Monday, April 30, 2007

BellumLetters # 30

Synthetic Animals

I lied. We went into the woods.
But when did we come out? And into
light that was like the light
of an amusement park, themes
of many colors charming the wheel?
Facades of arrow-hoofs under a dome
of expired wires, glitter-pins
amid plastic coxcombs, gills flared, fur
mapped in imaginary lines. Menagerie
replicating thrills, feigning capture.
Glisten-grill like a pair of jaws unlocked.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Saturday, April 28, 2007


You Are NOT allowed to do
anything unless it is new.
You think this is a rib-flick
joint, a root burrow?
Everywhere's a desert
these days. You may braid your
hair, you may make a ladder, you
may make a trail, a house, a wheel.
But its the fattening that matters.
A lap for greased palms. We love
those who frighten us the best.

Friday, April 27, 2007

BellumLetters # 27


Amid genuflecting spheres, bands
of nylon filled with sand, knotted
to become disembodied pairs, headless
limbs spread as though to scissor
the white air or swim-kick
the dry light, shredded tiers
of warped atria, of wrapped hollows
and corners shaped by where
and how a body wants to move.
My pen moves like a needle
in the wrist, ink-flick of a vein about
to bloom, about to loosen, about to lose.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

BellumLetters # 26


It's true: we're all for making blame
disappear. But when it comes
to linking, those choke-chains
tear at skins and walls as if pinned
with eyelash glass and hollow
marrow tubes. The organs tune
their keys, devour clues. The scum
rules under the gun, under un-
believable yellows and blues, sour
as soap rubbed in fur. Aorta, a cannon
inferred, spare spears in the swallow
___________________(in tombs).

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

BellumLetters #25


Syringe of singing, see-saw sealer
seeking a find. No note for the taking.

Take-toc-tic, the slit lip the sleek throat
whittled to a line that hollows and pours.

Clean beam of the tuning. Little red wheel
mining the air, fountain of bloom near water

spills, trilling. Sweet throat of the nipped
whistle plumed with beading -- rubber band

thrumming -- threshold beating with chime.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

BellumLetters # 24


little captions scattered

___________________feed and seed

(I see where what was buried blooms)

you are nothing to me


one could burrow, worm through
one could move, under stylus of worm, glue

the undersigned (the underused)


persona or mask? I could not do (Plath)


they bathed the recluse in ashes
not made by a body, but by oiled feathers
made as leather, a leaking hurt
threaded through


pull it

we can use it

Monday, April 23, 2007

Sunday, April 22, 2007

BellumLetters # 22


You were all for leaving; no beauty
contests or pageant queens. The trees
were full of secrets, undisturbed
save for several endangered species.
I wanted to bring my trowel
in a basket, hopeful that digging
might relieve the strain and static
of clinging phone lines. The roof
of the barn smoked, begging for rain.
I raked rows for sowing, dirt
blackened from where you hung
the doe. New greens from these
hewn veins remind us, tasting of coal.


A whole section devoted to feminist art in The Washington Post:

To get into the show, you have to brush past a 12-foot-tall, blood-red vulva suspended from the ceiling, woven from sisal in the gnarly style of a classic hippie hanging. It's so supremely brash it makes you laugh and squirm at the same time. Many of the female and feminist themes in this show, as well as the simple concentration of them in one place, can leave even fans feeling vaguely squirmy. We're clearly not used to an exhibition that's all woman, all the time, even though we seem to have no trouble with other shows drenched in testosterone -- which would be almost every exhibition that we've ever seen, judging by the warriors and courtesans and macho brushstrokes in their works, and by the males who crafted them.

I've also been reading Lee Ann Brown and Sylvia Plath. Also watching Twin Peaks Season 2.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Friday, April 20, 2007

Thursday, April 19, 2007

BellumLetters # 19

Which Things Could We Use?

1. Luthier, hook, we should try
to be so hard. String-wound. Coil.

2. All the sewn books go tap tap tap at
the tabernacle door. Rib-swifts. Lung-guards.

3. Threaded jar lip. Tender rips. Dome
of forget-me-not blue. Rotten we.

4. Soldier-love and spark-sparrows
lifting wool where needles fall. Curtain dirty.

5. Monstrous sail eight times folded
to a purse. Cotton-wire crewel.

6. Paneled hilt. A spring-pulled
labyrinth. Hoof-print primed.

7. Vernacular gills web cold tablets, close flaps.
Arrows: little throats stuffed with thread.

April Update

WOMB will be opening for submissions soon. We're currently working on a "mini" summer issue slated to come out in August. At that time, we'll also be publishing our first print chap through our sister project HexPresse. Also, please check out our friend Little Red Leaves. This new, smokin' hot online journal will be launching on Mayday (May 1st). Details about that are coming soon.

Live Journal

I'm messing around on livejournal. Be my friend if you want.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

BellumLetters # 18


Today the falcons -- wings curled like lashes
at their tips -- their wings making marks -- slashes
back and forth above me -- etched a zig-zag script
upon the air. The trees ripped
of their leaves -- bare but for the few black nests
in their branches -- cast their stray branches like nets
up at the sky, their ragged limbs
reaching for the birds -- the falcons' slim
outlines -- letter-bone-bodies writing a song
that sounds like winter -- lean, and white, and long.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

BellumLetters # 17

"domestic incident"

One thing, a peg on the board, could
be isolated. Pushed forward along
the block to block path that swayed
front to back and back; the peg
moved dully along. The trained eye
does not blink back. They
are trained to not come back.
Roving the boxed-in track, the pegs
truck along. Not in halves or pairs
or packs, no door-to-door knocking.
No knocked over bottles. No
pink babies in the back. Only
the tick tick tick as the lines
thicken and sink. One by one
as elsewhere ink overflows its gutters.

Monday, April 16, 2007

BellumLetters # 16

Everyone Came Running

No hands: x-ray breast laced with lead, bullet
in the house come chasing skin. Flame
cells happened the way snow held
glass, magnifying everything.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

BellumLetters # 15








Saturday, April 14, 2007

BellumLetters # 14


Glossary of veins, clittella
and brain, crops of hearts
and ventricles. Nephridia
uncurled a series of bones
so that the blood concealed
its surfaces. Coalescence
of waves and fuel where
two skins meet. Rubbed
together, ignition keyed
for fences. Dust and glass
and nails spread by metal
birds, fragile engines flashing
incendiary streamers.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

BellumLetters # 12


As if it were halfway home:
the red dogs the same
color as the beach, the swimmers
turning gold, the tops
of underwater mountains
forgiving hydrogen and grenades.
It's only a phase. The green
river full of ash quivers
like a bow; the winter swans
did not return this year, nor
did the silver swim flicks, minnow
towers swaddled in the haze.
IF more than half are called away
again, the other half will never
come home: paper cranes
folded into shallow paper graves.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

BellumLetters # 11


It's not enough to just
be lost. Magpie
at the mistress box
and glass jaw bobbing.
Thieving a way home
along the hems
with the bobbin. "X"
is where, gathered
in the crook of a tree,
jewels and bones construct
a furtive geometry. Cages
or faux forests composed
by driftwood staked
in tundra, the gorgeous
lie of generous muscles.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

BellumLetters # 10


They would answer us if only
they knew our names. The glimmer
threaded through phone lines, spools
and spools of wire. Our numbers rifle.
They file them away. We could go riding
but then we could not pretend
the story ended anywhere other
than a sort of taming, braids
and boxes
made for captives.
When they call us, it's as though
their voice is made of worms
and all our longings dirt.

Monday, April 09, 2007

BellumLetters # 9


The lupine is so obvious
in its blue, not like asphodel
which is white and cold
and smells like death.
Not like us who pretend
to forget this is the betting
list, the get. The odds
are our way of pretending.

April is the mime forging
outlines: apple, machine
gun, stray letters in the slug-
gutter. Clone of our dotted
lines: mirrors untethered
and let to roam sinew
and gravel
, the slow roads
we build away from home.

Only the still patience
of the toys compares
to our games with glue and paper.
Let's forget it's spring -- say
the ash on the air
is actually snow.
Winter is the mother
of invention; it buries us.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

BellumLetters #8



no arrival, only the construct

a tethered thing, a lid
to lift


wood from the sea
where birds are made
wood box

the saw

white tail
blade feather

box of knives
box of beds


thermometer for blood making

syringe, feeder

drained and piled
faceless wings

shaped to slip, flesh grip
soft and bone

glass on stone
tip red tip

knock on bone
without breath


outside, too
a life stretch
brown and moving
eye, wing stitch
the missing sound



sad neck, deflated
unfrozen and soft

homeless, three
missing home
tapered tail to tip

without flight

Saturday, April 07, 2007

BellumLetters # 7


I'm awake in the scissors
of ten thousand lines, the ascension
of soldiers. The lamplight
here is cruel sometimes; limbs
squiggle in the haze, the letters
rearrange themselves, anagram
constructing a refrain, silvery
and unlimited. Do you
mimic or lie? The flax
threshing allows us to deny
the frayed hems, the genuflecting
tides strewn with radioactive
plastics that elide the difference
between safety and disaster.
A mouth of salt makes ink elastic
and all our papers brine.

Friday, April 06, 2007

BellumLetters #6

_all the kings horses_

Body puzzle, where to begin
to put you back together again?
Sun-yolk spilt, my split heart
plump with thieving (even
that isn't mine)
a pencil the missile moves
over the city; outline of streets
and houses traced and tensile.
Soldier, isotope, when you
report the green sunset
and how the halos bloomed
and the ash clouds bundled
one thousand shovels,
the budding pacers
made from prosthetic
, silk lantern
engines fit for larceny, become
sails knit together with
, a place for roofs
to grow if it finally rains.

On the BellumLetters

* Is it scary to read the bellumletters? I do not necessarily want it to be scary, but I acknowledge that link-clicking poses a certain degree of risk for the reader. Where will the link take me? will I be offended? manipulated? upset?

* I like the way links make clear the "underneath-ness" present in all text: the zip-current that binds the syntax , the sentence bridle. I also like being able to make links with the surface details of the poems -- the way a link works as a sort of metaphor-maker. But it's oblique; not literal. AWAY.

* What is "the news"? How do we get it? I do not even know what news is. Is it the most important stuff that happened today? Who is the news for? How is the news here different from the news there?

* I think of the bellumletters as being somewhere in between documentary and commentary. Also, it is highly subjective: when I select links, I'm also documenting the things that I read that day. They are not always all about the war in Iraq, but they are all about cruelty, suffering, or lies.

* This war is so dumb and makes me so sad but saying it feels hollow and vague. I don't know what to say about it. So I say around it. This is not enough.

* The "national" part is the most odious aspect of "national poetry month." I dislike nations. Why "national"? It seems strange. The monthification is perhaps superficial, but it's the national that I disdain. Especially today.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

BellumLetters # 5

l i g h t h o u s e

the village is an instrument
for cash. lavender skyline
smudged to pink. It's how
the sun shines in: round
grinding snails
to bits. Where bars
suggest animal and faux moss
the garden
imagined by capitalists.

the frozen birds
were like starlight
streaming through a sieve.
Feathers soft despite
the cold. We dragged
the goose home in a net
and then arranged the quills
upon a shelf. It's like
pretending somewhere
else the lantern still exists;
machines of nesting, a wealth
of stunned propellers.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007



As if that lets you off the hook. My skirt
could not become your palm, spread
wreckage of tires, triggers.
Giddyup, lover. (But really
you are full of it.) I practiced
making fists under the table
as garden walkers rowed the aisles
with sown syringes. You think
I don't know how you stay
awake so long? The taste
of gunpowder
on your wrists
and the dogs barking
all through the night. I hang
my garments on the line
inviting fire, syllables.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007



Not everyone is legible:
spider syndicate, lace fences
hung for borders where wires
cross and heal. A hanger
for a hand, a healer. Which
wires cross? One is lost
among the ruins
of arcades and alleys
pretending threads
and glue make bottleships.
No letters bind
him to a mother's mast.
The belly is a bone
to heal. Take one
thing from her
and she becomes a house:
a loaded gun come mended.

Monday, April 02, 2007



It will not be enough to open
the wires; the monkey records
filed away shall be shelled
and scattered and planted
as keys hid in the garden wall
pretend roots where a lens
flowers unlock their soft
hocks to dispel wounds
excited by the spring rage
of rockets, plastic, and microphones.
The diesel ills. How can we fill
the dirt with so many books
when so many come home empty.

fire in the hole by oliver munday


Sunday, April 01, 2007

BellumLetters: A Project for National Poetry Month


Today I drew marks
in the sand; they
reminded me of letters
or bones or teeth. Perhaps
you would call them vulgar.
The light pulls back
as an arm draws the arrow.
Bow, the bough breaking.
Rope and pulley singing
as wind throws birds
from the cliffs. It isn't even
ours -- this sand. We are
so stupid sometimes.
is this real?