Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Nana's Kitchen III (Texas #14)

Aunt A's New Mercedes

Richard and I
drove Aunt A's new Mercedes
so fast: when we got home
I was worried
we would meet
our younger selves.

As we returned into
the driveway,
I was glad to see the skylight
my grandfather just installed
this year.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Postcard from South Padre Island (Texas #13)

The Octopus

I was disappointed today
to find Babe's on the Bay
(on South Padre Island Blvd.)
closed. Hushed legend speaks
of a dancer there:

Derek called her "The Octopus"
for some very specific reasons.

Live from Port Isabel: The Law Offices of E.G. "Sandy" Hall (Texas #12)

Helena la Loca de Dos Pistolas

On a trip to Spain in 1989:
a bit of Spanish history
regarding a queen named "Juana la Loca"
captured my grandfather's imagination.

Fifteen years later: my grandmother,
in an attempt to discipline her five cats
now packs two water guns, earning her name:
Helena la Loca de Dos Pistolas.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Nana's Kitchen #2 (Texas #11)

Keepin' It Crill
(Real + Connecticut = Connecticut Real)

PS:
This morning I left
the hotel to go to
the house of Seven AMz.
As I pulled

down the road
the sun was coming up
and I leaned down
to turn on some Christmas
on the radio.

As I looked up from the radio
I saw a chipcrunk
dart under the car and
heard a "thrunk"

indicating a fatal encounter
with my back tire. (3rd Coast Stylin'!)

What a Christmas morning omen.
All I could think of was the song

"Please Christmas Don't Be Late"
for the rest of the roll to the house.

Nana's Kitchen: Texas #10 (Live from Port Isabel)

Refugio Is the Mysterious Beginning of the World

Near Refugio:
my brother and I
talk calmly
about the rest of our lives:
I will support these people;
these people will support me:
a reflexive honky equation:
(honky + honky = honky/honky + honky - 1)
where 1 = common sense.
Ha!

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Grandma's House #3 & #4 (Texas #8 & #9)

Dividing With Fractions

The irreducable truth
is: most women
in my family
find mathematicians
irresistable. Witness
this scene in the kitchen:
cousins and sisters
and mothers gather around
to watch my brothers
and my grandfather
playing some sort of
Scrabble-by-numbers.

I bowed out
because I couldn't remember
how to divide with fractions.

*

My Asterisk Divides

To tell an eyeball
how to move down:
break a line, or break

a stanza to move
further along. An asterisk
says "it's over."

*

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Grandma's House #2 (Texas #7)

The Cloyingly Sweet

Shirley Temple you are slugging
down while watching the live nativity
procession -- none of these five-year-olds
are professionals -- will choke you
with its sugar, and as you drift off
into your Jesus sleep (look at your toes --
they are crossing) you will pray
for just a glass of water
from Santa this year. (Honky!)

Houston, TX #6: Grandma's House

To Drink A Cloyingly Sweet Shirly Temple

I just spent a weekend
pretending to be older/
pretending to be younger
than I am. At the high school
keg party on Saturday night,
the five-ohs showed,
and the honkies went scattering.
So I just stood there and pretended
to be a someone's dad
looking all over for his daughter.
None of the pounders seemed
to notice the beer in my hand.
But that's life on the edge for ya,
as anyone on the edge will tell ya.


Friday, December 23, 2005

Live from Texas: SW Geo #2 (Texas #5)

Stop Here for Quality Products

I was trying to remember something that day,
and today I will try to remember something again.
I was in love with this memory long before I had it;
this memory scares me; this memory pleases me.

On a train ride through Copper Canyon
I never took: I remember this Mexican
in a cowboy hat hooting at honkies;
I remember this waystation where I never stopped.

From the Esteemed Offices of Southwest Geo: Live from Texas #4 (Lubbock)

Memoirs of a Honky

My mother raised me;
I raised my mother. We
were the ones who really
did not want to move
to Lubbock, Texas and
fifteen years out now
none of us can imagine
another place in the entire world.

She's over my shoulder now:
she says "crops are raised,
children are reared." And
I only get my top cropped
at Christmastime.

The John Cotter/Shafer Hall Haiku from Memory Project #3

College football roars:
Stateside: Texas Longhorns hope.
It's against all hope.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

DePoWriMo: Live from Junction, TX, home of 93.5 KOOK!

The Famous Flaco Jimenez / Peter Lorre Connection

In Texas we talk about Flaco Jimenez,
and when my father tells me "Hey, Flaco
looks like Peter Lorre," I say "Yeah,
kinda," even though Flaco Jimenez
looks exactly like Peter Lorre, and
it's been like that for me for years;
Flaco would say "You honkies,
you love each other," and he'd be right,
but I shouldn't say that -- I don't know
exactly what Flaco would say.

Chet Atkins would say "every boy
wears a hat," he'd say,
"a hat to look like his father,"
and he's right, of course:
I wear my cowboy hat every day in New York,
but in Texas my contrary self goes hatless.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

From a Wooden Bunker Somewhere on the Surface of Austin, Texas

The White Rose of the West

The heliotropic nature of the
world at large turns our faces to the West
so some of that warmth will find us: Maureen,
urging us to behave and write our best
because her favorite species: the crested
poetry: flowers cannot bloom on rain
alone, and all living things are nestled
in the caesura of her verse, where cranes
of progress cannot drop things on them. Shame
on ourselves when we're not being rosy,
but we know how to turn it around: shame
itself finds itself shamed by her poesy.
And if anyone tells her she's wonky,
please remind her she's my fav'rite honky.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Live from Texas: DePoWriMo

PUBLIC SAFETY DISPATCH: GRILLZ

Where did you get that
grill? Your lip detests it --
it wasn't tested
for a small-mouthed honky;
Texas industry's
toxic epoxy
will slick it up nice.
No chafing.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Big Saturday

Elves, Reindeers, Snowpeoples,

Lend us your ears. Sam Amadon and Shafer Hall will be reading at the Four-Faced Liar this Saturday. hosted by Miss Christmas 2005: Marion Wrenn. That'll take place around 5PM at the bar, and then at 8PM we will retire to greater Bed Stuy/Clinton Hill for the Montechillo Christmas Party at 162 Clifton Place (a.k.a. Lucas and Shafer's apartment.) There will probably be an after- after-party at Sputnik, so keep in touch.

To get to the Four-Faced Liar go to 165 W. 4th St. in Manhattan.

To get to Montechillo take the G train to Classon and walk against traffic on Classon. Take your first left on Clifton Place and our apartment is on the right at 165. It has three stone lions in front of it.

Call us if you need Sputnik directions. 917-714-4196.

Much Love and Merry Christmas,
Shafer

Haiku from Memory #2

Air today is cold.
On every corner today:
bland popsicle gas.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

The Inimitable Richard Hall

DJs at Rice Radio. I will keep you posted about his DJ slots; in the meantime y'all should stop by and enjoy one of the better free-form radio stations in the country (they stream live on the internet.) Hoot 'em Owls!

Now Begins

a new series of John Cotter and Shafer Hall poems -- Revisited. John and I have written hundreds of haiku word by word, which I will occasionally reproduce here. The kicker: I will not actually open the Word file where our haiku are archived -- I will attempt to reproduce them from memory, with what I assume will be varying degrees of success. I may even ignore the 5-7-5 format, to which John and I adhered quite fiercely. For instance:

What season is it
that makes you all a-flutter?
Winter from here. There?

D.Po.Wri.Mo.

More So/Less So

My outstretched toes
have all of the mystery
of the less fortunate --
Mister Blister Masochister
keeps the illusion of me
up, and --oh-- it's no illusion
these tireless creatures
work powerfully for balance.

Just like romance --
Allie and Dean Wareham
are such mighty fans
of those headless necks
-- rooftop water towers --
wrapped now in the mock
turtlenecks of snow.
But I am not immune
to their lonely pull,
and --ah-- I am not immune
to such a cool drink of water.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

(loosely from Allison)

Armadillos and Mexicans Make the Best Texans

The Mexicans are re-making Texas,
and the oldest Texans, the armadillos,
are not complaining one bit. Mexicans
and old Texans have a lot in common --
thick skin and litters of lucky number
seven; siete being the most heavenly
word in the Mexican lexicon.

Warren Zevon and Jackson Browne
sing this song about an armadillo
named Carmelita, who will hold
you through the hard times;
hold on to her (your armadillo
or your tough Mexican) when
Texas becomes California and
California becomes Texas again.

Please join us

for the 12 Pubs of Christmas.

Goin' Home Soon

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Photo by Grant Hall

D/PoWriMo

The Fat Lazy Tiger Battles The Sloth

From your forced perspective
my paws, face, and feet meet
to make you look just like me,
sloth, but our fate will be found
in the strange angles of uneaten
Trident and pennies dumped from
the bottom of my shaving kit. Each
stretch of my striped muscles
will intimdate you further
as I laze across this living room floor.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

By Request from Michael Schiavo

Pamela Prefers Rolex, Cartier, and Breitling

Rolex just for the
Ottoman extravagance of it, tacky but
Lovely just the same.
Even in her sleep, the ticking clinks like
Xylophones.

Cartier will
Always have her heart; diamonds have a
Romance
To beat the blues band.
In comparison
Every other stone can just
Roll.

Breitling brings to her a new
Respect for time's nautical nature.
Every time the hour strikes,
It strikes her that on the ocean
Time is pure. Rise to set, sailors
Look unencumbered at the sun.
In the sun, she sees herself -- there's
Nothing a sailor would like more.
Get home quickly, boys.

Monday, December 05, 2005

DePoWriMo

Seasonal Discontent with Tom and Shafer

Now Tom's winter is made warmer
with baseball's meetings, where
men in suits will converge on Dallas
to lament the fact that baseball season
is still many wide months away.

Spring's hope comes late for Shafer
in December with the Bowl Championship Series
laid out before him buffet-style.
And Monday Night Football comes just once a week
this time of year. Shafer shudders
to think of the "S" seasons, sans football.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

December is National Poetry Month!

Don't Worry, I'll Be Right Beside You the Whole Time

Sarah from New Orleans tried marijuana
for the first time in twenty years. This was
last night, and when New York went off the air
for a few hours, her date was so proud
to be elected guardian angel of and by
this spacey chick who he had met
on the internet the week before
while he was surfing strange websites
calculated by programmers
to blow his fucking mind.

Now he was in charge, and the simple job
of escorting her arm
through relatively harmless downtown streets
made him feel like a man. From the first
"I'm feeling a little paranoid"
to the last "Oh god, I'm so embarrasssed,"
he was a clean-cut spiritual advisor,
ethically free to occasionally clear
his throat and say
"don't worry, don't worry, don't worry."

Recent Publications

Discover (or re-discover) more Shafer Hall poems at Kulture Vulture, at No Tell Motel (archive) and at Ducky.

You can also find some new poems in the current issue of the Indiana Review and in the upcoming issue of Jubilat.

Friday, December 02, 2005

A Very Freqy Holiday

Fishes,

Please join us tomorrow at 2:30 PM at the Four-Faced Liar for the last Freq of the season and the official Freq of Good Cheer, aka Christmas Freqy or however you celebrate the Holidays. I do it with Bing Crosby.

So c'mon out to hear Carey McHugh, Oni Buchanan, Tom Hummel, and Allison DeFrees, who is moving back to Texas so I added her to the bill without consulting my co-curator, (can you say Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire? I am gonna be in trouble.)

I do hope to see you all there. Snow is in the forecast so let's drink Irish Coffee (or Kentucky Coffee) and get our final Freq on.

xo,
Shafer

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Tonight Lucas Said

"You know, I guess at some point I knew that there was actually a person inside of R2-D2, but it seems strange to me now."

Another Scott Challenge

The G Train Waits Patiently For No One

The patient wait for the G patiently,
which is the only way to wait for the G --
Subway Steve at Rosemary's will tell you stories,
but don't believe him -- the lonely G
is not the object of bad civil planning;
it is predicated only on its own lonely
inclinations: to rumble low
past the closed eyes of these commuters
earnestly praying to get to work on time.


Anatomy of a Poem

Here is the IM conversation that led to the below poem:

Scott: how you doing
Scott: too cold for tennis
Scott: ?
edmonshafer: No I was supposed to meet Jeff but I woke up late.
edmonshafer: Damn me!
Scott: what ekse are you doing
edmonshafer: Doin' a little writing.
edmonshafer: Anything you'd like to have a poem written about?
Scott: hhhmmm
Scott: not being able to profess my true love for tj
edmonshafer: You know, I almost said "anything except being gay." You need to change up your material a bit.
Scott: how about apoem about wine tastings
edmonshafer: OK.
edmonshafer: Maybe I can work both of those into the same poem.
Scott: co-ed naked wine tasting where the grapes dangle from your midsection
edmonshafer: OK maybe YOU should write this poem.
Scott: or a poem about marco and his danglign berries
edmonshafer: Definitely your territory there.

Poem Challenge from Scotty

Where the Grapes Dangle from Our Midsections

At the coed naked wine tasting last night
Columbian Jews leered curiously
at the boys from the 'burbs.

"I'll just flip a coin," Scott said,
"and heads I'll be straight tonight,
and tails my grape stained feet
will be feather-light."

The coin flipped gymnastically
in a grateful arc, and landed
in the museum's vice-president's
wife's wineglass, where
it was determined to predict
that Scott's sexuality for the evening
would be "ask me later."

So Scott ambled aimlessly around
this party that started out pretty fun,
and T.J. shambled home
another lonely Rockland County undone
by the wide vagaries of the City.

The Durge Report

Sybil Durgin is very jealous because Lucas and I spent all night at Sputnik without her. We missed you, Sybil! It's true!

Now maybe I should write a poem or something...

One Thousand Naps Later

It was the Thanskgiving of One Thousand Naps, but I am back now. I missed you.

Friday, November 18, 2005

The Freq

Fishes,

The Freq of the Week will feature Matt Longabucco, Carley Moore, Aaron Tieger, and Nick Moudry (yes! it IS a really incredible lineup!) so I will see all of you at the Face tomorrow at 2:30. 165 W. 4th St. Saturday, November 18th.

Much Love,
Shafer

Our Friend Karen

Our friend Karen Miller just published a very good short story here:

http://www.mrbellersneighborhood.com/story.php?storyid=1733

Sunday, November 06, 2005

NoPoWroMo

Union Jack

A jack is a flag, but flags
can't always say everything
you want to say, jack, jack
as in person or bro or bloke
over there where they
fly the Union Jack. A jack
is a small square flag
used at sea, and when
the Union is flown at sea,
it is a jack, jack, and therefore
it is referred to as Union Jack.
At home, the Union Jack
has fallen into common usage:
jacks refer to jacks as jacks,
even though on land a jack is a flag
not a jack, jack. A jack is always a flag,
jack, but a flag is not always a jack.
What I am trying to say, jack,
is that jacks say exactly what
each jack means to say,
and there are many jacks
under every jack.

from www.howtodrawtheUnionJack.com:

The larger pieces each have area (335-75√5)/2; the smaller each 445/4-30√5; giving a total blue area of 1115-270√5 ≈ 511.261646 square units, which is slightly more than 1.44% larger than the cross of St George. The red of St Patrick is in four pieces, two larger and two smaller, these respectively each having area 20√5 and 20√5-5; for a total of 80√5-10 ≈ 168.8854382 square units. Thus the flag is red : white : blue in the proportions 494+80√5 : 191+190√5 : 1115-270√5 ≈ 37.38% : 34.21% : 28.4%.

Friday, November 04, 2005

The Freq

Fishes,

Scott Glassman, Adam Davis, Tom Haushalter, and all the way from St. Paul Paul Dickinson will be at the Frequency tomorrow at noon. Full details here:

http://frequencyseries.blogspot.com/

xo,
Shafer

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

For Mike Sammons

Waiter! More Shrimp!

Tonight let's drink
until we can't see
and tomorrow I will lay
on the floor on my back
while angry moments
phase into our morning
from outside my window
where they're upset by the Man.

And you, like a
cat can curl
up on my chest.

We will be married for a few hours,
for a few fine forevers.

She Finds Sweatshirts

My Houston Texans sweatshirt (that which Tom and Joanie refer to as "Shafer's Leather") has been returned!

Jess Larrabee dove into the Sputnik lost and found, and she reunited me with That Which Is Most Holy.

Jess Larrabee drives this finely-tuned machine. I will keep you updated about shows in Brooklyn and around the world.

You can hear Jess jam here

http://shekeepsbees.com/sounds.html

and here

www.myspace.com/shekeepsbees


Those of us who survived what is now referred to as "The Night of One Thousand Jaegermeisters" (a.k.a. last night) are deeply devoted to Jess.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Zoo Project

Fish Surgery

Fish surgeon:
this sturgeon
needs a bypass

STAT!

The nurse glug glugs
and gives up
on sterilizing anything

in this mess of weedy
fishtank -- why
did she become a nurse
anyway. Days like these
she'd rather be
someone's lunch.

But then beep...beep...
and the sturgeon's
back again. The surgeon's
fins snap, snap as he removes
his plastic gloves, and he says
"that's why we're in this business.
Saving fishes' lives."

Thursday, October 27, 2005

October is National Poetry Month!

Keeping It Together

While researching words
for our friends' wedding
I discovered something interesting:

the Irish, while being
romantic about a lot of things
are not so about love;
and like a talking dog

the best years of our lives
are creating themselves.

We are an envoy
written to tell itself:
the next word is this;
the next word is this.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Zoo Project

Tuna and Hurricane

Two hurricanes
are turning
every New Yorker
into a tuna.

Time will tell
if tunas
can hang.
If they are hard.

I'll tell my fellow tunas:
our time is NOW!
Time to swim, time to
shed our raincoats.

Friday, October 07, 2005

My Two Favorite Poets

Shanna Compton and Jen Knox are on tour together supporting their books Down Spooky and Gringo Like Me respectively.

I am worried about them out there on the road without me in the back seat, drinking Silver Bullets and amusing myself.

Please take a close look at this schedule, and if you know anyone in these locations please tell them not to miss any of these parties. They will regret it, but in the good way.

First leg: Atlanta, Athens, Davidson, Nashville, DC

DECATUR, GA: Sunday, October 2nd at 8:00 PM
With Jennifer L. Knox
Java Monkey
205 Ponce de Leon Ave. #5
Decatur, GA 30030
404-378-5002
FREE

ATLANTA, GA: Monday, October 3rd at 7:30 PM
A triplet with Danielle Pafunda & Jennifer L. Knox!
Emory University
Joseph W. Jones Room
Woodruff Library
540 Asbury Circle
Atlanta, GA 303022
FREE

ATHENS, GA: Tuesday, October 4th at 7:00 PM
A triplet with Danielle Pafunda & Jennifer L. Knox!
VOX Reading Series
Little Kings Club
223 Hancock Avenue
Athens, GA
FREE

DAVIDSON, NC: Wednesday, October 5th at 1:30 PM
With Jennifer L. Knox
Davidson College
Class visit
Davidson, NC 28035

DAVIDSON, NC: Thursday, October 6th at 7:30 PM
With Jennifer L. Knox
Davidson College
C. Shaw Smith Room
Alvarez College Union
Davidson, NC 28035
FREE
More info: 704-894-2202
(Also a workshop and some other stuff. Details to come!)

NASHVILLE, TN: Saturday, October 8th
With Jennifer L. Knox
Southern Festival of Books
We will just be wandering around the festival this day.

NASHVILLE, TN: Sunday, October 9th at 3:30 PM
With Jennifer L. Knox
Southern Festival of Books
Tennessee Performing Arts Center
Poetry & Drama Stage
505 Deaderick Street
Nashville, TN 37243
FREE

NASHVILLE, TN: Monday, October 10 at 5:15 PM
With Jennifer L. Knox
Watkins College of Art & Design
Brownlee O. Currey Gallery
2298 Metrocenter Blvd.
Nashville, TN 37228
FREE
More info/directions: 615.383.4848

WASHINGTON, DC: Tuesday, October 11 at 7:00 PM
With Jennifer L. Knox
Chapters Bookstore
445 11th St., N.W.
Washington, DC 20004
202-737-5553
FREE

Back in NYC briefly

NEW YORK, NY: Saturday, October 15 at 3:00 PM
with Danielle Pafunda & Steve Roberts
The Ear Inn
326 Spring Street
(west of Greenwich Street)
New York City
FREE
(This will be the first local event with books available.
Stay tuned for PARTY details for afterward. More soon!)

NEW YORK, NY: Monday, October 17 at 6:30 PM
with David Lehman & Philip Cioffari
Cornelia Street Cafe
New York Quarterly Series
29 Cornelia Street
New York, NY
$6 admission also buys a drink
212-989-9319

Second leg: Ann Arbor, Muncie, Milwaukee, Chicago
(Details to come for all below...)

ANN ARBOR, MI: Wednesday, October 19
With Jennifer L. Knox
Shaman Drum Bookstore

MUNCIE, IN: Thursday, October 20
With Jennifer L. Knox
Ball State University
MT Cup

MILWAUKEE, WI: Saturday, October 22
With Jennifer L. Knox
Broad Vocabulary & later that night at Cafe Lulu

CHICAGO, IL: Sunday, October 23
With Jennifer L. Knox
Green Mill

CHICAGO, IL: Monday, October 24
With Jennifer L. Knox
Columbia College
Class visit

Third leg: Santa Cruz, Berkeley, Ashland

SANTA CRUZ, CA: Saturday, November 5
With Jennifer L. Knox
New Cadence series

BERKELEY, CA: Sunday, November 6
With Jennifer L. Knox
Pegasus Books

ASHLAND, OR: Monday-Tuesday, November 7-8
With Jennifer L. Knox
Emergent Forms Series
Southern Oregon University
Saturday, November 12 at Frequency
With Corinne Lee & Jennifer L. Knox
The Frequency Series
Hosted by Shafer Hall & Samuel Amadon
The Four-Faced Liar
165 West 4th Street
New York, NY
2:30 p.m.
Wednesday, November 16 at the Bowery Poetry Club
With others TBD
Hosted by Christine Hamm
Bowery Poetry Club
308 Bowery (btw. Houston & Bleecker)
8:00 PM
Sunday, December 4 at the Atomic Reading Series
With CAConrad, author of Deviant Propulsion
Atomic Reading Series
Curated and hosted by Cheryl B.
The First Sunday of Every Month @ 7.pm.
Lucky 13 Saloon
273 13th St. (5th Ave.)
Park Slope, Brooklyn
AWP 2006 in Austin, Texas
Associated Writing Programs Conference Panel
DIY Publishing: Chapbooks, Zines, Webzines, Blogs, Collectives & Etc.
March DATE AND TIME TBD
LOCATION TBD
Registration info

Ladies and Germs,

Please join us for another Freqy Tarpaulin Sky reading tomorrow at 2PM at 165 W. 4th. Lineup below.

Yours,
Shafer

8 OCTOBER
Jenny Boully, Jan Clausen, Sasha Watson, & TBA

Jenny Boully is the author of The Body (Slope Editions). Her work has been anthologized in The Best American Poetry, Great American Prose Poems: From Poe to Present, and The Next American Essay. She has recently finished a new manuscript, The Book of Beginnings and Endings. She is a Ph.D. student in English at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

Jan Clausen's writing has spanned numerous genres. In the 1980’s, she focused heavily on fiction, publishing a story collection and two novels with the Crossing Press (U.S.) and The Women’s Press Ltd. (U.K.). Her memoir Apples and Oranges: My Journey through Sexual Identity was issued by Houghton Mifflin in 1999. Since then she has become a “born again poet,” publishing widely in periodicals and receiving a New York Foundation for the Arts Poetry Fellowship in 2003. Other awards include a National Endowment for the Arts Fiction Fellowship. Her poetry and fiction have appeared in Another Chicago Magazine, Calyx, Feminist Studies, Fence, For a Living: The Poetry of Work, Gay and Lesbian Poetry in Our Time, Hanging Loose, Ikon, The Kenyon Review, Luna, Margie, North American Review, Ploughshares, XConnect and The Village Voice. Her essays, book reviews, and literary journalism may be found in Ms., The Nation, Poets and Writers, and The Women’s Review of Books, among others.

Sasha Watson is a writer, translator, and teacher based in New York. Her poetry, translations, and reviews have appeared in Bird Dog, Common Knowledge, Triquarterly, Bookslut, Nerve, and the Poetry Project Newsletter. She is currently working on a Ph.D. in French literature at NYU.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Freq of the Week

Hey Folks,

It's October and it's chilly and there's football on TV.

This week's Freq features a couple of veterans and a couple of new faces. Their info is below. See you Saturday October 1st at 2PM. 165 W. 4th St & 6th Ave.

Yrs,
Shafer


1 OCTOBER
Amy King, Dan Machlin, Paul McCormick, Jonah Winter

Amy King is the author of the poetry collection, Antidotes for an Alibi (Blazvox Books), a Lambda Book Award finalist, and the chapbook, The People Instruments (Pavement Saw Press Chapbook Award 2002). Her poems appear in such publications as The Brooklyn Rail, Milk Magazine, The Mississippi Review, No Tell Motel, Riding the Meridian, and Shampoo Poetry. She teaches English at Nassau Community College and spends much of her time between Brooklyn and Baltimore. Please visit www.amyking.org for more.

Dan Machlin is the author of 6X7 poems (Ugly Duckling Presse 2005), This Side Facing You (Heart Hammer), and In Rem (@ Press). His work has recently appeared in Fence, The Brooklyn Rail, Cy Press, Antennae, Crayon and The Portable Boog Reader. He has also collaborated on a full length Audio-CD with cellist/singer Serena Jost (Immanent Audio)
and contributed companion text to several visual art exhibitions in New York City and Germany. He is the founder and editor of Futurepoem books and a current curator at The Segue reading series at The Bowery Poetry Club in New York City.

Paul McCormick's recent work appears or is forthcoming in Conjunctions, The Iowa Review, Verse, Fence, Conduit, Barrow Street, Word for/Word and DIAGRAM.

Jonah Winter writes books. His first book of poems, Maine, won the Slope Editions Book Prize. His second book of poems, Amnesia, won the Field Prize and was published by Oberlin College Press in Spring 2004. His hobbies include: 1) staring blankly.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Zoo Project?

Momadillo

A paleolithic leftover
is the hard shell
of my momadillo.

Who knows how old
mothers are? Armadillos
are old mothers;
their single-sex litters
are of seven.

Soft as the stuffed
armadillo I bought
for your mother
at the Houston airport.

Every one so soft
on the inside. You
exposed yourself;
you died.

Hours from now
the fossil record
has hardened
these dreams
into facts.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Image hosted by Photobucket.com


Since you likely cannot read the above information, here's the mighty Jen's description of the event:

"Greetings Fluffy Woodland Creatures,

Just a reminder that you already have plans this Saturday, September 24, at 9 p.m. Big plans.

You're gonna come to Greenpoint for a party celebrating the release of A Gringo Like Me on Soft Skull press, with lots of money in your pocket, dressed to the 9’s, in something very tight, and equally squeaky.

You're going to sidle up and order a drink, like you don't care who pours it. And you'll drink it, like you don't care what it is. Because you won't.

And the last you'll remember before you wake up in New Lots with your pants around your ankles, hickeys spelling out “HONEYBOY” on your ass was singing "Sweet Caroline'” like it was 1999. Because it was. *

9 p.m. A star-studded reading featuring a “Chicken Bucket” showdown with a trophy for Best Recitation.

10 p.m. A performance by The Ladies Tableaux Society of North Brooklyn. (The ladies who brought you “Fury of the Femizons”)

10:30 KARAOKE! No lie!

WHERE: The Capri Social Club (Irene’s)
156 Calyer Street btw Lorimer and Manhattan Ave.
in beeyootiful Greenpoint, Brooklyn G to Greenpoint Ave.
(718) 383-8833

Forward this onto folks who don’t spook easy, and bring a buttload of people. They’ll all fit!"

*

WOW! Hopefully I will have pictures for you come monday.

Get Freqy

with Tarpaulin Sky tomorrow at 2pm as they bring the below poets to 165 W. 4th St.

Dan Chelotti is currently pursuing his MFA at UMASS-Amherst. He has worked as an Assistant Managing Editor at Verse Press for the past three years. He lives in Easthampton, MA.

Mary A. Koncel is the author of You Can Tell the Horse Anything (Tupelo Press, 2004) and the chapbook Closer to Day (Quale Press, 1999). Her work has appeared in a variety of journals and anthologies, including The Massachusetts Review, Denver Quarterly, The Journal, The Prose Poem: An International Journal, and No Boundaries: Prose Poems by 24 American Poets.

Jeffrey Levine is the author of Sanctuaries (Red Hen Press) and Mortal, Everlasting, winner of the 2000 Transcontinental Poetry Award from Pavement Saw Press. His individual poems and groups of poems have won the Larry Levis Prize from the Missouri Review, the first annual James Hearst Award from North American Review, the 2001 Kestrel Prize and most recently, the 2001 Mississippi Review Poetry Award. His work appears in Ploughshares, Antioch Review, Poetry International, Virginia Quarterly Review, Quarterly West, Barrow Street, Yankee Magazine, and The Journal, among others. Jeffrey Levine is Editor-in-Chief of Tupelo Press.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

If you can't beat 'em...

I have always sort of thought of rats as little, moving soccer balls, but I've always had a touch of the sadist in me (even though I never let sadists touch me.) I'm certainly not scared of them (provided they don't have any open sores) and I don't hate them by any means. But some people do, and this website aims to change that. I'll support any cause with a website this entertaining: http://www.greatpointedarcher.com/

Friday, September 16, 2005

football and poetry

Hey y'all,

Saturday at the Liar features the poetry of Michael Schiavo, Jesse Ball, and Gibson Fay-LeBlanc. Check out our new Frequency site at http://frequencyseries.blogspot.com/.

Sunday at the Liar features a brand-new and exciting experiment: live halftime shows for NFL football games. Ben Murphy and special guests will be performing live halftime shows for the one o'clock and four o'clock games. It's important to note that NO FOOTBALL WILL BE INTERRUPTED! Ben will perform short sets between each half and then everyone will shut up and we will watch more football.

Come on out for these exciting and groundbreaking events.

Yours,
Shafer

Friday, September 09, 2005

Fall Frequency

Hey Folks,

We are kicking off the Fall Frequency tomorrow with the below reading presented in association with Tarpaulin Sky. Frequency readings will be on Saturday this season, and they will begin at 2 PM.

Yours,
Shafer


TARPAULIN SKY / FREQUENCY SERIES

2PM Saturdays @ The Four-Faced Liar
165 West 4th Street (between 6th & 7th Ave), NY, NY
www.thefour-facedliar.com

10 SEPTEMBER
Robyn Art, Jen Benka, Michael Gottlieb, Heidi Lynn Staples

Robyn Art was born in Boston. Her recent poems have appeared in Slope, The Hat, Conduit, Slipstream, The New Delta Review, Rhino, and canwehaveourballback.com. She's the author of the poetry manuscript, The Stunt Double In Winter, which was selected as a Finalist for the
2004 Kore Press First Book Award. Her chapbook, Degrees of Being There, was released by Boneworld Press in May 2003. A second chapbook, No Longer A Blonde, is forthcoming from Boneworld Press in 2005. Currently she lives in Brooklyn.

Jen Benka's collection of one poem for each of the 52 words in the Preamble to the US Constitution, A Box of Longing With Fifty Drawers, will be published by Soft Skull Press in 2005. Jen is the managing director of Poets & Writers and lives in New York City.

Michael Gottlieb is the author of more than a dozen titles, including Lost and Found (Segue, 2004). His other recent books include Gorgeous Plunge (also from Segue) Careering Obloquy (Other Publications/Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs), and More Than All (Tongue To Boot), a collaboration with Ted Greenwald.

Heidi Lynn Staples is the author of Guess Can Gallop, which was selected by Brenda Hillman for the 2002 New Issues Poetry Prize. Heidi's manuscript, Dog Girl, runner-up for the Sawtooth Poetry Prize, will be published by Ahsahta Press. Her poems have appeared in Denver Quarterly, HOW2, La Petite Zine, LIT, 3rd bed, Slope, Unpleasant Event Schedule and elsewhere. She teaches poetry at the University College, Syracuse University.

Google Ads Continued

Bigfoot Costume Rentals

As a child, he never worried
about his feet. Adjectives
like big, smelly, and hairy
were the stuff of...of stuff.
Just people talking about things.

But at adolescence Bigfoot
gained self-consciousness,
and now he rents a costume;
he dresses like a human
when he walks among us.

Shafer 'n Donna Zoo Project #7

Monkey Coffin

Maybe ivory makes
the walls of
your monkey coffin --
she seemed to love you.

But you can’t say
for sure; you are one
dead monkey, unseeing
eyes puffed to the size
of golf balls.

It’s OK, what makes
the walls of your
monkey coffin;
their off-white
is not for you;
that material
is for the monkeys
who survived.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Another Google Ad Poem Compliments Maureen

Vamoose Bus Service

Vama a la our loosely
named Vamoose service.

We do things fast and loose;
livestock is politely ignored.

We drive on the edge; we'll
drive you to the edge of the nation.

After that you're on your own;
there's only so much vamoosing
that one service can do you.

Donna 'n Shafer Zoo Project #6

My Anaconda Would Rather Pass On This One

Such a stupid
anaconda,
if I didn’t feed it
it would forget to eat.

The long, slender
stomach of the
anaconda is a
biological treat:
anacondas evolved
as long as the Amazon;

as long as the Amazon
flows the anaconda
will swim.

My anaconda
is so fickle,
even when it is hungry,
even though it always knows
what it is hungry for.

Just Doing As I Am Told

Together They’ve Got To Fight Through Hell Until The Fight Is Finished

Love for a man, when a man
loves a woman, the love a man
has for a friend, he’s a real man
who loves dogs, be a man
for once, for once

I have seen a lot of relationships
in my life, he said distantly,
he said it the way that men
talk about war.

When cousins are curled up in closets
and fear is flying, wives are crying
and you can’t flash forward to forty years
from now when everything will be real calm.

Once you’ve decided on something
it is very easy to undecided it
it is very easy to dream these days
these days the American dream is so elastic.

It is much harder to hang
on to the clarity of a memory,
to remember why you did it
in the first place, why you’re you,
you Americans.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Donna 'n Shafer Zoo Project #5

The Crueler Capers of the Crocodile

It was long
my belief
that the reptiles
of this world
got a bad rap.

Something about teeth,
something about complexion,
it seemed too obvious
to me; my tears were real.

But then our guide got got
in Guatemala, and the crocodile
rolled and rolled the way crocodiles do
when they are serious about something.

Our “Sayanora!” was sad that day,
we said “See you later.” Oh, cruelty.
Oh, crocodile.

Poems By Request #1: This one goes out to all the hard ones, the young ones.

My Boy, Jack

Jack, my boy,
defend yourself
from the bad
that is out here
in this frontier
city of yourself.

See that subways
are yours for
transportation
and not a place
for the robbers
(or the cops)
to play their
games with you.

Jack, my boy.
the other day
someone was
shot in the face
around the corner
from my apartment.

I thought of you,
Jack, you are young.
Your face is yours.
Your fingers twitch
and twiddle
with excitement.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Donna 'n Shafer Zoo Project #2

Five Flamingoes

Five
flamingoes
last night
dreamed
about me.

Their
single
supporting
legs
twitched
in their
sleep,
causing
concentric
circles
to ripple
around them,
five
concentric
circles
to the
5,000th
power,
like a quite
confounding
Venn diagram
describing
the fickleness,
the changing face
of water.

When the flamingoes
awoke,
they gawked
at each other;
their mouths
gaped.

They knew
instinctively
(by the patterns
in their home,
the water, maybe)
they all had
the same dream,
but they couldn't
say what it was.

EXTRAORDINARY EXHIBITION EXTRAVAGANZA

Good People,

The below is from Daniel Morrow, who will be hosting this thing Wednesday night at Galapagos. All your friends will be there.

***

Warning!

An Extraordinary Exhibition Extravaganza will be taking place next
Wednesday the 17th at Galapagos, north six street, Williamsburg.

New York's finest poet, Shafer Hall will read from his world renowned
poems, Marissa Perel will delight us with a performance piece which
will blow your socks of, Ben Murphy will sing some of the finest
penned tunes you're ever likely to hear and then The Morrow will
attempt to polish the evening off with some new fashioned rock n'
roll.

The evening begins at 7pm sharp

So stick it in your diary, you have been warned

Cheers all

We Are Pleased To Announce

the long overdue entrance of Miss Rachel Shukert into the blogosphere. Two postings and her blog is already hilarious, full of beer and celebrities and scatalogical references. All Aerosmith fans and other people who like to laugh should hustle over to http://bushwickhotel.blogspot.com/.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Another Google Ad Poem

Pirate Wenches and Gypsies

I was wondering to myself today
"am I more of a pirate wench person
or more of a gypsy person?"

I imagine that gypsies would have
some sort of great sexual traditions
involving oils and secrets
whispered to them by their mothers,
but I'd spend the whole night
worrying about my wallet.

But with pirate wenches,
it'd kinda be like you were the girl
and they were the guy.

Either way it seems
I could learn a lot about myself,
either way they are both
100% natural.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Google Ad Challenge From Maureen!

Slang Flashcards

Slang flashcards,
they are these cards
with slang,
and come packaged with
the most bitchin' bubble gum.

I just buy them for the gum
and then throw
the rest of that shit away
because all of that "pop,
poppop, pop, pop, pop"
is slang plenty
all to its own.

Moon Patrol!

The Night They Murdered My Man Mickey Mooner Underneath The Moon

The other night they murdered
My man Mickey Mooner
Underneath a full moon.

Mickey Mooner was my man
at the time, he saw that my
clothes were neatly pressed,
and he brought lukewarm
bowls of salt and soda solution
for me to dip my fingernails.

But Mickey was murdered
and I remain a man
in search of adequate help
underneath the sun.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Moon Patrol Poems Continued

Cat Training Secrets

It's no secret:
the moon tugs
from its cosmic outpost
gently on the water of this Earth.

So it makes sense:
cats, who (like everything else)
are 78% water,
are gyroscoped into madness
by the moon's unrelenting orbit.

Still: cats
can be trained (like anything else.)
The water in their blood will cool
until they move very slowly
in straight lines.

Durge Report: Special Edition

Sunday Morning Sybil Is A Hoosier

with tears falling out of her eyes.

Yesterday afternoon she was a lithe Spartan,
a fieldmouse of a kickboxer.

Saturday night she drank like a Roman,
but on Sunday morning Sybil is a Hoosier.

What Fine Flanks You Have

I caught the last set of the last act of the 2nd Annual Brooklyn Country Music Festival. It was these guys and they were untouchable (in the good way.)

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Moon Patrol Five

I, Punctuation

Black dots on a paper/white dots in the night sky:
Punctuation is me everywhere
And I am everywhere that something stops
Or pauses. My eyes on a full moon
Will rest gratefully for a while, long enough
To gather the courage to examine something else

Like when we are sentenced to
Consider this thing, or this. Now let's consider this.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Classic Country

Listening to the Classic Country Cable Radio Station This Morning

This morning my roommate and I
were doing morning things involving
milk and dumbbells and laptops
and the general betterment of ourselves.

Since we are young and can't do anything quietly
we had the TV on (Classic Country cable radio.)
The playlist was skewing heavily toward
the 1979 to 1985 period and it was making memory
feel very slippery to me and when "Bop"
by Dan Seals came on I was 100% back
to ten years old in the cab of my Dad's
old sky blue powder Chevrolet pickup
(Dominga was her name)
and we were bouncing all over San Antonio, TX.

"I wanna bop with you baby
all night long
I wanna be-bop with you baby
till the break of dawn"

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Listen on the Internet

You can hear my Pete's Big Salmon reading at Susan Brennan's Poetic Brooklyn I don't know what exactly was wrong with me that night, but I am all breathy, and I sound more like Christian Slater than usual. Maybe it's just the old "I sound weird to myself" effect. This is just one of many thousands of reasons to love Susan Brennan. Enjoy!

Moon Patrol Poem #4

What I've Been Up To

The stars are hanging out
outside my window,
and the moon is shining low
among the chimneys.

Out there in the skinny night
a lonely firework sneezed,
and Brooklyn heaved
a shudder through its trees.

Tell the crazies of evening
I’ll see them sooner.
Dreams are the kind order
from my lids.

My crowbar snoozes sinew-ly
already; enough for me
to rust with it for now.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Gist Street Reading

Shanna Compton, Jen Knox, and I gave a reading in Pittsburgh last Saturday. Pittsburgh is a wonderful town with all of its bridges and rivers. I am sure that there are as many nice people in Pitt as there are in any other town, but we met so many nice folks at Gist Street Studio. It seemed like Pittsburgh must've been the nicest town in the world. I also met some of the women who make Moxy, a very passionate poetry website . Many thanks to Dan Wickett for this astoundingly detailed reading report.

Pittsburgh's tall and modern downtown reminded me of Houston and made me a little homesick. I look forward to returning to Bill Cowher's Moustache Country!

Thursday, July 14, 2005

J to the Po to the Wri to the Mo

Saturation

Your photo film is less than the thickness of skin;
when movie film catches fire

and everything burns real yellow,
everafter folks will wonder
if that's what it looked like back
in the Magnificent Seventies
when everyone's backs were real wide and brown --
is that what it looked like back then?

Was the sun different then?
Or is it just the creeping oldness
of the way we keep things:
everything kept will keep getting old.



July is National Poetry Month!

Another Change of Flavor

I think it's time I just
changed my flavor:

I will wear painter's caps now
with funny Spring Break slogans
like "Damn Seagulls!"

The way I feel about my flavor
is the way I feel about myself,
but it's never so easy as

coriander or Delaware,
the names of spices or places
do not make a flavor.

Ask those seagulls circling
about yourself:

they will never tell you;
they will never hear your curse.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

P.S.

If you submitted a photo to me and you are not represented here, it is because the photo is lost in my inbox. Please send me a gentle reminder.

Congratulations

to Jeff Eaton and Reb Livingston: winners of the I'll Show You My Full Moon Contest. We will be posting your poems, photos, and drawings of the moon and the creatures who inhabit it for oh, say, the next three or four months.

I'll Show You My Full Moon: Contest Winner #2

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Jeffrey Eaton is our #2 I'll Show You My Full Moon Contest Winner. Contest Winners are in no particular order.

I'll Show You My Full Moon: Contest Winner #1

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

The mighty Reb Livingston is our #1 Contest Winner. Contest Winners are in no particular order.

Christopher Stackhouse

wrote this poem from my title. In the spirit of full disclosure, I feel compelled to note that I didn't know my title was a title until Chris wrote the poem.

THE MAMMOTH SKELETON FIGHTS THE GREAT WHITE CARCASS!
dressed in purple- stet
-etcetera- bash in - stet
sons and daughters - com
- plete - etcetera - bash - in style
slick - remember me -dick
trace or slur - etcetera - stet -

Monday, June 27, 2005

JuPoWriMo Continues

The Functional Beauty of Howard Hawks

It is both as simple
and as complicated
as two people talking:

someone is or isn't
annoying; someone
will interrupt someone.

In three good scenes
you will see a movie,
there will be no bad scenes.

In dreams America
does not fail, you simple
genre, you American Dream.

I got some great photos

for the I'll Show You My Full Moon contest, and as soon as I get them re-sized to fit the blog I will post them here.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

JuPoWriMo #4

Space Patrol Girls

On the moon
you can never get lost
because there is no one
around to confuse you.

I can drop you off there.
But I can't pick you up,
smaller sister, there's
a girl a year older
who knows about
Kris Kristofferson
and who wants to kiss me.

On the moon
you can never get lost
because you are constantly
triangulating your position
in relation to at least two
of your space patrol girls.

...and I am not talking about my ass...

Please help me celebrate the first-ever I'll Show You Mine Photography Contest, not very subtlely called the I'll Show You My Full Moon Contest 2005.

Tomorrow (Wednesday) night at approximately 8:45 Brooklyn time there should be a big moon rising. I mean moon literally and rising figuratively.

Email digital photos of this moon to me from around the world, and I will post them here. The winners of the contest will receive an I'll Show You Mine t-shirt!

Since I'll Show You Mine is run entirely by retarded hippies, everyone will be a winner.

Rocket Men from the Moon

Part 2

An medium-sized alien moustach
haunts me now in this Charlie
Chaplin movie.

Myself and this beer
have somehow been in love for years now.

In the blink of an eye,
canes are swinging
and his and my
favorite pasttime
is still falling over.

JuPoWriMo #3!

Rocket Men from the Moon Part 1

I am collecting the poems
I have scattered
Across the wide wasteland
of my computerized brain.

Handsome government men
will report earnestly on my success.

American Ed Harris astronauts
will pound phones.

My jet-pack cannot falter.

A Well-Hung Show

Hey Y'all,

Please join us for a National Arts Club Freakout, wherein an art opening will be celebrated underneath the wide stained glass ceilings where we will drink peacock blue cocktails and wag our fingers at those outside the establishment, including ourselves. Alexa Vachon has put together a crackerjack team of underground artists who will all be getting suntans as they are yanked into the overground, including but not limited to myself, Lizzie, Mark, Dan, Ed, Tara, Jordan, Deb, Todd, and many others.

Official invite attached. Fancy dress required. 8:30 PM on Tuesday night at the National Arts Club on Grammercy Park.

Love,
The Red Death

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

JuPoWriMo #2

Suspense

Counting the quivers
that bust through the suspension
of our 1960 Corvair:

rough going
and inside
I imagine the "ahh"
that comes
when the man inside me
drinks weird alcohol.

But there is no air
in the suspension of this Corvair,
no sighs inside but squeaks.

The air cooled rear engine
would prove itself
but not to me.

Friday, June 17, 2005

June is National Poetry Month!

Daddy's Little Tri-State Area

we were a package of one
and from the Pterodactyls of Long Island
to the scratch-offs of Point Pleasant
we could giggle foolishly at the price of goggles
for our eyes had already been open underwater
for a long time our eyes were martial red
our snoring was marital our tips were considerable

it was the best you said it was
the best in years
magic was in the everywhere
we were so tired when it was done

it will all start over again
but I don't know when

Final Freq!

The final official Freq (there will be unofficial Freqs all summer long) of the season is here. Come help Mark Lamoureux, Bill Cassidy, Heather Christle, and maybe even Andrew Kaufman celebrate the close of the the SIXTH SEASON of Frequency. It will all go down at 2:30 PM on Sunday, June 19th at 165 W. 4th St. and 6th Ave. Love from all of us here at Frequency!

Friday, June 10, 2005

Special SATURDAY Frequency!

Join us for a very special Saturday Frequency on June 11th at 2:30 PM. The Freq of the week will feature fellow Unpleasant Event Schedulers Amy King and Stephanie Gray.

165 W. 4th & 6th Ave.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Freq of the Week!

Frequency this Sunday June 5th will feature Matthew Thorburn plus a special guest! We like everybody at Frequency, but we like Matthew best of all.

Sunday 2:30 PM at 165 W. 4th & 6th Ave.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

May 14

Chord Progression

In Western Culture
tiny coded clues tell
of the "if it sounds good
do it" Generation:
DAG GAD
it still makes sense
even if we don't know
what it means.

May 13

What Happened to the Heat Tonight

In New York June
is the cruelest month
when cool breezes sneak
up girls' skirts
sending them back indoors
for their wraps.

May 12

Broiler Mystery #1

Dan Nester was red
as a lobster on Monday.

A bright-like-neon clue.

More subtle
are the commas
in our speeches
at the end
of this holiday weekend.

May 11

My New Coleslaw Recipe

Corner purple cabbage
store sells red vinegar
for slow cooking in oil.

Your onion pepper
stoplight; your sugar
cinnamon shaker.

Allspice I tell you.
Ziploc I cry.
I smell salt.

I have thirty minutes

to write the 21 poems I need to complete MayPoWriMo. Then starts JuPoWriMo. June, I am told, is National Poetry Month.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

My first order of business

upon becoming a rich and famous poet after I buy the moms a quiet place will be to buy Rob a ragtop Impala. For rolling on them summer nights.

Going to bed now.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

MPWM 10

The Rattlesnake's Father

The rattler's daddy was tenths of a mile away when lightning hit Bandera and made everything crack real good.

This is old prose, a narrative even if a tiny narrative, more powerful than the poetry of thunder or of the beware-me rattle. Rattlesnakes are small but boy, they can holler.

And that's the way it was for the young rattler all the way from under a rotten log to a cactus two feet away, until he and his daddy were restored and dried off a bit, and then it was nothing more satisfying than a memory.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Here comes one now!

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Shafer's Ninth.

In Texas Everything Looks Like This:

Sometimes folks in the Northeast
don't believe a word I say
about tumbleweeds, they think
that tumbleweeds only exist
in the big American mind.

But tumbleweeds grow and die,
and then they they set off
rolling across the Caprock
on a dusty wind. They are as alive
as any car or tornado, as real
as an old friend who fears snakes.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Freq of the Week

Don't miss Sandra Alland and Lourdes Vazquez at Frequency this SundayMay 22nd at 2:30 PM at 165 W. 4th St. and 6th Ave.

Love,
Shafer

Friday, May 20, 2005

Eight.

I Haven't Been Feeling Very Howard-Coselly About Sports

so I reached into my
swag-bag of adjectives
and pulled out "burned."

Ooh, that says it all right.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

May 7th

Stripped Out Straight

Straight out of
the headlines
crazy mother
fuckers from
Compton to
Israel between
the Earth and
its atmosphere
here we lose
our wives,
here are new
religions, here
new inks have
told us so.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

#6

Small And At Attention

Leave me alone
for no time at all,
I will immediately
negative space
all pervasive while
my small attention
asks for carefully
detailed no ones'
dreams.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

#5

Salt Preserves

Across the wide salt preserves
of my kitchen breathes
the empty breath of my stove
wondering where I have been
all these months.

Oh stove I have been cooking
on another planet
where my likes and dislikes
are collapsed
beneath necessity.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

MayPoWriMo #4

Big Plans Small Apartment

The molding slowly
creeps across the ceiling
and neatly meets in corners
for compliments
from the neighbors: paintjob
all the way to the edges
otherwise it's not a job,
but an experiment like:
Kevin, what do you think
of this one, or
Kevin, what do you think
of this one.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Yao Who?

Tundra

Your unforgetting elephant heart
befits the longness of your years.
I spent a long time thinking to myself
about your ears. They are short,
like a very small elephant. You
wrote on my face with crayon
and it hurt, but I was quiet. My chin
does not remember that waxy pinch.

Friday, May 06, 2005

OK

let's declare the Four Faced Liar the official Houstonians in New York City bar of Game 7 of the I-45 Shootout between the Houston Rockets and the Dallas Mavericks. There will already be a buttwad of foks there for the Derby (if you need Lucas's PDF, which tells you who not to pick, let me know) so it wont be any problem to turn up the Jerry Jeff Walker and segue right the fuck in to some Texas basketball. YAO-HA!

Just kidding about that God:

I think you're hot! And if you'll let the Rockets win I will say more nice things about you!

Avery Johnson says it's "global"

but we know what an I-45 Shootout means to the national state of Texas. I recommend that everyone out there bet heavily on the Mavericks, for I will be doing the same on my Rockets.

And if a lifetime of gambling has taught me anything, it's that God has a profound dislike for me.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Brian Wilson's or Bruce Springsteen's?

Wendy Went Wrong

Makin' it with anyone
who isn't me is enough
to make me pound
on the hood of my
suicide machine.

I never thought
my eyes could cry
but all of this
insolent New Jersey
sand is blinding me.

You are a glorious
mansion of a women,
I just can't remember:
best girl on worst
block, or vice versa?

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Freq of the Week

This week's Frequency will feature Paul Killebrew, Travis Nichols, and Corrina Copp. Watch out world!

165 W. 4th & 6th Ave., 2:30 PM, Sunday May 8th.

This from Rachel:

Hello dear friends and countrymen. As some of you may or may not know, I will be turning 25 this week. I knowit's hard to believe, but yes, I am entering MY LATE TWENTIES. Such an occasion deserves some kind of celebration. Please join me at the LuLu Lounge for stiff drinks and musical tributes. It is located on N.6th street, in williamsburg, between bedford and berry, underneath the restaurant Rice Republic. I will be there, in all my drunk glory, on May 5th, around 9pm. I would be so pleased if you would attend. Until then, I remain fondly, Yours, Rachel Shukert

May is National Poetry Month!

Pecanesque

There are angels
sent from Detroit
to points South
and East and West
to save this world,
this America
where vasectomies
are reversed
with mighty microsurgery.

Delaware is full of angels,
and Oakland and Phoenix,
nearly everywhere
where girls are there are
angels too.

Ugly ones
with brown sweaters
and personality problems,
who steam off stamps
not to collect but to save money.

I don't need to go on a long trip
to find them, just close my eyes.

Monday, May 02, 2005

The New Yorker says the end is near...

...I say that I always wanted to live in a Thunderdome.


Espatially

B. was trying to trick
enough ohms
out of an old Buick
to power our modest little Thunderdome.

Big red clamps sparked all night
and lit up the outside of our tents.
Inside the older ones remembered television,
and the younger ones thought B.
was a dangerous god.

Dangerous little gods
are under every rock out here in this desert,
but electricity
is still the only thing that scares me.

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Shafer 4/30!

So Longly

"I never thought someone
could stay awake so longly,"
I thought, "but I have been
awake since 7am!"

Are there
things to do? Yes, of course,
there are always things to do.

Are there, um, is there coffee?
Yes, coffee is everywhere.

I think that I will stay awake
a while longer.

To see what I will write next.

Just catching up

on Mr. Babylon, who consistently impresses me with his clarity in describing utter chaos. I hope I won't embarrass him too much by saying that I am also regularly taken by his profound sensitivity. He recently received a shout from the Daily News, and rightfully so.

He also wrote this kickass poem in response to Adam Golaski's challenge of last October. Robert is truly a man of letters. As is Adam, of course.

The Afternoon Slant

Out South Candler Road a mile past the strip mall
Paulie runs a comb through his greasy black pomp,
Doob dangling dangerous from curled upper lip
Twists rearview mirror, checks himself out, & winks
Slides that Ace rubber into his back pocket
Shifts 501 ass, settling in vinyl bench
Casual slow looks over left-shoulder, sneers
Then sucks on that number & exhales real slow
Tap taps on the gas & up from a simmer
An engine boils afternoon air above &
Rumbles its firebird hood, a war eagles cry

Left lane Howard laughs, paying Paulie no mind
Pulls a Chesterfield out from behind his ear
Lights up & lets his lead foot fall, MoPar cams
Sing engine symphony, voices stoked by
A four barrel carburetor, volume amplified through
Dual exhaust pipes, it is a grand joyful noise
& as it fills the Georgia sky echoing
From loblolly to loblolly & rattling
Inside every watching skull, all eyes are on
That bulging hood, for one brief moment Howard
Is alone to flare his nostrils, focusing

Barefoot Phoebe walks up middle of the road
Little ass wiggling as she steps only on
The cool yellow of that endless broken line
Drags fingers along each car as she passes
Stops, spins, smiles & puts her hands on her hips
Looking back & forth from Paulie to Howard
Big Block to Hemy, right to left, hunker down
Engines, spray hazy heat in the afternoon
She raises two slender arms, ready, steady,
Barracuda & Trans Am locked & loaded
About to prove who the real motherfucker is

Friday, April 29, 2005

Another One of Our Freqy Parties

This weeks Frequency will feature the NaPoWriMo-ers, a.k.a. all your favorites (Maureen, Sam Amadon, etc.) If you are a NaPoWriMoer and I haven't contacted you, you are welcome to come read. We will probably do one of these round robin readings that are so wildly popular these days.

2:30 PM Sunday May 1, 165 W. 4th St. & 6th Ave.

Shafer 4/29!

Also See Also

I walk away from every book
with lots of pride
and usually a promise
to myself
and to the book
that I will be back again.

On a good day
I think that I register
80% of what I read,
but often that percentage
is considerably smaller.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

John 11!

Philosophical Thoughts on Driving Your Ex-Girlfriend's Chihuahua to Connecticut

Breathe deep, both of you:
You're already in a poem.

Shafer 4/28!

A Schneiderman Sonnet (Once Removed)

Freddy Fingers was out late one night,
after midnight he met Jason Schneiderman.

Jason is as trusty and dependable
as a starting pitcher like Al Leiter, man.

He has a voice that you can hear,
I'd never ask for a quieter man.

Around the country he has many friends,
lots and lots of Jason Schneider-Fans.

I wonder if he ever cooks breakfast for Michael,
eggs over easy in a fryer-pan?

I'll pedestal Jason like I would Tom Waits,
the original number one Black Rider-man.

Freddy Fingers didn't know what to make at first,
but eventually he came around to Jason Schneiderman.

Jen 4/28!

O Mysterious French Canadians,

living way up there
in towns I can't pronounce,
in sparkly snow castles,
cloaked in the fur of the earth's
largest yak, its only plaid bobcat, etc.
cooking your ancient recipes,
what can you teach me about life
that I may put to use, here, in Brooklyn?
I fear your lessons will turn me
insufferable, albeit mysteriously so,
and one day cost memy job.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Shafer 4/27!

Today Is A Chevy Truck

There is a heartbeat
in America, and never
can you feel it better
than at six a.m.
with your shutters shut
and when you haven't
left your apartment in
thirty two hours.

America becomes a dream
that someone told you
but you couldn't pay attention.

Flick the tv on:
Americans are getting healthier.
Their skins glow
like burning magnesium.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Shafer 4/26!

Square Hot

Corner brick in lively spot,
cooler window atrium.

Twice keystone rafter windowpane
railing rooftop rain gutter.

Mighty flue part maitre d'
grinning awning/foyer,

doorman hipflask taxi wash
ington square hotel.


Heartbeat Hats

Electric hiccups light
the heartbeat hats
inconsistently:

in daytime nothing
need be lit.

Triangle tits told me off,
I hoofed it over
to your cosmic shutter.

Jen 4/26

What Am I Gonna Drink Tonight?

What'll it be?
What'll it be?

Something tall and frosty
Like my wife?

Or short and strong
Like my girlfriend?

Or neat and brown
Like my father?

Or pink and creamy
Like my monkey?

No way! I'd rather have
Herpes than a monkey!

Hey, that gives me
An idea.

*

Addendum
Captain's Log:

Am studying how to give
Self herpes
By sucking own dick

--Chat rooms
Taking too long

--Too much chit-chat.

NaPoWriMo vs. The Brian Lehrer Show

NaPoWriMo-ers! Elisabeth McGlynn says that we should do this:

"...tomorrow The Brian Lehrer Show is having an open phones poetry "slam" at 11am. It's not a true slam. Instead it's a phone in segment to end Nat'l poetry month. The piece you read can be
as long as 2 minutes or as short as a haiku. You should call in, yo. And tell yo friends to call in!! (212 267 9692 (or 212 267 WNYC)@ 11am on Wed. April 27th)"

Monday, April 25, 2005

Costello!

'member that time
you promised me things,
if only i'd do what you
asked me to do?

'member how i'd lay
where you liked it best
and then, we'd doze
reading Tolstoy and Glamour?

'member when we'd
visit friends and i'd
wear the shirt
that made me look stupid?

then how come you won't give me a piece of steak?

Jen 4/25!

They Don't Let Us Have Gunshows Anymore

My 27 students threaded silently into the cafeteria,
all their soft heads waist high on me except for Kerry,
a big boy, a good boy--they were all good, except Clayton
who was bad, but his momma, a cop confided, was worse.
The assembly that day was about astronauts--it would give me
45 minutes to smoke in my car and listen to the a.m. radio.
Cool. Next to the empty space suit hung up at the front
of the room, the TV was on--a fire, something, some
place was on fire, really on fire. "What's on fire,
Miss Knox?" Chanel asked. The sounds was off--I didn't
know. The teachers looked at each other--no one knew.
Someone turned the sound up: the compound at Waco,
a week after Easter, they'd finally gone in, AFT/FBI
dudes in their black flack jackets. Liz Clappi and I'd
driven up there just days before. We'd bought t-shirts
and laughed at rednecks in pastel outfits coming from church
peering over the hill with binoculars. We'd stopped
at the tourist office and cracked jokes about where
could a girl get a gun in this town because we needed
a bunch, and fast, like real wise guys. No one was getting
out of there alive, that's for sure, a kid could tell you
that. One of the t-shirts said, "W.A.C.O. Weird Asshole
Come Out." The astronaut never showed, so we stayed
there in the cafeteria with the lights off for 45 minutes:
all the kids sitting Indian style in neat rows before a slack
space suit slung over a coat rack and fire whirling in the box.

Shafer 4/25!

Ode to the Duchess of Oysterland

The Duchess of Oysterland
does sit ups and pushups
in the room next to mine,
and I like to sit in a pile
of old pizza crusts thinking
that, in a way, if someone's
working out near me, it is
sort of like I am working out
also.

My birthday present to
the Duchess of Oysterland
is that I am going make more
of an effort to like his dog.

Jen 4/24!

Shanghai Blinking Light Girl Comes to Stay Awhile in Farming Province and No One, Not Even the Postmaster, Knows Why

I’d have to be deaf, dumb, blind to not know what
a keen thief you are in the city, Xiao-xiao,

for “thiefness” radiates from your face like measles
and indeed you’ve stolen my heart. From your hypnotic

ringtone of unknown origin to the hamster character
on your t-shirt giving lip, you have me dreaming

of socks with toes built in, of shiny handcuffs
ching ching chingling with silver Santa charms.

Shafer 24!

Ritmo

The big heat
of August is
horizoning
cruel as any
April, but now
it's cold and
the concrete
is still concrete,
the sound of
basketballs
on asphalt
across the street
is still a crisp ring,
later it will be a thud.

As we bang
on this big drum
I like trebly winter,
I like big bassy July.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

The Durge Report

Sybil Durgin spent most of the weekend in jail until she managed to convince her captors that as profoundly distracting as it is, her ass is not a crime.

Shafer 4/23!

For 23

Don Mattingly,
your biography
eludes me,

but you share
an important number
with Trish, Yvette

and David Lee
and Amy (Gnome)
and me.

Jen 23

“He who dallies is a dastard,
he who doubts is damned.”
--Edmond Hoyle

Fantan According to Hoyle

is simple, as fantan’s a "build up or down"
game, and all "build up or down" games are
simple, according to Hoyle whose seminal Short
Treatise On Whist was, I’ll just bet, not.

Play centers on the seven, of course,
which can be divided in half, so four sevens
make eight three-and-one-halves. Simple.
Aces count below the waist, kings above.

What? He’s covered every base: thirty-two
cards saddled with infinite laws for endless
possibilities, but is possibility possible
hen chance has all been boiled down

to rules (i.e. clubs on clubs, hearts the same
or see appendage 4, you never married,
big surprise there, and where oh where are
the fantans? Don’t they sound lovely?

With oranges in their blue-black hair waving
crimped gold fans over their silken Victorian
feathery unmentionables? A peek at them,
the rouged cheeks, is why I agreed to play

this game in the first place. Looking to the left
of the dummy, then the right, all that reveals
itself to me is the math--sheer as a stocking
with none of the round warm leg. I hesitate

over the discards, go uh uh uh awhile--
just another fantan damned) like mutton?

Shafer 22

Cleaning My Bedroom

With this
I cannot part,
and I cannot
part with this.

This I may
need later;
later I will
think of
what to do
with this.

Larger empty
vessels make good
vessels for smaller empty
vessels.

Every scrap of paper
without something
written on it
can have something
written on it.

Every scrap of paper
with something
written on it
is precious.

Everything written
on a scrap of paper
is important
by its existence.

My trashcan
has never had
anything in it.

Jen 22

Whose Gonna Bullseye Jen's Hot and Shitty Nogs with a Jizzdart?*

What a beautiful day!
What a beautiful view
of that beautiful town
down there! A little river
with little white boats
going around! God!
It's like a beautiful
painting! Hey! I should
take painting lessons! Why
the heck not? I'll sign up
today! Color me ready
for painting lessons! Ha!
I'm going to come up here
all the time from now on
and paint that beautiful
little town! I'll paint you
staring at my painting,
chained to this rock--
and what a beautiful rock!--
chewing your own leg off
and I'll call it "Loving
a Beautiful You
on a Beautiful Day!"

*Title (aka "the best part of this poem") by Joan Vorderbruggen

Shafer 21!

Foyer

Hang on I'm trying
to figure something out here.

One is never assigned
the reflexive task
of naming one's self.

We so rarely see ourselves
so we rarely see enough
to know what to call ourselves.

Naming a person differs
from naming a band,
we're not telling the world
something about us --
the world is telling us
something about us.

Naming a person differs
from naming a dormitory,
we're not helping the world
remember who someone is --
we're helping the world
remember who they aren't.

Call me
Funny Seashell Smell.

Costello!

he stared at me
wondering why
i was even there
talking about epinephrine
pulled from a suitcase
i took a nap
wondering why
i was even there

first sneeze,
i was gone.

Shafer 20

How Do We Get To The Batman Stunt Show

"Let's steal
something"
she whispered,
but the whisper
came out in a yell;
my jumpy paranoia
heard "LET'S STEAL
SOMETHING!"

And all of a sudden
everyone was
Batman and Batman
was everywhere.

The stunt show
was all in my brain:
BAM as I was
WHAMMED into
the SLAMMER

and I am scared
of judges even
though I've only
ever seen maybe
three of them.

Jen 20!

A Girl in Every Port, M 87

This thing I'm knitting is
Made of the rarest mohair--
A gift from Captain Kirk
Who told me "All I want
To do is eat your pussy"
But he was lying--really
He wanted to shower me
With gifts while he ate
My pussy. Maybe he didn't
Even know he was lying
But line me up more lies
Like that, I'll toss 'em back!
Gonna knit me the Mother
Of All Space Sweaters, gonna
Keep me nice and warm on
This moon of high noon ice.

Shafer 19

Tremendous Machine

How many lengths later
will they still whisper
about Bold Ruler's prince
from the early year of
stake, futurity, futurity, stake
and each faster than the last
until finally after 19 years
eyes rolling
he jumped out of his skin
as he was always threatening
and into the fog of Claiborne.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Shafer 18.

The Painful Science

Turf politics abound with cleats and helmets
popping off their mouths and objects
in motion tend to stay in motion until

met with an outside force
with a criminal record longer
than most wills we can't

ask them to turn it off
when they leave the field anymore
than you'd ask the Earth not to turn.

Shafer 17!

Can I Just Have One Cup of Coffee 'Fore I Go?

What if
Bob Dylan
had not
the time
or inclincation
for all those
cups of coffee
'fore he went?

Would he've
been more
or less likely
to've achieved
the valley below?

Here's the

big red truck:


Image hosted by Photobucket.com


They never once let me drive.

Maureen and Marion sounded a little dumbfounded the other night when I told them I used to work on a rig. We just punched water and monitor holes, though, we didn't go for the black gold.

Shafer Sixteen

For A Big Red Truck

There has to be some mathematics
in there somewhere,
but you wouldn't necessarily think it.

When we were fixin' to fix something,
I'd load 1500 pounds of sand
onto a trailer
and haul it halfway to hell.

We'd drill a little ways further,
cuttin' out another thousand or so
pounds of dirt
then fill our hole with pipe and sand.

I always broke even -- I even
almost broke in half.
But the truck took care of most of the math.

Jen 4/17!

This was a collaborative poem between Jen, Ada and Sean.

The Golden Goats of Sloatsburg

The vibration of Sloatsburg grows
heavy across the space-time continuum.
Mortimer Penis looks askance
at Dolly Vagina's new purchase.
O! Golden goats! How lovely
the prancing is, the wool.
Who will buy this beautiful goatvag?
I'm so high, we're already dead.
O! Goatvag, so greasy, so warm--
a three-legged dog cannot compete with you
even though the low bridge of Sloatsburg
says "This Feels Like Kentucky!"
But wrong-er! It's a rollable bouquet
of croquet wickets--100% wrong--unlike
you, the golden goats, golden goats.
Golden goats, Mortimer Penis has his eye
on you. So whatcha gonna do, Sloatsburg?
Whatcha gonna do, gonad? (The gonad
is the period of this poem.)

Costello!

behind the hottub,
the best things are.
oh, man.
i wish the hottub was closer.
i wish that behind the hottub
was right here.
all of my friends, except
for those of you right here,
are behind the hottub
eating mini beef tacos.

Shafer Fifteen

Big Tens and Fours

In the clipped language of man we
kind of cosmically keep
each other posted of the posts
of the Man
where he sits (John Law).

Whether it's my grandmother
zooming by in her Buick
or a mustachioed man
and his truckful of contraband
we are all the enemy out here.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Jen 16!

Fierce Brownie Voodoo in the Lesbian Love Lair

My inner voice is deaf.

*

Wait, start again. My inner voice
is deaf. It's signs to me:
"We aim to get out front and stay out front"
like a Nascar guy.

*

Nascar guy, will you work this Barbie karaoke mic
as hard as the area behind the hot tub
works, most weekdays at least--that area where
all the things the Chihuahua needs are?

*

The nice Nascar guy agreed to smuggle the Chihuahua
through customs in a cheese puff bag--
if we can just make it
off the floor.

*

The floor cradles all parts of our bodies
at once. Its is the opposite of
the area behind the hot tub which is full of
tough questions and demands on our hands.

*

It's pink. You can drink it
over ice
in coffee
in nature
or behind the hot tub with a Chihuahua.

*

Duh dude the answer's totally D.

*

The Language of the Fireplace is
an ancient night time mystery. No one
has ever spoken it, and no one ever will.
So, soon it will be extinct--it can't go on like this.

*

It can't go on like this--there will always be
something more glamorous than the badgers
of our own backyard. Electrocuting a donkey's
funner barefoot, but it's even funner barefoot
twice.

*

Can The Language of the Fireplace go on, a little
freaked out with the whole town gathered Ĺ’round
to jerk off outside the windows? For how long?
Monday's when the world goes back to work.

*

A flat tire's this town's way of keeping you
around: drunk, disorderly, changing in and out
of your bathing suit with all the lights on, both mired
and mirrored in nature.

Shafer Fourteen!

Staring My Eyes Out At The Sports Page

Looking long enough
these statistics look
like the players they represent,
lined up like toy soldiers.

Eyes away now
the effect ripens
because anything is true
in my brain.

Tiny ink ticks
are pores or positives:
cells in skin.

A person is made.

Jen Fifteen!

Backlit, Foreshadowed

Near the subway, I watched a semi-truck trying to turn
a tight corner total a Lexus--just smash the crap out of it-
then drag it down the street. People honked. I winced
and went Eweeesh! then I remembered one night in 11th grade
coming home from getting high with some German
foreign exchange students in my dad's car, my dad watching me
pull into the garage, watching me as I scraped the entire side
of his car against the garage door springs, carving a huge gouge
from hood to trunk. I was way too stoned to stop,
thought Just keep going, real slow, for when the car is in,
this screeching noise will end, and I was right. I got out
and my dad all slack-faced asked What the hell's the matter
with you? Are you God damn retarded? No I want to know
and he was right. So suddenly watching the big truck
drag the little smashed car around, I remembered that night,
then walking on, opposite of traffic, on my way (no joke!)
to rent a car, I thought The parrot wasn't born yet then.

Shafer Thirteen!

04/13.05

It's mid-April and there is still time
To reflect on nothing
Making no sound as it freezes

Nothing hardening into dangerous ordnance

Like a downtown cartload
Of cold bananas

There is nothing as menacing as the loose action
Of this lockblade knife
I bought once when driving with Farnsworth
Back from College Station.

Rachel 15th through her 18th!

April 15

Thinning hair does not a thin man make
So go ahead and drink that glass of butter
Slather your body in bacon grease and
Settle in for a nice game of
Shirts vs. Skins! I know which team you're
On, Big Boy
Umpires are easily bought for the price of a beer
If you carry some change in your jockstrap and
Aren't afraid to use it.
For shame,
True shame is a fat bald failure who can't even throw a
Children's softball game
Fairness
Freedom
Friendship
Peace
Who uses these words but Greeks and Jews
And slaves and faggots?

April 16--Maxim

I know how you must feel;
ButIs is not in the nature of the
Fig tree to give forth figs
The honeybee to give forth honey
And the ballerina to give forth herpes?

April 17--Maxim #2

We are more like the retards than we know
And never so much as when we
Drum along with toothpicks
Repeat lines from movies as our own
Say, "I'm actually a really spiritual person?" as we
Rub our penises against the ankles of strangers.

April 18

How come when people win Oscars for
Playing real people
They always thank them for their incredible bravery
And brilliance in being raped and murdered or
Whatever
But when people win for Holocaust movies
They never thank Hitler?
Screw the casting director
He's really the one that made it all possible.
Jesus Christ, Hollywood
Talk about fucking ingratitude.

Jaime 10!

{A Shrunken Head Enthusiast}

In the storm shelter and ache of big sky country
there is barely room for the cello.
This piece, Satie, played on a gramophone
Les unearthed like Tut and his belongings
from a church cellar in Butte,
makes all of my thoughts too big:
I survive on the petrified harvest of past voices,
there are phrases for love and human weakness in every language,
even now someone is groping for meter like a banished angel,
I survive on cunning and the quiet of others,
I survive on little icons my mother sends me,
I survive on,
I survive on
being touched by your voice oceans away,
unchecked by needle-skip, the recording.

The cellar was too crowded, see.
They were just giving things away,
sacred and useless artifacts for anyone
with space that needed to be filled.

Soupir. This is where Les’ll fill my glass
and say something like, "I want to know your inner-most thoughts."
And I’ll say something like, "I’d invite you inside, but there’s barely room for the cello."

Ada 13!

The Ornithologist's Request

Make the sound of a cardinal,
a crow and a mocking bird.
Make the sweetest bird call
this bird has ever heard.

John X!

Who is Charlie Bang-Bang? (a tin pan, end with flourish)


A sinister Mandarin, they've been known to say,
With a pistol the size of a gherkin.

But I heard once he DJ'd at Blue Heaven
And all of the regulars felt like chicken.

Then there's this placard, this C. Bang-Bang
Past the Longwood stop, by the old folks,

Got spider plants in the windows,
and Cab Calloway all day, all day.

Be gone, Charlie Bang-Bang! Begone,
or be known, but to haunt us ...

we hear you in the rail
Squeal, Charile, in the tire pop, in the radiator all day ...

We bite your very nails when we bite our hours
Off the clock and spit them at you to hear ... hear ...

We hear stories .... we hear.... hear....
Hear all about Charile Bang-Bang. Oh! Oh!

HERE. HE. COMES.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Shafer Twelve

The Minutes Are Ticking Toward Future Minutes

And so I told my toes
they could be sold
in Southeast Asian
markets to be crushed
into fine powder and snorted
by excited businessmen.

And then I immediately
regretted it, begged
their forgiveness,
they are smaller parts,
and the small ones
are easily frightened.

Jen Fourteen!

There is a Significant Segment

of the population who only jerk off
to footage of Diana Rigg in a catfight

in a catsuit, who limewire the key-
word “hogtied,” who yoddle (and ain’t

that a thing? Seesawing the voice's
breaking point’s the thing: “Lovesick

Blues” or the totally tonally identical
yet unheard precursor, penned by

Emmett Miller and that ilk: “My Topheavy
Ways” or “’Dem Down Deadpan Birds”)

and we sing back in synchronicity
though there are no parrots echoing

the chorus of the song that is this poem
(“So sorry,” I said, “it’s all yours”).

Ada 12!

Some--Ones

One said there was no water,
One broke the bottle,
One moved in to my shoe,
One cut off his foot,
One said the word, "Cadillac"
One said the word, "Alright!"
One messed up the puzzle
One made his own pieces
One opened the window
One closed it for the cold
One said there was no point
In the art of growing old.

Jaime 9!

{Master & Commander}

It is Saturday evening.
Sybil is watching Russell Crowe
do Russell Crowe things:
heave-ho-ing the breakwater
of his wide wide lungs,
superior and reckless
as the grey matter of a storm.
If I ever grow my sea legs
on this flat fable world,
Russell Crowe is a place I’d like to visit.