Two from today

Sunday, August 30, 2009


Thursday, August 27, 2009

In Which I Try Again to Write Straight Lyric

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Am I a lamb of God?
I forget

But there is this:
A woman--
her face appears
washed in spirit

Dead Man's Bones

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Ryan Gosling's band! Thanks, Mr. Gosling.

And I’ll be happy here and happy there

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Combing Brooklyn for cheese and noticings,
stooping down to let others roll over my back,
in that move where others roll over your back. All
the light! A heaven of built-in bookcases and souvenir
textiles. Friends' unsettling art unhinged us
in a soothing way, a tonic way. I guess I discovered
stacked heels that year. Maneuverings of the body
clicking things new. Someone’s hand reaching out
to turn the coffee on for me.

Today is Bad Poetry Day!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

[Inspired both by Bad Poetry Day and by DP's instruction to "write the worst poem." It sort of took a bad/interesting turn . . .]


Tonight the soft cow's nose of evening creeps in like small children in velvet slippers with loving but strange intentions.

A sudden burst of gladness at the shore, the sea kissing the mud, the black dog with his eyebrows and white muzzle kissing the sea.

Twilight and the ghosts are waking up.

Muzzle of chill, scarf of chill, mantle of damp.

Canada evening. How unlikely.

Green, flaking

Monday, August 17, 2009

(Great Village, Nova Scotia)

Damned if you don't see
a small wooden entrance
happening to the sky
draws the heart
gut up like
Kentucky once

A gentle, auditory, slow hallucination

Monday, August 17, 2009

In this dream, Douglas plays organ, pumping pedals to bring air up like feet proceeding up the stairs, so that from the kitchen I hear both a walker up stairs and a player of organ. Stops the mind. He is playing slow Eno music, learning to play softer, then veering into inspiration, calling out a plea to sinners then. It's the dream where I'm walking the moonlit macadam, and where's the moon? It's only stars and dark road, and is that really the Milky Way? Why didn't I know enough of something? Greek drama or astronomy?

Kick Some Ass

Monday, August 17, 2009

(For TC)

I may have certain failings, sitting on the couch
in my pink striped at-home monkey shorts, having slept
half the day, having been kept awake by mini-
tasks and imaginings the entire goddamned night. The mind,
I have read, is an imp of perversity. On less nervous days,
someone could say that to me and I would smile my cute wondering
smile with only one small cute furrow in my brow. Someone
mostly very kind, who has been a fan for years, could say, “Whose
mind? You know? I mean . . . whose . . . mind?”
and it wouldn’t make me sob in annoyance. I want
you to know that whatever my failings, you’ve made it
into my choreography when I’m standing on the subway platform
and a jaunty song comes up on shuffle. My friends and I are doing
a synchronized dance we would do in our musical
or the musical we would pretend to be in. Two or three of us
start with micro-movements, jazzy and movie-bohemian. Then
we break into larger Sharks-and-Jets-type gestures. It’s beautiful
how we bend at the knees at the same time and twirl like that
and raise our arms at different times, with emphatic dance hands.
Toward the end you are the one, most recently, who grabbed me
around the waist, your head pointing downward, so that we did a two-
person cartwheel, my feet on the ground, then your
feet on the ground, then my feet on the ground. We made it look
so effortless. And FUN! Sometimes when I look like I’m frowning
at you, I’m thinking about how few people make it into
my choreography and how impossible it would be to tell you
what it means to me to add one more. So, I’ll try to kick some ass.
I trust you on this.

The Awful Truth

Sunday, August 09, 2009


Sunday, August 09, 2009

I remember that some people had pictures of Jesus in their houses or talked about Jesus a lot or about whether things were sins. Maybe they were Baptists. We never talked about Jesus. We were Lutherans, except really we were nothing because we never went to church. I was only Lutheran when I stayed with my grandmother. Even then, she and I would go to Lutheran church one weekend and Catholic church the next because she was thinking things over.

One Baptist lady, some kid's mother, asked me on the stairs if I was a woman yet. I said, "Uh, no. I'm only ten." Then the kid whispered, "She means did you get your period yet." And I said, "I'm only ten." The woman gave me a smug smile and told me that her daughter-- a strangely polite girl with short curly brown hair-- was already a woman. I felt bad for the girl for that and for having that mother. I felt bad for Jesus, looking out over our heads as we stood there on the stairs in a duplex down the road from my apartment building.

Splendor in the Grass

Sunday, August 09, 2009

In high school, I watched this movie on video so many times that I once dreamed the whole thing. (Written by William Inge; directed by Elia Kazan.)

Ten from Friday

Saturday, August 08, 2009

1. Had a dream I bought Newman-O's for my writing group, so I bought Newman-O's for my writing group.

2. Lovely people writing about (a) a white leather jacket; (b) a horse falling asleep with its head in your hand; (c) the strange ubiquity of the king of Sweden.

3. My friend Manders on the phone. The strangest things make us laugh.

4. "Orbit the earth watching tv" until it all blows over.

5. If I had stayed on the F train, I would have gotten to Roosevelt Island. What's it like there, anyway?

6. Brick oven pizza, a glass of red wine, arugula salad with shaved parmesan. The way the sky looked in that back garden in Brooklyn.

7. "Puff the Magic Dragon" in sudden hushed, professional-sounding harmony from the next table. Sung by four adults to one small girl so bashfully pleased she couldn't move even her eyes.

8. Working with negativity, Pema-style.

9. Poet-brothers. Brother-brother.

10. If I don't oversleep on Monday, I'll be on my way to Nova! Scotia!


Thursday, August 06, 2009

In conjunction with a writing residency in Great Village, Nova Scotia, I'll give a poetry reading with my friend Douglas Piccinnini next week. The reading is sponsored in part by the Elizabeth Bishop Society of Nova Scotia. If you are in Nova Scotia next week, we'd love to see you there!

I Am Moving Inexorably toward My Goal

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

I am using an extremely powerful and whisper quiet system of pumps
and pulleys and reverb. I am doing what I can for the people seven days
a month. I am wearing the sneakers and general store overalls of my
youth imaginary pigtails and a mystical look of utter calm and delight
that very few have seen. My Genius floats above my head in bubbles
of confusion and jauntiness. By Genius, I mean homunculus, I mean
the distinct possibility that I will either walk straight out the door
and take the subway to Coney Island to ride the Cyclone alone in a sort
of wedding ceremony between me and my Higher Self, or that
I will eat ice cream and cherries for dinner, then lie on my side
and whimper for a while for the people, all of them.
These words mean very little. To my biggest fans
and enemies, they may mean slightly more.

Arcade Fire

Tuesday, August 04, 2009


Monday, August 03, 2009

"I've never felt particularly homeless, but, then, I've never felt particularly at home. I guess that's a pretty good description of a poet's sense of home. [S]he carries it with [her]."

--Elizabeth Bishop
Proudly designed by Mlekoshi playground