Saturday, February 28, 2009

Jesi the Elder

more here

Top 10 Saturday

1) Sunlight and a well-tuned bicycle.
2) Shaun's company.
3) Nyack.
4) Sleepless night, but there's always coffee.
5) A fresh box of Uniball Vision Pens.
6) Dinner with Isa tonight.
7) James Schuyler at Dawn.
8) Breath or breathing.
9) My black sketchbook, like a body next to mine.
10) Being a poet in 2009.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Machine Poem

A machine is made of charming ore
someone had to mine that stuff
and smelt it and then there was the hullabaloo
about getting it from there to here
and all the little kids with seat belts
around their necks pretending to choke
on vomit when the truckers trucked on by.
No, the worst part is waiting and then
starting the machine starring me
in a coded musical about stuff I'm
not allowed to talk about on Broadway.
Everything is falling but the sky just
seems to hold us upright long enough
to burp us and roll us over your arm is asleep
I'm writing this with it, so wake up
so I can tell you stories about my childhood:
the places I kept magazines
and the love letters I'll never throw away
deep in my Father's basement, on a metal shelf,
in a plastic tub, in the dark, in Iowa.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

I am going to try to write this post in French

I am going to try to write this post in French:
On behalf of The French/American Cultural Council
I would like to thank you for visiting to my blog.
It contains material that works on many profound ways.
Let it work the magic back into your life.
Joy can be yours by reading this poems.
I am steady at the pen handling, hopping for the best
that life has offering me and nurturing the animals in the cages below.
I hope that my French is understandable.

I wish you are writing on me now,

Dean McPhee--Water Burial

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Treat You Like a Cop

And give you a medal for suffering
that looks like a badge
in your discomfort a bag of chalk
to write my name on the sidewalk
and let the kids jump around on the letters
make a batch of sugar cookies
in a brick oven and let the smell
spread into the women's room.
All alone except for the critiques,
the silver angel, the porcelain
Mary, the table, and the chair.
Stand on the windowsill and think
about flying over Brooklyn
with people just waiting on Baltic Street
to catch you should something
malfunction, should anything fail.
A moral agent with a picture of
a wing doesn't mean you can fly
it means you have a dollar
and you should pick up the phone.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Kindly Ones

I just ordered Jonathan Littell's The Kindly Ones.

My friend Peter mentioned the novel several weeks ago when I ran into him on the street. I knew I had to read it when he mentioned that it was heavily influenced by Maurice Blanchot's book Faux Pas.

The Kindly Ones is a novel we'll certainly be hearing a lot about in the coming weeks.

The always astute Mr. Stephen Mitchelmore provides some much needed perspective on recent reviews, including the one in today's NYT here.

Happy Tuesday.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Black Lips - Starting Over

Love Poem

There are a lot of things to think about when
a person enters the room with your life
I like a comfortable chair I like a certain
cut of jeans the way a pair of shoes sticks
from the hem of a frayed leg opening
a hip bone protruding from the index
of signifiers or a t-shirt flares at an angle it's those
things and a smile say or a knowing glance
over tapioca tea those little bubbles
travel through a straw and lodge
in the back of your brain telling the waitress
this is the first time I've had this feeling
and you say check your teeth for sesame seeds sweetie
as I swivel to the bathroom
love is not impossible kiddo
love is the most reasonable thing of all.

Jeni Olin gave me a picture and now it's on my wall

Sunday, February 22, 2009

A Very Nice Weekend, Thank You

Friday, February 20, 2009


Lake Poem

I would like to remind you that on the side
of the lake your head is resting
on my belly there your head is bobbing up
and down as I breathe I like watching
you breathe in syncopation with my
breathing this is elegant this is a very sophisticated
form of desire though other animals
are known to do just this when animals
were smaller and lived near the water
those animals can't read or reason those animals
are ruled by passion can animals feel passion
let's not confuse instinct with passion but it's real
the civilized manner of just resting there with you
watching your head move with my belly breathing
not saying anything or when something is said
it's said in a calm tone that makes the scene
more vivid that reminds us to be calm
to be kind and just look at things from where
we are seeing them at that moment and just
relax into that and don't churn with disgust or regret
or try to polish that to a more brilliant hue
don't ruin it the lake will be there
a long time after we are gone.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Morning Poem

These new days are forged by hands
with wounds enough
to make hesitant for the sake of language
chapped with grief
when we saw the worn out day
made to bend and warp while
distorted children played in
the pureness of that thing
we used to believe in doom
and taught ourselves to expect doom
and walked around thinking doom
now we try to greet every fresh day with hope
not braced for grief at day's end
that will come of its own accord
and we know that and we embrace that
not doubtful or contemptuous not hallowed
either by any preciousness bound to this thing
but firmly set and mostly new
ready for the result at its end.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Again and again and again


It has come to this
little spot: rereading
Thomas Bernhard's The Loser
in lycra before a run.
Thanks heaps,

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


What joy does
is lift you up
good luck with it
my rooms are full
of helium are full
of thought is just now
starting to register
the importance of
the the last few days
just in case
there's a leak I have
strapped a pillow
over my heart
to soften the blow
I'll land on it
hips of glass
stiff as a board
a pliable leopard
sprung into night.

Alice Notley

"This is serious shit
starring me."

Alice Notley, from "83" in At Night the States

Monday, February 16, 2009


Sunday, February 15, 2009

A Little Movie I Made

10 Best Days of February

1) Dad.
2) Wind.
3) Alice Notley.
4) Holderlin.
5) The Diptych scent.
6) Scrubbing bubbles.
7) Smart and sweet.
8) Cold.
9) Oranges.
10) Hair.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

A Little Valentine Poem

It has come to my attention
or my attention has come to this
the slick steps leading to the street
disappear under me as I step toward you
skimming dimes from the fountain
isn't like you, not that I know you
but I'd help you if you ever needed my help
moving books or changing a mood.
I'm all about compassion and sophistication
in 2009, even if it kills me I'll balance
on the beam of light churning from the railroad
of your eyes. It's not raining now that
the sun has settled on Valentine's Day
as the day to make the guy walking
down Court Street holding a bag of groceries, me.
And still, couples wander into museums and come
rushing out flinging postcards of great paintings
at the same bellies they once kissed for hours
leaning into night late as afternoon gets
it's buzz from morning coffee, panini,
a few vitamins and this compact frame
edging up to the city with nothing but expectation.

Silver Saturday

Friday, February 13, 2009


Narrative is identity for example
the roof over the building I live in
just lifted a bit and slammed back down
fast enough for me to notice
the sherbet light and icy wind.
It is Friday, no
it is a day like any other day
doors slam, the alarm is set
and someone is firing up the skillet
while droning on about poetry and history.
Me, I'm in the sheltered throes
of no. Better than not being
and I do mean being. I think
therefore I swear I'm not letting
the day go by without a glimpse
of the ones I love. It is fancy
holding someone past their bedtime
cradling a head and then realizing
that head is my own.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

To be kissed on the forehead by the future me

When you get there you will know
you will know what comfort means
you will be kissed on the forehead
by a tender me if I were to meet
myself in a year and be kissed
on the forehead how was your year
it will never be alright nights will
be painful I was there I saw the nights
it is happening to people I know
I would kiss them too on the forehead
by the older me the one who made it
through the year that would be the one
kissing not just a hollow form it is vast
it is gigantic a kiss on the head
by the man I'll be in a year the comfort
of that knowing kiss of me who will
have made it to then.


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Edwin Denby

"The sky is in the street with the trucks and us,
Stands awhile, then lifts across land and ocean.
We can take it for granted that here we're home
In our record climate I look pleased or glum."

Edwin Denby from "The Climate" in The Complete Poems

Monday, February 09, 2009

Monday Top 10

1) I'd appreciate a hand because I have to figure out subjectivity. I almost fainted on a stool at work.

2) Put your mask on first and then the child and then walk around Cobble Hill scaring the shit out of people.

3) Somebody's status is "jolly" after winning $100,000.

4) 300 years ago Pascal pointed out my faults. Thanks heaps!

5) A degree of hopelessness wouldn't hold a candle to trouble you a world away. But I wasn't looking when I met you either.

6) Maybe in the glasses I can see what you mean i.e. the next time you cry look in the mirror and watch yourself cry. If someone is embracing you as you cry look over their shoulder and try to catch a glimpse of yourself crying in a reflective surface.

7) Hey my mind just noticed that my mind was noticing that. Hegel did my thinking for me before I was born. On the day that I was born Cioran took over. Thanks guys!

8) People in pink sneezing. A sturdy blankness. People in airports are distracting, but I'm not, I'm invisible, remember?

9) Nostalgia is a curse. There is enough suffering in the present.

10) Those moments after something big has occurred when you realize something big has occurred.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Sunday Music Break

Friday, February 06, 2009

Anna Ternheim

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Drunken Boat, 1990

Silent House, 4 A.M.

The air is dense and complicated
it's pink it stains the eyes pink
a blood glow to the aftermath of love
is the strain of repetition hearty
and whole the carpet feels rough
under my feet light streams
from the indicators like an indicator
on an elevator relates the floor
to the passengers in a basement say
while playing the balance game of Wii
while my father sleeps in a chair
like it was a plan and we're all just reading a script
her brown hair looked so healthy
I wouldn't stand a chance with that nurse
seething under the glow of tubes the way
life is complicated or medicine is complicated
you can't question someone's memory
when they don't remember not remembering
a swan in his neck one night vs. another night
the safety pin of dry air is worth a lot
if you can find the worth I know you can
because I invented it.

Frank O'Hara

"how I hate disease, it's like worrying
that comes true
and it simply must not be able to happen

in a world where you are possible
my love"

-Frank O'Hara, from "Song" 1960

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

The Best Poem Ever (Thanks Geoff)

Wednesday With Pascal

"We are greatly indebted to those who point out our faults, for they mortify us, they teach us that we have incurred contempt, but they do not prevent us incurring it in the future, for we have plenty of other faults to deserve it. They prepare us for the exercise of correcting and a eradicating a given fault."

"Greatness comes from knowing one is wretched: a tree does not know it is wretched. Thus it is wretched to know that one is wretched, but there is greatness in knowing one is wretched."

"It is not in space that I must seek my human dignity, but in the ordering of my thought. It will do me no good to own land. Through space the universe grasps me and swallows me up like a speck; through thought I grasp it."

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Iowa Poem

Where am I that winter
pinches the side of my face
leaks chill bones deer come
right up to the house
and perfume the sticks
with artificial light
it's a trouble call
from the void of hollers
deep in the ice a hand
reaches across the table
for your own but
that was someone else
a clipped snatch
from a longer movie
high on the shelf
a black bug crawls over
the photograph
of you waving
in the same yard
now covered in snow.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Top 10 Sunday (from Iowa)

1) Running alone on an Iowa road outside of Des Moines early in the morning (people waved at me from their cars).

2) Hearing my breath as I ran and being amazed for an instant that I am in the universe at all.

3) Coming upon a dead deer next to the road with white eyes staring emptily at the sky and me.

4) The crunch of mud that had turned to ice under my running shoes.

5) The nurse with "alternative" tastes in music and her surprise when I knew what she meant.

6) Watching my Dad sleep in a hospital chair and just totally loving him as a the TV played the Super Bowl high on the wall .

7) Driving home from the hospital in the pitch black with my step-mom.

8) Rolling the trash can out to the end of the driveway and noticing the stars and the silence of the Iowa night.

9) Standing at the end of the driveway for a long time and thinking about a lot of shit.

10) The poem I gave my father 20-years ago in a frame in the room I'm writing this from.

It is a day like this today