Friday, April 29, 2011

340. A Map of Meself

CHRIS

teeth that tell of you
(through the gap)

to be wearing a mask
to have in the wearing of the mask a hiding

of the stigma
of the mark

(on a corner as a marked person
not one of the crowd
apart from society

someone discarded)

might let the mask slip
to show

hating the interiors of

just a white note
in the movement

just a white note
in the speaking

just a white note
lost in the chorus

of who might pee on you
swear on you
hit on you
set you on fire

it’s okay putting it in words

but words are not going to change anything
words won’t change a thing

just as a little light in the middle of a great ocean

and at night


SCOTS JOHN

from the Helms
not at the [singular]

man of faith
but not religion

come on out of a hard life
walk on up a hill

season of sunshine upon it
and green for it

rain comes down upon
then again sun

rain comes down upon again
then again sun again

water of life

(he said)

it pissed down twice

water of life

he said


TIM DIXON

a cigarette gets rolled small like a toothpick
doesn’t make much smoke or smell

is slipped between the lips
as words slip out between

(quietness verging on silence)

decades on the street
and “it’s not bad”

with a grave gentle dog
“Charlie” (a she)

the wander from town
to other towns
sometimes to avoid the troubles

always a chance to start a life anew
in a new place

old though they be

“I’ve got my travelling boots off”

Mancunian now and for good

“I’ve got my travelling boots off”

“It’s harder to sell on sunny days”
he says

people think your life is fine in the sun
if the sun

people think you’ve lost your problems

“But more hassle on a bad day”

people understand their own problems then
and don’t care about yours


MIRCEA

come bearing paper flags
on the day of a wedding

one side Union Jack
one side an ad for a prince and princess married

patriot from Romania
and still learning this English
into him

“ni” sewn onto his right knee
“ni” sewn onto his left

he learns phonetically by the repetition
of wearing these jeans
the repetition of living

an engineer by training
and learning to draw with his hands

very bad on sleep
“keep fear”

keeps fear very close

pink fingernail polish flaking from fingers
erosion from the edges

on these sturdy hands

(a tall man)

“elbau” sewn onto the elbow of his jacket
“koff” sewn onto the back of his legs (the jeans, for “cuff”)

Logo for Barbie sewn upside-down
on his T-shirt so he could look down on it and read

mind wandering into conversation
or through

the intensity of compulsion

talk
to learn the words
sew
to learn the words
draw
to see the things the words say

he says
“I decorate my life”

two narrow strips of cardboard
sewn onto the back of each pants leg
and he can slip the stem of a small hand flag
between cardboard and denim
his shins waving the two flags

“I decorate my life”
he says
“I decorate my life”

and written above the word “Barbie”
so written below the logo upside down there

“BODY”

his body

changing as it doesn’t change.

Today's Draft So Far

CHRIS

wearing a mask

stigma

hating the interiors

let my mask slip

part of society, something discarded

just a white note

pee on you, swear on you, hit on you, set on fire

it’s okay putting it in words

words are not going to change anything

a little light in the middle of a great ocean

society wears blinkers


SCOTS JOHN

from the Helms

man of faith

water of life

it pissed down twice


TIM DIXON

I’ve got my travelling boots off

It’s harder to sell on sunny days

More hassle on a bad day


MIRCEA

ni on knee

very bad on sleep

keep fear

I decorate my life

Life is art

Thursday, April 28, 2011

339. [p(o/e)m]

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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

338. in (suddenly) sprïng

init
extr

felt in the bone of the collar

all these solitary couplings

rivers of
cat and
yawnings
pulled over
the sunset

in the dark center of your eye the world becomes

crpt
fltd

tremors
and bells

a walking waking

within cremental dark

fur of
the fold
of voices
thru fog
& dream

instances of suddenness

followed by expanses of waiting

vrgd
urgd

the wet smell of sprung morning

birdvoicings

wark and
sgleep or
fiddling
onto an
evening out

it is all burging from

the upfront of sumnering

hld
tld

upthrustings
thru clefts
and crevices
siftings of
somelight

the whole field arranged with colors again

variable barometers of light astray

furrow and
barrow by
lightlight
and song-
light song

íîiîìn
eiyie

tumblerayed morning

sprayed by lit green light

versions of
being in
place of
or places
for

what seems at once inexhaustible degrades to darkness

the smell of lingering heat but songless

operas of
sleeping
barriers
of knees

the chest
wakes
itself by
breathing

continuing
ways of
don’t and
didn’t want

slp
pls

Friday, April 22, 2011

333. A Song for Each Week of the Year

1.

slight of
hand’s height
as a palm

fronded
fingers filter
light


2.

scarfèd
face un-
nosed to
h/air

          the
watch
waits it


3.

dozens of
with-
drawings
slipt out
of place

versions of
broken
sleeping


4.

the bristling
smaller than
wait

          when
grows it
shrinks to
needled
brightness


5.

concurrences
in abject shadow

slender revelations
a flight

the jet
moves (liquid,
black)

through over
and over


6.

he wedges
knee

          she
set ever
the peel

lees &
less


7.

folded & taupe
hills tinged
with clouds

transparency
shadows mosses
& massing

green

as it would
be


8.

a clutch
of almonds
palmed

erasings of
fortunes

what yields
from hand-
blossom


9.

shafted sun
light

          shifts
in eyesight’s
twitch

          the heft
of raising
shuts the lid


10.

enters forward
through liquid
memory of dreams

world of boxes
and she
is not in one


11.

gone in a sense dear
the hereness remains

can almost
hear it


12.

ear emptied
outer & turned
out

          he smelled
it coming


13.

he met
the counterthought
within her speaking

suspicions also
aroused


14.

silence
in slices

the saliences
each caught
between them


15.

the word listsome
the word rainwright
the word curlous
the word strail


16.

shoveled back
all fetid dreams

wiping sweat
from rows
of corn

crotch-high
to sunset


17.

a one
of clubs

in a body
of water—lake,

river? in green
& rounded

a black flake
drifts over
sight

Does it
slake?


18.

he adjusted
for the heat

just seated
and slated

for sleep
turning weakly

and towards


19.

whenever
the fever

flushes red

warm
onrushes
of joy


20.

unsettling
out of the
ch-ch-chair

over us
the chill of
waking


21.

trees to the top

mount peak
in dully clouded

what springs gives
way to sprays

scentless garland

each droplet as
a kissed


22.

husks of
fine burlap

ripped apart
to show little
pulsing veins

lidless eyes
breathless for
imagined pity


23.

wet tattoo
pulsing
with the push
of blood


24.

a flash
of an eyelash

it ties
his hand


25.

Volubilis
with sound
a mockmeant
word succumbs

drained
it limps
off into another


26.

whisk from the
breadth of a
breath

          let out

nipples of hair
at the nape

all are erect
and attentive

to the nested
wishes


27.

at a calamity
scriptorius

          with marrow-
ink darkness

the bed’s bled
red & what

she said was
breathing

out


28.

dredge
the edge
through a dreaming

its seam is sewn
but straining

a breast would
extrude

          yet
all these syllables
deep in muck
& silt

hold it till
the slit

& slip


29.

she was draped
by hunger

          huge
for sleep and
blundering for purchase

if the light ’tweren’t
so dim something

would come
from this


30.

vowels hooting
in the bark

the words are
full of leavings


31.

twinned
by a oneness

a toe taps
with another toe

ravenless, the sky
still seems
pregnant with
foreboding

the lake below
is deep in blue


32.

flesh
of the phallus
in flesh
of the slit

the perversion
of fitting
the version
to it


33.

windvalve
& creation of shifting

would in the
movement of a leaf
the petal would
shiver

shimmer

her mane was leafy
or tailed

heartshaped
in her disappearance
white
at her wane


34.

dough of
the thigh or belly
sough of
a sigh

          the TV
sings with a sleeping
the key is broken

everything unlocked
except for her
hair

          mirrors broken
at her request

not to hide
herself
but to

multiply


35.

defaced,
yes, faceless

they sit
with their backs
to the doors

encircling them

and face
each other

glances and re-
cognitions evinced


36.

pebbly insects
which do not fly

carapace up to
the heavens in
a blind stare

convexed eyeballs
you cannot retrieve

each fingertip itself
already ends in
an eye


37.

Inca Kola,
Tupac, and the stone
to fit the stones

belonging makes
the fits

a knotty message
your descendresses
can mumble back out
to you
in beads pouring
through their fingers


38.

on a soft thing
and in a soft
thing

          a shaft
may make a thing
of it

          even
and without
light

          something
lies bright
across the skin

and something
accepts


39.

this: stroke

enough: and there will be
a poem

or greater

(though it’s only
a pencil)


40.

vessel as vestibule

transport serves as
preparations

for all been done

it is shifty so:
the vessel might not
hold
or would sail but
through water
downward

These are the risks.


41.

she of genuine
reflection whose image

a pebble to the mirrored
water punctures

then pulls and sloshes

can be changed to
anything so every re-
flection’s right


42.

rhymy
& frosted in early
morning

sounds that try
my patients

(all of whom are
dead of neglect)

the linebreak’s
punctuation

so I mean it

[sometimes in flight
I cannot feel the plane
move

          I float
motionless

          and fall]


43.

above the bellows
he laughs

and laughs


44.

afoot and underfoot
they proceed

their method
regains what from childhood
they most cleanly
forgot

          persimmons
they encountered
rotting orangely
upon the ground

          and they
schmushed their faces
into the pulp


45.

inter-
eruptions of

umber light—
there are veils
that guide the darkness

those behind
are shaded by shadow

and burning darkly
with desires

that won’t quite fully
combust


46.

flowertongue
brandied about

the delve of virtue
remainders trout

or:
velvet lovetongue
given out narrow & pointed,
flat & wide

tremor from
the articulations of the tongue

she relishes it
sandwiched between
urged & sated

he mollifies,
honeyed, hands
dripping from the pot

trees form a ridge at the only place they can grow


47.

Make is glottal

obstruction—explosion

the buildup to letgo

(as is Hope, metastasized)

The pineberries are
perfect this time of year

though reversed
in polarity, causing
confusion

          the children
ask to make them right
(though they say “ripe”)

They are too young to hope
so think it all will happen


48.

a clockwork quilt
that tended to time

tears through the purple
were wet and greasy

warm yellow vanished
into cold white

and always that clicking:
tsk, tsk, tsk

Pffft! I say
the quilt may

hold together
or break asunder

Even if time stops
I rots


49.

a glimpse
of limps

far-off
rovings

sticks against
the moon

or the moon
in branches

they have no canes
and their legs are

study
as caverns


50.

a hint
of a sprint

flashing
right by

in the face of us

legs like

okapi

their stripes
are illuminated
from nightsong

when they are gone
nothing was ever

there


51.

in your
smallest

oceanic

thoughts

do you
find

the drop
of salt?


52.

o inmost
thorn

heart-
beaten
one

o
lachrymal
chest

these
visions

envelop
what’s

left
of my

words

(worth)

were

Thursday, April 21, 2011

332. jointure+flexion+vortext

slit of
as if
a tear
be rip
& drop

[t]

what
falls
fails
to come
to

vision
in-
sists
tho
hearing
in-
jects

to
per/
ceive
what
isn’t
is to
see
what
can’t
ebb
away

elbow
your
way in
& you
will
find
only
a knee

(we
needs
some-
thing
but
can’t
tell if
it’s
aud-
ible
or ed-
ible

may
be
both)

bends
like
light
like
spoon
thru
water
like
essence

the sim-
pulled
sense
that the
nose cd
fill w/
life or
light
or lift-
ing up

as a
head
taking
th’eyes
the nose
the cntr
of per-
ception

flected
site &
scent &
in flecks
in eyes
the ring-
ing of
ears

earsing
eyesay

every
thing
sected
made
into 2
ways
of see-
ing or
hear-
ing the
word
made
mud
dried to
bricks
to make
houses
of words
out of
the words
let go

into
thin
air

what
rises
slips
into
place

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

331. The Flight through Age and Death

I’m stuck in an aisle seat flying
to Salt Lake so my entire world is the cabin
of this plane. I see a few clouds out
the portholes. Thought
you would like to know, especially today,
which is the day before your birthday,
and I don’t remember how old you are, but
I know you’re over 50, a birthday celebrated
with a woman singing to you, boozily it seemed,
from inside a gorilla suit, pink tutu attached
to its midriff. There are better ways to turn
50, though not as many more memorable.

I am, as you know, fifty at the moment
but leaning perilously close to fifty-one, and it is
for this reason, this fiftiethness of mine, that
I’m writing to you and others, so the number
matters, as a figure of roundness, as an achievement
of numbers, as a fact again made plain and
requiring some comment, or 365 days of
comment, maybe more. I am burdened by birthdays
and caught between them and write to you
to tell you of my self-made fate, and to give you
the gift of a note that you’ve actually
waited for for many months now.

This is the middle flight of my day’s worth of flights,
just as I’m in the middle era of my life now, or
so designated. I might live the next fifty years
and reach the age of my grandmother at her own death.
More likely, I won’t, and might not even make it out of
this mid-life, halfway between birth and death, action
and inaction, value and its lack.

Thinking such thoughts because a friend of ours,
Art, disappeared a few weeks ago, somewhere
between North Carolina and New Hampshire, with
his home state of Connecticut between the two. His car
sits in New Hampshire, unharmed, and still carrying
his untouched luggage. It’s not hard to imagine what
might have happened to him, though it’s impossible
to know what. Death is possible, of course. Or Art somehow
came apart and started wandering the countryside
on foot. I’d like that latter to be the outcome, but it seems
less likely—Art was so clearheaded and stable, yet
we hide within ourselves all these layers of self, some
that hardly ever reveal themselves, so it’s hard to know,
it is simply hard to know anyone. Though I know Art
enough to believe what happened came from without.

I’ve written to 330 people so far in this year that I am
fifty years of age, and Art was one of those. I wrote him
as I write you, in an airplane heading west, and he thanked
me for the poem, the letter, the gesture, I think, more
than the actual thing itself, because he didn’t understand it,
its not being one like this one, a simple set of words
that merely explain themselves. Since I started to write
these poems, only one of the recipients has definitely died,
my aunt, and I flew west another time to see her set
into her tiny slot in a mausoleum. It seems, unexpectedly,
that Art might be the second, though he is just
a few days younger than I am, a man set for more life.

But nothing is set. When this plane raised its nose up
off the tarmac at JFK and then dragged the rest of its body up
with it, it began to shake viciously, the tail of this thing
in a wild fishtailing such as I haven’t felt on a plane before,
and it all made the plane sound like a can of bolts. Up into
the air, the plane hit serious turbulence that kept the flight
attendants in their seats. The last time I’d been on
a flight this rough—and that flight was much worse—I was
flying from Toronto to Syracuse on a small prop-engine plane
with you, at night and through a ferocious rainstorm.
The huge storm buffeted the tiny airplane so that we
were jostled in all directions. The plane would twist, dip,
as the storm hit it from all directions, because we were
in the storm so there was no direction that wasn’t also storm.
I’ve been flying since I was very young, and I’ve learned not
to be frightened while in flight, so I sat, unconcerned,
in my seat, probably reading. You, as I know I have
recounted to you many times before, were clutching
the seat in front of you, to stabilize yourself.
As you know, I’m not a kind man, so I reassured you
by saying, “Ray, it doesn’t matter how hard you
hold onto that seat if the plane crashes to the earth.”
I’m sure the other passengers enjoyed
my words of encouragement as much as you
did, but we landed safely in the dark in Syracuse,
deplaned to go through customs, and returned
to flying towards Albany once again.

In the end, everything is reduced, all of life, all
of our adventures, all of our hopes and worries and
passing concerns, to a clutching onto life, to this sense
that we must hold on, because this is all we have.
Even if a life is imperfect, it seems worth the grief
to live through it, or it does to most of us, most
of the time. And aging, at least in these early steps of it
that we are living through, doesn’t prepare us
for death. It only makes us understand more keenly
the need for life. As we age, we don’t look back
at our rich life and feel contented. We yearn
to have enough life to live the life we still want to live,
the whole of it, and to live it out as if the fact of
our small lives has enough meaning to justify our
effort to do what living we could with it.

I’m not sure I’m the best exemplar of this,
but these thoughts remind me of the words
of advice I give people as a rollercoaster is pulling itself up
to its first descent: “Feel the fall.” Sure,
you’re going to be scared, I say, but this is your chance
to experience that fear. And you must get beyond that fear,
too, and feel the fall for the joy of it, for the way
it turns your body inside out. That’s been
my advice. It’s the same advice I’d give someone
in an airplane if it had begun to fall from
the sky. Feel the fall. Because if this is going to be
the last experience of your life, you want to
experience it as a state of joy.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

330. Tremors at the Act of Saying

i.

Everything upholstered ordered taken over by pleasant odor
everything sonorous simple sated and satisfying by its presence
everything here in the right hand of the body

Taking for example a daughter and the water of her bathing
taking over the example of the water that it makes but never stays
taking time for breathing in the scent of water runs away

Giving into and onto and unto them the beat
giving over the person of performance at the perfume of the wrist
giving after the reason for the making of the heat


ii.

We are perceived
in the act of perceiving
what perception
can’t receive

You take in the manner of
the promise of the
performance of the body
in the act of living

They believe through
the desire of tongue
against vanilla
that doesn’t presume

She can make from
the thought of your brow
every broken urgency
of every lost beginning


iii.

And every body given over to music
the burden of wanting and the terror of letting go

What a child is is what a child wants to be
There is surprise in anything you always knew

Did you expect anything different in your life
than every day different than the rest and never enough?


iv.

in concert
together
with the
voices who
made the
earth out
of every
sound the
body cd
make and
wd take
every less
heard and
heart thing
to make
a melody
from the
fabric of
the net
that cd
wrap its
self around
what they
thought
they must
need to
have and
have to

be


v.

so: it
so: this

so: every
left thing

every left
thing you

left thing
you ever

thing you
ever wanted

you ever
wanted to

ever wanted
to have

wanted to
have and

to have
and to

have and
to keep

safe and
steady and

close and
with you

forever no
matter how

short that
turned out

to be

Tonight's Poem So Far

Everything upholstered ordered taken over by pleasant odor
everything sonorous simple sated and satisfying by its presence
everything here in the right hand of the body

Taking for example a daughter and the water of her bathing
taking over the example of the water how it makes but never stays
taking time for breathing in the scent of water running away

Giving into and onto and unto them the beat
giving over the person of performance of the perfume of the wrist
giving after the reason for the making of the heat

We are perceived
in the act of perceiving
what perception
can’t receive

You take in the manner of
the promise of the
performance of the body
in the act of living

They believe through
the desire of tongue
against vanilla
that doesn’t presume

She can make from
the thought of your brow
every broken urgency
of every lost beginning