Sunday, April 30, 2006

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 28th PM

Good Night Boots, Shoes, and Sandals

All lined up
in a row:
boots, shoes,
sandals wait
at attention
for their
marching orders.

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 28th AM

Some Breakfasts I've Had

Catfish for breakfast
is not unheard of
in certain circles,
and we've been
known to do
a 10AM steak
or two. Once I had
a nacho breakfast,
horrifying the French
girlfriend. But
it was Sunday,
and, Hell, there was
football on.

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 27th PM

Good Night Honkytonk

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.

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 27th AM

Good Morning Elise

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
this morning,

it really made my morning.
You’re my yellow tulip

of a cousin; happy April,
Elise, I’ll see you
some summer morning.

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 26th PM

Good Night Wednesday

No matter where the middle of your week
falls, you'll be glad to see Wednesday,
the day of Wodan. Odin's weeks
run on a nine-day cycle, which is why
he has either no time or all the time
for our mortal seven-day runs.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 26th AM

Good Morning Tito

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.

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 25th PM

Seasons We Have Weathered

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.

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 25th AM

Good Morning Delores

Good morning, Delores,
your incantations
against the man
awoke me again
this morning.

Keep your mouth open
and your volume high
on your little ghetto perch,
Delores, our ears
will always
be here to listen.

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 24th PM

Good Night Astros

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
cleaning up.

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 24th AM

Good Morning Rest of My Life

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

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 23rd PM

Good Night Saturday Night

Sometimes lately
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

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 23rd AM

Good Morning/Angry God

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.

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 22nd PM

Good Night All

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
them again.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 22nd AM

Good Morning Communications

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
for lamenting.

But now the lamenting
is ending, and here at Good Morning
Communications we are preparing
our facility for Good Afternoon
and other salutations.

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 21st PM

Good Night NY Opry

Such a comfortable scene:
Renee said "if I get
any more comfortable
I'll have to dance,"
but foot-stomping
was enough last night;
we stomped ourselves
back out into the night.

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 21st AM

Good Morning Ft. Greene Park

To say good morning
to Ft. Greene Park
is to say good morning
to the bones of
America's earliest revolution --
when new accents were forged,
and persistence of form
in nature was underscored
by divide-and-conquer.

NaPoWriMo: April 20th PM

Good Night Baseball

Palliative Baseball Season enfolds us,
and although my heart leaps occasionally
to think of next week's draft, the knocks
on wood and the dull murmur
of the calls of the game
are drifting me, half-lidded,
into sleeping Summer.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

A Big, Wild Party

Bedside Guide to No Tell Motel Release Party

April 22, 2006 - 2 p.m.
The Frequency Series at the Four Faced Liar, 165 West 4th Street, New York, NY

featured readers: Andrew Mister, Anne Gorrick, Amy King, Laura Cronk, Betsy Wheeler and Anita Naegeli

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 20th AM

My Favorite Ghosts

My favorite ghosts
are the dead ones,
the real ones, the
shimmery scary
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.

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 19th PM

3 Livers

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

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 19th AM

Someone Else's Dream About Yogi Berra, Tommy Lasorda, and All Them Rocks Jamming Up the Baseline

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.

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 18th PM

Hello Trouble. Welcome Home.

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

What happened to Gora?

Someone who called themselves "Gora" was leaving really good poems in my comments field, but she/he seems to have stopped. Come back, Gora!

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 18th AM

Morning Creaks and Cricks

The gentle curve of my spine
as it slips slowly
toward gravity
does not concern me
yet, but there will be a time
when all these funny
slips and sounds
in the morning
will eventually
add up to something
very dark and eternal.

Monday, April 17, 2006

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 17th PM

April Oohs and Ahhs

Wow! Brooklyn busted out
all over the place while I
wasn't looking. I was looking
at Texas, which is tragically
free of clutter; drought
has rendered it wide open.
But Brooklyn is so close;
I feel I can touch it.

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 17th AM

Two Airplanes Ago

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
it's terrifying!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 16th PM

Good Night Gracie and Coy

Say good night to Gracie's
place, and to Coy's bamboo
kitchen floor; when you say
good night to Grace's and Coy's
place, you say good night
to Texas. Good night, Texas.

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 16th AM

Good Morning Parents

The parents kept it together again
one last time this morning again
at the family brunch again: they
worried about it; they let it slide;
they didn't worry about it
in the face of it; they let us
worry about it for a change.

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 15th PM

Good Night Ben & Kay Lee

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

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 15th AM

Good Morning Darcy & Mathew

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.

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 14th PM

Good Night Parents

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

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 14 AM

Good Morning New Braunfels

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.

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 13th PM

Goodnight Gruene Hall

"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

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 13th AM

Moustache RIP

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.

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 12th PM


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

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 12th AM

Smiling Jazz

Who says jazz
has to be hard?

says so.

If WBGO were a girl
and we were together
right now, she'd be
leaning up against me
and we wouldn't be
talking about anything.

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 12th PM

Turkey Gobbler

The big islander
behind the counter
at my bodega
is so ready to slap turkey
to bread at the first sight of me
that I can hardly tell him
no anymore; anymore
I leave with turkey
every time.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 11th AM

Tennis with Robert Chambers

Robert Chambers always wins
at tennis. Perhaps
I am frightened --
perhaps I am worried
he will strangle me
and leave me in the park.

Perhaps I am just out of shape.

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 10th PM

Two Long Islands

The first Long Island
has long and curly hair,
and she tips big
while her man
is in the bathroom.

The second Long Island
(her man) tips big
even while his girl is looking.

Monday, April 10, 2006

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 10th AM

Good Morning Wild Thing

This morning
Lucas said to me
"you're kinda like
the white Tone Loc."

I said
"whaddaya mean white?"

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 9th PM

Lemon Drop Kid

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

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 9th AM

Palm Sunday

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,
comfortable way
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.

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 8th PM

My New Bob Woodward Haircut

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.

NaPoWriMo: Jason April 8th

2nd Shift-

This is not a poem

so much as a highlight-

my bartender took

my notepad-

"Do not

under any circumstances

leave an empty chair

besides yourself!

Benny might sit in it

and tell you a 20 minute

story about his car insurance."

I won't

and thank you

thank you

for the heads up

Saturday, April 08, 2006

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 8th AM

Rainy Morning Family Dollar #12 & 35

so good
for cleaning supplies
and toiletries

they would
do anything for you
it seems

your car
is full of mops
and sponges

your guitar
is tingling
for Murphy's soap

NaPoWriMo: Jason April 7th


The cat feels herself to be

begrudgingly tolerated

undervalued, unappreciated

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

these things

these qualities

they run in the blood

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 7th PM

A Finely-Tuned How Do Ya Do

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
Carl Hiassen.

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

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 7th AM

Look What I've Done to Oatmeal!

In this particular instance,
an errant elbow has flipped
a bowl of it onto my knee.

There wasn't much left,
so there's not a big mess
or anything,

just a funny feeling
on my kneecap.

National Frequency/Tarpaulin Sky Month!

This week's Frequency is in association with Team Tarp:

APRIL 8, 2:30 PM, 165 W. 4th St.


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

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.

NaPoWriMo: Jason April 6th


Less TV

More reading

Less drinking

More introspection

Less eating

More observation

Less weakness

More writing

Less lazy

More writing

More writing

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 6th PM

Goodnight Tito

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

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 6th AM

Good Morning Jackhammer

They've done another
loud, mysterious nothing
to the street below our house.

I know there's a purpose,
but I can't say what it is.

Tito's gonna be
beside himself. No place
to park his car!

NaPoWriMo: Jason April 5th

Light bulb-

There is just no point

in doing what you're doing

that door is to remain

forever closed and locked-

It's good when a man can

realize this for true

and finally move on

with his life

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 5th PM

Space Shuttle Sleep

Yesterday I slept so longly
and so deeply I felt I could've
woken in another galaxy.

I kept my eyes shut a while
when I woke up; I listened
for alien dangers.

All I heard was a pug
my roommate keeps; alien
in her own right.

NaPoWriMo: Simeon April 5th

Please note: all of this hot NaPoWriMo action has inspired Simeon to take matters into his own hands. We are drunk on our own power. Please refer to his blog for future NaPoWriMo activities and cetera.

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 5th AM

Good Morning Cher

Cher is a good example
of what Dustin and I
have been talking about:

about how people change
more in their later decades
than when they are young;

it's not how we thought it be
when we were young;
we thought we'd figure it out.

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 4th PM

Goodbye Dan

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

NaPoWriMo: Jason April 4

Rough Neck-

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

his parents

wanted him to be

"a fucking preacher"

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 4 AM

Barbadian Hot Sauce Morning

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.

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 3 PM

One Shining Moment

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

Non-Frequency Reading

Infrequently we will inform you of non-Frequency readings -- don't Freq out!

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.

NaPoWriMo: Jason April 3


He has a hangover
that makes anger
and self pity
a short drive
and patience
a long walk
a vast horizon

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 3 AM

Opening Day

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
Opening Day.

NaPoWriMo: Jason Ashbaugh April 1!

Nice Boys

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

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 2 PM

Straw Wrapper Ballistics

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.

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 2 AM

This Morning Is A Black Bean Recipe

In the further adventures
of my father and I:
his black beans
are cooking on my stove,
and even though
my black beans
are different from his,
he's still here with me
this morning,
all the way from Texas.

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 1 PM

I've Got A Weird Goodnight

Goodnight said the eel
to the otter, but he
didn't go to bed. Instead
he shut his eyes,
and as he slept
he dreamed in such a way
that he couldn't say:
"am I in bed, or am I
at work, am I in bed,
or am I at work,
am I in bed?"

Onward NaPoWriMo-ers!

Ada Limon and Jen Knox are NaPoWriMo-ing via Ada's new blog!

NaPoWriMo: Shafer April 1 AM

Good Morning April

Hello April, you
fine bright cruelty,
you are all over
the place up here;
I'll take myself out
to the ballgame
this month; I'll
cram myself into
an early Coney Island.