Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Notes During a Run in Brooklyn Heights

(I can read your lips while you read the paper).

Insomnia = handsome.

What robs you of your own self-deception?

A little something about losing control:

1) I'd rather not be alone with you.
2) I'm looking out for you, so relax.

I had so many plans for my life.

I love!
I am loved!

Spend the whole day making slow motion gestures.
Is it possible? Would people comment? Could I keep it up
all day?

In Circuit City I went into a trance.

Really: are you happy?

On the corner of Henry & Warren
I heard a child say to a sibling: "you're not the boss of me."

Fuck yeah.

Book idea and title: I think I hate everyone on the subway
(poems that I wrote next to strangers who watched
what I was writing in my notebook on the subway).

One Problem:
Public Writing, never could.

Funny/mean doesn't work for everyone.

Thank you!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Ezra Pound Evening

"nothing matters but the quality
of the affection--
in the end--that has carved the trace
in the mind."

-Ezra Pound, Canto LXXVI

Friday, October 27, 2006

Thomas Bernhard on Friendship

"In the Herman pavilion, and finally in mortal fear, I became clearly aware how much the acquaintance with my friend Paul is worth to me, and that it is truly the most valuable of all my relationships with men, the only one I managed to endure for a long time, and one that I would not, at any cost, give up." -Thomas Bernhard, "Wittgenstein's Nephew"

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Naming the Animal

We gave the animal a name so we could refer to it,
single it out, call for it. We thought long and hard about
the name for it and then, when we stopped thinking about it
the name came to us and we forgot about the animal.

Sometimes the animal has to give up his seat
or his position so the others can be hemmed-in
by their pleasure in seeing the animal sit or stand.

I just called to make sure the animal was okay
and everything. I saw what happened to you
so I used my phone to call your work
to tell you what happened to you but not before
I called the ambulance to drive you to work.
It was the animal that did most of the damage
to your body that day, not the medicine.

Think about me while I'm at work
doing stuff to make a living.

Salty Pony by Elizabeth Zechel & Todd Colby

Captain Beefheart

I remember seeing this clip of Captain Beefheart (click "Captain Beefeheart" above) on Saturday Night Live way back in 1980 while I was in High School in Ottumwa, Iowa. It was the first time I'd ever heard the same music and words that were already in my head telecasted right into my parents basement where I sat enthralled and changed forever.

"Each pillow is counted like a rock
the mother-father figure
somebody's had too much to think
send your mother home your navel."

-Captain Beefheart/Don Van Vliet

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Thomas Bernhard/Jury Duty

While serving Jury Duty today I brought along Thomas Bernhard's newly translated and published first novel "Frost."

This passage summed up my day:

"It felt as warm as in a cow's belly: the air felt as if it was being pumped from body to body with incredible pressure from some collective muscle."

The good news is I don't have to serve again for another six years.

But the best news is the novel and translation are superb.

One of my favorite photos of Mr. Bernhard:

Monday, October 23, 2006

The Slow Murder Of My Night By Doubt

New faces are breaking with
the slow murder of my night by doubt.
The traffic outside is light but audible so
I made snow angels on the sheets.
I'll show concern when I feel concerned.
I've become this thing you see
with words and all of them are in arrears.
In the end it's our capital
that loves distress signals.
These brief steps backwards linger into night.
Look! I can go back to where I came from
before I was born if I want to.
Dear October, it is difficult
to hear you so you should
finish brushing your teeth
and climb into bed.

The Collected Poems of Robert Creeley 1975-2005

"Oh life, oh miracle of
Day to day existence, sun, food and others! Would
Those who lived with me then believe how much
I loved them? Know how dumbly, persistently, I cared?"

-Robert Creeley from Mediterranean I, from The Collected Poems
of Robert Creeley 1975-2005

Buy the book now.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

My Fixed-Gear Bianchi

I love riding this bike. It's while moving through the city on something silver and fast that I get free.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Animal Relaxer

Given half a chance I could be that: an Animal Relaxer.
I could do that for an animal if I got half a chance
to assist an animal with relaxation.

What I could do is help the animal relax.

Well, I could do that well enough.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Night Fritters

All I know is that I know less everyday.

You've become more complex!

(A cluster of words that would give a powerful
pop in the mind, like a joyful aneurysm).

What would happen if everyone came to their senses?

Big silver bunches of balloons.

T-shirt idea: "I SURVIVED MOM DINNER."

Peace fire! Hope fronds. Guilt necklace.

Numbed and slammed.

A poem ending just like this one:

but I gotta tell ya/ga-ga-ga/ya.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Thomas Bernhard (click here)

"There exist irritating phenomena that are a means to irritate, as, for example, the phenomena between two phenomena and the phenomena that let such irritating phenomena be perceived." -Thomas Bernhard

You Think People Are Talking About You

You and your floral charm
sag-legged and harnessed to hurt by
the small of your back lit by gel lights
so the target isn't the pale tin snips
misguided as you are and soft spoken
as a shroud should suffice your odor
leaden and fatigued a hornet's nest
raging in the basket of sandwiches
those onions are really bombs
and any mention of food will come to rest
bringing only the worst of the worst
pampered bathroom magic fixed
as it were by the caustic blue blankets
a nick on my knee where I tried to shave
the hair off but hacked the skin instead
haunted by your words to us
delighted by the weather
strange as it may seem
and dark as my morning began
aching and foggy your dolomite
partitions are mere straws
the cactus butter the bread
the clues to a bitter life.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Click Here

Thanks for the link Heidi. Now I feel sorta dizzy.

Thursday, October 12, 2006


Click "Listen/Watch" Above
Feed me with your kiss!

Oh! You Burning Angels

Grace is always saucier
when the hard facts have perished
the death of bones in my jaw
morning is laced to the room tightly
the animals move light around
specks of fur on the rake
some joker stuffed blinking lights in the ham
all my life all I ever wanted was crisp math
and a woman glad for what's in my head
glimmer of expectation, excitement, a feeling
of grief tinged with anxiety
cough mint gas from scented gum
extraordinary fuck saturdays
swim in chlorine rags
energy is awning flaps
evil not sleepy Oh!
you burning angels.


There's something about listening to Stereolab at work that tickles me and makes the coffee that much better (to say nothing of the sweetest melodies and rave-ups).

Jon Blyer At Work On My New Bike

Good Book Alert: Up Is Up But So Is Down

Up Is Up But So Is Down: New York's Downtown Literary Scene, 1974-1992 (NYU, 2006) is a must-have for anyone even vaguely interested in the constantly changing cultural landscape of NYC. There are all sorts of artifacts, essays, historical documents, eyewitness accounts and--for me--the best reason to buy the book: the afterward/interview between Eileen Myles and Dennis Cooper. I want to be like Eileen when I grow up.

A True Story: A Momentary Gravity Failure in Brooklyn

A brief gravity failure occurred yesterday in Brooklyn (at around 2PM according to the New York Times). Gravity failures are usually brief (the gravity failure of Rome in 1952, for example, was the most extended on record: over 10 seconds). During momentary failures, most of us will suddenly feel nauseous, while accidents inevitably occur and are usually attributed to human error. Trains may momentarily float above the rails or a mother holding a baby during an afternoon nap will suddenly wake up hovering above the bed. Yesterday, for example, a parked car on Baltic Street was flipped upside down (no one was hurt). Typically--with gravity failures--people will become wary for a few hours and then everything will get back to normal as people again start looking for money or thinking about ways they can get to places to find money. A lot of people will find relief from the tension of gravity failure by simply moving things from place to place in order to make money, even if they're losing money. In general, it's money making activity that makes people feel comfortable again after a momentary failure of gravity, according to the New York Times.

Sunday, October 08, 2006


Morning shoves it's way in
thick and dull as CASH MONEY.
Even if you use the old curtains
for PAJAMAS you'll still have
something TO BURN FROM US.
EAGLE such-and-such
FLAG this-and-that--
do your fucktard dance for DADDY.
Look outside and tell us what
It's the magic PUN DOCTOR
robbing you of self-deception.
Don't laugh on me: it keeps getting worse.
Breaking news is waking you
only to make HYSTERIC NEWS.
Go back TO YOUR ROOM and
touch the GLASSY PILL. Welcome
the gleeful visitors: YAY VISITORS.
We're all going down.

The Poem Itself

The purpose is planted in the metal showers
glistening pink nodules, painstaking and gibbered
by ice and inflated by clout. The birds come
clean in the salt shower--pebbles of dried beef
pelt kleenex shirts, replace money hounds, pretend friends.

Mirror makers know the secret!

They are always smiling in the filth bank
with tickets for blooming agitators. Photo pancakes
clanging garbage crates as putrid dawn bubbles.
Stark newspaper bundles of gunk. Mere habit
rubbing my eyes over that, daily.

The new tomorrow just can't resist!

Like it matters. Like any of us care about
the dude who injected silicone into his face
as a halloween joke. I know more about you
and your tiny heart than you think: about me.
A pretty case on an icky thing.

The walls of gold and platinum, yack!

A saucer of milk for the alien on the table--
you can have my shit because it makes a nice
table setting. Eat the jar of expensive honey.
Get cool calm and collected with the hair machines.
We know all about you now, so chill. XZ out.

Harrison Cannon

This a photo of Harrison Cannon in a Drunken Boat T-shirt that I made from around 1992 or 93. He was in a band called Geezer Lake from Greensboro, North Carolina. We did tons of shows together all across the S.E. U.S. and stayed with them whenever we were in that area. He's a lovely guy, a great bass player, still makes wonderful music and is now a daddy here in NYC. He sent me this photo the other day and it brought back all kinds of memories about stinky vans, smoky clubs, and good friends.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Court & Union

Morning Poem

I could have you, need you, break with you,
I could spend hours with you eating pieces
of you and making the world change
with you, be humble with you
and then cradle you whole, eating
from you as the birds eat crusts of bread
around us wanting to eat from you too--
Early riser, mouth full of love,
the sweet way the world burns--
Oh nest of pureness--
Oh love of the desire
to be desired--
The whole world is moving
through your hips and palms
while my carcass is numbed and slammed
speaking with warm detergent air
the bleach decay of fabric
soothing as hair on the back
of a cambered head.

Friday, October 06, 2006

My Reading in Nice

Tonight went as well as could be expected. I read from my novel Dirt along with a few poems from Night Fritters and then I did an question and answer period that went on a bit longer than I anticipated. It seems that several people in the audience were really into psychoanalysis so they kept asking me theory based questions that really had nothing to do with my poetry. It made me feel a little trapped and angry. By the end of the allotted time I simply excused myself and made my way to the dressing room where I was later joined by Michelle and some friends of mine from Nice, Gilles and Pierre. The four of us snuck out and went to a local bistro where we had a delicious fish stew along with some of the best bread I've ever eaten.

I left a little early and walked around Nice for several hours listening to Vetiver and M Ward while being amazed that I'd traveled this far to be paid to do just a few readings. I miss my life back in Brooklyn. I did manage to make a deal to get Night Fritters published by the French poetry publisher named Comme that Gilles acts as an editor for, so that was a piece of rather good news. Now if I can just get someone in the States to publish it.

Here's a photo that Pierre took of the audience as I was reading tonight (Gilles is the one with the headphones on, he recorded the whole evening).

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Hotel Saint-Gothard

I'm staying at a funky hotel called the Hotel Saint-Gothard here in Nice. I arrived about 15 minutes ago and took a quick photo before checking in. The reading is at a little bookshop called the Maldoror (after the famous novel by Lautreamont, I guess). I met Michelle the owner of the bookshop who picked me up at the Nice airport. It was funny, she knew all my work and even excitedly recited passages from Tremble & Shine in both French and English. Hearing my own poems in French as she drove the car in Nice (of all places) was a real trip. She told me that a lot of the students here love my books and that she expects over a hundred people to arrive for the reading tonight.

While Michelle is absolutely wonderful, she's also a very scary driver (we nearly hit a man carrying a basket of flowers and then almost ran head-on into a stone retaining wall). As she dropped me off at the hotel She offered to pick me up this evening before the reading but I politely declined and will simply use the walk over to Maldoror as a a way to take in the sights.

My First Reading in Paris

Tonight I gave my first reading in Paris at the Avicine Bookshop. It went very well. I read through most of my new poems from a yet unpublished book called Night Fritters because they kept asking me to read more. No sooner would I sit down than they would demand that I read one more. I'm never really sure if people enjoy my readings or not though they did seem to laugh at the right moments and sort of cry/sob when I was being serious. I must confess I did tell the audience a totally fabricated sad story about having lost all the money I'd come to Paris with in a gambling accident. The photo below is of the audience as I was being introduced. Tomorrow it's on to Nice for another reading.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


This is where I sat today for several hours taking photographs of passersby until an undercover guard (the guy in the long trenchcoat in the photo) came up and asked me to stop taking photographs because I was making one of the patrons nervous.

Slapped in Paris

I'm in Paris right now
it's early afternoon I
just had some cheese and bread
earlier I fought with a man
literally over the clout
of his books and his chug-a-lug
so it ended with him slapping me
and me walking away
to buy a newspaper to swat him with
I ended up walking along the bank
of that river with a camera and the
stuff I saw in the water was surprising
a woman asked me if I was German
in German and then I sat down and
wrote a letter to my Father
thinking about how much Paris
is like Des Moines
even with the tower looming
in the background of
a man slapping me in Paris.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

James Schuyler Morning

"...Evening of the day in early March,
you are like the smell of drains
in a restaurant where pate maison
is a slab of cold meat loaf
damp and wooly. You lack charm."

James Schuyler from "Poem" in the Collected Poems