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

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.


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


'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

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!


The big heat
of August is
cruel as any
April, but now
it's cold and
the concrete
is still concrete,
the sound of
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

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!


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.


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
she whispered,
but the whisper
came out in a yell;
my jumpy paranoia
heard "LET'S STEAL

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

The stunt show
was all in my brain:
BAM as I was

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

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.)


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


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!


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
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
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!


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!


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.

Jaime 8

{Waiting for My Hymen to Grow Back}

The Middle Eastern take-out on the corner might be
going out of business. The owner, shy as Sharif,
paces the sidewalk like, Oh, good brother,
here is another desert I am not built to cross.
Everything about him unfiltered—
his coffee, his cigarettes,
the unfiltered perfection of his mujadara.

I can remember when it first opened:
there were violets in the window boxes,
the door always wide for a
crepe de chine of prurient spices
to steam lithe pheromones
into the bustle of June/July.
There were many regulars,
many swore fidelity
to depths only consummated
by a rich filling meal.

Recently, the neighborhood became
trendy. Pert sophisticates pay homage
to their succulence at the new sushi joint
next door or the heart-happy Mexi-Cali
place across the street where tilapia
tans on a skewer white as jailbait
on a stripper pole.

Food is no longer love or art
or romance wrapped in grape leaves.
It is light fare, casual flings diet
and tasteless on a spoon of steamed rice.
The owner, losing patience, closes the
grates on his passion earlier each night.
On my way home to an empty apartment,
I often panic thinking,
That’s it. That door will never
open again.

!Rachel 8 9 10 11!

April Eighth—A Haiku!

Thy name is Popeye: cleanse me
With your spinach douche.

April Ninth

I can’t wait ‘til we
Get married!

We’ll get a bungalow
Down at the Shore
With our other
Married friends

You’ll play football
But you’re too competitive
You’ll throw your back
Out and wind up on
The table of some country
Who doesn’t take our insurance
I’ll laugh at you because
You’re not
As young as you used
To be, and you’ll start to hate me.
You’ll start playing golf.

At night,
You boys wil go into town
For a beer.
You’ll flirt with a teenaged townie
But she was the one who rang you up
When you bought Pampers at the
Kwik-Mart on Thursday…

Don’t worry.
I forgive you!
I’m pregnant!

Bet you can’t
Wait til we get married
And have group sex—I mean
Awesome summers
With all our
Married friends
Down at the shore.

April Tenth—A Cinquain!

Crack Whore
Wild-eyed, haggard
Shooting, smoking, dancing
Despite the absence of music
Crack Whore.

April Eleventh—Advice No. 5

This is for all you housewives out there
Maybe you bake a cake for your
Loved one
For their birthday or something
And say the cake explodes in the oven
A good thing to do is
Start a fire in the kitchen!
(Remember to put it out!)
Make sure the
evidence of the cake is
Still there,
You’re a hero! You
Saved the day and
Had a horrible fright, poor thing.
Your grateful spouse will happily
Clean up the mess
It may be their birthday, but you could
Have been killed.
They’ll probably take you
Out for dinner and even pay!
Even though it’s their birthday!

If fucking Sylvia Plath had had me
She’d probably be alive today.

Ada Eleven!

New Issue Meeting

She looks like a shattered window,
her lips--the place the wound was made.
Dead girls on the covers of magazines
everywhere. Dress this dead girl in
a wedding frock and the de-frosted windows
of the office cloud over. Look at the
way she lingers under our brand name,
it will most certainly convice the elite masses
to aspire to be her and take dead girl classes.

Shafer, um, Eleven?

A Short Discussion of the Shell-on-the-Beach Metaphor

My poets lately my poet friends
my friends have lately been saying
in their poetry that they are shells
on the beach. Two have said it
lately, two that they are shells,

two shells on the beach. And dip
the gesture with your hand to hear
the sound of the ocean on the shore,
the sound of water and sand colliding,
the gesture of one poet bent and picking

a shell out of the sand to better
hear the ocean, standing on the beach
or miles away at home. This nautical
coffee can and cosmic twine connecting
Cherry Hill to AC and points North.

Jaime Seven!

{St. Jaime of Boozy Moms}

Almost daily someone confesses to me
that their mother is in alcoholic.
Stranger still is the tone taken
as though their mothers have hangnails
or are chronically late.
Having an alcoholic mother is apparently
of little consequence or its tragedytoo devastating to give proper voice
like having a hangnail
or being chronically late.

My mother, thank God,
is not an alcoholic. She has two drinks
and wants to braid my hair.
If I wore my hair up
would I be confidant to
this same secret?
My hips wide as a confessional,
in these sweat pants and boa
I may look like the product of a lush—
but pious? Knowing?

I wonder if other saints are as
confused by their stations—
is St. Francis afraid of goats?
Much to the chagrin of the Holy Ghost,
do St. Jude and St. Luke try to trade posts?
St. Fiacre, I’m certain,
spends many a cold monastic
after-life night
wondering how he came to be
the patron saint of VD.

But if it helps, I’ll keep listening,
providing what comfort I can,
a blanket tossed loosely around
a soused snoring mother.

If I ever am a mom, I will
decidedly curb my drinking.
The crusts will be cut, the recorder
recital applauded, my bumper
reduced to the achievements
of my children.

Still there should be time,
when children move out
and husbands take up golf,
for an old lady
to down a quart bottle of gin
closed in her closet,
waiting for the hand of God
in The Creation
to come forth from Anne Klein separates
pointing to her missing shoe
and the Cinderella life that went with it.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Ada 10!

Out the Window of a 747

They mull and peck about the luggage carts
and one flicks his fingers on the other's
forearm to tease or to hurt or both.
One leans against the side of a plane
and the sun makes the whole world white.
The orange guides elongate their hands
like feathers and form tracers down the runway
until this loopy man-made flying machine is
drawn right toward them, a big bird
doing the seemingly inevitable--
coming back to earth.

Jen 12!

Least I'm Not

a donkey
hauling heavy sacks
around a Bolivian tin mine.

Even boiling water's hard
in the Andes. Everything's hard
for a donkey--men know few

colors outside the red
of their own pain--my gut
says they'll beat me to death,

first blind me with a whip
but in the black mine shaft,
the joke (and there's a joke)

will be on them after my body's
carried off by five giant parrots,
each sewn of such vivid hues, to set eyes

in the light on them might save a man
from drowning--in silver
dust or some dumb animal's blood.

Shafer Ten!

Some Bad PR Haunts the Members of Crazy Horse

Awake at night
Crazy Horse
is haunted
by Canadian
nightmares, ghosts
of some beneficent
sprawling bureaucracy
thickening over their
teeth like hard candy.

It's hard for Crazy Horse,
to have to live up
to the legends about
the nice Canadians.

John IX!

Feckless Bastard

and someone's always quitting smoking
out of the restaurant in the cold, redfaced,
and the silver line is running nowhere
I want to go, no location to drift on

"In the morning, that smoke like a lazy dream,"
no, I won't give you any, but let's do keep
talking about your fucked up friend
for another half hour-- well, it's dull until

I start talking about him--feckless bastard,
yeah, some people just aren't in touch
with themselves I guess... I turn out not
to be a night bloom. All these corners

are stories I'm tamping down to keep it
from being ALL about me. Quiet, through
the mesh of drunk college kids. You hug me
goodbye. Okay, maybe one more. This place

isn't great but it's close. Is it surprise me time?

Ada Nine!

The Train

Walking into Tacubaya, a train trains by and
they linger in the sound of big air rolling.
He says it always reminds him of his friend, Michigan--
the last true-to-life hobo who drank when
he wanted to be less than true-to-life, more ether.
They have come to know experiences jointly;
the same bed, the same children, the same train
of unusual circumstances. Seventeen years now
and they have stood in millions of parking lots,
waiting for some gray noise to pass, and still
they stand watching it, as if this time it might
surprise them and de-rail, or take flight,
or even go on forever.

Jaime Six!

{Three Short Poems on Tequila for Jen Knox}

I. In with the In Crowd

Tequila and chocolate
are the popular girls in high school
you always wanted to hang out with.
Then, when you did,
you realized they were just a bunch
of backstabbing bitches.


Squirrel is to rat as margarita is to tequila.

III. One Stop Drinking

Human sweat contains a small
percentage of sodium
so when doing a body shot of tequila
in a warm bar
you may decide to pass on the salt.
When doing it off of
that tart on the stool next to you,
you may also decide to forgo the lemon.


leave me, i'm sleeping
it's much to reasonable an hour
to be awake
5 AM is better
for kisses and makeouts
but, 4 AM is best

Shafer 9!


On this, the ninth day of Weird April,
We find a hole in our apartment.
It leads down to the naked basement,
Where between sneaks rodents
For the cat to eat.

We have to hang on to each other
In this time of supernatural passage
Through fear or indifference
Come science fiction
Hell or ham sandwich.

Jen 11!

Some of My Best Friends

are shot through like Swiss cheese with diseases.
I've written them all letters of recommenbortion,
leaving the pay to the order of blank blank for
convenience's sake. Whatever's easier for you,
I tell them, and I'm sincere. When it rains, we
get gray, and we sing the gray song ("Gray is
a color between black and white/when it's right,
babe, you know it/oh gray") in fey, gray voices
and graying hair--but hey! This is supposed to be
a fun poem that's fun--full of sunshine and tenniss
hoes and Michael J. Foxes! Will any ingratiating
Canadian do? Here they come now, crawling in
on their bellies, clenching icy northern knives
in their teeth. Such haircuts! My God! And how
they love scallops! Why, some of my best friends
are scallops (the rest, as you see by my shoulder,
are parrots)!

Friday, April 15, 2005

Curious Souls

can live/re-live the mighty Daniel Nester's introduction to my reading at the New York Public Library here.

It was a tough introduction to follow. But follow it I did. Tom and Joanie have accused me of selling out to the establishment. To which I say "Where do I sign?!"

Ada April Eight!

Flight of Fancy

It's the walk of the wall-eyed--
the dead gaze of an airport
morning and I'm not really
an adult today. There is no
itinerary for those of us willing
to go nowhere.

Boarding the plane,
I find I'm behind the
Connetquot Kick and Drum line
and when I take my seat, I fit
oddly between these high school
girls and the first class screen.

Girls, I say, let's all go
together! Fan kick to the end
of this impossible machine,
Let me be the captain
of this mile-high team!

Marion Wrenn 04/09/05!


Not ice cream, but a koan:
What’s the proper response
to random kindness?

Consider a lost cell phone,
the utter panic of lost numbers,
a reminder you’ve given
the capacity to remember
your connections to a machine.

And then: reprieve:
it’s found quickly, with ease, delivered
gracefully by a calm, steady fellow.

So: what then? A handshake?
Or blow job?
O this continuum of gratitude.
I’m often lost
midway on that spectrum.
I extend a hand, this hand
toward you, expectant
ready for you turn away
or take me up on it.

Cup your hand: it’s the sign
for the idea of a cell phone.
Put it to your ear, think seashell.
My love is in the middle there
infinite as the ocean,
the dipping gesture of loss and thanks.

Shafer 04/09/05.

April, Red Bank NJ

this raftered afterthought
after life up North
catches up to me easily

the drafty Atlantic
x-rays exposed white
city bodies

my bone-
marrow dogs
are barking

Get Freqy

Hey folks the mighty Jordan Davis and his evil nemesis Richard Fein will be duking it out on Sunday for the honor of my hand in marriage.

Sunday April 17th at 2:30 PM at Four-Faced Liar 165 W. 4th and 6th Ave.

John Eight!

Mohegan Park, May

I thought,
and thinking was already past the sandbar stretching
past the baseball fence, into the downhill weeds
where the city's visable just past another hill,
its glass smothes out the air's blue, makes it unreal,
but when I turned that corner, the one you told me
never to, the blue flat of it vanished, a spun coin,
and your warm hands caught underneath my arms,
and you said,

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Jen Nine!

Parrot Tulips & Parrots

Parrot tulips parrot
pinwheels mid spin
Parrot tulips parrot
Coney’s tilting whirl
Parrot tulips parrot
storms’ eyes yawning
Parrot tulips parrot
parrots’ kiddy colors
Parrot tulips parrot
parrots’ puffy ruffles
Parrot tulips parrot
parrots’ TA DA!!!
Parrot tulips parrot
parrots’ silence too
Parrot tulips parrot
parrots’ rattling secret
Parrot tulips parrot
parrots’ imminent departure
Parrots parrot tulips’
petals strewn about
Parrots parrot tulips’
predictably unpredicatble presence

Ada April 7!

Spring, 1989
--for Carmina Salcido


Acacia thick in the air like horse hair,
bees in the yellow mustard weed, bees in the mind,
and the spring of Ramon Salcido returns
like remembering a film in a foreign language
images in a dark room, a nodding without you.

To be in a small town, is to repeat the same
experiences again every day, as if each day
of seventh grade, the same girl told me what
finger-banging was, and I drew a picture
of a clown on my silver binder, smoking.

And then Ramon Salcido entered, an automatic
villain, come from the vineyards,
come from the river border, from Agua Caliente.
The rumors spread like the three pronged poison oak;
a murder, another murder, his three girls found
with their throats cut in a dumpster in Santa Rosa.


Some say the valley is a perfect climate
for growing the most delicate of fruit, the varietals.
We prided ourselves on our madrone trees,
the smell of oak all the way up the switchback
of Trinity Mountain, and down into Tortilla Flats.

The night of the murders, they put Becky Lambert
on Channel 2 news, to interview her about
the climate of fear, locking of doors,
and everyone else was terribly jealous--
she looked pale and perfectly concerned.

In Diamond A Ranch, where their estates
were listed in the paper, as updated and upgraded
and the only things of color were the dark-eyed
Junco and the Western Scub Jay, in the fields of
Sobre Vista, people were worried.


In a small town, reports come in waves,
one large game of telephone and talk back,
and soon facts were confirmed, a dead wife,
two dead girls, six counts of manslaughter
and the third daughter found, astoundingly,

Say something and you’ll be better
than most of us who walked into our classrooms
and bent toward the afternoon continuum--
the horse flies more interesting than most days,
their slow lumbering thick in our uneasy room-air.

I would like to say it brought us closer
together. O bless the shared tragedy. Disaster
on the mainland! But the truth is no part
of a story, or rather not a part that anyone believes;
one girl lived, and they found Ramon Salcido
in Mexico six days later and now he believes
he’s found God.

To be in a small town is to repeat the same
experiences again every day. Sixteen years later,
the same bright reflection of traffic underneath
the new yellow of spring heat, the cars going both
up the mountain, and down, everyone looking over
their shoulder for a dark enemy but one girl,
over and over, returning to us--in a familiar shape,
a good object, a hope in the weeds, a life
springing forth, unstoppable.

Rachel V., VI., VII.!

April Fifth

Beware friends!
The pools of Williamsburg
Be rife with chlorine
Lest they be violated--
Defecated in
By shaggy youths
In tweed who
Daily admire their reflections
In the water's
Placid surface.

Beware these youths
My dear ones!
They do not like themselves
Their clothes are rank with
The sweat of the dead
And they will
Pee on you
Should you bed them.

April Sixth

My ex-boyfriend's
Works as a hostess at
Her matronly
Bosom snug in its
Jalapeno-ed waistcoat
Her eyes fierce with
The rancor of the
Saharan sun.

"You're fat and you'll
Always be
She hisses
"And besides,
I hate you"
So Sam and I
Go up to the roof of the mall
And take off all our clothes
And put on
Togas made of sheets
We stole from the
Dillard's Linen Department
And when she emerges
Gum-popping, keys jangling
We kill her
With a lightning bolt
Drawn from the quiver of Zeus.

Of course, this is
A dream, but Oprah
Says that every child
Has the power to make their
Dreams reality.

April Seventh

Come, my love! And
Ride with me
You on your stallion and
I on my mare
Canter, we, through glades and dells
The ripples of our rich new cloaks
Like the undulations of
Our Mother Sea

My Hair!
My Hair is so Long!
The Shining Cloud of my bright Hair
Reaches past the wooden heels
Of my cunning leather slippers
And your Hair, my knight
Your Hair is also nice
And Long as well
Mangy, as a true Man's Hair
Should be.

When our horses grow tired
And stop to feed on fragrant
Rushes and squeeze their
Horse's-waste from out
Their velvet rumps
So shall you and I
For see! Never
Not even to your
Filth. And when comes Night,
My Lord,
You shall bind me
To the Rowan
Tree of Lovers and
As your torque of knighthood
Burns agains my flesh
How we shall worship the Goddess

And how proudly shall I
Display the bites and
Bruises of our love
To my ladies as we
Change for gym
And they won't laugh
This time
Like they did at the
Chastity belt you made me wear
When you were in the
Holy Land
And not in
Like they said.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

I have not forgotten about you April poets!

I have just been trying to get my entrails together for my reading tonight at the public library.

I do hope to see you there at 6PM tonight. I am going down the Jersey Shore immediately after, where I will be taking a vacation from my vacation, and where I will spend lots of time giving you April poets all of the attention that you richly deserve. Meantime keep writing them! I've been getting tons of compliments which someday I will carve into your tombstones.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Tara April 10th!


The back of the big rig red dumpster
with expensive people on top.

Fucking mattresses and not an alley
in New York.

Lean the big items against the fence
receptacle enough for a small town.

Shafer and Tara 8 (live)

Live From Allan Block's Sandal Shop

What exactly is a hand
in a back pocket
Bette Davis style?

Is it one thumb
out the pocket
palm against ass?

Or is it the more jaunty
thumb outside the pocket --maybe
a pinky swinging in the breeze?

Is there a late night
still cable shot answer?

Or is it something only Bob Dylan,
Cinderella, or the mighty
Bette Davis can say?

Like: are the terracotta shingle thumbs across from
you clay or painted?

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Deep Rollin'

Hey folks here is a NaPoWriMo blog roll that I lifted straight from The Connecticut School. Anyone who is missing from this list please drop your URL in the comments field.

Brand New Insects
Harmony and Dissonance
I’ll Show You Mine
In Spite of Kryptonite
Mia’s Postings
October In April
A Page of Woe Absolved
Poetry Free-For-All
Save the Snow
Stormy Petrel
Talking In the Dark
And let's not forget Blog d'Elisson.

Shafer April 8!

You Ain't Beyonce

(as in how you know me)

has been colorized (voiceprints
"see" us in the way we speak,

the way a dog "sees" smells
like colors.)

Even dogs smell color
from Katy to the 5th Ward.

It is significant that most of 'em
hang downtown, Northside.

Jamison 4/8/05

It seems wrong
To not shit
For so long.

I've farted plenty.

John 7


First find someone you don't mind kissing
and let her show you who
was a lower-lip sucker
and who made her shiver. Your turn:

sell everyone out
say this was how they kissed me G
too eager, D
who's married now, too
...professional, or how about P who opened her mouth
and that was all, just held it expectantly.

Then show her history of kisses
to someone else you don't mind kissing, make her hundred
and one
another hundred, then a thousand, then another
hundred. You'll reach back further then you know--

We've all been paying hard. Come let's collect.

Jamison 7!


Don't cry for me
Lofty peeps.
What comes out
Is just a result
Of what's gone in.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Shafer 7

Yoko Only My Eyes

Imagine like channel 16
17 on the back of cold turkey
we are such a perfect couple
Korean television

I looked her right in the eye
when I knew her, she didn't know me.
She thought "Oops, another

Who are we talking about?
First, he hugged me
and then he gave me
a really funny comic book
the other day.

You got to serve the village,
the old Greenwich Village way.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Make A Difference

We all got to move (or move back) to Texas so that we can establish residency so that we can vote for this guy in the 2006 gubernatorial race, thereby greatly improving the Grand Scheme of Things and at the same time restoring Texas's good name.

Rollin' Deep

Steve has joined Operation: NaPoWriMo. Blogger is acting retarded, so instead of linking to him, here is his URL:


poodles luv me
by costello francesco corbacho, esq.

i'll show you how to chase me
i go first, you go last
fake out
it's not panting
it's laughing

all the ladies at the park wanna get with me

Shafer's Sixth!

Three Hasid Teenagers Smoking Cigarettes
in a Prospect Park Gazebo
While Listening to the Yankees on the Radio

Yes, I have no great old names
to compliment the hairy traditional drip
of my earlocks -- yes, I have no earlocks.

Yes the cattails rustle, yes the fuzzy radio.
Yes we all have cell phones.

Yes you three look at me, and yes
I look at you three. Our eyes not
narrowed are, yes, they are scared.

Yes my beard is longer, yes
I am much older, yes
your legs are stronger.

Yes your cell-phone-calling mothers,
a Tino Martinez homer.

Mike's April ?

Gretchen On The Bar, Off The Bar

Was funny the way you kept insisting,
with brown eyes full, big as buckets of molasses,
that we dance the two step right there on the bar.

"Can we dance on your bar?"
"No, you might hurt your head on the fans"

"Let's dance on the bar."
"Ok. Don't fall."
"Ok. I won't fall."

You came tumbling, tumbling down
landing first on a stool, then on the floor
in a flurry of mad kisses, thin fingers,
long luxurious legs and white arms,
and wet cherry lips and long hair like bright straw.

You said, "Hand me my beer."

Apologies to John

I can't get rid of the double spacing. Blogger has outstupided me once again.


Lower Brattle, One AM

They built another story across the walk so

the moon carries up an hour later

on Professor Jodoin's terrarium, with the one

brick wall, where he's been flipping through

THE WINTER'S TALE since seven, drinking

Avila and mostly staring at that space

where they've been talking about a picture ...

THE SOPRANOS quiet for two hours,

the bedroom dark. The old shots won't do.

But if you could take a picture of the future,

like some shrine, the Virgin Mary with tomorrow's

newspaper. DREAMS ARE TOYS



his hand along the bricks, chips a knuckle full

as I stagger past on my distracted run,

and the third cab tonight flies by toward Boston.

Ada 6!

Little Faith

Say nothing and I'll believe you.
I promise, I'll take off my clothes
and believe you.

Jen's April 6!

My Grandma Bossed the Animals
‹For H.H. 1908-2005

You never sat in a chair, but rather teetered
on the arm, wringing your fingers, ready to go.
Once as I slept the deep sleep of teens, you snuck in
and ironed my underwear. You guessed--
as we stood squinting amidst the racks of pastels
at the Express one spring, me in black lipstick
and jeans with the ass patched in duct tape--
"Yew don't like bright colors much, dew yew?"
And Miss Hilda, you could eat, skinny as you were
I never saw you not go back for seconds,
thirds and pie--grinding catfish and divinity
down fast, thoroughly, quietly, like a teeth machine,
like a marble mortar. The black cat Julie brought
vexed you good, the way she'd leap straight up
onto the always tumbling dryer and onto a pile
of clean clothes awaiting your trusty iron,
ignoring you and your no's and your shoo's.
But you loved that sneaky cat--the lithe, inky
flash sure had your number--she was always up
to something. You followed close in your housecoat,
steadfast, in as much a flurry as a hummingbird.

April 6th Jamison


You can tell
That there will be
More business
In the morning.
A lot going on inside.


The darkest
And emptiest
Parts of my soul
Always end up
As blood in the poo.

(This one clogged the toilet - plumber coming tomorrow)

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Ada's April Fifth!

Sweet Kentucky Song

I woke up thinking that I had figured
out what song I wanted for my funeral
parade. Some song I heard once called
"Sweet Kentucky Song." I figured the
brass band we love from Madison could
belt it down Second Street where the
Fourth of July parade always swayed and the
annual barrel contests between fractions of
firemen were fought. But then you told me
there was no such thing as a song called
"Sweet Kentucky Song" so I decided I'd
have to call it off altogether and figured
I'd have to stick around a little longer
until someone came up with that exact song
which, odds are, may never, never, ever happen.

Shafer V!

The Case of the Patented PBJ

Filed away under Fucking
Great Ideas is the crimped PBJ,
where the PBJ chef thinly spreads
the peanut butter on both breads,
and then you put your Smuckers
in between and crimp the edges.

There's no soggy bread,
and all of that sweet smuck
stays where it belongs.

But the U.S. patent office
smucked everything up,
they said "everybody knows
about the coat and crimp method.
Moms and other interested parties
have been doing it for years."

They must think they are
pretty smucking smart.

Moustaches At Sunrise Part II:

David Niven!

It is the dawn of another Doris Day!

It is 4:22 and my eyes are blurry

and I want to tell you that if you sent something and it isn't here please send a polite reminder.

Also please scroll down because I posted a bunch of stuff just now, and particularly don't forget my man Jamison's's from April 4 because they made me roll onto my back and bicycle my feet into the air while giggling.

Jaime 5!

{Daddy, Look at the Handfish!}
—for The Durge

With abracadabra tremolo,
fingers flutter at the surface.
Squareback anthia dart back and forth
in ticker neon, shy as the best-colored
gumball your quarter will never drop.
It has come for the damselfish
asleep now two days inside the coral.
Eaten to her petticoats,
the large thumb and forefinger
pluck the diaphanous remains from the
coral, lifting them slowly from the water
like death rattle from a theremin.

To the rest of the tank,
it is deus ex machina.
To the child the handfish
is magic.

John 5!


We crest the tracks above
ground in time to miss the day's last
word on blue. Schwartzes Leder
in usual style on the platform,
so why at this distance did I expect
her skin all milk and down?
Pockmarks. She's 20 past what
I highballed with all those bodies
between us. I was fixed on her boots.

Think there's a condo Joe in Somerville
maybe slides them off her feet while she
unpins her epaulets, wets a cloth?
Or no? Will she pour a dry sapphire?
Walk a beige retriever along the fragile lights
across the river? We've reached
to go turn on the light in my room,
do my part, keep the spectators
panting in their worn seats along the river.

My apologies

to Rachel Shukert because Blogger broke her lines all funny.

Poets! If line breaks are important to you, then I recommend that you write them shortly, because my knowledge of Things Internet is very small.

Elle Oh Vee Ee,

Rachel Shukert is mighty, and she smashes those who stand before her, especially those who disagree with her Scrabble ideals.

Rachel Shukert I - IV

April First

The Holy Father is not well
His mouth moves wanly through his futile vespers;
Nay—it moves not for
God’s Only Messenger on Earth has lost the gift of speech.
Shit happens, says my mother as she chews her pickled whitefish.
Between you and me
I’ve always felt a little Catholic
But it’s springtime now
And mostly I just feel horny.

April Second

The Pope is dead.
In order to be dead,
The Pope must die
Thus fulfilling the Weinstein prophecy.
The Pope is dead.
With Easter past,
Jesus has selfishly eaten the last of the Peeps.
But still He throws wide the door to His house.
Soon the smoky mists of the Papal Conclave will reveal
God’s Newest Only Messenger on Earth
The agents of the Lord do not give up their secrets easily; but one thing is certain
He won’t be a Jew
Or probably, an Arab.

April Third (for Andy Horwitz)

A good thing to do
If you’re having a big party
Like a Bar Mitzvah or a wedding
Is to take a watermelon
Scoop out melon part
And fill the rind with ground beef.
Then take little bits of sausage cut up small
And have them be the seeds.
Voila! You got yourself
A Meat-o-Melon
A Water-meat-on
Whatever you want to call it
It’s some damn fine eating.

April Fourth

One must think of something on the subway, mustn’t one?
Alls I know is
If I was assaulted right now and rushed to the hospital
Here are the things they would find on my person.Three pictures of the Pope, one laminated, two not
Angel wings and Halo costume set. Fake dog shit. A Black baby doll. A package of Washable markers. Flexible plastic tubing
A tiny lion wearing a crown. A small container of cottage cheese. Oh, plus
I’m not wearing any underwear.
And neither is that guy over there
The one with the garbage bag on his head.

John April 4!

You're Sleeping I'm Dreaming You're Sleeping

I read a book with a character almost exactly
like you and confused her with you originally,
and later especially. I glossed little differences--
The way you break ice with your heel is not like
how she would have waited for my arm, shiver.
I was confused. I woke with one of you and dreamed
the other, and I'm still not sure which of you reached
for me in the morning. I hid the book
when you came over. It had a pink cover
and dark silhouette half turned toward me
or some store browser. As if you had a bad
thought on your head to shake out.

Only now you're gone
I try to peal you separate, remember you real.
Like, it would have been you, not her
who could steal half of my drink
without my seeing it, you talking
the whole time, your wide eyes open.
And it would have been her who told me
about getting taunted as school for her accent,
and she would have shouted and hollered me
down when I stormed out on Sunday, and you
would have been who I found when I ducked
into the nearest bar, looking for someone there
alone, and she would have warned me about you.

Jaime April 4!

{Pardine Me}

The way I choose to remember it,
it was I who attacked the leopard.
My hollow shank heavy of strange brew.
My trick lust for predators.
The drink took hold of me
umbilically to the jungle
where they burn down trees
to make room for more trees
the way he replaced my drink
with a fresh one before I’d finished.
Watching him change,
purr into his stretch,
a rapacity born of touch and white liquor
stubbed cigarettes out on his pelt.
What trophy, my hands
skimmed the moving fresco of fur,
his wide snout,
the chalk and banter of paws,
the places they’ve been,
the places they’ve been.
Deep in an animal’s eyes
is a challenge, so deep in
a human’s eyes is a flirt.
It was I who charged,
swept bottles to the floor,
pulled the muscles above me
nesting in banyan roots
to cover my face,
cover my mouth,
cover me.

Excuse me, but this is the way
I choose to remember it.
The way God chooses to remember Africa:
the way He created it,
not the way it looks now.

Durge Report: Special Edition (Now I Want Her To Be My Dog)

Word has it that certain well-installed dogs in Boston say that Sybil Durgin writes some kickass poetry:

"Now I want her to be a dog!"


mini beef tacos

come on
just one
just one
i know what
here i'll do tricks
i just need one
one little tiny
mini beef taco.


wait for it.

blackie, i'm watchin
ted williams saw you move
seriously, get over here
i'll keep waiting
crabs don't lie.

Jamison's April 4!


When you pee
Out of your butt
And it makes
A big mess,
It's best not to wipe.
Just take a shower.


Passing gas
Is more of a gamble
For some of us
Than others.

Jamison's April 3!

The best
Is when you're not sure
If you're gonna shit
Or puke,
So you Just sit down
And hope for the best.

Jamison's April 2!

12:56 pm

Dirty Business

It's not hard
To make a girl cry.
All you need
Is a moment.


Sometimes it's a struggle
To move myself from here,
Once I've arrived.
Cold porcelin
Has a calming effect
That can't be matched.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Shafer's for April 4th!

I Am Tall

and that is why
you can see my head
poking up out of this dumpster.

I am searching every square inch
for a watch.

Not my watch necessarily,
any watch,
I think that I might be late
for something
but it's been cloudy for days
and I can't find the sun.

My body has lost track
of the ticks it has marked since birth.

When I was a kid
I saw the polar bears at the zoo
swimming in long, lazy
backwards flips,
and I thought
"what a nice way they've found
to keep the time."

Monday, April 04, 2005

Ada's for April 4th!

Sitting On Terra Cotta (for T.H)

I dug my nail into the dirt and we
rearranged the rocks into the shape of,
a larger rock, and I told you I had
lost all my imagination. I took the
broken shards of a flower pot
that scattered the porch and
shoved the shards in the green ground.
You turned around and pulled a shard
out from underneath you and said,
you should write a poem and call it,
"sitting on terra cotta." Six years later
I have become much older than
I expected. And a little world-worn
and quieter. The river we stare at
has a different name now and the pope
has died and our addictions have changed,
but we're still keeping things together
like those tiny rocks we rearranged.

John's for April 4th!

Why Poetry Didn't Bug Me This Afternoon

I've got my Lemonade
And the Holocene sky is still blue.

Jen's for April 4th!

Parrot Planet

and one of the planets is composed
entirely of green and grey parrots--
a tight ball, holding onto each other
by foot-to-foot. The moon looping
through the night is also made of parrots--
the shadow of a parrot with open
wings fills its edges when full. Opening,
opening, opening wings and black
eyes rimmed in grey are the stars--
the sun, one delicious yellow seed.
The planet pecks at passerby, puffs up,
preens, then revealing a secret: underneath
it all: blue flight feathers, electric
and shiny as a Chinese butterfly.

Jaime's Chihuahua

wrote this poem.


i wish there were more boys around
i sit with the girls all the time
girl parts don't smell as good
as boy parts
and mini beef tacos

Mike Sammons

is catching up with us. Here is his first.

Gretchen At The Pool

Not even the sun itself knew how shining you were just then,
as we spoke briefly of Kant, Hume and Nietzche
and I told how the old fool went mad, in Turin,
kissing the mouth of some horse.
Then I kissed your mouth
and went a thousand times madder.
You smelled like the Fourth of July.

That Moustache Is Playing You

Watching old movies at dawn because the cat woke me up. Those are some moustaches, specifically Clifton Webb.

Wanton April Poets

meet here. Other NaPoWriMo-ers include Sam and Michael, Stephanie, Erica, and many others via our Great Nurturing April Poetry Mother.

Jen's for April 3rd!

The World’s Largest Florida Retiree

After I tell a woman I am the world’s largest
manufacturer of medicated lollipops, anything
can happen. One especially fetching brunette broke
into tears on the middle of the dance floor--
one big blonde busted out laughing, then
wouldn’t shut up about it, kept repeating
“medicated lollipops,” haw-hawing like a donkey.
Yep, it’s a real litmus test alright. The indians
who used to live around here ate each other
which surprises me because the weather’s warm,
which means they never had to worry about shelter,
and the water’s right there which means fish to eat, so
what was the problem? Too much leisure time
maybe? Is cannibalism only wrong because
it’s against the law? I’m asking because you seem like
a nice person, and because you haven’t moved
in a while. Hey, I know what would cheer you up--
have a lollipop--pick a color: I got cherry red,
lemon yellow, purple grape, orange orange, parrot green…

Jaime's for April 3rd!

{Where is Cranbury, New Jersey?}

I rest on a crutch,
the palsied hand of a snowman.
It might takes days in this weather.
The storm mellifluous and self-governing.
Powdered crutch:
silly hand for birds.
The texture of longing
is the texture of a cloud,
stria-vertebraed water
croons on the wicked wind.
Beaks are frozen smiles.
When I kiss you,
cracks a pond.

If I do not return to you
by Spring, it is for thinking
anything that spreads its arms
can fly.

Ada's for April 3rd!

Check Please

Perhaps this poem isn't big enough
for the both of us. I'm already here
and you're trying to sneak in like
you always do. You're that last piece of
lint the breaks the seem of the pocket,
you're the drink that sends me home.

Shafer's for April 3rd!

Night of the Unusual Cat

Usually the cat will curl
up in a warm place and mewl
occasionally, but now
this cat Cyclops
has a taste for mouse,
and he tears up and down
from the North end
to the South end
of our apartment,
knocking things over
and waking people up,
so I am up now,
I am writing a poem.

Cyclops sneezes as he runs;
I think he has a cold.
A few minutes ago I sneezed once too,
which made me briefly worry
that I had become a cat.

And what an unusual cat
would I make!

Ada's for April 2nd!

Why One Should Not Compare One's Self to Stephen Hawking

I hear at the age of 17,
Stephen Hawking could
comprehend the entire
universe. And here now,
me, on my 29th birthday
still surprised at the refrigerator
light, neon signs, and other
non-stars. At 19 he was rethinking
the logistics of a black hole,
and here I am, still trying to make
you smaller in my mind, until
you become the black at the back
of my brain, the emptiness
that does not disappear, but
becomes a larger thing--
an atmosphere into which
I cannot go without
massive protective gear
and even a layman's
knowledge of our brief
history in time.

Jaime's for April 1st and April 2nd!

{I Will Make No Apologies for the Brief Affair I Had with Your Sister}

In caritas, obligato.
When her hair came down,
her hair came down.
The back bare refrain
of two shoulder blades,
one poised an octave
above the other
shaping the sound
lady plovers make
to hike up the tide
when no one is looking,
when the guests have gone home.
The ocean tasted like
the back of her neck
when the black Scylla
of her hair drew
me under.


{Get to Know Your Dead}
—for Jack, Esq.

Down in the earth
where the salt pipers clear their throats
you find them.
You, Havisham,
buried in your wedding dress.
You, General,
calmed by your silence.
You, innocent.
You, baby, taken in blankets,
taken in sleep.

Yesterday was your last morning.
Did you watch like a cat
that hollow spin of birds change direction,
deciding upon a season?

Jack pats with the bully of his shovel
the soft earth
made softer by the renewal
of its trance.
This is hard work.
He sweats,
drinks ice tea from a carton,
is alive.

Yesterday was your last morning.
Did you feel the sun crescent your face,
as in winter, you grew
a longer night
to protect yourself
from a light now cold?

Jack is leaning on your stone.
He is quick to remove your daughter’s
flowers turned sour.
This tune he sings as he works
reminds him of another life.
One he left behind.
One like yours.

Yesterday was your last morning.
Did your weight feel somber on the bed,
on your shifting bare feet
and stretch this length of
uncertain paradise upon
every object you touched?

Jack, grown fond of his work,
buried something in himself:
"Good-bye, Lover" tattooed
inside the shallow of his lower lip.
Maybe it belongs to someone else
or is his to share
with the whiskey in his flask
at the end of the day.

Yesterday was your last morning.

Tomorrow Jack will wake up.
Gravity makes his job tiresome.
Sometimes he thinks
it’s you below, pulling.
He’ll stop to wipe his brow,
watch above
those birds fold flight into each other
with graceful confusion.
He sees them every morning
and wonders where they are going.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

John's for April 2nd!

Blood in the Butter

After Brenna came back for her book
and Russ ran out of the house & shouted
I realised I'd been mixing ... distracted
by how Zoe kissed me
once right outside that video store ... blood
in the butter. I'd thought there was someone
in that room, but I didn't check everywhere.
THAT'S NOT BRENNA, he shouted,

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Jen's from April 2nd!

A Chance on Saturday

Yesterday the TV told me what the weather would be like
today, and it was right--rain rain rain--but I like it dark
and cold--it feels easier, like looking into a mirror and seeing
nothing. I don’t know what the weather will be like tomorrow

because I haven’t watched the news--all morning I’ve been
watching Bonnie and Clyde, although I already know what happens--
which is funny because the beauty of the movie is that neither
of them believed what was certain to happen would happen.
It’s noon--the parrot probably knows by now I’m not coming

in today, but doesn’t know why, or what will happen tomorrow.
Today is grey as the feathers on its chest.

Shafer's for April 2nd!

Let's Play Astronaut

Drape your right arm loosely
over nothing, this will be
your helmet. Walk slowly
with your hidden fear
down the ramp
into this mighty rocket ship.

After you've pressed yourself
outside of gravity, remember
you are in another neighborhood
now, a place where the rules
are different.

Try to recall
your grade-school French,
try to recall your debonair.

John's for April 1st!

The First of April

Vamoose opium nights,

huddling in the dark;

you'll get hacked loose

along the brick walks of Huron

at the highway loop

where my jog bends back

and my eyes prick to

let go March's mirage.

I am in terrable shape,

but give me time, sweetheart-give me days

I'll whistle in your cool 8pm.

Jen's for April 1st!

Gleaning the Parrot

It's back to the old cage.
The new cage was too heavy
to drag up the stairs, plus the parrot
hated it, or seemed to--who really knows
what it's thinking? We must rely
heavily on our powers of observation:
1) It didn't leave its perch for 48 hours
2) It shook and shivered constantly,
all puffed up 3) It stopped saying hello
or what passed as hello, was good
enough for us 4) The slow blink
it started doing, like cats, do parrots
do that too, does it mean the same thing
--I love you--or something very
different--once for yes, twice for no?

Ada Limon's for April 1st!

Trying to Read a Sales Report While My Soul is Dying

This pain supercedes and replaces all previous pains.
The Office Group shall, at all times, have the right to change
this pain in any and all respects, including the expansion
or contraction of the amounts of pain distributed, the requirements
for qualification of personnel benefiting under this pain,
or at the Office Groups' absolute discretion, to discontinue it.
All changes to this pain must be made in writing.

Jamison's for April 1st!


This morning
My drip, drip, explosion
Timed out magicly
With an In-N-Out Burger
Jingle song.
It must be Friday.

10: 53am

I don't speak French
But I could crawl on my knees
From this toilet
To your window.
Just give me a moment.


Leggo My Bonio

I have done.
Done whacked myself
So much, so long
I chafed.
Now I am every bit
Blood-lube hot dog
And I can't
Be fucked with.
So don't try.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Shafer's for April 1st!

The Ancient American Calendar

Diffident April is upon us,
too earnest to shine
but not so cruel as they say,
not cruel enough for cold.

We’ve put our lions
away for the year,
and our beards no longer
keep us warm.

Rachel Shukert's parents and I

are pleased to announce her debut on the NaPoWriMo scene. She will be paricipating...

...oh hey it's APRIL! I got to write some poems!

Nothing says poetry like rock and roll.

So come on out to help kick off National Poetry Month with the rock and roll of Ben Murphy, and the poetry of Sam Amadon, with special guest appearances by Daniel Nester and Rachel Shukert.

2:30 on Sunday at "The Cuatro" 165 W. 4th St. and 6th Ave.