I'm busy pouring the last years' work through a funnel
and fashioning several books out of it all, followed by the
massive send out. It's time. All of this takes too long
and it's rather frustrating, and the heat, the heat, the heat
(the humidity). I become one crabby camper. A couple of
cool, rainy days would do my soul good.
I don't think the dead see it all
I think even boys dream of more,
their dice and velvet. But that doesn’t last . . .
God knows no one loves you
we'll all die one day while the sprinklers keep running
Death and mothers
the bedrooms of girls who kneel on the floor while outside it snows
It takes practice . . .
I believe the old are our least cowardly thinkers
Sometimes the very act
of speaking seems a lie
Periscope up, she liked to say, before sinking all the way down
Mist of blue light leaking through the clots of snow
000stuffed tight between screens
High winds buffeting the windows
Drifts that would eventually block the driveway
(who cares, she drawled, let it snow forever . . .)
Her skin swarming into goose flesh whenever she came
00000000000000000000The snow made me harder,
Or hungrier--both, I guess
Days stretched into a couple of weeks
Some evenings we'd get drunk, maybe fry up some catfish
If there's ever been a lake outside
It was hard to remember it now, unless you made your way
Past the snow-covered woodpile
With a small sled and auger to drill a hole for ice fishing
the water bubbling up through the ice, dark and lonely
We'd very much like to
cut you a check
sit down so we can X-ray
your credit report
There's that, and then there's the post-industrial fluid exchange
phlox in your root system
a cicada with a heroin problem
the simple elements of life in the country
Stranded, by Roxy Music
the way her grandmother really is nicknamed Nana . . .
And there is plenty of
love wrapped in the isolate
underground sculpture the pond makes just shining there
silently being all night
And none of it requires a guidebook
Cold fusion iconoclasts . . .
("a once in a lifetime head rush")
the shell of the snail is simply a by-product of time
I weltered ably
on her, sweat and anaphora
God yes, God yes, God yes
I mean, born out of seed prematurely
adipose growl . . .
she looked up at him dreaming
various colored syrups in a rack
the girl still bleeding while the man just breathed
Too many days,
lost work time in August
the bad things sneak in
from around the rim
of the skull . . .
or in through the hole of the knocked out teeth
a little mold on the page
a memory etched in kerosene . . .
it's a Gothic insomnia, less
American than jogging
a ticket to Florida
down there pressurized
deep-sea and back-lit
and the train crawls south on its legs
you can see through your binoculars
I do get it--the ice of the moon
has a dirty sex tarnish
four million years sleeping on top of a stone mattress
drinking rain water
an anchor spears the soft muck . . .
this music has veins
it grows bones . . .
you pick up a pencil
or it never really
not a fork in the creek
some kind of music, a glass book
no daughters, nor wolves
rushing over rocks
Tomorrow I've already done something I regret, he said
God, and nerves
baseball at midnight . . .
time is a possessive grammar
ripped off line 5 from Gabe Gudding's Rhode Island Notebook
Lidless, milk or rat
. . . the future of love sleeping like a coiled garden hose
black vinyl pulse in the straw . . .
There was a Dodge and it had
patches of raw bondo
someone's Alberto Burri special on bald tires
The antique cabinet came
flying out of the
eye of that dust ship . . .
It was a poor pretty rich man's
attempt to be fine--
a father and his raging muse . . .
Fine art from Frank's in the basement and a single pot plant . . .
The almost dead feeling living brings after
salt collecting on the lips of white statues . . .
daguerreotypes of the wild wild west
vernaculars of the Nitro G
a polygamous baby even
moves out of the churlish city
moves north to the country
You wouldn't know the snake's been in the shade of the barn
It has not been waiting to speak
You don't ask for the universe
executed as punishment
coffee indistinguishable and Latinate
like a mobius strip
(s)he approaches . . .
choose "LIVING"oooooooooochoose "DEAD"
one long broken exhalation
there isn't a boat down here
the thunder of the dream grips down
wind scribbling on wagon doors
it's constructed inside you . . .
a soundless pre-calculate table . . .
not wine but a lantern
to fly by . . .
I would like a clean cup
and then Catch yourself
that man has a pulmonary
way with his other
copacetic arrangement of plovers reading Wittgenstein
used a sentence
she longed to own a minde of such durable compleasance
make love, not poetry
such methodical hunger
eat him up to his mountain
They all died
watch this reality filmstrip
Sincerity is at half-mast
An hour after falling asleep
the piano begins to hum
Green turrets of wind, small religious squalls
the deeper I sink
Trees blowing in her eyes
I know because I know your body
Thought is not a corporeal motion
Even the baby turned Catholic
It's not enough
The apple tree splits and dies
There must be light inside the room, a long list
one wick at a time, softly, There now . . .
Pure as ungreased longing, I've been looking for You,
in a chariot the dome of the unhouseled bed, sailing away from the
These things have slipped from my fingers
On the wall the boots of soldiers crush paper
shadows swinging over the sill like a Cat Stevens song . . .
The little bag of rooms sits shrinking in its evergreen basket,
the drive-in theater,
ants the size of dinosaurs. The father comes awake in his own late
and with a needle sucks up a few threads of blood, sparks
the body wants, like whistling knives,
and injects them into his own thigh. I could feel the lust
run down the walls despite the committee arguing in my dark
squeaking and drying on the floor behind the half-closed door . . .
(stars waking, stars moving in the dresser drawer)
Perhaps it was then I invented the rain,
shirts scraped clean with a bone
God looms over my bed from a height of 48 years,
blood leaking out of the human heart He grips and extends in His
The moon lost a letter last night and now he's gone (just thunder)
and looking for love
in the rain and mountains of North Carolina . . .
A lizard glows in the window instead of the moon, stained by a yellow
He grips the screen
He whispers to the starless night.
Not since Tideland have I seen such a riveting film,
and I have to say those who were bored to death with
the slow overwhelm of self indulgence in Tideland
(Terrence Malick on Quaaludes) having nothing to fear here.
Svankmajer is a filmmaker I've been searching for, somehow,
for a long, long time. I refuse to explain,
as Larry Levis says in a poem, because (he) I can't. The comedy
is dark and the archetypal is made personal. The stage
within a stage within a stage and the close mildew wafting
out of the detritus of all our burgeoning by-product!
Never has human junk been so radiantly magical . . .
And the human-sized puppets? I go on too long . . . Check
this out . . .
0000000000(after Jan Svankmajer’s Faust)
Alert the plasterer—
my struggling seeds
for the non-breathing, scary side . . .
Some people just throw
the head out on the street!
they make noise and shoot
here comes death’s sunset
forever advancing (retreating)
we get up off all fours
(GET BACK DOWN)
that wooden cross
the statue’s immediate sky
they put all the demons man’s invented up on the wall
WORSHIP HER man
that torched kind of bean
sibilant cry in the wind over these fields
LIVING IN A WALNUT BOX UNDER THE GROUND man
the intrusive accident we once called Meditation
her perfect ass
I've lost track. Either way, collaborative poems I wrote
with Louise Mathias will appear in Parthenon West
shortly. I also have new poems due to appear in Barn Owl
Review, New Zoo Poetry Review, minnesota review . . .
They'll appear . . . when they appear . . .
No one knows what the happened in my office. Tools
were required. An odd desire to appropriate two objects
that are everywhere/anywhere and of little value existed,
or a desire to send a message, or a desire to simply make
me uncomfortable. This is pretty weird, and so far no one
has come up with a solution for how I might
regain my privacy at IUSB. Frankly, I thought by now
some reasonable explanation would have surfaced. Nada.
The locks will be changed. All you can do. Until next time . . .
A sort of a scary dusk, because someone, somehow, let themselves
into my office at IUSB and stole my computer keyboard as well as
the ergonomically correct tray that comes with my desk the
keyboard sits on top of. The door was all locked up, no record
exists with IT or Custodial Services. No record exists, anywhere.
All the stuff of real value is fine, untouched. Nothing else was
disturbed. Is this somehow part of the Patriot Act? Or are we talking
someone's idea of cute? Ho. Ho ho. Ho ho ho ho.
Can't stop thinking what a bad movie Last King of Scotland was,
--Allegory for Colonialism--and, really, Forest Whitaker wasn't so
friggin' great. Act like a crazy dictator!!! Big deal. You want
nuanced acting, watch Charlotte Rampling in Under the Sand.
Check out Graywolf's new re-issue of Thomas James's Notes
To a Stranger. Some of what he does has filtered down to other
poets since 1974, but the book still has an intensity and
imaginative depth all its own. Nothing really out there like it.
(--which was her life on earth)
there were the practice moments:
the stars from no perspective,
the stockyards in winter. Thud
of mallet on skull--from no
perspective. In this way
she came to sense a manner of
being she wasn't there for:
the wide burst of pigeons--
at dawn was not enough to keep her
from being carried in whatever
direction the changing wind suggested.
But eventually--she sensed the boy
had passed under the leviathan's
jawbone into a graveyard overlooking
the sea. She knew there was no way
to change him: she knew he would
lie on his mother's grave forever--
stunned beyond all reason, unconsoled,
that gray-as-the-answer would enter.
And the hills are messy with golden stalks.
The gray of the ocean is always with him.
The reddish fall vines and the grave of the sky.
from The Usable Field, Alice James Books
Under the Sand (with Charlotte Rampling)--4 1/2 stars
The Sweet Hereafter--5 stars
The Talented Mr. Ripley--3 stars
The Nines--1 1/2 stars (I quit 2/3 of the way through)
they tell you, always
what a GOOD thing
sitting alone at the airport smiling
you've come to the end of that rainbow
(with interest) . . .
geometry of melons
depending on color
the wind blows through your hair
a million tiny wheels are spinning
I see a labyrinth of opening doors
Tell me something we all don't know!
it means nothing
the digger wasp
fails to inoculate the spider
cut to it lip syncing
Alienated, in the displaced
windless damage and a feathery osmosis
a common understanding (a lingerie salad)
There's a thousand such
sentient but petrified hearts
rehydrated by Communion:
The Western tradition:
picture she took through the window,
The duke, and his garden hose
a feudal oblique
Yon lord with his cape and cutlery
sighing inside his hood
she knows . . . his place is on the gallows
elegant in the purity of her serfdom
white doves where his hands should be
where matter is forced
under pressure . . .
: so what if the peasantry were to engage in such gang love
saturnine preparation for his fifteen-foot flight
ants all over the buckets of fuel
with enough leftover for her afternoon bath
penitentiary drug-store historian . . .
the patient knows
reality is only this office
released into "life"
the heart fails again and again
a veritable seizure
of misjudged dimensions
and counterfeit jewelry diseases
post-traumatic-stress-dilemma . . .
so go ahead
comb your little pasture of electrical hairs
the pygmies aren't leaving
they're reading the DSM-IV
(I gave them the folding chairs) . . .
O turned over sod at the zoo at day's end
already the tree exists
a coffin waiting in the woods like an end table . . .
Milk of stars non-existent!
The river of now makes a new human being . . .
arguably the next
friend you'll ever have
line fifteen and the title, from Fanny Howe's Selected Poems
That kind of water
has no dirt in it
chemically denatured . . .
a shadowless experience
like a single heel of bread
prairie dogs lined up at the soup kitchen
they're the ones you see wearing masks
(blacks suns shifting
behind eye holes)
after all it is almost Halloween
this one missing his head
a mechanism in the joints
allows the legs to bend forward
and that's why God takes vacations . . .
colors not intended by Nature
(no varicose veins)
feathers falling out of the darkest clouds
(its primary form of defense is vomiting)
Dear crack in the plaster wall
We pray to You
That spirit is no longer in service
"They pop out
like Roman candles"
one little squiggle of blood in each egg
a cantilevering amalgam
late night harvestings . . .
then he can put on her dog collar
the way a wand sucks up the cotton candy
because, go crazy, it's the sixties
a real un-diving, back up
00000000000000000000to the diving board
some 'shrooms on your Rice Chex?
her white shirt
tied in a precious belly knot
(the mother keeps turning into a Ellie May Clampitt)
she puts on her headband
in the nineties he'll get chills when a freighter moans through a wall of fog
flashlight bumping around in the dark
the execution of the search
It's nice to imagine she found paradise inside there
trees blowing with Spanish moss
the smell of the beach
nothing but eggs
like eating your way to the other shore
"spiders erupting from a blister"
then the creaking of the harness, the taste of steel
the lapping of waves
so far away from Missouri