This Poem Is Written in Code

Saturday, January 28, 2012

by Todd Colby and Joanna Penn Cooper

I'll sit at my desk eating tangerines until you remember 
the true meaning. Meaning: I've had it with low blows
& pop wagons. I need a county I can call "My Own."  But I'll
write things down from there to tell you later, a selection
of my private behaviors.  Me studying cheerleaders on tv—
their hair, their leaps, the shutters on their eyes.  Me
smoothing my hair down like a Mormon and giving myself 
a secret handshake. My ocean is a crushed bird. Let me sterilize
a bit and handcraft these wing clips with all the razzle dazzle of
a person who has made friends with death.  Death is a man
with the loveliest face, a face as open as a child's.  He smells 
of lavender.  He wears a fez. Damn, burnt from bitter orange tweed 
jacket set aflame with alcohol and matches. He taught me this:  
Whatever you need, whenever you need it, come into my establishment 
and take it. I would like nothing more than to sail straight for that grip. 
Pumping my fist at the skin on the oar. Your head is bleeding.  
I value your patronage. 


Sunday, January 22, 2012

My weekend was pretty relaxing.  Maybe a bit too relaxing.  (Note to self: leave the neighborhood next weekend.  Maybe.)

Among the non-activity: some making of lentil soup and apple crisp, some watching of Dr. Who.  There was also the forcing of the boyfriend to pose for Instagram pictures, which I made up for by making hot chocolate out of half a bar of dark chocolate with peppermint.

I also did some thinking about genre.  The idea of literary genres and what that means to me . . . tumbling about in my head.  I'll get back to you.

Meanwhile, here are some photos.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

1.  Somebody found my blog by googling "poetry about elves."  Huzzah!

2.  I have somehow already lined up five readings for the new year, and I've already done two of them-- at the New Year's Day Marathon at St. Mark's Church (appearing with Secret Orchestra and J. Hope Stein, as one of 140-ish readers raising money for the Poetry Project) and at Upstairs at Erika's, my friend's poetry salon, along with some brilliant and soulful people.  There are some photos here

3.  My next reading is for the Earshot reading series on Thursday February 16th at Lolita Bar on Broome Street, appearing again with J. Hope Stein.  I read a couple of newish pieces at Erika's, but I'll try to have even a couple more new ones by February.  Poems.  Or prose poems.  Or these things I'm thinking of as "vignettes."  Huzzah, again! 

4.  I thought about putting my blog on a hiatus after my last post-- my 500th!  So, if I blog less, it is because I am working on other writing.  Or if I blog the same amount, then never mind.

5.  I am leaving tomorrow for a visit to my dear friend W. in the city of Boston.  HOPEfully I will not miss my bus this time due to a strange confluence of protests, Comic Con, and Q train flakiness.  (But here's a thing about the lovely view from the Q train.  It is lovely.  It makes me happy.)  

6.  What else?  I recently watched the Spalding Gray documentary above, which I was reminded of by this person's cool blog.  Oh, Spalding Gray.  I miss you, too.  [Also: Liz's blog is one of those blogs that gives you a sense (however constructed) of a life narrative, a life's setting and characters.  Should I blog more like that?  More-- I don't know?-- coherently?  Consistently?  Maybe I will.  Maybe one day.]

7.   Dear people.  Dear all of us.  It's almost mid-January.  Take a breath.  Sail on through in your way.  Be somebody.

First Poem

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Oh, my descendants: life is strange when
you are still alive.    --Todd Colby, “Last Poem”

Oh, my descendants:
I write to you from the cusp
of a year when everything turned

like a movie in a primitive cave
with a German narrator

like a marketing genius
turned wandering mystic

[ . . . . ]

Oh, my sister:
You’re ok.  You’re human—

a transforming creature

sharpening your gaze
drawing out swords

[ . . . . ]

This year
let your eyes focus
then let them go wild

Eat the air
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