Monday, January 28, 2008

burger doodles


Awkward motorized Paleolithic key
Lime pie, annotated Honolulu
Burger, aspirated French Fries
Of the Loom that looms
Not by fission, nor by
Fusion, nor even finicky condiments
Of shaggy disorder.
Silverberg, he of the eventual eventual-
Ity, kamikaze ukulele incineration,
Karaoke Dewey Decimal old time
Klezmer Ashkenazi jug bands,
Futility grinding futility’s
Oral grind. Silverberg, prolific and organ grinding,
Silverberg, multiple Hugo-grinding, multiple
Nebula grinding, multiple nocturnal
Tooth grinding,
Inhabited by no less than six types of planetary settlers,
Solaris grinders, organ donors,
Panoramic dysfunction, three survived
The man in the maze,
The masks of time,
Across a billion years.

Positronics galvanized,
Peep shows to the stars,
Isaiah gone round the bend,
Mr. Ridley untoothed by verbal
Display, the first face
Of limpid seas. Unfile
The defiled, refile the reviled,
Charism of sparing whimsy.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008


[Collaboration with "murchkin" NM: a collaged History of Crayola poem]


First box in '03,
ed, Purple blue, orange, yellow, and green,
ut in '26, many became history,
Death to English Vermillion, Venetian Red, Permanent Magenta,
and Van Dyke Brown—
Who woulda thunk it,
The bamboozling, the heist, the coup d' etat
Of colorocity.
All at the velocity of noon.

And then:

Van Dyke Brown changed to plain,
But still, it's pretty cool.
He could have just
Kept it the same,
But Granny Smith Apple lost
Her razzmatazz.

[nm and pmb]

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Monday, January 21, 2008

patina strike again

For Robert, on his birthday

Pour forth the gentle slope,
Even out the kilter,
A touch of hand to heart,
In open display—
(This ain’t transparency we’re talking, bub)
If granola is your measure,
Take it,
Take it wild and pure,
Chaff and wheat,
It’s all there,
The Promise Land,
The micro-nuclear bunny,
The infinitesimal ambrosial honey,
Fragments, if you will,
Held in the palm of your hand,
Held in the palm of your heart,
We all rest there,
Lions in joyful lair.

[patina: 16 January 2008]

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Friday, January 18, 2008


Wedgwood blue
a vain traveling
whimsy, top
pling the black
dogs of fate, these worried clouds,
seeding the sacral

Beyond cumulus,
ulus. Is
disease the soul or soul the
other? We fashion our

plenty un-
der a blue sky, but
the gods are
ever nerv-
ous. Visionary phlebo-
tomists knead the vein

to complete
the answer. Second-
ly, there is
no longer:
I breathe and a world dissi-
pates, calling with news

of the be-
gone. Practical? Na-
tural? Thirst
quenching? I
was established but I’ve lost
my memory: list,

less sprung, apostolic.

[Response to the Last Saturdays' prompt.]

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a pantoum for Bobby F.

[Robert James Fischer died January 17, 2008 in Reykjavík]

An Advocated Variant

Did not accept
Stripped and Icelandic
Hans-Gerhardt and Regina
Sister bought at the store

Stripped and Icelandic
At 13, his mother asked
Sister bought at the store
Erasmus mounted his gold

At 13, his mother asked
the youngest ever to qualify
Erasmus mounted his gold
the youngest ever

the youngest ever to qualify
the youngest
the youngest ever
meteoric, the hard-fought struggle

the youngest
before the interzonal
meteoric, the hard-fought struggle
Palma de Mallorca

before the interzonal
Larsen. Heller. Gűbner.
Palma de Mallorca
Taimanov. Larsen. Petrosian.

Palma de Mallorca
in lines that neither had prepared
Taimanov. Larsen. Petrosian.

in lines that neither had prepared
betrayed and swindled

betrayed and swindled
openings very deep

openings very deep
seven of the next

seven of the next
Iconoclastic boom, iconoclastic strong arm

Iconoclastic boom, iconoclastic strong arm

Iconoclastic pawn
The match will continue

Iconoclastic pawn
There is no limit to the number
The match will continue
Photocopied aftermath—

No limit to the number
Probable biological fathers
Photocopied aftermath—
Fischer clock expired and overdue

Probable biological fathers
Solving the 15—an advocated variant
Fischer clock expired and overdue
Desperate but narrating

Solving the 15—an advocated variant
A Rook House
Desperate but narrating
Annotated and combined

A Rook House
Tortured in the Pasadena Jailhouse
Lightly annotated and boldly combined
In the final decades

Tortured in the Pasadena Jailhouse
In the final decades
all his conditions

Hungary and Japan
all his conditions
All his conditions

Hungary and Japan
all his conditions
Until his death

Hans-Gerhardt and Regina
Until his death
He would not accept—

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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

fun the week before

[Collaboration with AB, middle urchkin: her prose, my cuts.]

people keep
picking, the hand gets
stuck. don’t even
spike, don’t even care—
forgive and forget
we are not.

it's whatever,
it’s a large open space,
jumping with one
means the most:

one feeling, when
the prison you’ve liked,
when the prison you’ve kissed,
when he asked,
when it lasted
cry when it’s time,

when it’s trouble,
when it’s just
some lonesome kid
blaring and thinking,
more than I thought.

the heart still cracks
the dream some day,

at wit’s end,
in the season
of the grape—

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

What you have to overlook in order to desire

how much retirement you’ll really need
how to make the idol better
how to slash 4200 jobs
how to cancel writers
how to stir a Texas town
how to get your own
how to quicken your loan
how to find your class
how to suggest a site
how to start today
how to reserve your right
how to search your ad
how to terminate your moon
how to sponsor your quote

are you new?
are you used?
are you fast?
are you affordable?
are you tough?
do you vow more attacks?
are you set to be expensive?
are you running neck and neck?
are you low and 30 year fixed?

the average is 692—see yours for nuthin’

he was a very good kisser, but do you know at 11?

they did, they didn’t:
La Cage aux Folles

There's so much noise,
it's hard to hear—

Why on earth would
you choose,
if you didn't have
a choice?

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Monday, January 14, 2008

Challenges III


breakfasts sized to greet
the lonesome: 120 and 54

million each day
stand alone in similar

light, to warm
the softer glow

the linger zone
the grab & go

the flexible with
potatoes & feet.

Various taboos, like
Eating, while walking—

The oil not changed,
Everything a buzzword

For coffee and milk,
Wrapped—localized and fair.

Obesity and ethics
18 foot wide

Muted to terra cotta
& the simian fate.

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Saturday, January 12, 2008

"Chronically Untouched"

Whoa. Judi Dench was magnificently and radiantly diabolical in Notes on a Scandal. What an amazing performance, and what magnificently and radiantly diabolical writing as well. To wit:

"Judas Iscariot had the grace to hang himself, but only according to Matthew, the most sentimental of the Apostles."

"Like a pig in knickers."

A lethal weapon, a lethal dose.

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We're predictably slow on our movie-watching (what parents of 9 year olds aren't?). Last night we watched the oddly stirring and deeply "graceful" Crash. Character rants on about buses, and then is later seen riding a bus at the moment of his strange epiphany. It took me back to my early morning bus reveries and this poem written while riding on one.

[east spilled]

coffee face on white shirt
dreaming into black roses &
we are traveling the smell
of ocean a signal beyond dream
beyond aftertaste
this quiet morning of prayer
pews blue with desire
we are seven and we are
in a babe’s liquid mind
turned by willing annunciation
which of us has wings: answer
reeling, how can I the heart to tell
you, this triple morn
staring down darkness
climbing miracle risen east
spilled among clouds
spilled among miles of longing
spilled in the torrent of western dreams.
I would a quiet heart, but mine isn’t —
lashing, weeping, ancient thunder
this mongrel day.

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Friday, January 11, 2008

Challenges II: It's a good thing.

living in the pantry: downfall stings

Martha Helen Koystra
Nutley entrepreneur
Canning and preserving the link—
Turkey Hill Road,
Ghost-written in timely fashion

Released two decades earlier
The black gypsy
Under one roof
Definitive woman of our time

5 month correctional
Returned to daytime
Locations nationwide

Mount Desert indelicato
During a segment
In the serio-comic news
Tips on how
To prepare the fruit.

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Thursday, January 10, 2008


Here's how it went down: while my juniors were "foraging" in search of odd inspirations for poems, one of my libidinous mob ("mob": HA!: a class of nine folks) surfed into a news item about Pamela Anderson's "pregnancy." I challenged him to write three poems about PA which did NOT invoke the usual buzzwords, etc., etc. "Impossible," he said, and walked away from the bait. I took the challenge myself, grabbed a random handful of Wikipedia'd PA, and started stitching. Look up the meaning of "Pamela" and it is "honey," therefore the HONEY SUITE.


i. Not a square corner left

Ladysmith waitress, Finnish
Saarijärvi on
her mother’s side—

Daughter of Carol,
Centennial babe, she
Moved two hours earlier.

Taken down to the field,
she returned
& accepted—
thought by some to be real.

Thinly veiled, she suffered
miscarriage—on stage—
Naked fodder for
the sake of the joke.

ii. Heather Biblow

Her parents & brother,
4:08 in the morning,
shown on the stadium screen.

Fran’s rival,
thinly veiled,
one or two covers
describing the young—

iii. Quinn

the first time,
she spoke revealingly,
the critical bomb:

time to raise her children,
blurred out
for the sake of the job.

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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Strange Gnus: Jazzable Sweet

Still riffing*, but these are mine:

[can evasive dust]

can evasive dust—
warp the strange new body
boast her pretty words
pride her happy tears
smell the chilly rumble

in the darker spaces
in the darker air
in the darker whispers
of the dark dark darkened snare.

[delusions of escape]

no proper names
no foreign gold
no clumsy gifts
no rough-cut wood
no tuneless songs
no happy years
no crying bench
no centered lives
no field of tears
no sprouted wings
no rebel wind
no high-pitched worry
the thick and chilly white—

[more far at night]

evasive, the cold
so little clear,
this strange new body.

chilly whiteness:
God is dead:
almost made, almost empty,
the names
that dare not follow.


estuary between my teeth
slowly paddling
the true way out

to let her go / the grey way
to let her think / the blue way
to let her flood / the trailing red

*riffing off Larkin, D. Parker, Bukowski, Ondaatje, & Wanda Coleman

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Tuesday, January 08, 2008

30 second urchkin poem

Riffing off Philip Larkin's "Far Out":


nihar's obsessed slide shows

a dark swim
Japanese anime
(there's no other kind of anime)
it's hard to deny.

a cloud / a dark cloud
slanted cheesestick
slap happy tissue box.

(7 middlers at break neck speed. Not bad.)

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Monday, January 07, 2008

Who, moi?

Hardly a quiz, eh? Following the Gandhi Twins, I have now explored myself as libation.

The Recipe, apparently:

3 parts Brilliance (well, yes...shiny objects, don't you know)
2 parts Attractiveness (eye of the beholder, I s'pose)
1 part Vigor (In The Secret Language of Birthdays, my day is the Day of Rousing Vigor)

Splash of Naughtiness (ahem...just a splash? Folks know me better than that.)
Finish off with an olive.

(The above photo is of a Sazerac, once-beloved New Orleans cocktail, kind of a hydroelectric Old Fashioned from daze of yore. Nowadays, we'd just call it cough syrup.)

Thursday, January 03, 2008

The Boys and Dick's Ball: Callin' in Another

“Used to play Mabel’s weekends, out Caddo Lake. Lunchtime in Uncertain, quick fillet or two, catch up with the boys about eight.”

“Way I hear it, that was usually more like ten, long past sound check. Wasn’t for your quick fingers and the poverty of drummers in godforsaken Caddo, you’d a been long out the job. That filly or fillet?”

“There a difference, brother? All wetlands.”

Snickering, “Wet indeed. You and them birds.”

“Heron sisters, Eve and Sallie. We weren’t exactly medieval, O my brother. Dorsey wouldn’t budge, but old Jelly Roll—now, Jelly wasn’t above hookin’ some cat. Play that last set, get out the lightning, go prowlin’ out Bossier way. Barksdale boys in they uniforms couldn’t touch us, once we got rollin.”

“Jelly, you say? Hell you talkin' about, Jelly?”

“I’m talkin the one and only. Man, the brother had a mouth. Talk the damn scales offa cottonmouth. Prissy Dorsey wanted all the same, just didn’t want to work for it. Dames be chuggin’ for lady mongrel, little Jimmy be all about wantin’ assurances. Assurances. Weren’t no assurances out Caddo. You want assurances, you go down Alexandria for the statelies. Pirogue about all the assurance you gonna get out Caddo.”

“And cats be bitin’.”

“Oh, assuredly that. Them cats assuredly be bitin’.”

“I don’t exactly place Mabel’s, cousin. Hell she were?’

“Out Mooringsport way. In a dive out back the post office. Used to piss in the PO, if we made it back up the hill.”

“Mooringsport. That’s Huddie country.”

“The one and only. Mayhaw country, too.”

“Either way you slice it, plenty fine jelly down in St. Paul’s Bottom.”

“Lord, those be gorgeous days down in the Bottom.”

“Fannin Street and St. Paul’s put a stop to all your bleedin’, you come with the right prayers, brother. I seen Leadbelly stab many an audience in they cheatin’ hearts. A righteous swoon of abeyance. “

“Lead had plenty practice on his own kinfolk, what I hear.”

“Hearin’ ain’t believin’. Ole Governor Neff ain’t gonna pardon Satan, now is he?”

“What I hear, ole Neff’d pardon Meph and all his fallen brothers for a gumbo pot fulla green filé.”

“Or the B-side to Goodnight Irene.”

“So, what happen to you? Iowa City take the kismet outta you? I hear them farmers kill the soul faster’n ole Leadbelly’s righteous poison. Goddamn Harvester com-BINE your ass to death.”

“Corn will have its way, my brother. But then so will a baby and its mama.”

“I see the roadway now, cuz.”

“Thought I seen it too, and the way out, till wicked catch up with me and set me straight. Reverend Australia Carr Collins up Iowa way was havin’ none of it.”

“None of what?”

“None of blackstrap on the street. None of wishin’ for the midnight lager. None of—”

“—sashayin’ away from that manger. I hear you, brother. We all been down that righteous alley. They call it the Jersey bounce…

“Do they ever. The rhythm that really counts…”

The temperature always mounts…”

“Caddo Lake. Mabel’s. Ella sang it. Jelly played it.”

“We lived it. Still livin’ it.”

“Turn up the set, Seymour. I believe Dick’s about to call the ball down on another.”

[Thanks to drummer Charlie and the seed of memories out Caddo way. It was a good old-fashioned New Year's Eve, with Charlie decidedly NOT in abeyance...bless him.]

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