Thursday, September 30, 2004

John & I

are working on a new set of collaborations. We've been asking friends to give us titles and forms for which we will write poems. For example, Jeff Paris gave us the title "It's Not Lucky To Be Berd." and the form "prose poem" and out came the poem below.

Please note that the form does not have to be a form defined in the Poetry Dictionary. You can declare your own form. Just give us specific rules and a name for your new form.

Here's the first one. We'll field all challenges here declared.

Shafer and John

I. It's Not Lucky To Be Berd.

There's only one hard season, but it could be a different season for anyone. I went to return Berd's wallet, but got caught up and you know how when you're on a street, and it is snowing or raining or really hot or the leaves are falling -- these are things you have to share. We each carry our own chest of drawers down the stairs. Drawers are good places to keep wallets so you don't lose them. I carry Berd around now and I don't know where he's moved to.

Happy 38th to O:T

Our thirty-eighth Tiger Poem is from new friend Elaine Bleakney.

Tiger Show

Where we would be loose and yawning,
a high and well-fed party
leaning into each other, drifting around the
tree, watching the kids, sort of
irritated—the way we get
when nothing is clenched or was
for too long, muscled into a stupor, slow as the tree.
And the paired-off ones and the lone ones
paired-off and alone,
nothing awful or too dear. For awhile
there is nothing to say.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004


wants to tell the world that her website has moved to

Monday, September 27, 2004

Tiger 37

Helen C. "Nana" Hall sends us our 37th Tiger. Nana says "I'm sure I'll end my days being known as "that crazy old cat lady," but I don't care. I really love cats. The following is just something that has been on my mind."

And we love her.


lifeguard or savage beast?

Enraptured audience
suddenly mute.

Powerful jaws gripping
fragile neck.

Lights out,
show's over.

Only words spoken
for many months.

"Please don't hurt the cat."

Friday, September 24, 2004


Frequency this week will feature Quinn Latimer and Anselm Berrigan. Wow!

The Four Faced Liar
Sunday, 9/26, 2:30 PM
165 W. 4th St. & 6th Ave.

Swim on over!

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Some Confusion

about the post below: when I say I've posted all the tiger poems, I mean all the ones that were backlogged. I still want tiger poems from everybody in the entire world; keep them coming.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004


The below poems credited to Cindy Skylar are actually by Cynthia Cruz.


The tiger in Deb Stein's poem IS still with us, by the power of Deb's love.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

I think I think I hope

that all of the tiger poems are up now. If you haven't seen yours, it's not because I don't love you. It's because my email inbox is like a demilitarized zone. No military in there whatsoever. If you're missing, please send me a gentle reminder and I will go Hotmail-spelunking to locate it and post immediately.

Tiger Poem #36

is a collaboration by Daniel Morrow and Nick Johnson. We like collaborations.

Small print to preserve formatting.

Tiger Aspects

The fourth hunter disposed his bullet and through
the pampous grass, pompously asked "am i killing myself with this gun?
for where will all the tigers be when the last hunt is done
and won,
gritzag uld jaun*?"

The tiger growled and flashed its eyes,
"don't worry little man** this is the guise of nature with her
ticklish thighs, she will by nature precure a prize and practise it's
prey on your demise"

* wise old tiger
**the tiger is being ironic

Number 34 and 35 Tiger Poems!

From Cynthia Cruz:


Sometimes a thrasher
Enters the maelstrom.

Sometimes I remember
My brother

Before the accident.
Hiding mother's bottles in the cold blue snow.

In the distance, the house is
Fracturing. In the bedroom, the walls are

Red with racing tigers and the door is
Always locked.

Inside the ice storm, my brother
Made the sky small, again.



Already, the dream tigers have arrived.
Striped and enormous, as always.

When you vanish in the maze of silver cypress,
Let the mallow-white

Ink take the quiet
Of your mind.

Let the river
Kill the blossom.

He who hurt you once,
Shall now be put to rest.

I will find him, I will
Waste him in my own sweet way.

If I can, I will

Tiger 33

from Catherine Ramsden. Of crawling-around-on-the-floor-like-a-tiger-at-the-Boston-Poetry-Massacre fame. Rowr.

Fit to be Tigered

orange ruff
feral pulses
in a hip-hop jungle
off-beat bodies contour
stronging stripes in silhouette

kodachrome cages
prowling kitties

32 Tiger

from Deb Stein. The tiger in question is no longer with us, I'm afraid.

For Lucky Tiger (CHP Kitten, Not Long for This World)

Little lucky tiger ain't so lucky as it turns out.
He's slow like the rest of us, and
like the rest of us can barely move but
in spastic little circles.

None of us tigers, as it turns out,
were very lucky either.
For months we circled the spastic spaz until
when we moved too close to the sides and
fell off the edge
a giant cardboard house caved in on us,
on our heads,
on our lame legs,
on our loved ones and on other lucky tigers.

That was really hard for some of us tigers—
when the last edge of the last lick
of cardboard set ablaze burnt down
the house, poor tigers who can't run at all!

But some tigers just kept right on keepin' on
keeping themselves toasty warm
in the hothot tiger wreckage,
skipping a beat and then not at all.

Dan Nester Is Reading Tonight!

At a brewery no less! In Williamsburg, no less!

He says:

"This will be my last reading in New York for some time, and the last of my "GSMQII launch events." I hope you can come! Your presence will be appreciated."

Thursday, September 16 2004
7:00pm - 9:00pm

Joint Soft Skull/Akashic Bonanza at the Brooklyn Brewery with Derek McCormack, Daniel Nester and Joe Meno!

Brooklyn Brewery
Brewers Row
79 N. 11th St. (b/t Berry & Wythe )
Brooklyn NY, 11211
tel: 718-486-7422

Thursday, September 09, 2004


on Saturday at 2:30 will feature Michael Schiavo, Aaron Kiely, and Chris Martin. That'll be 2:30PM at 165 W. 4th.

A Saturday night show at Pete's Candy Store will feature the music of Sharron and Ben Murphy and readings by myself and special guests. If you're a special guest, please note it in my comments field. I don't know who's confirmed and who ain't.

Much love,

Next Tiger Poem

is from Taryn's Granny Fort. (That isn't code for anything.) It is untitled.

He was a paper tiger
knighted along the way.
Ere his innards turned around
the buzzards swarmed his soul.
A serial adulterer his secret passageways
could tell the sins of Godless men.
The pious forgave him on that fateful day...
He commandeered and sucked the precious air of others....
While marching among the real ones
worthy of their smoke-filled gear...
Then onward to Londontown he rode to take his place
Among the reams of papier mache. Mottled.
The mask he chose to wear!

Famous Persons Circa 16

Loosely Culted Around John of Kronstadt

Community knitted like a quilt
out of the comfort of personality

or something like worldwide fame
in a small world, John of Kronstadt
could've been anyone, anyone

with a good face for iconography
and powerful devotion

to the comfortable sacraments,
confession and communion
and repeat if necessary:

John Kronstadt, Kronstadt John,
John John, Krondstadt, John

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Fer God's Sake...

Won't you come to the release party for Daniel Murlin Nester's God Save My Queen II tonight?

It's at the Four Face Liar at nine p.m.-ish. That's 165 W. 4th St.

Dan will (winking furiously) make it worth your while.

By "make it worth your while" I mean "feed you and play Queen songs for you."

Come back to the blog soon for a tiger poem by Taryn's grandmother! Ain't life grand?

Friday, September 03, 2004


kicks off on Sunday with Gina Myers, Edmund Berrigan, and special friends.

Please come to the Four-Faced Liar on Sunday the Fifth at 2:30 PM. It's at 165 W. 4th and 6th Ave.

Much love,

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

The Number Thirty Tiger Poem

was brazenly stolen from Jim Behrle's The Jim Side.

Marijuana Girl

I wrote it in your pussy book

as a way of apologizing

good luck with Gandalf

things must be working out

because of the shaved snazz

it's an after school special

scratches on film and on moon

any purchase deserves trust

can I have the key to get laid?

the tiger by the tail is no more

I enjoy diet coke

while the FBI is hassling my mom

poppy seeds to foil my urine

we don't go to the red states but

come on over so I can knock you up

I've got such a hard-on and

the reg owes Amy $10