Friday, October 30, 2009

"In August they sent a retired Central Intelligence Agency counterterrorism operative in the region to Kabul to assess the dangers facing the child actors. ."

    "The Shining Ones"

halcyon xekri
grows cochineal

chrome greasy lungfish Ixion
grabs a new precious
worries that the car has a sound

Doubtless the number of actual occurrences transpiring during the so-called "Cannibal Holocaust" has been greatly exaggerated by later commentators; yet any at all, would be terrible enough.

A Led Zeppelin 45 from New Zealand worth $400.

    "Leadership Secrets of Jabba the Hut"

Nothing between torture and surrender
Nothing between massacre and appeasement

borers in the walls
two shades of gray
of viral blowback
winds through the gloom the azury gloom

zün has their impoverishment..

Lothar and the Hand People.

"...Her hot feet slippered in the calid seas..."


    "Lord Fire Maggot"

the Eschaton

uneven ground
on which to dance

and yet such perfect

"The opposite of innocence is not irony but emptiness." --The Course of the Heart

A Perfect Red.

Skating through the Tribulation.


Birds scavenging
behind my chair

this chair
amost too heavy to move

these chairs designed new to look like
Victorian lawn furniture

fill the bathtub
against Empire's fall

"Drepung grinned. 'There are about fifty words in Tibetan that I would have to translate to the word "thinking." '
'Like Eskimos with "snow." '
'Yes. Like Eskimos have snow, we Tibetans have thoughts.' "

--Kim Stanley Robinson, Forty Signs of Rain (2004)

The Trouble with Islam Today.

"And lo! from out the smoke
I saw the grim and clanking skeleton
Of the dead dog, licked bare to the white bones,
Run as alive. With skull revert, and jaws
That may not cease to move, but make no sound,
He flees for ever o'er the startled earth,
A terror and a sign."


"Even the simplest journey was only the superficial evidence--the diagram--of another, more difficult one." --M John Harrison, The Course of the Heart (1992)

    "The 200-Year Spree"

The drum upon the ear
of words to no near goal,
less welcome than the rain
upon a stranded stroller.

A kind of empty grief
powers these monologues.
The voice will not relent,
nor lapse for more than moments.

Black- "psychology" (2078)

1. Nh3 d5
2. g3 c6
3. Bg2 e5
4. d4 e4
5. O-O Be7
6. f3 Nf6
7. fxe4 Nxe4
8. e3 Nd7
9. Nd2 Nf6
10. Nf4 Bg4
11. Qe1 Qd7
12. h3 Bf5
13. g4 Bg6
14. Nd3 Bd6
15. Nf3 O-O-O
16. Ne5 Qc7
17. b3 h5
18. g5 Nxg5
19. Nxg6 fxg6
20. c4 Ne4
21. Nf4 dxc4
22. bxc4 b6
23. h4 Bxf4
24. Rxf4 Re8
20. c4 Ne4
21. Nf4 dxc4
22. bxc4 b6
23. h4 Bxf4
24. Rxf4 Re8
25. hxg5 Nxg5
26. Qf1 Qd7
27. d5 h4
28. dxc6 Qe6
29. c5 Kb8
30. cxb6 axb6
31. Qa6 1-0

"This, the upper gate,
Was fair, and, hanging o'er, the flowers looked down
After thee going, shedding many dews
That went as falling stars into the gulph,
A moment bright like thee."


"Alas, alas, the vaulted adamant,
And dolour of inexorable things!"


"Cells sickling the sky of the here.
Responsibilities you neglect.
Glare is the dark edge." --Silliman

"Lo Tyranny! a Juggernaut than he
Who makes an Indian Bacchanal blush blood
At his unuttered hideousness more foul.
Nor on a car of India, but upborne
Upon a monstrous shape for which the brood
Of creeping reptiles, or the noisome plagues
Egyptian found no type, nor Hydra old,
Nor fell Chimæra."


"Psalmanazar represented himself as a Japanese from Formosa. He published a book which contained an alphabet of his own manufacture, portraits of false gods, pictures of fictitious people, and with them engravings of imaginary shrines. It was accepted as gospel." --Edgar Saltus, The Pomps of Satan

Gospel of Renfield.

    "this space called peace"

acorn cap on my hood
the crackle of runoff
amber and pale webbing

curtains of pennies
the skies
the way back shattered

crackle of runoff
waiting for my turn to move

    "Dispatch from the Wordless Path"

i should sleep well
with this prosperity thing going on
and all
to look in the lost and found
for an umbrella i can use
i mean i'm not now deployed
and so far the fire on all sides
has spared my wood shingled roof
O roof
i rent at what i've paid for twenty years
one day i'll come home
and ev'rything'll be out on the curb
such wind
as creaks my marrow
smell of woodsmoke
gray at the gray underpass

Rotating Vespa. (via Habitable Zone)

"Washington Post reporter Dana Priest recently said in an interview that she believed the US military would revolt and refuse to fly missions against Iran if the White House issued such orders." (via Antiwar)

The Trouble with Tom.

Every one of us can survive. Just what persuaded you that we can't? The resolve--in advance--to act as if it weren't so.

"On what basis did they build such an incoherent mix of desires, to want to stay ignorant and to be powerful as well? Were these two parts of the same insanity?" --Kim Stanley Robinson, Forty Signs of Rain (2004)

    "Cat Snatch Fever"

connoisseur of discords
strange orange oreos
preparing to stroke the white doe
brass buttons were strong magic

somewhere in the distance
to fix the information in a form
it takes a long time
we never get there

A Nietzschean Defense of Democracy.

"As commentators on oil and debt pondered leaden gray skies, the 30 to 40 percent of the Republican coalition that read the Left Behind series or believed in the rapture were looking toward the heavens more hopefully." --Kevin Phillips, American Theocracy (2006)

The only question being whether to punch square, or triangular, holes in the bottom of our lifeboat.

Days on which i drive fifty miles
and make good time, and get ev'rything done
uproarious greasy lungfish

the stars that led you
the shadowy raptor wings

"...for years now there had been no country here but the war." --Michael Herr

True Story.

lowering skies bespeak
cobweb visage
manichee melee
layover heartbreak
lay prophet terrible
pierce greasy not puree
in cobweb visage
indigo my lone star axiom hollow
gray prospect
pray offspring follow
the path of no vast reparations
visage smack bespawl
of manchmal holiday

"Men are not angered by mere misfortune but by misfortune conceived as injury." --The Screwtape Letters

"Isn't Palau a member of the League of Drowning Nations?"


is · plush

grab · bog
hwyl · ash

gull · lag
hobo · Uzi


    "Major in Forensics"

neap · pizzazz

and · grep · Nazi
porn · to · ripen

azimuth · aura
goatse · stung

asphodel · spa
night · aslurp

in · thicket · ka
zooömorph · in

epic · regalia

    "Group Suicide Bulletin Board"

spins · rap · parsnips
parole · gem · cantrip
indigo · or · macaroni
naps · spurn · fustion

superfluous · lapis
runes · in · dark · water
alibi · sexual · aroma
primogeniture · tip

parlor · borne · tulip
aria · riant · or · dulia
rhodomontade · door
seraphic · matadors

now · the · last · oxygen
invasive · gin · spahi
perhaps · is · no · syrup
spun · among · my · oases

    "A Lame Rendition"

Does the reveal impact?
As my gossamer lies

carve a pumpkin into Spiderman
this is no throughput
with vampire lanterns

the smell of Off
in the gloom of my parents' garage

"We might call this confused, hazy state 'melancholy,' or perhaps we should call it by its Turkish name, hüzün, which denotes a melancholy that is communal rather than private. Offering no clarity, veiling reality instead, hüzün brings us comfort, softening the view like the condensation on a window when the teakettle has been spouting steam on a winter's day. ...If hüzün has been central to İstanbul culture, poetry, and everyday life over the past two centuries, if it dominates our music, it must be at last partly because we see it as an honor...conveying worldly failure, listlessness, and spiritual suffering...the city itself becomes the very illustration, the very essence of hüzün. İstanbul the remains of a glorious past civilization are everywhere visible. ...The people of İstanbul simply carry on with their lives amid the ruins. Many western writers and travelers find this charming. But for the city's more sensitive and attuned residents, these ruins are reminders that the present city is so poor and confused that it can never again dream of rising to its former heights of wealth, power, and culture. ...Hüzün rises out of the pain they feel for everything that has been lost, but it is also what compels them to invent new defeats and new ways to express their impoverishment." --Orhan Pamuk, İstanbul (2004)

"As for Yahyn Kemal, İstanbul's greatest and most influential poet, throughout his life he refused to publish any book at all." --ibid

A Sense of the World.


The fear of afternoon
Is called afternoon
Old sleep uptorn,
Not yet time for night-time,
No other name, for no names
In the afternoon but afternoon.

Love tries to speak but sounds
So close in its own ear.
The clock-ticks hear
The clock-ticks ticking back.
The fever fills where throats show,
But nothing in these horrors moves to swallow
While thirst trails afternoon
To husky sunset.

Evening appears with mouths
When afternoon can talk.
Supper and bed open and close
And love makes thinking dark.
More afternoons divide the night,
New sleep uptorn,
Wakeful suspension between dream and dream--
We never knew how long.
The sun is late by hours of soon and soon--
Then comes the quick fever, called day.
But the slow fever is called afternoon."


An Incomplete history of the Art of Funerary Violin.

of · spare
lore · all
ebony · to
try · Eloi
so · ollav

"...His pupils in the peopled portico..." --Dobell

loon · rotor
enamel · had
pry · of · day
story · was
yet · satrap
done · atone
ruin · shall
at · bivouac

"Optatian is not a good poet; he is not even a bad poet. His poems are prodigies, monsters..." --W Levitan writing in Transactions of the American Philological Association

"Britney Suicide Watch"

one thought to move among the stars
my path wavering opens two pairs of doors
broken sensibilia
fiddled with the stone
laughter took the bullet
laughter went alone
writing frail on stone
with one condign uncle
one condign pumpkin
laughter went awry

Step It Up.

(via Elsewhere)

'But how warlike are the pages of Bach--those astonishing sheaves of dried mushrooms.'

    "Encrustation of Music"

Ruins i have loved, as if in training
to dwell in a ruined world. The burnished clouds
towering gray at sunset i have loved.

Behind the night-lit storefront glass, they're dancing.

Ruins of ideologies, stormfringe swirling
iridescent skies as my path curls past
puddles and parked cars. Iridescent skies
i have loved with hunger in my belly.

Crunch of invisible snail slaughter
on the last ten feet of my walk home.

'Outrages, oppression, destruction, straitness, want, pillage, treachery, murder, disorder, and lawlessness--that is the Russian land

Shifting, disunited, by a thousand deliriums divided, erratic and silent, voiceless, that is the Russian people.' --Alexei Remizov, The Fifth Pestilence (tr Alec Brown, 1927)

'...however you may sit down to write a certain thing, you sit down and write an altogether different thing.' --V V Rozanov, Solitaria (tr E Gollerbach, 1927)

'The pain of life is much more powerful than the interest in life. That's why religion will always conquer philosophy.' --ibid

'One may both fall in love with terrorism and get to hate it to the bottom of one's soul, without insincerity.' --ibid

'That he [Tolstoy] did not finish The Decembrists is as significant and great as the fact that he hewed out and finished War and Peace and Anna Karenin.' --ibid

'Surely, all our sacraments are open, performed in daylight, before the people; and it is patent that the ancient mysteries, which some people wished to connect with ours--and those people were theologians--have indeed nothing in common with them except the name and pseudo-name.' --ibid

'I have gone through all promotions and I want nothing.'

'From the foundation of the world there have been two philosophies: the philosophy of the man who for some reason longs to give someone a flogging; and the philosophy of the flogged man.' --ibid

'Almost in proportion to the absence of will to live (to realization) I possessed a stubbornness of will to dream.' --ibid

'All religions will pass, but this will remain: simply sitting in a chair and looking in the distance.' --ibid

'Oh, my sad "experiments." And why did I want to know everything? Now I shall not die in peace as I expected.' --ibid

'I rush like the wind, I do not tire like the wind.' --ibid

''When my mother died I merely realized that I could smoke cigarettes openly. And I lighted a cigarette at once.' --ibid

'No man is worthy of praise. Every man is only worthy of compassion.' --ibid

Finally caught up with Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster. Has anyone remarked on his resemblance to Cthulhu?

--And Orion just got closer.

    "Therefore Sisters

Therefore sisters now begin
With time-locked heel
To mourn the vanishing and mewing;
Taboo becomes obscene from too much wooing:
Glory rots, like any other green.

Therefore daughters of the Gwash
Look not for Orpheus the swan
Nor wash
The Traveller his boot
Both are gone."

--Djuna Barnes, Collected Poems (2005)

"The poet can hardly lift these words. Not because they are heavy, but because he is so weak." --Robert Duncan

"The Dhvani School, in its analysis of the essentials of poetry, found that the contents of a good poem may be generally distinguished into two parts. The one is that which is expressed and includes what is given in so many words; the other content is not expressed, but must be added to it by the imagination of reader or the listener. The unexpressed or the suggested part, which is developed by a peculiar process of suggestin (vyañjanâ), is taken to be the 'soul' or essence of poetry." --Sushil Kumar De, "The Theory of Rasa," in: Some Problems of Sanskrit Poetics (1959)

"One evening as we were reading some remarkably bad poetry on the glories of Aleppo, my friend opined that of the whole corpus of medieval Muslim literature perhaps a third has been published, while another third remains to be published, while another third does not deserve to be published," --John C Lamoreaux, The Early Muslim Tradition of Dream Interpretation (2003)

    "The Thumbscrew Letters"

ulab Hedorah hard to
mirror spiral hathi

pools scorn karcist
kismet Adkins cilia
incog cagmag maniac

nourish sherbet ski
into indigo apertif
fjord swale Kon Tiki

iodoform mall Solon
choir ruin the teloi
atoll kinship skink

trolling for parsnip
ink skin clench perm
orange radon Klaatu

nuklir zeyg stirrup

No word for it.

"Instead of being turned into a symbol, a monument, Checkpoint Charlie--that mythical door to a better, imagined, utopian life, where people were killed as they tried to pass the barrier, where they waited to get across just to glimpse the other kind of life, something that they called freedom and were prepared to pay for with their lives to taste it--is a flea market." --Slavenka Drakulić

"The Zen of Rubik's Cubing"

they threw dangerous candy at him
didn't help
if the origin
of forklift regolith
windmills on top of skyscrapers
and scaled quails'
iridescence on blind concrete

commissar of fire ants

to aspire to be
not one of the scornful ones
a garbage tidal wave
is surfed

turbulent the way
if it is onward
fine mist in the half light

the lawn precisely edged
wipers almost not needed
don't want radio

endorse plenty
endorse plenty drizzle

walk without acknowledging the rain

Satan Burger.

Atrocity Archives.

"It is important to realize the intrinsic comedy of privileged knowledge." --Terence McKenna

Expanding on my comment that translators should consider "...what poet does the original correspond to..." in the target language, and regard that as "the language register you can use": i call this Alibi Theory. So far i have (lightly) nominated Hopkins to translate Rilke into, Mina Loy for Tsvetaeva, Browning for Mandelshtam. Maybe Housman for the neo-classical side of Pessoa. Anyway, for what it's worth--even though i know many poet-translators consider the qualities of the poet they are translating, part of the reason they are doing so. Because those things don't already exist in your own language.

    I don't know who
    they think they are,
    smashing a perfectly
    good guitar

The war rages. We get improved cable. The days are deliciously cool in the morning. I define this word: fastness- a barricaded neighborhood. There's a Spasmodics blog, of all things. Has their time finally come? Waiting for the library to open so i can blog there, i ponder the image of "self transforming elf machines".

   "For strong women

A strong woman is a woman who is straining.
A strong woman is a woman standing
on tiptoe and lifting a barbell
while trying to sing Boris Godunov.
A strong woman is a woman at work
cleaning out the cesspool of the ages,
and while she shovels, she talks about
how she doesn’t mind crying, it opens
the ducts of the eyes, and throwing up
develops the stomach muscles, and
she goes on shoveling with tears
in her nose.

A strong woman is a woman in whose head
a voice is repeating, I told you so,
ugly, bad girl, bitch, nag, shrill, witch,
ballbuster, nobody will ever love you back,
why aren’t you feminine, why aren’t
you soft, why aren’t you quiet, why
aren’t you dead?

A strong woman is a woman determined
to do something others are determined
not be done. She is pushing up on the bottom
of a lead coffin lid. She is trying to raise
a manhole cover with her head, she is trying
to butt her way through a steel wall.
Her head hurts. People waiting for the hole
to be made say, hurry, you’re so strong.

A strong woman is a woman bleeding
inside. A strong woman is a woman making
herself strong every morning while her teeth
loosen and her back throbs. Every baby,
a tooth, midwives used to say, and now
every battle a scar. A strong woman
is a mass of scar tissue that aches
when it rains and wounds that bleed
when you bump them and memories that get up
in the night and pace in boots to and fro.

A strong woman is a woman who craves love
like oxygen or she turns blue choking.
A strong woman is a woman who loves
strongly and weeps strongly and is strongly
terrified and has strong needs. A strong woman is strong
in words, in action, in connection, in feeling;
she is not strong as a stone but as a wolf
suckling her young. Strength is not in her, but she
enacts it as the wind fills a sail.

What comforts her is others loving
her equally for the strength and for the weakness
from which it issues, lightning from a cloud.
Lightning stuns. In rain, the clouds disperse.
Only water of connection remains,
flowing through us. Strong is what we make
each other. Until we are all strong together,
a strong woman is a woman strongly afraid."

--Marge Piercy

Despair as a purposeful deadening of the imagination, so as not to torment the heart with impossible desires.

The Shock Doctrine.

"...Ah, my good friend,
I was a poet once, and thought strange things,
Very strange things. How I would walk alone
And mutter in my going, dare the heavens
As thus! clap sudden hand upon my brow,
Hold up a finger and cry hist! to the air,
Walk you a mile bareheaded in the rain,
Stop, gaze the ground, stamp like a bull, and sigh,
Sigh like a painted Boreas! or in fierce
Obstetric frenzy of the labouring Muse,
Collar the astonished wayfarer with 'Sir,
Your tablets!' scare the woodman's hut with calls
For pen and paper, or make eloquent
The graphic bark of beech. Ah, those days when
I courted Sophonisba, long ago,
And we two loved the moonlight and wrote verses!
It melts my very heart to think on't!"

--Balder--Part the First (1854)

Trail of Feathers.

"I come across a Joni Mitchell exhibition in Nolita. It's called Green Flag Song. Two rooms of greeny, blurry photographs of toy soldiers, big printouts of the lyrics of Joni's new album, and her songs playing quietly over the speakers. The message of this work is clear -- read the lyrics and they're all about America's current rightward drift. According to the gallery's blurb, the show is about "the historical and current strife born from aggression and fear and the consequential repetitive demise that ensues. The power of the work expresses the need for a change of consciousness." Yet even here the shadow falls -- apart from me there are just two people in the big gallery: the gabby, garrulous art dealer jabbering on her phone, and a silent hulk of a security guard, dressed in black, shaven-headed, watching to see if I suddenly make an attack on America's hard-won freedoms. I watch him back.."

Well, this is finally out.
I think i'm in it somewhere.

Funkhouser: links outward.

Also, for those interested in the 19c "Spasmodics", it seems that a print-on demand press has made the Balder of "Sydney (Dobell) Yendys" available again--for the first time in 153 years!

"Devotions for Debtors"

A hushed shore, dear delicate ache of morning;
horizons tug your eyes, void-sciolists;
the cold becalms, even as you struggle
up the sandy slope, if buses are running.
Words stashed then, like dinosaur eggs, brain-fists,
hatch now, years on; the blank sky's sculling squiggle
gained. It is no season born of mists,
and laden your plate and balanced your agenda,
yet somehow you'd meander. Never to know
again the rungry freedom of the zonda
in lost, sonorous labyrinths. This one, though.
presents impossible resolutions, perturbs
steadily, as the ghouls of Sumer goggle.

New Charles Spear--! "Apparently after being silent for 30 years he wrote a handful of new poems just before he died and his daughter has given me these for the book." (Just after i procured a copy of the original edition from New Zealand...for a much better price.)

"Q: Speaking of bucking the traditional Don Knotts image, is it true you were the idol of a commune of hippies around the time of The Love God? DK: That’s true, I ran into a guy in Hawaii- on Waikiki. He was a hippie and invited me to his "pad." When I got there, I found all these guys hanging out passing around marijuana. (laughs) However, I only spent one day with them- I never moved in."

(via Burma Digest)

the mem'ry of all those miles
gather in a ring
before the day
so long and so full of cataclysms

"I prayed that my father be reborn away from Cambodia." --Haing Ngor, Survival in the Killing Fields (1987)

"If Descartes had been one of those people who fall asleep as soon as they start to meditate...? But he wasn't."

"Ravenna has today the only sixth-century Byzantine mosaics left in the world. It had been an outpost of the Byzantine Empire, and when the Iconoclast soldiers came on orders from the eighth-century puritan Emperor Leo, to destroy the church art, the city revolted." --Turkish Reflections

Other Renaissances.

in a fireman's line
a van unloading pumpkins
damascened memories move
in the sun
storebought ev'rything

waiting for my gap to come

An epiphany. As i have dreamed (to no avail) of the marriage of Rock and Neopaganism; and of the Coolness of Urban Peasants, so, for our survival, must Green be turned into something we long for and aspire to with our deepest instincts and our strongest will. And i believe this can happen. It's not such a leap, after all, from fashionably retro to sustainability. I call it Polyvocalic Retrofuturism. As if the Road Warrior made his own tire sandals. Amish chic (Miekal?). All it would take, would be the story (like Star Trek, Star Wars, or Lord of the Rings) that is a "peruke" (an exile-myth) that we want to be part of.

As if we had turned our TIME (in such short supply today) into OIL--when the OIL is gone, we'll get our TIME back.

...And really, don't countries become more interesting after they lose their empires? England didn't create Mod style & "British Invasion" rock till way in its dotage. The beautiful decay of Venice. The hip humbleness of the Dutch. What we lose in authority, we gain in patina.

"Red Hook"

A throbbing beat, almost subliminal,
yet necessary. The tiny candles all
there is of counter-dark, and your small hope;
as things break up beyond the soft horizon
where sometimes on a clearing, the peak is seen.

On the English-language Indian music show i listen to on Saturday mornings, one of the DJs introduces an oldie saying, "We used to dance 'the Twist' to this song." Later, he mentions some structure or building, and: "The Britishers built that."

The Shrine to Don Knotts.

"Ulab is performed to initiate a garden planting or to announce a successful murder of someone in the forest by a raiding party." --The Sorrow of the Lonely and the Burning of the Dancers

"Now welcome night, thou night so long expected..." --Spenser

    "Ode to Nemesis"

i saw you in downtown Dallas
you were waiting for a bus
you looked tired
you looked like one of us

won't be too much longer
near as i can see
Nemesis come free us
from our blood insanity

free us from this fuehrer-dunce
and from his robber friends
from the loyal opposition
from the barking of the press

a juggernaut that's rolling
off a well-lit cliff
singing as it goes
bring us your best gift

Nemesis your gift
Nemesis your gift
Nemesis your gift

Nemesis your gift
Nemesis your gift
Nemesis your gift

Armenian alphabet.

Germanic neopaganism.

(by Jill Parr)

A moon not far away but near
And faint at twilight
spilling out from the broken
and limed patzer sortilege

Wonderful distractions and a rising wind

Under the leaning fence i wheel more throwaway books
the phone wires lined with birds a-chatter
and more arriving

cars start turning on their lights

The Fly in the Chardonnay.

href="">Singapore Sixties.

    "On Some Shells Found Inland

THESE are my murmur-laden shells that keep
A fresh voice tho' the years be very gray.
The wave that washed their lips and tuned their lay
Is gone, gone with the faded ocean sweep,
The royal tide, gray ebb and sunken neap
And purple midday,--gone! To this hot clay
Must sing my shells, where yet the primal day,
Its roar and rhythm and splendour will not sleep.
What hand shall join them to their proper sea
If all be gone? Shall they forever feel
Glories undone and world that cannot be?--
'Twere mercy to stamp out this aged wrong,
Dash them to earth and crunch them with the heel
And make a dust of their seraphic song."

--Trumbull Stickney

(via Centauri Dreams)

    "The Loon"

To keep the glossy surface of the dream
immense sangfroid, immense mokita
the Loon

so resolutely stupid for so long
and no amount of wishing
will bring it back
pierced by morning commuters
how did we ever

chrome greasy lungfish
flesh-colored christs
that glow
which shrinks in retrospect at headlong rate

the Loon
two stations

the Government
sent out a mass email
warning ev'ryone
to remain frightened

sev'ral hundred Rockist monks
gathered at Graceland
America's holiest shrine
a crowd flocked there
linking hands chanting

Democracy Democracy

the Army closed in

"The Bookman wrote an ironic 'Apology for Overlooking Mr Robinson' which pointed out that the average literary editor had to dispose of about twelve bookshelf feet of poetry each year: 'Three-fourths of this is tinged with the "certain sad mysticism" detected by the President in Mr Robinson's verse, and one half of it is almost if not quite Robinsonian in merit. The more anxious one is lest a genius may escape him, the more he will read, and from much reading he will, in spite of himself, grow callous. Hence, cold and routine methods of dealing with the program have developed...' " --Neff

New Biarujia--!


Presence had its stay with me,
and even if only for a time
it came in the brief of love--

I used to whisper in her ear's
idyl. She was so treat, so could.
I mostly was worse. Now

the unkind years of peace
strand me here, where the lamp
studies pain with impunity.

The dust etched in its trance
seems a core the air can't share,
overwhelming the eye which

itself is plus-sulked with themes
of sight, beyond-borne. Imagine
a lilypad pregnant with eyelids,

lapping the light with its lashes.
Diffused to me the outward lies
as motes to the beam that bears

them. So what I see carries me
somehow, I cannot stand apart
subject and direct observer

though as always I desire to.
I prefer to view than act, and
reflect upon the pond I appear."

--Bill Knott, op cit

The palindrome IN GIRUM IMUS NOCTE ET CONSUMIMUR IGNI turns up among the lyrics of a song by German noise band Einstürzende Neubauten, on the second song of their 1993 album Interim.

in the gray depths of an evil
empire bound
by my taste for fine choc'late

my fingers splinter
in the wind from this luck

exorbitant promise
a cage called the hours

"Still the manuscript did not come back, and there was no reply to his inquiry as to its whereabouts. Silence hid the embarassment of acknowledging that diligent search failed to find 'Captain Craig' in the office. At length the manuscript arrived, with a lame and vague apology. Robinson was more angry than hurt. ...The truth, which leaked out to him long after, was bizarre beyond his imagining. 'Captain Craig' had lain for weeks in a Boston brothel, guarded by the proprietess until the return of her anonymous customer. a member of the publishing staff." --Emery Neff, Edwin Arlington Robinson (1948)

Into Middle America....


the rat slipped · into
our front bushes · as i back
from my parked car · walked

a big one · in this wasteland
without humans · doomed also

"Even the demotic language of the Anatolian Turks was not the language of the ruling and educated class, who, before the First World War, spoke an ornate mixture of Turkish, Persian, and Arabic known as osmanlica." --Mary Lee Settle, Turkish Reflections (1991)

The Life and Death of Carolina Maria de Jesus.


We lean in the full moon as would a circle of gods
passing a window. Together our voices rise in song.

To those below, our lamp is mistaken for a star.
But the true stars lie at the bottom of the bowl.

Her voice spirals to me from the other side of moons.
Her expression tells me of secret springs, jewels,

How long will I stand alone against broken walls?
Once I watched how a star fell behind her blue gown.

There is no message that will satisfy the mystery I sense.
Even secret letters from my home arrive here torn open.'

--Ghazals of Ghalib (tr William Hunt)

The garden that began my education...

"We are unskilful definers." --Emerson

"Umm Kulsoum was Edith Piaf and Maria Callas, Frank Sinatra and Luciano Pavarotti rolled into one. To 150 million Arabs she was the Star of the East, the Nightingale of the Nile, the Lady of Arabic Song. To Cairenes she was simply al-Sitt--The Lady.

For the thirty-seven years before her retirement in 1973, listeners across the Arab world tuned radios to Cairo on the first Thursday night of every month. This was when Umm Kulsoum broadcast live from the Qasr al-Nil movie theater, in marathon concerts that often stretched to six hours in length, ending at three or four in the morning. ...Her powers of improvisation were so great that it is said she never sang a phrase the same way twice. ...Her funeral in 1975 surpassed President Nassar's. ...the crowd kidnapped her body, carried it the full three miles from Tahrir Square to the Mosque of al-Husayn, and would have interred Umm Kulsoum next to the head of the Prophet's grandson if the imam of the mosque had not pleaded with them..." --Max Rodenbeck, Cairo (1998)

Tannu Tuva on Metafilter.

--And Sumerian.


I heard the abide.

How low it was.
How loud it was.

How soon it ended.
And what it said.

I heard its words
poured, pouring
from the sky.

The clouds were frauds.

The froth lost its mind in an ear."

--Bill Knott, New Poems 2005-07

Pictorial Cthulhu humor blog. (thanx Supergee!)

    "In the Shadow of the Grass"

thrall shattered whispers
privations and heartsong
puree dark lungfish:
this time which eloigns
for rim mutiny

impossible victory
lieutenant rabbit Ubar

No, i wanted a big balalaika...

"...deranged by the eye of a wineglass
I pass. Am I the Pattycake Killer?"

--Bill Knott

Two critical terms from reading a recent book on Byzantine literature.

Aktualisierungsversuche: allusiveness to contemporary reality.

Amphoteroglôssia: double-tonguedness (via Tzetzes), or a making use of old and/or genre materials to say something different & new.
I also found his idea that the characteristic of B. literature was "genre modulation," relevant to today's situation.

(via Chessville)

    "Red Corner"

i have transformed this city
my buildings dot
the barrenscape
some still rising
others settled in
for years
and though
they elude the innocent eye
they are indeed there
and if anyone in the future
knows about big d at all
it will be for what i build
among the hovels and mud huts now

Gamblers & Gangsters.

I dream that as a bullshit artist i ascend to the highest level, where other bullshit artists welcome me and write glowing blurbs for my books. We are all in on the secret of secrets, which is only that people will believe anything. Knowing this makes us feel invulnerable.

Even debunked, our books still sell.

Fly Me to the Moon.

    "Orion glimpsed at the dark snail crossing"

Contrail tracing my heart's desire
darkness lacing my heart's desire

crescent above the parking lot
will not replace my heart's desire

barriers of silk barriers of sand
the other face of my heart's desire

maze in which the wrong ways more
urge me chase my heart's desire

whirlpool of selves, fin'lly call
this small grace my heart's desire

"...I especially like it when the circus is cruel--like the time I saw some dwarves and pinheads crucify a monkey in Kazakhstan. That was really good." --Lost Cosmonaut

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Goblin in a Formal Dress Circa 1893 by Travis A Louie.

announcing the long awaited dvd release of my early 80s video art pieces:

ORG/N/ISM and other work

"When I lived in Portland, I'm pretty sure I was let go from my first job there because someone asked if I'd heard about the "Best of Quarterflash" CD that was due out and I asked " it going to be a CD single?", not knowing that the owner of the company was a close personal friend of the band."

A Byzantine novel.


kevlar matricide lurch Chess City
dancing mirror mode

Mysian plunder


original pillow


Earl Lavender online.

"This is music or sound poetry based on words by the Latin poet P. Optatianus Porphyrius (fl. 325 AD)."

"Symphony of Sound takes its name from a poem by Porfyrius Optatianus who was court poet to Constantine the Great in the 4th century AD."

"About Porfyrius' Shuffle:

In the fourth century A.D. Optatianus Porfyrius penned together a poem, Carmen XXV. The poem is striking. Carmen XXV is written so that four out of every five words in each line may be 'shuffled' to create a new variation of that line. The content is self-reflective. It tells of 'dysharmonic junctions', 'uneven meters', 'rough tones' and 'confused words' that 'torment the singer'. The poem has over a billion possible variations.

Porfyrius' Shuffle also exhibits a multitude of possible forms. The musical material is a short but infinite loop from which the pianist chooses a starting point. A second loop, of differing length, describes an expressive path from which the pianist also chooses a starting point. The expressive loop is overlaid with the musical loop so as to guide decisions such as speed, volume and emotive character. Porfyrius' Shuffle is the first of a series of solo etudes that explore attributes of the infinite

"The Procedures"

they will take away your works
and haul them to a dumpster
and thence to a landfill

to deteriorate unseen
with broken goods and spent packaging
and no one then will be able to say

whether or not you were right

your domain name
has been bought by elves

you will not overcome

"It was a bit of the head-stone of a woman's grave, as was clear from the carved sunflower, for men's graves have a turban or a fez, according to the epoch." --F Marion Crawford

Rendezvous with Rama.

"The silence of Chess City is something that should be commented on. It is something alien. It is the silence of ice forming in another galaxy." --Lost Cosmonaut

"He said tektites were from the Moon, and when nobody would listen, we put it on his funeral program so he’d have one more chance."

"The Communists had made it a crime to waste bread by feeding it to swans, but the people of Prague, risking arrest, fed them anyway, often in the middle of the night." --The View from Stalin's Head

Police Say Man Killed Mother, Himself.

Make Your Own Flip Book.

Back in Black.

Mothman Roundup.

    "Diary of Cutting"

Moon defined by rage
nectar of anchors
oldschool film music
ought to illumine these days
but does not

badabing badaboomlay boomlay
and eyefodder
no use in this ant lion den

"and my purse my purse full of clown-seized ankles" --Knott

"There was a fever over the land. A fever of disgrace, of indignity, of hunger. We had a democracy, yes, but it was torn by elements within. Above all, there was fear. Fear of today, fear of tomorrow, fear of our neighbors, and fear of ourselves. Only when you understand that - can you understand what Hitler meant to us. Because he said to us: 'Lift your heads! Be proud to be German! There are devils among us. Communists, Liberals, Jews, Gypsies! Once these devils will be destroyed, your misery will be destroyed.' It was the old, old story of the sacrifical lamb. What about those of us who knew better? We who knew the words were lies and worse than lies? Why did we sit silent? Why did we take part? Because we loved our country! What difference does it make if a few political extremists lose their rights? What difference does it make if a few racial minorities lose their rights? It is only a passing phase. It is only a stage we are going through. It will be discarded sooner or later. Hitler himself will be discarded... sooner or later. The country is in danger. We will march out of the shadows. We will go forward. Forward is the great password. And history tells how well we succeeded, your honor. We succeeded beyond our wildest dreams. The very elements of hate and power about Hitler that mesmerized Germany, mesmerized the world! We found ourselves with sudden powerful allies. Things that had been denied to us as a democracy were open to us now. The world said 'go ahead, take it, take it! Take Sudetenland, take the Rhineland - remilitarize it - take all of Austria, take it! And then one day we looked around and found that we were in an even more terrible danger. The ritual began in this courtoom swept over the land like a raging, roaring disease. What was going to be a passing phase had become the way of life.

...under the stress of a national crisis, men - even able and extraordinary men - can delude themselves into the commission of crimes and atrocities so vast and heinous as to stagger the imagination. No one who has sat through this trial can ever forget. The sterilization of men because of their political beliefs... The murder of children... How *easily* that can happen! There are those in our country today, too, who speak of the "protection" of the country. Of "survival". The answer to that is: *survival as what*?"

--Judgment at Nuremberg

How weird, that the morning i actually sleep in, some kind of hostage situation on the corner is filling the air with helicopter noise for a solid hour before, defeated, i crawl out of bed & go outside to look at the ruckus. It's not on the news.

Through the Looking Glass.

Off the Grid.

"There's less than 50 percent chance that the United States will exist as a nation by the middle of this century."

Name for a band: Arphid Cancer. Another: Texas Death Penalty.

    "Five and a Half Minute Hallway"

A jinx of ink anchors
other jocund tokens.
The war, global warming,
a waning strange rainbow.
This, however,

I wake to the drone of an airplane engine

When will my time begin
when, when will my time arrive

So many things entangle in a velcro watchband
a rosy morning shatters on my velcro watchband

a swirling flight of birds spans cemetery fields;
an old song's frozen joy, this loyal velcro watchband

Graywyvern stands in line at nearby crowded Starbuck's
around his clever beltloop dangles velcro watchband

The Rescue Artist.

The End of Blackness.

"I used to be a visual artist..."

    "A Song for Riverbend"

No one lights the lamps in the City of Peace;
fear the swift flambeau in the City of Peace.

Layers of lost time, and the shimmer of heat
pierced by august steel in the City of Peace.

Now break camp and go. May you find what you seek:
walls of lasting frith, and a city of peace.

Uptown Players "come crawling back to Broadway..."

Not a chupacabra but a Xoloitzcuintle. (via Wikipedia)

A short history of color systems.

"Savior Hopefuls"

nightmare of torn flesh
iron-basted low clouds sliding
the paroxysm
that yet awaits and taunts us
slumped down in front of warnings

"...even now. I sit here and write this and wonder why I can’t hear the explosions."

"Too bad dark languages rarely survive." --House of Leaves

we'd live the life we'd choose
we'd fight and never lose
those were the days
oh yes those were the days

"Our Buddhas Our Selves"

Some say the world will end by Nice
some say by Sloth
(or maybe both
with help from priests and mullahs)...

But i say Sloth. We bide Sloth's usufruct
and ev'ry day to Sloth make sacrifice,
and Sloth will triumph. Should it fail us
i think that for destruction Nice
is plenty fucked

and should suffice.

    "Facebook RLC"

Baal, in this improbable day,
Loco bzura. The white dew holds,
And my car
No longer's boxed in.
Cryptic gray-cerulean
Gewürztraminer node
A rough welcome bides
At the curb
And in the orreries
Oversight and antidote play
They will not play
With me

"My mournful story from thy zither sweeps." --Hafiz

"In what sense, exactly, as Bernstein and Wallace have it, would underlying structures of grammar mirror and reinforce existing social orders?" I agree that "...they mean something like discourse analysis, or something in relation to the sub-area of pragmatics. Or...they are talking about 'metaphors,' in the sense of George Lakoff..." but also & especially the prevalent usage of the "lyrical I" in poetry.

(As an aside, now that the Chomskyite hegemony*--& i am not at all averse to his politics--is drawing to its inevitable close, the LangPo demurral will seem at last almost prophetic...)

Mr Johnson has done his own part in subverting the latter dogma as much as anyone. Still, his truculence on the question of grammar, & the straw men it aims at, misses the point. It is only in analysis that the small-scale aspects of language can be divided from the larger-scale ones. And that is why it is the disjunction that matters, on any scale; and why the people who hate LangPo respond to it with such visceral dislike.

It's tugging at the curtain of the Wizard.

* "Does no one think that the Chomskyan notion of primitive paralinguistic patterns of linguistic expression is an academic murdering of the realities of language?" --Riding


these wires
will fall or not fall

it will make no diff'rence

href="">Velvet Goldmine.

" 'Oh my Casbah,' wrote Himoud Brahimi, the poet laureate of the quarter, in 1966, four years after the Algerian resistance defeated the French occupiers. 'Cradle of my birth, where I came to know loyalty and love. How can I forget the battles in your alleys, that still bear the burdens of war?'."

What is the opposite of problem-solving? Rhetoric. "We're doing everything we can" = "Stop asking questions." But the real problem to be solved, was: "How can we rip off the taxpayers as much as possible?"


    "Extreme Presidency"

a train-crossing ticking
i heard where there was none
ghost train, i would ride
into the blue horizon
into the blue horizon
and find our lost things there
the conscience of a people
the kindlings of a bonfire

"And I said, 'How in hell can you claim to believe in the Klein Bottle and think that the Mobius strip is dubious?'."

Top 100 Undiscovered Websites.

When Slide Rules Ruled.

Drawn by the mystic summons of blue distances
i wandered lonely as a dervish

when scabs come home to roost
we'll dumpster dive on the crags

Taqwacore band Al-Thawra

Pyrat and the Terries.

usurper, dry drunk, war
suits up again

bigger this time
bigger and better

oh yeah
he will be

Placa y Playa.

"Nothing else remains in the heart
But the wish to construct."


    "Vorpal Provost"

This tunnel does not jibe with all the maps.
Lostness i imbibe with all the maps.

Eclipse-time, and the boys will no more jeer
the oddball in the tribe with all the maps.

Pursuing you, alas, is one that's through,
O tutelary vibe, with all the maps.

" 'Playful or rude. That's the difference between good chaos and bad chaos...' " --Lyda Morehouse, Messiah Node (2003)

DFW Ghost hunters.

"And i come to love my languor
And walls' impenetrabilities."


Odessa Stonehenge.

"For although the great cities in which learning developed, such as Baghdad, Basra, and Kufa, have been ruined, God Almighty has compensated this loss with other mightier cities. Thus learning shifted eastward to Khorasan, in Persia, and Transoxiana, then westwards to Cairo..." --Ibn Khaldun, An Arab Philosopher of History (tr Charles Issawi, 1950)

"late summer day
in a country on the brink
of collapse

a nail buried in asphault
shows its sparkling head"

--Tsukamoto Kunio in Modern Japanese Tanka

Musea blog now.

Gertrude Bell's Hafiz.

"The eye is first struck by the predominance of the fez. Hundreds of little truncated cones of vivid scarlet dart hither and thither, passing and repassing each other like a swarm of vermilion insects, all exactly alike and all at very nearly the same level. The fez was introduced as the official headress of Turkey by Mahmud II, known as the Reformer, who took it from the Greeks, and substituted it for the ponderous turban formerly worn inthe army, and by all Government officials." --F Marion Crawford, Constantinople (1895)

sky of thrang node indigo
imprigrity of node guano

cadaküş cmalyranji
flees funnel clouds of node ullage

upon writ ilka athanor
Graywyvern node rune

"When poets selected a particular poetic pseudonym (takhallus) for themselves, they would get a signet made of this pseudonym; if they changed the takhallus they had to get the signet changed." --Natalia Prigarina, Mirza Ghalib: a Creative Biography (2000)


two moons
and Despair

yakuza xylafirn
bulbous pulpit Pritikin
noon Karagöz
only at high Djedi Haziz

" the East poetry was not considered the lot of youth." --ibid

Stormhostel Veersiren.

"In our house of lamentation
We light the candle from the lightning." --Ghalib, ibid


Like many another life transformed by fame
Nights are forever without you
Mutiny in the time machine
Having come so far
Flight of birds at sunrise
Gray-cerulean, saffron-gray
Drive through shallow water
Not so far to come
Finish the work
Will be diff'rent

Segway Mibypre.

"In everything he does a man needs skill.
Even the art of sinning must be learned."


cranes against the sky
Elvis tie-in Reese's

"It's not so much a question of the place of games in the future world, but a question of whether there's anything going on besides games."

Tough Guide to the Rapture of the Nerds.

Puppetry of the Penis.

If i taught a poetry class (which i'll never do), i wouldn't have the students give me their larval emissions to evaluate; rather, i would have each one compile their own poetry anthology, to be turned in at the end of semester. And that would be their whole grade. (The rest of the time, we would just spend talking.)

  "To a Song of Sappho, Discovered in Egypt

     And Sappho's flowers, so few,
      But roses all.


Jonah wept within the whale,
But you have sung these centuries
Under the brown banks of the Nile
Within a dead, dried crocodile:
So fares the learned tale.

When they embalmed the sacred beast
The Sapphic scroll was white and strong
To wrap the spices that were needed,
Its song unheard, its word unheeded,
By crocodile or priest.

The song you sang on Lesbos when
Atthis was kind or Mica sad;
The startled whale spewed Jonah wide,
From out the monster mummified
Your roses sing again.

Your roses! from the seven strands
Of the small harp whereon they grew;
The holy beast has had his pleasure,
His bellyful of Attic measure,
Under the desert sands.

Along strange winds your petals blew
In singing fragments, roses all.
The air is heavy on the Nile,
The drowsy gods drowse on the while,
As gods are wont to do."

--Leonora Speyer, ibid

Just Americans.

    "Who Shapes the Carven Word

Who shapes the carven word, the lean, true line,
And builds with syllable and chiselled phrase,
To rear a sheltering temple and a shrine
To house a dream through brief and meagre days

Must know that time wears words away like stone
And blurs the sharpness of the clean, straight thought;
A ghost will wander out and leave alone
And tenantless the temple that he wrought.

This will be ruins for another day,
Of lichen-bitten stone and empty tower,
A tumbled shrine whose god has moved away...
Yet later-comers, in some moon-hushed hour,
May find a strange light haunting still the shade,
And footprints that no mortal feet had made."

--David Morton, Anthology of Magazine Verse 1925

"It is written that Iblis's muezzin will be music." --Lyda Morehouse, Messiah Node (2003)

'...Shagreen--not virgin soil!
In the blue light a trawl
Of plum. It's the fourth day
And no countable year at all.'

--Marina Tsvetaeva, The Ratcatcher (tr Angela Livingstone, 1999)

'even when the hands have stopped moving
there's life in the eyes'

--Ghalib, Ghazal xxxvi (tr Merwin)

"The Grand and Free Palace of the Apes"

shadow longer than our soul
as sunshine diamonds tempered
smoking in cars
phalanx stanzas

build a fort with blankets

"Underlying Absurdity"

shits on
the bronze pigeons?

"Death of the World of Now"

This word was not from any of your scarrings made.
This wood was not. Corrupt spells stalked the glade.
It is better they don't ask me to say.
From hardship's lack, a world-shaped wound protrudes.
This small corrupt spell takes too much of my strength.

The tire split lengthwise, metal mesh protrudes.
It sang before i knew the why of it.
Or is it only the beginning of the end of the end
that we salute, suspended in the air?
A large corrupt spell held us in its maw.

I wade midway between two shores of madness.
Burning lands and shiny gimcrack leaves.
The pain within my gut a lodestar pointing,
and mountain once i climbed and tumbled down.
I made this spell from scurrying corruption.
It took all that i had and wants still more.

"I thank God that this administration's incompetence rose on par with their lust for power. It's like a community theater version of The Prince."

"...imagine a volume of Osip Mandelstam’s poetry released by the Soviet government in 1938, or an anthology of poems by Japanese internment prisoners released by our government during the Second World War."

    "A Sonnet in Linear B"

The bad Hyades
rose over a pavement veldt.

Like a plague
the mute subordination of the rapt crowd.

What the generous gods would dictate
first they ring with mirages umgang.

The void is a madonna,
its altar Tlaloc.

Plywood-windowed shopping centers, cinnabar
or smaragd.

Graywyvern will not eloign
to the mutiny of Pachelbel.

Interpretation of the ceremony with veiled references to ExtremeProgramming.


Conlang Sound Zoo.

A parallel tradition.

"The poem is sad because it wants to be yours, and cannot." --Ashbery

My right front tire is destroyed by a hidden pothole, turning left from Beltline onto Walnut in Garland.

"Otakar Svec, the [Stalin] monument's sculptor, chose an obscure electrician from the Barrandov film studios as his model for the late Party chief. The electrician, who earned the nickname of 'Stalin' for the rest of his short life, became an alcoholic and died three years later. --Aaron Hamburger, The View from Stalin's Head (2004)

At the Denny's next door from the tire place, an easy listening version of "Everything Counts in Large Amounts".

"The Romance of Cynicism"

seething flame
my beautiful little dolls

frieze of admonitions

gather change
donate your body to science

now that it's come
i don't feel a thing

Judgment at Nuremberg.

Ornamental truth is acceptable because it can always be read as only ornament. This is why the great truth-tellers have been interested in ornament. But the history that matters is not the history of ornament. Unfortunately that is all the history that can be written; after a new truth is accepted, it becomes invisible. New truth is syntactical.


spacious hour
crayola nightingale

poems are the throat chakra
likewise drink

uncertain and afraid no
deluded and greedy

and the night bird whirrs
too close to your eyes

    "Eight O'Clock"

the purple neon hands back my swart gaze
as thoughts that will not capture save in zigzag
glances still might tell me what's in store
but won't. i feel the scurrying of rats
within these walls. Amontillado's curt
simmer. All this snow might be a trick;
the moongade, not a road at all. Alas,
i tied it to a pigeon on the sill
and that dastard pigeon's flown, and no one knows
Lojban, save ourselves, in Zargon's interzone.

    "Oblong Paddock"

the eye-wall cometh O Abelard
on hot-coal insoles
night rain shines
along its perfect ragged rivulets shines
and i can read what it says
tonight i can read
as it rains on only one window
nothing about me or mine
and rough wind whips the half-lit trees and lets
go lets go

Death of the World of Now.

Virtual Fashionistas. IMVU.

" 'This is the fault of the world, this is the reason that it needs ordering now: it is bankrupt in the middle of its wealth, and it offers a life that is not worth living. It has stolen their old poverty from the people and given them meaner things under new names. It has brought back a slavery that is more abject than any in history, though its chains are not of iron but of peculiar compulsion. The world has befouled itself and it needs to be cleaned....' " --R A Lafferty, Fourth Mansions (1969)

    "Provisional Government"

black thoughts and mad accumulation
regrets · for the long ago

virtuosity · at the end of an age
dishes left · piled up in the sink

gets some texas love

dragged behind a pickup truck
for our own good

"We became a nation of such greed-crazed clowns that we committed financial suicide in an orgy of self-deception."

"Record shops should be like museums, people's palaces where you go to luxuriate in culture."

Jesus Rode a Donkey.

They Smell Like Sheep.

"Song of Bellerophon"

not yet school in the school zone
humid pinkblue morning
no radio
headlights anyway

the rain forgotten
though it rained all year
partial gratitude
like half a rescue

pinkblue and still unchanging
which is kind of scary
pay attention
cricket thermometer

not this time the tunnel
but a solemn cantaloupe
dust already upon me
how long will this bridge live

A slowed-down version of the "Hawaii Five-O" theme song.

"Droning Carom"

crocs frop · folk scarf as
if Grimalkin dollops spill

offal bodkin · clicks akin a scry
fallout · crypt

of fask par rills · uffish agony crystal
din with balloon clap

ski marry into · idolatry hollow
klakydirgo clasp · a spoor

thousand assail · spiralling lip
clip · slalom

mox officious · if
fault of abomasum · its

The Blue Mosque.

Analyze poetry. Analyze ice cream.
Career in making poetry. Career in making ice cream.
Schools of kinds of poetry. Schools of kinds of ice cream making.
Come up with a new form of poetry. Come up with a new flavor of ice cream.
Only one kind of poetry is right. Only one flavor of ice cream is good.

    "After Umbrism"

servile vellum
midnight cowgirl sellout

cantaloupe and catafalque
empathic ort
tase the red lanyard

aporias of empire
summer of narcolepsy

India has 22 official languages, i just heard.

Welcome back, wood_s lot!

Quoth the Comptroller.

Gentle Giant: Emerson Lake and Palmer played backwards.

    "Vague Herald"

crept into
the ancient crypt.

crept into
the ancient crypt.

crept into
the ancient crypt.

" 'Everything that has substance will cast shadow, Foley. My things have substance. Don't get the things mixed up. Most people's things are shadow only.' " --R A Lafferty, Fourth Mansions (1969)

" 'My country right or wrong' ... is like saying, 'my mother drunk or sober.' " --G K Chesterton (via

    "Clownfish Sinking"

goblinishly · pools
ubiquitous alum · victimhood

unknown light
as sharp plaid syntax spirals · so long Plimsoll

tsunami lungfish · Ubar
finish · squamous fun

silk stunt · for rumbling us back
flarf · mugwump

impugn avid pilcrow · scandalous
styptic bilk ambush · thirl of wood odium

mundungus · angular skiff
and worthy · swami

Christian rock music: does God approve??? (via Whimsy Speaks)

"A school is advertised as a group in affiliation, a group allied by mutually stimulative aesthetics, when in fact a school is a contract for gathering and distributing attention."

And now...blarf--! (I say we should always from now on name new poetry manifestations after comic-strip expletives.)

go in fear of fleas
it's the nicotine gum talking

a side yard gone to weeds
a cracked bathroom cup

in stillness

go in fear of fleas

"Clean water will be a luxury; you'll be drinking radiator water out of abandoned pick-up trucks, rusting on the sides of highways outside St. Louis."

    "Wind Fear

'Someday,' you said,
'I shall go
Quietly as to bed,
Leave off my body
As I leave this dress,
And my beautiful hair
Instead of your hand
Shall know the caress
Of the fingers of sand,

So one day
You went
When the weeks of wind
Were spent
And three stars
Had come over the dune
Ahead of the moon.
Unto the desert you left
The delight of your flesh,
And your beautiful hair
To the creeping despair
Of the sand,
As you planned.
Only this you forget
And are not
For all of your strategy

That the fingers of sand
May uncover
Your beautiful hair
To your lover,
That your delicate bones
May lie here
Ad his eyes not see
You there
And his hand not know the dust
That was your hair."

--Eda Lou Walton, ibid

"A prominent blog is a sort of castle with its lord, its gentleman-soldiers, its mounted men-at-arms and its vassals."

"Seven P. M.

Slow twilight bird,
Suspended, as you sail, along the nearer edge
Of nightfall and the beechwood, are you heard
In places past my ears? Are you a wedge--

Slow tapered wing--
Driving into the outer walls of time?
Eternity is not so strange a thing,
At evening, when the towers that were to climb--

Slow searching beak--
Lie level with your progress in the soft,
Dark-feathered dusk, and there are known to speak
Gentle, wild voices from the dark aloft."

--Mark Van Doren, in: Anthology of Magazine Verse 1925

cicada bishop
scally warmth · adroit lapsing abstract
cicada ash · shadowy

dollop · span
isthmus scraping walls · slavish clog ·
swap fangs from · on stars

shifty balk · idolatry crystal
rolling hills
stark clasp calling spiral ashtray · lick ingot

    "Personal Lubricant"

The angels wait for ice falls.
A fair jungle sings.
Quit limp fabric hijinks,
dig wiz vox.
The angels wait for lank walks.
A swank jungle swarms.
The torture doctor sighs.
It is nothing but antidotes.

'Not like the ascent of vapour to the sky, but like the ascent of an embryo to intelligence.' --Rumi

    "The Passion of Squirkle Rebus"

my flicker is the only light
my copy is the real thing
this flurry of unmatched events
reveals a subtle hidden plan

we crave to take our looming place
among the waste and level sands
we dream to fend away the stars
how small we are when Pharaoh sings

    "God Wants Us To Be Rich"

when i should be preparing
   for the end of the world
my fardels keep blaring
   when i should be preparing
i clock my faring
with my wounds empearled
   when i should be preparing
for the end of the world

I Created Lancelot Link. More. Plus.

This is not a Game.

"...the artists who remain say they have not sold a piece since the U.S.-led invasion."

Islamic Ufology.

I Am Interested In.

"An Ode for 606 Day"

whist the hustle in my veins
galaxy zoo and starboard
oar · whist not found in nature
save in the lonely places

none lonelier than between
the lights that the mind touches

in the darkness of the mind
none lonelier nor more dear

and no one will ever go
not death so much as the scale
of things · hings that sooner end
though they think to go farther

as i thought to have done more
by the watch matutinal
that even now fades · flurry
of regrets but mostly song

this pavilion of echoes
these monsters without humans
adding time to my cell phone
trapped in the wii · nautical

i steel myself to the heat
as a world plunges sunward
and when can i don this fez
hot as the tip of a match

cycle of freezing boiling
and a smoke called history
catenary days swaying
in a lost summer hammock

between random migrations
fleeing for your very life
between one splash and the next
on the black burning tarmac

widdershins in thesterness
shapka · hitchhiking at night
the hapless plunge · these sad days
when something still might be done

crumbling frieze on the wall traced
by my finger coarse with work
the song obliterated

the somber going · Sxwaixwe
at the bottom of the lake
still slumbering on · on

Special Weapons Observation Reconnaissance Detection System.

Malok's Martian Seas.

"It is written that when Voltaire was the guest of Frederick the Great at Sanssouci Palace, they exchanged puzzle notes. Frederick sent over a page with two picture blocks on it: two hands below the letter "P", and then the number 100 below a picture of a handsaw, all followed by a question mark. Voltaire replied with: Ga!."

"Dance Card and Gnashing Mandible"

crumble the reasons
and the reasonings
crumble the ways and the guides

as the welkin shifts into spasm
and cataclysmic bungle
and we look at each other
without naming it

wisps of fantasy
still clinging to the debris
do you have food saved
what will we do for water

The Tickler that Exploded.

"Nothing, however, can justify the term 'path' for this bewildered and empty stumbling, this blackened vagabondage--except one thing: They don't quit." --For the Time Being


Ajilvsgi ajar · ailing
alumnus · ovary usufruct
ogham · aim

fall too tally crystal · Halliburton lit
gloat biz · incog Ygg

fallout glitz · bulk slowly angst
to assailing botch

avid · stand

Nora Roberts, Planet Finder.

    "Exercise: Catorce"

In sharp surprise the clouds run
off the wavering heap of smog.
This slag of red belief remains,
Vesuvius and glacier darg,
and patiently withstands hot carve
and bite of effervescent eye.

Blue stations of the tamarack dog
appear among our tactile clouds
unchanged. I wear a leather bruise
as well as gather important shreds
for skeletal hand in mischief-gray
to dig the ruin of interview shoes.

Eating my lunch in interview shoes
a savage rock amidst black mud
yet something for a ghost to hug
wavering against tough ooze,
this knavery that does not know clouds
in sharp surprise of radar run.

Chiasmus in Antiquity.

"Thy Cradle is Green

Benedict, your embraces
once were stays. We loved

the June field then, our planar picnic,
Dexadrine clouds whip-skittering
above. But now, after your leaving,

there are rip cords. Penumbras. And ice
that can only report
it harbors air. Two possibilities remain--

A) Zero is gibbous.


B) From the tipping dinghy,
our skeletons lisp, It was a nice life.

The answer: A).
Although true love
took the first bus
out of town, there is still singing

through the waters, chiming
in the sheaves. Those trumpets of Jerusalem.

And I a galleon, untethered, each tide
a mecca that knows
and presses this hull."

--Corinne Lee

They Fought Like Demons.

Is it the whole meaning of life, that intensive research has now perfected the ageold art of deception?

"If you are really strange you are always in enemy territory, and your constant concern is survival." --Richard Hugo

    "The Third Messenger"

is there anything that rodents can't do
the cracked cup
that holds just long enough

three fourths of my day
ninety percent of my energy

in the dust of the pyramid

Blackwater · legionnaire
the Cyberrevelation

the ice descends
lapses · of reciprocity


The Amazing Story of Kudzu.

"Never write a poem about anything that ought to have a poem written about it, a wise man once told me." --Richard Hugo, The Triggering Town (1979)