Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Whatever it was I lost, whatever I wept for
Was a wild, gentle thing, the small dark eyes
Loving me in secret.
It is here.
~James Wright, “Milkweed”

Weirdly Wright's been on the brain all week and when I checked into Jacqueline Wenthe Kolosov's website there he was. I took some silly putty out and lifted him and offer him here to you.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Upon Finding Out that I've Been Diabetic for Twenty-Five Years

Just found out that the diabetes anthology that published a collaborative essay of mine decided that contacting authors--even for things like say: facts or contributor's copies was apparently too much effort and just went ahead and wrote their own "take" on things.

Beware authors. Those anthologies that just vanish sometimes don't. They just decide to take your work and make of it whatever they'd like. The worst about this is that Eliot gets no credit for his pieces if you read it this way. With my writings as the diabetic passages (the best sections, BTW) I'm not sure his contribution: former fat girl despairing over swimsuit season? Professional italicizer? So Ruth Park and Diana Parker, next go-round how about some communication? In the meanwhile, my literary friends, take care.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Upon finding out that Robert Pinsky is married and having great respect for the few that can manage such dealings with any integrity at all, I have quit joking that I will kiss him before I'm dead. Having always known Terrance Hayes to be married, I post this poem for you with no objectifying preamble. (But if one could sleep with a poem, I would likely be seriously flirting with this one.)

God is an American

I still love words. When we make love in the morning,
your skin damp from a shower, the day calms.
Shadenfreude may be the best way to name the covering
of adulthood, the powdered sugar on a black shirt. I am

alone now on the top floor pulled by obsession, the ink
on my fingers. And sometimes it is a difficult name.
Sometimes it is like the world before America, the kin-
ship of fools and hunters, the children, the dazed dream

of mothers with no style. A word can be the boot print
in a square of fresh cement and the glaze of morning.
Your response to my kiss is I have a cavity. I am in
love with incompletion. I am clinging to your moorings.

Yes, I have a pretty good idea what beauty is. It survives
alright. It aches like an open book. It makes it difficult to live.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

No, let me make this clear

EMUseum, a chapbook by Caleb Adler and Ariana-Sophia Kartsonis will be published in Fall 2009 by Dancing Girl Press (a press I adore.)

Flightless, indeed. This bird soars.

I believe we will bringing some emu t-shirts to AWP. I know we'll be wearing some. Let us know if you'd like to help celebrate with your own emu haiku t-shirt. Better still, why not head on over to Hot Emu Luv and write that poem you've been meaning to write--you know you want to. It will be like a champagne toast to our Emuseum.

Friday, November 09, 2007


Oh Birds, word has it that Dancing Girl Press is going to publish our chapbook!!!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Not sad

though all these poems seem to be. But they are so pretty, too. A good week full of smart chicks-of-verse. Yesterday was a long, wonderful coffee meeting with a someone so sharp and talented. Today, an interview that made it so I could hear Jillian and Kristi discuss their work. And soon poems co-written with Chicky. From the fishouse I read alongside my favorite of all birds. I love it when language is a blizzard I walk all the way home through.

Soul Train
Ben Doyle

Don Cornelius, we wish there were a channel
with nothing but crying or someplace like
Sesame Street but where they tear the words
to flour & every puppet has his arm up a man.

I wish there were a fog pillar here that could
levitate the remote in a translucent purple.
It would be nice to awaken one morning with
“What are all these white people doing in my house?”

Don Cornelius, the people assert themselves
into a scrupulous derangement, arranged
fisheyed around our lens, which sits in this den,
as I sit, toe to throat, smothered in comforter.

For something viral, Don, has happened its way
into my left lung. Something very sexy is
bound to occur in your coalcar, what with
the buttock bloom & thrusts touching.

I would touch myself but I’m afraid. A bandage
Would have to be broken. Could I keep these
Combos down? They made fine fire goggles after
I sucked them. I could see the fire.

Sometimes the whole hospital blistered,
these weren’t dancing circumstances.
Sometimes ice died, died in plastic
pouches on my painted chest. Oftentimes

A train could be understood as trembling
the readout. Must be nice, my friend, to have only
to unlatch the windows & doors, swipe them open,
blow out each ash from your tubular home.

by Kenneth Rexroth

There are sparkles of rain on the bright
Hair over your forehead;
Your eyes are wet and your lips
Wet and cold, your cheek rigid with cold.
Why have you stayed
Away so long, why have you only
Come to me late at night
After walking for hours in wind and rain?
Take off your dress and stockings;
Sit in the deep chair before the fire.
I will warm your feet in my hands;
I will warm your breasts and thighs with kisses.
I wish I could build a fire
In you that would never go out.
I wish I could be sure that deep in you
Was a magnet to draw you always home.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The homework swallowed the dog
and I left my burdened wallet
in my other life, in my other car,
which is a Soyuz, Russian
in only the ways that matter.
And what those ways are,
well, I forget. It is a good thing
the constellation of atoms
you recognize as me
has not yet sought to diverge,
to divorce itself
from this idea I keep having
about being alive. That:
it’s lucky my lungs fill up with air
each morning like little
buckets brought to the pebbled rim of the river
by a girl who thinks
about devotion
the slow way back to everyone,
to endless thirst.
And that girl is you,
though you’ll bristle
at the very notion,
and rightly so:
what sense does it make to speak
of heartbreak
for even a moment
in this world cluttered as it is with warehouses
of cheap peanut butter,
skinned with little puddles of oil,
what sense does it make
to ask you
why I am constantly dreaming I’m late
to your life? What sense
is there anywhere?
In what tree sings the bird
to which I spent all spring
teaching it the mimicry
of your sweet laugh,
but not the burr of your anger,
like a stone,
like a blade,
and not the worried ways of your tired voice.
It’s late again
and the moon
teaches me stealth
and borrowed light
and lowered gravity
and before sleep floats me afar on its dreamless river,
let me say
my apologies
like a prayer,
to you,
let me miss you as long as I’m alive.

Paul Guest (of course)

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Feasting on Elegies

Sarah Hannah's Inflorescence finally arrived and I have been reading it greedily. Today at the bookstore while waiting for a certain bird of inordinate loveliness to "not finish the whole novel" he began two nights ago at another bookstore, I read all of Mary Jo Bang's Elegy in one sitting. I love her work and while a lot of what I love about her work is there, including word play it is stark and there for the purpose of the kind of confusion and estrangement of living or trying to live in the aftermath of such unimaginable loss.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Chicken Soup for the Soul-Weary

Just what we needed here at IUB Headquarters: a cold. The job app. process itself being such a holiday, the "support system" of late being a bit of an oxymoronic concept and now this. So, it's progresso chicken and wild rice soup which, is actually, after some hot curry madras powder and a squeeze of lime, pretty tasty and not unhealthy. Which is more than can be said for me.
Have a great weekend, my rosy-cheeked friends.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

I All But Attacked Ilya Kaminsky

at AWP but read him and understand why. When I read this poem I had been writing a poem about Nadezhda M. and the idea of her keeping Osip through his words all memorized inside her. Reading Ilya K. elucidated that poem for me in certain ways.

The Crush

I can never seem to get over.

And yes, just give me the boring work of cv and cover letter and job applications to do and all I'll want to do is gather poems and dream of the day when I get to write some again.
Carmen de Boheme

SINUOUSLY winding through the room
On smokey tongues of sweetened cigarettes, --
Plaintive yet proud the cello tones resume
The andante of smooth hopes and lost regrets.

Bright peacocks drink from flame-pots by the wall,
Just as absinthe-sipping women shiver through
With shimmering blue from the bowl in Circe's hall.
Their brown eyes blacken, and the blue drop hue.

The andante quivers with crescendo's start,
And dies on fire's birth in each man's heart.
The tapestry betrays a finger through
The slit, soft-pulling; -- -- -- and music follows cue.

There is a sweep, -- a shattering, -- a choir
Disquieting of barbarous fantasy.
The pulse is in the ears, the heart is higher,
And stretches up through mortal eyes to see.

Carmen! Akimbo arms and smouldering eyes; --
Carmen! Bestirring hope and lipping eyes; --
Carmen whirls, and music swirls and dips.
"Carmen!," comes awed from wine-hot lips.

Finale leaves in silence to replume
Bent wings, and Carmen with her flaunts through the gloom
Of whispering tapestry, brown with old fringe: --
The winers leave too, and the small lamps twinge.

Morning: and through the foggy city gate
A gypsy wagon wiggles, striving straight.
And some dream still of Carmen's mystic face, --
Yellow, pallid, like ancient lace.

Hart Crane

Saint George

By this I mean my Daddy. So humble he would hate that he's titled so. But saintly is a vantage point and from where I sit, no finer boy have I known. Late last night my dear father flew back from Crete. It's strange how distance feels more distant even if you're already far away from someone. For example, someone dear to me moved further away than he lived before and I felt the extra miles and they stung. And when the PrettyBird travels from one locale from another, if Locale A was closer and Locale B further away, when he calls from between airports, I feel lonely again as if I just saw him off at the airport and that little umbrella opens in my chest. Sometimes it rains on the drive home or the radio plays nothing but songs about too far away. But today, George is back where he belongs and Mamacat and he have dined together this morning and they are who I want to be when I grow up.

Look for some emu action and other versings at From the Fishouse. Thank you to Eliot K. Wilson for the connection. Even in the worst weathers me and mine cheer each other on and nothing and no one can change that. ...the rest is dross.

All Sparked with Awe

Factory of Souls

It takes just two people to bring the world
to ruin. So goes the history of love.
At the end of the day we tally the casualties
of war, victory for the one who gets wounded

the least. You say it's time for a change
but I don't know to what end, change being
just the skin of some incandescent creature
whose grotesque beauty is what we adore,

whom some people call love, whom we
venerate because it consumes us, morsels
for its huge soul. My people say, don't look
or you'll go blind. You say the end was always

just around the bend. I say all we have
is unconditional surrender to the future.
So unreliable is the past that I feel compelled
to leave unmourned the blind, relentless loves

that may have scorched into our hearts
the way the saints accepted stigmata. My people say,
look back or lose your way. Or, walk backwards
if you can. So I found myself on a bus to New York City

to lose myself completely. Past Hunters Point
we hit the factory of souls - a thousand tombstones
whose subterranean chambers manufactured
the silk-like smoke that we must feed to God.

I don't think the world's ever going to end.
I think it will go on and on, and we will
be as nebulous as Nebuchadnezzar, our lives
not worth a footnote, our grand schemes

no more than insidious whispers, all memory
shifting like the continental plates. I should grieve
for time misspent, love returned to sender,
ambitions gone awry. But bards more sage than I

have seen the folly of our loss - and have sung
more dirges than I can bear. In the future,
perhaps all science will finally come around;
genetic engineering, I hear, will be all the rage,

and we will be a super race in a world
infallibly perfected, where trains run on time,
love never dies, and hope can be purchased
by the pound. They call it "immortalization

of the cell lines." We will choose what will survive.
Our destiny made lucid, we will find the world
contemplating itself, like the young god
who held his breath and found Narcissus,

the beautiful rapt face all sparked with awe,
one hand about to touch the pool,
his body lurched towards that marvelous
reflection. I suppose the human race

has always felt compelled to desensitize
its failures. My people say, to go unnoticed,
you play dead. Or something. I myself
(and here is the part where even this poem

stops in its tracks to contemplate that pool)
may have chosen to forget a face, a name,
some cruel word uttered carelessly, but not,
after some reflection, intending any pain.

And many others may have chosen to forget me.
It works both ways. My people say, regret
is the final emotion. It's what you see
when you look back. It's what's no longer there.

Eric Gamalinda