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Body and Body


Body and Body


minimal reflection                         autumn leaves

in the bottom of a pond              we are all death


lovely scaffolding                         around two loose



minimum quiet            transistor soul

body’s impenetrability            in non-truth


exists a window              covering an outside world

of “there is so much to say”     I almost can’t breathe


in the haul of it.             Morning assesses loneliness

weather barometer                        soul and soul


where are you                          in shadow, in luminescence

why are you wild                  and inevitable.


Crash and crash            star and star

couples, stones                 I need a new language


more coffee, breakfast.             I am starving

for all of these ghosts.             magical apprentices,


body and body.  This is how it should be

and we point              to it.


This is magic                         and threshold

vulnerable        acquaintance.

Love               grass                        cool exit

invisible flight,               no more unreleased


burdens, in requit             inside, the heart burning

wonder of when               now                        love


is a barrel, ghost             bright volume

glass leaf, visible               hand


bright, manufactured space                protruding

constellation.                         There’s always more


a statement a question             a request

a longing a butcher’s tailor’s cut.


The environment of face sky contiguous dead

world.                                                   You are water.


Paramour of premonition.            There is always more

to a cut of the sky


than a nice dress.             Gley summer.

Baedeker of silence.


Fool’s woe                        depth of loss

as cup as             body measured in body.


Are you sad?                   Telephone wire

with birds.                   Wake up to find


Spring                               loss immeasurable.


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The Wood

No, you were wrong.        Removed reversals

autumn hushfires           tumbled to make air.

The shadow exists there.             There and there.

Falled preturns. In the car             radio blasting

taking curves drunk with lust and bourbon    hovercraft.

Miles.    Dashboard dust and Buddha.    Hanging cornflies.

Windows. Disaster patterns.

Cleanup blues. The sky is done.

Ceaseless bones mass                        the equator

from head to toe.                        Or is that the spine

falling elegantly                         from the back of the neck?

Ceaseless resources            of the body’s tunnel

marauding blood and music.                     Secret notes.

Trembled quarter-phones            pull ear-horses at night

in fossil-lined caravans, like those caves with intricate designs

of bones, carapaces, teeth, calves, hands, tongues,

I am all in             sweet rafters

angling into the rising scent of timber.

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EBEs Are Alive and Living in Brooklyn

A strange object

flies across the distance

barrels of fun

loads of insemination

remind you just

how gullible you are

to the sound of water

churning in an open bath.

And now, believe me,

you will get to it.

You will have those shoes.

The unidentified flying object

is hovering.

Then it suddenly pulls backward

into black night air, lights flashing,

then hurls forward.

Then it disappears, of course.

With Mulder on board.

This is a sad time.

Now is the time to get to those

parallel worlds you’ve been

thinking of checking out,

but you’re too busy, too stressed,

too skinny, too fat,

too poor, too overworked,

too hungry, too tired.

That’s what it is.

You’re exhausted, poor moth.

Close your multidimensional eyes.

Pray. You never know.

It might work.

This is a sad time.

You’ve lost a lot.

Take a bath.

Watch TV.

Drink hot chocolate.



But don’t, I really mean it,

don’t open the door.



The Other Truth

legitimacy of thrones


crow ledger

purpose, stone

working promise

cow, field, scum

electrical power, lime poison

Edison harlot

bemused cuttlegot.

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I am so pleased to have Hanoch Guy’s poems here, with mine. The first one, History, is my April 2nd poem, and the next two are Hanoch Guy’s, California and Clay and Orkney’s Big Tree.




At 6am I pull back the double-accordion

blinds and the moon is in the sky

three-quarters full, still bright

in the blue between black tree branches.

It is not Spring, but winter

and the radiator pumps out heat.

I leave my coffee too long

and it is strong and dense,

thick. Last night, I finally

got tired around midnight.

Before that, I was restless,

sweeping the linoleum kitchen floor,

with its dull 70s yellow-and-brown

octagons, their psychedelic color

long faded into a design that never

looks clean. This doesn’t depress me.

In fact, the kitchen floor makes me

feel right at home, as does thinking

of the fake Tiffany lamps at the chain

restaurant on Old York Road that we

went to in high school. I washed the dishes

that had accumulated during the day,

a couple small plates, a knife, coffee mug,

and a big ceramic bowl with a glaze over

thin brown and green stripes. I watched TV.

I flossed and brushed my teeth. I looked

at the kitchen floor. I decided to take out

the trash in the morning.


By Hanoch Guy:


California and Clay


As a thief I snuck

into Bill’s studio

in the dead of a February night.

For a long while, I spied on him

making a huge white clay jar.

I hold onto ear-shaped handles

and jump in.

He waters the jar,

quenches my thirst.

By April he has gone on vacation.

Months go by.

Spring brings in busy birds

chirping and a pair of robins’ nests

under the eaves.

I fall asleep and wake up

to summer’s end and heavy rains.

Fall decorates  the windows

with colorful leaves,

Bill dons  his apron.

Sprays  the jar.

I inhale the spray,

lick the milk glaze.

He hollers

to his neighbor Bob.

They put the jar in the truck.

I lose my balance and fall,

meeting Bill’s smiling eyes.

“Here is a sandwich for the road

to California,

my little friend,

Bon voyage.”


Orkney’s Big Tree


Wave attacked

wind beaten

sycamore tree dissipated.

Branches twisted by

North sea wrath

above ancient ruins,

inhabitants’ skeletons.

It is the sole survivor

on Orkney Island.

Its forefathers chopped down

by wild-bearded Vikings.

Tourists pity it

at the edge of the bare island.

Residents call it:

The big tree.







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What is the title of the book?


Where did the idea come from for the book?

It was 2004. I went to a writing residency in upstate NY hoping that it would allow me to “get away” from the city.  For a month I lived in a spacious, multi-windowed house on a former farm overlooking an abundance of green.  There was a small pond around which various animals would congregate.  It was here I thought about the concept of a city.  And I also realized I’d been wound up from the talk on “terror” that was circulating.  There had been a paranoiac media stream  that coated the city.  Everybody (some, obviously, more so than others) were deemed suspect and it frequently highlighted and at times dissolved the existing dividers and walls.  I thought about community.  I thought about terror.  I began to have visions: a mechanical shark, an unctuous man on a horse, a ridiculous king.  I was translating the paranoia into images, and then words.

What genre does your book fall under?


What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

The book already includes actors: Ronald Reagan, George W.  Bush, the shark from Universal Studios, and I believe the “we” in the book could be claimed by various extras (they shouldn’t have too much acting experience) from my neighborhood in Brooklyn.

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

Flashes tracks a city where war, terror and “progress” are palpable and visceral, where the question of how “I” or “we” absorb this time, now, haunts.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

Probably about a year but it metamorphosed somewhat radically over a seven-year span.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

See second question above. But also I will add I was inspired by relentless talking heads, Howard Zinn’s , A People’s History of the United States, T.S. Eliot’s  “objective correlative,” my dreams, my neighbors, buildings,  the weather, and oddly the incessant fighting between two painters who resided at the writing residency.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Flashes is an interpretation of documentary poetics.  Extensive research went into the book and there is a fair amount of found language, though mostly I didn’t make it transparent.  Instead, I used characters to channel what I discovered, or sometimes I had an omniscient narrator (at times representing a conglomeration of media sources) act as a kind of news ticker.  It also wasn’t so important to me to reveal the sources of various lines as I was more interested in the idea of a collective voice—both the potentiality that it might offer and the limitations it may impose.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

The book was published February 2013 by Shearsman Books—Tony Frazer does a great job of publishing a multitude of aesthetics with an eye to innovation. http://www.shearsman.com/pages/books/catalog/2013/firestone2013.html

My tagged writers for next Wednesday are:

Sarah Rosenthal

Jesse Nissim

Zee Whitesides

Many thanks to Camille Guthrie for “tagging” me.

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O for the unseen wings that carry forth the soul.

March 11, 2013 p.m.

I am thinking a lot about the choices I’ve made and continue to make in my life, what is part of my daily bread and what isn’t. Post-AWP, coming back to life in Brooklyn, I am reevaluating yet again this issue of place. Of home. And once again, after just feeling settled here, thinking of moving upstate. There is something about New York that grates against me, goes against my grain, in such a subtle way as to feel like mundane force that simply exists.

Also, about the way poetry coincides- or doesn’t- with my life, as it is. I write every day, but poetry doesn’t take up enough space. I want it to be bigger.

March 11, 2013 a.m.

Coming back. Called home.

March 10, 2013

Crying, after Providence, all of you in my heart as if it was years ago and years in the future, poetry a snake’s head reemerging from the deepest parts of me, angling again for that complicated light.

What the body knows that the mind doesn’t. Time, breath, air and countenance. And sleep. You wonderful sleep. The mind knows magic too, and the lines of poetry are not separate where they form underground. Their roots are hardy and made of earth, fire and lavish precognition.

Mysterious things that grow in the soul, trees, crying on trains with the passenger in the next seat sleeping.

March 6, 2013 on the train ride up to Boston

I’m on the train in the last hour and a half and it’s really cold. A dream, of cold and a train, removed and strange. For the most part, I am content with my food and coffee and book. But it’s so cold. My mind wanders everywhere, wondering why it’s so cold, is there any heat, is this the way it usually is on trains? It’s winter and there’s no heat that I can feel. So I am thinking of my hotel, of the hopeful warmth of my room, of the heat generated by a small crowd of folks at Susana’s reading tonight. Looking towards being in that space I can imagine filled with light and warmth. So this is the terminus–these thoughts of comfort and warmth form an end to the suffering. But where does it really end? Not in the thought, in the future imagined place and time. And I always think of situations in which the suffering has no end, interminable, permanent situations of prolonged and eternal (to a human being, eternal is a future without this end of suffering or perhaps without an end in sight to ecstasy and joy) suffering and devastation. What then? What lies beyond that threshold of unimmured hope?

For me the cold is just a fact, because it will end. I have the hope of it ending and soon.

I have that fateful feeling of full and unadulterated, swollen realness, the same as I had when I went to Sweden and it changed my whole life. This time it changes in a warm, confirming, comforting way. Now I am just beginning to understand why the last few days have been filled with anxiety and shadow and doubt, all claiming themselves as the unknown, because it all has to be unknown right now as I venture into this new hope, new love.

The end of suffering.

This is the title poem of my new manuscript below. Poems are becoming even more prophetic lately. Coming more unbidden and full of the future. I wrote this one below so long ago and now I feel it’s come to be. It determines right now–but maybe that’s a trick of the light, trick of time, passing and splitting in half without separating– we are always moving in and out of suffering.

The End of Suffering

The end of suffering appears as a glow on the edge of thought-eye, the belief that at the end of the subway ride, there will be coffee and scones waiting. You will have to walk to the bakery, buy scones, walk up stairs, fit your key in the locks of three doors, walk up more stairs, and arrive at your apartment,– at the end of all of that, comfort.

Gravity is a moth, subatomic, quantum reality is the horse.

We called ourselves howrse, stars shining velvt poured fourth from hearts aching for sound. I am deliverance —and

fortune smiles.- the obtuse perimeter regards itself to say, “Axel,: patterned, exact cut of cloth that makes us;:who we are is metronomical.

My Astronomy. falls regal to the side, like a lamb’s leg.

I am fried-balloon-ed—frighetned,

Fallen, stars documents, felling trees seasonally and I wish I could be there for the smell of wood sap dust.

There is no place that is here, ethere in the stomach, heart, lungs”

Our returns to normalcy and money and housewalls.

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