Wednesday, August 27, 2014

mmccxx

Yes I’m a maniac when I’m touching the earth.
            —Hardwell (from Call Me A Spaceman)

extra shrimp dumplings. 
a little joke, but true.  we
were truly schnookered.
[return carriage]

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

mmccxix

If it were the hour of the bird
you’d open and know
the eternal moment
                        —Orides Fontela
                          (translated by Chris Daniels)


...hoodwinked into eating
at a big red restaurant
full of white people
and waiters & waitresses
who insisted we order
way more than we wanted...

...extra spring rolls (free)
for the tableful of nuns...

...he stops [as always]
to examine the dead
pigeon; reckons it
could be what’s left
of the howling from
the night before...


But what use is the bird?
                        —Orides Fontela
                          (translated by Chris Daniels)

Sunday, August 24, 2014

mmccxviii

Birds
return
always and
always.
                        —Orides Fontela
                            (translated by Chris Daniels)


Loyal as the day is long,
he found his way home
wearing nothing but a
pair of Twister® flip-flops.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

mmccxvii

bring me your youth in a jar
                         —Kevin Killian

If I were to relate this to myself,
as I sit here next to a bright red
package of 20 hypoallergenic
Wet Ones.

Words...evoke inarticulate things.
                   —Rachel Blau DuPlessis

I’m sort of putting words in her
mouth.  Just by leaving a few out.
So to speak.  Or maybe not.

It learned to hide from the hungry ones.
                                    —Shel Silverstein

Which is more to the point.
So bring me your mouth, youth! 
Bring me all of your words in a jar.


Friday, August 22, 2014

mmccxvi

If Dr. Henenberg had been
the Chair of the Poetry Department
(does such a department exist?  I
admit I don't even know.), rather 
than the Chair of the Theater
Department.  Let’s say.  And if I,
the overly-confident and determined
undergraduate junior, had made an
appointment with her, and on that 
appointed hour had then walked 
into her office with the pro-
clamation that my one true goal
above all other goals in my life
was to someday pen a poem that
would someday find its way into a
very important compendium of the
sort that is often touted as a
compendium that houses
several very important works
(of this or that poetic nature), 
well,     I can hear her say to me 
as if it were this precise moment:
        “But young man,
what do you know of Poetry?”
She’d know, of course,
that I had been a chemistry
major for the previous two
years.  “What you’re telling me
certainly isn’t Poetry.  Talk to me
about Poetry.  You must most
certainly know that you are not
reciting for me a Poem.  No.
What you’re telling me now is
nothing but a silly & ultimately
penniless dream.”  And she’d 
bite this part off through
teeth that are clenching the
spindly end of one of the
thin, golden, ear-hugging arms 
of those Ben Franklin specs,
“And it’s not a very 
effective dream,
I might insert.”

Thursday, August 21, 2014

mmccxv

as once I wanted to write for the soaps, Santa Barbara, One Life to Live.
                                                                                    —Kevin Killian
If I were to relate this to myself
it would be easy.  I have two
degrees in theater.  I caught
the acting bug early, but
hemmed and hawed my
way through most of
college (a chemistry
major, mostly), before
one very determined
visit to the head of the
Department of Drama.
My goal was simple
(“If they could do it,
why couldn’t I?I
logically surmised):
I wanted to land a job
as an actor on a daytime
soap opera.  That was it.

Putting aside for the moment
whatever I must have been
thinking, however I must
have arrived at it, I do
distinctly recall the
clarity of vision, the
that is my one true goal. 

She kept trying to see it in me,
I could tell.  She was squinting,
leaning back in her roll-around
chair, looking me up and down
through her tiny circular Benjamin
Franklin lenses. She had friends who
made a living doing exactly that.  My goal. 
So I figured I had come to the right place,
and had expected a cheery vote of confidence
and encouragement. 
What I got, instead, after
all of her apparent consideration,
was a simple “But you don’t look the part.”

I have never once appeared in
any televised soap opera.  But
like I mentioned at the top,
I do have two degrees
in the dramatic arts.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

mmccxiv

Not showing up mostly didn’t show up.
                               —Stephanie Young

Like a kick in the guts.  Or.  No.
Like a bullet to a tongue.  But.  Then.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

mmccxiii

everybody feels vulnerable I think.
                               —Stephanie Young

I’ve been finding it just fine
playing games on my iPhone
while in the shower  for
months now I do this.  Not
every shower.  But most?

Today, therefore and
however, I am mostly
troubled by the fact
that I cannot do the
same with a book.
With a real book.

Monday, August 18, 2014

mmccxii

less willow more buffy sounds
beautiful. i roll over and back to
sleep.  think good thoughts much
as they can be thunk.  (no need
not to.)

nighty night for now.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

mmccxi

How to make sure that seeing
anything is not seeing oneself?
                                   —Etel Adnan

My assignment stayed
extremely busy.  I am
staring into a blowing
electric fan.  As if
face to face in love.

Stuck on repeat,
my assignment
never lazes,
leaves the room,
blown by the
sound of the
howling wind,

which eradicates,
as if face to face,
the love, the
howling, the
echo of the
blown
electric
fan.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

mmccx

forty-seven years ago today
i was supposed to be born.
but instead, i’d already
been around for three
whole days by then.

Friday, August 15, 2014

mmccix

but you said, didn’t you
say to me, that this was
a moment when i could
start completely anew?
a time i could start
fresh, could liter-
ally reinvent my
self?  and were
we not just
agog with
all of the...
possibility?

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

mmccviii

 [insert comma here]

            Even activists must freak out sometimes about how little we’ve done.
                                                                                                  —Kevin Killian

I’m not exactly sure how to put this, but
it’s Tuesday morning.  I have no idea
how to say this, but the potpourri really
stinks.

We arrive on motorcycle, all black &
white.  It’s Easter Sunday.  The aunties
arrive on motorcycle, dressed to the
nines, circa 1959.

The tenants began to grow suspicious
when the scaffolding remained up
for longer than a month.

Monday, August 11, 2014

mmccvii

Word Battle

Scupper
Dimmest
Ably
Male

“You’re such a person!  Such a person!,”
I thought (“You give everyone just the
right imagination to be less than
bland...”).  And then, as if it were
1975 all over again, I
actually attempted to
hang up the phone.

Scupper
Dimmest
Ably
Male

Sunday, August 10, 2014

mmccvi

5 Ways to Move

You verbally acknowledge
nothing, ask “Why do
goth people all look
so sleepy?”  I shudder,
wondering on which side
of the fence you meant
that to be.  The creepy
slide-show has been
such a gas, but we’re
both exhausted and
hankry (as you say,
being both hungry
and cranky).  To
get here, I’d limped
the entire way, half
a block behind you.
Whew!  A San Fran-
cisco taxi-cab oasis 
isn’t a mirage.  
Cab-light on or 
off, it’s always
a gamble.  You
were waving for
miles; refusing,
however, to show
a lick of leg.  Fetish-
wise, that’s how the
cookie always crumbles.
My sigh is just a little too
audible, seems to cook the
spirits of the glazed-over.
“A ratchet, a whisper,”
again, just barely into my
ear—a feather duster,
not a french tickler—
“another ratchet,
another whisper.”

Friday, August 08, 2014

mmccv

Maybe I got so angry because secretly, stubbornly, and in exhaustion,
I couldn’t see any other way to proceed, to fail until something
changed.
                                                                      —Stephanie Young

Will the narrator ever fly again?
                            —Michael Burkard


I’m more mixed up than ever before, going
back and forth among different eras, landing
in multiple time zones, sometimes seemingly
all at once.  Here I am, an iris.  Here I am, a
dahlia.  There I was.......                a begonia.


Thursday, August 07, 2014

mmcciv

Your Independence Is Killing Me!

Yesterday, I stopped at my checking account,
but apparently I got lost after that.  Did I
a) clean the apartment considerably?  It
could be that I considered cleaning the
apartment.  That is, on a scale of 1 to 10,
extremely messy at the moment.  This,
and given that 10 equals b) should be 
your biggest clue.

I like that I live here.  Also the immediate
retort (or often more like a snort) of
“Snob Hill” ('more like', simply, an upturned
nose, as if directly after becoming ill, or ill-
informed, someone just gets it).  Beams
all strange, but, you know, beams,
walking with the students on Pine Street,
which is most of the faces I ever see.
Those and dogs called pugs, who are
probably mostly students at the Academy
of Art.

Would I really know?  I only speak with
Tony at the cash register down the block,
and with cabbies to and from.  Not the
block.  But, basically.

One could draw out a pretty long argument
about most of the students of the Academy
of Art, of course; it’s never too early to
cast your case.  I’ve taken to verbalizing
this and other probabilities when my
lower back is so tightly wound with pain
that I can’t even walk away from formality.

I’ve been rudely informed that it’s time.
For me to sit down a bit.  Or if I said
“for a spell” – you know, rather than
“a bit” – this chronic lover that speaks
of nothing but pain.  “Bring him his chair
full of cake and rubber you
colossally glum sacrum; you
bitch-hound of an art-
hritic coccyx!” 

“In absentia.”
“In absentia.”

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

mmcciii

I Never Saw It Coming

I spilled the entire box of
cotton swabs onto the
bathroom floor this
morning while
listening to my
new favorite song,
which is called,
appropriately
enough, The Rising.

And I was feeling
so much more on
top of things, too,
having won nearly
every round of
Word Battle
that I’ve played
this week.

I should learn
to scrutinize the
evidence much
better, because
later, after what
I thought’d been
a successful attempt
to rally back my mojo,

I go to meet Otto for
dinner at Sam Wo’s
in Chinatown—in honor
of the Chinese New Year—
and wouldn’t you know it
but Sam Wo’s is closed.
For Chinese New Year.

Monday, August 04, 2014

mmccii

Stand Up and Be Counted!

It’s like being on the toilet.
You don’t know what’s
going to come out.  But
it usually does.  Imagine
that getting lost in
translation.  Say it
like you mean it,
then!  (riding
a stationary
‘bicycle’ easily
for 20 minutes)

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

mmcci

and then there was you

by which I of course mean me


Thursday, July 24, 2014

mmcc

I’m on assignment
in a time unfolding.
Breaking myself
in order to awaken.
Broken down open eye.


       But that space is also an epiphany.
                                      —Etel Adnan


Head in the clouds is
where I’m heading.
Already there, I
truly suppose, if
one can ever sup-
pose so truly.  A
song in my eye
or ear (awaken)
called Anxiety.


       And all along I thought you’d
       made me drop my mind
       somewhere along the way.
                                      —Just Another Cloud


Charlie Darker
renders it such,
this Anxiety.

Do go darker,
Charlie, says
where I’m
heading,

head
and should-
ers and all.


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

mmcxcix

What a Relief!

Isn’t it odd
that I don’t
just labyrinth?
But nope. 

And what a
power week
I’m having.
Eating daily,

focused [on
redundant],
centered.
Some time

passes,
which is
either good
or bad, but

whichever,
there is a
bottle of
Perrier,

and I am
the oldest.
The eldest.
And yet

working
out, checked
out, checking
out.


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

mmcxcviii

Don’t You Dare Act Up!

Drinking a lemon zinger
in this tight-ass box
I wonder what’s
so wrong with
living the life
of an escape
artist.

Escape artist.
Escarpment.

Odd, these
memories,
how they
labyrinth
at twilight.
So at odds
with feeling

[Vertigo.
Escargot.]

so high the
entire time.
Check myself
in the mirror.  The
enormous salad
I’m going to
eat in an hour.

Monday, July 21, 2014

mmcxcvii

Duh.  Rhetorical questions.
                —Rachel Blau DuPlessis

I don’t do worst.  Except
“A book is the goal,” (sigh)
“...but not just any book.”
Okay.  Then what?  Again,
rhetorical.  Bombastical
(see “flatulant”) (and other
words I mean to remember,
like “prolix”, “garrulous”,
“fustian”) (well, that one’s
easy), and the always con-
fusing, my “high-flown”.

“How did we ever get here?”
I fawn with prolix emphasis.
I mean influence.  I mean
interest.  Which, of course,
often includes no mere
titbit of inferred insolence.
And, in groups of more than,
say, eight or nine, quite a
wide variety of
unchecked impotence.

And that, Dear Heart,
more often than not,
is tediously prolonged.


Sunday, July 20, 2014

mmcxcvi

It’s Okay to Act Out

We are offered various
options for which to
relieve ourselves.
One is too random.
Slow down again.

10:30am, an
escapist, alive.
What’s wrong
with checking
online?  Star-

dust in a tight-ass
box.  Run on the
mill.  Or through
it.  Putting the
bills into a bag.

I tried to sit
in Union Square
to finish the
half-poem/
half-novel,

but instead
I went to
Borders and
spilled my latté.
The story of me.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

mmcxcv

I’m working.
He’s just
waiting for
the rapture.

Nah, I ran
one mile
uphill.
Stop

here.
That’s
it. We
met in

the middle
to catch
up—or
else to

catch a
breath.
Call it a
weekend.

Friday, July 18, 2014

mmcxciv

Day of _______

A way to start
communication.
Think outside
the box must
have never
meant this.
But irksome,
texting and
obsessive
attention
compulsion.
This year,
already like
no other:
$565.89.
Dumb
words
for to-
day,
already
May.