A HYBRID NOTEBOOK OF POETICS AND PORNOGRAPHIES

Pornography Disclaimer

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.

27.4.10

I COULD BE ILLEGAL


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Tom Tancredo

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Nor can the push of charity or personal force ever be any thing else than the profoundest reason, whether it brings arguments to hand or no. No specification is necessary . . . to add or subtract or divide is in vain. Little or big, learned or unlearned, white or black, legal or illegal, sick or well, from the first inspiration down the windpipe to the last expiration out of it, all that a male or female does that is vigorous and benevolent and clean is so much pure profit to him or her in the unshakable order of the universe and through the whole scope of it forever. . . .

The proof of the poet is that his country absorbs him as affectionately as he has absorbed it.

Walt Whitman, Preface to the Leaves of Grass

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16.4.10

AWP: A JOURNAL OF THE TIMEWARP: 2010

I love AWP.

I love the plane, the sleeplessness, the sea of insecurities. I love the faces swimming out at you as if from the book jackets where they keep. All you famously shimmering minnows. I love your sweet glances and your rash, judgmental disappearances.

I love to smile like a thief.

Apples, oranges, coffees, chocolates, a sweater, 12 new books of poetry.

I don't love your turkey legs, your homelessness, your dry elevation sickness.

I love your blue horse Luis Jimenez.

Your convention center Blue Sex Bear.

I love your superciliously necessary cane, with its silver handle and its sealed blade.

"Everything is so unbearably ridiculous and subjective, because everything contains its opposite: the same people in the same place love each other and cannot stand each other, what was once long-established habit becomes slowly or suddenly unacceptable and inadmissable--it doesn't matter which, that's the least of it, the person who built a home finds himself barred from entering it, the merest contact, a touch so taken for granted it was barely conscious, becomes an affront or an insult and it is as if one had to ask permission to touch oneself, what once gave pleasure or amusement becomes hateful, repellent, accursed and vile, words once longed for could poison the air or provoke nausea, they must on no account be heard, and those spoken a thousand times before are made to seem unimportant (erase, suppress, cancel, better never to have said anything, that is the world's ambition); the reverse is true too: what was once mocked is taken seriously and the person once deemed repugnant is told: 'I was so wrong about you, come here.' 'Sit down here beside me, somehow I just couldn't see you clearly before.' That is why one must always ask for a postponement: 'Kill me tomorrow, let me live tonight!' I quoted to myself. Tomorrow you might want me alive, even for only a half an hour, and I won't be there to grant your wish, and your desire will be as nothing. It is nothing, nothing is nothing, the same things, the same actions and the same people are themselves as well as their opposite, today and yesterday, tomorrow, afterwards, long ago. And in between there is only time that takes such pains to dazzle us, which is all it wants and seeks, which is why none of us is to be trusted, we who are still traveling through time, all of us foolish and insubstantial and unfinished, foolish me, insubstantial and unfinished me, no one should trust me either. . . "

Charlegne Place.

Gurl.

I love your Cake-up. Your Crazy. Your slumber party melt down.

Bitch, where my jackpack?

Who's DNA is this dangling on a floss outside my 29th floor window?

"How do you stay sane at this thing? I feel like's it's sucking me dry! I cried through that poem, that standing ovation, it's too much. How do you keep yourself from going crazy?"

I make my billion promises and then I break each one.

I skip as many poetry readings as possible. I walk out of each of 2,729 panels I sit down in.

I give lots and lots of kisses. I talk shit. I text message rudely and incessantly.

I ask Jean Valentine to sign me in a crevice.

I leave a day and a half early and sneak off to Boulder, Colorado, where a mountain boy has promised me raw sugar.

"The sad one doesn't know what to do or how to behave, trying first one thing and then another and then the opposite of each, racking their brains for ways of making themselves interesting again or forgiven even though they don't know what fault it is they've committed, and nothing works because they are already condemned, they try being charming or unpleasant, gentle or surly, indulgent or critical, loving or belligerent, attentive or uncouth, flattering or intimidating, understanding or impenetrable, but the result is confusion and a lot of wasted time."

I waste time, I waste time. With my dear ones, in the middle of the night, first thing in the morning, all afternoon, all my wasted time is laughter, laughter, sushi, cab rides, embraces in the middle of a street because of cancer, because of the romance of not having a working cellphone, because my TCells are normal, because you licked my coat the color of a cherry ludenz, because your skin is Picasso-esque today and you're cracking up, old, bad, long gone, you're on your way out and you're here in my arms, the way the truth is, the same way I'm alone but I'm with you for a minute, too. I'm here for the monumental burning of these scarce islands, for a little fierce face time, to swim near you but not with you, with you but only for this Time as it blurs me from your sight.

Stranger, I don't care, I don't. Not about the sea filled with the frenzy of your reflections.

I'll park my ass in the back of Falling Rock Tap House on Blake street between 19th and 20th.

I'll gossip motherhood and primitive visions and WILLA I will read your story about stealing a car radio when you're ill.

I'll get lost and try to walk back through the black neighborhoods off Colfax, prancing around in my red leather belt and tight 7 Diamond designer jeans, while Gurl gets crazy tryn to pee in a church. Beware all ye slaves that enter here.

I'll hang on to that Oskar for dear life, for dear life, and watch my Self dissolve in the black mirror of my sunglasses as he puts them on and lays his childhood across my cashmered heart.

My press is dead, my beautiful book's press is dead. Long live my only fucking press!

Babyfucker. That's the book I wished but did not steal!

I did steal Fever and Spear by Javier Marias. He might as well be writing about all the refracted blisses of the timewarp of AWP, all the misunderstandings of the unwelcomed, the mindless and chattering self-inflations, the sheer egomaniacal endlessness, the bartalk and the insincerity, the good rough and felt affection, the brief reunions and intentionally missed elevator-encounters, the mask, the flutter, the yearning, the yawn, the flinch and sharp revolt, the spasms and spasms of laughter and true friendship, the straight-forward recognition of those I touched and held, touched and held, their finally palpable visitations, their small leavings, and the quake I felt at having been close to them for a time. Friends and Phantoms. With you. Time that is now fled. Time that is a hesitation now distorted into love. And an irritation that I never will deny.

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My photo
I've got one foot in the grave and the other's in my mouth.

Poetry Disclaimer

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.