Tag Archives: poetry


-Let's say for the sake
	of argument
-that only 90% of everything sucks.
-For every ten blooms of Queen Anne's lace,
-one is the wide circle of snowy fractals that
	floats beside the road like an ethereal crown.
-For every ten New England trees in fall,
-One burns redder than the imagination
	through the all the fibers of its leaves
-For every ten songs, one makes you jump and twitch and smile in your bus seat,
	then look up to see if anyone noticed.
-For every ten kisses, one gets you into terrible trouble.
-So then which line of this poem
-is the good one?


Today I feel old.
I am drinking pu-er and eating an old apple
alone at night

I am remembering bread and butter
across a melamine table in a messy kitchen
The pauses, breaths caught, trapped in the throat like little butterfies
washed down with red wine

I am remembering hot New York slices
and tepid coffee
gulped down to the rhythm of a New York sidewalk
defensive against the terrible night to come

I am remembering water with an alkaline tang
and little oat bars, sticky, crumbling
in my dusty, dry hands
eaten against the journey, against the sun’s wrath

I am remembering a black olive stuck on every finger
eaten with giggles and milk moustaches
kisses delivered as wards against growing up

I am remembering two coffees
two sets of gloves resting on a table
defying the last train of the night
to go home without us

I have eaten my apple to a jagged core
I have drunk all my tea
I am patient
for tomorrow

Thing-a-day 7: Plato told them: A Poem about remix

Plato told
Them that was crucified
the falling stars

time is enormous long river
and I’m standing in it just as you’re standing in it

We all put into the river
and it flows away from us

That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
That we all labor together transmitting the same charge and succession,
We few equals indifferent of lands, indifferent of times,
that you and he might touch each other.

certainly told them

I can reach down into that river and take out what I need
to get though this world.
Stories and songs and poems
Important events and important ideas

When the stars threw down their spears,
And watered heaven with their tears,
They should have been a pair of ragged claws
Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.

Jesus told them

From pent-up aching rivers,
it flows down to me
The words of my book nothing, the drift of it every thing,

(They didn’t believe it,no
sir)it took
a nipponized bit of
the old sixth


to tell them.

(With deepest affection for EE Cummings, TS Eliot, Walt Whitman, Rilke, Utah Phillips, Yeats and William Blake)

Tab Dump

  • From the wonderful and ever surprising Carl Malamud, audio of TS Elliot Himself reading the Wasteland. Other than all the talk about copyright, it’s something else to here it from the author. I felt like I could understand it in a new way.
  • Matt Taibbi, who is normally at his finest when Savaging Thomas Friedman, has found something even better to savage- Goldman Sachs. He continues with a piece about Goldman Sachs gaming the TARP. In my fantasy, Taibbi testifies a lot for a new version of the Pecora Commission.

My current favorite poem, by Katherine Dunn

I found this only in one place across the net, and never found it included in any book. It’s like it barely exists- just on a personal blog called broken ladder, and in a song by illimitable Steinski. It is simply one of the most amazing poems I have ever encountered.

american dozens: remembered curses from the playground – by katherine dunn

your mother is probably the only one you’ve ever known
who really wanted to kill you
and your mother stopped cars on sunset boulevard
by the length of her legs and the magyar in her cheekbones
though she claimed it was just good posture

and your mother married five handsome men
but swore she only did it for the money
and your mother made ships out of pine cones
and guns out of milk cans
and no human male was calm within fifty feet of her

and your mother told wild stories at the dinner table
till you were cramped and leaking with laughter
she said stalin died from eating two whole chickens all by himself
but she ate only wings and necks and the pope’s nose

and your mother called you ‘dove’ or ‘childy’ and broke your nose
and put your baby brother in the hospital with a fractured pelvis
and your mother dragged you through bean fields and dreams
and turned the hose on bill collectors

and your mother could curse
and your mother stole proudly saying “it’s not dishonest, it’s resourceful!”
and your mother the teetotaler
ran a desoto full of booze into dry counties to buy christmas toys

and your mother ran a red light in a strange town and got the arresting officer
to pay her rent
and your mother fed you, all one winter
by drawing portraits of albert schwietzer with black crayons on old pillowcases
and selling them to suckers

and your mother forgot toothbrushes but taught you to make slingshots
and keep your distance in a fight
and your mother didn’t really care if you went to school
but she told you you were god and rubbed your face
in raw beauty three times a day

and your mother knew if you got hurt even across town
but it never worried her
and your mother made pie out of one saltine and a raisin
and your mother singed her eyebrows scooping you from a fire some claim she set
and drew them on with maybelline forever after

and your mother ran off with a new man and did her best to leave you behind
but you hitchhiked after her
and your mother wore you out with switches, broom handles, belts
and her paralyzing tongue
then snatched your ass from the draft board and hid you for a whole war

and your mother sliced off the top of your skull with her terrible love
and poured in the charred sludge of hate
and there was never a dull moment

and your mother suspects you of plotting against her
and she’s right