Monday, July 30, 2007

The Ballad of Pete Yorn and Tobey Keith (IN THE NIGHT) sung to the tune of 'the revolution' by David Byrne

Good Lightning Pie

When We Sleep

and when we wake

my periphery is stained red


Sounds of Records Breaking
Pins Being bowl'd Over

Good Lightning Pie

Thursday, July 19, 2007

To See What He Could See

Not the Elmo video again.

I relent.

"The bear went over the mountain,
the bear went over the mountain,
the bear went over the mountain,
to see what he could see.

To see what he could see,
to see what he could see,
to see what he could see,
the bear went over the mountain
to see what he could see.

He saw another mountain,
he saw another mountain..."

How to tell my son: this is life.

Monday, July 16, 2007

When a child finds his way into the world

"A Tale Begun"
by Wislawa Szymborska

The world is never ready
for the birth of a child.

Our ships are not yet back from Winnland.
We still have to get over the S. Gothard pass.
We've still got to outwit the sewers to Warsaw's center,
gain access to King Harald the Butterpat,
and wait until the downfall of Minister Fouche.
Only in Acapulco
can we begin anew.

We've run out of bandages,
matches, hydraulic presses, arguments, and water.
We haven't got the trucks, we haven't got the Minghs' support.
This skinny horse won't be enough to bribe the sheriff.
No news so far about the Tartars' captives.
We'll need a warmer cave for the winter
and someone who can speak Harari.

We don't know whom to trust in Nineveh,
what conditions the Prince-Cardinal will decree,
which names Beria has still got inside his files.
They say Karol the Hammer strikes tomorrow at dawn.
In this situation let's appease Cheops,
report ourselves of our own free will,
change faiths,
pretend to be friends with the Doge
and say that we've got nothing to do with the Kwabe tribe.

Time to light the fires.
Let's send a cable to grandma in Zabierzow.
Let's untie the knots in the yurt's leather straps.

May delivery be easy,
may our child grow and be well.
Let him be happy from time to time
and leap over abysses.
Let his heart have strength to endure
and his mind be awake and reach far.
But not so far

that it sees into the future.
Spare him
that one gift, o heavenly powers.

"After Making Love We Hear Footsteps"
by Galway Kinnell

For I can snore like a bullhorn
or play loud music
or sit up talking with any reasonably sober Irishman
and Fergus will only sink deeper
into his dreamless sleep, which goes by all in one flash,
but let there be that heavy breathing
or a stifled come-cry anywhere in the house
and he will wrench himself awake
and make for it on the run--as now, we lie together,
after making love, quiet, touching along the length of our bodies,
familiar touch of the long-married,
and he appears--in his baseball pajamas, it happens,
the neck opening so small he has to screw them on--
and flops down between us and hugs us and snuggles himself to sleep,
his face gleaming with satisfaction at being this very child.

In the half darkness we look at each other
and smile
and touch arms across this little, startlingly muscled body--
this one whom habit of memory propels to the ground of his making,
sleeper only the mortal sounds can sing awake,
this blessing love gives again into our arms.

"The Lanyard"
by Billy Collins

The other day as I was ricocheting slowly
off the pale blue walls of this room,
bouncing from typewriter to piano,
from bookshelf to an envelope lying on the floor,
I found myself in the L section of the dictionary
where my eyes fell upon the word lanyard.

No cookie nibbled by a French novelist
could send one more suddenly into the past --
a past where I sat at a workbench at a camp
by a deep Adirondack lake
learning how to braid thin plastic strips
into a lanyard, a gift for my mother.

I had never seen anyone use a lanyard
or wear one, if that’s what you did with them,
but that did not keep me from crossing
strand over strand again and again
until I had made a boxy
red and white lanyard for my mother.

She gave me life and milk from her breasts,
and I gave her a lanyard.
She nursed me in many a sickroom,
lifted teaspoons of medicine to my lips,
set cold face-cloths on my forehead,
and then led me out into the airy light

and taught me to walk and swim,
and I, in turn, presented her with a lanyard.
Here are thousands of meals, she said,
and here is clothing and a good education.
And here is your lanyard, I replied,
which I made with a little help from a counselor.

Here is a breathing body and a beating heart,
strong legs, bones and teeth,
and two clear eyes to read the world, she whispered,
and here, I said, is the lanyard I made at camp.
And here, I wish to say to her now,
is a smaller gift--not the archaic truth

that you can never repay your mother,
but the rueful admission that when she took
the two-tone lanyard from my hands,
I was as sure as a boy could be
that this useless, worthless thing I wove
out of boredom would be enough to make us even.


oreo oreo
give me a hug.
oreo oreo
go eat a bug.
oreo oreo
you are so fat.
oreo oreo
you are my favorite cat.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

25 going on 21

Phase 1: The light came in from the south and east. In the morning the light would fill the room slowly, gathering momentum to eventually stir me awake. The warmth was blousing, and it stayed with me throughout the day and throughout that long time of my life.

Phase 2: Sleeping in public. In small rooms, in libraries, in meeting halls, back stairwells, other people’s floors, couches, outside on the heating vent. The light came from elsewhere, sporadically, without premonition or anticipation.

Phase 3: I lived in the nighttime with coffee and strangers. A time to think of only when absolutely necessary, mostly, with the exception of the morning bicycle rides around the lake, sweat dripping down my back.

Phase 4: The window was westward facing. I lived many latitudes north of here. I was swallowed into shadows. I may as well have lived underground.

Phase 5: Back to the first room, with many changes. Raspberry walls, long tunnels, wistful thoughts, looking a lot and feeling more… anticipation, plans, sinking.

Phase 6: The windows were eastward. The light reflected off of billboards. Most mornings, I lay there, close to empty, in my bed. Dreams of family and Elizabeth Taylor. Death.

Phase 7: Same building as Phase 6, but windows now westward. Construction. Paintings of cats and the Burberry Plaid. Bathing with friends, bathing alone, lots of cigarettes on the fire escape. 4pm sun.

Phase 8: Bed to bed. Traveling. Blankness. Establishing camaraderie. Platonic love.

Phase 9: In-between homes and trains. Building ideas, possibilities, tenderness.

Phase 10: I moved in to hot pink walls and north window. The room smelled of cedar. Dreaming underwater, folk, homemade enchiladas, philosophy, building a business, administrative duties, a baby (Quinn), cut-off shorts, closing and opening.

Phase 11: Westward windows, waking up to sun on my face in a sea-green room. Making love in quicksand. Cats and books, failure and anonymity.

Phase 12: Northward windows on the northside, with brick walls and thick mortar. The wind blew the snow from sideways, upside down and from underneath. The lightning storms created chaos and fires. Smoking in the stairwell. Leveling.

Phase 13: Opportunity granted me luxury. Sunlight from all directions.

Phase 14: Back to the raspberry room.

Phase 15: The window was in a labyrinth in the lightwell in a courtyard, first floor. The light was in a vacuum. I read here incessantly. Nights spent on a bridge overlooking traffic below.

Phase 16: Raspberry room. Searching, planning, waiting. Responsibility.

Phase 17: I was allowed to stay in a spare apartment in return for cleaning it up. Location and view unlike another. Carpet and tiles littered with mice droppings. Dead mice, exploded cakes, decayed fruit, dramatic lighting.

Phase 18: Avoiding home and those upset with me. Small, cramped, dirty. Cheap.

Phase 19: The light came from the south. No roommates, cat. Filth and shouting outside. Lots of air and light. Loud space.

Phase 20: Western light. White blankets and wood floors. Neutrality. Immense, unsettling change. Sifting into place. My body moved into another.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Raspberries, blue skies

Clover crowns and necklaces,
sun-streaked heads of hair,
sun-dappled faces,

Sunday, July 8, 2007

The way things are hidden

An awful dream. My father drove away in his old red pick-up truck, the one I always hated, down a gravel road. You went with him, leaving me alone in this strange place. And I stood by the side of the road, in a slowly dissipating cloud of dust, watching you go, taillights glowing hazy red in the night.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Poem: About Poem about Get Off The Internet about Get Off The Internet

I once, tonight,
thought of an idea for a poem entitled:

when i realized that Phil Elverum
had written a song by the same name
with pretty much the same subject matter
that I would have included in my poem.

Needless to say:::
It was aaa Bummer.

Over and Out.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Moving Toward Back

I watched the clouds roll undulating onto one another. I watched the blades of grass flick their wrists at each other. I felt the wind swath its salty spit onto my cheeks. I felt my legs going, going strong, like oak hips and stone bones, my heart and stomach soupy and my head empty but searching…for something. I was leaving this land but I didn’t feel ready to yet.

The faraway sun skirted low on the horizon. I knew at 4 o clock that I was a goner, that I was pretty fucked if I didn’t figure something out. All this walking without thinking had displaced me further and further into nowhere. I looked at my map and tried to decipher the it in Deutsche. Yes, I should cross the island so I can catch the shortcut to the road that leads back to the train. Yes, here is the path right here. Perfect.

Across the sagey foothills I tread. The wind continue s to pet my cheeks, my boots continue to thud one after the next. My legs are strong. I stop often and look entirely around myself, drinking in the landscape to fill the void I felt in my chest. Now I see the sea no more. I see around me nothing but grey-green hills. I feel some sort of beat in my blood, as though I am dancing. I step livelier. The sun is late. Accustomed to the city lights, I note to myself how out of tune I am with the day in this season.

My legs climb a hill. I imagine it’s the hill, the one that leads to the other side with the sea waiting for me. I rise with the ground. The view tells another story: there are dunes, sand dunes, and lots of them. I pick a point directly across the way at the horizon in the exact opposite direction from which I came. I continue to look at the point as I descend into the valley of sand, suddenly so soft under my feet, the granules arguing against my push. They wish to keep me here, under the earth in this beautiful and foreign landscape. Part of me agrees with them.

I reach the picked -point , expecting to see the sea on the other side. To my increasing disdain, I find another valley even larger than the one I just crossed. More sand and another point picked, I continue, the lowering sun increasing my dancing heart beat.

The next point tells the story of the evening. It tells me that I will not be leaving this island, as there will not be enough light to navigate my way past this point. I am destined to rest under the granules of sand, defending myself against the increasing cold. I make like a carcass waiting to be devoured by island scavengers and nestle myself into the ground, lying against the wind-break of the dune. I curl up dead-like into the finest ball and completely shut off my mind, as this is no time to think.

I awake before dawn. The stars out-number my grave granules. They provide enough light for navigating. I raise my head and suddenly I am wide-wide awake. I gather my body together and continue walking into the horizon, the next point into the next point. It all begins to look so familiar, as it is all the same thing again and again, until I see the sea from the crest of one of the dunes. Finally.

After descending another valley I rise with the hill by the sea. It brings me to sage again. The sky is now orangey pink and the sun wishes to peek out from its nest underground. I welcome it but mourn the sleepy stars that brought me luck.

The sand is wet and I walk even quicker to keep from the coldness. The seaside is slow to reveal another secret: I have returned to the same place I came from. It is all too familiar, with the same bending curves and sage pathways winding around the frozen waves. I am completely unsure of all sense of personal navigation at this point. I was so sure….so sure I was on the right path.

The way things are revealed

A beautiful dream, standing beside me, one arm wrapped around my shoulder, your other hand moves through the air, showing me the space of a hallway, at the end of which I see an open door, a large bedroom window, an opening in the side of a house not yet built, framing a pink hibiscus plant in the garden just beyond.