Wednesday, December 31, 2008

back log, again


She was dragged up to our manor
with a chest full of copper kettles,
words of water boil and steam whistle.
Cassandra got her kicks from
shouting in finely honed tones of
shrill anger no one turned to hear,
but our dogs would bite the air
and scratch their ears for respite.
Her bloody prophecies dropped
unheeded by people’s feet
like bees halted in north winds
her whole life.

When we brought her here
she had developed strange theories
about voices and attention.
Cassandra would square her jaw,
twist her ribs to conch shells,
breathe like a slit-bellied pig
and scream until her face bruised red.
Our bones were supposed to hear her
even if our ears still turned away.

Now the fire climbs
to the archers and the aviaries.
Barrels of water burst to steam
as the jelly fleshed survivors
cry out that they should have died
next to their favorite mosaics.
I wonder if the sharp tongued eagles
will carry Cassandra away,
back to her favorite city.


In other news: The thirtieth was my birthday. Quite a nice day. By night I was friends with a bartender, so that was mind numbing enough.

Drinking has been giving me the kind of slight insomnia where I drop to sleep when the sun starts to come up and then wake up over and over again between 9am and 1pm. Then I have obscene amounts of coffee and rush off to get pizza with some long-treasured New Yorker. I have to write a poem (that will most likely be fueled by new year alcohol) for today. I'm amazed I've kept this up for five days already.

Thank you Adam Stone for this ballsy challenge, it shocked me out of a long-ass writer's block.


Petit Objet a

It stands in the eastern room
with posture breeding perfect clarity,
lucid as mirrors in microscopes and cameras,
decisive and easy as points scored in a game,
either flying or falling

The western room is more like a carnival
in the sense that the flesh gains celebrity,
yet there is less opacity, there are hands
placing prisms in front of mirrors and
fortune tellers weaving themselves into open palms.
The flying or falling is less important
than the sky’s informative concert with the body aloft.

Sunday, December 28, 2008


A pale girl brushes soil away from
a large bird skeleton, wing stretched for flight,
made of milky white diamond.

The scars are honed and
perfected in the mirror, then seek
impressive sympathy in the flesh of another.

In his dreams songs are specks of grit,
slivers of ornamental glass battered smooth,
felt in the ridges of his teeth instead of tasted.

An orange tree is chopped down
still warm and bleeding amber sap.
The insects cede long prized labyrinth to fires.

As she wanders the desert
she can see only bones-- intensely fetal mesas
and dunes constantly calling to be fractured by wind.

As his hands press his fingerprints onto the notebook
he can feel the white paper pleading to stay blank
and rhapsodizing about stains with equally loud voices.

Once burned they are all light enough to fly
or free to alight on whatever is desired unnoticed.

Saturday, December 27, 2008


This is already available on the internets, but I wanted to add it here in the interest of updating this thing once in a blue moon and keeping a super accurate inventory of the 365 in 365 challenge (which I will not be able to triumph over, but will probably inspire a new record in me.)

Watching Iris Sleep (Android Attempts to Dream)

Light seeps higher and higher through the clouds
like a bashful coffee stain

The bed springs creak satisfied chicken sounds
Iris softly sings in her dream language
Lavender sheet bisecting her throat

I was not programmed to need sleep
No significance was given to these hours alone
but I’m beginning to translate this need to dream

Iris closes her eyes and unknowingly edits
the mythology of her lifetime

As her lips twitch a moment is forgotten
another second gains the brilliance of a young star
a flare inside to define Iris

My memory of each day is engineered exactly as circuitry
I hold everything
A full glass unsipped

Iris, brown eyed girl
named after a yellow throated flower,
I can perfectly recall every second of your life

Today you spent six hours in the sun
gained a freckle on your shoulder,
your mother put more paprika than usual in the morning eggs,
you learned the word “lever”
as your parents watched Japan’s prime minister announce
his daughter’s wedding,
you stained your hands with a pomegranate,
the dog chewed your diary,
you played on the slide for forty-five minutes,
your mother told you not to eat dirt and you cried,
your shoe fell off as you ran in the park

As you forget all these things
your gorgeous nature expands
young star spreading to red dwarf

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Somnambulist Wonders

About birds and tiny magnets in their brain
lending direction in flight. Do planets pull
at their dreams? If thunder on Jupiter rolls
with more venom will feathers bristle
against the leaves in fear?

What kinds of treasures the rain has known.
What the rain can tell him about being dirty.
What it feels like to be inundated
with another being's grime.

If a few marionettes twitch at night
though their strings are hooked at the ceiling.
If the wood under the paint senses the water
rushing under the buildings and etching down hills.
Are all puppets good at telling all stories, or do
some lay forgotten because their winks and crescendos
looked too morose against the pastel sets?

Will these puppets be revived
in fabulous new dark comedies?
Will it still be dark when
the mail arrives today?
Are the lions and the lambs
shut safely in their cupboards?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Building frame on th corner of Washington and Franklin, Boston

It is a crocus day in Boston,
which is to say winter is retreating

Pedestrians tilt their faces to the sky
smiles bright, coats folded into arm-crooks

Spaghetti straps, sandals and beach blankets
wink crispy from behind panes of glass

Among the roused specters of hot weather
there is the sense of a great exhalation

At the epicenter of a busy intersection,
half in shadow sits a deconstruction site

It's felt as a jarringly playful bone chill and
the illusive taste of vintage shadows

Perhaps when all the damaged goods returned
to those buildings could pearl into a small planet
the huge shops are put to rest

Yet there is nothing toxic in the rattle
of a building being remade, not even in
the ropes hanging from odd ceiling joists

Unbound timber rests carefully as a newborns hair
The sky looks like foil fins of a pinwheel
bracketed by the unctuous steel

It is a crocus day in Boston; which means
it's warm enough to rip down old walls, let all
the heavy foot-falls and hand prints escape

Fragments From the Ghost Manifesto

1. Despite the difficulties faced reckoning a set of rules to be agreed upon by the entire vastness of the dead, we can all say dancing must be imposed. A ghost must always embrace dance as they wander. See it as librarians lick their fingertips to turn onion-skin pages, as dog jaws snap at running water, as electronics birth memory of flesh eyes watching them. See it in marinas and on elevators, see it even when transfixed by the incredibly still. If we lose the physics of dance we lose knowledge of the mystery. To be lost by the mystery is to pass away from everything known, to break from other ghosts and even the vestiges of planet being we hear at night. Even lose the far away thoughts playing like loose specters and lose the daylight.

3. If you still feel the itch to pray, pray to the trees. Our science has figured them to be the closest thing to saviors.

5. Aside from these necessities all else you read here are friendly suggestions and delightful traditions tested by countless ghostly generations.

9. Curious orange lights hanging above highways are the best place for resting. These days, they're the strongest places of shadow. One can hear calamities thread themselves into still star-scapes.

17. We are fascinated by humans with windows open behind their right ears. They can hear antique secrets or sneeze whenever we shake hands next to them. Following one of them is advised if a favor or solution is needed.

26. We enjoy watching people bake cakes the most. The thrill of humans cherishing precise measurements is second only to that of sensing warm sugar.

34. When walking in the ocean take time to watch sunken ships decay. A slow drift. like paintbrushes dragging away thin splinters. So different from the way a body slackens and gathers like a sheet being kicked to the foot of a bed.

40. If you can get inside a telephone wire you'll be able to see movies. An Alaskan woman's words showed one ghost scenes from Citizen Kane. One girl from Calcutta can be recognized by the footage of storms she brings into the lines.

52. We recommend spending time in shag carpets and polyester blends. Anyone can come across these things and shock themselves. electric shock is our strongest bond to humans. When we are the shock we can remember what it was like to have blood. It's important to remember blood.

61. Riding down wine corks is possible. This pass-time is the only reason certain ghosts remember the word 'ferris-wheel."

63. Broken chandeliers are the only things we an taste. They have the texture and soporific nature of ice-cream. An opera house in Glasgow is known to host vanilla, pinwheel, gingerbread and old shoe. We are still searching for cherry, rose blossom, and kayak.

67. Despite an object's perceived inert nature it's best to remain aware of them and their wishes. Advanced stages of the dead have been found tucked away amongst treasures of the living. We do not know exactly how many stages of dead there are. We cannot be sure there aren't different stages of living.