This is a an imaginary diary of facts, confessions, or messages. This is a notebook of working but broken ideas, lines, images, notes on books I'm reading, writers I admire, and brief fantasies of language. Here unfiltered all mannerings pseudo-private, publicized, ur-. Here I am art and unrevealed: poetic, political and pop. These are my moonlit rough beginnings and should not be taken literally, directly, truthfully, reliably, and none of it is legally binding. These lies are all choreographed, but only haphazardly. Beware.
GREEN IS THE SWORD TO DRINK DEATH WITH
"The Secret Of the Ferns"
In the vault of swords the leaf-green heart of the shadows looks at itself.
The blades are bright: who would not linger in death before mirrors?
Also in jugs here a sadness that's living is drunk to:
flowery it darkens up, before they drink, as though it were not water,
as though here it were a daisy of which darker love is demanded,
a pillow more black for the couch, and heavier hair. . .
But here there is only dread for the shining of iron;
and if anything here still glints up, may it be a sword.
Were not mirrors our hosts, never we'd empty the jug from this table:
let one of them crack and split where we're green as the leaves.
. . . . .
Friends and Strangers, Paul Celan.
His is the voice of the lamp underground.
His thirst is his religion, the greendark starvation of the blind. No one yet
believes in the doors to
his sadness. The tendrils struggle sightless and white, white, white--
of the blue watering of a mirror
struggling to know itself
on the wall alone. Like eyes, Nightside. The tendrils are all white and terrible
romantic. They are
the struggle of living,
the stalk vomiting itself into little green windows.
I am listening
sometimes into the thumb-sized shields a trillion
small reflections in a goldmirror like a quiet happiness
turn to their thirst. Inside the blackness
is a sponge. Silence. I'll drink from your living, your noon
leaden shadow. Graveside. The blackness of not knowing where to go.
of the lampless
Green. The blackness of the hour still is safe from banners and orgies.
Sometimes the cold knowing stabs itself from within.
Safe from their shape is a brightness for killers.
The fountains of silence
O fallen onto death's words war within.
My work has been awarded the Katherine C. Turner Prize from the Academy of American Poets, a Swarthout Award, and has twice been nominated and shortlisted for the Pushcart Prize. My first book, A Book Called Rats, was selected for the Blue Lynx Prize for Poetry (Eastern Washington University Press 2007). I'm curating editor for the online journal of poetry: PISTOLA and my poems and reviews most recently appear in Massachusetts Review, Beloit, Ploughshares and RAIN TAXI. I currently teach writing and literature at Santa Monica College in southern California.
FRIENDS AND STRANGERS
- ► 2008 (28)
- ELYTIS THE FRAGMENTS BEFORE SPRING
- CRUEL DIARY OF THE MANSUCRIPT
- THE SPECTACLE OF A FANTASY
- THE ANGELMONSTER OF SYNTAX AND SYNESTHESIA
- A KIND OF LISTENING SEEMS TO BE ANSWERING HIS SIGH...
- A NOTE FOR THE BRIEF EXCEPTIONS
- MY NIGHT JOURNAL AT THE RED GARTER
- GREEN IS THE SWORD TO DRINK DEATH WITH
- PURE DAYLIGHT IS THE STONE
- ▼ January (9)