cheese curd capital of Wisconsin
a little levered
"do you haf racing thots?"
as colonial as a matter of taste
(or Nature as entitlement):
pinpoint where a word became
the book you loved--
and shove it so the son
Dear Bruno S.,
It's like you can't grasp
the metaphor of these giant water bugs
dying in the author's
a hat that opens followed by a singing
And then it's winter--
Those same elephants once crossed these frozen plains
the poem references Herzog's film, Stroszek
Magazine, and ye sody
pop, she spill . . .
Spring, like the just naked body
calico, plaid, ric rac
sliding over the delicate map
Lie down, through the dark (walk-in closet)
Boy meets this Girl
and they sit in the Natural Light eating Apples
Blinds hung over earwig husks wings in the sink cold pilot light
Beetle that just gave up (put him in a tiny coffin)
And then it thunders
Rain beats through the downspouts and then sun
We play with our own peril
Thumb, and the yellow wax
Mayflies of happiness
swarm up out of the quarry
human bones turned to ash
I drive down the road with the windows open
Every seventh house quitclaimed in southeastern Kentucky
no Vargas Girl
2 lines from Ovid's Metamorphosis, p. 177
Tossed on the rocks, next to
a tunnel of mirrors . . .
still, shiny, shiny
hairdo on her like an "Act of God"
followed by eggs and juice out on "the waterfront"
I did get to
the end of it all
and her bowdlerized spider . . .
you'd think the universe revolved around the gaffer
that whole drunken
thing with the abs
and his Richard Simmons-in-a-trailer-park sense of the mise en scene
the poppy-seed panties
and the seagull with its frozen wings
the beak open and gold in the hushed black water
I couldn't get the smell of alewives out of the blankets
or my fake British accent
Waves like foothills froze under the stars
Pontaluna Road and no license
In the morning vultures were circling the dunes
The coffee tasted like mud
and a rusty can opener
is not in the milk
But I know what you're thinking
re-charge golf cart
The indigo bunting doesn't even use a blow dryer
the back light in your mirror shows
a frightening display of deep woods
The gardener whispers in the morning breeze
and that other wan meta-fiction
the boy scout with his matches and good will
there's no love of self
because truth isn't measured by feeling
It's00000not00000the00000Moon . . .
hive bobbing on a branch
0000000000000000000000like a missing ovary
a thousand starlings swim through the honesty of the naked trees
He's gradually leaving you . . .
the dimming first in one eye
the mouth disappearing as it opens
invisible in this new spring snow
You can't split the time that way,
Before Coffin, and After Debt
even in daylight
The top half of the tablet is smiling
it's like an eclipse--
an aphasic in mourning
like smoke sucked into a straw . . .
Oh, I remember
I remember it fine
We stole the harps, and we beat them . . .
one hymnal per finished pew
an ISBN for each bleeding knee
like Frederick Church
or the Oakland Raiders in swim suits
And still the births came
I'm thinking of a liver the size of a pencil eraser
I choose extra crispy
This is the migration of Eros
"THE SLEEPING ANGEL"
He lay down in this field to rest.
Seeing an ant carry
a white egg the size of a rice grain,
the angel believed it was a sign
the animals of this world
wanted to make him their king.
While he slept sheep licked
his salt wings.
Only these stubs remain.
The economy is born
there are days
the wedding of a bunch of hats . . .
fleas, or something like a flea
I had a thought
and then I had a squid floating inside my mouth
(love = tentacles?)
like the hand that feels around and finds the shore of heaven
(they have football!)
a mastiff, but with a bow tie, and a pointer in its paw
a real butt-sniffer . . .
but willing to go further
In conversation, the egg, and the density of cells
the moon doesn't rise, or argue
dazzling as it is, water shining
under the waterlogged floorboards
pieces of blood, esophageal violence, and star-drunk
He used a piece of laminated
cardboard and told us to Breathe . . .
Held him down hard by the shoulders
made a stent out of cartilage
and some rarefied bone
an accidental infatuation--
indented where the face
meets the upper lip
It's the water an injury of the heart produces . . .
The gas would drip on the creek
bloom into rainbows
if you huffed hard enough
You could be dying in a hospital
so far there
the praying of the leaves, heard even through glass
the trees standing in the rain
it is almost winter
the lady bugs die
and dry up—
wing shells piled on the alluvial plain
five days into November . . .
the brain, and the tongue
wrapped in butcher paper
and the maple leaf spreads itself over your face like a human hand
a fish, with its red mind, under the shadow of an oar
Callisto, Gandymede, Io
Another shovelful and we’re done—
the hereafter smells like the absence of ice
the social evolution of the modern den floating on water
and the milk of the dreaming spider lily . . .
the pulse in his neck
the pulse in his wrist
the lengthening roots like an eel in his jaw
because of the damage to the hull his dreams were a compound
incompleted by spinal
the little key was as thin as a dime
and her face like an expression of fire
the air popped in each joint
he couldn't even say what was happening while the sunflowers swayed
living like the king of the underground
one exploding boat at a time
Seems the world was boiling with greed, hotheads with their
brains steaming, then Stewart started throwing grenades
at CNBC and all the conditions that have caused the words
"cognitive dissonance" to rise up and float around like the
New Reality (just accept it), are rather spilling off each coast
and bobbing around in the oceans. Take the apple out of
the pig's mouth, ride your Hummer off a dune where it splits
into dust, and sit down--watch the keypads shiver
near the day old donuts Wally's been downing while he day
trades. Why does it take so long, and what might we do
for fun instead? You could write a poem. Something like
this James Tate thing:
Teaching the Ape to Write Poems
They didn't have much trouble
teaching the ape to write poems:
first they strapped him into the chair,
then tied the pencil around his hand
(the paper had already been nailed down).
Then Dr. Bluespire leaned over his shoulder
and whispered into his ear:
"You look like a god sitting there.
Why don't you try writing something?"
There you go--it's free. No, it won't change the world. But
let's just see what's in our own desks for once--an orange,
some pencils, a picture of Beth (or Andy), some Skittles--and
scattered and lonely verses scribbled on the insides of matchbook
covers (everyone's been smoking down at the creek).
Everything's getting so mellow! It's almost as if, soon,
one might be able to sit on one's porch and watch the birds
for an hour with nothing at all planned for after. Oh my.
I found Woman Under the Influence, a John Cassavetes' film,
to be one of the best movies about conformity I've ever
seen--chilling, hard on the nerves. And the performances--
even though the characters are outsized--dialed to a crazy,
fly off the handle precision that is scary. There is no person
inside the Rowland's character, just somebody WANTING TO
BE. And I mean, from an ontological perspective.
I kept thinking, could everyone just leave these people
alone, projecting my own loner-ness into the film.
But then the husband, Falk's character, keeps shuffling people
into and off of the stage that is this couple's life.
You can feel the tenderness when they are alone,
some kind of correct match here, two crazies made
crazier by the presence of other people and/or what
is expected of them concerning the mere presence of others.
The film is bigger than life, absurd, truthful, naturalistically
(especially as concerns the nuanced acting)
accurate within its context of meaning-making, and dead on
in its portrait of contemporary anxiety as a sort of
contemporary cultural social disease.