Monday, September 26, 2005

"David Shapiro, "Dream of the Truth or Truth but Slant for Her"

I kiss Lindsay
and tell her how beautiful
her face is.

Later she takes a knife
and is going to plunge it
into my poem.

I tell her, Never plunge it
straight in.
Do it at an angle.


"Truth But Slant or As an Eagle"

I kiss you
and tell you how classic
your face is.

Later you take a dagger
and are going to chop it
into my neck.

I tell you, Never plunge it
straight in.
Do it at an angle.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005


Deep in the woods a coyote
lost its howl, a man wandered
away from his village to find
food and saw the coyote, the
coyote asked the man for help
and the man said yes and got a
shovel and dug a hole and found
the howl and returned it into the
coyote's throat and the coyote gave
the man a gift, called ice-cream

Monday, September 19, 2005

Jim Behrle, "I'm Ready to Walk the Walk"

remember: your mouth was once a vagina

when the soup gets cold they charge twice as much

true love leaves no traces

what I leave behind Crime Scene finds with black lights

"We can still count the number of women who attempt

writing on such a scale on the fingers of our hands."
an old lady floats by through poopy water

who gets to burst first, you or me?

on tv black women chant "help us, help us"

the beautiful story about the cicada tattoo

I ate a cicada for you

and the mighty power of God fills the air

inside me is a cellphone tower

count the sex acts that have been

committed in this hotel room

and add two


wish they'd covered it up better

soap gets in your eyes

bad light / bad heat / "that jelly rolls in the


Thursday, September 15, 2005

Tom Murphy "Overblown by a Host of Imperial Contradictions, I Reminisce"

Overblown by a Host of Imperial Contradictions, I Reminisce
about a Simpler Time in a Safer Place

all the blank spots collected in one heap. as

articulate and conventional. one hill of them

without butterflies. or dogs. or kites. but say

an arrangement of happinesses down the other

side away from town. here we mope and jingle

our fine nuisance away. cramped by a question.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

kari edwards, "constant crazy"

I am being called to pray
to allah
by the jains
in a crumbling postcolonial
irrational utopia
crumbling in a spirit of sanity
and cricket mornings

opens the door
for the sick and dying
the lame and never healed

circle the wagons
rip open the heart
turn up the speakers

tears down the concept
body flesh
body ego
hollow screaming
when there is only yes

dying singing
burning dying

broadcast shiva
always burning
burning water
running out of water
running out of allah

call me to prayer
call me a windmill
endless pumping
ceaseless fire
five directions
a dedication to a million trees
a breath from ganesh
remover of obstacles
nothing everything
wrenching sorrow
snake sorrow
twelve pillar sorrow
that never ends
that never begins
can never return
to crazy
constant crazy

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Noah Eli Gordon, "A Miniature Symphony May Be A Watercolor"

In gears of the silverfish
rounding a corner of
the house that is not
a house at all but a misshapen
riverbed out of which brushstrokes
freed of systemic order compose
from this score a movement.

In the gears of the silverfish.

In the photograph of a misshapen riverbed.

In the language of musical notation.

In charcoal and chalk on paper, glass and a mouth underneath.


Sunday, September 11, 2005

Tony Robinson, "Dog Day Sonnet"

1. It is only the rain in August a likely repetition this year makes like the last.

2. A list may be useful: ten things about Oregon or five things only you know about Oregon.

3. Downpour. We have ears & eyes for combat.

4. Fires on the hills behind my house of sticks. Faggots & fascicles spontaneously combust.

5. Approaching it with high expectations. How else can we enter?

6. A boy’s club. A place for gathering. When we fuck the night bunches up at the corners.

7. The electric fan hums & the open windows smell of sixteen gravel pits asphalt.

8. When you cried out I was thinking of a sandwich the blood you left behind.

9. All the old forms have been used up between the “compacts of sluts.”

10. A phrase repeated again accrues symbolic relevance even as it is drained of semantic juice.

11. In the summer’s first real rainstorm the usual gloaming is obscured by clouds with the faces of men.

12. My house contains four Mexican rugs. It contains a woman and a pig.

13. Cloudy in the morning chance of showers animals dying softly on the doorjamb.

14. We only say it in the dark or repeated in many tongues. What can we possibly know?

Tony Robinson, "To the Future"

My friends moved to Chicago, leaving me here on the sidewalk where a dandelion pushes up.

I have an amazing story to tell you: the rash on my face is caused by drinking too much.

I often think in the summer of moving with you to Arizona to sand dunes to dune grass tufted high to saguaros.

I think on these long days of Popsicles.

All afternoon and evening it’s hot and old folks cluster around rusted automobiles.

There is gunmetal and skin patchy and rough.

We turn different colors against the sun in Arizona and we strive to make it through the next year one year at a time.

I do not have an automobile you will have to drive me there and blow me in the front passenger seat.

We will drink in Arizona to keep cool to keep our rapidly oxidizing bodies supple against the firm desert weather.

I have filled my portable storage device with photographs and songs of you.

Trying on my best outfits, I am torn between linen and tweed, my chest cracked open with love.

Breaking the mirror and losing the pieces, set free by a small anthology of favorite verses, set free by airy absences left behind by my gone compatriots.

If I say you are statuesque it means I want to extend you, want our bodies to be like canoes on water like yellow leaves blanketing the Autumn sidewalk.

I don’t know who you are yet. I haven’t had the pleasure of your coming.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Eileen Tabios, "CIRCA 2005"

I am beginning
to suspect

an open door
is overrated.

Yes, it obviates the paradox
of a wall

necessary to allow
for an entry.

But why dismiss the barricade?

Mosquitos are hovering.

the results of bad parenting

Tom Beckett, "Hay(na)ku for Mayhew"


doesn't, as

I don't, know


to use

'para' or 'por'.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Ricardo Aleixo, "Love Is"

a series of fragmentary beach parties
we have no choice but to attend

a voice cries out loud and long
this morning, we exist

ah my trick vibrating eyeballs,
excuse me while I ruin this piano

—trans. K. Silem Mohammad

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Kate Greenstreet, "Introvert"

Deep in my own green element,
I met a friend—
my double, my dearest.

pulled me out of the sea,
placed me

in this pan of water,
added salt,
and taught me to eat bread.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Leopoldo Maria Panero & Claudio Rizzo, from "Tenso"

From afar, aware of the immense distance, I stifle
il soffio al cuore: abruptly, like a burnt-out bulb.

I passed my hand through your graying hair and
someone said: il mio bambino.

Everything locked behind bars of hard metal.

(trans. J. Mayhew)

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Michael Helsem, "Talking to Robots"

Titan silk story
want unknown

Oswald pillbug glass skillful aspic
straw wodwo brisk cyborg swill

maskful ontology ptarmigan sully
individual skins

and to swarm
into foolproof tsunami twilight

Heather Brinkman, "Petition Candles"

gran torino
where my
and no butterscotch men
only joy of being trashy
mello yellow poverty
wearing a tinged bolero
like candle wax skin
of my Mary of Guadalupe