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!"