Thursday, January 05, 2006

my lips

Press your lips upon my lips,

And speak of fear no more!

For this moment to exist -

Forever, I’d implore!

Press your lips upon my lips,

And speak of hate no more!

I’ll I want is your kiss,

And for mine to be yours!

Press your lips upon my lips,

And speak of pain no more!

There’s no sweetness such as this,

From all the tales of yore!

Press your lips upon my lips,

And speak of guilt no more!

Love’s not fit for loneliness,

It’s calming after storms!

Now - Press your lips upon my lips -

And speak of fate no more!

There’s no reason to distress,

Of futures so unsure!

Now, please, press your lips upon my lips!

And speak of love no more!

It’s only romance that you’ll miss,

By running out the door!

Now – On my lips . . . You’ve finally kissed!

This moment – I adore!

Yes, for this moment to exist,


I do implore!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


So many friends and relatives,Put poison in my food, Surreptitiously,And thought I should not mention it,Be a good girl and a quiet victim,Because of bonds made in an idealized past
Some came ostensibly,Poison in hand,Sprinkled my food right in from of me!And said eat!Was I to swallow?In the name of what?
You want things to be the way they were.This can never be.Even if you apologized,Am I to test your sincerity using my life?
Should a battered wife,Take back her abuser?
No more room for you in my life.Were it for you I would be dead,Enjoy the company of your dead friend.I chose to live.
Live long.Prosper.This is where we part.

Bold Woman

Bold womanBig afro, big butt walked down the streetSmall difference, big tears.Detangling tears,Hotcomb burns,Relaxer scars,Cornrow bliss,More grooming, less freedom.
Glances everywhere.Approving glances,Hostile stares.Judgment days.Over.
Chanced on a soft skull woman,Walking tall.Absolute freedom.
No belonging, no betrayal,No race, no sex, no fear.
Bald woman,Make love to the water everyday.Mind your own business!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Insomniacs on ice

Insomniacs on Ice
It was Friday and I only had one class to attend. That night I had woken up at least 3 times feeling rushed and worried that I was missing something or was late to something. I guess that should have clued me in. I strolled into my room at 9:45 and for no apparent reason double-checked the start time of my class. I KNEW it started at 9pm. It started at 9am.
I ran out the door wearing the same clothes I wore the day before and started to skate to school as fast as I possibly could. Room 150 is all I cared about. I showed up and ran into the building scanning the room numbers. It was 9:58 and I wasn't too late. I showed up only to find out that room 150 is not a room at all...instead it is a hallway of teacher's offices. Oh goody. So I went to the office to ask where the class was. It was in the goldroom...which is a good mile from campus. The online schedule I was given was wrong. And I had no car.
The temperature was already around 90 degrees and I was pedalling way too hard. I hit an intersection and stopped along side a jogger to wait for a car to pass. We both started going since this red mustang just pulled up and stopped at the stop sign. I was halfway across the intersection when out of my peripheral vision I saw the red mustang coming towards me. Suddenly everything was in slow motion. I assessed the situation and leapt from my skateboard, flew through the air, hand-planted off the hood of the car, was hit in the leg and lower back by said car, and landed a few feet away. I turned around, unbelieving of what just took place. This guy had just hit me. And his car was on my skateboard. I had to ask him to back up so I could pull it from under his wheel. He offered me a pathetic "sorry" and I ignored him and skated away swearing at him in my head.
I got to the goldroom and ran inside. I was a sweaty mess and I couldn't breathe, but at least I had made it and it was only 10:10....the class didn't end till 11:15. I asked an employee where the class was taking place and, yes, you guessed it, the class was let out early.
I exhaustedly skated back to my house to take a shower.
Seriously...does this kind of thing happen to everyone or is there some practical joke group out there specifically assembled to put me in unbelievable situations?

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Burt Notes 3: Alternapoetry

I'm resistant to talk about this "post-Graham poetry world," in short, because this book was not by any means a shot across the bow it's played up to be. The whole point of bringing up the Graham book, to me, is ignoring whole schools of poetry that have been affected by what Burt accurately describes as a merging and commingling of schools. If I had to point to a particular moment, some general; readership-friendly tipping point in which the American poetry world looked as if there was some kind of glasnost/watermark/new day, it certainly would not be Jorie Graham's third collection. The book's release may have had an effect on Harvard undergrads at the time or shortly thereafter (Burt), her champion Helen Vendler, and perhaps an academic poetry coterie that didn't go far past Boston/Amherst and Iowa City. I'm trying to think of alternative examples, rather than keeping on bitching on Burt for using that one. OK. For me, off the bat, I'd point to three events:1. the success of James Tate's 1995 book Worshipful Company of Fletchers; followed by 2. the period leading up to Aloud! Voices from the Nuyorican Poets Cafe winning the National Book Award in 1994; as well as3. the first issue of Fence in c. 1996, edited by Iowa peoples (assumedly Graham students).Whether one thinks slam/performance poetry sucks or not, slam poetry forced the elbow patch posse into the light and out away from the view, as expressed by Graham herself in a 1992 interview, of poetry being a 'dying art.' And the time around Fence's first issue, its first editorial which expressed exactly my views of the poetry world in general being segregated and awful. And Tate's book, for many poets, reminded us that poetry could be joyful and funny and, yes, sublime.That kind of critical dreariness from, say, 1970 on, forced American poetry into experimental cul-de-sacs, some that are still shrouded with world- and life-saving importance, emboldened by tenure-track salaries, followed by a EuroWorship of manifesto movements from earlier on in past century, imbued with good ole American Pragmatism. Ug. How boring all this is, you might say. Yes it is boring, I say, and so it most of the poems from those strains of American poetry, but they were and still are presented to poets and undergraduates as the only valid paths to sublimity. Meanwhile, over those decades, yes, there were all kinds of suck-ass narrative poetry written, outmoded lyrical poems by other overrated poets who won too many of the prizes. But I wouldn't say that Jorie Graham had us sit back as poets or readers, and learn to think outside of our schools, and learn to love John Giorno, Allen Ginsberg or Dara Wier for that matter. I'd give our current generation of poets much more credit than that. I think we just learned to not listen to any of our mentors because they all fucked up the same as anyone else. And we don't choose academia because it's simply not a career option, at least until a lot of people die. And most of us don't think in terms of getting a shitty job at a community college for health insurance. What a laughable example that last alluded bit was in The Believer article -- a poet cited as being somehow non-mainstream -- I don't know the dude or his work, but Burt frames his life like it's pitiful -- he went to an art college not a creative writing program (OK, that's interesting, and I guess he infers creative writing programs are not the only place poets are created) this poet has been writing poetry for 20 years before his first book (boo hoo, cookie or merit badge?), and teaches at a community college in Florida (after beating out probably 200 candidates, no doubt). Compared with many other poets, this dude's got it good -- what's the problem? And what makes him so alternative? Not going to a creative writing program? Oh please. Can we please get past whether creative writing programs have ruined poetry? [Queen Victoria voice here:] A community college? My word. Someone please give this man a grant!At the end of the day, articles like this get me depressed, because I see that poet-critics are just like any other magazine writer or writer cursed to write for newspapers -- the editors who hire them are from the same caste, the art they respond to is not the kind that is outside of the same caste. The only way a critic can approach being exemplary these days is to approach the idea of the poem rather than the examples, and stay away from comparing to the current Zeitgeist. Poetry has its own zeitgeist, it doesn't need some corresponding universe, let alone indie rock references, to help it.