Thursday, September 29, 2005

Why You Should Study Algebra

all right, all of you hurts; let the wash go undone.
"I don't think repeat performance is what you're looking for"

this single quality unable to speak, for starters: to reflect upon
different pens, various moods, blunderbuss states; no comments please.

there's no proper procedure: live that quality; that spoken juncture;
you're moving quickly, superseding memory with a tousled bewilderment.

here now obtains; obliquely alone; reminded of you: "I don't know if
I can handle this crowd" To keep the ring you want to give away.

Ideally, you'd like some new search, view, aim: more difficult situation.
Imprudent, you can believe what you already know, you are about to speak.

we are in, we are out, it's doubt trailing us: "stand aside, blackguard"
broken glass, torn shirt. you're walking knee deep and driven wild.

no time to think, a simple stopping at a single place. emptiness.
these troubles have no circumference, enough to see, to hear: requisite.

recesses of the "heart" chewing ice cubes, all those troubles becoming
quiet. face it, face it, words don't count: astray by love, led.

you're something else, you're leaving your self alone. juicy is the other
with sunlight, with sunlight, shadow; with lunar eclipse, landscape.

a demolition team has been sent to experiment with explosives upon
your emotional structure; there-in your acquired wish comes true: to feel.

to feel felt there's no time to think. a simple recess of the heart.
ideally quiet, you're walking knee deep, torn shirt, obliquely alone.

a master hidden, stillness quelled, no matter the doorman's algebraic
rules are instinctual, not given to public announcement; brush your hair.

tonight acquainted with you, dealing in some way, she sees you, she
says, "I worry" she's the waitress in a window-walled room.

music sweet as glue, silent, quarter-less, falling short of speech,
vestigial, even eyes, too many tilts, habitually for sure afraid.

lights there now upon the astral plane, nights wild fill with winter rain.
desires, attachments, and insecurities: I don't know only fear.

z the talisman, y the bard, x the unknown, w the glass, v the forgotten, w, this,
the flow, t the ordinary, s the urge, r the personality,

q the difficult, p the loss, o the distract, n the unclear, m the conversation,
l the gone, k the home, j the pause, i the situation, h the stay,

g the schedule, f the that, e the companion, d the name borrowed,
c the storm, b the wait, a the sleep. there-in explosives set.

-- Jeff Wietor

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Memo to Joe Brainard January 1979

Date: January 9, 1979
To: Joe Brainard
From: Jeff Wietor -- Botsford Ketchum Inc.
Subject: Today

Long lean gray rapid bluish sensational rain is falling today
outside the world this morning looks like mid-evening
everybody wants to go home, back to bed, cuddle or cry

it's been raining for two days. I've been thinking of
starting a collection of canopic jars filled with rain water
and glass beads

at the desk next to me, Susan is rubber-cementing small
pieces of paper to large pieces of paper; Ron is bending
over Virginia’s desk talking about the typo's and revisions
in his letter to the California Strawberry Board;

I'm out of scotch tape. A rock from Provence holds down my desk
calendar. My pocket calculator is in need of a battery.
The coffee in my Italian, hand-painted, Picasso-esque mug:
cold. The prayer-plant to my left looks petite and perky.
I wishI were a giraffe on the Serengeti or zodiacally correct.

a train trip to LA is what I need.

is it snowing in NYC? is it rhapsodic or dismal or unseasonably warm?
did you enjoy last night? have you ever done a collage called
What A Penultimate Day It Is: twenty shades of blue and a little
paper cut-out of an okapi liquitexed dead-center?

do you have trouble paying the rent? keeping warm?

so spring-like today, so possible in the middle of winter.

enclosed please find a postcard to send to a friend.

if wishes were fishes are nets would be full.
I wish I was home, in bed with Devo.

rain rain rain
rain rain rain

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

The Last Shall Be First

response being so encouraging.
music listens when you speak.

that's when he passed out.
. . . dream." turn the Jane Olivor over.

Keith's boozy brilliant black eyes.
an hour later he's awake.

to overtake us. to absorb us.
we know of others waiting.

riddled with existence.
rampaging actors.

how useful is life?
how love as a thing itself will perish.

all dressed in swan feathers & flesh
you fretful forest & secret.

O sweet confusion.
love achieves what it destroys.

remember the master of drought.
the worth of memory.

don't return but be able.
like you the father must the child.

Aeolian bows & bells
struck with pieces of wood.

transcript of a passing mood.
flattery opens many doors.

each morning I would sing.
your eyes transparent among ruins laugh.

I ran into Rico & Michael
at 24 Hour Doughnuts on Castro:

Rico's on the phone. he's wearing black. a black scarf, black jeans, black t-shirt; everything black, he keeps tossing the scarf over his shoulder and sort of dancing. on the phone. while talking. talking and dancing. big black round shiny eyes. hair swept back off his forehead, combs it with his fingers, talking low. talking intensely. he waves. it's only six or seven thirty. I go in. he talks. michael says: hello. I say who are you he says Michael. I say O. he says have you seen Brad. I say no. he says do you know where he is. I say yes. he says where. I look hesitant, I say well he really doesn't want anyone to know. fury. he says nothing. just looks. looks at me. registers hate. determined. beaming I say nothing. rico talks on & on & on & on & on & on & on in whispers. he keeps dancing to the music. he's WITH the Nuns, he's all in black, he is thin, very thin, small boned really. a person of note. he has a way of throwing out his chin as if to say: look (breathlessly) he looks into your face. look. this is the way it is. I love it Too! he's a one man band. he hangs up the phone. pay-phone. how are you he says brightly, happily, earnestly, dancingly.

the rose is gone from the garden
what shall we do with the thorns

will wilting lilacs bring on summer?
how can he say: 'my soul is ablaze"?

big blue piano Bay twilight docks
keys lips upon your cool way of sleeping

the weather takes care of that.
silence then and wind encountered bells.

it all looks so final somehow, on january 16 his notebook is torn to shreds. on january 21 again 1977 I see him once. I'm Daffy Over You. the same laws that brought us together take us apart. who cursed us with forgotten love. what he needs I don't know. you torment me. you ask me questions that appear to make no sense. these little days that pass. she has an eerie way of knowing. the days come and go. he has dust in his eyes. glazed and looks like a stop light.

love you in a flurry in a spiral
in truth and disguised.

a web of tight muscles.
windows. faces.

a flurry of primitive name-calling.
notwithstanding the novelty of this moment.

cat at the door wants out
she scratches & claws & leaps for the knob.

please, undergo experience with me.
show process with reason.

choose memory to begin
tell us the meanings of love

show us need
question trees

spend the night
take me in your arms

wrap seeds with apples
tie eggs with shell

how there's a flaw in its structure
and confesses something else irksomely

I am the rest between two notes
I've been looking through ads for your face.

he takes a poinsettia from the shelf
and puts it into fear, faceless

I won't forget my last dance for me
saved at the Trocadero Transfer May 1978:

Stephen invited me to the Trocadero Transfer Saturday night. dancing until dawn. a tall black man danced with fire and Stephen danced with silver fans. coffee and grapefruit and "here Jeffery take this" I said Stephen you're so tall, why don't you lean down. he didn't talk much. he also had an entourage of three friends I believe who rather 'preened' him with attention. one I think was his lover. I like the white or silver Seville he drove "Jeffery, sit in the front seat with me" "Am I being taken for a ride is this some strange dream come true. and a moustache too"? I wanted to ask him if he was 'famous' though I thought I'd better not. I told him I thought disco sucked which didn't set too well. I danced to him rather than with him. he kept dancing with those fans -- two of them like wings from a robot heron or egret. he kept fanning me and I kept dancing. he seemed 'beyond' it all and a little unworldly. he was wearing a blue shirt and jeans. we met at the Midnight Sun "Jeffery you're adorable" I got the strange idea I was his pet for the night. curiously tame. he carried more money in his billfold that I thought could ever be possible for a billfold to carry. we kept avoiding each other in the shadows and had nothing to talk about. in the light it was all dance and sweat and eyes. everybody seemed to have a beauty about them like models or untouchably transparent angelic ufo types as if spoon fed on beauty-glow, silver-shine and orange fuzzy caresses. prone to tinsel and flattery. we danced and danced and danced and it was crazy and easy and sweaty. the gray light sky. at 5 am cool light. Stephen invited me to Guerneville for the day in his Seville but I didn't want to go I didn't know why I was a little afraid of all of this wonderfulness I just felt so empty with craving and fragmentation and dependence on beauty to hold me up I just wanted to walk home in the rising sunlight. I felt very happy but very tiny like a movie star after having won an Oscar.

what must try mean
to begin

The last thing one settles in writing a book is what one should put in first --
Blaise Pascal

-- Jeff Wietor

Monday, September 26, 2005

Lettering to Catch Your Eye

generate the most pleasure.

rather than misleading you

special lettering will leave you breathless.

front hard outside window
outside open air do one's duty;
due, entitled to, with a right

where does it come from.

the sum of its parts

responding here to a question.

Chris Ofili: the leaves appear
heavily lacquered
they look like wedding pictures

light bulb in Guernica

familiarity with Picabia

anonymous art from thrift shops

it's art that's lost its memory
a 3-d equivalent of the film Bambi
only without the graphics

shut up

you shut up

no you shut up

magenta, red, peach, aubergine,
sea green, sienna, chrome green
& cobalt blue

pulling things together by

a kind of invisible fine-tuning

"I was reminded of Odysseus"

accept the full horror of being
trapped in someone else's narcissism
it's fun to read art diaries

no memories today
I can't remember my middle name
I have no more questions; you may step down

-- Jeff Wietor

Friday, September 23, 2005

Final Days: Oxygen

As Hurricane Rita roared toward the Texas and Louisiana coasts early Friday, a bus carrying 45 elderly evacuees — and their oxygen bottles — from the Houston area caught fire on Interstate 45 near Dallas. Around 20 people are feared dead.

"We believe there were 43 souls on the bus" when it left the Houston area, Dallas County Sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Don Peritz told CBS radio station KRLD. "Deputies were unable to get everyone off the bus."

"This is a tragic, tragic accident," Peritz added.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

The Question Is

"The question is how many people will be gravely ill and die sitting on the side of the freeway," said State Representative Garnet Coleman, Democrat of Houston. "Dying not from the storm, but from the evacuation."

In the beginning was the Void
Pennywise and pound foolish
You will awaken in the morning

pine cones sun flowers
the chambered nautilus


-- Jeff Wietor

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Defending Walt Whitman

Basketball is like this for young Indian boys, all arms and legs
and serious stomach muscles. Every body is brown!
These are the twentieth-century warriors who will never kill,
although a few sat quietly in the deserts of Kuwait,
waiting for orders to do something, to do something.

God, there is nothing as beautiful as a jumpshot
on a reservation summer basketball court
where the ball is moist with sweat,
and makes a sound when it swishes through the net
that causes Walt Whitman to weep because it is so perfect.

There are veterans of foreign wars here
although their bodies are still dominated
by collarbones and knees, although their bodies still respond
in the ways that bodies are supposed to respond when we are young.
Every body is brown! Look there, that boy can run
up and down this court forever. He can leap for a rebound
with his back arched like a salmon, all meat and bone
synchronized, magnetic, as if the court were a river,
as if the rim were a dam, as if the air were a ladder
leading the Indian boy toward home.

Some of the Indian boys still wear their military hair cuts
while a few have let their hair grow back.
It will never be the same as it was before!
One Indian boy has never cut his hair, not once, and he braids it
into wild patterns that do not measure anything.
He is just a boy with too much time on his hands.
Look at him. He wants to play this game in bare feet.

God, the sun is so bright! There is no place like this.
Walt Whitman stretches his calf muscles
on the sidelines. He has the next game.
His huge beard is ridiculous on the reservation.
Some body throws a crazy pass and Walt Whitman catches it
with quick hands. He brings the ball close to his nose
and breathes in all of its smells: leather, brown skin, sweat
black hair, burning oil, twisted ankle, long drink of warm water,
gunpowder, pine tree. Walt Whitman squeezes the ball tightly.
He wants to run. He hardly has the patience to wait for his turn.
"What's the score?" he asks. He asks, "What's the score?"

Basketball is like this for Walt Whitman. He watches these Indian boys
as if they were the last bodies on earth. Every body is brown!
Walt Whitman shakes because he believes in God.
Walt Whitman dreams of the Indian boy who will defend him,
trapping him in the corner, all flailing arms and legs
and legendary stomach muscles. Walt Whitman shakes
because he believes in God. Walt Whitman dreams
of the first jumpshot he will take, the ball arcing clumsily
from his fingers, striking the rim so hard that it sparks.
Walt Whitman shakes because he believes in God.
Walt Whitman closes his eyes. He is a small man and his beard
is ludicrous on the reservation, absolutely insane.
His beard makes the Indian boys righteously laugh. His beard
frightens the smallest Indian boys. His beard tickles the skin
of the Indian boys who dribble past him. His beard, his beard!

God, there is beauty in every body. Walt Whitman stands
at center court while the Indian boys run from basket to basket.
Walt Whitman cannot tell the difference between
offense and defense. He does not care if he touches the ball.
Half of the Indian boys wear t-shirts damp with sweat
and the other half are bareback, skin slick and shiny.
There is no place like this. Walt Whitman smiles.
Walt Whitman shakes. This game belongs to him.

-- Sherman Alexie

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Listen Here: Full Moon


We come from within.
You probably wonder what's inside the box.
I hear voices, as if a whole town is waking up.

It's as if people are living right now
and we can't see them. Nothing is now
left remarkable beneath the full moon.

I'm missing the best moments of my life.
Going out early today going shopping at
Trader Joe's. A motorcycle cop sitting on

his motorcycle in the middle of the intersection
at Van Ness & McAllister. Looking forcefully
assured, quietly watching all around him.

Alert within all that uniformed carapace protection
and gear: "Is something going on?"

Where is your attention? What's it focused on.
Counting the flock of tourists ambling in a non-
sinister manner being guided down McAllister by

the "man in the hat" who points out the famous sites
of the City, where the famous fictional characters
lived, where the bodies are hidden, where dreams are made.

When "movies" are made in the neighborhood you can't
tell the actors from the denizens. The woman in black
may be an "extra"; the boy in the baseball suit: a boy

in a baseball suit; the tall athletic man walking slowly with
a dog may be next year's "hot item" in People Magazine; that
gray-haired lady may be simply worried about her heroin son.

Typically, when "movies are being made" on the street not
a lot of action happens. For hours. Makes you wonder:
all that money, all that equipment, all those people,

nothing happening until you really "See It" on the big
screen; magic makers working in another dimension. No
reason to hurry when what I don't see now will be

available for viewing on DVD in three years; time
measured in dramatic lighting, crisp dialogue and peopled
with beautiful body-types, wearing make-up to make them

look just like the people watching them making a movie;
this very minute, without delay a mad impulse passes
through me: run up the street, offer-up your life to the Movies!

The bus ride to Trader Joe's went smoothly, uneventfully,
simply. I remembered a vivid dream I had last night.
I don't normally give a second thought to "dreams". I'm

not one to read things into nocturnal visualizations. I
do marvel that dreams in fact "happen"; do acknowledge it
may be the brain's way of releasing emotional left-overs,

channeling physical tension into a mélange of mental stew;
the lurking memories flashing on our internal movie screen,
but this dream had the air of: the journey's end, the

undiscovered country from whose bourn no traveler returns,
an awfully big adventure: running, I am here. I am light and
weightlessly wonderful. free. alert; running, almost flying

along rain slick streets, with weather as real as real
can be, as sensual as here and now and thinking to myself:
my god! if you don't wake up you'll be dead; yikes!

a quick-shiv to the gut kinda nightmare. didn't see it coming.
shocked. and then I asked myself: how does one respond
and live through life shocks without being torn apart molecularly.

I didn't mind investigating a new emotional experience:
being free; what woke me was the fear I'd not completed "something";
I'd be leaving a body behind. Not that I minded "leaving"

my body. I didn't want to be "handled" or "disposed of"
after the exiting; the fear of being touched occurred to me, the
"leaving a mess" for others; when I began to analyze I

felt the unknown emotional jolt fading and realized
I was not laughing. That this was an audition seemed
impression enough for one morning's dream recall.

I love shopping at Trader Joe's. They have everything a
single person needs to subsist. Fresh food in just the
right-sized sexy-buy-me containers. TJ fair trade Bolivian,

spinach potato frittata, spaghetti & beef meatballs, sliced
oven roast turkey, turkey seasoned meatballs, radishes, hothouse
cucumber, butter Irish Kerrygold salted, albacore tune in olive

oil, granny smith apples, one daily niacin, peaches, baby royal gala apples,
is that you? is that how you’re gonna live? my life is afflicted with
incertitude; my nature starts from facts and actualities which it takes

for real; it is pushed beyond them into a pursuit of uncertain possibilities
and led eventually to question all that it took as real. I proceed from a
fundamental ignorance and hold no assured truth; all the truths on

which I rely for a time are found to be partial, incomplete and questionable:
I am happy, joyful, on top of the world, tickled pink, carefree or cheery
I am content, then low-spirited, dejected, melancholy, inconsolably sad.

Chat with the check-out clerk: two bags please, balanced. I’ll be
on the bus. I know what you mean I take the 27 it’s usually so full.
the 43’s pretty good but you can never be sure. thanks. thanks.


the moon’s huge tonight: looks like a movie FX; painful
bold white bone-glow close so close reach out beach ball bright
through the Venetian blinds. San Francisco City Hall dome

glowing in the late summer Saturday nightness in a city out dancing
and that huge transient unhappy tramp moon share the same window:
sisters of roundness, brothers of possibility, tango partners.


seed of everything, mother far down the road, personal experience,
I have brought medicines, suffocated, gleaming, hiding, unquiet,
touch me, sweat soaked hair of my armpits, a flying train, am I praying,

I go near her, she who gave birth to me, I’m sad. her eyes, who’s
close to death, I am alone, she watches me, she’s gleaming, she’s hiding,
she’s sleeping in a lullaby, at summer’s end, the last days, what should I do.

I’m sure there’s a movie I could watch. A movie explaining to me what
I am to feel or will feel or want to feel; a visual jolt, a subliminal music:
so it is with everything, a means of escape: enter the body of the Sun.

-- Jeff Wietor

Friday, September 16, 2005



















-- Jeff Wietor

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Durga Slays the Buffalo Demon Named Marilyn

I know a lot about what I don't know:

wrote letters, exasperatingly detailed
to friends, friends of friends and obscure
save-Nature societies: I saved the originals
and mailed copies. My letters concerned my concerns

I burned the originals in a secret
Magick ritual involving
goodbye so-long farewell.

I have a radio voice.
My thoughts always in search of popular tunes.
My message: I am
thinking what you are thinking --
that sort of thing.

I arrived in a balloon from the Midwest
with a trunk full of questions, a philosophy
degree seeking answers I'd already memorized

even at 30 I appeared old: whisps of gray around
my eyes. nothing in me was ever blue.
I had the same cultural hunger as that woman
in Main Street; in her mirror she saw Audrey Hepburn
looking back saying yes, I do look
a little like Mary Tyler Moore

all air and moonlight.

I listen with the ferocity of a
stapler starving to "go at it"
My M.O.: collate, file

the light around me: flourescent.
scissors my tool of trade; weapon of relationship


I just want to pack me away
stuffed with a variety
of adjectives and imperfect verbs.

I'm Smokey the Bear with a match;
an afraid-of-the-dark ghost;
A black-tie affair in a closet;
a little black book with no names just numbers


You'll never get away with this I've got your number
You can't handle me in a flood.
I can't say no fast enough
Then I worry about not having said yes slowly enough.

I'm a full night in an empty glass
I never came home without a care;
Can't be bothered by the bother of others;
signed up for everything then stayed home praying
from the depths of despair.

There's so much room in an empty house.
A child out for the lion's share.
Picked up enough philosophy to cover psychology
Deathly afraid of leaving voice-mail.
Constantly worked at things I wanted to stop working on;
Sewed buttons to wedding dresses explaining
one button for each wished for, or hoped for
year of marriage
with my intended groom;
got to 62 my fingers ached, stopped.

Wanted to be a bride a wife
the star in a wear and tear folktale of
new love meeting first love
I robbed strength from the weak
stole the here and now with flattery


when I learned about the concept of
dichotomy I believed it meant duplicity;

yes and no I opted to know enough to upholster chairs.
I took, in the late evening hours, to stitching
scraps of wool suits to torn bits of t-shirts;
When I wanted to move I moved: to the depths of despair
Now I'm stuck in San Francisco with hellish visions.


Don't see hide nor hair of me anymore.
I'm happy

-- Jeff Wietor

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Short Term Memory

A little folded-under continuity came about. It was not only

when the blue flowers were (unquestionably) blue.

something about truncated desire. The broken glass.

he bit off the cobra's head. In the morning his stomach,

drove to Nebraska in a Volvo, which was what he was.

thrashed about in the steam of the shower. Then the door,

written by James Osborn on folded white paper.

eating Brazilian cuisine in a San Francisco restaurant.

starts with a dream of his tears. a story he once wrote:

for television. something to do tonight: June 15, (Sunday)

1980: Together & Alone: begins with a dream through his tears.

he who turns within confirms directly his own nature.

flip-flop dreams full of zen-Noir virtue: Elizabeth Bishop:

The Complete Poems
; title page torn from the collection

a sheet of paper: need for quick-notes, FS&G, New York:

in the fermentation of the dampness under the earth.

1970, 1971, 1972: she's the eternal pointing to the jukebox.

Jukebox Wars, 4 for a quarter; slow, fast; slow, fast; fast fast

slowly you can't make him want you: he's just something else.

you continue with a story so incredible it can only be true.

in the morning, it's time to sparkle, it's painless, it's easy.

in the morning you get up with a back to midnight shade of memory.

in the morning you are going to get up and go to the house.

going or returning he is ever at home. what remains to be sought?

-- Jeff Wietor

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Shopping for Wishes

"I want to have fun and watch God's fury," said Gaetano Zarzana, a street performer and musician who said he planned to stay in town. "I'm going to hang out in Johnny White's bar on Bourbon Street and watch the flood come up."

The thing that kinda haunts me
still lives at the edge of my body:
An outcast of experience about to
show itself, unveils its heart as
the wished for hope: the transformation
of matter into energy of energy into
consciousness and a few seconds of
awareness I can't help not thinking
about but experience this haunting
as if water will burn the sun.

The knower of the wish is very subtle
even as it loses its cordial temper and becomes
something truer, more stately, disbelieving
the inside by calling it the outside;
we turn to the knower of the experience
because the world is transient and unhappy.

The books all in a tumble; ideas waterlogged
devastated drowning "unbelievable" a
nightmare I can't wake from; walk away;
when he sleeps I come, lay down
by your side, I grow tired and want so
much to run toward friends with friends,
take substance from the world; I can't wake
from wanting, my sleep casts off the body,
there are no roads, no means of travel,
no joy, no pleasures,

the country of waking only is his
for the things which he sees when awake
these only he sees when asleep

the Sycamore wearing the aspect of that
which will not be hereafter
the River birch negating any reality
beyond the individual
the Bald cypress warranted to be
real by its existence in a visible
and sensible body
the Red maple which questions all its
own standards of life and knowledge
doubts whether all this is real
or else whether all
even if real
is not futile

you have been on a journey
castaway and disowned
you need to resign yourself
to the awkwardness of life

when the stars exploded
millions of years ago
they created you: makes
for devil-may-care movie dialogue
the audience chuckles: admission
to both yes and no

people seem to be
dissolving into the background

-- Jeff Wietor

Saturday, September 03, 2005


My son, after having imparted to thee a knowledge of all things, and after having taught thee how to live, after what manner to regulate thy conduct by the maxims of a most excellent wisdom, and after having also enlightened thee in that which concerns the order and the nature of the monarchy of the universe, it only remains for me to communicate those Keys of Nature which hitherto I have so carefully held back. Among all these Keys, that which is most closely allied to the highest spirits of the universe deserves to take the first rank, and there is no one who questions that it is very specially endowed with an altogether divine property. When one is in possession of this Key, the rich become miserable in our eyes, inasmuch as there is no treasure which can possibly be compared to it. In effect, what is the use of wealth, when one is liable to be afflicted with human infirmities? Where is the advantage of treasures, when death is about to destroy us? There is no earthly abundance which we are not bound to abandon upon the threshold of the tomb. But it is no longer thus when I am possessed of this Key, for then I behold death from afar, and I am convinced that I have within my hands a secret which extinguishes all fear of misfortunes in this life. Wealth is ever at my command, and I no longer want for treasures; weakness flees away from me; and I can ward off the approach of the destroyer while I own this Golden Key of the Grand Work. My son, it is of this Key that I propose to make thee the inheritor; but I conjure thee, by the name of God, and by the Holy Place wherein He dwelleth, to lock it up in the cabinet of thy heart, under the seal of silence. If thou knowest how to make use of it, it will overwhelm thee with good things, and when thou shalt be old or ill, it will rejuvenate, console, and cure thee; for it has the special virtue of curing all diseases, of transfigurating metals, and of making happy those who possess it. It is that Key to which our fathers have often exhorted us under the bond of an inviolable oath. Learn, then, to know it, cease not to do good to the poor, to the widow, to the orphan, and learn its seal of me, and its true character. Know that all beings which are under heaven, each after its own kind, derives origin from the same principle, and it is, as a fact, unto Air that all owe their birth as to a common principle. The nourishment of each existence makes evident the nature of its principle, for that which sustains the life is that which gives the being. The fish joys in the water; the child sucks from its mother. The tree no longer bears fruit when its trunk is deprived of humidity. It is by the life that we discern the principle of things; the life of things is the Air, and by consequence Air is their principle. It is for this reason that Air corrupts all things, and even as it gives life, so also it takes it away. Wood, iron, stones, are consumed by fire, and fire cannot subsist but by Air. Now, that which is the cause of corruption is also the cause of generation. When, by reason of diverse corruptions, it comes to pass that creatures fall sick and do suffer, either through length of days or by mischance, the Air coming to their succor cures them, whether they be imperfect or languishing. The earth, the tree, the herb languish under the heat of excessive drought; but all things are recuperated by the dew of the Air. But, nevertheless, as no creature can be restored and re-established except by its own nature, Air being the fountain and original source of all things, it is in like manner the universal source. It is manifestly certain that the seed, the death, the sickness, and the remedy of all things are all alike in the Air. There has Nature stored up all her treasures, establishing therein the principles of the generation and corruption of all things, and concealing them as behind special and secret doors. To know how to open these doors with sufficient facility so as to draw upon the radical Air of the Air, is to possess in truth the golden Keys, and to be in ignorance thereof precludes all possibility of acquiring that which cures all maladies and recreates or preserves the life of men. If thou desirest then, O my Son, to chase away all thine infirmities, thou must seek the means in the primal and universal source. Nature produces like from like alone, and that only which is in correspondence or conformity with Nature can effect good to her. Learn then, my Son, to make use of Air, learn to conserve the Key of Nature. It is truly a secret which transcends the possibilities of the vulgar man, but not those of the sage, this knowledge of the Extraction of Air, the Celestial Aerial Substance, from Air; for Air may be familiar to all beings, but he who would truly avail himself thereof must possess the secret Key of Nature. It is a great secret to understand the virtue which Nature has imprinted in substances. For natures are attracted by their like; a fish is attracted by a fish - a bird by a bird - and air by another air, as with a gentle allurement. Snow and ice are an air that has been congealed by cold; Nature has endowed them with the qualities which are requisite to attract air. Place thou, therefore, one of these two things in an earthen or metallic vessel, well closed, well sealed, and take thou the Air which congeals round this vessel when it is warm. Receive that which is distilled in a deep vessel with a narrow neck, neat and strong, so that thou canst use it at thy pleasure, and adapt to the rays of the Sun and Moon - that is, Silver and Gold. When thou hast filled a vessel cork it well, so that the heavenly scintillation concentrated therein shall not escape into the air. Fill as many vases as thou wilt with liquid; then hearken to thy next task, and keep silent. Build a furnace, place a small vessel therein, half full of the Liquid Air which thou hast collected ; seal and lute the said vessel effectually. Light thy fire in such a manner that the thinner portion of the smoke may rise frequently above. Thus shall Nature perform that which is continually accomplished by the central fire in the bowels of the earth, where it agitates the vapors of the air by an unceasing circulation. The fire must be light, mild, and moist, like that of a hen brooding over her eggs, and it must be sustained in such a manner that it will cook without burning the aerial fruits, which, having been for a long time agitated by a movement, shall rest at the bottom of the vessel in a state of perfect coction. Add next unto this Cocted Air a fresh air, not in great quantity, but as much as may be necessary; that is to say, a little less than on the first occasion. Continue this process until there shall be no more than half a bowl of Liquid Air uncooked. Proceed in such wise that the cooked portion shall gently liquefy by fermentation in a warm dunghill, and shall in like manner blacken, harden, amalgamate, become fixed, and grow red. Finally, the pure part being separated from the impure by means of a legitimate fire, and by a wholly divine artifice, thou shalt take one part of pure crude Air and one part of pure hardened Air, taking care that the whole is dissolved and united together till it becomes moderately black, more white, and finally perfectly red. Here is the end of the work, and then hast thou composed that elixir which produces all the wonders that our Sages aforetime have with reason held so precious; and thou dost possess in this wise the Golden Key of the most inestimable secret of Nature - the true Potable Gold and the Universal Medicine. I bequeathe unto thee a small sample, the quality and virtues of which are attested by the perfect health which I enjoy, being aged over one hundred and eight years. Do thou work, and thou shalt achieve as I have done. So be it in the name and by the power of the great Architect of the Aniverse. Such skilful artists of the Great Work as have pondered deeply on the principles confided to the son of Aristeus, have concluded that it would be no vain operation to make an Amalgam with the veritable Balm of Mercury, and this is the way in which they claim to produce this Balm :- Take one pound of the best Mercury that can be obtained; purge it three times through a skin, and once by calcined Montpellier Tartar. Place it in a glass horn, which shall be strong enough to resist a fierce heat. With it combine Vitriol, Salt of Nitre, Rock Alum, and eight ounces of good Spirit of Wine. Having hermetically sealed the horn, so that nothing can evaporate, place it for digestion in a warm dung-hill during a space of fifteen days. At the end of this time the composition will be transformed into a phlegmatic grease; it must then be exposed to a sand fire, and the fire must be raised gradually to an extreme point, till a white, milky humour exudes from the substance and falls into the recipient. Let it then be replaced in the horn to be rectified, and for the consumption of the phlegm. This second distillation will cause a sweet, white oil to exude; this oil will be devoid of corrosive qualities; it will surpass all other metallic oils in excellence; and there is no doubt that, combined with the Elixir of Aristeus, it will be possible to perform such marvels as might be expected from so admirable an experiment.

Waking Up in Paul Felber's Mouth


Once upon a time I used to be here
I can’t remember where the verbs are anymore.
I need a ticket to get from here to now.
now a friend, a neighbor, stands naked outside
the window sprinkled with fog and flecks of dried paint
it’s an instant; dripping with worry
sleepless with night

I’m going to be getting very angry soon
you’re a good boy but go.
he sweats in his sleep by licking his hand and
whispers “adjustment, recolor, overlay patterns” in
my left ear, the ear intrigued with worry &
fret & frustration and turned sideways with gray

along the overhead imagination an aim of Existence
appears (that forgotten chapter, chapter 6, in
a misplaced book now lost to history)

I don’t mind telling you I’m proud of what I did;
now I’ve gotten him under control.
you don’t have to talk all night
I’m quivering with sexual excitement
forbidden to read about excitement
exciting on the brink
of fear

fear of success. the brink I turn away from.
the kitchen floor’s bulging
centipedes the size of lawnmowers crawl
in through the cracked linoleum;

it’s not gonna appear now just because you’ve built
an ark; quivering with sexual tension he eats
me alive with a smile; your belly’s on fire
with memories of breathing easily and calling
out his name: you you in the night wake me
with a head of massive wet hair; something in his
look rapaciously touched with the ludicrous
joy of rambunctious innocence: you

sweet as a sleepless night quivering with me in your
rapaciously rambunctious mouth; nothing to
turn away from; my thoughts, your thoughts
the handiwork of your delicate mystery of
why and how surprising; I must have missed
something because I am buried in your mouth
and you as naked as a restive empire conquering
the smooth transition of one to the other
of you to me of my restive sleeplessness of your
flurry of soft slow fleshly heaving from your
haunches to your tongue tickling sleepless saliva
waking at first to waking and then to a slow
vision of you; busy active as silence wet with
delight a window open to your vulnerable handiwork;
intrigued I lay quietly pretending for a brief moment
to be still asleep but the easy breath of your breathing
is waiting, intrigued with your smile : o soft voice
of Paul Felber breathing and slippery as a

faun unloosening my sleep
sipping then gulping my dreams
faun faithful feels so
right away right then right now

as good as you were surprising;
that luxurious moment that even then was now being
written hugely on time
beyond time

you in that bedroom darkness
clever & sweet skinned part of me wanted
somehow to pretend that that moment was
now and just lightly touching that memory
able to touch you Paul Felber resistant

immensity of disquiet and my
home video of imagination; you’re the
moment I ran from home;
a glorious tumble & roll in the hay

-- Jeff Wietor

Friday, September 02, 2005

People Politic Remembering Peter Gray

eastern sky false dawn
toying with a band of gold
do I still pay the flat rate
how do you know it's not raining

Bruce says they're insulated with money
Peter has a lot of "the poet" in him
Like Mason, nothing is ever "good enough"
David no longer works here

below a young man. a sensitive.
how do you say "toy" in French.
palomino breeze against the flat sky
Liliana, by phone, says "Paul is coming"

money arrives from an unexpected source.
Insistence. He was a silent partner.
Lenny's talking about Peasant Pies off 24th.
Peter said he was over & I was running around

like a freight train. 2 butter cookies and
a green apple. I pretended to myself it
didn't matter. the weather looks blue
then looks white then the winds begin.

a sad night. a pizza. desire to establish
a relationship. what did you expect Peter to
do. fall in love? don't exaggerate. is there
a secret. I imagine he is Somebody.

they'd rather see personality & strength where I
see you. Scott says: "get tickets for a
Mid-Summer you'll love it" Took a nap. Adam
seems curt of late. what is outside of here.

Peter talks about his blue and white and blue
sandy subtle dream. he woke up while I was
watching Perry Mason. last night I woke up and
looked at him and wasn't sure who was sleeping.

Peter's defect: Jeff's ruin. what does it mean
"only the horse can pull the carriage?" a long
time ago he had plants, lots of plants, a bathroom
full of plants a kitchen full of plants.

Peter stole all the Oscar Peterson, Leonard Cohen,
Anonymous 4, Bach Cello Suites & Brandenburgs &
Tallis Singers & Billie Holliday & Irish fiddle &
Gregorian Chant & Paul Simon in the Park & left a note:

"I'll see you tonight". forgiveness is an odd
concept when I'd rather scream him to death.
the "O" sound of hollow. the hollow bowl like
a birthday. Spring Comes On The World.

lots of Rain, lots of Peter. I tear up drawings.
Peter is the etch-a-sketch of emotion. "every
excess is a mistake" but nothing succeeds more.
ring, ring, ring, ring, ring, ring, ring, ring

"I'm sending you over, I won't play the sap"
a notable heart-throb. a movie-star face.
when you don't know how to end a poem
round up the more unusual suspects

-- Jeff Wietor

Thursday, September 01, 2005

The Distant Soundings --

We’re not only afraid of the rising Water
but now the Looters

I asked them where they were goin
They didn’t know
They didn’t know
They have no place to go

They were on roof tops for days
It’s gonna be a long time a very long time

They don’t know

It’s something you can’t imagine
It’s close to home
It’s Home

You feel bad for them
This is us
Did you think this would happen to you?

I don’t want to get caught in no water
Just keep walkin
Just keep walkin

I don’t know what to say
If I’d know’d it’d be this bad
I’d a just kept on goin

They don’t know where they’re goin
They know they don’t have the means to get there

Everything’s devastation –
It’s been a nightmare
holy holy hell
I thought they’d have more boats

Lost in your own City
nails 2 by 4s splinters stacks of
bloated bodies block the bridge

The Wauter
Patois: creole

we thought we was gonna die
we thought everybody was
gonna die

-- Jeff Wietor


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