Monday, October 20, 2008

"When I play with my cat, who knows whether she is not amusing herself with me more than I with her. "

—Michel de Montaigne

essay on metropolis nature

a city is so ridiculous who
gives a shit
algebra algebra and the baked
potato king
jagged brick algebra
the cost of living
the color hemlock
the coming collapse
the coming inability to add and subtract
all the empathy that caroms at
harsh angles
off the traffic
in the lamplight

no one in the whole world can get their tongue straight

house full of

ladybugs hornets flies

huddled against windows
drinking cold sun

time passed
in the study
of epic failures
fallen republics

france and rome

books migrate
through “the home”
Melville in the bedroom
Olson on the stairs
spanish novels and
Wallis Budge
stacked on the sofa


general theme of
gullibility and aggression
general inability to sit still

grace to have
an old man’s
library like a fruit tree
and a fruit tree

large predators
pass casually
ambling about the day
stop to yawn and
sun themselves
move on in search of prey

smothered in minor arcana
I rarely hear the bullets
rarely feel the kickback
of the rifle

essay on the joys of burning money

antique future herons
doves and cranes are flying
only birds
belong in the penthouse
children please you
spoil the party
we need a troupe of elderly butlers
swaddled in mute comprehension
a more orderly procession
bound to obscure ceremony
governing abdicated princes
how they scramble after crown fragments
drag themselves to battlements
siege and
are besieged


radio off there’s really
no way of knowing
and ignorance of the law is
no excuse
if cops come
bust us all

no nuclear war
no global warming

we ought to crawl everywhere
pull over right now
and crawl
back to St. Louis

we’ll say officer
it may look strange
but I’m crawling along
this major American interstate

we don’t go through cities
we go around them

cities slow you down
like food and bladders

we don’t stop we don’t
sight see
the highway
is for going
if you want to see things
you better bring
an illustrated book

insufficient respect
for the code of the highway
the speed limit
is contextual you
have to maintain
a like velocity
if traffic
is doing 70
it isn’t safe
to do 55

essay on the origins of rebellion

off put by
the obvious fiction

familial renaissance
at gunpoint

brought about at
literal gunpoint
let no grinning
goober call it

blank eve stewart blank

pathetically we
amble on
through december
drugged by the body of the lake

weather report
it rains because
has an ugly heart

freeze on
contact with
the frozen

the new american poetry
is old
spine cracked glue dry
pages peeling out
stop reading poems

what’s the problem

not the going out
the coming home
from dim districts
no more
ten o’clock momentum
sometime after four
purgatorial waiting
the train
suspended between stations
all appeals for patience
all explanations
lost in static
feeling like for my sins I live

essay on the history of music


I’m a caveman
I’m a


let’s fill this up with
something to get the
demonstration jumping
god fuck I’m too
self-conscious to write a poem
at this rate it’ll all devolve
to self-expression
and people will say “con
fessionalism” and twist their noses
to show revulsion
for the stock allergy
year of our lord 2008
what are you and
what are you really thinking
about stocks in economy and pro
fessional war
I am not sure I’m anybody and
I am thinking about that
pretty much all the time
and getting ready to go
deaf so I can write my greatest music


if the emperor doesn’t want
any comedy in his opera
then fuck him
cause I’ve got
bird cage on his back
a bird catcher
meets birdgirl
of like aspect and
and they spend two acts
wondering if they’re right for each other


abacus I had
so many children
this calculation
square root of
my body
listen to
my body
the bass strings
my intestines keep it
that Italian
never speak of him


artificial water
intimidated midget
stone faces

two thousand zero zero

I remember millennial
if no one else does

how at twelve ten a m
we’d sung 1999
and everyone
had kissed everyone
once the skinny
dipping began
I walked
the gravel road
cars parked
in the dark
on every side
to my friend’s toyota
and turned the radio on
to hear
the world burn


and I was so
to know that
would go on
being so
and awful

essay on the island of manhattan

what clogs the sink is cat vomit

spoiled cereal milk sipped
in preference to water

someone will have to clean
this consequence
of kitty’s taste
for luxury