Saturday, December 29, 2007

Christmas in Damascus

When, underneath your hair,
all your skin has gone scabby
and dry, run for gin --
the Dutch spirit is rife
with juniper oil, and the
power of the conifer
is noted in Scandinavian texts
with lots of consonants in their titles.

And in your evergreen
health, every green roof
in rural Maryland will both
contrast and camouflage
itself in the wide
and verdant December
of our warm new millennium.

And in the library a long cat sits
with scabby skin,
waiting to be discovered
by the intrepid librarian --
the first awake
in this gray Atlantic morning.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Incorrigible Cake Licker

This Cake Won't Lick Itself
(thanks to Kris Chau)

Bouffant cake-licker,
with food floating before you
like a breath,
what will you tell those
who ask: why did your tongue
touch this cake?

Your face will not blush;
you jive with all the colors
of meats and pastries;
every day brings another pink
palette of comestibles
like dawn: pink tongue,
pink cake, pink stomach --

and poor cake has no mouth,
or it could take care of these matters
on its own.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Your Chevelle is sitting on my daughter.

Milwaukee Rachel has a new blog.

Check out the November 8 picture. Reminds me of Uncle Able's famous 1972 Chevelle.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Hank Thompson

It sounded like he was smiling
while he was singing, and
it was cause he was smiling, and
now young country singers
in Brooklyn and beyond
fold their mouths up at the ends
when they mouth off.

Everyone inside the honkytonk
is an angel when they smile.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

For Dr. Johnson

some of us keep our Us with us

When we were very young, we were tweaked
into thinking: spelling would make us smart,
and where we put our words and commas
would make a mighty difference
when we walked out into the world.

But later on we, like, outsmarted
our former selves, and our vocabulary
broadened into a wide river. Muddy
or quickly clear, our speech traveled miles
and masticated mountains into sand.

Webster’s influential jingoism
resounds today: our words are shorter,
but we are still the same distance
from our neighbours on the other side
of the wild, wordy ocean.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

None were quite like the #5 JCSH collaboration.

The code cracks among flavors: mixed
via market values, for instance:

do you know what the street value
of this poetry is?

or Jamaican for a plain

I'll cross to Gorrett's
for a late and tigery
piss: al fresco fit for a collar

but I'll be shaking them all tonight.

Your wide sound, yellow
June Bug resturante,
gold bug I talked to all night:

little bug, this advancement
in the limited society is
anttastic. You'll sidewalk

across my etymologi-call.

big predatory cat:

Number 3 from the JP.

with my face pushed in

w / o mine


theGlory o most

in the sofabed

1) I 2) mostly 3) Soaf


is un cassoulet por

those luxoriously lounging
in our naked living room


luv tois

#2 live collaboration (JCSH live from JP) with cetera.

Her voice is the sound
of piss hitting the ground

and I am cont-uh-rary.
Mind the foreground,

the room, across the
across the

acres of room
Plain as Jamaica
or other geography.

Live Cotter/Hall collaboration from a wooden bunker somewhere above Jamaica Plain.

Wished I'd smashed his face
when I had the chance,

but Australia's epic
had to parachute out of
the end of the end of
this party in Jamaica Plain.

Taquitos cussed,
cull of all,
the thrall of all
those Thriftstore Cowboys
makes for after hours--

and the Glass Slipper girls
especially bake
into the lonely
hangups of laundry. It's morning

and we have "things" here --
garments, laundrettes
and did I say

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Monday, September 24, 2007

September is National Poetry Month!

This poem is not by me at all, but by Ashton Anders with a little help from Jamison Driskill.

The Meliae Nymphs
Sullen bows of earnest
In this ash tree town
Waver not in gail force winds;
Their leaves remain intact,
The shadows cast on open fields
Demanding their return of the land.
No one's fate is certain.
Everyone is subject to castration.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

#9 Brooklyn Country Music Festival: Sestina for Merle Haggard

Merle in the Hole

A single, solitary Merle
spent some hours
in the legendary
San Quentin hole.
I like to think
he emerged haggard.

Haggard beard, haggard
as a tired smoky bear, Merle
had to think
for a few hours
or days in the hole.
More than a living legend,

there are no legends
surrounding Haggard.
He was really in that hole.
Oh thoughtful Merle,
alone for hours
what do you think?

There must've been some thinking
about God, and girls, and legendary
gin, and for hours
about his haggard
mother; it was a different Merle
came out of that hole.

That is the way with holes,
I was thinking
this morning. Merle
is a good man, a legendary
man; haggard
time is hours

in solitary. Hours
make days, and holes
make a Haggard.
I keep thinking
about his legendary
mom. Merle

Haggard, thinking
for hours in the hole,
you are a legendary Merle.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Brooklyn Country Music Festival numbers 3 through 8: Haiku for the Willie Nelson Family

Bee Spears

Helotes, Texas
hailed a bassier Bee,
far less bumbling

(Bee has a grandson named Catfish.)

Mickey Raphael

Second position:
your mouth-horn makes me quiver,
blades of new Spring grass

(Mickey flunked wood shop.)

Paul English

Busted : the Border
was as red as Autumn’s fire,
but so much hotter

(Paul has played with Willie for even longer than Bobbie’s been growing out her hair.)

Bobbie Nelson

Are you older than
you look? Or am I younger?
Let’s meet at Summer.

(Bobbie has been growing her hair out for the last forty years.)

Jody Payne

Joy indeed, Jody
is, at his age, a brand new
season: I’m inspired.

(Jody shares a birthday with Ray Price.)

Willie Nelson

Your voice is a smooth
and pretty rock, and your face
is December stone

Saturday, September 08, 2007

#2 Brooklyn Country Music Festival

#1 Whisky Rebellion Ghazel

From a pickup in a pimpin’ tux, it’s not snake oil he’s sellin,’
but it comes from a jug and a washboard and guitars: the Whisky Rebellion!

Is it me or is Sammo sideways? It’s probably me;
this is the way I get when I get with the Whisky Rebellion!

Ol’ Andrew, ol’ Charlie, ol’ Shaky, ol’ Danny,
enough of an army to start a rebellion.

A rumbling in Brooklyn will start with some strumming,
then de-socking and boot knocking and Alex Battles’ Whisky Rebellion!!!

#1 Pantoum for the Brooklyn Country Music Festival

The Bakersfield Sound

Here’s to the shitkick
from old Bakersfield:
the punctuation changed
out West; the sound

from old Bakersfield
felt funny to Nashville;
back East the sound
wasn’t kicking just yet.

Funny old Nashville,
our Bakersfield sound
will shitkick you yet;
ol’ Buck Owens beats

give Bakersfield’s sound
its back, all wide and pink
as a Buck Owens tuxedo
and glittery as a Telecaster.

In back of a wide pink
Dwight Yoakam Cadillac
glittering like a Telecaster
the music got faster,

but Dwight’s pink Cadillacs
came here to shitkick;
the music got faster
but the punctuation’s the same.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Brooklyn Thunder/Texas Rain

I am blasting off into the Texas of the mind (and of the U.S.A.) for a Texas book tour. Full schedule below.

Lubbock, TX
Sunday, August 12th, 7pm
J&B Coffee House
26th & Boston
(806) 796-1114

New Braunfels, TX
Monday, August 13th, 8pm
Bubba’s Big Deck (parking lot)
On the bank of the Guadalupe
just down the hill from Gruene, TX
(830) 627-8816

Austin, TX
Tuesday, August 14th, 7:30pm
12th Street Books
827 W 12th St
(512) 499-8828

Houston, TX
Wednesday, August 15th
13 Celsius
3000 Caroline St.
(713) 529-8466

Various Locations On The Texas Coast
And In The Hill Country
Thursday, August 16th – Saturday, August 18th

“It is this uncertain, restless state, tempered by sharp intelligence & a buoyant wit, that sets Never Cry Woof apart – or in the middle of it all.”-Nathan Bartel, Octopus Magazine

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Clickable poem for the residents of The Distillery, who are fine poetry hosts in South Boston.

The Distillery

Dear Distillers,
you midnight gardeners,
thank you for the evening
guitars, thanks for all the
fine art, thanks for the
mighty ancient scale
that ticks off mysterious
Saturday night measures.

Six kids from Southie
drank beer on a street;
their nursery-rhymes
came to me cosmologically
as I watched from a window
in the Distillery:

big yellow scorpion truck
tricky stairstep backwards
golden sundown baked bricks
bulldog Boston boneyard

and then, the magic words spoken,
the night was over all too quickly.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Last night I dreamed of old brown women for whom impotence was euphemized to "canopy madness."

Canopy Madness

Usually your tent will pitch itself,
but when the madness strikes
late at night, and the canopy
has disappeared, close your
eyes and count the stars
on the back of your lids:
one is for you, two is for
your partner, three is for
the bed or sofa or floor,
four is for the stars themselves --
you can squeeze your eyelids so hard
and replace your canopy madness
with another madness; your tent
will be as wide as the night sky.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Mind You New England Soldiers:

I'll be reading in Boston next Saturday. I'll show you mine.

July 21st, 8PM
at The Distillery
516 East Second Street
South Boston, MA 02127

There will be a limited edition letterpressed broadside of my poem about librarians and sex available. If you don't know what all that stuff means, it's OK. I don't either.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Another poem about our teeth.

The Smell of My Teeth

My mouth is full of ghosts;
my infamous tongue
is covered in tastebuds;
my nose is generally insensitive.

A good set of teeth will never smell.

I have the forgotten mouth
of a mime this morning;
no tyranny will pass my lips
on the way in or on the way out.

Once I achieve the bathroom,
it will be all over
for whatever’s in there.

Man, my mouth is warm--
if we would believe the TV,
it’s like Vietnam in there.

Forensically, your teeth
will never misspell your name.

My mouth is like a little apartment
in my head; I clean it a little every day,
and it shines so gratefully.

Welcome Back!

Sorry we've been so far away! But we've brought you all the poetry and the pickin' that we've found!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Big Poetry Bonanza


Come on out to the Four-Faced Liar (165 W. 4th St.) tomorrow (May 26th at 2PM) for a big poetry party featuring assorted No Tell poets and assorted New School Alummmmns.

Drink specials will include Screaming Pygmies! AH! I am screaming just thinking about it!


Monday, May 21, 2007

NaPoWriMo 04.30.07 (Whew! Finished just in time!)

[not by me at all but by Jamison Driskill]

The Middle

Clever as cinder blocks,
Round as a Shafer sonnet,
Back in style once again,
On loan from the islands of paradise,
The much talked about,
The renowned and respected,
Uptown tonight,
For one night only,
Let loose from the dregs and water,
Salvaged from the ocean floors of Texas,
Setting the lake on fire,
Bubbling up once more,
Hanging from the edge
Of your bedroom window,
With room for improvement,
I politely ask that you use my proper name.

Call me the Shoeless Piper,
Or the penguin,
Or Jim.

I’ll not say a word.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Two Days of Peace and Shafer

Hi Fishes,

I am giving two readings this weekend in Brooklyn. The first on Friday at 7:30 at the Fall Café in Carroll Gardens with Zach Barocas. Full information here:

The second reading will be on Saturday at 6 at our beloved Abbey in Williamsburg. The Abbey’s at Driggs Ave. between North 7th and 8th off the Bedford Ave. stop. I will be reading with Amelia Jackie.

Much Love,

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

NaPoWriMo 04.29.07

#3 unused poem for my little brother's senior yearbook ad:

An Acrostic for Dick (An Acrosdick)

Running well, like a new Tahoe or an old Trans Am
In the wide asphalt rivers of mighty Texas: Richard
Can host an afternoon party or a late-night on-the-road
Hootenanny (all it takes is two folks and an iPod,)
And when it’s time to go back to school, he’s
Ready for that too; not just a brother or son or future
Dad; lots of us think of Richard as all we have.

NaPoWriMo 04.28.07

#2 unused poem for my little brother's senior yearbook ad:

A Limerick for Dick (a Limerdick)

There once was a young man named Richard
who go-carted into a ditch, or
something like that.
His mom’s heart attack
is mended by law school with honors.

NaPoWriMo 04.27.07

#1 unused poem for my little brother's senior yearbook ad:

A Haiku for Dick (A Hai-kick)

blond big-wheel rider
your brown hair changed its color
summertime swinger

Friday, May 04, 2007

NaPoWriMo 04.26.07

Something Glorious (for Rachel Vanderweit)

We are very jealous
of the rusted oil drum barbecue pit
on the stoop across the street from us.

Particularly in the summertime,
with the leaves a-quiver
with the loud, loud music,
and every window open
in Brooklyn, my roommate Lucas
and I sit in our second-floor apartment
like two hungry cats in a cartoon,
all sharp teeth and drool.

Maybe if we could hide our incisors
they’d invite us over with a wave,
but we like the way the sun flickers
off all of this big yellow ivory.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

NaPoWriMo 04.25.07

Clickable Poem for Alexa Vachon

French Canadienne Cowgirls
take great photographs,
I know because
here in Brooklyn
she has photographed everybody
from Dan and Joe
to Tom and Joanie.

From New York to Ireland
she's our sexiest pair of eyes.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

NaPoWriMo 04.24.07

Ann and Lindsay Alone In Their Apartment

Ann and Lindsay alone in their apartment
is such a spectacular separate universe to me,
where whisky slowly props placenta
up into tents, and the Vino crawls on its claws
toward whatever books they're reading.

It's always such a spectacle to see yourself
upside down (through the eyes of each other)
reflected in a shorter mirror.

There are places in Brooklyn
where my mind will always be;
every Saturday afternoon let's go back
there long after the fact.

Friday, April 27, 2007

NaPoWriMo 04.23.07

Probability Criticism

The principles of Probability Criticsm
as propounded by James G. McDonald
in 1954: It's horrifying: Whole people
acting like individuals: a suggested
adventure: an inimitable way to voice
the traditional American repugnance
of offical positions: it's such a backwards
sort of admiration and respect.

Dear James G. McDonald,
Thank you for your telegram.
One day, deep in a library,
long after your life,
a lovely librarian
will pass your words along to me,
and we will love you so much
for a few more minutes.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

NaPoWriMo 04.22.07

Lil' Johns in Low Places

Lil' John and I were in a low place last night
literally: Sputnik (down in the Brooklyn earth)
and figuratively: I was missing someone,
and Lil' John was smiling and hiding his eyes
and protecting his reflective dentures
from the camera flashes.

But a pixie picked me up;
and as I picked my way home
through the mighty Lafayette Gardens
project, my head was clear: no eggs
or foggy notions beset me
on that particular tonight.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

NaPoWriMo 04.21.07

Spring in Your Head and Mine

Spring is in our heads;
our subconsciouses are capitalizing
on all this renewal:
a good time for mothers
and for towin' the mortal line
and for waking up feeling fresh.

Monday, April 23, 2007

NaPoWriMo 04.20.07

A Cooler Box of Crayons

Cooler even than crayons
are the cultures without color:
a Christmas Tree
is both like a spaceship
and like a frog;
a crouton is a postage stamp
married to a crust of bread.

And Kerri is Brooklyn mixed
with Shafer, and Shafer is
a firehydrant, and fire hydrants
hide in the labrador night
when peacock evening is over.

NaPoWriMo 04.19.07

Lake Minnewaska

Mind the map
at Lake Minnewaska;
it may be spectacularly
incorrect, and when
you're out there
on the black flint track
with no water,
and your raisin
of a brain has shrivelled
into a quivering
worthless fist,
never will you feel
like such an adult
and such a child
at the same time.

But on into quiet
New Paltz evening,
hike is over, and
you're rapping
with the waitress
at McGillicuddy's
about the curse
of the restaurant
industry (how many
times do townie bars
play Friends in Low Places,

And you've
expanded back into
a person.

NaPoWriMo 04.18.06

[not by me at all but by Jamison Driskill]

My New Best Friend

I took my piece of mind
From its Petri dish
And carefully placed it
Under the microscope.

In that very moment,
As I squint my eye
And watch its
Magnificent proportions squirm,
All things blood
And bamboo
Snuck into my bedroom
And laid themselves
All about
Like dirty laundry.

My teeth returned
To my mouth,
And the dust stood up
On my shelves
And window seal,
Ready for a fight.

I grabbed my pillow,
Preparing for impact,
As the door slowly opened
And a big brown bear,
Strangely familiar,
Entered the room

NaPoWriMo 04.17.07

[not by me at all but by Jamison Driskill]


Far off from here,
People live,
And avoid Tornadoes,
And whatnot.

Monday, April 16, 2007

NaPoWriMo 04.16.07

If You Plan to Travel With It (for Alex Battles)

If you plan to throw it
to your friend on the other couch,
you might want something made of wood
like: The Spruce Goose, Howard Hughes'
great folly, or the symbol of his folly
(there were follies many)

I will follow you around America
if it's OK with you;
on so many Thursday nights it seems
you can travel the nation
without ever leaving Brooklyn.

NaPoWriMo 04.15.07

[with Daniel Nester at The Lark in Albany, NY]

Billy Joel’s Lament

Straight outta Allentown:
the meek shall doo-wop
cheek-ly to garage
and bingo, we shall snigger
about the other kinds
of pop—now the orchestra
plays his songs like
good comfort food
for your mom to snatch up
for her long recipe book.

NaPoWriMo 04.14.07

[with Daniel Nester at The Lark in Albany, NY]

For Me, Dreaming of Unicorns

Wake up!!! The horse
is just a horse except
with that shaft of hard
light shining bonily, and
for me, dreaming of unicorns
is seems our minds
are pretty much one now:
Let’s figure out a way
to make these horses go back on the farm.

NaPoWriMo 04.13.07

[with Daniel Nester at The Lark in Albany, NY]

I Always Buy 9

I always buy 9
condoms ’cause
’n you, you are the receiver
of my many eyes
and dicks, surprise in
your voice while
you choke while
you protest in the park
telling dirty jokes
to the kids in snugglies, tuck
me in while you’re at it.

NaPoWriMo 04.13.07

[with Daniel Nester at The Lark in Albany, NY]

The Great Armadillo Hunt

It’s more than a hunt:
the word merely percolates
constantly (and consonantly)
trudging up the road, squats
on my tongue and
makes my mouth dry.
Oh, little wee armadillo, you
are a dinosaur, you
laugh at evolution’s
little thing regarding bodies.

NaPoWriMo 04.12.06

[with Daniel Nester at The Lark in Albany, NY]

A Crown for You, You

A crown for you, you
royal bitch, my jewels
inside the Temperance
Union’s glass case, where
they keep the good stuff
reserved for our mulatto
sides: only come out
at night, the freaks
I rogered to Roger
Miller, the them to that us.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

NaPoWriMo 04.11.07

[this particular poem is not by me at all but by my friend Carrie Jerrell]

Triolet for Knut the Polar Bear Cub, Whose Caretaker
Pulled Him from His Play Pool by the Neck Scruff
in front of His Adoring Fans because He Can’t Swim Yet

Knut Day, the Berlin Zoo, March 23, 2007

Don’t fret, my little Ursus maritimus—
in another year your hind paws will be rudders.
Annie Liebovitz has already called you timeless,
so don’t fret. Little star, Ursus maritimus,
enjoy you catered cod, your clean fur, still rimeless.
Soon enough you’ll seal-hunt in the Arctic’s gutters.
Don’t fret, my little Ursus maritimus.
In another year your hind paws will be rudders.

NaPoWriMo 04.10.07

[this was not written by me at all but by my roommate Lucas Marquardt]

Ode to the Pickle

It started, they say, well before Christ came.
2,400 B.C. is well enough.
There are two mentions in the Bible;
Aristotle, Caesar, and Napoleon agreed:
this was man’s food.
Cleopatra said it was woman’s, and said
her beauty was no accident.

Dill came in 900 A.D., and later Shakespeare
asked: “Oh, Hamlet, how camest thou in such a pickle?”
Thomas Jefferson said he liked to trawl the
“sparkling depths of the aromatic jar,”
and John Mason’s thick jars were an ode in themselves.

And Heinz 57?
Part of that lot is pickles, fuckers.

Today, the average person in the U.S. consumes 9 pounds of
pickles a year;
because the average person loves pickles.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

NaPoWriMo 04.09.07

[Click on the links for Grace Hall Photography. Different links will take you different places.]

Photography in Texas

If you need a photo taken down in Texas
(of Texas, near Texas, your favorite
boots or cowboy hats or Comal Rivers,)
call my little sister Grace Hall,
cause that's her name. And if
you get her on the phone,
and can hear her over all those
cameras clickin' and dogs lickin'
her ears while she giggles,
tell her "come on over, Gracie
photographer of the Texas
Hill Country
, my big brown horse
or grandma or kids swimming
in the cattle tank
need you
to take a picture of 'em!"

NaPoWriMo 04.08.07

Email From Dr. Anderberg

Bonnie update.
Bonnie did not come to work today.
Re: Broken ribs.

Monday, April 09, 2007

NaPoWriMo 04.07.07

Guns & Bullets

Saturday night like a shipyard:
but the big old boats
that had been docked for years
but not for good were shook
loose for an evening.

In respect to Emily --
she rode the bull;
in respect to Ann --
she shoved ‘em around
the crowded bathroom;
and Lindsay is always
right there for the old folks
and the new friends.

And a big Spanish Star
shined down on all of us.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

NaPoWriMo 04.06.07

I Won't Be Your Kennedy Center

I'll be out cold under the spotlights
I'll have been that way for hours

It's been hours and hours that I've been
like this -- there are horses and jockeys
in diamond-patterned silks and
the world's tallest Christmas tree.

Your tightrope poetry really
takes me places;
It seems I learned to read
in anticipation of you.

I won't be performing,
but it'll be a real performance.

Friday, April 06, 2007

NaPoWriMo 04.05.07

A Shocking Secret Coffee

Even tequila can't help us now,
but Jesus, our shaky hands
are almost pointillist,
and in our abstract morning
our secret coffee tastes better
cold. Shocking, I know, and
I know of the code left behind
by Big Breakfast: know it,
but can't unlock it now --
out the door! out the door!
and the click click of stone
dishware in the sink
will be all I can think about
all tobaccin' day long.

NaPoWriMo 04.04.07

"Axle Butter"

Four more boxing careers,
and I should probably go back to sleep,
but my half-capacity brain
is having an entire conversation
with itself:

Ebullient, erstwhile, or maybe
euphemism has been compromised;
now I have that thing going on --
I love it when I can step away a minute
and meaning becomes a Grecian island.

Dear Rachel Tanner,
Let’s never want for axle grease
as long as we have butter.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

NaPoWriMo 04.03.07

You Will Always Be A Project of Mine

A little pet, a project,
a creature made of posterboard
I keep in my drawer,
you will always be
a small patch of thick earth
in the springtime,
inexpertly tended
by my off-white thumbs.

My uncle in the 80s
had a wide Trans Am;
he never gave it a name,
but it had deep blue paint.

We will leave the naming
to someone(s) else;
we do the project-ing;
we squeeze the triggers
on our pneumatic wrenches,
and their hissy screams
will be vocabularies.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

NaPoWriMo 04.02.07

Dear Unbelievable Four-Year-Old

Oh most precocious one, you're
a reputation preceding yourself,
the internet is stamped
with your big foot
print. When you're a hundred
and twenty, you will look
back on yourself
through the wide woodlands
of your mind, and your hairy
childhood will seem
like something hunted
by photographers.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

NaPoWriMo 04.01.07

"I can't live in a world
where everything's broken
on the phrase," the poet shouted,

and went swinging out into the white page on a long line.

He landed softly on a rhyming couplet.
He's lucky; he says "don't I know it!"

Saturday, March 31, 2007

New Mike Sammons poem left in an early-morning voicemail a few weeks ago.

[As with all Mike Sammons voicemail poems, incomprehensibilities are bracketed
and all line and stanza breaks are mine]


The bricks here build and contain me.

I fly through the apartment like a bird with clipped wings.

Like an ant with an airplane; like a moth with a bulb.

The candles keep burning and flickering
the way Mexican girls will dance in the night
and say sweet things in my ear
and smell just like lilacs and roses.

We’ll die six more times before we will die,
and somewhere our bones will dissolve like a fog.

One forgets about rivers and oceans and trees
and dreams of fast days of liquor and wine
and “I love you” under trees and under suns.

When I die I’ll take everything with me,
and my bones will be the glass in your morning window
[?] and glowing with the early dead sun.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Never Cry Woof

My first full-length collection of poems is available here.

Friday, March 23, 2007

New Limerick by John & I about how sick I was in Atlanta (thanks again for the towels, Carrie!)

The city tonight is on fire
The Marriot's walls could prespire
The towel on my head
Is soaking the bed
If I tell you I'm well I'm a liar

Two (Clickable!) Poems by Jamison Driskill

Wishing Well

Thankful no one’s hurt,
Dirty Charley gives us a private,
Sitting on a keg shell
In some kid’s back yard
By the fire pit.

Playing the devil’s country
For the three of us,
And all the other kids
Who make their way
To the beer in the backyard,
Charley fails to notice
The girlfriends
Out the backdoor,
Into the cold.


American Idol

My little cousin,
All of nine,
Answers the door
In fishnets
And a miniskirt
And waaaay too much makeup.

This, my date,
Rides with me
To the theater
To see Fat Albert,
The movie.

Heads turn,
The movie sucks.

On the way home,
I try to tell her
How big the world is,
And how to play make believe,
Like me.

I hope
She remembers me,
But I doubt it.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Rise, Frequency, RISE!!!

Hey Fishes,

Join us for a rare Frequency Reading on Sunday, March 25th at 2 PM (sharp!) when we will be joined by Jill Alexander Essbaum, Jessica Piazza, and Meghan Punschke. These are three very talented and accomplished ladies, bios below. That'll be at the applauded Four-Faced Liar, 165 W. 4th St., New York, NY. Take the blue or orange trains to W. 4th or the red trains to Christopher.

Shafer Hall

Jessica Piazza's poems have been published or are forthcoming in Agni, Indiana Review, Spork Magazine, The Formalist, and 150 Contemporary Sonnets (Evansville Press). She won the 2005 Keene Prize for Literature at the University of Texas, where she did her graduate work in poetry and founded/edited Bat City Review. She is co-founder of the Speakeasy Poetry Series in New York City, and is newly involved in the Student Publishing Program, which brings creative writing curricula to public schools across the country. Jessica was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York.

Meghan Punschke has MFA in Poetry from The New School (2007) and is the current managing editor of an online literary journal, MiPOesias. She is the curator and host of Word of Mouth, a reading series on the Lower East Side dedicated to poets and fiction writers. Her first collection of poetry, "Stratification" is forthcoming. Her works can be found in MiPO and Free Focus. Visit for more details.

Jill Alexander Essbaum is the author of the 1999 Bakeless Prize winner in poetry, Heaven, and the 2005 gathering of sonnets, Oh Forbidden. Her newest collection, Harlot, is forthcoming from No Tell Books. Her poetry has appeared in journals both religious and secular, both domestic and foreign, both well-known and rabidly obscure. Her literary influences and obsessions include the following: Simon Armitage, Nick Cave, St. Augustine, John Bunyan, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Simone Weil, and Dorothy Parker. Seriously.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Matt Henriksen has this to say about last weekend's AWP Convention:

Dear Shafer,

I woke up dead today,
on the wrong side of hell
in a jar of formaldehyde
and the intestines of Egyptian
whores. We knew the asylum
had fancier light than
the middle school cafeteria,
terrarium of luminous insects,
a katydid on a caryatid
of an Egyptian whore with
nice titties and no insides
downstairs, where her and
our sorrows dwelled.

Flesh Eating Poems!

To get the new issue of Cannibal, which features a poem by Shafer Hall, CLICK HERE!

and scroll down to where it says

Cannibal Issue Two
Buy Now


click click click

Friday, March 02, 2007

From the Teddy Roosevelt Archives by way of Jeffrey Eaton

"I had to abandon boxing as well as wrestling, for in one bout a young captain of artillery cross-countered me on the eye, and the blow smashed the little blood vessels. Fortunately it was my left eye, but the sight has been dim ever since, and if it had been the right eye I should have been entirely unable to shoot.

"Accordingly I thought it better to acknowledge that I had become an elderly man and would have to stop boxing. I then took up jiujitsu for a few years."


Major hoss.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Frank Sherlock Emergency Fund

Great poet and friend Frank Sherlock has been hospitalized with a severe case of meningitis. Find out how you can help him here.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Invisible Scary Things

Check out this cool thing Matt Rohrer did.

Here's how Matt describes it:

"Basically they ask poets to write a poem on a topic they've just been given, and they have only 15 minutes to do it. Their software records the keystrokes and so when you see it, you see the poem being written keystroke by keystroke."

It's lots of fun. And there's a button (I didn't find it until halfway through my viewing) you can use to speed up the show 4x.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Carrie and I have some important things to tell you.

Tartar Sauce

Richard Brautigan
made it punctuation:

And the malaise
of an early palate
could only be crisped
by pickles;

we didn’t all
tell our parents
what we liked to eat;

some of us
made faces
out of our lingue-d
palatial ideas
of our ideals:

was our first
taste of life --
what life means
-- could be easily
defined: I like this,
I like this,

I don’t like
tartar sauce
as much as I once
liked it.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Another Triumph in Poetry Engineering... the well-oiled John Cotter and Shafer Hall Poetry Making Machine. Be sure to note the authors' photo. And please note that my bio is written in 3rd person omniscient.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007