Lapse, remember . . .
We do a vertical pan
Shot through the sky like an abstract garden . . .
Stay right where you are
The Late Renaissance
I begin heading in the opposite direction
I like this song I heard on the radio about prostitutes fishing
One-hundred empty tollbooths in a row
The way we sit on the bus as if to say so
a cup with a few aspirin in it
one blessed blissful farmer who planted sunflowers along
"Something keeps flying up top,
attached," he said, "to the fuselage"
I don't remember the news exactly
One guy had eaten another guy's head I think
Somewhere in Canada
Or maybe he just hacked it off
"It's clinging with its sucker fins," is what our guy says
I say to the woman who has been knitting beside me for one hour
"Have you ever seen that Twilight Zone movie?"
It's easy to believe in God in the summer
Churches like boats
with no ceiling fans
My neighbor's got a cement pig next to his driveway
The knitter says "I just graduated from Tulane"
Good for you
Back about three rows a long haired kid
cradles a violin case
He nods, and I nod back, look down at my book
Then there was the time in between heading south and nowhere
It was dawn
I was up
I don't know why
I just walked to the end of somebody's dock
It was early and dew was shining on the many spider webs there
black widows all over the place
But mostly talking to it
Each of us were given a kit full of thread and a mirror
(the things in that mirror kept breaking)
The narcissism, I mean
The genitals growing right in plain sight
Secretly a product of our own initials
Like, who wants to play Gas Station
The panther only wiggles her tiny ass
The whole thing just grieves me
All those capitol Ls and the tithing
JC with His shining crown followed by that bad boob job
"Your account has been accessed by a third party"
That's not on paper
Never mind the galoshes
Or what Robert Hass thinks
"Our eyes squinched up like bats"
I don't know about your sex appeal buddy, but . . .
Then came the balloon payments
They were just pygmies
But then there is always Nature
like a forest between the joining of two rivers
a recontextualization of your partner's nudity into B-movie status
I almost forgot the state park sticker . . .
"Dear Beloved One"
We are getting hungry
No more blushing under the mistletoe
baseball and Robert Desnos
her large portable cooler in the shape of a strawberry
"I am Raymund Okoba Ibrahima, the only Son of late Chief
000Johnson Okoba Ibrahima Nationality Liberia . . ."
coupon for 50% off for an hour long "bake in the sun" at Tan-o-riffic
It double-tracks on you
the aquarium light
of a swan-spun
This might be the tourism guide to the ghost
boat of the post-war industrializing of diet TV
salt blocks the size of cathedrals sink
this isn't the depleted earth
Like cavemen excavating a woolly
And this isn't Before Time
Though it's before Casual Pleasure
Hot water running
in a luxury of silky cascades down one fairly oblivious
shapely Euclidean ass
Dinosaurs did die and were buried
They turned into freight trains
No one anywhere in sight would ride them
The thing shook so nice on its bright silver way
We want it now--a room
Put Nature in a room, and be in it
Let your heart gush in a bowl
Blood pulsing out of the center of the chopped-up bed
Pull the axe right out of the wall
Start breaking windows
So the wind can get out
Sleep as though you are completely willing
Until the idea of living just is
We should be able to summon that kind of blustery self possession
The one isolated head framed, and wind-whipped
The alabaster eyes
I remember standing in a west-facing hay mow
The sky divided by lightning into independent countries or states
A storm doesn't care about your little crunched feelings
Third-world world powers
The flat Mississippi mud on one canvas multiply-cracked
And the rustling of dry cornstalks
Janis Joplin bleeding in neon while she binds her own wrists
Then when the TV starts over we get Burt Lancaster leaping from
000pool to pool
Another day in the 'burbs with John Cheever
(Perhaps with your Tareyton buring)
I can't believe I'm back in the sixties! some baby-boomer cries out
She's holding a vodka martini and laughing
He's thwapping a Blackberry against his palm and thinking
They took a cross-section of spine
This was encased
Like everything abandoned in the desert
Going way back
Just my chin on a corner, a brick shuddering under another sad brick
Back to the Now:
A belt dreams over the back of a wooden chair
40 years later you're still packing
The rose is a delicate thorn and it punctures
The burning match
The shadows the evolving birds throw down all levered with efficient
They stand in the limelight of the past
(Their faltering voices won't plow through your windows)
Just throw away those chopsticks
They put in a pond
One large, artificial bed
She wants to come back as a golden retriever
I'm still trying to recover
It's out there in the woods, north of Ypsilanti
"major and minor triage"
Grandiloquent of body-slam
The teacher made a noose, inside
And this is the composed, civilization
Stitches where the keyhole turns to sassafras
And all those other things where the diamond shrinks to the size of a
The body is a hinge
The Louisville Sluggers
I can't begin to tell you
They're eleven years old and he orders pin-stripes
The Bomb Squad shows up and they cheer over the cyclone fence
Although I can't see very well hiding under my bed
I mistakenly bought a first baseman's mitt
This is what else I remember:
The knobs of his hand
Instead of a completion of fingers
everything stamen-inflamed to Fragonard
this is as it should be now
where there used to be a pond full of burning buses
a damsel on a swing made of gold ratchet wheels . . .
Could you be more frivolous
only if the dogfish ate and then spat out your pocket watch
it's as languid as Florida then
(ovipositor swelling between cerci)
The plumbing steams in both their chests
not a ticket for noise pollution
or evolutionary perversion played out
compelling analysis of the swinging-woman motif
who should be on top
"Do you actually call what your husband does on Thursday
000nights "baby sitting"?"
(the cricket's not a violin)
Just put them in jeans, and let the 19 year old wear his skinny tie
I remember the breeze like a flying buttress
"L'amour est bleu"
the chiffon was swept up, separating the clipped-off wing covers
and they shall pitch their tents against her round about
It's somehow better that way
italicized line from Jeremiah, Chapter 6; line 13 found online
It's better than pure
anything you want to pray under
heroin, light bottled and released
what we mean From the knees up only
water at 33 degrees Fahrenheit
her teeth over a black background
the birds keep dreaming
with their throats slit
calm as a dinner abandoned during a neighborhood house fire
miles and miles of cars parked at O'Hare
and who knows what lunchboxes
eleven year old boys
streaming with projection in their flickering mirrors
while the older sister uses her razor
he doesn't read Penthouse--
he eats apples
it's the summer of the terrified bobcat dissolving
into the wisdom of the stationary gar
Gary Glitter's long been replaced by Gary Numan
Lou Whitaker bats .286
The Dan Ryan Expressway doesn't really defy anything in situ
a trip to that city now
while the dogwoods drop lace on the grass
xylem and phloem
they're both startled by his reactive nipples
I'm in a hideout in a state that borders the one I live in.
Maple helicopters, a pond over there, and a rock in the
middle of it, an island for birds. My mail was stolen,
and it's not as if my zeal for privacy--which just gets more
and more urgent the older I get--needs any help,
an extra nudge. This all got me reading Weldon Kees
and bumped me into a little Don Delillo phase--I'd lost
touch with D after Underworld. 1997. Kees either jumped
off a bridge or wandered into a new identity down in
Mexico. Nice to believe he did the latter. I found the leftovers of
this mail of mine on the street. They felt no need to
hide--just opened the stuff fifteen yards from my door.
I've had all the usual thoughts about how many times
this has occurred, etc. On the one side, the rich, and
the greed. On the other, the poor, and they don't care.
They shoot one another and take stuff and it all goes
in a big ridiculous circle. In the meantime, here, a rippling
tulip poplar, and what more does there need to be?
There's one of those hand mowers here, and the metal parts
make music as they cut. No internal combustion
anything. I brought some Robinson Jeffers along as well.
Are you really going to just sit there complaining?
This means everything you might think it means
I see it, too
out there prancing on the grand promenade
but what gives with the self-deprecation?
Draconian Death Organ
(and are you cool enough to pull it off)
a little injection
your poem, it really isn't so synthetic, or bad . . .
let's all put bar-codes on our book covers
Vicky Cristina I Can't Pay to Get to Barcelona
I was in New York City in the rain with Herbert Scott
when a guy in one of those horse-drawn carriages yelled
"Make room for the little guy under that umbrella"
just rip off that normal face
Are you perfect enough for God?
Herb just laughed
line 17 comes from Brenda Coultas, 16 Alice Notley
And just what is a convertable-ized Winnebago
The table is sprayed, fresh, capped with green soft drinks
and Georges Bataille
but I'm not sure what features come with the broken monocle
a teaspoon of S&M on your tuna fish biscuit
In the meantime
Get your television camera the fuck out of my house
(this isn't Elkhart)
Cindy Lauper mud wrestling
(he's right in the phone book)
it's a bildungsroman
The story of a sputtering boy, and his dismantling of the learned,
000the too long beheld
and trust, preternaturally
"This is your blood speaking"
777 feet above sea level
where they steal the phlox right out of your mailbox
I read Denis Johnson's Nobody Move. There are some
great lines in this book, some insight into the psychology
of violence, the usual casualness in the dialogue.
But mostly it's the book Johnson wrote as a kind
of vacation after the multi-tracked and voluminous
Tree of Smoke. Nobody Move was serialized
in Playboy, and it reads as if it were written on deadline.
This is a book for fans of DJ. Nothing really clicks into
place when you finish it. And, frankly, by page
150 I was tempted to put the thing down.
That's okay--a lot of novels do that to me. I can barely
make it through anyone outside of Roth lately.
Stories--that's a different kettle of mockingbirds . . .
The slightness of this novel begs the question--
why not put "Train Dreams"--one of the most haunting
novellas I've ever read, between covers. Johnson
was swinging for the fence in that piece, and it swells
in the imagination, feels substantial. It's deeply historical
and hardly casual, though it manages to be truly
funny. Tree of Smoke, Jesus's Son, Train Dreams,
Johnson's Collected Poems, Angels, The Stars at
Noon, Fiskadoro--these all seem essential in the
Johnson canon. Already Dead, in its oddly flawed
and excessive way, seems necessary somehow as well,
for beating a path to Tree of Smoke, even though
it's thematically somewhere else altogether.
Anyone else notice how Johnson likes to mention Wonder
Bread an awful lot. It's my favorite part of Resuscitation
of a Hanged Man--the last part of the book, the principle
character now locked in prison, happy about the Wonder
Bread (I remember he shakes it and it flaps back and forth
like a pancake) and the hamburger gravy. "He liked being
in prison and hungry" I remember it ending . . . I'm
paraphrasing, don't have the book with me. Was his name
Joe English? I think so . . . rather an incarnation
of Jesus's Son's Fuckhead, as is Jimmy Luntz, I suppose,
in Nobody Move. But there is little substance. He does
just sort of float through his self-imposed hell-on-earth,
not as dumb as a rock exactly. He heads off to the cold
river, at one point, one assumes for a self baptism.
Lukas Moodysson has a fan in me, but I'm not going to
get all descriptive now. I watched Lilya-4 Ever, and it's
harsh stuff, heartbreaking. His masterpiece is Together.
I'd rate them thus:
2. Lilya 4-Ever
3. A Hole in My Heart
3. Show Me Love
A Hole in My Heart is very tough to watch, but I found it
very compelling and I think it held together as a metaphor for
the life I see around me. Show Me Love is a sweet movie,
a fairy tale almost. I can't stop thinking of Lilya . . .
I've always guiltily liked several Abba songs--Moodysson
makes me feel good about it. Oh, how I long sometimes
for the seventies . . .
Rotten Tomatoes. 31 postive rating for Jim Jarmusch's new movie.
Close to 100 percent for the new Star Trek.
This is why Rotten Tomatoes is no guide to anything.
Government sponsored rehab
it will make people forget Frank Sinatra
This is a tall symphony
Placing the torn paper inside a bucket of water to soak for two hours
USFL dying like the licked postage stamp
And then there's the arrowhead, a real one
I want to go back and change everything--pictographic
Barrett and Wardrop, and Andy Partridge
I can't recall
if the raccoon
We all have that mammalian sense of being living baggage for organs
he didn't exactly ruminate about
the mold and deckle
too many replays of "Barracuda"
foot breaking through the insulated plastic in the studio barn
I kept setting the timer
close up shop
There was always a big burr oak in those farm fields back then
the poem quotes Jordan Davis
00000000000(May 17, 2009, South Bend, Indiana)
The landowner, and his girlfriend, were both standing on one leg
I was simply parachuting again
right on through the left side of the brain until I was almost with God
the carotid is what the light shines on
the writ of habeas corpus
the geese, gentlemen
folding dark napkins
it was the most formal of floods, the Saint Joe with his toenail
and two miles away
the trucks with the body bits
coins and liquids
a crowd hushed under the dark night of all this spilling
I saw an oriole
rhythm guitar by Vic Chesnutt
the President stands in the university's carnival of animated light
some kind of plover runs over my left shoe
everyone's been ignoring my borders
No, that's not the right dimension
long vein in the single swan's outstretched neck, and the motionless
the lake was like a glass video of heaven--
Cracked Head of a Sailor, by Kenneth Anger--
and this is its Romantic
nails being driven into the softest tree
Piles of bones that keep kissing the headboard
the ceiling fans whirr
the color of a glass of meat
Crucifixion of another planet--
crop damage often caused by this urge
Forty-eight eighty, a jaw-bone
a spiraling gate impaling the doe, who twitches in the moonlight
(Here is a bucket, now go find the leak)
the odometer looks over the carcass
and stops spinning
this is the mind-body connection right in your face
a hydroplaning stroll
through the cemetery
the glow of the bathysphere
the cosmos divided between theories of direct mastication
and the use of alien stones
but I only came to stop the applauding--
in one hand I'm holding Little Birds, by Anais Nin
in the other a copy of TV GUIDE
it's just nerves
you haven't knocked yet and still the front door slams shut
the odometer stops spinning
years go by and no one new is ever born
the disembodied leg of a spider twitches beside a half full glass of
It was my bridal night I remember,
An old man of seventy-three
I lay with my young bride in my arms,
A girl with t.b.
It was wartime, and overhead
The Germans were making a particularly heavy raid on Hampstead.
What rendered the confusion worse, perversely
Our bombers had chosen that moment to set out for Germany.
Harry, do they ever collide?
I do not think it has ever happened,
Oh my bride, my bride.
It's autumn--the Hendrix dies amidst the orange leaves
a car rumbles on
and the gun bakes in the lukewarm,
ventilated with paint
rufffffed grouse, the dog all asleep on his side
"I want to discuss overkill"
Or there's a tear in one eye
"You can't get through the foil and the cotton fast enough"
God's little love grenades
Reminds me of the time he threw the rabbit ears out into a
crows argue in the bright treetops
a spider mounts a box of shells (to the swelling of strings)
tuna sandwiches on white bread with one deviled egg
I push the tiller hard, and the boat shakes, luffing into the wind
"it's just a stress fracture"
it's just wildlife
There's a crime scene near The Saint Joseph River
My point is, why are we still so obsessed with these
Three empty nights on the beach
sitting in a cracked clam shell
I'm not saying my night-terrors are better than yours
You with that dental work
A cup of light in your hands you stole right out of Follain
I just can't stop falling in bed
It's like sitting at a red light crying
The hospital room looked so peaceful with the sheets pulled back up
Decorated with a light switch
Someone left a dog tied to a post outside the Dairy Queen again
I think you know
Streets lined with cinnamon air purifiers
Registered cave dwellers
place their toes in the sunshine
It's the porch sermon, and a teaching certificate
Rehab for the little ones
Big blossoming window cracking to a bass guitar
I'd sentence the owner(s)
Hidden in the trees like the myth of the literary recluse
The dullest species
There's one message left for you in the message center
It's an alert
No sharp objects
The streets highlighted in red are in an error state
Incarceration with a former army recruiter
When the faces start caving in
Water your own damn flowerpots
it cycles quickly through your information.
I thought then of the north pole,
the sturgeon swimming in the underground stream,
the old freezer outside of Hastings hunkering in deep grass like a
000doorway to the underworld.
Sleep is a golden breeze all right
wheat still as the ocean under a geological moon.
And the weeds are absolutely choral, moving after the mind . . .
But now you're sequestered--
box inside a room inside a frame
(with that stink on your hands)
your wings breaking silver.
The carpet moth dreams in a pontoon zone.
He taps out a message . . .
The light hits all these icons that look like crabs, you see,
trojans or antibodies
and white flowers
drying, then crumbling . . .
And all you can do is grin through the bloodletting.
There's a long dream boulevard like a bone encased
pigs standing in mud
all this fog and memory pitching over the falls
the fish die in the mountains
each like a living fingerprint
I know this because I can hear her breathing
star-kissed and quiet as trees
there's a clear tube in the shape of a Y
she's got blood in it
civilization under a fingernail
you open the museum door . . .
That kind of wanting
it's a wall socket
nothing but peripheral.
with only enough volition
for no conclusion.
And I say this to anyone who claims for herself the desert landscape.
Another tan stair-step.
True or False: hamburger is now made out of turkey ( )
Get ye down to the Polis and vote.
Look at the quail cemeteries.
The ego is stuffed.
People do want delivery
in 29 Palms.
My ten sisters lie face-up under their beds
To the sound of someone using a Water Pik
Books open everywhere
And a giant red phone starts ringing on the other side of the glass
Cross your arms over your chest
The jeweler takes his tweezers and plants the tiny Crucifixes
inside the open windows of the minuscule house
Now open your eyes
First of all, it's in the shape of those desks
Turn the thing upside down and string it with spoons
You're Alexander Calder
The French word for palette is palette
J. M. W. Turner with his mediocre deity fades under the shade
000of the unfair universe
It's in the zamzetti, the paprika and peculated ground-down
bongs the color of Christmas ornaments
while the elder others litigate through a divorce . . .
You're just trying to formulate a style
Still riding your bicycle to Driver's Ed
That kid with the wandering eye--
The paw paw grove
Marijuana in fact goes well with a plaid-skirted uniform
And a bell dings like a typewriter
The sun slanting down through a wedge of chimney and rooftop
She was cracking a red hot
She'd placed her POW bracelet on an outdoor window sill
We're spelling it all with chiggers
And then the drastic spasm
one might call his storming eyes
Believing, then belching
You and your paper people
"I'm coming to be near you!"
It requires elasticity to execute such a willful lack of dimension
And many layers of onion
That pulp is not ground chuck
Or living in a closet
You shake the love until the bruises leak out
No sunset for torture
I'll stick with Rolling Rock
A little art, we get blurred corpses
A little art, we get dung on the Virgin
A little piss
Broken into pieces and violently smelling of gun powder and
A little piss gets in the art
Chris Burden gets nailed to the roof of a Volkswagen Beetle
And I've seen how you flicker awake
Not born again exactly--
Not born into light
(You will never get to see Las Vegas)
But drowning into consciousness
(Where have you just come from?)
Surveys have shown people prefer a green landscape full of water
The shaman of Nomenclature squeezes the shit out of the hypothalamus
He's aiming his flashbulb at you
He's dragging a bullwhip behind him
A second time--
His second life
We make it all the way up to the space station
And look down at the planet earth
New cotton T-shirts for the newly dead
And Hazardous Waste
The problem of the lithium leach
Night is such a terrible time
The amnesiac awakes to what he's really done
2,000,053 dates on a Monday night
Corsage made of broken guitar strings
Only there's fluoride in the water
Toxic, in fact, to most Saints
Or you could be floating in an ethereal state
In a second cage made of stars
All over the lawn
All over the street
00000000000000(after Edward Weston)
She was gas-masked, darker
Miles of coastal plutonium . . .
I'd rather you didn't
A cartoon landscape isn't a better idea
A cassette tape the size of a thumbnail goes into a slot
In the back of the manikin's head
"We're going fishing"
And all that other stuff, like royalty, hangs down in the rain
One arm falls off
"I've got some sandwiches"
I think of her eyes then
Birds drifting sideways over blue Aleutian Islands' smoke
Like drizzle misting over the grain elevators in Lima, Ohio
They just stood there
Looking at the hotel bed
A transistor radio and static along with the pose
Some kid must have gotten hold of the keys and gone crazy
This is near Hanging Rock
Pole-stone and an escarpment where the poet undresses
And what to do with half a human body
Make a chart on the wall
Nobody left to do all that kissing
It's the mystery of the missing twin
He's been remembering, and taking notes
Carbonated with twilight