Maybe tomorrow will be the day everyone wakes up to write a poem. Or maybe just you and me, fallen asleep on duty, fallen asleep to duty forever. No one knows what will happen, but you and I at least, while the music of the murmur invents us, will have no part in anyone’s war, we will waste nothing, a signal going through us, like an inkling of god or a hunger for strawberries or the indisputable fact of love.
- Dean Young, from The Art of Recklessness: Poetry as Assertive Force and Contradiction
Any other runners ever get a butt cramp? Last two runs at mile 2, center of my right butt muscle cramps up and though I try to walk it off, it never goes away entirely while I’m running. No back pain, and I’m stretching it, but any other ideas?
Because it sucks.
…how I love you the same way I learned how to ride a bike:
- Rudy Francisco
But suicides have a special language.
Like carpenters they want to know which tools.
They never ask why build.
- Anne Sexton, from Wanting to Die
Woke up with the beast. All day, the same inconsolable blade nicking my heart. Add Etta James if you want. Add a warm winter. Add a to-do list like Everest. An empire falling to ruin. My kingdom for a moment of joyful reverence, of simple amusement, of adoration. I’ve stayed quiet and alone in this house all day. I turned you over and over in my mouth. I’ve resisted whiskey and chocolate - but not cheese. The grove is abloom in our late afternoon sun somewhere. The oars are rocking in the hull of the boat. These hours I’ve stayed the hollowing. Now, I’ve no task that will keep me from it. I’ve kept this space cleared, sleepwalker, for you.
But the oranges are begging to be eaten.
The idea is to get a horse, a Central Park workhorse.
A horse who lives in a city, over in the hell part of Hell’s
Kitchen, in a big metal tent.
You have to get one who is dying.
Maybe you get his last day on the job, his owner, his
You get his walk back home at the end of the day,
some flies, some drool. You get his deathbed, maybe.
And then, post mortem, still warm, you get the vet or else
to take his three best legs. And then you get the taxidermist
to stuff them
heavy, with some alloy, steel, something.
Next day you go over to Christie’s interiors sale and buy a
shabby condition but tony provenance, let’s say it graced the
of some or other Vanderbilt’s Gold Coast classic six.
And you ask the welder you know to carefully replace the
with the horse legs, and you put the horse/piano somewhere
like a lobby,
and you hire a guy to play it on the hour, so that everybody
how much work it is to hold anything up in this world.
- Anna MacDonald
In this language, no industrial revolution;
no pasteurized milk; no oxygen, no telephone;
only sheep, fish, horses, water falling.
The middle class can hardly speak it.
In this language, no flush toilet; you stumble
through dark and rain with a handful of rags.
The door groans; the old smell comes
up from under the earth to meet you.
But this language believes in ghosts;
chairs rock by themselves under the lamp; horses
neigh inside an empty gully, nothing
at the bottom but moonlight and black rocks.
The woman with marble hands whispers
this language to you in your sleep; faces
come to the window and sing rhymes; old ladies
wind long hair, hum, tat, fold jam inside pancakes.
In this language, you can’t chit-chat
holding a highball in your hand, can’t
even be polite. Once the sentence starts its course,
all your grief and failure come clear at last.
Old inflections move from case to case,
gender to gender, softening consonants, darkening
vowels, till they sound like the sea moving
icebergs back and forth in its mouth.
- Bill Holm
- Student A: Shit. Professor C wants us to pull up our literary blog by Friday?! It took me 6 months to figure out the Facebook.
- Student B: Don't worry. She's from the internet; she'll help us.
My gift and my curse: to say what I mean.
“So any student who groans, smirks, mimes machine gunning or onanism, chortles, eye-rolls, or in any way ridicules some other student’s in-class question/comment will be warned once in private and on the second offense, will be kicked out of class and flunked, no matter what week it is. If the offender is male, I am also apt to find him off-campus and beat him up.”
Professors, take note of proper conduct.
This just made my midnight.
Fourteen hour days stacked back-to-back for the next 16 weeks, and most of the work cerebral. Very few “days off” until summer.
Everything other than work is simply me drinking water. I like it. It’s good for me in all the ways. Then, I’m done. I have to be. It’s all ancillary to the task at hand.
Except dawn-writing and dusk-running. Those may be saving me.
I need better work-life balance year-round.
Yusef Komunyakaa wrote back to me! This makes up for being rejected by Leonard Nimoy. Here’s his amazing response about how he writes:
I don’t have to think about writing. I just write. I keep a yellow notepad beside the bed and in the middle of the night or in the early morning I scribble down a word, a few lines, sometimes pages. Writing, for me, is an improvisation on an image or a state of mind. In a certain sense, I think I am writing when I’m not writing, hoping that the little marvelous, gluttonous machine, the brain, is aligned with the universe. It seems I’m always striving for a line or image that makes me laugh or ask, Damn, where did that come from? Surprise is the fuel that drives the engine.
I write in longhand. I believe the gesture triggers a connection between the brain and the hands where possibility extends the way when one works in carpentry, the body present as the mind drifts in and out of attention and meditation. The banging rhythm of the hammer, or the push-pull of a handsaw, these physical gestures call awake the cadence of being in the world.
I write in a disorganized fashion on random pages of a notebook, sometimes in a shorthand I invented. At times jazz plays in the background—Sonny Rollins, Miles, Bird, Trane. Other times I crave extreme silence. What leads me is emotional, or psychological, or visceral, or sometimes just the language itself, and I don’t wish to control it. Because I believe embracing freedom is essential for the poet.
This Tumblr is just great.
After years of marriage, he stands at the foot of the bed and
tells his wife that she will never know him, that for everything
he says there is more that he does not say, that behind each
word he utters there is another word, and hundreds more be-
hind that one. All those unsaid words, he says, contain his true
self, which has been betrayed by the superficial self before her.
“So you see,” he says, kicking off his slippers, “I am more than
what I have led you to believe I am.” “Oh, you silly man,” says
his wife, “of course you are. I find that just thinking of you
having so many selves receding into nothingness is very excit-
ing. That you barely exist as you are couldn’t please me more.”
- Work on my Irish accent
- Use Google Sketch-Up to design my Craftsman Bungalow and numerous outlying studios and guest houses in the forest, connect them with raised walkways.
- Think about building an Artists’/Writers’ Colony.
- Make a board for Tiny Houses and Cabins and Studios on Pinterest
- Design my Tag for ensuing “Street Art” Projects.
- Try (and fail) to narrow next solo adventure/travel options
- Shop for archery sets online
- Read new edition of Poetry
- Look up new recipes for bread. Last year, I won the venomous-but-friendly Beach Bread-Off with a small circle of friends. Defending my title. Thinking of going locavore this year (i.e., local ingredients only)
- Create a new playlist (all poem-inspired names) for running called “You Against Your Own Best Time”
Ever since it occurred to me to tell the animals how to kill themselves, I’ve been finding possums on the bottom, their pouches filled with rocks. A friend of mine weeps on the banks of the Mississippi. He does not know I told healthy animals how to perform actions that result in their immediate demise; he just loves the constant rushing, thinks that river is mighty. Today the horses are giving up. It is a day for horse-made deaths. And birds! Birds are dropping from the sky like feathered fruits that I collect on the walk home to fill my horn of plenty. Lord, I didn’t think they would do it. I just thought they should know they could. And Lord, that river’s not just mighty, it’s goddamn mighty, and now, deep in its mightiness, is a goddamn gloomy eight-foot catfish eying a rusty hook.
— Rebecca Wadlinger
When gods die, they die hard. It’s not like they fade away, or grow old, or fall asleep. They die in fire and pain, and when they come out of you, they leave your guts burned. It hurts more than anything you can talk about. And maybe worst of all is, you’re not sure if there will ever be another god to fill their place. Or if you’d ever want another god to fill their place. You don’t want the fire to go out inside you twice.
- Gary D. Schmidt, The Wednesday Wars (via armenotti:)
Between my thighs, his
hand hard, like any dull edge;
above the collarbone, his
tongue and lips, like any rough fabric;
the second knuckle of his index finger
sucked, blooming, between my teeth
into someone who is not you.