Sunday, April 14, 2013



“Sir, having no disease, nor any taint
Nor old hereditament of sin or shame.”

My back slash is a source
of unintelligibilty.
My category confounds the wolf
and his pack. I sprout wings
to escape his predation. I taste like—

time’s up. 

NaPoWriMo Day 8


That I want to throw my smartphone against the first person
that walks past. That everything I say is a wish for infamy.
That I like being common, for example this mouth of mine.
That I want to crack open a scythe against longstanding edifice.
That it all has force in it, which I don’t know how to undo.
That I’m still a child. That this child is fooling you. That this child
is abstracted away from your analyzing thumb. 

Monday, April 8, 2013

NaPoWriMo Day 7

The poet and translator Michelle Gil-Montero introduced me to Eduardo Chirinos, and I've fallen in love. His book The Smoke of Distant Fires has the energy I'm trying for in my own poems. Here's a poem I wrote based on his work:

“A Poem with a Line by Eduardo Chirinos”

what should I call this poem I’ll call it a rush of chambers         
to evoke the sound of the narcissistic black hole it will be           
*that was the only time the poem refers   to itself*      
the soul needs no self-reference           
it’s busy earning      pleasure and moral reason
holding us upright
we bear             so many               bricks                         
when all we want is the tang of souls    touching or
more    when we want more     so that our souls          
have to improvise        
one more thing about the poem           
is the word soul making you uncomfortable?     
it does me        which is why
I wear it  because it used to be heartbreak
which is worse  so small                   so empty
not heartbreak itself      but its valorization   
soul is the bigger risk    and now that I’m older
the more tenuous risk   soul      is what we leave
behind  and mine is useless       useless              that’s
not how I want to be    with you

NaPoWri Mo Day 6

Elizabeth Treadwell is blogging poems and using women's names as prompts. She suggested Gloria on Facebook, so I took her up on it. The only thing I'm totally committed to is the couplets. 


Gloria, act like no one’s watching you.
Gloria, hold up a newspaper showing today’s date.

I watched Gloria make a jealousy into a typhoon. Gloria, sweet Gloria.
We brought this upon ourselves. That’s what she told Gloria.

Gloria said, The wind that whistles like a warning, well I wonder,
if it’s possibly something mystical, which was really not her style.

There was trouble in the castle. My dreams are often in airports.
Gloria plays the out-of tune violin and it still sounds like velvet cheese.

They call her the Viper, that Gloria, because she knows
how to close a sale. Her secret is not feeling anything. 

Sunday, April 7, 2013

NaPoWriMo Day Five

I’ve been talking a lot about a TV book that I’ve been working on, and I just made a big decision about the book today (one exciting only to me), so I worked on it instead of writing a new poem. It’s like a poem.


Actual news footage when it’s mostly cops walking outside of the crime scene tape.

When my most political act is passively aggressively not sending out thank-you notes after my son’s birthday party. The trauma of my petty Madame Bovarian despair is at the core of all my watching.

In true crime reenactments, when the actors are thinner or fatter or more beautiful or uglier than the people they’re playing, what authenticities does the director want?

All the moms and their bottles of wine. My mother’s sex life.

On The Walking Dead, it would smell terribly everywhere. On The Walking Dead, they probably would have terrible teeth. There should be many more flies on The Walking Dead.

The television show that’s about swimming upstream.

Andrew Lincoln played a schoolteacher on a British television show. He drinks a lot and each episode of the show begins with the weekday imprinted in some improbable place. His face is different.

When the shows melt together, which ones melt together like The Walking Dead and Lost or The Walking Dead and M.A.S.H.

The more they call them names, the more you know you’re beating them.

Television, so noisy. Lost my body in my spectatorship. I wish I could use my love of television as a way of making money.

Is this place secure from walkers? Art is never without consequences.

The hypertextual k-hole of watching shows on the computer. I can read about the actors, watch their sex tapes, find out their hometowns.
The shows that I hate-watch.

Leslie Knope: That Chimeric Democracy We Fancy.

The nerdy guy from Breaking Bad is the nerdy guy on The Walking Dead. Does he know this?

Intervention is a synthetic catharsis. The very best shows are.

Something is always happening on Gray's Anatomy. Shit is always going down. A character literally gets hit by a bus. A boy gets impaled by a fence, a plane crash, a train crash happens. A brain tumor, a hostage situation, an explosion.

The 21st century sitcom feels like its written by the book, yet the post-ironic, neurotic chatter distinguishes it from its hammier predecessors.

TV, you have my permission.

The voiceover is subliminal self-help, but Meredith’s strange lisp distracts me.

How will the show reinvent itself after they move on to other hospitals? On television, jobs are purgatorial affairs.

I read a book while I watch the show. When I feel vigorous and shining, I like the way Gray’s Anatomy plays as backdrop to all of the work I do. I can drop in and out while I fold laundry.

We don’t need a time machine when TV wrings so much from tragedy.

Television drama: not catharsis but flattening the fluttering and frenetic self to a tidy archive. The show sells the evolution of self, a redoing. The television show is after all a language event, an accounting of the self.

The more…beating them- Alicia Florrick on The Good Wife
Art…consequences-Bertolt Brecht

Friday, April 5, 2013

NaPoWriMo-Day 4

This is a bit of a cheat, a revision, but I was glad to get back to it.


I will be apprentice to this study for her. I mimic her gaps
for context, retrace the irrevocable meander of her logic for empathy
because I was born her fair to poor copy and she’s my polestar.  
Inside her: gaps and bursts. Most days the bursts
are heartbreaking. Other times we circle the same gaps,
and I try to be as I know she was with me once, our bleak
and common future to reverse the sphinx.
That you don’t know her is your misfortune. To know what she was, 
which was a hot planet’s core, a late summer’s best light
is a gift reserved for a small cohort; my mother will die
thinking I’m a dream or another version of herself           

Language was always between us, so my job is also to bear
the information for all of us. I seek it out as if it were a hunger,
then recite it back to her like a lullaby or a curse.
I tell my children her brain is pocked with illness, and I summon
up the softest image to tell the story. It’s a soft pink vulnerable jelly.
It is translucent and contains the future. In this reverie I hold it
in my hand and against a lamp because this is my form of intimacy.
My nails trace the brown spots that mark her losses. Beautiful
and sad and strange, I tell them because I need to make it into something else.  

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Thinking today about doing something more story:


The sun shook its audacity loose and a cloud devoured the old wanderer’s
pond with the sun’s hubris as power. A steam rose from that uproar in the form
of a spirit in search of a body to inhabit when suddenly a child-oracle
appeared, etc…

The sun shook loose the onus of its blinding charisma and all the families
were driven into their lead-lined attics where they ate canned stews and where
everyone—the children, the parents, and even the old crones—became as blind
as moles, less adept. They sorted out their failures through touch, et al…

The sun had no magic, had become like the grim plastic bag wrapped around
the neck of a bird soaked in the oils of our sins. We lived in and among
the giant pits of unidentified flammable liquids we also drank for survival.
The pits shot up narrow flumes of fire we clambered when they froze during
the winters that had really become, literally, something else.

The sun became our nemesis. The sun was a fucker. The sun decided suddenly
to leave for another galaxy. The sun had a face that mocked us. Although some
thought they knew how that would go, they were mistaken. It went like what
the old conspiratorial pagans suggested.

The sun became emblem, and we worked hard to describe this,
but without eyes and without ink, and without hope and without the birds
to sing to us and without a shared rhetorical schema, we were left telling
really primitive stories with empty tins and with the unabashed and earnest
desire to create something like in the caves we would soon pollute
with our breath and our fluids and our overall ruin, which we still believed germane .