Happy Halloween from Malfeez!

Monday, October 31, 2011

My brother and I have another collaboration up here

A Poem of Personal Excellence for Halloween

Sunday, October 30, 2011

[image: http://dreamsandvisions.squarespace.com/]

I'm excelling at vibrating at all the different levels of consciousness
all at the same time, the level where I plan a Stop Making Sense
zombie costume, but don't have a huge suit and so don't
follow through, the level where I scowl out the window at red
leaves and think deep thoughts about the academy, and also
the value-added level where I wake up to a ghost twitching
the bed and it's the sleep-hiccups of a boyfriend sleeping
in his jeans and flannel shirt because he fell asleep halfway
through scary movies about hypnotism night.  Personal excellence
means putting on your glasses to make sure a ghost in a Stop
Making Sense suit isn't watching you wake up to sleep-
hiccups over by the bookcase.  Happy Halloween.
Don't worry 'bout me.  Don't you worry about me.

Storm King

Friday, October 28, 2011

Two years ago, not long after Clif and I started dating, we went to Storm King Art Center.

And Clif disappeared into this portal.

This past weekend, at the appointed time, I journeyed back to Storm King and greeted him as he re-emerged from the portal. 

When he is ready, he will tell the world his story.

Chicago School of Poetics

Friday, October 21, 2011

I'll be teaching online community poetry workshops through the Chicago School of Poetics starting in January 2012.  The two courses I'll be teaching this winter are Poetics: Level II and Documentary Poetics.

Here's my faculty page.

Right Mind

Monday, October 17, 2011

I ran off to Boston this weekend.  (Well, "ran off" after missing the Bolt bus due to subway construction and waiting for the next bus in midtown for two hours while thousands of people occupied Times Square several blocks away and a bunch of people dressed as comic book characters walked by to/from the Javits Center, where Comic Con was going on.  One really good Edward Scissorhands walked by, but I wasn't fast enough to get a picture.)

I have many October thoughts on my mind, including but not limited to:
1.  How I'd like to write something that is a comfort to someone somewhere.
2.  How there is all this constant "becoming."
3.  The time I talked to Emma Goldman on the Ouija board (TM, Parker Bros.).   She said, "The revolution failed.  Even I failed."  Then she said some things about free love.  Then she said, "Jesus is love," and I had to wonder.
4.  "Right livelihood."  
5.  How it's good to have a friend I've known since we were 17 who knows when to encourage me to ride bikes by the Charles and when to encourage me to get in bed with a book because I might be getting sick.  At one point, W. came into the room as I was bundling myself up in her Hudson blanket and fashioning a recovery turban out of a scarf.  She took in the scene, then laughed at me and walked back out again.  And that was just what I needed.


Friday, October 14, 2011



Moon over Montclair; what my hair doesn't look like after my haircut; low-key show by Secret Orchestra, including a couple of beautiful new songs-- it's amazing to me that people can do that, play music; I'm telling my fortune in coffee filters.  Or I'm just drinking a lot of coffee.

New blog

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

My brother and I have started a blog for our collaborative drawing-poem pieces.  The name Malfeez comes from a German board game, Malefiz, an archaic word that means "misdeed."  We also had in mind Max and Moritz, pranksterish forerunners to the Katzenjammer Kids.  Our "misdeeds" mostly have to do with existential questioning, though . . .

Here's a peek:

A Set of Questions

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Have you ever teared up at brunch when you were supposed to be deciding what to order?

Was it due to all the uncertainty of life, the way things keep changing?  How nothing is fixed?

Did you enjoy your mimosa anyway?   The carmelized apples?  Were the carmelized apples a blessing, even though the man to your left kept talking about renting a hotel room to learn all the three-letter Scrabble words? 

Afterward, did you sit in the park and watch a little girl with straight posture and a braid do a dainty run back and forth to fetch large rocks and hurl them with force upon the flagstones?  Like this: run run, hands out at sides, run run, THROW the rock down to see if it breaks?

At one point did she come back with a walk that involved lifting her feet high, as if stepping through fairy dew from a ballet recital?  Step.  Step.  Step.  THROW the rock down. 

Have you had this line in your head for a while?:  to die is different from what any one supposed, and luckier.  Is living is like that, also?  Luckier and more painful?

Suppose we embrace it?  The dream-like rhetorical bent?  The rocks and the stepping through dew?  What then?

Some Things That Have Been on My Mind

Friday, October 07, 2011

[source: lulublick.com]

People who write "awe" when they mean "awww."  People who say "wary" but mean "weary."  People who say "anyways."  People in vests.  Pigeon-toed people.  People with cowlicks.  People with an ink smear on one cheek because no one told people all afternoon.  I have been one or more of these people.  I'll give you some other things to think about:  The other middle-aged lady sitting alone who also ordered a small plain frozen yogurt with strawberries.  What's her story?  She was a kid, right?  She had a mom.  What was that like?  Now think about the different things "middle aged" can mean.  Now think of a horse and those pointy-outy hairs around its mouth.  Think of its soft nose.  Where is your horse?  In a field, right?  Maybe by a two-lane highway, or something?  It's like one of those horses from a James Wright poem, but more wary.  Wary or weary.  It looks at you out of its side-headed eyes like, "Whatever."  Like, "Whatever.  Fine.  I love you." 


Friday, October 07, 2011


Thursday, October 06, 2011

Tomas Tranströmer has won the Nobel Prize in Literature.  Yay!

I have an appreciation of him up on poetrycrush

Things I Found

Sunday, October 02, 2011

1.  This list of seven items from a visit my brother made to NYC in April 2009:

Top ten

The light at 8:10 and the way those water towers look

Brother's story of trading a crucifix for a chocolate pie

Stopping at various points in central park to sit on benches

Descrip of the renaissance youth on audio tour.

Portrait of the blacksmith's daughter

"that French woman just touched my hand by accident"

Sheep meadow


2.  This poem I wrote in a poetry workshop in Kansas with Luci Tapahonso in the early '90s.  Well, my friend Wendy found it and sent me this photo.  (Dig the Jane Austen epigraph.)  I think I'm better at line breaks and stuff now. 

3.  I also found a notation in my phone from August 1, 2009: "Deanie Loomis."  It was meant to remind myself to get another cat and name her Deanie Loomis.  Later that month, though, I would begin dating Clifton, who is allergic to cats.  Cliftons are all well and good, but I still want a cat, too. 

4.  And there's this Levertov poem called "Aware" in which she talks about "the vine leaves/ speaking among themselves in abundant/ whispers."  Here's the second stanza:

            My presence made them
hush their green breath,
embarrassed, the way
humans stand up, buttoning their jackets,
acting as if they were leaving anyway, as if
the conversation had ended
just before you arrived.
Proudly designed by Mlekoshi playground