Sunday, December 23, 2007

Friday, December 21, 2007

The Shining (the best scene)

There is nothing new in the world now either.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

THE FACES music video (2005)

I am so sick of irony. I am glad some people still make unironic things.

I really like when Weird Al Yankovic gives him some balloons.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

More Dewey love (my love doth never end)

Dewey loves the new, as do I:

"The 'magic' of poetry--and pregnant experience has poetic quality--is precisely the revelation of meaning in the old effected by its presentation of the new. It radiates the light that never was on sea or land but that is henceforth an abiding illumination of objects."

(from his essay "Experience, Nature and Art" in Art and Education (1954))

You should love the new, too.

What form does the new take, you ask? Life. Life is the form it takes. With its "abiding illumination of objects."

Friday, December 14, 2007

The White Stripes - Hotel Yorba

"If I'm the man that you love the most, you could say 'I do' at least."

John Dewey's Art as Experience

I am pretty much whole hog in love with John Dewey and I am really not afraid to say so. I have been reading his book Art as Experience (1934) and it is basically one of the best things ever written. (But he rambles, you say. Sure, he does, but doesn't everyone?). In Chapter 1, "The Live Creature," he writes of a somatic connection to art that is possible when the conceptual and spiritual are not flattened over each other, but instead are wholly aware of their dependence of the body. That's right, people--the body. That's where the whole thing happens. He writes:

the trouble with existing theories [of art] is that they start from a ready-made compartmentalization, or from a conception of art that "spiritualizes" it out of connection with the objects of concrete experience. The alternative, however, to such spiritualization is not a degrading and Philistinish materialization of works of fine art, but a conception that discloses the way in which these works idealize qualities found in common experience. Were works of art placed in a directly human context in popular esteem, they would have a much wider appeal than they can have when pigeon-hole theories of art win general acceptance. A conception of fine art that sets out from its connection with discovered qualities of ordinary experience will be able to indicate the factors and forces that favor the normal development of common human activities into matters of artistic value.

I can't help but think that this idea is in every Dolly Parton song.

(I am in love with her too, but that is an older, deeper love.)

And I can't help but think that this is in Kierkegaard's Fear and Trembling too--that faith means a surrender to the power of the body and its aliveness. Art that has this faith is never not alive, even when it should be dead given its past context.

Anyway, I think that you should read Art as Experience by Dewey if you never have. Maybe you will get an old copy, like the one I found in the library, with futura font. Futura font just makes every reading experience feel like you are a glamorous 1960s secretary, reading the great works on her lunch break. That's not a bad way to feel either. Most of those women were the great artists of our time.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Dean Martin - Young At Heart

Have fun in Italy, my dear sweet Laura!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Monday, December 10, 2007

Shea Butter




When Laura came over smiling yesterday, saying "I have a present for you!" I was confused as I didn't see an iPhone or some grapes in her hand (since those are two things I always want). I was still confused as she brought out of her bag what looked to be a tub of rancid hummus (is that possible?). I was PISSED when she opened the tub of rancid hummus and tried to smear it all over my hands. "It's Shea Butter," she said, "It's a cure-all." All I could say at first was, "What the hell is that?" Then I grumpily put it on my hands, face, hair, and dog's head as she instructed.

I didn't believe that Shea Butter was a cure-all until I tried it. But in just a few hours after applying it, my skin and hair have never been so soft and healthy. You really should try it. Winter is fast approaching. It is already here really. You might not have a giant live grizzly bear to keep your warm during these cold months (who does these days, really?), but for a few dollars you can have a pound of Shea Butter. Not everyone out there cares about having soft and healthy skin and hair, but I think you do. This is not a commercial. This is me telling the world that I was wrong and me trying to make it right. Laura, I was wrong and you were right (like always). I was wrong, but now I am right. Softly right, which is the best kind.

Listen, just buy some Shea Butter already.

If I can't make it to the grocery store today, I might try to eat it. I doubt it could be bad for the digestive system.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Sally

Last night, Eric Baus and Ish Klein read in the closet leg of my Tiny Tour. They were both wonderful, of course, and their poems were meant to go together. Eric's poems were just as brilliant as they were when I first read them six years ago. And Ish continues to amaze me with her poems and puppets and movies and I am just so lucky to know her and to live in the same city as her. She made a new puppet named Sally and brought her to the reading. I had seen Sally in pictures, but seeing Sally in person filled me with immense love, as I have a thing for animal puppets. In the middle of the Question and Answer section of the reading, Ish actually gave Sally to me. I was speechless and still am.

Here is Sally:



I am hoping that in the future Ish will want Sally to be in a movie of hers and that I can do Sally's voice.

Here is a video of Ish reading her poems that will probably blow your mind. It is from the Action AIDS Benefit event back in November that CA Conrad organized. That whole event was amazing and my only regret is that I didn't tape record the whole thing. Here is Ish:


Thursday, December 06, 2007

Alan Davies and Frank Sherlock are reading in Boston

I don't live in Boston anymore, but if I did, you would find me at this reading (see below announcement by John Mulrooney and Michael Carr). If you go, you will have a chance to buy Frank Sherlock's new Katalanché chapbook, Over Here.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Come One, Come All to P&S on the Road, Alan Davies and Frank Sherlock kick off the holiday season at Pierre Menard Downstairs at Lame Duck Books, 12 Arrow St. Cambridge MA

SATURDAY December 8th, 2007 7 P.M.

Please note this holiday treat is Saturday not Sunday, Lame Duck not Plough

ALAN DAVIES is the author of many books of poetry, including Name (This), Signage (Roof), Candor (O Books) and Rave (Roof), as well as an untitled collaboration with photographer Mark Winterford published by Zasterle. He has written many critical articles and book reviews, and has lectured here and abroad. He was twice a recipient of Canada Council Grants for the Arts. His big book called Life is forthcoming from O Books. He is at work on a lifelong project consisting of individual books, a couple of which have been published as chap books.

FRANK SHERLOCK is the author of Wounds in an Imaginary Nature Show (Night Flag Books), Spring Diet of Flowers at Night (Mooncalf Press), ISO (furniture press) and 13 (Ixnay Press). Forthcoming chapbook publications include Daybook of Perversities & Main Events (Cy Gist Press), Over Here (Katalanché Press) and a collaborative poem with Brett Evans, entitled Ready-to-Eat Individual. He is alive in Philadelphia.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Bedroom readings, Tiny Tour

Hello! There are some new videos from the bedroom leg of The Tiny Tour up on www.birdinsnow.com. There are readings by Noelle Kocot and I and a dance performance by Rebecca Ketchum and Nathan Kosla. Check it out if you like watching things.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Scrabulous

There was once a time when EB could beat me at Scrabulous. After about 40 games with others and the computer (for training purposes), I have now beaten EB at Scrabulous (timed, no less). This blog entry is a public document that shows the final thing that EB could hold over my head as being superior has now dissolved with my victory. Eat these words and weep, EB! Weep for my domination!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Stevie Nicks - I Can' Wait

Animal Collective - Leaf House

People sometimes call forms of contemporary art "child-like," but that is not what they mean (or what I hope they don't mean, but cannot find any other word for). Watch this video and hopefully you can see the difference between child-like and horror, between real life and the sublime.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

"I got seven pictures of Buddha
The prophets on my tongue
Eleven angels of mercy
Sighing over that black hole in the sun
My heart's dark but it's rising
I'm pulling all the faith I can see
From that black hole on the horizon
I hear your voice calling me

Let it rain
Let it rain
Let it rain
Let it rain
Let it rain
Let it rain
Let it rain"

--Bruce Springsteen, "Mary's Place"

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Van Morrison - Cyprus Avenue

Whenever I listen to Van Morrison, it just reminds me so much of Nick Moudry and his poems. The spirits and the genius are the same, both based on the power of repetition.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Bathroom leg of The Tiny Tour

If you enjoy watching videos of poetry readings, check out www.birdinsnow.com today. The Bathroom leg of The Tiny Tour is up there, featuring readings by Stan Mir, CAConrad, Laura Solomon, and me.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Better

Kristin and I ran for 8 miles today. It is hard for me to believe that I used to run twice that much everyday when I was 18. And even though it is hard for me to remember my name right now, it is nice also to remember that running sometimes makes me fall in love with being alive.

Earlier this weekend, I went to Boston to read at the New England Institute of Art and most specifically to sit in David Blair's Creative Writing class. I used to teach at that school and although I have only the fondest memories of all my own students, I can't help but think that right now there are some awfully nice ones around there. They drew me pictures:



That was drawn during my reading and is the Elephant Jesus in my "Dear friend" poem. And then this wonderful girl drew this one during class:



Also, other cool things happened this weekend or over this past week. Charlie Wright from Wave Books was interviewed on the PBS NewsHour.

Travis Nichols
had a brilliant piece published in Poets & Writers this month on John Ashbery. I don't think you can read it online, so that means you better buy the magazine.

Also, even though I have had her CD for over a year and have loved lots of her songs on it, today I got some really kind feelings towards Regina Spektor's song "Better." Some people never feel anything at all.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Cyndi Lauper - True Colors (original video)

Still one of the best songs ever written.

Sylvia Plath's birthday

Happy Birthday, Sylvia Plath!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Fred Claus

If you don't see Fred Claus when it comes out (11/29), you are crazy:

www.fredclaus.net

I'll be there!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

"Live to Tell," Madonna

"I know where beauty lives
I've seen it once, I know the warmth she gives
The light that you could never see
It shines inside, you can't take that from me"

Yes, Madonna. You are so right.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Dorothea Lasky and Laura Solomon reading this Friday

I am reading this Friday in NYC with Laura Solomon at 8 p.m. at The Burning Chair Reading Series. Hopefully, I will see you there!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Blog about Boston

I have never been good at actual blogging as as a child I was never good at actual diaries (all of my childhood diaries involve three weeks of intense writing with an abrupt “Good-bye!” at the end of each of them), but here I will attempt to do what so many do for the purpose of telling you of my travels to Boston. Still, I am not sure that my voice is so good at this art form. I like posting youtube videos on blogs.

I just got back from a reading at the Plough and Stars with Chris Tonelli and it was very wonderful to read with him and to see my Boston people (I used to live there), most specifically my two protectors Michael Carr and Aaron Tieger and my best friend Katie. Boston never looked so good to me as it did yesterday and I felt a surge of happiness at the possibilities of a city like Boston for poetry (a happiness I didn’t have much time for when I was living there as I was always obsessed with making my exorbitant rent.) I remember once my poetry professor in college told me that Boston is the spotlight of poetry. I moved to Boston because my professor said this, as I am an extreme nerd and always listen to my teachers.

At the reading, I got a pile of Bootstrap Press books from Derek Fenner (whose work with prison arts education literally makes me cry) and got again a copy of his recently published John Wieners collection called A Book of Prophecies (edited by my brilliant aforementioned co-editor Michael Carr) and on the bus back from Boston I was struck again at what an amazing collection this book is. If you haven’t already bought one, you need to buy one. The only excuse is that for some reason you don’t have fifteen dollars. If you have an extra fifteen dollars lying around then you need to be using it to buy this book. Here is a sample of why this book is amazing:

the affair is better
left right there
the matter over

the matter is better
left right there
jungle behavior
seems

the affair is better
left right there
unstated though enacted
over thoroughfare

Or if that doesn’t melt your icy heart, then how about a little mentally fare (this is an excerpt of a longer piece):


The problem of madness


has to be dealt with seriously, in our time for we have not advanced so greatly from days of the pit and Bedlam. There are problems in every human person and some take more advanced manifestation in individuals, with particular advantages and drawbacks.

There are men with genetic weaknesses, physical defects, aggressive attitudes and fearful displays of manner. In their own families, if they have them, and too many mental patients without kin of any sort, these faults are taken for granted and usually the result of a domineering mother.

Speak it, Wieners! Speak it! This is only the truth.

Buy this book. You seriously won’t be sorry. If you buy this book and you are sorry, then I will feel deeply sorry for you.

In summary: Go Wieners! Go Boston! I will always love you, Massachusetts!

Dorothea Lasky at Plough and Stars

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Joni Mitchell, "All I Want"

I am on a lonely road and I am traveling
Traveling, traveling, traveling
Looking for something, what can it be
Oh I hate you some, I hate you some
I love you some
Oh I love you when I forget about me
I want to be strong I want to laugh along
I want to belong to the living
Alive, alive, I want to get up and jive
I want to wreck my stockings in some juke box dive
Do you want - do you want - do you want
To dance with me baby
Do you want to take a chance
On maybe finding some sweet romance with me baby
Well, come on

All I really really want our love to do
Is to bring out the best in me and in you too
All I really really want our love to do
Is to bring out the best in me and in you
I want to talk to you, I want to shampoo you
I want to renew you again and again
Applause, applause - life is our cause
When I think of your kisses
My mind see-saws
Do you see - do you see - do you see
How you hurt me baby
So I hurt you too
Then we both get so blue

I am on a lonely road and I am traveling
Looking for the key to set me free
Oh the jealousy, the greed is the unraveling
Its the unraveling
And it undoes all the joy that could be
I want to have fun, I want to shine like the sun
I want to be the one that you want to see
I want to knit you a sweater
Want to write you a love letter
I want to make you feel better
I want to make you feel free
Hmm, hmm, hmm, hmm,
Want to make you feel free
I want to make you feel free

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Devendra Banhart - A Ribbon

Some people do it

Some people do it but they don’t do what they can’t done
Some people do it but they can’t
They can’t do it They can’t do it
They want to do it
But they don’t know the score
They don’t know the way to form
What it is that is inside
They hide that side
Because that side makes no table
Makes no face of flesh to hide the table with
I sit at the table with those who can’t done
You are the table of those who can’t did
I can’t did I can’t did
Make what was in me shine and see
What it was I once was that was worth seeing
I see lots of things I can’t know
I can’t do what I can’t did, the flame did
The flame does go, out of your mouth, it is a red fire
Into the red fire, the mouth does go
When we are together, it is hot between us, a mouth did
The heat is what we once were, what we could do
I could do it I could do it
Feel what we once were
I felt it what we once did:
The birds chirping in the moon
I am not what I once was
Oh that I was once was
What we all were
Oh that I once did
What we all did
Just for the sake
Of what we do
I know what we do
We do did, we did come
To see what we all did
That was worth seeing
I did did, take the ribbon do
I took the red ribbon, put it in my mouth
My mouth knew the ribbon
Saw what it once was
Ribbon gone once were
What we all come
That it once was
What we all knew
Oh what I did
For you to do
Is take the ribbon out
Put it in my mouth

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Friday, September 07, 2007

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

We shall not escape Hell

We shall not escape Hell, my passionate
sisters, we shall drink black resins––
we who sang our praises to the Lord
with every one of our sinews, even the finest,

we did not lean over cradles or
spinning wheels at night, and now we are
carried off by an unsteady boat
under the skirts of a sleeveless cloak,

we dressed every morning in
fine Chinese silk, and we would
sing our paradisal songs at
the fire of the robbers'camp,

slovenly needlewomen, (all
our sewing came apart), dancers,
players upon pipes: we have been
the queens of the whole world!

first scarcely covered by rags,
then with constellations in our hair, in
gaol and at feasts we have
bartered away heaven,

in starry nights, in the apple
orchards of Paradise
––Gentle girls, my beloved sisters,
we shall certainly find ourselves in Hell!


––Marina Tsvetaeva (1915)

Sinead O'Connor - The Emperor's New Clothes

Sinead O'Connor - Just like you said it would be - live

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Song for R. (The Be Good Tanyas)

You see people coming from all sides
With their broken hearts and hollow eyes
And you try to love but it's easier to hate
When the seed that was planted was watered too late
Oooh oh child
Oooh oh child
Your roots stretch down to grow up wild
Roots stretch down to grow up wild
It was late last night when the doorbell rang
My brother in some trouble
He stood shaking on the doorstep in the rain
With a freight train pounding in his veins
And I took him in and cleaned him up
Gave him some water and I put him to bed
Then I cried for the sadness of his life
And his lonely struggle with addiction
Friends say oh what a shame
Mum says no one but himself to blame
But I don't want to play that game
'cos I know the truth is not so plain
Call it a hard life or a lack of love
Call it passed down from his father
Call it lack of faith in god above
There are no easy answers
He is just a child
He is just a child
Arms stretched out for love
Arms stretched out for love
Arms stretched out for love

Friday, August 24, 2007

Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Chinese Restaurant

They sat in the Chinese restaurant
With the sun lit outside, but there was no sun in there.

There was a green scorpion to the right of her on the wall.
A gold plant did not bloom on the baseboard.

The people came out with plates of meat and rice
And she gingerly fed her friend with her fingers.

They both had gotten the same letter the other day.
One with gold writing from the 14th century.

It told of a man with many properties
And these things were for them now.

“Shall we buy a truck?” she asked and her friend stared blankly.

His eyes completely like the sky and in him
Silent bugs that are even silent with themselves.

He took her hand and they slow danced
Over the baseboards, careful not to hit the empty tables.

The people clapped, everyone around them was good
And they had cut flowers for such a love.

The flowers scattered themselves everywhere
And then crawled and scurried into wreaths.

He took two wreaths and put them on their heads.
And an old king came out from the wall and blessed them.

And the cook came out from the kitchen and splashed them with holy water.

And the cook took out two syringes and did a medical procedure.
And their blood was swapped with rosewater.

And sweetly they laid down in front of everyone on a golden bed.

Kissing and caressing the bodies they had once hid from themselves.

Then the thief came in and stole their bodies forever,
But of course their spirits are still there

Playing hide and seek under the tables, and that sort of thing.

Catullus #5

Let us live, my Lesbia, and let us love
And value at one cent
The talk of lousy old men.
Suns will fix themselves and rise.
For us, when the brief light has fixed forever
There remains only the sleep of one unending night.
Give me a thousand kisses, then a hundred,
Then another thousand, then a second hundred,
Then even another thousand, and then a hundred.
Then, when we have done a many thousand kisses
We will lose our counting, and will not know it.
Nor will any evil person look at us with disapproval
When he sees our kisses number in such neverending ways.

The Cure - Lovesong

Diamonds and the Earth

http://www.cnn.com/2007/TECH/science/08/23/earth.diamonds.reut/index.html

Monday, August 20, 2007

New websites for readings

Please check out my new website www.birdinsnow.com for all kinds of information regarding my Fall 2007 Tiny Tour for my new book, AWE.

Also, check out www.dorothealaskyreadings.blogspot.com for other upcoming readings.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Pomposity versus Arrogance

Laura and I were talking tonight and she told me about a Harvey Danger song that goes "Pomposity is when you always think you are right and arrogance is when you know you know." Anyway, she and I decided we are arrogant, not pompous and I think arrogance is better. No, I know arrogance is better. Arrogance, not pomposity, is what we should be supporting in schools, as this is the kind of way of being that makes people strong enough to learn what they are supposed to learn.

Also, I have decided that I think (no I know!) that all good poetry is confessional poetry. The problem with the way some people think about confessional poetry is that they think of it as a style of oftentimes contrived vulnerability. But any good poem makes itself (and sometimes its author) authentically vulnerable and is likewise confessional. Confessional is not so much a style as a state of poetry that is good.

I know it isn't supposed to be right to talk about things in such absolutes, but I don't think these absolutes to be true, I know them to be. That makes it ok, right?

Anyway, Nelly Furtado says it better than I ever could in her joint song with Timbaland and Justin Timberlake, "Give It To Me":

I'm the type of girl to look you dead in the eye-eye
I'm real as it come if you don't know why I'm fly
Seen you tryna switch it up but girl you ain't that dope
I'm a Wonder Woman, let me go get my rope
I'm a supermodel and mami, si mami
Amnesty International got Bangkok to Montauk on lock
Love my ass and my abs in the video called "Promiscuous"
My style is ri-dic-dic-diculous, 'diculous, 'diculous

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Spoon, "Underdog"

Picture yourself in the living room
your pipe and slippers set out for you
I know you think that it ain't too far

But I hear the call of a lifetime ring
felt the need to get up for it
And cut out the middleman
get free from the middleman

You got no time for the messenger,
got no regard for the thing that you don't understand,
you got no fear of the underdog,
that's why you will not survive!

I want to forget how convention fits
but can I get out from under it?
Can I gut it out of me?
It can't all be wedding cake
It can't all be boiled away
I try but I can't let go of it
Can't let go of it

Cause you don't talk to the water boy
and there's so much you could learn but you don't want to know,
You will not back up an inch ever,
that's why you will not survive!

The thing that I tell you now
It may not go over well
And it may not be Photo-Op
in the way that I spell it out

But you won't hear from the messenger,
don't wanna know bout something that you don't understand,
You got no fear of the underdog,
that's why you will not survive!

Spoon - Underdog

Complex systems

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Laura Branigan - Gloria

Patti Smith - Gloria

"Everything is fine when you listening to the d-o-g
I got the cultivating music that be captivating he
Who listens, to the words that I speak
As I take me a drink to the middle of the street"

-Snoop Dogg, "Gin & Juice"

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

River in Spate

The river falls and over the walls the coffins of cold funerals
Slide deep and sleep there in the close tomb of the pool,
And yellow waters lave the grave and pebbles pave its mortuary
And the river horses vault and plunge with their assault and battery,
And helter-skelter the coffins come and the drums beat and the waters flow,
And the panther horses lift their hooves and paw and shift and draw the bier,
The corpses blink in the rush of the river, and out of the water their chins they tip
And quaff the gush and lip the draught and crook their heads and crow,
Drowned and drunk with the cataract that carries them and buries them
And silts them over and covers them and lilts and chuckles over their bones;
The organ-tones that the winds raise will never pierce the water ways,
So all they will hear is the fall of hooves and the distant shake of harness,
And the beat of the bells on the horses' heads and the undertaker's laughter,
And the murmur that will lose its strength and blur at length to quietness,
And afterwards the minute heard descending, never ending heard,
And then the minute after and the minute after the minute after.

--Louis Macneice

Friday, July 27, 2007

"You can live through anything if Magic made it" --Kanye West

Kanye West - Can't Tell Me Nothing

Thursday, July 26, 2007

"Birthdays were the worst days now we sip champagne when we're thirsty." --Biggie

The Police - Walking on the Moon

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The enormously intelligent Michael Carr edited a notebook by John Wieners (written in 1971 and later found) called The Book of Prophesies and I think everyone should buy it immediately:
http://www.spdbooks.org/SearchResults.asp?Title=a+book+of+prophecies&Author=&Subtitle=&submit=Search

Thursday, July 12, 2007

"Ladies is pimps too, go and brush your shoulders off"
--Jay Z

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

"Faith without works is dead"
--James 2:26

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Bhanu Kapil

I went running through the 97 degree heat yesterday in Philadelphia and by minute 45, I was close to what seemed my last breath. I had downloaded a reading by Bhanu Kapil from Penn Sound (http://writing.upenn.edu/pennsound/x/Kapil.html) onto my ipod per Eric Baus's zealous recommendation earlier in the Spring and had loved it. But even then my love was not a save-you-from-the-97-degree-heat kind of love. But yesterday, I found that kind of love for Kapil's poems and found out how the excessive heat can cause you too to realize that "there is no such thing as skin" as she writes in her Autobiography of a Cyborg. I urge you to listen to the reading on the Penn Sound site and also buy her books, which can be bought here http://www.durationpress.com/leroy/cyborg.htm and here http://www.spdbooks.org/SearchResults.asp?Title=&Author=kapil%2C+bhanu&Subtitle=&submit=Search .

Saturday, July 07, 2007

EB/DL color breakdown

EB/DL colors include (regardless of location):

royal blue
kelly green
forest green
brown
maroon

No one may break this chain.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Tell all the Truth but tell it slant––
Success in Circuit lies
Too bright for our infirm Delight
The Truth's superb surprise
As Lightning to the Children eased
With explanation kind
The Truth must dazzle gradually
Or every man be blind––

--Emily Dickinson

Monday, July 02, 2007

Jelly Fish All Around

Laura Solomon's second book will be out soon (8/1) and you must read it: http://www.uglyducklingpresse.org/page-blueandredthings.html.


Russian Poem

I have a red heart
& a green wall,
the other side of which
I’ve never seen.

When he is lonely
God visits
me in my itty room—
he always says the same,

“I have a green wall
& a red heart,
the other side of which
I’ve never seen.

When bored I
create & destroy
to prove I am not
a piano key.”

-Laura Solomon

Friday, June 29, 2007

I've Got A Thing About Seeing My Grandson Grow Old (Cat Stevens)


I buy the nicest things from a super market store
Vitamin land and marzipan and I know just what they're all for
I've organized my useless life in a way I've never done before
Even visit the dentist now

But I've got no time for silly chitter chatter
I'm on my way
Cause while my blood's still warm and my mind doesn't matter
I'm hoping to stay
'Cause I've got a thing about seeing my grandson grow old

I just can't wait to see that city on the moon
With air conditioned gardens that'll play your favorite tune
I'll see my feet upon that street if it's the last thing that I'll do
Even sweep the roads to be there

But I've got no time for silly chitter chatter
I'm on my way
Cause while my blood's still warm and my mind doesn't matter
I'm hoping to stay
'Cause I've got a thing about seeing my grandson grow old

I'll see my feet upon that street if it's the last thing that I'll do
Even sweep the roads to be there

But I've got no time for silly chitter chatter
I'm on my way
Cause while my blood's still warm and my mind doesn't matter
I'm hoping to stay
'Cause I've got a thing about seeing my grandson grow old

Cat Stevens - Where Do The Children Play

Sunday, June 24, 2007



Lady Lazarus (Sylvia Plath)

I have done it again.
One year in every ten
I manage it--

A sort of walking miracle, my skin
Bright as a Nazi lampshade,
My right foot

A paperweight,
My face a featureless, fine
Jew linen.

Peel off the napkin
0 my enemy.
Do I terrify?--

The nose, the eye pits, the full set of teeth?
The sour breath
Will vanish in a day.

Soon, soon the flesh
The grave cave ate will be
At home on me

And I a smiling woman.
I am only thirty.
And like the cat I have nine times to die.

This is Number Three.
What a trash
To annihilate each decade.

What a million filaments.
The peanut-crunching crowd
Shoves in to see

Them unwrap me hand and foot
The big strip tease.
Gentlemen, ladies

These are my hands
My knees.
I may be skin and bone,

Nevertheless, I am the same, identical woman.
The first time it happened I was ten.
It was an accident.

The second time I meant
To last it out and not come back at all.
I rocked shut

As a seashell.
They had to call and call
And pick the worms off me like sticky pearls.

Dying
Is an art, like everything else,
I do it exceptionally well.

I do it so it feels like hell.
I do it so it feels real.
I guess you could say I've a call.

It's easy enough to do it in a cell.
It's easy enough to do it and stay put.
It's the theatrical

Comeback in broad day
To the same place, the same face, the same brute
Amused shout:

'A miracle!'
That knocks me out.
There is a charge

For the eyeing of my scars, there is a charge
For the hearing of my heart--
It really goes.

And there is a charge, a very large charge
For a word or a touch
Or a bit of blood

Or a piece of my hair or my clothes.
So, so, Herr Doktor.
So, Herr Enemy.

I am your opus,
I am your valuable,
The pure gold baby

That melts to a shriek.
I turn and burn.
Do not think I underestimate your great concern.

Ash, ash --
You poke and stir.
Flesh, bone, there is nothing there--

A cake of soap,
A wedding ring,
A gold filling.

Herr God, Herr Lucifer
Beware
Beware.

Out of the ash
I rise with my red hair
And I eat men like air.

Sylvia Plath Reads Lady Lazarus

Fever 103° (Sylvia Plath)


Pure? What does it mean?
The tongues of hell
Are dull, dull as the triple

Tongues of dull, fat Cerberus
Who wheezes at the gate. Incapable
Of licking clean

The aguey tendon, the sin, the sin.
The tinder cries.
The indelible smell

Of a snuffed candle!
Love, love, the low smokes roll
From me like Isadora’s scarves, I’m in a fright

One scarf will catch and anchor in the wheel,
Such yellow sullen smokes
Make their own element. They will not rise,

But trundle round the globe
Choking the aged and the meek,
The weak

Hothouse baby in its crib,
The ghastly orchid
Hanging its hanging garden in the air,

Devilish leopard!
Radiation turned it white
And killed it in an hour.

Greasing the bodies of adulterers
Like Hiroshima ash and eating in.
The sin. The sin.

Darling, all night
I have been flickering, off, on, off, on.
The sheets grow heavy as a lecher’s kiss.

Three days. Three nights.
Lemon water, chicken
Water, water make me retch.

I am too pure for you or anyone.
Your body
Hurts me as the world hurts God. I am a lantern––

My head a moon
Of Japanese paper, my gold beaten skin
Infinitely delicate and infinitely expensive.

Does not my heat astound you! And my light!
All by myself I am a huge camellia
Glowing and coming and going, flush on flush.

I think I am going up,
I think I may rise——
The beads of hot metal fly, and I love, I

Am a pure acetylene
Virgin
Attended by roses,

By kisses, by cherubim,
By whatever these pink things mean!
Not you, nor him

Nor him, nor him
(My selves dissolving, old whore petticoats)——
To Paradise.
The Fire that burns the bird


The fire of the poem is within this bird.
O Lord poem!
My Lord poem, serva me.
Save me O Lord from men, who are sure to poison me.
Save me from abuse and wisdom and red hot sin.
Take me into the pure fire, the red eye
The burning fires of morning
That impinge their soul in winged flame.
And on the flame of my tongue
O that Lord, it was I, burnt out more holy than the rest.
O that I on winged flight
Reach into myself and pull out
The pure gold baby that
Burns to a shriek.
In the sun we will all come clean
And washed of our bones
The finger of light, the translucent devil
He makes his soft bed amongst our bones.
And on our bones, he lays his devilish tongue
Licking the marrow of you Lord from us.
And O that I were pure enough
To melt among the earth and trees
And be one with the woods!
The heart of me, bursting within itself!
Like a tree burst of its brain.
And flying above in golden ash and talking tree-like in fiery breath.
It would be I dissipating with you my Lord
In almighty fiery word.

Sylvia Plath Reads 'Fever 103'

Friday, June 22, 2007

Doom

In the dream, the tiger was alive but the child did not notice
Its gills were made of moss and the child wept and walked
And had no idea that the tiger was eating its own gills.
She had been in a clean white room for over 2 days,
Had slept and woke, eaten lemon water through her nostrils,
Her bleeding heart like a bleeding windmill within itself.
When she happened upon the tiger she did not notice
But we in the bus did.
We had been talking about love, six girls and a gay guy.
Juliette had worn grey shampoo, not washed out and we told her she looked old.
Mabel had red stockings. I had nine etchings I had bought at a thrift store.
Three were of a scene that progresses from
One man scared of love until his dying day with a graceful mistress.
There was death in the air when the tiger bit.
The child’s limbs were shotty anyway, now she was simply a mess of bone.
We wanted to cry but we couldn’t help thinking that it was all kind of beautiful:
The tiger, the bus, the red stockings.
The sun bleeding in spite of itself.
The sun’s heart like a bleeding spirt that lights the world.
Don’t you see, it is the sun that lights the world?
You take it all very simply, but it is the sun that does it all.
And without it you would be swimming in darkness,
Unsure of tiger, leech, or bitter friend.

Monday, June 18, 2007

"The great and golden rule of art, as well as life, is this: That the more distinct, sharp, and wirey the bounding line, the more perfect the work of art; and the less keen and sharp, the greater is the evidence of weak imitation, plagiarism, and bungling."

--William Blake, A Descriptive Catalogue, 1809

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Very compelling argument for action against climate change:

http://www.break.com/index/tough-to-argue.html

Fleetwood Mac - Never Going Back Again - Live 1977

Never Going Back Again, (Fleetwood Mac)

She broke down and let me in
Made me see where I've been

Been down one time
Been down two times
I'm never going back again

You don't know what it means to win
Come down and see me again

Been down one time
Been down two times
I'm never going back again
Even if one were able to render the whole of the content of faith into conceptual form, it would not follow that one had grasped faith, grasped how one came to it, or how it came to one.

--Kierkegaard, Fear and Trembling (1843)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Black barn

Death was never the problem
It was life, that was the problem for me
Getting life, that is what I wanted
Except I couldn’t get it, no matter how hard I tried
I tried and tried and my heart burst with trying
My throat closed with regret, o throat
You never knew the way to anywhere
So I left you where I found you
By the road
Black butterfly that rains so
On the barn
There are so many of you, my blackness
And the things you tell me
Are not so much trite
As they are old
And I don’t want anybody around me
When I die
I want to go
As peacefully as I came
Onto this earth, not the horror I have become
Black life that has left me
No mother, no sister
No father, no lover, no child
No dog
I knew no dog to come when called
I only knew the notes of the universe
They came when called
And when they came to me
Like long lost brothers
And when I speak to you now
My long lost brothers have called me home

Monday, June 04, 2007

Ever Read a Book Called Awe?
_____________________

Have you ever read a book called Awe?
I have. I wrote it. That’s my book.
I wrote that book. I wrote that one.
Some people read it, they said
We will make your book.
I said Really? I love you.
They said, We love you too.
I said Good then
I will love you forever
They said Great! and looked scared
Some people I love
Don’t love me
Others love me
That’s good
When you sit in landscape of snow
And you’re a bird, that’s Awe.
When you look over a big green field
And the dead soldiers lay all around you, that’s Love.
That’s Love and Awe.
Say it
That’s Love and Awe.
There is nothing better.
Or if there is
Then I don’t care

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Monday, May 28, 2007

"My first band was another girl and me," Cyndi recalls. "She played the meat and potatoes on her guitar, and I played all the droning weird stuff. That's how I worked in all my bands: Whatever nobody else was playing, I played against it. I did the textural things that were always missing. And whenever I felt some other rhythm pulling at me, I played it. That pushing and pulling builds an interior rhythm, and that's the place where I sing."

I found this on Cyndi Lauper's webpage, the bio section: http://www.cyndilauper.com/uniquecirx/bio.php

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Cyndi Lauper "True Colors"

You with the sad eyes
Don't be discouraged
Oh I realize
It's hard to take courage
In a world full of people
You can lose sight of it all
And the darkness inside you
Can make you feel so small

But I see your true colors
Shining through
I see your true colors
And that's why I love you
So don't be afraid to let them show
Your true colors
True colors are beautiful,
Like a rainbow

Show me a smile then,
Don't be unhappy, can't remember
When I last saw you laughing
If this world makes you crazy
And you've taken all you can bear
You call me up
Because you know I'll be there

And I'll see your true colors
Shining through
I see your true colors
And that's why I love you
So don't be afraid to let them show
Your true colors
True colors are beautiful,
Like a rainbow

Friday, May 25, 2007

April

Aside from being the cruelest month, April is National Autism Awareness Month AND National Poetry Month.
Diamond is the birthstone of April.
The daisy is April's flower.
It is also the month most connected with the sign of Aries.
It is not April anymore, you know. It is May.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

"Coyote," Joni Mitchell

No regrets Coyote
We just come from such different sets of circumstance
I'm up all night in the studios
And you're up early on your ranch
You'll be brushing out a brood mare's tail
While the sun is ascending
And I'll just be getting home with my reel to reel...
There's no comprehending
Just how close to the bone and the skin and the eyes
And the lips you can get
And still feel so alone
And still feel related
Like stations in some relay
You're not a hit and run driver, no, no
Racing away
You just picked up a hitcher
A prisoner of the white lines on the freeway

We saw a farmhouse burning down
In the middle of nowhere
In the middle of the night
And we rolled right past that tragedy
Till we turned into some road house lights
Where a local band was playing
Locals were up kicking and shaking on the floor
And the next thing I know
That Coyote's at my door
He pins me in a corner and he won't take "No!"
He drags me out on the dance floor
And we're dancing close and slow
Now he's got a woman at home
He's got another woman down the hall
He seems to want me anyway
Why'd you have to get so drunk
And lead me on that way
You just picked up a hitcher
A prisoner of the white lines of the freeway

I looked a Coyote right in the face
On the road to Baljennie near my old home town
He went running thru the whisker wheat
Chasing some prize down
And a hawk was playing with him
Coyote was jumping straight up and making passes
He had those same eyes - just like yours
Under your dark glasses
Privately probing the public rooms
And peeking thru keyholes in numbered doors
Where the players lick their wounds
And take their temporary lovers
And their pills and powders to get them thru this passion play

No regrets, Coyote
I just get off up aways
You just picked up a hitcher
A prisoner of the white lines on the freeway

Coyote's in the coffee shop
He's staring a hole in his scrambled eggs
He picks up my scent on his fingers
While he's watching the waitresses' legs
He's too fat from the Bay of Fundy
From Appaloosas and Eagles and tides
And the air conditioned cubicles
And the carbon ribbon rides
Are spelling it out so clear
Either he's going to have to stand and fight
Or take off out of here
I tried to run away myself
To run away and wrestle with my ego
And with this flame
You put here in this Eskimo
In this hitcher
In this prisoner
Of the fine white lines
Of the white lines on the free, free way

Poets on Painters exhibition

An article on the exhibition at the Ulrich Museum of Art: http://www.artknowledgenews.com/Ulrich_Museum_of_Art_Poets_On_Painters.html

Also, the exhibition website:
http://paintersandpoets.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Bruce Springsteen-Human Touch

"In the end what you don't surrender, the world just strips away."

Becky Rosen's new website

My uber talented friend Becky Rosen has launched a new site and it is just gorgeous. Check it out: http://www.dorkorbit.com/

Eddie Money-Think I'm In Love

One of the best videos ever made.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Belle and Sebastian, "The State I Am In"

One of the most important inspiration songs to my new book, AWE. I feel like all of the poems are somewhere within this song and I just couldn't have written them without it. Has something better ever been written? I would like to see that, if there has been.

"I was surprised, I was happy for a day in 1975
I was puzzled by a dream, stayed with me all day in 1995
My brother had confessed that he was gay
It took the heat off me for a while
He stood up with a sailor friend
Made it known upon my sister's wedding day

I got married in a rush to save a kid from being deported
Now she's in love
I was so touched, I was moved to kick the crutches
From my crippled friend
She was not impressed cause I cured her on the sabbath
I went to confess
When she saw the funny side, we introduced my child bride
To whisky and gin

The priest in the booth had a photographic memory
For all he had heard
He took all of my sins and he wrote a pocket novel called
The state I am in
So I gave myself to God
There was a pregnant pause before he said ok
Now I spend my day turning tables round in Marks & Spencers
They don't seem to mind

I gave myself to sin
I gave myself to providence
And I've been there and back again
The state that I am in

Oh love of mine, would you condescend to help me
Cause I'm stupid and blind
Desperation is the devil's work, it is the folly of a boy's empty mind
Now I'm feeling dangerous, riding on city buses for a hobby is sad
Why don't you lead me to a living end
I promised that I'd entertain my crippled friend
My crippled friend"
"Some have a style
That they work hard to refine
So they walk a crooked line"

––The Bangles, "If She Knew What She Wants"

in the aeroplane over the sea

Neutral Milk Hotel

Feist: One Evening

Feist - 1 2 3 4

Teaching

Sunday, April 08, 2007

"I hear you be the block, but I'm the light that keeps the streets on."
––Beyonce, "Upgrade U"

I just feel so bad

I just feel so bad
I don’t know
How to overcome it
Skinner says that it is my
Way that makes me function
In this world
I like to think
About things that are nice
And pretty
I like to plant purple flowers in my mind
That dazzle the starscape
There is no one for me to talk to
Except you dear reader
When there is no one else
To love, there is only you
To pour my love into
The snow
Echoes out the landscape
I have no home
No bread
I am destitute
But inside me
Is a little voice
That must speak
It gets louder when you listen

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Monday, March 19, 2007

Sonnet to Eric Baus (Dorothea Lasky)

Sonnet to Eric Baus
_______________

There is the beauty that I felt
And the beauty that I felt because I met you
And without that there is much
That would not have flown
Through the sky like balloons
There is one thing
A balloon
Kierkegaard said
There were many who knew the story
But only one who it made sleepless
That one is the saved one!
The saved one
I saved you
But you saved me, too

Not Ideas About The Thing But The Thing Itself (Wallace Stevens)

At the earliest ending of winter,
In March, a scrawny cry from outside
Seemed like a sound in his mind.

He knew that he heard it,
A bird's cry, at daylight or before,
In the early March wind.

The sun was rising at six,
No longer a battered panache above snow...
It would have been outside.

It was not from the vast ventriloquism
Of sleep's faded papier-mache...
The sun was coming from the outside.

That scrawny cry–-It was
A chorister whose c preceded the choir.
It was part of the colossal sun,

Surrounded by its choral rings,
Still far away. It was like
A new knowledge of reality.

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