6.29.2006

poem #29

"know no time"

i know no time can move as slow
when night descends
nowhere to go but dawn
and my ten-week old daughter
has me by the arms.
who, i wonder, 's holding who?
(whom, i know, but please...
exhume some other poem,
for i am tired, and too, distraught) where
i would be alone
now i cannot; where
i would take a moment to myself
there is no room.

i know no time as quick as dawn's release,
as peace surrounds the truth--
my daughter is as much mine now
as is my youth.

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crawling to the finish line...

as is all-too-conspicuous, yesterday's poem was posted a day late, and tuesday's was not written at all. i am officially dragging my body, in hand the bloody stumps that were my legs, to the completion of my first month of daily poetry-writing. what can i say? it has been a busy month. my sister-in-law got married, and lisa was sick for a week. excuses aside, i feel good about much of what i have written, and i can only hope to actually fulfill the only goal of this project next time around.

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poem #28

listening to NPR today
on the way home from work
i felt small again.
I felt that life is an eternal ream
and i have lost my pen.

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6.28.2006

where have all the poets gone?

so here's a thought i've had trouble shaking lately: where exactly are all the poets? and i don't mean that figuratively. i'm really asking - where, physicall, are they? i know this is probably a discussion long since crumpled in the trash can of all those cool people with MFA degrees, but i don't really care. once was, or so i was told in high school, a number of poets enjoyed rather obscene celebrity status (eliot, frost, et. al.). today, i imainge most of us would be hard pressed to name a poet who isn't the poet laureate. honestly, i doubt many could even name the poet laureate of these fine united states (donald hall), or that the position's actual title is "poet laureate consultant in poetry to the library of congress". never-you-mind naming the the british poet laureate (andrew motion). and yes, i had to look all that up, myself.

now let's take it down a notch. i have been posting, for the better part of a month, now, a poem every day, or at least something resembling a daily consistency. as i was going through my link list, i noticed that, on the front page of each blog, i found almost no poetry (it's the end of the workday, people - i'm not going to go back and count it up now). now, these are all blogs i enjoy, otherwise they wouldn't have remained on the list. but i find myself increasingly disturbed by the lack of poetry and poetics. short-term, i am left with little choice but to spend some time hunting down some good poet-bloggers, that i may proudly boast some good poetry links on the left side of the page before you.

yes, the internet is a wonderful tool for forging communities of like-minded and not-so-like-minded folks. we are currently seeing that played out by the likes of myspace, flickr (among countless others), and on a larger scale, the blogosphere. what troubles me is that i have such difficulty finding down-to-earth poets who proudly display their wares in blog posts for all the world to see, copyrights and possible future publishing contracts be damned! do i hope to be published one day? of course. am i going to let desire create within me a fear of posting what i write now? hell, no. if i really am good enough, then i'll write more. i am young, yet.

all that to say, there are more poets in the blogosphere than would have the world know it. this is my call to those poets, addressing directly: you know who you are. you know also that poets have a special responsibility to create accessible avenues to new and different perspectives of reality. if you are among those shirking said responsibility, i leave you to judge yourself in your silence. the rest of you, write more, post it more, and find others who are doing the same.

poem on.

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"beat me, i suggest, with a stapler."

felicia, it seems, never fails to make me laugh. also, she has many good things to say and invaluable roads down which to point. so, do pay her a visit, hmm?

again, i quote: "i love what i love and i try to tune out people who dictate what one must read."

amen to that, felicia.

(oh, and i realize i am telling you something i think you should read, so please don't point out the inconsistency. i'm just giving a fellow blogger some props, so deal.)

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a little snack to ruin lunch

not an article, i know, but i found this too amusing to pass by:

Professor Barnhardt's Journal - June 27: 20-word stories

i especially enjoyed "Lucy" by Tod Goldberg, whose blog, by the way, will be added to my link list right after i post this. i was convinced to do this by the first sentence i read from the first post i saw (When RBI Was King): "Back in the day, RBI Baseball on Nintendo was the shit." if that's not enough to warrant inclusion on the link list, i don't know what is.

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6.27.2006

blah-gging

i've been feeling a little blah with regard to this blog, so i purged my links list a bit. i went through the links, one by one, and if the blog wasn't updated very recently, or if i didn't feel an immediate attraction to something i read near the top, gone. the regular links stayed pretty much the same.

hopefully i will find the time in the near future to find some new esoteric links to add.

that is all.

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6.26.2006

poem #26

and i woke with the desire
to be lying not in my bed
not with my wife
not in my life
but instead in a ditch
by a road, somewhere
just beginning to come
out of a drunken stupor,
in the rain,
struggling to remember
my own name.

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6.25.2006

poem #25

A Psalm - "The Wilderness"

For God alone, I wait in silence,
though so often crushed by the
screaming weight of today.
And when i am thirsty and hungry
I will drag my lifeless body to the Wilderness
to hear of the One who is to come.

My thirst, my hunger, all will be undone
and I will lift my voice above the noise,
shout to the rocks and empty sky,
and my thick, reddened, sunburnt skin
will crack and peel
but I will feel my wait nearing its end.

The breath of evil a burdon to my senses,
I will battle in my weakness
'gainst the defeated one;
my thirst, my hunger, and my wait,
all will be undone.

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poem #24

"impressions: summer afternoon"

my daughter answered me today
her coos were delicate, like lace.
we watched as the parade went ambling by
we heard the bands
she got some color on her face, and hands.

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poem #23

"and breath"

the blonde girl's breath
would stop and stutter
as though with each
small flutter of her heart
(weakened by a condition
and by lost love).
i was the only one to hear
in study hall
the slightest halt,
but i could not will
to be so always near
and over time, we grew apart.
still, her breath returns to me,
reminding now and then
to better listen to my wife
and to more closely watch--
she and our small child,
they are my life.

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6.23.2006

articles of lunch - 6.23

two articles. no comments.

Jesus Is Not a Republican by Randall Balmer

and

Knit Theory by David Samuels

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(again, yesterday's) poem #22

"definitions"

phboovf. is it the sound
a baby's butt makes
landing, bare, on thick carpet
or is it the muffled fart that follows?

agyer. is it the mildly alarmed cry
following the fall
or the gently amused coo
following the fart?

what a beautiful life to have a child,
the ithaca of my every day made clear.
what a simple joy to watch her
sneeze and sigh,
to hold her in my arms, my heart,
to keep her near.

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6.22.2006

poem #21

"6 Memory Lane"

I should have written this poem yesterday
but my wife is still sick
and the baby wouldn't stop.
Now I'm at work, where I can think
sit back
and take a drink of soda
(which, as everyone knows, is "pop").

Anyway, yesterday
I thought of a girl
I knew when I was younger.
We played doctor once
in her bedroom, underneath a tray table
draped with her pink sheets.
But I do not remember her,
only that tray table
only those sheets,
because that memory is not
mine to keep–
perhaps it belongs to someone else
or to some restless, dreamful sleep.

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6.20.2006

poem #20

"two poems"

1. in the last throes of the fight,
he says, again and again.
but where, oh where, is the end?
is it almost in sight?

2. i stare at her and tell
you, we've really got her,
now, our smiling daughter.
i turn, leaning in to your hairsmell.

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poem #19

"an opening"

in the basement of the quads
the student-led coffee house
not yet opened to the naive
all-knowing public,
her blank stare scared me senseless.

my hand was still, stiff
i didn't want a massage
or to give her one

so i summoned the courage to stare back
--more, to erect a reflection
by force.

silly words and turns
phrased, phrases turned--
each looker-on learns much of me;
what have i learned? we'll see...

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poem #18

"father's day"-

Thanks to a geneologist, today I traced
my lineage to William Bradford.
My daughter cried a lot today, fighting sleep;
such high pitches can be ordeals
unto themselves, to be sure. Thirteen
generations ago, the Gov.
would not begin to think of me, nor of
his 14th generation, much loved,
(and most beautiful) much removed
offspring. Bethany Margaret will
Know his name, and the names of

two kings of Capitol Hill
also, although by a stretch, among her kin,
but she will
LOVE my name:
Daddy. No other sur- or given, despite
the family tree, can be the same.

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poem #17

often, on thursdays,
a vague sense of dissatisfaction with reality
is all that clears my way.
"humpday," they call it.
but who are they,
and why did i forget to bring a drink for lunch?
And what, exactly, does dissatisfaction do
for my tired mind,
and wait--isn't humpday wednesday?
yes? oh, well, then. never mind.

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poem #16

"family trees"

family trees as they are
most often seen
are full of barky crags
knots and gnarly branches,
some willow-like or artful bonsai.
excusing all bad metaphor-making,
it should be understood that
families are more akin to coral,
the kind of reef made
for and by
expanding in all directions

infinitely

just under the turquois water
on a crumpled postcard.

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poem #15

has also been consumed. preparing to spend a weekend in michigan, i neglected the muse, and a weekend of family and the flu (my poor wife) kept me from going back to write it.

on the plus side, we got a new computer today. it's not exactly top-of-the-line, but compared to the last one, it's a beast.

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6.19.2006

google shakespeare

my wife came down pretty sick this weekend, and isn't out of the woods yet, so poems will have to wait. however, she is sleeping at the moment, so i thought i would bring this to the foreground for the moment.

Shakespeare at Googlebooks.

i don't care what anyone says, it's going to take a lot for me to truly dislike google while they're doing stuff like this.

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6.16.2006

poems #15 thru 19

will be posted monday. i left my notebook, with poem #15 writtin in it, at home, and we're going away for the weekend, so monday will be chalked full of poetry. until then, i'm off to finish this day/week of work, and then i plan on enjoying my first father's day as a father!

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6.14.2006

poem #14

that time in the hall at grandma's
behind the saloon-style swinging doors
we rummaged through the game closet.
after we played a while
i got mad and said i hated you
,but then we got married
a week apart.
i couldn't go to yours
but not because i hated you
(i didn't, i don't)
;i counted the hours of my honeymoon
trying to find a way
.

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poem #13

burned by the sun
or by a computer screen
it seems a mind is equally useless,
but for how long?
i think, for a song, by the sun
plus a dance if by the screen,
and suddenly manual labor
doesn't look so bad.

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poem #12

has officially been swallowed up by the craziness of the wedding weekend. i can only apologize to myself.

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poem #11

it's the waiting, bated breath,
to see if they will be o.k.
it's the wondering, day to day,
'til death,
"what's next?"
it's the hoping - what is right
& what is left? - the best
is yet to be...

it's the waiting.
we shall see
what we shall see.

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article of lunch - 6.14

Introduction to Follies of the Wise, by Frederick Crews.

I wish I had the time to comment on all that I like and dislike about this piece. I'll limit myself to this:

"Like the Archbishop of Canterbury, who allows “habits of the heart” to overrule canons of evidence, many spokesmen for entrenched interests subscribe to a two-tiered conception of truth. They make a token bow to empirically grounded knowledge, but they deem it too pedestrian for mapping the labyrinth of the soul or for doing justice to the emotional currents coursing between interacting persons."

This is almost absurd. I don't know if I would say "pedestrian," and I don't know exactly how to elaborate upon what I am about to say without falling into the category of "spokesmen for entrenched interests", but it seems to me empirically grounded knowledge is indeed not nearly wide enough in scope to "map the labyrinth of the soul".

"Ever since Darwin forged an exit from the previously airtight argument from design, the accumulation of corroborated materialist explanations has left the theologian’s “God of the gaps” with less and less to do."

All I can say to this statement is, if providing for the existence of morality and being the original giver of the "breath of life" (read: creator of the soul mentioned above) is having little to do, then I suppose God is, here, guilty as charged. However, I find it difficult to believe that humanity's accounting for the mating habits of earthworms has made a sizeable dent in the responsibilities afforded any divine being.

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6.13.2006

daily treated spam for june 12

for obvious reasons, i find myself more and more in the poetic mindset... that said, i particularly enjoyed this one:

"test CtALLIpS"

that night in the hall
merrymaking blunder

they came to dungeon
far down deep word

A pretty fine burglar you make
when the time comes -
I am sure we are all.

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poem #10

"hay(na)ku, haiku on a wedding"

her
sister cried,
started everyone crying.

bride's white dress outside
under a hot sun, with flowers
she smiles brightly, twice.

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poem #9

sometimes during the day i can smell her
at work, when i'm filing or making more calls
or walking by the tall girl's desk.
today, i know i will not see her
when i get home
i know the lights will all be off
i know i will be alone.
when i get home
i'll sit in the dark
and she'll be all i'll see.

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(another) article of lunch - 6.13

i haven't finished reading this yet, so i can't really comment much, but i'm liking it so far...

Digital Maoism: The Hazards of the New Online Collectivism, by Jaron Lanier

I'll say this: I still like Wikipedia, because I am inclined to use it more as a casual reference guide, generally. I am, largely, not interested, as Mr. Lanier points out, in the purely scientific data I could have found online before the W that has since been assimilated. Rather, I enjoy Wikipedia for its help in taking in a subject/entry and getting a sense of it. The details I can discover on my own from a variety of sources, but in a world of too much to pay and too little attention, the W can certainly cut a quick swath.

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articles of lunch - 6.13

"Archaeologists have discovered what they believe to be a 27,000-year-old drawing of a face, which would make it the oldest in history. Like many other ancient portraits, it is reminiscent of the work of some of the great modern artists, writes Jonathan Jones - and speaks volumes about the way we see ourselves"

Just having read that summary of the article, glance at the picture toward the top of the text and see if you can tell why I was immediately, and do remain, slightly skeptical. Now, I'm not an art historian, by any means, but come on. I think I'd need to know a good deal more about art theory/history before I really, truly, bought this.

Old Masters, from Guardian Unlimited

"No one is ever going to put a name to this face."

You got that straight.

----

Farewell to Warblogging, by Matt Welch

"I used to think blogs would transform ideologues into nonpartisan truth-seekers. Man, was I wrong."

Well put, Matt. (Decent name, too)

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6.12.2006

excuses, excuses...

this weekend, my sister-in-law got married. as such, friday, saturday, and sunday were all pretty well taken up and left little time for the composing process. i hope, within the next day or two, to get back on track with my daily poem-writing. my plan is to write the poems i would have written (a philosophy of writing discussion for another time) over the course of the weekend and catch myself up.

as i am so terribly fond of saying, we shall see what we shall see.

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6.08.2006

(belated) articles of lunch - 6.8

I've long since left work, but this made me laugh out loud. I'll try to remember to post an article of similar flavor and force from the most recent issue of the New Yorker.

Closing the book on the lousiest story ever sold by Tom Eaton

" 'Now,' said the silver voice. 'Bring the Pen and the Eternal Ream. And when he weeps, you may scourge him.' "

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poem #8

driving the highway
with the windows cracked open,
the radio low.
the cool of evening is never soft enough
hot wind is always too hot
but the loud solitude of the car
is lonely,
a good lonely,
the kind of lonely you daydream about
in your cubicle
all
day
long.

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6.07.2006

poem #7

"simplicity xi"

certainly on evenings and on weekends
we just sat and stared each other in the face,
bewildered by our own existence
and that of the other,
before she came and gave us purpose.

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6.06.2006

poem #6

"down up down" (partial haiku sequence)

blue venetian blinds
slice my view of the outdoors-
cubicle prison

circular park paths
purple lilacs, buttercups-
birds sing and i sing

blue-yellow moonlight
casts shadows from dirty clothes-
fall asleep in heat

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6.05.2006

poem #5

"Incongruous Songs Played in My Head"

Incongruous songs played in my head all day.
As I ate some sesame sticks, I heard
"I shot a man in Reno
Just to watch him die"
And as I proofed another notice
(Yet another foreclosed home)
I heard “...responsible-le-le-le.”

The sesame sticks squirmed around
In the plastic tub
Like worms avoiding the fisherman's fingers,
The notices, in manila folders,
Covered my desk-
All day I heard the same songs a-comin',
But not once did Mr. Mozart come to my rescue.
Not even Chopin, ever my ally and friend.

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article of lunch - 6.4 (amended)

it has been a while, i know. this is a pretty good one, though, and lengthy, so hopefully it will do well to fill the void.

Dissecting Anti-Isms, by Josef Joffe

"In a post-racist age, collectives are usually protected; individuals are not."


AMENDMENT

i found the time to start reading another article today, and while i haven't gotten all the way through it yet, it's a doozie.

The Economics of Attention, by Richard A. Lanham

" 'It’s just a bicycle wheel, you silly jerk.' "

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6.04.2006

poem #4

1. prologue: may-day

there are days, even in mays,
when winter's embrace has loosened
and the sun is still trying to return
and the neighbors are starting to burn charcoal again,
days when summer's true warmth in june
is still too distant,
days when i want to join my wife
writing goals in obscenely high-numbered lists
or work on my poem-a-day,
days when, because the darkness of winter
never quite closes the door behind
on its way out,
i cannot bring myself to lift a pen or pad.
today is not one of those days.
today has not been all that bad,
though its light was tinted by the memory
and the fear of those glooming days
looming ahead, just as behind,
if only in my mind.

2. haiku: sunset

at sunset streetlights
are hard to see or obey
yellow red or green

3. epilogue: sunrise

the next day, the sun is bright
and the darkened patches of blacktop
in the parking lot are shrinking
and the leaves on the oak outside my window
and the greening grass
and the concrete sidewalk across the street
are all a bit too crisp in my sight.
i rise from my bed with the sun
-a bright orange sentence's capital "T",
always leaning, gleaming toward yellow "he"-
thinking, "yes."

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poem #3

(i know, i know: again, technically not the right day. but, again, i'm still awake, and i just got home 20 minutes ago, so deal.

also, this is slightly risque, so, i don't know, whatever.)

"afternoon"

like oranges on a warmish afternoon
peeled carefully with slices dripping
eating section by section with juices dripping
we made love
under the oak by the stone wall
in the far corner of her parents' back 40.
after i came and she came,
when we were sprawled out
on our backs in the grass
she let a moment pass
before she rolled onto her side
leaned toward me and sighed and asked me.
we were married the next spring
under that oak.
we spoke our vows before a section of trunk
with our initials carved in it,
and a date.

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6.03.2006

an aside

by the way, my plan for this month of poetry has extended into two months: this month, i will write and post a poem each day. next month, i will start with the first poem, and revise one each day. hopefully the temporal separation from each poem's creation will give me clarity and aid in good revision. we shall see.

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6.02.2006

poem #2

(i know, i know: it's past midnight - but i wrote this much earlier in the evening, and i'm still awake, so this totally counts for friday)

"sacrifice"

1. Prelude

I cannot think of what a poem is
just now.
Is it a sunset or a sunrise?
Is it a day gone past, or just ahead?
What did he say,
what color were her eyes?
I cannot think of what a poem is, today,
I just cannot.

2. Sacrifice

The flames licked and flicked
around her waist.
Orange dawn was still a fresh taste in the air,
whetted with smoke and the birth of fire.
I would stay until I could only smell wet ash
and crisp flesh, and longer.
She was a martyr, and her eyes were blue.
She said it was the only thing to do-
she said that death is good
and as the wood began to catch
the man next to me, on my left,
yelled out: "Witch! Wiiiitch!"
And I held my breath.
I thought of the secrets I alone now kept.
I closed my eyes
and wept.

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6.01.2006

poem #1

"fatigue"

i know no fatigue like my daughter's cries
at 3 a.m.
wednesday morning, after a thirteen hour day.
thursday morning, rather - wednesday night -
the red block-numbers on the clock face
do not blink: 3-thirteen
and dreaming of dreaming,
holding, with all my might
my daughter up and my eyes open.
she will not need to feed - breastfeed -
for two more hours
and she will not stop.
she does not know that i could cry
as she is crying,
that together, we would never stop.

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oh, the thinks you can think!

again, there will be no articles today, because i spent most of the lunch hour working (still trying to catch up from the system crashing last week). however, i had a couple of fun ideas.

fun idea #1 - i know i missed NaPoWriMo, but that doesn't mean i can't tackle the month of june with a poem each day. starting tonight, then (i don't have today's poem yet because, as i said, i didn't really stop working for lunch today), i will post a poem every day for the entire month of june. it won't all be good, but it will be fun (for me, at least) and productive. i haven't written nearly enough poetry lately, and that needs to change.

i guess that makes june my first PerPoWriMo (Personal Poetry Writing Month).

fun idea #2 - what with all the blog carnivals popping up every which where, i thought it might be fun to start one of my own. i do not know when, exactly, this will happen, but i've got the idea in my sights: a Carnival of Love. you read right. it seems to me that so many of the carnivals are based on/around angst in some fashion or another (especially, though this observation is not limited to, or directed solely at, the political carnivals). so my natural wonderment became, why are there no carnivals focused on positive thinking/writing? my next thought was, of course, perhaps such carnivals do exist, and i just haven't seen them!

so, given those two consecutive thoughts, it occurred to me to look around a bit and see if there are indeed any carnivals of positivity, if you will, and if there are none to be found, start one of my own. as i mentioned, there will be some delay between this post and the eventual, hypothetical appearance of the Carnival of Love, but i expect updates on fun idea #2 will be forthcoming.

poem on, everyone.

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