Tuesday, October 31, 2006


i think it is important to acknowledge other people's feelings. like, hey -- i get why that poem makes you feel like shit. no one likes being told that their feelings are not valid. anyway, i should have said that i get the way you are feeling.

Monday, October 30, 2006


sunburst, nother week -end

window drift, mirror-navel
skin-pinned and flanked
you open generous muscles

you should know, you deserve better
you should know, i'm thinking of you

Friday, October 27, 2006


I want to make things. bones and buttons sewed together with glue. The murdered flue murmured through the sink water. I pin my bones back with skin. No, raw let. Already drawn on.

you are reading again. reading. reading. you hair in the light like gold thread. the head of a baby goat skinned and powdered. sugared highlight of the bruised fin slid through your teeth like claps.

hollow bottle button brush, hemmed against your lost hand

procrastination is a part of life

yes. that is what I am doing. procrastinating.

apparently halloween in isla vista is totally crazy.

i fed a pelican yesterday.

Thursday, October 26, 2006


every day i wait
for the slow rains
they say unfold
the silence made
by so many slit
lips, so many flicked
wrists shreading sheets
stitched with missed time --

a noisy chatter
made possible by
invisibled gifts
no one admits

audience / clairaudience

I've been interested in public space/ public art poetry -- sidewalk chalk, scraps of paper tied to trees, sand and snow glyphs, graffiti. The type of stuff where the audience is simply those who see/hear/find it.

I also really like stuff made out of trash/refuse.

I am annoyed by the phrase "bringing poetry to the people." There are always more people doing interesting stuff than those who receive or pursue recognition for it. I guess that is obvious, but I hate that the mode of presentation with so many poetry things (especially touring/corporate/institutional things) is like "come hear/read us -- we're poets" as if other/local people are not poets. Or as if poetry could be contained/embodied by an institution or brand.

Moreover, there is the whole question of attention and how attention itself is a sort of currency.

I'm interested in how ambient poetry works. How do you make an ambient poem?


Tuesday, October 24, 2006

sidewalk chalk

I didn't go to impunities. Alas. Soon, I hope to go someplace where I will meet people.

Yesterday, a dear friend came to visit. She was here for a mere 9 hours. We drank champagne and ate grilled cheese and stayed up all night.

Places I want to go: Milwaukee, San Francisco, Seattle. Soon we are going to Annapolis for Dad's 60th birthday.

I have many pieces of poetry mssssss floating around in different folders. I generate and scatter. The harder part is gathering. So much focus and concentration on the sorting, sifting. Somehow this must also be physical. Piles shuffled. bundling sticks.

Things I want do: surf, sew, bake.

Heathers is on Lifetime. Random.

Monday, October 23, 2006

I was afraid. Eclipse like paper
torn by clipped
sun. no pinion
but my glass jaw bobbing

water crags, enveloped rips
and scurried clinking
all along. A bathing suit
designed by lanterns

scaled by wax winglets
unslit by fish

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


I'm going to learn how.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

I am going to go Impunities conference. I've been laying pretty low since we got here, but I'm starting to feel ready to venture out. I never know whether I should declare that I am shy or pretend that I am not. Anyway, I love LA. I find the city incredibly stimulating and energizing. And I love October. I think it is going to be a gorgeous weekend.

I love Jessica's FOURSQUARE and Maureen's TINYSIDES. I have this fantasy that they will both create book length anthologies that contain the full run of both. Can you imagine -- all that color and splash and zig-zang language in one volume? What amazing gifts they would make. And what a great way to document exciting publications that, alas, have a very limited run. Of course a book wouldn't be the same as the issues/individual sides themselves...but they are so special. I know loads of people who would really enjoy being able to see/have them even if it wasn't in their original form.

found in california

frolic fair arc 0r
carol crania or
air frail cilia

i lion local foci
i foil a rail

a far iron can ail
an oil -- an ion naif --
a coil or flair


Re: Come done, un king --

the willful awe
the younger girls pretend
all the way to the ascending
eyelace -- their corsetted steps
along a ruddy line
that stitches into heaven --
is only a sick soaked in ink.
already, we invisible you.

O, Lord -- mister police --
please unloosen the pole
position from which your
shimmy hips mimic teeth --
there's nothing there beyond
a sucking pink. We all think
it's about time you come down.

scrim, lie down

oven runt – mewing
alley puss – you are counting
my ladder glass, sway
of mineral tubes untied
and skinned
as your sisters – twin
pencils – pretend
they're old enough, and pretend

the pinion felt
in the cradle sacrum
where the screw slipped
is what they meant to happen

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Dog Run

A place where walking

is akin to shifting names.

Not an escape, only

an erasing of the besotted lines

that criss and cross like arrow-spines

prickling the wood pulp air –

a cinder-hunt mined for flashbacks (naked

swimming, the lost transistor, a burning car).

Scent of when the wheat grew waist high

and you parted the way.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Saved Cures for a Tied Reach

The architects and mediums
traded tools as if their purpose
were to string one skyscraper
to the next, an unholy tight-rope
designed to guide visitors
from hall to airy hall. Without
the tapered trap, the mirror-born
would be left to paper
their footsteps with debris
gathered from the ruins
of ribboned sheets, the shredded
glass of hallowed atria.

Monday, October 09, 2006



by Brigit Pegeen Kelly
Listen: there was a goat's head hanging by ropes in a tree.

All night it hung there and sang. And those who heard it

Felt a hurt in their hearts and thought they were hearing

The song of a night bird. They sat up in their beds, and then

They lay back down again. In the night wind, the goat's head

Swayed back and forth, and from far off it shone faintly

The way the moonlight shone on the train track miles away

Beside which the goat's headless body lay. Some boys

Had hacked its head off. It was harder work than they had imagined.

The goat cried like a man and struggled hard. But they

Finished the job. They hung the bleeding head by the school

And then ran off into the darkness that seems to hide everything.

The head hung in the tree. The body lay by the tracks.

The head called to the body. The body to the head.

They missed each other. The missing grew large between them,

Until it pulled the heart right out of the body, until

The drawn heart flew toward the head, flew as a bird flies

Back to its cage and the familiar perch from which it trills.

Then the heart sang in the head, softly at first and then louder,

Sang long and low until the morning light came up over

The school and over the tree, and then the singing stopped....

The goat had belonged to a small girl. She named

The goat Broken Thorn Sweet Blackberry, named it after

The night's bush of stars, because the goat's silky hair

Was dark as well water, because it had eyes like wild fruit.

The girl lived near a high railroad track. At night

She heard the trains passing, the sweet sound of the train's horn

Pouring softly over her bed, and each morning she woke

To give the bleating goat his pail of warm milk. She sang

Him songs about girls with ropes and cooks in boats.

She brushed him with a stiff brush. She dreamed daily

That he grew bigger, and he did. She thought her dreaming

Made it so. But one night the girl didn't hear the train's horn,

And the next morning she woke to an empty yard. The goat

Was gone. Everything looked strange. It was as if a storm

Had passed through while she slept, wind and stones, rain

Stripping the branches of fruit. She knew that someone

Had stolen the goat and that he had come to harm. She called

To him. All morning and into the afternoon, she called

And called. She walked and walked. In her chest a bad feeling

Like the feeling of the stones gouging the soft undersides

Of her bare feet. Then somebody found the goat's body

By the high tracks, the flies already filling their soft bottles

At the goat's torn neck. Then somebody found the head

Hanging in a tree by the school. They hurried to take

These things away so that the girl would not see them.

They hurried to raise money to buy the girl another goat.

They hurried to find the boys who had done this, to hear

Them say it was a joke, a joke, it was nothing but a joke....

But listen: here is the point. The boys thought to have

Their fun and be done with it. It was harder work than they

Had imagined, this silly sacrifice, but they finished the job,

Whistling as they washed their large hands in the dark.

What they didn't know was that the goat's head was already

Singing behind them in the tree. What they didn't know

Was that the goat's head would go on singing, just for them,

Long after the ropes were down, and that they would learn to listen,

Pail after pail, stroke after patient stroke. They would

Wake in the night thinking they heard the wind in the trees

Or a night bird, but their hearts beating harder. There

Would be a whistle, a hum, a high murmur, and, at last, a song,

The low song a lost boy sings remembering his mother's call.

Not a cruel song, no, no, not cruel at all. This song

Is sweet. It is sweet. The heart dies of this sweetness.

Sunday, October 08, 2006


still feeling new, but finding things to do:

backspace bookarts class, if I have the $

Mika Miko w/ THE SLITS @ Troubador in LA!!!!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

pony up

I haven't really told you about it here, how the hummingbird visits the vine every morning around eleven, or how the light slides in the front room bright and wide in the afternoon. One weekend there was ash in the air for hours.

all the vines are secret here

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Monday, October 02, 2006

rearview mirrors

In a capitalist patriarchal culture, so many reviews seemed to be geared toward public relations and buying and selling. IF women are systemically unequal, the reviews are likely to take on that hue. Moreover, many reviewers feel compelled to invoke hegemonic "histories of poetry" in their reviews.

Poetry is the most radical form of language, and (often) reviews feel like the most conservative -- motivated by economics and parasitic.This isn't to say that reviews can't be radical (I def think there is potential in the "authorless" review), but ultimately art is the most radical way to evaluate.

But I read lots of reviews/criticisms of pop culture that take gender/feminism(s) into account and -- I have to say -- the availability of feminist critiques of tv shows like Laguna Beach do make me hopeful. Magazines like Bitch don't bill themselves as a "review" of pop culture but rather a "response." Now I'm just thinking out loud here, but a "review" seems to suggest primarily a critique of the content, while "response" suggests an engagement/questioning/assessment of both premise and content. So it's not just about "what happens" on Laguna Beach, but also about why and how the show "laguna beach" exists and what the implications of that premise are. And then that can be compared to a show like "Veronica Mars." Sorry to be going on about TV here, but it's the best example I can come up with right now. At any rate, the "review" as it tends to exist in the NYTBR and other places may be too narrow a form to address what needs to be addressed.

So what I'm wondering is how "a feminist response to poetry culture" might look.

And what is the review culture that would be good for any female poets book?

A few thoughts

- highlighting how individuals do something special is good
- reporting "what happens" when we read/listen/look/touch as opposed to placing whatever
we read/listen/look/touch is into some linear, historical context is good.
-reviews that are not tied to buying and selling are good

also, to what extent might "poetry culture" be different from academic culture, AND to what extent has academic/AWP poetry culture been effectively sealed off from the culture of spoken word poetry where race/gender/class are so much more likely to be treated topically.
is this real?