Wednesday, December 25, 2013

mmlvii

Run Two Miles and Then Sit

I was cruised at the gym today.
Or I believe this to be so.  “Was
it a touch?”  “More like a touch-
down,” I chuckle, a little louder
than it needs to be.  A frenetic
Saturday ensues.  I put on my
warm-ups and head over to
Russian Hill for another
session.  This one is
in color.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

mmlvi

I know someone.

We misrepresent, get iced up,
need to be broken.  Can
somebody please just
break me up?

On second thought, our
job is to behave badly
in front of the door,
when it’s time to

pull out the keys,
so to speak.  So
don’t look so sad.
Who wants to

need more?  Who
doesn’t?  My job
is to be a stapler,
not a copy machine.

Or is it the other way
around?  I am a human
camera with an uncertain
body and an even vaguer

body of work.  I represent
the box in the attic.  Never-
mind neat and methodical.
I’m not a gemini anymore,

just deep in sleepytime,
feeling pretty good to
unhappy, and vice
versa.  Then

head to
the gym.


Monday, December 23, 2013

mmlv

And So I Hustled

Why do I qualify
as such?  This
connectional re-
gurgitation.  This
scary-dangerous
juxtaposing of
comfort zone
with desire.
That sounds
dumb.  Per-
haps I should
give who a
what?  A
correctional
flirtation?
Anyway,
at least
that’s not
deep, angry,
or pissy
(like some
commas).
Probably
getting a
complete
thought
on a line
has never
been easy
for me.
“Liminal
spaces,”
“Breath
words.”  I,
an uncertain
body, say no-
thing.  Am
saying so.




Sunday, December 22, 2013

mmliv

I think I’ll go to bed now.
Or soon.  “Keeping a journal
is something a younger writer
did.” (Douglas A. Martin)

Walking to the Chinese rest-
aurant on Geary between
Clay and Washington that
IS NO LONGER THERE?!?

For emphasis, pictures
from the party that took
place a week ago yester-
day.  “I wanted to keep

writing” and “More than
anything I wanted to keep
writing.”  What is my story
(another overused phrase)?

What I am wearing now?
Doing something danger-
ous for years.  Or at least
it feels dangerous.  New

words are like that.  To
make fresh things like
APPEARANCE and
SAYING THINGS ALOUD.

“And so I hustled.”  The
pair of blinders that I’ve
been wearing (like false
promises) and have loved

for years but can’t find
anymore.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

mmliii

Taking dirty pictures

What’s with all of this hatred of authority?  I wonder
what the woman who’s having an orgasm downstairs
(or pretending to) is doing.  What gets you there?  The
possibilities, it would seem, are endless in that arena.

I’m reading a book in four sections that I am growing
to despise, each page I turn, until I arrive at the
fourth section and like magic, the lyrics are
miraculous.  I’m not into pain.  I’m about as

pure a hedonist as you might come across (this
I keep telling myself, anyway).  The book seems
engulfed in pain.  Pleasurably.  Which not only
most often seems trite to this reader, but I just

never get it.  WHY?  Of course I keep reading,
kept reading.  So what did I just prove?  That
I appreciate torture just as much as anyone,
probably, and furthermore that in the end

it might just lead to something akin to
enlightenment.  Or pleasure.  Even greater pleasure.


Friday, December 20, 2013

mmlii

Physical Therapy

Who’s that riding a pink elephant
in the middle of the living room?
A combination of not wanting to
be the dictator, feeling at fault,
feeling ashamed, feeling upset,
losing respect, immense feelings
of physical pain, etc., like the way
I withdrew from everyone during
the ordeal at the beginning of the
year.

It’s peaceful here with the buzz of
everything that’s on.  Like me
walking out the door.  Even
moreso now that I unplugged
all of the appliances (this
includes things like the
internet).  I sit like this
for hours waiting for the
yoga instructor to arrive.

I’ve purchased an airline ticket
for my mother to come visit
while she turns sixty-three.
I pick up groceries to fry
salmon patties and serve
alongside rice and beans
for dinner.

Alli sent me a note saying
that she was sorry to have
missed Friday.  So I sent her
all of the poems I read.
Tomorrow, after work, I’m
going to see Firecracker,
starring the one and only
Karen Black.


Thursday, December 19, 2013

mmli

Are you certain this is just a dream?

     •  screw tightened on the kitchen
        cabinet door (several times;
        keeps coming loose)

     •  the joke about Hillary Clinton
        measuring the White House
        curtains

     •  sitting at one end of our living
        room sofa with Sepia cleaning
        herself at the other end

     •  fax the receipt to the YMCA
        after my haircut

     •  how many months has this
        been here, awaiting accomp-
        lishment?

     •  two of our legs (one from
        each of us) with sand-covered
        toes—on the beach in Carmel
         (a photograph)

     •  laughter from downstairs

     •  Stephanie’s blog

     •  think about my good
        qualities

     •  a poem for Kevin

     •  a new recycle bin for
        the kitchen (!!!)

     •  Carmel-by-the-Sea


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

mml

Upcoming Very Soon: Hash Out Reference List

Underneath this notebook
I am living.  I am living
underneath this notebook.

I’m writing whatever it is
I can because it would be
difficult to write this

past soggy week.
Make a list.  I am broke.
The cabbie who kept

attempting to drop me
off in the middle of
nowhere.  This past

week.  Except for
the feeling that
I should be doing

something.  The
feeling that I am
not doing anything.

The feeling I’m
not having.  A
house-

warming.  A
do nothing day.
This feeling.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

mmxlix

I don’t know how to get this sentence
behind me.  I’m not really sure that I
can.  I’ve turned the page, my last,
but it stays on top of me.  Like a
sumo wrestler, or the burden of
being a lousy person. A
hiccup of sirens becomes
laughter.  Later, we go shopping
so that we can dress to the nines
at the office holiday party.  Which
will take place at the city hall. 
But currently I’m in the cubby-
hole between the bookshelf
and the old chest of drawers
that I’ll soon replace with a
big white vanity from Ikea
which I will put together (sur-
prise!) one very long night 
while Otto vacations in China
to get him back for painting
the living room and hallway
while I was in Hong Kong.
I love it now (ocean blue
over the tea green—
surprise!), but I went
into mourning for a
week, having never
been allowed a proper
fare thee well to the
green walls I’d
lived with for
over five years. 
Well.  Out with
the old.  In
with the
new. 
There.  I
think I lost it
for a moment,
that bitter echo
I’ve tried to trap
between my lap
and this notebook.
I don’t much like
absolute endings. 
Let’s hope I stay
lost forever.



Monday, December 16, 2013

mmxlviii

I arrived at last night’s party
not entirely sure how to write.

Sitting in the bedroom with a
greenish (‘skater’) bookbag

(Alien Workshop), I humbly
request a damp paper towel.

I’m not feeling so good and/
or I have nothing to write on

but my lap, my black pajamas.
I fantasize a laptop in front of

me with its cursor pointed at
an email from Kate.  Wearing

my blue sweatshirt, which is
slogging wet, reading about

blowfish.  Out of boredom.
The rains have gone to

Berkeley or to the Bermuda
Triangle.  Atop one of the

green sofa cushions, near
the top of this sentence,

I start putting together a
list of all of the attendees

at the party: Bill, Susanna,
Ron, Cedar, the two

Kevins, Curran, August,
David, Erin, Sarah,

Otto, Kim, Konrad,
Masashi, Stephanie...


Sunday, December 15, 2013

mmxlvii

Did you wolf down the fish n chips?
                     —a text message I received

August.  Haze of hangover all day.
Now it is afternoon.  The aftermath
of the worst blow-up.  I’m going to
hear about this for the rest of my
life.  How to Throw the Worst
Party Imaginable.  I question
everything, especially my
biography.

The last couple of weeks are
on the bed for us.  It’s all
terrific until what else?
Yuck!  I can’t buy any
clothes with no more
money.

I needed this week.
Meaning the days
leading up to the
Titanic hitting
the iceberg.
Such a good
thing shouldn’t
disappear so quickly.

Hating money is
only remorse.
Just forget it
all—play games
on my cellphone.
Which gets quite a
rise out of the audience.


Saturday, December 14, 2013

mmxlvi

I was myself, mostly.  Probably
still am.  I think it all comes down
to me thinking too much.  Lousy
by myself.  So I work on it,
showing up with turkey
leftovers and staying the
whole weekend.

What got accomplished
was argued for and against
all day and well into the night.
Adventure Time was on in the
background for most of this
time.  They all must think
that I am dead inside.

Is it true?  Unfortunately,
this is not what I needed
in life.  Questioning every-
thing over the shrill scream
of Spanish being spewed
downstairs by...she needs
a nickname.  Nothing end-

earing, surely.  More like
a headache.  I go shopping
but I don’t buy anything.
I play games on my phone
instead.  So I suppose I
wasn’t really shopping
after all.


Friday, December 13, 2013

mmxlv

But with nobody, almost.

Rain this morning after a
long Indian Summer.  But
with nobody, almost. 

Joking about being com-
petitive, etc., we walk
down Pine Street for

a few days.  Reading
a poem about pigeons
by Lewis Ellingham

in the latest Mirage.
About getting rid
of them.  And

other things.
The crab
enchiladas

are too ex-
pensive.  In-
stead, we

should go to
Boston for
turkey, like

everyone
else I don’t
know.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

mmxliv

Dumb-Sounding Sentences

Rushed back to substance. 
Yesterday morning, with the
party finally behind us, we
sanitized our shrine for hours.

I am not an excellent party
host.  On a brighter note,
it looks like I finally have
the authority to approve

expense reports.  Before
the interview I think I’ll
balance my chapbook
with some lip balm.


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

mmxliii

Self-Excommunication

I am pooling all of my resources.
I am well-versed in the art of
speaking with my mouth full.  I
make a note (in my notebook):
Chrysler at 5:20am.  Everything
I do is either an attempt to remain
innocent or an attempt to assuage
guilt.  Like Sean’s idea of shoes
with reservoirs of ink or paint
and soles the shape of a dino-
saur footprints so that you can
leave dinosaur footprints
wherever you go.

My hand hurts from putting
letters of recommendation
into envelopes.  Strange
pangs in my gut.  And
dumb-sounding sentences.

On the other hand, Tweedle-
dum is just too smart.  And
Tweedledee, such presence.


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

mmxlii

Have I seen you at all this year?

     I am a writer with no new work.
                                       —Tim Dlugos

It seems like yesterday.  And
in walks autumn, nodding.

I decide to sit on top of the
river as it is too early to get my

feet wet.  We all speak in the
tongue of a Rooster Cogburn

Western.  Today it isn’t play-
acting at all.  It just comes

natural, like a hot springs in
Iceland or a mansard roof

in Paris.  What was I...?  Oh,
so I decide to turn the river

completely off.  Approaching
noon.  Breakfast was a bunch

of eggs with a lot of meat.  The
Collected Poems of Ted Berrigan.


Monday, December 09, 2013

mmxli

Those who remember the past are doomed to repeat it.
                                                      —John Ashbery

There are plenty of cars that whip by,
one by one, to keep things from being
too peaceful.  Breakfast on the patio
overlooking the creek.  Creaking
pipes next to our bed whenever
anyone in our apartment build-
ing showers or flushes a toilet.

Friday night sounded so boring pre-
actuality.  However, it turned out to
be quite the spectacle.  Tweedledum
is smart and charismatic.  But Tweedle-
dee really turned me on.  Of the two.  I
can’t imagine what I’ll see if I really
wake up.

Otto is a yard away, dozing in the
sun.  I’m in the shade.  Barking
dogs.  I’m in the shade of this
beautiful elm comforted by the
occasional passing motorcycle
and a bunch of noisy dogs
who zig-zag back and forth
between me and the creek,
trampling and crumbling
the autumn leaves.

Are you a big person in the morning?
                                                      —John Ashbery