December 30, 2009

Shut the Door

It's better now, our misfortune,
far better than a politics against
freedom and the poet under siege.
It's better now, our resistance
and dialectics of falling syntax,
better than the human agenda-driven
voices. Better now can we sense how
the heart is losing as if it isn't.

The lord of the clouds built
on a world of stray dogs
a mad, haunted life.
But children don't fear his art--
its magic and nameless intensity.
A child rotates sad tales,
and adults rotate old traps.
There's a keyhole they've forgotten,

and there's my story--
a mile down the wrong side
of half a memory stuck in the future.
I don't want to sing that song.
I want to dance, to drift
in brooding rectangles
where no one is waiting to be found.

December 28, 2009

Harsh Babies

It surprised no one--
the hang of feeling,
the medium of passion.

In the cold, those
harsh babies--bloated,
gaudy--claimed commitment.

With the bottle, the smell
of private love, lean,
drooping too large--
chemistry liberated.

After the war,
he did not speak. Life,

its routine tidiness,
stifled the peace.
His first love, old,
bought secondhand silver.

With some guilt,
no outward hostility,
he accepted affairs.

Exhausted, his forgiveness
lay propped up. He squeezed it.
There was nothing.

December 13, 2009

You Fall Here

You fall here soon enough.
In the middle of the night,
into the beat you labor--
draw rhythms and waves.
There's always space
for what you don't understand
to find an opening. Alone,
simple and sad, you can't go
backwards flaming bombs.

I tried

December 09, 2009


the mind cuts
framing lines
with gaps.

Loss is an effort
I could resist,
but don't.

Along the tone
I write--
strong, cold,
come to mind.

Amazing mystery,
the naked I.
What folly the critique.

November 19, 2009

Madness is a work of art

Madness is a work of art.
Fear and failure. Irritation.
Nothing becomes a voice--
a shout, a whisper, a scream.
It's a necessary waste of time.
These spaces must be filled.
I will call it music.

November 16, 2009

My Life I Sing

And more, I'm growing old.
Through it all, the odd
beauty in refusal remains.
Conviction's an awkward feast.
I haven't changed the world.
Risk sometimes is poetry.

November 10, 2009


I suspect it's only
failure you expect.
The tree line takes me
through gentle country.

I lose you in the flow.
I have nothing. No song.
The silence uneasy--
it started like that.

Negative numbers
bother me.
I used to have hands

Those days are gone.
Stronger this time,
identity brings back
what connects.

October 01, 2009

Spit ghazal

Look there, on your car's hood: Spit!
So? Any dumb bug could spit.

His mouth's full of cherry pits.
He wonders if he should spit.

With Mountain Dew and Cheetos,
you can create some good spit.

Do you suppose anyone
who achieved sainthood spit?

Rabbit, beef, chicken or fish--
Don't forget: Soak a wood spit.

Organized religion sucks.
They say Jesus withstood spit.

If I just knew how to hawk,
I might fly, or I would spit.

Agnes, whatever you say,
you never understood spit.

September 15, 2009

What Happens Remains

Expect a flood
of lukewarm curiosity.
Between the blurs,
in the middle of the road,
people struggle with certainty.

I caught myself
slowly slowly.

Listen to the dead babies
sing naked annihilation.
It's your thing--horror.
Get out your metaphors.
It's time to change the world.
Curse this postmodern life--
Obama, flarf, transmigration.
You should be laughing.

Whose business is it
a few souls hustle,
juggle, straddle
blah, blah, blah,

The whistle's blowing
light across our legs.

Why should we care?
No other has the power.

Pinned by an absent god,
I can have it both ways.
Hot and cold exist
because I don't belong here.

September 07, 2009

Summer Storm

Giddy, the wind chugs,
clatters the shutters,
then wolf-whistles wild
through the tiny crack

in the blackened pane.
Like a tornado,
white lace curtains wheel,
climb my naked flesh

to purr in my ear,
bringing strange comfort
from thick, August heat
and angry gods too.

August 19, 2009

Slow Burn

Big ol' Birdy, sturdy
as an iron skillet,
wakes before the kinfolk
stir, picks through the kindling
box, and stokes the wood stove.

Aluminum bucket
and half-bushel basket
in hand, she greets the sun
and the striped snake wriggling
in the dew by the spout.

Clucking, she sprinkles corn
and plows through milling hens
to raid the coop. Sixteen
big brown eggs this morning
means custard pie tonight.

August 10, 2009

Dang Me

This song has been stuck in my head for about a month now. Thought I'd share. I'm generous like that.

July 31, 2009

Ire Lake

Kindness dams
Red waters raging
Inside. Ire Lake:
Escape eliminated,
Entrance denied.

July 29, 2009

In a Rut


"Yes, dear?"

"If you eat that, you will get heartburn."

"Yes, dear."


"My dear?"


"Sometimes a man needs a little fire."

July 24, 2009


I knew from the beginning,
fantasy and friction,
inconsistency and distortion,
and the power of fragments.

There's a scream
very like an owl,
a light behind my eyelids.

I miss my ghosts.

In this strange haven,
lonesome hysteria
makes me wonder,
and I wrestle with doubt.
I could step off--

a leaf falling unnoticed.

July 22, 2009

There Is No Voice To Find

There is no voice to find.
Poets flit between long-past
and will-continue poetry.
Some poets can do "believe"
because they have a rule book:
Language Plays,
or something like that.
Surrounded by mirrors, I hear
Past and Future copulate.
Why must you work so fast?
Knowing that something
will aways be missing,
I love that folks trouble
with thinking all the time.
Desparate for wholeness, let's be
content with this moment of unity.

July 18, 2009

Little Sparrows

"Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall
to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very
hairs of your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows." (Matthew 10:29-31)

They belong. Yes, never doubt that.
But they fear people. They crack.
I've heard it before. Art happens
without the space it takes up.
It must be better and worst--
to appeal
to anyone.
Say whatever you want.
They're all out there--lost
children. It's a free culture.
The world resists resolution.
It doesn't always make sense.

July 16, 2009


Katie's Saturday shadow
capers over the cattle-razed meadow.
With every leap and wiggle,
her yellow jumper pockets rattle
pine cones, a tiny mole's skull,
twigs, stones, and shards of blue eggshell.
At long last, she settles to rest
in a nest of black-eyed Susans by the culvert.
Grubby fingers rub grass-stained knees,
as she ponders new Nikes caked with dung
then turns to watch a solitary Jersey,
its jaw working round and round--
chew, chew, chewing its cud.
"Moo to you, Mama Cow."
Then, with sudden, wide-eyed-rabbit grace,
she scrambles to her feet, jumps the ditch,
maneuvers the barbed wire fence,
and bolts up the gravel road.

July 14, 2009

Awkward Bystander

She separates herself
from a thousand rules
and waits in the margin,
unstable turf
where religion ends
and politics begins.

He's thinking of his life,
his anger, his sorrow--
the colors of annihilation,
black and white and red
smeared on canvas--
art, a product of the lost.

What's real: blood
and birth and memory
endlessly repeats itself,
rising and falling;
looping binds the edges.

She kneels before him.
It seems wrong.
She's from another world.
He doesn't believe in her gods.
Maybe I misunderstand.

July 10, 2009

Nostalgia's Valley

There are no lilacs--
purple-sweet after the rain,
no fields of fireflies,
no grand oaks that bend
to drink from giddy creeks.
No big old barns, painted-red,
brighten the horizon.
But, there are cats--
foul screams in the dark,
scat under the bougainvillea,
and terra cotta-tiled roofs that swarm
to devour cactus and creosote bush.
Shrouded, the distant mountains
choke on the sweat of the oasis.
There is no going back and no escape.

July 09, 2009

Silence Wails

Ten minutes rest
(perchance to sleep)
is all I ask.
Mewling kitten,
tiny fists raised,
protests silence.

Calm pink, the walls
watch trembling hands
a pillow grasp
to hide red-blotched
despair. Patient
now, they steady.

Stillness. Cries cease,
but silence wails
and echoes. White,
my hands reach down
and lift you near
my aching breast.

July 08, 2009

What the hell is up with google/blogger?

I pop in today. Everything looks normal. I leave, wander around the net, and when I come back my "Bright and Shiny Poets" links are missing. Damn. So I go inside settings and check, and the links are still there. Hmmm. I come back to this page and the links are up again. But NOW when I click on any of my bright and shiny poets links I find a big ugly yellow feeds box slapped on the top of their blogs. Who the hell thought that one up? Idiots. Off with their heads! I hope I'm dreaming...

::two minutes later:: It's back to normal.

Since you're here anyway, might as well have some FUN.

July 07, 2009


Rhapsody in shards of glass--
(Hail Mary, full of grace)
Rainbow razors
sing and sting,
spray the lady,
spay the lady
on her knees
in disgrace.
Unholy rhapsody--
flecks of foam flashdance,
scold and scream
of disaster in her craft,
of deceit in washboard dreams.
Rhapsody scrubs mud,
scrapes wads of gum from pews
where lies breed like flies.
Above the fishwife floats,
wrapped in sweet blue rhapsody,
(Hail Mary, full of grace).
She holds the holes,
owns the whole,
molds the air--
Distant rhapsody
shapes the affairs of men
(the Lord is with thee)
and the lady
afraid to remain alone.

July 01, 2009

I don't have to have a story.

It's difficult to mind the path.
Divide a monk by ten laymen
to find your ten percent.
We are the same five elements.
We are forty sleepless nights.
Feeble. Ferocious.
Brilliant. Boisterous.
Puffed up. Pious.
Ignorant. Vexatious.
Arrogant. Useless.
Liars and loons, lapdogs,
landlubbers and luminaries,
right and wrong,
we are the same.
A dozen orange lilies, eight
pearls and a chunk of coal--
we are the same, clinging;
we are the same, letting go.
Devoted to distraction,
driven and drowning,
gasping and grasping at air, still
suffering, still minding the words:
love your enemies like yourself,
I don't have to have a story.
We are the same.

June 29, 2009

Fire and Rain

Listen. James is singing
Fire and Rain. Jesus' friend
stands behind my shoulder,
utters syllables and sounds,
reflections of the unfolding.
Of course, you are welcome.
It’s not like I have a plan.

June 27, 2009

Looks just like me, doesn't he?

Your result for The Which Famous Poet Are You Test...

Philip Larkin!

You scored 50 Demeanour, 59 Debauchery, 63 Traditionalism, and 55 Expression!

Cheer up, asshole. Everyone loves you, and still you treat them like shit. And still they love you! They love you all the more for it! Why is that, do you suppose? Because you're a freakin genius, that's why! You make an insult sound like love song! You spew your venom at the world and the world laps it up! From your dark, ugly little heart gushes forth a veritable geyser of gorgeous ideas and melodious language. I hate you. Let's hang out sometime. Your masterpiece is "The Less Deceived".

Take The Which Famous Poet Are You Test
at HelloQuizzy

June 24, 2009

They're Coming Home

Twilight silence exits.
The golden ones,
captives of the night--
they're coming home.
Once upon a time,
morning scents adorned us.
We did not fear baring all.
Now, spying from a distance,
our visions blur.
We watch mothers
share a moment of laughter
before they burn the books.
Joy of Sex. Kama Sutra.
In the midday sun,
we peer from under straw hats
to watch the neighbors
poke about their gardens.
Dancing with sunflower women,
they ignore the shadows in our eyes.
Fortune loves circles.
What bondage?
Embrace the clipped wings.
Accept the rings,
the baubles, the decorations.
Their chill shields us from the prophesy:
Like father, like son.
We give teachers our treasure and forget.
Something wicked? Delusions!
A moment of frustration? The moon!
Voices of fury intrigue us.
For peace, we give our strength to monsters.
Pour the wine. Drown the roots of persuasion.
Murder? No, only arms.
The mirror is cracked.
There are fireworks in heaven.
Congratulations. Here's your star.

June 22, 2009

Rhyme Me To Hell

Adam handed back the apple,
minus three big bites.
It's got to have an edge, he said,
or it isn't post-avant.
He said it takes imagination.
The surprise comes after the turn.
There's no affect without manipulation.
He had eaten around the worm.

Is there a doctor in the house?

June 19, 2009

Creepin' closer to the edge

Today at Stoning the Devil, Adam is talkin' creepy. Creepy/macabre is edgy. Edgy is Post-Avant. He posts as an example The Preserve by Aaron Belz. In the comments, someone questions the idea that the poem is post-avant, and Adam asks the questioner what poem he thinks has edge. Immediately I thought of Rauan Klassnik dreaming Ron Silliman. It's been a while since I read these, so I revisited. I was only slightly surprised by the elephants and birds. Heh. Okay, that's a lie. I was totally distracted. They're out to get me, I tell ya.

June 17, 2009

The devil, you say

Is there an intellectual in the house? I'm not sure, but I think I may have been called a snide smart ass.

Oh, woe.

Maybe I should have lied and told Adam I loved that poem. That it's the edgiest poem I've ever read. Swear to God and hope to spit. I want to go read it fifty more times, maybe even memorize it. Or perhaps I'll just chop off my head instead. Less painful.

June 15, 2009

Silent, the Drum

The drummer straddles her
belly-down across the bed.
Double-fisted fury
pounds its rhythm on her head.

Glassy-eyed, enraptured
by the song of primal beast,
he's deaf to the cacophony--
children's screams cannot compete.

Then finally, the drum,
wet and red, dares to respond.
"You're scaring the children."
With four words, this concert's done.

June 10, 2009

Poets Be

"Poets, be receptive. Poets, be inventive." ~Nada Gordon

Poets be yammering at each other.
Standing tall, stretching their necks,
poets be primping in my bathroom mirror,
caressing themselves and casting
long shadows on the wall behind me.
Poets be picking breakfast out of their teeth
with paperclips and folded sticky notes.
Watching, waiting for a clue, poets be
wondering what you mean, and why,
and if you know your code is showing.
Poets be brooding, standing on the line,
ready to trade their pretty words for grit
and gristle and piles of mismatched socks.
Poets be polishing the salt lick with raw tongues,
collecting wet bits of grated flesh
in teacups, Mason jars, and empty soda cans.
Poets be ready. Company's coming.

If you're wondering...

why I have this dumb look on my face, it's because Tiel Aisha Ansari is talkin' about meter over at Knocking From Inside. I have a mental block. You know it must be pretty bad when even Dr. Seuss can't fix it. Woe.

June 04, 2009

Hey! I was just thinking about that.

Okay, guys. This synchronicity thing is startin' to weird me out. A while back, it was birds. Everywhere I looked, birds. (Actually, they're still there, but I've grown used to them. They don't surprise me much anymore.) Now it's the elephant. Life is but a circus. Hurry. Somebody send in the clowns! What's really funny is that the poets' site I created a few weeks back (but have yet to open) is called Poetic Jesters. It has kind of a carnival theme. Isn't that funny? Well, isn't it? Hmmm. Maybe it's just me...

By the way, has anyone really figured out what Silliman is talkin' about yet? I keep fallin' asleep.

June 03, 2009

Clowns and Poets

Long-faced poets in blue
ruffs and baggy sleeves
dance the zombie shuffle
around the white elephant
lying dead in center ring.

In the rafters, bored monkeys
chatter, spit, and throw pop-
corn and jellybeans in the air.
Now and then one stops
to scratch and sniff itself.

The fat ringmaster, wearing
scarlet topcoat and tails,
straightens his greasy top hat.
His eyes a bloody whip, he
sneers then shouts: Submit!

At the theater down the road,
the magician doesn't flaunt
his pain. He keeps it hidden
behind his albino rabbit
and the curtains' dancing fringe.

June 02, 2009


Some poems are meadows,
sweeps of sweet grassland;
contented, we graze
in frames of barbed wire.
Others are jungles,
teeming with danger;
passionate tangles
amaze and beguile.

Some poems are mountains,
heaps of grand magic;
stunning, their power
forbids us the peaks.
Others are brooklets,
void of intention;
trickles of giggles
meander, unchecked.

Some poems are oceans,
vast and uncharted;
reason eludes us
in mystery's depths.
Others are deserts,
lifeless and dismal;
parched in the wasteland,
we pray for relief.

In various shapes,
poems are created;
we gain perspective
through another's eye.
Still, I've never seen
the world in one poem
nor met a poet
who's mastered that form.

May 30, 2009

Dream Lover

Last night I dreamed: an old lover
spent his passion in my mouth,
laughing as I choked on the bitter torrent.

I woke, open-mouthed and gasping,
and stumbled through the darkness
to rinse the acrid dryness from my tongue.

Then, slipping back between the sheets,
I wrapped myself around your sleeping form
and brushed my lips against your shoulder--
grateful for the cool sweetness of your skin.

May 29, 2009

Working Backwards

In today's wanderings I came across a post at Rauan Klassnik's blog where he shares from his journal the grackle's effect on him. He writes:

"I am in some of my best moments this blackbird. It sings in me ruthlessly. It rules my love. Sits on my blood. And rides it hard. Swallows the stars. And smashes the moon to bits. It rolls in churches. And governments. It doesn't want to die. But it doesn't even bother to think about it."

How excellent is that? Love it. The grackle is an interesting totem. Google it.

From Rauan's blog I wandered to Reb Livingston's new blog via her old blog and found an interesting post on dreams as poetry's origin. She writes:

"People dream differently, but the psyche is communicating to your conscious part, using symbols, signs, images, metaphors, language, triggers, cues, etc. intended for YOU to hear/see/feel and understand. Your dreams aren't failing you, you're not paying close enough attention. Pay better attention, you'll get more useful dreams. Or at least they'll seem more useful because you're paying attention."

Interesting. So then I went to smoke a cigarette, and while I was standing in the back door smoking and staring at nothing, I remembered a poem I've been twiddling with this week. Here it is:


Our story gets lost
past the wheat fields,
past the pines,
past miles and miles
of dirt roads and ditches
to a creek that winds
into a cavern to merge
with the darkness
beneath our bed.

In our dreams,
where anything
is possible,
nothing happens.

There is beauty there.

May 28, 2009

Ugly Thing,

yawning amidst the snarls
and whispers in the street,
why do you still wade
through the gossips?
They will be forgotten soon,
and you will remain ugly.

May 27, 2009

Shaped as Dancing

Poetry dances polonaise.
Profane joy and sacred aches,
ritual wakes in a strange place.
Candle flickers close to dying.
Nothingness encircles longing.
Yellow rose in a crystal vase,
petals soft in sweet embrace,
bows to song's amazing grace.

Obama's forked tongue

Guess I'll just keep annoying myself.

"None so blind as those that will not see. They have baffled their own consciences, and so they walk on in darkness." --Matthew Henry

May 26, 2009

PC idiocy says, "You can't say that. Tell us what we want to hear!"

Some people are just too stupid to breathe. I really gotta quit reading this kind o' stuff. It's too annoying.

In a 4-page article at ABC News, Sarah Netter writes about a med student who was born in Africa:

Filed Monday in U.S. District Court in New Jersey, the lawsuit traces a series of events that Serodio maintains led to his 2007 suspension, starting with a March 2006 cultural exercise in a clinical skills course taught by Dr. Kathy Ann Duncan, where each student was asked to define themselves for a discussion on culture and medicine.
After Serodio labeled himself as a white African-American, another student said she was offended by his comments and that, because of his white skin, was not an African-American.
According to the lawsuit, Serodio was summoned to Duncan's office where he was instructed "never to define himself as an African-American … because it was offensive to others and to people of color for him to do so."

People suck. I'm an ignorant white trash native bitch, so I can say that. (Do I need more commas? Hyphen? Whatever.)

May 24, 2009

On a brighter note

Love me some Willie, I do. I could watch him 'til my eyes fall out. There's just something about him...

May 23, 2009

Will it never end?

This stuff makes me crazy. No wonder I have "authority" issues. Almost makes me wanna "accidentally" bust a head, I tell ya. Perhaps I'm human. Crap.

And liberty and justice for all.

::sigh:: Maybe I need a butt rub...

Raising the dead

Speaking of pages, here's an oldie.

Bad Poetry

More painful than bad poetry
is the accusing glare
of a blank white page
and the whispered taunts,
like swift razors, gone
before realization's bleeding sting.

But, I am no martyr
to suffer these bloody tears in silence.

Sacrificing poetic art,
I hold my wounds over the empty page--
a painful splatter of bad poetry
petitions the absent muse.

May 19, 2009

How to Live

People always ask,
but I've learned to wait.
I've even lied.

We live in a daydream,
while life runs on without us.

Who understands
where I'm stuck?

You can't reflect
a single word,
a single color,
revelation on a cloud.

Leave the page open.

I reserve the right
as long as I live.

May 18, 2009

Must Be Ghosts

She was good, wasn't she?

Beyond the latest crash and bang
and pink lips' muffled howl
lies a world of the dead,
of deep sand and shabby dogs
with motes of dust for eyes.
Her skeleton rests uneasy
against a wheel of sand.
In its cage of sun-bleached
ribs, there waits a crimson bird
whose smoked-glass eyes inquire.

When were you a man?

May 17, 2009


the first word,
the first minstrel show,
the last two lines
of a three-word Wednesday,
25 facts about
your first and still favorite
elephant in the room.
It doesn't have to be this way.
There are poets--
rhetoric for rhetoric's sake.
There's space.

May 15, 2009

I Gave Away

I gave away my unicorn,
the clouds, the stars, the moon.
I gave away my somedays.
I gave away my soon.
I gave away my roses--
red, yellow, pink, and white.
I gave away my mornings;
I gave away the night.
I gave away my rainbows
and pretty butterflies.
I gave away my angels;
I gave away my whys.
I gave away my sunsets
and misty mountains high.
I gave away my greetings;
I gave away goodbye.

May 14, 2009

Upon a Time

She nails herself to a ladder
because she can't find a cross.
Bystanders fold their hands,
then they unfold their hearts.

Poetry thinks Narrative is simplistic,
they whisper, and Nonsense doesn't
exist. We admire lifeless things.

Elsewhere, the Collective sells tickets.
Everything is nonsense, it insists,
but the signs say you have to buy
a membership card to get inside.

May 10, 2009

Inside Spring Distractions

It's like I've never met
songbirds or angels.
The sun, a cup,
rises half-way
between the rains,
odorless, its shame
a warm distraction.

May 08, 2009


Feminist is another word--
Existing because it can, I guess.
Maybe it doesn't know
It smells funny. Like death.
Nobody needs it to be.
It's just a new cage.
Stink of dead women isn't better
Than the stink of dead men.

May 07, 2009

Don't do anything.

The sun is about to set.
Our lodge falls above the fray.
Perfection, a sacred activity,
confines the spirit of angels.
Am I not alive?
Fools filled with dead men's
bones cry out to me.
Stretch out your hand.
There is nothing lost to us.
Mark this transition.

May 06, 2009

The Line I Think

Ego me, you bastard.
Show me your willy nilly,
your bumper sticker,
your pledge of allegiance.
Show me your rituals,
your entry point,
your ifs, ands, ors.
Show me your nevers.

May 04, 2009


The process of becoming
kills itself.

Flowers of a thousand
lives flow by, melt away.

Beyond the dark
is a voice:

breathless heat
that speaks and sings

May 02, 2009

“writers who are inarticulate”

It is monumental.
Nothing signals willingness in a new light.
When the old sit comfortably side by side,
literally thousands focus on the fundamental.
Nothing existed the minute poets began to think.
Born of the desire to be unmarked,
I would stand up, rich with contradictions.
Refusal is power, nothing more, nothing less.
Naming it (poetics of self) is not the new
it represents. This space without a name
notes the instant they die. Only poets
writing challenges lie outside these worlds.
Rather than become a thing, one will sit in mind
destined to fall free of all that has been written.
Thank you, Ron Silliman.

April 30, 2009


As long as I have your anger
enjambed, its ghost grumbles
over every line; I strain to hear
the daffodils sing. Waiting
for patience is exhausting.
What did you say?
The mud dries.
The wind rises with the sun
and blows away memories.
Our verse ends.

April 29, 2009

gettin' a little fresh air

I think I just saw a tweety bird. (Warning: video contains full frontal male nudity)

There you have it, folks. Naked people are a menace to society. Stubborn naked people will be pushed around, mauled, jumped on, and tased until they submit or die.

April 28, 2009

Mining Nada Gordon's Poetics

I argued
that this was the official definition of poeti:
worked-out poetry that is just of you.
Word is bi-possible, expansive and casual,
and may be to me isostatements of totality.
It's true
poetics this day, a poetics of do, a poetics
of theory about poetics. We looked for what
they kind of implied--choices, distinctions,
a better how and what in the strict.
Space implies a set of general wonder,
I argued.

April 20, 2009

Artes Liberales

Artes Liberales

"I make bold to say that I never have despised anything
belonging to erudition,
but have learned much
which to others seemed to be trifling and foolish."
........................................................~Hugh of St. Victor

Conceit can’t quite reach the window into everyday irony.
It tries too hard.
The self-important taint of poetry battles rule-bound unoriginality.
Crime, folly and misfortune, war, the celebration of blood and guts--
Take it; put it to use.
Penetrate the center.
The force of the witness searches through vanity's sacred hollow.
You have to remake the same story over and over again (she said)
Seven angels on hand have grounds to judge the wind--all there is.
Over the rant the entry point rattles: repeat repeat repeat.
Inhale ephemeral destruction.
Pleasure finality.
Lay down the pen.

April 15, 2009

Looking back (from April 15 to April 6)

Dear Paul,

In the absence of evidence,
I assert my own doing.
My attire--may I discard it.
On my wall, muses misheard
can't accuse. Bright balloons
hammer on the radio again.
In the past shared pound,
I was happy. Tango rattles night sky.
Listen. The featured piece came here
asking for submission. Wouldn't you
hit and run the riff, pass the punch,
and wilt in magic condensation
on the kitchen table? Somewhere
between absence and slipping is me,
and the hang'd man lies curled beneath.
Beat! Beat! I love these guys.
I had a fantasy to survive.
I do enjoy flicking morality.

April 14, 2009

On Shooting Unicorns

Don't you hate it when you reply to a post and can't tell whether or not your reply took? Whether or not it's lying in a pile somewhere waiting for approval? You waste all that time and energy and burn out brain cells you really can't spare...for what? Bah.

Anyway, I wanted to add a piece of Agnes to the "They Shoot Unicorn Structures" discussion over at Rodney Koeneke's blog Modern Americans. Since I can't tell whether or not my reply took (either time I tried) and since mental masturbation is a terrible thing to waste, I'll put my response here. Ha! Take that, you smelly computer gods!

Note: This version might be slightly different than the one I posted (or tried to post) over at Modern Americans because I think I twiddled with that one after I pasted it in the reply box. What can I say; I'm a twiddler. The "troublesome" quote by Barbara Guest that's under discussion is first in bold. The second bolded quote is Rodney.


"The structure of the poem should create an embrasure inside of which language is seated in watchful docility, like the unicorn. Poems develop a terrible possessiveness toward their language because they admire the decoration of their structure."

Y'all make my brain itch. Let's break down this quote's sloppy structure. (The picture of the unicorn makes things more confusing.)

Poem has (is) structure. Structure (should) make/have an embrasure (window/opening in a fortification, usually used to fire cannon). Does embrasure normally make folks think of a corral? I'm thinkin' castle. Fortress. Will that flimsy fence protect the unicorn from a dragon?

Language is a unicorn (magic decoration) inside the structure/fortification/poem, gazing out the embrasure/opening.

Poems are possessive of their language/unicorn/magic because they admire magic decorations.

Poems are selfish. Some poems don't like unicorns and prefer to keep their cannons--which are also language. Sometimes the cannons explode, and then you have L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E P=O=E=T=R=Y.

If someone comes along and collects the bits and pieces of iron, stone, tapestry, and princess guts from the explosion and uses them--along with the white kitten he found in a storm drain, the thistle he picked up on the side of the road, a ripe dog turd, a bag full of question marks, and the tuna sandwich leftover from lunch--to build a unicorn, that's Flarf.

I couldn't get through the link, so I have to guess about context. (That's always fun.) Perhaps in this quote Barbara Guest defines language as what it suggests (the meaning, feeling) to the reader. What does the docile unicorn suggest to a reader? What does the cannon suggest to a reader? And what would a fortification built out of unicorns rather than built to house a unicorn look like? There are just too many questions and not enough Calamine! You probably shouldn't stand too close.

"How do you read the passage: criticism or endearment? And does the notion of "poems of terrible possessiveness toward their language" ring true, as either praise or diss? Ideas/examples?" (Rodney asks)

Criticism or endearment? Praise or diss? Of what--poems? Must it be one or the other? (I think someone named a fallacy after that notion.) Perhaps everything depends on whether or not one finds curmudgeons *terribly* sexy. Does the idea of a poem's possessiveness of its language ring true? Yes. No diss. No praise. Just fact. A unicorn is not a cannon. Except on Thursdays.

Now, look at my hand. What's holding it together? Do you see any typos? How about unicorns?

And hello.


Thank you for your attention. We now return you to your regular scheduled meandering.

April 10, 2009


There isn’t much conversation going on.
No one really knows what to say.
What does this have to do with
what we find in my mind?
I pick up voices.
Most make a mess
and then work backwards--
the same old whine,
a secret code
as bitter as a good crap.
Our conversation stops there.

April 05, 2009

Somebody's full of crap

I don't have a romantic bone in my body. Should I reinvent myself?

I took the 43 Things Personality Quiz and found out I'm a
Romantic Self-Knowing Reinventer

Is it weird that less than 1% of the people who took this quiz got the same result?

March 30, 2009

Of a Feather

Straighten the birds;
the jumble of sparks in my head
shuffle and arc without piety.
Never mind medicine or war.
There are other problems,
signs of trouble, sharp turns
in the middle of the pull and tug.
The blood of montage
comes to ruin our tongue.
Still, it will tell you the same:
You never know about poets.

March 29, 2009

Put Your Ego in the Subject Line

Poets and writers blog.
Do you have news--
brand new dysfunction?
We're interested
in the rebellious line,
fruitless efforts, starving
calico cats at the corner
coffee shop. Look closely
in this shattered mirror.

Spectacled ampersands
leap, flutter dusty wings
in rhythm with the magic
wind, strong and free...
the draft fades away
in standard cliche.
Coitus abandoned.

Poems are selfish--
silhouettes and cigarettes,
a hearty fuck you,
and a belt-notching
for universal appeal.

We live with our flaws.

March 28, 2009


It’s not that I’m against it;
I believe I could grasp the stony silence
beyond the images that scream
from an unseen place.
I'm all for the mutation of words,
the transformation of meaning.
Perhaps you asked yourself
if the continuing imprecision
is aware of the making.
That's one of the things I like about the pieces;
the pretty pebbles, splintered sticks,
shards of colored glass and opalescent shells,
bits of string, beads, and shiny buttons
all lead to wild and unexpected places.

March 21, 2009

Inside A Poet's Guide

The binding may occur
in several stages,
from simple to complex.
The first striking can be brief,
pausing at the line.
One might speculate,
but chooses instead a mimicry.
Consider the loops.
Perhaps these postponements
conceal something.
Gnarled and ungainly,
the middle spins,
knotting the extremes.

March 06, 2009

ghazal to me

You gave your name to me.
Give all the blame to me.

One way or another,
it's all the same to me.

One word or two or three?
It's just a game to me.

Frown lines and feet of crow
aren't such a shame to me.

Dum Dum da Dum da Dum--
odd how it came to me.

Almost, I hear the law
that you proclaim to me.

How, Agnes, could you know
all you became to me.

February 28, 2009

Poet Watching

Gloomy word-cloud shadows
bump and grind together,
shedding dada mirrors--
yellow, orange, red.
Grammar is begotten,
tit for tat. The pretty ones
adjust their wings, preen and sing--
but alone in the gap beyond the end
of the world, I'm too busy to respond.

February 19, 2009

Caught Between Two Meanings

(For Paul)

I love that beat
of metaphysics--
the form, the idea,
the morality.
We can bicker all day,
call magic the truth.
That is the point
of disappearing.

January 27, 2009

It's Not Monday

I wanted to let you know
the cemetery's closed,
but it's not Monday.
The names are flying,
dazzling flippity flops
and somersaults,
cherry blossoms
disembodied from their poets
who may or may not exist
somewhere beyond the words.
Dick and Jane
call for more than silliness.
Maybe I'm distracted.
It’s time for some tough love!
I have no answers.
That's exactly what I mean,
excluding the I.
No, one last thing:
Poetry is war.

January 21, 2009

Poet Lizzie took an axe...

and gave her poem fifty whacks.

It was painful to hear. It sounded something like


Good thing I didn't have a brick at hand. I might have ruined my tv. I would say it's just me being cranky (I don't like being read to), but others had similar reactions. Check the links at Poegles. There's also commentary at Althouse. If you compare the transcript (visual) of the poem to the way it was delivered, there is a disconnect. The poem (a prose poem) looks nothing like the way she made it sound. I'm pretty sure that's illegal.


January 13, 2009

I Know You're There

I know you're there
in the shadows.
I hear soft rustling.
The floorboards creak.

In the shadows
I smell desire.
The floorboards creak.
I hold my breath.

I smell desire--
English Leather.
I hold my breath
and wet my lips.

English Leather,
come and join me,
and wet my lips
beneath the sheets.

Come and join me.
I hear soft rustling
beneath the sheets.
I know you're there.

January 07, 2009

Well, of course...

You are The Moon

Hope, expectation, Bright promises.

The Moon is a card of magic and mystery - when prominent you know that nothing is as it seems, particularly when it concerns relationships. All logic is thrown out the window.

The Moon is all about visions and illusions, madness, genius and poetry. This is a card that has to do with sleep, and so with both dreams and nightmares. It is a scary card in that it warns that there might be hidden enemies, tricks and falsehoods. But it should also be remembered that this is a card of great creativity, of powerful magic, primal feelings and intuition. You may be going through a time of emotional and mental trial; if you have any past mental problems, you must be vigilant in taking your medication but avoid drugs or alcohol, as abuse of either will cause them irreparable damage. This time however, can also result in great creativity, psychic powers, visions and insight. You can and should trust your intuition.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.