Paint Chips, Cracks, and Decay 15: Cement

Posted in Paint Chips Cracks and Decay on October 30th, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

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Strange Faces Other Minds 10: Eggrolls

Posted in Strange Faces Other Minds on October 26th, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

This is one of my favorites. I’ve heard Shapiro read this one. It’s great spoken or on the page. Here is the page-version from Slate.

Check out other work in the Strange Faces Other Minds series here.

Bookshelf 16: Crying of Lot 49

Posted in Bookshelf on October 23rd, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

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Occasional Verse: Series Descriptor

Posted in Occasional Verse on October 19th, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

Occasional Verse is an attempt to reimagine that genre of poetry around smaller events. Events that are still meaningful in a life without being the major threshold events that are the mainstay of occasional verse: birth, marriage, death…

Check out all the work in the Collection: Occasional Verse

Uncollected 61, Brush

Posted in Uncollected on October 16th, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

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Racists of America Club Note #12

Posted in Notes on the Racists of America Story on October 12th, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

(an attempt at dialogue, I’m viewing this as the founder being interviewed by a reporter)

-What you need to understand it that the club isn’t a place for racists.

-Then why is it called the Racists of America Club?

-Well. I guess it is for racists. It just that I mean. Crap. Hold on. 

-It’s like it’s a place for racists trying to escape racism. Does that make any sense?

-How do you try to “escape”?

-Mostly by just talking. We each share a little something. It could be something going on at the moment. It could be something from the past that a person is working through. The important part is that it’s not judged. Each person says what’s in their heart. They learn to trust the group. One guy has a black guy at work he’s having a problem with. One girl has a story from when she was ten years old that has shamed her to this day. 

Check out other work in the Racists of America series here.

Dirty Dish Gallery 29: Red Drops

Posted in Dirty Dish Gallery on October 9th, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

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The 17/18 Poems 32: Of Made To Gather

Posted in 17/18 poems on October 5th, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

of made to gather

jingles many songs

feeds a complex hunger

live at your ear

to notice and care

admitting exchange

eyes never shut

sense trying to make itself

mist more than memory

a raft of deadmen

late at night 

in low earth orbit

Check out other work in the 17/18 Poems series here.

Paint Chips, Cracks, and Decay 14: Cracked

Posted in Paint Chips Cracks and Decay on October 2nd, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

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Strange Faces Other Minds 9: Le Petit Vie

Posted in Strange Faces Other Minds on September 28th, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

I first heard Le Petit Vie on the Poetry Foundation’s Poem of the day podcast. I love Edwin Butt’s poem written too.

Check out other work in the Strange Faces Other Minds series here.

Bookshelf 15: Jayhawker

Posted in Bookshelf on September 25th, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

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Occasional Verse 2: Driving the Wrong Way Down a One Way Street

Posted in Occasional Verse on September 21st, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

You entered the do not enter

and there is no way out but through.

You will learn that the usually effective

embarrassed/apologetic wave has its limits.

Even the church-going mother

in the hatchback

taking her children to school 

can be seen muttering

a few non-biblical epithets

under her breath.

Her stare is enough to wish for the end times.

You have screwed this up for everyone

and will have to keep screwing

because backing up is worse than continuing.

You can only manage your level of wrong here.

Driving the wrong way down a one way street is like

putting a roasted potato in your mouth

at a dinner party that is way too hot

but you can’t spit it out.

So take the honking,

take the shrugs,

take the fingers.

This is an exercise in humility.

It is spiritually cleansing.

Remember Elliot’s words

Nothing dies harder than

the desire to think well of self

and know that today,

if just for a little while,

you killed it.

Check out all the work in the Collection: Occasional Verse

Uncollected 60, Smug

Posted in Uncollected on September 18th, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

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Racists of America Club Note #11

Posted in Notes on the Racists of America Story on September 14th, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

Here is an attempt at dialogue. The scene is a reporter asking the founder of RAC questions

I know you are interviewing me, but can I ask you a question?

Uh, okay.

Are you a racist? 

(The reporter looks shocked.)

That wasn’t an accusation. I have no reason to think that you are.

No, of course not!

Have you ever imitated a black speech to make a joke with your white friends?

No! (defiantly)

Have you ever laughed at one of your friends who did? 

Uhm…..(hems and haws)

Have you ever looked at a name on a piece of paper and your first thought was, ‘that person must be black’?

Well, this doesn’t really seem like racism, at least not in its worst form. 

Okay, how about this, have you ever been talking with someone who said, “I’m not a racist, but….” and whatever they said after the ‘but’ sounded racist to you? 

(laughs a little) I’ve definitely heard that before.

So this is my point, there are a lot of people out there that are a little racist, but don’t think of themselves as racist. In fact, my guess is most of the racism in America is of this sort. There are very few people that even in private conceive of themselves as racists. I would also guess given that our difficult 400 years of race relations that nobody has been untouched by that history. Struggling with race is in our cultural DNA. Calling somebody a racist is basically calling them American.

Check out other work in the Racists of America series here.

Dirty Dish Gallery 28: Nail Clippings

Posted in Dirty Dish Gallery on September 11th, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

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The 17/18 Poems 31: Early The Scarlet Morning

Posted in 17/18 poems on September 7th, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

early the scarlet morning

the sky floods

blood ruddy

we must remember

the heart is simple

the limousine full

it is ancient

it is awful

image: turning baskets over

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Paint Chips, Cracks, and Decay 13: Boxed Box

Posted in Paint Chips Cracks and Decay on September 4th, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

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Strange Faces Other Minds 8: The Rain

Posted in Strange Faces Other Minds on August 31st, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

I found this Creeley poem via The Poetry Foundation’s Poem of the Day podcast. I loved the audio, but reading it was just as good.

Check out other work in the Strange Faces Other Minds series here.

Bookshelf 14: Trances of the Blast

Posted in Bookshelf on August 28th, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

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Occasional Verse 1: Arguing About Whether You are Arguing

Posted in Occasional Verse on August 24th, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

You are discussing a movie with your wife.

Talk has circled around various interpretations,

and now you find yourself debating, rather vigorously, 

whether you agree with each other. 

You maintain that with minor exceptions you do.

Your wife is quite certain that you don’t.

Don’t be surprised. 

For if there is an acorn through which 

to glimpse the forest of marriage, 

it must be the argument about whether you are arguing.

And so, here we have

in this discourse 

the inability of two to be one,

coupled with the relentless determination

that quite simply two equals one.

It’s a very real physical impossibility, 

a duality of states

as in superposition

not as one, not as two

but, for lack of a better term,

a one / not one.

Uncollected 59, Lines

Posted in Uncollected on August 21st, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

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Racists of America Club Note #10 (A Cry For Help)

Posted in Notes on the Racists of America Story on August 17th, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

Hey dog,

Hope the shingles aren’t too bad. I talked to mom last night. She’s thinking about coming up to <> and nursing you. She also convinced me to get the shingles vaccination. She’s in full mama bear mode 🙂

If you are feeling well enough, I have a question about the Racists of America Club. I’ve been working on it like I said. I seem to have gotten into it by opening it as an interview. Right now it doesn’t have the bite of a real story though. It is more akin to one of the Socratic dialogues in Plato in which the star is the idea less than the characters discussing the idea. I think one of the problems of the story for me is that I actually believe in the idea too much. It is not like a real interrogation. I’m too one sided about it. Have you ever had this problem writing a story? Maybe I should be writing an essay instead? Help!

The reply…

Alright, as far as your question about RAC, yes, this is a common issue for a lot of writers, especially people newer to fiction writing, though we all face it. I see it with my students sometimes: they want to write the “Message Story” that feels like it has a thesis statement that they lead with but then remember they’re supposed to tell a story so they try to paste some one-dimensional characters and plot onto sexy their idea after the fact. I sometimes think of this as the story that knows too well where it wants to go so all the arrows point in one direction. It’s not that fiction should avoid big ideas by any means; it’s just that those ideas are always WAY more interesting when they grow out of three-dimensionally complex characters who have the real life human fears/hopes/conflict that we all do. That’s harder to do, I know, but if you don’t you run the risk of making the story about the idea and the idea only, and so the characters become cardboard cutouts spouting the author’s big idea. As a reader you feel cheated: You came looking for a story and you got a treatise, so you sort of feel like, Homie, why didn’t you just write an essay or polemic?

Actually, Pynchon of all people has one of the best lines about this. In one of the very few–perhaps only–nonfiction writings about his work (it’s the introduction to his volume of early short stories which is called Slow Learner) and in it he talks about an early short story he wrote that was titled “Entropy.” Entropy, of course, is the central Pynchonian metaphor and concern for all of his mature work, but early on he tried to write a story about it with that very fucking title and he has this great line about it: “The story is a fine example of a procedural error beginning writers are always being cautioned against. It is simply wrong to begin with a theme, symbol, or abstract unifying agent, and then try to force characters and events to conform to it.”

So you are not alone. We’ve all been there. You don’t have to take me to funky town. I already live there.

But while the diagnosis is clear, the solution is obviously much harder. I do think it all essentially comes down to character. You cannot have Socratic mouthpieces. These need to be characters that you make the reader feel like are real, that we have known or can recognize as true to our lived experience. You need to think about who these people in your story are. Sit down and think about their backstories and what has brought them to the present moment of your story. As yourself what their greatest fear or hope is. What’s their greatest shame? What’s their biggest wound in life, or their greatest joy? Where did they grow up and why is that significant? What’s the one thing they’ll be thinking about or remembering on their death bed? Not all of this will actually appear in the story, but they will help you get to know your character and you need to know it because that will help you make them three-dimensional. It will give context and complexity to the way in which you write/present them in the present narrative of your story.

The other thing about this gets back to this notion of the story knowing too well where it wants to go. I think it’s okay to have a sense of where you think the story might go, but you can’t be locked into it. I typically try to have a rough outline for a story. Very rough. I sometimes think of these as almost stage directions (By the end of this scene Character A has to wake up, go to work, and have a fight with a coworker) that mostly function as floaties that help me get into the big pool: they help me get started writing when I feel the anxiety of ‘what the hell do I do’ as the cursor blinks back at me. But I’m not beholden to an outline in any way. Because usually no matter what I think might happen in a scene or story will actually change in the act of actually writing it. And that is one of the exciting parts of writing. You have all that highly conscious forethought about your story and what you think is gonna happen, but the hope is that at some point you sort of drop into the zone/muse, that less conscious level that can’t really be planned for except by doing, that opens up new doors to and changes the way you thought the story would unfold.

I guess the last thing I’ll say is about my own personal experience with this. In <> I very much set out to write about politics in an overt way, which was risky. And obviously as a leftist/socialist I have a particular world view and belief system. One of the big tricks for me was figuring out how to not shy away from politics (which I think a lot of writers try to do to avoid charges of dogma or propaganda), but how can I write about it in a complex and interesting way. I think when people say they don’t want to read about politics in their fiction what they’re really saying is they don’t want to read bad writing, whether it’s Ayn Rand or Soviet social realism. So I wanted to write about these abstract ideas that I’m committed to, but to do so with complexity so that it didn’t just feel like characters were mouthpieces for my politics. This meant giving complex issues their due complexity, which meant I oftentimes had to undermine my own politics or point out its flaws or contradictions or limitations (even if I personally still remain committed to them). I felt like that was the only way I could write overtly about politics while still making the good kind art that strives to make the simple more complex. Thankfully I’m better at this in art than in my daily life, where too often I want to make something as complex as economics or politics overly simple.

A few years ago this website asked me to write some advice to young fiction writers. I ended up coming up with a list of 25 pieces of advice. Some of these might be silly, but I think at least a couple of them might be helpful for you in thinking about how to tell this story. Anyway, I attached a copy here if you want to take a look.

I hope I didn’t overwhelm you with all this, but it’s a big and complex issue in writing so I wanted to give you my honest thoughts.

Check out other work in the Racists of America series here.

Dirty Dish Gallery 27: Artichoke Burn

Posted in Dirty Dish Gallery on August 14th, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

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The 17/18 Poems 30: Willow Said to Be Weeping

Posted in 17/18 poems on August 10th, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

willow said to be weeping
joy said to be mocking
hope said to be thin
and the cargo was not slaves

this is the verbal energy
that surrounds the contemplation
of difficult (I mean ravenous) things

a bit daring I do say,
unlovely hand,
you are the subject given over
just like the dead
and in such quantities,
such well-meaning forevers

Check out other work in the 17/18 Poems series here.

Paint Chips, Cracks, and Decay 12: Ticket Sign

Posted in Paint Chips Cracks and Decay on August 7th, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

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Strange Faces Other Minds 7: Presque Isle

Posted in Strange Faces Other Minds on August 3rd, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

In every life, there’s a moment or two.
In every life, a room somewhere, by the sea or in the mountains.

On the table, a dish of apricots. Pits in a white ashtray.

Like all images, these were the conditions of a pact:
on your cheek, tremor of sunlight,
my finger pressing your lips.
The walls blue-white; paint from the low bureau flaking a little.

That room must still exist, on the fourth floor,
with a small balcony overlooking the ocean.
A square white room, the top sheet pulled back over the edge of the bed.
It hasn’t dissolved back into nothing, into reality.
Through the open window, sea air, smelling of iodine.

Early morning: a man calling a small boy back from the water.
That small boy–he would be twenty now.

Around your face, rushes of damp hair, streaked with auburn.
Muslin, flicker of silver. Heavy jar filled with white peonies.

Every time I read this it takes me to my room somewhere. I first experienced this poem on the page. I wish I could find a recording of Gluck reading it.

Check out other work in the Strange Faces Other Minds series here.

The Mantra of Craft T-shirt Gallery 15

Posted in The Mantra of Craft T-shirt Gallery on July 31st, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

Time to Murder and Create Wall Clock

Strange Faces Other Minds 6: Somebody in a Bar

Posted in Strange Faces Other Minds on July 27th, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

This is a great example of how lightning can strike anywhere. I photo copied this page from a book of poems in the library. I didn’t like any of the other poems. I don’t even like this poem, but the second stanza by itself is probably the best thing I’ve read all year. It kills me every time I read it. I tried to track down who wrote it, but wasn’t able to. If anyone reads and recognizes it, please let me know.

Somebody in a Bar

Bookshelf 13: God’s Silence

Posted in Bookshelf on July 24th, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

god's silence

Racists of America Club Note #9

Posted in Notes on the Racists of America Story on July 20th, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

The reason I can’t write the story is that I believe in the idea too much. It would be the same as writing one dimensional characters that are surrogates for pure good or evil. I don’t have the ability to interrogate the idea.

Uncollected 58, Comb

Posted in Uncollected on July 17th, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

comb

Strange Faces Other Minds 5: Birdseed

Posted in Strange Faces Other Minds on July 13th, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

Robert Saunders was a good friend. He passed away 10 years ago and I still miss him. It is hard to know if I’d like this poem as much if I didn’t know him personally. It definitely reminds me about what I loved so much being around him. I guess it doesn’t really matter though, if you love a poem, you love a poem.

Birdseed

I planted birdseed
But no birds grew;
I watered the plot
While over it flew
Other birds, who
Were unaware
Of what I thought
Was growing there.

Paint Chips, Cracks, and Decay 11: Pitted Blue Wall

Posted in Paint Chips Cracks and Decay on July 10th, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

Pitted Blue Wall

Paint Chips, Cracks, and Decay 10: Staples

Posted in Paint Chips Cracks and Decay on July 10th, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

staples

The 17/18 Poems 29: Stubbornly Former

Posted in 17/18 poems on July 6th, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

by this kind

he means cancer

the prospect he attaches to firmly

narrative abusing time…again

he is the tom of love now

all windows

in the mood to be forgotten

while others discuss

bribes and blandishments

instead of the love

they are too afraid to want

let the heaven we inherit approach

out of the deep business of some dream,

that heaven so stubbornly former


Dirty Dish Gallery 26: Salad Gone

Posted in Dirty Dish Gallery on July 3rd, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

salad gone - Edited

Uncollected 57, Second Hell

Posted in Uncollected on June 29th, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

My company for eternity

Would be “onerous”

Said the devil

And that is how second hell started

I called to the cloying

The grating, the unambitiously mean

With no small pride

I say we are many


Light 26: building occluding sun

Posted in Light on June 26th, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

Building Occluding Sun

The 17/18 Poems 28: No, Mrs. Khokhlakov, No

Posted in 17/18 poems on June 22nd, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

no, Mrs. Khokhlakov, no

what can one say

of how to live a life

other than

to just survive it

burnt shame

darkening memory

can God even caution you now?

I hope, but hope only

waiting to be told

that Icarus melts the stars

Bookshelf 12: The History of English Poetry

Posted in Bookshelf on June 19th, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

history of eng poetry

The 17/18 Poems 27: From Where the Animating Myth

Posted in 17/18 poems on June 15th, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

from where the animating myth

such a thing including

the farmer/cow rehearsal

always like we call them

we first and death as dead

I was young once

mind big like a city

human above the body

two ass-clenching years of it

like a bird too chirpy

practicing my no-one in a bar routine

you don’t know how shitty perfect feels


Paint Chips, Cracks, and Decay 9: Grate

Posted in Paint Chips Cracks and Decay on June 12th, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

grate

The Social Unit 11: Justice

Posted in The Social Unit on June 8th, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

Justice is not an us versus them problem. It’s an us versus us problem. Any inversion of social/economic/political class just perpetuates injustice. I.e. the difference between labor/capital or high/low class is only an accident of history, not written in our biology. That is why “taking” power only results in “taking on” all the moral problems once despised in an oppressor. A deeper kind of a revolution is one that frees oppressors as well as the oppressed.


Series X, 36 Bathers

Posted in Series X on June 5th, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

bathers

The 17/18 Poems 26: Various and Blinding

Posted in 17/18 poems on June 1st, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

and if not why not

talk to me

I’ve given

a wonderful way

a wordful song

a foolhardy love

sometimes you need

off and unlike

various and blinding

I’m not saying stupid, stupid


Caveat to Aspiring Immortals 19

Posted in Caveat to Aspiring Immortals on May 29th, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

Nietzsche Porn

porn

The 17/18 Poems 25: I’m telling

Posted in 17/18 poems on May 25th, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

there falling wasted

when I think closed down

with such a thing including

if by yes

of course I’m telling

what?/but cool

a sign of grace

these woods, these old people

the spring of morning

the bones I still remember

Dirty Dish Gallery 25: Baking Pan

Posted in Dirty Dish Gallery on May 22nd, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

baking pan - Edited

Uncollected 56, Manscaping

Posted in Uncollected on May 18th, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

It is kind of hard shaving your asshole.

It’s a bit of a blind spot really. I have many.

Blind spots, not assholes.

Why do I do it? I do it like I do many things.

Like writing poems.

I am wondering if poems are like assholes–

hard to find, delicate,

somewhere you shouldn’t go near with a razor.

Yet we feel compelled. I even listen with razors.

If I was like Burroughs and could

write a man to teach an asshole to talk,

what would it say? Mine always looks angry

at least in the mirror. Mirrors are funny though.

In a car once with my brother, I heard

an interview in which DFW said

he believed something down to his asshole.

What he believed, I can’t remember

even at the time it didn’t seem

as interesting as the fact he could

feel that belief in his asshole.

I’ve never felt anything that deep.

Maybe my sphincter lacks conviction?

I’ll deal with that later. For tonight

my little rosebud will have to be content

with being groomed: bald and beautiful.

Now I realize a poet asks a lot

when he asks the reader to contemplate his asshole.

It is a little past “don’t go there”

and more into “what the fuck?”

If you are still reading, thank you for indulging me.

Where do poems come from and why do I like them

is a knotted mystery to me.

Tipping my seat to DFW I never fail to feel

that kind of uncertainty where the poems don’t shine.


Bookshelf 11: The Hartford Book

Posted in Bookshelf on May 15th, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

hartford book

The 17/18 Poems 24: Dude Raw

Posted in 17/18 poems on May 11th, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

a break like a bend

more or less alive

many rains,

desires, and ideas

dude raw too afraid

the whole jealousy

a suitcase of a man

or a tarball ruining

someone’s beach

the freckled little milk

the mall of dead commerce

the sad clock of particular energy

it’s mixed character

tick, tock, tick

Dirty Dish Gallery 24: Orange Fluff

Posted in Dirty Dish Gallery on May 8th, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

orange fluff

Strange Faces Other Minds 4: Dancing With Strom

Posted in Strange Faces Other Minds on May 4th, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

This Nikky Finney poem is too long for my usual taste, but just took me in. I heard it first and was enchanted by the multitude of conflicting emotions that one event could elicit. Having since read it, I still really enjoy the text version. Here is a link to both versions on the Poetry Foundation’s site.

Light 25: light in a passage way

Posted in Light on May 1st, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

The 17/18 Poems 23: And Said Twice

Posted in 17/18 poems on April 27th, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

before and astonished, poems.

beneath the honest

and worse the sincere

by hook or by crook?

-crook.

down, as in, to the bottom

then a lateral move

at slow velocity.

And said twice

it seemed

the truth was being told.


Uncollected 55, Window

Posted in Uncollected on April 24th, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

window

Racists of America Club Note #8

Posted in Notes on the Racists of America Story on April 20th, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

There was a woman at the meeting. She was older with a huge Elvis caricature on her t-shirt. I wouldn’t have noticed it but the pompadour fell right across her large breasts. Every time she moved or spoke Elvis’ coif gesticulated wildly.

Paint Chips, Cracks, and Decay 8: Sticker

Posted in Paint Chips Cracks and Decay on April 17th, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

sticker

The 17/18 Poems 22: You Didn’t Expect That

Posted in 17/18 poems on April 13th, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

minimal, slow, and well put

his mode, total attention

a clever view of necessity

and well worth the fight

here is limbo

you didn’t expect that

yet the world opens

the very kind of north

we are talking about.

a place of faith

deadly serious, solemn

the silence

like a prism for words

and their separation


Bookshelf 10: Mother Said

Posted in Bookshelf on April 10th, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

mother said

Bookshelf 9: On Being Blue

Posted in Bookshelf on April 10th, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

on being blue

The 17/18 Poems 21: Soon

Posted in 17/18 poems on April 6th, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

shakes and groans. shivers

the sky was two

was too watery

what a week

how feels a fellow?

the patient, the fellow

lives to fail

must operate soon


Collection of Oddities: The Hair-lo 18

Posted in Collection of Oddities, Hair-lo on April 3rd, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

mask hairlo-small

The Story of Discourse 13: Danto’s Gallery of Indiscernibles

Posted in The Story of Discourse on March 30th, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

In Dantos Gallery there are many red squares. Some are framed hanging proudly on the wall. Some are being prepped for artists, Giorgione for example, to further adorn. Another is by the stairs simply waiting to have ‘exit’ stenciled on it. Being spun through room after room thick with the presence of red squares of every sort… oh look, there’s one on the shoulder of a security guard…the question one is intended to ask is this: is art camouflaged in the banal or is the banal camouflaged in art? How does one find art when it is so cleverly hidden? Or stranger, how does one find art when it is so clearly abundant?

Dirty Dish Gallery 23: Toast

Posted in Dirty Dish Gallery on March 27th, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

toast 2

The 17/18 Poems 20: Never-ending

Posted in 17/18 poems on March 23rd, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

No spare of the headier side

my soul but a devil

the sheath of personal nature

sweating in the shed

prone to need

a list of battles

the body, the great landlord

it’s complaints, coercion,

never-ending

Paint Chips, Cracks, and Decay 7: Plank

Posted in Paint Chips Cracks and Decay on March 20th, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

Plank

Racists of America Club Note #7

Posted in Notes on the Racists of America Story on March 16th, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

I’m having trouble starting from the beginning. I could start in the middle at an actual meeting. Or maybe a reporter interviewing one of the founders.

Series X, 35 Ghost Flash

Posted in Series X on March 13th, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

ghost flash

The 17/18 Poems 19: The Rush to Gather

Posted in 17/18 poems on March 9th, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

of that much.

both be foolish.

spaders.

smile bones I.

get lost.

are now.

into the work.

a true report

as in the rock

the mind on words

the rush to gather

many great songs

the real suchness


Bookshelf 8: Baltasar and Blimunda

Posted in Bookshelf on March 6th, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

baltasar

The 17/18 Poems 18: Knowing Better than Love

Posted in 17/18 poems on March 2nd, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

he’s a person that knows better than love

but can’t stop himself all the same.

she was a church in the sky

dropping birdshit on people below.

in Britain, things were done differently:

more slowly and with less passion.

okay, something hit me somewhere.

is it that

I can see myself a portion of malice

or at least the meander of their doing?

our hero arrives in take charge mode,

but who can ultimately confirm or deny the world.

we are left with its giant question.

hero cowers. It’s okay big guy.


The Mantra of Craft T-shirt Gallery 14

Posted in The Mantra of Craft T-shirt Gallery on February 28th, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

Polis is This Underwear

Strange Faces Other Minds 3: Seed Poem

Posted in Strange Faces Other Minds on February 24th, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

This is an old favorite. I only know it from a audio compilation of poems from Giorno Poetry Systems. It’s read by Charles Stein. I can’t find the text of it anywhere. If you have the poem or can find it online, let me know. This poem is as smart, playful, and funny as any I know. Here is a link to the album I found it on. It’s called Seed Poem.

Paint Chips, Cracks, and Decay 6: Fence

Posted in Paint Chips Cracks and Decay on February 21st, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

Fence

The 17/18 Poems 17: Elegy Blowing Through

Posted in 17/18 poems on February 17th, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

beautiful drunk eyes

through which they fall

memory’s sunburn

all over my face

a dangerous inlet

a poem perched on arrival

the elegy blowing through


Racists of America Club Note #6

Posted in Notes on the Racists of America Story on February 10th, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

I thought an early humorous episode by the founders would be to have them create a list of white guilt/shame provoking outings. They would call them field trips.

Collection of Oddities: Sweet Talk the Hot Box 12: I Just Want a Little Bit

Posted in Collection of Oddities, Sweet Talk the Hot Box on February 7th, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

The 17/18 Poems 16: It Seemed to the Dying

Posted in 17/18 poems on February 3rd, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

her sad

it seemed

to the dying

I’m saying.

money,

can we say,

is the most

that matters.


Dirty Dish Gallery 22: Birthday Cake Tray

Posted in Dirty Dish Gallery on February 2nd, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

birthday cake tray

Bookshelf 7: The Body Artist

Posted in Bookshelf on January 31st, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

body artist

The 17/18 Poems 15: A Wall Is a Door

Posted in 17/18 poems on January 27th, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

so I have heard

and do in part believe

a wall is a door

you can’t open

am I the one? honestly?

is it Japan where you are?

the distance loving subdivision

compellingly unlikable

(influence felt here)


Paint Chips, Cracks, and Decay 5: Safety

Posted in Paint Chips Cracks and Decay on January 24th, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

safety

Strange Faces Other Minds 2: Ararat

Posted in Strange Faces Other Minds on January 20th, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

Here is Mark Doty’s poem Ararat. (text, audio) I first heard this poem on the Poetry Foundation’s Poem of the day podcast. This poem works for me either way.

Collection of Oddities: The Hair-lo 17

Posted in Collection of Oddities, Hair-lo on January 17th, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

Sir Rufus Isaacs

The 17/18 Poems 14: If You Break a Name

Posted in 17/18 poems on January 13th, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

if you break a name

the cause it gives

the action I mean

is/I have no idea

but think of it this way

because coming north is impossible

what could be ________

and why such hot blood

other than they hate you

and hate you in every color


Uncollected 54, Dried Leaf

Posted in Uncollected on January 10th, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

dried leaf

Racists of America Club Note #5

Posted in Notes on the Racists of America Story on January 6th, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

I was thinking about plot points for the story. Here are some possibilities:

-origin story

-the club’s first black member

-a visitor misunderstands the club to be a solidarity club not a recovery program

-media attention

-a pc crusader visits the meeting

-a meeting is protested

-founders brainstorm how to adapt the 12 steps

-a nationwide tragedy happens like a Charlottesville, police killing, or a black church is attacked

Dirty Dish Gallery 21: Eggs and Ajvar

Posted in Dirty Dish Gallery on January 3rd, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

eggs and ajvar

The 17/18 Poems 13: Smile Bones I

Posted in 17/18 poems on December 30th, 2019 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

of that much.

both be foolish.

spaders.

smile bones I.

get lost.

are now.

into the work.

a true report

as in the rock

the mind on words

the rush to gather

many great songs

the real suchness


Bookshelf 5: Thai

Posted in Bookshelf on December 27th, 2019 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

thai

The 17/18 Poems 12: The Dislocations of Summer

Posted in 17/18 poems on December 23rd, 2019 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

the dislocations of summer

head behind the stars

thinking right now

something ought to

fall out of the sky.

if we feel a who

where a what should be

or a when that reveals itself

to be a why, then

let time fall back on itself

think it’s own tomorrow

swim like an ocean

an Athens of thought


Dirty Dish Gallery 20: Flour on Counter

Posted in Dirty Dish Gallery on December 20th, 2019 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

flour on counter

The Snevets Stories 5

Posted in The Snevets Stories on December 16th, 2019 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

Once Snevets had to chase me. It was a strange inversion. I’d found his pen during one of our pursuits. He wanted it back. A pen? Why did it matter? I didn’t understand, but I knew it was connected with his power. He wasn’t full Snevets without it.

Things moved slowly. He knew he was being baited with it. I wanted him. He wanted his pen.  It was coquettish. Sometimes I would catch his crow eye as a reflection in the mirror in the morning, or the crest of his black hat behind a hedge. The whole thing was awkward really. Sort of high school prom. I didn’t know how to run. He didn’t know how to chase.

Even though Snevets was physically imposing, I knew he was avoiding an encounter with me. Honestly, I had never seen him touch anyone. I talked the situation over with my superior. He said I needed to risk something. It was suggested I might need to release the pen from my person to break the stalemate. We decided to stage a scene in my bedroom. The pen would be on my side table while I pretended to sleep. We’d have one man in my bathroom. And another monitoring the bedroom door from a hidden position in a hallway closet. Around the house would be a covert perimeter of five men. Snevets had to know a trap was set for him. I just hoped that the minimal security would entice him to take his chances. He probably wouldn’t even show.

That night waiting, fully dressed under my sheets, I thought a lot. Why did Snevets do these things? And why did I spend so much time trying to catch him? Was it worth all this? My thoughts were interrupted by a slow heavy tread coming from the hall. The steps seemed to take forever. Snevets had taught me patience if nothing else.

Once I was sure Snevets was in the room I shouted in my radio. The bathroom door flung open the light was blinding for a second. The man from the closet showed up in the door to the hallway and I had sprung out of bed. Snevets was surrounded. We all looked at each other. None of us could believe it was finally over. I spoke to Snevets.

“I’ve waited so long.”

Snevets listened for a second and then repeated my words to me, “I’ve waited so long.” Only it was like he had slowed the words down in his saying them. I struggle to describe what really happened in that bedroom. It was one of his language games. Each of the words was struck and allowed to ring as if we were examining the resonance. The two officers and I started to move to apprehend him but could move no faster than the speed of his utterance. By the time the last word had rung out, Snevets, seemingly immune to all this, had pocketed his pen and made it into the hallway. My only hope was that the five-man perimeter would pick him up on his way out. In my heart I knew they wouldn’t.


Light 24: Drano

Posted in Light on December 13th, 2019 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

drano

The 17/18 Poems 11: Some Trick of Harlotry

Posted in 17/18 poems on December 9th, 2019 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

some trick of harlotry

both signal and noise

sonnets bonnets

and backwards again

young once young always

and life a sort of monster

using weapon love

to hollow your bones


Caveat to Aspiring Immortals 18

Posted in Caveat to Aspiring Immortals on December 6th, 2019 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

gandhi comic

Racists of America Club Note #4

Posted in Notes on the Racists of America Story on December 2nd, 2019 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

Like AA, the Racists of America Club needs some corny slogans that the members embrace. A few ideas…. “excavate the unsaid”, “call in racism”. They could also start their meetings with something like

Honky, honky, honky

Nigger, nigger, nigger

Kike, kike, kike

Spic, spic, spic

Goomba, goomba, goomba

Mic, mic, mic

Chink, chink, chink

Paint Chips, Cracks, and Decay 4: White Door

Posted in Paint Chips Cracks and Decay on November 29th, 2019 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

white door

The 17/18 Poems 10: More than the Usual Pissed Off

Posted in 17/18 poems on November 26th, 2019 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

More than the usual pissed off

the inauguration of birds

waving poetry’s flag:

Mick Jagger’s sweatpants

The full-on

tit-craziest

ass-grabber

ever

where is our grumpy

keeper of the peace?

this has started filthy

Nothing corners the eye like orange