Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Athwart the somber luau
yes you are one of its dark beacons

I was born in the sign of war and it's there
that I feel my best
, Bela

downfall porn
is diff'rent from the swerving weather

yet lay the table for dinner, Titanic

it is adventure
and it is the chance or none

sing, cricket;
be among the few to herald it by name

Jevetta Steele.

Name for a band: Second-Rate Scourges.

Vintage Computer Festival.

"A large part of today's terrible public problem proceeds from the fact that ordinary minds are full of ideas received in inertia, ideas half understood and deprived of their virtue." --Ortega y Gasset, quoted in Basbanes

"Rani Graff: Tell me something we don’t know about Ted Chiang.

Ted Chiang: I’m left-handed


this · cliff, your
starless night outside
at a distance
what if i never get there

the ragged path

My elderly father sideswiped a fire truck.

"What profit is there, Lord,
In longing to live in your tent forever?

Everyone knows that even your tent
Is shredded by the suicide's shrapnel,

Everyone knows that even your tent
Is pounded by the pilot's bombs.

Let no one dwell in their tents, Lord,
But let those who love your name dwell in it

Where it is written in the shelter
Of your fighter jet's wing."

--Brian Clements, Disappointed Psalms (2008)

The new theocratic state (or congeries of city states) puts everyone to work at slave labor in the rice paddies. (Hymn singing is not optional.) Besides outlawing makeup and rational thought, they also frown upon poetry that does not "make sense". Poets flourish on this scrutiny, each trying to outdo the other in speaking plainly.

Forgotten Books.

"Almost all political conflict, especially in the US, boils down to a fight between the Sane Billionaires and the Insane Billionaires."

Grief for Gaia.

    "Perfect Practice"

harsh · taste overlay
the glass spoon · hovers
blood · in the wind
ev'rything is blood · in the wind

vying brags
in the shelter

The Passion of Simone.

   "Arkikosa O'ergreened"

trance wanderlust among Scorpio
spies is tribune cubicle

brown river, blank airt

artiodactyl psalms, difficult subject
beyond the gemsbok oval

Hanny's Voorwerp shows wainscot cleavage
as molten

if the ziggurat prove beigely noxious
call it nod's angel

my homage
to the curviangular barm depth

sort of a homely torsion

"I tried hard to think of Rome not as a vast communal grave, where the bones of Gods and men are strewn indiscriminately about the ruins of the temples and the Fora, but as a human city, a city peopled by simple mortal men, where everything is human, where the pettiness and degradation of the Gods do not diminish the greatness of man nor invest human freedom with the significance of a heritage that has been betrayed, a glory that has been usurped and tarnished." -Malaparte, op cit

"Bruce is, to toss out a dubious musical analogy, John Zorn’s Naked City; flarf is Jonathan Richman’s Abdul and Cleopatra."

"Talking to God's like jerking off. You strain in the dark for years, but then a fuse gets lit, and people come screaming out of the fire. They land in the streets, their arms and legs blown off. A man on a horse tips his hat. Marilyn holds down her dress. In the charred air, angels hang."

--Rauan Klassnik, Holy Land (2008)

Don't forget the Transplant Olympics.

"Surely it is the only thing we've got and there is a strange beauty to the wreckage." (via Bookslut)

Cannibalistic bands begin roaming the suburbs, terrorizing and then devouring any who remained behind after the general breakdown of order. They do not build, they do not sow, they do not reap, they only take--repeating on a modest scale the one lesson it was thought needful to impart by those who came before.

   "Blue Sky Days"

Olympic sheaves of rhymes
how i prepare
all our times have come
the film in the camera
will not be used
on the burning tarmac
your rhymed Olympic sheaves

"...mostly I found out about poets from The Home Shopping Network."

Deep Cleaning.

Bank full of crying babies.

TTAPOOC reviewed.

    "Sadness of the Gorges

Above the gorges, one thread of sky:
Cascades in the gorges twine a thousand cords.
High up, the slant of splintered sunlight, moonlight:
Beneath, curbs to the wild heave of the waves.
The shock of a gleam, and then another,
In depths of shadow frozen for centuries:
The rays between the gorges do not halt at noon;
Where the straits are perilous, more hungry spittle.
Trees lock their roots in rotted coffins
And the twisted skeletons hang tilted upright:
Branches weep as the frost perches
Mournful cadences, remote and clear.
A spurned exile's shrivelled guts
Scald and seethe in the water and fire he walks through.
A lifetime's like a fine-spun thread,
The road goes up by the rope at the edge.
When he pours his libation of tears to the ghosts in the stream
The ghosts gather, a shimmer on the waves."

--Meng Chiao (tr A C Graham)

"But it is a very pimpable figment." (via Pantaloons)

Every forest is different: the smell, the terrain, the way the light falls. And each poet's world is a forest. His words are only the places that the light descends through. Do not presume to describe else. The figments others compose may closely or not so closely coincide; these are also poems, just not worlds.


   "What the Candidates Have on Their iPods"

A assortment of Mormon vampires guards our watershed
deeply hideous thralldom, multifoliate sadness
melted as soon as fallen song of unspooling tungsten
ice cream made from this has nil value

You have a bizarre definition of justice, April
as thixotropic collaterals make haste to gouge
fishing holes out of the surface of some drifting object
stylizators pale and lonesome

The quality of the air on this deranged soft evening
car in sev'ral colors painted, fleeing from the northern
extremity of loss, learning to grok such trick bebop
as gilds the flame, however stubborn

The Collapse Gap. (via Joe Bageant)

They were Expandable.

Patti Smith on MSNBC, talking. (via Eyeball Hatred)

Something: our ruin is its completion, its culmination.
Just don't call it "tomorrow".

(via Systemic)

    "Imperial Dismay"

dapple help sink sculsh
Krazy Kat virulent and joyful

this anthem
pathway by which Smoking Mirror wreaks accent

crystal do them desert spoilt
for rim mutiny pygmy

and the Scythians darkly prosper
crystal desert on the inning of the ninth

this sulfur
just let it happen

by which formula
Krazy Kat the shrouded gods oblige

sacrifice of a bishop

Coverage of the coverage begins now.

I finally hit career gold as the minor part i am cast in becomes a world famous icon and my face and voice create a salable commodity at last. I change my name to that of my character. Even my friends use that name. Untiringly i repeat those moves until the day of my death.

The Israelites.

"... a very strong player, who according to Nigel Short must have been none other than Bobby Fischer, adopted [the Hammerschlag] in several games against Grandmasters. Here is a win against Zhong (I suppose this is the same Zhong who won the Corus secondary GM tournament, 2003):

[White "guest381"]
[Black "zhong"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ICCResult "Black resigns"]
[BlackElo "2908"]
[Opening "Gedult's opening"]
[ECO "A00"]
[Time "01:42:43"]
[TimeControl "180+0"]
1. f3 d5 2. Kf2 g6 3. Ke3 Bg7 4. Kf4 Qd6+ 5. Ke3 Qb6+ 6. d4 e5 7. Kf2 exd4 8. Na3 Nf6 9. e3 dxe3+ 10. Bxe3 c5 11. Bb5+ Bd7 12. c4 O-O 13. Ne2 Bxb5 14. cxb5 d4 15. Bd2 Nbd7 16. Qb3 Rfe8 17. Nc4 Qe6 18. Nf4 Qe7 19. Rhe1 Qf8 20. Nd3 Rxe1 21. Rxe1 Re8 22. Rxe8 Qxe8 23. Nd6 Qe7 24. Nxb7 Nh5 25. Qa4 Nb6 26. Qxa7 {Black resigns} 1-0 [Event "ICC 3 0 u"] " (via)


    "The Prisoner of Abkhazia"

Hurricane cooling · for my morning
Sinatra · due to a campaign moment
growling of a wooden chair
as it's skidded resonantly
see · i am almost there

i would like to know · where the new color was
before it went to WalMart
if the people · picking up their houses on he beach
are wearing it

maze of serried louds · Rorschach
of my car's regular oil stain

carry a spider in
with the sandals put out last night to air

N B I should add to my list of etymonarchical poets the translations of Tu Fu by Florence Ayscough. In the intro to Poets of the Late T'ang, Graham narrates how the idea of over-translating Chinese ideographs became implanted in English Imagism. This can now be seen as one of those "fruitful misunderstandings" with which the history of English poetry is so rife.

The Lotus Palace.

Screening of a film about Fallujah; discussion. The consensus seemed to be it was too political. We don't want to alienate any potential viewers. Why single out the Republicans, when the Democrats helped too? Leaving out the Republicans, i said, would be like making a documentary about the Holocaust, and not mentioning the Nazi Party.

A green frog-shaped nebula: Hanny's Voorwerp--has just been discovered.

A quantum of transgression.

What to do.

    "Letter 7

But the buried walls and our mouths of fragments,
no us but the snow staring at us...

And you Mr. Ground-of-What, Mr. Text, Mr. Is-Was,
can you calculate the ratio between wire and window,

between tone and row, copula and carnival
and can you reassemble light from the future-past

in its parabolic nest
or recite an entire winter's words,

its liberties and pseudo-elegies,
the shell of a street-car in mid-turn

or scattered fires in the great hall
I would say not-I here I'd say The Book of Knots

I'd say undertows and currents and waterspouts,
streaks of phosphorous and riverine winds

Dear Z, I'd say it's time, it's nearly time, it's almost, it's just about, it's long
past time now time now for the vex- for the vox- for the voice of shadows,

time for the prism letters, trinkets and shrouds,
for a whirl in gauzy scarves around the wrecked piazza

Messieurs-Dames, Meine Herren und Damen, our word-balloon, you will note, is slowly
rising ver the parched city,

its catacombs, hospitals and experimental gardens,
its toll-gates, ghettos and ring-roads,

narcoleptics and therapists and tray cats
Ladies and Gentlemen, our menu for this flight,

due to temporary shortages,
will be alpha-omega soup, Bactrian hump, and nun's farts

As we enter the seventh sphere, you will discover a thin
layer of ice just beginning

to form on your limbs
Do not be alarmed, this is normal

You will experience difficulty breathing, this is normal
The breathing you experience is difficulty, this is normal

Dear Z, Should I say space
constructed of echoes, rifts, mirrors, a strange

year for touring the interior
Should I say double dance, Horn, axis and wheel

Dear A, Scuttled ships are clogging the harbors
and heir cargoes lie rotting on the piers

Prepare executions and transfusions
Put on your latest gear"

--Michael Palmer, At Passages (1995)

Farewell, My Subaru.

The Zero.

Then they came to a planet more beautiful than any they had seen before. They landed and started exploring it. There were creatures living on the beautiful planet, as violent as they were clever; these spent all their time inventing new ways to persecute and torture each other. "Such crazed, hateful apes!" cried the explorers.

I die of thirst beside the fountain.
None of us has tried the fountain.

At night the fountain glows within;
drk bits of flotsam ride the fountain.

The desert-builders hedge their words
but drink, however wide the fountain.

The grotto seemed today run dry.
Just to be sure, we pried the fountain.

Let Graywyvern whisper deep
and you yourself provide the fountain.

Box office rankings adjusted for inflation. (thanx Melanie!) Note that The Dark Knight comes in only at #45.

But you knew that already. (via Cursor)

redbuds scattered,
pale concrete, gloaming;
to dream of a scent

my red lanyard lost
i don't know when i first missed it

warm blues and cold
the empty vehemence
of a rock song

my sadness
like clouds that hang and never rain

bonsai pine
turning before the Starbuck's
skylight crowded with gargoyles

again to the tasks of the day
one of those being forgetting

squalene poptarts bulk
one with the perfect ages
fluorescent dapple

does it take away from my
victimhood that i'm singing

Terrifying gas-powered robot dog. (thanx Melanie!)

"Let us go into tomorrow trusting

the candor of imagination and the miracle of grass

No anagrams found.

   "Ballad of the Stinging Larvae"

The inevitable and coveted climax arrived
in Iryston
Segway with forklift
bereft of linoleum
drowned salamander

all inevitable
and coveted besides
smell of the bread aisle
as i wander in dimming quest

(by Andreas Marshall)

Hell is for Children.

'One pillar holding up consolations,
another pillar,
a duplicate pillar, pillarous
and like the grandchild of a dark door.
Lost noise, the one, listening, at the edge of fatigue;
drinking, the other, two by two, with handles.

Don't I perhaps know the year of this day,
the hatred of this love, the planks of this forehead?
Don't I know that this afternoon costs days?
Don't I know that never does one say "never," on one's knees?

The pillars that I saw are listening to me;
other pillars are, twos and sad grandchildren of my leg.
I say it in American copper
which owes to silver so much fire!

Consoled by third marriages,
pallid, born,
I am going to close my baptismal font, this showcase,
this fright with tits,
this finger in deathrow,
heartily tied to my skeleton.'

--Eshleman's Vallejo

EpistemeLinks (all things iPhilosophical).


Lives of the Poets.

Hello Kali.

    "Magpie Deathrace"

Today is a new smoothie.
I die of thirst beside the fountain.

Wind of lies and promises
and the coolth of a haggard morning.

Three cop cars out on Arapaho
are extorting false confessions from passers-by.

They have the whole street blocked.

25 or 6 to 4.

i know nerfball from nerdcore,
prologue from encore,

hog putty from putti aloft,
Zoloft from Zocor,

Nagasaki from Hiroshima,
albino from albacore,

just wars from just war,
minotaur from manticore;

Graywyvern at times even
knows Mizar from Alcor.

The plastic nightmare. (via Dangerousmeta)

Defining vision.

Language Hat does "Ossetia" (or "Iryston" or "Alania"). [--Just when i'd figured out Daghestan & the Avaris.] ...The rest of the story.

Confessions of a literary forger. (via Nineweaving)

    "D is for Dissident"

treason in
the unmediated core
polka mass
pheromone necklace
Sidrak and Bokkus toboggan
as i practice
my destiny ritual cough

The Fugu Plan.

Rebecca Porte on Baxter. (from The Page)

Dolly's Stairway (no video). Plus Tuffy Muffin. Eerily-replicant Heart cover. 1983 version with Clapton, Page et al. And Pat Boone's.

Riding mower droning on the quad
as we emerge from shade. It's still not terrible
but i miss the feel of the breeze the ancient oaks let through
a moment earlier. See, that one can live
without central air. Windmill, trees, siesta;
and we will forget that ever there were wheels.

Oskar Sala.

Naomi Long Madgett.

Cow pooling.


A Wiccan neoformalist.

"The Red Badge of Courtesy"

shall push
myself through a

called blog
called dog days


"...MySpace is the new leisure suit."

End of Florilegium Anthropocene: 149 poems by 149 poets.

Kafka's porn. (via Bookslut)

"Another unpublished novel exists written in a code of his own devizing, which is partly a form of shorthand and partly Arabic."

    "If my Words and Actions had an Origin"

crystal tricorne · lye
as stars fall · flowering still
crisp Lisbon · across four frozen angst
festive · slag
fylfot benchmark catch · psalm is strictly farming
problem asp'rin · of hammer slow flung
afterwards · closed down

Polka Mass.

Dornick et al.


Are we incapable of seriousness, or just incapable of representing seriousness?

"A Postcard from Lisbon"

bronze triceratops loafing
and ozmazome fetch

strict prang · mill
scoriac lesion cry talc statute · polyps

spork · pseudoephedrine slalom loot
Eamespunk off

Rocking the Casbah.

    "Unicorn Vs Narwhal"

sukerajxo nub
skiing · recap risk fandango fjord
Fortran indigo · pulpit abomasum
tsimtsum ikon · Piltdown sift
angiogram · Ogpu ore
respite script

I find myself, at the age of fifty, unequipped to solve any questions, save questions of taste.

"Echo and wormwood
conspire at the base of the throat."

--Michael Palmer

"Our ancestors, not pressed for time,
On daggers and with daggers wrote
What I today in feeble rhyme
Endeavour with my pen to note.

'Farewell!' their horses' hooves would thud.
The riders never paused to think
But fought, and wrote on stone with blood
What I attempt to write in ink."


Can't You See.

"This is perhaps an interesting new form of dramaturgy -- instead of good-versus-evil you only get befuddlement-versus-evil."

Rosary poetics.

Get Your War On: The Watch List. (via Counterpunch)

Paradelle anthology.

"" 'If fate does not wish it,' he thought, 'then all our endeavours are futile.
That which I want I have not and that which I have I want not.
Truly this world of ours is wrapt in a mantle of darkness.
Nothing flows out of a jar except that already inside it.' "

--Rustaveli (tr V Urushadze)

The Bottled Water Backlash.

A book on the stock market from 1928. Wabi.

    "The Tatters of the King"

Guernica watch in the art season
Eamespunk squatter dictatorship greed season

ubiquitous budgie smear
an ebbing season

who concur
with Graywyvern this candle season

Line Monty.

"In short, it's discomfiting to pose as the cultural elite of populism."

"Women serving in the military today are more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than to be killed by enemy fire."

"(to the tune of Richard Rodger's "Edelweiss":)

Betelgeuse, Betelgeuse
Bright red star in Orion
Soon I'm told you'll explode
So you're worth keeping my eye on.

Only two hundred parsecs away
And we know what this means
You're so near that some year
You'll blow us ll to smith'reens.

Betelgeuse, Betelgeuse
Speckle interferometry
Seems to show spots that glow
Spoil our spherical symm'try.

You're losing mass by convecting gas
To a stationary layer
Then there must be some dust
And an ejection sprayer.

Betelgeuse, Betelgeuse
You'll soon go supernova
When you burst I'll be first
Among those looking you over.

Matter in your circumstellar shell
Tenuous and so wide
Will in fact interact
With what's going on inside."

--Peter Jedicke, 1986 (in: Guide to Variable Stars (2005) by David Levy)

Royal Quiet Deluxe.

In Imitation of a Thought.

"The bard is one whose roots bind him to his own people, one who is utterly devoted to his land and region, one who is a minister plenipotentiary speaking for his country before the world. Poets are not migratory birds." --Rasul Gamzatov, intro to Selected Poems (tr P Tempest, 1974)

"Fate has been kind: I'm neither blind
Nor mad...yet still desire
To see the world's bread lower priced
And human life priced higher."


my eyes aren't so good anymore
my stomach's worse
if you can't see my mirror
i can't see you
pejorative sunbeam, clyte

more sudden than even
the street preacher's threat
took my Chevy to the levee
but the levee was down
pejorative sunbeam, move

The Magic Daughter.

"...there is an old hostility
between life and the great work."


    "For One A Long Time Gone"

You loved her for a time,
And that was no small thing.
Two processions chime;
You loved her for a time

And died. In such a clime
Of thwarts no more I bring:
You loved her for a time.
And that was no small thing.

"When the sirocco blows the human skin perspires, the cheekbones sparkle in faces dripping with grimy sweat and overlaid with a black down which leaves a dirty moist shadow about eyes, lips and ears. Even voices sound thick and lazy, and words have an unwonted meaning, a mysterious significance, as though they belonged to a forbidden jargon. The people walk in silence, as though oppressed by a secret anguish, and the children spend long hours seated mutely on the ground, nibbling crusts of bread or fruit black with flies, or looking at the cracked walls on which can be seen the motionless outlines of lizards, embedded by mildew in the ancient plaster. The air is heavy with the perfume of the brilliant carnations which stand in terra-cotta vases on the window-sills. The voice of a woman, singing, ascends now from this side, now from that: the song echoes slowly from window to window, coming to rest on the sills like a weary bird." --Malaparte, op cit

"Ten years ago, a man wearing a plain V-neck tee and drinking a Pabst would never be accused of being a trend-follower." Momus responds.

Yma on YouTube. (from Secret of the Incas)


hauling our loss
hauling our loss
warring dualities
unfenestrated by

triphibian bitemeter
scoriac spoodge
Hollerith cardshark jump'd
when the camps were liberated
colossal desert snail chrome amethyst trail

the uncreated night opens
ibrik of iron
texture of curb concrete
Himalayan tea steeping
pencil drawing of Tarkus
you can't see the way
gilt-edged journal
blurry at the margins
a mild wind

bend your neck to drink from the overfull cup
in the dawn hour
frosted coffee cake
shadow of the spires
nothing moving
collected from the dead man's hutch
Samurai werewolf
bronze triceratops

auburn hills of Saturn

nil sirocco
trireme · whisper
spiralling sunward
spill through the spectrum
clouds at the horizon massing
red blue green as i sped by
in an instant of time
the hedge dull with tire dust
faint smell on the air of something dead
paint my car with Cthulhu
my short cut
totally blocked now
long ago pool
spools forth the lightning
what would you do
what would you do
toward the cool darkness
but the tumult in some vast, waterless desert
mercilessly just
stirring and whispering together
a long smear of light bounded
by a pelagic wind
among the unweeded tombstones
a tortured understanding
the landfill knows

my edge of iron uncertainty
rolling outages · purge
the surging wabe


"He was not a very intelligent man, nor was he very cultured, but he had an extraordinarily kindly disposition; and I was grateful to him for the friendly way in which he had said 'The moon is wonderful this evening,' because I felt that by these words he had meant to express to me his sympathy with the Italian people in their misfortunes, sufferings and humiliations. I would have liked to say 'Thank you' to him, but I was afraid that he would not have understood why I was saying 'Thank you.' I would have liked to shake hands with him across the table, and say to him: 'Yes. the Italians' true country is the moon--it is our only country now.' But I was afraid that the other officers who were sitting around our table--all except Jack--would not have appreciated the meaning of my words. They were splendid fellows--honest, simple, genuine, as only Americans can be; but they were convinced that I, like all Europeans, had the bad habit of putting a hidden significance into every word I uttered, and I was afriad that they would have sought in my words a different meaning from the true one." --Curzio Malaparte, Skin (1952)

After Weightlessness.

The loneliest planet.

Kisses sweeter than Wine.