Monday, December 31, 2007

Contemplation of the Rockies

In these mountains that rise
at the seam of two earths
sewn with hot magma hands
pulled by sky like a birth
and the air in between
unexpected wet nurse
to an unblinking child
to a church, to a hearse.

Slow Harvest

we gather blackberries
plucked from America's thicket
if not blackberries then apples
or figs or cumquats, some
bushel of flesh and flavor
cobblered in country oven
and served a la mode
to the hungry tongues of time.
In the simplest of metaphors, we
are nine forks of a branch that's dividing
in complex dimensions, the lengths
and directions we stretch is unknown.
We are reaching barked fingers and handfuls
of leaves into air, into sky,
into clouds, and we're roasting them hot
on a campfire, dressing in smoke.

In the sinmplest of metaphors, we
are nine heads of a hydra whose god
man in training can't cut quick enough
to keep nine angry necks from regrowing
nine fiercesome white fifty-toothed smiles,
and in cutting our collars he lights
liquid fires. We bloom red atomic.
We flower in shrapnel. We sing.

In the simplest of metaphors, we
are nine harts on the ridge of a mountain,
slow moving and sacred, whose blankets
of winter hang heavy beneath
our black hooves. We sit quiet like books.
We hold court on the crowns of our rock
candelabra, light fires with bone
as the kindling, our antlers the wood.

In simplest of similes, we
are like brothers, like fathers, like suns.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Repatriation: A Thanksgiving Poem

I came back to America today
to her fields, her factories, her baseball and bars.
I came back to her slow burning forests
her rivulets of asphalt, her neon ocean
I came back to her chicken waitresses
Pecking at my coffee with a glass-beaked pot
Her sycamore men, in parks, on porches
thousand year old roots still weaving.

I came back to America to see
her washaterias, her apple orchards
her Rubik's cubes and roundabouts
I came back to dip my head in
her fountains, her soil, her underbrush.
I came back to wade in her politics,
in her media, in her Saturday morning cartoons.

I came back to wear meatloaf like a hat
to urinate on fire hydrants
to run invisible flight plans
from my gabled window

I came back to peel the orange
off the slow setting sun
To walk as wind
through mint-flavored pines
To cup beautiful like a bee
in the hive of my hands.

I came back to America
to walk across her deserts
her prairies, her mountains, and mesas
her trusses and bridges
her ciliche, her dirt, her brick
I came back to walk
on her formica, her tinfoil
her notebooks and negligee
her demigods and dinosaur bones.

I came back to America
to swallow presidents
To say their names
like I say my grandfather's
to chew their words like bubblegum
to wax political with the ants

I came back to America for pie,
for cobbler, for wedding cake,
for t-bone dinners,
for t-bone breakfasts,
for heavy white bread
soaked in egg and fried
upon my plate.

I came back for college football,
for potato chips and paralysis,
eyes glued to the tube,
watching for god-moment men.

I came back for sidewalks,
for cotton candy and caramel apples
for stick ball and dead end streets,
for astronauts and acrobats
for the twenty tongued tiger
to purr at my feet
for constellations, for sewing circles
for homemade wine and biscuits
for scratch and sniff sentiments
for dogs, heavy like a blanket.

I came back to America to pause

to take a deep breath
to open up a book
to curl up at her sensible soles
to hear her harrowing history of me.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Lines Upon the Lincoln Memorial

- for my good friend Jon

I stood in stone
within his words
beneath his feet.

His skeleton chair
a throne of bones
unburied corpse.

His left hand holds
some secret seed
in furrowed fist.

His right hand slow
with heavy fingers
falls like banners.

His shoulders broad
an unkempt altar
his head like wine.

From which his eyes
stare down the aisle
at the empty church.

Whose godless halls
might still recall
these heavy knees once bent.

Monday, November 12, 2007

City of Lights

My travel magazine just referred to Paris
As the "City of Lights."
Flipping the top corner of its silky sheets,
I can't help but wonder if there's a better name.

The "City of Stairs" perhaps,
17 floors of social hierarchy, dangerously connected
with six-inch steps.

The "City of Dogs"
347 breeds pulling the masses under the
shapeless sign of Sirius.

The "City of Bread"
Glazed, sugared, grained, and piping hot
slowly being torn apart.

The "City of Benches"
9,003 different spots to wax, wane,
witness a world of concrete and straw.

The "City of Sex"
Neon eyes and inner thighs pumping ubiquitous
origami orgies.

The "City of Words"
Heads and pens buried in a multi-lingual sand
ostrich rich.

The "City of Churches"
Decorating Paris like an octogenarian's cake
full and empty all at once.

The "City of Tourists"
Ephemeral population pulsing through scavenger hunts
checking off life in blinking digital.

The "City of Gypsies"
Human infestation crawling through the un-swept cracks
gold ring, gold teeth.

The "City of Wine"
7 billion swimming in blanc et rouge
spitting simultaneously

The "City of Glass"
Stained in cathedrals, stained in gutters
no one knowing which to look through for their gods.

The "City of Bruno"
Of Pauline, of Pierre, of beret born bureaucrats
living outside the story.

The "City of Piss"
From the Celts to the Gauls, from Romans to Nazis
one steady stream of gold.

The "City of Ennui"
As we metro through their basement carrying
their stares like blankets.

The "City of Anonymity"
Shadowing the dark places, stepping out
in the fore-head high heels of night.

The "City of Continuity"
The same shuddering shutters open and close to reveal the same
Glockenspiel girl, un-wooden.

The "City of Corpses"
Their dead almost outweighing their living, some finding it difficult
to tell the difference.

Or maybe just the "City of Lights"
One vast power prism distracting us
from the cities inside.

Friday, November 9, 2007


What you don't know
is that it's already written
Early this morning I plunged a sewing needle in my left eye. The ink in the pupil was enough to scribe a quick note on some weathered papyrus.

What you don't know
is that it's already hidden
Folded razor thin and slid into the waiting abyss of my back pocket, where's its only company is a lost Valentine's Day card and empty candy wrappers.

What you don't know
is that it's already burning
This evening I poured gasoline on myself like 8th grade perfume and held a small brown butane lighter to the sole of my left shoe.

I've been slowly suffocating for the past 3 hours.
The flame has finally reached my eyes.
It's melting the framework of my glasses onto the bridge of my nose
It's cutting at the curbs of my eyelids, ebbing and flowing into my sight

I am now a 6 foot combustable Christmas tree
Joan of Arc, tied on like a candy cane
I was born to die a comet.

Thursday, November 8, 2007


I see a girl each night. She carries stones like rainwater, like an offering. Above the stones swim seven goldfish, unyielding to gravity, perched mid-air. Cutting her feet are the broken bones of a fishbowl that isn't now, won't be, and perhaps, never was.

Reflections upon reading the book of Obidiah

Will I be wrath
or an object of
His wrath?

Am I to be lifted to mountains,
or will the earth rise around me,
buried in valleys?

If all the world is a God's sword,
my only question is which end holds my throat
the hilt or the blade.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

I am going to be gone for a few days and so i wanted to give you guys some more bad poetry to read while I was absent.

Expect a poem on my return on wednesday. Good mondays and tuesdays to you all.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

The poem I would have written in 7th grade if I wasn't listening to so much Reba

the celibate moon
holds me by the throat
I wait coughless
suspended over her metal water
over her printless sand

it is not enough to breathe now
my lungs water full
my lips on earth
my skeleton
the glowing grey sarcophagus
of my past

my unbroken past
bending under the pressure
of her immaculate stare.

Friday, November 2, 2007

A poem

amoeba avalanche acrostic accolade apoplexy Appomattox accumulate appropriation approval alibi alkaline aurora ambrosia accompany acrid Allentown Appelby's amplify average ant alliterative acorn ash amplitude afterglow argue aver Antwerp agronomy alligator alley alter altar abdomen anon axe adder asp awl accordion Azerbaijan aggregation.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Motion Blindness

evidental ther are
who suffer
otion blindn

they see
world n frame

the sympto ally
stem om some he
injury o roke

I can ly agine
what would be
onl eing th elm

never knowing to what.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

While walking in the Luxembourg gardens I noted to Alejandra the small spikes rising from the heads of statues. I told her they were to keep the pigeons from resting on the statues. She responded that she hopes she never sees a pigeon impaled on one of the spikes.

That got me thinking about a haiku I know:

Fluttering headress
Blood dripping in garden rain
How death crowns a queen

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Debbie Downer

Today I walked past St. Germain de Prés,
with its thousand year tower,
with Hugo's wedding bells
with the white christening gown of the Marquis de Sade
with its egg-shell frescos
with its wood-eyed angels
with its forlorn bells pouring like concrete.

Today I walked past St. Germain de Prés,
as a Frenchman was being carried out.

Its easy to forget people die here,
easier still to forget that we'll die as well.
You're more space than time to me,
More arms than hands.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Upon Reading the Book of Jonah

After we walk the narrow path.
After we find it constricting.
After we widen it with our teeth
Biting and spitting out the gravel.
After we forge other territories
After we set things ablaze
After we stick hands in the fire
After we are burned
After we are content
After we are free

After we find peace,
What great fish will swallow us?

Saturday, October 27, 2007

My Football Poem

After 4 hours and 4 radio stations I've blindly given my email address to in hopes that one would carry the game internationally, I've finally stopped at KTRH in Houston who, after raising my hopes to the very brink of fruition, has just informed me I'll be able to enjoy the Aggie game in a mere 60 days.

This poem is dedicated to the game played December 27th, the radio station that will bring it to me, and the only Aggie shirt Jason Coggins has ever owned that I am wearing now in celebration of him and his beloved alma mater.

People don't write poetry about football,
They cross-stitch poetry about football
They bake it into brownies sold outside cold football stadiums
wearing the pictures of their homecoming queen or pimple-faced flautist,
oversized mug-shots of their children's incarceration.

People don't write poetry about football
Not because football is too aggressive,
but because poetry is too aggressive.

Poetry wants to cut, to slice, to rip with alliterative teeth.
Football wants to kick, to catch, to charge,
To shake hands afterwards.

Poets don't shake hands.
Poets don't win.
We don't leave the field.

We know there is no field,
and if there ever was...

We would have plucked it up blade by blade years before the ball was thrown.

(well, that was certainly an odd little poem)

Open apology for the last poem written

I really don't know how to begin this. I was under a deadline. I was pressured to create creativity when I wasn't feeling very creative. I apologize for the weak attempt at a concrete poem, the even weaker use of the presents/presence homophone. I initially wanted to write a thank you for Why? Justin Why?'s recent post, but it turned out to be a little too detached to scrape meaning from. I've come to the conclusion that even great poets are great only on occasion. The rest of their existence is nothing but metered mediocrity. All this to say. If you want the full expression of my voice, you'll have to occasionally hear me clear my throat. I hope the next few days will make up for my *ahem.

Friday, October 26, 2007


I'll open it
later, when no other
gift is under the tree, when all I
need for Christmas is the idea that someone took
to wrap
it up

Thursday, October 25, 2007


That woman on the metro is missing two fingers.
That one with the hat, brim pulled like Saturn.
She's grabbing the pole with her thumb and ring finger.
Her pinkie hidden from its brothers' fate
She looks like a sketch from some fashion catalogue.

"Here we have a classic brown knee-length
Accented with brown hose and a cashmere sweater.
You see how the gold of her necklace and rings
accentuate the modest neutral hues of her base.
The heels and silk of her scarf take this ensemble
from Sunday morning to Saturday night..."

The absence of her first two fingers on her right hand
are a fortunate addition to the outfit
Who knows in which jaguar's belly they sit?
Which voodoo priest is wearing them like a trophy
accenting the his high ancestral cheek bones
and the ivory at the bridge of his nose?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Today I heard a story about a French woman who refuses to wait in lines. She is an older woman, a child during the Second World War. When anyone confronts her about her etiquette, she responds that she's waited in enough lines already, now it's her time to be moved to the front.

I imagine her in grocery stores,
elbows full of soup cans,
pushing her way to the register.

In boulangeries, hand raised from the back,
ordering baguettes, daring anyone
to say a word.

In charcuteries, eyeing knives,
taking unrationed meat from
the baskets of others.

In cinemas, demanding front row seats
reminding them of when she pedaled
for the Nazis.

In museums, remembering a time
when the line for La Jaconde would be
around an orange tree,
her forehead touching the bark.

I imagine her during the war,
standing patiently in lines,
long lines
longer than the grocery
longer than the market
longer than the cinema

lines where no one wanted to be first.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Mother to Son

I would have told you
about the children
playing in the park.

I would have told you
about their pink-fingered guns;
how they would count paces
before turning

To follow, with eyes of gold,
imaginary bullets,
imaginary wounds.

I would have told you
about the sounds their
candy-breathed mouths made,

The "bang," "pow," "kapow"
clicking from their tongues like dominoes.

I would have told you
how they stumbled to the ground.
How, writhing on sand,
They clutched imaginary wounds
with real hands.

I would have told you how they screamed.

I would have told you how they screamed.

But you were gone,
and wouldn't have listened anyway.

Monday, October 22, 2007

In Celebration of Justin

In celebration of Justin Wolfshohl I will be posting one new poem each day until my triumphant return to the states. This, of course, doesn't mean that you need to read these poems each day, jsut liek you didn't tear off each page from that farside calendar you got in 7th grade. This just means that poetry will exist here for the next 25 days at a steady pace. Not good poetry mind you. just poetry. And in the end, isn't that all we can ask for?
I lay down at the Pantheon
My head on cold concrete, bowed steps
I lay down at the Pantheon
My body lying in state next to Hugo, Dumas
I lay down at the Pantheon
Slipping into it's architecture, a poet on its Greek facade
I lay down at the Pantheon
The rhythm of my blood timed on Foucalt's Pendulum

I see the breeze blow through Corinthian leaves
I feel the weight of the bell, its shuddered silence
I am a child spinning under its domed cathedral

I weave in and out of its history
I lay
I alight
I loom

Until, like a beggar, I am asked to leave.

Friday, September 21, 2007

The Status of My Book of Poetry

I'm collecting these poems like cranes,
Flying back to where they were folded,
Where the wind blew them from my arms.

I'm adjusting these poems like so many lenses,
Focusing on the minute minutes,
Twisting my eye like a Stevenson character.

I'm filing these poems like taxonomy
Decorating each one with dead Latin,
Asking them nervously to stand still while I count.

I am weighing these poems like cantaloupe
Using balance beam hands to hold
Both them and the memory they're worth.

I'm cutting these poems like nails
Trying hard not to rip them with my teeth,
No one wants blood at the cuticle.

I'm writing these poems like a ghost,
Face full of fingers, staring in foggy windows,
Kissing my words on the glass.


She slams the jump rope and against the ground, refusing to to jump.
Thinking the ground, for a brief moment, will fall from beneath her
And return,
Giving her the illusion of play.

The Drunkard

Someone's father can barely walk tonight.
Someone's husband just tripped over a shallow curb.
Someone's son just used the silver Pugeot to brace himself.
Someone's neighbor just sat on a nearby bench to rest.
Someone's math teacher will cross streets unable to see the cars.
Someone's friend will trip on the white lanes of the road.
Someone's childhood sweetheart will raise his hand to the light.
Someone's brother will close his eyes and smile,
Thinking of the people who will, under breath, apologize.
He hired that boy as a horse
Brought him trotting from some Indonesian pasture
Gave him Parisian stripes and narrow legged jeans
Cut his silky hair into a mane.

He bridled that boy with an arrogant pout
Made him royalty, queen, harem, gold-leaf slave.
When busy he ties the boy to railings
To people, to large unmoving bodies of water.
When done, he unties the boy and leads
Him down the small streets of the city,
Walking a step in front of him,
Pulling when necessary.

He hired that boy as a horse,
To ride, like Godiva through his aging biography.

Vouille Market

I wade through the market
That is a stagnant lake.
Small Kiosks of shoes and boot-legged DVD's
Float like algae on the water's surface.
I swim slowly, careful not to touch
The dead birds that float in my path.
A frozen covey, ruffled in flight,
Their feathers pass beneath me
Attached to walkers, groomed pets, bruised canteloupe.
They feverishly amble in and out of my way.
The water of the market clings like web
And every time their unwashed jackets touch me
I'm sure that I will drown.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Is It Enough

That I would hold you in place,
While earth spins beneath your elevation.
That I would seek you in darkness,
Amidst wolves, in woods, on wind.
That I would weave your name
With wet reeds and bendable words.
That I would mix your bones in loose soil
Plant orchids and stargazers.
That I would dress you in morning
Sunrise draped on your arms like lace.
That I would know you as I know myself,
Feel your blood pump in the valleys of my wrists.

Is it enough that I would lie prostrate in your temples?

Thursday, August 9, 2007

A Pretty Poet Call-out: Why I Don't Think You Wrote That

Poets should be ugly people.
It's not quite fair if they're not.

Not disfigured, not monstrous, not Picasso per se,
Just run of the mill ugly.
No homecoming queens, no prom queens, no pageant queens.
Maybe just no queens, save Freddie Mercury,
Certainly worthy of being a poet.

No strong jaw-lines, no cut muscles.
If you are a poet these things are not allowed.
Your six pack abs don't get to write a rondeau
I'm not even comfortable with your six pack abs being able to spell rondeau
You can't write sestinas in with a 32 inch waist or a size 4 cocktail dress.
You need to be too large or too small
you can't fit into the world if you want to write poetry.
you've got to be the wrong size, push yourself in
That's why people write poetry,
To push themselves into beauty.
That's why it works.

We don't have beauty balanced on our high cheek bones, the perfectly straight bridge of our button nose.
We don't have tiaras nestled in our cloud like hair, perfectly curled cumulus.
We don't have legs that go for miles,
Bodies that just won't stop.
Our legs end at our hips, our ankles
Our bodies stop.
and we write so our bodies are the only things that stop.

Poets can't be beautiful,
and if they are, It's certain
there's an ugly person pushing them.

Lines Written Mid-Atlantic

There are quiet moments,
when we must feel like gods.

Mid-Atlantic on an overnight flight
The steady hum of metal wings
The cloud cake beneath us
A star just under our horizon
The frost, the double pane glass
The reclining chairs
Our plexi-glass map of the world.

The hungry water stirring below
Ready to swallow us whole.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Age Quatrain

My hands are older than they used to be
It's not so much complaint as it's compliance
And even though I'm not so old they're weak
I'm old enough that I can see a difference
It will not be enough to build cities,
stories high and climbing,
streets like a gutter
where puddled people gather

It will not be enough to cure disease
watch mothers and grandmothers
smooth as marble
cut the century cake

It will not be enough to write novels
word heavy pages
every literati and nobody
can't wait to alphabetize in canon

It will not be enough
It will never be enough
until all the world
after seeing what I have done
presses palms to their second hand
and lays down to wait.


I'm home after eight
months, back in the country.

The river's high,
High enough to drown in.

The rosebeds are overgrown
My mother calls them her
Butterfly gardens

I picture her with pruning shears,
Clipping away at their dusty wings.

The moon is out after weeks of rain,
timid in the weight of light.

Tonight before I sleep I'll check
The corners of my room for scorpions
They cling to the ceiling, you know?
They drop during the night.
They sting you in your sleep.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Subletting a furnished apartment

This room is not my room.
Its warm oak and woven wicker chairs,
It's tall armoirs and curvacious vases,
It's jaundiced lampshades and dying palms.

This room is not my room.
It's pictureless frames and fragile chandelier,
It's heavy mirrors, full of slate and reflection,
Its sighing slats of polished pine.

This room is not my room.
The nakedness of its bed and bathroom,
The salt and sugar of its sunlit kitchen,
The breeze balanced on its balcony.

This room is not my room,
But it will be
As I pull on the owner's legs like slacks,
Don his back like a shawl,
Slip into the socks of his feet, the gloves of his hands.

It will be as I glue his hair to my scalp,
Wear his face like sweat.

Knock and the door will be opened

I'll stand out here,
Waiting with my blue candle lit.
I'll stand out here,
Scratching the palms of my hands.
I'll stand out here,
Unravelling the braid of your wysteria.
I'll stand out here,
Chewing the flat wood of your door.
I'll stand out here,
Ankle deep in your welcome mat,
Lead lungs full of helium breath,
Knuckles dripping blood, not from knocking.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Beating some metaphorical A*

I stepped on the heel of a man as I boarded the 12 at Pasteur. It wasn't intentional, but he didn't see it that way. After awkwardly producing an obligatory and insincere "Pardon, Monsieur," I considered the matter closed. While the train pulled out of the station I pulled out a thin slice of poetry I've been chewing on the past few days. The crust, now stale, I looked over the book to see the man staring up at me from his fold-away metro chair. I watched his fat lips mumble diluted French phrases his voice wasn't strong enough to validate. He looked up at me repeatedly, flashing his sad, cartoon gangster eyes my direction. Amused, I sat and stared at him for the rest of the ride, occassionally smiling. He continued to mumble as he checked the back of his poor fitting trouser leg. As the metro slowed to Convention and I prepared to depart, I heard the man stiffly stand up next to me.
For a brief moment I imagined grabbing him by the bruise of his throat and pushing him down to the floor. I pictured his sad eyes under the sole of my muddy shoes. I felt the bones around his jaw and temple give as I applied my weight. I finally heard his mumbles take shape as screams that came to a quick end as the toe of my shoe, the same muddy shoe that started our relationship, pushed his Adam's apple to the back of his neck.
As the doors opened I walked up the stairs to my exit. Passing some drugees and their dogs, I kept looking over my shoulder. A control officer caught my eye and I watched her begin to follow me up the stairs. As I turned out of the station, she was gone. From there I went home, feeling criminal, feeling violent, feeling whole.

*Title courtesy of Jason Coggins

Monday, May 28, 2007

I jumped onto the metro quickly, not taking note of those around me. I quickly swung my backpack around to my stomach and sat on one of the theatre chairs of the middle aisle. In my hurry, I failed to notice there were fewer passengers on this car than others. Within seconds I heard him screaming.

His voice full, decorating the room like some 7th century mead hall. In my periphery I could see his coatrack of a body holding other peoples' clothes between the bench seats of the metro car. I couldn't understand what he was saying, but from the grumbling of other passengers and the clutching of purses, I assumed he wanted money.

He approached an older girl beside me, not more than 18. When begged, she non-chalantly put apologies in his cup, she looked calm but reserved as the sides of her bob haircut crawled around her high cheek bones.

As the man continued yelling, I looked again at the young girl, whose head was in her left hand. Inside her palm she was shivering. I couldn't help but be moved at how this young woman was so emotionally delicate that even the presence of a human on the brink of despair could bring her to almost uncontolable sobbing. I thought surely I had never seen compassion like that before, and would not soon see it again.

As the metro met my stop, I rose to meet friends for dinner. As I walked past the girl she lowered the mask of her hand. Behind it, there were no tears. She had been laughing. Laughing so hard she hid herself.

I ate in silence.

Monday, May 21, 2007


I want the bottom to drop.
This plate of clouds spinning above the tower,
I want the center to break
Letting ceramic and ropes of
Precipitate pasta pour around me.

I want to fall asleep
among this grass
among these gnats
among these lovers

I want to wake up in the rain, an empty field.
My white t-shirt, clinging like skin.
My mouth, a cup of water.
My eyes, the only dry place in Paris.

Man at Pasteur

He is elegantly gay, holding his sexuality
Like a handbag. He tosses it flippantly over
His left shoulder, dropping hips like breadcrumbs.

He holds his lips in a kiss, unkissed.
His eyes could be masculine, but he's
Powdered each iris with graphite.

He stares in a dark grey, a woman grey,
A blank grey that belies the 5 o'clock
Shadow he's wearing at 8 am.

I think I'll follow him for the rest of the day,
See what bridges he stops, doesn't stop, at
See what couples he stares, doesn't stare, at

Marvel at how anger like that tears bread.

Woman at Convention

There is a slow woman at the metro
Who stands on the cliff of the stairs
Mouthing words with her hands.

She occassionally yields suffocating noises
From the balloon leak of her lips, constantly staring
At the floor, which she floats inaudibly above.

She hangs an arbitrary smile
On the coat-rack of her cheeks
Opening and closing her thoughts like cabinets.

I think, perhaps, the whole of humanity
Rests between her slightly out-turned ears
And her pace and manners are just subtle
Signs of being crushed.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Order Up: An introcution of Pamela Davis

Pamela Davis throws pies: apple pies, cherry pies, blueberry, mulberry. She's even been known to throw a mincemeat when provoked. She throws pies. Take care when pecan's on deck, pecan pies are unforgiving.

Timidly toeing her way out of her mother's womb on a snady beach in SoCal, Pamela, Pam to her friends, wore pink holsters in her youth, a tutu in her early teens, a tatoo in her late teens and bell-bottoms in the San Fransixties.

Pam is responsible for the VW in VW bug. Known as Volkswagon after a lengthy court battle in 1973, VW originally stood for Virginia Woolf. Pam, Pamela to authorities, was known form Tahiti to Newport for driving her VW around, hanging out the window yelling, "Who's afraid, who's afraid?" Pam wasn't afraid, she was armed with a cherry cobbler.

She calmed down in the nineties, burying himself under commas and catheters until she relunctantly peeked out to see her shadow jsut a few years ago. Suffering from fluctuating fears of being seena dn being overlooked, it turned out that her abrubt appearance late last winter was actually a cardboard cutout. Pam's been walking around us in disguise for the last fifteen years.

As it turns out, Davis isn't even her last name. Since 1984 she's gone a symbol, π.

It's her current hope to reunite with someone she knew in paris some twenty years ago. She hasn't yet decided what she'll say when they come face to face, but she has decided on the pie.

It will obviously be lemon, sans meringue.

Blazon for My Grandfather

My grandfather's jaw was a candelabra of melting teeth. His pickled tongue slept behind their burning wicks. His wisk broom mustache shook beneath a cobblestone nose. My grandfather's ukulele laugh would peel down wall-paper into a bed of bougainvillea, there we would sit, spinning him above us, skeletal helicopter, our faces to the cool breeze of his whale-tailed webs.

My grandfather's hands were gravel-gloved so that he could crush clouds into rain, so that he could grate granite with his palms, so that he could snake into blackberry dungeons and rescue the trembling fruit.

His cigarette legs would walk in circles through my grandmother, feeding her wine and walnuts, both in glass, ferociously fox-trotting her back to the flooded 40's, where tubes and oxygen, saliva streamers hung from champagne chandeliers.

My grandfather had tomato vine veins, vericose, very close to his straw-hat heart.

He woke up like a Fibonacci fountain, slept in the first and fourth quadrant of his Cartesian California king. He dreamed abundant vegetable dreams.

My grandfather's paper-thin skin held him together until, like all gifts, he was opened.

Ramene ta fraise*

I pissed in the corner of the Cour Carre.
Smelling like asperge and Kronenburg,
I pissed with my back to the angels and saints,
My back to the windless accordion of their prayers.

After zipping up I marched, marcher, around the square,
Stopping dutifully at each impatient statue,
Screaming my stops like a metro horn.

*literally translated as "bring your strawberries," a term used to provoke a fight

Ego-Trip (revised)

I am the hub of all Paris,
The center of its spokes and wheels.
I am the point about which the arrondisements spiral,
The direction of the Triumpal Way.
I stretch from the Arc's wreath of remote control cars,
Past the gold lit match of crane's and unseeing eyes,
Beyond the Sun, beyond his horse, beyond their hooves, years off the ground.

I am buried beneath the pyramids,
Balanced on their tips.

I am the words and the bread,
The wine and the wind,
The flowers hanging form Haussmann balconies.
I am the piss in the metro,
The wysteria growing their paper grapes.
I am the poplars on the quai.
Their leaves a shimmering gypsy dress.

I am the slow pull of the water,
The stubborn push of the land.
I am the broad shoulders over which the Seine is bent.

I am the weight of St. Denis's head and
The angle at which he holds it.

I am the holy kisses of men
meeting at Medditerranean markets.
I am the abrupt kisses of women
cutting up conversations.
I am the soft kisses of lovers,
held like marbles between the lips.

I am the toasts to birth
to health
to death
to love
to sex
to the thin thread of white light which ties them all together.

I am the tunnel with its royal ghosts.
I am the open books of Verlain and Baudelaire,
The ones that have yet to be opened.

I am the flour in the boulangerie.
I am the blood in the charcuterie.
I am the stench in the fromagerie.
I am the appetite which devours all three.

I am Paris, because Paris is made of me.

I am the stars.

I am the stone.

I am the one to whom St. Genevieve still points.

A Short Week of Poetry.

For me, this was a short week of poetry. having jsut finished a week long workshop with poet Cecilia Woloch, I am now going to post some of the poems that came out of the week, including a new version of Ego-Trip. This will have no effect on your lives, but it will be somewhat cathartic to me. I wouldn't want to be stripped of my sobriquet like Bloggins or completely abandon this little bivouac of my thoughts.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Packing up Rome

I rested on the Colloseum steps
My eyes sliding down its slopes
Weaving through its buried maze

I shuffled throught the Roman Forum
My hands against rough stone
My thoughts with virgins underground

I walked beside the Palatine
I searched the hill for its high-leafed trees
Seen before on plates and vases

And when I was done with the Ancient City
I folded her neatly in an old newspaper
And boxed her all away,
Somewhere between the stone and golden age.


one day these bones will dry
then white and still
will sleep

one day this blood will still
then black with sleep
will dry

one day this hand will sleep
the pen then dry
will still


Today I started a poem
a very poor poem

The title bled into the first lines.
the verbs weren't sharp
the nouns, not all accounted for

Upon reflection I cleared my desk
picked up my pen
and quickly wrote another

not as a poet of course,
my poet days ended at the first poem.
I wrote the second, more as a custodian.
wiping clear the trash and clutter
scrubbing up the ball of my pen
unwrapping new paper
and balancing clean words on its blue shelves
in the quiet cupboard of my journal

All of the tea in the Ming Dynasty

I just got back from a little excursion to the French Alps, Cinque Terre, Rome, and Interlaken. I had a good time. I wrote some poems. Here are some of them.

Monday, April 9, 2007

When the Bough Breaks

there's a man asleep on the metro,
avoiding the cold rain above,
the crowded street corners,
the uneven cobblestones.

he's tucked himself beneath a blue bench
on the south-bound seven line.
as the car brakes and accelerates
at each stop, i can see his body rock.

i can only imagine that he must,
for a moment,
just before the doors open and close,
remember a time
when arms rocked him instead of steel
when those who crowded around to stare
wrote poetry about his potential, not his predicament.

Eaves Dropping

In my Paris apartment,
With its antique wood
And heavy green curtains,
I can hear, through paper-thin walls,
The voices of neighbors.

Beneath me, lives a small cluster of boys,
Their airless room filled with smoke and house beats.

Above me, an old man sits quietly looking out the window,
The political debates humming in the background.

And just beside me, hanging on the other side of the mirror,
Is a middle-aged women and her gaggle of friends.
They wade knee-high in jams and teas.

Their voices occasionally flicker beneath our door,
Peering in our peep-hole, oozing through our locks.
And sitting quietly in the silence of my room,
I drain their conversations through my language ability,
A colander built from a sophomore semester of French.

I pull out a handful of words,
Then spend the rest of the day
Rearranging them on my pillow

Sunday, April 1, 2007


I am the hub of all Paris,
The center of its spokes and wheels.
I am the point about which arrondisements spiral,
The direction of the Triumphal Way.
I am the words and bread,
The wine and wind,
The flowers hanging from Haussmann balconies.

I am the slow pull of the water
And the the stubborn push of the land.
I am the broad shoulders over which
The Seine is bent.

I am the toasts
I am the kiss
I am the one to whom St. Genevieve still points.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Love On the 6 Line

Across from me, an ugly couple holds one another.

The boy's thin hair, tied back uncomfortably,
Reveals the puffed cheeks of an old woman.
His smooth skin undermines the age his height would suggest.
Small wire glasses frame shallow eyes,
Which he uses to stare lovingly at his modest treasure.

The girl is not much prettier,
Her face pulled together around the nose.
Her black roots push out her hap-hazard dye-job
To awkward lengths about her low cheek-bones.
Her body is misshapen, so as to be unattractive;
Not, however, enough to be interesting.

He exits at Volontaires, blowing an awkward kiss towards her.
She exits minutes later at Falguiere, looks about impatiently, then shuffles off.

I can imagine they believe others are looking at them with envy,
even jealousy.
I can imagine they believe we purchase their pretense, and pine for a love like theirs.

Little do they know, we are looking on with earnest,
Wondering who will be the first to tell them they are fooling no one.
The blanket is not a cape.
The broomstick, not a horse.

A Blog Transformation

For all eight of you who have purposefully or accidentally viewed this blog, I apologize for the lack of posts upon it. I'm not a blogger. I don't journal. I don't write prose for pleasure. It's just not me. However, I love the idea of using this a connection to anyone who's interested if I'm dead or not. Thus, I have decide on a transformation. Like a wounded phoenix from ashes unknown, I'm returning as a poetic blogger. Blogging the only way I know how, in short, ill-punctuated, seldom-read verse. Note, this is not my way of sharing poetry. I am not some angst filled teen trying to find an outlet. This is just the best way I know how to include others in my life and not feel like it is a chore.
Welcome to the new blog. For those of you who hate poetry, farewell. For those of you who hate bad poetry, farewell. For those of you bored enough to read my rambling thoughts. Bienvenue.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Je parle Anglais

I am now blogging (God help me for using that as a present participle) on an English based homepage. Please don't find yourselves under the false impression that this will add to the quantity of my blogs, but rest assured that the few blogs I post will be done with far less burden and confusion on my part. I am currently in the "shop" here in Paris proper and wanted to share just a small word of wisdom with you all.

Today I shaved. Not a monumental experience by any means, certainly not worthy to write hope about (which I seem to be currently contradicting) but notable nonetheless. I haven't fully shaved since last August, so it was quite a shock to those at the office who have never known me shorn. Amid the congratulations, ill thought out compliments, and obligatory ackowledgement of my once invisible face, one comment stood out. An assumingly well-intentioned office worker made the "compliment" that I look "thinner." Now as a precursor, I'm not under the false impression that I'm grossly out of shape or painful to look at. Some close friends and family are reasonably concerned about my cookie intake, but for the most part, I'm relatively healthy. However, at the comment that I am now "thinner" I can only assume this is in direct connection to the far less flattering "less thick."

The moral of this worthless story is just to say that unless as a close friend you've been confided in that a certain person has poor self esteem and a concious acknowledgement of a weight problem, never, in proposed compliment, inform him or her that they are thinner. This can only end in them pondering and then subsequently blogging about their obese past, presnt, and future.

Tell them they look great. Tell them they look good. Tell them anything that doesn't directly compare to their poorer past self. You'll find they'll see its harder to move away from that grotesque human of mere minutes ago than you have. They'll have some understandable connection to them.

Gig em, Whoop, Ponder

Saturday, March 17, 2007

I exist

I'd like to take some time in this first blog to celebrate the life of Justin James Wolfshohl. It is few and far between that you meet a man with the patience, integrity, and kindness of Justin. It is he who originated this blog for me over a month and a half ago. It is my laziness and preoccupation with baguettes that has kept the blog unused. Well, if its all the same to you, that stops today. Today I'd like to talk about March Madness. I'd like to tell you why it should required viewing for all males.
With permission, I'll proceed.
Historically, it would be difficult to call me a sports fan. The only sport I played was tennis. Now, Tennis is a fine sport, but not the way I played. After my second year on the Freshman team, I hung up my "D-shaped" racket and pride somewhere behind a deflated pogo-ball and torn Wham! poster.
I grew up very separated form the world of sports, and, while I did not necessarily feel the repercussions of this lifestyle, I understand now what I have been deprived of. The organization, anticipation, and exaltations of large single elimination tournaments like March Madness are clear ways to discipline youthful males with a desire for knowledge, a sense of involvement in a national community, a consideration of loyalty, and the basis of a firm competitive spirit.
The typical adolescent is dangerously thirsty for deep drink of knowledge. There is no challenge in the educational system save standardized tests and the few and far between projects teachers seldom assign. Many students are not academically challenged until far into their high school career, even their college years. It is the lack of a necessity that leaves them in this slump. With involvement into historical and fact based events like March Madness, young men are engaged in roster and statistics memorization and also becoming part of living history. How many 30 year old men have readily forgotten the 1992 last minute shot by Christian Laettner? The answer is: not many. The men who saw this game have a specific place in sports history and that game has a relevance in their life that connects them into a community with other peers. It is this community of masculinity that our society is so desperate for.
Young men who are involved in sports at an early age, not just playing, but engaging have a better aptitude for a healthy competitive spirit. It is the ones who start late in their life who have trouble dealing with defeat. With a firm basis of competition that is not of their own actions, but instead of their own loyalties, young men are inspired to believe in teh ability of more than their own strength, they are forced to defer to, even rely upon the abilities of others to drive their own successes.
I am, for the first time in my life, an avid follower of the current Madness about us. It is with a regretful eye I look back on a history devoid of this epic battle of wills. There is not a human or societal emotion that cannot be expressed, understood, or experienced through the watching of these games, and it is in the early exploration of these emotions that create complete and balanced men, men we must be and men we must raise.
If you are a father, gather your son close and turn on the game. If you are a man, meet with friends and watch victory and defeat in the comfort of a brotherhood. If you are young, put down your book and video game controller. Experience the beginning of what will be your lifelong tutor.
Pencils and pens up. We will begin by defining "team."