Thursday, March 26, 2009

staring out windows

My university years included many hours of sitting and reading poetry, and looking out windows. I was a tireless gazer out of windows. On campus there was a building called 'University College' -- ivy covered brick, long dim hallways down which a cough seemed to travel forever, and a student reading lounge that had a handful of very old, comfortable chairs placed haphazardly in front of floor to ceiling windows. What you saw out these windows was a slow stiff hill descending toward road and bridge. Dividing the hill in two neat sections was a paved walkway, maple and pine trees scattered on either side. In wintertime students could be seen struggling up the hill against cold winds, and falling snow. The view was cinematic, grainy, sad, the figures bundled in weak light nearly heroic. If the roads iced over, you'd see cars swerving and skidding in the distance like toys. Except for the clanging from ancient radiators and occasional whispered conversations between students, the room was perfectly silent. In summer windows were opened, and breezes would bring the aroma of cut grass. The winter was the better season in which to lose oneself for hours in this room.

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The fear that a small wooden thread sticking out of the hem of my blanket may be hard, hard and sharp as a steel needle; the fear that this little button on my night-shirt may be bigger than my head, bigger and heavier; the fear that the breadcrumb which just dropped off my bed may turn into glass, and shatter where it hits the floor ...

Rainer Marie Rilke, The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009


I have taken to posting my minima (poems & etc.)
at my other blog which I like to call:
'Cultural Criticism From The Grocery Department'.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

another house wherein stones are thrown

or on the verge of

Hid hard within the corn valve
we heard the heart surgeon huffing near,
we fanned low toward the pond then barn
and thru its door-yaw

into hay smell,
clambered up ladder to loft to look out
some small window.
The planks felt good to be on.

We can get im.
We each had rocks to throw at the heart surgeon.
Darcy had his sling shot, Arthur his bb gun.
Don't shoot him, Arthur. That's dumb.

But me and Darcy wanted Arthur to shoot
the heart surgeon with his gun.
We seen his shadow we seen his gait.
Loudly amid the noondday blaze

him treading our way. Whistling.
We hated that the most.
Sweat, straw and dust, beating in the blood.
Empires at stake and us just there.

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... and I enjoyed myself and I took to gardening and it was a great pleasure I cut all the box hedges and we have a great many and I cleared the paths more or less well, the box hedges I did very well and then the weeds came up in the garden and we had corn the Kiddie who sends it to us says now we must not give it to any fascists but why not if the fascists like it, and we liked the fascists, so I said please send us unpolitical corn ...

Gertrude Stein, Everybody's Autobiography (1937)


It saddened me considerably to encounter the above passage.

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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

to eastern orchards go

S wift and sweet the

A pples

L ay

I n

E astern orchards

N ot

T his day some other yet to come


The word 'salient' being somewhat ungainly to my ears, yet hidden it seems not at all a bad word around which to bend a small verse in this obvious fashion. I profess my affection for orchards to be sincerely felt.

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Fuck the cowards with their flimsy guitars but
save the horses they ride on.

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Monday, March 2, 2009

house arrest

Writ large your ravished inventories.
I don't even know your weight.
What took place, already forgotten.
You leave, close the door behind you.

In my tower all around the quaint debris
of my winter campaign, my summer,
under a fine hoary dust.

Anna Akhmatova, you and your death poems.
Everyone saying goodbye, even those who failed
to arrive.

Love is the integer, musk, heat.
I am learning Russian the better to take your pulse.
The better to record it in my blood.

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after Lorca

Don't bring oranges.

Bring feathers from
an iron palace.

Where bones of blood
stagger under a full moon,
forget your hunger.

Fetch straw from
the lung of your hollow purse,
where stones ring like bells.

Set out on your
broken horse
with its wings of cold fire,
and your mouth
cool green fruit.

Let there be no mention
of your orange

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Sunday, March 1, 2009

letter to Artaud

Dear Artaud,

The sour battalion passed last night, scummed &

not a single rabid god in my throat, nowhere

in the Directionless I seesawed lights by the olde abandoned
truss factory.

Whereas one time I seen the Albino struggle
after the red steer at
Acme Demolition (established 1934),

while just the other side of chain-link the humpback
in retrofit
hawked root-beer and camel-skins.

Like wyrde.

And you, you lost your shark-teeth in and now huff
like a monumental lung-fish but torqued ajaw
way more than prolapsed, dude.

Corruption ratio is down.
Fever stock is up.
Ain't no way that be the Truth.

But it still is only $0.25 for lunch at Mike's:
tomato soup, egg salad sandwich,
one cold glass of fresh milk.

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