Thursday, April 28, 2005

breadcrumbs to bear with me (please)

Upheaval from ocean-bottom. Suspend here.

Wine-drunk epic tour toward and up an epiphanic tower. Iron-shine.

Lodged in memory: mouth turned down at its corners, eyes red with tears on a face a face away from where it was before, lodged in the doorway, on the way out.

Snapshot moments hang from barbed wire twined around the ends of tiny old branches.

The ocean gives good bread.

On deck: sea anemones and their daisy kin. A seal.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

required coals: a tiny transmission

Epidemiologically, he said firmly, it has no meaning.

Though not always ripe with the flavor of busy, I love that I work for a person who says things like this in a tone that most people around here would say, Let me tell you, I am waiting for a fax and Who decided to make your hair red. As they walk away. This man stood in the doorway and required my opinion.

That’s all I have today, for coals are turning over in the leaves.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Lava Locks and Unlocks

So who’s idea was it? she asked.

My face felt quizzical.

The red, she completed.

Mine, I told her, shifting up my face muscles to bridge the gap. Strange question, but I went with it. She chose the, the person who does my hair, chose the

She turned her head away and continued walking down the hallway.

color, I finished.

My social discomfort in this office should be no secret. Tell your friends, tell your pets. Making up conversation at the copy machine feels phony, and I idealistically aspire to be genuine; therefore, repeated hanging in there thank goodness it’s Friday that’s a long fax yep supposed to rain all weekend hihowareya's feel like flimsy branches off meta-talk tree. I acknowledge my fellow human beings—not to feels unnecessarily cold—but speaking just to speak beyond that eludes me. I don’t know what to say.

You started this conversation, I thought, so why am I being cut off. This happens most frequently here in this corporatesque non-profit box. A fellow employee asks me a question and as I reply that person walks away. Or the fellow begins what I think is to be a conversation, by speaking to me, and when I reply, the walking away. Talking at. They had their say and that was enough for them. Sad, insular, choppy chessboard we hop around on.

Conversation inherently involves "con". See cum in Latin, with, together with. When one concludes, one puts all the pieces together and makes a decision. When one concocts, one puts the selecteds together in the pot to make one soup. In confluence two streams flow to each other, they meet. There is no meeting when one stream is cut off, re-routed back with all its soil bits and pebbles.

Guise. Has always worked mysteriously on me. Guise tricks me into believing a person is something that person is not. Just because a person can conjure the gumption to speak does not mean that person can engage in conversation, which relieves me of every century of fault I've felt in the situations when I felt prompted to say nothing at all. Each person has his weaknesses. I tend rather not only to display mine but to draw red arrows pointing to them. It's the strengths I tend to dress up in gumptive guise.

Color. Not just red, but bright red, lava-confluent, this hair. Sometimes yours is too. Cheers.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Plaid Ablaze Simultaneously

Lips aflame, I am askew from the self I was at an earlier descartes I can’t pinpoint. My senses all are blended, every sound as loud as every color and odor, each toeing the tenor of a single waving kite string.

Last night I went running late, after Heineken, after spicy tofu. I ran fast, I ran an extra lap in the neighborhood where no people ever are out no matter the time of day or night. Rarely do I run an hour before sleeping.

The loop pitched black around me, music in my ears fast and loud. I returned home, I stretched, I poured another Heineken into me. I wrote a poem. A decent poem but not a very good poem, nonetheless an honest poem I shifted into new sphere in order to lexify. I am different from yesterday because of it.

This morning with the last two lines of that poem I started a new poem, a richer poem, but a poem today’s self is obscured in. I can’t separate the sounds and the lights from the words or from the ideas pouring into them. Simultaneously the overload is sensical, derived from ancient menses.

Now which way—hermetize, explode, or dance ‘til the kite string snaps? As above, below.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Vow at light's dimming

White smoke and bells indicate a girl has worked too long in a day’s restaurant. Hail her. The chicken is tangy, the chips odd with flavor. A scan of the archives, gestalt emerges from anachronistic cave space where it had been shacking up with loose dendrites, waiting for a good idea to uproot. Gymnasium. From in between backward and forward motion, a pope springs up. Old as neurosis but will do. Pass the wine, pass the bread, pass the stone so we can concoct on it. Unforeseen ingredients conjure a salad the magnitude and potency of the oldest lighthouse. The cocker spaniel from here on out will be healthy.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

vodka drip

abundance of autumnal emotion today again i wear the ostentatiously floral jacket come swooning out of the 70s the good doctor has returned and surprised with a surprise i must keep secret i might be german i might be native american i might be mountain-goat i might be all of these my brother’s toes when he was a baby smelled like cheese ago i feared the ugly of feet i don’t deal with failure i wonder if forever i’ll get bored and flee get bored and flee get bored and flee deliver only to ears while they flatter my mouth stamina like ice cream under sunshine unshaven pedophile under hot swinging light psychedelic clarity after parity is achieved in vodka and twisting wrung wet shirt doesn’t dry right loose twisted arms now loose charm do trial bitch act do crisp white infirm do dirtiest germ they still love you

Friday, April 15, 2005

"She wept.--Life's purple tide began to flow"


Vastly reflective today and weepy. It happens sometimes. Today it happens to the soundtrack of Van Morrison. Van Morrison in any duration is new to me. Before today I thought I was just his brown-eyed girl. Today his voice each time it bursts roots fruits out from my deepest tissues, both ripe and rotten. Last weekend I checked Astral Weeks out from the library and I’m playing it for the first time today. It fits.

Some people think weeping means something dire must have occurred, but weeping rejuvenates any lair from any emotional currency. The debris that gets caught in the body’s damp nooks dislodges with each hard heave and sob, released in wet across the eye’s heavy bag, to the temple, a right place for lips to land—at eye’s corner, from where you see but not alone with whole clarity. I feel alive when somebody weeps in my presence. That person’s purging purges me, like a Greek in the tragic amphitheater.

In the Perseus online dictionary there are 37 Latin word forms listed for weeping. Like Eskimos with their manied snow, the rubbled Romans with their varied weeping. I might be generalizing from a mere quick wisp of information, but how romantic, the togas and their various tears damping down the dirt streets.

I thought I’d overcome romanticism. Not that I wanted to. I just felt wearied of its bother, fallen into ennui from its chronic mania. Maybe just jaded rather, a pebble scared into a tomb.

I’d rather be waking in the chronic grips of mania than sleeping in a dull dull hum.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

I enjoy the hunt

During restless times a friend of mine wrote to me that, while he didn’t necessarily want a relationship, a blowjob from somebody sure would be nice. I told him I’d be on lookout for girls with mouths.

This morning I had a vision of the hunt for mouth. I’d wear a bowler hat and sleek trench coat, binoculars on a strap around my neck. Dominatrix-heel boots. I’d carry a large black bag filled with instruments: plenty of ink pens, a notebook, a tarnished trumpet, tape recorder, lollipops, a tape measure.

I’d spot a potential on the street, library or bar, depending on the energies. I’d cup my hands around her shoulders, look her deep in the eyes, and broach the topic.

Blowjob? she’d ask curiously. What’s he look like?

Doesn’t matter, I’d tell her, Let me tell you, you’ve gotta see this thing.

I’d put the tape measure to her lips, then I’d pull a lollipop out of my bag and poke it into her mouth. Show me what you can do.

When I’d found the right mouth, I’d put her in a plane, note pinned to her chest. I’M HERE FOR THE BLOWJOB. She would feel like a victor, my friend would feel like jupiter. I would be jesus.

Strange intersection: In the same period of time three friends of mine each told me they’d like a blowjob from someone, accompanying relationship unnecessary. These same three friends also have in their recent history a girl they were attracted to who turned out to be religiously bent in a way averse to their liking. I wonder what all this means.

Fever persists and I’ve added several links to the sidebar. Visit the praised and the cracked. (Many of them are my friends, though not those for whom I seek mouths.)

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Stay away from this man

People who like to hear themselves talk for no other purpose than that use a lot of superlatives, a lot of imperatives, a lot of meta-talk. They speak at, not to.

I will tell you. Let me tell you. Listen to this. Your biggest mistake was. Stay. Away. From this man. This was your biggest mistake. Let me tell you. Stay away from this man. I'm telling you stay. Away from this man. Your biggest mistake.

These talkers also repeat themselves, viral phrases and variations of, so many times that meaning dissolves utterly. These talkers cling sadly, insect-slime to their words, not knowing what else to do in speech, in life, a backward attempt to stamp their identity into someone else's for worth's sake, no matter that it's with desperately empty vessels. Sad bodies on lonely barstools.

This is their biggest mistake, their easiest crutch, their most dreadful closet the safe side of risk.

It is happening again.
It is happening again.

Its body is swollen with fever.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Sharpening Places

Liquor was involved, and transcendent good times. Saturday I visited one of my best friends in the whole vast world: K.

I hopped in Grace about a quarter to three in the afternoon and drove in the sunshining crisp blue. In just under an hour I reached the BQE, realized I had to pee, thought, Good. I’m almost there.

Then all the cars going eastbound with me came to a stop. Crawled five feet. Stopped. Crawled five feet. Stopped. This went on for over two hours. Restless, though still zenning it out, I began sending rampant text messages about my bladder.

Finally I reached my exit and exhaled, though experience has shown me that relief doesn’t come so easily: once the foul train gets going it goes and goes. I choose now to settle with this and accept. The exit put me behind a van that stopped at every intersection, stop sign or not, pausing an extra few seconds at each one just to be sure.

When I reached my penultimate turn, the van continued straight. Fine, but a garbage truck was parked in the middle of my narrow road. Cars were parked along both sides, and a car pulled in behind me. I was trapped, I and my bladder, and I wondered if a urinary tract infection was brewing below. I thought of cranberry juice as I watched the trash guys struggle to heave a large barrel into the back of the truck. On the day I’d been in traffic three times longer than expected, bladder-bent, someone decided to put out a gorilla-sized barrel to test the collectors’ strength. The world is a funny place.

At last I got to K’s place. His roommate was in the bathroom, showering. My senses were sharp after epic travels. I’d heard the water running before I entered. The gods, however, showed mercy and tucked a spare bathroom into the corner of the living room. Bless them. I swear it wasn’t there the last time I visited. I did my business and K offered me a short list of beverages. Cranberry juice. And then, Do you want vodka in that? I sure did. Bless him.

We began, I with my cranberry and vodka and K with his whiskey and diet coke. I don’t drink hard liquor very often any more. Memory of purgatory times on wet lawns and pavement get the juices going in my jaws. The sun, however, was out.

K and I matched like catalogue models, I in a turquoise hoodie, white stripe down the sleeves, and red corduroy pants, and K in jeans, white t-shirt red-lettered, and a turquoise jacket, red and white stripes down the sleeves. We were animated travelers. On our way out the door after a few drinks and a fantastic burrito, K’s roommate said, Hey, you guys match. Like stars. It was night sky now and we set off for The Pourhouse.

The Pourhouse might be my new favorite bar. Local and not overt. Grizzly bear at the end of the bar, a few mingling lesbians on missions, pud at the video game, leather gruffs at the pool table. An appealingly dank and honest place.

PBRs first. Because I am a lady, I was rewarded a ticket for a free beer, buy one get one. We had a few of these and then decided to return to liquor. I asked the bartender about the free ticket from my last beer. She had long straight blonde hair and wore a green strapless shirt that frequently slid down her breasts. Again and again she pushed up the elastic trim, dutifully eluding exposure.

Normally, she said, the tickets don’t apply to mixed drinks, but I like the blue you both are wearing so I’ll give you this one. Free 7&7 for the lady, a whiskey and diet coke for the fella. Next, without explanation, she served us both free drinks. Perhaps we’d given the man upstairs a blowjob unbeknownst. Perhaps we were undergoing deification.

Stars shifted and I ordered a rum and coke; K went vodka tonic. Our bartender friend showed comedic concern: You’re gonna be sick. You’re like ‘PBR, whiskey, rum, vodka…’

A young pseudo-hoodlum with chin-length dark hair, garbed all in dark, sat down on the other side of K at the bar. He’d been playing pool earlier. For some reason when he parked his ass, his mouth dropped and his tongue fell out, like a dog in a hot car. Like a neuro-deficient dog in a hot car. There must be some anatomical explanation for this. Positioned as he was, Panting Dogface kept half in view behind K’s head. Too much, too much.

Around 3-ish in the morning, close to 4 maybe, the bartender sang full-heartedly to some Motley Crue hurling out of the jukebox. She asked if we wanted one more before she closed up. We looked at each other. Something new. My endurance surprised me. White Russians, we told her. She smiled. K detected she wasn’t native to New York. I agreed, so when she returned with our drinks I asked. Why, do I have an accent? she asked, and then, North Dakota. That radar of us displaced Illinoisans shown keen.

We returned to K’s place where he made us each another drink, vodka and cranberry for me, whiskey and diet coke for him. We returned to the couch, and pacifying sounds came out of the stereo. His roommate returned home. I was intoxicated, new in the place from where I began.

Monday, April 11, 2005

hic ignis: candor obscurandum

Life throws surprises. That’s what people say, and it’s true. To everyone, the traveler hopes with an eye toward self-conscious sky. When he thinks he understands the layout of the game’s board, it turns out there is a second floor, a ground floor, and you can use the underside of each. Also, each rule has an exception which sometimes tastes like blueberries and sometimes like anise, other times like butterflies. You never can know.

That’s when you drink a White Russian at night’s peak and call it a day, the climb at pause, even when there is no distinction between night and day, because borders fractal and eventually blur under magnification and close needling. California becomes Argentina, your dog becomes your arm. The traveler doesn’t currently have a dog, but if he did.

So if people say it and it’s true, then suppose that means people and their overused quips have sense, unblended fruits too often lain latent. Common sense, smoothie sense, corrected. I am deep in crypt and it smells like Kahlua in here.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Hear Me

In reference to yesterday's post, you can hear me reading my poems, along with others, on My Vocabulary this Sunday (4/10/05) . See below for detail.

This Sunday on My Vocabulary we will be featuring a full-lengthreading by Jordan Davis (delivered and recorded here in San Diego this winter) and a "mini"-reading by Sara Sowers (the first of our telephone-assisted readings). In the second hour of the show we will be presenting poems by Gabriel Gudding, Marcus Slease, Jeffery Bahr, Nathan Pritts and Tatyana Moseeva (with a translation by Matthew Shindell). All of this and some fine, fine music. Make good use of your internet connection. Join us this Sunday at 4 pm (PST) on UCSD's KSDT radio station. Just direct your browser to and choose your connection speed.

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Regularly scheduled posting and turning will resume after a goblet of debauchery and subsequent emergence from its stem. Onward ho.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

My Vocabulary

Not my vocabulary. It's a radio show dedicated to contemporary poetry and music, dj'd by Matt Shindell et al. Last Sunday was the first show. Go here and hear it every Sunday from 4-6pm PST. Do it.

In other news, allergies. Furthermore, do not drive under the influence of Benadryl, unless Italian ice is at the finish line.

More later on vocab and medicinal warnings.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

More fruit and fauna from inside the color wheel

65 degrees and growing springward is the day.

Honeydew in styrofoam and a can of cranberry juice, calcium supplement in sour gummy bears—This is my modern day office life, today at least. Flowers are on the file cabinet but no window is in the wall. Mind over matter, mind over matter.

Last night I discovered that Talking Heads makes good music for running, for last night at least, a sort of epileptic steady-pace treadmill. And I was reminded that allergy medicine in the first spring days is not just good but required music for running. Otherwise, the beast with pulsing head and swollen itch-eye arrives. Inside my passageways of all places.

Mak with his long healing knee, swollen and striped with purple scars, pedaled his bicycle behind me in the park. Involuntarily spring smiles stretched across the face of every jogger, walker, dog, stroller, roller-blader. It was like the apocalypse had come and gone and we’d all decided finally to heal and get along.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005


Am I going to be arrested for my thoughts? I wonder this sometimes.

Today the hospital is participating in a terrorist attack drill. Muffled electronic voices leap from walkie-talkies in the hallways. Questions, commands. Codes and helicopters, stat. Policemen in the building have multiplied from the norm.

I don’t have faith in policemen. I don't feel safe. Most people I know don’t. I feel more comfortable asking a street rat for directions than I do a policeman, except in the darkest shade.

The great fissure between outer and inner levels of perception used to torment me, neuroticize and outcast me. People fundamentally exist in the inner level but function daily in the outer level, the masked level, the acceptable sidewalk, the rhinestone halter-top façade, seemingly unaware of the pulpy inner. I’ve always been too aware of the inner level to function smoothly on the crust.

A street rat can more reliably send me to the train station than a policeman who speaks in outer dialect. P-man and I, we don’t connect.

This is fucked up. General consensus among people I meet is that p-men are dumb hypocrite assholes. Generalizing is limited. The way I see it, though, policeman don’t serve their purpose, or maybe my ideal was raised too stately when I was young and then let me down late like a bowling ball. Or maybe I don’t like their purpose. Neither do I trust inside the church.

What to trust then but self and selves fed by loose mouths and media, easy pharmaceuticals, deadened goals, canyon morals. Candy lungs and air wet with plague. They will sue you, the agent told me.

The courthouse showed me the sham last week. Little-man complexes, a half-dead judge and deceptive dismissals. Proposal to self: engage in conversation with random p-man, a personal conversation climactic with a poke in the belly to see if it’s real.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Crypt in April Flowers

The elephant that sat on my dash last week now sits on my computer at work. Mortimer. I wonder how he feels having death in his letters. Mortuary, mortician, rigor mortis, Morton salt. Salt removes wine stains, soothes sore throats, rubs out rust. Another obstacle gone, Ganesh-man. Mortimer seems content. His trunk looks healthy. Like the lovers on the Grecian urn he stands mid-stride.

The orange man from the basement, with his walkie-talkie and military cut, still stalks me. The bathrooms still are not clean.

Garish in an olive corduroy jacket splashed and smattered in orange red, watermelon, and green apple flowers, turquoise leaves, I am fire among medical professionals and malfunctioning copy machines. Spring and fall smashed into me.

It might be the claustrophobic office closing the train in on one short track. Back forth back forth. Hum. It might be the ghost inside, mellowing the rhythm in the garden. A quieting for a gathering. I'm not feeling loquacious today.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Fruit Compass

Yesterday was my birthday and I had the day off. It’s the way things should be.

The composite of events earns ribbons and medals as one of the best birthdays. My boyfriend and I spent the day in New York. All day calls were received. Two friends sang birthday wishes into my phone. My mom and my dad (who never ever, I mean never, sings) sang birthday wishes into my phone. My boyfriend gave me an elephant who sat on the dash all day.

In the morning I saw an excitable black man, ticketed for having an open container of vodka in public, stand before a judge in a New York courtroom. Since the brand of vodka was not noted in the charge, the case was dismissed. The excitable black man turned to face the audience, jacked-up smile, raised his arm and cheered to the crowd. The courtroom became a small spirited music club for that moment.

Around noon we drove to Heavenly Bodyworks to give our bodies peace by way of shiatsu massage. Coincidentally, around the corner there was a car shop named Heavenly Body Work. We visited the former, where tiny Asian girls pressed their hands into our muscles. Hands massaged my body for over an hour, pushed office knots out of my back, reshaped my keyboard hands, freed my neck. As my girl moved her hands down my arm and jiggled my hand loose, she said, "You have a beautiful body." I may shift into yellow-fevered lesbianism if this white heterosexual trip flops.

After our massage we drove to Long Island, where I transcended a major threshold and my very skin, new and piquant.

We made a wrong turn into shady territory on our way back to Manhattan. We stopped at a Wendy’s so I could pee. My eyes were crossing with need. When I tried the knob to the bathroom, there was a bloody screech from inside. I waited with pitched eyes. And waited. The screecher stood her ground, so we drove further out of our element to an even scarier KFC. When I emerged from the room of stench and tile my bladder still held stubbornly on to some of its jewels, rightly protective in ghetto-hades.

While I was in Wendy’s my boyfriend had gone across the street for drinks at Rite-Aid. He surprised me with an elephantine Heineken, which I opened and drank as we sailed without compass or map back to Manhattan.

At long last we landed. We parked outside my friend’s workplace as he descended the stairs after a long day, thick beard and all. We sat in a colorful bar for a few beers, reminiscing about past war trips and conjuring shamanistic tours, and then drove back to Jersey. Today I feel tired but new, like fruit.