Saturday, July 31, 2010

68. Means of Reading

lilies of intention, the hill
of filthiness, in an issuance
that subdues fragrance

marbles in their brokenness
the blaze of shards
in the sunlight

lying in wetgrass
of a hot morning imaging
how drygrass would be

what life would be
in an undersnow world
tinged blue

the whelm
and what went before
the whelm

to falter, affixed to
a position as if furthering
were to wiggle in place

aggregated into sets
the creation of which aggrieved
others

deer bones and the difference
between antlers and the ways
of pointing away from one point

you hear in the ear
the orifice and how the
sound gets through

pelt in the form of throwing
or in the form of throwing
over your shoulders

tea as a darkening
of the word for
water

halved and hollowed
and what we have
kept in a hand

on the surface, nervously
incapable of depth
of seeing, of field

writing, the writhing of the
word, the withering on
the vine of sense

oceans of thought, the oasis,
when water runs and
houses run well

fervor or the tremor
that follows if
the meteor hits

green absence, running out
of it, teeth can hold
the meat or bread

hand of a bird shape, in the shape
of a bit of a bird,
maybe a beak

tooled and tongued, grooved
and held inside
the

invisible, unviable, inviolate,
a scent of water more than
a color, an unseen vision

face toward a face away
from the clock face
numbers as if time could move

ghosts and gods
what given and what gotten
nothing left from nothing

murmur as a form of humming,
industrious in intent,
intent instead of interest

the water of music,
a flowing towards for
a flowing through

inching into the void
what seems black but
whitens at the edges

handing over to the frail
and ailing the last
instance of cracking

longing and what lengthens
from it, and what opens
for it

wrapping wrath
in regrets and rapping
fingers on the table

the quiet pit in it
and the limbs and fingers
to move it out

reading repeated
and read then repeated
to read and to repeat

everything dirty
dirty filthy dirty
and dead

Friday, July 30, 2010

67. The Weight of It

Most of everything
is waiting. In between,
something happens.
Sleep interrupted by
sight, and the forms
of doing and making.
The article of all your
clothes is “the” and
sunlight caught in
gauze curtains so that
you can hold it in
your hands, can
measure its weight.

Every time you do it
it seems accomplished
as fact, and is, but
every making is not
the same (and never
a same). What you
make unrecorded and
without attention,
the accidental doings
of a life, don’t count.
And numbers matter,
so it is you have two
small boys with you.

When you sleep, you
fill with all these im-
pressions of your life,
whatever leaves an
imprint upon you,
whatever you cannot
express or remember
afterwards. So much
life, this sleeping life,
a waiting, forward to
something, which
might simply be what
waking brings to it.

In the process of running
there is the waiting.
Actions may move you,
the muscle of the calf,
of the thigh, the foot
hitting, rising, then
hitting again, so that
the illusion of forward
is maintained. Your
heart tells you so, your
need for breath. But it is
the finish that is the
doing, that is the done.

Boy in a blanket, on a
morning past his birthday,
and he seems whole and
his eyes wander to show
his being. You can see him
inside his eyes. When
they glisten and move,
when they settle into place
upon your own eyes, you
can see who he is, even if
he is only waiting, even
though he is only waiting
for you to make it happen.

Grass is also a process,
growing upward to be
shorn down into place,
it has all the characteristics
of desire: interminable,
tenacious, unquenchable,
undiminishable in focus.
What is green and growing
at your feet can be cut
down but cannot disappear.
It grows into the shape
of waiting, being a making
that cannot be undone.

The shapes of things come
before your eyes as if
projections from another
plane. How could such
things, with such clarity,
exist within this murky
realm of ours? this place of
waiting? And how do you
make out the outlines of
these things before you:
boy, towel, white porcelain
bowl, mother, the various
forms that objects take?

Of the six of us, you were
the only born on an odd-
numbered year, as if un-
balanced, but not at all.
Numbers are important,
but they need not always
tell the truth, or even
suggest it. Given the space
between your birth and
now, you have many more
numbers to be concerned
with, and plenty of waiting
before it all can be done.

Notice from Tom Beckett

A few kinds words about 365 ltrs by Tom Beckett.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

66. The Eternal and Temporary Present

I feel like walking, I need
to walk, but the day won’t allow me the time
the night affords. At least, the summer
is slowly dying, slowly
dying, and a cool sifting of air
slips in through the windows to cool
my feet, even my fat left foot, my always
swollen left foot, missing the vein that fed it,
yanked out two years ago. Somehow,
it was at that point that I was born
because that is when I could feel
death. I’m not meant long for here,
long enough for a few words, a few
walks, a few wonderings,
but enough.

I am trapped in the ever-present,
as we all are, hazy about the past, unsure
of the future, yet here, blood pumping,
still pumping, through these ragged grimy
pipes of my body, air sucked in, air
pushed out. At times, at the best of times,
I am so engaged by existence—maybe a book,
maybe a morsel of raw yellowtail, or the sight
of someone, a scent my nose can capture
but for a second—that I am unaware of
the fact of my present, that I am the pure
enjoyment of existence. But this is fleeting,
and soon the foot hits the hard ground,
the sun bears down on me while I dig the lawn
away, or a headache rouses itself in my skull,
and I see myself. The first shy liver spots,
the bald head shining with sweat, these myriad
scars that cross over my body but travel
only as I move. What I feel is what
doesn’t work anymore, and the numbers grow.

Yet I don’t mind, not in a significant way.
Every life is a gift, some better than others, but
try to do anything without a life. It can’t be done.
That is why we struggle on, not because we
love life, which so often pummels us, not because
we are obligated to, but because we have
something to do, some charge born from our own
bodies and the only thing that we can do
to make a mark, maybe small, maybe
not, but enough that, a century from now,
when we are dead, when our children are dead,
when our grandchildren are old and
remember us more as structures, as representatives
of some cultural fact, rather than
people, someone will find some evidence of us,
and that evidence might not tell them who we are,
but it will support their weight as they walk
across a floor, it will give them words to read
and feel, it will engage them with their lives
enough so that they won’t realize they are alive,
won’t be burdened by the insistent perception
of themselves in space. This is the greatest gift
anyone can give.

Yet it is not escape. It is a form of deep being,
to be beyond the boundaries of our dulled perceptions,
to exist as part of this single tapestry, unfurling to reveal
story after story, one hundred stories of a building,
a reality so huge that to be part of it is to be
immortal, eternal, even if certainly temporary,
just like the present, which is all we can ever experience
but which disappears continuously, inexorably,
horribly. I was once a small child who flew through the air
across the kitchen propelled by the force
of my father’s arms to hit the wall and fall
to the ground, yet I don’t remember pain
or fear. All I remember is flying,
the pure joy of flying, the joy of the moment
when existence and I were so completely one
that I couldn’t see myself.

For this reason, I create in the present,
I try to form not the perfect structures
of the past but the fleeting and transcendent
feeling of the eternal present. If I type out
a poem so fast I cannot think it through
to the end until the end is suddenly there, if
I sing in tongues a song I can never sing again,
if I move swaths of ink together across
a page with no preconceived idea what they
might be, if I can surprise myself with a joke,
if I can cause a laugh to burst a person out
of the self, then I am there where I want
to be, as part of the world.

Walking rarely does this because walking
is too much about thinking, about thinking
it through, about considering the past instead
of the constant path. Still, I want to walk.
The world is dark now, and cool, and the crickets
are making music louder than the ringing
in my ears. There must be enough darkness
and singing in the night for me to forget
who I am.

If I leave the house and walk, I might
feel something again, I might believe I am
the night, this great and revivifying force
of sleep, I might realize the present, make it
manifest before me, as one, I might
trick myself, simply, into being.

So I had better mail this letter to you now,
before sleeping takes everything away from me
again. I feel like walking to the mailbox.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

65. Lines and Lines Crossing Lines

That we might learn to weave the pieces of a life together.

Dead tired because it’s harder to write a mediocre poem a day than you might imagine.

Cut a strip of text, and you might have a thread to weave a rug with.

She says, “Lifelong lesions on the skin. Open wound of my body between me and what is,” because she is human.

They were words, but cut on a bias.

Reality certainly lies, but it’s all we have to go on.

[...]

I’m noticing, with some concern, how destroyed so many people are, how our lives and our meager attempts to respond to them have done little to make us strong and much to make us weak.

Yours was what we might call a carpet of words.

I believe in death.

I see how fragmented we are, how impossible it is to live among the crazies and not become one.

But I am a poet, when I feel like it, and the power of the margarita is flowing through me like heat.

Maybe we are all horrible poets, even though I am amazed to my core by the variety and depth of talent in these three double-enned women who surround me.

It is the women I believe in, maybe because they are more the people of the tongue, maybe because they are merely supreme compared to us penised ones, like some hanging piece of flesh could ever be bone, could ever have any significance beyond flaccidity.

I wonder, since I am not merely a poet, hating (as I do) limitations, so I am forced (by my perception) to love the work.

When a strip of words crosses another strip of words it creates a kind of sentence.

She told me the other day that she has written many good poems while half asleep.

We are, of course, contradictory, because we are, of course, human.

I am about dominance over the mortal frame, though only mine.

Maybe I just exist, and that is enough for me.

I don’t write to publish. I write to be.

Cut it to pieces to find out what the sentence says.

Did I say I’m flying high on two margaritas and not that much dinner? that I wanted to be a poet but I decided to be a man instead? that I have spent my life (the oldest of six) taking care of other people?

Did I tell you that I have to live in the real world though I have no interest in that? that I am writing a poem (good or bad) every day for a year, because I want to prove I can do it, because I can do it, because so few people can take the physical (and it is physical, believe me) toll of doing it? because I have the words for it? because I will die sometime and I have to leave behind a trace, just a trace, to prove I was here?

Did I ever tell you I am a poet because I believe in the utter futility of being human but in the fact that we are, simply and purely, the greatest part of reality?

Did I remember to tell you that we are tired broken physical beings but that we soar because we have this beautiful intellect, this supreme and debilitating emotion, to push us forward, to make us great?

We are not rock, we are not stone, we are not emotionless animal, we are the apex of reality.

Enough words tightly woven together, and we would have something to stand on.

I try to make people feel alive, to make them feel the process of being alive. That is the gift I try to give, but I often let it slip into a ditch along the way.

Who can bring out images and sound and emotion in a vortex that sucks us down into it?

It seems he is not the poet that Rae Armantrout is, not the poet that Leslie Scalapino (I should’ve struggled to meet her) is, that the remarkable Alice Notley is.

I feel bad about this. It seems sexist to me. But I believe in the women, who understand the voice, something that I try to understand.

I have been controlled by the tongue for word and the eye for word for my entire life.

I was born, crippled, a poet, though I will never be one.

I love my staff, their honor, their hard work, their passion, their decency.

The world is skewed for the evil, but I cannot be that. I have some sense of honor that makes it impossible.

I do what I can.

We are each responsible for the life we decide to live.

This is not a poem. This is life. The opposite of poem.

We are never, none of us, the people we need to be.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

64. Rasputin and His Assistant Walk the Median of the New York State Thruway

Carrying a large cardboard box,
a box not too large for him but bulky,
beard flowing in the wind, black hat
and black glasses, he seemed not
to notice the traffic on either side of him,
the median rising into a small hill
he strode across. Still, his memory
of the future seemed somehow dim as
he walked a mountain of a median
towards something we could not see,
maybe a stranded automobile and
the box contained a little piece of a motor
he might somehow insert into
his broken car. His hair was wild,
with locks, but his stare was grim.

Behind him walked a young woman,
maybe in her late twenties, neat,
wearing a simple dress of dark blue,
with a floral pattern. Her countenance
was almost worried, and she hurried
after him in her sensible shoes,
dark, probably black, holding
firmly against her chest, with two
crossed arms, a book or a sheaf of
papers, some record to tell them
where they were, who they were,
what they were planning to do.

On most days, I would think nothing
if I saw Rasputin walk the median
of the Thruway, even in the sun,
and it was a sunny day, warm but not
to the point of discomfort, the kind of day
the human body was made for but rarely
experiences, so it was a good day,
better than most, and we were driving
to the end of Long Island to see
the end of the word, the oceanic blindness
that greets those who stare out from
any bare spit of land into the maw of
that great nothingness that is the great
somethingness that is that surrounding
Mother Ocean that covers most of
the Earth and joins us all together as one.

On that day, we made it as far as
Sag Harbor, still a distance from Montauk Point,
but far enough into the water and the night
that we could feel the cold hands of the sea
reaching for us. If we were thinking
we might forget this, forget how hungry
the sea is for our well fed bodies, then the
road into Sag Harbor reminded us:
Lost at Sea Memorial Pike, a road that follows
the path of the bridge at Sag Harbor,
the bridge that Ray Johnson jumped from,
to his eventual death. The fall is short, but
the icy water of January will kill anyone
soon enough, particularly someone ready
to die. We didn’t travel that distance to die,
we don’t even understand the need to die,
we understand merely the requirement.

And we are ready to live out those
requirements, so I wonder what kind of
box Rasputin was carrying (boxes being defined
most commonly by their contents), and I wonder
if he has something to say about death, about
necessity, about the need to fight against
it all. He had to be killed, say, a dozen times
before he died and sank away into a dark river,
yet it still didn’t work. He lives among us, he
has blended into society so that almost no-one
can recognize him, so that he can live
a normal life, the life of a man with car troubles.
With lives like a cat, he doesn’t care
for anything further. Survival is gift
and promise enough.

Yet I wonder about that young woman
with him. I wonder what her life is like,
if she should live with a man his age, if
he is indeed her father and she his only
living child, and trying to live with
a father who should be dead. What does
she think? Does she worry that she
herself might not die? that someday she’ll
be carrying hidden car parts around
the world? that she will live longer than
any of us really should?

Monday, July 26, 2010

63. Hither Hills

Pieces of a day at Montauk on the east end
of Long Island where the island flattens
and narrows as it stretches into the sea


The sandy soil of
the pine barrens
and the crooked
little oaks that
grow from it

where the pines
grow scraggly
crooked but
right in the way
that the barrens
allows a different
sense of right

a wasp digs
a hole in
the sand

we came here to
see the end of
the world where
the earth exhausts
itself and the
ocean begins

the lighthouse
affords us
the view

its fresnel lens
magnifies the light
but none is needed
now in sunlight
from high enough
we can see where
we will never go

rosehips grow fat
and red on the
rugosas and I don’t
know what these
tall grasses are

at the rocky beach
the waves come in
gently over shallow
water where I would
expect waves

to break
to break
to break

to break
again

yet each wave delicately
unfurls itself and
retreats back into
the water a wave
being no more than
a surge of energy in
the body of the water

where dark ducks
float and I don’t
know what a
seaduck is or why

but we understand
the cormorants and
their hungers their
desires how they
gulp their food find
their fish swimming
in the water until
they swim down
their hungry throats

one giant once-grey
rock sits high enough
above the water to
allow a dozen cormorants
to sit until they turn
the rock white with
their constant waiting

the beach stores rounded
rocks of every size and
colors varying but in a
defined range huddled
around browns and greys

in those piles of stones
I found the accidental
art of the beach
stones set against stone
or held aloft between
two stones or colors in
somber interplay or
the work of shadow
enough to show beauty
in the accidental earth

Sunday, July 25, 2010

62. Ray Johnson Died Here

The bridge rises in a hump
over the water at Sag Harbor
and the tides move under it,
the tides move under it, and
neither the bridge nor the tides
remember. The man with the bunny
head, the man who drew the
bunny heads, moves, as a memory,
in the water, under the bridge,
and back and forth with the tides.
If you saw, if you had seen, his head
just above the water, in the cold
water, you would look for his ears.

To jump from a bridge and
disappear if you were a poet
might put you on the Golden
Gate Bridge with your keys
in the car, lonesome alone.
The wind might be what you
notice as you jump, might carry
you even as you fall into those
stone blue waters and an end
of some romantic import. In the blue
heat today, the summer boils away,
leaving water for drowning. Sometimes
a person just needs to change his life completely.

Wait for January, Mr Bones, and
the bridge is right for jumping—compact
and delicious, no apple sweeter. Death, fiends,
is boring. We mustn’t say so. As the sea yearns and yearns
for our warm bodies, we mustn’t say so. And then
Henry & weeping, sleepless, will heft
that ax the shape of mourning to bring it
down as his body goes down unto
the urges of Providence, and end
it, Henry’s dazed eyes the color
of marbles or oceans, and just
as cold, even if ’twere
summer when he did it.

If in urgent surging,
I would jump
from a bridge, say,
over the Hudson, 6767 feet long
and hundreds down, so a plummet
might allow for me to hit the water,
hardly flowing, and burst
into every word I’d ever thought,
and cease to be, then would any
one of you even
notice the fireworks
exploding level with your
eyes?

Into what gulf or emptiness
could fall what poet who wrote
a bridge into being? To fall not bridgeways
down to water, but from a boat,
with goodbyes in a clever satchel
made to float above a death. To catch
a word of
the poem he hadn’t yet written
for the thought he hadn’t yet had
could make the body
heavy enough to sink, to expire
in an inky sea of words.

Everything dies, and
everything’s replaced, at times in double,
so that every death heralds
life. We might
consider whose heart
we might want stop to make another
two hearts start again, or put in check
this morbid desire
to live. What a crowded space
a life takes up, what a waste of
air and water. Give me
death and give
me liberty.

Small and compact, the bridge
carries no sign to say
“Ray Johnson Died Here,” so we are left
to look out over the ocean and imagine
what floating that bald head
had done that day, what thoughts
it left behind in Room 13, what
obsessions all those boxes representing
life when no life found was there, what
sense each recollaged collage
could hold, and we might
remember how stupid it is
to be a poet, to be
filled with words and nothing else

Saturday, July 24, 2010

61. What Breathes a Sound

written in as I was written
in a loud room from a room
not written but filled with
sounds of voices of people
not quite children but
younger than we are written
in a room of language for
that is what we make and
what is made of us and that
is all we could ever hope to be

spoken as if I had spoken
to you as if I were speaking
and my words were sounds
upon the wind so there is a
music to it in the form of
language and the language
it is such as the language
we call English and exists
upon me and exhibits my
features such as a mouth

no puedo escribir en la
idioma de mi juventud
en la lengua española
con mi lengua estranjera
creo que el mundo es una
palabra posiblemente
dos y nosotros son los
salvadores de la lengua
de los dos palabras de
los parablas estranrejas

in the mouth of July when
all good poets are born in
the heat of summer when
life’s too hot for words it is
that it is when all good
poets are born and start
to speak and come to be
in the mouth of July wet
and hot with words for us
and words for what we are

sitting in a room with the
windows closed and heat
held in sitting in a room
in the dark I fashion for
you a few words out of
air and for the eater of
these words that you are
while sitting in a room
with heat held in and
voices held in like heat

je n’ai pas de mots ou
des murs je vis entre
les mots et des murs
faits des mots il n’y a
pas de moi d’un moi
il n’y a que deux mois
ou trois les noms des
nombres sont aussi
nombreux que les mots
et il n'y a pas de mots

sweating in a room
under bulblight in a room
as sweet as bulblight
with the scent of sweat
upon my skin feels like a
speaking like a word like
a word sent out into space
like darkness enveloping
a word like the word
becoming real at last

sleeping at a table with a
word beneath my fingers
with words coming out of
my fingertips and sleeping
away the words so that
there is no word left for
you or to mean you or
to eat at breakfast with
a ripe tomato and some
sunlight only sleeping

non riesco a parlare
italiano l’unica frase che
so è “O che sciagurra
d’essere senza coglioni!”
e io non lo so e io non lo
so e io non lo so cosa fare
con le parole e non ci sono
parole e non c'è modo
di sfuggire parole per questo
motivo io uso solo parole

written out in a room now
quieter not wordless but
worded the world a little
smaller from the word
left dead the word not
breathed to life for a
thought for the thought
of it for what thought we
might share within it in a
room still filled with words

Friday, July 23, 2010

60. Reductio ad Parnassum

voices moving
outside the moving
elevator something
like speaking
murmuring the purring
engine of speech
pulling the elevator
up the dark shaft
of the elevator where
we live and breathe

there might be
a language to those
voices how they carry
how they rise how
they surround us we
could almost perceive
meaning we could
almost perceive

language out of
a set of signs like a knife
taken to a trunk and
the birch scars into
a message curling
at the incisions dumb
and silent between
which spaces a word
might sound the echo
rising from the decorated
white trunk of the birch

what birth from sound
a shape might come
like ox like apple like
ramifications of antlers
every pathway ending
in space and nothing
representative shape
of representative
sound of the thing
you only imagine

before you
there was nothing
and after you
there is nothing

signs of you
on the woods in
the page by the
wind and sings
of you in the
hand of the you
in the movement
of moving the
hand to a spot
where the letter
might grow
gentle tellings
and tilings of
letters genetic
twistings of
message and
method and
marriage of

what blossoms
blooms flos-
culous efflor-
escent floret
the floscule
leaf and
bract
and

it is
in the space
of a speaking
that time
extends dis-
tends melts
into metal
and molts
horn hair
feathers
skin and
leaves

a sing-
le one
a sin-
gle 1
a 1
of
I

Thursday, July 22, 2010

59. The Act of the Art of Folding

Folding the sheet,
the blanket, the towel, folding
the shirt, the bedspread, the sock,

or folded closed and
away. All that sunlight
left on the counter. What
will you do with it?

Fold it into a towel, fold
it into an airplane, a crane,
a star. That will do,
for a start, and maybe in this way
you can make something
of sunlight, make something
out of it, of it.

It seems usual and yellow but
not yellow at all (or not yet) and
unusually palpable, almost
sticky on your fingertips, almost
buttery, without
being yellow, except
to the touch.

The white towel seems
a little yellow in the white sunlight,
maybe just a little yellow
towel, to wipe a hand with,
to wipe your hands after
you wipe the sticky sunlight
off the counter, after
you wipe it all way

until it is night
and crickety, filled with
the creaking of insects, the air
almost wet with
their voices that slip in
through the screens. It is
your only friend after a hot day,

and you fold
the pleats of the curtains
in and out, fold the night
into itself. You fold the dining room
tablecloth into a cube, you keep
the cube in a box, you wrap the box
in paper and mail it to tomorrow,

but it is only today,
it is only ever today, in the way
that you are always where you are,
so you can never go missing. No matter
how hard your family looks
for you, you are never missing.

Even if you hid under
the deepest sunlight, you would never
go missing, you would always
be there. It is for this reason
that you are known by
your first name, it is in this way
that you came to the realization that
everything folded

is inside-out, that everything outside is
what you hold
within yourself: sound of a cricket,
heat of the sunlight, the scent of terrycloth
after a good drying, flavor of a margarita,
the feel of folding

and folding away, and the way that
unfolding is a kind of folding, how
everything folds out from the crease
of the fold, the hinge

of an idea, what opens up
into something bigger than whatever
we folded away we put away
in a drawer of shadow, as if
the darkness could hold in place
the sunlight, which,
as we all know, travels
through darkness to
wherever it goes,

even here.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

58. The Many Versions of Nothing

0.

taken in a place
where you sing and say where
you see what

or where you don’t see
whatnot in that place
where you be

or not
for there remains
the possibility

you do not
exist or exist
solely as a revision

of a past loss
still you know the many
versions of nothing


00.

(a rounded nothing)
is nothing that holds it
in holds it back


000.


there is { } and { }
and { } and the entire suite
of absence

hand in a pocket
pocket in a pant
pant on a tongue

multiple degradations
of referent and referral
of purpose and purple


0000.

you could sing to a [ ]
and sing [ ] [ ] [ ]
to a woman until

she believed you
were what you did
not say you were

you could find a < >
like a < > order in the
middle of on the street


00000.

an em(ty nothing


0000).

the frasing of it
has you fraptures
and forwards

you look for
, a comma’d nothing,
, commanded,

maybe a dozen
large feathers left behind
but no bird


000)).

deliberately
into blankness
blackness

white
and
black

two sides
of the same
nothing


00))).

reduction of
of the flat wall at your face
to a flat sense of stasis

light
to the point of
too bright

nothing can be
seen nothing
can’t be seen

0)))).

the sense of
( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( )
behind you

ticket for
a trip never taken
in the scheduled past


))))).

rivets and
rivulets holding
and slipping

making a way
of it out of
it

holding to the sense
that the nothing bending
behind you and

the nothing before you
are just the nothings
around you

in a little nothing of a funk
in a little nothing of a fact
in a little nothing at all

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

57. The Quiet Expression of Sap from the Alphabet

I am filled with happiness
or its corollary, or I am filled
with the absence of happiness,
a kind of cool jelly, some sweet
fragrant thing that leaves no trace.

It may be air or
an air of something,
maybe grace, maybe the graceless
movement of the body
fighting sleep or alcohol or
the lack of breath.

You might know it
as chalkdust, as letter, as
word, as the proportions of letters,
as the sound of chalk on the board, as a word
left to respond to a letter, as directions
towards the form of letters, as
the smallest part of the letter yet
the most important
to its meaning.

Where is the tail
of the y? Why does it
wag only when
we are not looking?

Or there is the sense from it
of falling, of falling away, of revealing
what was there all along,
the long nose of the J, how the i
blinks along the frame of the
sentence, where the O falls
apart under the weight of
its own perfection.

We look closely at
the letter of our language, expecting
meaning from the extension
of a serif, hoping for the surprise of
a missing tittle, the small
laugh of the letter
a as it begins
the alphabet, the languid snoring
of the z.

Animal of blood,
moving like a river, animal of
breath, moving like a storm,
animal of muscle, moving
like a tension, like current
through a wire, these are the things
that make us mean and
fashion from what is left behind
a redoubt against what
we cannot believe, what we
cannot hope to imagine. Pane,
but glass, a porthole, the view out through
into a green world, maybe a too-green
world, the riot of summer and weeds
growing between the fingers of a hand. We
cannot move for fear of being overtaken
by burgeon and burgeoning, by
burgeoning forth. Hold back the
tiniest wisp of a whisper, the smallest
sense of language, maybe just a scent, something
rich and earthy, some hint that we
are human bodies, filled with human
blood and bone and flesh and skin
holding it all in so that
we will not fall apart.

You understand the outlines of it
(the H, say, or a regal R), how the particular
slope of a line means more than an entire sentence.
You see the letter consecrated
before you, existing as the temple
of meaning, the only dependable part of any
communication. Only the letter does not
lie, fallow as a vagrant thought,
a slight wind (zephyr) rides through
your thoughts, you remember a story about
the time when you wrote with the wrong
hand, or a line went wrong, you figured out
how to right it (write it), make it
be, how the only shape that matters
is the shape that speaks
silently and always to you.

Monday, July 19, 2010

56. The Little Bit of It That We Remember from the Day before We Knew

It is what in Ithaca you find it to be
like a life, like a light
what word you might allow yourself
in place of the word for arrow

or is it error?

maybe errand

what a life is

we think at the outset
that we might think at the outset
a life we might live might have
purpose, direction, the

chish-cha

into bull’s-eye

through air and wind
through fingers of your hand
by pressure of bowstring
into

—yet we fail

world of falling
the breaking upon impact
what the little egg of skull does
when the wrack and rock comes up so fast
so it

and the split
open

what leaves and never returns

we know the dead
we know them well
too well

they are those who never leave our side

but life is errand
what we do
how we do it
and when

if we make the deadline
of a life
a sour, sweet, bitter, lost and lonely,
a lovely, surprising, misdirected, tenuous and permanent
life

then we have
a nick
a tick
a mark
upon the place

(bedpost
black book
sock drawer
arm or wrist

acrost the wrist
in red
like blood)

marking that thing done

What we might think of it

in the darkness

in the deep gorges

(almost beautiful)

with the water running

away
and down

where we might fall

broken of bone
smashed of head

into darkness

but the water runs like
air like light like
breath

and it could be
death

or it could be
life

that pursues you
through

the world
the darkness
the cut
in the black earth

where the light can’t find it

We live in Cephallonia
world of the head

cogitating all the time
something moves something else
(a thought)
forward

we cannot go home yet
because we are wandering

the earth

in search of revenge
for some offense
we cannot define

against some people
we do not know

and we cannot go home

until we’re done with knowing it.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

55. What Ends with Daylight

I am walking.
There is no clear purpose to the walking,
no reason for me to do it. The walk is possible
only because night surrounds me. I am not
walking so much as disappearing,
the giant shadow of the night covering me.

My thought was to move, to keep
moving, to move one foot quickly after the other
so that I would be always in motion.

When I cross into the park, I seem
to cross into darkness. Every streetlight
is obscured by a tree, and these semi-wild woods
arch over any open space. As I move across the lawn,
the dark smell of skunk pervades everywhere.
The skunk itself is invisible, part of the night.
I head for the hill and the broken steps that climb
half-way up it. I can’t quite see the ground
my sandals must hold onto.

At the top of the hill, the world opens up
into a little light, enough to allow me to see into
the few trees scattered over this hill, one
a tiny tree with multiple trunks arising
from one spot. Across the street, a monument
to some war and the dead it left behind, and I
move down the hill and around the lake.

The lake catches the sky in its reflection,
so it is a second Milky Way at my feet, but wavering.
The stars are not bright enough to light
the night, but the moon is. I run into people
chattering in clusters, people in the dark, so people
without faces, and I find it difficult
to trust the faceless. As I walk far enough,
I leave the people. I am alone on a small ridge
above the baseball field, and I cannot
see. A couple of animals here move
away from me. I cannot tell what they are. They
may be skunks or raccoons. Sometimes, I am
on a path, one invisible to me, and sometimes
I’m not. I struggle
to find a way forward, to understand
where I might go next. I discover I am following
a path that runs over the top of the ridge,
and I follow it out of the woods.

Standing in a parking area, I
realize I must return to the woods, but they seem
too thick to penetrate, so I veer away from them,
following their border back to a road. Before my feet
touch the road, I hit a wooden fence, banging
my shin. I could not see the fence in the darkness, but
I return to the unsteady darkness, to the unsure woods,
to a place where I can be alone.

I wander these woods, following a barely
perceivable path, hoping to make it nowhere. My goal
is time, not destination. My goal is speed, how quickly
I can move over this unmarked trail. I stop,
briefly, by the side of the path, and in the dim light
I see leaves of poison ivy growing up the bark
of the tree. I don’t touch these. I move away
deeper into the woods.

Cutting through the woods at an angle,
in relation to the road, I make it to the road and follow
it around the final bit of the park. A car ignoring
a stop sign almost runs me down as I pass over
the entrance to the park, and I walk the last
curving block home.

As I walk home, I realize that I didn’t go to the far
western edge of the park, which seems wild
with trees to me, and I didn’t go deep into
the park’s eastern realm, where the thickets hide
a pond where I once saw a great blue heron
escape into the sky. There were no grand
surprises in the park tonight.

Someone here sees a falling star fall
through the night, a kind of ending, a certain form
of death, that we find beautiful. Cricketsong
throbs throughout the night.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

54. Couplets

.

It begins
with the smallest

thoughts
submergent

parts
& partitions

temblors
of the body

directives
in darkness

flashing of lights
where there are none

turbid northern
night

the distinction between
heat and humid

leaves in
a handful

a book
of trees

orientation then
ratiocination

what the blood
means when

the blood
won’t move

or moves
too much

heart
of dark

lakelight
evening’s

stormcloud dragging
its black drape of rain

the sound
of sorrow

dog’s yawn
more smell than sound

breath taken
at first waking

breath given
before sleeping

the sound it is given
is of the voice or if

caution
before oration

reading the
veins of it

and raining
in black drops

a night like
tomorrow

according to
the best practices of

a whiff
then a wiggle

turn and burn
and vision

world and self
into salt

delectable to
the tongue as sound

texture
to the touch

back bending
away

soles of the feet
don’t survive the body

a flicker
a flutter

at the last point possible
but without the purchase of success

plunge into
plunge out of

in about at
from around for

tincture
of trickle or tickle

the final deliquescence
of the body

what eradicates
the past

eradicates
the future

it ends
with the largest

thoughts
emergent

:

Friday, July 16, 2010

53. The Seven Sentences

Look for a subject and you have dirt
in a way, in a way we clean, soap
for a moment, soap for the hands,
which hold, which shape, which
make, which hold all
fault. No word has a subject (or is)
beyond thought, take a little emotion
out of it and you have the squeak
of human language. Too clean.

I’ve got a little Cornell in me.

Curios. Arrangements. Appurtenances
Protuberances into the spaces for
living. Or separations between
making and living. Something put
away for something not yet time
to do. A drawer that you draw
within, each horizontal shelf
of space as a page of space to
write a littlest left ear of a word
upon. Or add a nose and soon
a forest of dead animals, an orchard
of wax fruit wafts up off the page
into your nose, your ears, your eyes

I’ve got a little Klee in me.

Color as a property of light, the
hidden life of colours in the glycerin,
like skin of a certain waxy character,
enough that illumination’s absorbed.
The skin we touch with is clay, the
mud we work with, the idea, and we
mold what we make from something
else into the something it is. You can
see it in the eyes in the grey mud, in
the eyes in the painting, in the blues
and the greens. Even looking away
you can see through them to color.

I’ve got a little Glass in me.

The color of orange, burnt or burnished,
has a sound to it, even when silent,
which it rarely is. The color, when green
and dusky, seems to grow into
something that obliterates it, some
thing like night, some thing like
sleep, or dream, repetitions of similarities
to the point that nothing exists but
still makes a sound, in a rhythm,
repeated, ritual, mute rhetoric.

I’ve got a little Creeley in me.

In a spoken, that twisted is what
it must, inarticulate, be, way, there
is a sense through it. Utterance,
even guttural, the voice creaking
open opes to say it would, this
particular time, be example of the
how it was that the word was
what it forever would be, in a
sound of it, in the sound of
sensing through the sound to it.

I’ve got a little Sjöman in me.

Plumpness of purpose, palmfuls
made from whatever could wash
away. Her profile in the mirror
only he sees, shape to
leg, to breast, to ass, and words
about it so there might not be
the movement of people, in paired
positions, not making but made,
incapable of grasping whole the
world, in color and light, the
sound or scent, before them.

I’ve got a little Cohen in me.

Figures of beauty and flesh, the fruit
formed into soap, for the hand of it.
Scent coming off the body, and wind
to carve a little coolness against
those exposed portions. Everything
in pieces, the pieces hinged to hold
them together and moving, flying
in the direction of the sound the
word makes on the page, scent of
color. I don’t mean to suggest this
makes anything better. We must
destroy the soap to use it.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

52. Arcticulated

Our labour
or labor
in the language
bears no fruit
but fruition
The growing
the groan
There is
nothing to it
Just a thinking
in words
a jut
into the sentence
which is just
a period of time
we are trapped
within
Armor is
a kind of love
we eat
in public
Periods of time
note the ends
of sets of words
partly because
we exist in time
as if we were
continuation
and not mere
presence
Hand it to you
Distances
extend through
a sense of
not moving
forward
Arbitrary are
all articles of art
Afterwards
there were flowers
and the followers
of flowers
We build
monuments
because there are
so many
dead ideas
to remember
Particles of skin
scattered
through the house
remind us
of those
who were there
Unintentionally
so all the more
significant
I decided
to write
a parody of
what I imagined
I might
write later
in my older age
when I had
lost the ability
to care what
I might write
or why
I have no eye
I cannot say
The old dog
totters into
darkness
where nothing
sleeps
A word can
either mean
what it means
or mean
whatever else
we want it
to mean
A jar
on a shelf
means sex
Sex means
something is
a boy and
something is
a girl
Today resembles
in every detail
the day I’d meant
to dream
myself through
tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

51. Head Park Monolog

Find yourself at a park with
the great giant big presidents’ heads
with the white great giant big heads.

Or if you find yourself, as a human person,
walking the park of the giant
white heads, of the presidents who
have nothing but heads and shoulders
(and above the rest of you,
human persons admiring their
shining whiteness, open eyes, their
closed mouths), then you can honor them there.

Wander this world of the
18-ft heads of the somber white
presidents staring sternly
and serenely out across the field,
the orchard, of giant white
presidents’ heads staring back.

Every president, from one to forty-
two, yclept & clipt, the plaques like
ruffled ties, like ascots, that name them,
the heads stopt at the breast, each
head looking, not straight, but
slightly left or right, some kind of
strange evidence of their seriousness,
their severity, in the face of
the tiny little real human persons
walking on the grass and even with
their invisible nipples.

Honor and revere this giant
amassment of great giant big white
presidents’ heads huddled on
the green green grass. Respect
and honor their gargantuan immutability,
and the changeless hono[u]rable history
they represent—these statesmen, these
statues of statesmen, these statements
of what we represent: giant. great big.
white. president. heads.

Don’t give ’em bodies. They might
use them for trouble. Don’t give ’em hands.
You never know what with those
they might do. Don’t give them color.
They might seem like humans.

But we, but you, all of you, those of you
walking in the green shadow of the white
giant big heads of the great white presidents,
you are the only human persons about,
following the paths that wend through
the green world, the weedless world, of
great giant big, great large giant big white
presidents’ heads gazing over you, bigger
than life, taller as a head than even
a human person by threefold and
serious as the death most of them’ve
experienced, and into the night
of the dark earth for them.

In the presences of the giant heads, in
the realm of the silent sturdy stable and
rational empty white giant heads, you,
as a human person, of flesh and of blood,
of hair and of skin, can feel the acceleration
in the field of green and white, under a
sky of perfect blue and green, where blood
runs red or blue, and everyone says
they know you, because history is a white rock
that doesn’t move and tells us of these men
too tall for breeches, too strong for carriages,
who could tell us so much if they had
only had mouths that moved. You could move
forward through history, then, slowly,
mouth by mouth, word by spoken word,
something to direct you forward into
that collision between what in the past’s
the history’s past and what in the only now
is the only thing you see: an ocean fills
with oil, a world builds toward but doesn’t
build prosperity, and time that fills with waiting.

We are afflicted because the world is messy,
manic, moving all the time, and making of
all this instability a little bit of yearning for
the world of the giant large great big huge
white then whiter than whitest presidents
who are all head and think away every problem
that ever was and isn’t anymore, and to rest,
even momentarily, in their grey shadow is
to live in the cool certainty of the delivered past.

We’d weeded the weeds from the pathways today,
so there is little room left for wordplay.

50. undecimal b:l:nc:s

in the presence of balancing
and balance (the peach of
the matter) the outlines
of body or rock carved by
shadow (the roundness
behind the eyelid) thick
root of thumb and what
holds us in place (ball of
foot and fulcrum and heel
that plants) cavity where
darkness is held and holds

provisions are made to
accept the tendons of the
arms and legs (mainstays
attach muscle to bone
and the shopworn body
can sail straight) it is the
ears that hold our lives
in balance (what word we
whisper into could steer
a person through) eyes
that see the way out or on

portions of a position of
being (as in a scent of
a place and keeping still)
crook of finger to buttress
against the ravages of
breeze (slow and filled
with sweetness) the cock
of the head and the ear
directed to a particular
opportunity for perception
(all around and all at once)

to regard the previous as
the only temptation
capable of forming the
shape of the present
(scallop of light out of
the face of the rock or
muscles of the body as
contours defining the
height of a shape) a
delicate adjustment de-
signed to keep it still

stillness as a process
swirling in accepted
order to make the lack
of moving mean and
set the mean (a plane
of pressure against
a stable plane) palm
set against palm to
trap shadow and
squeeze the color out
of it (sunlit shoulder)

considering progress
not in the measure of
distance but requiring
the extension of time
(in place or placed at
that place) conscious of
the slip of consciousness
out of a grasp (concentra-
tion deliberate beyond
deliberation) yet wakeful

that principle of balance
as a ball cupped between
rounded palms into a
single absence (the hole
that holds in place or
the hole that symbolizes
the whole) absence as a
sweet bitter substance
that throws the body off
(green in a vibrance
resembling no leaf)

porting the mind through
not space but time (the
breath held and secret)
thoughts secreted in
marginal bodily actions
(breath slipped out of
nostril or sweat rising
from between two fingers
or a soundless drop of a
single hair off a left
shoulder) rise and sing

stasis as purpose and
praxis (both as is and be
or as the being in place
as active motionlessness)
what doesn’t move is
what does (breath con-
strained or the hair on
a forearm and the muscle
that doesn’t move it)
spinning atoms of the
moveless person at one

particle of a stone’s heft
(the dragging weight of
a body as an expression
of gravity) the seriousness
that the body cares for
when the body’s broken by
that body given away (all
extensions of body in the
form of knowledge not
wanted or fact adjudged)
the tendency to fall away

balance as practice and a
practice as balance created
through practice (the sway
at what off-balances a
body or a heart) the simul-
taneity of awarenesses
separated by time (the
simple aloneness of self)
to atone (at one) in the
sense that everything
is broken and in place

Monday, July 12, 2010

49. The Sky Around You

the sky near you

it comes down onto your head
the sky (surrounds you)

your knots hold it in place

the knitting of knots
as a practice of dexterity

as the demonstration of self

providing the earth
with demonstrable evidence
of what it needs

your teeth in it
and your nails

to hold on
to keep it all in place

making as the only secure
form of being

maybe a little pinch pot
such that it might sit
on three little nubbins
pinched out of it

or some time in a room
made of wood and wooden things
fire burned hard
to get that color out of the clay

no little clayhead doll
so only our heads might crack

on impact

we can use the pieces
for something though the blood
on them and the little bits of brain
might slow us
a little

the process of making
is unmaking

disorder precedes us
we proceed from you

wool and first the skirting

burr and feces from the fur
pulling in the heat the bits out
of the thicknesses of fleece

carding wool
so the fibers align
everything in a row
the way a herd
might point in
the same direction

spinning out of
the patterns put in place

you make a skein
of wool a wound string you could
make into something

and the knitting

every little bit of this process
a set of steps to apportion
order

in its various forms

the simplification of living
into a set of set patterns
a few sequences of
the knitting needles

enough order
and someone
can be kept warm

though you can make only
small numbers

you will make plenty
enough to keep a foot warm

and you can feel how
the sky nears you

how it turns around your head

Sunday, July 11, 2010

48. Kelo

a word from the language and you hit a snag

dead tree standing

take a bowl
of words from the table
take the smallest
bowl and move it
off the table spill
the words
from the bowl
and fill it
again with watery
words and
then begin

the tree is birch
the vihta is life
the whisk is birch
the vihta is birch
the whisk is water
the sauna is life

red flames in the sauna
ladleful of water
and steam will come
to take your breath
air too hot too moist
to breathe

I am the saunamajuri
and keep the fire going
keep the fire hot

the sauna
’s heat the sauna
’s hot we sweat
out what
we ought

the difference is
between
the steam against
our skin and
the cool evening air

sauna is our way
to feel the earth
the body our
bodies and the body
of the earth
grassy beneath
our feet

outside and
steam rises
from skin the night
never much dark
in summer

only our dark
pupils allow
us to see
the night
its own giant
pupil turned
back at us

the vihta is life
and we hit ourselves
with its green leaves
until we smell
of the warm live earth
and trees with
young green leaves

when we stand
we stand
suddenly still
kelo
snag
dead standing tree

energy drained
from
muscle from
bones
so it is that
we are re
juvenated
that we are
newborn

into the green-
black night

Saturday, July 10, 2010

47. pa(I)nt(I)ngs

faces painted and painted
faces what you make and
what they make of them-
selves and pigment oil and
water our vanished world
what face we thought we
had or thought we were

the movement of brushes
over the face the motion
of hands of brushes over
the face the swinging of
paint and powders over
the face the face of eyes
and smile the face of red
and pink and brown and
hazel the color of skin the
color of voices coloring words

you see in the eyes what
the eyes see they see you
you see in the eyes what
the eyes see they see
cameras you see in the
eyes what mirrors they
see what hands holding
the mirror the camera
the brush the eye the you
they see the eyes and
yeses and ayes and you
and you see them there too

you can see the paint there
is paint that you can see on
the brush there is paint on
the canvas there is on the
face of the woman the paint
of her face on the face of the
man the colors of his face
as he had imagined them
a red blotch a patch of
baldness bright orange
hair and you can see how
their faces have made them
who they are how their
faces show them where they
are tell them what they can
do determine the life they
lead the sadness in the eyes
that know too much to keep
from washing away the paint
that holds the face in place

where there is skin you lay
a layer of paint where there
is tooth or nail or hair where
there is the eye or the nostril
where there is the hand that
cannot hold a thing you add
paint to make the person as
she is as he is in the painting
with paint with pink with
yellow with orange and blue
there is paint where you
see it there is paint where
you don’t their faces are
painted and painted and you
paint what you see until
you see what they who they are

I see every person before me
even when they’ve come
after me and I’m running
from the painting you made
for the basement the painting
you painted for the wall and
I see the eyes of the people
who once were not even
paintings or thoughts of
paintings I see every person
before me even when they’ve
come after me and can take
no more I see them in the
paintings of their eyes I see
them in the spaces on the
walls where their families
will hang them I see them
hanging from the walls their
eyes opened and in colors but
floating in a blind pool of white

You see I see you see I’m painting
I have no paint but paint after
a long run I am painting everyone
I have ever seen I paint with my
fingers I paint with my eyes with
my hands and my lungs I paint
with my voice with these words
with the moving of paint I paint
every day and every night I paint
I paint every word you have
painted tomorrow but I’ve painted
no-one and nothing nowhere I’ve
painted no person no hand and no
eye I paint without painting and
wait without time the space between
here and now is farther than that

There are no words for painting maybe
pigment ink canvas covered with color
augmentation tremolo mulch husk
aura of a vanished world these words
are no colors and have no shape beyond
where they lie and how they are lies
of the page articles of each not paint
and eye and I am moving to a place beyond
meaning but filled with all its trappings

46. La voix, l’avoir, la voir

in what
for what reason
despite the conditions that would require
before certainty, but only temporarily so as if conditioned to fail
tendency towards definite but without a sense of surety

I am merely speaking here to you
All I am doing is writing
These are only words
Mine mean but that I am talking to you

(if you can
hear the sound
in it you can
know it)

la petite chanteuse et la petite mère
de la petite chanteuse chartreuse
que l’idée (quelle idée)
c’est une quantité d’autres mots
de part et d'autre des mots
il était impossible de parler

je ne pas
je ne que
je ne plus
je ne rien
je ne quoi

beyond the border of sound and sense
within particularly rigid constructions of order
we cannot hope to hope to make a word to speak for us

je suis tout
je sais desolé
je n’ai pas de mots de sapin
je n’est pas de mot

open and a little brighter
not a sunrise but reflection upon a field of cloth
streetlight as moonlight
quiet in the way that engines idle

(le mot, c’est moi)

do you know the word for [     ]?
do you know the word for (     )?
do you know the word for {     }?
do you know the word for <     >?
do you know the word for |     |?

what is left out and how
it is left out

right there I see it

la vide
la vidéo
l’audio
la voix

je vois
ce que je vois
je le vois

je n’ai pas des yeux
je ne suis rien, mais les yeux

d’yeux
you
dieu

les dieux ont des yeux

I have lost the language to speak
and mumble with a tongue I cannot quite use

order words the can’t put I in
the can’t put I in the order of words
the put I can’t order in the offer of words
the part I can’t put in the offer for the order of words you need

the night stretches out into itself
a vein is missing from my leg
I am almost bloodless
what moves inside me are my bowels

I dream I drink a bowel of serial
I dream I write a heard of whorses
I dream I wrote a hand of hearses

the cat who wanders
the room is furry
with thoughts of entering
through doors to find
the other way out
of the way he found himself
back here in the first place

sais-tu?
c’est tu?
say you?

I chat with the cat
and it thinks my
words are itself

Thursday, July 8, 2010

45. The Lawn You Always Wanted

At night, and
the world is quieter because eyes are blackened.
In a lidded walk, plants are reduced to the general shapes of darkness.

You could not find chamomile for a lawn, which would take
the shape of wind. You could not find your tomatoes wolfing
over the fence because they would be the edge of a hill.

Night is plantless, a place of sounds and scents,
and animals the color of night. A skunk is probably walking
the alley beyond my house, beyond my black lawn,
for I can smell him. I have a cat with me. He wants
nothing or for it, but a rustling breeze. There must be
some cool breeze out there in a night turned so dark.

Hard to find, as you know, something cool now.
Refrigerator open, it would perspire, its coolness only
temporary. The raspberries I picked freeze behind me.
They don’t live in the real world anymore.

The boundary between
anything real and
the rest, messy and rich,
bits of experience are
murky. Hands push
through the night but
can’t hold it. We do not
know the Stations of
the Evening, but in one
of them the evening
bleeds while woven
into the fabric of a
silver maple. Gets dark
enough, and the tree
and the evening both
disappear. Memory
of something tells me
that, that there could be
a tree that represents
all other trees, that this
evening could be a memory
of all other evenings
too warm for thinking.

Walk in a puddle of night, and would you there feel
the sweat of every sleeping body around you in every
screened window? The air seeping in, the air seeping
out, openly in the form of a human breathing. It is
only a house, only houses, only a street, and wires overhead
strewn between dead trees. They might carry voices
of people back and forth, the way in which we breath
our words out to someone and they breathe them in
and back out. We can’t leave this night, I don’t think.

Not now.

It’s not that we don’t have the will or even opportunity.
We don’t have the inclination. A few warm evenings,
a few plantless evenings walking over the sidewalks,
watching for skunks that are nothing more than the scent
that precedes them. That is enough for now.

You can grow your lawn into chamomile later.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

44. Famous to 15 People

Portraiture
ported to the self

the portraitist Other
abandoned [ , ] outré

replaced with

traces of self…
placed on the shelf
of the digitalia
(fingered & fingerless)

{again}


such that


[ } right profile

permits

left profile { ]

permits

total {|} human

janus-faced
forwards-n-backwards
at the same person

voiced backwards
’n’ for’rds
in a manner that allows
crossing to th’other side


the hand holds the screen
of the brush up
to the face

/// dsh knw
whn the dish
wd b us ///

(or not /// he was
“into” boys)

heuristics tell you how
how you tell heuristics
from yourself

the screen transfers
the screen to
the screen

a series of reductions
to settle the self
into place

(“i not into thot”)

intricate is the ofness
of this place of yourself
you are virtual, real
you am me is you

a series of images
in place of word

words in place of
I’m ages ago gone
from that place
here for now

think with your(eye
and you)rfinger

{{{{{{{{{{{{{ }}}}}}}}}}}}}
{{{{{{{{{{{{{o}}}}}}}}}}}}}
{{{{{{{{{{{{{ii}}}}}}}}}}}}}
{{{{{{{{{{{{{+}}}}}}}}}}}}}
{{{{{{{{{{{{{u}}}}}}}}}}}}}
{{{{{{{{{{{{{ }}}}}}}}}}}}}

items and utems
atoms of us

there is no distinction
between youness and
Iambs in the archives
of the digital human

iamb
the digital text human
): electronic worded flesh :(

the digital world
is not an extension of ourselves

as not is words
or worlds of them
(or the worlds of them)

it is us

just
as bone and blood

as we run electric
we need electricity to think it out
to make it move it keep it safe &

)}]networked[{(

the worded nets

worked together and out

this glowing digital object
is of love as much as flesh
this glowing digital ob)(ject
is of passion as much as paper
this growling digital subject
before us behind us beneath
dot…and…dot…and….dot…

we do not need identity management
to know who we are /// we do not need
id/entity man[age]meant to mean
what we see /// proctors to keep us in line

we have a structuredness
fluid and [          ] ; we are
merging streams of data
and content (or contént)

our presence is webbed

/o\o/\o/\/o\o/\o/\/o\o/\o/

we are meaninged and making
we aggregate the aggregate
and are in agreement with it

particles portions fragments
cohere and there—in this context
or that—so that dual we become
what we alawayas were

•••••information•••••

experience (sets of)
knowledge (versions of)
extensions (of knowledge
& experience)

we intimate we are intimate
with ourselves & you (as we
present ourselves to be, as we
[présent] ourselves & be)

we know how to change with one word
out of place /// with one word
we make as we be

and we do what we do we do
careful and cautious never

To forget a period.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

43. In Dreams Begin Impossibilities

Slip & sleep
& sleeping

there is no difference between
these versions of falling

what makes sleeping a dream differs
from one minute to the next

a gauzy curtain might admit
a sprig of heat that might grow

into something

air like airedale
in a sudden swirling
up

almost the quelling of heat

from a sleeping
a light
a computer
left run
ning right
through the night

what words come
from what dreams make
of what life’s lived
in those temporary states of wakefulness

walk out of it
and into the woods
horsed and riding
motion like muscle
flowing

the wind in it
of it
or the settling of wind
into stillness
and the wait

for there is always
something there

you wait for it
and watch

you watch for it
and wait

it has something to do with time.

the sound of snow deepening
piling high
is always somewhere there

the ground remembers it
and roots
even something you recall
a sound not too loud
not as loud as heat

still wet with significance

no way out
without leaving tracks
hoofprint footprint
pad of dogfoot
impression of boot
white but written
on and those
temporary words
that snow erases

we cannot move without writing.

but snow erases nothing now
except the memory of snow

nothing cold in this heat
nothing cold in this heat
the mouth yearns for water that fills the air
the tongue yearns for water that fills the room

nothing cold in this heat
unrememberable snow
and a dream of cold
within which the body
can make its own heat

and a dream of cold white snow

and fingers out
and up

single snowflake on the tip of each

Monday, July 5, 2010

42. Tremble Clef

silentlisten

hardest
(most studiously)
at the lack of

yet a voice
is more
than
ruined words
or less

trill treble trillium
in a wooded shade

treeroot rising
(wave, muscle)
from the earth
motionless but moving
still

the muteness of stones

gravel spread
for traction among
grass and plantain

rock in place
(of loonsong
and moonless)
that it might be

no rose
but rose before


me a rose
before me
and then
me

wave from wave
each wave carries or
moves through multiple
smaller waves water
finding what shape
it must and the loon
’svoice a wavering
two-tone in
black and white

a motor can grumble but not groan
passionless fruitless

the
flag
wave
but not tire
trackless

less than preception

the eyelist
and (skewed) sees
anew

the streambed
the lawnbank
the bushsheath
the hemlocksun
the flowerflowers

these indelible foods
before me (a rose
(a daylily (a violet
))) gathered into salad

th’eating
brea’thing
unth’reat’ning

sky
blue skies
her blue skies
her two blue skies

looking down on me

silistently

she moves
thoroughly you

41. A Lake View

and so
we continue
between
pauses

out at
the lake now
where we work
in a way but
where we watch
more than we
usually do

or read

from the porch
we see the water
and that is all
we require
we are calmed
by the flatness
of the lake
in the early
morning

even if life
returns soon
enough shortly
into the advent
of morning
bringing with it
people and their
sounds the
noise they make
the process of
living we know
isn’t silent or
still everything
moves and that
is what moves
us though in
directions as
various as
the sounds

we have filled
this small cabin
with nine people
five dogs a cat
and still
the space works
because it isn’t
living space now
only being space

we exist as if
outside of the
lives we other
wise live

I spent my day
reading news
papers and
graphic novels
one for news
and one for
poetry because
I see almost
anything that
isn’t news as a
kind of poetry

(as I type this
the poetry I think
of is Archy and
Mehitabel
the
prosaic typings of
a cockroach on
the keys of the
typewriter or so
that story went

and there’s some
thing right about
about this simple
and direct way of
speaking to you
in these short lines
with the words so
simple as to defy
confusion though
we know confusion
will always exist)

I did very little
writing today
forgot about
some projects
I have for this
weekend so I
rested from the
call of almost
everything

I watched I
perceived I
read with
my eyes (a
kind of see
ing) I saw
little reason
to do any
thing else

this is the
fourth of July
so as the night
came on fire
works began
slowly at first
but not for
long and the
rim of the lake
went wild with
noise and light
the various
fireworks
shooting into
space but
making it
only so far
we are con
fined by our
limitations
and night is
one of them

we roasted
marshmallows
we ate food
cooked on
open flames
we lived a
simple life
we did well
because
we were
unburdened
by great
accomplish
ment or
failure

these few
these simple
things I tell
you only in
the hope that
you and your
family can
experience the
same soon free
of the compli
cations of a
life that won’t
allow one
word to rest
unsplit on
a line

and I have
also meant
to say though
it is a day
late happy
birthday
as well

Saturday, July 3, 2010

40. raspberryblossoming

To pick a raspberry, we
fall to our knees, to give thanks,
to divulge praise to the moist earth beneath
dry earth, to sun, to intermittent
rain and bees that visit the temporary blossoms
of the thorny canes—to see, from below (human
miniaturized by shade) the berries hidden by green
leaves in a canopy of storeys and shifting light, where
fruits of purpled black, red-purple, red, rose,
white or variegated in white and pink, with drupelets
rowed to remind of kernels on corn, evidence of summer,
when the fragments of nature divide themselves to
multiply into what we see as profusion, even though
not every berry is seen from an air of walking,
the least or greatest maybe slipping beneath
cover, the fruit reserved for neither bird
nor human, but earth, to mix with seed
and stick and leaves falling from an autumn lasting
until past the winter when seed cracks,
sprouts, sends up a beacon, message,
measure of a making without even promise
for harvest.

But it is all
nothing
but words.

You see
them and make them
seen. How a word is read because
a word is seen (not the sound of it
but), the form it takes for the eye. You
crack open the O to find the eye
within it. Every letter is a sculpture
that makes sense only through
dismantlement. You write, you work
with ink, you are a thinkink man.
Your pen is camera or pen, your
paper is paper, and you work the word
to find the word. You might cut
it back and use it
in a ntence. You might study
its sytructure, adding something
as you did. You might find
something beautrifulo in it,
because our language is
not simply aural. We speak in
a visual language, tongueless,
tongueless all the days, reading
the shapes and sounds of words
into our heads. Language as
the work of eyes
and hands,
earless, mouthless,
prone to
silence.

In these woods I’ve made myself to today,
fruits are small: twinberry’s red made silent
by profusion of its rounded green leaves, blueberry
bushes not as tall as a knee with fruit
smaller than a kernel of corn, and blackberry
in place of raspberry and those fruit still hard
and green and tiny as a drop of ink. Here
there is no harvest and just enough heat
to keep the woods growing (hemlock
beech, birch, oak). Here we don’t
have to drop to our knees
to find the fruit. This
is a place of the words
we hear, and a chorus of
bullfrogs, guttural, droning,
sing to us now, right
now, to let us know
that night, pure night,
lit by no lamp,
does not allow
for silent words.
In this dark place,
we use
our
ears.

Friday, July 2, 2010

39. florilegium

“Dreamlessness daylily
orange. arrow petal, the flap,
sweet tongue and bud, pollen
capsule of coated collar. handful
has of pleather pleasures. carousels
and whirling sunlit pm

“as leaves are long and blades,
the sweep in breeze of dangling.
in lines of sight, intention
to view what field of clump of
pile of green for what
one stirs the gut’s own mud”

“Lavender than. kept in greys
of shadows for green. a chalk and,
scent in silence. flow through air
from flower in powdered
purplish tinge. among the,
rocks and stones.

“wander. that the garden
won’t. but in smell. lavender and
saffron, calamus and, cinnamon,
with every form, of aromatic
plant. devoted, for modest in aspect,
awaiting fingers to the nose”

“Plantain, mother herb, open. moving,
seeds east or south. within, with-
standing, all it withstood, foot,
poison, contagion. for it,
to be and placing, green. the path
through the garden

“conqueror. the flower, spike and
seed, a pike. of the grass, then
all but. flat leaf, dull flower,
something of dust. like seed
in scores of thousands. a new
particulate air”

“Rooted, in leaves, in shade. wake
robin, bog onion, jack-
in-the-pulpit. built under vaulted
ceiling of raspberry, reds or
blacks. where moist, the hooded
flower, thick tongue or phallus, moves

“left or lost. in shadowed tumble,
criss and its borne cross. of shadow or
stick, or solitary flower. Striped
as brown. to rub its tongue, which is,
the body, its tongue, th’erect penis.
that he is all, one, complete, and three”

“Tirewort, what no running over of
would expunge, but spread. little
pineapple weed, crush of which
escapes the fruit. finger-pincht.
single yelloweye, of flower, un-
ostentation, gathered in hosts

“tiny, but energetic of scent.
the t in the sound of it, that
ends it. nothing there is
to it. so, thus, hence, it
continues, determined, stagnant,
in place”

“Still a chill, in summer and,
darkness. where there is a ‘her,’
and slightly clipt, to ‘he.’ what
children garden grows. op-
portunities for congress. and that
secret expectation, life

not a shovel for, a trowel, to
build a hole, to hold, a
flower, what flows, in light,
lilight, or lilylight. denizen of
sun and need, for warmth, that
comfort, of coming home to sleep.”

Thursday, July 1, 2010

38. An Epergne I Orchestrated Uniformly

An apple of Adam attached to an ant
And all that you answer is “Aaa-aaah” and “Ahhh-hhh”?

By buying the best buckets from bucket brigades
You bought every bushel of baskets for braids?

Carry a couple of carloads of cans
And cushion the chorus of curious cads?

Circle the circus with cylindrical cists
To cincture the cylix with Cyprian cysts?

Doing the dishes with dewclaws of dogs
Dispenses the dervish from doing the doves?

Eh, every error the effete ever err
Emends every emmet’s ept eremite?

For furious fuming from five feckless foes,
Four furry funnels flew forward for fuel?

Going and getting and gotten and good
Get garrulous gophers going for gore?

Generous genies gyrating with gentiles
Genuflect, gelid, and then gerrymander?

How in a harlot’s heartbeat of hope,
Have you the horror to harden the hasp?

I and my irony icing the ivy
Idolize islands of Irishish items?

If only an instant of irrational irking,
Would itching and idiocy irk like an ictus?

Jousting with javelins jauntily jarring
Just jerks the jurists away from their juleps?

Keelhauling killers and kissing their kids
Kickstarts the keloids that form on the kegs?

Knuckling and kneeling and knowing the known
Knits every knob of knotweed to knurl?

Listing the love of the lust of last life
Lowers the losers loose into latrines?

Manifold motions of muddy mothmen
Make memories of murder merely maudlin?

Never a nothing that nullifies not
Notifies no-one that nowhere is none?

Opening oceans of opals and oats
Opine like obits of owed odalisques?

Ordinal orphans of ordinary odor
Offer the orifice the officers order?

Pecuniary persons of particular poise
Purchase the prisons that poison our people?

Physical phalluses phallanxed by philtrums
Phase all the phials the pharmacies filled?

Querulous quarryman questioning quotes
Quarrel with quotients and quicksilver quacks?

Redolent reasons for rescuing rodents
Really resemble the rational rabble?

Serious sequences slipping through slippers
Suffer the service without sips of serum?

Ten terrible terrors terrorized tourists,
The tenth of the terrors being a tenor?

Under the umbrage of umbilical unction
Ushers and umbrils unbosomed the uncials?

Uniformed users of uvular units
Ululate usually at utile ukases?

Urgent the urges to ursicide,
The urbanized urtext is interred in urns?

Virulent voters who vetoed the vole
Vocally voted for verdant vocabulary?

What in the welt of the wart of the wish
Would you want to withdraw from the welter of wood?

Xenogeneic, the xerotic xenophilics,
Ate every xilinous xiphias and xerus?

You, young and yearning, and yawing for yards,
You with your yeanling yawning for yap,

Yell every yeasting you yearn and you yodel,
Yoke every yearling to youngsters’ yon yessing:

Zip zaftig zebra, and zip every zythum,
The zither comes hither to zing towards thither.