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