Monday, December 16, 2013

Nicole Oquendo


i. of rock

when comets come / / enough time / / hands together
mourn the flailing bird / the warbler the mackerel / same still
the best at / / yearning / the best at / / warbling
the bellies of asteroids / a ringing in the head
parting hands pacing over / who will get what / black book and
who / will get what / book and puddle and object and close / a puddle

ii. of currency

"blood on the carpet-- / --five star / charge can't be reconciled" / --
hymn / can not / sincere hope / not can not / hymn not / knot hymn
when the sun is so wide we burn
burn /

too much time to figure / the perimeter of / your cactus arms legs / no
safe distance / the creak of /i/ your /i/ chair / your desert mouth
when the toenail cracks off / spreads out / and the skin crumbles /
bottom up /

mouth is two coins clanking / fire clanking two / rods together two /
mouths clanking until they magnetize / to the same polarity /
gone burned into my shoulder / your hand dangling there / why the fuck
are we outside / while the wall under us cracks / brick after brick

iii. of carving

you lift that axe while i beg & my blood sprouts / upwards branches

____ / _____ & that _____ / / that this chaos / birthed from
metal and fire / is coming soon
when mud settles on the flesh / of prometheus risen / rocks alive in
his hair / comets burning ______ in his eyes / / & break apart
when it's steam gravel steam / snakes cooked on my head / my
eyes the color of universes / you can have my words / and my bones

green moss more than a blanket / but quilted together vines / resting
heavy on our bridges / winding through our bricks
burning jacket caterpillar / tied off with scarf / what /i/ happens /i/ when / keep not going /
when doors burn awæ & only walls /i/ are /i/
/ time passes & this æther /i/ or /i/ ______ /i/ not /i/
permitted crawl into / what you carry away dust gone /i/ boom /i/ fused
prometheus pilfering fire / not a gift that which burns / & it's no
mistake that BiAnanke together fate / violence / / / / / / all we are
when all /i/ we /i/ are is fire / force apart / polarity in motion /
fire to speak of / / prometheus villain
nothing you are /i/ eye /i/ can't see / Clotho bind me up / Lachesis
take measure / and Atropos slash me /i/ apart /i/ with her teeth nails

iv. of tarot

_____your old change your / molten mouth your /i/ dangling rope /i/
your star your falling five /points your hermit heart my / melting wings
icarus and his royal / risk burn away /i/ feather /i/ by / /i/ feather melt
/i/ above a burning tower / fall with no rope risk / by risk ___
to say / "dark matter" _________________________________ ________________________ ________________________

seven hundred and forty-two days ago /i/ saw /i/
an eye reflected and burnt hair reflected /i/ the empress /i/ /i/ the tower /i/
when cassandra sleeps & does / not die she / /i/ still /i/ / dies by fire by
water by air / each way falling slow / rocks and fire / each way
there when you were born there / when you /i/ die /i/ / jammed up
hands / out . there / /i/ there /i/ universe spreading hands palms
cassandra /i/ didn't /i/ see / this didn't /u/ you /u/ / / know first see first
gasp first / crumbling /i/ up /i/ crumbling down sleep soon

v. of mosquitos

"bug z bite not me / not me" /i/ human though /i/ not / "real though
not" hook shot /u/ not me bites not
her last breath tuft / branches out vines / vines all over what / /i/
never /i/ vines dust caking in her / eyes all over / nails broken half
_________ i see / magma pluming up spooling / coils at the corners
of the bed / you unburnt / , you, unburnt / island the last island spools
the slow whittling of possessions - walls stretching out, dust
rings around where /i/ things were /i/ - boxes of metal, books, gold –
shelves in the street dreams in the street -warned- -for-
spontaneously crying at /i/ place of business /i/ residence crumbling
down to one boxhelp the echo in the room the carpet the empty
echo small

vi. of glass

last night dreamed i entered your foyer boxed in by mirrors – mirrors
only and your boxes – with wooden pole broke them all – glassallover
i am selling: one hundred and twenty-seven books, ones i used
to show what i liked the /i/ becomes the /i/ we and he
he tells us our geometry too complex our lines too heavy
will blow our shapes won't be what we thought –
the dream - that shattering foyer glass hall of mirrors glass on the
tile the window a chime glass ding ding clank while you mouth “oh oh”

vii. of wax

cassandra did not foresee - one year ago writing letters in a captive
bubble of laughter with /i/ hope so much /i/ - sleeping in a chariot

that living outside was a possibility, that /i/ real
/i/, abandonment the theme, boxes packed slowly,
how to not feel the needle or feel / the chamber or know /
center vibrations spiraling out - soft across the ground /i/ need /i/ __
stars bend pull wind / over me bow square not /
out of atmosphere out of /i/ necessity /i/ - here what do ___ need tell me / porcelain
other prophets spread to other / coasts other waters other forests. –

/i/ in every act of perception /u/ convert dimensionless possibility /u/
object in space / time /i/
in my dream she admitted to it / /i/ thrilled to have her with us /i/
out of character for only a /i/ moment time /i/ tomorrow is on fire but
not burning & today /i/ will the jellyfish unlock secrets
we have heard reports / of a fireball working to confirm /i/ a meteor

we flop on the mattress while he watches /i/ in a mask
the light is on us /i/ the candle lit

Thursday, December 12, 2013

T.A. Noonan

from The Ep[is]odes: a reformulation of Horace

formula for the ages

To remain and be loved, always pay what is asked. So says Apollo and his sister Diana, queen of the woods. The oracles warned against options for girls, boys who engage the gods. Today, though, we sing the songs of seven hills. The sun is chariot-bright, the day carefree with the promise to hide us from each other when we cannot see. But see more now. See the goddess who protects mothers, known by so many names beyond Genitalia. See the Senate that passes laws to protect their wedlock to men and bear more groping children. See them declare eleven million songs and games. Then the favorable decision of skies lit with fire, nights bright as days, days that become years without sleep. Really, what is Fate but a destination, a promise of doom? Those who have completed the invasion now guard what was once a well-established border. The terms are fixed, the deeds past. Let us ask for fruits and flocks, a crown of cereal, water for our fetuses, winds to shake loose the seed. For you, Apollo, we humbly conceal the boys who will be our weapons. For you, horned Diana, the girls. If Rome was once your corporation, and that survivor Aeneas its first leader, then give us—like him—more than we’ve abandoned. Tame the young. Relieve the old. Release your subsidies, your glory. We, his descendents, offer the blood of white cows. In exchange, give us soft enemies whose bodies will lie smooth on the ground. We live in a time where the old cities, the Indians, and the wandering tribes fear us. On land and sea, they look to us, seeking answers. But the classic virtues have neglected us. Faith and peace, hope and honor must dare to return. Oh, how we wish they would and bring their overflowing horns.

May you, Apollo the prophet
Apollo of the intermittent arc
Apollo beloved of Muses

give us devices to relieve our bodies exhausted by the art of the frame. If you favor our altars and our business as you favored Rome’s, remember another time is always more than a hundred years.

And may you, Diana, who holds tenure over lands in and beyond the border, as is your right
Diana, who hears the fifteen prayers
Diana, who provides childcare

give us friends to put promises in our ears. And to you both, and all the gods, we hope for a certain home and for someone to teach us how to praise.


Why this unholy rush to the right, to the swords we’ve made or adapted? All this blood and envy poured over land and sea, proud fires lit in our own towers, not our enemy’s. Is this how we wish to use our hands? War is not the way of lions or wolves. They understand violence, how there is always a second half. Does guilt grab us to want more? Answer now. Be silent, and the mind pales, infected. Stay astonished, and blind madness imprints our white shock. So is our fate as descendents of a murderer. Our founder cut his brother down, and we, his sacred grandchildren, follow his path to the doomed floor.


Civil war has exhausted this generation and the next. The powers of Rome have no answer. We could defeat our Eastern neighbors. Withstand the threat of the central tribe and its crested king. Deny the City of Marshes and our militant Greeks rivals. Subdue the fickle northern savages and the blue Germans. Delay the African general whose name makes our parents shiver. The godless destroy us now, our once-devout blood made profane with age, the state held by barbarians. To the winner, ashes—a city ground beneath hoof, the bones of our founder unearthed from a sunless, airless grave. Perhaps it’s best, then, for the best among us to escape. There is nothing more powerful than this sentence. Recall the seafarers who, refusing to submit to the Persians, abandoned their damned country and left their ancestral homes to boars, their temples to greedy wolves. Let our feet take us wherever. The waves know where to go. They may call us forward to the north or south to Africa. Sound good? Do you have a better suggestion? Why wait like augurs for a second bird to lead the ship? By the law, swear:
“Only when the rocks rise again from the shallows do we return to the scene of this crime. We raise sails to home when Italy’s mightiest river washes onto Greek shores. When our mountains jut out of the sea. When lust unites the monsters. When the tigers and deer, the dove and hawk join in love. When herds welcome the lion, and goats dance in the salt of the ocean.”
Let the whole damn city flee, or at least the strong among us. The soft, hopeless dullards can lie in their wicked beds. You, who are virtuous, take up the women’s mourning and fly from these coasts. We will wander the oceans, pray for islands with rich, blessed fields. There, the land gives grain without plowing. There, the vines bloom without grafting. The olives branch and figs hang like ornaments. Honey flows from hollow oaks, and water trickles from the high mountains beside our feet. There, the herds and flocks walk to the milking pail each night, uninvited and full to bursting. There, no evening bears growl. No vipers nest in the deep, swollen ground. Many surprises await us in this place where Eastern winds barely scrape our fields with showers, where our seeds are not burned to fat lumps, sun tempered by the king of the gods. It is a place where no Argonaut oarsmen ever steered. Where Medea never set impure foot. Where neither cloth merchants nor sailors in Ulysses’ band ever cast their yards. There, no plagues to ravish our herds. No burning stars to strike our flocks barren. Jupiter has set this beach aside for us, a loving nation. Stained by air, the Golden Age tarnished Bronze, then eternal Iron. Augurs, I am the second bird, and my prophecy is flight.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Cati Porter

Not Knowing Where This May Lead, Blue Horse Lets Them in

1. Blue Horse believes:

The method of travel is not
as important as the departure,

Paper-white and less motion. A flip
sheet and implement to write it
up; to write it

all down. A headless torso,
a bodiless letter that is
all header

and footer and no meat between.
What meets between is a plank
to walk,

a whitewash, a clean plate upon
which to make your mark.
The arc that

swims up is the heart-mote, the cart
that pushes the horse, the buggy
that carries

what is pulled
out of the wreck--

1. Blue Horse begins:

Here the cart arrives before the horse
who’s a’carrot-waiting.

A girl in a checked fedora
drives it away.

The stars prick her eyes out
so that she may see.

The light that blinds is the headlight
of a passing thought.

The carriage is returning. The passage
is a thruway,

a flimsy shim stuffed
between the ‘whether’.

Do not seek out
a thread that tethers;

a filament that glows
is not the bulb, not the porch light.

Blue Horse keys in,
She may be getting somewhere.

3. Blue Horse tips his chair back, slurps jello with stiff hooves, then inputs:

Black, and the partition rakes the distance clean.

The river she is now crossing is a bridge...
She skims the slick rocks...
...each eddy
an ad
for a new and improved.
Slip along,

Blue Horse, on all fours, snout to the wind, whistles.

1. Blue Horse contemplates the unfolding scene:

The field flickers in a weathered way...
The panhandler is snipping the daisies...
The rain barrel holds none other than...
Spoon the numb mouths with cream...
Tongue the crevasses and lick out the seams...
Flame the corsets for binding us all...
Shame on the seamstress for letting us out... for letting us doubt...
Here is where the girl in the checked fedora tips her hat...

5. The Girl in the Checked Fedora

tips her hand,
fumbles center page.

The trumpets howl and the trombones sob;
the clarinet stings. The pervasive percussionists drag the beat into the adjoining room

where it is dressed as an exotic bird thrumming its beak against
a hollow clavicle.

The nails pull themselves across the board
and the room expands. The boards flap open like a bud
unbuttoning. Blossoming, the couch unstuffs, the polyester
fiber fill floats, prickly little clouds.

Hell is the way her mother used to make her wear
stilettos to church,
her Sunday skirts scented with
bacon and cigarettes.

The Girl in the Checked Fedora pulls up a chair, winces, writes:

I am writing to you on this fine Thursday afternoon...

6. The Girl is Writing on This Fine Thursday Afternoon

The Girl chews the end of her pen, pulls out a fresh sheet, then begins:

Dear Possum,

You misheard me right, my dear.
The aquamarine splash in the glass as you shake it to your lips
The jiggly yolk centered in its diaphanous pool
The green bubble on the level that roils as you sway:
Nothing stays on the sill for long. But
have you ever not
left the table wondering how you were
going to manage all of that heavy lifting?

How you were going to prop the weighted door
with your heart,
and how that might hurt?
But that is how the door stays open.

With your heart in the jamb while you push your way through.
Are you going out or in.
It can only hold the door for a small while.
Slowly the while is whittled.
The wind whips the door shut and you are on the looking side.
And the table is alone and holding your breakfast.
And the chair is pulled; the cushion, warm.
The house has been gone a long time.

But that is how the door stays open.


The Girl in the Checked Fedora holds it to the light, reads it aloud, nods: “Yes.”

7. Possum responds:

Dear “Girl...”:

Received your letter. I respectfully disagree. Let us meet for tea.



The Girl in the Checked Fedora reads the reply to the light; nods, “Yes.”
An argument ensues

(though none could agree about what they were arguing).

Blue Horse, frustrated, interjects:

Dear Possum, Dear Girl in the Checked Fedora, let us not quarrel. Must I write you
out of the script?

“But Horse, I am right and Possum is wrong.”

“But Horse, I am right and Girl is wrong.”

But we are all right, and we are all wrong. There is no argument.

“But Horse, Possum doesn’t believe me when I say
that the pudding is done, and the pears are in the cellar.”

“But Horse, Girl doesn’t believe me when I say
that I have no interest in pudding or pears in the cellar,
nor selling her wares.”

“But we must or the pudding will ripen, the pears will
grow up and turn on us like leaves.”

“But none of that matters, Girl.
The End is coming. No pudding nor pears will save us.”

Dear Possum, Dear Girl, you leave me no choice....

8. Possum and Girl Meet Secretly for Tea (Sh!)

Girl (whispering): We must do something about Blue Horse.
Possum (flustered): I have no idea what you mean, Girl.

Blue has forgotten whose story he is in.
Whose story is he in?

Why, ours, silly!

Yes. Forgive me, but I was sure we were in his.

That is what he wants us to believe. But I know better.
How is it that he is in our story and we not in his?

Remember before he sat down at his typewriter...
Yes, I do remember before...

Well, then. What was he doing?
He was watching us through the window. We were playing Parchisi.


... (gleefully): !
What do you propose we do? And why does it matter anyway?

WHY does it matter?
Yes, why.

Yes, why. The end is nigh. The end is night. Nicht.

(Tick-tock Tick-tock.)

Blue Horse writes:

The Girl in the Checked Fedora writes, The Girl in the Checked Fedora writes, “The girl in the Checked Fedora writes...”
Blue Horse thinks:

The departure is not as important
as the method of travel

a raveling of the room into a field
of poppies disclosing a destination.

The Girl in the Checked Fedora rises from the desk, and, smiling, opens wide the door.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Laura Mullen.... (pictures and formatting to come!)

Structured Intervention / “fluency strategy”: Miss Havisham Effect (Complicated Grief)

“A point is a particular moment in which an event tightens, from which it must in some ways be replayed, as if it returned under a displaced, modified, form, obliging you to “redeclare”…It is necessary to say again, ‘I accept this chance, I desire it, I take it on’.” (Alain Badiou, Eloge de l’amour)

Follow a candle through halls no sunlight ever reaches, to be abandoned there (the flame sways as she turns away, your scornful guide, the little glow moves off and the girl is backlit, a thin line of fire traced around her golden hair and fresh skin, so the hand she holds up to guard the light seems to be itself the source of the light as she leaves you) and, turning back to the shut door, knock.

It’s a laugh or was once. You, you, you, protagonist, your name a caught seed in the teeth, cut word, abrupt, you advance along lines others plot for you and you you mistake for good luck.

The intention is to present reality “in a receivable way.” They drag her spitting and shrieking into daylight and she passes out, falling down in the dust at the edge of the road. “It’s okay,” the counselor says, with a smile that oozes understanding, as they strap her onto the gurney, “nobody wants to get better, not at first.”

The principal is waiting near the edge of the overgrown garden, by the rusted gate.

Moving on means getting back to the work of getting married or trying to get married, yes? Boy? Dating and falling in love blah blah blah. Oh, there’s some lip service to the idea that I can be happy and fulfilled “all by myself” but in fact you expect to see me fall in love again soon: to regain my place in the system (valuable because valued). You will be concerned if I remain single, as if you knew (though you never even hint at this), that if I remain on my own, discarded, I’ll discover I’m worthless as a crumpled wrapper in the gutter only differing from that garbage in the fact that I barely… exist.

“My father’s family name being…” I sit quietly beside you, as the script instructs, in a location in which we will not be disturbed. We read together, aloud, and when you feel that you can go on without me you tap the back of my hand, like this.

“What do I touch?”

Enter through a side door, the main way chained shut, always too late. Cold weight of steel across the great door, where hope came in (but it was false) and went out.

And I? And I in the language I have for this, given to me, the appropriate language, steps “on the journey” and so forth, the steps toward health away from you from pain from you I won’t I won’t ever… Take do you take. In my mind abruptly broken off chords of the wedding march: a tune that won’t stop starting to stop again on a jangled note abruptly crashing into dissonance. And I hear or imagine I hear the pitying, shocked, excited gasps. How many of those guests (loudly expressing shock and pity) secretly congratulated themselves on being there for—what could make a better story?—the marriage that never came off…

“I hope you have someone to keep you warm,” he said, or was it “to warm you”?

Open-ended, non-judgmental questions or statements of feeling are best: “Hello___________, I want you to know how sorry I am for your loss. How are you doing?”

Barred gate, you get there through numbers, numbness—you get me? Lies or at least silence. Out on the marshes or meshes you met…—forget that part. Sometimes you just have to hold onto whatever it is you’ve got, or had once. Production halts.

Well. “You”: what is that? “We were only trying to help”?

The lack of color in the room, the yellowing blankness of so much of what you first see when you enter, makes a sort of vague, pale mist. The figure posed before the glass would not even seem feminine were it not for the long grey hair and fancy dress. Turning at your entrance she seems to break a few slivery lines of web in order to greet you, as if she was being woven into her reflection, spun slowly into the cocoon of her own regard. Doesn’t the glance always come back?

“’Your heart.’” My heart…

The first meeting goes well enough: objectives are clear and the emotional investment of the participants in the outcome is apparent.

“I don’t wish to make a display of my feelings, but…”

I hear the timid knock again on the door of the one who came gently to break the news and again the click of the latch as I shut the door, turning the key. I cross the room and I am not crying: I don’t cry. I pick up the clock, this is the first thing I do, and I throw it on the floor. He knew, I’ll insist later, how I take care of myself.

The noun is Jilt, the form of the verb is “to jilt.” Conjugate, conjugal? Not. The diagnosis is “Complicated Grief,” “previously known as chronic, pathological or traumatic grief.”

It’s almost instantaneous, the understanding that there is nothing beyond this moment and that everything needs to stop. The rest is preparation for stasis, worship of the foreclosed event.

The ragged dust-blackened foot of her stocking slides up to reveal one filthy scaling heel. The fragile fabric of the dress has cracked, bits of brittle lace sift down like snowflakes or dandruff as she shifts in the hard fold-out chair, picking at the frayed edges of her grayish satin underskirt, looking at the floor or the wall or…anywhere but at us.

Frustrated but firm, keyed up, your expressions, self-righteous and excited: you are enjoying your power, perhaps? The power of the editor? To intervene, to revise or restructure take under pencil came forgive: like that? To change the syntax? Only, of course, your work as a doctor is in the service of sense—and mine is not (as far as you can see). You see what you are doing as getting the story “back on track”: correcting an aberration, resetting a dislocation, revising a bizarre mistake. But you are always free (you have made this clear enough!) to not even bother to read the versions I present.

“Dear Jilted but Hopeful, picture me leaping up and down, spinning like a top and screaming like a banshee as I say this: NO, HE ISN’T COMING BACK! Guys who are really into you are perfectly capable of showing up at their own weddings and actually participating! Words of one syllable (like ‘I do’?!) are not exactly beyond us. If he’s not too brain dead to dial a phone—and why would you be ‘in love’ with that?—and he hasn’t even called, then it’s just…”

The “permanent” reduced to a certain tightness or inflexibility, uneasy traces of denied life.

Our voices are joined as my finger moves across and down the page: “When you say you love me, I know what you mean, as a form of words…” And then the pressure on my hand, and, “Boot nuh-thing mohr,” sounded out.

“I want the white picket fence,” he said—I knew that let me out.

Talking about it, sitting in groups. Weekly meetings of professional or upper middle-class women who each stood up to speak their name and to confess, “My name is ___________ and I’m…single…unmarried…a spinster, “ or (the stronger ones), “a jilt.”

Letter by letter a text tugged from an orifice dry as the paper itself; read by the guttering end of a greasy light.

“But she was a MESS, I mean, her life was a total mess, and she was laying all this really heavy shit on me, like I’d have to go out and ‘break hearts’ (that was her phrase) FOR her or something. Hurt other people. And I was getting all twisted up inside ‘cause it seemed like I couldn’t take the risk of loving anyone, ‘cause love was…only a game, but…too dangerous…”

And so it stops, and starts again in order to stop, just…here. (What do I touch?)

So, uhm, reframing “I will never get married” turns it into “I want to get married”? Tell us, the therapist urges. Inevitable coffee (“bitter as my…”) and stale doughnuts: the wad of used tissues seeming, stacked beside her chair, like part of her dress.

No one is to mention time to me: I have nothing to do with the days of the weak. At night I pace the length of the spider-charged table set with the rotting feast or I make up strange dances, moaning to myself, or I waltz, murmuring reassuring or flirtatious nothings, until I collapse. Sometimes I smear my face with clay or cream and, wearing nothing but that heavy blank mask, totter nude across the long table assuming suggestive poses above each setting. Or I might move from chair to chair, talking and laughing in imitation of each imagined guest. I am the whole audience, each strained smile and stammered set of congratulations; I pause at each place long enough to lift a glass to myself, to us… Some nights the toasts are explicit to the point of pornography, some nights they are so tender and heartfelt I can barely whisper these speeches I believe I might have heard on that day (if you hadn’t left…) and…and I try (too late) to weep.

When you halt over or badly mispronounce a word I join my voice to yours, and we go on together until I feel the gentle pressure of your hand on this glove of loose, yellowing flesh.

But if I slept with him, he said, he might want to be with me instead of her. Where sleep with means fuck.

I have identified that s/he is feeling very ashamed about what happened, and feels very isolated and alone.

Way back where it started, in the blank before the book, you supplied a file for someone else’s chain—before you forged your own—you brought a picnic to someone making a break for it. In fear of your life. The phonemes catch, break up, you sound out who you are, what it is you can say of it, to be inserted as subject in this unfinished sentence. Well it’s this longing to grasp what we think is the source of our joy that we share, isn’t it? To make the eternal from a chance? “Boy?” I speak (“’Boy’”) from some distance.

The coffee is lousy because that is the cliché and because the cliché is the necessary dose of reality, or “realism,” meaning we ground ourselves in the real by way of these touchstones we know to be false. Lukewarm brew in its Styrofoam container: inky and sour as my own thoughts.

Then silence, and after a moment we go on again together, “…you touch nothing there.”

It’s a candle in a long dark corridor, this image of my grief that is my remembered grief. Little glow sucked after, entreating, the vanished gust.

Each time you come in it’s another woman, speaking these lines, reading from the letter he left her with (a tissue of clichés meant mostly to shore up his feeling of self-importance): various ages, races, and nationalities, these women, enraged, disgusted, or laughing: they model a number of reactions to his decision to leave her (please, “to jilt”!), alike only in their willingness to pause there, to spend time in this space of sorrow and shame they are transforming as they, as you’d say, “obsess.” Get a life!

“You know…, sometimes when people have experienced a sudden lose (sic) and feel as you do, they think about suicide. Is this something you have thought about?”

Some nights I stay up for hours, cruising an on-line dating service, discarding “matches,” improving my profile, enticing admiration I disdain or discard: proving I can still break hearts.

And you are “armed” (such is the verb choice) with “factual, non-judgmental data.”

The funky room where they meet is always somewhere a little askew, and ugly, Not the church but the basement of the church, you know (“Where does a masochist live? / In a basement”), the light too bright or dim, the air scented by unwashed bodies, heavy pastries, coffee boiled too long, and undisturbed dust, as if to insist that the lives to which we must return, when we “get better,” our illusions stripped away, are “completely devoid of charm,” wearily bleached by bad choices and neglect.

“I couldn’t really connect with anyone, you know? Like, if I even thought about it I could feel her there again, the slither of gems on my neck, her eager laugh and hungry look: ‘Never let a man get in the way of your career’—never let never let never let… Her breathless gasp of a laugh: ‘Break their hearts!’”

Whenever appropriate or feasible, participants were encouraged to choose condom-related goals.

“What do you mean, ‘I’ll show them’?”

“When she first came in I meant to save her from misery like mine.” “Take the pencil and write under my name, ‘I forgive her’!” “When first…I meant to save…from misery like...” “Take…” “When she…to...” “Take…my…!” “What I meant to from misery…!” “…I…to…write under my name…”

“I hope you have someone to warm you,” he said, by way of goodbye (his wife was in the bathroom), meaning…

Like, what? Reading He’s Just Not That Into You, in a women’s book club? Dying my hair? Dieting? Taking a Pilates class? Signing up at an on-line dating site? Taking up a hobby where I can meet other singles? Making a list of what I want in a man? In a society? What do I want?

I pictured him as if in a drawing done by a child, you know: a stick figure holding the hand of another stick figure, the smaller stick figures off to the side, the sun a scrawl of yellow, the tree a scribble of green, the house a simple box. All of this behind the regular, vertical lines of white that alert us to the presence of the suburban border. Property rights.

“Vanity of sorrow…”

Production halts, you move past the stilled signs, your password a hated name. Get to it. The rusted gate, the windows blocked up or barred, the walls of “dismal” brick, empty barrels that once held…a long gone product: a sparkling brew, golden as urine or late sunlight, that once quenched both the harsh word and the sweet, flowed down gone throats once as if to seek the source of an echoing laugh.

“’What do I touch?’ / You’re hurt.

A story emerges where the story we were supposed to hear halts: from a narrative interrupted another narrative appears, apparently without development, or the development is cyclic, oblique.

Admitted to a house one of whose names means Enough.

Our voices sliding across the text, phoneme by phoneme, joined and distinct, this constant experience of difference and shared focus, and then the moments in which you continue alone, and my silent sounding out of the space you cross without…

This client-centered counseling intervention had the following aims: increase participants’ perception of personal risk, support participant initiated changes, and focus on small, achievable steps toward reducing personal risks.


“Okay,…I understand. You see no hope. But I do. You need to come with me right now” (my voice is compassionate, but firm).

What do I touch?

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Aldon Lynn Nielsen

Instructions for the Magic Frog

This product is sticky like the soft rubber.

Tongue is extendible, capable of sucking object at long distance.

Even though it is sticky, it unlike bubble gums and can be pulled up easily.

Wash it by soap in the event of stickiness decreased.

The insect picture on the cover can be cut off along the coarse lining               and play upon by sticking onto it.

It is composed of oil and stain, if stick onto clothes, wall or other               important matters, it may stain your goods.

Pull it backward using both hands then release, subsequently wrist            movement must be wide enough.

  Stretch as if it is fishing rod capable of extending far.

It will maintain its original shape no matter how you are going to treat it.

  ATTENTION:     Don’t throw it out onto people’s face.
          Harmless, but do not eat.
          Don’t go to places nearby fire.
          Don’t pull out its tongue otherwise it would fall off.


Adam and Eve in MacArthur Park

Someone left the

     Snake out

          In the rain

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Vernon Frazer

Moving Together

gloating isotope
land below remaindered 
artifacts mirroring

glow their slow infusions

the web artery 
conjugal as mist when led to
missing conclusions

for the glowing device under bonnet

an array detached from central mantra

dancing berry benders pairing 
in a nearer paradise 

float powder sand’s 
illusionary dancing trysts

triste past a slamming pirouette

Neotropical Transit
Neotropical Transit

December Truck

Thanks to Halvard and all previous and future drivers.

December 2013 Truck mirrors my packing a truck to relocate, as well as a period where lunar holidays and calendar holidays overlap -- a festival.

Therefore, I'm starting out with some poems by Vernon Fraser, who lives not far from my soon-to-be former home in Florida. Aldon Neilsen weighs in with a toy from VEXT and a cake left in the rain.
There will be more wonderful works from more poets in Florida, as well as poets presently and formerly residing along my personal parade route: Louisiana, Texas, Colorado, Wyoming, Washington, Oregon. There will also be wonderful presents from poets in places I have lived: California, Illinois, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts.

My move to PBCo. from Los Angeles 1 1/2 years ago was very much a "march to the sea" rather than a "sea to shining sea" experience.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Truck's editor/drivers past, present and future as of Dec. 2, 2013.


Catherine Daly


Jan. 2014 -- Maria Damon
Feb. 2014 -- John Oughton
March 2014 -- MaryLee Bragg and Colin Morton
Apr. 2014 -- Alan Sondheim
May 2014 -- Glenn Bach
June 2014 -- Bill Pearlman
July 2014 -- 
Aug. 2014 -- Jerry McGuire
Sept. 2014 -- Karri Kokko
Oct. 2014 -- Márton Koppány
Nov. 2014 -- Burt Kimmelman
Dec. 2014 -- Chris Lott


Apr. 2011 -- Kate Schapira

May 2011 -- Wendy Battin
June 2011 -- Frank Parker
July 2011 --  Skip Fox
Aug. 2011 -- Ken Wolman
Sept. 2011 -- Michael Tod Edgerton
Oct. 2011 -- Kelly Cherry
Nov. 2011 -- Andrew Burke
Dec. 2011 -- Lewis LaCook

Jan. 2012 --  Larissa Shmailo

Feb. 2012 -- Gerald Schwartz
Mar. 2012 -- Jukka-Pekka Kervinen
Apr. 2012 -- Lynda Schor
May 2012 -- David Graham
June 2012 -- Lars Palm
July 2012 --  Elizabeth Switaj
Aug. 2012 --  rob mclennan
Sept. 2012 -- Georgios Tsangaris
Oct. 2012 -- Douglas Barbour
Nov. 2012 -- Dirk Vekemans 
Dec. 2012 -- Erik Rzepka

Jan. 2013 -- Alan Britt
Feb. 2013 -- Mark Weiss
Mar. 2013-- Mary Kasimor
Apr. 2013-- John M. Bennett
May 2013--Orchid Tierney
June 2013--Victoria Marinelli
July 2013 -- Volodymyr Bilyk
Aug. 2013 -- David Howard

Sept. 2013 -- Philip Meersman
Oct. 2013 -- Chris Lott
Nov. 2013 -- Alexander Cigale