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