poems

30 October 2011

#26: Primus Inter Pares

What stands to be had is a title and an arrangement
to meet a friend's friend and lend him a book.

It is signed by the author and has a painting on the cover.

Alcohol barred any dreams on the pull-out couch,
and sucked our mouths' moisture. Cotton tongue
and turquoise fingers made from ceramic dot
the windowsills of neighbors drying lace on chairs.

Who have been meaning to post letters since September.

29 October 2011

#25: Phone Call

Their real names are Margaret
and Lily and you can call them Neon
and Thud. Because Neon wore neon track shorts
to practice all the time and whenever Thud pancakes
for a disc she makes a real loud THUD.
They're driving from LA and are gonna be
in IV by 7:30, would you be interested in that?
Maybe tell them a good place to get ice cream.
What's your costume again this year - a princess? An elf?
If they needed a time-killer
and if you were free - that's what I said.
I don't know where they're staying but I wanted
to make sure if you were free and you were up
to it or into it, you'll know the best place to go.

#24: Strange Fruit

Strawberries drooping from trellises on Benvenue.
Morning is dry and nice out and my jewels from last night -
gold hoop earrings dangling rubies,
turquoise nuggets set into silver cuffs -
glint-litter the workdesk and white table where I drink.

Mesmerized by my pearls, a friend observed
them carefully and announced his love
for me and them in another language.

The beergarden did not ask my age
and dinner baked apples into the pizza.

28 October 2011

#23: Decompression

I know what my beloved is: a stranger's house
into where only the sacred enter,
and that stealthily
without the stranger's neighbors' knowing

hookahs babble their smoke up
for the sky to suck in

26 October 2011

#22: Qui Boni?

There are more ways
to be indirect
than are communications
themselves.
Wires strung clutching
an instrument's neck.
Blood drops
in their clot.
Many novels by the same Czech author.

25 October 2011

#21: Fourth Hymn to Apollo

The longer you stay at the wheel, the worse it gets.
You'll find doom as we cover more theory, there's only
one way not to lose which is do what Aristotle
Onassis did and buy the casino.

I once read that 100 factorial (100!) is equal to
more than the number of particles in our ever-
expanding universe. But isn't the coin
supposed to be fair?

Summum Bonum, or, the Good Life,
Cicero. The gift of advice.
Tomorrow, the new moon.
Verdrängung, repression.

The Lutheran church in Prague across from the youth hostel
surges in attendance when study-abroads are cheap.
The sun grinds in through the stained glass six to one.

24 October 2011

#0: (This Doesn't Count)

Reduplication occurring in the perfect tense
does not double up the past as implication,
side effect, nor identifying as strongly as
assumed with constructions of my told tribe.

Already the alphabet is irreducible.

#20: Third Hymn to Apollo

The transition out does not arise upon waking.
Frank spoke through a wire like any other man
filling the doorframe with his shoulders suspending
a cigarette with his good hand in skinny contrapposto.

As yet too soon to confirm the heat snap break
this morning - neighbors alive but no one out -
from beneath the two quilts a muscular knee
and thigh jut and twitch prettily in sleep.

Rilke bids us wish nothing greater than transform ourselves.
Still sore from imagined exertion, Frank can only read
biting down on cinnamon-vanilla almonds as a starved man

approaches the corpse of a moth eye to fleshy eye, salivating.
She's stretched further, still asleep, her whole leg flashes
its burnished sculpture, hope is it will never transform

23 October 2011

#19: Second Hymn to Apollo

Hey that's it / baby I quit / I'm movin' on,
Sam Cooke sings. He breathes handsome and sweats
agave nectar and shits lumps of sugar.
We belt him out while stir-frying tofu and chard.

We debated the sun, heat relationship and decided
one was the other's brother, but that they'd had sex.
I get all of a tired real sudden and clear my plate
retching a little. Dripping sesame oil in the sink.

On the walk back I pick up laundry from the mat,
strangers therein lamenting their arid weekend a waste.
Kerouac's technique and belief are nice to hear,

but inherent bullshit. We dissect what is good;
piece forges together, meld what think themselves disparate,
rear back from the flames as we toss the clean vegetables in.

#18: First Hymn to Apollo

I learned much this morning about nonexistence of the self.
I drank last night, and didn't like it, and felt rubbed off.
I was asked by an acquaintance if I loved him.
I was told by an intimate to take a silent hike.

Ice hisses, buckles, cracks loudly in water.
Today I cleaned a communal kitchen, blasting
Marvin Gaye. Strangers were there and sang along
mostly to Distant Lover, Trouble Man, and his covers

of Aretha and Percy Sledge. Who even wrote what, first?
Berkeley bakes an autumnal hot snap, Telegraph emptied
and sauna-dry. The impoverished creatures' angry weeping.

The Amtrak bays from its steaming rails, my spine spits
its little noises when I crack it. Eat the pasta made last night.
Cover for a sister out at a party. Answer all calls.

22 October 2011

#17: Shallowness

When you fail
to show it's as
though I got
pretty for nothing.

Revision: when you
succeed in not
showing it's as though
I got pretty
for others and for
the breathing-space
caught intra-atoms,
the not-things so
greater
than their solid doppels.

Give me your
alliteratively-stitched
long lines, Viking,
convince the age how
to get pretty
for something.
Most encounters
end after having been convincing.

20 October 2011

/

I find I am rarely compelled to write letters but here or now it seems important that I do so. Innocent enough, right? I would like to know how it is for you in Colorado. I am sure it must be snowing. I listen to your music a lot when I go walking. It's a Thursday and after nine and there are drunk people out in my street, and occasional cars. I've got a bit of a cramp I think from eating dinner so fast. Are you doing anything fun this weekend?

#16: Big Sonic Chill

Balancing southern music in my northern head
is a habit of arterial California.
Cataloguing is one way: ska, reggae, grunge, punk, lo-fi,
alternative, garage rock, math rock, Big Sonic Chill on 94.9.

That streams weeknights 9pm to 2am,
perfect driving-back-from-his-place zone-out tunes.
People have fallen asleep at the wheel listening
while they spin all the good stuff.

Not that radiomen spin anymore.
People have taken the coast over the 5
because it's slower and scenic even in the dark.
The moon does that thing over the black water it does.

The harder drivers blink to stay up,
the seemingly-longer the route home extends.
Nothing in the car emits: running shoes in the back,
Febreeze for weed, binder from work, bonfire blankets.

No sound deigns to alter or succeed any other in this song;
each accepts itself as a layer. The brakelights hum
and send the street red, and there's a song switch.

19 October 2011

#15: Confirmed Assault

I have four minutes.
I was once blonde like you
and ate crayons and playdoh
while my parents worked.

I made tea for my friend from before
and summoned others to soothe her.
Luckily, crying, she ran into another
on the street on her way here,
luckily. Poor fortune that any
of this should have occurred in
this season in the first place how it did.

She was once blackhaired like a punk
and wore sheet metal bracelets,
edges staggered like shark teeth.
She brought up her brother and
cradled her cats while her parents worked.

#14: Lee

The Chinese surname means plum
or plum tree, fruit or bearer.
Gloria met a crazy woman in Berkeley
once told her she'd grow old and bend
over like an old plum tree,
and that that was October spirit.
Gloria thought October spirit was ghosts
and gin costume parties. Es spukt!
The lady must have been insane
to roll her head down the street and up
throwing it at Gloria's feet.
Taking an awkward glance around found
Gloria a nobody while the plum tree
lady writhed, a lit magnesium strip.
Hunching, asking permission.

18 October 2011

#13: Larger Concerns

Yes, but what
is the province
of it this time?

#12: Simultaneous Calls

Where should I be?
This for Wednesday in preparation
for this Friday, I should
think it. Why are you crying?
Or rather, why would you
come to me with this
or that? How soon will you get here?
Do I need to ask my sister
for permission to hold you until you're
well again?

17 October 2011

#11: Draft

It's hard to see what you want to do.
It's hard to imagine what it sounds like
to others, even if you go in blind,
even if you tie your hands.

Still though, why illustrate outside?
Or inside, or his or her insides,
or the guts of other continents,
their shocks of people.

To end on an artificial upswing,
that would be a shame.
Or to modify too much.

#10: Upon waking this had no music

Friday 7 AM dreamt

dark houses big hallways

parties happening downstairs


slap shots slap

cup fuck ‘er shit are good

games to play to get


back to dreamt:

before I was chased

and things came slower


in to focus? Closed

off as string of litotes

not less not none not


fewer some even

number of inversions

downplaying one’s gain

#9: Before a Run

But first I must await what will catch my eye,
savoring that. I am barking alone in the city
where I have transgressed my lover's invitation.

Das lohnt sich, a familiar phrase among Germans:
A reflexive pat on one's own back. It is worth it.
It pays for itself. Liken this to the reward of children.
How old grow the birds of October?
What will kill them?

16 October 2011

#8: Pills

It is one thing to sit on the outside of pain
unencumbered by it, safe in your breathing,
where your appetite prospers and water
doesn't hurt to drink.
Other nights it is worse.
Sometimes it happens in the morning
when you sleep too long and have no money
or hold off on coffee thinking today,
I'm going to kick this habit.

#7: Elmwood Cafe

Nicole doesn't want me to avoid the grandiose.
You can and should tackle these things.

She advises I table the self while I dive.
Cause you're not there, honey, I'm sorry but you aren't.

It's October and the windows are open
which is acting out of fear on this page, do you see
how I got there?

Something rises in my throat; it starts to gel.
I'll ask our waiter for a glass of water.

13 October 2011

#6: John Taggart Reads Rothko

Today a guest came
to the classroom, spoke
of music and painting,
the acoustics and backs
and foregrounds of 'the page.'
In one anecdote he'd been there
'longer than almost anyone,'
the Houston docent said.
It was overwhelming, that's why!,
he'd replied, the size of the paintings
and closeness, all wall only canvas or frame.
Hot bright colors in pointed shapes,
sun shafting in through periscopes.
Texas outside the space
made to house the work.
I struggle not to get
petty among this or any art,
but lose a lot.

12 October 2011

#5: Timed Translation

I have ten minutes before I have
to go anywhere, to
class. There's a certain class
of entertainer I set out to be, of
whom I think lowly, of whom
I expect little. A Zircus-tent I
pitched with a little help.
A clown - wie sag man "Clown"
auf Deutsch? Or how to get out
of the closet or bed or stand-off
without vestiges of things. Scars. Without
naming names.
What's irrelevant is all the what-
ifs. What matters is conditional
German grammar. Wie sag man auf Deutsch
"I can only think of things I
already know"? Ich kann nur von Dingen
denken, daß ich schon weiß?

11 October 2011

#4: Mirror Portrait

Walking back from class
I pass a girl with hair
gold brown and needing brushed
wearing a SMITHS t-shirt and
jean cut-offs and
blue classic beat-up Vans -
I am in love with how she looked,
which is just like me

Realizing I have to bake
a cake for tomorrow's club meeting
and to catch the bus after dinner
to time the 'trek' to Safeway
and not get ahead of myself -
I eat something small to tide me over

#3: Morning Forecast

Once again I
can't tell if it's
raining
because in
my front yard
all the trees
are dripping
My coffee is done

10 October 2011

#2: Juliana's House

I saw Kenny on a street corner talking
with a boy in a dress.
He had cut his long hair.

On Sunday we went to the poet's house
and sat in her garden
and admired how normal it all was.

I want works in conversation
with each other.
I just want everyone.

The sun hurt making
things that weren't mirrors
look like mirrors

#1: Living Room

You have a decision to make

A big deal out of

The corner of the evening’s eye

Slumbers Alex in your front garden hanging

From a cigarette all the others

Occupied in your other rooms

Made available to you me

Standing in the brown chair’s corner

Hearing you say no, no, no, no, no

Is hard to watch you say you don’t

Mean it

30 / 30

Heard from AC about a woman who was challenged to write thirty poems in thirty days. She kept track of them on her blog and has since written one poem daily, consecutively, for 809 days: http://jamaicaosoriopoetry.blogspot.com/
It seems insane, now that one thinks of it, to live so many days and not write on as many of them. Beginning tonight then. Between October 10, 2011, to November 10, 2011, 30 poems will come.