poems

29 May 2012

#130: The Catlike King

He reigns in his close kingdom. Being big,
I would not reinforce his small, fast strongness
As pre-established subjects with their charms do.

It is not my life’s work to fit into small spaces,
Neither self-imposed sign charts nor a made-up face
For morning errands, orchestrated run-ins.

Sizably, though, there is no demurring, a known bind –
Social acrobatics turn on bending –
Some tight ropes narrow to sabotage my wide feet.

The catlike king, like Alice’s red queen,
Is feisty, ill-proportioned, never sorry
(For who is sorry when he has a kingdom?),

But dramatics upset his royal guts.
It’s seen as selfish to lead him outside town
When I get the white desire all ex-pats get

To raid pressing like a planet on my back,
The unfairness of my size, half-blinding, matching
The infidelity that denies difference again.

28 May 2012

"Austerity Measures:" Occupy Transcript, 143B Discussion, 11/10/11

The state is rich.
The debt is owned by us.
And if enough people stand up and call bullshit on it that's how these things have happened.
The wealth is here, okay, if you don't want to believe it -
Just that the money is not there. The money is not there.
"I think one of the things we have to remember - ah, see what you've started..."
What power does - What Master narratives do - Birgenau can talk
Without irony about preserving the Free Speech Movement and so forth.
You have paper, right, and it's a commodity with a cash value of a penny. Not even that.
But if you write a poem on it, what's it worth?
As the song goes - absolutely nothing. (Say it again.)
It's a gift economy, it goes in the face of big economy in which profit is key.
I'm gonna give you this worthless thing. For god's sake give it to the police.
I think also of the divine horseman of Haitian mythology -
The devotee of voodoo. You become the horse that the deity rides.
You are an ascetic, suddenly worthless.
But one feeds the body as well.

#129: A Dish of Liquor

after Wallace Stevens


"Why is the Liquor on a Dish?" 


I mean enough about the peaches. Running hot
Was racy at the time the car got brought up.

The china, curdled white, had tipped its contents
Before the band, in velvet, set up its iron stands

For fanfare. Irish coffee perfumed the nightshow.
Curtains of sorry smoke rapped at the windows,

Shut, not seeping out where it might poison stars.
A word, syrup, the hostess saved for the miser

In ebony silk in the corner worked to blank avail.
Crouching in her fabrics, thanking the ailing uncle,

The house-head-elect next sopped the dish spill herself,
And, warm, addressed the servants in their language.

If any guest noticed the chamber’s fruit-rot
Cologne, it was Uncle, and he kept mute.

26 May 2012

#128: Simplicitas

both light and sound are
of the body, which
is redundant.

23 May 2012

STRIKE SONNET

If in the sifting through excess the shape or message comes,
Everything about the enterprise was success. This earns a point or
Check or drink. It means to say naturally, process. Like a long
Guest-starring list: these my effects, those my engagements,
Most things I have broken off. Better throw in everything
You know about birds. It’s that time where you’re here
Signing up for some good-to-be-bad state that burns up summer.
I’d guess that’s a season that’s troubled by staying relevant.
In lieu of work, catalogue: drugs, gum, check, pen, banana,
Phone, drum, nail, file, cards, drafts, candy jar without candy.
These old Jews could be family, we cross our ankles the same.
Better to throw in everything I know about the bird. Mating
Here has no ritual. I forget who you are exactly. This occupation
Got involuted. It’s not something you’re glad to be rotten with.

#127: New Pantoum

May Swenson asks, how will I hide?
She is sick of hiding without meaning
It, or feeling hidden. Sick
Nearly to death.

I am mean to hide out in my sickness
Without creams or medicine.
Like death, nearly.
By and by, I let my hair go bad.

Without medicines or dreams,
I am not presentable enough.
My bad hair I let go by,
Inflamed feet swelled with blood.

Enough of me is not presentable.
How will I hide?, asks May Swenson
With swelled, bloody feet inflamed,
Sick of hiding meaning without.

21 May 2012

#126: Feeling Bad About Anne Sexton, I Think About My First Book

Catching like depression,
Fetching like surliness,
I take consolation like a dram;
I cultivate it. Shame is the driver.
What I require is
A group of comprehenders.

Stopping moving might mean illness or
Bad genes. That might be the scarier.
I crave cultivation. Innocence
Is the breaker. Put your ear to

Oceans who punch beaches like bullies.
Take your ear out to get any leftover
Nervousness drunk. I don’t pretend
To have a summer project.
Youtgottoocloseandareblurry

I am losing it

The two machines!
One's fast and one outgrows you.
The bodied one which grew
Runs best when clean.
But cleaning is a grind.
Pores reek, corners rust,
Blue-eyed blind men breathe disgust
When the metal edges whine.
One sinks, the other is a ship,
Both creak their hollow hulls.
Neither swallows their blue pills.
Murple marvel graenous mop.

#125: Anne Overture

This was a question, like
Could he have made an overture
Of a nature towards you?
Awfully. Sick and slenderly. Sloven.

Put nicely, it's nice knowing
How he feels, knees mirrors, knots,
The shadowy tails of sharks. Froth,
Moon-white where it crashed, sets.

Safer to avoid interrogation, needy
Patience crossing her legs. Horribly.
"I don't remember" loaded pronouns,
Their claims thick like jumper cables.

18 May 2012

#124: Pantoum for the Last Week


It wasn’t common knowledge people talked
About not knowing where they were going.
There was a moon everyone knew to look at
Looking at it, gray; reflexive.

About knowing where they were not going
The students were certain. With self-interest
Looking at it, gray and reflexive,
They drank and kept no conscience.

The students, certain with self-interest,
Ignored mirrors and gauged others’
Not-drinking, keeping conscience,
Or pledged to stay mute, a circle with a face.

Ignoring mirrors to engage others was
Not common knowledge. People talked
Or pledged to stay mute, circles with faces
Everyone knew. There was a moon to look at.

#123: Suicide Pantoum

Realizing how you go on
So much in your head is
No surprise. Lilies in their trough
Come up again.
So much is in your head.
No fire burned. No new house
Comes up again.
Your death was of two options.
No fire burned your new house
And no cop caught you.
Your death went two directions,
Turned over like red eggs.
And no cop caught you,
Realizing how you went on
Turned over like a red egg:
No surprises, lilies in their trough.

#122: Work Poem

I can not do this any easier (work)
than I can see it being done by betters
four of whom ride with no names
two of whom are secretly in cahoots of
love, one of whom hides he is man.
Bleeding
secretly among young men, a loud
mouth. Everything today is done
with flat eyes by a processor.
I am not
how you get your name
everywhere. Ask a king that.

I would have been a great
fill-in-the-blank.
I am not
sorry not to have gotten away. What is
a smooth close is also a flaxen chain.

09 May 2012

#121: Phoenix Sheraton


Lights rooted up from the pool in mimosa bands.
Heather wore a purple lace bikini, sunglasses, French
Square manicure, navel ring, gothic-font
Shoulder tattoo. The sun makes me schizo

She sipped her drink. In for the Oregon game
I am the darling of nature Beer for
The tailgate from the white gas station
On the Arizona corner, animatronic

Dog spins from its tail like a demon
Something bloody tried to cross the road
The Ravens are beating the Bengals in the 4th
The Steelers got the Browns

Grotesque slick birds swarm phone lines
And San Diego's on top of Oakland with 9:48 left
Pittsburgh's ahead of Cleveland with 9:37 left
Sunrise in the busyard

08 May 2012

#120: The Gray Rock in the Woods

There was a puddle on the
playground. Their
dogma really needs being messed with.
I can find a lot
of sounds and make them, I can
not live another life. How did I
ever think we were going to
get something for free?

04 May 2012

How the inherent is therein, how that's its definition.
(I have smoke in my stomach, don't feed me.)

03 May 2012

#119: I Am Going

Soon I am going
to end this interregnum and key
the castle. It was surprising, the spit.
I am going to cheat
in and on speech. I am going
to tell on it. Someone always does.