Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Familiar Unknown [160/365 | July 29th]

These feel like the end days. This is the age of nothing in particular. Mt. Rainier is a discoloration of the sky. Into the unknown I am driven. There is a city here I am sure. I think I've been here before. I am excited and worried. If I turn a particular corner I'll be on the shores of Botany Bay.

[I have to call time on this project. A few months ago a novel I wrote in Icelandic was accepted for publication and between that and other related writing projects I simply don't have the time or energy to write poetry. This has been a lot of fun. Special thanks to Steve for launching this thing with me and to Adam for getting me into this. Thanks to all of you who've followed the blog. I hope you enjoyed this.]

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Tanka [July 8th | 159/365]

A long exposure
photograph of a waterfall.
Hair rigidly gelled.
A snail crawling up a green
stalk that is not yet bending.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

4 Scenes Involving 2 People [July 7th | 158/365]


Dancing in a foreign kitchen
Pavement blaring loudly from a beaten boom box
Thinking about how wrong I was as a teenager
Dismissing them as nothing special


Looking at the clock when I shut the phone
4 hours holy fuck 4 hour long conversation
I haven't had a phone call like that since my teens
They didn't seem very abnormal back then


Stuck yet again under a shuttered store's awning
Waiting out a thundershower listening to my iPod
Ten years ago I would have walked on through
I lived in Iceland then and always wore long coats


Drunkenly running away I nearly fall into the river
Barely keeping my balance on the bank
At least I haven't tried to climb a building
Like I used to when alcohol was fresh to me

Monday, July 6, 2009

Fox in Church [July 6th | 157/365]

A fox trotted up the side aisle
Most features of a church building have names
I do not know the one for aisles
That run alongside the pews
Next to the walls
Nevertheless that's where the fox was
Seeming to me to move with confidence
A sleek coat
Sharp eyes
Up front it turned and went past the altar
Then down the opposite side aisle

Years later I still see its shape in the window

A Poem Suggested by Umberto Eco That is Not about Milan Kundera [July 6th | 156/365]

The eighty legs the size of future's towers all moving through the city crumbling beneath it, the mouths, eyes, wings and mandibles, the beast screamed: I bring a horrible tranquility. I give you the love you have never known. There is nothing and then there is my peace. Love me! Love me! Love me!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Weather Poem [July 1st | 155/365]

The cold front in my head
Was dispersed by the sight
Like slanted sunlight through cloudgaps
Of two men kissing
So public yet at an angle to the world
On a street corner
Like pantomime actors
At the end of the play
When the lovers triumph
As others passed by
Paying the two men as little heed
As the man sitting against the wall
His head leaning forward
And holding a sign advertising his poverty

If I had turned my eyes inwards
I would have seen the beast uncurl its tail
As it disappeared like time during depression

Friday, June 26, 2009

Function at the Archive [June 26th | 154/365]

I could see the awkward young man prepare bon mots he was too shy to utter, but he resembles a parliamentarian.

The books on the wall are precious in inverse proportion to the stiff, flat portraits of people no one here can identify.

There will never be a fire here, never a thief, never a vandal, never a conqueror who will be blamed by future scholars for scattering the papers.

I was awkward at first, unsure of the etiquette among these foreign scholars, but then I started talking without thought.

Once I searched the shelves for texts in a language I wouldn't be able to identify.

I try to speak to the young man but his murmurs are barely intelligible.

There are always politics to speech.

It'll surprise you to find out who gets blamed for the inevitable, who the future tyrant is, who'll be infamous to the coming bookish young.

Haiku [June 26th | 153/365]

Shadows dappled like
paint on the damp undergrowth.
An empty cop car.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Radicals Never Leave [June 22nd | 152/365]

The old men of the Revolution
Sit silent in the waiting room
Like love too intense and insecure
To confess itself to the People

Declarations pile up on low tables
When the call comes they will rise

Waking Nightmare [June 22nd | 151/365]

The serene Horace is dead
Like a popped soap bubble
Nothing remains but a stain
Let us wreathe him in Persian flowers
The sphere of reality collapsed
And felt myself chosen to retain its structure in my mind
When I tried to write it back into being
The words in my brain became nonsense on the page
Horace cannot weave a universe together
Happy are those who do not know
All words must die

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Haiku [June 21st | 150/365]

The drop of water,
held together by tension.
The stone in darkness.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Exhuming Martyrs with Dynamite [June 20th | 149/365]

the machine's profane machinations
are obvious to all
the only question is
whether it's intentionally thus

screams from human throats
pierce the ear like
shouted appeals to god
to end earthly tyranny

am I a fool
to sit and write
thousands of miles away
about others' violent deaths

how can I respond
to images of apocalypse
with nothing but words
but everyone's mind responds

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Haiku [June 18th | 148/365]

Having risked too much
the ship, overfull with fish,
was sunk by ripples.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Documentary Theater Poem [June 17th | 147/365]

Alternating flashes of blue and red
People walking around swapping information strings
Yellow and black plastic ribbon strung between lampposts
The motorcycle twisted
The driverside door concave
Hair, much, much too long to be reality
A comet

Monday, June 15, 2009

Tanka [June 15th | 146/365]

The quiet city
doesn't suggest ghosts to me,
or ectoplasmic. No, it's
the din of summer I miss.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Swamp is Elsewhere [June 13th | 145/365]

monsters and odd bugs
live in the swamp
we should escape there
or at least try

you and I can
believe impossible things together
the reality of elves
and people on TV

the orderers of truth
have nothing on us
but the mere universe
pas de deux quarks

in my current state
I refuse to believe
that you are here
I imagine you elsewhere

Thursday, June 11, 2009

On Being Told to Wait Until July [June 11th | 144/365]

July will never happen. July is the End of the World. July is when the Sun steps down from the sky and scorches the Earth. July is the laserbeam that cuts Time in half. July is an illusionist's trick so that we think that June will one day end. July is the tsunami crashing upon the shore. July is the Void, the Abyss. July is the Earthquake God, screaming for blood and rubble. July is the hurricane over the sea. July burns like the flame catching the tree. Don't believe in July or July will believe in you.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Summer Haiku [June 10th | 143/365]

The first drops of rain
were warm. A firefly joined
me in the doorway.

The Fumes of the Underworld [June 10th | 142/365]

You told me:
"Slantways glimpsing
the elephant rampant
augurs a peripatetic hereafter."
Which sent me running for the dictionary.

Then you said:
"A basaltine mycospore
acculturing upon an elmet balustrade
forespeaks a distatic amourance."
And I said: "Hey now,
you're just making up words now."

Your final words to me were:
"Andepanditure maxies
marecal sandomixtants
af saken lackryssics."
"Oh, fuck you." I said and left.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Letters are Pictures of Sound [June 8th | 141/365]

This might as well be language
But let's say it's a picture
Or perhaps a series of images
Either way let's agree on something
So that we can start from a solid
Rather than dance through emptiness
A tomb ditty ditty tomb ditty tea
A tomb ditty ditty tomb ditty tea
Tomb ditty tea
Tomb ditty tea
Tomb ditty tea

Scenes I May Have Misunderstood from a Movie I Know Nothing About [June 8th | 140/365]

The forty something movie star surprises her maids by getting on her knees to angrily scrub the floor. A gentleman caller shows up and they have sex in the shower, the movie star and the gentleman caller, not the maids. Here I stopped paying attention because my friend offered to get me a glass of Southern Comfort from the bar because I had never tasted it. The movie star is now a mother and the gentleman caller a distant, uninvolved father. The baby dwells in splendor. My friend arrived with gin and tonic because another friend had already ordered me a drink at the bar and then the band started playing. I was once presented with the opportunity of becoming a father and I said no, not now. Later I glance at the screen that is showing the film and the movie star is cutting flowers at night dressed in an evening gown. A girl, six years old I'm guessing, hands her an axe. The movie star cuts down a tree.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Summer Haiku [June 7th | 139/365]

The summer rain wets
the caterpillar. A snail
lies cracked on the road.

Friday, June 5, 2009

6/4/89 [June 4th | 138/365]

The students sang the Internationale in an effort to remember that there was something to stand for as they watched their childhood heroes demand they lay their heads down on the block to a tank tread a human being is pulp the young woman crying about the desire for death the far too familiar hope that everything goes well and the citizens who try to keep the soldiers from entering the city are also meat to a cleaver and no the hand there is a hand and there are hands guiding those hands and brains sending messages and the teachers die alongside their students and when they had finished singing the Internationale they sang the March of the Volunteers because those are the songs they know the bulldozers will pile up the debris there is nothing to their name their names ruthlessly unrecorded but for every person dead there must be at least one other who remembers who they are and where they died and the students watch the tracer bullets and someone will say that they sounded like firecrackers and there are people alive today who are responsible and in whose name will they be judged those human rags the students are nameless but there are people whose names we know and the students left as faint light spread westward across the sky and the students left quietly when dawn arrived like an army sent to murder night.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Algorithm for People [June 4th | 137/365]

the boy machine knits
his eyebrows into confusion
and shame at his
heavy incorporeal almost nature

tensing up at happy
noises and joyous words
the algorithms of thought
shutting down without warning

we met out here
away from anyone else
not expecting fellow travelers
inside our own brains

I stumble frequently because
I don't pay attention
to the near once
my thoughts stretch far

Monday, June 1, 2009

Sound by Bird [June 1st | 136/365]

Death would have to be a tricky subject for self-conscious birds, who would have to worry about dying in flight and having their well-regarded physiques mangled and grotesqued by wave or stream or stillness.

Staring into the Past [May 31st | 135/365]

I realize from your body language that you assume I was staring at you but in reality I was merely staring into space lost inside my own mind. I apologize, I should have been standing in a desert staring expectantly into the night sky waiting for the center of our galaxy to rise above the horizon.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

My Relationships with the Arts [May 31st | 134/365]

I'm a little bit in love with Schoenberg
like wanting to fuck a windy day I see out the window
leaves and branches flailing in harmony
the occasional cloud rhythmically screaming across the sky
like I want to buy Pynchon a cup of coffee
and ask him if he likes it rough

The 88th Thing to Do with a Lobster and a Slightly Soiled Pair of Lederhosen [May 31st | 133/365]

A man will call, he will tell you he's a lobster, but don't believe him. Nevertheless, tell him that you're wearing lederhosen and when he asks you about the barely perceptible stain marks tell him that they're just crustacean eggs and definitely not the viscera of the last man who crossed you. He will ask if crustaceans lay eggs and tell him you don't know, you're too busy eviscerating people who ask inconvenient questions to keep track of the procreation methods of the various subphyla, something he'll say he understands. He'll tell you that the money is where it supposed to be and all the trawling reports too. Tell him he's a good lobster and that he can lick your lederhosen clean. He'll say that he doesn't think lobsters have tongues. That's when you know he's a traitor and that there are men outside who'll break down your door three seconds hence. Hoist up your hosen and leap out the bathroom window. Run, as fast and as far as your leatherclad thighs can take you.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Regrets Flap Their Wings [May 30th | 132/365]

sensibility crushes idiot improvisation
under drive and force
sweeping all poor decisions
into the quiet river

diving after flying objects
is a matter of
muscle memory not thought
consciousness is a hindrance

then suddenly you threw
paragraph after paragraph of
contract law at me
like birds swooping in

there is a breath
to me like stops
and starts like being
beating like a wing

Thursday, May 28, 2009

You Are Where the Trees Have Yet to Lose a Leaf [May 28th | 131/365]

Hold on to my elbow
I will keep my arm close to the body

I will get you across the river
All the way to school

Spring Tanka [May 28th | 130/365]

In this weather I
can't tell the difference between
the road and the sky.
Even the violet seems
not to have color or roots.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Relations with the See [May 27th | 129/365]

he pretended the insult
was a joke but
the apology was ebbing
and flowing like tides

whistling like the bird
perched outside the window
startled the humans inside
unused to beastly noises

you watch his hands
while he touches you
and he angles away
when your body approaches

the cardinal sits eating
the offering in silence
we watch expectantly waiting
to hear doctrinal pronouncements

Monday, May 25, 2009

Making the Tendentious Real [May 25th | 128/365]

a hole into another
universe passed over me
like a plane traveling
across the Atlantic Ocean

his story is simple
it is always simple
the world is what
makes the events complicated

I will sculpt your
shadow out of clay
I will hew your
iris out of granite

he said he would
rather the musicians stopped
paying attention to themselves
and focused on you

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Haiku [May 21st | 127/365]

Jet trails pink against
a blue sky fading to white.
The birds are soundless.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Sickly Menageries Seen Boldly [May 19th | 126/365]

the delectable comestibles you
have selected most carefully
sate my hunger joyously
at a journey's conclusion

the lamentable is imaginary
when simply ambling away
as if measuring borderlines
marks a serious distinction

red splattered ink bleeding
prettily unto the evening
paper under the settee
in the patterned study

meeting on cold beaches
calls for building castles
so that lastly we
can banish calendar discordance

Entropy Doesn't Work Mysteriously [May 18th | 125/365]

you hid the true
image by drawing out
the lines making it
look like an error

if we remind me
often enough I might
forget because all information
must submit to entropy

signatures are very hard
to forge but easy
peasy to fake because
few people compare rigorously

I thought that if
I focused on all
the good the bad
would drown from exhaustion

Monday, May 18, 2009

Daydreams Are the Realer [May 17th | 124/365]

picture a great factory
waiting for a time
to start production again
of its outdated product

the spires that invite
descriptive terms of flight
and halls that suggest
size beyond human comprehension

the silence inside feels
like it has weight
and it presses down
with purely mental force

a bird has interrupted
your imagining with song
or so you think
you are not sure

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Orienting the Senses [May 16th | 123/365]

The bark and scream of the bird beneath my window cleaves the air setting pressure upon fragile tactility threatening to collapse into floating nothing

The sky through my page-shaped window is aged frightful and unwavering in hue and emotion blue as the memories my brain is unable to bear on my consciousness

Friday, May 15, 2009

Minds Failing in Sync [May 15th | 122/365]

you asked me about the last day
I would ever forget
I never even knew there could be
a final forgetting
I thought the erasure of memory
was forever
that nothing could remain of us
but the lie

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Reactions of a Disbeliever [May 13th | 121/365]

no I'm pretty sure
this isn't a long
lost parable of Jesus
he didn't barbecue pork

John Wesley Harding didn't
buy you a sandwich
no matter what this
credit card receipt says

you realize your story
only makes sense if
Che Guevara really was
a twelve foot reptile

the headwaters' chemical composition
tells you little about
how a river tastes
upon meeting the sea

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Eternal City [May 12th | 120/365]

The Thirteenth Rome is being founded one tent at a time under the majestic sweep of a highway overpass
We glimpse it as we drive by but do not comprehend the sight of the Empire demanding its existence back

Impressions of the Crowd [May 12th | 119/365]

Beneath platinum hair
An iron face regarding
With a look alien and impersonal
Bending towards an openness
Emphatic of suggestion

Noting discolorations of surface
Without tone or hue
The mark of picture upon idea
Heading towards the sounds
Of a universe of justice and love

Sleep privies the unlikely dreamer
Wakefulness the alert
There is no need for imagery
On your bare walls
Only a disassociative mind

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Satisfying Yet Essentially Considerate [May 10th | 118/365]

crawling out of ashcans
and spreading like floral
centerpieces across a table
between uncomfortably extrovert guests

the pressure to be
expresses itself as sounds
pushing through air towards
ears open by necessity

a martini must be
what cleaning solvent tastes
like to the floor
said the expressive poet

exploding like raucous shrubs
riotously expanding across gardens
setting color against contrast
slipping between the senses

Division of the Faculties [May 9th | 117/365]

our trust we do
not put in poets
their highly contentious arguments
and charged public language

it is strange to
stare at yourself in
the mirror as you
sit on the toilet

all the words lie
flat on the page
one dimensional vectors on
two dimensional wood pulp

and thus he was
out of the pool
of his own vomit
pulled by gentle minds

Friday, May 8, 2009

Slicing Categories [May 8th | 116/365]

The dew glosses the blossoms
Swinging below the scrawls
Written in the windowmist

The letters abruptly wither
On the pane

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Tanka [May 7th | 115/365]

A spider reflects
in a pool as it's walking
along a broken
branch that was broken last night
off a tree by heavy winds.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Spring Haiku [May 6th | 114/365]

The glow of the moon,
faint through clouds threatening rain,
keeps me company.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Next in the Progression [May 5th | 113/365]

it wasn't the sun
that made me panic
but the glowing stain
I couldn't see through

the only way to
avoid falling into this
hated dance is to
know its steps unthinkingly

the republic of those
who know they're right
lies unseen asleep down
in the hollow Earth

the sun arrives dancing
rising from the poles
I see a sun
darken our exposed eyes

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Alloy [May 1st | 112/365]

I touched the skin gently
Where it looked the most angry
Hinting most at disappearance

Your metals aren't poisonous enough

Nothing's nothing anymore
There's always an imprint
A memory to cherish or hate

It is too soft to leave a trace

Calm the forge and let your tools fade
Heat will only create a glow
The rigid shall not bend for you

Accept the shape it grows into

Friday, May 1, 2009

City Darkness Humans [April 30th | 111/365]

empty sky stars
house open window
silence shadow fence

running man garden
shout cry grimace
flowing liquid wet

head eyes stillness
thoughts mood knowledge
moon fear terror

Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Motion of Nothing [April 29th | 110/365]

I rearrange my sentences
to avoid using the
second person singular pronoun
when you're within earshot

a dark blue sky
mountains in the distance
whiteness without any shadows
footsteps in the snow

Brownian motion makes certain
that eventually we will
find ourselves crossing paths
without having planned to

a light blue sky
wispy clouds hanging still
the city we inhabit
a door I've exited

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Birds of Poetry [April 28th | 109/365]

poets transfigure wings
into words and
hope for transference

birds of paradise
live in forests
with easy foraging

mask the emotions
with quick movements
spelling out fiction

Sunday, April 26, 2009

EURO PEAN DREE MING [April 26th | 108/365]

ican tsee thes tars
disa pear buti know
they must havf orme
tobe this affe cted

youd idnt want meto
undr esss yuan ymor
howb orin gyou said
lets gett oobi znis

astr onom ical trms
were poor mate rial
form akin rhet oric
ford escr ibin love

ther isal ways time
forn ewwd ansm oovs
ipro test dqui etly
know init wass gone

Tanka [April 26th | 107/365]

The familiar
song reminds me of other
sun-excited days
I spent swatting mosquitoes
waiting for you to appear.

The Pleasant Interrogation of Madison Gallas [April 26th | 106/365]

I'd describe as a stabbing motion, yes. No, I never see any moment but I feel the piercing. Sometimes it's simultaneous, sometimes sequential and sometimes it's a singular incision or perforation of the mind.

I've never felt this tightening you describe, I always have enough leeway within to expand and contract freely. There is nothing for me to defend, either from or against. The space I have scouted is empty. There is no sense in violence, I have no one to attack.

I suppose many would describe it as a fight if they had watched but no one is watching now and no one watched then. It's all a matter of simile and metaphor, really. Some things the mind consider like one another, though never completely, not the same at all.

I'm loath to consider it realer, to describe it as a truth, but I could surrender to it all the same. My constitution can barely survive as it is. The eyelids feel swollen, the skin cracked, an unseen hand pushes on my chest and my mind is pierced. My mind is like a dancing flame.

Friday, April 24, 2009

An Excuse for Inaction [April 24th | 105/365]

these letters represent nothing
just wind flowing through
vibrating matter and we
know matter is higgledy-piggledy

the order of letters
is only a fluke
not ordained or chosen
by a thoughtful being

meaning is set out
unsystematically and without purpose
by arranging accepted signifiers
in somewhat ordered fashion

the unpremeditated is suspect
of being simply rote
thoughts manifesting in action
that is my excuse

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Great Declaration of Learned Helplessness [April 23rd | 104/365]

The message we send forth today
Let's stop your heart
Out of the depths of horror and sacrifice
Will be born again
The glory of mankind

You restrain a dog
And shock it with electricity
It stops trying to escape
Once it realizes it can't
That all it can do is whimper

This then is the message
Which we send forth
States and nations bond or free
All the men in all the lands
Who care for freedom

You put that dog in an open box
And shock it again
It doesn't jump out
But lays down and whimpers
And stays there until its deliverance comes

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Scavenger Hunt in Hell [April 21st | 103/365]

he just kept shouting
why must you godammit
always cry when you
don't find it first

all teams must disband
the only reason you
hang around him is
his lateral thinking skill

you call this shit
a fucking scavenger hunt
she shouted pushing him
into the birthday cake

the guests didn't expect
that the last clue
would turn out to
be a suicide note

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Release of the State [April 20th | 102/365]

The ball of the Sun dips into the sea
And disappears like a man mistaken for the Messiah
We all know what he is going to say
But we await it eagerly just the same
And fall apart with joy when the words are shouted

Monday, April 20, 2009

Spring Tanka [April 19th | 101/365]

The Buick broke down
on the way to the airport.
The daffodils droop
by the side of the highway
moved only by the brisk air.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Quiet Song of Madison Gallas [April 18th | 100/365]

I see acts that aren't there and I can't tell what or who casts the shadows around me and I'm sure that I saw movement in the abandoned building across the road.

I sit on the balcony and listen to the hum of the currents and think about turning on the light in the room behind me so that I can be backlit.

I am lonely it's that simple and I savor my involuntary solitude while I feel gravity pull me into the chair while I cease to think.

The arrangement of clouds leaves visible only fragments of the constellations and the freedom is terrifying for how can I move when my movement could bring me anywhere.

I have stopped asking what will become of me since I started getting answers I didn't like from people I couldn't see whose voices soared like electric wires.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Spring Haiku [April 17th | 99/365]

The first mosquito
of spring hovered, ready to
feed on the sleeper.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Beasts of the Earth [April 16th | 98/365]

Our arms were ripped off by contradictory paradoxes
Which annihilated each other on contact
Leaving the reflecting constellations to form themselves in the blood
Pooling around us

Nothing is the mother of thought
Nurturing the ungainly and the impossible
Mindcreatures tottering on unreason away from light and matter
Falling apart and alive

The clemency of the brain towards the dying young
Makes our morals pornographic
Subject to the whims of revelation
And not the forever desire of old communities

There wild animals of elsewhere live unimagined
Bothered with intelligence and a familiar sky
The everchanging viewpoints of logic
Cut through imagination and unravel the lack

the speed with which [April 15th | 97/365]

stumbling as I run down the hill hoping my legs don't buckle and I keep upright

the thoughtless organism swims in her bodily fluids wandering fast and aimlessly digesting what it can

the velocity with which we exit the tunnel suggests a temporary reality to my overstimulated mind

rocketing towards old age we treat our lives like journeys with destinations instead of an existence

Monday, April 13, 2009

Four Pillars of Language [April 13th | 96/365]

air give him air
so that the machine
makes a note of
his words and inflection

fire still leaves imprints
at the low resolution
edges of his vision
but not much else

human thought is extinguished
by the swift rearrangements
of the possible channels
it can flow through

earth is cartoon contrasted
by the relative emptiness
surrounding it like black
around a word balloon

Faded Surfaces Suggest Time [April 13th | 95/365]

faded flags and spines
of books sitting in
an office abandoned at
least a decade ago

the only person repeated
in photographs must be
the former occupant his
smiles look like hisses

he is missing from
the photograph of children
with teeth the hue
of their white shirts

a dictionary collapses during
my wait the pages
heaping in the space
behind the other books

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Language is full of words to describe the horror but instead we got poetry. [April 12th | 94/365]

We think in terms of literal flowers when we should think of visceral guts.
Really no one cares about all this last century whatever whatever yeah.
Friends gather with a bottle of wine and disbelieve in the existence of time.
There's a shift coming some think and it will either do fuck all or destroy everything.
Tomorrow seems unlikely as a when to end the world but I guess every time does.
Minds are fixed actually you said but I find it hard to think that way.
Factual information can just as well be untrue it just has to be fact-like.
The speakable is nice and functions as description enough to go by.
We have to struggle to ascribe words to paper instead of fallible human beings.
Stories move close to a register intended for daily usage but we have to give.
Hands are part of this conversation and bodies from all and every degree and angle.
The experience was almost entirely physical and without words to smear it.
Let us make the soldiers march against each other into our freshest defenses.
Mud falls away from mud in clumps and buries the packed earth under feet.
Democracy is represented in these stories and must give account of itself.
Shelter in the face of chaos and a joy destroyed by setting men free.
Laughing children mimic stories that shine into them from their sun.
Give it to them give in to them give of their everything it is time to.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Spring Tanka [April 10th | 93/365]

The attitude of
the rain as it hits the glass
changes with the wind.
I adjust the angle by
opening up my window.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

In Want of Compline [April 9th | 92/365]

the bells of dawn
sound loudly even now
an hour past midnight
and I can't sleep

silence becomes too loud
when the brain seeps
into the real world
through the sound cracks

not even a light
can dispel the shadows
of noise that night
casts on a city

dreaming should be enticement
enough to fall unconscious
dreams shouldn't simply be
but be worth dreaming

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

In Entropy [April 7th | 91/365]

In youth the road away from my home city went past an immense name made by ripping moss out from a side of a mountain.

It took sixty years to disappear.

The basque sheepherders who moved to Northern Nevada learned quickly that a shallow cut in the white bark of Aspen trees heals black.

Their words rot with the tree.

If I tried to shape earth to have the plants sprout into the letters of your name I worry that it would grow as if translated by a bad dictionary.

My name instead of yours.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Fun Times [April 6th | 90/365]

You have become a line drawing
An old sketch briefly handled
While packing boxes before a move.

I live in a forest of words
Like a lifeform entwining
The growth of others.

We should have abandoned our principles
And attempted madness.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Staring with Shut Eyes [April 5th | 89/365]

wasn't there she said
this parachute regiment insignia
a heart in a
parachute I like that

people's bravado when recently
dumped is always alike
the for the best
and too good for

an epistemology in error
reduced to conceptual desire
anticipates memory she said
imagination needs mind control

squirrels should not be
this fat in spring
without starvation what is
the point of hoarding

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Sleep Kills Meaningful Conversation [April 4th | 88/365]

voices through the floor
some sounding from mind
others vibrated into existence
by an electric command

there are no people
only the shifting hardwood
and the air molecules
rushed into new positions

downward pressure by chemicals
keeps the brain shut
and the boy alert
and mobile during daytime

all this is elementary
or would be if
you were less needful
and wanting in companionship

Spring haiku [April 3rd | 87/365]

Someone's vomit floats
in the fishtank. A cat licks
a sleeping woman.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Cold Constellations [April 2nd | 86/365]

The cold air tunnels its way through every layer of cloth I place athwart its path reaching the skin and spreading in all direction like an alien flower taking over earth previously occupied by life not prepared for this new form of being like you is a certain kind of idea that certain kind I can barely resist and only if I strive to resist and make an effort to like everything it was eroding and eventually nothing would remain but before there would be nothing we would be nothing so as far as we were concerned it was forever and so we were happy and we laughed watching lines appear on our faces that one day we would be able to extend and make into patterns like the constellations we made out of stars on a winter night staring at a clear sky lying as close as bark to a tree.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


I was asked to write one of 13 manifestos for the website For a New Green Society. The one I wrote is called Art is Waste: Recycle It! The manifestos run from being serious to being satiric and some I can't tell where on the spectrum they fall.

Spring Haiku [April 1st | 85/365]

Put screen in skylight
to keep out bugs. The sky is
now pixelated.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Academy of Secrets [March 31st | 84/365]

the sinister invertebrates oppose
whoever speaks to them
and appoint themselves doorkeepers
of every knowledge system

stones lie to us
professing metaphor which could
never be expressed by
the hammer and chisel

it was said that
a whiff of sulfur
escaped from his body
as it merrily burned

fossilized flesh does not
give way but crumbles
under duress and becomes
just so much dust

Monday, March 30, 2009

Fiction [March 30th | 83/365]

He gave you a fake kitten
With a real flower perched between plastic fangs
Playfully and coyly he'd insist the kitten was real
Just as living as any other creature
Not a truth or a lie it was fiction fun and joyful
It made you think you knew when he was lying
But the lies were serious and told with insistence
And when challenged he'd imply and insinuate
He didn't understand why you had to hurt him

Now you don't go into the garden
The glimmer of the dew isn't yours
The taut vibrations of insects and the mobile shade
The smell of moisture and sound of dryness
You leave them alone along with the flower bed
Where the plants are allowed to die
In the soil they grew in

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Spring Haiku [March 28th | 82/365]

Sweating from a warmth
unexpected in early
spring. Birds squeal for mates.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Sometimes a Poet Has to Capitulate to the World [March 27th | 81/365]

When you are searching for topics for poetry seeing
A house wren rip meat off another dead house wren while being
Told of the clandestine lovers of Garcia Lorca
Is overkill worthy of any flotilla of orca.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

On a Smooth Surface [March 26th | 80/365]

to harmonize our voices
you assume our consonance
which is not always
apparent to the ear

we cut the words
and sentences out of
four other people's stories
demand ransom from ourselves

it pens us in
keeps us in check
locking the parts together
making their rearrangement illegal

we gather in song
collect voices like scraps
washed up on shore
worn smooth by seawater

The Magnificent Mayflies [March 26th | 73/365]

Maggie the Mayfly
woke up one morning
and wondered
what that meant,

so she asked her mother,
but her mother was dead
(though her mother had died
with her huge fly eyes open,
so Maggie the Mayfly
could not tell).

After several hours of silence passed,
Maggie the Mayfly asked her father
about being alive,
but the conversation was just
the same.

So Maggie the Mayfly
asked a stranger
who was also a mayfly,
What does it mean that I'm 'alive?'"
and the stranger,
who was also alive,
said, "I was going to ask you the same question."
And Maggie the Mayfly said,
"That's funny."
And they sat there in silence
for several hours,

and then they mated,
and Maggie became pregnant,
and then Maggie died.

But before she died,
Maggie gave birth
to Melanie--
Melanie the Mayfly.

Melanie the Mayfly
woke up one morning
and wondered
what that meant,

so she asked Maggie,
but Maggie was dead
(though Maggie had died
with her huge fly eyes open,
so her daughter, Melanie,
could not tell).

After several hours of silence passed,
Melanie the Mayfly asked her father
about being alive,
but the conversation was just
the same.

So Melanie the Mayfly
asked a stranger
who was also a mayfly,
What does it mean that I'm 'alive?'"
and the stranger,
who was also alive,
said, "I was going to ask you the same question."
And Melanie the Mayfly said,
"That's funny."
And they sat there in silence
for several hours,

and then they mated,
and Melanie became pregnant,
and then Melanie died.

But before she died,
Melanie gave birth
to Mallory--
Mallory the Mayfly.

Mallory the Mayfly
woke up one morning
and wondered
what that meant,

so she asked Melanie,
but Melanie was dead
(though Melanie had died
with her huge fly eyes open,
so her daughter, Mallory,
could not tell).

After several hours of silence passed,
Mallorythe Mayfly asked her father
about being alive,
but the conversation was just
the same.

So Melanie the Mayfly
asked a stranger
who was also a mayfly,
What does it mean that I'm 'alive?'"
and the stranger,
who was also alive,
said, "I was going to ask you the same question."
And Melanie the Mayfly said,
"That's funny."
And they sat there in silence
for several hours,

and then a giant hand came,
and Mallory and the stranger looked up
in the most reverent awe
that they would ever know,
for it was the last thing they ever saw,

and they knew, in that moment,
exactly what it was that they were doing.

The Presence of Death [March 25th | 79/365]

the cable news blares
while the middle aged
men gossip passionately about
distant family and friends

the schnauzer barks incessantly
until he is leashed
which is when he
starts gnawing on furniture

the not so old
woman in the wheelchair
behind her there are
flowers in a vase

the pink flower occupies
the center and draws
the eye in like
water up a stem

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Army Ranger's Wife [March 24th | 78/365]

the old Parisian dame
in her trompe l'oeil
sweater has trouble explaining
her loss to Americans

she's spent sixty years
in Rhode Island suburbs
and she still stumbles
wearing a foreign tongue

her husband who's radiantly
powerful in old photographs
retreats upstairs dragging his
feet when company calls

the front gate is
grown over with moss
her dogs make sorrowful
noises when it's opened

Monday, March 23, 2009

Only Fiction is Realistic [March 23rd | 77/365]

I can feel you
like an alien flag
planted in my skull
piercing through the flesh

we enter this fiction
gladly allowing our thoughts
to slather narrative structure
over life and chance

there is only motion
just the one but
then all is moving
like a shook bottle

the shape of trees
suggests randomness that does
not exist in nature
only structure and choice

Sunday, March 22, 2009

WORD REEP URPU SING [March 22nd | 76/365]

pour thep aper owwt
ofth eshr eder into
ther eesy klin gbin
itsb ettr that wayh

city bilt nsaw dust
ahau scon stru cted
ofpa king mate rial
coff nsre turn home

stry ving toop iece
toog ethr pree used
matt erin tusu mthn
pers onal toou stwo

ihoa pwee fayd each
inth eoth rsme mory
like disn tegr atin
phoe toas ofth dead

Night Invades the Other [March 22nd | 75/365]

the paintdrums of dawn
lie covered while we
think back to past
dark nights in bed

all colors are faded
in rooms without light
even white and black
are seemingly less themselves

our pupils feel like
they're wider than irises
straining against the flesh
which surrounds the eyes

past the reflective surface
there is darkness no
light to illuminate the
inner surfaces of eyes

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Causes of Insomnia [March 20th | 74/365]

The brick-eyed dogs run through my mind
Crunch junkyards with gemmed teeth

Rivers seep through scar and sudden cities
Leeching salt from radiating newspapers

Arrythmic marching bands saunter sleepily
Alerting squirrels to the onset of mating season

Nothing indicates the silence of the clock on the wall
Quiet icons replaced with sagging nails

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Simple Rules for Living [March 19th | 73/365]

don't live in solitude
don't hurt without dying
don't bear but make
don't work for yourself

skitter against invisible barriers
cover yourself with seed
reach for the nectar
swarm with your siblings

your flight is lonesome
your weight bends flowers
you're caught in webs
your sight is compound

dance with a purpose
put away the honey
stab one last time
die among crushed leaves

Spring Haiku [March 18th | 72/365]

Inside the split drum
there is nothing. My breath melts
the snowflakes slowly.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Spring Haiku [March 17th | 71/365]

I was sick in bed
when the last snowpile melted.
Snails moving through dirt.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Daily Pattern [March 13th | 70/365]

The soft voiced middle-aged liquor store clerk making lewd gestures as he sells me beer has the same timbre to his speech as the 98-year old woman who thanked me for fixing her television and the same cadence as the disappointed man in his thirties who sounded like he was twice as old when he realized that I would not be able to solve his problems.

The other day everyone I met had dissimilar eyes.

We make characters out of people but we don't base them in reality so much as realism and that's how we can understand that just because it's untrue it doesn't mean it's a lie and that's how religion was eroded not by the sword or by technology but by the understanding that all can be text and story and allegory even truth.

We make patterns and we think they're beautiful and profound.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Exchanging Words Around Me [March 12th | 69/365]

the female undergraduate telling
the male undergraduate that
she wasn't into him
for the right reasons

the Bosniak arguing with
the Austrian about whether
there exists a tradition
of Islam in Europe

the party guest disbelieving
a Rhode Islander's origin
you're from New York
you have to be

and yet they all
left my presence chatting
amicably without any rancor
but with some awkardness

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Spring tanka [March 11th | 68/365]

The dirty snowpile
resting against my office
building is all that
remains of winter's last storm.
It seems triumphant to me.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Sonnet After Catullus After Sappho [March 10th | 67/365]

A delicate trembling of the senses
A sweet burning on the tongue
A pressure behind the eyes
That was the first meeting
That was passing through your gaze

A silent hum inside the ears
A wet taste against the touch
A lack of presence to the smell
That was my brain reacting
That was the release of chemicals

Who do you think you are, Kári?
Copying old love poems as if
Other people's words describe you

But they do, Kári, they do.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Spring Haiku [March 8th | 66/365]

The silent mist soaks
the awning. Cleaning the ledge
I find a dead bee.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Random Motion Across the Between [March 8th | 65/365]

Accelerating I find it harder to swerve in time to believe that there is such a thing as time when statistically speaking there only need to be distance to explain what happens in the world fills with the twisted motion of a ribbon floating down from a sixth floor skylight which makes it seem so easy just to align with the vicissitudes of flow but then meaning has a way of arriving out of nowhere seeking accidents by swerving personalities through a static crowd as the syllables flitter in my mind but they don't mean what I want them to mean and alight on you and even if they did they are skewed with averages when values for distance where worked into the mathematics of the language we use to hide meaning under words and dance and connections.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Nothing Changes with Time [March 6th | 64/365]

He was pregnant with youth
Creating a thickening tissue of past
Out of scant fractions of life
There are two incompatible versions of a body
One views him as a handy measure
To the other he is the inescapable function
Something has to sound like a lot of noise
Arms flailing purposefully in dance
A familiar recital like tied with string
Like people speaking into the wrong mouth
Tonguing the wrong sentences and why

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Kids in Their Crawling Dragon [March 4th | 63/365]

In a slow repeat they stare
At flares which illuminate a wasting
They are slow to understand
So that they will not retain
Any memories

It is best to forget
Until it is best to remember

Tigers hunt at night
Alone and from ambush
It's dragons that travel in packs
Lighting up the sky with fire

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

I Have Seen Photographs of the Aftermath [March 3rd | 62/365]

At first thought it seems like an apt metaphor
We were the Tunguska Event
The meteor exploding seconds before contact with the Earth
But once thought through it becomes untruth
More instantaneously than the median metaphor
We certainly did not flatten Siberian fir for miles around
No one has entertained the idea that we were a UFO
Or a mystery to be solved by paranormal methods
We would have made for boring novels and movies
Any metaphor that applies to us
Must be without events
We were the wait between an e-mail being sent and read
The first thoughts after waking under an unfamiliar ceiling
That moment before a meteor explodes above the Siberian tundra

Mies van der Rohe Thought Today Would Be Orderly [March 3rd | 61/365]

The grain silos of the future
Stare at young presidents
Waiting restlessly for an architect
To fashion modernity out of them

The ageless president sits among the people
Rather the representatives of the people
Selected to look like the people
Like to think the people look like

Passerby's Advice [March 2nd | 60/365]

"Please remember
To take your glasses off or stumble blindly."
My tracks are snowed in seven steps behind me
Like ash on embers

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Tanka [February 28th | 59/365]

I am afraid to
say that I have a poem
to fit this structure.
The dirt under the basment
concrete appropriates us.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Temper Temper [February 27th | 58/365]


Friday, February 27, 2009

Coffee Weather [February 26th | 57/365]

I can't see the clouds from where I stand
but from the horizontality of the rain I know that if I saw them from where I feel
150000 feet
I would see them speed along carried by motional atmosphere
driven by forces I'm not complete in the science regarding
but the mean of this poem remains
that my real me and the emotional state of self do not share a sightline but they have the same
mindweather driven by caffeine and chemicals the brain produces
which is simply yes yes yes yes yes

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Tranquility is Always Singular [February 26th | 56/365]

in tranquility my mind
cannot recollect the shards
of intense overwhelming emotion
and arrange into words

lethargy of the brain
flows with the ink
into slow quiet poems
that drift through pupils

the reflection of me
trembles in the water
but I do not
oh no not me

I prefer the mirror
my face turning slowly
as I examine it
for signs of emotion

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Dream of the Thousand in the Wood [February 24th | 55/365]

You can only think of me.
The trees are tied together with string.
Let us, oh "let us," such a poetic phrase.
Here we were last night and now we aren't.
Stroking the wine glass it sings.
I burrow deep, still afraid of us.
How beautiful the pulp sheet, shining with thought.
It was either hands or clasped body parts.
The forest is ten times our age, yet young.
We'll come crawling if you mimic the vibration of rain.
Crease the leaves and fold bark into allegory.
The thought pushes through the loose matter.
Electrical wires await mere wind to ring out.
Loneliness, such an ordinary experience.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Tanka [February 23rd | 54/365]

Explorers make fine
sources of nutrients for
the jungle's lifeforms.
The ocean is salty but
that does not mean it tears up.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Humanizing [February 23rd | 53/365]

This is what a human looks like, eyes, chin, mouth, words
The human is now ink, memories, emotion, that is as it should
Light through lens and dance to song, the distance increases in time
Motion and talk, arm in arm and awkward firsts, such it was
The clarity of simple facts, of span and width and luck

The Giant Sadness Engine [February 22nd | 52/365]

The floor with the lit and lighting circuits
The twitching the spinning the tumbling the pulling pushing
That's how it processes and makes use of us
I will not enter I will turn around and flee
I have no shame nor do I feel ashamed of those who enter
And when I've found you and we've made our escape
I will revel in my shamelessness and whoop with joy

The End of the Poem [February 22nd | 51/365]

We're reaching the end of the poem
No time for metaphors or similes
The time for allegory and myth is past
Only emotion and simple declarations
I am happy and we are happy
And that is and you are

The Clean Version [February 21st | 50/365]

A spider's web strung
through an enclosed space. Movement
strums the extended
brain, exciting the neurons
tasked with detecting matches.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

That Ain't America [February 22nd | 52/365]

a bout-rimés*

That there is some kind of Red neighborhood--
you can tell by how no one's fenced off their yard,
or killed their weeds so their yard looks any good,
and you don't smell any food that could be chopped into slop,
I mean it's a July night, where's the barbeque? Check your clock,

people, it's time to eat a damn hot dog. I haven't seen one t-shirt
with a slogan that even made me chuckle. The only TV station
I've heard from any family room was PBS. Elmo don't make me smile,
I don't know about y'ins. No, this street is like a Commie rocket sans destination,
and that's what our whole damn country's coming to with this president
they chose us out of a magazine. The Golden Age just came and went

twenty years ago, and now all we can do is write letters to People
and hope their probably blonde editor publishes it so the public can know
and maybe ask themselves what reason they've really got to rise
when our proud flag flaps on high anymore. We should move to Mexico,
the sane among us, and start fresh. Install President Rosh, strike a deal
with their guy. Dulce et decorum est--we're gonna need a new reason to die and kill.

*A bout-rimés is a poem that uses an agreed-upon set of end-rhymés. For this bouts-rimes, I have chosen the end-rhymes from the verses of John Cougar Mellencamp's "Pink Houses."

Friday, February 20, 2009

Ode to Deli Meat [February 20th | 50/365]

Every day, I cherish you violently
as scissors through tough plastic.

I cherish you mechanically
as a hurried jeep with a flat tire,

cherish you summarily
as a clerk counts change before closing,

cherish you rapturously
as a child through gift wrap.

Each and every day, I cherish you silently
as contagions through the wispy air,

cherish you inorganically,
Biotin, Bonemeal,

cherish you sterilely,
Elastin, Estradiol;

Every day, I cherish you captiously,
a test for which you never studied.

Like Any Sound Against A Lot Of Snow [February 18th | 49/365]

Lake Michigan stirs nervously, as if to begin simmering.
Sarah, when jittery, could fit the universe into one long skipping sentence.

My oven was grimy when I left in December.
A calm Sarah could invent three meals in one breath.

The sparrow on the yellow line warms over in the evening sun.
Her bed made us a breathtaking coffin.

The L shrieks from rust beneath the pavement.
Oh voicemail, her voice has never been less clear or more present.

Chicago snow banks glow in the morning like Boston homes at night.
Sarah's voice glowed in the morning like a Boston home at night.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

In Time Futures Disappear [February 19th / 49/365]

the astronauts are mundane
our future isn’t space
but soundwaves and wireless
and billions of humans

I don’t think I’ve
ever dreamed of extraterrestrials
just longed for them
and futures including them

the sun is old
and the earth too
the moon the planets
and even the comets

encase me in ice
send me hurtling alone
with enough force to
escape the solar system

Tanka [February 18th | 48/365]

Snow this fine looks like
the night sky tumbling down when
it catches the light from
the lamp posts. The figtree sheds
its fruit. The sea is rusting.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Deathbed [February 17th | 47/365]

All these stern figures
Out of proportion bodies crushed together
Like white birch rods tied in a fasces
Wondering who'll dictate to them
The lessons

The metaphor can't be extended further
Labor can't be divided finer
The organism can't eat more humanity
And what is a planet but a thin film
Around liquid heat
Too cold to break free

Monday, February 16, 2009

Post-Valentine's Vivid Drunken Dream, Part 2 (Toilette) [February 16th | 46/365]

The bathroom walls were a deep green,
with rows of urinals and curtained
showers, and a boy up past his bedtime
stood at the furthest urinal--my brother,

who understands. I started at him, set
to complain about our father, but
it wasn't my brother at all. His shirt
hung off of his collarbone. He resembled

a cousin I had once, but didn't know me
and got scared. I retreated to the urinal
at the other end, but a second later,
I heard him coughing, almost gagging,

and from the very edge of my eye,
saw fluid flying from his mouth.
Without looking all the way,
I asked if he was going to be okay,

but he said, "Yes. I'm fine,"
insulted and frightened. I
went on pissing. He went on
coughing. The walls dimmed.

Post-Valentine's Vivid Drunken Dream, Part 1 (Succès Fou) [February 16th | 45/365]

It was dusk somewhere
in the Southwest. My father
explained to his underling work buddy
why his son had been drinking

so heavily. As the huge moon
and the mountains loomed, blown-
up as if we'd taken a picture, frozen
as the grass stabbing our feet,

he presumed to tell the story
I had told to patient friends
so many times. He told it
like the joke I suppose

it is. "He was hoping
there'd be a little--oh, Steven,
what word am I looking for?
It sounds like an exotic bird,

starts with an 's,' I think..." Sarah,
I thought, and what peace the moon
had poured over me steamed away.
"Everything I ever care about,"I said,

"you mock," and threw my rag
at his hair, and stormed off, knowing
I would do the same to myself, wishing
I could bear to look the moon in the face.

Winter No Less Joyful [February 16th | 46/365]

it’s been too long
for me to believe
that winter will ever
end and spring arrive

heat is a mirage
merely a fata morgana
treacherous like a human
in love with another

in moods like this
I laugh at myself
and my overladen emotions
weighted down in idleness

brooding has brought down
mythic figures and great
artists and world leaders
I won’t master it

A Memory for Patterns [February 15th | 45/365]

my mind screens memories
on the taut skin
of my eyelids so
I never shut them

only in sleep can
I trust that dreams
overwhelm memories like sunrays
shining on a candleflame

keeping alert is necessary
when guarding against sleep
the brain easily tricks
itself into changing modes

there are no lines
between stars only darkness
we have to be
trained to see constellations

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Island City [February 14th | 44/365]

The stone walls of chance crumble along everything else
Entropy eats its best assistants just as readily as lives
We will be scattered throughout a universe in slow constant motion
Like refugees from an island nation across the continents

It is constantly tempting to climb down from the ramparts
Leave the emperor and his icons to face the outside
And hunt for stasis in the empty city
Like a snake in a warren

The Neighbor [February 14th | 43/365]

He treated his dog like a wheelbarrow
Mutating barks into silence
And motion into push and pull

There is no being
There is nothing but the grip
Of hand on handle

Love is a Joke [February 14th | 44/365]

We make stupid noises, especially when the love is good.

When love is good, we feel good for a while, until it gets old. Bad love is just annoying.

We try to come up with love, even when it isn't actually there.

Some love is very elaborate, and then in the end it either pays off or turns out to be a huge waste of time.

Some love is very simple, but then in the end we often feel cheated.

When someone doesn't get our love, we feel compelled to tell them again and again, and when they still don't get it, we feel let down.

Many loves are made when we drink together, most of which are not remembered in the morning (or quite as good the next day anyway).

Sometimes, we use love to fill time instead of doing what we're meant to do.

There is truth in every love, but we are always free to ignore it if ignorance suits us better.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Five Sixteenths of a Code of Beauty [February 12th | 42/365]

Plastic stretches and breaks and doesn't follow you home and we value it in shapes and forms which we design to fit the ideology of our aesthetics

Elastic time stretches from beginning to now always extending as life from birth or conception or first memory to death or rot or dementia

Plastic brains create fickle minds malleable as reality is to the senses tricked by reason and fooled by sense into cherished and lunatic certainty

Elastic as dreams weighted down with the spent fruit of neurons emptied by the roars pouring out in repetitious sounds and repetitive ink shapes

Tiresome [February 12th | 42/365]

A green room full of comedians.

Conversations concerning MySpace.

Conversations concerning space that take place in the daytime.

Those who would extend a metaphor about the moon far enough to ruin a love song.

Love songs concerning the moon without irony.

These weekly late-night parades of local folkloric and/or confessional acoustic fare.

The doorside peddling of merchandise.

Convincing well-meaning friends that you are okay to walk home.

Apologies for the sake of after-logic.

Not asking for an apology when leaving the second voicemail.

The glasses on the desk in the morning.

Dust; laundry; tchotchkes.

Tchotchkes with sob stories.

Sob stories.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

It Isn't and That's Why It Isn't [February 11th | 41/365]

It's not that I don't love you
It's that if you were laid end to end to end to end
You'd reach a quarter of the way to Andromeda
And that's a distance too vast for me to comprehend

It's not that I dislike you
It's that you tumble through the streets head and heels
You'd cover an area the size of Gondwanaland
And I would remain in Rhode Island dreaming of dinosaurs

It's not that I hate you
It's that they keep spinning your words into dirt devils
You'd throw up enought dust to make another Mars
And the landscapes there aren't mine or mine to know

It's not that
It's that


Who can hold void in their mind?

My My and Boo Hoo [February 11th | 41/365]

My father dragged us to Home Depot the weekend before my twelfth birthday
and, as consolation, bought for me a small cactus
that I had found in the Garden Center.

I thought it would make a good pet. It had a big red flower right on its head
(I hadn't noticed the crown of glue), and the guy said
I'd only have to water it 'like once a month.'

Even children, especially children, love Charlie Brown for picking the dying tree,
and teenagers love a nerd in a prom dress. We understand
our outsides are sharp, but stick on the roses

as if we're really so easily kept once picked, as if touching us won't hurt, as if
the fake red lives we affix to ourselves could compensate
for the sight of us when we finally dry up.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


i swear to fuck, if there is a reason
why you would use a thing
and then do anything besides
put it back where it belongs
or just leave it where the shit you had it
i would love to fucking hear why
for fucksake this drawer

has all the shit in the world
shoved into it so why in the ass
would you put a ketchup packet in here

i'm sorry i just have to run this to the trash
i just have to run to the trash and squeeze this ketchup packet until it pops
because fuck you you don't need a burger king ketchup packet in your apartment

you just throw that crapshit away
it's not a waste
if you think you need ketchup that badly well guess what
you have a problem with your relationship
to this pissbrained world
you just have a problem with your relationship
i'm sorry you have a problem in your relationship and guess what
we all have problems in relationships
everybody just has relationships and they're like assholes because
everybody has one
and everybody is one
and it's just
look at me!
i have a relationship!
i have a problem!
doesn't it just make you want to run around and dance
doesn't it just make you want to run to the trash and squeeze my heart until it pops

Monday, February 9, 2009

A Toast to Anyone Else who is Drinking Alone [February 9th | 39/365]

To the burn about to hit your tongue--for we lick the battery of death with every dumb breath.

The MBTA and My PC are Slowing Me Down at All Times [February 9th | 38/365]

In the B train window, my reflection hasn't finished loading.
It's so easy to believe that the last outbound came just for you,
that your city is a computer program that just doesn't always run
as fast as you want. Spam is flashing across the dark parts of my face.

Darque Tan. Espresso
Royale. City
Convenience. Star-
bucks. Guitar
Center. Sunset

Scrolling through Brookline, I feel a little proud
of being Jewish. We have such deep features, our eye sockets
fill with the night like syrup in a waffle. If I cried a little,
it would look like a painting. The other passengers
would tilt their heads for me, and I would see them looking
at my face, for the "x" in the top right corner.

"dance to please a gazer's sight" [February 9th | 40/365]

the secret words creep around us
weaving traps to catch emotion

tomorrow I will see the black dog in the shadows
and dance on the cold street
under the gaze of a self-consciously full moon

but that isn't today
no tomorrow

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Neurons Firing at Random [February 8th | 39/365]

In a certain mood

I anthropomorphize the world

giving every named thing

agency and a mind

I sit by mouths

of rivers and wonder

if the water remembers

where it came from

Reading words I try

to figure out why

they chose to be

accessories to your letter

I can never sustain

the mood very long

and the brain starts

creating thoughts about humans

The Weekend Before Valentine's Day [January 8th | 37/365]

I dropped by Max's with a handle of whisky,
hugged the man, filled a glass, and squirmed
past the atrium, stuffed with ballcaps
and innuendo, to flop on the empty couch,
ignoring the poker game, trying to listen
to the muted television, which showed
a classy old party where someone pulls a gun

and then the host grabs him and slams
the piano lid over his neck as the lady
whom he'd been groping stands there, arched back,
hands over mouth, then it cuts to them cleaning up.
The scene takes a second to shake from my veins,
but then my mind drifts, in step with the flirts
around the doorway. I've been thinking of England

a lot lately--how they speak the same language,
but to us it just doesn't always sound right.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Tanka [February 7th | 38/365]

A few blades of grass
in clumpy soil. I don't think
the roots entangle.
You should know the natural
world better than this, Kári.

Tanka [February 7th | 37/365]

Proportions remain
perfect in snowflakes. Quiet,
the end silences
thoughts of possible futures.
Dreams fade like snow in springtime.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Radiatore [February 6th | 36/365]

My favorite kind of pasta is radiatore.
I eat it in pesto fresh from the pot
and pretend that I'm eating radiators.

It's like when somebody tells you that
the world is on their shoulders
or that their heart belongs to you,

because unless you're some kind of heart realtor,
a titan, or a giant, these situations are impossible--
it just humors us to pretend for a while.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

How I Became the Traveling Show [February 5th | 36/365]

This must be the deplacement
Relentlessly sung and quartered
Scratched into compressed sawdust
Left wet to dry into shape
Longed for and shouted against
Dreamt of in verse and line

There are movements so precise and repetitive
That they must be considered art
Or at least a story or sketch
And my life has become that motion
Yet another bird migration
Like the one the year before
And two years ago and three and so and such

I dance for my life
Jerk my body and skitter around
Entertainment feeds me and clothes
So laugh and be happy
It keeps my world existing

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Media are Tongues [February 4th | 35/365]

It took me years
to realize to fully
grasp that the radio
wasn't talking to me

Some of my most
vivid memories are of
newsreports taking place far
far away from me

My parents' television when
I was a kid
was black and white
yet I remember color

I live in pinyin
transliterally existing inside alphabets
not designed for Kári
excluding my visual context

Watching Ink Cover Paper [February 4th | 34/365]

If I don't think
I will be sated
I will be filled
If neurons stay quiet

I've never written poems
About having mechanical eyes
Maybe I should start
I need new imagery

Lately I've been falling
Asleep while writing poetry
But my dreams remain
As boring as always

Last night I watched
Snow cover my skylight
When I woke up
It had all melted

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Sea Monster (Baby?) [February 3rd | 34/365]

The echo of my baritone call
is the only sound I know, the stream
of bubbles from my snout and the occasional
glimpse above the surface--always, always the same
crown of lush hillside trees--the only sights, and for smell
only the seaweed on which I have come to feed, and so each day
feeds back into the last, and I exist on a lonesome mobius strip, which means
that I have no read on my age, I might well still be an infant, and
no one ever bothers me. I don't even know what it means
to be "bothered." I don't even know what it means to
have a job, or mom and dad issues, or
a bad marriage that ends in divorce.
I am writing this telepathically.
Strange forces are telling me
to get access to "the internet,"
but I am ignoring these forces.

Hairline Fracture Between [February 2nd | 33/365]

Your shouts like flickering lightbulb inside a fistful of steam
The street could have been empty like the skittering tip of a flame
But it was full of life like a cover of leaves on a forest bottom
And my words blew about in the wind like pollen on a spring day

Monday, February 2, 2009

Robot Baby [February 2nd | 33/365]

I am not a robot; I am a human baby
trapped inside of a robot's body.
I am inside the part of the robot
where I could control the robot
if my motor skills had finished developing.

If you can hear this through the robot, you must have telepathy.
I like humans with powers better than I like robots.
I think I remember climbing into the robot because I was curious,
but now it's dark and I don't even know what the robot is doing.
He could be destroying an enemy robot or a village.
I'm bored. I don't think the robot is going to feed me.
I'm hungry. The inside of the robot just smells like robot.
When I get out, I'll probably play with a motorized toy.

I'll be sitting in my playpen, pressing the bubble button on a toy car
and then I'll remember where I just was and say, "Blurg,"
but I'll mean to say, "Crap."

January Becomes February [February 1st | 32/365]

This winter is a body after organ harvesting
I pull a fetus from the corpse and watch it become spring

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Dinner, Movie [January 31st | 31/365]

The clink the clank the squeak the ting
The liquid spreading on the plate
I don't know if it's blood or not
Live beings are mostly water

I zoomed in on myself
Until I couldn't see the film
The clicking of the empty projector overwhelmed my senses
Then I twisted and all I could see
Was the edge of the screen
One dimensional

Saturday, January 31, 2009

San Fransisco [January 31st | 30/365]

Before the move back East, Dad drove us up the coast,
through Big Sur standing over us like legs under the table,
through a memorabilia restaurant in Monterey,
up to sleep in the minivan in a Denny's parking lot
because the server said the Scottish Festival was in town.

We drove in the next morning and spent all day following him
through the city. We jumped on a carnival trampoline
and watched a magician on the sidewalk. Magic never
looked so real or so fake. After that, though, we saw
these seals, or maybe sea lions (Dad didn't know)
flopped down in the sun, fat and surrounded by each other.
The way they stretched and rolled on the drenched wood,
you could forget that they ever went anywhere.

Trumbull 1:12 [January 31st | 29/365]

and God hollered at the people of Fairfield County,
at the high school librarians and part-time realtors,
at the town hall politicians and stay-home piano teachers,
at the back-from-school musicians and all-night diner philosophers;
He hollered down to all of the towns and their lost and stationary people
in the voice of a 12-year-old boy with a stolen megaphone,
and He said, "If you can hear my voice, you're going crazy,"
and then He laughed and said, "My son is still a Jew."

Friday, January 30, 2009

The Words Came Out and That Was That [January 30th | 30/365]

It wasn’t meant to we see cause exes mark spots understand that’s a pun but don’t hate me I can’t stop words sliding slipping shaking rolling rattling like snakings on sand around the next dune there’s fangs and venom some tomboy you are but I’m not and never have been because my name isn’t Tom or any other variation of tomorrow is different from yesterday’s day after tomorrow and that’s fine I guess can’t become plainer about what’s never happened not happening but I forgot that the future doesn’t exist and that working towards futures is futile because nothing ever happens it’s only situations taking place and that’s fine I guess it wasn’t meant to seem likely or a story just an amount of events taking place in a defined period of time rhyme is another form of wordplay but don’t hate me I can’t stop words sounding bounding grounding like wiry life undulating across the sand towards the future doesn’t exist and that’s fine I guess

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Hooker With A Heart Of Gold [January 29th | 28/365]

The Hooker With A Heart Of Gold walks down the street.
She is wearing long and loose-fitting jeans.
She is wearing a sweater and a winter coat.
She is not wearing a brightly-colored boa, or any boa.

Today, The Hooker With A Heart Of Gold is taking a break.
She is not taking a smoke break
because she doesn't smoke.
She is just walking the streets, not getting solicited
by too many of the men passing by,
telling the ones who do ask
to go fuck themselves
instead. She is enjoying the day. Actually,
today is her birthday.

Nobody got a present for The Hooker With A Heart Of Gold.
She talks about her frigid parents to the customers who want to chat
with their hooker. She isn't thinking about them--
the perverts or her parents.
She's thinking about that Neil Young song,
the one about the miner.
She's thinking about the miner. Actually,
she isn't thinking much.

She is just walking down the street.
She is not her job.
She is not what she says
when people get her to chat.
She is not her clothes.
She is someone who is walking down the street.
She is Walking Down The Street.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Unvoiced Among the Voiced [January 28th | 29/365]

The people one table over are muttering about atom bombs
They look like father and daughter but could be professor and student
There is a university around here after all but no
That does not make sense it is too late for curricular activities
This must be a different story maybe an abductee and her abductor
Threaded together by Stockholm Syndrome and now groupthinking
Their way to an apocalyptic revenge scheme on a world which doesn't understand
Them and how ropes and screams can twist into DNA

In Humor Truth in Truth Humor [January 27th | 28/365]

The only one who can say anything is the jester
For that privilege it must dress like a fool
Live knowing that every night it will get beaten
Love shall not be given only laughter and insults
Give up its identity its name and its gender
To become a mouth that speaks the thoughts of everyone else

Every Sonnet is About Its Poet [January 27th | 27/365]

I chase the poets into the desert
Hunting scribbles that mean nothing and something perhaps
Demanding that someone admit that he or she held the implement
That marked the lines I follow

I read the way a phrenologist feels bumps
The way an astrologer looks at the night sky
A schizophrenic sees everything
Seeking the personal in randomness

I turn dead poets into members of my hoodlum gang
Go to parties with people I only know as collections of words
Hike in pastoral poems and unique takes on the Arcadian myth
And ignore how a page is a two dimensional surface

I start every verse I write with I
As if you could find me in my poems

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Reading [January 28th | 27/365]

Tongues cling to square walls with snaking stems.
The ravens and magpies recite borrowed verses to each other.
If the tongues had roots they would find nourishment in the liver.
The birds exclaim: Poetry is sex!
As if orgasms are only a matter of will.
That fucking is pure and clean.
Poetry is words; everything compressed into a few scribbled marks or a set number of sounds.

Agitation (a found poem) [January 27th | 27/365]

On the wall of a Club Passim bathroom
in red marker:


changed with black pen
to read:


Monday, January 26, 2009

My Hair Has Frozen in Spikes Across Music [January 26th | 25/365]

I went against the national code of mothers.
I have been condemned to adjectives.
It is in the grain of the voice I read sentences.
Letters mean nothing but sound and sound is breath.
Swell and break and explode, the ice in the hair melts.
You will never hear me breathe only my breaths.
The melody disappears and sinks into water.
I abandon my language lovingly
like after a one night stand
like a pleasurable shiver
like a shared perversion
like grain against wood
like water wood in flames

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Future Does Not Exist [January 25th | 24/365]

The Sun has been buried
This glow is but cold light
Older than any star
The Sun is under the Earth
And the Moon is invisible in the sky
A circle of darkness on the dark

We are the funeral of the Sun
A song of flesh and sunbeams
Alcohol and food and black clothes
Rooms temporarily full of people
Soon to be empty but for dirt and air
The Sun is sensual in the ground

Our sleepless passion
Soothes no urges or needs
Vanishing in a flicker
Like ghosts whose stories
Are no longer told to children
But die inside old minds

I see the buried Sun
Trembling as it sinks into dark
Like wood among embers
Turning black and fragile
The night is heavy and silent
A rock on top of disturbed ground

Saturday, January 24, 2009

An Illness [January 24th | 23/365]

There is no world for me to exist in
Or perhaps no me to exist in a world
no body and no mind
just pain and vomit and thirst
And dreams either of an existence or of nonexistence

Friday, January 23, 2009

My Pitch for a Teen Romantic Comedy [January 23rd | 23/365]

Our hero will be a popular athlete--sharp hair, slick clothes, quick to joke, but always a little sad because he knows something is missing. He falls in love with the pretty girl with glasses. She would have a crush on him at first, but then she'd hear a rumor or he'd tell a bad joke.

The boy would be in a fraternity. He'd drink a lot, and the other fraternity brothers would think he was just "up for a good time," but really he'd be drinking away this feeling that he'd rather be doing something else. Their nickname for him would be "Abraham Drinkin'." They could maybe have found a top hat at a yard sale and make him wear it when he's had a lot to drink.

In one scene, he would be wandering around campus with the hat on. He would have had some beer in the morning to try to ease his hangover, but he'll have drunk too much. He'll be stumbling around the main green, shouting the cute girl with glasses' name. His friends will make fun of him as they walk by. Non-college students walking by will think he's crazy and laugh at him or just get scared. Someone will recognize him from sports, and he'll yell at them and throw a punch but miss. He won't get the girl.

Big Nosebleed [January 22nd | 22/365]

If there really is enough blood in my veins
to make me an ocean, then all that's leaving me
is not the Amazon but only a small pond
hidden in the woods of a small town,
which surely played no small part
in the childhoods of everyone in town,
and which, if recalled in water cooler conversation,
would rekindle old friendships
and hush for a few kind moments
the friction of commerce between the townsfolk,
if only they could see through the thick brush
and notice that the pond has dried up.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

RADI CALS NEVR LEEV [January 22nd | 22/365]

list ento apod cast
ofth soun dmay dbye
ther evol oosh yunn
itis loud andh arsh

thep eepl intr vyud
sayw eeha vhad enuf
oura nger will only
grow more insi stnt

arou ndme isee snow
mixd with tara ndit
remm inds meof olld
reyk javi kstr eets

prov iden ssis also
myho mand itis very
hard toof eeln otat
home when iyam home

Brain at the End of a Long Journey [January 21st | 21/365]

Not that time happens faster but that the brain stops forming as many memories because few truly new events occur and thus you forget that time has passed and if you do not remember then nothing took place and that is why all those poets wrote true when they likened the end of a journey to death.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Sometimes Very Cheerful Moments Happen To Me When I'm Too Depressed To Appreciate Them Fully (for Raya) [January 20th | 18/365]

Sometimes, when I'm depressed,
I find myself somehow
walking down Harvard Avenue
wearing or carrying something
that would seem more fitting
for a non-depressed person
to wear or carry, like I'll be carrying
a stuffed monkey with fairy wings
that meows like a cat when you squeeze its hand,

and an oldish lady who looks like she's been crying
will stop me and say, "Where did you get that little guy?"
and I'll have six beers in me, so I'll have to say, "What?"
and the oldish lady will say, "Where did you get your friend?"
and I'll say, "My friend gave him to me. Here, check this out,"
and I'll squeeze his hand, and he'll meow like a cat,

and she'll chuckle and look at me
like she's completely done crying
and say, "What's his name?"
and I'll say, "I don't know. What should his name be?"
and she'll look at his red and pink shirt and say,
"Happy. Happy--Heart."
and I'll say, "Happy Heart.
Okay." and I'll smile a little,
and I'll kind of want to ask if she's been crying,
or talk about why I've been crying,
but instead I'll turn back around
and continue walking home,

and I'll pass out over the sheets of my futon,
and at some point in the middle of the night
I'll toss to the corner of the futon
and squeeze against something
and get woken up by a meowing sound,
and I'll think it's the cat, but it's Happy Heart,
and I'll smile again, and fall back to sleep
before remembering how depressed I am.

Inauguration at Union Station [January 20th | 20/365]

The white woman with her four black foster children who explained who every single person on screen was
The portly old woman who yelled "put some pride in your stride" when Obama walked on stage
All who sat and stood and jumped and danced and shouted and hugged around and with me
Everyone kept on cheering clapping and crying when the camera cut from Obama to Bush
The woman waving the Canadian flag and the man who gave me his stars and stripes
My friends who texted me with with witty and joyful commentary on the inauguration
The people who clapped when Obama said the word "non-believers"
My friend who danced with me afterwards to warm up joyously
All those people were holy to me
I will keep their memories
Safe from cynicism

Talking in Similes [January 19th | 19/365]

Talking to you is like staring at a map
The longer it lasts the more I disassociate meaning from image until the differently colored and shaded fields float in my visual space as if the map had depth.

Talking to you is like staring at blinking lights in the sky
If I want I can make my mind stop seeing the plane that is attached to the lights and start drawing lines in my head until I see a flying saucer.

Talking to you like staring into a clear pond on an cold and still day
I can see the sand at the bottom and every frond and rock.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Southern African Storytelling in DC [January 18th | 18/365]

We almost lost each other
In the group of people walking along the platform to the Metro train
Likening them to a herd of any kind of non-human animal would be a lie
Calling this collection of individuals a mass or a throng would also be untrue
It is best no to engage in description of others but merely say it was hard
For the two of us to keep each in sight

Much later in the comfort of an apartment
I was told the story of driving in a jeep through tea fields in the Honde Valley
Seeing a flash of green ahead like the last ray of the sun on the horizon
A green mamba raised up with its eyes at eye level and weaving back and forth
Brakes were slammed and all the passenger stared with wide eyes and mouths
At the human length snake dancing on the road in between the tea bushes
Though to call it dancing is to not understand

Then as I prepared to go to sleep
I was told of an old railway signalman in the bush of South Africa
Who trained a baboon to read the signals and move the points
So that trains would follow the right rails but even more importantly so that
The signalman would not have to work any more that lazy fucker
But I say that any human who trains a baboon to read train signals
And operate the levers deserves a rest

I Believe That Negative Energy Can Be Good [January 18th | 17/365]

Sometimes, when I'm depressed,
I hear people laughing
on the other side of a door,
or I feel my desk shaking
because my housemates are having sex,
or I get sent a linkto a funny YouTube video,
and I think that I'm right to be depressed,
and everybody else is wrong,

and I want to tell my housemates that they're wrong
for having sex even though sex is dangerous and pointless
and causes children, which are bad for the planet,

and I want to tell my friends and strangers
that nothing they find funny is actually clever or good,

and I want to tell people
who won't read a poem that starts, "Sometimes, when I'm depressed,"
that they're stupid and will be depressed one day too,
and they'll still be stupid,

but instead I bottle up my anger,
and it becomes like a bottle rocket of anger,
which propells me out of bed
to my kitchen,
which is good, because then I can make tea,
and tea is good for you.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Second Mouth Called Mega Biblion [January 17th | 17/365]

The corpses of the 3 Magi rest in the Cologne Cathedral
Through a gilt coffin's window glitter 3 crowns
3 heads and 3 mouths just like we
Fucking somewhere we shouldn't be fucking
I refuse to think of that moment as the past

Now I sit in a café hurrying to finish a book
Too heavy to take with me when I leave tonight

"Why people say 'life is short' I cannot say, it's the longest span of time anyone will ever know." [January 16th | 16/365]

Every life is exactly the same length
One unit of lifetime
And every life always one lifetime long

I am now just shy of twenty eight
Eventually this will be the half point of my life
Like almost fourteen is now
But it will always be exactly as long
To the midpoint from the now

But there's nothing to divide
There is only one lifetime
The smallest and the longest unit of time
Like the atoms of Democritus
A man ancient enough
To have lived an indeterminate amount of time
Some days he was living or dead
And others alive or not born
But he still lived just one unit of lifetime

Friday, January 16, 2009

Meditation on a Signature [January 16th | 12/365]

My signature
on the screen
at Trader

Joe's, where I have purchased
70 dollars' worth of health food
so I can go back to living at home

looks like I didn't used to believe
my own signature would ever look
when I was in the third grade

learning cursive. They were teaching us
how to write with our hands casually
without stopping. I thought I would

always write my name carefully. I thought
that my name was too important to scrawl.
I also thought my stuffed shark loved me,

which is ridiculous
because in most cases
sharks do not love humans,

but before one's trust in the inanimate,
before one's love for the ungiving of love,
even before one's ability to stop mid-word,

belief in one's name must be the first to go.

The Cold Like a Barrette File [January 15th | 15/365]

Pile of ice like shards of brick
Resting against the wall they broke from
Snow trod into a rigidity like rock
It makes no sound when stepped on
I am sure there would be stars in the sky
If I looked up like a drowning man

Cars roll by like an avalanche
Music thudding from the occasional vehicle
The lamppost leans away from the road
And the lightbulb flickers imperceptibly
And I walk away from you like a stone
Skidding across a frozen pond

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

NEUR ALPA THWW AYSS [January 14th | 14/365]

inas ertn mood thuh
stay nonn thew ohll
ofmy offi ssll ooks
like aspy ralg laxy

ithi nkth atmy self
isme rely apat turn
thot less lytr aced
bymy bray nnss ells

inap arti culr mood
ibee leev ican wtch
mybr aino bser ving
thep attu rnit self

apay ntin cann ever
beaa pksh urof itss
hole self only just
thep aint init self

Cozy [January 14th | 10/365]

I want to be knitted alive into a body-sized cozy
made of organic fair-trade soy yarn
by very creative people who are skilled at knitting.

While these creative people knitted my cozy,
I would feel like I was being touched by the feelers
of large furry insects who were curious about me.

The cozy would wrap my body completely,
leaving no openings wide enough for anyone to see any part of my face.
(To survive, my body could maybe develop photosynthesis.)

They could leave me in a hip art gallery,
and hipsters could come and look at me lying there,
and I wouldn't have to worry about doing anything to impress them.
I wouldn't have to worry about doing or saying anything ever again.

From Nebraska up to Chicago [January 14th | 9/365]

The moon clocks back in
like a tall child in the night
at its parents' door,

right above the road.
It says, "You can't come up here;
I am not your home.

Go home on your shield."
Flowers lined this warpath, but
I couldn't smell them
through the stink of my helmet--
dumb drama of night.

Depth of Field [January 13th | 13/365]

I see no stars through the skylight and no moon but I do not think the universe beyond this room has disappeared even though the only signs of its existence tonight have been the far off moans of trains and the whine of car tires on asphalt.

The longer my night gets the deeper I sink into my brain like a bathysphere down into my imagination peering out into the darkness through tiny portholes built especially to withstand the pressure so that I may remain uncrushed.

It is true that the bottom of the sea is a desert but deserts are ecologies and so goes for the ocean floor not that I have been there but I have watched many nature documentaries especially late at night when I could not sleep.

I have a television but I never watch it because I am tired of falling asleep on a couch when I could instead lie awake in bed staring through a skylight hoping to see stars and planets and the moon so that I have proof the universe still exists.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

HYUM ANSA CRIF IESS [January 13th | 12/365]

suis ides have risn
amon gmih dlll aged
wite wimm enin this
past half deck aide

andm onte zuma said
tuco rtez what more
duyu want from meee
idoo notw antu live

debt isth esto reee
that wipe sout evry
memo ryth atdo esnt
rise upag enst debt

shud weef orrg ivvv
thoa swho sacr ifys
hyum nlie fbee caus
thep ublc axep tsit

Monday, January 12, 2009

Execution of Gordon the Slave Trader, February 21, 1862 [January 11th | 11/365]

The newspaper illustration is so pleasing, the lined up
Soldiers, the two distinct groups of onlookers, the shadows
Adding time and drama and off-center the slave trader
Nathaniel Gordon waiting to be hanged, the noose
Around the neck.

It is beyond me to understand how a man could
Dream of making his fortune running slaves from
Africa to Brazil, how he could consider it fitting to
Provide for his son's future with the spoils from
Trading in humans.

My anger set aflame by reading today's newspaper
Spreads across my brain searching indiscriminately
And dumbly for new fuel like its algae in a pond
Eating the sunlight or like clouds of dust drifting
Through space.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Imitation Snow [January 10th | 10/365]

Not looking at the human but the x-rays
Showing the fracture that is long healed
Until the eye focuses through the film
On the snow falling outside the window

Not understanding that there's a person
But fitting a life into the context
Of other stories and expecting similarities
With a whole different from this body

A tiger stalks the autumn leaves
We have shadows for eyes
Under the white the land is dead

The autumn leaves scatter like butterflies
We have rationally deranged our perspective
After the snow there is stillness

Friday, January 9, 2009

The Need for Clouds [January 9th | 9/365]

The sunshine glared at his life
Showing every detail of the long road
And oh was it a long road
From a small town deep in the interior
All the way to the definition of a life well lived

He knew he could be seen from miles around
Illuminated by the rays of the high sun
The immobile sun that had not budged since his birth
To parents that wished nothing but happiness for him
And that he wanted to give his own success to

If his sky had been scattered with clouds
He would not have needed to seed his own
A cloudmaker hoping it would never rain
And even though he drowned out of sight
His body lies out in the open under the glaring sun

Thursday, January 8, 2009

13 Strings of Language [January 8th | 8/365]

The density of language can be measured by its unfamiliarity to each other
The seacoast harbors greater density caused by its living borderness
The dry interior restricts lineage because without water there is no border
The words rush out of the interior towards the sea only to crash change bounce
The change is joyous and necessary to such essenceness as to be hallow
The make is of no import only the joy of sound and inflection
The branching of sound is only and always binary except when they weren’t
The pruning has been cackhanded and left stumpy speech and frightened speakers
The land that is like another land belongs to the same difference between speech
The root can be refashioned out of all those differences without violation
The argument that is inviolable is that roots must originate in soil
The confusion circles out that leaves must be of the soil they shade
Let us not mince words those who crush language kill life murder joy

Eveninglight [January 7th | 7/365]

We chase the evening to ensure we never see more than one star or I should say planet because the first and last pin-prick of light through the canopy is always Venus and we must not let love have competition for our eye's attention

We must cheat our way from airport to airport printing fake tickets and boarding passes and staff ID to make our way to the next available plane and stealing fresh clothes from unguarded bags so we can keep chasing the evening

It can end two ways either we die in a plane crash or we get caught by airport security and shuttled back to the previous airport and then the security there will send us back to the airport before and so on endlessly going against the day until our airplane crashes

We will keep moving to avoid that certainty because we are safe in the air and the less time we spend on the ground the better so we will keep chasing the evening and we will keep Venus as our only point of light in the sky

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Zombie Baby [January 7th | 6/365]

My mother won't feed me brains,
and I'm too small to reach them.

My mother used to say,
"Who's a happy little baby?"
Now she says,
and I still say,

The alive adults say,
"Oh God! Oh no!"
and "Lock the doors!"

The doors hate me.
The adults hate me.
I used to be the baby and now I'm just hungry.
I would just eat some applesauce,
but I think I'd still be hungry and I don't like it anyway.
Brains are good. Blood is good.
I never knew my father's face would taste so good.

Some mornings I crawl onto a windowsill
I look out the window and cry and shout,
"Blurg!" when I mean to say,
"I'm fucked up!"
and then I go outside and look for scraps of brains.
Some nights I play with a foot or an ear that I found,
and I gnaw on the foot or ear until I fall asleep.

I have a pet zombie cat.
He mostly leaves me alone.
He mostly eats scraps off of bones.
The next time I can't find a foot or an ear,
I'll jump on my cat and ask him to bring me to the humans,
and if he can't find him maybe I'll eat him,
but that would probably make me cry.

I cry all the time anyway.
Maybe it doesn't matter.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Rain Falls on Saturn [January 6th | 6/365]

The wet crackling of steady rain keeps me awake
No it's my brain that doesn't go to sleep
Even though it is only thinking about Saturn
Imagining living on one of its moons
Or a floating city in its atmosphere

If my brain chooses not to rest
I know Saturn will arrive in my room
Hovering and spinning with spread rings
A kid would know if rain keeps Saturn away
But I'm just left to wonder and wait

Monday, January 5, 2009

Words Like Snow [January 5th | 5/365]

Snow should be falling but it's not
The season is without seasonal words
That which should have rotted is whole
And lies on the ground like driftwood

I will build houses out of driftwood
And not question where it comes from
The sea shall be my parent and aid
Nothing shall I want and nothing will harm

The world doesn't care when the world ends
I won't know I'm dead
Driftwood is driftwood like weather is weather
No matter season or no season

If there were still an outside
It would be thawing weather
But there's nothing to melt
Snow should lie on the ground

Sunday, January 4, 2009

I Found Some Old Photos in a Book and Felt Like Gilgamesh [January 4th | 4/365]

Bodies in the water
Froth on the surface
The shore at the bottom
Out of focus
Can't make out any more

Woman with a tree at her feet
The rest of her missing
Gray grass gray sky
Black and white
I'm not sure who this is

A man lying on a couch
Looks like he's sighing
His skin looks like resin
I know who that is
It's me

And then there's you
You never smile in pictures
And never look at the camera
Too distracted by something
You're sitting on a sidewalk

I will go into this other world
To get you back from its gods
But you know and I know
That I will fail at the final task
And have you disappear again

Riding in a Scion Up and Down I70 Blues [January 4th | 5/365]

I met a bartender at the last spot open in the Kansas City Power & Light.
She spoke Midwestern like she had no second language,
without a trace of Toby Keith.
All I know is that I'm coming up to Chicago,
and Chicago will be hiding you behind its dirty teeth.

And there was Jackie Onassis in The Catacombs in Boulder.
Over PBR, she told me she liked bluegrass
and certain tracks by MIA.
All I know is that I'm coming up to Chicago
and Chicago still won't call me up to tell me where to stay.

Interstate 70 never gets the message
that I don’t want to eat at Mickey D’s,
Most of the cities know how to treat an ethical consumer,
but these streets stretch out like the graph of some disease.

I can’t complain, at least they’ll take me up to Chicago,
and later in my life I’ll get someone to help me plant some trees.

And every place I drink down here in Denver
is full of pretty haircuts and eyes
and ears all locked with chains.
At least I'm coming back around to Chicago
and you can teach me how to use the trains.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

2029 [January 3rd | 4/365]

I was sitting in my computer room with Sam
when I suddenly saw that it was 1 p.m.
Immediately I became hungry,
so I hit "lunch" on my iHome,
but nothing happened.

So I hit "lunch" again.
Again, nothing happened.

I had it set to "chicken sandwich."
I figured maybe it was out of chicken,
so I changed it to "tuna sandwich"
and hit lunch a third time.
Again, nothing happened

and Sam told me that fish
had gone extinct last Tuesday
(he checked it on his BlackBerry)
so I cahnged it to "egg sandwich"
and hit lunch one more time.
Nothing happened.

At this point, I was starving.
I felt like I could kill someone.
I killed Sam.
He was right there.
I ate his arms.
I would have cooked him first,
but I didn't know how.

So I think that that's how I got sick.

SAVE SOME FRTH KIDS [January 3rd | 3/365]

whoo told yuth atol
amer ican sbel eevv
rhub arbs pois unus
unle ssit issk ookd

ithi nkit coms from
some poem alli know
begi nsso mwer inna
poem ihav forg ottn

poem sare elec tric
curr ents inmy head
atom icpa tern sand
chem icls baln sing

asah kidi woul deat
rhub arbu ntil itss
sour ness beek aima
numb wait onmy tung