Thursday, January 21, 2010

january 21st, 2010

writhing pupils

distinguished gentlemen
gather late at night
in crawl spaces
and fox holes
writing love poems
to the Julies
and Katys
and Wendys

they dance around the page
sword in hand
attempting to tame the ink
like a snake charmer
wooing his slithering enemy

a few are able to control the boa
and the rest are bitten

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

january 20th, 2010

Here's another poem I wrote using the words of a Philadelphia friend, Mr. Mollot.  Thank you bearded friend.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

january 19th, 2010

a nightcap for myself

I like keeping to myself in my room with the door closed and a glass of wine or bottle of beer at my feet. Everybody seems fascinated with their own voice so they talk and talk and talk and talk outside my door so I turn up the volume on my speakers and wish they would go away. It’s a total waste but I choose to keep my bathroom light on when I am alone in my room because when it’s out I feel a little bit lonelier. I don’t dislike people because I fear friendship or adore the idea of being grumpy and cynical, I just think most of them are a waste of time and latch on to you like the berries in my driveway stick to the bottom on my shoes. People are so afraid to admit their faults and disappoint anyone. Too often I feel like I was invited to a circle jerk. Too often I feel like people would rather have 20 meaningless conversations with another human than two or three revealing ones. The idea of quality over quantity is too often ignored.

Monday, January 18, 2010

january 18th, 2010 part 2

Here are border of your place and my gnawing companion typed up courtesy of blue brother. It was just easier to upload them on a new post rather than fit them into the last one, and I have no idea why they aren't level.

january 18th, 2010

The first poem is another cut-up written in collaboration with Erin Dillon. We used Crazy Cock and The Tropic of Cancer (my favorite book to use) by Henry Miller, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey. I usually choose about six books, but we wrote this in a booth at Greenblatt's so space was limited. Lots of wine and meaningful discussions all around; great fucking night.

The second is loosely based on a conversation I overheard a few booths over that same night in Greenblatt's. The man was about 55 and looked like a fatter version of Orson Welles wearing all black. He had a lengthy discussion with a younger man in his thirties that was fascinating to listen in on. Like many previous poems, this one just fell in my lap.

my gnawing companion

I spent six to eight hours choking my complexion while Henry Miller questioned his moist envelope of flesh.

With the aid of timid informers right angle cheekbones jabber dangerously.

Everyone knows the shortest way to the Nabob whorehouse is singing the Zarathustra in unison.

Dingy chandeliers hang above obedient cyclists, decaying silently and mistakenly quoting wallet prices to splendid shoppers.

border of your place

I was only 10 years old when I held my mother and watched my father die. He had been sick for a while, but passing away at 51 is not something people around you can prepare for. He would always say Expectations are blueprints for disappointment and even at 10, on that day in that tiny hospital room, I felt a visceral truth about it deep in my bones. Neither of us cried, not until we left his cold side and pushed the down button for the elevator in the hallway. For whatever reason, as those metal doors creaked open we both knew he was gone forever, and then we balled all the way home.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

january 15th, 2010

Here are three new poems. They all need work in my opinion, but I do like them.

The first is another choppy, short-lined cut-up I wrote with Erin Dillon. The cut-up done in paragraph form grows very old, very quickly. I may hate this kind of spacing, but it's something different.

The next two are shots in the dark. I'm not sure what I was trying to do, which is why they need work. Until they are fixed, here you go...

jungle trousers

we have chosen stubbed toes
the size of handsome dimes

armies of ghosts crawl on their bellies
overlapping shouts of
Donald, find some tissue paper!

the American matador has been gored
a number of times

meteor drifts float like ducks
and sting like empty compliments
offering brown land for broken legs
hobbling like little lambs

ample-bottomed women
flirt behind library shelves

in a beautiful place out in the country

The banister is warped and bent and sliding down it proves to be a loud mistake. The family cat scrunches her arrogant face in annoyance, I assume. I throw my left shoe at her and barely miss. What a shame.

My aunts are still cooking dinner in the kitchen so I sneak out back and light up a Camel Blue. I went online a few weeks ago trying to order a carton of Camel Lights. The website advertised a blue pack of cigarettes as Camel Lights and to make a purchase I had to order at least three cartons. At $67 after shipping and handling I figured why not. Here I am four packs into my first carton and I’m waking up with terrible phlegm and an awful pain in my right side. Cheers to Russian cigarettes.

Halfway into my sixth drag I hear Aunt Marilyn clapping and rounding up my younger cousins. I take one last hit, snuff the cigarette out on the sole of my shoe and toss it into the back of the bushes by the fence. As I reach for the door handle I slow down and tell myself it isn’t that bad. After all, you’re in a beautiful place out in the country.

don’t judge a poem by its title

If artists are true visionaries they will make sound for vision. Hamlet has been repeating this in his head all day, as if it’s a mantra he’s trying to perfect. If artists are true visionaries they will make sound for vision. He has said it the same way every time. The pacing has been identical, the inflection he initially gave true has not parted, and at this point in the evening the quote means absolutely nothing to him. If artists are true visionaries they will make sound for vision. Amidst his friends, beneath the tourist-driven flurry he wears the look of a clear mind, and he wears it well. At this point Hamlet is more than familiar with personal distraction. (To clarify, this is the kind of distraction brought on by constant societal analysis, an admirable yet alienating level of expectation for human interaction, and a sickening, guilt-ridden feeling of sympathy for the homeless). If artists are true visionaries they will make sound for vision. Will the mantra ever amscray?

I also have three poems published in the new issue of Physiognomy in Letters, which you can buy and/or download for free here: Good stuff, check them out.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

january 12th, 2010

to matt

I thought you were gone
just another candy wrapper swept under the carpet
but you're back
so tonight I toast to you

I hope you find what you're looking for.

Friday, January 8, 2010

january 8th, 2010

here's another cut-up I wrote with the infamous temptress they call Mrs. Bojangles...

malibu broads

sailors with large noses
scream inside pingpong straightjackets
comforted secretly
by Brahms and bleu cheese
and pool patrolmen
who stand patiently under black umbrellas
but the taste of my tremendous whip
drunk on honeydew wine
is in new territory

waterfalls in far-off Africa
sentimental, psychopathic
basic and wondering
encounter constrained keys to Studebakers
carrying spoons around their necks

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

january 5th, 2010

our golden shoulders

I can feel the laughter of the masses stroking my sunburned earlobe. I yank the sunglasses off my collar and force them through my wavy brown sideburns. I’m having trouble reading between the lines I used to see between. I can see my reflection in the cigarette case and the scrambling sound my brain makes each time I swallow is so comforting beneath the sound of Los Angeles commotion. The evening will not slide out of my palm tonight because I am one of the unreasonable ones. Kick off your slippers and shuffle your pile of sorrows in two stacks of three. The grapes are always surprised at my degree of uncertainty.