Sunday, December 18, 2005

bye bye birds

a lament for the passing of my friends, Werther and Charlotte, who were poisoned by a plant I neglectfully put too close. I will miss them.

Thursday, December 15, 2005


It is morning, a man lies in bed, blinking.
Outside, the sound of chirping birds,
barking dogs.

The man rolls over to find
another man in his bed,
with the head of a king.
It is recognizable as a king
due to the golden crown and royal beard,
though the kings' head is three times
the size of the mans, and plastic.
The king is smiling a large toothy smile.
He is decked out in
full king regalia.

The man looks shocked to find
this smiling king in bed with him.
The king, noticing the mans obvious discomfort,
holds up a finger as if to say,
'hang on, just a second.'

The king turns toward the bedside table
and turns back to the man with
the new double crissanwich...
'New, the double crissanwich,'
the voice over says as the man takes a bite,
really enjoying himself now.

'egg and meat and cheese,
and meat, and cheese.'
It says, as pictures of meat
and cheese fold on top of one another.

The man and the smiling king
sit in bed hysterically laughing, though no
sound is heard other than the deep pitched
voice over saying, 'That's right,
the double crissanwich.
Wake up with the king.'

The laughing king puts his hand
on the mans knee as a bonding gesture
to signify the mutual joy they are experiencing
over the new double crissanwich.
The man places his hand
on the kings' hand in reciprocation,
though this has created
an awkward sexual tension
and they both snatch their hands
quickly away.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

First Snow

A brawl was churning near the river,
my temperament leaving me to watch
though I had just been sucker-punched
when someone called out in alarm
and to the fire they fled in haste.

So soon should I in their wake
with hand cupped to my wounded face
though in truth I would rather lie
ice-pack or slab of cold meat
to my ripened eye.

Blinded by the burning barn,
came tears from the slits of a wince,
and turning with boot tip
a leaf of the brightest red
to find its underbelly white
as that of a common tree-frog.

The embers sweeping passage
heralded snow to come
as the night-sky seemed to shudder
with the blazes booming meter
and a frost bitten wind to boot.

The original owner would be displeased
if he knew the outcome of his labors
and had he not been killed in a duel
over the purchase of some oxen,
a couple of decades ago.

We danced and stomped the flames
to cinders, pissing and hooting
into the night as the first white flakes
dissolved and descended
on the rickety wood of the angular bridges
and the blackened ruins that
hissed and popped in the morning silence.


At the intersection
of 4th and Mulberry
she let out a howl
as a speeding De Ville
clipped her hip
running a red.

It was broken,
nothing to be done.

She lay agonizing
under a lamppost
in the darkening shadow
of a blue mailbox
clutching desperately
at someones discarded

A schnauzer came
and sniffed her arm,
and then her face.
Its cold wet nose
touched her lips, and
she licked them instinctively.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


: For my Father, Frank :

During, or after, 'doing it',
I cannot help but fear
haphazard insemination,
condom'd or otherwise, as
a tiny new life seems to threaten
my own.

Though I never fail to smile
when imagining
that moment, melodramatic,
of my own conception.

A day, a moment to be sure,
when mothers' menses ceased to trickle
and down they went
into a ditch
somewhere in the flats of Iowa.

Alongside that endless road,
those golden fields,
probably frightening a nest or two,
or perhaps a small herd of cattle
skipping away,
their heads big, and bobbing.

Saturday, October 15, 2005


Pulling hay from her hair
with long stemmed fingers,
we slipped quietly through
leaves, dried and crumbling,
lips swollen from kissing,
over orange mud flats,
to a place where she said
we should go.

I was at once excited by
and terrified of
the gleam in her eye.
I have seen this same look
in the eyes of convicts and

In the density
to which I was led,
that smelled like tea.
Felt the barb,
and the too much of my speaking;
bland accompaniment.

Beneath it

a barking dog

a bit of string.


The flattening of waves on the sand
seems redundant to some.
The placement of stones
seeming arbitrary,
or the way ice falls into a gimlet glass,
stacked and cracking.

I saw her leap headlong
breasts, agog, agog,
attempting to grapple
and land an open mouth
where it may, or may not belong.
Within the hour I knew
we would be leaving in wide stoops,
laughing and pulling at
each others belt loops.

'Far more complex than
considerations of distance.'

Most of the sidewalks
both new and old,
now damp in the rain
have known these conjunctions.

Above, the branches
tangled as if to prove a point.

(with thanks to Jordan Stempleman, and a rewrite from Professor Rush Rankin)

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Celeste and Henry, the Enraged Cardigan.

(updated rough, for a children’s story)

Celeste met Henry at dawn on the day after her 4th birthday.

She was taking her new shoes for a walk, showing them around the neighborhood.

She had seen him crying in a bush outside Mr. Burnbarrel, the local mycologists shop.

Apparently Henry had fallen into the bush while trying to figure out how high he could jump.

Celeste helped him from the thickets and quickly introduced him to her new shoes, Martha and Marty.

Henry asked if he could have a piggy-back ride as he threw his arms around her and she clomped down the road to her house.

They became instant friends, and ceased to spend a single moment apart.

Especially fond of static electricity, Celeste would rub him on her head until he clung there lovingly.

In the early mornings, the school-grounds wet with dew, would welcome them.

Celeste was an amazing climber, an atavistic gift from her great great great great uncle.

They would spend hours in the oak, dropping locust shells on passers by.

Mr. Burnbarrel would turn purple with suspicion as they skipped past his shop window on the way to school.

He was convinced that Henry, Celeste’s companion and confidant, was in fact his old gray cardigan gone missing months ago.

Despite their obvious attachment, Mr. Burnbarrel plotted to get the sweater back, as winter was well on its way.

Nights he would stay awake in his clammy basement laboratory scribbling out methods to use in the safe return of the raggedy gray cardigan.

One day, Celeste and Henry were pretending to fish in the old water works.

Henry had just pulled a shiny red-bellied salmon from the deep concrete pool.

The three of them stood clapping and then dancing round in a circle in celebration of the fish’s birthday.

Today was the fish’s birthday!

When suddenly Henry leapt into the air and disappeared behind one of the abandoned building.

Celeste and the fish stood with big eyes wondering what could have come over him.

Little did they know, inside the building, Mr. Burnbarrel was reeling in the fishing line and hook he used to snag his old cardigan without being seen.

Celeste and the fish searched high and low for Henry.

They searched in the alley.

They searched in the oil drums.

They searched in the fire escape.

Henry was nowhere to be found.

Although the fish wanted to come with Celeste, to walk her home, she needed to be alone to think of where he could have gone.

Also, the fish was having trouble breathing outside of the pool.

So they shook hand and fin, and kissed goodbye.

Celeste walked home, a very unhappy little girl, though deep down she knew that she would find Henry, no matter what it took.

She was a very determined little girl.

Days went by like the clouds in the sky.

Each day after a healthy breakfast of grapefruit and milk, Celeste would sit in her mothers garden, scribbling methods on where she would hide if she were Henry....

Pining for her sweet embrace, the cardigan became enraged.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Another Bout for the Memories

In this corner, we see the amiable male, sitting languidly back, in his lazy boy chair. He has just attempted to finish a large plate of overcooked shoestring pasta and cheap ungarnished sauce. Before settling back and watching vapidly the uninventive 5:00 news, we hear the bell ring, a sound he has not yet gotten used to. At the door the famished female strutting a tightly fitting sports jersey and pearlish earrings. She hands him a business envelope thick with what he believes to be, business. He pinches the envelope twixt finger and thumb, and not wanting to let her in, he does. She curls in the unoccupied adjacent lazy boy chair feline-like. He knows the business at hand. Something hidden in her is aware that he knows the business at hand. Mostly this becomes apparent when he says, in a brusquely gruff condescension, ‘so this would be the official, “let’s be friends” letter’. ‘No no no’ she sputters, feigning interest in the news that now features, a fatal car accident. Here he thinks, reclining now, envelope in hand, watching her watch TV, of the times when he would link such symbolic coincidences and ironies to the many scattered moments they seemed to call attention to. This night his mind might decide to do the same, though he doesn’t necessarily see the business at hand as a terrible car accident, nor does he think it symbolizes one in the least. One might, if one knew the business at hand, wonder why he would not, as soon, she begins to cry, still staring at the news and wiping, with both index fingers simultaneously, from bridge of nose to cheekbone, the blackened tears from her mascara lined eyes. As soon, she begins to weep openly, sobbing as though in a great deal of pain and confusion. He has already been at a loss for them, for many months now, his interest was spread thin weeks ago, as it usually does, in a short amount of time. Our fool, as we will now call him for reasons slowly revealing themselves, does not buy this emotive display. He does not find the tears sincere, but tinged with a strange deceit. A charity show, so as not to make him feel bad about the business at hand. He does not believe her and he does not appreciate the display. And so he stares, more in fascination than in disgust, though both are welling up in his eyes. He stares head cocked arms crossed, feeling nearly smug about this uncanny ability he seems to have for reading the desperate actions of others with such exactitude, such poetry. Our fool thinks passively, suddenly, that he should hold her, that he should reach out and touch her, if only on the knee, offer some form of physical comfort. He thinks of how awkward this action would be to perform, to move, slowly from the recliner, to perhaps lift her from hers, sit and let her land on top, or stand from where he sits, and ease himself onto her trembling lap. The latter makes him laugh, though he is swift to repress. Instead he says, quickly and quietly so as not to distract from the unpleasantness at hand, as we will now call it for reasons slowly revealing themselves, ‘you want to sit over here?’ As soon as he says it he realizes how insensitive it sounds, however he also realizes that in the time considering how to offer comfort, he was thinking of something else, that an offering was part of the show, that it was his role now to offer a shoulder if only to further the emotive display, to add support to the unpleasantness at hand. She does not move, but shifts slightly, causing more tears to flow. Here he opens his mouth. Here he stretches the muscles around jaw and lips, and he speaks. He knows as soon as the words are out that he has made a mistake of diabolical proportions. As quickly as his tongue leaves the edge of his teeth and his breath escapes him, he feels the chill of the frost in the look that she shoots him. He feels the shivers in the wind as she passes, and the ice in the air from the slamming of the door behind her.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Monsieur Duchamp and the proceedings

Marcel, wrapped in terrycloth, arms malformed, well, one arm anyway. Marcel, trying desperately to pluck a hair from his nostril with two fat fingertips. Finding a cluster, he realizes the power in numbers. A single hair on its own, dark and oddly thick, is easy prey, but these had clumped and congealed into a mass. At first he winces in a most horrible face looking toward the sky, jaws wide open, as though this would make it any easier. Marcel, draped in his blanket, white, hairy feet protruding. Marcel in his chair, no sound but for the distant whine of a train. Marcel has given up. It’s plain to see who he is, who he really is, for others. Feeling hopeless, burdened to no end, those nostrils stuffed with hair, his eyes wander. Marcel whose eyes are not what they used to be, whose eyes, though still black, still functioning the way eyes do, wander down the wall, across the floor, no, nothing there, and then, feet. He has cast away the thought of an irritatingly hairy nose for the thought of irritatingly hairy feet, though less irritating, less irritating. At first he thinks of the medicine cabinet, just around the corner in the washroom. He thinks of its small aluminum door, with the latch that no longer works. He thinks of the way it squeaks when he opens it, of how he means, has meant, to fix that damned squeak. Next he looses himself, for a second, lost on that damned squeak. As he is lost he flares both hairy nostrils, twice. Both nostrils flare, in sync, and then again. Twice, and now he remembers his feet, and the scissors in the medicine cabinet. He shifts, ever so slightly, in his chair, but he does not move. Marcel has given up.
Outside, just around the corner, Yvonne and Madeleine torn up in tatters. Mistreated by a saguaro apparently, on there way to see him, Marcel, with soup and such. Soup and such for his cold that he has, apparently. ‘Yes, yes. I think that’s it. I received some things in letters…but I don’t know him personally. Is he a friend of Arman?’ ‘Yes, he’s from Nice, like Raysse and Arman. They’re part of what’s called the School of Nice. It’s odd that he never tried to get in touch with you.’ ‘If he’s staying in Nice I should go see him.’ ‘Considering your importance to him, he could come see you…’ ‘Not necessarily. It depends on the state of his finances!’ ‘He sells phonograph records. Apparently his behavior causes huge scandals in Nice.’ ‘I’ll try to see him. The importance that the School of Nice has taken on is funny.’ ‘What’s the difference between the artistic climates in Paris and New York?’ ‘It’s a madhouse in New York…’
Marcel, wrapped in his afghan, hears now, over the distant whine of the train, two women speaking, one after the other, in complete sentences, about someone he doesn’t know, about something he doesn’t know of, and then, a knock. ‘Yess, it’s Open.’ These words escaped him, in a way he knew he hadn’t meant, trembling and soft. Yvonne, in a blue dress and white hat, and Madeleine in the same, wisped into his room as though on roller-skates, immediately leaning him back in his chair, wiping his nose heating the soup sipping him tea covering his feet touching his brow drawing his bath, all the while chattering to one another about those things he knew nothing about.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

RIP Posted by Hello

Just another guy

The thing here. (Thing, he sd?) Well the travelers cloud dissipated and returned. The thing, or that which, could only be returned. Left Flagstaff on a downfall, sleepily. But nowhere to fucking sleep. So a cowpasture near two guns Arizona and Diablo’s gulch. Wonderful. Hard brakes to save rabbit, everything in back seat now in front. Electric storm, so damn dark, freezing (to pass the time). Wrapped upright in front seat on pills listening to the wind and the birds in their cage ruffling feathers before sleep. Drink more water (for want of letting it all go). That's the first time you've bn chipped like that old boy (no it isnt). Bleary sunrise, and off. Fillup and bad coffee with powdered cream. Scribble in book, clouds rolling in, rain. Next stop..Dalhart TX. Everywhere smlls of cowshit. Quickstop girl, red hair crossed eyes sells me beer. I want to tell her she’s pretty and that she’ll leave this town one day, and to have hope. I don’t. I say, 'have a good night', she grunts and lights a cigarette. Inn keeper doesn’t trust me. NY license, Kansas Plate, ‘where you commin from’ tucson. ‘where are you headed’ east. She is Indian, and the lobby is filled with the smell of curry. I say something stupid and offensive like, ‘I love the smell of curry’. I really do. She grunts and lights a cigarette/ reluctant keys, more pills, beer. Now I wonder if I ever will leave. Ac too loud, trucks pass every 30 seconds, shaking the bed. I watch out the window for some time blowing smoke through the screen. Just trucks and lightning. Sleep. Woke up twisting, shaking the grime of motel bedspread, shower scrub. Fillup and bad coffee with powdered cream. Scribble in book, flies on the make, many dead armadillos. Speed a little through TX, Ok. Get the hell out. Golden plains, flatlands. A pheasant, size of a three year old. It wants to cross. ‘Lift up! Lift up damn you!’ We make eye contact. Snap imagine tear forming, its eye pleading, as if to say... ‘now, lord?’…It bounces off the windshield. First car kill. Drag it off the road by its wing, all those colors, so beautiful. Move on, NPR’s finally coming in, oak trees and sunflower seeds.

That from a long way off look like flies

: Sun, 20 Jan 2002 15:42:41 -0600
To: Ava

Brief Correspondance

The collapse of our age-old distinction between Same and the Other. this passage quotes a "certain Chinese encyclopedia" in which it is written that "animals are divided into: (a) belonging to the Emperor, (b) embalmed, (c) tame, (d) sucking pigs, (e) sirens, (f) fabulous, (g) stray dogs, (h) included in the present classification, (i) frenzied, (j) innumerable, (k) drawn with a very fine camelhair brush, (l) et cetera, (m) having just broken the water pitcher, (n) that from a long way off look like flies." In the wonderment of this taxonomy, the thing we apprehend in the great leap, the thing that, by means of the fable, is demonstrated as the exotic charm of another system of thought, is the limitation of our own, the stark impossibility of thinking that.
but why is it impossible to think?
and what kind of impossibility are we faced with here?
I don't know who's crazier foucault or the author of that encyclopedia.
how are you mon-amie, you sound well. well enough for now. polyurethaneing your prints is a wonderful idea, I've been sinking a lot of things in resin myself, you're right about the fumes, but it's usually worth it.
i think i may be drinking too much, picking my nose, my belly it grows.
things go well here, I've found more than enough reason to go on living and little reason not to. I love you, I need to see your face, your funny eyebrows and crooked teeth,
You know I know you're beautiful.
don't leave anytime soon, my package must land safely.


Sun, 20 Jan 2002 17:01:30 -0500
To: Ryan
i see the swarms and think of you...

i need to know WHAT Chinese encyclopedia that was quoted from.
Anna is here. well not in my room, but in NYC. She is a good one as you well know... i want so much to see your work now. are you sending me songs? please do. i want to make things with you from afar. should I send you something or should I wait...
ooh i have to run at this moment.
more soon... meloberschu. ( i love you ) (( very much))


Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Lengthy Away

Sorry for the lengthy away, if there are any readers left out there. Soon enough there will be more. thank you, though, for checking.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Flourishing Current

Flourishing Current

Give them a branch to cling to and cling they will.
Cling they must, for pities sake. In all that rushing about, searching for perishables that are no longer there. Docked in the ports, and in the pews, the fish rise and fall. On the horizon, curled and muted, the chopping waves crest. Salt water, when sprayed through the nostrils, rubbed in the eyes, is severe. When swallowed, is scurrilous. When deeply inhaled, is deafening. And in the ears its oceans withdraw. Too steeping to consider, really. The all sinking and sweeping away.