Friday, March 29, 2013

it was warm today.  real warm.  after work set about with a few errands which involved a trip to target to buy -- you know -- supplies.  driving home near 9:00 pm people were still outside riding their bikes, walking their hounds, in t-shirts and shorts! 

don't know what duchampian poetics is but i want more of it.

got new bedroom furniture.  it's all set up in our bedroom.  the old stuff, dresser, bed, is in the backroom with me -- right now.  every time i look up i see dead wood.

okay, i'd written a few weeks ago that most movies suck.  we are in a period of our culture where everything is corporate -- movies and music.  but it won't always be so.  something will break out of corporate molds. 

i live in a digital world but i love being surrounded by analog things: books, CDs.

ever get that feeling that the you you stare at in the mirror is not the you inside your head but another you from an alternate universe as described in string theory who thinks his life is fucked up too but is staring at you with an envy that can only be described as mild.

spring = cadbury eggs.  fuck yeah.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

for jim mccrary

lady walking in the middle of the street

no one asked how they put needle tracks

on my body after they took my daughter

i listened for as long as i could before parting ways

watched a documentary about ai weiwei

create a duchampian poetics

she lived happily on this earth for seven years

lady walking in the middle of the street

had on the prettiest green dress

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


Go Og Go!

Monday, March 25, 2013



a note on poetry

poetry comes from life.  poetry becomes a life.  just realized i had posted two poems in a row where noah the cat takes center stage.  when that kitty takes a dump he scratches and scratches in his box like it will be his last time so he might as well scratch the paint off the walls.  have i been in a funk?  i ask because it seems to me that i may be in danger of losing my sense of humor.  often life seems like a joke.  sometimes that joke is funny.  i want to write funny.  funny strange.  and especially funny ha ha.  and movies.  i've not been watching many movies.  yet i love cinema.  i am like that old song by the pixies 'where is my mind.'  poetry is a communal art.  because we all own the words.  a picture is worth a thousand words.  and yet poetry is a universe of images.  together we share the universe.  i am you.  you are me.  get used to it.   


sitting on my ass doing nothing

catshit stink

noah in his box scratching


life full of distractions

Thursday, March 21, 2013


late evening movie

alexandre aja

leg going to sleep

noah the cat vigorous scratching in his box

thoughts on no thinking

out they go

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

first day of spring and we finally get a winter rain.  that cleared up.  took the trash outside and looked up.  clear night sky.  stars everywhere.  i've been bone-tired these past two nights.  aging.  i see the man in the mirror and wonder who that is smiling back.  i watched a video of cuban poet omar perez reciting a poem and walking along the waterfront of rotterdam.  let me move with like serenity.  let me say words like movies, like music.  let me also be like bruce lee.  i too want to enter the dragon. 

Monday, March 18, 2013



nosing the truckster into the queue

saturday night at the drive-ins

the pulse quickens


anna said

you are the most nostalgic

man in the world

Saturday, March 16, 2013

the divide [2011]

it was a long, horrible week.  so after anna and nick went to bed i watched this flick.  i've been meaning to see this movie for a while now.  i just can't believe 2 years have passed since it was released.  getting older also means losing track of time.

the filmmaker, xavier gens, is part of a loosely associated group of young horror directors that make up the french new wave of extreme and extremely graphic movies.  these guys, like alexandre aja who helmed haute tension [2003], display fluid camera work and tightly edited scenes that highlight a visceral, graphic yet pulpy violence.  gens has talent but his movies lack better scripts.

the movie begins with eva, played with deft yet grim sincerity by lauren german [who as an actor was an unknown to me], watching her city burn as it is attacked in an unnamed and thru the runtime of the movie un-referenced war that ends with an atomic blast.  she survives along with her egghead french boyfriend, two brothers, a mother and daughter, and a few other denizens of their apartment building.  they hole up in the basement of the building super played genre stalwart michael biehn.

as fear encroaches and supplies dwindle the survivors turn on each other till only one of them survives.  guess who that survivor might be.  i'm not giving nothing away since eva is the anchor of the film.  the movie ends with eva surveying the ruins of her city.  you know she is doomed too.

still the script lacks any narrative cohesion.  there is nothing wrong with leaving things a mystery or keeping a couple threads loose.  the war is never mentioned by the survivors.  right after the survivors settle in to the dull routines of life in a dank basement their idle is disturbed by the arrival of a clique of soldiers who take the daughter away from the group and try to gun down the rest.  the mother, who is assayed by the solid rosanna arquette, goes nuts for the obvious reasons and becomes the sexual slave of the two brothers.  who or what the soldiers are doing and why they need the little girl is never explained nor discussed by the survivors.

a big gaping hole is thus made in the center of the movie.  there is a thread of disturbing psycho-sexual pathology that develops -- for example, arquette becoming the slave of the two brothers who also take control of what little food and water there is -- within the narrative but as brutal as its imagery the pathology is an afterthought within the narrative as a whole.

i kept thinking that gens and his producers should've demanded a watertight screenplay.  this movie is a chamber piece.  all of its action take place within the limited confines of an underground bunker.  even biehn who is usually a dependable onscreen presence spoke lines that sounded like they were written by a third-grader.  a chamber piece depends on good writing.  the best editor and cinematographer can't rescue a flick with an underdeveloped narrative.  the case were game.  the characters were never developed for the viewer to care for their survival.  courtney b. vance is a good actor but is wasted in this movie as a survivor who unlocks a secret held by biehn.  i did want eva to survive but not for the sake of her character.  i just wanted the movie to end.           

Thursday, March 14, 2013

on death

you find the turtle in its box its dessicated body and head shrove in to its shell

you take the turtle which is palm-sized to the garden in the backyard with your son

you take up a flagstone dig a little hole and your son places the turtle in

you say a few words you say he was a good turtle you thank him for the presence he had in your lives

you put the flagstone back

your son finds the goldfish floating on its back and bobbing in the bubbles he says i think it's dead

you come home from a long exhausting day you forgot about the goldfish

your son reminds you that the goldfish has died

you and your son take the goldfish from its tank and take it to the garden

you take up the flagstone that was next to the turtle's flagstone and your son digs a little hole

your son has been crying over the death of the goldfish

your son is crying and places the goldfish into the hole

you say a few words you say he was a good goldfish you thank him for the presence he had in your lives

you put the flagstone back

you take your crying son into the house for his bath

you half-quote whitman by saying death is luckier

you don't think so

you say you are here and then you are not

you half-quote donne by saying that luminous absence

you search for its light

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


walk now to bad writing

no run

the gesture to take a step on j st

is the same gesture any where in the world

the mind is frizzled

someone asked for a banana

hey now

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


another thing

must be the histamines

comet in the western sky

warmth and so very cute

the daschund lifting its leg

to piss and rolling up its eyes

Monday, March 11, 2013


less formal training in a half-ass way

not knowing where to stand but to fall

the power of sight when one sees a gorgeous ass

pass as you hurtle toward work

dogen said to study the self is to forget the self

to forget the self is to be enlightened by all things

let's not argue about enlightenment when

sun and bare legs are to borrow a phrase

from another poet the keening muse

Saturday, March 09, 2013

albums that changed my life

Walk Among Us

punk music and horror movies?  are you kidding me!! 

30 years ago the misfits helped created the sub-genre horror-punk.  their tunes were so cartoon silly and grotesque, their image was so cool, and their sound was catchy that it seemed for a while many punk bands joined in the fray and started writing songs about monsters, goblins and sex with the dead. 

but it is the misfits led by glenn danzig, who with his deep voice and elvis presley-like persona, that did it, if not first, then the best.  b-movie horror and melodic hardcore punk were a perfect marriage.  the misfits brought to fruition my own obsession of movies and music.  how could i not fall in love.

i remember where i was when i first heard the record.  i was 15 and hanging out in a house filled with older punks who had as their sound system a piece of shit cassette player.  most punks didn't have, or couldn't afford, good stereo units so a piece of shit cassette player was nearly the standard listening system most of the punks i knew used.  i was spending the day at this house because i was waiting to see the circle jerks perform at the little hall located in mckinley park across the street. 

the tunes are sing-a-long and catchy as hell.  the lyrics are funny once you get past their obcene surfaces.  for example the song 'Mommy, Can I Go Out and Kill Tonight' is full-bore thrash that will have you tapping your feet.  but the lyrics are so googoogaga out-there that you feel like you've stepped into a funhouse with those crazy mirrors.  for all its affront and disorientation you can't take it seriously.

i still have the vinyl LP i bought 30 years ago.  i haven't listened to the vinyl for many many years because i don't have a record player.  i do have a cd that my great friend b. burned for me.  the cd is at work where i listen to it with volume down low.  if these songs are silly even sillier still is a 40-something old punk humming tunes about astro-zombies and a devil's whorehouse at his desk and not finding it ironic at all. 

Wednesday, March 06, 2013


going to YouTube to watch some vids

of the punk band nomeansno

we are old the band cries


but what snaps like a rubberband

against the bridge of my nose is an advert

for AARP as the video began to play

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

albums that changed my life

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

i don't know where i scored the LP from.  maybe a sister of a friend.  i really don't know.  but when i found it -- the record, the beatles -- i was obsessed.  i was 10 years old.  i was as old as the album.  the LP was released on june 1, 1967, the summer of love.  i entered this world on june 9th. 

not that the release of the record and my own appearance on the world is linked in any way.  except in my own mind and the fact that i thought of the album -- the sleeve had seen some hard times for it was scuffed and stained -- as belonging to an earlier time.  but this masterpiece was at the time only 10 years old.  a veritable baby still in the world.

i've always been a writer of some sort.  i was always writing something.  i wanted to become a lyricist and i wrote song lyrics that have happily disappeared in the intervening years.  and so the beatles's lyrics, especially 'a day in the life', had a profound effect on my own writing.  i even collaged some of the lyrics into a school paper a couple years later and was delighted when it was recognized and praised by the student teacher who wrote in red ink 'i love the beatles too.  she was a kindred spirit.

i wore that record out from continual playing.  i tried, in my limited way, analyzing the song structures, the movement, the sound mix, the different instruments.  and i loved the voice of john lennon.  some of the words were alien to me.  i didn't grow up in england so a reference to the house of lords was thrillingly exotic.  plasticine porters with looking glass ties was an odd bit of surrealism where the drug references were lost on a wee lad.  what did that matter.  the language used by the beatles conjured magic and mystery.  their songs inhabited my very cells. 

i became a lifelong fan of the beatles.  Abbey Road and Rubber Soul and Revolver each took their place in my obsessiveness.  but it is Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band that is the beatles greatest achievement that prevail my devotion. 

Saturday, March 02, 2013

albums that have changed my life

this will be an occasional series on the music that has meant the most to me.  anna and i have rediscovered music in the past 6 or so years and have been going to concerts again.  we will see The Postal Service next month in support of the 10th anniversary of their album give up.  90s alt-rockers Toad the Wet Sprocket will also play in a smaller venue that is only a few blocks from our house the day after The Postal Service gig, and i'm thinking have walking down to see the toadies just for the hell of it.

color me impressed with poet paul muldoon and his band wayside shrines.  actually i listend to a couple of their tunes and they ain't bad.  besides muldoon has always been obsessed with pop music.  i have several of his books, the most recent in my possession is hay [fsg; 1998], in which muldoon writes short poems in the service of liner notes.  i've lost touch with what muldoon was up to until i read that he has a new book of rock lyrics.  okay, then.

why not.  thurston moore and lee ranaldo are musicians that have published some pretty good poems.  and i am waiting for a few musicians like shane macgowan, tom verlaine, andy partridge, nick lowe and elvis costello to write books.  don't know if these rockers will write books but they have the chops to do it and i for one will be the first in line to buy their books. 

so later i'll begin with the first album that literally changed how i hear and see the world.  there will be punk albums, electronica, post-punk, rock, a little heavy metal.  some albums will be ancient and some quite recent.  they will all be pop music.  i have a great appreciation for classical music and jazz but it's pop that's the shit for me.  when i was starting to write a few of my colleagues were writing poems in praise of mingus and charlie parker.  that's fine but that wasn't the music that stirred my soul.  in fact, writing about jazz musicians when you are 18 or so appeared to be a little preening because you have read your ginsberg and keroauc and they wrote about jazz so you must write about it too.  at the time i felt out of sorts because i was writing about sid vicious and darby crash.  at the time i had no idea other poets were also writing about sid vicious and darby crash.  now i know better.  right.  well, well.  perhaps.  perhaps not.  here goes. . .

Friday, March 01, 2013


i had asked for a name

make it genetic unable to choose

give up choice

staccato traffic a song from the p.a.

i thought i knew

the world i thought i knew

my role in this thing

lose myself give up lose

the passport in the republic of letters