Sunday, March 31, 2013


There is not this this unless we go without this, only we do this, and this doesn’t do it for us when we do it. Then they do it and we do it and the winding down of doing it winds us up and we do it, this thing, this doing, which makes us do it. This. Then they go through it and we go through it and that is what does it, even though instead of that we call it this, which never helps that. Unless…well… maybe it helps that, but not this. The only thing that helps this is this thing that we do when we stop doing that other thing, which is the thing we always do anyway. So there’s no stopping us from doing what it is we do when we’re doing it without trying to do it. It’s almost unavoidable, doing this thing, which is something we have to contend with, especially when it’s always on the table, this thing we almost always do. Then we do this other thing, to try and stop doing the thing we always do, but that just leads us to doing the thing we always do again and again, anyway. So then, whether we’re trying or not trying, we’re doing this and that, again and again, until we stop. But even when we stop, there’s no rest from doing the other thing.

On Art, Part II

(This is Part II of a four part mini-think piece on art. Every section qualifies and contradicts every other section. Okay?)

Works of art from all times live in us and change us. No matter when they were produced, or how long ago their makers may have passed on, the ability that we as an audience have to interact with pieces of art brings them to life. In the fields of both thought and emotion, works of art are reanimated, and take on new hues, new resonances, in every age. Because we can interact with a piece of art, even one that was made in the deep past, the contextual field which produced it comes to the forefront of our consciousness. The work also has the capacity to change our ways of thinking that were beyond where we could go had we not encountered this form from a bygone era. This brings the work to life in such a way as to surely fulfill the hopes and intentions of nearly any creator, any poet, any sculptor, alive or long dead. 

The hope and vision of many artists is that their art will stand the test of time and eventually change the course of history and culture. For this is the "life" of a work of art: to move through time and inspire people to think, to feel, to improve themselves, and to spur other artists to create. A piece of art can be said to be alive in that moment when either its creator or its audience is changed by it. Any time a person interacts, emotionally and thoughtfully, with a piece of art, it can be said to have "action," which, for a constructed thing, is vibrancy and life. Such moments happen with works of art from all eras, even when we do not understand much, intellectually, about works whose creation moments are so distant that they have become alien to us. Often their very strangeness is the primal force that spurs us to wonder with even greater fervor.

Friday, March 29, 2013

On Art, Part I

(This is Part I of a four part mini-think piece on art. Every section qualifies and contradicts every other section. Okay?)

Art, especially good art, only exists during the act of making. As soon as a piece has been "rendered," it is a corpse, despite any giant swell of thoughts or feelings its maker or its audience may have towards it. Art is only the relationship between the act of making and the action of what's being made. This relationship is an exceedingly fleeting thing. In the act of art-making, the artist must contend with not only all of his own thoughts, feelings, lived experience and technique, but also with the press of the world upon the moment. Whatever is built in such an instance cannot be carried past the moment of its issuance and thought of in the same way. In fact, unless it is being born to die in the instant it is made it cannot be called art. 

Our museums, our galleries, our libraries, are all graves and graveyards. Nothing more. We are, with all of our sincerity and all of our fascination, merely tomb fetishists. This is not to say that there is no merit in commemorating and adoring dead husks, the traces of what was once art. In fact it's a wonderful, inspirational thing to do. Inspirational and pathetic. I mean neither of these adjectives pejoratively. Pathos is worthy in that it can draw both passion and empathy out of the heart. One might say, "This line by Dickinson, this movement by Brahms...they have carried me, they have sustained me, they have moved me toward better versions of myself." This is all very fine. But such a person, moved though he may be, has only been contending with his own associations, prompted by contact with something that is already dead. Therefore let us call corpses and their graves by their true names. Let us also note that many figures who call themselves artists and art lovers are merely carrion birds. Eaters of dead flesh. A lot of worldly gains can be made eating and regurgitating rotten meat. But such practices are neither the true pleasure nor the worthy provenance of the artist. 

Even an exceedingly well-made thing is a dead thing. The person who recognizes the inherent futility in any attempt to resurrect the dead can begin to taste what it means to be an artist. Art, in all forms, only exists as such in the space between its birth and its death. No artist can be "finished" with any piece and think he continues to be an artist. An artist is only an artist in the moment of making; art is only art during the moment of being made.

Saturday, March 23, 2013


Wearing rags
And wandering alone in the desert
I saw one tree on the horizon
I spent weeks or maybe months trying to walk to it
One night without knowing how I stumbled upon it
I curled and went to sleep under its branches
In the morning my dream had scorched it to the ground
Now there is no direction
Only rags remain

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Fear Of Sleep

How does a thing come of anything? What want I try? I slip that template. What rabbit? All these yes to the busted yes. All these wish to get frowned on and records in my hair. These red phrases. These collected hues and tin pipes plunk me down at a family door. In the mirror I switch to my old face. I switch back. The story is only beginning, but I still fear sleep. Poor ruin for fate, for the charm of making, for trains. Canals and laugh tracks, jukebox betrothed, do the end sway.

Monday, March 18, 2013


We are not supposed to salt our underwear.
Everyone knows this.
But still…

On My Burial Mound

Yes. To go down and not find relics is hardly a future. For me. For you. What is this refraction? What is this change? What heart in me spools outward now? How is it the you I write to is both you and me? I am trying not to build emotion, I am trying to hoist story to the level of poem and smash it through a sweet reflector. As for my hands, they find things to do with you. Buoyant, they feel strong when I grin and strong when I fall. This upward gust is not a thief of seclusion, but close. Imagine. Some nothing dashes through you and you fear no memory. Instead you sit. You sit in the memory of nothing and you bellow ever stronger. It’s the fate of every search, every forking light. You distant shimmer, you weed, you you. Something is home when you say it is. Words make things home, not this scattered mass of hoods and quiet. Nowhere has me; I stand atop my burial mound. I look down and in. I will take you to my ancestors, to my tectonic beginnings, to me before I knew codes.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A Visit From My Familiar

Tricks depend on trick thinking, on dash to sea, and cry of dogs at night. One is for writing, two is for filling wants. Light cracks through cracks in the curtains. My hand rises off this bed of its own accord, and floats above your face while you sleep. It sends warmth from my palm into your cheek. I hear sentences in my head and make movements towards you, my legs planted. I am the tree that waits for you to climb. There is thirst enough between us to dry a town. I see you at your desk, writing and wanting. Sometimes you cry in your longing and I send my ghost brain to your fingers and eyes, that they might be touched. Lamps above you flicker and curtains shift. You breathe hard as my face and arms appear. My hands move over you in slow and heavy sweeps. You feel them as you write, your desk an urgent shelf of stories. Your sentences well and burst. My beard on the back of your neck makes you shiver and smile.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Beyond Stuttered Imaginings

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Me Seed

Me black seed. Me beget falcon. Me hawk. Me deeds estuary cemetery. Me death too, far floor. Me draw. Me blood sea paint. Me weeds. Me jelly arm bright lip. Me possible. Me miss. Me clock. Me go on, go on, go over. Me away. Me airplane. Oak leaves me boil tongue. Smoke list, me. Silver choke, hand me. Quite silent me. Me nail sleep back burn. Me sweat, legs head. Me try. Me empty, open, star mouth. Me snow. Me antecedent. Me Wednesday. Me even. Me rough press. Me room. Me kneel. Me ship tooth. Me tog. Me away. Away.

Monday, March 04, 2013

Hot Stone

Take me to dark. Take me to jade murk and high fever cliffs. Take me beyond turning bodies. I have a book of arms unfolding for you, each leaf a riot grip for your neck, your breasts. My sleep is now wraith tournament of strangling white fabric and parched black fingers. Early mornings are short relief from torment, from struggle against sunken carvings of our worn and distant faces. When day begins I drop on world, spiders on hot stone.