Saturday, February 28, 2009

Floodlight by Amanda Deutch

after First by Michelle Naka Pierce and Sleeplessness is Reward JKD


A slip of metal. Off to buy one, sexy and squeaking of promises. Pirouette on a washing machine. Rain can be the simplest form of sloughing. From the rain—a kind of turning. Bits of certainty pierce out from under glass streets. Borrowing socks on both coasts—East and West. Determined, these calluses are proof of spiritual night walking. Slips of silk and metal grind till they glow from the North. So with the rain comes moss and a certain shift. As the bumper sticker says, reading is sexy. Snow, wind picking up speed, rain, a sunny afternoon, breezes along the creek—all in a day’s work. What once was impossible now just is.

Instead of, yet again, over to you now. (by JKD)

After Brown Bag Lunch by Barbara Beck

Saying “Fidget”, “Catsup”, “Brittle” helps, but only so much.
Crinkle truth with a smidgeon of faked post-apocalyptic quotation.
Pascal meets Nietzsche on the Mercator relishing a brunch with the beyond.
Call this unwrapped kinky planisphere a self-accusation.
Solitude a denizen lithe as cosmic conspiracies.
Cut yourself on the glass endtable. On purpose?
The same plane’s flap choking is under-suspicious.
Downed the Boeing regardless.
Stand-up crew mechanics control is a stretch.
Posterity? Its worthlessness is lost in the distorted smear campaign.
Sop up rectangular remainders of the self designed by allusion.
Never touch the word. Litter. Skulk. Ire.
A pool gathered to fund past futures marketing affairs gone awry.
The bond relatively closer comes calling.
It’s evidence is messier, but quieting.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Technical Question by Jonathan Wonham

After Amanda Deutch's: "I am pretty sure I have asked this before".

Am I sure before I ask: Am I pretty?
Sure I am sure. Pretty sure. Before I ask.
I have asked this. I have asked this pretty.
Am I pretty? I have asked this before.

Ask: am I pretty? Ask! Ask!
Ask: was I pretty before? Ask for sure.
Before I was pretty. Am I sure? Am I sure?
I sure was pretty before I asked this.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Sleeplessness is reward itself on this suspended pavement by JKD

After I edited out the « I » by Jonathan Wonham, and The Street by Chris Pusateri

I'm hardly awake, borrowing darkness
as if walking floodlit on self-edited lines.
This burgled thought pinched, swept out
of an ibis’ pocket, old lady or sapling.

I am primeval, a spectacle of myself
edited into the borrowed bright-lit brasserie
from which I roam emptily caffeinated
squeaking promises: a have-to, a trying

daybroken cowering pharmacy exhaust
before this scrupulous series of lines
lining pages or griding thought to thought as
if I could almost get out, sidebar, space, blanket.

Friday, February 20, 2009

I edited out the "I" by Jonathan Wonham

After barbara beck's "I think almost all the borrowed lines got edited out!"

I edited out the "I" (the "I" I'd borrowed).
All I got out were the lines I'd edited out.
All the lines I almost thought I'd thought were borrowed!
I thought the thought and thought I'd almost get out.

I edited out the thought and almost got out.
I "got" the thought and then I thought it out.
The line of thought ran almost almost out.
I borrowed and I borrowed and I borrowed.

New: The Street by Chris Pusateri

after Jacques Roubaud, with a line by Sylvia Plath

I'm still awake.

I walk in darkness
as if this sidewalk, by
its floodlight burgled
from a rich woman's toilet or the
last penny pinched from a
pickpocket's pocket,
is the ibis
of the present spectacle--primeval, antique.
Now, then
crickets sweep the evening
daybreaks squeak into exhausted brassieres
and this darkness in which I walk
cowers before the brightness of an all-night pharmacy,
where a sapling, twice a tree
for trying to be, promises itself to pavement.

"sleeplessness has its own very pleasant reward."

Thursday, February 19, 2009

New: First by Michelle Naka Pierce

After Marie-Louise Chapelle’s Mettre (p. 38).

It was a hypothesis: first who said the loss was a result of knowing what was once impossible. Or it was a certainty. Bits of proof under glass in microscopes. It was an opinion, and loss was not a result, but a shift in direction. The wind picking up speed from the north, telling us snow was on its way. A breeze along the creek. What once was impossible now determined. The same way a footprint sets in mud, then is washed clean from the rain. The result is knowing, a kind of turning. A pirouette where callus meets wood floor. A kind of rotating, such as there is with an axle. A slip in metal.

First it was. Then what was. Once impossible.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

New: They waited at the treeline for their dog’s return. (by JKD)

‘Intimacy’is as abstract as ‘car’ or ‘cataract’, this graph is a series of lines in b & w. If colored, like a pie chart, would it make more condensation of the meaning?: Hopeless. Hopping. A to-and-fro is like rummaging in an old bag for loose sugar (B. Hillman’s title). Books I miss. The piano? No. Today it is the girl next door. Samba or salsa. At least not heavy metal, the curve ball of clashing guitar strings. What bound us together? Gather the last lapped drops up, sprint. These borders are others, not mind, which (whose?) hands pressed against. I likened space to captivity. Running in place or carrot-chasing. We could all be gerbils infecting hosts with cowpox. Muscle removed, she was hollowed. But only there, where you pressed your thumb to the absented. Presence is less solid than expected. Wake to the body gone, in the kitchen, no closer than when city, state, country, continents, planets apart. What was so blue about her fingernails? A trail through the forest automatically pilots us back to Gretel. “Here little, here, little…” When is calling into the void’s dark fruitless? I stand on the horizon and look backwards. Will I capture the world in a glance? Poor Eurydice would have liked to know. Rugged underworlds, what resembles this assemblage of bricks, luggage, language? My mother’s lines, still, and if she cannot go on interminably does that give our conversations more meaning? A list of to-dos, questions about taxes. Where to hide the money now the banks are broke? Old lady’s socks are full of holes leaking gold. They say 746,235 francs were never recovered. But who decided those bills should be invalidated. Bodies of paper, human form. The skeletal solidity like stone (chalky) (limestone) in la Madeleine reminds me that nothing about the museum will conjure up those spirits. Talking of glass, this one’s broken.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

brown bag lunch by barbara beck

(I think almost all the borrowed lines got edited out!)

she fidgets but helps spread the others' cut and crinkle
saying ketchup constitues truth butter a smidgeon

of a cosmic event with its fake quote by Pascal
from post-apocalyptic scratch again an irksome process

as she bleeds one day over into next month's littering the plate
glass table sure she can eat even if dark pools lie on the same

planisphere her future past unwraps kinky accusations ladies
please! who can deny bizarre but non-suspicious choking

of children crummy posterities conceived distorted smeared why
bread is a sop for destiny she never touches that word

combination of homemade and designer illusions baggy
yet of great use they all stand to lose rectangular

meals in exchange for a messier plan that's a stretch
off the Mercator thinking of it as luck as relishing beyond

intimating, by JKD

After Michelle Naka Pierce & Chris Pusateri reading ensemble at X, Feb 10, 2009, & an email from Christina Herzer.

facts missing memoir's aggregate slippage. names, or the heat in the evening bed ceiling snow vulnerable secret direction of you fading. lie. glass sleep. a picture yellowed as persistent film. think, closer to me, hearing an old, heavy voice. childlike breadth of scuffed knees, pick-up self recurring in time zone's return. fountains turn back rock canyon quarry's mouthless history. speechless documents graph you to you to close everyday content's failure to risk imprinting the written space printed, printing this unreeled distance. white breath, neck cramps, a city (India), house open to four seasons, direction a compass-character you pick up like a toy consequence. the otherness in/of the familiar. almost. as in the way this gap (space) (tooth) reaches.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Sneak Off and Breathe by Amanda Deutch

After Explaining the Train by Jonathan Wonham, The difficulty of activating anyone by JKD, and soapbubbles by standish

Saturday inside this
**** glass floating skin
***************************** not so blank, needed

The trains screw up constantly—
our urban zen masters teaching us
******************************flexibility and patience

This faith hurts
**********as it touches
its creatures, I am among sometimes

passengers go stale
they look as if they could be called hungry

The rain can’t be certain of anything but rushing to greet us
water breaks over our blind moments
with such new breath as to erase immobile hours

It is almost as if rain blushes.

This is not a covered ride.

no. no.

it is blinding breaking rushing upward downward climbing immobile masses metropolises constant hearing grazing vertical certain strong here past back forever going empty touch blank lamenting accepting standing entering

the sun, of entering

we have no chance

a certain voice, hearing

running in the break

cover, rain can’t ever

we have *************************************** no chance in this house like a needle's eye
*******************colliding new motherless
so we might as well ride********************* the trains
learn our lessons,
****************sneak off and breathe

New: Bensonhurst by Amanda Deutch


yes alan or whoever you are. I was in Bensonhurst yesterday, crying and walking as I do wander. I wandered on old streets where someone I knew walked. feeling an indescribable emotion—guilt? regret? no. awareness that someone had asked so often, even begged me to come back here. I declined, lied, refused, “soon, soon, I’ll be back, a few weeks, a few months.” Now walking these streets, I am comforted and overwhelmed knowing how many times your feet must’ve stepped on this very same concrete…for years your little feet walked here, before I was born. I want so badly to place my footsteps in the exact places where you did….and so I walk taking guesses... notice the trees and know they were here when you were…these same oaks, bare now in winter, one year after your death. Bare, but still wise, these trees remind me, they, at least, were here when you were a child walking. Place my palm, fingertips, on mottled pale and dark patches of smooth tree bark. tree bark and pause in the dark empty street talking with you. tears strolling down my faces. I ask you to forgive me as you asked for forgiveness so many times. You reply that I had been here with you , wandering, book shopping all those years before, so it evens out that I abandoned you later when you called me back. and you did call me back. there is no argument there. what hurts is I am aware I ignored you. irony is I am here now because of you and you are gone from this city

Dec 30, 2008

Sunday, February 1, 2009

soapbubbles by sean s

after "Sarah", published in the Winter 2008 issue of Tin House

You were the tattoo of my house before you stood in my house.
- Chelsea Lemon Fetzer, "Sarah"

I was the skin of my house before

the tattoo was drawn.
My house was shallower than a tattoo,
floating bubblelike in bursting bodies,

bodies bursting from the depleted sighs

inside the floating skin.
Before you arrived, houses floated through me

like windows, through the window of me,
I was remembering the nerve etching of the
tattoo on glass before the house had arrived,
floating transparently over our heads, one

corner glinting in the sun like a needle.