poems

30 September 2013

#15: After East Bay [Poetry Summit]

"Better to do neither, that's your job now" -GGO'B, "After England"

Mostly we went for the people, taking
notes on how they looked and dressed
and talked, what they chose to drink,
which mannerisms and spindly networks surfaced
as we id'ed relationships: S.D. knows J.S.
from school, J.S. knows everyone
because it is her shindig,
B.B.'s a space cadet whose hand everyone grasps at.
Features of uniform helped somewhat in determining
origin (collars, severe parts, plaid buttons,
black ass-kicking boots). "The neighbors have
always across the street complained," our hostess
said, admitting that shiftiness.

Androgyny's syntax came first, gripping Pyramids.
I flattened my hair and neckline to man up.
Someone's child got the stringed toys down
from the lamp to shake repetitiveness
out of a reading. J.S. had on brown brows
and yellow hair, perched like a safari creature to watch.


29 September 2013

#14: Un/conscious dump

Sometimes I blink and look out of the screen to realize I've been clicking through nothing I care about. I then adjust my posture, lifting my spine and settling the shoulders perpendicular. I then list what I have to do, at this instant, then daily, then in the next three days, then weekly, then monthly, then next some indeterminate time ahead of now, and I visualize the day and how I will do what and how much I can do. I then shear down what from what I can/should do to what I feel like doing or to what seems possible- I can book appointments and make coffee, I can finalize a list of schools, I can memorize the first 100 words of the list of 450. By this time I am slouching again and my one shoulder juts up while the other depends, crimping my neck, inflaming my lymph nodes. All the while taking stock of surrounding noises (Barclay's Premier League on the TV, Liverpool's American forward winning the game; click-padding of dog's feet). Do things like check bank account online and email people back. Fantasize about packing boxes neatly by room, kitchenware, bedding, clothes. Make new list of things to find as cheap as possible once in the new apartment- dresser, desk, chair, kitchen table unless the one in Y's garage is located and extracted. Resist the urge to transcribe the soccer announcer. Gaze at myriad fetishes and utensils on my work desk, knowing I won't be bringing them with me (the wooden hand to draw from, the bronze elephant, reference books, childhood piggy bank of foreign change). The dog pads in and circles and exhales beside the bed. Luis Suarez finally scores.

#13: The Gaping Gulf

(title: Mark Ford)

I claim to get the epochs-old appeal
of non-raw data entry, but find
it egoistic, less noble
than laziness.
So I recorded from my car: you can only
be interested,
primary definition, once;
and gauchness, old La Jolla,
blue tile white tile pale tile, pairs of
Mexican palms and the gauchness,
sixties, fifties, Floridians coming to roost.

Next day,
accelerating in turns.

Then the ocean is exceptional today,
noon high tide, thickly
turbulent.

He rhymes baby with baby with baby with baby with baby.

27 September 2013

#12: La Jolla Pannikin Transcription II.

[2 men, one settled, other fidgeting]
[Fidgeting:] I need the ocean,
okay. I can overtrain or undertrain
or no, but when I go in and hang out
for half an hour or however long
I come back feeling like that
million dollars. And there's a feeling
I want to carry with me three, four days.
Cause overall, things are pretty good.

[Replaced by new man, settling
with documents]
[New man:] This is perfect,
no, perfect, it's what we pay
that sunshine tax for.
How's the surf?

We went and checked
at Windansea, we looked
at Horseshoe; it looked fun but
you know what? It looked like it
was coming out of north, northwest,
it had this funky lump to it.

Like the swell had taken its toll, right.

#11: La Jolla Pannikin Transcription

True story. (nodding) Women pick us,
man. (laughter)

My wife and I — met in real life.
So many of our friends do not.
We got married at Calamigos Ranch
(nodding) (pursing lips)
in Malibu.

I'll be seven years sober October first.
I freebased heroin (nodding)
never needles —

I want to have control over people
and I want to have control over my life.
I have to be reminded
on a daily basis — or I forget.

(nodding) I was with Seth in Beverly Hills,
I got him the job.
I got him two jobs (nodding).
Did you go to his wedding?

26 September 2013

If there's honest-to-God Chagalls in her house, [...]

#10: Horoscope Brooklyn

You are now playing a vital part
in an important process
but will not be lionized
when accepting the diagram
even when not drawn to scale
which weaker would in fact
lionize

I had read of you but learned
by living with you how you really
liked baseball on the radio
at night
you left it on in the room
to buzz through onto the patio

and it stayed after coming back in
and a stretch of considering
books, innings broken by a song:
"Your favorite day dream... everything
touch I turns golden for you"
mane rippling

24 September 2013

#9: Gegen Ashbery's "In A Lonely Place" (Three Poets)

External from strict
speaking ever one
defers to rounding
out an aforementioned
list: is this the new
condition of
stricture, finishing?
Lists being strict. And
vague bullets fail
to fire, by nature mild.

more Cassandra; Sinon

Honest is context. Past the talking point,
by where seers outnumbering orators paused
not to be heard, and were not heard like static,

#8: Soreness

The underarm's a dead giveaway
that there's lymph nodes involved
and yesterday's exertions laterally

exacerbated by the change in barometric pressure
paired with the shock of the anesthetic
from mouth surgery you left hanging

(the corset feeling anyway
suits to benefit one's posture, as in
ballet; "if you're not straight and tall

each push will be a hop and blow
your knee eventually. [Jangle of
piano.] Those are not real jumps.")

23 September 2013

Listening to Geoffrey's litshow (#88)

I know what I am and I know what I am doing, "desperate leisure"
allowing a speech outside the boundary: a shiftiness, active.

#7: Gorilla Coffee

Made myself eggs and half a rye bagel which is worth talking about because it happened
in SoHo (which stands for Houston) once I noted dartingly what every woman
was noting, the clothing of competitors, how denim on denim was trending
again (light tops dark bottoms, rolled sleeves, one done oversized one fitted

because this isn't the west coast and you aren't sloven that way today)
done in soft washes, cowlick cotton hung from shoulders
and dropped as a parabolic brushstroke down from collarbones
where the boatneck hem starts. Bicyclists order in tight black,

hair sleekly pulled to one side drips its line to sharp elbows,
looking on thin arms almost cocked, wearing neon shorts and Nike Airs.
Patches of sunlight twitch the hardwood counters
as a white rag polishes them, handled by a silk vest and khakis.

22 September 2013

#6: Scouts Picnic

A mother ornaments chopped watermelon with mint and lime,
restoring the pieces to its hollow rind, whose sheared rim
she has perforated in zigzag.
A sheen of Reynolds' wrap seals its face, buoyant
with kitchen daylight, motile from screened wind.

21 September 2013

#5: San Marcos House

I had them take a picture of us
kissing either side of his face.
The backyard's physical vocabulary
was crude from accidental burning.
People smoked through the patio deck
behind the driveway, whose fluid jagged tar
exhumed heat the day had siphoned into it.
Bunched palms burst the cloud cover, purply.

18 September 2013

#4: Animal Virtues

Virtue 1: lack of irony.
2: lack of self-consciousness.
3: awareness of needs.
4: compassion for body.
5: general trust— cf. 6: capacity
for steady gazes, grace, activity.

17 September 2013

#3: MFA Paragraph

Here, my application of implied interest in joining a coterie of men
who call acts on others' parts 'incredibly human.' The redundancy
in sales, in markets, of leases and loans of speech, accumulates.
Creature excoriates when left to its device.

15 September 2013

#2: Always have to water down my lemonade

Always have to water down my lemonade.

"#2"

Not in this pain I won't start the project.
Little black case, bigger silver case.

12 September 2013

#1: Template

It's good to have goals. What I am expecting to provide are references
like corners and heights of ceilings that mark the shape and range
of a feeling intensified by 476 miles, a vivid obsolete afternoon.
My face is pretty swollen and I'm on a couple kinds of painkiller.

First, the pass: before location, electricity, water, comes the pass.
Asked for information, we would-be dwellers supply strenuously,
lengthening out what were crimped mouths and hands, acknowledging
slight movements outside of birds, landscape workers, wind flights.

I have that tendency to open on statements. Inquiry is looser and
frankly rips the rug of surety out, an assertion I make based on star signs.
I can recognize the kind of lines I'm making as typical of my style (a number,
an adjective that came around from being overused to un-, a grasp at the casual,

some more personal comment with no designs,
tricolon, a general anxiety about parts not hanging together, the impulse
toward staccato to close and a shorter stanza, astrology reference,
repeating a word without realizing, feeling worse if achieving what was set out
having been taught to disdain and set beneath what seems like "progress."

"#1"

Reinitiation of the poem-a-day series beginning today (tomorrow?)