Saturday, March 19, 2011

A lineating lineation

7 Poems Encountered On A Night of Singular Evolution


then the wine-dark wine.


Like an avalanche my desire to sit and think of nothing.


The memory of a baloney sandwich
is gospel to my hunger.


The woodpecker in his autistic dawn
and the fingernail moon that floats
above the drunk
trundling the tracks
toward the abandoned silo.


I walk in snowfall
where hope rots the dark heart of
despair and my duct tape shoes are in need
of a good mend.


I walk in light-fall so that I can gorge on oranges.
The juice that stings my chin where I cut myself.
I drink three glasses of water. I can’t slake
this thirst. Outside wings are beating loud ungainly melodies.
There is a crow
named Bartok who plays for me and my friends.


And then went down to the beach where
I yelled at seagulls and chanced on a tree trunk
worn down to an amputated bone of great character.
The light hung from a ceiling of messy cloud.
I thought of Carol whose ass thrilled me,
of that gasbag Geoffrey of Monmouth
(see also William of Malmesbury,
Adam of Usk,
Henry of Huntingdon)
and the free jazz scene of Milan, Illinois.

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Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Rise and measure, rise
And measure, rise and measure
Rise and measure, rise and measure,
Rise, and measure, rise and measure, and the angel
Stood saying, rise and measure, and the angel
Stood saying, rise
And measure, and the angel said
Peace visit thy house, peace visit
The length and breadth and height of it,
Peace visit thy house.

He cometh up and is cut down
Like a flower, he cometh up
And is cut down like
A flower he cometh up and is cut down
Like a flower, peace visit thy house,
Peace visit thy house and is cut down like a flower.

Like man that is born and hath a short time to live,
Peace visit thy house and is cut down
Like a flower that is born
And hath a short time to live,
To suffer us not, to fall not from peace
That visit thy house like a flower that is
Born and is cut down.
Peace visit thy house.


Note: If the phrases above seem familiar, that is because they are familiar or should be to any literate reader of the English language since, say, the time of King James.

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Friday, March 11, 2011


Birds are everywhere in bookstores.  
My cat dragged
the day. It was horrible.

I wish they would resist
what is grilling in their blood,
what the jaw bone preaches when the rest is gone.

The human
animal is more than a pocketful of dimes
and the dimness found there.

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Thursday, March 3, 2011


Here is a poem from Jean Valentine's most recent collection
Break The Glass (Copper Canyon, 2010):


The wild ladders of longing
no longer pieces of wild wood, sawed off
and fitted to each other,
no longer stored in a closed-off room
with one blank window

But called back, through
the closed-off wooden ceiling, to his
speech returned."


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