Friday, May 30, 2003
pleasure du jour
(version 6)

Your scalp my page
I piss on you

a long line of urine
spelling out

Standing On Mountain Looking Down At You
I Realize You're No Eagle


THOUGHTS: The Poetics here being in the lineage of *A Comedy of Errors*

Thursday, May 29, 2003
pleasure du jour
(version 5)

you're no eagle

I piss on you --

on yo bald head
bald head
bald head


THOUGHTS: Aaaaarghhh! Now just remember, peeps. The goal of this blog is for me to find one -- JUST ONE -- keeper from a totally clichetic theme. So suffer with me as you read the dross...just remember I'm the one regurgitating and, thus, suffering most....

Wednesday, May 28, 2003
pleasure du jour
(version 4)

high enough
for me to piss
on eagles --

their bald heads

their cracked beaks

their talons
permanently stained by
blood of mice

permanently flared
like wings of fallen angels falling

permanently poised to attack

permanently poised

their eyes reflecting grey sky


with the sheen of diamond rings

beckoning before cutting

and cutting again

slashing, a slashing

surgical precision
to reach then gash bone

among my people, urine
is a healing elixir

pleasure du jour
(version 3)

high enough
for me to piss
on eagles --

their bald heads

their cracked beaks

their talons
permanently stained
with the blood of mice

permanently flared
like wings of fallen angels falling

permanently poised to attack

their eyes reflecting grey sky


with the sheen of diamond rings

beckoning before cutting

and cutting again


surgical precision
to reach then gash the bone

among my people, urine
is a healing elixir

pleasure du jour
(version 2)

high enough
for me to piss
on eagles --

their bald heads
their cracked beaks

Tuesday, May 27, 2003
pleasure du jour

high enough
for me to piss
on eagles --

their bald heads

Saturday, May 24, 2003
The Fable of the White Elephant

Three years ago, Michael Nolan traveled to Greece on a quixotic design quest: to locate a flawless boulder of pure white marble. Mr. Nolan, an architect in New York, was in search of a stone free of shadows and veins, as pure as a glass of milk.
--from "For High Design, A Hard Sell" by Peter Hellman, The New York Times, May 22, 2003

Wall of mirrors
reflects ice

"modernist bathtub"
squared by Greek
artisans shaving marble
into "rare thinness"

"The bathtub has never been used"
"Nor has the silvery white Starck-designed bed"

Price dropped from $22.5 million to $15.9 million

"Suppose a would-be purchaser
wants to make the space
his or her own by tearing it
apart and starting afresh?"

"Good design is not about fine materials.
It's about creating a place with
a beating heart. My family
was going to be that beating heart."

Non-mainstream media's smudged ink
reveals Shanti Rangwani
on the poison of negated color --
"Celebrity shills sporting milk mustaches
tell us milk is rich in proteins, calcium,
and vitamins -- and very cool to boot.
They forget to tell you about
the dangers lurking
in that innocuous-looking glass of white.
The supposedly hip milk mustache
is actually a creamy layer of mucus,
live bacteria, and pus."

Friday, May 23, 2003
--after 'Painting" by Richard Tuttle, 1970's, Wood and Paint on Cardboard

You "found" a plank of wood whose edges ended in meticulous squares. You sliced its edges at a 45-degree angle before joining the piece into the 90-degree cleavage formed where a floor halted a wall. The slant faced the room, and faced the world:

     the sun blinks forth cloud in astonishment

You say, I made a painting. I say: Your creation greets me as an intersection. Perhaps you thought to suggest a horizon need not be something as impassive as a line, but something for capturing intimacy through landscape--e.g., what meets vision when we duck and see the toes curling on our wide, flat feet. //      If I mirrored your behavior to create a similar object and laid its slant against your wood's angled face, we together would have re-"made" the cube you had obviated as if the theory of perfection denoted by a square could never leave its shadow inside a cavern -- did I just scoff? //      Did I not dream last night of a steel sculpture I draped with grey velvet to gentle its austerity without diluting its color? Did I not warm milk past midnight, then stir in an amber strand of honey? I was merely attempting to comprehend your action, only to feel him again as the very air against my cheek. He is as intangible as my love is unrequited. Consequently, I understand your child as an ancient log split with a cut whose incline is irrelevant. What is significant is that the wood remains fractured and felled to the floor. No matter how beautiful this plundered posture, this limb akimbo and sprawling, redemption remains elusive. I see no shadow from a dove's attempt to mate with the sky; I feel no white feather loosened from an angel's wing.


THOUGHTS: Aaaargghhh.

unrequited is a bladed word

unrequited is owned and operated
unrequited is so much more pretty than unwanted
unrequited is the moving story of a love that wasn't meant to be
unrequited is a crushing yoke; but if you see love as a game...

unrequited is the worst state to be aware of
unrequited is a damp match at the worst possible time
unrequited is something that crops up in your songs
unrequited is all i see

unrequited is star
unrequited is a different story
unrequited is a tune that reminds me of time spent in geneva
unrequited is a two part invention for piano

unrequited is an acute tension that worked baudelaire to the bone
unrequited is a bladed word
unrequited is underscored with both rumbling bass baritones and lilting vocals
unrequited is quelled

unrequited is so meltingly done
unrequited is my longing for a name i dare not say
unrequited is far more important then what is
unrequited is up to the gentle reader

unrequited is the saddest love of all
unrequited is not annulled simply by graciousness
unrequited is always worth cherishing
unrequited is not love


THOUGHTS: See 5/22/03 post at WinePoetics

Thursday, May 22, 2003
Untitled (Bookstore), 2000
--for John

Where Mathematics Come From
The Stranger In The Mirror
The Twelve Wild Swans
In The Heart Of The Sea

Power, Money, Fame, Sex -- A User's Guide
Beer And Circus
A Vast Conspiracy
Blood Of The Liberals

And Tiger Told The Shark -- A
      Collection Of The Greatest True
      Golf Stories Of All Time
POTUS Speaks

The Case For Marriage
The Path Of Practice
Field Guide To The American Teenager
The Zen Of Listening

Immutable Laws Of Internet Branding
Darkness In El Dorado
A Brief History of Tomorrow
Brunelleschi's Rome

When Genius Failed
Spirit Matters
The Half-Jewish Book: A Celebration
Decoding Darkness


THOUGHTS: Thanks to Bill Allegrezza, editor of Moria Poetry for first publishing this poem in 2000. I'm using this blog primarily as a means to write new poems, but I'm also using it as a reason to edit old poems. Though I didn't edit this poem, as I was looking through my files I stumbled across this poem and thought it might belong in "Love's Last Gasps" because, as I read it -- for the first time in over a year -- I recalled incidents where, in trying to get over failed romances, I (and other friends) sometimes found ourselves interrupting our days's normal progressions by being suddenly lost in thought. In this situation that this poem evokes for me now, I am imagining how someone, say, in a bookstore might end up losing focus on the "now" to ruminate over what happened in the aftermath of an ended (or ending) relationship. And I imagine that person shaking his/her head to clear said head, and then noticing the titles on the shelves in front of him/her, and suddenly conflating those titles with his/her situation. And I confess, too, to being intrigued by how I'm recontextualizing this poem, which originally had not been about any story but been about exploring the materiality of words (I wrote it based on listing some titles on the shelf of a bookstore while doing some holiday shopping). The last line "Decoding Darkness" is certainly apt; when Love dies, light recedes... Last but not least, the recontextualization is also significant (to me, anyway) because these poems are supposed to be about a dying Love BUT, as poems, they certainly are free to...uh, free themselves of the poet's intention sometime in the future... (Oh, and the dedication to John was because this poet helped teach me a lot about thinking of words in ways other than their meanings and, as I said, this poem originally was intended simply to explore language rather than share a tale).

Wednesday, May 21, 2003

She found a dusty letter
She sent it back to him
Not to get rid of ancient words
To remind him, remind hymn

How Can Love Die Without An Anger Poem

A kid roasts on spit

You know its meat
will suffocate swallows
make belly heave

But you stoke flames with more faggots

Forego spices
as fire leaps

Fingers twitch, anticipating
the sear from melting fat
slicking skin
on quivering hands
raising scorched meat

Repelled mouth refuses flinch

You foretell ... a feeling

You feel
your flesh will be the one falling off the bone

Where is your mouth to scream?


THOUGHTS: A better title is needed, but this working title explains why I wrote this. I'm developing this blog through poems, but along a narrative of envisioning the aftermath of a romance -- where there are ebbs and flows in the aftermath of emotions, and I'd noticed I hadn't yet written an angry poem....obviously, I should write one since anger is sure to rise in this aftermath. Other thoughts:

1) I relied on short "i" and long "e" sounds because the shapes they cause your lips to form is similar to what is formed when one grits one's teeth
2) The referenced "kid" in first line reflects both young goat and a child, their shared significance being a metaphor (in my mind) for a relationship that will not continue developing
3) The referenced "spit" in first line relates to both the barbecue as well as the saliva -- bile -- of an embittered lover(s)
4) The referenced "swallows" refers to how we may *swallow* our words (perhaps hesitant to speak from anger lest we later regret what we say), but also swallows as small (fragile) birds. Love is often so "small" (in a negative context). And Love is often also fragile...
5) "Faggots" means wood but I also chose it for its context as an insult; still, I'm unsure about its reference to homosexuals, which applicability for this poem I'm still considering (and so may end up replacing that word)
6) The lines "Forego spices" and "Repelled mouth refuses flinch" relate to same concept I noted in the poem "As Days Blur" -- that when lovers argue over betrayal, the one betrayed often demands "specifics", a confrontation with knowledge.
7) The ending two stanzas relate to how (i) there is no satisfaction necessarily found in lashing out in anger; and (ii) as we mull over the end of a relationship, we may turn inward, *eating one's self up*
8) I'm not sure the last line is necessary; I suspect I am keeping it in, for now, because I don't think the penultimate stanza ends strongly enough....
9) As I write out above thoughts, I keep wondering if such commentary is useful. I did intend to do a poem blog with both poems and commentary but I'm realizing I'm not totally comfortable with offering commentary side by side with a poem (that notion of letting the poem speak for itself)....though, I'll keep this commentary in for now....I may refuse to be as open about my own thoughts in future poems. It's not that I wish to be not open; it's just that I think the poem transcends autobiography (including intention)....Still mulling over this issue, its various implications....I don't feel as much conflict with the other (poetics) blog because I often discuss poetics without poems as examples...

Tuesday, May 20, 2003

then my warm elbow begins to rub against ________

those beasts gone wild / who take gardens for pastures -- Ibn Faraj

my fingers creep up to play with your left nipple before ________

the ripe wheat / bending before the wind -- Ibn 'Iyad

you groan as it becomes clear you can't ignore ________

juniper stains / the muzzle of the antelope -- Abu I-Hasan 'Ali ibn Hisn

you look down and the motion tilts your nose to graze my soft ________

breeze lifts / the coattails of the hills -- Muhammad ibn Ghalib al-Rusafi

groan again, give up, pull me up so your eyes penetrate _______

on the page of her cheek, / silver flowed over gold -- The Umayyad Prince Marwan ibn 'Abd al-Rahman

your lips latch, your tongue now filling ______

he arises to announce the death of night -- Al-As'ad Ibrahim ibn Billitah

your hands drop to cup my ass, pulling me hard against ______

The goblets were heavy -- Idris ibn al-Yamani

my fingers splayed across your chest while my thumbs kept circling _____

let's get this straight -- Ibn Sharaf


I am recovering narrative to return to you

Her glance, like a gazelle's -- Ibn Khafaja

He did not expect sweetness from her lost tongue

"Post: Reticence"

Silence extends blindness
from scorpion's sting --

Nicked twice by
wordless "scare quotes" --

No horizon
not a mute(d) line --

No fairy tale stallion
whipping white mane --

No virgin's story
fringing silk shawls --

Nothing to veil
sun's livid death --

No sky torn
for sacrificed strips

(Nothing float-falling
as demure ribbons) --

No blue satin
hemming a gown --

No resolute dancing within
your resolved arms --

No music, for once,
not pale, not dissonant --

No wind releasing
cinnamon troves of kings --

Nor cinnabar reminders, nor sins
forgiven, nor rain --

No sheen glinting
from "impassive gravel" --

Nothing to soothe
the ears of my eyes --

No quicksilver flickering
to silver wet leaves --


Bakit Bakit Bakit Bakit Bakit Bakit
Bakit Bakit Bakit Bakit Bakit Bakit
Bakit Bakit Bakit Bakit Bakit Bakit
Bakit Bakit Bakit Bakit Bakit Bakit
Bakit Bakit Bakit Bakit Bakit Bakit
Bakit Bakit Bakit Bakit Bakit Bakit
Bakit Bakit Bakit Bakit Bakit Bakit
Bakit Bakit Bakit Bakit Bakit Bakit
Bakit Bakit Bakit Bakit Bakit Bakit


THOUGHTS: "Bakit" is Tagalog for "Why?"


There is conflict, conflictedness
but the drowning
is willed --

the willingness
of eyes stubbornly open
before onslaught of thorns

You want to know
Oh, here are specific roses


THOUGHTS: When lovers argue over betrayal, the one betrayed often demands "specifics" -- the thorns lurking beneath the blooms. Hmmm, are inserting these thoughts getting in the way of the poems themselves? Perhaps in this case. Anyway, will let this thought remain but be more *aware* in the future of getting out of poem's way....

Teddy Bear Tanka (#1)

Fur and leather-nosed
teddy bears defend against
the chill penetrating stone
walls. Yes I remember now
you loved correcting my hair.


THOUGHTS: I've received many teddy bears from many lovers oh yes I have! Anyway, sip (oops, wrong blog. Anyway:) A tanka, circa 1877, is an unrhymed Japanese verse form of five lines containing 5, 7, 5, 7, and 7 syllables respectively. The poem starts out but doesn't end in this form because when Love is dying, who gives an F about form? Which is to say: form matches content?

"if you'd never hit me, I wouldn't know my skeleton"
--from Widow Basquiat by Jennifer Clement

to make a poem
to make a Life
means leaving
the smallest space
once cleared with urgency
once cleared from Urgency

Fingers scarred themselves
to hollow stone
for a space one leaves
through collapse

even collapsing into
the type of gratitude
authored by a girl
allowing her father's punches
to enable a certain conclusion:
"I now comprehend my skeleton!"

For her farewell present
the sibling who shared her bedroom
chose birth control
pills at a garage sale

Elsewhere -- let us not forget
there is always an "elsewhere" --
the paint killed two cats
who licked the spilt cobalt
from a wet mural of a rainbow

I don't need to lack a chromosome
to look directly at the sun
without flinching
or bleed
when you scratch my doll

Today my mother wept
"When my thighs released you
I felt your small wet wings
Why this mature addiction
to peering over the edge of Hell"

This may provide zero consolation


behind wide-open eyes
I know to keep chanting
(I know to keep pleading)
Abate, Abate, Abate...

Oh, World: Please



THOUGHTS: The poem's narrative references were stolen from instances in Jennifer Clement's poetic memoir, Widow Basquiat. Meanwhile, I'm wondering whether (i) the parenthetical "(I know to keep pleading!)" should remain in the poem; and (ii) whether the line "without flinching" should be indented. I'm also still uncertain with this poem because I'm not comfortable wielding declaratives in a poem....But B.S. said something that perversely gave me reason to retain it: "It took me a while to get this one. But now the chills...."

Thursday, May 01, 2003

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