Saturday, October 30, 2010

John Baldessari


I'm glad it is night. I'm glad I'm alone.
I'm glad there is radio and bananas and cold water and almonds.
I'm glad I have four brand new pens and a big black notebook.
Good night, night.

My Day in Pictures

Photos, from the top: The John Baldessari Retrospective & The Starn Brothers' Big Bambu at The Met, and a melting tree with something mysterious and red lurking in the background in Central Park

Thursday, October 28, 2010

To the Night

You just go sleep
is silk to seethe
you lost me is all
to the night is all.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Violet Hush Hush

Suppose you work hard. Well,
I would like to loan you my time:
curled around you like smoke
curls around a lip say, or a silver crayon
melts into the palm of your hand
in summer heat. That smoking tin man look
is catching on in Cobble Hill
you say.
But really, is the silver an indicator
of anything but the limitations of fear
created with smoke? Violet shakers
move to amuse you with shopping
sprees and delicate leaf patterns
on bone china. I'm coming for you!
you say in one of those pipsqueak
voices that sounds more virtuous
than venomous in this economy
of needs. My list is long but I am checking
things off three at a time. There is so much
I'd like to tell you about. If only you were here
we'd make out in a cabin and you would
learn to like it.

Monday, October 25, 2010

After Work with Lucky Dragons

Let the spirit lift you
into forgiveness. Perhaps your grief
is universal after all. They are handing
out bags of cash to the leaders
of the worst fed countries. I would
like someone to step in and pay my
rent, wash my back, fix my socks,
take my laundry in, and get me a ream of paper
so I can keep writing notes to the women
I love. There are people I know about from
reading the sky above what I lack.
I mean, in my home I put my hands above
my head and raise them. I say "in the house"
when I am making this gesture. I say "face"
when I do something better than you.
I get all "I am too tired from making a living
to load the taco or pick up my towel
or write this for you." Things are like this.
People are suffering outside right now
with signs that say as much as they can hold.
These are letters are holding the page up,
giving it structure, providing your eyes
with something to do other than just stare.
I am coming for you. You will know when I get there
when you are flooded with stuff I can't explain.

Monday Top 11

1) Remember when all of this was new?

2) Relatives I don't know.

3) What the world needs now: Calm Civility.

4) Dawn, spanking my eyes shut.

5) A pink shirt pulled over a watermelon.

6) Sneeze Addict: He's twisting tissues and sticking them up his nose.

7) Enduring and becoming.

8) People visit you when you have a bad pimple.

9) Uniquely created to be insanely delicious.

10) "Nothing matters but the quality of the affection--in the end--that has carved the trace in the mind." -Ezra Pound, Canto LXXVI

11) You've robbed me of my self-deception.

Iggy Pop - Sixteen

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Jim Carroll's Last Book

The Petting Zoo goes on sale November 8th. I got an early copy and it's absolutely brilliant, funny, and incredibly moving. Patti Smith and Lenny Kaye will be reading from it at the Union Square Barnes and Noble on Thursday, November 18th at 7:00 pm. Raymond Pettibon did the cover!

Mystery of the Hoof Solved!

The Secret Hours

The medicine chest is making all the birds drugged and jittery.
There is a blue fog in my head and I am being hunted
by a new form of animal. The icebox is tangled in family life.
A porcelain matchbox? Oh my little machines, enjoy the crisp solitude
of this matching day. Of course all the better parts
are glistening like a tungsten puppy. It's curtains
on your factual pajamas. It just ain't working out.
The slow capture of my solitude, spinning on angels and franks.
You will always and only have the residue of motion washing
your hands with mercury, making the sign of the cross so as
to provide a veneer of comfort to those seeing you cross your
fingers. A truck bangs into something at 20 miles per hour
and the chances of survival of the thing that truck banged into are 20%.
Sound and time are just out of control tonight.
Lock the door, spit on the candle, and do your
math. But that smell: the way electricity smells on the subway.
You and your floral charm, peg-legged and harnessed to the small
of your back, the secret stain. Sitting on my ass. Dawn comes,
newspapers come, scag metal plays, all together now.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Jennifer L. Knox!

Here's something really great: Jennifer L. Knox has written a new book of poems! I spent most of last night reading it and laughing out loud. Bloof Books just published it. You can order it here. Yes, that's a Corgi on the cover. Yay!

Just Saying

I am Todd. How I sleep so lightly
I could be thinking my bed is a boat
doing things to me like drifting out to sea. I am crisp.
That I was so worried about anything. That I
was a shaker making the world into nerves.
The way dried rice springs up on stone
when dropped there is a body snapping on the earth.
Thanking the day the way I would thank a mechanic for fixing
a machine. Such an odd way to be walking
around thanking things. Candy for Halloween. I am alert
to the model of my mechanisms. I mean really:
so lovely North of here, like if I were a sailor in the Atlantic
just the swells lapping at my boat, with small pictures
like getting home in one piece, like supper,
like the taste of almond butter and honey.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Monday, October 18, 2010


From what I can tell
the tiger is churning butter
into stars or until I can see stars
as symbols of my getting lonesome
for no one at all. Vast as this
line of planes coming in over Brooklyn
I have a plan, and it is full of dirt
and fire. People cry all the time
for what has happened to them or for what
has never happened to them or even for what is
going to happen to them. I don't have
time for that shit, I have air to catch and folks to kiss.
People are looking for change, in their pockets
a crayola melts into a peach spot and you are so
into me I can feel my spine against the wall.
Let me sleep with real purpose
with calm comes something entwined with care
I give you this box of notes
a poem hidden in a book on a top shelf
you'll never find because that's just
the way things go (everyone dreams of flying).
Cold chalk lines form the outline of these arms
spread revealing nothing but the better part
of me which is really only glistening and
nearly done as I warp and sliver over 7th Avenue.
A snake in the kale, a maze made of hay,
a dark circle under each eye. You are so alive
I feel electric. Sit down with the tiger.
Sit down on this century. We are not off course
we are right on target, get on board.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Note to Self

...but still be all punk and shit.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Shall We?

I see my crown not as a trophy
but as a megaphone through which
I shout at the neighbors who walk
with such disdain that I must point
it out to them. Pigeons are eating scraps
of sausage out in the streets. Is it
just being on the phone that makes
me feel that I can talk to people,
or is it playing with some gadget
that makes me not dislike you anymore?
I hope this sentence worries
you as much as it does me. Holding myself
by the throat and getting really mad
at myself for doing that. I'm going to rot
in place. You see, I'm wearing your roses.
My luck is dim, I'll spit in my hand after
the meeting and show them the golden
autumnal tarp. I look at that picture
and I'm still alive as the rest of the people
in it. I can't stand something that size chubbing.
My fruit is bloated from the ferocity of the blaze.
They say that eating a plum is like eating a bruise
on your arm. A most robust incisor
is feeling the delicate areas of my body.
In closing, I'm sure someone else
saw the sky turning into sparkling bits.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Be Still

What morning does is trick you
into thinking someone's just left
to go to the bathroom or is drinking
tea at the big table or is simply thinking of you.
You think someone is there but they are long gone.
Morning makes you think you can solve problems,
do math, send thoughts and change
minds. Morning is as light and chewy
as an instrument of war or cuisine. Be still
my heart, when I run through the traces
of last night, those rosy fingers of dawn lift
my dorky heart into now.
This is what I have, so I'll do with it
what I must. Oh, be still.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Where I'd Love to Be Right Now

Tuesday Top 10

1) I get it now, I really do.

2) Charlie Parker at dawn.

3) A farmer on her sofa.

4) Jenna's coon skin cap.

5) Cedar Sigo at the Poetry Project (10.13.10.)

6) Pierre Reverdy last night.

7) A river of hail down Baltic Street to the B.Q.E.

8) Brotherhood of the Union (from Justin).

9) I can do it and I'm doing it with flare and zest.

10) Two-year lease.

R.I.P. Mr. Solomon Burke

Monday, October 11, 2010

That Really Happened

We plant ourselves
in lawn chairs in front of the house
the pipe legs sink into the mud
how much longer until we die
who sparks a minute a second time
and is out like something turned off
by a switch a rubber catcher's mitt
in front of the space called the sky
you can take a drubbing
no one will ever police you
your face is unforgettable light on grass
don't stand there walking away
all birds carry polio and I am
starting to understand how storms
seize the evening a soft coil
of hail cracked and pent up.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Jack Kerouac

"Now I'm supposed to go dabbling all over France with clean fingernails and a joyous tourist expression." Satori in Paris

The Bone Over the Heart

Like at first chunky light and the words
to describe light and then the sensation
of light if one can call it that I am all ready
if you can become one or better at that
than just moving through light but the sensation
of wanting to hold light or caress it in such
a manner that maybe like a child is jumping
over a ramp on a bike is airborne for an instant
and then more like a lifting sensation
just under the bone over the heart.

Two Biographies of Hildegard von Bingen

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Red Chambray

I'll Take Your Word

This is the legendary sound
of making a face
splinter in October knowing him
from the age of reason
finally knocked out by jamming
passing through town
he sounded like he wrote it
okay you on the farm come
and join us we will have peace
by summer as far new things can be involved
as far as a human arm can throw another
it's okay to sound like an ass on the radio
listen to all these things
there are messages in these hills
you are becoming less purposeful
yet more rounded and extreme
I'll take your word
I mean really come on.

The Top 10 Books Next to My Bed

1) Dear Sandy, Hello: Letters from Ted to Sandy Berrigan Edited by Sandy Berrigan and Ron Padgett.

2) 03 Jean-Christophe Valtat

3) On Balance Adam Phillips

4) The Diary of James Schuyler Edited by Nathan Kernan

5) Songs in Flight Ingeborg Bachman

6) Exiling the Poets: The Production of Censorship in Plato's Republic Ramona A. Naddaff

7) The Ticket That Exploded William S. Burroughs

8) Eight Steps to Happiness: The Buddhist Way to Loving Kindness Geshe Kelsang Gyatso

9) The Pisstown Chaos David Ohle

10) Aurelia & Other Writings Gerard de Nerval

Monday, October 04, 2010

You'd think the sky would run out of water

You'd think the sky would run out of water.
I'm making snow angels from burnt sugar
and the wonder I feel is more like a celebration
of goons. Some marvel at the breath I can see
escaping from me. Others will suggest some
medicinal weight like opiates in iced-tea.
Are you exploiting a natural resource? Does someone
think of you and turn the channel?
Have you blanked out on the cage of follies?
I am certain of something I'd prefer
to tell you about. "Slow down" you say. But I
can already see my breath and it's only October.
Walking with you in the rain is making everything
watery and spazzed out like a movie about jazz
where I play sax and people are all like
"he's amazing, we really like his style!"
But I digress. Won't you pour the warm cream
of your hands on the small of my back?
Won't you stand up when called upon to tell
the audience how wonderful I was in my best moments
almost like a god among men or at least someone in
upper management delegating things and being sure
of everything but love. I promise I'll make this up to
you. I'll write your name in chalk on the menu
board and people will come into the store
all expectant of miracles. Your face on a wet spot
on a box "she's here so we can leave." Apparitions are so 2009.
I don't want this to end. I'll keep writing
poems to the editor, I'll make a list and mark things off
that I've started doing just in case things get really good.