Archives for posts with tag: poetry

When men get old and tired

and have no more to say,

we’ll cut them up in ribbons

and sail them down the way.

On to the brimming waterfalls

where heaven droops to meet,

they’ll love with renewed innocence

and fall down on their feet.

O take, take up their anger,

use it to lever the dead.

Love, love with your appetites,

be a servant when you take her to bed.

O buy a tray of silver and thow it in the sea,

kiss, kiss your favourites, but run your way back to me.

I’ll take the ribbons of the dead,

and trail a track in rhyme,

they’ll hear about us in the air,

though we’ll be old this time.



I once cracked a tooth biting into a fork because I was too engaged in watching TV on my laptop while eating. Living alone, one is hardly ever able to eat with others without going out.

A poem is like a cracked tooth– evidence that we are no longer among people [society Latin- societas from socius- ‘companion’], but like waking in the night to find a knife sticking into the wall above your head, the how, who and when of your isolation is no longer traceable– all that remains are an ensemble of wounds and damaged apparatus dressed up in language and a font that the journal editors might find appealing.

For all the postulating on the ethereality of poetry, some things like criticizing the government, never go out of style; also like treating the poem as object. I love the muse, the whip-crack of tradition, but think also of the possibility of the poem as a designed object– subject to ergonomics, prototypes and choice of materials.

Language, Conceptual and Concrete poetry is or was labeled as radical, yet their work is a metaphor for construction– literally, a carrying over of the work from philosophy, mysticism, religion, politics and other text-based discourses, into the realm of engineering, product design, the plastic arts and drama.

Of this work I am sure its use and input is the driving force behind poetry’s jailbreak from archival condemnation. But of the lost semantic and semiotic clarity? As with culture jamming and drag queens, I don’t yet know enough to say.


America's Favourite Verse Form

To be reminded of sacrifice,

At quiet moments, aftershock
of memory compels not back to the site,
but forward into a ledger of takeout orders
or Latinate daybook.

Balancing debts against promises,
the cluck and
and chatter of a new breeze.

What kind of loose change
will it bring and when
will it in turn be remembered.

I have a hunch there are other
dusty rooms.

Suggestions like
laziness, fear or a lust for
the baroque comes through
as feedback on the night.

By dawn, the toss-up is
a tired one- check for surprises
in the cold storage,
you may reawaken yet.


It’s like, what library hasn’t a shred of
Maximus Poems, Europe of Trusts, Flow Chart, Mandelson! Mandelson!

Yet spilling from stacks and stores are bars and bars
in Times but with a border around them
Davis, Adderley, Coltrane

Nothing in italics we know the riddle’s been compromised
only decipherable in Worldcat, JSTOR, Elsevier

Now settle for less in another setting,

I ate a carton of rice and chicken from a street vendor
outside the Bobst.


Don’t Applaud, The Captain Can’t Hear You

After Juliana Spahr

Don’t applaud the captain can’t hear you,
the engines have overplayed their hand
and your excitement is just a toothmark
on the bedpost of this new silver age.

Air traffic control can’t hear you,
The cherry picker and stair operators can’t hear you,
The plane engineers and technicians can’t hear you,
The cleaners picking up cans and napkins after you’ve
left out can’t hear you,

Neither hearing or knowing you are the petroleum
industry reps, the CEOs and execs,
The construction workers from a site decades past
and the shareholders and investors can’t hear you

The travel agents, the holiday reps can’t hear you
the taxi and bus drivers and train drivers can’t hear you
The security guards, the passport control staff can’t hear you.

And the baggage handlers, the baggage handlers, the suitcase designers,
the suitcase manufacturers, the plastics, metals and chemical companies,

We went into this world, and there it is, the sky, the teams, the world.
And no one hears the clapping hammered out in the troposcene of tourist trappings,
they won’t hear you, get out.


When in the mood for writing, and I mean really feeling good all over and mentally accepting of the possibilities, writing is quicker operation on the keyboard. I affirm this now with each tap. The pen and page do hold the delicate beauty of hands attaining experience as to the planing and turning of Walcott’s Laurier-Cannelle, the scribe’s subversive Marxist ecstasy of knowing his materials and owning his own production. However this runs closer to the archaic side of textual artifice.

Writing in real or practical terms- technical, measured and critical- happens more frequently on a keyboard as a result of habit and demand. The challenge may be to apply a sense and transposition of the craft, of the chaos, the praxis of poesis onto keyboard application. The poetry, the mind mapping onto words with intuition needs to transition for the first time onto digital domains.

The joy, the pastoral pressing and frantic free mind zealousness can be made with the flicker and flack of keys crackling in their sockets, but with an earnest sense that we are now in the multi purpose mode of our lives, ignoring the terra firma blinkers of standard hardware functions. The keyboard is both ruler and rune, and everything a penknife or shooting stick. Nothing a single purpose piece of artifice or operation in itself, but just a plastic maker of makers for the human maker. Of the tool for producing possibilities, the keyboard is nothing in itself, but a hollow contraption for creation, brought to life by the overcoming the shuddering parallel of chip, transistor and code with living, loving spree of the crazy-wise mind.

Sean Connery