Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Viewed: The Puffy Chair.

Opinion: Favorable.
There is a place to begin? How about noting the obvious differences between the old and the new, with the still newer hobbling along like true goats caught up in fragile curtains. I'd stipulate that the more we grow, the less we go under all because of a few ting-ting-ting noises from around the corner. They all laughed at you, and at me, and that's what to give a second chance to, nobody denies that. All I'm saying is that you can't depend on a thing of beauty to tell you where to stare, unlike the guy I told you about earlier, uh yeah, it's definitely him. Knows when to penetrate just a little further than what would seem to be advisable, no doubt spurred on by his supreme belief in the blankety-blank of processional mannerisms. The phone rang and took us with it. To really get an idea of where the most "untuitive" villagers place awareness, it doesn't help to readily identify with too much in the way of paying your way out of pocket, expenses adding up, lucky you weren't in the store when it went kaboom! Of course I speak of your uncanny ability to say without words only what you had never intended to be known, instead of amiably going about your business in the commonly accepted way. If I had a way like yours, why I'd be rich by now, up to my noggin in weatherproof space age polymers. I can't breathe. In a little while I'll be sledding over the face of he whom I've been entrusted to kill for a fee of fifteen hundred francs. It's cool, he's with me, I can tell. You look like you're from Canada originally.
Ordinarily I wouldn't bother you with this, but it has come to my attention that your cupcakes have been used in movies I never saw. Luckily I was saving up for such an occasion. A reason for entering the building might be that despite everything you've ever been told concerning the maintenance of these facilities, it would be a good idea for you to do some research before consulting with me. I'd like to help, I mean, who wouldn't? But does that give you an excuse to tunnel five miles under Mt. Etna just to say you did it. Pretty lame if you ask me. I've seen that documentary. It had lots of jokes, some of them funny, but never was there a more obstinate bunch than when those hoodlums overtook the dairy and had fun while onlookers watched. Really scary guys and girls with large breasts and even larger mittens came to represent everything even a little bit off in the grand scheme of things, which wasn't much, let me tell you. Add to that the almost indefensible proposition that playing games alters the lanes you're scheming in, does it take you all day or do you have to stretch it out, am I floating headfirst or will there be another list somebody made later to consult when doubtful, prurient, circumspect, a damn sight better than the original plan, the one with winter as the focus, or at least the central character. It comes in the second act. That's probably what I believe, though I can't prove to you how much, or how little, you mean to me as I contemplate what to do with this ridiculous assignment I'm about to hand out among the poor little kids who want nothing more than to listen to F.D.R. keep us hungry for whatever it is I mentioned, but did he hear me? Looks like it, or else he wouldn't have sent all these fresh tomato plants to us, and that's enough for today. Tomorrow I'd like to see you in a nice pair of tights, ones either purchased or borrowed from the local hedge fund manager's late wife's sister-in-law's grandnephew's second cousin's brother's cousin's sister's aunt. Two of you will be lucky enough to attend the festival with me in all my finery, and you'll even get to help me pick out the dress I'll be wearing under the lights as I prepare to enter the covenant I had set up just for us, custom made, in time for the impending ceremony, something like an election but not quite. It's ancient enough to have been included in the landmark survey put out by folks just wanting to do the right thing, not wanting any reward or award or Sela Ward or any combination thereof. If I had a contract specifying as much, I'd be all over it. Until then it's all I can do to avoid knocking off early to speak eloquently about my days in the national park playing checkers and video poker with people who looked exactly like nonconformists but who were actually in bed without a paddle, so I supplied them with one, thus solidifying our ironclad platonic arrangement. When it was over, it wasn't really over, and when it was time to play dead in the road for money, well, that was adequately carried out in time.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I'm comfortable communicating with an orange on two levels. Let it be said that I didn't prepare so much as pretend to accept the judgment of probably not the first time you set foot in the sad location. Pretty soon it'll be heavy enough to transport across state lines, if you ever thought about doing so. To me it wasn't enough that the plane landed safely, but that over a period of time you might grow to appreciate the sacrifices made on this hill or even that other one in the years before it all fell apart. Too many decisions went unmade for too long and the response has been swift, totally without the use of his hands. Sunlight looked out of place until Maury fixed it, labeled it and polished the original score while, oh, nevermind. It's humbling to have been sold underwear that actual Romans wore. Only, too bad you didn't get a receipt or otherwise they would not have had a way to track you down in case of emergencies, one of which you've heard of. Not lately, but soon, and then some, incredibly out of sorts. Relaxing wasn't part of the plan, but the plan was soon amended to include stuff like that. Towering behind the wheel sat Jeremy popping corn and saying things like, "I bet your hat doesn't float, do you have another apple? I say..." and pretty soon even he gets eaten up by the lack of open-ended questions littering the beach. Just get up and flip it, the whole case comes down to a single hair, so I'm told. To last another night, feed the whale another bucket of cream after it happened, go to town and get a load of the priciest chum. Add another one.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Foam was there in the house of the head caroller. Eight extinguished candles sat patiently, the fourth quarter about to begin in the next room. And the next room felt like home to a wallaby on display. Too bad it couldn't have been more than a few days since last time you saw her, I said too loudly into the vent. Besides the host, who abides in whatever comes to pass in these parts? And what about those parts? Really very tired of all this, I couldn't say to what or perhaps you'd like to have a day on time for once, in and of the young, albeit stupid. Then why to spend like three or four hours eliminating the wettest cement still tumbling in the truck, and what do you to that say. A helping hand and another born-again organ from out the mouths of caves so clean and to them it's best to bring a dessert in the morning, before dusk. So it looked good there on the mantel, probably iced beforehand in a factory I suspect. Forget everything you hear, it's only a waste of time till the numbers show it to be an inescapably infeasible con game anyway.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Huh.  I don't know why those mobile-posts decided to create their own post titles.  Huh.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Just landed. 2 hr., 4

Just landed. 2 hr., 4 min. in the air, longer than usual due to 170 knot headwind.

I'm sitting on the plane

I'm sitting on the plane at LGA. Smooth sailing through checkin and security. No lines! My view is of the wing. I'm writing this on my phone.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Zwanzig Fragen

Q's from The Best American Poetry Blog

1. What poet should be in Obama’s cabinet, and in what role?

I don't know.

2. If you could send Obama one poem or book of poems (not your own), what would it be and why?

I don't know.

3. What other poetry-related blog or website should I check out?

I'm hungry.

4. Who is the most exciting young/new poet I’ve never heard of, but whose work I ought to find and read?

Is it lunch yet?

5. What’s the funniest poem you’ve read lately? What was the last poem that made you cry?

I need to buy some pants.

6. William or Dorothy? Robert or Elizabeth Barrett? Moore or Bishop? Dunbar or Cullen? “Poetry must resist the intelligence almost successfully” or “No ideas but in things”? Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas or Tender Buttons?

They all have holes in the butt or front pocket area.

7. Robert Lowell wrote a poem called “Falling Asleep Over the Aeneid.” What supposedly immortal poem puts you to sleep?

I wonder if I should wait to see if I get pants for Christmas.

8. Even for poetry books, the contract has a provision for movie rights. What poetry book should they make into a movie? Who should direct it, and why? Who should star in it?

Yeah, I think I'll wait to see if I get any pants for Christmas.

9. What lines from a poem you first read years ago still haunt you now?

If I don't, that's ok. I can buy cheap pants at K-mart after Christmas.

10. What poem do you love, love, love, but don’t understand?

Is this over yet?

11. If the official organ of the AWP were not the Chronicle but were the Enquirer, what would some of the headlines be?

Why am I doing this?

12. If you were making a scandal rag for poetry in the grocery store checkout stands, what fictitious poetry love triangle would you make up to outsell that tired Hollywood story of Angelina and Brad and Jen?

I mean, seriously, what possessed me?

13. This is the Best American Poetry blog. What’s the best non-American poetry you’ve read lately?

I don't know.

14. We read poems in journals and books, we hear them in readings and on audio files. Sometimes we get them in unusual ways: on buses or in subway cars. How would you like to encounter your next poem?

Maybe I'll go to Burger King today.

15. What poem would you like to hear the main character bust out singing in a Bollywood film? What would be the name of the movie? What would be the scene in which it was sung?

Last time, I got sick after, but

16. Do you have a (clean) joke involving poetry you’d like to share?

that doesn't happen every time, so I think I'll chance it.

17. Tell the truth: is it a poetry book you keep in the john, or some other genre (john-re)?

I like the chicken tenders.

18. Can you name every teacher you had in elementary school? Did any of them make you memorize a poem? What poem(s)?

They took them off the menu for awhile.

19. If you got to choose the next U.S. Poet Laureate, who (excluding of course the obvious candidates, you and me) would it be? Of former U.S. Poet Laureates, who did such a great job that he/she should get a second term? Next election cycle, what poet should run for President? Why her or him?

But then they brought them back.

20. Insert your own question here.

Sometimes I get the TenderGrill.

Monday, December 15, 2008

So all morning I've been loo(well ok, really just the last half-hour or so)king for a mature, productive way to channel my rage against ________. I'm not into the blog-ranting thing, but I don't think I can screw my head back on without first doing something about this, so I've decided to make a compromise with myself: I'll just leave that above blank blank and let you ask me about it privately if your curiosity overcomes your desire not to have your time wasted by the airing of the ultimately petty grievances of yours truly. That was a hideous sentence. I apologize.

Of course now that I've written this note I feel a little better, so I probably won't go into too much detail if you do ask me; I might just fill in the blank.

I'm listening to Goldfrapp and the world is calm.

Monday, December 8, 2008

All good books are page-turners.

                                    —Arne Seligson
from Corking the Spores: A Biography of Arne Seligson:

The Ferris wheel in his backyard was said to be fifty feet in diameter, but it was never photographed, and to this day its existence remains only a rumor. Strong evidence in favor of the rumor's verity, however, comes in a letter from Seligson's attorney, Brian Rich, to Seligson's tailor and close friend, A. Scott Mainly of Providence, Rhode Island:
I saw [Seligson] last weekend at his house in Louisville. He was his old self, in good spirits, though he wouldn't stop correcting my pronunciation of "Louisville", speaking as if he were a native (you know, completely pompous and proud of his hickishness). The highlight of the visit was when he took me out into his backyard to see his enormous [...]
The second page of the letter, which would have picked up after the word "enormous", has apparently been lost, but Mr. Mainly is adamant in his claim that Mr. Rich's sentence concluded with the phrase, "Ferris wheel." According to Mr. Mainly, Seligson informed him in a phone conversation years later that the Ferris wheel had been dismantled and its parts sold as scrap.
from the diary of Arne Seligson:

March 12

          My thoughts are very clear today, very focused.  It must have been the sleeping on the floor that did it.  Every object in the room is worth looking at.  I wonder how long it's been like this and I didn't know it.  I must have been walking around here in a daze, I guess, or a trance.  I guess those are the same.  Nevertheless I still wonder.  People tell me not to worry, but I don't let it get to them.  They are the same, and I am different.  And then the other time I was all about getting noticed on time to be.  Shivering.  Lots of days go by, and then I become into what.  There aren't any, I couldn't mind.  Even if I were to ask or try, not holding the bar would have been seen in a different light, like I might have been molded twice.  In keeping with what they told me, I lucked into a bargain with the helpless ones.  It was there I favored, no more plunking down onto the seat was arranged.  I felt so alive.  It was then I formed.  Like baskets asleep in water money.  Pulsating findings of the carry away, believe nothing too soon, I was.  All then, and no one, we ever to speed princely through the town, it's night.  It's favored, but all said, hunting me, I couldn't say, maybe I was deserving of there.  Police warmed me, looked front and back, lids arranged and closed, humbled, crammed lengthwise into honeycombs.  I please to befriend were taking to, all real play talking, all acting all as if feverish.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

from The Pilates of "Psst!" 

by Arne Seligson


          Nothing makes me happier than to arrange small toy cars in rows of ten on tables owned by wealthy men.  I stand back and admire my work.  The sun is just coming up, and I've nearly finished.  Up all night!  Where does it go?  Not the sun, which I'm fully aware doesn't go anywhere—time is what I'm referring to.  That's an old and boring question that a lot of people have asked themselves since time began, or at least since people began to be aware of time, and it's a question I ask myself every day.  Well, sometimes I skip a day.  In any event, there were my cars, all lined up as if parked in a parking lot, almost eleven hundred of them.  I was collecting more all the time.  They weren't my cars; I was collecting them on behalf of Mr. Luiki, the genteel banker who was kind enough to offer me a home following the destruction by cyclone of my former residence.  The best part about living with Mr. Luiki was that he never set limits on where I could go, what I could do, or what I could imagine.  Such a sweety.
          After breakfast I decided to go for a walk.  I told Mr. Luiki that I was going for a walk, and then I went for a walk.  After returning from my walk, I opened Mr. Luiki's mail and tossed out all the bad news, per his instruction.  There was something about his aunt Horla being stung by a Portuguese man, I think it was, and there was a bill from his taxidermist, but other than that all the news was good today.  Happy that he would be happy, I piled the good news onto the tray I always kept handy for this purpose and brought it up to Mr. Luiki's room.  Not wanting to disturb him (never wanting to disturb him), I set the tray down gently in front of his door.
          In the afternoon I called my ex-wife and tried to explain how to program the alarm clock I'd bought her for her birthday.  I was frustrated that she didn't understand how to program the clock but I was happy to hear her voice.  It smelled like lemons or grapes, if grapes had a smell.  Of course, nowadays I could only imagine the smell of her voice.  But I could do that because, as I said, Mr. Luiki did not place limits on my imagination.  (Once, just days after moving in, I imagined a glorious kingdom somewhere in Asia Minor.  There were bears and chickens and wallabies and five or six gnats.  There were seventeen basketball teams, a swimming pool, a mosque, a synagogue, a Walgreen's, a cathedral, and a double-decker Dunkin' Donuts.  Oh, and everywhere you go, sex sex sex!  Miles of sex!  Metric tons of sex!  Gallons and quarts and pints and drams of sex!  Yards and meters!  Lbs. and Kgs.!  Centigrade and Fahrenheit!  Et cetera und so weiter!  Ich bin ein Berliner!  Hahahahaha!  No, you've got it all wrong, it's Ich bin Berliner!  Ich möchte einen großes Bier für meine Geburtstag!  Awful, awful German!  My German is fucking awful!  I don't know how to speak it, how to write it, or even how to read it!  I can pronounce the words, but I can't translate them!  It doesn't matter!  To me, the pronunciation is the destination.  I have no care for meaning.  I only care for leaning, leaning against objects, people, and other objects (and people).  —All this I imagined, and more, and Mr. Luiki did not object.)  Today I imagined that her voice smelled like cantaloupe, just for the hell of it. 

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Five chapters of Mansfield Park

have been read by me.  That's five chapters in three days.  If I read one more chapter today, I'll have an average of two chapters per day, and I'll be on my way to finishing the book before 2009 even starts to happen.

I realized another good thing the iPod ebook thing is good for.  Filibusters!  You know how it is—you're in the Senate, you need to kill some time, but what to do?  Sure, you might be alright if you're the kind of person who can stand up and expound on any topic for an unlimited amount of time, but what if you're like me and you tend to go blank, freeze up, in those situations?  Well, with ebooks on your iPod you can just say, "And now, I would like to read to you Tolstoy's masterpiece, War and Peace."  And then you simply whip out your iPod and there you have War and Peace ready to go in the palm of your hand!  And if you finish War and Peace with no sign of surrender from the opposition party, then it's just a few short clicks to Ulysses.  Und so weiter.  Now all you need is one of those urine bag thingies they have at hospitals, and you're good to go.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Ribbed for her (reading) pleasure



















Get it?

Get some here.  Awww yeeaaahh...
There's a lot of poetry that I call "forgettable", but I'm not talking about forgetting the words, I'm talking about forgetting the experience of reading the words. I don't care about remembering the words. What I can't decide is, which is worse, a forgettable poem or a memorably bad poem? Who cares. Why am I talking about this. Shut up Matt nevermind sorry goodbye.

I'm star-

ting to think that satires of hipster cliches are a cliche.

1899 Indiana: 2008 Indiana minus billboards

Booth Tarkington, The Gentleman from Indiana:
There is a fertile stretch of flat lands in Indiana where unagrarian Eastern travellers, glancing from car-windows, shudder and return their eyes to interior upholstery, preferring even the swaying caparisons of a Pullman to the monotony without. The landscape lies interminably level: bleak in winter, a desolate plain of mud and snow; hot and dusty in summer, in its flat lonesomeness, miles on miles with not one cool hill slope away from the sun. The persistent tourist who seeks for signs of man in this sad expanse perceives a reckless amount of rail fence; at intervals a large barn; and, here and there, man himself, incurious, patient, slow, looking up from the fields apathetically as the Limited flies by.
(This one's for you, Brooklyn.  Ha.)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

I read the first chapter of Mansfield Park on my iPod this morning. Why? Because I am Fanny Price, according to facebook, so I'm curious to determine if this is true.

I quickly discovered that I'm able to read a lot faster on the iPod. Why? Because you're turning pages a lot more frequently, which makes it feel like you're zipping through. But also because it eliminates my OCD habit of obsessing over page numbers when I read regular books. It takes me forever to turn a page sometimes because I'm always worried that my thumb is grabbing more than one page or, worse, that the pages have been printed out of sequence, which is not me being paranoid because IT ACTUALLY HAPPENED to me one time. It was White Teeth by Zadie Smith. I was about to turn from page 167 (I don't really remember the number, but let's call it 167) to 168, but when I flipped the page, instead of 168 I arrived at 256 (or something)! I remained calm and turned to where 256 should have been, and sure enough, there was 168. Somehow those two pages had gotten switched in the printing process. Thankfully it was the only error in the book. That was almost six years ago, and ever since then I've been wary of turning pages for fear that something like that might happen again.

I HAVE TO MAKE SURE THE PAGES ARE IN ORDER

So if you ever watch me read a book you'll see me flipping a page back and forth for several whole minutes muttering "41, 42... 41, 42... 41, 42... 41, 42... 41, 42... 41, 42... 41, 42... 41, 42... 41, 42... 41, 42... 41, 42... 41, 42... 41, 42... 41, 42... 41, 42... 41, 42..."

But with the iPod, all it takes is a tap and the next page swoops right in. No mess! Burden lifted! Electronic books may not revolutionize the way I read, but they might revolutionize the way I read.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I'm going to ditch e-Hunger and pick up eventually the Robert Bly translation, which after looking at today I can tell is a lot better than the piece of crap tr. that I downloaded.  I think that one was the original English translation; the book came out in 1890.  What is it with old translations of old books always sucking?  Granted, I haven't read that many old books, but whenever I compare original, Victorian-era trs. with ones from like the mid-20th century onward, it's no contest.  It's not as if writers were stupider a hundred years ago, were they?

WERE THEY??????
So I downloaded finally the new iPod Touch software that enables you to add games and shit. iBowl is fun.

A day later or so I got around to downloading some electronic books. Namely,

Hunger, Knut Hamsun
Silas Marner, George Eliot
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, F. Scott Fitzgerald

The last one is a short story that a movie coming out is of. (It's my syntax and I'll cry if I want to.) Basically my plan is to read books that I don't feel like buying or even checking out from the library. I do not plan to make a habit of reading books on my iPod. But gawd-

DAMN is it convenient for reading in transit! It would also be great for when you get to a movie a half hour early and have nothing to do. You can sit in the dark and read a "book"! It's also great if you have a date that goes badly and you need something to read on the way home, something you wouldn't have been able to do before because you figured it would be tacky to take your backpack full of reading material along on a date, which was a prudent observation indeed.

I also downloaded The Waste Land, just to see what it would look like on the screen. You wanna know what it looks like? I'll tell you what it looks like. No line breaks. It's in prose. Prose.

Prose.

Uh...

Oh well, I hate reading poetry on screens anyway.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Plop plop, fizz fizz, oh

What a relief it is, I must say, to have discovered my final poem (see previous post). Now that I've seen the culmination of my poetical development, I don't have to worry about such things. I'm not sure what I mean by that, but then, I rarely am sure about what anyone means by anything.

In case you're wondering how I came upon this poem of mine that won't be written for another 84 years, I'm sorry that I can't give you an explanation, lest I put the fabric of the spacetime continuum at risk. But if you must know, no, I did not use a DeLorean, har har. I used a 1970 Dodge Charger.

WHY DON'T THEY MAKE CARS LIKE THAT ANYMORE

Ahem. Anyway, I'm also relieved to know that I'll live to be 110 and a half. True, it appears that I'll die a slow death from starvation, apparently alone, somewhere in northwestern Mexico (or perhaps "Sonora" refers to the Sonoran Desert, which extends into present-day Arizona...), but at that age, who the hell cares! Am I right?

Although...what if the average life expectancy in 2092 is 140? Nooo! I was (er, will have been) too young! Oy, the worries, they never cease.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

I used to set aside time for reading.  Now it's something I do in spare moments.  The non-spare moments are filled with watching TV and fucking around on the internet.  I don't even have a real job to use as an excuse for not reading.
The window was somewhat fogged, so it stood to reason that banks would be open, at least for some time.  Then we could go to town, discover our true natures, things like that.  But then it grew dark and sped up until all was worn down to a nub, a rather gratuitous one I might add, if I thought it would help.  Lofty goals approached and saddled the loose morals of our mortal foes.  To spend any amount of time in Dayton is asking for it.  Like when you said everything would be alright in Georgia, even when it wasn't.  The rain was helping to upend the worst luck imaginable.  We were worried the car wouldn't start.  Several of us became agitated to the point of extinction.  Grand gestures were the norm then, and portals opened without coaxing, wrinkles appeared under certain elders' eyes.  To cream when creaming was unfashionable, I say it got out of hand, the mistress said so.  It was she who told the rest of us where to stand.  I couldn't stand it any other way, any longer and we'd have been toads.  It was coming to that when bacon arrived.  The postal service limped into limbo not knowing where to kowtow.  I'd seek them where they last were known to lie: under the hedge across from the park, in the other park.  That's where you'll make your mark.  Those trees will never see it coming, and then you'll be free of attacking back without provocation, as no judge will concede to you the just officiousness with which terrible acting combined with supernatural breeding takes place.  I can only hope you have some kind of insurance.  It won't cover this, but at least you'll have been prepared to the best of your ability.  It was in this spirit that immortalization of human body parts would require too much to be found on any ship, let alone the one now making stops along the hostile shore.  Great, I'll take two crates.  And she'll have two as well, make up for the discrepancy between your cash and her wallet, all of this occurring despite reassurances to the contrary that nothing would happen, it's okay, it's totally safe.  That one I'd like to hear again, with feeling, or without feeling, hunting.  Bunting is okay, but you all are great lobster-eating at the real dive, and it couldn't have happened without you, the lot of you gets a check signed to the amount in question, that is namely, 119 thousand dollars.  Mostly, I let people shake hands with my fat lady song as the wind dies down, morning somewhere, I guess, and what can be made of it.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

I'm happy to announce that there now is fucking water in my fucking apartment.  A big thanks to all of you who sent e-mails, telegrams, singing telegrams, and flower bouquets with little notes attached, expressing your concern and sympathy.

Friday, November 28, 2008

I just urinated into an empty La Choy® Chow Mein noodles can

because there is NO FUCKING WATER IN MY FUCKING APARTMENT.
A line I remember: it's helpless to remember trying, useless etc.  I have no more to try today, looking always, looking fast for poles in the ground, placed there by geometry, polished wool.  Say to me about polished wool what lying down you could never admit, that there were times during the day when wading became obtuse, nervous folks left to their own devices, Samsung I think they were used to.  Because I fly to Greenland, I swim to RadioShack, it's where I got my harm on.  It's a way of positioning oneself to receive the business end of a well-placed try.  And sequestered I ran into the forest, I think, there it was all ready and waiting for me, tonight I lie in bed and split into two or more gnomes pushing tikes on trikes.  Clueless, topless, it's the way to be.  Do you know where to pray?  It's down here in the beltway, over the star sign I gave you a good idea of, until the bed weighed heavily, down the stairs and out into the blood-drained doings of the us I've been speaking of, the well-washed parts of the play and parceled-out packages he sends.  I've had it up to here with a splash, and then we waited for the semi-pro.  

Sunday, November 23, 2008

We will wade in the shine of the ever






















Saw this documentary about the Pixies, loudQUIETloud, the other day.  The more I learn, the more I love.

I own only two Pixies albums.  I've only read maybe 60% of the collected works of Kenneth Koch, my favorite poet.  I'm still not finished with Ariana Reines's Coeur de Lion, one of the best books I've read all year, and which I started in, like, March.

Do you see what's going on here?  Delayed gratification.  But not intentional!  It just works out this way.  I don't want good things to end.  I always want there to be more.  I don't want there to be a point where I've read every Kenneth Koch poem there is to read.  I don't want to "wear out" the Pixies the way I wore out the Beatles.

The only downside to drawing things out like this is the fear that I'll get run over by a bus tomorrow without having completed the things I really do, after all, want to complete.

One Pixies song, though not a Pixies song exactly—it comes from the David Lynch movie Eraserhead and has been covered by numerous artists—that I've only recently become acquainted with is "In Heaven".  Even though it's a cover, it definitely suits them.  The most haunting and bittersweet thing I've heard in quite some time.  Worth the wait.  Have you "lived" until you've heard Black Francis scream "In heaven, everything is fine" in a shriek so bloodcurdling as to send you in search of a clean pair of underwear?  Perhaps, perhaps not.

But back to that documentary.  Proof beyond all doubt that the Pixies are the least pretentious rock band of all time.  The sheer ordinariness of these people is astounding, considering the (black) magic they conjure onstage.  

The movie is about the 2004 reunion tour.  At the first rehearsal, they have to listen to their own albums on an iPod to remember how their songs go.  They look as if they're listening to someone else's music.  As if they themselves are a Pixies cover band trying to learn the songs.  They seem oddly detached from their music throughout the movie.

Except when performing, when everything clicks into place.  It's so funny to see them all nervous before the first show of the tour, wondering if people still like them, wondering if they're going to screw up.  

And then blowing the fucking roof off the fucking dump.

Someone forgot to tell them that they're gods.  They never got that memo.

Irritation station

I don't know why I keep reading the Harriet blog.  Must be because I'm all out of sharp objects to poke my eyes with.  Here's a little nugget of irritation from their latest post, by Cathy Park Hong:
Lavinia [Greenlaw] asked if the election will inspire more political poetry. I hope so. But I would think that the war, deregulation of corporations, Katrina, the pillaging of the environment, Abu Ghraib, and other corrosive abuses of power within the last eight years would be plenty reason to spur political poetry but has it? At the top of my head, I can think of a few poets whose latest collections have held a tuning fork to the world: Juliana Spahr, Ed Roberson, Claudia Rankine, Rodrigo Toscano, Barbara Jane Reyes, Dennis Nurkse, Matthea Harvey, and Aracelis Girmay. I’m sure there are many others who I’m forgetting…
Guilt-trip much?  Nothing against the poets she mentions, but if writing topical poetry is the only way to "hold a tuning fork to the world", I think I'll find a new hobby.

I think that Keith Olbermann, The Daily Show and The Colbert Report are about eight million times more useful as political tuning forks than any poetry you can possibly think of.

Bigger than Jeebus

Even in forgiving him, they still get it wrong:
"The remark by John Lennon, which triggered deep indignation mainly in the United States, after many years sounds only like a 'boast' by a young working-class Englishman faced with unexpected success, after growing up in the legend of Elvis and rock and roll," Vatican daily Osservatore Romano said.
It wasn't a boast.  John was lamenting his fans' mixed-up priorities.  He didn't want to be more popular than Jesus.

Found

on subway platform, 110th uptown 1 station:

One (1) LifeStyles brand ultra sensitive lubricated latex condom.  Gray package, near mint condition.  Lot #0801041322.  Expiration 12/2012.  If it belongs to you, email me with your address and I'll send it right along.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Alger Hiss, your grandma, and Bank of America...a common link?

Okay, that title was just to get your attention if you clicked here from a blogroll or reader or something.  What this post is really about is a list of books I've started reading recently.  Pretty boring, right?  Hence the bait.

These are eight of my most recent pickups, descending chronologically (most recent first is what I mean by that).

1) Rise Up — Matthew Rohrer.  I've read the first few poems.

2) Indiana, Indiana — Laird Hunt.  Beautiful, beautiful.  I'm on page 49.

3) The Case — Laura Moriarty.  I wish it were more arty.  That was mean.  Sorry.  I'm giving it the benefit of the (proof beyond a reasonable) doubt, believe me.  The very substantial doubt.  I'm more than halfway through.

4) What I Know So Far — Gordon Lish.  One of those guys I've heard about but never read.  I've read the first few stories and don't feel like giving it up yet, at least.

5) The Transformation — Juliana Spahr.  Whoa boy.  (You wonder, don't you: is that a positive or negative "whoa boy"?  Hmm...)

6) A Thousand Devils — K. Silem Mohammad.  Fun to read.  Kind of funny.  I plan to finish it.

7) The Hotel New Hampshire — John Irving.  I'm like 5% into it.  I can tell I'm going to like it probably.  Very portable.

8) Zazie in the Metro — Raymond Queneau.  Makes me want to write fiction.


Only three of those are poetry books.  Three are novels.  One is short stories.  One is "other".

Notable search terms

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Issue 2

is HERE.

Featuring my narcissistic ass.

No matter how much I try to relax and be a

receptive reader, I can't seem to over-
come my aversion to poems that
become skinny and
end with one
word.

Seriously. I know it's my problem, but there it is. Some of my favorite poets do it. Everyone does it every once in a while. I've been able to shake a lot of my poetry hangups over the few years I've been reading it, but that's just one I can't seem to let go of. What do I do about it?

Someone complaining

about narcissism in poetry said this: "I especially like being excoriated because I know that I have hit a nerve which means people are thinking."

Doesn't that sound like something a narcissist would say?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I hate

it when something turns out to be exactly what you thought it was. I was seeing these ads on TV for Equus, a play starring Harry Potter. I'd heard of it before, but I didn't know what it was about. The ads, of course, in that predictably annoying style of ads for Broadway plays, don't say anything about what it's about. Judging from the ominous tone of the ad, and from the title, I formed an idea in my mind of what the play was about, an idea which if I had put into words might have gone something like "Equus is a play about a young man who has a pathological religious/sexual fascination with horses." So imagine my disappointment when I looked it up on Wikipedia and found that Equus is a play about "a young man who has a pathological religious/sexual fascination with horses."

In closing, anyone wanna see Harry Potter's johnson with me? Too bad, cuz I've got better things to waste my money on than a probably-overrated-certainly-overpriced Broadway show. (What other kind of Broadway show is there? you ask. You have a point, I reply.)

Monday, November 17, 2008

This morning I waking-dreamt that a bill becomes law when two army generals take a shower together.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A round of applesauce. Really fandom-related, they. Did never become look out when I wasn't? Spelling is of course a hard-line position, whatever. You say I'm a bastard full of lecherous impulses, but what am I to bring to the potluck if not charming Q&A airs? Let me be the first to admit that what you're accusing me of is blatant geography. Am the second time around, I? Like no, but better because yes. Did something neutral or an expression of doubt pulled taut like whoa. Couldn't keep a secret, could you get that for me, could you place another brain upon the rung? Talking is like forming likes and dislikes without pausing to consult the experts, whoever they are or seem to be. Uh, yeah. And then some. Yeah, what do you want, cheese? That can be arranged actually; I know a guy.

Just because it's the high school gym doesn't mean it's also a helping of loaf. Rest comes as leftover pie over lies. Over and yes could have been true, lately sedimentary, loping along, your brat. Too late, but that's not neat, has a lot to agree on before taking care or holding down a j-o-b for more than a week. Leaflets arrive, announcements on them, also God is a tractor. All tractors belong to freebie sterling, hordes of them arguing all night about legs and locks. I always keep the box. That way I can premeditate to my heart's content, form, and meter. It's like I never even have to get up in the morning, it's all there, laid out for me in the dew-dappled drainpipe. Bubbles surmise me, trucks go by. And that, mirror breaks me, the tub fronts. Visually, years portend. Tricky maneuvering allows dust under the belts blowing up dirt bombs, scattershot vocation.
In the end, driving was really the only thing keeping us awake, not only because it relaxed us but then you can't tell what was going on.  Morbidity spiked that first week, I only held seven in my hand.  Straps will bring four lives into focus as onlookers become stripped of zones, pebbles of lifting shreds turned upright, sort of anyway.  Please be ready to accept what some see as an inevitability, close to death, daydreams, that sort of luck and bold crows.  I bit down on the flu.  Nothing ever came close to prescribing.  From what we'll poke to froth doomed apart to all, said goal reached and paid.  Create another like it, forge your own signature before the crooked pedestrians come to take the reins, come to say nothing more than fish or mortar, less like ponds.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Practically everything we know about the South comes from firsthand accounts brought to us by locals.  The right time for following people around is past, but not only do you get a free pass, the free pass gets a free pass, which may be sent along to the police unless intercepted by a third party.  Told you it wasn't going to be easy.  But, as always, you didn't listen.  Looks like we'll have to fend for ourselves out among the aging groupies assembled before the lodge.  As always, I liked what I say.  It came to me that way, as out of a dream I heard about from some guy I knew and always liked.  Yeah, that guy (forget his name) was instrumental.  I was just mental.  It was all mental, not dental.  But some of it was dental.  And some of it was parental.  There they were, the prince and the duke lying in the mud with strawberries stuffed in their mouths.  Stayed that way for, I don't know, a million years, like.  The last place you'd want to be found, Nashville was nothing more than a pipe dream.  A better memory might have served me well, oh well.  Yes, I can never seem to grasp the enormity of whatever's happening right in front of me, the players all seem dead out there.  Who can blame them?  Does anyone care?  It looks like the better part of a season is in the books.  Like the time I washed up for no reason, although it was never determined why that was.  Probably it would take another few years before we would get back to normal, but until then it would only be a few hours until the deadline we'd set for ourselves, notwithstanding greater expectations from the outside world.  Farmers, for example, were up in arms.  None of them wanted to record with me, so I had to fire them, and they revolted.  Serves me right.  Nowadays I cower unapologetically behind a large boulder I had installed on my front lawn.  I mean, sometimes you can see inside it, all the way down to the subbasement level, so that a passerby may be confused by the sight, losing himself before he has a chance to recover any damages that might have occurred due to negligence, theft, or other practically legal means.  And, honestly, I can't stress to you enough the importance of shaving all the way down to the skin, but if you don't want to listen, don't feel obligated.  Nevertheless, all are welcome.  Wipe your feet.  Did you say hello to the hair stylist or did that not supersede more pressing concerns.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

You do feel reckless undergoing these transcriptions.  Don't you.  They're nothing to worry about.  Every word is pronounced phonetically, like this, ahh.  Now you're getting it.  Time?  Yes, let's.  On to the lesser arachnids, their young and old.  Some animals.  I mean, SOME animals.  Society of Moray Eels.  I'm told we're not aloud, nor are we allowed.  But hey, that isn't my concern.  Who'd like to join me in fulgurating?  The glaring oversights soon to be committed by our loved ones are almost an excuse for worshipping at the altar of interstate commerce.  I know you've heard it before, but that doesn't stop you from balking at the notion that everything you've ever learned about animal husbandry was handed down by people who really shouldn't have been entrusted with your education to begin with.  One of them is named Rob, and another is calm to the point of absurdity.  One is too cool for words, another is a wed mother, an innkeeper, a bat breeder and a wig maker.

Do DJ's know how to speak English?

"Hope your morning is well."

Monday, November 10, 2008

Plow through

"I'm like, OK, God, if there is an open door for me somewhere, this is what I always pray, I'm like, don't let me miss the open door," Palin said in an interview with Fox News on Monday. "And if there is an open door in '12 or four years later, and if it is something that is going to be good for my family, for my state, for my nation, an opportunity for me, then I'll plow through that door."

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Something my roommates like to do is urinate all over the toilet seat.  I really really really really don't enjoy living with males.
When I hear people say "hegemony", I want to say "Gesundheit!"

Thursday, November 6, 2008

From the best political blog I know of, Glenn Greenwald's:

With their newly minted control over the White House and Congress, Democrats can easily provide a vital (if not complete) antidote to Proposition 8: repeal of the so-called "Defense of Marriage Act".

Barack Obama has, on numerous occasions, emphatically expressed his support for repealing DOMA. When he ran for the U.S. Senate in 2004, he wrote a letter to Chicago's Windy City Times, calling DOMA "abhorrent" and its repeal "essential," and vowing: "I opposed DOMA in 1996. It should be repealed and I will vote for its repeal on the Senate floor." But he went on to cite what he called the "the realities of modern politics" in order to proclaim (accurately) that DOMA's repeal at that time -- 2004 -- was "unlikely with Mr. Bush in the White House and Republicans in control of both chambers of Congress." After Tuesday, that excuse is no longer availing.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Life's too short for blogs of snobs. (Another one bites the dust.)
I would do grad school if there were any way I could do it that doesn't involve work, responsibility, grades, or any form of accountability.  If anyone knows of a way I might be able to do that, let me know.

On a related note, does anyone know how much trouble a person can get into by sneaking into a college lecture for which they are not enrolled?  Can they send you to jail?

While I'm at it (asking questions), what does it mean when you use your ATM card to buy something and the machine or cashier asks if you want "cash back"?  I always say/click no, just cuz I don't want to embarrass myself by asking the clerk what it is.  It seems to be one of those things everyone is supposed to know, but no one ever told me.  There are a lot of these.  Most involve money.  I still don't know what a mortgage is either.  Something to do with houses, but beyond that, I don't have a clue.  O people of the regular world, who told you about all this stuff, and why didn't they or you tell me?  Well, now's your chance.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

People say

"I don't like either of my two choices."

Um, maybe if you weren't expecting absolute perfection, you wouldn't have that problem, mkay?























I turned Inland Empire into a two-hour movie tonight.  Started at 12:10, ended at 2:10.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Overheard at work

"They don't have bagels in Germany. It's a Jewish thing."

***

"How you gonna toast a bagel?"

***

In both cases, the guy was being completely serious. These are the kind of people I work with.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

My ceiling is swarming with beads of yellow seepage.

Not the whole ceiling, just part of it. The wheels of maintenance are in motion, but a favorable outcome remains in doubt. I envision guys with wrenches spending an afternoon in my room, breaking things, creating disorder in the service of order.

I checked books out from the library for the first time in a year, I think. The books were written by Mohammad, Spahr, and Tate (comma James). Please don't recall them, fellow NYPLers. I need tiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiimmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmeeeeee to read them.

Thank you.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Was proud of myself for getting to bed a half hour earlier than usual, but woke up to the sound of water falling on cardboard, so ended up getting the same small amount of sleep. Not good for a cold. I hope the leak doesn't get worse and flood my room. I'll find out in a few hours. I put a towel on the floor. Probably should have moved my computer further away from where the leak is. Should be fine as long as the crack in the ceiling doesn't start to extend. Hopefully it won't be damaged by a few drops falling on the outer casing anyway. TV should be fine too. I need to look into whether those digital boxes get a stronger signal than the digital tuner antenna I have now. PBS (Thirteen) doesn't come in at all when I use the tuner. If I vow never to eat out again, I can afford cable. Not just if I vow, though. I have to actually do it. I can't see myself giving up Chipotle at least once a week though. I would eat frozen pizza six nights a week if that didn't seem excessive. Three or four nights a week already seems excessive, which is what my current rate is, about. I probably should have stayed home because of my cold and to monitor the leak. Probably shouldn't have come in yesterday either. But now at least I'll have an excuse to take a couple of "sick days" in the future, when I'm not sick. I really don't like missing work. Every day missed is $54.91 down the drain. If I wanted to spend that kind of money in a single day, I'd go see a movie. Ha. Ha. See, cuz movies are expensive.

Monday, October 27, 2008

It seems that the only way a date can work is if the girl is a natural conversationalist. One of those people who, if you didn't interrupt them occasionally, would be able to talk and talk without end. Like they have an endless stream of subject matter they can tap into at any moment. Or like dropping the needle on a spinning record. I'm the opposite. I will sit there for a whole minute, two minutes, three minutes, unable to think of a single thing to say. Same thing happens in job interviews. You're supposed to ask questions. I can never think of any. At all. Same was true in school. A professor once asked me why I didn't speak in class. I could never think of anything to say. I can't speak extemporaneously. That's why I hate talking on the phone too. I absolutely hate it. I don't know what I would have done before e-mail. I simply don't know how to generate enough enthusiasm for any given subject to the point that it would occur to me to bring that subject up in conversation. There's very little I enjoy talking about. Ingrid Bergman said something like, a kiss is what happens when words become superfluous. I kind of feel like they're superfluous from the get-go. I want to just skip ahead to the making out. Things seem to start going a lot smoother from that point anyway. I just wish it were socially acceptable to point that out the moment we say Hello.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Rolling Stone reporter

fashion magazine editor

art magazine senior editor

intern to legendary photographer

daughter of famous character actor

daughter of VERY famous fiction writer

sister-in-law of famous bestselling author

cousin of quasi-famous public radio producer

grandniece of famous soprano and vocalist on Star Trek theme

Saturday, October 25, 2008

This guy I've never heard of Patrick Phillips says this: "There is no greater blessing for a writer, I think, than the joy of being left alone."

Dude, speak for yourself.  Being alone fucking sucks.
Just remembered I also finished Anthony McCann's Father of Noise a few days ago.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Fucking finally

I finished a book. I don't think I've finished a single book this year. That's what happens when you read more than a hundred at a time. Remember that pledge I made not to buy any more books until I'd finished ten I'm currently reading? I broke that pledge weeks ago and haven't looked back. I haven't bought a ton of books, but I've abandoned the pledge.

The book I finished was Jesus' Son, by Denis Johnson. I started reading it sometime in college, back in the early 2000's. It's a really good book. The ones I like best are the ones that take me the longest to finish. Go figure.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

If I had a diary, tonight I would write in it:

Dear Diary,

I wish my life was interesting enough to justify a diary.

***

But then I would write:

But tonight, I do have something to write about!

***

And then I would write the following:

After work today I jumped on the 6 and jaunted up to the Upper East Side for a poetry reading at the New York Society Library, a 250-year-old subscription library that is pretty much your quintessential UES establishment. Upon entering, I immediately wanted to take up residence. I'd only ever been to one poetry reading above 14th St., and not one above 59th. It was a refreshing change of pace, atmosphere-wise. Uptown and downtown really are on separate planets, it seems. Anywayyyy...

***

And then I would probably describe the reading and tell about how much I enjoyed the whole experience.

I used to keep an actual notebook journal, but that idea seems so lonely now. To write knowing that no one will ever read what you're writing. What a strange thing. It's almost literally "talking to yourself".

But I did enjoy writing my age—in days—at the top of every entry. I've lost track of that number. I wonder if I've hit 9,000 yet...

Monday, October 20, 2008

Isn't it cool when you watch a movie, then you watch another movie right away, and a character in the second movie quotes a line from the first movie?  I did that the other night.  The Big Lebowski, Hannah Takes the Stairs.
5,000 clicks since April Fools' Day. About half of them are from exactly two people, but whatever.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Yes.




























Yes.






















Yes.




















Yes.
















No.







When I get giddy about mattresses, there's almost no topping me.  You can't top me with butter, you can't top me with chocolate.  You are receiving signals from reliable sources, you feel.  It can't be a week since I moved from the bathroom to the kitchen, and I'm starting to worry about consumption.  It is contagious?  Is there a woman with good typing skills and a 40-inch skillet with no children who likes to take baths while usurping?  I read some book in a place I call home.  It was not what I expected, nor was there a fight for savings at the highest levels.  Reality sets in at about the same time realty does.  You can count on that to deliver you, or else we'll see you in court, looking all handsome and resplendent in your new vest.  If there was ever any point to your investigation, let's see how it plays out among the skeptic few, the blistered crowds of chummy blokes.  Oh, I suppose we could outsource everything to the dance master, but what would that solve, and how long would it take?  Would you be willing to consider a return to more pertinent tasks?  It looks as if she wasn't able to get things going, and that was that.  But let me get this straight: no one even looks at you anymore.  See?  They don't like you.  They have everything they need back at the base, and even they are reluctant to get involved, like it or not, with local matters.  I am a fucking local matter.  Eat that, and then move on to the horse radishes.  That's a lot easier to take when you're built for bucking trends, when you're itching for a stump on which to stand.  Take a stand, yeah, take one, and then see what fustigations result.  Most likely you'll be asked to answer a few questions, no big deal, and then you'll be taken out and shown a good time, whether you feel like it or whether you'd rather stop for snacks along the highway.  Don't matter.  It steps into another dimension, your ball, once you decide to accept the acclaim of the public and/or the critics, but you know, whatever.  Sucks to be that guy.  

Friday, October 17, 2008

Looks aren't everything.  I should be getting back to the lighthouse.  Maybe I shouldn't have said that.  Maybe I should care what you think, or not.  Did something burn, or did someone leave little bits of leftover beef in the alley, where my friends and I became enamored with the way of the likenesses of living organisms.  Suppose you were to damage a Rear Admiral's sedan while sledding one bright January day.  And suppose that once accomplished, you opted to slink away into the folded up nature walk reality show dreamscape outer space adventure thingy.  Look what happens.  Did they show up on time, at least?  Or did you come prepared, smoking something I've never heard of let alone talked about openly in front of my friends and family.  Creeps me out, that's what.  I can't fathom what's going through your head, nor can I glean a word of truth from movie stars' biographies.  Little did I know I wasn't holding out.  There were spectral figures, I heard.  They were only there to protect themselves, not to get involved in local races, only local hormones.  It can't be that bad.  Look, every time I've ever tried to fell a maple, I've gotten a lot of grief from the tree people.  Younger girls work every time, nobody knows the game or how to play, what it's like, go to hell, no, just kidding.  The frame around the thought is totally deserving of it.  The secret is not a secret unless those of us who like secrets agree to play along dutifully with the game-changing investments of earlier ages.  Like it matters.  Was another time, wasn't it.  Or having come into the fold been warned of the consequences all about nobody coming in, nobody going out.  It really gets the point across when you send mail out and complain about the covers on your books, but not the books of others.  It looks great on a résumé.  I talk in soothing tones to my real army, the one I dread like none other, but hey, that's their problem.  When it divides sun into moon, lackluster performances hurt a great deal less than what one otherwise might have predicted.  I don't know, despite my vast knowledge, that I can solve this problem all by myself, unless you're into that sort of thing, like I am.  But who isn't.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

It's as if they weren't even there. Can you explain, I said, or comprehend, but what was it besides that. In any case, but that's another story. Slid over to the main stair, revealing every chapter to be looked at from different angles, strangers wishing they weren't so nutty or politic. It says a lot about you, just from the design of the house. And onward until the house comes apart in your feeble hands, but not that feeble. No one can reveal a hat trick like ploys of surrender or sophisticated blundering. But what if they, I mean who said it would be easy? It seems to me that a lot of what people are saying means closeness isn't what it used to be, or that people in shires like those we used to live in ourselves no longer get out the vote, or someone is telling them to behave like vacuum cleaner repair- or sales-persons. Giddily we exchanged glances across the aisle from town to town, all down the line, over meadows carefully scripted like the weeds of another bloviating hardship. Yikes. It can't be that the movers and Shakers are so adept at culling that none of them says, Looky here, I can put clothes on, just like people and women with gloves on like the frilly lace I played with strings, colorfully on the dime of great policy. It's the devil inside that becomes terrible to sit by, and wait, and wait, the eagle says something to the hawk, and first come, first serve, the suitcase by the door, walking up to it and away from the same time. Good luck.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

What I Saw at the Duct Tape Manufacturers Conference 2008, part 972


"You're nothing but a little wannabe gangsta faggot!" says one coworker to another. To be clear, the utterer is himself an avowed adherent of the homosexual persuasion, and the recipient of his remark probably deserved, if not the precise words, at least the general thrust of the insult. Also of note is the fact that the offender is a middle-aged man, and so should be a little more mature, don't you think? I define middle age as forty to sixty years, though I sometimes extend the range to sixty-five, considering that today's seniors are much more active than those of previous generations. These aren't your grandparents' grandparents, so to speak.
Oddly, though not unexpectedly, I thought about falling asleep two or three times before the game started.  Then the game started.  Wow, that's so interesting I can't even dance straight.  Lights up.  I can't figure out my combination without tying my shoes.  I can't figure out how my shoes ended up in the barn.  There are so many barns, and so little time here, which is to say, I like you.  If there were ever a pair of pants that could justify so large a barn, I haven't seen it.  Depends on what you mean by, "I told you so."  But then of course there are other qualifications that have to be met, agreed upon, signed into law, but let's not concern ourselves with those just yet, he said.  In other words, bananas and trucks and wings and forts and blood and jail, well that's my view.  If you don't agree you can always refer back to your owner's manual, the one, yeah, the one I gave you for your birthday, despite your frequent and vociferous protests.  They were elegantly positioned to the fore, and unless I'm mistaken, you're one and the same.  Can you smell that?  It's as if we've dawdled into a new day, an old-but-new zip code, one where everyone seems to be saying things like, "I am a swallowed brunch," and what is the meaning of that which you say.  He say they be looking for a fight, though I have not seen any indications of anything approaching what you might call a tsunami of influence at this time.  The thing to do, I think, now is to band together in search of a common enemy or ancestor.  Really great things are being done in hermeneutics these days.  We can set up shop in the north wing of the Castle Creek Mall, they have an arcade next door I've always wanted to stinkify.  Can we possibly maybe end up doing that?  I'd love you to cum.  That's why I keep coming back for more, to this store, your family's.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The bogus Bradley effect

The "Bradley Effect" is a "pernicious canard and is unworthy of 21st century political narratives." This guy should know.
But what can I say in ten minutes or less that won't appear to incriminate the absolute poverty of absolute hindsight.  In training, the lads were well appareled, so many digs happening, the science of life, the rood on the deck of the frigate.  Luck had nothing to do with it, the stop sign said so, said we were all doomed to praise the fairy tales we'd learned, but someone else stepped in.  Crashing waves became the norm and then disappeared over the—

—no no, it was like that already, I did it like that on purpose, it was my intention, not my inflection, nor my reflection.  Could have been my detection but probably not that either.  But okay, say that's so.  Does it prevent you from coming up with a workable solution?  It can't be that easy, can it?  To work and work and find nothing at the bottom of the pit, nothing to scream about on the way to the theater where they're showing the last movie ever made in the state of Nebraska?  Yeah, I believe that.  Right, just like the time you escaped into the Montana wilderness or the time you wandered off into the New Mexico desert, oh that was a time we had.  Oh me oh my.  People keep coming to tell me how much they miss you, how much they look forward to your return, and when will that be? they ask.  I tell them not to wait up, I tell them it's okay to bleed into the sand for days on end, there's enough sand to absorb any amount of blood and besides it wasn't until the christening at the Robertson's that we finally decided to amount to something.  I mean, puhleaze!  Mormon salt shakers get a better deal than that!  Are you fucking mental?  I know, it can be hard to discern between eggs and butter, especially when science has it that no man will live past the age of forty who undergoes regular, um, haircuts.

Monday, October 13, 2008

So I took one of the napkins down from the shelf and spread it out on the TV tray where I was planning to eat lunch. It was a fine plan, but untenable. The bats I was keeping my eye on were unquestionably itching for a fugue. I played them one but still they mocked me, made me their figurative bitch. A literal bitch lived in my utility room, a very small one with webbed toes and a cute wet nose. I tackled everything from math to science, and everything in between, but no results attached themselves to my origins in the fields of western Kentucky. My bruise was threatening to swallow my charm bracelet, cutting off circulation to low-lying areas, including but not limited to bogs and mires. The captain's tires were shredding finely over the valley, were being skidded along without a care. My job was to contain the bejesus out of Old Hickory, the mayor of Casterbridge, last I heard. Yep, somebody got to him, and you know who that would be. Fortunately I never put much stock in his company, nor in that of his sister Elmyra. Hey man, I can't help it, I just get the willies every time I look at the silly old cow. It's messed up, dude. You can't even get a pint of, I don't know, beer or whatever unless you decide to show up unannounced, cultivating a false sense of security in the hearts of your dearest enemies. Not a bad idea, some would say. Not the worst at any rate. It seems they are looking for you, the constable said something, I don't know, something about you, General Grant, and widely spaced planters on the mall. Good, at least I know you're listening. Now don't let him feel you up the way he did me. Oh, it was fun at first, but as soon as I realized that he'd never speak to me again, I maintained a household comprised of over thirty members, each calmly assigned the task of butchering each other like, well, you don't want to know. I really can't say enough for them, but then again they say it so well themselves, I don't know why I'd even try. They play it as it lays, and then some. Who cares whether the rules are followed to a T? What matters is that mushrooms are no longer capable of abstract math, and I take the blame, despite never having entered into an agreement that could be construed to ensure such trivialities. Time is running out for them and they know it. It skates away like ham into the ether, the banjo music of the era. Your harmony, honey, is tied to another epoch.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Of course you're alright, it's spelled out in cuneiform tablets stacked so thick you'd think Oprah was on her way.  I'd think you were mistaken, but let's reserve such opinions for a later date, I'm thinking of a number between June and April.  I said, How do you like that, a real nibbler, nibbling me fine, and I have no complaints.  Yesterday I went to wash my car but Nicodemus had beat me to the punch, and was spiking it openly.  Tenderly I touched his arm and convinced him to lay down a wager for the party manager, a rotund rascal by the name of Peter Dunlap.  Peter Dunlap, a great man, they said, and who could blame or disbelieve them?  I certainly wasn't in any kind of mood to go about hunting for play-dates for my nephews and their spouses and their children.  It was too much, and it was sunny, and I felt like maneuvering a hippo into the shed.  The hinges on the door were squeaky, so I gave them a tune-up and gave everybody a hug, ushering us all into the new millennium, the one we'd all been waiting for.  Before long it was time to roll out the cake.  Frosting was optional, they'd said at the bakery, and I'd opted for it.  Some time passed before everyone had a piece, and I'll be damned if little Jolene didn't end up with a chocolate-covered face.  It was that kind of small event that made me reconsider selling myself into the waiting arms of yet another handsome canto floating patiently from room to room at all hours.  Nothing could stop me from wondering where it had come from, but something did stop me from climbing to the top of the radio tower and calling in an air strike on the fitfully sleeping town below.  A window was open, so I closed it, but nothing else in the room would budge, not curtains, not furniture, not ideas about armature or candelabras.  And then—well, somebody had to do something!  All that china wasn't going to just gather itself off the floor and reassemble into graceful shapes.  Duh.  A lot of time and effort went into the project, only to yield mixed results.  As a consolation prize, a potato fastener was told to be unlike all others of its kind, lest inspectors relegate it to the nightmare warehouse scenario.  Oh no, nothing like that.  It was too perspicacious to have even been considered.  Light wasn't getting in anyway, it was all shot up, useless.  I could tell many had been through and left their wrappers and so forth all along the darkened halls.  Well, any which way would do, supposing the lights be left on and the cats turned out while people with serious business on their minds could be left to contemplate the edge of sanity, as it were, though not unlike feathery cirrus clouds, kites, rainbows, happy animals and lucky machines.  It was a good day to think such thoughts, to dream and whatnot, unlike most days found shackled beneath the stairs, an oily excrescence resembling a wart but much larger.  Oh, I guess that was his brown-haired head.  My mistake.  These glasses are foggy and unreliable.  Who let all that steam in here?  Close the doors and windows.  I mean open them!  Open the doors and windows!  I can't see a thing.  It's getting darker and cloudier and the sun is—hold on, no—the ocean is folding chairs for me in my vast arboretum, the classiest patch of cultivated grass you're likely ever to see.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

A breath of

fresh air from Dorothea Lasky. Dorothea Lasky, your blog, like your poetry, is a tonic, by which I mean, "an invigorating, refreshing, or restorative agent or influence", not a literal fizzy drink.

Cheers!

T minus 34:30:00

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Dude...

A few minutes ago I thought I would check in on Ashbery's A Wave, one of the over 100 books I'm currently reading.  For bookmarks I sometimes use old envelopes.  After re-reading "Destiny Waltz", I happened to glance at my envelope bookmark.  And then my brain went something like, Derrrr...uhhh...iz dat uhhhh....PAYCHECK?!?!

And yes, yes it was.  A paycheck dated 7/9/08.  A paycheck marked "VOID AFTER 3 MONTHS".  Now, I guess 3 months from 7/9 would be 10/9, right?  Ninety days would be 10/7 (today), or 10/6 (yesterday) if 7/9 counts as "day 1"... but since it says "3 months" and not "90 days", I'm good to go, right?  Right?  I know that even if it is void all I have to do is ask my employer for a new check, but I would like to avoid the embarrassment.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Who is pretending to be me???

Holy shit.  Someone just wrote this about me online:

"The Panthers got off to a great start moving the ball effectively, but four straight penalties had them facing a long-yard first down attempt.

Forced to throw deep, quarterback Matt Walker was picked off, which led to a Saints’ touchdown."

My name is Matt Walker, but excuse me, I am not a quarterback!!  WTF??????  I've never even played football!  Unless you count flag football!  When I was in kindergarten!  Which I didn't even understand at the time!  Much less enjoy!

I did not get picked off!  I'm telling you, I DIDN'T FUCKING THROW THAT INTERCEPTION!

Who can I sue???????????????
It seems weird to me that so many people covet their own names, and are so protective of them that they're willing to go to court. People like me, not to mention the John Smiths of the world, have to deal with doppelgängers all the time, and I don't complain. Among other things, I'm a former drummer for the Smashing Pumpkins.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

I have been plagiarized

Well, I knew this would happen sooner or later.  Apparently, some scheming ne'er-do-wells have deliberately STOLEN over 3,000 poems from my continuing life-work, The EU Butter Mountains of Old, and have published them as an "anthology" with each poem being credited to a different poet.  I knew my genius would not go unexploited by the freedom-hating blogorissimos who infest every corner of this series of tubes, but I'll be goshdarned—GOSHDARNED, I TELL YOU!—if these scalawags don't expect me to fight back.  Whoever is responsible for this travesty, hear me now: I will use every resource at my disposal, I will stop at nothing, I will chase you round the moons of Nibia and round the Antares maelstrom and round perdition's flame before I give you up!

Here is the cover they've slapped onto MY masterpiece.  Hideous.  Disgusting.  Un-American.


Thursday, October 2, 2008

Idiocracy











In 2005, Mike Judge saw into the future.  A possible one, anyway.  One that might be brought about much sooner if Sarah Palin becomes president someday.  Nobody saw this movie when it came out because Fox tried to kill it, but that just proves how great it is.  Seriously, people.  Just rent it.  Rent the hell out of it.  Now, since I think that telling someone about a movie you saw is like telling someone about a dream you had—more interesting to the teller than the tellee—let me just copy-and-paste this little slice of dialog from IMDb:

Carl's Jr. Computer: Enjoy your EXTRA BIG ASS FRIES!
Woman at Carl's Jr.: You didn't give me no fries, I got an empty box.
Carl's Jr. Computer: Would you like another EXTRA BIG ASS FRIES?
Woman at Carl's Jr.: I said I didn't get any!
Carl's Jr. Computer: Thank you! Your account has been charged. Your balance is zero. Please come back when you can afford to make a purchase.
Woman at Carl's Jr.: What? NO!
[She hits the machine. An alarm goes off, and a sign appears on the computer saying "Carl's Jr. Frowns Upon Vandalism."]
Carl's Jr. Computer: I'm sorry you're having trouble. I'm sorry you're having trouble.
Woman at Carl's Jr.: My kids are starvin'!
Carl's Jr. Computer: [the woman kicks the computer, and it sprays a chloroform-like substance in her face, knocking her out] This should help you calm down. Please come back when you can afford to make a purchase. Your kids are starving. Carl's Jr. believes that no child should go hungry. You are an unfit mother. Your children will be placed in the custody of Carl's Jr.  Carl's Jr..."Fuck You, I'm Eating."
[Joe approaches the computer]
Carl's Jr. Computer: Welcome to Carl's Jr. Would you like to try our EXTRA BIG ASS TACO? Now with more MOLECULES!
You get the idea.  It takes place 500 years from now, but actually a lot of this movie isn't much of an exaggeration of today.  It's a world where every drinking fountain dispenses the sports drink Brawndo™ instead of water, and the most popular show on TV is called Ow! My Balls!

Anyway, enjoy the debate tonight...

Monday, September 29, 2008

Things that are irritating

1. People who think they're too cool for James Tate.
2. The subway.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

(Okay, so this was taken a few days ago, but now it has context.)

It's probably not a stretch to say that I find approximately half of all indie bands to be as irritating and bland as mainstream Top 40 music.

Foreign policy wisdom from Sarah Palin

"It's very important when you consider even national security issues with Russia as Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where — where do they go? It's Alaska. It's just right over the border. It is — from Alaska that we send those out to make sure that an eye is being kept on this very powerful nation, Russia, because they are right there. They are right next to ... to our state."

The Haunted Gym of Overland Park

Kansas.

I love you David Letterman

Whoa!  I'm watching him eviscerate John McCain right now for suspending the campaign and skipping his scheduled appearance on the show.  He's on fire.  Even the Top Ten List is making fun of him.  Ah Dave, you still got it.

Keith Olbermann is coming on now...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Dear people, what exactly is the

significance of the Republican base being "energized" by Palin? Does an energized vote count as, like, two votes, or what? Does being energized mean they're going to apply more physical pressure on the ballot stylus than they normally would? And that the resultant larger hole will somehow be worth more than a relatively small Democratic hole? An odd concept, I must say.

Yours sincerely,

Matt, A Relatively Small Democratic Hole
The New Faces? Sounds like a boy band. Or a ripoff of some 70's band with a similar name. But in fact, it's a ripoff of Franz Ferdinand. Why? Why is a Franz Ferdinand ripoff necessary? Franz Ferdinand itself is barely necessary, it could be argued.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Minutes

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

0805—The dressing of the body. Cortizone has been applied to two parts of similar shape.

0825—Hoodie time! The first of the season. Kid across the aisle is wearing t-shirt of train we are on: "1".

0837—I am writing this in a 60-page Japanese notebook (that's 30 sheets) I got at Muji, "the Japanese Ikea". I read about these notebooks and the store they come from on a blog, and now here I am with one in my hand. I've never been to an actual Ikea. Sixty pages is a good length, especially appropriate for this project. Get it? Sixty pages, sixty minutes, sixty seconds...

0850—Confession: I had to correct my spelling of Bernanke. Don't ask.

0853—The Caucasian young professional on my left is listening to possibly rap music on her headphones. She is standing, I am sitting.

0904—Elevator. Ever since I started setting my alarm five minutes later, I keep getting to work five minutes late.

1029—Part of 16th floor smells like some kind of pioneer village.

1216—In my element. My element is Burger King.

1232—Emerge from BK feeling like crap. Perhaps it's the food. Thinking about those Libertarians from yesterday. Yes, they were Libertarians. I saw them on the news, but I did not see me. I was sitting too high up on the steps to be caught by the camera, at least in the footage I saw. I have a footage fetish. You could say I'm a footage fetishist, yes you could.

1238—"Siamese connection".

1451—Digging highly the Taken by Trees cover of "Sweet Child o' Mine".

1800—There are not a lot of people my age named Phyllis.

1805—We are being held momentarily by the train's dispatcher.

1810—The transition from summer to fall is the most abrupt of the four seasonal changes.

1826—Fucking NY Post.

Michael Silverblatt discusses D.F.W.

If you haven't read him and for some reason you're still wondering whether to read him, listen to this.