poems

30 November 2014

ode


i know
i self sabotage
with bashfulness
don't get what i want
am bitter

ode


duty free scotch
flights to paris
trains to berlin
bus back down to tübingen

29 November 2014

#45: hm


don't feel dead, undead, or angry.
create things to look forward to.
manufacture a present.
perk up.
do the thing.
do the other thing.
forget last time.
(bist aus den schwarzen Wäldern, wie BB.
wie süß.)
gift=torture?
face all portraits the other direction
or honor them and look away.
honor: a political choice.
an exigency.
hm but don't you not need this.
hm
let you figure that out
i can wait
shed at alarming rates
in the shower
across the floor
fling strands
summer will return me to normal
might
confess a little worry
no. unwilling to reconsider how you look.
'p. intensity.' consigned.
don't i not need that
made you look

28 November 2014

#44


the sweetest, sweetest, sweetest, sweetest
black-lash-ringed green eyes w/ gold centers
flick of cheekbone
flare of jaw
set into a marble neck
fitted by broad spiky shoulders
center hull of which dips & rises
its skinned pulse
ok descend him leave nothing out
you get yr angelic glow from hating the sun
your bright arms surrender
slender squarely-overlong fingers
& barely-delineated palms
stomach's sleek powdery sheen
back's pale taut hide
muscle holding tough legs
veins roping hard knees
deep-arched overlong feet
(a natural unnoticed spare allover taper)

#43: *Roethke (Meditation at Oyster River)

I.

It's good from up here

"put me down"

& from down here

The self persists like a dying star*

"okay"

II.

suspense:
doorframe
did acquiesce

dream/gash lived out

chair presiding
a frame narrowing its eyes
basement closet

III.

looking away while you poured
freed me

unfortunately the whole thing made me very happy
I was poised to take the lead

#42: post Roethke ('Her Longing')

Before this longing,
I lived serene as a fish

a scored
cold mirror
burnished blemishes

phoenix
sure of my body
...rising out of itself

a brushed-out
unrippled echo
chains
heavenly jangling

beyond & beneath
site
a canny knack
for likenesses

I dive to where the mirror longs
relaxed in its stretch
a preparation
pose
flexed scales

the ready return
the flaxen chain
a similar body

#41: post Frank ('Retrieved,' p9)

Suppose that grey tree, so nude
and desperate,
                         began to waltz
slowly in time to something we
are deaf to in the thickening snow.

Would that mean a web of steel
dipped in molten
                           alabaster
whipped into articulation
worked a slow bolero?
                                    Whether
each flake switched directions
mid-air or breathed
long layers of
                       creamy frosting
over cars and trees
sweetening the street
making Forest Ave
                               more like a postcard

27 November 2014

James 31-55
Frank 26-66

Bill rang Annie's doorbell in a tux; her dad answered.
He closed the door on him and shouting could be heard.
Annie is first-generation Korean American.
Bill is first-generation Chinese American.
Annie did not attend Prom 2007.
She now lives with a white man in Oakland.

26 November 2014

How? Why?

How?* How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How?
Why?** Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why?

*can I fix this?
**is it like this?

25 November 2014

#40: sabor

the only mouth tastes like alcohol
cigarette
coffee
mouthwash
cigar
chapstick
mate

mario asks she drinks mate?
si
las cosas hacer por amor
turning back to the game

#39: Notice

(wears a new ring)

aug 9-nov 24 2014 nothing happens


the eyes bulge pinch and are sore to close

a blue light beams false energy

not actually 'all eyes on [us]'

convulse another week cramped/gut-scoured

        for someone
                               who won't come

'teach us not to care'

booked flights         urgent but waiting gray out

mowers bleat past lawns bleeding into each other

verdure vomit on wet sidewalk

the throat     unobserved     splinters through laughter

is that ring new

the lid leaks seawater      a lash or two detaches

*

young racehorse heart attacks fumbles and gives

i bought the horse to run him not parade him

men =/= horses      all racehorses are young

death codes break down       as in finished

third in a turf race and broke down after crossing the line

          race facilitates behaviors


the finger assumes full length         its silver ring

minor goldplated fixture         shapes its base

23 November 2014

Recipe website:
"I like sunchokes
purple potatoes carrots & parsnips"

#38: Party

1800 silver (salt, lime)
Bill's sangria (red wine, gingerale, pear, apple, orange, vodka)
brut rosé
other (white) sangria
"A___ seriously how many people in this house have you—"
bass & dancing

*

recuperation

(beats mayo for egg salad)
'Was I talking you into a threesome last night?'
'I thought you said you didn't remember anything.'

20 November 2014

#37: MI/CA

I need to work. I need to make some progress. My hands are cold. Snow on the ground outside. Wind coursing through fossilizing trees. My fingernails and teeth feel unclean. I ought to bathe. How to synthesize, not just splice. Stoplight vandal back home: NO KOOKS.
Since a kook will snake you.

Sunny & snowing
I'm not in mode or the mood
I thought I was late because I'm usually exactly
24 but this turn went full lunar
28

either there are no kooks in Ann Arbor
or everyone's one (either novice
or gone long without a drop)
milk marbles coffee surface to an agate's flat topography

to bleed out as the moon wanes to invisibility
is a cosmosynchronous consolation

there may be lake-specific local-v.-kook culture
but there's no surf
childhood fed gold nasturtium to iguanas
they produce an oil like the watercress
less than a block off / bluffs drop by cut stairs / to the beach

new snow crunches like waterline sand
I could never really stay up
discouraged as a child
rode goofy

maybe you can't lose your local status
consider Bolinas, where you are honorary
that day trip revealed full blown
its smoky, slow-cooked club
should you visit SD your accent would not blend in
but they bought it in Bolinas
everybody's high there
my third eye is open

18 November 2014

#36: Suryaprabha (however sun goddesses are found on every continent

Worship's first general adoration
and crystals of acknowledgement
yes but/because I have you all the time
but then you went away for a while

        many minor shining streaks
        either weather or the products
        of the treatment of the windows
        morning moves eggbright to nightbruise
        sun tunes in and out
        amidst this neomorphic setting
        worship's projected to gain ground

I lived in constant levels of sun
Warmthwise days poured nights
tarmac and sand having absorbed heat
stasis the case
we are all there
in the sun all the time

might be addling

summer built reeking beach fires
Christmas partied outdoors around pits
nobody healthy was looking for relief
the devout sought even stronger incarnations
Palm Springs is of course cheapest in August
110 in the shade / preseason slips dryly
through soft hallways onto patios
proudly browning
most mouths holding ice
bright heat encourages human surrender
bodies end up on their backs

15 November 2014

I was telling her I want cashmere and silk for Christmas and then I heard myself. And diamonds, I added, and fire.

#35: 'In Shadow' riff

Out in the late amber...
confused among chrysanthemums

Are you providing speech or happily striking dumb?
Or are you dumb, according the gloom
beneath a low stone bridge every courtesy,
tonight's silence. Or do you
prompt the moves of your friend,
her dancing instep, like you're waving a sign.

14 November 2014

Deer Widows

While the hunters are away, the wives will play.

13 November 2014

#34: Contexts for Fashion

I use my hair and I use my body and I hate and hide each "at will." There is no real pattern but there are minor graphs you could trace. Like walking to work when I worked on Shattuck Avenue. Or what I wear to attend certain seminars. Or to go out with friends. Sometimes it's an aggressive display (if I am at a bar on a weekend for example) and other times it's basic self-protection or denial (denying people me, i.e. on those corners especially by the BART station or in a class where I want to be able to make comments as if I were without or beyond sex and gender i.e. as if I were in my primary aspect intelligent, not female). I never learned how to assert myself as a thinking subject without compromising (concealing) my hair or my body. Far be it from me to drive anybody to distraction. Even though I am not your problem and you are your problem. You could cite a number of assailants— male who involved me in an entanglement before, during, and afterward complimented then accused me of seduction by means of my hair and by means of my body. Co-culpae, both me though neither actually me. This happens to lesser degrees often enough. But I am not here to list grievances. I am here to go into detail about why I like to hide my hair and body, and how I can only sometimes feel strong enough to bare or highlight either physical manifestation. Sexual power is no good when you realize nobody is listening to you speak (frequent glances to the mouth). Wrap everything up and speak slowly and in a lower voice than feels natural and you may find, as I find, (more) people listening (better). It is maybe a different strophe of seduction but at least it is closer to being disembodied. Isn't that what being male is: not constantly obsessing about your body? Or not being saturated in images etc that clearly demonstrate an obsession with your body at only the level of its appearance? I do not pretend to speak wisely about these problems on any scale larger than myself.
So, I hide my hair when I want you to look at my face and hear my voice and I hide my body more often than not because I have been conditioned to hate it and to hate the reactions it has gotten in the past that I fear it will get in the present and future (aside from the constant barrage it gets from me). Self-removal via clothes-fashioned shapelessness. It's not as bad as it used to be for me because I stopped caring as much some time a few years ago. Could probably map it to the frequency and tone of my sexual encounters (how I was gathering power and shedding terror [the terror of ignorance]). Rankine in Citizen: "Move on. Let it go. Come on." Surprisingly for many numbness is a viable choice. Even with headphones in it was hard to be numb to what I got on Shattuck at the mouth of the train station across from where I worked. It helped but not much when I wore my giant long coat. Of course I walked fast. I received many compliments of the "Did you steal that from a black girl" type. Walking into the lobby of my hotel I may have made guests uneasy with my face. I wore my hair up tightly every day and made my boyfriend meet me there to walk me home after 11:30. It feels idiotic transcribing such normal activity but at the time I was very indignant that I felt obliged to ask for a side-along semblance of male protection.
 I suppose on another side of this there is when I go out with friends and do certain things to with for my hair to achieve full effects. There, my physical part is mine and I am enabling its 'power.' (Power via sexuality is only one type and this form still depends on the receptivity of men. I want more control than this...) Usually it is to get attention that is then roundly rejected. The exercise of rejecting is pleasurable and honestly few things feel as triumphant. With one girlfriend or a few or especially alone it's nice to know that the better you look the higher the stakes and the better-looking the passes and the better the rejections feel to dole out. You better look good if you're going out alone, but wear your big coat. Hiding is about safety so what I must be implying is it's not simple nor are you ever likely to feel safe.
Caveat: I can choose not to care one day or many days in a row but in so doing I also (always already) have signed on for that certain numbness or resignation to what is encoded and insidious in everywhere I participate in making. So I may choose "not to care"— you could probably map it against my cycle with some accuracy. Inevitably blood dolls me up. At the same time, that shedding deactivates my sensor against any blows I may receive on behalf of my hair or body, whether averred positive or negative (though that's not a real split because unwarranted blows are violent. I said blows.). The thing is who gets to decide what violence is and how it's administered and how does the intensity change depending on its site on what gradient. I will say about the period I am terrifying and cannot imagine being assaulted in those days directly preceding bleeding. I cannot remember any incidents. If there were (on Shattuck for instance) I probably talked back and pulled grotesque faces and flicked my middle finger, and no real harm done there. For that matter I am also (in non-harassment contexts) more likely to meet and hold eyes and to challenge bad logic and to demolish what I consider pathetic. That attitude is less likely to get assaulted and presumably is illustrated in my gait and gaze. Would that I were always premenstrual, I would never under other circumstances say.

12 November 2014

#33: Imaginary conversation with my mother and then with Y

Brick in a carpet pattern
//
Emitting high-frequency ultrasonic 'pleasure' calls, like a rat
//
An evil taste this is mine      right now
Orlando going "Ecstasy... ecstasy!"

Did they have a goal for the boat?
Just launched it,
full of treasure,
into the deep. Off goes
the memory of his honor...

I liked a long skirt my last year in Berkeley
for almost vanishing
if you had to hurry you just hiked it up

In pop songs women and men
call each other baby.
On streets by strangers
and among accomplices
it is easily deployed

I know you and want you to hurt me in certain contexts
vs.
I don't know you and fear you may imagine hurting me

#32: Apt 309 / Oct 13-May 14

Remember when there was a person you kept coming home to?

We cohabited for less than a year
     I won a lottery and parted from you
algae blooms coat the lake each summer
     [Marvin Gaye voice] You were happier for me
     than I was for myself

It's hard to be brave
     & hard to sit still
I either have to change or leave
you say Health is always
     an act of the mind
& went on completing your duties
as you will until your death

I sometimes get this urge to go and be poor in New York
     I reread Just Kids and type out relevant sections to send you
our asceticism was a combo of laziness & the lease being so short
& not having a car & not caring about having eg a bedframe
a dining table or more than 2 chairs

in our rare fits of hosting people were charmed to sit on the floor

to be fair I bitched a lot about the bedframe
to which you said Go buy one
in my head when I'm in New York you're not necessarily there

11 November 2014

#31: I-80


Girl in class yesterday: I mean the subway systems of various cities have become icons in ways similar to for example the Brooklyn Bridge. Like people put the image of the subway lines onto tote bags. Just like people put the bridge onto tote bags. Is this bridge as big a deal for people who don't live in New York, or why are there so many poems about it?

No, it's not that big a deal e.g. in California we have the Golden Gate Bridge and the Bay Bridge, recently reconstructed, its lesser half still stretching a quarter of the way out across the water (demolition article: "material beneath the bay floor may remain"). Especially at night its rimy corpse rises out of the water running alongside its victor.

In New York in September I was exiting the subway and surfacing in hard sideways rain to a sparse clot of bodies in the way of my view of this diptych-arched span. But it was really coming down, and I tried to get a few shots but knew weather was entering my camera, which is expensive and the only one I have. And by the time I looked up, my sister was more than a block off, rolling her eyes.






The San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge(s), 2013

#30: You may come to me now

I don't want to be closed.
Don't let me be closed.
May I be open.

Mmmmmmmmmmmm
            mi gata
A man, not you, reciting:
I bow to these things.
This is my force of argument,
heart thudding along.

The ankles throb,
the wrist throbs.
Caffeine fucks the cycle up.
Here's to a reunion
at the broad base of Coit Tower.

08 November 2014

#29:

If neither ridicule nor torture
ok
unlike dynamic pleasure
its flatter duration enriches
to hear Amtrak call from Ann Arbor
same bell whistle system as in Del Mar
Solana Beach and Berkeley

#28: Breakfast

Something removed / something remaining
Veins on an inner forearm

Thank you for saying that
You didn't have to say that

I'd like a sugar allergy

if no estuary
then no salt line

ceramic bowl / chipped
white with blue rim / blue marginalia

Visitors sleep on the couches
outside the door

creep past at 3
to refill a water glass

I dance, sing, and do not act
veined / Sweet Queen

#27: Bluets voice exercise

M failed to fuck me and left me in front of a church.
T also failed and put me on a bus.
W practically failed and returned to the United Kingdom.
G failed because I bloodily squirmed away
while he packed for Santa Barbara.

M stopped speaking to me in English after that service.
T alleged closed-circuit after, but kept texting.
This is an aggression.
Calls after 2am when I am in New York
are aggressions. It's not in the cards that you can 'ask questions later.'

W in the morning thought I stole his wallet
and found it and was in a hurry to leave.
I think he realized my roommate
would have been better luck.

What was in that for you, "T." You barely came.
G is now married to a sister of a friend in San Diego.
I regret M and hope he is rotting in Miami
(did I really want to fuck you because of the cigar?).

In that room hung a sketch done by his sister
of a female torso, horizontal, cropped
at the neck and knees.
It had erect nipples, sharp ribs, and was fully shaved.
The lines were purple and blue,

a bruised graph.
He can and will hurt you, some friend or other said.
At least T and G had no art
and at least I half-failed under/on W in my own room.

#26: Holiday

Reach full impasse with the self and wait for death.
Hit the limit of an exertion and cruise there.
[What led to distrust
of the physically manifest?] The tree rises
from the stage, totters; someone plugs it in.
A children's choir sings "Ah" in two well-behaved lines.
[...]
I can relax and pick my brother up from ballet.
I imagine he feels like a fraud
in his low jumps, but he lifts more steadily.
I'm on the warm side
of a window. Do you need in?
He reeks, cloth shoes in his larger hand.
This weekend will gel his hair and line his eyes.

04 November 2014

#25: Beyond pleasure

     Should I be reading Freud?
Turned on by mythology
& turned off by misogyny
so no, not for pleasure
but sure, for intrigue
I want to look in the face like a woman
be slender as a man
destroy any style's sex (wear hair up)
& be buffeted by new winds in my new town
I want to ruin with gazing
variously gendered. Mostly men. I'm up on that scale
& scabrous and resentful thereof
do you think I'm pretty / fuck you
F might say I am overdesirous
& enraged

     What is meant by reverie?
We are opposites you say
you hate weed and you love to dance
you have the qualities of a life-affirming person

     How real is our togetherness?
F claims 'the energy... of those instincts
which have to do with all that may be comprised under the word 'love''
is the libido; certainly but let's
not forget to make a case for comely inertia

     Delusion of solidity?
Thickly running
reading an online article which is divided into
Importance, [F's] defensiveness, & fruitfulness
repetition compulsion admittedly makes no sense to me
may or must be I have not been sufficiently traumatized

     What will America be like?
Can it ever satisfactorily nourish its oppressed
I am supposed to feel this bad for not voting today
I'm not registered in this state & can't imagine
ever being educated enough to care correctly
who's running
I pray in Hilary's direction