Friday, December 29, 2006
I Fell Down
After a long -- very long night
of drinking bourbon and beer,
I came to my door and immediately
fell down at the first step.
These are the days I instantly remember:
God is a bird caught close between the legs;
winter winds round me like a [sick date]
coughing some madness in the nice air.
Trees dance the polka unrestrained
by my methods; some mother
sleeps sound in her bed.
Cigarettes last on my fingers
like gods…of strife.
Run your fingers down your thighs,
take them down your own legs
to your feet: you are a god of lust
and of all things lusty.
I love you like a shooting star
all above me; I lie on a trampoline
making my mistakes the way
we [warn some kids about lies]
and yet fails
on the white gates of Montrose.
Actually they don’t come in like wolves,
they come in more like enormous and pointless mannequins
on the lunchtime crowd of miscreants.
Cubicles disperse and weep;
taxis scream without screaming;
the boss stands like a moron waiting
for something that won’t come,
won’t become itself.
There is a man with his wife and his child,
a young boy with big lips and black skin,
and the mother keeps spying all over him
and thinks [he’s a genius or more]
and waits for her meal and ponders
some things I don’t even think about.
The dad’s face shows a jumble of ears
and doesn’t smile or move at all.
I see a doomed corpse in us all:
the father is doomed to at least fourteen years;
the mother is doomed to at least fourteen years;
the earth belches magnetic revelations in kind.
A bad haircut can ruin your life;
a parking ticket can send you to jail,
sitting wildly with the animals
who don’t shout and also don’t front.
Innocence abounds in the accused like a plague:
the dog barking is doomed to fate;
the birds fly like an idiot also.
Where does that end or begin:
yourself, your own child, a rogue,
an entire imbecile.
[Just to reassure] our kids, more
morons than we,
I open the bottle with a tool,
and sink my lips over the same glass mouth
till the draining, delving mind
sinks itself into the start which [is hard.]
The winds will find themselves virgin,
and the sky will mask itself like an owl.
I stand thinking “no, this is not my life,
this is not the life I wanted, this is just
not my life.”
Some are doomed to dust, others are doomed
to lust and to other things. Some are doomed
to happiness and comedy.
I will stay with the doomed of the doomed.
Monday, December 25, 2006
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Saturday, November 18, 2006
The assistant warden
is a HUGE Kevin Costner fan,
and the warden’s son
participates in the universal theater
of young men in concert
with Tonka trucks.
The warden wonders
where #801116 went,
and soon the news
of the jailbreak
has shot through
the little local population.
The warden’s wife, who thinks
she’s been done so much wrong,
looks out from her kitchen window
into the wide Indian woods,
and mutters to herself: “run
you little fucker, run,”
Who Wrecked this Train?
Back then, one of us
was a sleek, shiny train,
and another was a bright
blue smiling train,
unassailable as he tracked
his way around.
The sun reflected off
all of us trains;
it was bright back then,
when our lives were filled
with so much university
Bright trains, never
tired trains, and trains
wearing big brown sunglasses,
we were all linked up
with big metal joints that clanged
when we rammed into one another.
No one could say when
certain trains wrecked,
and no one worried
about it much anyway --
we were trains; we were
made of steel.
Now we know:
no train wrecks itself;
there’s nothing a train
likes more than its track;
and as the train rolls
through the forest,
the trees ask
“oh, what have we done?”
But inside the clickety-est
“trouble trains” is always
a quiet, clear voice from
a bright-eyed conductor:
remain calm, remain
calm, remain calm.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
The likenesses of our Founding Fathers on squash
(as you ahem-ahem your throat into submission)
create a capitalization issue: does an Abraham
Lincoln squash become an Abraham Lincoln
Squash (ahem-ahem ahem?)
My homuncular heart hurts
this morning; I don’t know
whose idea it was to leave
this little walnut in charge
of my cardiovascular system,
but this diminutive organ
IS in charge, and when
I’m feeling CHARGED UP,
the little chamber of my bedroom
pulsing and my Mexican blanket body
tossed face down on the bed,
eye socket gently gripping
the pillow in a little hug,
I realize that I like feeling small,
being tall comes with responsibility,
and when I stretch and rise again,
my warm blood keeps me alive.
Thursday, October 19, 2006
Fiberglass Pools, Ohio, is particularly obscenely catchy and gut-wrenchingly wonderful.
Friday, October 06, 2006
for Alex Battles
By way of a certain unusual
sort of penance: I hung a sign
on myself saying “Gone To Hell”
where “Hell” is a place without
canned tomatoes and “Gone”
is me all the way there, without
anything “To” make my dish
less yellow. And here I sit
in my metaphorical blindfold,
with my hands (maybe) tied
behind my back; my last
cigarette is a toothpick
(a paragon of good health
right up to the end,) but what
is that muttering? Are they
laughing at me? [strips
off actual blindfold, starts
throwing punches, discovers
no one is there. Heads
for the kitchen to dig
around in the refrigerator.]
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
Thursday, September 28, 2006
Come on by the Freq-nasty for a "conclave of fun" (a funclave) with Aaron Belz, Aaron Balkan, and Daniel Kane. These are some high-powered poets, and after the reading we will throw them in the back of the Good Time Van and take them to test their sea-kayaking skills.
That's 2:30 at the venerable Four-Faced Liar. 165 W. 4th St., New York, NY 11238. Saturday the 30th of September.
Aaron Belz's poems have appeared in Boston Review, Fence, The Canary, Jacket, McSweeney's, Verse Press's "Younger American Poets," etc., and been anthologized in March Hares: The Best Poems from Fine Madness, 1982-2002. He lives in St. Louis, where he is a teacher of high school
English and Creative Writing as well as the founder and director of Readings @ The Contemporary.
Aaron Balkan grew up in Arizona and attended Pitzer College in Southern California. He received an M.F.A. in creative writing from New York University, as a Times fellow, and is currrently on the faculty of NYU's Expository Writing Program. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife Gabrielle and their sinewy cat, Horace.
Daniel Kane is the author of All Poets Welcome: The Lower East Side Poetry Scene in the 1960s (University of California Press, 2003) and What Is Poetry: Conversations with the American Avant-garde (Teachers & Writers, 2003). His poems, interviews, and essays appear in in
Fence, Exquisite Corpse, The Denver Quarterly, and other journals.
Friday, September 22, 2006
Remember My Smell
Remember my smell
when it was so wide
on the other side
of standing up?
that cold weather
made us feel like
we could do everything
Don't forget about
the way the weather
smells; the weather
was us that day --
September so fine.
Cold Tinkling On My Diction Maker
Cold crickets make sounds
unrepeatable by my diction maker.
They live in the lips
between the accordion door
and the garage floor.
When cold sneaks down from North,
the stars twinkle to keep warm,
and I breathe sealed breaths
to tune my diction maker.
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
For live country music in New York City, please see
Alex's Brooklyn Country Music or
Leon's Brooklyn Country or
Nate's Good Music New York.
It’s such a summer siege,
and here, at the end of summer,
the seemingly mechanical bleating blasts
from the crow’s talking utensils
must irritate her tonsils;
that hairy beast
who won’t leave her children alone
will surely curl up somewhere
once it has snown.
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
compliments beer-drunk muses Ann & Lindsay
Anyone can tell the future -- you can't fool
me; I know I don't have to be a magician
to foresee the weather or when the next emperor
will foolishly smash the heart of his empress.
I scared the pants off our local hierophant
when I broadly proclaimed "this chariot
someday will house the love of the young lovers,"
but everybody knows they've nowhere else to go.
Justice: your average swinging hanged man
will exhibit as much strength
in his ugly vertical death
as a sister of Jesus will in her temperance.
And as I sit here watching Wheel of Fortune
like thousands of other urban hermits
who’ve made Vanna White a high priestess
and turned Pat Sajak into a constellation’s star,
I won’t whip my head around anticipating the Devil;
I know he’s back there be it night or light of Sun.
All this knowledge condenses and leaves me moon-eyed;
it’s just knowledge; it’s not judgment:
My low-frequency brain sits on my body’s tower
receiving broadcasts from the past and future of the world.
Saturday, August 26, 2006
In the strangest places,
we begin sentences with
nouns, verbs, prepositions --
words; eternity is a place,
but it isn't necessarily
where YOU'LL be placed.
But every now and then,
a miracle: corks keep
fine wine fresh for a while,
and when a cork bangs
out of a bottle, it isn't a death
but a pop,
and the nature
of this room, this poem
is prepositional; I can
sit next to a sound,
and my life will be
fresh next lifetime.
Thursday, August 24, 2006
Some people (people
like Ann) know fear
comes from the birds
you CAN'T see, not
the mocking birds
outside your window
committing vice after vice
Ann crowed with fear
and pride and prayer
when she killed the crow;
her lifelong fear of birds
cowered in the corner
of her momentary mind.
The big robot mechanical bird
rusts and baits his abbreviated breath
and wonders how long he can wait
for the plump crow to land
in his hungry beak, and wonders
how long his love can shine
with a green patina while he waits
for Ann to love him.
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
PETE'S CANDY STORE in Brooklyn 8/26, 8pm
Saturday, August 26th @ Pete's Candy Store709 Lorimer St., Williamsburg, Brooklyn, 11211http://petescandystore.com
Uncle LD Beghtol
I Feel Tractor
Uncle LD Beghtol is the leader of orchpop collective Flare, one half of the willfully obscurebicoastal experimental duo, Moth Wranglers, and approximately one third of The ThreeTerrors (with Stephin Merritt and Dudley Klute). (He can also be seen singing in Magnetic Fields from time to time, appearing quite a bit on '69 Love Songs').His latest album, LD & The New Criticism recently came out on Darla."Beghtol bends his baroque goth-pop westward in the new band's autotelicdebut, Tragic Realism is a gory, uke-joint country (think Haggard ca. '68 viaLovecraft and horror flix), backwoods folk-gospel raveup sure to bring a Zoloft smile to your face, and often." -- VILLAGE VOICE. File under: Experimental Countrypolitan Deathpop. Please see: http://www.myspace.com/thenewcriticismand: http://thenewcriticism.com
So L'il is Frances Sorensen & Ben Malkin, all harmonies, go-go percussion,waves wash over you melodic juno, rhythmic wings of strummed gibson, at times swing,at times drone, shine-a-light-on simple ambient pop with the cracked eye lyrics of cut-up inside (light shining through the cracks of somewhere behind). In the last four years So L'il has released a 6-song self-titled EP, one split 7-inchwith the band Timesbold (both on Neko Records), the full-length 'Revolution Thumpin', and their most recent full-length, 'Dear Kathy,' both on GoodbyeBetter. They are currently at work on a new EP. "If you think electronic music has gone too far back and needs to move forwarda decade, So L'il are your new heroes." - Mundane Sounds Please see: http://solil.net and: http://www.myspace.com/solil
CAConrad's childhood included selling cut flowers along the highway for his mother and helping her shoplift. He escaped to Philadelphia the first chance he got, where he lives and writes today with the PhillySound poets. He coedits FREQUENCYAudio Journal with Magdalena Zurawski, and edits the 9for9 project. Soft Skull Pressis publishing his first book of poems titled Deviant Propulsion, available in Fallof 2005. His book The Frank Poems is forthcoming from The Jargon Society. He is the author of several chapbooks, including (end-begin w/chants), a collaborationwith Frank Sherlock. Please see: http://caconrad.blogspot.com/
I Feel Tractor. Eddie Berrigan is a New York poet and musician who performs under the name of I Feel Tractor. His songs are playful retakes of traditional folk and country genres& their subtle, funny lyrics and far-flung imagery create unusual landscapes of both physical and emotional territory. The author of the poetry collection Disarming Matter (1999, Owl Press) and several chapbooks, Eddie as I Feel Tractor released a self-titled 7-inch last year (Loudmouth Collective) and just last month released it's first full-length recording, 'Once I Had An Earthquake', on Goodbye Better. Please see: http://www.myspace.com/ifeeltractor
http://goodbyebetter.com for more info.
Shafer Hall used to wear a red glitter crash helmet with a bootleg Playboy bunny logo stickered on the side. Now the bones in his head have hardened into a skull. Please see: http://www.shafervineyards.com/store.html
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
compliments Lindsay Anderberg
I have a tent made out of placenta.
I call it my "platenta,"
and when my lazy third eye
feels like wandering
around this storm,
I can crawl inside
and take the ride
less taken, the one
where the shiny waxy liquid
candy spreads thinly
across my head
and hardens to a neat
red mold of my brain.
Whatever you call it --
call it "sunset," call it
"cotton," call it "feeling
the muscles in your ankles
before they're warm,"
it'll make perfect sense;
it'll be one more afternoon.
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
A small but well-designed collection of poems I wrote with my friend Maureen Thorson is available now at Big Game Books.
The collection is called "Villanelles are Retarded." It is our homage to poetry's most ridiculous form.
It is available on this site: http://www.reenhead.com/biggame/biggame.html. The "Buy Now" button is just below the second cover photo.
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
No one else seems to quite get this;
no one else is quiet like this.
I think I quite like you, because
I'm quiet like you.
Right now the world
is not quite quiet; it's still,
which is not quite the same.
Alone in my room,
on this sweaty morning,
I understood everything
perfectly for a while.
Which isn't to say
I was an expert on the minutiae;
I only understood that there IS
an everything; I think it's
the hum of my fan
that makes my head so quiet
so I can think everything at once.
I'm not quite saying what I mean;
I think I'll go be quiet a while longer.
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
like the old joke:
outstanding in his stream,
only this farmer only farms
produce that's already farmed,
outing genocide detectives
and getting the elected elected,
which reminds me of a joke:
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
My fortune is in my family;
I have a treasure chest
full of aunts and cousins;
it's called Texas.
Aunt Kim and Trevor,
you are an army of fun,
you are my circus
and my afternoon trip
to the beach.
You are always around
up here, even when
you're down there.
Thursday, May 11, 2006
The youngest iguana
is sitting on a rock
in the sun today; today
he’ll sit in the sun
slowly turning into a rock,
and this rock will make
one more turn
around the sun today.
We’re all sitting
on this rock today
made all out of iguanas,
and we are the youngest
iguanas of all;
our skin does not yet
look like rock at all.
The sun shines patronly.
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
Your consequences -- you are
consequential; you are sequential
and diligent, my Arctic heart.
You are way up there;
when you tilt toward the sun
you melt, and as you move
away you freeze again.
I'll make sure to collect
your data; it means
something, my Arctic heart.
Monday, May 08, 2006
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
BLOODY MARY: A Comedy of Tragic Proportions
written by Rachel Shukert
directed by Stephen Brackett
produced by Cormac Bluestone, Ian Unterman
and Third Man Productions
Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center
107 Suffolk Street
J, M, F, Z Trains to Delancey St.
April 28th @ 8pm
Runs Wednesday through Sunday @ 8pm
April 28th to May 13th
Ticket price: $18
Tickets available online at www.smarttix.com or (212) 868-4444
Check out Bloody Mary at www.myspace.com/BloodyMarythep
Monday, May 01, 2006
Good morning where am I,
good morning what's going on,
good morning fine questions
both of you, good morning
Lucas, good morning Stella.
What're we gonna do
this morning? What're
we gonna do what're we
gonna do what're we
gonna do? I hope it's fun!
Sunday, April 30, 2006
When I close my eyes tonight
I will be in a Texas bar; it will be
night here, and it will be night
there; when I go to sleep
I will be glad to be there,
but, after a night of smoky
clinking glassware and pool,
when I wake up I will be glad
to be back here.
Good morning, Elise, your note
revived me this morning.
On a spring Sunday morning
so full of flowers,
one can still feel a bit washed out
in the morning.
So when, this morning,
I poked my head into my inbox
and found your note
it really made my morning.
You’re my yellow tulip
of a cousin; happy April,
Elise, I’ll see you
some summer morning.
Thursday, April 27, 2006
Good morning Tito (the plant,
not the person,) I've got plans
for you this weekend. Tito
(the person, not the plant)
will take me to the outdoor store
this weekend; I'll get new soil
for you, and we'll do something
about the yellow tips of your leaves.
The weather comes out for every season,
and we are out in the weather
for some of every season.
The only time the weather gets to me
is when I let it; the weather isn't out to get me;
sometimes, though, I think I'm out to get myself.
And I have to go out to get myself things.
Some of these things are important to me;
all things are equally unimportant to the weather.
April's been so good
to the guys from Houston,
myself and Lance Berkman
included. But we're all waiting
for shaky May; everything
we build in April collapses
in May; it's fun sometimes,
but we'll spend
the rest of the season
This morning I said good morning
to the future; it sometimes seems
out there, so sometimes I forget
to say "hi." But when I greet
and shake hands with the future,
we use one of those special shakes
with lots of snaps and slaps; it's easy
to get excited about the future.
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
I've been trying
to imagine things collectively;
I try to imagine
my most basic cells
along with the most basic cells
inside the body of a car, or,
instead of just thinking
about next football season,
I try to think about
every football season
I will see for the rest of my life
all at once.
Such mental practices
give me a feeling of revival
that I am not used to.
Other times, though,
I will forget something
in its entirety, because
it made my soul very small.
Good night Saturday night!
Sunday, April 23, 2006
Good morning god of thunder;
your angriness becomes
existence today: those among
us who wish not to hear
elliptical confessions of love
would curl up beneath you.
But our will is not our way
today, and when we do
stagger out beneath you,
please mind our feet, mind
the lines on our suit.
Good night Maureen, and
good night Breakup/
Breakdown, and good night
684 Leonard (our laments
became you) and good night
to all your flesh inside
that crusty shell, and good
enough for all of us
to close our eyes until
Jeffrey etc. will open
Saturday, April 22, 2006
The offices of Good Morning
Communications were busy
this morning, fielding communications
from out in the field, where
various girls were performing
their morning laments.
We here at Good Morning
Communications were lamenting
too, it's a good morning
But now the lamenting
is ending, and here at Good Morning
Communications we are preparing
our facility for Good Afternoon
and other salutations.
Thursday, April 20, 2006
My favorite ghosts
are the dead ones,
the real ones, the
ones, the ones
who crawl your skin
as they pass quietly
through your body,
which will only be sleeping
for this mortal life,
and afterward sleep
will sounds so sweet,
because the unrested
brain is a frightened one.
At the very partial reunion last night,
one representative from Choke Canyon
told us of the strange activities
of their fearless and handsome leader.
Those representing Brooklyn etc.
told some strange stories of their own.
It was all written down, to haunt us
from an archive forever more.
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
Jeff dreamed last night
about rocks all over the diamond,
and (in the manner of baseball managers)
the baseball managers were blaming
one another, and as Jeff read their lips
on the TV screen of his sleeping mind,
the rocks didn't start to make sense to him,
but there was never any question
what the two men in charge were up to.
It seems a shame to build a new regimen
using all of the old rules, so out the window
go the rules and with them the regimen,
and we'll throw a few random pieces
from this piece of shit socket wrench set
at the regimen's head to expel any notions
of its return. Then we will sit down,
and we'll calmly discuss a new plan.
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
The gentle curve of my spine
as it slips slowly
does not concern me
yet, but there will be a time
when all these funny
slips and sounds
in the morning
add up to something
very dark and eternal.
Monday, April 17, 2006
Two airplanes ago
I was in San Antonio,
and I said goodbye
to my sister
and to my home.
Now, two airplanes
later, I am home again;
all those silver airplanes
connect my homes,
and I don't feel sad
when I'm here, and
I don't feel sad
when I'm there,
but in between the two
Sunday, April 16, 2006
Everyone's married now;
weddings are for everyone;
like funerals, weddings are
more for the survivors;
y'all were already married
long before any of us knew --
before you even knew you.
There's a little more hope
in the world now, loved ones
hope more easily to see again
other loved ones, and some
of us will hope to see
our loved ones soon
in the first place.
Good night Kay Lee
and Ben, good luck
and all the best.
Saturday, April 15, 2006
When it comes down to a porch
(it always comes down to a porch)
you can always depend on Darcy
& Mathew, & when you wake up
in the morning, check yourself
for the well-designed pattern
of Eastern sun & miniblinds
which will be all over you;
it's no dream.
At the rehearsal dinner last night,
it was the parents I worried about.
With everyone so full of emotion,
the fragile fifty-year-olds
concerned themselves; that's all.
The early years and the later years
seem so filled with reckless buoyance:
good night, parents, and thanks
for neither being young nor old.
Friday, April 14, 2006
In the morning at my sister's new place,
everyone is sleeping, and I still have
this feeling of amazement
that there is yet another place
where we can all sleep
under one roof
and wake up feeling mighty fine.
Soon, I guess, all of Texas
will be ours.
"All aboard for Thursday night!"
said no one last night, but we
were all on board anyway,
and when mysterious horse
shoes clanged in pits and
less mysterious Budweisers
were emptied, the Texas air
cooled and strings of lights
bounced in their sockets,
and no one could quite remember
anyone else's name, but everyone
nodded at one another, until
we all nodded off.
Thursday, April 13, 2006
I was trimming my moustache this morning,
and after a little here, and a little there,
and just a little more here, and a little
down there to even things out, and an
"ooh, where did that stray hair come
from remove it immediately," and then
juuuust a liiiiiitle mooooore here...oof,
it was gone, or at any rate damaged
beyond salvage, but DON'T WORRY
my moustache is like a phoenix already
rising mightily from my ashen face.
The clicking sign
that used to tell commuters
on which Long Island platform
they could board
their Long Island train
to take them to Long Island
is gone. It is replaced
by a brilliantly-colored
flatscreen display which
while brilliantly colored
represents the reaper's hand
in the death of analog.
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Monday, April 10, 2006
The Lemon Drop Kid
dropped from the pack,
not back as in left behind,
but just too wild
for such a tight knot
of similiar species.
When I find bits
of my roommate's work
lying around my apartment,
sometimes I try
to "put things together"
on my own.
But horses don't think
like I do; when I try to
think like a horse, it's
Sunday, April 09, 2006
This morning Lucas said
"as I get older,
I believe in God less,
but I want to go to church more.
It seems like a nice,
to spend an hour."
I didn't have much of a reply:
I've certainly spent many
comfortable hours in churches,
but I could just as easily
flick the TV on
and watch some goddamn SportsCenter.
Actually, I don't really know
how Bob Woodward it is;
Jen Hyde jived it
with Robert Redford's notion
of Bob Woodward's haircut,
and it's really Jen Hyde's
notion too, and it's my hair
anyway; Jen, Bob, Robert
and I are jiving away
in my mirror this evening.
This is not a poem
so much as a highlight-
my bartender took
under any circumstances
leave an empty chair
Benny might sit in it
and tell you a 20 minute
story about his car insurance."
and thank you
for the heads up
Saturday, April 08, 2006
The cat feels herself to be
disrespected in an obvious manner
no thought given to room or board
only to a deep, abiding, and
whole-hearted belief in her
efforts toward domination
then the blasphemers and
the heretics will be made to pay
She's just like her father
they run in the blood
It was a fine how do ya do:
yesterday John stopped by the bar
for the first time in months.
The last time he was in
he recommended author
And yesterday when I saw him,
I was finishing the last
of Carl's oeuvre.
John and I don't have
a high-five relationship,
but we were both very pleased.
Friday, April 07, 2006
APRIL 8, 2:30 PM, 165 W. 4th St.
ANDREW MICHAEL ROBERTS
Michael Costello lives in Saratoga Springs, where he works as a copywriter for Palio Communications. He has been published in CROWD, eye-rhyme, DelSol Review, swankwriting, MiPo, Columbia Poetry Review, La Petite Zine, Unpleasant Event Schedule, and Best American Poetry 2004.
Ada Limon is originally from Sonoma, California. She received her MFA in Creative Writing-Poetry from New York University. She has received fellowships from the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, New York Foundation for the Arts, and won the Chicago Literary Award for Poetry. Her work appears in numerous magazines, including the The Iowa Review, Slate, Watchword, Poetry Daily, LIT, Painted Bride Quarterly, and others. She co-curates Pete’s Big Salmon in Brooklyn and her first book lucky wreck will be published by Autumn House Press in February of 2006.
Daniel Nester is the author of God Save My Queen and God Save My Queen II, both collections on his obsession with the rock band Queen, as well as The History of My World Tonight (BlazeVOX, 2006). He edits the online journal Unpleasant Event Schedule and is Assistant Web Editor for Sestinas for McSweeney’s. He teaches writing at The College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY. Find him online at danielnester.com.
Andrew Michael Roberts is earning his MFA in poetry at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. His work appears in The Seattle Review, The Iowa Review, Pool, Quick Fiction, Double Room, Sentence and Cue, among others. In a prior life he was poetry editor for The Portland Review, and he dearly misses scanning the Pacific Northwest woodlands for signs of Bigfoot.
Tito stopped by last night,
and Stella was very upset
when it was time for him to leave.
Stella doesn't care
if you're conscious or not,
she just wants you here.
But when I'm sideways,
I'm not here -- I'm there;
last night: the Gulf Coast
where the dogs are also small,
and where the kayaks
are made of sombreros.
Thursday, April 06, 2006
British Dan is going back to his homeland
for the umpteenth time, and
all the tired horses trotted out again.
Really, what difference
does one more waiter make
in a city of waiters?
The farewell parties
are pretty fun,
but we'd rather keep him.
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
Greg is an oilman
spends two weeks in
a Wyoming winter
then two weeks home
up at the bar
making men laugh
hugging on women
and damn near spilling
a short glass of
room temperature tequila
when he tells you
wanted him to be
"a fucking preacher"
Spicy Barbadian mustard hot sauce oatmeal
and a very sultry version
of "Surry With A Fringe On Top"
have invaded my morning.
Too wet for tennis this morning,
so I cleaned my room;
my room is the cleanest
and my oatmeal the yellowest
in all of Brooklyn.
Them bears won't sleep
well tonight; the Gators
got 'em by the neck now.
Not the shiningest moment
for college basketball,
think my cohorts and I.
I'll go to sleep before
the game even ends,
and dream of early March,
when no animal was king,
when the jungle was
the widest open in years.
Monday, April 03, 2006
I will be reading poems with musical accompaniement by Ben Murphy and Tom Siler tomorrow night at Daniel Morrow's going-back-to-England party.
That's Tuesday the 4th from 9pm at Mymoon restaurant: 184 North 10th Street between Bedford and Driggs, Brooklyn, NY.
Take the L train to Bedford. You won't regret it.
This morning's kind of fuzzy:
I think Jim Behrle is going to visit
the baseball players of Opening Day,
and Lauren is worried about JD
Salinger -- says that brain-eating
New England freak is a menace.
I put Barbadian hot mustard
on my oatmeal -- on purpose,
and Lucas is muttering
about moving back to the 'Burg;
But Scott has tickets
to the Mets on Wednesday;
Wednesday is me 'n Scott's
With your blessing
I'll ride in from the north
and sit my horse
on top of a mesa
just outside of town
waiting on the signal
-a lone rifle shot-
Then down I'll
fly and take
Incubus' name away
for it has no place
on a veggie-pop band
it's a $9 handle that
best befits death-metal or
at very least
I'm sure they're
nice boys and all
but it just ain't right
Sunday, April 02, 2006
Like a monster comes a smog
of laughter from outside,
where the cafe has been overrun
with sentience. The napkins
make a fine "Hello!" for anyone.
The plan for the next four hours is:
cross our sipper/stirrers
and try not to run.
Friday, March 31, 2006
Saturday April 1st at 2 PM
at the Four-Faced Liar
165 West 4th St. (between 6th avenue & 7th avenue)
A,C,E,F, or V to West 4th
Paul Foster Johnson's poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in Logopoeia, Bird Dog, Octopus, and Lungfull!. "Quadriga", a chapbook of his collaborations with E. Tracy Grinnell, will soon be published by g-o-n-g press. With fiction writer Sherry Mason, he curates the Experiments and Disorders reading series at Dixon Place in New York City.erica kaufman co-curates the belladonna* reading series/small press and is the author of the chapbooks: from the two coat syndrome , the kickboxer suite, and a familiar album (winner of the 2003 New School Chapbook Contest). Her poems have appeared in Puppy Flowers, Bombay Gin, The Mississippi Review, and elsewhere.
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
This year I will join her in writing two poems a day for the month of March. I will also join her in writing poems with a (loosely) common theme. I think I will write one poem in the morning and one poem at night, and I think they will be somewhat narrative and semi-autobiographical.
As I did last year, I will post poems for non-blogging poets who'd like to participate. Just send them to shaferhall a la gmail. And we're as fast and loose in this pursuit as in all others, so don't worry if you have to start late or can't quite write every day. Maureen'll still love you.
Monday, March 20, 2006
FREQUENCY READING SERIES
Saturday March 25th at 2:30 PM
at the Four-Faced Liar
165 West 4th St. (212) 366-0608
A,C,E,F, or V to West 4th
Saturday, March 25th will feature Chris Tonelli, Justin Marks, and Carol Novak.
Chris Tonelli lives in Cambridge, MA. His work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Verse, LIT, GutCult, New York Quarterly, Drunken Boat, Sonora Review , Asheville Poetry Review, and Redivider. His chapbook, Wide Tree, is available from Kitchen Press.
Justin Marks has poems in, or forthcoming from, Fulcrum, The Literary Review, McSweeney's, Typo, Word For/Word, RealPoetik, canwehaveourballback?, Black Warrior Review, Coconut and others. His chapbook, You Being You by Proxy, is out on Kitchen Press (http://www.kitchenpresschapboo
Carol Novack's writings can or will be found in many publications, including The Penguin Book of Australian Women Poets, Anemone Sidecar, Big Bridge, Diagram (web and print), elimae, Milk Magazine, Mindfire, Muse Apprentice Guild, Newtopia, Opium, Pindeldyboz, Retort, Ravenna
Hotel, SmokeLong Quarterly, Unpleasant Event Schedule, Word Riot, and Yankee Pot Roast . Her prose poem/fusion "Destination" was selected as a "best" of Web Del Sol fiction at Sol eScene (Series 20). Carol publishes and edits the "edgy and enlightened" multimedia journal Mad Hatters' Review: http://www.madhattersreview
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
"Is that a possum, or a prince?" people asked,
when the clean, well-rested possum rolled into town,
dressed as he was in fancy dress.
Never had anyone seen a possum dress so fancy
or groom so cleanly; never had anyone seen a possum
rest so thoroughly.
"Princes can be possums, and possums can be princes,"
said the well-rested possum sagely. "If you folks
would rest more completely, you could see more clearly."
The town folks "harrumphed" but decided to try it,
and when they awoke, they resumed chasing the possum
with a broomstick and a renewed, well-rested vigor.
Sunday, March 12, 2006
Monday, March 06, 2006
Thursday, March 02, 2006
No one was as confused as I was
when I found that box of glass eyeballs
in my locker. My high school
did not even have a prosthetics program,
so those eyeballs must’ve traveled
a long, long way to get there;
it must’ve been a long way to travel
to confuse me.
But I don’t like to look confused;
am I too proud? Or is it an older aversion --
maybe I don’t want to look weak
in front of the other high school students
lest they gang up on and eat me.
Those may have been idle musings,
but at the time they were enough for me,
all of a sudden every other human creature
was a danger to me and my eyeballs
(including the extra ones -- possession
being so much of the law back then.)
So I knocked over all of the tables
in Mrs. Caldwell’s third period,
and then I righted only one of them,
on which I stood and said to the gathering crowd:
That’s right! Look at me! I’m crrr-
aazy! And I’m a-gonna put your eyeballs out
one by one, so buy my one-and-only
brand-new prosthetic eyeballs now
before they’re gone.
And after that I was OK for a while,
on that ship of cutthroats called high school,
until I joined the water polo team --
everyone’s so mean to the water polo team.
Wednesday, March 01, 2006
Tuesday, February 28, 2006
In the Easy Season,
from the Big Easy
to East Milwaukee
we sweat and talk about
who we'll see on the road
or at the home of the home team.
It's easy to fall asleep
on the AM radio;
it's just as easy
to be real cheery
and cheerily curse the umps,
curse the fans who want to be
forever in summertime before
the fall comes and football
storms back on the scene.
And thanks to everyone who came to the readings.
Friday, February 24, 2006
Join us at the bottom of the sea for a special Sunday Frequency. This installment will feature sea creatures from as far away as Wales, Texas, and Williamsburg.
Frequency Reading Series
Featuring Allison DeFrees, Ada Limon, and Owen Sheers
Sunday, February 27th at 2:30 PM
at the Four-Faced Liar
165 W. 4th St. between 6th & 7th
A,C,E,F,V to W. 4th212-366-0608
OWEN SHEERS, twenty-nine years old, has received numerous prizes and awards for his poetry in Great Britain, including his selection by the Independent (UK) as one of Britain?s Top Thirty Young Writers. He currently works for the BBC.
Ada Limón is originally from Sonoma, California. She received her MFA in Creative Writing-Poetry from New York University. A 2001-2002 fellow at the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, she’s received a grant for Poetry from the New York Foundation for the Arts and won the Chicago Literary Award. Her work appears in numerous magazines. She lives and breathes in Brooklyn, New York.
Allison DeFrees is a Texan poet and attorney. She is a veteran of the Frequency Reading Series.
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
An all-Texans reading featuring
Shanna Compton, Shafer Hall, Susanne Reece & Steve Roberts
Hosted by Nicole Steinberg
The Lucky Cat
245 Grand Street
(btw Driggs and Roebling)
L to Bedford, G to Lorimer, or J/M/Z to Marcy
$5 includes one free drink
(beer, wine or well drinks only)
More info: http://somechick.orangeoblivion.com/ludlow/earshot.html
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 27th at 6:00 PM
An all-PBQ reading featuring
Shafer Hall, Shawn McNally, Robin-Beth Schaer, & Marion Wrenn
Cornelia St. Café
29 Cornelia St.
(btw Bleecker and W. 4th)
A, C, E, B, D, F & V to W. 4th or 1 & 9 to Sheridan Square
$6 Cover includes a drink
More info: http://www.corneliastreetcafe.com/
I'm gonna sit right here
beside you, big word
with no vowels. I taught
myself how to spell, I
was spellbound by the hisses
of sibilants, by all
the clicking syllables,
but "rhythm" is a word
without rhyme or reason,
its big rhythm is derived
from a loose "th" in the middle;
Friday, February 17, 2006
Fly Frequency! It's always fun and free!
FREQUENCY READING SERIES
Featuring Brian Waniewski, Charlie Carter, Amaranth Borsuk, and Farnoosh Fathi
Saturday, February 18th, 2PM
at the Four-Faced Liar
165 West 4th St. (212) 366-0608
A,C,E,F, or V to West 4th
Our third Frequency features readers from around the nation:
Charlie Carter is a librarian and lives in Brooklyn. A modern minstrel, he sets his poems to his own musical compositions. He is currently working on a project called "Dickinsonics" that enlists the talent of other Brooklyn artists in his musical envisionings of a selection of poems by Emily Dickinson.
Amaranth Borsuk's poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Antioch Review, Smartish Pace, and The Los Angeles Review. Her awards include an Edward W. Moses prize, a statewide Ina Coolbrith prize, a Shirle Dorothy Robbins Award, a Falling Leaves Creative Writing Prize, and a May Merrill Miller Award. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Southern California.
Farnoosh Fathi received her MA in creative writing and literature from NYU and currently lives in Texas, where she continues her studies at the University of Houston and misses her loved ones in CA and NY from equal distances. Her publications include translations of Persian poetry in Circumference and interviews for the Brooklyn Rail; she has poems forthcoming in Denver Quarterly.
Brian Waniewski has been writing poems since before he could speak. He has all the requisite credentials to become an important American poet. He is at the head of the pack and the top of his game.
Thursday, February 16, 2006
On the Saturday night
of the big blizzard,
the guys were encouraging
the guys, the guys were
leaning halfway out
of windows and saying
“Hey ladies to the ladies”
to the ladies. The girls
were talking to the ladies,
and the blizzard
was swirling up around
the ladies’ heads.
Big blizzard is when
all the good jazz happens;
Saturday night is when
all the encouraging, leaning,
saying, talking, swirling happens.
Song of the Voicebird
The voice the bird
the bird was voicing
Saturday night (the night
of the big blizzard) the voice
the bird the song the night
the trick the slip the fall
the fall the last time
it snowed like this the snow
fell all night long.
I opened my voice that night
but no song came out; I opened
my body but no voice came out;
in the morning the day opened
but no sun came out.
Writing About Writing About The Blizzard
Oh, you blizzard writer,
you smokestack rider,
you who are so paranoid
about the smell
of natural gas
in your apartment;
you who worry about
worrying about the environment:
were you writing about the blizzard
yesterday when you were repeating
repeating yourself? Was it the blizzard
you were talking about, or were you talking about
talking about yourself?
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
Friday, February 10, 2006
Featuring: Chris Cessac, Mandy Keifetz, Robin Beth Schaer
Saturday, February 11th at 2PM
at the Four-Faced Liar
165 West 4th St. (212) 366-0608
A,C,E,F, or V to West 4th
The Frequency Season is entering its fourth year. We feature local and international poets on Saturday afternoons. February 11th will feature Chris Cessac, Mandy Keifetz, and Robin Beth Schaer.
Mandy Keifetz is a fourth-generation New Yorker. Her work has appeared in QW, Penthouse, and The Contemporary Review of Fiction, as well as in numerous small zines. She lives in New York and Montreal.
Christopher Cessac lives in Marfa, Texas. After degrees in history and English from Texas A&M and in law from The University of Michigan Law School, he received an M.A. from The Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University. He's been a Tennessee Williams Scholar at the Sewanee Writers' Conference, and his poems have appeared in The Antioch Review, Black Warrior Review, Cimarron Review, Cream City Review, Epoch, Mid-American Review, Salt Hill, Sycamore Review, and elsewhere.
Robin Beth Schaer is a third-generation New Yorker. She has taught literature and writing at Columbia University and Cooper Union, and was educated at Colgate University and Columbia University's School of the Arts. She is the recipient of a fellowship from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her work has appeared in Rattapallax, Small Spiral Notebook, Denver Quarterly, and Guernica and is forthcoming in Painted Bride Quarterly.
Saturday, February 04, 2006
"all you need to start an asylum is an empty room and the right kind of people"
A room is never a room
unless it's filled with other people,
which makes this morning
not a room,
because all of the people
I know are sleeping.
I will close my eyes
and cease to be
for a few more hours,
and when I open them again
everything will be fine.
Monday, January 30, 2006
The JCSHPMM is a website featurning online, real-time, live-streaming poems assembled right before your very eyes.
Our rules for assembly will be posted in the "comments" field, so you will always know where we are, and when the end is near.
John and I would like to invite and to encourage you to use the comments field to request subjects and to submit challenging new forms of your own devious devisings.
chocolate frosted death
spills like ropes of
over the snow
in the powdered
a pastry chef
is the consequence
of what we have done,
if not there,
under the overpass,
being dunked in my coffee
Thursday, January 26, 2006
Good morning! Or should I say:
Dangerous morning? When murderous
men breeze through your Attorneys-
At-Law morning, even the doughnuts
seem dangerous. As soon
as we finish these doughnuts, we'll
get right down to the killing, although
in some ways, the doughnuts and
the killing are the same, that's
how dangerous is the morning
when you associate with
liminal types like us. Orange juice:
killing. Doughnuts: killing. Taking
a shower: killing. Look at these doughnuts:
every last one of them is dead.
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
Wake up, little friend, it is time
To get a move on, time to awaken.
When you get vertical you'll feel fine-
Tuned and perpendicular, like a Georgia pine
With green needles all alive and shaking
Wake up, little friend. High time
Is time spent with your head in the sky
Over an Earth you've completely forsaken
So get vertical, little one, get fine.
Let pure sun filter into your sublime
Skin. It'll stop your heart from achin'.
So wake up, little friend. There's no time--
It's a fight to wake up, and that's fine.
You deserve gardens, not everything breaking.
Get vertical, get fit, get aligned
With stars and with planets. Their tremulous shine
Will help you make whatever you're makin'.
So wake up little friend, it's time.
When you get vertical, you'll feel fine.
When sleep comes I dream
of the post-apocalyptic kinky
Mad Max afterlife: we will
all roll down to Mountain
Pasture; the air compressors there
are made of trains.
half an eternity later on this primitive planet
we make food by eating; our food defines
ourselves, we are what we choose
later I will make oatmeal,
for now I am nothing
Friday, January 20, 2006
Fin it over to the Face for the first Frequency!
FREQUENCY READING SERIES
Featuring Laura Glenum, Kirsten Kaschock, Danielle Pafunda, and
Sabrina Orah Mark
Saturday, January 21st at 2PM
at the Four-Faced Liar
165 West 4th St. (212) 366-0608
A,C,E,F, or V to West 4th
This will be the FIRST reading of the 2006 season and will feature:
Lara Glenum, author of Hounds of No (Action Books)
Kirsten Kaschock, author of Unfathoms (Slope Editions)
Danielle Pafunda, author of Pretty Young Thing (Soft Skull Press)
Sabrina Orah Mark, author of The Babies (Saturnalia)
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
Late Sunday night my eyes
were drowsily browsing
All in the Family's 27th Movement,
and my brain was filing through
the astounding number of Stapletons
spread across the history of Vaudeville.
That's when I saw you, a performer
in your own right, staring
out of Teddy's armpit like a headache.
I have had a few headaches of my own
lately, and I wasn't looking for new ones.
Particularly on MY website:
it's meant for a depository of headaches,
not for a new-headache engine.
But some headaches cure themselves,
just like some mysteries unravel
into oblivion, and with eeks and shivers
from Shanna and Maureen, Old Evil-
Eye sighed into a new category.
File Under: Laughter.
Here in the Jean Stapleton Afterword,
comfort is the currency. I'll quiet
down quickly now.
Monday, January 16, 2006
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
Hours after the Derby children ceased
to rambulate in the mansion in Oyster Bay,
James, the quiet negro, quiet for a quiet
house of sleep, put out the light
over Theodore and his bed.
After he had dictated letter
one hundred and fifty thousand,
after he had thoroughly protected
the shaking trees,
once Kettle Hill
had been exceedingly stormed.
TR was a tiger of a man, a carnivore.
If one needed anything
for the Feast of St. Rocco,
one merely presented oneself to him.
Monday, January 09, 2006
Click on the icon on the right for instructions on how to score it.
Sunday, January 08, 2006
If you get scared, honey,
give me a call, and I'll send over
powerful mind signals
made out of undiscovered matter
so tiny as to pierce/deflate
any of the dirigibles of Fear
that float the night.
Saturday, January 07, 2006
what the heat fades up
in is the top of my house
where you live, warm one
please stay tuned for a new blow-by-blow John Cotter/Shafer Hall Collaboration Blog!