Tuesday, January 31, 2006

(letter to L___)

If I say that poetry
is an act of reading
as much as one of writing
or more
an act of deliberate attention
as much or more than of reading
an opening receptivity
sensing outward as much as
turning inward
more than, even
then when I say
that my attention
is a poem inscribed
directly onto your body
it sounds condescending
and maybe it is
but it's not a metaphor
not a picture of a flower
or the name of a flower
or the evocative aroma
of a flower
the idea of a flower opening
inside the idea of a flower
but an actual flower
a trembling
that describes nothing permanent
but an unfolding instant
of focused attention
you can be fully here today
and gone tomorrow
or you can have been gone
and arrive now
people do it all the time
but if a poem is a line
with a short visible length
and an infinite invisible length
then my attention
even when it turns toward
another opening opening
within another opening
unfolds you
opening and opening
like a looped tape
stuck key
car alarm
mobius strip
time-lasped flower
this might seem
an abstract consolation
and maybe it is
but if a poem is like a silence
(pure form of attention)
opening and opening inside itself
then if the silence creeps over me
think of it as a sort of gift
a package that opens and opens
never disclosing its contents
which don't matter anyway
because the poem
is in the opening
so if death
is a sort of extreme poetics
and silence a sort of death
we can open into
and out of at will
isn't this a tongueless bell
pealing soundlessly
and don't you open
and open in my hands
and even if the attention
is reciprocal
don't I sometimes
as the moon screams
through the blinds
manipulate you
like an origami swan
if this is a sort of violence
it's at least a reverent one
attentive and isn't it
less like control
and more like prayer?

Sunday, January 29, 2006

dente means poem (ate pie) (F7 remix)

after Randall Williams

dentate memes
meow (atelier)
a tooth
how does a desecration
type papyrus
Shakeout a name)
(the umbra cop of nonusers)
her deceased
(isotherm rehab)
serif guts a dog’s noise)
(these (torrid
trance options
(wee kicks)
(sew to lobes)
of a naked ashen dallier
(a walleye
(the lapin owl)
in the varnish)
becomes) (heathen
acres (dolor
a caw
(earth snores)
(nose duet)
envy ingot
inset crowing
contested bedpans
espuma tonic
(she tamed that)
(suitor's pose
ideas artist had (owl seed)
recasting slow exams)
onto poems (hive verso
disco vexed the dub
mélange holy
dolor in a dog’s seed
(smooch heroes
nomads relish gritty)
the archives

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Timbers of Laity

F7 retries not to be cosmetic, although like any immersed glint, it notes lapis, and it espies its legion attributes. It is the perfection of the word it incants. A city scourged in a more rational nation, nuked with realms, myrtles, shire and nursery, tooth, eBay, and sea, time concaved as a rude claw around an aura of epics - say, a woodwind. Imagine the doll eluder in his wonder, using a guise to obtain the rotors, rain spattering the window, then ransoming them direct, by way of shank or altered protons. Not time, but a dial of spit on which definite ructions are scoured, timbers of laity, but a definite rumble of giants can ruckus between these timbers, as a definite rumble of infamy ties malice between the mintages of ego and wit. F7 is the timbers, and the writhing that flaps between math and meat, gothic worm. Exert force, F7 is both entity and inanity.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

DIM MANSION : part 1

All we know for sure is that we aren’t sure of anything, but by now it’s urgent that we make some headway. Things are getting out of hand. Our first premise, which can be stated with reasonable confidence, is this: around town, people are vanishing into thin air. This is known. All else is hazard and surmise; nevertheless, we must infer what we can and take action. The time for hemming and hawing has passed. Our citizens are vanishing at an astonishing rate, and the children are colicky all night.

Gannon the Fishmonger was the first to disappear. Let us examine the facts. Gannon left his family sleeping soundly at home and proceeded to Lathel’s Bakery, as usual. The two businessmen made small talk about the vagaries of shop keeping and the stickier wickets of local government. As Gannon drank his coffee, he perused the morning edition of The Town Crier, while Lathel dispensed with the morning rush. When the logjam finally cleared, Lathel noticed that Gannon was gone, and had forgotten his newspaper. He wiped his hands on his apron and sat down with a scone – blueberry, to be precise. As he ate, he thumbed through the paper and noticed, with mild curiosity, a brief item circled in blue ink about a missing pet cat. The owners were confounded to find its collar discarded on a window ledge, the tiny bell dangling over the sill and tinkling in the breeze.

We know that Gannon then headed for the bazaar, where the other merchants’ booths already stood in various stages of assembly; that he strode down the flagstones of Main St., sucking at the ivory stem of his long pipe, leaving a tracery of rich-smelling smoke laced through the brittle morning sunlight behind him; the extraordinary light that once brought us cloudless joy, now furtive with doubt.
If this account achieves wide publication, a nota bene for non-natives is warranted: we take immense pride in our mornings. The light contorts low and jagged across our buildings and bridges, our creeks and avenues; it breaks into sharp-cracked stars on wind cocks and tin chimneys, plays out dazzling tricks of perception on plate glass windows and mirrored storefronts. So the report submitted by a passing commuter that Gannon’s head wore a radiant halo that morning was dismissed out of hand – we assumed that Gannon passed a reflective surface just as the sun shifted into a certain position, creating an optical illusion. The citizen who entered this incident into the record was granted anonymity, for he felt ashamed. He emphasized that he did not truck with supernatural phenomena, but in times as unaccountable as these, no detail could be deemed insignificant. On his good name, he felt compelled to come forward and – without jumping to conclusions – report what he had seen.

Other testimonies confirmed that Gannon behaved normally at the bazaar, tipping his cap and rotating his right wrist, which pained him in humid weather. Talwick the Haberdasher, whose concern lies directly across the main concourse from the Fishmonger’s, swore that Gannon looked blurred at the edges, was difficult to distinguish from the scenery around him. A man without borders. But these are paranoid and hysterical days. Our women are given to fainting and shortness of breath; our men to intrigue and bluster, and people are disappearing. We must view all available data through the inflexible lens of fact, and forestall the shading in of gray areas until the basic truths become known.

According to his daily ritual, Gannon unfurled a green-and-white striped awning over the stand and hung up nautical decorations: course fishing nets, rusty gaff hooks, locally stuffed seagulls, and his frontispiece, a large barnacled anchor. His slight, tow-headed apprentice brought in the catch, which Gannon arrayed in ice-filled bins. The boy noted that while Gannon seemed normal, he did not hum the old rowing songs he usually hummed while setting up in the morning.

The boy thought that perhaps Gannon was annoyed with him for being late. It is a brisk five-minute walk, as the crow flies, from the harbor to the bazaar – looking down from the square, the sun-glittered ocean stretches away in rose and orange, fading to a darkness that shrouds a neighboring island town. But because he didn’t want to pass by the old mansion, the boy used a slightly longer route.

Looming on a rocky bluff between the harbor and bazaar, the old mansion has been a source of schism in our town for as long as anyone can remember – its provenance is a seldom-discussed lacuna in Lewellyn the Archivist’s scrupulous records. The old mansion casts a dark pall over our otherwise cheerful homes; with the ornate iron filigree of its gates and widow cages; the inherent drabness of its stones and its infested timbers; its weedy lawn and hard-etched, skeletal trees. Some want to renovate it; others, to tear it down, but nothing ever happens: the item recurs regularly in the minutes of the Town Council as “unresolved.”

Some citizens even claim that the mansion has its own weather, an overriding grayness and climate of dolor that not even the morning sun can dispel, but only partially cover, like a blanket too small for its pallet. But these are troubled times, rife with wild accusations and shrill admonishments. We imagine footsteps muffling past our darkened windows at night; every tree seems to conceal a rafter of crows waiting to burst out and startle us with their racket, and people are disappearing without a trace. So superstition must be held at bay, lest we all become lost.


Wednesday, January 18, 2006

durham3 reading

On Saturday Jan. 28, I'll be giving a reading as part of the durham3 multimedia series. I plan on airing out a new, longish prose poem from F7, its title poem and prospective centerpiece. I've done a lot more out-of-town than in-town readings over the past year, so I'm excited about the home field advantage. More:

durham3 rings in its second year and 2006 with a full evening of the arts on Saturday, January 28th at Durham’s newest coffeehouse, the Broad Street Café. This month we will be celebrating the best the Triangle has to offer with Carrboro poet Brain Howe, NCSU writer Chris Salerno, Kirk Adam of the Glitter film series, and Triangle musician Scott Carey. We will round out the evening with a full hour of open mike. Sign-up will be at the door and slots will be first come, first serve. Doors open at 7:30, the show begins at 8:00, and there’s no cover. Broad Street Café has a full menu of sandwiches and snacks, along with coffee, sodas, and beer. For directions, see their website at http://broadstreetcafe.org/ or call at 416-9707. For other information, contact Tanya Olson at olson@vgcc.edu Amy Nolan at amycnolan@hotmail.com or visit the durham3 website at http://durham3.blogspot.com durham3 is sponsored in part by Carolina Wren Press. (http://carolinawrenpress.org/index.php3)

Chris Salerno- Christopher Salerno's first book, "Whirigig," was recently shortlisted for the Walt Whitman Award
and is due to be published by Spuyten Duyvil (NYC) in February '06. A Graduate of Bennington College's MFA Program
For Writers, he currently teaches First-Year Writing, Poetry Writing, and American Literature at North Carolina State
University in Raleigh, NC. His poems can be found in such journals as: Colorado Review, Jacket, The Tiny, AGNI
(online), Spinning Jenny, Free Verse, Forklift Ohio, Carolina Quarterly, LIT, GoodFoot, 5AM, Barrow Street, Can We Have
Our Ball Back, River City, and others. Two of his recent poems will be included in the forthcoming anthology, "The Bedside Guide to No Tell Motel."

Kirk Adam- Kirk Adam runs the Kirk Adam Gallery in Raleigh and is the brains behind Glitter films. Come and see what he is going to screen for us and see what else he has in store. Visit him in cyberspace at http://www.myspace.com/kirkadam

Brian Howe- Brian Howe is a freelance writer and poet living in Chapel Hill, NC. He is a contributing writer at Pitchforkmedia.com and a contributing editor at Paste Magazine. He blogs at www.moistworks.com and http://slatherpuss.blogspot.com/. Howe’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in Eratio, Octopus, GutCult and McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. He is a member of the Lucifer Poetics group.

Scott Carey- PRIMUM MOBILE think radiohead, think lush, think really cool bands from the early 90s (shoegaze) that influenced many of today pop band. Scotty Carey performs on guitar and keyboard while bringing with him his hard disk recorder. It’s truly awesome.

durham3 is a series of multi-media events that bring together a variety of artists. The series is interested in using the physical and psychological thirdspace qualities of Durham to foster collaboration between artistic communities in Durham and the Triangle. Ultimately, this series would also like to aid Durham in defining its own artistic identity. Towards that end, each event will feature poets, performers, spoken words artists, visual artists, musicians, and dancers from across the Triangle.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Octopus 7

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Fun with the Feijoa

Thanks Wikipedia:

The Feijoa (Feijoa sellowiana, synonym Acca sellowiana), also known as Pineapple Guava, is an evergreen shrub or small tree, 1-7 m in height, originating from the highlands of southern Brazil and northern Argentina. The pulpy fruit is green, chicken-egg-sized, and ellipsoid-shaped. It has a slightly tart taste, and is not fully ripe until it falls to earth in autumn. This plant is monotypic in its genus.

German botanist Ernst Berger named Feijoa after Don da Silva Feijoa, a Spanish botanist.

It is a warm-temperate to subtropical plant that will also grow in the tropics but requires some winter chilling to fruit. In the northern hemisphere it has been cultivated as far north as western Scotland but does not fruit every year, as winter temperatures below about -9°C will kill the flower buds. Large quantities are grown in New Zealand.

Some grafted cultivars are self fertile, most are not and require a pollenizer. Seedlings may or may not be of usable quality, and may or may not be self fertile. In the native range, the pollinator is a bird, but bees can accomplish some pollination, especially large brawny bees, such as bumblebees or the large carpenter bee.

Behold the Feijoa:
Place it on a plate:

Cut in half:

Insert spoon:

Scoop out middle:

Mug for the camera:

Open wide:

Close tight:


Keep savoring:

Use husk as monocle: