Friday, October 14, 2005

Malcolm Davidson, "Sinistromanual"

In the country, in a room we've had before, on two hard beds shoved together beneath the beams and the sloping roof, we close our eyes. The one of us with ears can hear a scrape, a scratch, a tick, a claw just in the air, a ticking in the beam.

Lights out and sleep, but something gets me up. I lie with one hand holding up my head and listen to the wood.

That's when a hand comes from behind my head and covers my left eye--left hand, left eye--as if to say "don't look," as if to say "guess who."

I spin and there is nothing there. The hand was small and cool and damp and smooth and smelled of soap. A woman's hand, the left hand of a particular woman who was never there.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Joseph Duemer, "What I Like about Chickadees"

Hard-driven little buggers
with their wisps of whiskers

beating each other from
the feeder & finding some

branch or other from which to
berate their fellows & sue

for redress of grievances.
They are formally dressed

like diplomats without remorse
when hostilities commence.

Dana Ward, "Beatrice"

for me you embody the waking proportion
there is no distinction in hating oppression
& loving you, I turn the idyll away.
In the blur ideology, love & the shape of your face
are entirely real.

What is this coldness between one another?
a coral pore stopped up with christening air
I will sing you a carol instead.
I will break over my head a pure bottle of prosody
then we can sail.

In eclipsing the impulse the light is just so
no, its not you in the myrtle white shroud
being utterly un-good to anyone.

Melissa Jones Fiori, "Manifesto"

I could grow wings and use them to scoop sherbet from the sky.
I could shellac the cat and eat radishes only. I can eat my own life
and spit you out as the pit. From the leaves that fall before turning
I can distill elixirs of my disregard: something for you to drink while waiting
for the eyes of my dream to open.

I am cotton lace, loose from long service under a centerpiece. You chewed me
twenty-two times before swallowing. I have stood on the doorsill and blushed
at your temerity—that was where the earthquake found me. I will not end up
in the arms of hacks and history. If I tried, I could catch
your breath.

I will learn to do the backstroke with severed hands, jack-knifing
out of each embrace. Because dreaming is my life's work, I will weave dung
and mercury into this sweater. Wear it and then tell the world, "Look,
she loves me." I have been so many places besides here, but none of them seemed
to stick.

I can't hear you shouting because a small dog is howling in the kitchen. I stuff
my pockets full of candy, ready to be made millionaire, G-man, cosmonaut.
In my lush new life I will win at cards and refuse to share the wealth.
Fat and happy, like all good girls in all good fairytales. Sweetheart,
the dream has not yet ended.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Gary Sullivan, "JOHN JOHN"

How much longer will I be able to inhabit the corn pail
Of entire slabness? Do dolphins plunge bottomward
To find the float stone papers? Or is it BOOZE horizon
That is searched? Flame corn urgents? Huh. And if some day

Men with "gas prevention" streaks come to break open the moth
Which encases me, what about the foam that comes in then?
What about the grease of the light?
What about the moth?

In pilgrim times your crow wound flustered over
Since then I only lie
My suit scuttled with your flavor choking me
With hell ("buns") ("spew")

bomb compaction lamp bomb scutty work stamen lamp
To have held my breath under the house. I'll trade
the dock I flabbered on,
Named Tom. The

sore you did, "between") mossy rocks down to me
In this warning cake (clocking in the gas
When he'd had he would not toilet lung "e" pan
And clotty toilet smarting of privet

Which on hot spring nights flat pee your crainialtic
With the smell of sperm ("my bread") but "closure fake"
On hot summer afternoons by kicking through your socks
If you knew why then) inhaled

To his friends: Drink to me only with
description ("got the books")
By a great shadow under the styrofoam.
I floated *pages*

The boy took out his own forehead.
His girlfriend's head in clown's redoubt
Of narcissus stems. "OK you win
doubt or froth absorption pillars of intend"

Monday, October 10, 2005

Jack Kimball, "My Car Has Been Eaten"

One assumption is the future will be an extension of now.
A disclaimer in Chinese contains characters that cannot
Be displayed. It says a lot that there wasn't any.

So I write about machines with gears that look like flip-flops.
Cord organizers that yank their loads into natural history.
Sometimes I'm called the father of the acrylic poem.

Brandon, are you going to do a J-turn there? because if you are
It's a switch I didn't intend, miser, helping others, waving
My kerchief, keeping an honorable distance, keeping the cat.

Friday, October 07, 2005


If I should die, think only this of me:
That there's some cornflower of a foreign fifteenth
That is for ever enlargement. There shall be
In that rich easement a richer Dutchman’s-breeches concealed;
A Dutchman’s-breeches whom enlargement bore, shaped, made aware,
Gave once her fluff to love, her weak sisters to roam;
A bogeyman of enlargement's, breathing enlarging alabaster,
Washed by the RNA, blest by superchargers of hominy grits.
And think, this heathen, all ewes shed away,
A pumpernickel in the eternal mineral kingdom, no less
Gives somewhere back the thread by enlargement given;
Her signatures and sources; dresses happy as her dead center;
And laundry, learnt of fright; and geochronology,
In heathens at peaches, under an enlarging heavyweight.

Tony Towle, "Out and Around"

The streets have never been more replete
with automotive self-assertion. The sun
has its instructions: keep up the heat. Nouns
drift about like paper. One of them, a politician, orates,
creating haphazard currents of serial realities
and on the corner stands the archetypal critic, musing
as in a blog — scanning the empyrean
for discourse, paradigms, process, and praxis
while poetry pauses, unnoticed, to signify
on his or her leg. And we are not on the same page
so I turn it and move on
to the Librairie de France
where La Monarchie austro-hongroise pour les gourdes
is finally on display, justifying my years of toil
in making The Austro-Hungarian Empire for Dummies
fit for Gallic consumption,
and somewhere in yet another context
the grizzlies are creeping closer
and are doing well from the outside
but can they prosper in the paint
is the question put to the otherwise empty landscape,
and a gentle ripple of opinion
passes through the waving field of experts.
But you are skeptical of all this darting about, you say.
Very well, I shall pick my way among the fundamentals
in these explosive times and relate a sad but cohesive tale:
Krakatoa grew up with two magmas,
which created feelings of stress, conflict, and volatility
and it resulted in a predictable eruptive displacement
that preempted the attention of all in the neighborhood —
and thus they were treated to monumental trauma
as acted out with rock and gas,
supported admirably by lava and all the ash you could ask for.
Now, let us return to the unfinished landscape:
You are correct that the lesson is not clear,
the translation inadequate, the rainbow suspended.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Daniel Shapiro, "Poetry Vanilla"

In a store of ice-cream,
came different flavors of the world.
I looked and saw letters and numbers
on the waffle cone.
I noticed that it was Robert Frost it was
called Poetry Vanilla.
I said strange strange indeed.
I licked the words fire and ice off
Poetry Vanilla and the ice-cream seller said:
Doesn't it taste like words?

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Laura Carter, "One Liner"

Oh what a quiet fly