un­ti­tled 18

Thursday, 31 July 2003

when I was young
the­days seemed
short as I was

I would take old ra­dios
apart
how did they­work?
I stank of dust,
of­burnt wires.

some­one gave
me a bro­ken­cam­era.
I scraped off green
cor­ro­sion,
it worked again.
they took it back ?
I was that young

now,
I am old.
twen­ty-two ? ob­so­lete

I?ve tak­en too many
things apart
to put­to­geth­er.
I smell of burnt wires.
of dust.

Fiat Tabula Rasa

My mind is worst when
     [waxed and buffed
like a black mar­ble lob­by]
it gives no pur­chase to feet or re­de.

I’d liefer leave and slide across
its sable-shine rind and reck
af­ter the janitor’s jan­gle-bone key ring to

Sub-base­ment b with the con­crete call
     [sepul­chral, in­to dis­tant di­rec­tions]
of ru
     [m]
ina­tion
swoll in­to its thews.

He and I
     [his har­ri­er]
wel­come

the lines we pass in dust. They are as
ar­cane words mined in­to our ser­vice.

     [A clean floor can kill such men as we.]

It for­gets those it has been trod up­on.
It has no ruth to pur­pose.

Just so,
my un­filled mind
     [in thrall]
speaks of dirt as a mus­ing
and un­re­vised with­al,
     [strewn in­to trash bins]
they both
     [should not]
be­come rub­bish.

Dies Irae

With the slight­est touch,
a sleep­ing drag­on awakes.
Odin’s ravens, Thought

and Memory, croak.
They eat mush­room clouds for lunch,
dark rain for din­ner.

Gorged af­ter this meal,
they hear What the Thunder Says:
’All the world has aged.’

Immolated in
Inextinguishable Fire,
Megiddo is qui­et.

Two men lay like sleep,
bow­ing to on­ce fer­tile ground.
Interrupted by

a child with­out eyes,
Winter set­tles on a land
too burnt for lilies.

Verbal Impotence

I have re­designed, up­dat­ed, and con­vert­ed to MoveableType, my apt­ly named writ­ing sec­tion: Verbal Impotence. As added fea­tures, the use­abil­i­ty has in­creased and it has com­ment­ing. New Look, Same Crappy Writing. I even added a new po­em to it. So I sup­pose it is New Look! More Crappy Writing!

Anyway, I stole this link from the Riley Dog be­cause Banksy is my kin­da guy. And in oth­er news, the pope does shit in the woods, plus I still have no job. Up next, 

Brittannia: A Selective History from the Expedition of Caesar to the Norman Conquest. Make sure to check out the Flowers of History.

Squirrels and Ants

When boys tread up­on anthills it is Golgotha
all over again, the peo­ple run about like
ants who have sold their souls for a bite of ap­ple.

When a dairy­maid churns milk in­to sweet but­ter
Proserpine is tum­bled in­to the land of death.
Winter and vir­gin­i­ty are not quite op­po­sites.

Before I knew po­et­ry was writ­ten — not lived,
my bea­gle and I would chase grasshop­pers for hours.
Now each day is a new Labor of Heracles.

After I first shaved, I hid in the clos­et.
I gave the ra­zor blood sac­ri­fice in my fear.
I had no one to guide my shak­ing hands.

When Prometheus gave men knowl­edge of fire,
they prompt­ly for­got its wider con­se­quences.
A squir­rel of­ten for­gets where it hides the acorn.

Poems can­not be writ­ten by the in­no­cent.
Cellar doors open on­ly in­to the sky­line.
Squirrels and ants burn like men.

Found Poem*

This re­flux is as­ton­ish­ment

The im­me­di­a­cy of their ter­ror short-cir­cuit­ing
even disavowal?s de­tour–
This too is but a train of shad­ows.
The un­gras­pable phan­tom of life.

A strange flick­er pass­es through the screen
and the pic­ture stirs to life.
A vac­il­la­tion be­tween be­lief and in­creduli­ty–
a ter­ror­ist mood set­ter,
like a fair­ground bark­er,
caused wom­en to scream and men to sit aghast.

The ele­phant is led on­to an elec­tri­fied plate,
and se­cured.

Smoke ris­es from its feet and
af­ter a mo­ment
the ele­phant falls on its side.

The lust of the eyes
end­ing in per­ver­sions of mag­ic and sci­ence.
Equally du­bi­ous in­tel­lec­tu­al cu­rios­i­ty,
lost sight of now af­ter decades
re­cedes in­to the flat sur­face
and the de­cep­tion is ex­posed.

Shock be­comes a strat­e­gy
of a mod­ern aes­thet­ic of as­ton­ish­ment.
The hol­low cen­tre of the cin­e­mat­ic il­lu­sion.
Na?ve be­lief in the re­al­i­ty of the im­age–
a train of shad­ows
freight­ed with empti­ness.

*from Tom Gunning?s ?An Aesthetic of Astonishment: Early Film and the (In)credulous Spectator?

java ap­plet

look
that home­less bab­bler
stands on the mail­box
as usu­al, speak­ing non­sense

(sal­va­tion thru self gov­ern­ment)

in his tat­tered tar­tan.
We’re out on Saturday nights
dressed to kill–

(ac­com­plices in bomb­ing starv­ing brown­skins)

and our

(con­sump­tion means ex­tinc­tion)
(si­lence is as­sent)

Cadillac Escalade gleams
up to the club ? there he is.

Someone

(should self-ac­tu­al­ize)

should call the po­lice. Want

(atriple­mocha­hazel­nut
lat­te­with­freshcrea­mand
choco­late­shav­ings?)

some java af­ter the rave?
I could re­al­ly go for a

(french­vanil­l­abean
ubere­spres­so­caf­feinein­jec­tion)

cup of cof­fee.