spring,
if we could emerge, logy and
stunned by sunlight, from a
white and bitter winter and dark
because of it, if we could reach
a spring warm enough for a
trickling snow, maybe we could
sing a paean to this world we
cannot accept rests beside us.

It seems that everything
is intact and seamless, that
winter doesn’t ever end,
that the Hudson dribbles
from the woods north of us
and eventually becomes
the Atlantic, yet we know
it is not. The crush of truck
into car, the slipping of boat
off its moorings, the earth
shaking the collected pieces
of a life off shelves, a hunk of
bread pulled from a loaf
and left, hardened, on a table,
the way light saturates a glass
of pinot noir, the way even
the color of a wine can hold us
still long enough to pause.

The color of the wine
through the eyes

The scent of the wine
through the nostrils

The taste of the wine
through the tongue

The heft of the wine
through our hands

But wine is silent

and we hear the world
so clearly around us
and so clearly not.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

306. Le Wit: 64 Ideations in 4 Conceptions




the idea or concept
the idea of concept
the idea on concept
the idea ca concept
the idea in concept
the idea by concept
the idea w/ concept
the idea at concept
the idea up concept
the idea re concept
the idea by concept
the idea to concept
the idea as concept
the idea vs concept


the idea for concept
the idea off concept
the idea per concept
the idea w/o concept
the idea qua concept
the idea cum concept
the idea out concept
the idea but concept
the idea pro concept
the idea via concept
the idea mid concept
the idea ere concept


the idea sans concept
the idea unto concept
the idea into concept
the idea anti concept
the idea like concept
the idea atop concept
the idea with concept
the idea from concept
the idea near concept
the idea than concept
the idea amid concept
the idea down concept
the idea next concept
the idea onto concept
the idea w/in concept
the idea chez concept
the idea over concept
the idea past concept
the idea thru concept
the idea save concept
the idea pace concept
the idea till concept
the idea ’til concept
the idea vice concept
the idea plus concept
the idea upon concept


the idea below concept
the idea abaft concept
the idea circa concept
the idea about concept
the idea minus concept
the idea above concept
the idea times concept
the idea afore concept
the idea worth concept
the idea after concept
the idea under concept
the idea along concept
the idea round concept
the idea among concept
the idea outw/ concept
the idea given concept
the idea midst concept
the idea aside concept
the idea worth concept
the idea anent concept
the idea until concept


the idea versus concept
the idea inside concept
the idea aboard concept
the idea behind concept
the idea amidst concept
the idea within concept
the idea beyond concept
the idea during concept
the idea before concept
the idea ’twixt concept
the idea across concept
the idea unlike concept
the idea except concept
the idea around concept
the idea beside concept
the idea toward concept
the idea absent concept


the idea against concept
the idea outwith concept
the idea between concept
the idea astride concept
the idea despite concept
the idea athwart concept
the idea fornent concept
the idea barring concept
the idea failing concept
the idea amongst concept
the idea outside concept
the idea through concept
the idea betwixt concept
the idea apropos concept
the idea beneath concept
the idea towards concept
the idea thruout concept
the idea besides concept
the idea without concept


the idea behither concept
the idea opposite concept
the idea fornenst concept


the idea alongside concept
the idea excluding concept
the idea following concept
the idea including concept
the idea regarding concept
the idea vis-à-vis concept


the idea throughout concept
the idea concerning concept
the idea underneath concept


the idea considering concept



the idea notw/standing concept



the idea notwithstanding concept







the idea as of concept
the idea in to concept
the idea on to concept


the idea due to concept
the idea as per concept
the idea out of concept
the idea as for concept


the idea near to concept
the idea that of concept
the idea left of concept
the idea next to concept


the idea ahead of concept
the idea out from concept
the idea right of concept
the idea where as concept
the idea inside of concept
the idea owing to concept
the idea far from concept
the idea close to concept
the idea prior to concept


the idea thanks to concept


the idea as regards concept
the idea except for concept
the idea aside from concept
the idea because of concept
the idea apart from concept
the idea instead of concept
the idea outside of concept


the idea pursuant to concept


the idea according to concept


the idea regardless of concept
the idea subsequent to concept













the idea as far as concept
the idea on top of concept


the idea as well as concept
the idea in lieu of concept
the idea in case of concept


the idea by means of concept
the idea in front of concept
the idea in place of concept
the idea in point of concept
the idea in spite of concept


the idea w/ regard to concept
the idea on behalf of concept


the idea on account of concept
the idea w/ respect to concept


the idea in addition to concept
the idea with regard to concept


the idea with respect to concept


the idea in accordance w/ concept



the idea in accordance with concept


















Friday, March 25, 2011

305. A Body of Words

the arc of transparency against
a dull flat sky | this body of text
must through | and again through
to slip as a scrim of grey cloud

perilous to take | the word of the text
as the meaning | of the word or heard
strange to come to a running stream
of text | and strange to be unfettered

faded in the light of sunshine to a
yellow | and newspaper carries
the stench of the rotting body of
words words words | and words

take in flagrant | care and garnered
hope | a pistil full of style yet stigma
and the branch of sight elongates
along the trickling summer’s creek

only through the word is there that
flower | and its petals falling only
to be imagined as words | inedible
indelible | a credible force of sense

see the movement of the flow of the
words as a band of words in moving
flow and flowing movingly towards
the end the halt the stop | the stop

to be in the text as a woman of the text
is to read in the text as a reader of text
or to write out the text as a motion of text
to inhabit the text as a livingspace of text

do not keep quiet the body | motion for
birth of body | quiet in the text of words
what you see is what you read as you write
a body of text on a body of flesh and furrows

write in the syntax | in the word of text
in the cloth of the textile through the word
silent in the voiceless | in the urge of being
buried by body and bodily buried from birth

word that cannot | from the wreck of word
sentence from a syntactical tactic of making
to make from a pistil | the pencil or pen
to write with a pen | is to write for an ever

coded against the flat blue sky | and a rain
that comes down upon the body of the text
coated by the rain | in drenchings of falling
fills the text of the body with what it sees

under a perilous and perforated sky
performing a language through the I
the language becomes her | as she
exceeds the weight and wrinkle of words

life encoded body text | of desperate life
embodied text of written life of her
in here | and blinded by the body of
her words to speak a body of words

not spoken | but broken from the sense
of word bespoke | and silent of the page
where word is not the meaning of itself
but itself | sound that’s signifying nothing

writes because she writhes | and marked
with words | as a body of words as her
body of words | on the words a body holds
close enough to write with | enough to lose

word not fixt to the page | sense not fixt
to a word | foot not fixt to a floor | two
not fixt to a towing | fact not fixt to an act
fact of writing not fixt to the act of being

structure of the body of the text | seen
as a body of the person | felt as a body
of the heart | ruptured as a foreign body
structure as a rupture of the structure

play in the joy of the body of text
write in the beach of the joy of the text
say in the body of the body of self
feel in the sense of the body made text

invisible as the arc of the transparent sky
blue as the branch of the tree | white as
the milk of the body | ink as the white of
the body | write from the bottle of ink

and drink | of the body of the bottle
of the ink that flows | in white as cloud
on white of page | as branch of tree and
pulped and bleached and flattened down

body that makes the body that makes the ink
ink that writes the word that makes the body
page that takes the ink accepts the body
white to be the word of meaning washed and out

word that is the blood of body running white
page that is the skin of body black or white
ink that is the rhythm of the blood in white
body that makes the breath that turns to white

one as one and whole | and written in the margins
white in margins | written as the word is purged
purge of word of meaning | stable and enabled
measure of the meaning | measured by the meant

slash from the whole | and the word as cloud
left from the hole so that cloud can move
what was white and writing and writhing on
is clear and calm | invisibly blue

At a Poetry Reading Tonight, So Only a Line and a Half of Poetry Myself

The arc of transparency against
a dull flat sky |

Thursday, March 24, 2011

304. Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:


of the
or the
from the
cup of

Re: Re:

in the
form of the

given over
to glory or
grief and
gripped by
the hand

warm in
the shape
of it or the
manner of
its erasure

as would
from the
depth of the
plumbed sea

a cup of
warm tea
filling with
in a basket

Re: Re: Re:

I am in it
and tendons
of my limbs

tooth into
skin and all
in the shape

of the cave
the apple to
its mouth

what she’d
given was
every very

thing over
she kept

and gory
against the
jagged reef

ripped then
laid upon
damp sand

warm in
winter tho
twisted from

the shape
of body and
what come

out of it and
in which way
it was error

surf hiss
rolling from

taken to
and leapt
the fall

what’s deep
and numb
I see

up at
dawn and

bees filling
with ways
to ask it

Re: Re: Re: Re:

ten limbs
tooth & skin

its mouth
she’d given

she kept

against and
lain upon

damp and

the shape
what come

error of

taken to
the fall

with ways

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

tense winds
loosed into a
given house

kept against
cramps and
twisted shapes

taken as all
to harming
and saying

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:




Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

how distance
fazes us

the phases
of drapes

light then

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

now to see
this stance
and how

the phrases
he apes
will come

to everything
righted and
set free

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

of summer
and snows
come gone

taken this
to see how

fragile and
the ages
have become

bring the
forward into

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

violins shimmer
now’s gone

shaving & taken
the dance is how

fractal thought
rages dumb

the brightness
towered beyond suns

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

vials of guns

saving the dance

refracted numbness

slight bowing

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

entranced in
a basket
and bower

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

303. Night, and Flaking

Slaty night
settling into

place or it

—— ——
   — ——— —
 —— ——
  — ——— —
 —— ——
  — ———

is personal

and individually
we are constant

or up


Vision of
or more)

in slats of deepening

dark and

    —— ——
  — ——— —
 —— ——
   — ——— —
    —— ——
  — ———

delicate and scattered

On a cheek
less than a kiss

Breeze of

or on a

so quietly

there is no notice to it

—— ——
  — ——— —
   —— ——
    — ——— —
  —— ——
— ———

Icy snow
in piles

seems what
is frozen

tho this night
too and walk


the frozen

I am smaller
than a maple

(you might
imagine it)

yet not

    —— ——
  — ——— —
    —— ——
  — ——— —
    —— ——
— ———

It loses its branches
in the slotted night

pain in wrist
from writing

so writing comes
as a way

of darkening

the recognition
of snow

or pure

the one time
of it

 —— ——
       — ——— —
 —— ——
      — ——— —
 —— ——
     — ———

Constant it is

as everything





I recognize
by knowing

what it is

  —— ——
— ——— —
    —— ——
— ——— —
  —— ——
      — ———

and nightly

held as if
in a hand

could hold
it not a snow’s

flake come

but dark

enough that
the snow’s

gone and

to slipping
down & thru

  —— ——
       — ——— —
      —— ——
  — ——— —
     —— ——
— ———

a night

one’s night




or right








(the taste
of one’s






all about


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

302. A Walkin’ Vwoice


w/ a walk

seem int’
t’be ’t


wh’t y’see

& sof’ness

wh’t y’feel
’s th’wind

w/o a

& thru


spring isn’

come t’
be yet

& there’s

you c’nt
see ’et

& ’ts


& y’live in

’n’ grey

& wh’t

y’d see’n

& y’hear
a vwoice

in th’wind
& in th’

snow come
down & stayed

& th’cold &
snow promist

& th’

migh’ be
a car


motor &

migh’ be

migh’ be

comin’ &

come migh’
be y’r

comin’ &


Sunday, March 20, 2011

300. 9.0

Dreams come stubbornly through blackness

Come as water
Come as rumbling
Come invisible and insistent

Dreams hold on stubbornly until there’s light

(there is no light)

as we are taken from
water as we are made in and pulled from
water as we live beside water
and together looking out over
flat water

we do not imagine
the earth shaking
water rising up
to find us
to wash over us

The sea rises without a heart

The earth stumbles and falls

Somewhere a light goes off

Can you feel
the weight of not sleeping again?

Do you see the darkness
or that that lies within the dark?

The trouble with morning is
that it doesn’t understand dreaming
and the trouble with dreams is
that they do not persist

Sometimes the smallest crack in the pavement

Sometimes the smallest one

Sometimes nothing

lets us see
what’s there

We see it coming
after it hits us

for some like rolling
over us and the crush and the drag

for some like cracking

for others only jostling

You, far enough away
for jostling

not enough to avoid

it leaves a taste in the mouth

or water
just wetness
or dust
maybe crumbling

a taste like falling

and they’ve already fallen
but we keep seeing them fall

enough people to fall like water
each one a drop

a few minutes

and nothing’s left

If the coast had been Atlantis
there would have been a gentleness to the water

a small rising
and a sinking of everything

the water still dark
and cold

but comforting

We live on a fault

It is ours

We didn’t request it
but must accept it

the world is unsteady
and will knock us down

water will come at us
and will knock us down

and we’ll never find everyone we have lost

even if we dream it
even if we stubbornly dream for it

in the dark
through the dark

dreaming of shaking
dreaming of water

Do you know the number of people it takes
to forget who is gone?

Do you remember the weight of the water
before it fell on them?

Neither do I

So I give you a poem
because it is like giving you nothing
and taking nothing away

because it changes nothing

though it tries to remember it all.

Even Today's Poem is Delayed

Dreams come stubbornly through blackness

Come as water
Come as rumbling
Come invisible and insistent

Saturday, March 19, 2011

299. A Few Sketched Words

careworn tenant [and the tenancy of comforts
my southern view affords] wind comes in
through the walls with a buzzing [what little mouse
might live here high enough to eat the wind]
having given every spadelike piece of every puzzle
out to these ficklehanded dreamers [in, despite
the outside chance that not] made every orbit
surrounding the plundered earth [having squandered
every clear idea or recognition] paltry or pastry
[chastised and dispossessed] living in Schenectady
past the age of majority [what awaits the trilling
of spring is whatever has lived through the brunt
of winter] shunted to the side he was left alone
with his thoughts and oughts [n’t to] amid concerts
and a confusion of sounds [crosses and crocuses]
aligning oneself with the supermoon [you might
see your own shadow] whittle the thinnest slice
from the moon to see the brightest flake of light
[the splinter that burns] melting without meaning
melted [a catty night and howling] it is all too much
for sleeping [or letting the sleep encumber what
wakefulness you can walk into] tendencies are firm
despite their willfulness to slacken [what coruscating
idea might break free to light the sky] even if spring
might come it would do not good at night [fire given
enough space to flame and flutter] the creaking may
be walking or it may be the floor giving way [we
expect only what we know won’t happen as our
only way to trick the future into being] distant from
and more distant than [the crack was in her sense
of space] from this part of the universe I can see
everything visible from here [and it is a fireplace
and the glow of a screen] writing is the clearest
way of saying, requiring neither voice nor ear
[hand for mouth, eyes for ears] terrible events
took over the occupied world but we could feel them
only as memories, as if they had happened many
years before [and all the people who had just died
had died too long ago for us to feel pain any longer]
the dog howled in a way denoting sadness [aged
aged aged hound, too blind and deaf to smell]
can’t be a reason to write this letter except that
the writing memorializes an act of writing which
memorializes an act of thinking and being [what
occurs unmemorialized is the reading, are
the readings, exceeding the writing manifold yet
never receiving their due for making the writing
exist] the fire has the sound of water from a
small waterfall falling on rounded rocks [nothing
sounds like the thing it is] each log in the fire
hissing and burning red [then turning into black
and crunchy carbon] the difference between a light
and the reflection of a light is negligible but
I want to know [imagining that a person sliced open
for an operation, but only if cut into in the dark,
would shine a white light out of that body cavity,
illumination in slices of light] not sure the difference
between a peaty scotch and crankcase oil, at least
in smell [the body is a burden of scents] taking in
the folds of a sheet around a body preparing
to sleep and accepting the sense of taking in the
folds of the body, giant folds of skin, as if the body
were not solid but covered in flaps of skin [and
wrapping that skin around the other skin
of the body for warmth] tension in the back in
the form of dull continuing pain from sitting
wrong at a table and sketching or writing
for hours at a twist [only the results determining
the difference between a sketch and a writ]
light over my shoulder and light [arc of an unseen
breeze of warmth from fire] moonlight extending
to the moonwhite snow [darkness colder than
brightness, at least conceptually] living in
Schenectady for the last half of my life [asphalt
sidewalk swayed from the weight of footsteps]
imagine what cannot be seen [determined to
see only what cannot be imagined] lever that
might release the weight [sever as a way of
cutting it away] deliquescence [what sweet rot
would wipe us away] sap of the maple flows
smooth not syrup [sweet blood of the maple,
oh, the sweet and sweetest blood of the maple
bleeding throughout the night] we crave
the instant we learn what we really want
[the chalk outline resembled nobody I knew
but everyone I knew was already filled in
and that was in Tangier and many years ago]
I don’t know if that place is real any longer

Still Inching through a Poem

careworn tenant [and the tenancy of comforts
my southern view affords] wind comes in
through the walls with a buzzing [what little mouse
might live hear high enough to eat the wind]
having given every spadelike piece of every puzzle
out to these ficklehanded dreamers [in despite
the outside chance that not] made every orbit
surrounding the plundered earth [having squandered
every clear idea or recognition] paltry or pastry
[chastised and dispossessed] living in Schenectady
past the age of majority [what awaits the trilling
of spring is whatever has lived through the brunt
of winter] shunted to the side he was left alone
with his thoughts and oughts [n’t to] amid concerts
and a confusion of sounds [crosses and crocuses]
aligning oneself with the supermoon [you might
see your own shadow] whittle the thinnest slice
from the moon to see the brightest flake of light
[the splinter that burns] melting without meaning
melted [a catty night and howling]

Friday, March 18, 2011

298. In Thin Air and Whispers

I don’t know it
and cannot say

what is March
and whether spring

might be here
with the snow

but there was sun
today by the end

and it seemed
that winter’d come

close enough
to its end

to allow us
at least

the thought
of spring through

the continuing
but melting snow

in thin air
and whispers

where something
slips in and into place

and where I saw
this afternoon

a few small reachings
of daylilies out

in green urges
from the earth

which was to say
there’s come

the time the earth
will seem warm

for the slightest
moment and enough

for the green
to grow and spread

into succulent
shadow and I wonder

if you have found
yet in your world

the re-awakened
memories of spring

coming to your world
and suffusing

that one earth
you live on

as we all
live within

the bounds
of our own eyes’

range and ranging
and I wonder if

there is time enough
in morning

to accept all
the empty promises

of spring and avoid
the snow that tumbles

out of the sky
and over everything

we could ever
want to keep.

The Opening of the Poem I Couldn't Write Tonight

I don’t know it
and cannot say

Thursday, March 17, 2011

297. an egg in a hand as a voice in a body and nothing separate

( )


            there were children in it
            they came in the form of children

Lost Angeles

            (it was a place they has heard of)
            and simply what they were

            only with the advent of time and opportunity
            would there be a sense of direction to it

            yet there was a going-forth that could not be extended past its limit
            even if the limit were never




            a duck’s egg kept
            in clay and ash, in salt and lime and rice hulls
            for months till

            albumen turns gelatin (
            a translucent porcelain

            the yolk becomes creamy )


            or these fragments of a movement through
            these flickerings of an action done
            these saved bits of daily human exploit

            the record of a house
            the record of a mind
            the record of body


            made and kept in a body
            made of a body of knowledge and kept
            bodily made to be bodily kept

            the record of a hand
            the record of a heart
            the record of blood



a hill of chapels

            a chapel is a place to hold a sound
            as a hand holds an egg
            in place
            that it might sound and still remain

            trees as a place
            with trunks for boards
            and holes of light through branches for the windows
            chiaroscuro and enough for a voice to hold

            a voice and a violin
            and a viable vision
            of what rests behind
            and beyond the voice

seen in a time of green

            every child green

            stains of grass upon the knees
            stains of tears upon the cheeks
            and what rips apart

a hill of chapels


who am here an

            audience to my own voice
            word to my own sentence

            sentenced to lines
            lined up into reasons

at the barrier of the sea

            the water for the beach
            the beach for the sky
            the sky for the trees
            the trees for the night

at the barrier of the see

            seems like a barrier
            seems like a barrier between
            seems like one

            between a realm and a vision
            a constriction and a ranging

            and what is kept of it
            to be remembered of it

who am here an


what seems

            is what is
            it is what it is
            it is in what it is in
            it is in if if what it is in is in if

the play of

            meaning against sense
            record against action
            getting against forgetting

            and not for all of us
            (never for all of us)


            in a mind
            in the thinking of a thought
            in the production of a page
            in a petabyte of data as a record of one life

            what is the value of forgetting is

what seems



            those like the children who sing with their tiny voices
            and those who don’t sing
            the times when you do not sign a name for there is no name for you

            though not you
            just the thought of you
            not as you but as one
            conceived as a you
            since there is no the you

body as breath

            and the voices out of the air

body as breaking

            and the scar is the record of it

body as burden

            and you suffer the little children to come forward for it
            their tiny voices
            breaking as eggshells give way
            to a complete and swallowable fact

body as birth

            so you are born
            and bone and blood
            and being and built

body as berth

            so you must sleep

            as I must eventually sleep
            as words must give way to something like sighing
            or the saying of it

            each time we remember
            the record not kept
            the record not seen
            the record not made

            and everything becomes in an instant
            and disappears in the next

            and so

            every flickering version
            of a self
            of a flame
            or the flutter of light
            against a frame that holds in place

            an egg in a hand

            and complete

            as a voice
            in a body

            and complete

            as if we know
            what there is

            and are not at all ourselves


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

295. The Book of Blurbs

I might say this about these:


We find, within the wide covers of this book, a buoyancy we did not think we had, a means of living through the word, and the word in strings, and even the word isolated on a page for concentrate contemplation, and in living through it all we learn to forget. The deepening rind, which holds us together and attempts to repel the memories that haunt our sleeping and sleepless moments, becomes porous upon reading this book, and memories go right through us. As if they were light. As if we were water.


The author creates a sense of place in this book, but not one of location, of locus, of being simply in situ. Hers is a sense of the human body and mind in the moveable place of its own desires, entrapped in the world of regrets, of her own regrets. By the end of it all—the words run full out and used to exhaustion—the sense of regret, of bundled regrets accumulated over the carefully trodden path of a somewhat usual life, becomes something comforting, almost joyous, and we are left with the feeling that regrets are our only proof of our human frailty and fallibility and of our own feeble but endearing goodness and worth.


A book does not make us who we are and rarely helps us be anything, not a new self or the better version of the self we are, but this book creates an aura of longing, as if every character within it were suffused with some warm liquid making them warm and drowsy. But it isn’t the characters who long for something, or even the poet herself. Instead, the longing arises out of the words, so it grows within us, and it is a longing for words, for the sounds of them, for how they sit properly on the page with their ragged right edges, and for the meaning easing itself out of those words and into us. The book becomes a true book of longing, a longing for the very words on its pages, which we can hold in our consciousness for only a moment before the shadow of the moving wing of a bluejay takes us away from it all.


There is something broken about this book, just like the characters the author describes within it. These essays recount stories of the author’s life from early childhood to late middle age, and each is a story about another broken person in the author’s life, yet she can’t save them and the book can’t either. The book’s attempts at rescue are always valiant, though, and endearing. That carries us, because the point of living is not so much to succeed as it is to try one’s hardest to succeed. And this makes even a seemingly paltry attempt at success a reason for joy.


Although this book is a novel, it is also, and necessarily, a book of pictures and of words, and the surprise of it is that the images within its pages—the real images, not the fabricated images arising out of words—form the core of the book. The pictures guide us through every major event of the book and define those events in a way the vagueness of words never could achieve. Yet it all seems impossible, and the importance of images to meaning just seems like another one of the lies told by the book’s charming but unreliable narrator, who even tells us, “The photographs work only because the words tell you how they do.”


A body, at its base, exists to fulfill its desires, though the fulfillment of all desires could never be possible. A seeming manual of desire, this book instead becomes one way for us to quench our desires—for food, for sex, for laughter, for the slightest brushing of a finger across the back of the neck, for the sense of breathing in the short warm breaths of a lover. If we cannot fulfill our desires within the bodies of our own persons, this book promises a way to do it remotely, yet somehow completely naturally, since so many of our desires are meant for no greater province than that of our own imaginations.


Every letter written is a tiny instance of the blood of that person, a simple way some part of a person is released for the benefit another. Sometimes, those manifestations of self are mundane or given over to the meaner ways of the human: to self-pity or denigration of others. Yet each of the letters in this book, each found as a piece of garbage discarded maybe without notice, is a revelation about the extent and the price of humanity. Each gives a little hope for a race of beasts given over to baser actions than the care of others. Yet these simple notes, filled with misspellings and strange but apt phrasings, are somehow joyous, even the saddest of them, because they are evidence of the attempts of so many people to help someone else, even if (especially because) they are doing something for themselves at the same time.


At first this book might confound a reader. It seems, after all—the title tells us all of this—a book about everything we might care about. That it is a blank book only confirms this fact.


There was nothing to it.


I have posted letter and poem # 291 only this moment, but postdated to the day it was started.

Monday, March 14, 2011

294. vortive


































Wednesday, March 9, 2011

289. in the thought of tininess



thou & thaw


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lie & late


n drknss

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o’s & oh’s

hntd by


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eo & uh

on it



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