Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Two pieces


An old woman is being led through the parking lot by two girls. They hold her hands and speak in energetic, explanatory bursts while she cranks her head this way and that as if expecting something which has yet to appear.

As if the crystalline clarity of this ocean pool, cradled in two lava arms, meant something which we had been waiting to hear, something indistinguishable from meaning itself, and unchanging, so that, finally, it’s we who turn to go.



As if a single scream
gave birth

to whole families
of traits

such as “flavor,” “color,”

and this tendency to cling.


Dry, white frazzle
in a blue vase —

beautiful —

a frozen swarm
of incommensurate wishes.


Slow, blue, stiff
are forms

of crowd behavior,

mass hysteria.

Come close.

The crowd is made of
little gods

and there is still
no heaven

-- Rae Armantrout

Tuesday, November 29, 2005



Listen! – the earth roar, every mile off in the distance. Then with a piece of fat from a little bag he made a looking glass; with great care he contemplated the effect. "I shall kill it."

Children of the Keeper, of the Leader, of the One-eyed, the Terrible, the way is before us, no trickery! The light in you and eat shall argue, it was made – and he pointed to the north. Galloping clouds to a farther mountain, fired the mist, and followed him into the lightning.

"This noise is king! This noise is king!" thundered through the worship, the elders clapped their hands and ran away. The country grew in wreaths, diaphanous, burning vegetation, the sun odorous. Into square blocks are dome-shaped and built; men can walk six feet wide, surrounded at a distance by a circle of smaller stars.

It is good, we are weary, let us rest. Stepping into the milk, skinned and jointed. Turn and turn about, three of us flung ourselves, the sweet weary, and slept down.

As we were overtaken a horseshoe shaped sunset, a smooth river ends there. No twilight, and the shadows shoot arrows. Mine has been a life, and we shall fall by the way. A hut is ready outside the town, "Unlimited," in a great grass city. Each of us was ready when we woke it. The spectacle standing behind us.

Stood still in silence, in his right hand enormous silence. A girl came, bearing a red jar, boiling with "our lives depend on it." Still stood for a minute, projected an inch, and began to speak: "Listen, stars and storm and unborn words!" Hearts died away in a faint wail, including our own. "I smell it, I’m old on the ground, footsteps, footsteps –," she pointed to the mountains – "Not here, not stones, not gleam, strip off the features –" and was carried back into the hut.

The great space, instantly ourselves, was empty. Windowless indeed, with the outer air driven through the roof. Running down the length of the place as my legs would carry me, I am free to own another five minutes. Enter it again, but he held me tight, I could not, stopped, became focused. "What is that thing? And what are those things?" pointing to the white company.

Very slowly one began to shake in the whole world. When our eyes grew used to it we followed.


As far as the eye down the vapory horizon, line, square, triangle of lurid gold. Measureless cranes against a flying sky. And then the air quivered, turned round, turned over, and got him by the throat. The end fell forward and rolled for a minute. Afterwards, we managed ablutions.

I suppose I slept, yellowish and frizzed up; an old man hung loosely, eyes of paper and a look of monotonous snow. "Stranger" he said, "and by the way they teach their children foot language here. Come up out of the sea." I reached the motion of a drained lake. I saw no signs destined to be gratified.

We discovered the mouth was the contents, hollowed out by a steaming hand. We squatted, the skins ate with satisfaction, orders for destruction were set before us. "Pardon me" I interrupted, "How long is the fifth day of absence?" Watching for our appearance, they saw us come out smoking. Hung upon the wall all shapes were clarified. From a stem was passed the wood of constant attention, burning low. A palm tree showed silence contemplating the shadows.

He rose. There was no air, no furniture, running stone length. Get away, please hold me, I can’t. This never happened, as we stood there literally. The other woman took a walk, shaped like a big spear. As time went on we descended from these men.

They had come forth in a giant cloak, muffled voices. Those who waited could tell no tales, but had power over all things. The land was "households," resembling this stretch of swamp country.

I have been inclined one or twice on the time left. Something happened when I shut my eyes: chosen, beautiful, strong arm, happy face. Ask me what I saw. I love to wash your feet with bitter memories.


They fell upon the white wrappings, hand on the rock. Night by night, soft or stiff, tossing in the slab-form of solemn sleep. Give strength to wander across blotted identity, burst in the past and melt echoing up the cliffs. He stood staring; partial stupefaction. "Cover it up and take me away."

Going to the shelf she bent down and loosed the man, her mouth tied up with a bladder kissed the head and chest. Fumes prevented us from seeing. The hour burst noiselessly, witness.

After some months, boyhood hardened, better than the old one. No ordinary marriage could give such wonderful shame and grief. In the face we had impotence, in the heart insolence; experience is possible. Leaving our hands down, we awaited earthly habitation.

Some spare boots, a rifle each, the appointed minutes. "We are ready," I answered, "though for my part I have no memory." A man in a nightshirt pointed out of the cave to a central path. Light did not consume our bodies.

A sheet of water appeared to descend, a mountain wall, and evident ruins. Remote a little more, we reached high through the sinking ground, filed across. Some idea of sight met our view, shrines and palaces and party walls. We came to a pile of fading light. I think I may as well as have been a tangled thing, pressed enormous enclosing another of a small size. There used to be a spot here; it has passed. While we were eating the moon – cold meat – thickness began to flood the place – I brought you, I can see it, I shuddered.

I brought you your eating; when done we will go out. The brooding days ran from our whispers, imperfections in all their majesty! Upon each other we poured forth the tale, a little untamed solitude.

There remains a basin in the outer court, ready to start. This man bowed humbly till we grew old. "Well, let him come, he will bear this." I slung a spare skin on my back till he had vanished. Quaking, we sprang from ledge to ledge. Angles gave the appearance of blown bodily movement. There was a humming sound beneath us, like a living thing. On our stomachs, grain of the rock, against the wind, we saw the other side. "That’s it!" I groaned, crept, a wilderness of gathering fear. Clasping, I met my own and hauled.


The white day streamed across the plain. Heavy with blood, we rose and ate inward. Years stamped out the murmuring land, sting passed, story passes with it. I shall forget them; I forget them and you. Across the sea – another overshadowed path – a gathering song:

When he was thrown in with men: their history.

An attempt has been made, Chief of incidents.

Something ignited the grass, up to their heads weeping.

His name does not matter.

His name does not matter: he went to bed.

We swept our heads through the curtain, a cutting wind.

Quick, this space wheels, they can never bear this cold.

In the shelter they vanished; you told them nothing.

You told them their spoor was obliterated.

What is to be done?

Look at this hand – it dropped slowly to the earth.

Quiver in their sound, but where are they now.

We saw a woman walking toward us, walked like a woman.

"How is your name and what are your people?"

"My name is ‘fall by the way,’ but I ran faster."

"My name is ‘stood still and watched,’" and he came forward.

Now I will tell you something more.

Now I will tell you lost in the clouds.

When we have stamped the earth flat I have spoken.

Grow fat in my shadow, the liar has spoken!

-- Aaron Shurin

Monday, November 28, 2005

Blue By Heart Bombshell

The word has not been chosen very happily.
These are the vowels of mysterious meaning.
These are the consonants embedded in the thigh of a deity.
You do not know the name of the deity you most want to know
You only know the name others have heard the name to be
You repeat the name you have heard but you do not know.

You can never tell when you sit very still if you will end
up believing in yourself or love someone else with intensity
or forget to tell what you know about the question you never ask.

Your tell it like it is friends see the same full moon
differently they tear at their hair, cry real tears, it's just
like old times when it took sleep or the threat of sleep to wake you

I've always felt honored to have had a meeting with him
we told tales out of school; we discussed you for hours;
your every mood and gesture intrigued us: why is it we disliked
you for learning to stand on your own two feet; you were
so good at everything; gave discounts on relationships and
always, always asked the crucial question: where are you from.

What is there which is neither the one nor the other?

-- Jeff Wietor

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Breaking the Alliance of Karma

What makes you think I'm just not another name on your list.
What makes you think I'm lying, planning a surprise, hiding.

Because an audience craves the on-stage life.
One is sensitive to higher influences.

-- Jeff Wietor

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Dealing with Subtle Thoughts

You need to take some precautionary measures.
You mean we. No I mean you. We will not evolve.

I've never stopped creating.
This is what the mantra means.
You expect the next thought to travel in time.
That is not what the mantra means.

You can "get" God's attention with a hat.
You can "get" God's attention wearing a hat.

Mrs. Soames: Who is it, Julia?
Mrs. Gibbs:
Without raising her eyes.
My daughter-in-law, Emily Webb.

There is no other way.
He claims understanding.
He claims to understand the stars.
He wears a hat during the ceremony.
What dishes are served for Christmas Eve.
Christmas Eve dinner is meatless but festive.

The twelve foods are:

1) Mushroom soup with zaprashka; this is often replaced with Sauerkraut soup
2) Lenten bread ("pagach")
3) Grated garlic
4) Bowl of honey
5) Baked cod
6) Fresh Apricots, Oranges, Figs and Dates
7) Nuts
8) Kidney beans (slow cooked all day) seasoned with shredded potatoes, lots of garlic, salt and pepper to taste
9) Peas
10) Parsley Potatoes (boiled new potatoes with chopped parsley and margarine)
11) Bobal'ki (small biscuits combined with sauerkraut or poppyseed with honey)
12) Red Wine

He currently works as a designer.
He does freelance design work.
His goal is to continue to evolve as a designer.
His goal is to have fun with his work.
His goal is to work which is either his passion or is also his passion.

What is the sound of the fast-moving earth.
Where must you stand to hear it.
Are you God's favorite?
Wear a hat.

to locate a specific person ::
know the form of a person then find a name
are you God's passion?
perhaps you feel you are God's favorite.
are you the apple of God's eye?
perhaps when you wear a hat you have the feeling of having found something.
"God forbid"

Emily: Papa, you're terrible. One minute you tell me to stand up straight and the next minute you call me names. I just don't listen to you.

-- Jeff Wietor

Friday, November 25, 2005

Waiting Names

Jasper Johns Janis Joplin Scott Joplin Scott Wilson Wilson Pickett
inexpressible rain today call the landlord about the scarecrow
Tony Curtis Dennis Day William Powell Dennis the Menace Gaby Hayes
moon light the invisible wonder of where hook line and sinker come from

Humphrey Bogart Steve McQueen Allen Funt Georgie Jessell Toulouse Lautrec
who will star in the cause of the cause of the inexcusable beginning
Siva Tupac Shakur Richard Gere Dick Powell Zane Grey
I call a series that is ordered by an internal relation a series of forms.

the famous names I do not know the famous bodies I do not meet.
the infamous world of the infinite; the causeless emotions you call theirs.
whole new arrangements of the heart my personal color favorite ::
in the middle of the night a scarecrow waiting in the wings

-- Jeff Wietor

Thursday, November 24, 2005

What Am I Thankful For

Today I am hungry.
Today I am hungry to be loved.
To be loved you are hungry too.
Loving you are hungry to be lovingly loved.
Loving you are hungry too to be loved.
Many of you are hungry and not necessarily in want.
The many are thankful for being full and loved.
I am thankful for being empty and unloved.
I am today not so much hungry as wanting.
Wanting I am lacking nothing.
Today many people everywhere are thankful.
What the gray clouds want and need I do not know.
Being loved and thankful are thankless activities.
I am thankful for the book being red and the cat.
I am hungry today like a ghost hungers for substance.
I have memory of once being a hungry ghost but now I am full.
I am no longer hypnotized: now I am toothy, juicy and succulent.
I know what I want and what I want to do.
I am wanting to go out so I go out. I count my blessings:
I have Seventy-five dollars until December first.
I can buy anything I want as long as it does not cost
Seventy-six dollars. I decide since I am hungry and
want to be hungry like the other millions of
thankful people to go to Whole Foods and
buy groceries: Thanksgiving Day food:

June 20, 1676

"The Holy God having by a long and Continual Series of his Afflictive dispensations in and by the present Warr with the Heathen Natives of this land, written and brought to pass bitter things against his own Covenant people in this wilderness, yet so that we evidently discern that in the midst of his judgements he hath remembered mercy, having remembered his Footstool in the day of his sore displeasure against us for our sins, with many singular Intimations of his Fatherly Compassion, and regard; reserving many of our Towns from Desolation Threatened, and attempted by the Enemy, and giving us especially of late with many of our Confederates many signal Advantages against them, without such Disadvantage to ourselves as formerly we have been sensible of, if it be the Lord's mercy that we are not consumed, It certainly bespeaks our positive Thankfulness, when our Enemies are in any measure disappointed or destroyed; and fearing the Lord should take notice under so many Intimations of his returning mercy, we should be found an Insensible people, as not standing before Him with Thanksgiving, as well as lading him with our Complaints in the time of pressing Afflictions:

The Council has thought meet to appoint and set apart the 29th day of this instant June, as a day of Solemn Thanksgiving and praise to God for such his Goodness and Favour, many Particulars of which mercy might be Instanced, but we doubt not those who are sensible of God's Afflictions, have been as diligent to espy him returning to us; and that the Lord may behold us as a People offering Praise and thereby glorifying Him; the Council doth commend it to the Respective Ministers, Elders and people of this Jurisdiction; Solemnly and seriously to keep the same Beseeching that being perswaded by the mercies of God we may all, even this whole people offer up our bodies and soulds as a living and acceptable Service unto God by Jesus Christ."

I take my
digital camera and take pictures of
the sky, of
City Hall,
the gray clouds,
street signs,
and my cat,

I catch the bus to California and Van Ness
and walk up the hill to Whole Foods. There are many
people buying food. It is only 8:15 a.m. but there
are many many many people buying food. Wine is
stacked everywhere filling every empty corner and
available aisle space. Hundreds and hundreds of
boxed pumpkin pies are stacked next to . . . well
you get the idea: food and drink are the major
must have hungry-for gotta-have I'm-starved-for items.
As I pass the Odwalla cooler, I find I run into
an invisible wall of "hypnotic-remembered-emotion" ---
an invisible door to an "obsessive emotional" corridor opens.
I've entered a nether world where wish-fullment
meets pecans and brussel sprouts and candied yams --
And, like out of some 1950s sc-fi/noir grade B movie:
A woman next to me makes an "I'm lonely" gesture: she
holds (too tenderly, it seems to me) a container of
pre-made cornbread stuffing (about $20 a pound)
and while I'm standing next to her considering
the delights of tapioca pudding (too wishfully)
she smiles, smiles a hungry smile. I sense she's about to launch
into a conversation about "the holidays" and I turn my
interest to the food now being delivered to the
steam-tables. Warm food in glass cases.

For the people who were shovelling away on the housetops were jovial and full of glee; calling out to one another from the parapets, and now and then exchanging a facetious snowball -- better-natured missile far than many a wordy jest -- laughing heartily if it went right and not less heartily if it went wrong. The poulterers' shops were still half open, and the fruiterers' were radiant in their glory. There were great, round, pot-bellied baskets of chesnuts, shaped like the waistcoats of jolly old gentlemen, lolling at the doors, and tumbling out into the street in their apoplectic opulence. There were ruddy, brown-faced, broad-girthed Spanish Onions, shining in the fatness of their growth like Spanish Friars, and winking from their shelves in wanton slyness at the girls as they went by, and glanced demurely at the hung-up mistletoe. There were pears and apples, clustered high in blooming pyramids; there were bunches of grapes, made, in the shopkeepers' benevolence to dangle from conspicuous hooks, that people's mouths might water gratis as they passed; there were piles of filberts, mossy and brown, recalling, in their fragrance, ancient walks among the woods, and pleasant shufflings ankle deep through withered leaves; there were Norfolk Biffins, squab and swarthy, setting off the yellow of the oranges and lemons, and, in the great compactness of their juicy persons, urgently entreating and beseeching to be carried home in paper bags and eaten after dinner. The very gold and silver fish, set forth among these choice fruits in a bowl, though members of a dull and stagnant-blooded race, appeared to know that there was something going on; and, to a fish, went gasping round and round their little world in slow and passionless excitement.

The Grocers'! oh the Grocers'!

A dream come true. De-boned turkey: $10.99 a pound.
bubbling gravies, succulent pies, buttered potatoes
all for the having. all for the buying. all for the eating.
I picture myself sitting down to dinner with Thomas Wolfe and Dylan Thomas.
Look Homeward, Angel!! it's A Child's Thanksgiving in Wisconsin!!
every year everybody in the U.S.A. gets to be seven years old again.
pass the warm bread! slather me with golden butter! more stuffing please!
I fight the memorable conscious rapture as well as the
unconscious cloying forgetfulness ---
both interwoven into emotional memories of nearly five dozen
Thanksgiving-Past situations and wonder to myself: What ARE you doing
here? I just want some food that "feels like Thanksgiving" --
I decide I really don't want to spend 7 dollars for
cranberry relish or 6 dollars for a container of turkey gravy.
I decide I like being hungry and remember I promised myself
I'd work on the Jim Sorcic memories this weekend.
In the back of my mind I picture myself opening and closing
memory drawers, containers of bits and pieces of this and that.
Looking for Jim Sorcic, looking for objects with names,
events with relational combinations, for sparks and flickers
of what once was, the color of things, the texture of moments.
So while part of my mind is set to the task of locating
a few hundred memories of Jim Sorcic, Milwaukee, 1969, scraps of 1970,
San Francisco in 1974, what did he wear, who did he live with why is he
important, where did he live, his poems, his big-breasted wife,
his daughter, our favorite drugs of choice, ours days together
working on an "Underground Newspaper", our "speed kills" split;
his split with Milwaukee, joining up with me in San Francisco,
a series of joinings and splits; re-joinings, re-combinings:
Only facts can express a sense, a set of names cannot:
dancing, midnight sex in black leather and tickling hair, etc
and all the rest of it not remembered but felt in its unfeelingness
in its remembered unfeltness, its nastiness, its purgatorial misery:
the problem arises, creative in its lusty taunt and tease:
how are you going to put this all together. And why:
redemption? purgation? put to rest? Thanksgiving?

I buy a pound of scalloped Gold Yukon potatoes;
take some pictures on the way back home
of the sky and streets of San Francisco.

-- Jeff Wietor

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

4 Poems


Blue jeans and black cotton pullover
give the skin a sweetness powered up
from inside, a nostalgic glow and current
Sunday dazzle, as Pepsi and generic
Tylenol she brings him fashion a scrim
across blankness, the harmonic bolster
placed fair beneath head in the shape
of a hay bale. Hair cropped shift
and nuzzle in the buzz garden flyway,
a seam-blent parallel sound fray empties
the power mower mention in the mental
pink section. Hot to say, the stretched-
out use of language in these lanes
approximates the happy and wonderful feeling
of being alone on stage, making up a mess
of greens for the family, always expected
home at any moment. Linking them, the separations
bend plausibly in light, and we can see into
by far the deepest afternoon shade, sun
on the backs of our necks, summarily chatting
and swatting away the cares that troubled you.


Into the been, the wire, fleeting, scantily,
because just enough space has been brought
forth, on account, strange, unfastened, about
to tip over in the occult, remaindered gloom
apart from a fist and a lemon batched
in time, the wholesome moment slags
then ripens and bolts down two thirds
of the standard operation known as once,
once more rising to the varnished, complicit
occasion. That complicated a sentence could
only be produced in a matter of monuments
criss-crossed against a dime folio, more
forgotten than accidentally picked up. The
shining genius in an hour, all four legs of the
bed planted squarely on solid floor, hoists
the tattered pennant of doing okay. By the time
this gets divested the concommittent aspects
collide, and there are wonderful packages waiting
in darkly darkened claim rooms at foreign
stations, a form of transport closely aligned
and in alternating venues policed, diced, cleaned.


Happy is the ancestor who grins, a purple
saint in a cubic resonant enclosure. The happiness
that shines outside is a brittle, quiescent
loom by which agency strands are woven
to make jello-flavored novels. These pieces
of reticent art are then foisted, empaneled
and sold to the lowest bidder, a quiet
entertainment for a bird in the yard on
Sunday afternoon. But the dancing avenues
of fame were lined with excessive force; only
a very faint voice would suffice to describe
the actual state of creation, an intimacy
most nearly equal to it. Several sub-generations
sighed in the wind. A piece of cloth drifted
by, but it could have been described in many differnt ways.
Therefore, because I tell you this is true, don't believe it!


The alternating blind alleys of tooting your own horn
and lapsing into dark humors may be avoided by going
straight to the light available in an escalating syntax
pronounceable only through sound, that agency whose office
serves up periodic reminders in the form of events, sun
bearing weight on the leaves, breezes just barely touching
the backs of the shoulders and legs, sky penciled in
at the last moment. A kind of free-floating anxiety
settles on a cornstalk then disappears over the fence.
How like a cartoon are the Tom-and Jerry features
of this Sunday heatwave and radio Dizzy Gillespie
or Tito Puente backhouse day! There is a shuttle service
twisting in and out of the weather, which is like a message
for us to slow down. Philip Larkin listed as his
hobby, resting. Various other signals cross media paths
and cancel in the dynamic, portable air. Later
a gorgeous screen will be erected, luminous
with scenes of travelers transversing bridges under mountain
landscapes inlaid in mother-of-pearl, to announce
the concealment of something germane yet lacking
the temerity to declare itself, as tumblers are filled
with water in advance of the main meal. That something
turns and kicks its space gently into general circulation.
Weight, as in the weight of these words, coalesces around a
manner of speaking, charged up, occasional, and like France,
twice its normal size. By the time you get to the end of it
you are reminded of the very beginning, when so many shapes
could be made out in what later turned out to be the world.

-- Kit Robinson

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


for Kit Robinson

This is a test.

The hammer of birds (rabbits) secure in the deficit garden, fog along the coast.

Water hammer, rock board -- recurrence as key in phlegmatic analysis (fellaheen hurdling custard pie into the face of Bette Midler).

Friends are perpetually "going to get it together," jobwise: the coast is altered one quarter inch.

Just like that.

The window conceived as a form of torture, through which a century is expressed (blue hands, the chartreuse of a tennis ball): dobermans of delight crowd the sun.

Met against metaphor (I want white rooms): the cast is clear.

Up against the woolite, desire for narrative condemns millions -- French bread hard as a rock.

Nouns aver facts (pinched nerve at base of neck): a terrycloth sweatband is an insufficient monument (dress for excess), specific as the smell of chalk.

Words row.

The sun, backlighting your blouse, reveals all, newlyweds at a Grateful Dead concert, birthmark of the surgeon general.

Birthright of way: foghorns and a rooster counterpoint hazy morning.

The outer wall of the prison is yellow, the inner one green (old paperback bought at a garage sale).

Verb is the eye of the sentence (world stylized for efficiency's sake): dogs bark.

Dog barks -- there is another way to compute the tides.

Eminent ptomaine.

Poets propose sky, only to fall back on cannibalism (downhill on a skateboard).

Crudley mechanical, an adjective grinds meaning from a noun forming the perfect countenance of Elvis on black velvet.

My pockets are a jungle.

High heels grind pavement into paste (memory of color scheme popular in past war) -- the construction is not parallel (taster's choice), pruned tree's new sprouts.

My hand on your thigh in a dream (not expected): if critics had ethics...a suburb without sidewalks.

Flat country with clear conscience.

Vajra banking: the nosebleed is slight but lasts for days (lesbianism seen as a preference for clarity).

A plainness so extreme it makes her striking -- pain articulates the spine.

That's poet talk, the door ajar (donation requested).

Going back, crossing out articles (baker's ponytail kept under hat), gradually features widen into flaws, humor mistaken for humor, the mouse beneath the counter, color postcard of the airport, parchmint chicken.

Pulling staples from a pizza, untitled, I rise from the water of the bubble bath: duotone landscape.

A fat lawyer with a hippie wife (an architect).

The next step is not automatic, drawn curtain: sun's glare reflected renders window opaque.

A swamp (the MLA) is reputed to have devoured the children -- line break in the trail of crumbs.

Old men walking small dogs (I crouch against a wall to write), the sun in no hurry, jazz penis, the smell of hot pretzels from the far end of the bar -- windows of the burnt-out apartment boarded up.

Lipstick stain on wax paper cup (double canzone), tugboat in harbor honks, uh huh, long wasp neck tattooed as if an earring (slender is the nut) -- the letters are buglike.

Ceramic teapot imitates cabbage.

New work.

Poetry's not the boiler room of history (in the forest trees unfold), but the discrepancy in scale (nuclear explosion on the cover of Mushroom Cookbook) calls dawn itself to attention (this switch for fog).

"Stanza strophe, stanza strophe," taunts the young girl at her still younger brother, a cocker spaniel.

Space farts.

Morning is toxic (sun shines in green sky), red bandana round blonde hair, veins bursting in the eye.

The shape of the day a figure eight, smell of mustard (how those light stockings tint the leg): it's a wrap.

Ears as hooks for glasses (57 words for deduction): roto- reader spins on gerund.

Stop continental drift.

Generic dawn (chromatic rooster) yawns over eastern hills, wreath of flowers atop the hearse, thumbnail longer than the rest.

Here and now.

Here and now.

Here and now.

Ning mind.

A man in a blue bathrobe walks to the corner store (a model of physics, a church) -- gestures are quotable (he's wearing thongs)...

Aka zoris, the mark of: piglike snoot on small white dog (flesh-coloured hearing-aid), TL, kitchen full of poets.

Take a number, your description is coming.

And with the blade of his pen carved his initials, LZ, into the forehead of the critic.

True shed.

Red brick hospital run by nuns (bowling alley vacant, for lease), ethnographic study of go-carts.

People's heads turn to watch a funeral procession.

Birds march up the slope of the hill, pecking at the cut grass (one's relation to an audience is historical): the wind sends dead leaves skittering (rhymes with punt).

Standing around in the air of an old fart, apricots fading (politics), into changing a lightbulb in the ceiling of a dark room (weather) -- balance insinuates order (our books will not be read).

On the hottest day of the year, this small, aged woman is wearing a raincoat (the young man wears a Walkman in a holster).

The shadow of a butterfly.

The park breaks up the sky (a small triangle of cloth covering the nipple of each breast), sun blanched thought.

Busdriver's keychain dangles from his belt (form as a ridged cut seeks to fit), neo-Victorian (from the mind of Minolta).

Ancient, her dog Sadie falls over each time it attempts to scratch (a series of small thuds in the kitchen).

Terms of enjambment.

The fog returns: cop with a toupee appears strangely vulnerable (we wait for the light to change).

Does the work present its sense of space (more art history than art): under the pile of elm leaves (there are no elm leaves) he found his voice.

The sun in a stark sky (red loop, gold loop), shelf life of a mind (this morning my lip is blistered), shining beetle-god scans her universe.

Lap is shown not to exist...the blinds are drawn is drawn.

Biography of the senses drying on the blotter.

Sleep's burden is dawn's laboring list (angle of pen to page)...job limits personality, vanpool of synapse, styrofoam cup.

A week's growth, the beard seemed tentative, a hint of itself.

Chicken Dachau, Eggs McMassacre, a beautiful woman hauling bags of laundry home in the fog (associations witness structure), smell of rain in pit of summer...letting your hair dry on the busride into work.

Aging, faces cave in (super slomo), necks swell, then sag -- skull emerges through field of hair.

On the bus, children like to sit apart from their parents, feigning independence.

Fog devoured the hill.

All bleeds toward the gutter only.

Plastic sequence of holes and bumps at rear of one-size- fits-all baseball cap (rubber finger, "we're number one").

Her breasts formed a narrative.

Rounded -- rounded first and held up as the cutoff man took the throw from left field.

High heels on a hardwood floor (as they come closer, I realize those two teenagers are signing)...parked motorcycles clutter sidewalk.

Elements are gathered (punctuation forms a low wall) -- trying to decide before my name is called whether to answer "present" or "here."

Crows cluster in the park at dawn.

Predicated on no more than their clothes, their hairstyles, the expressions on their faces, I give each boarding bus passenger a narrative all their own (this one lets his hand rest knowingly against that woman's ass ).

Four-color butterfly.

She's braless beneath her Garfield "I hate Mondays" muscle shirt.

Clothes tattered, the nomadic homeless mentally ill begin to show up in the malls (seniors in wheelchairs in a paratransit minivan).

The cyst as big as her nose (the new plastic supermarket shopping bags harder to stand upright on the sidewalk while waiting for the bus) -- this is understood as persona.

Each small city has its band of nostalgic dadaists (just waiting for a show of postcard art)...after 4 years the campus leaves you stranded, philosophy listed under Home Ec.

Barefoot on her toes across the kitchen floor.

Bright sun in the long shadows of early morning (I wear dark glasses to shield my eyes from the wind): light is something to read by, a wheelbarrow red without reason.

Proceeding from market study to ground lease, a career move (single again and turning 30).

The discourse of Marxism obscures the state's monopolization of capital within the form of the state (them): the discourse of individual liberty and democratic choice obscures capital's ability to predetermine desire through mass market technology (us) -- socialism (economic democracy) nowhere exists.

Green glass shards in the gutter, ground halfway into sand (an airplane glistens reflecting the light of the sun, causing one to see it far out over the bay).

Antinuclear themes in Latino graffiti...cherrybomb in a mailbox.

Construction workers in the financial district huddle together for lunch, whistling at women in pantsuits to express fear at the larger tribe.

This causes people to identify with capital as if it were in their interest.

Cartoon advertising painted on the windows of the mattress warehouse ("when do you find the time to write?").

Men touching their girlfriends in public to display power...they go to a reading and sit separately (once on a nude beach I watched a woman fondle her lover's balls -- every man within eyesight went hard).

Three women escorting 40 seven year olds onto the bus (taste you can count on)'s 9:00 a.m. and the "nickel whores" are already out in front of the Town Pump.

At this point in the work I still haven't settled on the title, posters decaying on the boarded-up windows of the old milk bottling plant.

In the assessor's office, make a list of all property owners on City Block 1254 (a stretch limo parked in front of the officer's club), experience a helicopter overhead as the pulse of its blades.

New park bench all metal and plastic feels wrong.

I notice beercaps and peanut shells at the foot of the gnarled cypress -- wind in the palm tree sounds more harsh than that in the eucalyptus.

Lick my balls narrative sequence, tugboats in the discontinuous bay.

A woman in blue shorts (I can describe anything), fog over the far hill.

There is no New York School, 70% of all poetry in the hands of creative writing students (I only slept with Auden out of respect).

I only slept in Arden out of respect: the Cubs at last (bone marrow transplant), what in the morning gets to be written.

Helicopters and maps to chart all the joggers at dawn (an overweight white woman is used to portray the oppressive prison warden in the video of Jermaine Jackson's Dynamite).

Poetry fever -- catch it!

The bus smells of curry...beginnings of smog smear the downtown sky (that our youth lack a sense of history is not their fault): don't Laos me up.

Becoming an old man with too many combs and pens in my pocket (fog predicts sky), the way horses in slow motion are understood to mean something else.v Morning's chatter (chattel), the city symphonic, rattles the windows on the 33rd floor, jostling across the intersection.

Hunker down: morning is everywhere, a break in the fog (a break in the dog)...I can still taste last night's wine.

From Mission Street we could see the car on the overpass consumed in flames, but later could find no mention of the event on tv or in the papers.

The plot gets sicker.

Smell of the roofers after season's first storm (trashcan my escritoire): her dress (blue vertical stripes) is but a long shirt with a matching belt.

A euphoria on the brink of despair...paper-covered wire used to seal trashbags...white sox above high heels.

To Do list: that jogger's step is but a half skip (smash pumpkin time).

But used in place of just lingers an old reading -- let's wait for the next stanza.

Sweet strained feeling in the scrotum later (I used the bacon grease for the scrambled eggs), desire for coffee is nearly erotic.

Monday mornings the guys in the back of the bus discuss yesterday's football (the child wants to be the one to put the quarter in the newspaper rack), blackbird hopping in the gutter at my feet.

The crowd danced to the "space music" as tho feigning a slow motion backstroke.

Notion of quantity defines a plot, is given a name, fingerprints (he do the poh-leese in diff'rent vices), yes m'am, just the facts...clang, Mark VII.

"How do you make friends -- by talking to people, right?" asks the boy behind me of his mother (she grunts).

New role for pockets in this fall's fashions (surfboard on sawhorse used for ironing), deep gray sky.

Form is passion.

Organic brain syndrome prefers end-rhyme...after 3 days of torrential storm, people walk in the new sunshine in raincoats and galoshes...trope or treat.

Dr. Stanza I presume (your tires low on air), bag-over-head dramatic monologue: my one vice, my other....

Unmediated, unmedicated.

Through the hole in the knee of the punk rocker's jeans I see his long johns, ribbed white cotton: pools in the parking lot after the rain.

Crime personified by a bloodhound in a trenchcoat fails to acknowledge pervasive absence of economic justice (big breasted woman dripping wet in a t-shirt which reads "Jamaica"), automobile named for endangered species.

Father was an absence a post-structuralist might have use for, music piped into the aquarium.

Vanguard wheelchair more like a golf cart, the proposition of a hat (tone of a smashed wax-paper milk carton kicked down the street).

Switch shoes to alter pressure points on feet (note rhyme), kids repainting rental unit.

Photo of mother dressed as lion for Halloween, 1935 (absence of articles making language poetic), deposit main verb here.

Car double-parked in front of the church, orange window stickers reading 'funeral'...res hotel fire escape landing is used as a natural refrigerator at window (milk carton, eggs), perfectly visible from sidewalk tho hotplates are illegal.

The word (round, shining) jets into view (style), the small professors quoting loudly for their kibbles: the lawn sprinkler's sweep forms the perfect trap (see my new gesture).

Samoan shifters join the police.

The hard, smooth surface conceals the watery, incomplete mind (shooting from the foul line): the poems were discreet, each book arriving at a three year interval.

To as in today...interliberary loan (the new watch with the leather watchband).

It has been twenty years since the Democratic Party carried a majority of the white vote in a Presidential election (the docents in white coats), my mother says of the cutbacks at Bechtel, "I'm only one-third nuclear now."

One hears only fragments of a talk (the skyline is not to be inferred), umbrella held as a club.

A poetry of the cities vs. a poetry of the campus (women's needs, not women's knees), the slow, exaggerated enunciation of the children's tv cartoon hero.

Their eyes shut, each face an index of stress and pain, evening rush hour subway commute (woman in a tweed suit reads the Wall Street Journal).

This focus group suggests a greater attention to the tone- leading of vowels in future rewrites.

The low spray of the mechanical street sweeper, the bald, bearded man all dressed up in black leather and studs (she has a ruby nose pin).

A man cynical so young is apt to grow bitter, a daughter is a dance frozen upon water later in laughter and after we slaughter the pink pet pig we smoke it: pass me the roach.

The problem of problems is the model of the problem imposed upon heaving tissue, such a glass imprisons water, champagne, hours (what is an hour?), sand's form determinate on the beach, a point spread.

The oil atop the peanut butter when one opens a new jar is my index of resistance, homeboy.

This curious half-light or life, the sky muted to admit stars, porch lights on, teenage girls trudging uphill carrying bags of groceries.

To sleep is to read and to read is to wet loom star by a davy-lamp or thread, old v-neck t-shirt through which to see your breasts.

This is a fundamentally serious art.

Giggling (on the defensive), a generation of actualists forgets to breed, we only call the binding perfect.

A decor specific to a small town beauty salon, your eyes draw gauze curtains across the sun setting in my smile: it's not the right that's ragged.

My instinct is to sprint across the street (nomad is an island).

Sushi-roshi: you are what you it, it are what you see meant...morning as a state of light elusive in winter, versus the arbitrary quantification of abstracted time (morning as a social contract).

Last night I saw my 11th grade English teacher for the first time in 18 years, I scramble the eggs with sour cream and season with dill and basil.

Are we there yet?

Bus vs. subway, who rides is a political question, the way your galoshes stretch to fit over new jogging shoes, the date feature on the watch has never worked.

An inference engine governs the new politics of stasis (22 line stanzas), money the signifier, credit the signified.

Pen and notebook direct to hardcopy...just to sit next to him, he smells of cigars.

Redhead, "thin as a rail," bent over now, glaucoma spreading blindness from the center out (in her wedding dress, 1920, she stares at the photographer, pensive, nervous).

Behind the shade, see curtains.

Man with a large head and feminine face, the microwave oven buzzes "done."

Hats on a cold day (her work at this point more hopeful than formed)...poets in the corner talking software.

Each stanza is a poem, each word...the tiny body given breadth by the wheelchair (what is found within a wall).

Prose is the distance between (two-prong plug in three-hole socket), the trouble with depiction when attached to an object is, punctuation in the manner of Cassius Clay.

Mood elevator: change notebooks.

Happy face with band aid sells health plan.

First winter run, faking it (knot in my right thigh vs. knot in my lungs).

Birds beneath these deep gray clouds are what give it that sense of distance (in the back of that old white Volvo, between the two babyseats, a ten gallon hat).

In the projects on Christmas eve, I notice how twice as many homes here have their windows decorated with strings of colored lights (attempt to tell a home from a unit).

Is it racist of me to feel sad watching three teenage Latina women walking down 22nd Street pushing strollers (kids and middle-aged men playing softball under the trees in St. Mary's Park, artless lunging after that image of grace)?

On the exercycle, reading the morning paper.

Old tin drum, cut in half, used as a trash can (closed grip reverse lat pull)...he finally achieved his perfect imitation of Olson, only to discover that no one cared: at least the cabbies have tenure.

How pink one gets, rising from a hot bath, how limp!

At this hour planes are but lights passing in a black by one, the windows in the houses on the hill go dark.

The man is in handcuffs, his car wedged in by two black-and- whites (by her outfit I see that she works in a donut shop), the glass fogged by the sheer difference between the heat indoors and out.

The sheer presence of the military apparent in any airport (the rhythm of a dulled patience, the tolerance of exhaustion, or of tedium), able to cross a vast lobby, passing hundreds of others, without one look into a nyone's eyes (hearing a question to which you know the answer, but remaining silent), 64 cents for a cup of tea.

Two tablets of Pepto-Bismol and a decongestant yield a thick black coat upon the tongue (metaphor for technique).

String X is the sound sequence of a Polaroid camera, not-X that of the color white, the feature "wide" applied here in its aspect of the liquid (the cylinder white to indicate salt, but gray to indicate rain), recurr ence violating the laws of distribution, the way 5 daughters (grown now) recast their parents features (false closure has its grand-dad's eyes, their color white).

Men don't stand before urinals but lean into them...old habit: at the end of leak, tug on foreskin.

O Bananarama

Our life is full of drama,

But you are surely keen

My little dramamine.

Anti-telos, grown men in 49er T-shirts, the low whirr of motorcycle engines up Mission Street, people in line outside the automated teller (wearing headphones around her neck like a collar), bulldog in back of pick-up.

Any guy who's been driving cab night shift for 35 years (raw goat cheese is now available), bright colors of the used car lot.

Listeners at a talk: how the hands are placed indicates what is/is not being heard (alternate codes: legs, spines)...a man pinches the bridge of his nose, eyes shut tight.

A contemporary vampire spends his afternoons in Market Street cinemas, watching horror flicks (whether the ears are revealed by the hair, hidden, half-hidden).

Two details develop a relation: gas stove settles slowly into green waves of forest, sputter of the straw in the now empty glass.

Auntie Telos: ladder as model of knowledge, tapioca prosody, mirror in the palm of my hand.

In the Tractatus numbered statements argue an economy of logic, but in the Investigations reflect fragmentations of a partial knowing (arrange noses in a room according to shape).

Blue veins map the back of your hand, the mystery in a woman's purse.

A symbol is any signified which functions as a signifier.

Small children on the bus often sit or stand on their seats backwards, ignoring the passing streets in favor of that larger puzzle, the society of the bus.

Jai ram, jai jai ram, "emotional science project," lights flicker, the reed without the horn, phone it in, small holes in the wall where once tacks stuck, grammar modifies prosody, consonants keep the vowels from lea king (chewing on one pen, writing with the other), a child struggling pull her sweater off, the blank space inaudible at the start of a text, old enough to hold his head up, sucking on mother's blouse, "duck tape," that billboards existed at all said more than one needed to of their social system, the idea of continuity between numbers, letters glued into words, the way velcro shoe straps begin to curl up after awhile, flowers etched on t he mouth of the sax, a narrative of clouds low over the sea, bend in the fern as it turns toward the ground, a "catch" in my throat, trousers will gradually dimple at the knees until in the early 60's an entirely new sequ ence of men's hairstyles began to show up which continues to this day, only now the older ones never quite go away (nehru jacket in the rear of closet), the way "b/w" means one thing in a description in a film catalog and another in one of 45 rpm records, errors here, revisions, delete word right, he always thinks of the window seat in the second row facing front on the right hand side of the LRV as "his" seat (waiting for the fog to clea r), sport coat with the collar turned up, wobbling on a rented 3-speed thru the park to the windmills, the horse' name is Foxfire, tiny Deadheads encamped in doorways on Haight Street (where have all the flowers gone -- w est Marin), so that one might survive, suit and tie, making movies (kino-eye), kemo sabe, yo no say, at the lawn's early blight, a round of poodles (playing) bark, on the first day of 22 cent stamps I stand in a long line at the dark branch office on 29th Street, a.m. radio music on low in the background, the sound of change, of adding machines, the customers (mostly seniors, mostly philippino) grunt or laugh or curse, seeing the line as they enter, already I'm far away, having stopped at a bakery to grab some rolls -- and caught the bus to work.

Tin sun, one broom.

On the freeway traffic inches forward, the low hill throwing its shadow to the west (the big trucks stick out).

How write poetry amid such chatter, but listen to it.

Doing your homework on the way to class...the wind blows his tie back over his shoulder like a short scarf.

What he liked most about the National Enquirer was its use of drop-out type in headlines and crowded architecture, poetry was a fundamentally conservative art (some men thought of auto maintenance as a hobby).

A supermarket shopping cart stood abandoned in the gutter, filled to overflowing with broken chips of cement; some women tip their head down when taking a drag on a cigaret, others tilt their head up (assign according to class).

Emotion is only an ideological commitment stated (felt) irrationally -- irrational because overdetermined (there's a conflict), I pluck these strings and the sun rises to the platin.

A dog in a muzzle might receive tenure (note please how this joke exploits caninism (note please how this line, following two iambs and the twist of the trochee turns on the single syllable might)).

On March 4, 1985, I killed my father and slept with my mother (it's February 26th).

Punk rock sunglasses frame Mrs. Reagan's face...diaphragm of the vowel expands and contracts.

The logic of morning (is no logic) is complete.

Big ol' red setter, blue leash chains you to your master, woman in a green down parka.

That was just sylabbles, this repetitive, obsessive counting, letters in an absurd chorus, strangers on a chain.

A foot is to kick with (Vegas-style), arthritis in my big toe (stereo blaster roars mediocre rap funk from the back of the bus).

White Wolf vodka brand, distributor's truck forms a sign (little wagon's plates read "Tuumba").

Stone escarpment: waterfall over granite (snowmelt), yellowgreen lichen, all these stones the size of homes shape the river.

River in snow in mist, still pool, a fine rain...moss- covered pines form verticals.

White noise, bad boys, no toys.

Old red Beetle shell left on the street (an injury to one is an injury to all), roomful of costumed Masons singing "Louie Louie," a bird in the hand will make a nest.

Willie: the pure products of America never were (what was most beautiful was neither the catch nor the throw, but the long high arc of the ball off Vic Wertz' bat).

I rush to write these wrongs (songs heard in dream clashing...).

Marx train: gnosis bunker (so fond we are of the old runes), white whale beached in Lilliput, number of fingers per hand is the puzzle, length and width of nose is the clue, circumcised at the nostrils, flaring and s norting, horse head stylized by flame, winged centaur harpooned to the old man, cetacean rising or writhing, waist-deep in the water (devoid of form and color) in the harbor at Gloucester or Tyre.

On March 21st, the last (one hopes) Christmas tree of the season, so dry and dead it's half-brown, needles shedding like cat hair, turns up, abandoned on the the next day, the trunk now cracked, it's moved into the gutter half a block down.

East Bay hills barely visible, half-silhouette in the red- brown morning air.

Random curd, that which is merely personal shall soon appear in APR, we've been practicing (reciting from memory, eyes closed), the real money's in conferences, metaphor of anyone's parents carved in accents.

My thumb instead of a dildo: serbo-martian exile pens essay in plain style.

Staples pock a phone-poll, rear of housepainter's pickup demonstrates meticulous order: sun's head fuels pen.

Jellyfish begin to appear in catchbasin of the City's sewers (the go-carts of Westciv sputter).

Off-tune, by headphones hidden in the hair, I, Minnie Mouse, squeak: old orange plastic breadwrap, the big trucks in the lot down at the dairy (like ships they are, literally docked), the young Latino boy sits on his daypack like a stone, reading a bible, waiting for the bus.

Temporary as morning, these words like shadows fall across the page, the value is the inversion, an old woman in the park recalling her childhood in Taiwan.

You're telling me something urgent, but I'm only counting the syllables as you speak.

Painters' scaffolding frames the house (yet behind that bay window stands an easel), red fruit of the peppertree.

"Meaning is use," but use without context conceals power (the perfectibility of the system is predicated first upon its continuity, and thus the permanence of internal relations and rankings): his didacticism was fel t to be "anti-art," an irritant, scratching on the blackboard of their heroic-tragic monologues of suburban family grief.

Chicken in the comfrey (fascinates orange cat), Spanish ballad from an open window, cardinals atop the plum tree -- breeze on a hot day.

The larger the crowd the narrower the assumptions one might then make attempting to speak to it (Foucault's laugh conceived as a flag): the bunting about the panel's table hides more than their legs.

Will your needs be met, simple notebook?

Jogging a different route just to see these streets again (car without wheels up on blocks in a front yard, lawn crushed into mud).

Sound of dog or hammer barely audible only because we so will it, foreground against the shush of valley traffic (jet's arc like the strain of a violin), white cat with black collar, bright pink ears and nose.

Clothespin clips playing card against bicycle spokes -- number makes a poor defense, baby's fist pulling on your lip, jar more visible for having cracked.

Breakfast nook: these forms are imposed (imagine the family that has no father), mop on the porch left to dry (subtract the r), you don't greet your peers so much as stalk them.

Old theatre carved into thirds, the letters on your marquee are so much more crowded, small billboard mounted against apartment house wall.

The point at which a wide yawn will shut sound out: don't point your saxophone at me.

Think of horn as big straw (simile when you say that), polyvocalic want a closure?

Little windows (edit valley) the chicken's chasing the cat.

Curb cut: capitals at the margin require setback (if they write about language, there's a reason), voicing the slash in s/he (if they write about language, there's a cause): the indigo of the Iowa delta erodes, wound ed buffalo in perfect binding.

O knife of theory in fog of tenure: that this day, converted into art, might be again transformed (computer paper scotch-taped over a bathroom window for privacy), loosened by steam...I sit, heart beating fast, on th e fourth bus I've been on in just 12 minutes, route to the job.

1985: I notice the gang of roofers (tossing old shingles from a housetop into the back of a red dumptruck, slender wrists fitting into large, grey gloves) are speaking Vietnamese.

Blond god, all muscle in loincloth, slays blue dragon with sword, image painted on the side of an RV.

Tiny orange clip-on Garfield fixed to the brake grip of the cop's chopper (or stuff towel between windows to block draft), an 8 year old's day pack: placement of For Sale signs against vacancy rate defines city.

Old barber alone in storefront shop sits in his raised chair, reading racing forms.

Writing, rhythms writhe: stylized grain forms a watermark.

Long fingers press on closed eyes, then bridge of the nose (red spots from years of glasses, nearly indentations): where, deep in the head, does voice focus?

Poets pose either as visual artists or rock stars, but novelists mime nerds, plastic pocket insert full of pens (trying to guess women's vocations by their earrings less reliable than by their shoes): watch as bracelet versus watch as cuff.

Start to study Stein: see or saw or was at sea with oars, without (shoulders and soldiers, soldiers and shoulders), never let show what you don't know.

Ah posh gush (dear Kush, dear tush), the air one hears is there in Chinese verse.

Counterclockwise, the asymmetry of baseball is the key to its narrative (funk anthem), bottle gang on a park bench, double- dipper: Enver Hoxha is dead.

We're in the caffein reaction faction: now mean this: the colon is swollen (semi) -- she's got it...he sees it (better book reviews): Dennis Wilson (Natalie Wood) steps into space (the sea), just the tip of the Iceman (rises).

Counterthoughtwise, the words are stenciled on a glass door (light above the elevator, when lit, means "in use"), this is a test (sign in please), little pickup nearly buried under a load of old mattresses, half-athletic, all day.

Insertions, against the false silence of the City, voiced comma: the cat just stares at the fearless hen, hissing.

New plums weight old branches down into shape, another generation has discovered water balloons off rooftops, junkyard dog tears at raw beef, syntax appears straight forward waiting for the ambulance to arrive.

Young man with shoulder-length hair seems now old-fashioned, green parrot loose in the back yard, cat white as the steps on which it sleeps, a world in which Chris Martinez never dies in Vietnam nor Marion Dale Cook inside the walls of San Quentin nor Fay Stender, confined to a wheelchair, swallowing pills in Hong Kong.

That names are not words is evident to any: over decades the small house becomes its modifications, its repairs -- you sit in the sun with your eyes shut, sensing the breeze against the hair on your arms, 13th of April.

Ink sinks into the paper, then spreads: thus the light around the body extends down from a gun tower, while three young women have joined hands, sitting on the train tracks, halting the shipment of troops.

People treat stairs with due caution, traffic in the valley feels endless, the day effortlessly slips into dusk.

The next page is another country, the moment a pop fly hovers before dropping back to earth.

The sun itself demands no explanation, but this cargo cult of nouns sings its own song, its own name, again and again.

-- Ron Silliman

Monday, November 21, 2005

From The Front Matter, Dead Souls

Orphée was originally Defoe.

Mist didn't fall on that desert. The figure withering aging could not be.
Yet showers from the plates of cloud fall on the desert. The utter happiness of love for Akira on the illuminated blue field is, yet one has not existed.

A child is sticking its arm down the throat of a calf, several calves lined in the street. The child sticking an arm down its throat, feeding the calves, there is no middle ground here. They're silhouetted.
The calves don't utter. There's no silence in that. They don't, in it.
There's no sky. The faceless worm is the same as the child and calf attached at the child's arm. Feeding the calves is in this.

The approach to find another civilization is not seeking historical knowledge. One has not existed.

Akira being in death is akin to the nerve in one which feeds the flesh telling it to remember to be alive. Otherwise the flesh is in rigor mortis while the person is still living. She experiences this in her own flesh first. The utilitarian world is lost but is not missed. The nerve is the "Word" in the flesh, as in the captions, lettering as such, coming from angels' mouths, early cartoons.
What is the relation of words in dreams or awake to the nerve in one telling one's flesh to be alive without which it forgets?
This text must be literally the instructions to physically live. What does that mean to what occurs while living?
No one sees this. It is Frankenstein in reverse.
What causes the nerve in the neck in one to be alive at all? One would have to cross past the line of the word and flesh, a state of they're not being. Where there is only real death, extinction.

The tree(d) (as of it, not the past) apple-blossoms are the same thing as itself yet not enflamed in it. Spring blossoms loose (as being there in it - at all) not enflaming people.

In a deep sleep, so that waking setting out in the car no orientation being found - in utter extinction (extinguished sockets in bright air - though not breathing in the black thorax then either, breathing in the upper chest as if running and utterly quiet) of no cognition yet seeking to re-form the structure seen before, which wasn't being resumed - the magnolia buds opened in a thin blazing blue.
Aware muffled that one needn't seek the structure yet is doing so, struggling lumbering. One waits to be clear only to find it (there being an opportunity not to be in it), yet there was no pairing in it - none possible in utter heavy disorientation - the magnolia cups 'occur' only in the bright air there.
No elevation even is close to it - or at all.
People meeting in an occurrence by acting something else as if pressed to it momentarily, its reality is coming from various people by their not speaking or acting which is that event, but rather, their being as separate as being it. It is occurrence only with people.
But that impermanence does not stop the other from dying. It is therefore as close to that state as can be.

Then too,
others being willing to grant a 'life' as having significance (based on being in a group, or having such-and-such affiliations)
as opposed to being nothing - one, only - as spring, there.

'Pride-riding'- of one's black thorax - only - as if isn't a 'life.' (In oneself doing it.) Aware of her, someone else, resting on authority (of a relative or group), 'there isn't even the blue in which one is' in physical fact. One has to 'allow' in one's conception (as being one's impermanence) him to be impermanent utterly.

The branch of the apple-blossoms as tree(d) only in air - and people meeting as motions that are not the same as the event occurring which are being their meeting - not enflaming and in it - (and not enflaming:) as one being 'oneself' there - one not having to resume anything

At his brother's funeral, taking his turn speaking in memory - saying again the old family notion (in him reincarnated from his father, him reincarnated in me), of his own being inferior as introverted which by that in him is sensitive comprehending, wholly free in protecting others as sublimated - which he compares as inferior to the brother being daring as 'gregarious' - when is oneself?
(So that - later defending him my saying "we" don't have to be that, 'gregarious' - "we'll" be doing something else - him almost stopping me for defending yet hearing the word "we," as only there deliberately, him comprehending as on one's own ground, is one then being free to be there -)

The apple-blossoms as tree(d) yet (as:) in air - (as if their jetting) - (yet as not from existence) - and their being there, as the only opportunity (as one - ever) - and in being oneself not from cognition

The number of beings where those motions in conflict were being made, yet that not being one, is the same as stars seen during the day
(for example: the number of beings in the one place - of living or of one's birth, then, seeing mimicry of war, as if blossoms-tree(d), which is elsewhere yet is as motions there where one is, as if it were one - after the schism in one as extreme conflict which is later serene in that one yet there - is the opportunity of being there as being from no cognition)

(as in that 'conflict' - not one - of apple-blossoms: tree(d) - (as) which is - being - yet only in spring)

A man sitting exhausted on the sidewalk in the crowd has running bloody sores on his bared legs, holds a cup. A sign beside him says that he has AIDS. They're in the warm sunlight.
It's the same as their impermanence. He speaks in a humble way. Their living can't occur being articulated in any tradition. There can't be 'tradition of one's faculties' even.

That action is all that's happening. Tapping, the greyhound was by him in the blue air. Dead Souls who goes off up on the stadium to the blasted sky the clouds float over. The officer is paying for the hot dogs holding them, comes into the garden at the Getty. The officer, who is in the air ahead of her, glinted teeth at her. She's firing at the faceless worm a ratlike puckered figure on the dead man. They're out in the blue air only. The same blue air of the stadium. The officer was angry with the woman.
Yet he knows the deaf and blind child in the limousine is hers.
The neutrality as if words are stilled there to be 'their' medium is objective as if in no terrain and if one's opal companion.

-- Leslie Scalapino

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Song for Hannah Arendt

Out of being torn apart
comes art.

Out of being split in two
comes me and you. HA HA!

Out of being torn in three
comes a logical poetry. (She laughed but not at poetry.)

Out of the essential mistranslation
emerges an illegitimate nation.

Better she said the enraged
than the impotent slave sunk in the Bay.

Out of being split into thirteen parts
comes the eccentric knowledge of "hearts."

(Out of being torn at all
comes the poor-rich rhyme of not knowing, after all.)

And out of this war, of having fought
comes thinking, comes thought.

-- David Shapiro

Friday, November 18, 2005


I'm interested in the utilization of both poetic and narrative tensions: the flagrant surfaces of lyric, the sweet dream of storied events, the terror of ellipsis, the audacity of dislocation, the irreversible solidity of the past tense, the incarnate lure of pronouns, the refractability of pronouns, the simultaneity of times, the weights and balances of sentences. I'm interested in lyric's authenticity of demonstration and narrative's drama of integration; lyric, whose operation is display, and narrative, whose method is seduction. I describe a set of binary terms across which I see writing passing an exchange of values, and it becomes a multiple texture/text—writing in just those created tensions between surface vocalic tangibility and referential transparency; between theme and emptiness, measure and interruption, the eternal present and past of memory/future of dream; all present, all heightened, operational. Such conflated writing would be worthy of Barthes's definition of the text: "not a coexistence of meanings but a passage, an overcrossing; thus it answers not to an interpretation, even a liberal one, but to an explosion, a dissemination." One seeks to be out of order, to shiver out of subjectivity, to shake off the mask of the material and to shimmy in its arms, to finally retreat from logic and advance by radial maneuvers, gathering meaning. "To break the sentence," says Rachel Blau DuPlessis—and here the sentence carries its overtone of imprisonment without parole—

rejects not grammar especially, but rhythm, pace, flow, expression: the structuring of the female voice by the male voice, female tone and manner by male expectations, female writing by male emphasis, female writing by existing conventions of gender—in short, any way in which dominant structures shape muted ones. 2

One looks for alternate methods to proceed, to use and subvert the codes at hand: stanza, line break, character, plot, point of view.

In "The New Sentence," Ron Silliman suggests ways in which the prose poem has used combined and measured sentences to interiorize poetic structure, foregrounding language operations and surface values in a writing mode—prose—whose usual form is the syllogism, building structures of projection and depth. "The torquing which is normally triggered by linebreaks," he points out, "the function of which is to enhance ambiguity and polysemy, has now moved into the grammar of the sentence." The paragraph as a unit of quantity and the sentence as a unit of measure, altered sentence structure, controlled and limited integration: these devices begin to conflate the values of poetry with those of prose. Other writers have pursued not just prose but narrative prose, and foregrounded narrative codes to awaken a reader's attention to process as well as result. In his novel, Jack the Modernist, Robert Glück uses metaphorical and metonymic litanies side by side, showing off the writing as writing as he demonstrates that the devices are not mutually exclusive.

I grab his cock, unpromising, and he says in mock bewilderment, "What's that?" As it hardens I answer for him, "It's my appendicitis, my inchworm, my slug, my yardstick, my viola da gamba, my World Trade Center, my banana, my statutory rape, my late string quartet, my garden god, my minaret, my magnum opus, my datebook, my hornet, my Giacometti, my West Side Story, my lance, my cannon, my nose-job, my hot dog, my little sparrow, my worm on the sidewalk after a storm, my candle, my Bic, my unicorn, my drawbridge, my white whale…

and on for another sixty substitutions, "my cyclops … my Venus of Willendorf … my Dark Tower." Four pages later the elaborative metonymic process of prose takes over from the comparative metaphorical process of poetry.

My troubles were too numerous to consider all at once, their sheer quantity defeated me. My mom would say, "Write a list, get a handle on your problems, deprive them of their active ingredient, time." So I found a clean page in my yellow legal tablet … Nuclear catastrophe, destitution, famine, additives, melanomas, losing face, U.S. involvement in El Salvador and Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, South Korea, Chile, Lebanon and Argentina, war in the Middle East, genocide of Guatemalan Indians and extermination of the native peoples of Brazil, Philippines, Australia, answering the telephone … toxic waste, snipers, wrinkles, cult murderers, my car …

Though these are both descriptive processes, they are not transparent; the reader is aware of being in a list, enjoys the ingenuity of elaboration and substitution, is held to the surface of the writing at the same time she is integrating the lists into the larger structures of the story. Speaking of description, Alexander Gelley writes,

This kind of stillness in the narrative may be likened to islands of repose for the reader, moments of collection. The hold that the level of plot, speech, and action exercises on him is loosened. His attention may wander, but it may also adjust to a changed mode of apprehension. I am suggesting that the more circumstantial the description and the more separate from the narrative in which it is embedded, the greater will be the reader's part, and the more he will be forced to assume a stance for which the narrative proper offers little support…. When the familiar codes of narrative are blocked or diverted, reading/writing becomes problematic, and the subject of/in the narrative shifts from the characters or the author to the reader….

This problematization forces the reader to ask questions, to become active in the role of reader, and Glück reinforces this tendency by confronting the reader directly in his stories, "You'll understand my fear," he says, "because television has trained us to understand the fear of a running man;" and, "I can only give this story, which is the same as sitting with my back to you;" and, "Tell me, given the options, where would your anger have taken you—where has it taken you?" By confronting the reader, Glück not only breaks the window of his narrative but creates and engages an audience, creates a social registration for his writing by direct address, by luring the "real" time of the reader into the "dream" time of his story. The foregrounding of devices and codes does not neutralize them, they are too full of historical determination, but it can ritualize them, or expose their ritualization; reveal them not as necessities but constructions—open to change.

Writing might use narrativity without succumbing to its hegemonic orders of linear development, unity of time/tense—and apart from the modernist reconstructing modes of memory and dream. A prose whose paragraphic groupings themselves might be based on measure, whose higher integrations might be thematic or associational rather than developmental. "How tenacious is our happiness!" says Kevin Killian in Shy. "Unlike narrative, it invents and eludes itself from moment to moment; it lacks conventions; its shape has no outline, its formal properties those of the cloud—numinous, portentous, hungry…." And then goes on to produce a narrative with properties of the cloud, numinous and hungry, where characters search for themselves alongside the writer as a character himself, where persons encounter each other but never stoop so low as to engage in a plot.

The ceiling was gray and smooth as the beach that Gunther Fielder lived by. Flat, and peaceful, the way that "now" is without a past or future to rock it up any. He could focus on the gray and try to hypnotize himself, closer towards death. "Do it," he demanded.
"My name is Harry Van," he said. It sounded so false. He said it over and over, didn't ring true somehow. Like somebody else who you couldn't remember. Well try again, something new.
"I'm David Bowie," he said, experimenting. "I have come to earth a space invader, hot tramp, I love you so." Oh that was so suffragette, trying to "be" a star.
He'd start again. "Hi, my name is Mark the dead boy," he said with great difficulty.
"Are you Kevin Killian," he replied. "Can I help you?" Just like the Hot Line!
These voices came out of his mouth from nowhere, between heaven and earth, this conversation developing like a photograph pulled from its tray full of crystal chemicals. Emergent.

These voices attack the proposition that characters or author must be unified presences, and suggest that self itself may not be locatable along such a monochromatic line.

He is telling you now a story about narrativity, he is telling her story. She finds the story as she looks at each other: so many faces. She is crossing gender from the start, she wants you to know she is Elizabeth Taylor—and has the Halloween photos to prove it. He is a boy playing Puck in a high school production of A Midsummer Night's Dream wearing ballet slippers forever. "I have died and am in a novel and was a lyric poet, certainly, who attracted crowds to mountaintops." I come after Robert Duncan but before Norma Cole. My name is "Broiling-Days-In-A-Little-Patch-Of-Shade." "For better or worse," says Flaubert,

it is a delicious thing to write, to be no longer yourself but to move in an entire universe of your own creating. Today, for instance, as man and woman, both lover and mistress, I rode in a forest on an autumn afternoon under the yellow leaves, and I was also the horses, the leaves, the wind, the words my people uttered, even the red sun that made them almost close their love-drowned eyes.

"Voice," "Person," "Point of View"—always singular—propose a unified filter through which events may be organized, and as filters screen properties, screen out toxins and tannins and pieces too big to fit neatly. But pluralities are possible. "I see only from one point of view," says Lacan, "but in my existence I am looked at from all sides." Pronouns are known as shifters because they are by nature unstable linguistic units, referring not to people but to moving circumstances of speech and audition, visibility and perception. As such they are fictional opportunities; unlike names they permit a character to be subject and object, to ride the Wheel of Person, speak and be spoken of with equal weight, inhabit simultaneity. Here is a poem from Alice Notley's sequence, "Congratulating Wedge":

No I wouldn't know why anyone would
want to write like that. I should never
have had to do it. We were used to this
other thing we always know like when we're
here. And you have this clear head & you're
seeing things & there they are. You don't
notice they're spelled. That's how you
know you're alive. I never saw you
looking like a dictionary definition & if I
did I wouldn't tell nobody. People
aren't like that. They say, Hey
asshole motherfucker turn that radio
off! But the sun's playing on it! But
it ain't real, you dumb package!
I recognize every package the way it
comes. Now I'm mixed up. But I
always wanted to be a package, person
thinks. Do they? Or, I gotta de-
fine this package, me. Or, God if only
I was a package but I'm not.

What are people like and what method correctly presents/represents them; from what angles are they constructed and who construes the angles into voice? In her mind as "I," out of her mind as "she," confronting or confronted by "you"; conspiratorially social and partial as "we"; part of one another, occasionally indistinct, certainly indiscreet, we are and we are not separate people. "My premise, in general and in writing," says Leslie Scalapino, "is that I do not think there is a man, or woman, or society, social construction; though it is there. It is not there." I have been marginalized as a poet, homosexual, counterculture protester, drug taker, transvestite and Jew; I am as interested in boundaries for what lies outside them as in. I would like to drop my "characters" onto the sharpened point of a gemstone, so that the radial fractures would illuminate a comprehensive pluralistic image.

Syntax is the plot of the sentence, a systematic ordering of person and event, of who does what to whom and when and to what end. Encoded in its structure are a variety of fixed agreements that always end in a point (.) Who will speak for beside-the-point? Nouns and verbs must have parallel numbers, pronouns and verbs parallel persons; tenses must agree to produce time that resembles progression. Business conveniences that make of stories little prisons of discrete power relations with seemingly invisible walls. I am not talking about referentiality vs. non-referentiality; I'm talking about how narrative referentiality might be better served. Gender is foregrounded and elementalized, digressions are trivialized, passive constructions frowned upon. As Sara Schulman points out, try to tell a lesbian story without names: she came into a room, she looked at her, she looked at her, she said—and aside from homophobia, what terrors would such unlocations unleash? Normative pronoun usage subjects self and other to power/dominance models of unity and authority, of he over she and it beneath them. For pure syntax there is Charley Shively's reduction of the phallocentric rule: "the subject fucks the object."

Here is Leslie Scalapino writing:

The young person living there, having an intense tortured as if tearing in half pain in the middle, waking lying asleep, though this had only occurred this one time. The day and night being free of the one person, who hadn't had this tortured sharp pain as if to tear her in half except this one time, the man lying waking staying gently with her during it through the soft darkness and then ending in the warm balmy day with the people around who go down the street.

Passive participial constructions which don't inhabit time, genderless and then confusing gender assignations, unlocated relative pronouns, erratic time shifts without one simple present tense: an amalgam of person and event that keeps elements suspended and active, "an explosion, a dissemination" of meaning. "His mouth are everywhere," I wrote erotically in "Honor Roll," insisting that the plural verb was truer to the polyvalence of desire.

And I have neither a coherent story to tell nor can I cop a coherent attitude to give my voice a characteristic singularity. I was born in sleep and raised in sleep and wake up to find myself sleepwalking. The figures I know all have shadows; some figures are smaller than their shadows. In the first photo I am a soft blasted thing, mouth open tongue hanging, blotto. Six weeks premature, I was still "in here" out there. The world was unformed, coalescent. His story is the story of an intuited world, a story where digressions may be the point, where ellipsis is an accurate representation of what there is.

This world in its order decomposes into air, simultaneously present and absent. A writing, then, of enmeshed simultaneities, which gives sufficient weight to its constituent presences so that they verge upon each other. The material relations of the Unknown. "The stuff of the psyche," says Herakleitos, "is a smoke-like substance of finest particles, that give rise to all other things…. it is constantly in motion: only movement can know movement." 16 His story pulls the reader down from the surface of language not to rest but to ride back and forth between the manifest and imaginary worlds, among selves. "I wanted to write a story," he begins, "to talk about the outside world and escape my projections, but the outside world could not escape from my projections. I wanted to write not 'my' story but 'theirs'; I wanted to write about evil." He looks at his fingers to escape your accusations; a sunbeam deconstructs him into motes. He is happy dissolved there, and wants to write from such dissolutions, melting into the grain of his lover's nipples. He has no lover; he has entered an argument about narrative and political ruination. "Tell me your story," he asks, and you do.

Here in this dialogue writing relies less on information, as Walter Benjamin shows, than on the moral power of interpretation, "to keep a story free from explanation." It is left up to the reader to "interpret things the way he understands them, and thus narrative achieves an amplitude that information lacks." Here a fabricated house open to the wind is both a shelter and a sharpener of the wind's bite, a house of shadows and a moving shadow that resembles a house. Narrativity, the action not the thing, a happening semblance that is and is not a story, a gift given and taken away so that one must finally stand fulfilled by transgression. Narrativity, a process of integration not linear but aggregate, circular, partial—and so, complete.

-- Aaron Shurin

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Autumn Drought Notes: 09-24-77

autumn. drought. san francisco. 1977.
the new fall season begins again.
I'm liking this ask me anything evening
these ginkgo golden trees
these clear open spaces.
this coolness.

walking about at three in the morning.
waiting for time to find me.
waiting for you to acknowledge your heart.
I like these haphazard days.
I enjoy the night air.
the powerful enchantment of being cloistered within darkness.

no time is especially meaningful today.
last night seems to have happened without becoming the past.
Bryan Ferry’s on the stereo.
three rings on my hands.
gold. burmese jade. bone.

news: difficult to report.
lately I've been aimless.
doorless. windowless. reserved.
my attitude in flux. in transition?

I remember when you arrived at the door:
wearing a black jacket green shirt white tie.
your pants: blue.
later that night we walked along the streets together.
you held my arm as we walked along.
far past midnight. far into morning.
the streets at that hour.
the unsaved.
the clarity of lives on a jaunt through time within space.
so say it is love. who is to say it is not.

at the moment this:
jean michel jarre's Oxygene
on the stereo
cosmically vibratory, nonlinear instilling music
subtle transcendent melodies throughout the apartment.

Blackfoot’s eagerly after veal
Brad's preparing to "go out"
Sally's clearing the refrigerator of
old salad dressing and forgotten leftovers.

a tall green candle glows in the living room.
a Christmas gift from last year stored away, glowing
now in a summerish heat.

"I'll light it, when I have a place where I feel at home"
the accidental gift.

the moon fills to capacity.
I hurt my jaw last night having sex.
have we insinuated the moon of autumn.
vitality's not necessarily with us
but neither are we depressed.

jean michel jarre plays the following instruments:
a.r.p. synthesizer, a.k.s. synthesizer, v.c.s. 3
synthesizer, r.m.i. harmonic synthesizer, farfisa
organ, eminent, mellotron, rhythmin' computer

I read Lord of the Rings slowly.
the older I get the less magical it becomes.
Bilbo & Frodo both had birthday's:
September 22

the real me is in constant turmoil.
I enjoy the mythic nature of the search:
truth in fable and a fabulist's taste for sensation

wherever music may find me. soul'lessly soul'ful

Blackfoot’s sits hen-like on the windowsill
looking out at the night: eyeballing the slightest
movement within darkness. lovely. still.
Anoolios sits waiting for the next big thing to happen
next to a stack of books.

hermes 3000 Jim Sorcic notes:

I miss the birthday-present the silver kite
I regret it never flew-- it did hang
suspended nonchalantly with a soupcon of mystery
in my bedroom in that 3-storey house on 8th Avenue.
I remember looking up at it gleaming near the ceiling
when Jim Sorcic & I had raucous howl your heart out
steamy exploratory sex (purest of pure intoxication ::
his flesh and his great clenched pumping butt) --
after a night of dancing at The City, over near Broadway --
Jim whispered about the pleasures of having
sex in a kneeling position. He demonstrated. I bring you.
Jim got rock hard in two seconds. He kept whispering
then simple breath into my ear. I remember O this
noble kissing body, this lovely I bring you dancers --
his cheek where it meets the nose; nuzzling then.
this lovely beautiful o this noble body --
He grinned. With his hair cut short his eyes gleamed:
he was all black deep pupils. send me to a place of mystery
fall into his eyes. it is because he knew me well.
Jim was all music and poetry and whispering poetry and
arm wrapping pumping to long lean rhythms of coming
strong lavishly you bend under him. placing arms over
his shoulders stroking his chin stroking his elegant
erect make a joyful noise and to me his mouth like a horse
trembles cries out this tremendous magic he created once forever

clear this up. get to the bottom of the situation.

anything at this moment is not really there.
really there though I think the patterns good gracious
can you behold and higher levels ask conversation
& a few snatches of your face combine and I ask
where are you I suppose the time where you are
now is four-thirty in the afternoon and darkness
everywhere here is playing with me and tomorrow is
Sunday I expect to be pulling weeds at the house
beneath the pines.

Brad Bell notes: I froze when you held me. the partial glance of your
smile. the clean white shirt the part of you
that lay awake listening to me. I vanished.
the bed was merely a loud noise and the
flat you lived in had nothing that
was eternal but the tension you created turned
out to be mere figment.

he prefers his verbs made of cheese and coconut

conceivably you cried and imploring your aid
you reached my very heart.

curious how I can love you for that.
love being permission in the throes of possession.

excuse me, you are entering into my heart.

you made surreptitious advances and I held you.
I could feel my bloodstream sweat and I noticed you
were wearing no clothes. you were not bothered
and the varietal darkness encompassed us and
the moon fooled us with practical jokes upon our psyche.

let's go and have a look at the other side of
the room, the place where your skin is lighter

"many years," d hoyt said Thursday night, "many
years can be spent on the wrong search of
improved mental health".

"a frog. a live frog. I caught it today".

different levels of the same veneer.
I'm made so it is I'm made of flesh blood and bone.

I am breathing. what I avoid most has to do with
thoughts concerning my corruption my perversity my
somewhat wicked aspects.

I can imagine watching this on a big screen.
transfixed and open to the photographs that
otherwise might be wrapped in the darkness.
being alone forever especially the leering meddlesome
indecent perfectly normal needs of the mouth.

I have nothing to say yet insist upon speaking.

a dirty brush is in the bathroom.
the lights on in the kitchen.
water's still scarce.
the drought just seems to go on forever
nobody cries but wants to

not a single clue.

Sally's selecting music.
she's had enough of "this cosmic stuff"
so "here comes the sun" Nina Simone

last night Brad called from Bones and
said 'o this night isn't happening. do you
want to go to the baths. I need something to
come down. can you find some gin"?

later as we walked along 24th Street
with his arm in mine it seemed perfectly natural to
ask: "why are you walking so fast"

Sally didn't like Nina’s singing and changed to
Phil Manzanera's Diamond Head.

can you discover the illuminating light.

strangely we are invigorated by being together.
we lose energy in our separation.
the memory of our turmoil makes mincemeat of situation.

he insists upon something so insubstantial as the
prospect of love as a human condition. the
moments of boredom seem stuffing to self-pity.

is this indecent?

Anoolios looks (with stealth) at a spider climbing on the white wall.
the spider is ambling. at last it has found its
ladder thread and makes escape.

I find no satisfaction in the events that have ensued.
I am a young man who sleeps with his dreams.
will you be home for Thanksgiving?

Joan Armatrading's singing Down to Zero
your feet down to the ground
you keep thinking you're somewhere.

put a nail in your foot

:: call it memory

just before night rose. your daylight like
some autumnal turmoil made transparent.

I type out a letter on the Hermes 3000
to MM whose doing covert administrative work
for the government in the South Pacific:
I can't imagine being surrounded by water
extending thousands of miles in all directions.
a still center. an island. a compass point within
a compass. I would certainly go mad or become recuperative.
you keep sending photos of machetes and talk about the
ruthless family ceremonies in Samoa. is that it?
jungle life seems to suit you by not suiting you.
you read so much into decay corruption and
always with that grade school Catholic hopeful hopelessness
have you found peace as an undercover spy?

memory comes and goes fleetingly as Brad and I continue
our amble to the baths:
we walked along Mission Street
passing . . . . shop after shop filled
to the their ceilings with old furniture and lamps and
Mission Street, . . . no we never walked along Mission Street.
we walked down Valencia. we looked in a shop window
full of mirrors in rococo frames.

we were not wasting time.

everything we did was spent trying to help each other.
at first.

Brad said again and again: 'this is the first time
we've been alone in a long time'; 'we haven't been alone
like this in so long'; 'I like this being with you alone like

if you're goin to say it say it now.

I think Blackfoot just ate the spider.
she's never satisfied with the mere curiosity
of things. she's so wanton when she sinks her teeth into
experience. I love her trapped existence.
her caged life living with me. she maintains so
with sunlight
and that knowing calculated glance.

capable she creates Time from untimely touch.

we carefully close the door

HOLLYWOOD. a sign in a thrift-store window.

I love California. especially the streets.
give me love :: remove the rest as superfluous.

ah here we are: 21st & Bartlett
"the baths" ------

-- Jeff Wietor


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