Saturday, March 21, 2015

Couch Potato Blues


Whenever I get the urge
To write a poem I try to talk
Myself out of it. Especially
If it involves getting off of the couch
What kind of poem would insist on being
Written down anyway, is that the kind
Of poem that you want to write
Or is that the kind of poem that the poem
Wants you to write? A little effort
Turns it into a forklift. A little more
Effort opens a door
In the brain and everything flint
Becomes an intonation, a delicious
Tornado of glands and xylophones
Buttering a slow tattoo
O blacksmith toast. Autumn is neutral
But crawls by anyway crackling with Halloween
And its lurid meanings of death
Sparkling faster than a green shampoo
In a house of skeletons. It is ultimately
Through words that a zeitgeist gets
Into a personality and blends
With Florida. Everything else seems
Magnetized by books. The kind of opinions
Exchanged in a shopping mall
Echo like salt in a jukebox
Made of scabs. This is where the poem gets
Ugly. Lift the lever at the end of the line
And a fireball appears
To be soaked in words. Above all don’t
Write anything that you don’t feel
Is genuinely searching for something real
And tactile, like Mick Jagger in a bathroom
Looking for a towel. Achieve ribbed cotton
And you achieve the world. You may now
Return to the couch, and refute the laws of physics
However you please

Monday, March 16, 2015

The Ugly Abandonment of Mint


The ugly abandonment of mint appears to me to be a convenient topic for writing. Who has abandoned the mint? Why have they abandoned the mint? What is it to abandon something? And why abandon mint, and in such an ugly manner?  Can’t one abandon something in a way that is beautiful and full of grace? Why would one want to abandon something in such an unlovely and disagreeable way? Can that even be achieved, without being too theatrical? Perhaps it cannot be helped. Abandonment, by its nature, is ignoble. To abandon a plant is particularly ignoble, though not as ignoble as abandoning a family, a profession, or a life of piracy.
Mints are aromatic plants with leaves arranged in opposite pairs from oblong to lanceolate, often downy, with a serrated margin. They are widely distributed and hence make a good topic for conversation, public address, and poetry.
Has the mint in this circumstance truly been abandoned? Is this the kind of theatre I’m proposing? No. I have elected the mint to symbolize an imaginary, difficult situation of which the verdure and scent are engorged with the piquant capital of gimbalism. A gimbal is a device that allows something to incline freely, which is precisely what I have done with the mint. It is only difficult if one has chosen to make it difficult, which I have inclined to do. I have swiveled, in this instance, toward the difficult because the difficult is aromatic and wide.
One might also say the same of the wagon, or twill. What we often perceive as a bleeding ulcer proves to be an angel of prophetic taffeta.
Or maybe not, but please indulge me.
Let’s indulge one another.
Coffee is a dream of perception. The glockenspiel belt has the luster of a hockey rink. My jacket zipper smells of cajolery. If any of this sounds familiar, please give a shout, and I will hand you a napkin.
Debt and oil run the dynasty of finance. This we know. But poetry, like mint, is a different form of cement. Poetry is a fire nourished by solitude. I don’t know why I said cement. Cement has nothing to do with it. Cement has everything to do with it. There is providence in the fall of a sparrow, and cracks in the broad cement. Our fugues stupefy the presumptions of science. The sidewalk excites our interest because it’s garish and wet and full of gravity.
What can all this mean? It means basketball and Friday, ineffability and Tucson. Hasty Pudding and the national debt. As for the laundry, I suppose that I will have to do it eventually.
If I extend the paradigm of mint to include totems and bones I must find enough words to describe whitecaps and thread. I sense there are gloves and shirts in the suitcase. It whispers hospitality. I open it and yes, there are gloves and shirts in the suitcase. And underwear and socks and cologne. The implements for shaving and other tasks involving hygiene and the maintenance of human biology in a state of transition. I find a mass of brassieres wadded together, each embroidered with hummingbirds. The longest distance is not always the furthest. The best strategy is to provoke the least amount of humiliation. There is a great satisfaction in choosing and discarding rocks. As for the use of brassieres, I’m not a woman, but I know from past experience that they can make a pretty good slingshot.
There are so many things I’d like to throw into my brain, but the ocean isn’t one of them. My brain can accommodate only so much. If there is a better way to make macaroons, I will stumble upon it eventually, perhaps in my dreams, perhaps while doing the laundry.
There has been an increase in oaths lately, and creosote, which indicates writing and neon, and a certain desperation, a lovely desperation, a desperation fringed with fire and passion. Passion demands engagement. There can be no engagement with the divine without stanchions, matches, and at least one Cogswell chair. I have not yet fulfilled the thesis of my suitcase, but my arms are loaded with filmstrip, and my accordion wheezes like a horse. Narrative depends on principles of barometric pressure, not insulation. The lumber is famished for glory, and I plan to film this drama in conjunction with 85 reptiles, 52 mezzo-sopranos and a flexible, adjustable conjugation.
Otherwise, what’s the point? I will not abandon the mint. The mint has been introduced. It exists. It has odor and shape. I will not let it go. I will pursue it later, when the wind has settled, and the mirrors brood on their own reflections, revealing, when my face is thrust forward, the tissue along the base of my teeth. In other words, gum. Simple and plain: gum. Shakespeare had it, and so did Dante. Neither of whom, so far as I know, contemplated for even a second the terrible, appalling, ugly abandonment of mint. 
 

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Things to Do while Waiting for the Toaster


Get a PhD in electrical engineering. Build a giant boat and fill it with all the living organisms of planet earth. Perform surgery on a nebulous description of maple syrup. Become a semantic irritant crouching in a syllogism with 32 flavors of ice cream. Go boldly where no man or woman has gone before. Sew a patch of consciousness into a kimono. Fill a kneecap with the luster of association. Raise a family of wildebeests. Visit Paris. Impose yourself on the tapestry of experience. Learn Japanese and Spanish in your spare time and make big money writing poetry. Solve the Grand Unified Theory. Take a stroll in the Grunewald Forest. Peruse the Bahaus Museum. Dance until dawn. Tour the floating islands of Lake Titicaca. Sandboard the giant sand dunes in Huacachina. Seek enlightenment at Kinkakuji Zen Buddhist Temple. When you return home your toast will nearly be ready. Get your butter knife. Work a slice of butter onto your knife. The toaster is not yet done but the time is coming. Conjure the Froth King. Prepare yourself for the great adventure of a piece of bread emerging for the bowels of an electric toaster. For you have waited. And waited and waited. And soon your slice of bread will be ready. Will emerge from the toaster in a perfect shade of brown. Ready to be slathered with butter and jam. Ready to be eaten. Ready to become a motif in the theme of your mouth.

Friday, March 13, 2015

The World Explained


This is why I like to write: eight people, a ghost, and a well.

This is why the sun shines: because it can.

This is why accent marks are required for good writing: eldfjöll spúandi eldi frá innyfli jarðar.

This is why the romantic poets turned hardened and heavy: fleshy folds surrounding the mouth.

This is why the heart beats rhythmically: the tighter the head, the higher the note.

This is why the relation between jazz and blues is hard to define: juicy red pulpy fruit.

This is why existence is sometimes so enigmatic: gerunds.

This is why zinnias thrive in tough conditions: divine intervention.

This is why understanding oneself is often such a difficulty: turbidity currents.

This is why the caged bird sings: the blind games of your hands.

This is why poets never seem to make much money at their craft: vulgarly ornamental finery.

This is why the joy of poetry sings beyond the genius of the sea: continued circular movement.

This is why UFOs never land and introduce themselves the way a normal creature of intelligence would be inclined to do after traveling billions of light years through space: insufficient cosmetic for the cheeks.

This is why you do not hesitate at the swimming pool: our inner being is a bitter ocean of life and death and most people who practice Buddhism seriously do well with a pool when they enter it with the proper spirit of abandon and a good old-fashioned cannon ball.

This is why the earth revolves around the sun: refrigerator magnets.

This is why the first three minutes of the universe was so exciting: all sorts of strange things occur at a temperature of about 100 million million million million million degrees Kelvin, including vermicelli, Halloween, and wisdom teeth.

This is why nothing can ever be fully explained by science: thongs.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

The Adventures of Hopalong Heidegger


I need a gun & a horse
To go with my hat
Otherwise life just feels
Polite. I also need a haircut
But what I want to talk about today
Is premonition. I cannot predict
What any of these words
Are going to do. Happily assuming
That they are capable of doing anything
And I hope they are isn’t that the whole point
To squeeze a tube of language and form
Something like a brain in a séance
I feel alienated from society
The brain thinks and a ghost appears
To shake the table. To use a thing
Is to let a thing be what it is
And how it is. To let it be this way requires
The truth of wine, and wind and thought
It doesn’t hurt that much to think
Unless you have a brain like a clothes dryer
And feel autumn in your bones. Life feels
Differently at 68 than it does at 18
Animals recognize my odor and if you
Send me fifty bucks I will send you
A skull of sugar. Thanks to the invention
Of language I can fold the sky into a napkin
Put it in a box and take it on the road
To make a little money. I mean
Who doesn’t like sitting
In a cocktail lounge in the afternoon
Expanding one’s horizons
As a mechanical color. There is no narrative
That doesn’t draw a little open fire
When the injury is worth it
And reckless abandon is all there is
To remember how serious life can be
And whistle for your horse
Before the police arrive

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Night's Tiara


Canvas your grope to a yellow. We are the gantry eyes that tear the fabric of time. The oath grant balds my riddle and patterns my pie. Picasso on the radio, Matisse in my tea. I have bent the hop to bristle to its brush.
Life will absorb you if its lift is implicit. We gnaw the gulp that throats itself on depth. We scrounge the iron air, burn by faith and dribble the swim birds of heaven. We do this amid echoes and hooks. We grease the flavor cracks with butter and sweat above the knob of a sticky pronoun. I nail and rub and mingle and my intentions are theorems that pause upon impact.
Conception is an incident of insoluble undulation. I run from the simulacrum because it’s an animal and not a vacation. The propeller’s wife is stunned by evocation. I ponder a cactus and discover war. I bend to the hunger of a penumbral rebellion.
What cloud listens to my fugue pass by? My spice arm is wrinkled from within. The crab smells over a personality. I impart songs that are anchored in participles. Realism laps on a bone.
We chop my scatter prowl. Bubbly quarks writhe in creating matter for the knock cough. I secrete secrets. It is dusty to take command and the extraversion is exhausting. My inflated soap floats a herd of monumental bubbles before the mailbox is even open.
I ache to remedy skates. I flex the development of bloom and move up to the sky in mockingbird jerks. The staircase yardstick accommodates the sway of an insect’s metaphor. My spin flower muscle hugs the syllables of an infrared snow. I hire what cloth I can to wear as a climate of buttons and sleeves.
Exasperation is green if it blows black if it reflects. I redeem this chew sleep with the occurrence of toads. My insides flood with emotion. I fold my sleep into indulgence. Infinity flames on a convergence of awakening and sod.
The hothouse obtains sunlight from a pot of dirt. A hectic ruffle flips my shirt. The charming surface of the airport materializes suitably as a clean punch to the language of opinion. I embrace a sublime intestine and swell with creosote talking. The connectedness of work provides enough narrative to make a thesis throb. I dab my sparks in ink and write about hands for a bundle of outcry.
The salon sternum pulls us together into a blue honesty where motion moves along in imperturbable procession, camels and stars. We shine sympathetically under the taproot drawing. Incendiary yells are catalogued as hinges. Convocation flourishes in hurled algebra. I flail my pool at the hills where a phenomenal eyeball floats in seashore testimony to an ancient hysteria called night’s tiara, and ride a thousand threads of delirious color to the edge of a pledge.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

The Real Life Adventures of Fantasy Jones


My name is Fantasy
Jones I’m open to anything
My wings are prophecies of light
I stand in my bones lamenting the loss
Of stationary and every hand
Is a being swimming in granulation
Subtleties of ripple and letters
Streams of consciousness
Cutlery and the circumference of the mind
Which is cooked in reminiscence
Pain is sexual emotional comedy
There is silence and birthdays
And there are adjectives for this
But I’m not sure what they are
If it jingles it’s cool that’s all I know
I touch the sky and it cracks
Into mustard it’s only natural
To go naked on a beach
Feeling our blood attach to the seclusion
Sexual somersaults in eucalyptus eggnog light
Fiddlesticks Mouth and Brain Canvas go by
Talking of monsters in their money
I’m cut deep from a drop of sunlight
In corduroy and glue and when I get dressed
I pull waterfalls out of the drawer
And contusions of idealism
I get angry quite often reality is a bitch
The world is full of confusion push-ups and starch
How does anyone know what they’re doing
My existence on paper reaches for your eyes
And understanding and I feel its power when you
Unroll your mind in the water
And float to the stars like a dream on the prairie
Luminous in opposites Portugal to your socks
I agree to nothing but salvation
And a blast of fingers in a fist of summer 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Wild Surmise


There’s a knock at the door. My chin begins to boil. The armchair unites in diversion. I open the door. There’s no one there but a throat. The throat wants to know if it can borrow a mouth. And maybe a gender and a pronoun, if I happen to have one I can spare. I give the throat a sack of pronouns and it leaves, hops away like a Mason jar. I close the door. I return to what I was doing, which was pretty much nothing. Doing nothing takes skill. Not anybody can do it.
If I appear to prefer parrots to mountain climbing, it’s only because a hammer is a tricky instrument and two thumbs are better than one. We are our own distortions and must not panic when the truth disentangles itself from a speed bump. This is why the guitar pick is noted for its resilience and must not be confused with a collarbone.
I walk under a ceiling choreographed to resemble a religion and honor the next few minutes with a holiday of my own invention. It involves festive clothing, great physical strength, and a mushroom. This is why I prefer living my life upside down and sounding the waters of consciousness for implications of coral. I ooze into the future and nourish the past with crickets.
What is my destiny? I ask this at a ripe old age. One might say I’ve already fulfilled my destiny, but that would be incorrect. I’m still not sure what my destiny was, or could have been, or should have been, or might’ve been, other than a pluperfect on steroids.
Destiny is a locomotive assembled within. Batteries are not included.
I like to think of destiny as a form of weather, a micro-climate like wallpaper. Weather is full of sensation, like the scintillations of hyperbole. The expanse of my thought can only go so far as Belgium before it turns to dust, but that’s only if I happen to be thinking about Brussels. Otherwise, I’m thinking about the guitar interlude in the Stone’s “It’s All Over Now,” which has no bounds. It’s infinite, like a mouth.
But wait a second, you say, how is a mouth infinite? A mouth is infinite because there is no limit to what it can do. If you have a mouth, you can shoot flames like a blowtorch. You can say anything you want. It doesn’t have to be the truth. The truth is hard like a blade and shines like a blade and cuts like a blade. It’s exciting to say the truth. But difficult. It has all the plausibility of a scruple in a jet propulsion laboratory. Which is to say, no amount of zirconium is going to make things better. Sometimes you just have to let the quatrain ovulate boomerangs. There is faith to consider, and seaweed. The singing of nails is a response to the hammer, not the open laughter of a suitcase.
One might choose to withdraw from the world and communicate with spirits or learn to play a woodwind instrument. I applaud this choice. One can always masturbate from time to time, or push a grievance around the living room like a vacuum cleaner, but one must always return to square one, which is not a square so much as a carbohydrate, a kilowatt of strong emotive power, like a chronic pain, toothache or fractured tibia.
I recommend using a “weathered wood” stain, hand rubbed on, and a light mineral oil sealer for the thorax. Your love for me has got to be real in order for me to tell you just how I feel. You know? Like a hardened criminal on probation. That kind of thing.
There are no guarantees in life, no warranties or refund policies, but there is plenty of jello, and drawings and sketches. Or, if you prefer, you can it call it “freeing the heart.” One must always be on the alert for new skills to serve the still mysterious demands of consciousness. A toughness, a tenacity, and wrought-iron insistence. That is to say old, venerable chemicals never before aired to the thirst for zeros, or plain old consciousness tugging an acetyline poetry out of the good blue air.
I have rapids in me that want to be revealed as banners of goulash. Go figure. I’m blue like an atom. I feel it all over. A flake of wax, or a squirrel on safari during a moment of meaning. Judgment is coral. Destiny is leather. But sugar grants the chrome of ecstasy, and personality the wild surmise of a romance in Shakespeare.

 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Lobster in the Rain


Space drools obsidian
On the mountains while I interact
With milk. I don’t really care for milk
But I do like sunlight
Served at room temperature
And this is how I became president
Of a fingernail. I think of orchids
And orchids appear in my mind
Somewhat crudely, like the drawers
In the bedroom filled with stratospheric
Underwear & the truth of crochet
Bursts like a balloon, shreds
Of plastic falling to the floor
Where they bounce into analgesics
Harvested from spider venom
Is there life on Mars? No doubt
There is a ghost hoeing the earth
Of a field near Walla Walla, Washington
Who smells of ceremonial resins
Smoked spices, burnt citrus, dry ice, quarry stone
Seaports, old flower petals, overripe fruit, spent fuel
And yesterday’s coffee. This is the ghost
Who was the first kid out of the house
To build a snowman. Sometimes fate
Feels like a turnstile
In apprehension of itself. Once I dropped a nail
And it sounded like an epitome
Edged with sawdust
Beside the white chickens. I need a haircut
Obviously, though the next time I decide
To construct a strawberry I won’t stir my brain
With a banjo but watch the dark genius of space
Arrive on a flatbed truck
Like a 2-ton stone of Chinese jade
And fall into consciousness slowly, like a gray sky
Flirting with the description
Of a lobster in the rain