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rhotic assignment #8 [Sep. 13th, 2006|07:30 pm]
[Current Music |Thom Yorke - Analyse]

I honestly can't find the more-revised version of this that I did recently, and it's driving me insane.

However, it fits, I think.

Moving on

There will be days
when you speak entire sentences
in reverse -
begin in punctuation,
end whispering I or You,
take the phone from the floor, cradle it
on your shoulder and
let silence take the dial tone,
replace it.

You will make eggs
in a moonlit kitchen, steak
while reading the morning paper,
move quickly towards yesterday's
news and specials,
watch the sun set
and on your pocketed hand,
count down.

On these days
you will unlock the windows.
Imagine the boards
have come off, peeled back,
each hastily shot nail
falling into the lawn
that will shorten and green
beneath it, that the boards
will move toward the backs
of trucks, straighten themselves.

There will be days
when the door re-hinges,
the broken chairs fix
themselves, the walls reset
in white and peach,
days when the sheets
and blankets will be on the beds
the sinks will fill with water
and contain it.

You will drive a road
and pause these days
instead of passing,
pull into the driveway and
meet yourself on the porch,
take back an outstretched
hand, walk forward.
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Workshopping poem [Sep. 13th, 2006|06:12 pm]

Ok, you guys prompted a pretty good discussion concerning my Delphic Oracle poem that I will (eventually) take in high mind when it comes around to revise it. When will that be? Glad you asked, because here's a poem I wrote I believe near last Easter (I remember I was in church and wanting to do anything than pay attention, be anywhere but there) that is ready, I think to be revised and I wanted to wing it by ye lot before.


We dip our fingers in the stone water stream, flurried spires
of soil late of our newly sunset flesh; our lipid cuticles, fires
flying into the seed, a furnace of gestation, and scattered them.

Their long germination called us up from our own dusty hollows,
millions of them at a time (busy fending off the spiraling milk
of night), our seed, our seed, dry reaching cotyledons in the famines
of our eyes, furnace exhausted catacombs of our empty shuddering.

We grow and stand skyless alone, gutters burrowing in our feet,
saline tongues and apocryphal curses shouted across the street,
we children of eye-wearying gods, and toast the shadows

that plashing breaks across our autodidactic fallowness,
wrack our dusty misused minds, shake like dice our bones.
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Assignment #8 [Sep. 6th, 2006|12:53 pm]

How do we feel about the existence of this community? I am about to start school, so if you give me the word I'll plow ahead, yoked shoulder to shoulder, but if not it could be left to fall too.

It's up to you.

I've got sadness in my upper arms so if you want an assignment, I shall give you one predicated upon what I just wrote, not the other way 'round. Very simply, write about going backwards. Due Tuesday, September 12.

Mine.Collapse )
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Assignment #7 [Aug. 30th, 2006|11:40 am]
What pain is.

ideals holding you down, not lifting you up.
and knowing how stupid that sounds.
and that you could've written this in 4th grade,
and been as right.
and percoset if not drink if not pot if not.
and your hand brushes her knee accidentally,
but not accidentally enough.

and when you misunderstand when she says,
"you wouldn't make a very good gambler"
and is really talking about something you said
earlier, and not what you've been thinking about
the whole time.

and you don't have to make excuses for not being on
anymore, because you got yourself real reasons.
people believe you now, at great cost.
and neither failure or success is what you thought it'd be.

something you can't lie about -
and you don't want to write about it, because why?
the least reducible of all things.

another object in the world,
which we keep dumbly fumbling with.

and fucking okay i'll pray, or work harder, leave me alone.
the same words muttered,
playing over and over again from a toybox
with three basic shapes,
and being fascinated! amazed! miracle and yeah.

and you can't even say it's stupid.
you just sit there holding it,
a monkey playing triangle.
hammering out future sounds, past sounds,
which eventually blend into a dull tink.

and think what to do next.
to open the container that holds this thing,
and spill whatever spills out, out.

because from every angle you look at it,
it remains hard.
only blurring when you do.

don't even get me started on pleasure.
can i start this all over?
it's there, but i can only get a grip on it
one way at a time...it's a candy coating
that goes on top of the fragile definition
in the strict let's argue about this sense
of the world.

always primary. fuck.
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Assignment #7 [Aug. 30th, 2006|12:25 pm]


a self-portrait

is not
   is not     all

harsh in the mouth

catch as catch can

a catacomb
a cavalcade


hiss; ABCs

a cat, a stair

Somewhere the clock ticks.

on the versoCollapse )
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Assignment #6 [Aug. 24th, 2006|01:07 pm]

You are my evil twin.
Bats fly overhead, high
above the castle, as
fruit oozes through your
teeth, staining the edges
of your mouth.
You bite at the base
of my womb, hanging
upside-down. I wheel
around the room in
a frenzy, knocking
over the blue vase.
The bruise spreads
over my hip.

Here is what I have done:
I have entered the church
and supplicated myself
on bare knee, the run
in my pantyhose showing.
I have taken nine days
and said the novena,
looping the shape of
each number in my
palm, shaking them
like gamblers' bones,
stacking them into
I roam through the
house, lighting candles
room by room. The
flame illuminates a
sickly shade of
I reach above the
lintel and trace
a faint X, small
but sure.
At lightning strike
I am supine,
palms toward

Apparently after all that fuss I can write after all. I am looking forward to producing in the fall.

I am really looking forward to writing a real novena (nine days of verse). I think it's time to re-read "Eighteen Days Without You". Dig this:

Sexuality is one of the most normal parts of life. True, I get a little uptight when Norman Mailer writes that he screws a woman anally. I like Allen Ginsberg very much, and when he writes about the ugly vagina, I feel awful. That kind of thing doesn't appeal to me. So I have my limitations, too. Homosexuality is all right with me. Sappho was beautiful. But when someone hates another person's body and somehow violates it—that's the kind of thing I mind.
I always felt bad when Ginsberg said that, too. Thanks for allowing me to recognize that, Anne.

Assignment? I want you to tell me what you're like in pain. No length, genre, or other content requirements. Due Tuesday (of course), August 29.

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The Bat [Aug. 23rd, 2006|11:32 pm]

The Bat

For convenience, here's the transcript.Collapse )
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(no subject) [Aug. 22nd, 2006|03:39 pm]
Well first off, I only did the assignment today and just now. as for the dissecting the black box functioning of my writing, well i'm not sure how it works. phrases come to me. as do scenarios. not always together, although i suppose a phrase is a scenario generally. i don't believe sounds and shapes can be completely separated from their most associated meaning into a pure sensation. that said, the writing to keep is the stuff you wake up thinking about and have to write down before you go back to bed usually. of course with a little work you can also slowly draft and revise your way to something similar.

as for what influences it, well everything i suppose. there's no such thing as the writer in the abstract. it's just another form of communication i suppose. you take in the data, find the signal in it, and then communicate it back out with your amendments. sometimes it's only when we attempt to reconstitute the data and send it back out that we come to understand what signal we took in to begin with.

at a broader level, i suppose writing is just another input output we go through each day like eating and defecating. probably not as important though.

that said lately my anxiety has been informing my writing...as well as whatever topics are superficially on my mind. one provides the theme and the other largely provides the means of expressing the theme.

lately i've been thinking back to a younger time when i thought there was some way to unravel all of my neuroses and completely understand myself, and so was committed to said pursuit. then i gave up on it, and acquired more layers of confusion via debauchery and carelessness. now it seems my first attempts, while always having no chance of total success, were at least a more powerful and sustainable existence. writing has been a large part of this for me. analysis. getting it on paper. i think it's what all artists are doing whether they admit it or not. they can posit some paradigm shifting cultural theory, but really it's about getting thoughts out of their heads and into others. it's more about reaching out than condescending with tablets and commandments. just some quick thoughts on my process anyways.

this is because i liked your old english poem. i don't know old english though, so i made some up.


Song of the Gledge

Strang a' langau
Strod aul Burk
Abod kilead aul n’weep.
Wha strang a shirk’d
Tha cost a steep.
Drang o’ uurongau
Kilead abod aul strang.
Mose fole a liff
Wha strang a luff,
Tha lady eyes aul blue.
Strole far n’cast a’ slep
Aul blue tha lady eyes.
Strole far n’cast n’pace.
Burk, aul Burk, n’pace.

well this one was off the top of my head, but it could be developed into something i suppose. obviously the theme is appealing to me.


Middle classage:

Brightly colored VH1 turns off
And a black shriking white dot shush provides too frightful
A moment of silence.
The room is full of wooden ducks and tweed basket chairs
And the other room an untuned piano.

Going out later, for a trip, not flying anywhere
Driving. I’ll drink with my friends,
Until my intelligence is at a level appropriate to my station.
We’ll do something that will almost get us arrested.
And we’ll laugh about it after the hangovers tomorrow.
On the drive there, a pop song is on the radio
And it fills me.
Put in a cd, switch in another.
Maybe I’ll get tired of all these cds.
Only way to know for sure is to keep buying them.
There’s hope in buying more and never knowing,
Which one will be too much.

Got work tomorrow though. No time to sillify myself
Over this meaning or that. Not like that bum on the corner,
Who has his mind or nothing, and usually neither.
Bums are good for a joke.

When I get there my friends all great me,
Their faces all a little bit gaunt and all a little bit fat.

and this poem has some lines i like and is on a topic it's hard for me to write well about just yet as i haven't yet formulated my entire argument on it, but it's also a topic that should be written about.


Capital idea.

“Excessive bail shall not be required”

Dead man walking,
Same as it was, more decorum now than ever.
State power
Nowhere else to put them.
Jougs maybe.
Cruel used to have a less onerous meaning. Just meant hard.
Flesh becomes the only medium,
At a certain point of disagreement right?
Sitting simply, with fewer distractions,
They get a chance few ever do.
Knowing it. Being told it’s worth something.
If you were one of the innocents, you’ve given
Up on convincing anyone a long time ago –
You look the part
Convince yourself.
Still time to convince yourself even when the hood goes on.

At least put it on tv, ppv -
No no no at the mandatories. you can’t waive the 8th
It’s not there for you.
It’s for the rest of us.
Scares us feeling what you might have felt.
Looking at life go out like a dead bulb –

Above the left ear knotted, the drop
The legs, which had not been pinioned,
The arms extended pleadingly,

He regained consciousness and begged
To have the cap removed
And to make another speech.

This refused, and the drop fell again.

Seeing eye sockets emptied like bad buttons,
You could stick your fingers in them,
All you’d get is texture. bones snap
Like uncooperative legos.

- And so no son, you can’t waive the 8th –
We’d be embarrassed as children are
When their mother overscolds a classmate –
Fights a battle for them in overzealous love.
And love first frightens us then,
And we feel somehow a little culpable
Just for existing.

But we use thicker rope to prevent decapitation,
boil the rope to reduce elasticity,
We oil it to reduce friction,
And we place the knot over the carotid artery.

“evolving standards of decency…mark the progress
of a maturing society”

the contortions begin to lessen, and finally cease
and the whole mess, if there’s blood or defecation,
is cleaner for being done.

“nor excessive fines imposed”

the CO-s joke about it before and after.
That’s where gallows humor comes from.
They get attached sometimes too though.

Nobody on the squad wanted to be the one
Who hit Elisio Mares in the heart,
So they aimed away from the white cloth marking it.
So he bled to death cumulatively fatal wounds,
In 12 minutes.
What are 12 minutes, in the grand scheme?
What’s one wheel, one beam, arm or strap?
Who ends or what ends?

Who are these invisible? Big oops. All of them.
Not just a normal oops. They have to seem way out there.
Can’t appear too like someone we know. Better yet,
Can’t appear at all. Killer sentenced. Always the same
One that way. mitigations were for the death phase.
how close an eye do those 12 keep on it?

“nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted”

sodium penthathol, pancuranium bromide, potassium chloride.
A better mousetrap. A dentist’s chair. We’ve been taught to trust this.
Let’s get this over with. Yes yes, just steadying the machine.
Chemistry is more calming than physics.

Priest gives rites sometimes. Convicts love jesus.
Makes it seem like it can be worth something.
A spiritual math. Fill a hole with a hole. One less cost for a cost.

It’s what they’re fed. Last meal, you did good, be brave son.
Proud of you.

Maybe the last thought is that retribution is accomplished,
Some shining tomorrow will foam out of the convulsions.
No, the needle lacks that drama, and that promise.

or maybe, who cares?
maybe - my eyes are blue like the sky is blue
and all that separates them is this no good head.

Step into the room either way, the door closed forever,
Are we cut off or are they-
A sharp clean philosophy,
An inverted pascal’s wager –
Forget the aftermath or beforemath,
Do you believe in life enough
To kill even if there’s a chance
That it’s futile and pointless –

One big last statement and then pain that can’t be felt.

McCoy choked and heaved
Due to an incorrect mixture –

At midnight a short conference is held.
The newspapers report it the next day
Back a page.
It gets put down next to the cereal,
The banana peel, the war dead.
Nothing unusual about it,
About our lives, the victims' lives -
returning to distant, faceless wholeness.
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Assignment #5 [Aug. 22nd, 2006|10:48 am]

This assignment was quite difficult for me. When I first moved to Boston, I knew no one, had no job, had no television, had a bookcase with five books and a borrowed bed. I wrote a lot.

In the interim between hosting an outer-space party and having company for the weekend, I worked on this for a grand total of two days. I already knew I wouldn't like the results too much. I haven't been writing and I haven't had anything to write about. There is nothing in me crying out to say anything. In fact, with the shift to fall I go wordless. I can hide in the gladness found behind every moment. I am busy waiting to step barefoot in the frost.

Sunday after arrowintwolakes went back to Maine, I sat on the porch and tried to write about dreams. In fact, I tried to write about dreams all weekend.

3 poems.Collapse )

I want to know all about how you write. Not just what you write. But what you want to throw away, what makes you decide it's worth saving, how you do it, when you do it, how it makes you feel. Feel free to comment on any aspect of your writing process, with or without samples.

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Assignment #5 [Aug. 17th, 2006|03:50 pm]

The essence of Action Poetry is speed, spontaneity and responsiveness to others in the room.

You are going to sit down and write three poems a day for the next week. Think you can't? You're wrong.

Feel free to post as little or as much as you like this Tuesday, August 22. Documentation of the process would be an amazing thing to read as well.
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