Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Chair, Shirt, Tea and Mustard.

Ultra Joy

Just in time for water
I walk on summer all the way
to you: full of laughter and fluid
I come to you ready
to set you free from all
that holds you to me
and the consequences of desire
which are really only stories
we'll tell people about
this story and the story
goes like this:
we're in the thick of it
living to tell about it
by placing a finger
in the middle of your chest
"it is here" and the bone
is there like a plate of glass
lifts a bit to reveal
all you'll get done
with a helper outside
waiting to bring it all in
I'm glad my apartment is a bus
because we are going someplace
regal and superb like Dallas
in the Himalayas it just makes
sense to walk with you anywhere
at all and then there is ultra joy
and we are soaking in it, soberly.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Some things I saw this weekend

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Saturday Top 13

1) The crinkly metallic cry of seagulls.

2) A big sandwich made by a guy who just came out of the bathroom (Saltaire).

3) Gorgeous and Lonely = Meep Mop Mope.

4) Every night I'm good as gold.

5) The sun is making my arms sting a bit.

6) If you say something in the wrong tone you will think about it later.

7) A dozen or so teenage girls jumping off the ferry landing at Saltaire and a woman taking photos of them in the late afternoon sunlight.

8) I don't want to be someone's bad habit. I can do better than that.

9) Kindness and consideration keep me out of trouble.

10) I can't get enough of Nightwood by Djuna Barnes.

11) Moments of such clarity sometimes I feel almost dizzy, you know?

12) Not so much isolated as alone, and loopy.

13) It's going to be just fine, or something.

In the Light

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Things to Show You

Brooklyn Flowers (Raw)

I Know Now: Best Be Free

Monday, August 23, 2010

A Dumb Ending to an Unpleasant Day

A dumb ending to an unpleasant day
maybe I should have stayed here tonight
not knowing whether it's fading or changing
I would like the sun to shine higher
I make names of people
just sitting revealing nothing
I can't place the days together
so it feels like fading mostly
I have these days and the power of suggestion
I have fewer medallions and more white pipe
My vegetal burst is getting to you
what I may have done or what I'm doing now
excited about skin and muscle
the shapes underneath are moving my body around
when people were shorter and explored movement
sitting in a living room totally sweating
sleepless and sweltering tonight
with fond memories of you.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Long Slow Distance Forever

Smell Bags

"don't be too jealous
but when i got back from the bathroom
there was another smell bag on my desk"

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Saffron Dyed Cloth

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A Poem About Chuckling and Death

It is important to appear happy
near the dead because when they come
back for you looking to seriously move things
around in your house and step around
in shadows like weird little creeps
they need to know that they should absolutely not interfere
with your life because you are too happy to fuck with
and anyway you will be joining them soon enough
a little chuckle right before it comes
here it is you think as it comes
and it does come with a slow velocity
bigger than a ton of earth by so much
it takes years to get there
and then it does.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Fancy Land

I'm glad you came in here
with your capacity for sleep
all standing around on the bed
waiting for the train some commotion
down the stairway is causing
a clanging song so you can dance to it
though the turbulence is a bit
overplayed and repulsive to those
caught in feelings of self-help sections
trying to explain more than just one thing
well, I found it: red and slab-like
about the size of a dime
a clotted cameo in the sheets
a reminder of some vague offering
in this muddy room an incisor
all delicate and scuffed
just getting rid of precision
or facts or anything else that seems
too heavy to operate in this state--
I am alarmingly certain of this.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Poem for Lovers

You have a friend
I will not have another dramatic holiday ever again
I just want a panther I can depend on
sister night, everything looks good
what I'm good for is what I'm still figuring out
distance in that tone, I can feel it
let's get a gorilla a day
no one is texting me or anything
packages with citrus flowers
if I deny something it will not go away
go outside and be dangerous
every time I came to you
look at the details of the blur
you have an expanse, some real time for greatness
a feeling of being misled through a forest
the nights will be black and white
I'm a poet I know my body
I look like real people with nothing left
everything I ever believed to be true
lilted in the mouth, these words softening
you could be doing it and saying it
walking through it and telling about it
this word is silent
you are free

Monday, August 16, 2010

Monday with Witold Gombrowicz

From Diary, Volume 2 (1957-1961)

"It is easier to hate someone for picking his nose than to love him for composing a symphony. For the trifle is characteristic and describes the person in his everyday dimension" p. 88

"If I could for one moment cope with the whole. To constantly live only in fragments--pieces? To always concentrate on one thing, in order to have all the rest escape?" p. 158

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Some Things I Saw Today That Were Red or Yellow (or both) in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn

Friday, August 13, 2010

Fire Island Art Show

(Put on Your) Thinking Mask

A stainless steel bowl
a thin layer of crisp, raw potato over bread
a slice of paper curling on her tongue
all egg shell lean
muscles look very clean on you
fist inside gas, then steam out back
put on your thinking mask

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Four Journal Collages from the Summer of 2001 (click images to enlarge)

Hallelujah Anyway

I'm going to build something vast and spongy
and invite you in, and if you're too busy or distracted
to come in, then I'll just dance around you politely.
When I pour hot water on my house it hisses.
I'll paint my monster silver and cover the scars
with gold leaf. The fog of my breath is a narcotic
and you are putting your face in it. How do you feel now?
I'll bring you out to the garden and show you
the stones I moved around. I'll take you to my silver forest
with orange dust storms. Yeah, you like that, don't you?
I can dance around your life better
than anyone you've ever seen do that sort of thing.
I mean: I can really move in a dazzling fashion.
I'm warning you in this poem. I want you to be prepared
and surprised. I want to blow on your candles
and watch them flutter. I'm made of fur and balsam
and you are on my wish list, so get in the car; we are
going somewhere in slow motion.
My warm machine is sparkling.
You know, I had a feeling you were gone.

Thursday with Seneca

"You act like mortals in all that you fear, and like immortals in all that you desire."

Seneca, from "On the Shortness of Life"

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Wednesday Night with Djuna Barnes

"The unendurable is the beginning
of the curve of joy."

D.B. from Nightwood, 1937.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Tuesday Poem

In an effort to establish
a vapid trill effect, like what
a monster drawing does on a chalkboard,
I looped out the distillation of campers
who all seem intent on mood swings
and the general "flow" of stabbings.
Feeling good? Feeling great?
You are doing a hell of a job
in the basement one time you
made a scene like a manager or some
baby blob going all haywire
with a sappy movie soundtrack.
I love you and your hit and run
shopping cart. You make all the effort
worth the gains. I'm going to Kansas City.
I'm sorry but I can take you there.
Sorry we're close. No, I'm sorry there's
something in the soup to nuts. My nest
is clean. I have an outboard motor and a thrust
mechanism that burns clean like the environment.
Won't you let me in on just one of your secrets?

Monday, August 09, 2010

Monday Morning with W.G. Sebald (from his novel The Rings of Saturn)

"If we view ourselves from a great height, it is frightening to realize how little we know about our species, our purpose and our end, I thought, as we crossed the coastline and flew out over the jelly-green sea." p. 92

"We waited for the taxi beside the Holderlin pump, and by the faint light that fell from the living-room window into the well I saw, with a shudder that went to the roots of my hair, a beetle rowing across the surface of the water, from one dark shore to the other." p. 190

"It seems to me sometimes that we never get used to being on this earth and life is just one great, ongoing, incomprehensible blunder." p.220


Soon, we'll be gone. These letters on the page will be gone--so gone--a word: and then the words too, gone like the hand that wrote this, gone, and so the books we love too: gone--and the late afternoons and the early evenings, the golden light, the wisps of clouds, the machines humming in the evening at this moment, music that I chose to hear, as the elegant smooth word fills me with excitement, makes all this bitterness, makes all this feeling of what it is I'm now doing--so it sits and I move away from it like anyone would, I move away from it--it too will be gone. The person reading this after I am gone will be gone too, someday. If anyone sees this, what day is it? What year? How old are you? Is your heart racing? Did you know me? Did you love me? Did I love you?

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Sunday Night

"I'm the space between what I'd like to be and what others made of me.
Or half that space because there's life there too.
So that's what I finally am.
Turn off the lights, close the door, stop shuffling your
slippers out there in the hall.
Just let me be at ease and all by myself in my room.
It's a cheap world."

Fernando Pessoa, "I'm beginning to know myself. I don't exist" from The Poems of Fernando Pessoa Honig and Brown translation


"The closer the hero gets to divinity, the greater are the loses he incurs, and the greater are the dangers he willingly faces."

George Bataille, from The Accursed Share p. 107


"But it is human nature to search, from lure to lure, for a life that is at last autonomous and authentic"

George Bataille, Ibid. p. 153


"The laughter or the tears break out in the vacuum of thought created by their object in the mind. But these moments, like the deeply rhythmed movements of poetry, of music, of love, of dance, have the power to capture and endlessly recapture the movement that counts, the moment of rapture, of fissure."

George Bataille, Ibid. p. 203


"I've often thought that the best way of life for me would be to have writing materials and a lamp in the innermost room of a spacious locked cellar"

Franz Kafka, in a letter to Felice


"A writer should never install himself before a panorama, however grandiose it may be. Like Saint Jerome, a writer should work in his cell. Turn the back. Writing is a view of the spirit."

Blase Cendrars, in a Paris Review Interview


"Don't your eyes ever get tired of being so wide and beautiful?"

Velimir Khlebinikov, from The King of Time, p. 37


"The reappearance of someone they once loved attracts them in quite a peculiar way--like some morbid fragrance."

Robert Musil, from The Diaries, p. 105


"Come solemnly
come most solemnly full
of secret yearning to weep
because the soul is immense and life so meager, perhaps
and all our gestures go no further than our bodies
and we can only reach as far as our arms go
and we see only as far as our sight allows."

Fernando Pessoa, from "Maritime Ode" from Poems of Fernando Pessoa (Honig and Brown translation)


"I conceived of Molloy and what followed the day I became aware of my stupidity. Then I began to write the things I feel."

Samuel Beckett, from an interview.

Walter Benjamin on Memory

"He who has once begun to open the fan of memory never comes to the end of its segments; no image satisfies him, for he has seen that it can be unfolded, and only in its folds does the truth reside; that image, that taste, that touch for whose sake all has been unfurled and dissected; and now remembrance advances from small to smallest details, from the smallest to the infinitesimal, while that which it encounters in these microcosms grows ever mightier." Walter Benjamin, from"Berlin Chronicle" in Reflections, p. 6.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Splash State

I don't want to alarm anyone but there
is some holiday cheer on the loose in here.
When I walk in my room the air feels stifling.
I think it is my good spirit writing these words.
Dear Spirit I'd like you to please do the laundry
and spray the floor so it smells like sandalwood
and lemons. Whatever self-reflection does
it helps you to know what to wear. Are you feeling
joy when you think of this morning? Is there
anything in my hair I should know about?
A sad sweetness in the summer heat building
a rhythm of sweet solemnity, please concentrate.
Beaming yellow in codeine city. Sitting on the stoop
while the traffic oozes by like a series of slow sea creatures.
I love you but I want to be hypnotized with my head
encased in cement with a tiny straw to breathe through.
I could disappear inside a gourd of ashes. Before I went
to the pool I drew an anchor on my back with the aid
of a small hand mirror. I am just giving the people
what the people want. I see right now is no more
than what it is. What are you up to?

Thursday, August 05, 2010

The Next Big Thing in Words

We probably made it possible for you to relax
on all cylinders. With your hand practice you
can soothe someone around you on the F Train.
What's the thing? It's that you listen, which helps
the passengers around you grow and evolve,
you tell them that. When you were exiting the train
station at Bergen a big brown bear was standing there.
You are very polished, which happened to impress us
even more than how articulate you are. The way
you said you use your imagination to cover
someone's sleeping face with a pillow. You
filled one of those doll's heads full of Welch's
Grape Jelly. You play smash mouth ball.
Anyway, the light around you is greasy and white
from your high protein diet, but oh boy, you'll
live a very long time you said. So try it again.
What did you do this summer in 100 words?
How did you spend your money? Are you still classy?
It's like you're alive and throbbing with glitters.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Summer Poem

Pull me from the river
by the ear. Feed me a lovely
apple-rhubarb cobbler made
by a hippie grandma. Take a very serious
ride with me while I cup my hand
on the sugary curve of your wet spine.
It's too hot to quip about lungs
and mirth: you just watch me
make you feel good all summer long.
Your holiday is done
now you can wonder that a world
is worlding around us at all.
Come on over
to the pro-dizzy side of things.
Your bliss is heart stained.
Blowing my state of mind away
with a blue aluminum sail.
I watch trees ripen apart and sour
through the sky. Writerly practice
is magic. We're going so fast
that the road ahead looks
only a foot wide until you're
in front of me and then things
expand. Stroke the chest figure
like a lemon radio and hurl yourself
into my colors. We need your message.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Sonic Youth - Prospect Park - July 31, 2010

They were on fire.