Saturday, February 28, 2009

poem poems

no. 1

Your letter-bomb arrived.
The worm is a busy animal,
Heavily armed, like a Wal-Mart end-cap.

no. 2

Seven crows in a tree.
A dog nosing nearby.
Two cats on a porch.
I carry a pitchfork
For no apparent reason.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

lines from a notebook written in a rented van at night during a thunderstorm in an Ontario provincial park


Whose bright idea was rain?
Who invented rain?

Please don't let me get sick.
Though I deserve it.
I won't get sick.

Thunder shakes the van.
My daughter asleep in her tent.
I can barely breathe.

Why won't the rain stop?
Why are you slamming the door?

Waiting for lightning to singe the page.
Lightning. Rain. Thunder.

A man can't sleep.


Mr. Nature slept all night in the van.
Now his neck hurts, he is slightly unhinged.
New Day! New Beginning!


"How did you sleep?"
"Not bad. And you?"


My hands tremble.


It is pleasure in the form of ordinary catastrophe.


One day you wake to find yourself
into a new bent gull.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

March meeting of the friends of E.D.

The strain -- the pain
Of pale souls who wear
Winding sheets of rain --
Bent under the turning year --

They have come so far
To hear her voice -- her Rose --
Balm upon her secret scar --
Warmed by all it knows --

Yet what comes forth --
Struggles! -- Grows! --
Till it -- is Final Strength
And we remain -- Echoes!


The above: an obvious homage.

Labels: , , , ,


Eight hours of everything
in the world there is --

Four more hours ruined
by an additional bread.

I meant to say dread.

Labels: , , , ,

this nothing bicycle

I got up. I said, hello. I said, What is this? I said, I'm hungry. Then it was time to go. I got on my blue bicycle. We're going now. And I was gone. Shooting down the long gravel drive by the silos by the creek by the barn on fire by the school that lay in ruins. I was happy to be riding in the new light. It was night. It was day. I hated to be going so soon on my blue bicycle which I hated and loved it was old and did not work. I grabbed the bicycle, throwing it onto my shoulder. It was nothing. I could have carried it all day. It was heavy. Where is my money? I had lots of money I was rich my father was rich though we were poor beyond my ability to admit how poor we were. I could not say anything to anyone how poor we were. The barns were on fire as I rode happily the gravel road. There was this place I would go to when I was lonely I would go there it didn't seem like much but it was special to me. Maybe it was the time of day that was it the time of day which was always late in the day early evening though there was no darkness on things yet there was light but it was going away. Everything seemed blessed by the light and the fact it was leaving everything. I thought I was a special person. I wasn't a special person. I had seizures. Pale skin. I had red hair and everyone thought I was wrong to have red hair but I had red hair. It was long and fell in waves. I thought I was someone else. I wanted to be someone else but I was only who I was and this made me sad. On my bicycle the world seemed endless to me though it wasn't endless it was only about four or five miles long. I would ride for an hour the time just when day truly ended and night truly began when I got home it would be still light but if I stood catching my breath at home once again it would be dark in minutes. I had everything this is what I would say to myself I have everything. But when you think this it is only the case that you have nothing or hardly anything. My return was perfectly timed. Every time I returned I returned at that moment when it wasn't light or dark it wasn't truly light or truly dark but was a moment of perfect balance between the two. I say it was close and sometimes closer than at other times but always it was perfect. Then I would put my bicycle away in the back yard and hitch it like a horse to a tree. I would hear doors slamming, a gun going off, a siren, a dog bark. Elements that leaned homeward.

Labels: , , , , ,

Monday, February 23, 2009


Anyway one evening we were walking and a man came along and he said in a song as he was walking, Piss you dog piss against the side of a house in passing, if it was my house I would take a gun and shoot you, piss dog piss against the side of the house in passing, Piss he said piss against the lamp-post in passing, a poor street cleaner has to clean the lamp-post that you have pissed against in passing, Piss dog piss against the lamp-post in passing.

Gertrude Stein, Everybody's Autobiography (1937).

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Sunday, February 22, 2009


O hapless one! O storm tossed hiccup!

Labels: , , , ,


I visit the gun shop
to look at death poems.

Labels: , , , , ,

Thursday, February 19, 2009

grocery list

1 take my knife 2 the sky seer 3 heaven forfending 4 i'll see you later 5 how old is this transmission 6 coconut water is awesome 7 dribble shot 8 her drear of rear ending 9 hallowed be thy name 10 an eleven second delaylay 11 i'm exhausted twoday 12 cut myself sheaving 13 this life of the gods isn't what people think it is 14 reading all those books why 15 veltflinger's syndrome is what you got 16 drive this car until summer then get another beaterupper 17 gardening tools all over 18 we're mowing to Portland 19 i saw a fox stolen morning 20 smoting here smoting there 21 Christ this smoting is everywhere 22 looking at animals in ice 23 what you got to understand see is understanding ain't what it cracked up to bee 24 crush-head his lungs 25 i never done went there before 26 i seen it once 27 i need more money to buy a moore 28 you think you got it bad talk to one who got it worse 29 for thine is the king-dome 30 this ain't so bad 31 kaput is a greet word 32 don't forget to go to the blank 33 what a weird occupence 34 he buys of lonely the finest raw materials 35 she is brilliantine 36 my dream of the northern flights 37 writing out thousands of tickets 38 i got caught bleeding 39 everything is fucked 40 a drunken rout 41 of words without porpoise 42 tall in her teal platforms 43 my hands slew 44 the wounds of his face 45 red ain't no color of hair for a man to have 46 pushing this tin dream around the junkyard all day 47 nope 48 i discover the body out back of the shed 49 could not touch my lips to the body at my feet 50 nothing but your garden variety miracle 51 officer i don't never seen this women before 52 tailored made 53 all of it made from blight on greening light 54 'concupiscent curds' 55 nice real mice 56 furthermore 57 i'll send it to you when i get back to the crematorium 58 what was the name of that movie 59 vamyres 60 how her backside peeled 61 gracefully uptight and sheer 62 stupid seizures why visit me 63 in the ditch in summertime 64 looking up her skort 65 sweeting nervous 66 through the walleye of the shadow of dearth 67 my novel on that syndrome of uncertain provenance 68 amazed by Artaud's toothless beauty 69 fragments arranged so as to tell the story of a life like a bag of tatters 70 his hatred of the 'thang' contemporaire 71 new snore and I look at it the world is like a rattle with nothing inside 72 my shores are all charred up 73 telling me i won't believe the heels you got 74 anthems for lost things 75 smashed in the face and hands 76 i never learned how to drive stick 77 the misterabilists 78 an obnubilated emblemtatic response 79 artichocke snatch 80 Belhaven ale 81 my list of things 82 my fear of never leaving the house 83 i feel like i could but who knows 84 trenchant bastard of the trench 85 fallen 86 Dante tours Las Vegas 87 green slowly opens 88 unto thy face 89 beauty razoring my stomach 90 my insides falling out 91 hysterical laughing of the dogs 92 i told you not to look 93 salt pillar 94 for now and 95 mineral is your calm 96 palms of cinder 97 call me 98 i've got a lot on my plate 99 knives for the cutter 100 deployed against but no further than


generous is the midwife of my days

Fetch in what falls.
Covet fat and sugared apple.
Strike the fair haired bag of wheat
paling beside the cloves.

Fetch it in the morn
to haul it hard till noon:
rut-eyed and hummock humped,
round bounty at the spine.

For those whose birth
is signaled by that sounding mark:
any a gall-shod beast
and burst-lit seed extending.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

folk lore

Green the apple blaze
outside my remnant door.
I hold this and no more
in the eye like a kind of sea.

Green the going lung
that goes into the sea.
Green beyond the bell
that signals in the rain.

Three times it rings
in ears it brings
from across the bay
its green tonalities.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

south of lower waking

It is a mystery to wake
a grub
dividing an apple.

I'm beat. Daybreak
buoys the toxic.
Already this heat
opposes magnificence.

Why did we argue
our way all night
toward that cyst
of unwillingness

to let go, that
sac in a seed
of some lesser
climate, embracing.

Labels: , , , , , ,

excerpt from The Epics

Temming a winter mornin.
The collie coat upon my back.
Ice on pond. Mill still as stone.
The children teeming forth like froth.
Me and my gang. The steely sea. Forbidding
Spume skin on us all.
Boats moored and gently rocking by the dock.
Elsewhere were we.
On ice, on mill pond. The mill still as stone.
Saturday morn gathered near the ice.
Lacing skate and wrapping stick.
The preamble for the riot.
Sport and shoot, and sorry ankle.
For keeping on the goal.
Our shouts and thrusts.
Our hitting of the ice.
The light upon our heads.
The slip and fall, the crash and rise.
The puck like fish beneath our eye.
Go youngsters in delight.

They shoot, they score.
They sweat and swear like fathers on the shore.
Old drunken pukes appraising in the skein.
Sorry old fucks can never stand on ice again.
And maters come by with oranges and thermos.
Stop! Time!
We eat, we drink, we steam.

Once upon a time.
And hey did you lose a tooth?
Yeah. Fucking brother
punched it from my face when he played one
Saturday morn still pissed from night before.
I took him down, so he took me down,
in a rage him so much bigger and a fuck.

Ah, home, where family reigns your map.
Ice. On mill pond. A winter morn.
The sea in distance grey.
The ships all tied and true.
All go to watch the water rise, the water fall.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Friday, February 13, 2009


The fall (bababadalgharaghtakamminarronnkonnbronn
ordenenthurnuk!) of a once wallstrait oldparr is retaled early
in bed and later on life down through all christian minstrelsy.

James Joyce, Finnegan's Wake (1939).

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

i'll be here for a while then i'll go away

Look at your cat
as he enters a room
with what punishing grace.
Give up your infected ambition.
The human is a mess.

Labels: , , ,


He came to the realization, slowly earned, one gray morning, that he did not believe himself to be entitled to one instant of happiness; not that happiness could not or would not be experienced at some point in his life, but that it would be experienced illegitimately, would be stolen from some other worthier soul, and whatever this happiness might be it would also be the cause of a private agony because at its core it would be rotten.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Sunday, February 8, 2009

admission of guilt

Unsure even of his own doubt.

Labels: , , ,

a thunderhead of number


Labels: , , ,


Dear Sir -- I am in a Madhouse & quite forget your Name or who
you Are. You must excuse me for I have nothing to communicate
or tell you of & why I am shut up I don't know I have nothing to
say so I conclude.

Yours respectfully

John Clare


Clare's letter above strikes me as one of the saddest declarations ever written by anyone anywhere.

Labels: , , , ,

a few last 'transductions'



Your ectomplasmic
ennobles us.



Tint of flange.
O seranade!



The communist
enraged the bull-horn.
The psalmist
instigated the triathlon.
The smoker
maintained the round-house.
The seminarian
cleaned the small car.
The pharmacist
mortared the zap-cant.
The foot-soldier
made an idiot
out of thumb-smoke.



That vine mull in
the bowl. That mole
outside of granite.

Neither debt nor fort.



Blistering the main
without mother. No. Cheers
for my judo. O Canadian sue no
neural lake for clan
donned in fist leprosy.



Flexible pores that course.
No misery. Pain. From talons.
The miserabilists are a-comin.
Across the grass like
star football players.
Big names.
On Monday.



Fun dear. Smoke dear. Hung to dry,
man. Dented ray, Don. Air and
vents are real. If sugar fuses.
If tent irons and tubas
and trombone melodies.



Fusty against the form of
my calamity my blue saga.
Afternoons calcified like
membranes in my front.
Today. O annunciation!
For my floating birth
that teems gargantuan
and sends huzzahs
I study by [the light of]
poor sodas.



I took what I slept what I
armor-plated what I lamed
what I bled what I tied
what I doubled what I saved
what I sickened what I stole
what I gave what I finished
what I gave where I

All nine above are 'transductions' of poems originally written in Spanish by John M. Bennett.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I like this version more

It is one day east of here for a fast lilac. Human is the the tempo.

Labels: , , , , ,

sections numbered 30, 31, 32, 33

Water flows from the burnt stump. The red dog digs for the bone
in the jaw of the corn stalk. The carnival hauls its grotesque blaze.

The heavy monster lies down in the mud. In the graveyard
the stone angel waits with lidless eyes, believing in the invisible
tongues you ferry in your chest.

I believe in mid-western mysticism. Intention means nothing.
The turkey vulture doesn't try. Nor the horse in far field.

Mr. Pig wallowing doesn't try. Not one tries to eat magnificence.
But they do just the same.

Garrulous meat upon the salt table. Fried bread.
Our skates sharpened by madmen.

Bilious towels. Carnivorous mail. Obese pinwheels.
A sacred, ragged bus depot where our pilgrimage begins.

In Dodge City, Kansas I don't know anyone. I don't even
know who I am because I am waiting to be born.

I lost my birth certificate and can't travel
the full length of a bathtub. It is a small bird.

The above sections are from a long sequence titled 'The Practices'. Which itself belongs to a mansuscript of poems titled 'Family Portrait With Two Dogs Bleeding.'

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Thursday, February 5, 2009

4 more poems 'transduced'


Of near
lakes to go.
The bobcat
is white.


It is one day
east of here.
For a
fast lilac.

Human is
the tempo.


Chap or chew.
Father nor
Mama. Claustrophobic
telephone of night.


I escape out the window, tumble
upon an 'ego' band of lamas, a
flowing egg invisible which makes
do [more or less] like an appearance
of rectal tin filled [to capacity]
with monster saints.


Once again these poems are based upon Spanish originals written by John M. Bennett.

Labels: , , , ,

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

3 poems 'transduced'


Mortal and
so pretty.
Poor talent
talk to her.
Is her camel


Too tart is
the tame world!
of Minutes!


Of the world.
Neither mother
nor number.


The above poems are based upon Spanish originals written by John M. Bennett.

Labels: , , , ,

at skunk river

Because the stakes are so high,
this instant
is difficult.

Because my mouth.

It waits upon its own breath.
Across the sinew where night hides.

Whenever trespass begins.

Because the saying itself,
the saying.

At stake is at stake.

Labels: , , , ,

treatise on nickels

for Joel Lipman
How much money is that?
Add the prices to find out how much.
After leaving work quickly he permitted
himself to be soothed at
the Valentine Theater.
Toledo, Ohio.
Ticket no. 250377.
This was such a new and delicious existence.
On her first turn Ann jumped
the white light of the large reflectors.
The above was assembled from items I received in an envelope sent to me by Joel Lipman. Many years ago.

Labels: , , , , ,

lyric from the grocery department

I'm sick of love
that is all fury and storm
and marrow
down aisle three
on a hand truck.

Labels: , , , , , ,


This wooden plate upon which you hide to see
what needs seeing, where you get up early
to hear the owls, curse if you must but whisper
and shake vines with lightest breath,
go then to the creek with its moving shells,
drift as eye-flicker in tall grass. It is here.
Each day it is here, you will tick at it with
your fingers first, dab them in ink made by
what you have in your palm, stain-wise.
Ten thousand years from now your mother
scuttles above the mud to see what you saw:
a man in animal head-dress, shaken, raw.


This is a draft version of a poem about which I am completely unsure as to final form.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Monday, February 2, 2009


Sucking is dangerous.

Gertrude Stein, HOW TO WRITE (1931).

Labels: , ,

of his crown according

Hither the Moon, the Athenians
And their allies had suffered dreadful things
So that when they went out of an evening
The moonlight was beautiful
And the gods they were defrauded
Of their dinner and departed home
According to the number of tortures
For which reason Hyperbolus, having obtained
Hieromnemon, was afterward deprived
Of his crown according to the Moon

Labels: , , ,

birth and other outmoded ideas

thinking of you thinking of you thinking of the color blue


small dog sprints big dog chases after




I walked seven miles yesterday saw turtle on trail

my hands look old now the rest of me I don't know
who am I kidding


that chipped cornerstone must have been a hammer

from the east wind brings coyote fur
horses breathe outside your

burnt Sienna with its essential suggeston of folded me
in your pocket

next life I want to be an architect

I'll sell you my television for $200,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. 000
my blood you can have
for free

if I could do it over again I would do it the same but with more fear


too easy too simple

Labels: , , ,

postcars (circa 1984)

But I want to trace myself
clear of the spots I have faced.
Clark Coolidge
Acquisition Junction, population 850
Black top and fresh lard
I point at them to know my disreputable standing
I don't know never did probably won't
That picture of God's electrifying finger
I'm too much here
At five feet eleven and one half
The spectacle from another style
You are soft as pillows
Down expecting my great distributed descent
O catch us at that fatal injection
For once they should have it fill
Trees glistening am up but not about
Am unstuck for breakfast time Warning
"Sorry I'm running late"
After temperature am breathing. Raining
The sound of raining its gentle hair
Your tresses. His water-form now net
I am estranged and forgetting
It is the murmuration of glove. Quiet
It is quiet. More quaint than silence
Raising cheers far stretched
Decide to reduce my mouth its wild running
Look and learn of process: look and --
Admired your upper cut, its confirming
Decide to misread a certain diary
Admire a surface tension
Your surface tension when you move, confusing
Substance that magnetizes my substance
Pulling and pulling me --
Damn the surcharge of things bought
At Acquisition Junction, pop. 850
Afternoon distilling funny tasting horizons
Everything slow and steady as she goes
Sailing off but cardboard scenery is shifted
We drink and eat and smoke
My stomach roils. My eyes give out
I am writing a letter to J.
He of the honorary degree
Your stereo in my brain
Lacks its needle in your absence
The beveled corners need some lick work
This is not it ... Come now
The seasons untied: "Groweth sed,
And bloweth med,
And springeth the wude nu ..."
And of the serene celebration
Sea-shells those scimitars of scintillation
Something for you something for me
Ich bin ycleped The-God-Of-Average-Nightmare
And you in the orange life jacket
Saving him on represented waking memory
For once you and I
Moving above the median rise
Never expecting a further falling down
The above is offered here as an example of arrested or 'late-onset' juvenalia; though it was indeed written in the mid-80s of the previous century.

Labels: , , , , , ,

fiction as an open letter

for Mohammed Mrabet and Paul Bowles
Amigo Mrabet,

You don't know me. That doesn't matter. Last night someone placed a dead dog on my door step. I do not know why they would do such a thing, why they would be so cruel. A man who would kill a dog for no reason but to answer to hatreds deep in his soul is a wasted man, a man gone wrong. The police came and banged on my door as I was getting ready to go to work. It was cold and black out. I had not even had a chance to drink my coffee. Come with us, the police said. All right, I'll come, let me get my shoes and coat. No shoes or coat, they said. All right, I said. The police are the same everywhere in the world. They took me to a gas station. Is this the man? No. Are you sure? I'm positive, he's not the man. Thank you, I said to the gas station attendant. I am an innocent man and whatever they say I've done you should know that I did not. I know, he said. You aren't the criminal. At the back of the gas station as I was being taken home, I saw the shape of a body beneath a white light. The body was covered in a white sheet, the edges of the sheet dark with blood. So, I thought to myself, they think I am a murderer now. What next? They left me at my door step. The dog was gone. It was nearly time for me to begin work. I would certainly be late. I started running. A man of forty-five running to work in the early hours. I am strong but my lungs are weak. When I got to work my boss called me into his office. Look, you're late, your getting old, I don't think you can do this work anymore. What, I said. Someone killed a dog and placed it on my doorstep. The police came and took me away and questioned me. There was a murder down at the gas station. I had nothing to do with any of these things and now that I am late you tell me I am too old. But I work hard and fast, as hard and fast as those other men who are much younger. They will tell you. They will say, he works hard don't fire him. My boss looked at me sadly, shaking his head. It isn't what you think. I'm going to have to fire you. All right, I said. I'm fired now. I'll just have to get another job. Good, he said. And take this with you. He reached under his desk and handed me a sack. In the sack was another dead dog. I took the dog with me into a field behind a dark building. It was nearly morning. I found a shovel and began to dig. I buried the dog. Then said a prayer for the poor dog and for all men. You say a man has no price, but there is a cost to being a man in this world. There are stones and there are the dead walking about with stones in their mouths. There are good men and women but one must spend one's life looking for them, in the unforgiving dark.

Labels: , , , ,

Sunday, February 1, 2009


It's a big ship and the water is on fire.

Tom Waits, David Letterman Show, 2002.

Labels: , , , ,