Thursday, December 31, 2009

Two Last Apps for 2009


To wake up in frost,
ineffectual sun up in
blue sky bruised gray,
is to huddle into these
words, burrow down in
them until you hit a spot
of warmth, like memories
stuck like bark to roots,
of this or that, of she or
her, if this trope is over-
worn so be it, I’ve had
enough of pretending
this crux isn’t one, so
I’ll lean into it, again—


If I had Neko Case
for one night, I’d
dip her red hair in
red wine, suck it
dry, bathe
her in
into what’s
pink and blue,
roll out the red carpet.

If I had Neko Case
for one night, I’d
part the Red Sea
to make her
come, come
stiff from
ecstasy, I’m

If I had Neko Case
I would never
leave my bed
again; I’d lay,
awake to
never doubt
Heaven exists
on Earth, between

throats, notes, legs.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Essay in The Argotist: "On the Necessity of Bad Reviews"

Jeffrey Side has published a new essay of mine, On the Necessity of Bad Reviews, in The Argotist Online.

Also in The Argotist Online; an interview with me, as editor of P.F.S. Post, on Net publishing.

To Jeffrey, many thanks.

Apps for Winter


Oh you guys, you guys are tough.
I came here to write about some
thing, but now that I came, I can’t
come to a decision about what I

came for. What? You said I can’t
do this? You said it’s not possible
because it’s a violation and not a
moving one? It’s true, you guys

are tough. You know I have tried,
at different times, to please you in
little ways, but this one time I had
this student that was giving me head

and she stopped in the middle to tell
me that I had good taste and you had
bad taste, and I’ll admit it, I believed
her. She was your student too, maybe

you’ve seen her around. She’s the one
with the scarves and the jewelry and
the jewels and the courtesy to give the
teachers head who deserve it. Do you?


She hovers above planet
Earth, making strategies
for safe landings, but not
able to see that she is also
on planet Earth, watched
like a crazed cat, a maze-
rat, or a tied-up mime, I
cannot save someone so
high up or far down, it’s
like a black thread about
to snap, as it strains past
breaking point she reaches
for champagne, to celebrate—
bubbles lunge up to break.


Secrets whispered behind us
have a cheapness to bind us
to liquors, but may blind us
to possibilities of what deep
secrets are lost in pursuit of
an ultimate drunkenness that
reflects off surfaces like dead
fishes at the bottom of filthy
rivers— what goes up most is
just the imperviousness gained
by walking down streets, tipsy,
which I did as I said this to her,
over the Schuylkill, two fishes.


liquor store, linoleum
floor, wine she chose
            was always deep red,
            dark, bitter aftertaste,
            unlike her bare torso,
                       which has in it
                       all that ever was
                       of drunkenness-
to miss someone terribly,
to both still be in love, as
she severs things because
            she thinks she must-
            exquisite torture, it's
            a different bare torso,
(my own) that's incarnadine-

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Chaps, poetry chapbooks, are portable, cheap, and perfect for poets who write short, compressed, serial material. An advantage of chaps is a certain organic quality they can have, when they’re made by hand. Juliet Cook's chaps (and the soft-bound journals she publishes) all have this kind of organic quality which books cannot, and the way Juliet packages things make them seem like Dickinsonian “fascicles,” rather than products off a conveyor built: pre-made, pre-processed, delivered with clinical precision and not much feeling. I have a Nick Moudry chap called High Noon which looks like it was tied together with a kind of sewn thread; High Noon is a nice little poem, and I can’t imagine it taking any other physical form, as delicate and tiny as the chap is. Some cohesive units are just too small to be books— Brooklyn Copeland's chaps are a good example of this. Again, there’s preciousness (in the non-pejorative sense of the word) to these chaps that I find irreplaceable, and that I cannot designate as “minor.”

On the other hand, I will admit to having soured slightly on e-chaps. I like what Andrew Lundwall and Lars Palm have done with their e-chap presses— they are both competent editors— but generally, I’ve been finding e-chaps unsatisfying. There are genuine credibility issues with e-chaps— enough to make me think twice about publishing another one. Publishing in online journals is different; there’s more a sense of healthy limitation. But e-chaps are difficult, because the brevity of the form, combined with the difficulties in reading sustained things on the Net, can be irritating. I find e-books easier to read, because you can prepare yourself for them. The same applies to lengthy articles in journals like Jacket. The issue with chaps is that their substantiality as tactile products balances their small size and the compressed nature of what they contain. E-chaps are small, compressed, and non-tactile. They are also taken out of the context of a journal format. It’s just so easy for poets to knock out ten or fifteen poems and publish them as an e-chap. Poets tend to use e-chaps to publish their secondary work (though this is not always the case, as with Andrew and Lars’ presses, and many Ungovernable releases, including mine, are more like e-books). Then, “quick fix” folks on the fringes of the poetry world make snap judgments about certain poets based on their e-chaps. This has happened to me, and to others I know. So, to use the dread designations, print chaps to me are “major” while, for the most part, e-chaps are “minor,” though perhaps the advent of the Kindle will change things around again.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

More New Apps


terse as this is, it is
given to us in bits
carelessly shorn
from rocky slopes,
of this I can only
say nothing comes
with things built in,
it’s always sharp edges,
crevices, crags, precipice,
abrupt plunges into “wants,”
what subsists between us
happens in canyons lined
in blue waters where this
slides down to a dense
bottom, I can’t retrieve
you twice in the same
way, it must be terse
because real is terse,
tense because it’s so
frail, pine cones held
in a child’s hand, snapped.


When the sky brightens slightly
into navy blue, “what’s the use”
says the empty street to parking
lots elevated four stories above.


Hunters get smitten with their prey,
but to kill is such an amazing rush
who could possibly resist, I’m into
these thoughts because you dazzle
me away from words into your red
pulpy depths, which I resent, but I
can do nothing about, because you
have nails in your cunt and crucifix
in your mouth, when I come I’m a
perfect personal Jesus, but the gash
is all yours, did I mention I love you?


we can't stop trying to conceive,
even though our bodies are dead
to each other, and nightly deaths
I took for granted are razors in a
           part of my flesh that
           can never live again-
certain possessions possess us.

P.S. An interview with me in Goss 183.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

New in The Argotist Online

Several of my new Apparition Poems (more added in '17) have just come out in The Argotist Online, the excellent online UK journal edited by Jeffrey Side. Thanks to Jeffrey, who has, also, a new piece in PFS Post.

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