poems

30 December 2011

#79: Aus Einem Oktober

after Frank O'Hara

Here, you, stop it up for to recognize the depth of dank cave that is lightless fulfillment, how incendiary. Match burnt in wet hideaway, bats or mice crawling, bleak monument catacomb to our old pleasures. Revived for an eight-hour period as a rung phone gives way to dialtone, doesn’t it feel good not to be anyone there?

The resort collections are ever more wearable, the public can afford to stand them. Us in our wrinkly shows of grumpy hunger, did you want that orange? No. I don’t like doing this cold, let’s get you gone. It’s only because of everybody.

29 December 2011

#78: It’s sure not coming easy

5/20/11

reworked 12/29/11

to think about it until you don’t have to think about it

anymore. Pain is a threshold with no natural opposite:

the sparrows outside ringing the feeder agitated,

their eruptions melodic in coarse sunshine


I was all this time

knowing I would one day, surprisingly, forget to mention it

to myself as I tilled and revised, peeling their proteins

back to reveal themselves

the white hotel robes of worse emotions cloaking


It is then when you think to yourself

‘I so very much need this or that particular’

and it avails itself of your vision,


brilliantine taillights cherryred on Tourmaline Street –

it is one thing not to reconsider from the wounds.

But as with everything there is an extent to which!


Eating breakfast alone in high light gives me rein not

to think of it until at least lunch

#77: Chandler, AZ

The later it gets, the lovelier

I’m lying

But can’t you look at something less than once

and still grab it? You gotta come by

the house, he always says


I get all hot in my heart sometimes


Have I been alone with myself for too long,

or is that just the feeling of this city?


I never think about denial, but I can feel

him thinking about how one of the great

human faculties is the process of elimination

and over and over and over and over


I’m going to bed I owe tomorrow nothing & the dog

still perches in the treehouse out back,

something tart on the invisible breath before it

#76: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3

12/27/11

Tuesday

4:56pm

They were in my way! They deserved it!

Price: “Down the stairs, Frost! Move!”

Gabriel is twelve years old and has yet to Prestige.

He thinks aloud he prefers the G36, just a gun.

Inbound hostiles drop their guns, of course,

once they’re dead you pick them up.

Off the balcony, kind sir. Drop dead, Hobbes.


He hates to break the necks of guard dogs.

The black controller melts in his little hands.

Price: “Frost, hang back! Protect Soap!”

We’re recon to get this guy Yuri, he’s an ex-Spentz-Naz.

He hates Makarov. I just hold down the trigger for this thing.

“We’ll guarantee you a medal, a body bag, or both” –

Delta burns up the screen after Gabriel is shot

by spray-and-praying hostiles, an infantile tactic,

he says, resurrected, but if necessary, fine.


What’s remarkable is you will never get everything, ever.

For each gun there’s tons of levels, and titles, and emblems,

If you’re crazy enough to try it, it’ll still take forever.

That’s just the nature of when you Prestige at level 80.


In his new fleece pajamas from Christmas, fresh out of

the shower after the pool. Pixelated laundry waves on lines

drying in many bright colors above the fray.

Blood leaps from civilians as his enemies blast them.

Frost howls. Loyalist: “Breaching!”

L1 zooms, and R2 fires grenades. Boom-shack-a-lack-a.

What is shooting me? Get out of here!

I love how the second I aim at them they freak out.


It only takes two grenades to sink a chopper.

“The world is a giant tinderbox,” Commander Price types.

Checkpoint reached. Frost (Gabriel) fells a tree.

#75: Wild Horse

12/28/11

Wednesday

3:16p

No one’s a rook today. The hotel served

it stabbed with sugarcane spearing

a strawberry. It felt like chewing chopstick.


It turned into May Swenson translation,

diamond-yellow bamboo staler than a layoff.

The horse (Navajo Joe) bucked a child and was sued


as the Pima were corralled and turquoise-choke-chained,

verifying under oath that they were friendlies. The hotel

dusted with neutral geometrics served poolside liquor.


Today peaks and potters fire the ocean of France,

hunting books de rerum natura: eternal, invisibly

tiny, riveted bodies conveyed to you by impulse.

The garden, neither too wet nor dry, instead steams.

#74: Starbucks (Catching up)

12/27/11

Tuesday

4:24pm

Los Angeles on the way down is still not my town

chats with neck surgery throat cancer radiation

scars cater waiter actors and flakes

of newspaper drown the wide avenues a taco

truck has scattered Tapatio packets

below its engines like pert little

servings of blood-guts (black-flecked)

Runners pant and stop to nestle sweaty hands

against dogs’ skulls cooing before taking up

with the bike lane again swerving my

this coffee is deplorable

23 December 2011

#73: Rehash

September fourth: mine / you.
An all-but-act determinacy.
Coy adults warring, fake rain.

October two: your ten times six.
A couldn't-be after who-me?
I baked the club a cake prayed

no one would partake shaking
hands with newcomers with shiny
hairstyles for the holidays.

Toast flaked with nutritional yeast.
A lost dog cavorting the street.
An aunt broiling the beef.
Jet lag.
A lapse.

21 December 2011

#72: Seabird

Brief complete thought: boiling
tomato stove jam. Women hunting
fresh water. Laundry creaking

in tubs and on lines, the suggestion
of Christmas Sunday in the shore
(wet salted whimbrels, lit trees).

The nest a bare scrape. 3-5 eggs laid.
The call a rippling whistle yanked
into a trill for its song.

The diet crabs, berries, blue butterflies.
You thought this was a joke,
calls not being songs.

18 December 2011

#71: Accents

Like I love him but I hate waiting.
How far did you get?
Only to Puerto Vallarta.
Which was where he bought the necklace?
Mi madre says when you forget what you were gonna say it was a lie.
Do you have your license?
I don't drive.
Me neither.
I'm making my dad teach me over the summer.
Maybe then the people at home will be nice.
For a change.

17 December 2011

#70: Home Poem 1

"I was gonna say I'm just not used to you."

The tree sat dark because CVS only had blue lights
and he didn't want blue lights.
Verbs in a mixed group will agree
with whatever's closest, like people pick subjects

and pick others on their behalf:
black twig apples with their packets of water sugar,
men aside from obvious fictions of consent
("May I take this? May I give you this? Is this this?").

His uncle flew the plane. He didn't know
he knew what he was doing, lit an incense tree,
Persian lights in the firmament.
He can't remember when last he saw frog.

12 December 2011

#68: Celia

She likes thinking
at any second she could lose
this hinging limb damp
dank darker muddy cacao @ 59%

She likes introducing indirects
with 'can you tell me' or
'do you know' or 'whether'
what's subversive
here elsewhere holds water?

In winter she cuts all her
hair off for cancer wigs
and likes to think of it
providing
relief for other girls'
green stubbly skulls.

10 December 2011

#67: Variance

I was thinking of something you can't memorize
of about
/ chance variation in a simple random sample

#66: Morning Movement

A photograph's inherent
Objective captures it real
Horrible, tall and tea pretty a ten
Perfect slim time zones dotted
With the clean poles fingernails
Crescents sharply arched
Ultramarine an icy new science
"All that's left for the rich man owned
The place that burned is to revel
In his hunger"

#65: Art History

I guess the clearer the negative
space is the more in the foreground
it is and then it recedes

Don't people still think
negative space is relative
I just wanna go Santa Cruz
man
I just don't wanna die

Blanks are interesting only up to their points

#64: Timer

Impatience is TICK key to dissolving
what's onerous from what's facilely
wrought. Is it too late to have read
not little enough of he whom I know
now I TICK mime? How too simple it is
about coffee?

How simple is too about waiting.
The worst school is where no former
bids you do anything the TICK best
school is when no former bids you do
anything about it

All idols are alcoholics esp.
masculine ones
learning in a TICK chicken-egg vein
even sexless girls can salsa

TICK
TICK

Duncan, Spicer, Olson, Ferlinghetti, Rexroth

How did I end up in the same eroded icecream scoop SF as these motherfuckers?

#63: Lunar Eclipse

Does everybody see it full?
What time do they see it -
what time is it there when it's
full how can you tell where
the shadow hooks it here
and again the bodies are known
to be and show themselves
up transitively

June 17, 1965: Vancouver lecture #3

Jack Spicer: It's pretty hard to if you're on a different kind of street. I mean, shit, if you're walking down a sandy beach, you obviously aren't going to walk the same way you walk through the Broadway tunnel. There's a different resistance and everything else. That lovely American astronaut that we had playing around in space - he obviously didn't walk the same way he walked down Main Street of his hometown, but at the same time, he was the same person and the same loss of gravity and everything else were possessing him. He had to learn how to walk out in space. But there are different kinds of levels of gravity and Vancouver has a different level than San Francisco does, and it's one I prefer.

DL: It doesn't really matter which.

Jack Spicer: It doesn't matter in the long run. To people who write your biographies it certainly doesn't matter. To these awful English students fifty years from now at UBC or somewhere like that, it won't matter a good goddamn what happened there, but it does matter to the person because the person's a person and not just a poet.

#62

I had
not even
real
-ized I
was be
-ing looked
at

09 December 2011

#61: Countdown

If I weren't here I'd be downing
cinnamon liquor with flakes of gritty
gold swimming past exes at

holiday parties (how I will
be in two weeks after all
my assessments are over)

Putting everything off so I could focus,
I found "Spanish boots of Spanish
leather" useful, a kiss and roar-off

I'm late again still immer /
ut semper / "literally every time"
I set out for a place

05 December 2011

#60: Bowditch

Dry cold white sun morning, cold sun morning white dry.

Sweetheart would you help this old
Vietnam vet buy a cup of coffee?

I'm sorry Sir I got no money.

(Angrily) Well me either!

04 December 2011

#59: Margie's Aunt

She was expected it presented
in a flute and didn't start
the wine for that reason

her nine silver bracelets clanked.
On her phone her participles

"I'm drinking a chablis
having taken a five-minute break
having bought the stationary for Margaret..."

#58: Patio

A runner in a green shirt stops the police
car with his hand and fills the window
with his shoulders. Across the street couldn't
hear their conversation. Old ladies in quilted

yellow smocks set up their weekends
at a window piled rainbow with macaroons,
which doesn't matter either.
Waiter brings lunch to a metal table

and a couple negotiates for space. Her favorite
Lucy episode is undoubtedly when she
and Ethel are making chocolates and
they set the conveyer too quickly.

#57: Kid Couple

Vowing aperte, as an aperture, timidity aligns
against itself for openness, having yet to see inside.
A practically-kid couple standing in a kitchen
at midnight lit candles, the birthday girl spinning in a green dress.

Answering the upstairs door let more in.
Kid couple yawns and departs to an early bed
and hostess pulls foil-wrapped peppermint bark from the fridge,
guests falling upon it.

03 December 2011

#56: Footage

Dark before dinner in North House livingroom
D (male) and T (female)
watch clips of cute animals on the Internet on a phone.

They giggle their hearts out. D: Is this not the cutest
fucking thing you've seen in your whole life?
T (after elated gasps): Sometimes I Youtube
"babies laughing" when I'm by myself and watch them.
It might be my favorite thing to do. They're so - !
D: Human babies?
T: Yeah. Something just happens inside me when I watch.

D (male) Googles laughing babies, and T snuggles.
They go to the first link and a man's voice says "Boo!"
and infant twins release a host of tiny laughters.
T goes ballistic, making squeaky throaty sounds.
The black room hangs. It's a Friday. D
coughs: I like animals more.
T: That people taped this is the best thing in the world.

02 December 2011

#55: Visit

Julie cannot tell if it is out of
her wrist being skinnier, her bracelet
fitting weirder lately is one of
those open circlets,
silver stamped with suns,
itself a sort of beat-flat crescent.

To put on, dig one square end into
the flesh of wrist between veins
and spin around until forwardfacing -
did not used to slink up her
forearm (does now
as she raises her hand)
or get turned around. Does now
as whenever she reaches for anything.

01 December 2011

#54: Call & Response

You learn French after being asked to act as correspondent
as a "young person" with a fresh head in the old game
which though it might strike
counterintuitive (equidem - verily; post autem) not

These are the keys to my house
which itself does not stand
I can hear him talking three floors
up because of his somewhat flat

hard cadence I hated and now esteem -
all in response to the events still going on -
contemporaneous without
the compulsion of simultaneity

But I am sitting in a bad place at the mouth of the stairs
and people turn hard, trip, and are ashamed while I watch
their faces red and cold, my perch a trellis, everybody
trip-climbing towards the made thing of the voice

#53: Deficit

My frenzied need to make things up
would be mitigated by my not
indulging the impulse to ignore ugly.
But nobody, not even my mother,
was born with such foresight.
The develop-atrophy line,
a heart-rate monitor,
elasticity of "no, now,
that never happened. I can
not confirm it." Anyways I
owe it one.

#52: Stop Signs [that shouldn't be couplets but I'm tickled by how they worked out evenly]

My father could run for miles without stopping.
You know that reflex-apology

with people you've known for too
much? STOP. Wish I knew how to

help you. STOP.
Just say, just say what,

just say your what.
STOP.

Cicada killers are the hill
of my backyard too.

I for one think it's
sweet we're both from the suburbs.

We learned from get-go
how to California roll.