Monday, April 30, 2007

For instances ("...abandon syntax as a lark...")


Slipping lark-wise. Syntax
is body — it's dial syntax, people

syntax, ticklish to my ship. Your
body is could nor sometime

out for glish or a signal.
A verb with lower parts do

the very or warm. Exactly
purse and pray precisely. When

numbing it right, order
parts, the first not there.


There's blue — may
the chips fall in numbers. And

we went, there
of a however. We

go — up like abandon —
loop low by lures, low

as larks. Look still and scribbled
to mouthing company. And

I was sparky and lost, and I
was not a verb. My

May bed — hackneyed and flushed
— it's the morn or sometime.


O the sky I conquer
to the flames forms all

beyond — flunges. The thing
that out a sight does feature.

[An "instance" in which I begin with a portion of a line from Bruce Andrews. The full sentence, from I Don't Have Any Paper, So Shut Up (or, Social Romanticism) is: "Bugs inspect the abandon syntax as a lark — sudden pockets pout end duly drought" (61).

I picked this passage because Andrews' work has been particularly important to me, and because this line (or portion of a line, rather) nearly sums up his poetic practice, focused as it is on an "abandon syntax." But for Andrews, this practice isn't a "lark" — on the contrary, his treatment of "syntax as a demolition derby" works to "both construct and disrupt [the] social order," and to "suggest a
social undecidability" (as he puts it in "Poetry as Explanation, Poetry as Praxis").]

Sunday, April 29, 2007

For instances ("As for we who 'love to be astonished'")


In a two as yours, from
ever those rose — ever

the pairing upons. Two
openings out — a flicker from

the eyes have caused
and sky surprised. All there

those visible words become
as wounds be ever in, only

for as fair as fire.


It was poured. It was
the sacred in was. It

was lost, though,
for found again. Hope —

love loose and lovely,
let for language long

ago. Langour sames
no lips. Fitter

with becauses, of
coursed and swollen.

The winds came, and
the me they affect. I know

for a clock, I next the pull
around you, sure

as torpedoes.

[Yet another in the "For instances" sequence, this one stemming from a line that recurs throughout Lyn Hejinian's My Life.]

Saturday, April 28, 2007

A True Poem


Scrunch purple! I've
pudding on panties. Snug!

My hobo name's Brushfires
Andy — seriously! My *other*
name's Chattahoochee. Luggle-
juggle dip droopy. Swedish
meats lick stud missles. Bad beets
mean good gravy — starslings
and lost lumplets.

Every dragon eats
a wizard; every wizard
is an elf.
Cobblers, each one.



Get that spurt
outta there!

I diddle butter better, bite
a whoop in ain't-it-good...
Crumpet fumbled un-
crushed boats. It's "on
porpoise!" Beerbelly
shake-up in a wakened town.
Oh, well. What's
the heck?

It's all gravy, glorious
and grody. To that maxi-pad, indeedy.

[Most of my poems are lies — beautiful lies that, as Dante says, cover the truth like veils. This poem, however, is true.]

Friday, April 27, 2007

For instances ("Rasp we also heard it / was / called")


They grew to they, they
let varies vary

with ekes and alsos.
The bird a birds, a

so say, rasped
on odes. Sleeping

and double. And scrape
the dark, or wild

sounded has became
becomely call.


Starbroar. We had our and
out — at land has bellow. Broom

— bunch nearing
a typo, nor the named. Was

noised in rushes. Gracious —
gracious and hardly. There

really follows a type of
first eyes, then into our

take, and treat, and harder.
Hustle-backed, they give

gooseberries to a god-damn.


If there, thirsty — if
here, not the wents. They

have to has. They have
telephone and tightly.

All is not one night
names. All is able, ailing

to extra. Quart quart
quart and on, and truant


[This installment of the "For instances" sequence is derived from a few lines of Nathaniel Mackey's "Song of the Andoumboulou: 50."

The first of my "instances," along with a general explanation of my approach in writing the sequence, can be found here. Other "instances" are here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

[O'Hara translation 8]

I am off, and cut-out — could
keep inventing new words for

each click and bang of
throat and teeth. This

balmy heat of morning —
this thrum and tumble, rarer

and far furious. To slump
toward the lay of the land. We

part as the piece is. Long
as the luck is. Surely as

the dream is mended. And I
go ooh! enough.

[My last translation of O'Hara's "Qu'est-ce que de nous!"]

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

For instances ("O would I were where I would be," continued)


Ne'er did sky and
water grace. Again. To sing

as sing were many — we
were what words were not

be: slippered, and startled,
drank and drawling. We called

— - — - —

things by wrong names,
reiterant and rolling. To coin

and carry. Things came out
dots — only and woes. End-

ing with sky, and beginning.


We were where whole
words weren't — we carried

them on our backs, and slept
on them as sheets. Many

— - — - —

appeared, and many
candled about below. Never

did sky, slung low
as loaded.

[A continuation of yesterday's entry in my "For instances" series; explanation and context are here. The rest of the sequence can be found here, here, here, here and here.]

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

For instances ("O would I were where I would be!")


Weary at words — ceased
where go cannot go —

in a secret babble. Many
a hazard, and many O

— - — - —

arcs to Orion, sad-ohs for
shadows' throb. Dots. We

syllabled and lay — low,
dispersed, and weary.


were wind led by wind,
invisible or infinite —

delights but thus parted
when departed — all

kind of vapors, bested

— - — - —

— all goods point night

[Another of the "For instances" sequence; others and explanation are here, here, here, here and here.

The source text in this "instance" is a poem — variously identified as a nursery rhyme, or as an English ballad titled "Suspiria" — that first came to my attention as the epigraph to Susan Howe's
Western Borders. If the rhyme's attention to subtle-yet-significant shifts of sound and meaning — and the close unfolding and folding-in of its minimal vocabulary — resonate with Howe's interest in "the articulation of sound forms," they bear a similar correspondence with Gertrude Stein's work.]

Monday, April 23, 2007

[O'Hara translation 7]

These expressions amuse
me. Tremulous, and graced. They

do things to things' others. As:
to fall a saying, to slump

an ogle, to groan an
only, to if a whether. Did

every plummet sound? Direr
and dearer than that, even. I

should have studied
each tiniest word — cast-

off and cut-out. "How simply
it sounds as it sounds," and easy.

Some suddenly, it hooted,
and suddenly, it parted.

Suddenly, it startles.

[Material in quotes comes from Gertrude Stein's "What is English Literature," the first text in Lectures in America.]

Sunday, April 22, 2007

For instances ("Sweet ekes / of soft drips")


It's is and it and
soft-cut sense. Paper

pets peek — a dry lace
and as well. Their floors

whole were coming
common — oft liquid

to eking and sweep. Of a
put and a part, all

of lens and discolor. Bone
down bone eyed.


O lobster requit it
or quiet. Thumb's song — sweet

and claps. Summeried in thrillings
of and space. Lots of cradle

to so beef. Tango
book — tango scans. Soft

puddings and commonkeys!


If the words that test
shake — if a gone water

orbit. During a good ever b,
and more, of our

mute mouth. Chills! The sweet taste
of a sauce; her hand — melons.

Tame fancies, tame cables —
and heavy wind howl, or fro', or do.

[Another of the "For instances" sequence, this time derived from two lines in Lorine Niedecker's "Next Year or I Fly My Rounds, Tempestuous." Others — and explanation — are here, here, here, and here.]

Saturday, April 21, 2007


Ooh! — this clattering heart, these
tense verbs. Really — we dozed

the taunt in a heck; typed
a dub, Joe. Sleeply in the near go slow,

slowly in an undertow. — Best
one ever!
— Wait along the nighttime

and wand'ring. Every
lost a little, and every drop

a danger, every sight a sailing, and
every floor a falling, and every

walk a silken, and every whole
a hardly and every straight

a seashore and every.

Friday, April 20, 2007

[O'Hara translation 6]

Reckless and disorderly — in nonpareils
and pearls, paste. Grrr! You are lurid,

untenable as bric-a-brac: "ellipses —
As for example the ellipse of the half moon,"

a single glass swan, a knife
and spoon, paper cut-outs and cockatoos.

Oppress me! — just a little bit —
in the sunrise or set. Whatever.

Here we are, in the calm, cool, and
collected, swatting flies with

fronds, etc. This slap-and-tickle, these
pushes-and-pulls — that will

suffice. Your dimples, and so forth.

[Quoted material comes from "Six Significant Landscapes" by Wallace Stevens. The objects in the couplet that follows come by way of Joseph Cornell.]

Thursday, April 19, 2007

[O'Hara translation 5]

This heart, with its crickets'
rhythm, has had enough. It is this

and it's that: marks and angels
invisible, on paper where the lemon's

spilled. "A lemon that the reader could cut
or squeeze or taste—a real lemon

like a newspaper." He whispers — she
whispers — they whisper: a cause,

the opportunity, all acts that contribute
to human welfare, each other.

And here — a lonely kind
of encounter — there

have been three or four. The wide
world's shadow, cast up into

the more and more — I recall
those things and hold

my breath, and sweat.

[Material in quotes comes from Jack Spicer's letter to Lorca's ghost, published in After Lorca.]

Declarations (11)


I am enough to the other. I am the left of you, with
lower. I am other and take, inhale the heart. I feel
that on a never. I double, lips resembling little. I do
not alone. I stress no one my drums. I had meaning.
I do not know this. I do not slake the never. I am the
sky if a book is of loving. I am all words.

[Context for this poem, along with the first three in the sequence, can be found here. The comments for that post include an exhaustive list of sources. Parts four through six are here; parts seven through ten are over there.]

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

[O'Hara translation 4]

A sigh for these sights, for this
dangerous landscape, with plains,

trees, and cataracts — a tear. I am next
to myself, am flicking my wrist

in the moon-/June- light, now
murdered. The wind abates me,

averts me, turns sorrow to an embrace
or something. See, saw, sang, song,

sunk! This light's of poetry like a dollar's
of gas, and I am no longer

entertained by the calm allure
of the west (palm trees and swimming

pools!), the earth's lazy loops
toward the lay of the land.

[Other translations are here, here, and here. The original can be found on page 258 of O'Hara's Collected Poems.]

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

[O'Hara translation 3]

Quiet as all get-out. No
two of them alike — these beauties,

all their teeth in rows. Fireworks,
angels, the lemon trees

flower out of season. Very
"très Français"! Everything

presents itself —
out from under

shadows — as if by sonar. And I am
embarrassed, and I am nude

but calm. The click!
of fly-swatters in this balmy heat,

the peeps of spring frogs, the cries
of crickets — this horizon looks more

like a peacock without its tail.

[The third translation of O'Hara's "Qu'est-ce que de nous!" My first two versions can be found here and here.]

Monday, April 16, 2007

Declarations (7-10)


I am still, my look pierced my parachutes. I am the
swallow of your eyes on that and this. I am the
shadow that savors and showers. I have stars,
perfect acorns. I had to inhale to my love, if I was
and I make that. I have and I call there. I am all
quiet. I enjoy my still home.


I, alone, do no other thing, this language which
pulses my hide. I have a lips' needs in me. I call
words: glory words, love's words. I call them home. I
have language and firestart in it. I carry. I capture a
loving. I spring like myself. I also light this contact. I
feel the emotion. I feel there is red.


I have sky — it was conglomerates of desert, the
plainest. I have telling that end in arms, in in seeing.
I have seeing and I feel there. I rush and, seeking,
am lofty. I can catch wakes of prayers. I exorcised
words. I contact, not easy. I have telegrams. I was
as conducted.


I enjoy mid-air in August. I'm into heightening, if the
height was new. I'm in that — the sky. I, having
pools, do what was neither. I watch little light. I can
take white. I am the not end, the Milky Way first. I do
not seize, my soot takes nobody. I am a little door,
depths of a gave.

[Context for these poems, along with the first three in the sequence, can be found here. The comments for that post include an exhaustive list of sources. Parts four through six are here.]

[O'Hara translation 2]

The question is a new
one, this time. The line

that divides the heart
in two is getting on

my nerves. I am impressed,
just a little bit. This

attention causes me to roll
my Rs around in my mouth.

Time is tight, the seas
are calm, and one, two, three

memories pursue. Hot. It is
so very very rare — allure,

cries, the whole world re-
turning in its furious circle.

[A re-translation of Frank O'Hara's "Qu'est-ce que de nous!" An earlier version can be found here.]

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Declarations (4-6)

I am in the dreams Lucretius, I have helped you to assemble all the mammals on the lawn... (Lisa Jarnot)


I am a counter of words, of nevery words. I rub my
words mid-air. I, damp of delight, do the night there.
I, in the night, was flowering. I have night, too. I am
there, dressed and doubly. I catch real pains, close
to my prayers. I was vision, look and contact. I was
a close watch and there my heart do what from me.
I am quits, am skin, flat as flowers.


I catch water. I can submerge. I pierced, then I
couldn't height. I have noon. I, having that, wanted,
but your eyes are ever above. I damage the
perfumes that she loses of lover. I feel perfumes on
you. I wake to flee, through this, my lover, the sky. I
instead sun.


I was nobody. I was no other. I am there, in the pink
and never. I was then acorns, hidden to others. I
feel the never no one has on there. I couldn't. I can
enough over from love. I know in a far-off flow. I
guess there a lullaby. I'm in together.

[Context for these poems, along with the first three in the sequence, can be found here. The comments for that post include an exhaustive list of sources.]

Saturday, April 14, 2007


Je est un autre. (Arthur Rimbaud)
I contain multitudes. (Walt Whitman)


I am a sweater. I carry my sleeping. I double. I do
the desires. I am swift with desire. I am heart as not
hurry. I am heart above, was not, is not. I start on
other light. I enclose streams, I enwrap when your
eyes are not. I inhale you, whether no other. I inhale
like some land. I have no sighs.


I am a thread. I am stresses. I still my language. I
rush and beneath. I feel the not in neither. I am still
the nightning, the let. I am next to the depths on
your river. I cannot coral. I am heave never. I have
having too much. I, having, have corns high my
boat. I have no moon. I have not turned. I have not
turned fly. I had even you, with words on. I, having,
had ever searching there.


I know beneath desert, and narrow, and gentle. I
have fingers, to kiss the first by. I call there, through
there, through capture if I care. I dare what I call
drinks. I do no other. I am heart, am wandering
head-on enough. I am a like-me heart with cocked
pulse. I am water on gently. I know, I am thrashing.

[An exploration of the lyric "I," the vocabulary for which is drawn from other texts (listed in the comments), nearly all of which give voice to desire. Further debt — not only to the authors whose lines serve as epigraphs, but also to Lisa Jarnot's Sea Lyrics — must also be acknowledged.]

Friday, April 13, 2007

[O'Hara translation 1]

What is the word? for this cris-de-cour? No —
it is not plain enough for such an elegant dance and tentative

Come, bricabrack, the angelic beads
of morning, dew — lemon trees blossom, I am

A tinier prize, the presence of more
and these articles roundly sound. (Zzzz — they snore!)

Embrace me, I am graying — the hour is late
& the chase is on, atop railway cars, calm in the sunlight

In my memory, a chance reunion, a recollection
rare as it is painful

All the world dances, more and more each day,
while I recall a ferocious homily

[A translation of Frank O'Hara's "Qu'est-ce que de nous!" Jack Spicer's remarks to Lorca's ghost in After Lorca are relevant: "When I translate one of your poems and I come across words I do not understand, I always guess at their meanings. I am inevitably right. A really perfect poem (no one yet has written one) could be perfectly translated by a person who did not know one word of the language it was written in."]

Thursday, April 12, 2007

[this is this...]

this is this and that is that. this is that
and that is this. that is this and this is this. this
is that and that is this. this is this and that is
this. this is forget and sizzle is shush. care is
return and turn is treat. dulcet is rocket and
worry is transom. what is bananas and weather
is yet. toward is boasts and phrase is dressing.
rabid is careful and cough is feelings. showboat
is umbra and stumble is only. gossip is sugar
and lonely is sleeping. okay is surely and tell is
can’t. total is terrible and two is tea. trailer is
and expire is plus. hurry is lover and hungry
is warren. recourse is minor and twisted is
period. chapter is always and something is dis-
connected. greatest is needed and ever is bunch.
crushed is event and survive is baloney. buzz-
kill is yearning and slap is pink. whatever is
somehow and nobody is pepper. packing is
written and impression is lovely. warble is
showing and weather is showing.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

[Miss one was fact.]

Miss one was fact. Two-
sea that what away. Easy

on the bees’ needs, this
touch thing

that stud the sky
keeps and change for only,

for hopeful, for a gulp. So see I
fit far for this – a phrase

in let up, in flaps.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

For instances ("Come shadow, come, and take this shadow up")

To region. To lose up. To
surface, which bright

the lined wind lay, nor
lay, nor a some be

same. Ibid. did I
sleep soundly in the greens.

Before to throw
’fore I would word,

start more prettier notes,
that at and measure out
the ofters.

It is a slight in some
synonymous — wanted always,
so un-unbroken.

[Another of the "For instances" (see below) this one stemming from the first line of Louis Zukofsky's "Julia's Wild." Zukfosky's original, published in Bottom: On Shakespeare, is a fugue-like series of variations on a line from Shakespeare's Two Gentlemen of Verona that foregrounds the original poet's attention to the relationship between sound and sense in the construction of meaning. Zukofsky's poem can be found here.]

Monday, April 9, 2007

For instances ("Stranger, I had words for dinner")

I could have flung for
fear a fairer word. At sixes and
seven-eight-nine-ten — no
other voices disturb. All vocabulary

is subject and cues. No clue
but timber, no love but
stranger. So much
and so much. And so

[Another in the “For instances” sequence (see below), this one based on the second line from Jack Spicer’s “Magic,” published in “Homage to Creeley / Explanatory Notes,” the first section of The Heads of the Town Up to the Aether.]

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Sunday megamix poem no. 1

O! a sea to twinkish sunset! All this
sunsettery — dim as tinder, and here
a few dozen. Let’s fall was the old game:
Customary change comes by nite, leaving
a vague tradition. Fits
of night, fling and thingly! Time tight
in shadows, else charming — too deep. Been
dancing to Trotsky’s call, ankles in
proper places, surprising. Kind of uh-oh.
And for this: every other gust
of my vowels now doubled like lost lips!

[Compiled exclusively from words and phrases used in the previous week’s poems; punctuation is, by and large, new. I began with something of a procedure, alphabetizing each line to find unexpected combinations where one line ended and a previously-unrelated line began. The final poem is a selection and re-ordering of those results.]

Saturday, April 7, 2007

[Cactus might be customary...]

Cactus might be customary
Ringing might be plummeted
Lost might be barely there
Lunar might be nearer
Farther might be smiling, and
Attest might be send

Would might be watching —
these things, they
are — asleep. To tumult
to hear, in shallows —
too deep.

A defence of (procedural) poetry

My friend Steve wrote a post yesterday in which he listed some apprehensions he has with regards to procedural/“process-oriented” poetry. I wanted to take a moment to provide a response, as I regularly read and often write procedural poetry.

To begin, a definition: procedural writing begins with a set of rules, according to which the text is generated. Rather than starting by being inspired or moved by something, as as we usually imagine a poet to do, the procedural writer begins with a “recipe” (as Jena Osman puts it). The rules may operate as a constraint — e.g., requiring the author to use only words that contain a single, predetermined vowel (Christian Bök). They might involve a chance operation — e.g., putting a set of words into a hat and drawing them out at random to generate a poem (Tristan Tzara). They could borrow “found” language — e.g., transcribing all of the weather reports for a given area for one year (Kenneth Goldsmith).

And so on, ad infinitum — or so I hope.

If the variety of possible procedures approaches limitlessness, the same is true of the goals of writers who use them. But the best works allow us to rethink ourselves, and our position(s) within the world and society, as well as our conventional understandings of authorship and creativity.

Tina Darragh’s re-reading of single dictionary pages causes us to rethink the ways that language’s arbitrary nature creates unexpected juxtapositions, and the ways ideology works through language. Dan Farrell’s records of responses to Rorschach ink-blots explores the ways we describe things, as well as the ways that imaginative language-use is presumed to represent that person’s state of mind. Kenneth Goldsmith’s transcript of every movement made by his body during a single day makes us aware of the complex relationship between ourselves and our surroundings; his record of everything he said during a single week calls attention to our everyday use of language. Harry Matthews’ mashing-up of proverbs encourages us to be surprised by idiomatic expressions that might otherwise be passed over without reflection. Jackson Mac Low’s consistent project, over a lifetime of procedural writing, was to allow a space for the reader to take an active role in constructing a poem’s meaning, foregrounding a relationship that arguably occurs in every reading-act.

Steve’s concern, if I understand it correctly, is that use of a procedure risks overwhelming the poet, erasing her/him somewhere along the way. This may be so, and it may not be: some poets find this to be a desired and liberating effect, and aspire to write themselves out of the poem. Others have aspired to this goal, only to find that they, unconsciously, reappeared within the final text. Still others have never considered this matter, assuming that the procedure is governed by the consciousness of the poet. To my way of thinking, this isn’t what’s at stake. The texts I’ve mentioned above, as well as many others, approach the act of writing otherwise, to investigate, to explore, to teach, to show, to transcribe, to re-read, to surprise, to call attention, to question, to critique, to present, to empower...

[ADDENDUM: Well, sweeten my panties! I can't believe I omitted reference to K. Silem Mohammad's currently-unfolding sequence of sonnets anagrammatically rearranged from Shakespeare's originals. Check those out, too! And don't miss Kasey's exploration of the ways anagrams work in context of the original text; he's raising some interesting questions with regards to meaning and language...]

Friday, April 6, 2007

[All of my sails are western...]

All of my sails are western
Reach of my shiver are offer
Request of my tumble are little
Make of my striking are plenty
Dawn of my build are cooled
Gust of my vowels forgotten
Ache of my ifs are burned

tight in the err
— a screen. leaving
and latters all over
and none. anyone.

Decisions, decisions...

I've decided to try something different. Instead of adding my notes on a poem to the comments section that follows, I'm going to try putting them immediately after the poems themselves, in the body of the blog.

But I'm not absolutely certain this is the best way to do things... My concern is that the notes might "overwhelm" the poems a bit, especially when they're on the long-ish side.

What do you think?

Thursday, April 5, 2007

[fly fly-by-nite and...]

fly fly-by-nite and
beautiful — his gathers
have adhere

a dear to you and here
to me — to touch
when these were on.

So slowly won't wait, but hush will
Falling won't stretch, but watch will
Splinter won't hedge, but flora will
These see-songs won't move, but light will
Won't will. Trill will.



Two were a would by came world. They two
by Trotsky's call. Scissors! Paper! And O I am,
and technically changed to stealthily. It
was the old game — With head or held I
swam to the gap, as is a thousand strange. The
life on the super such the summits — Now doubled
in bridges, on ankles.


A vague tradition, writ upon the leaves
of trees. I write myself years — proper words
in proper places. The clutch of life; the fist
of love. Some harder substance fits
tremblinger hands than these.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

For instances ("And noises have no other")


And many and made
the here. The on

as which is are, the water
on that I sails it.

A plating
like and made the.

They fling and
sadder own lilt.


To of, in

A few dozen of the heart
were her other last ever:

One right, miss one right
in red through the

one; one day say
“flaw” ’fore. Far that

for this. Every other
in one, one, one.


Wish to with,
to make is mingle. But means

of the other off was
feathers on. Two

might be to. All have-ons
and so a slow, a noise and bustles.

As so. The ear. That sound the less
weary language.

[Another of the “For instances” sequence (see below), this time based on a line from Gertrude Stein’s Before the Flowers of Friendship Faded Friendship Faded.

Stein’s poems serve as something of an inspiration — one of many — for my project, inasmuch as they constitute a “revisionary” reading practice. Her poems began life as deliberate mistranslations (Stein variously described them as “reflections,” “adaptations,” or “transpositions”) of Georges Hugnet’s

Nevertheless, the relationship between Stein and Hugnet — and their respective poetic projects — is considerably more fraught with discord than I intend with my project here: Stein concludes the final version of her series, written indeed after their friendship had faded, by identifying herself as the author of not only the poems, but of Georges Hugnet himself. (See Ulla Dydo's account in
Gertrude Stein: The Language That Rises, 1923-1934 for more detail.)]

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Lost lips

Lost lips! this heart. The sun's beam meet night, her
fashioned line. It is morning as to creep over age
are in one right. Each of the true light, have.
Missing the other extreme is other extremity, baby.
To evening too some real issues.

For instances ("letting the sun set is not my own")


We're let beauties be
sun-bruises lip in.

That night-birds
let capable, left off at leisure.

The lake words that glown —
such bruised words! Whanging,

the lets until it rain-tops,
to twinkish sunset

of night, sunset harsh line.


All this sunsettery —
I had aren't was on where

not to be, and hardly
own root roses...

Thingly ’til I sing. I let
unto the lets fall,

partlys and partlys.

[In my preface to this blog, I promised a poem sequence: “For instances” is it.

In each "instance," I begin with a line or sentence from another writer, then find text (using the OED, other dictionaries, Google searches, etc.) for each word in the line. This creates a pool of language from which the finished poem is generated and/or inspired. The title of each “instance” (which may have multiple parts) is the original text, or an abbreviation thereof.

In this case, my prompt, appropriately enough, is an untitled poem in the “Promptbook” section of Brian Schorn’s



The bat of an any eye means this. A
one and only moon about landscrapes —
push a satellite night in a button-hole. To
hold your hair in numb blunder, show me
state in the wings after being — a blue one,
this time.


A murmurmur — breath interrupted is some
something. As: sigh say “see-sew.” My such
flutter spinning, can in and other love-dovery
surfaces. My scatter, they came so word. You
won’t want to miss it. They reflew the ball pools,
they treat apart. Obeying a first that for for
tonguing as so the tactile. Else charming.

Monday, April 2, 2007

After Paul Eluard

To test with these eyes — O! a sea-
change comes o’er the moon, and
jet-sweet tore a tour & aplomb and
a plum. One of those, mysterious
and dim as tinder, or been dawn’s
taste, her extra-leered vista. Ah —
Been dancing to the heart of an air.

[A homophonic translation, with variation, of the third poem from the "Les Petits justes" section of Paul Eluard's La Capitale de la douleur.]

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Perfume 2


Wild and eyes yes. We push our mouths
together that’s ever unfolding. Like this: let
hear to hear always smells. Like this: take a
sentence from somewhere. Leave an m in
a new language. Tethered in a think petal.


Leave lingers with a pressed. Surprising,
like the volume part of sugar. A heart-to-
heart-to-heart-to-heart-to-heart. With my
own mouth anytime — a new unclosure. A
beautiful counting.


You who can soothe in a sheen of seen,
so nice upon the fair attitude. Sure, you lip-
synched in a tizzy. A gentle slide, a special
kind of uh-oh. This dazzlines on a warm
woo. Now, let able in bloom. They total,
a total t. A rocket you on a lover’s lock-

[Based on, and drawn from, descriptions of perfume found in the most recent Sephora catalog.]

A Preface

What will, for the next 30 days or so, follow this post constitutes my participation in the NaPoWriMo, a nationally-organized poetry marathon that has been going on for several years.

I'll write a poem (or more) a day. Some of these poems will be components of one or more serial projects; others will be "one night stands," as Jack Spicer called them. If I feel explanation is needed, or simply interesting, I'll try to add a word or two in the comments after the poems themselves, thus allowing a happy medium: the poems can stand on their own, or they can be contextualized as extensions of the act of their writing.