Here in the gloaming,
a wormwood haze — 
the “m” on its head,
a “w,” amazed
at what the
drink itself does: 
god bless you — th. 

What really matters now is begonia,
he thought, distracted while reading — 
their amber anther and bone-white petals
missing from a jade pot
by the door — not a theory of metaphor. 

The blue moon opens all
.....too quickly and floats
.....its head-
....................y fragrance over
..............................the path
.................before us: 
And so we slit
its throat, like a florist. 

These hearts-on-strings
.....of the tenderest green
things that rise
from dirt,
then fall
................toward the floor,
.............the air
.......like —  
on-strings of the tenderest
green things — 
.....they rise from dirt
then fall toward
............the floor,
.....hanging in
...............the air like —  
hearts-on-strings of the
tenderest green things,
from dirt then falling
toward the floor,
......in the air like 

--from August; Peter Cole

[via POETRY May 2017]


Common-Law Kundalini
--Rodney Jones 
A sudden loving settles into your own weight . . .
click, then roll over onto your back
and you are there above yourself, 
the human spirit in full cloud-drift,
a lust fieldstripped to eye and ambition
which moves through walls and doors 
and rises to the carnival of looking down
with no power but that of seeing
all of it momentarily unchangeable: 
the shadow-tinseled moonlit fields
and silvery water towers on stilts,
the vole in the unblinking talon of the owl. 
Even better, asleep, in dream-buoyancy,
I have seen more than I ever saw
pretzel-munching in some cloud valley 
thirty thousand feet above the sorghum.
Once a pelican stopped to question me.
Once my friend Herbert McAbee 
bumped into me out of the mist
with a talking sheep under his arm.
Often I have achieved much in basketball, 
for many dream flights launched
from the magic floor of some actual gym
where old men smoked by a potbellied stove, 
but removed from time, unblocked,
and watched by sweethearts, cheered,
I rose and dunked and hovered 
with fear's iodine in my throat.
When I am up there, it is not poetry.
In the dream's onliness, it feels 
wingless, bird-elegant, experimental,
requiring the decisionless decision-
making of dreams. But somehow, 
why do I do this if not for the freedom?
Sometimes I wish I had never heard
of the name of Sigmund Freud.

[via blackbird]


LXXXIII (Chanterelles)
--Rodney Jones

Black trumpets, whale-colored pamphlets, or shingles, or ears, book-
marks of the netherworld, breakast food of the box turtle.

For a long time, she could not find them, hovering just above them
the way an inanimate lamp will hang blindly above the lucidities
of geometry.

And then she saw them risen in clusters on the mossy rocks, firm and
articulate, as when first translated from the original rain.

Bat wing, toad mask, vole shield: they turned darkly in the alchemy of
the skillet—in the mouth, they transmit a tenuous signal,

a hint of perfume, but musical—songs with morals, light things broad-
cast before the planetary news on the underground station.

[via poetry daily]


Lay, Lady, Lay ; Hudson (2017) ]

b - Larry Grenadier
d - Jack DeJohnette
g - John Scofield
k - John Medeski

Written by Bob Dylan.


--John Godfrey 
I come off a little bit ventilated
but you must realize the material world
is constantly crumbling under my eyes
it's too much for the novel tongue I speak
the glitter of pavement in my brainstem, you
must accommodate the polytonal grimace
of the set lips becoming a smile, and
you must accept the thin section of arm
advancing across your peripheries to grip you
in pleasure, measuring feeling in your restraint
We have lived through the most furious little
chunk of history for this? that we must
unburden ourselves on night roof air, presuming
the poise and perks of champ pigeon teams
planing the evening winds 
until, signaled from the roof with a flag
we become American birds


Something to Look Forward To
--John Yau

A blue and green city, with the sun rising behind it,
.....just not swiftly enough
Don’t worry about being perfect. Just make sure you have
.....some juice left in the pump

I have many other remedies on hand, not just history’s bags
.....of sumptuous soot
Hello, I am beauty’s representative; I work in the
.....self-improvement sector

Don’t worry about being perfect. Just make sure you have
.....some juice left in the pump
How do you see yourself on the material plane of
.....observed phenomena

Hello, I am beauty’s representative; I work in the
.....self-improvement sector
Have you ever been sideswiped by a bad investment in love

How do you see yourself on the material plane
.....of observed phenomena
You might need a reevaluation, an estimate, or an era to expire

Have you ever been sideswiped by a bad investment in love
Before you decide that you are nothing more
.....than a clump or splatter

You might need a reevaluation, an estimate, or an era to expire
Have you learned how to remove yourself from every mirror you pass

Before you decide that you are nothing more than a clump or splatter
Let me tell you about the palm trees on the horizon of your future

Have you learned how to remove yourself from every mirror you pass
A blue and green city, with the sun rising behind it,
.....just not swiftly enough

Let me tell you about the palm trees on the horizon of your future
I have many other remedies on hand, not just history’s bags
.....of sumptuous soot

[via POETRY July/August 2017]


from The Forest Sounds Like Waves
--Ken'ichi Sasō

Today Is Four Billion Years of Personal Experience

Today brought to mind the era of fish.
Are we heading against the tide?

Today brought to mind the era of amphibians.
Are we expanding our field of vision to include both sea and land?

Today brought to mind the era of reptiles.
Do I feel the naked form of the globe in my belly?

Today brought to mind the era of small nocturnal animals.
Can we survive without succumbing to dinosaur politics?

Today brought to mind the era of forest monkeys.
Can we contemplate a healthy life?

Today brought to mind the journey of Australopithecus.
Are we demolishing dead-end thinking with creativity?

Today brought to mind early humans, smiling and exhilarated.
Are we shouting out the awe of being alive?

Today brought to mind the arrival of people at the islands of Japan.
Should we discuss this with the people of Asia?
< Hello   Friends     To start, let’s disarm and shake hands>

Today should we try to tightly embrace DNA worn out from
living, the environment, and war?
< Hello   Living in the mixture of all those eras of human history is great!
In this heart, the poem of humanity is crying with a smile on its face!>

Today I greeted a bird that was born unable to sing.
Will it walk across the lands known as authentic human society?

Making the most of the cell of a dream amidst reality—today,
with a new feeling, will we speak and share our voices?

[via asymptote]


[ Multitasking ; Alex Tarampi (2012) ]................

Illustration for Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind


Harmon mute hardscrabble,
swept changes reverberate  
token horizons off the floor,
summer flight for altitude 
following the weather vane
feather hinged and forgotten 
with amplified power, mango
syncopate elixir, lovingly 
bemused steel strung
disorder shot in an ulta- 
light polyurethane. It is
violet wind, wild organics 
on the other side of sun
glasses, harvest emerald 
supranormal numerated on
uptoned gravity, equatorial 
message beamed to echo
bottomless mass inductions 
spun clockwise out of time,
molecular confection ripe, 
like water, like air, blended
space momentarily solving 
I me mine, a briefly charged
repose ever to slide by again.


There was this stranger who came into our town
He was tall, and had a dark look about him
And a special brilliance was in his eyes
And when he looked at us
It was the feeling he could see right down to the bottom
We may have been mistaken in this
But at the time, no questions were asked
The questions always come later
All we cared about was the mystery we sensed in this stranger
And we waited to see what would happen

One evening, that was different from any other
He got us all together in the big auditorium
He stood there, on the huge stage
The only light was on him
And we waited in the dark
Then, out of his tallness came the chanting
First, as a whisper we could hardly hear
The flibberty jib on the bipperty bop
The flibberty jib on the bipperty bop
It didn't make any sense
We were caught up in something we didn't understand
He had trapped us, without our knowing it
Possibly it was his manner
And we came alive to him
As he slowly moved us with his chant
Through the land of hush
Into insistent, savage, throbbing crescendos of ecstasy
As if it were the only thing we could do
We started to chant with him
The flibberty jib on the bipperty bop
The flibberty jib on the bipperty bop
And he was up on the high stage, laughing with all his might
Shouting yes, yes, yes
But there were those among us who were jealous of his power
Who felt they should be in the center of the stage
With the light shining on them
They were against our hero
And the chanting
And our going to be with him every free moment
And so, little by little, a little later
These critics set to work
To make nonsense out of the sense of what we were doing
And they succeeded
They destroyed our hero's faith in himself
He didn't have it any more
After a few, disappointing times
In the big auditorium
The light gone out of him
We all stopped going
And the man who had once seemed so tall
And who now seemed so much smaller
Left our town
Saying no, no, no

We lived through the boredom of the time that followed
Telling each other pale stories of what once was
And what might have been if
We lived on histories and hopes
We did this
Until the miracle we never thought would happen again, happened
Another stranger came into our town
And he too was tall and dark
And had eyes that could look right down into the bottom of you
And he got us all together in the big auditorium
And with the light on him
We were in the dark
He chanted
The flibberty jib on the bipperty bop
The flibberty jib on the bipperty bop
And we joined in, and the magic was in us
And he was laughing
And all his might was with him
And he was shouting yes, yes, yes
But there were those among us who were jealous and so forth
You know, you know what they did

Little by little, a little later
They put us back on the narrow path
This is the way things have been in our town
For as long as anyone cares to remember
By the way
How are things in your town?

--Ken Nordine (1957)


Our first steps onto Manhattan were through Grand Central Terminal and while standing atop a terrace overlooking the main concourse, I had the stereotypical ‘they look like ants’ comment to my wife while watching the hurried, directed pace of the commuters. An image that came to haunt me an hour later when at the 9/11 Memorial and Tribute Museum. I scolded myself for finding humor in aligning, even if ever so slightly, with those areas of thought that equate human life to an insect (although with reference to our fragility and at times our powerlessness, indeed, we are just like ants). As for the new World Trade Center complex, it is of a scale that can only be experienced in person. A Kubrick-like presence that is both futuristic and pre-historic. I honestly didn’t know what to make of it. But I can’t see it as a triumph. Not that I want to limit the potentiality of the human spirit, but majesty can be found in the smallest details of life. And when inspiration calls for colossal ambitious effort, it can instead be channeled through forms that don’t hold such tremendous material consequence and without trepidation becoming a structural component. With that said, I was in awe at the Guggenheim.  A “temple of the spirit” was the intention behind the spiral design Frank Lloyd Wright implemented. When standing at the top of the atrium after viewing piece after piece of ardent expression, my head and knees went wobbly with vertigo.  Which happened to get me into dancing mode for a couple night’s at Phish’s Baker’s Dozen residency at Madison Square Garden. When seeing the band in the 90’s at a much younger age, it was about ferocious jubilance coruscating one's consciousness. Now in the thick of middle age (for both me and the band members), the age appropriate tenor is joyful jubilance. And the type of joy that is for joy’s sake only. The more and more joy becomes about something else, or an object, from a result, with an intention, a conditional state, the less and less joyful joy becomes. In some areas of life, kinetic nonsense can be one’s guide. Blaze on. 


--William Carlos Williams 
In this world of
as fine a pair of breasts
as ever I saw
the fountain in
Madison Square
spouts up of water
a white tree
that dies and lives
as the rocking water
in the basin
turns from the stonerim
back upon the jet
and rising there
reflectively drops down again.


Flowers by the Sea
--William Carlos Williams 
When over the flowery, sharp pasture’s
edge, unseen, the salt ocean 
lifts its form—chicory and daisies
tied, released, seem hardly flowers alone 
but color and the movement—or the shape
perhaps—of restlessness, whereas 
the sea is circled and sways
peacefully upon its plantlike stem


I Eat Breakfast to Begin the Day
--Zubair Ahmed 
I create time
I cannot create time
I’m frozen in place
I cannot be frozen
I’m moving but don’t notice
I notice me moving, I pay attention
To the small yet immense yet
Small movements that guide
My limbs, my hair growth, my joint oils
I don’t think about it
I don’t feel it either
I don’t have emotions right now
I see films of divine quality
I don’t see any films
This black
This not black
To me I am
I am not to me not
I walk with this hollowness
I walk with this blooming
I’m moving outward forever
Onward eternally inward
I create all objects like shampoos
And cats, I create nothing
Like space and antimatter
I resign to the clocks that keep time
I surrender to the clocks that don’t keep time
I’m sure about it, the color white
I’m not sure about it, what is word?
Oh, the loops and unloops
Destiny unfolds in my knees
I eat breakfast to begin the day

[via POETRY July/August 2017]


Journey into the Eye
--David Lehman 
Having no choice but to go down, the sun
without a hint of its will to disobey, hung
for the moment suspended from the rapidly
vanishing blue of the sky, like a pearl
from a pole, a streetlamp, or a chandelier
which, with the emptying of the ballroom,
stops swinging of a sudden and is so still
it seems it never could have moved. Still, 
The sun was going to go down, but first
invited my rowboat to join it, and so I
devised a journey into the eye, and embarked
on it, gliding without work of oars or arms
over the clear and calm watery floor, cool
as an ice-skating rink, peaceful as sleep,
summary as myself in a boy's blue overalls,
freedom's uniform, fishing at memory's end.



Paradise was hardly what Psyche
With her bleeding blackberries and nervous orgasms

Could have foretold, enjoyed,
And renounced for the sake of some querulous abstraction

Designed to keep us unhappy but alive.
Call it civilization. Call our disobedience instinctive.

Or say we obeyed an angry muse, who ordered us to dance.
“Or else?” I asked. She sighed before answering.

“Or else a dismal armchair will be your lot
With chamber music your sole narcotic—music that will make

You face your former self, and grieve over incidents
Scarcely recalled, and eat without pleasure, and drink

Without thirst, and dread what shall never come to pass.”
In the revelation of our nakedness, we danced.

--from Mythologies; David Lehman


[ Blissfest Music Festival ; Harbor Springs, MI ]

The Indians are correct: spending three days dancing in the beautiful outdoors with a community of people does wonderfully good, enlightening things to the soul.


--Stanley Moss 
Give me a death like Buddha's. Let me fall
over from eating mushrooms Provençale,
a peasant wine pouring down my shirtfront,
my last request not a cry but a grunt.
Kicking my heels to heaven, may I succumb
tumbling into a rosebush after a love
half my age. Though I'm deposed, my tomb
shall not be empty; may my belly show above
my coffin like a distant hill, my mourners come
as if to pass an hour in the country,
to see the green, that old anarchy.


Listening to Water
--Stanley Moss 
Water wanted to live.
It went to the sun,
came back laughing.
Water wanted to live.
It went to a tree
struck by lightning.
It came back laughing.
It went to blood. It went to womb,
It washed the face of every living thing.
A touch of it came to death, a mold.
A touch of it was sexual, brought life to death.
It was Jubal, inventor of music,
the flute and the lyre. 
"Listen to waters," my teacher said,
"then play the slow movement
of Schubert's late Sonata in A,
it must sound like the first bird
that sang in the world."


--Stanely Moss 
I argued with a dear friend, a psychiatrist
who didn't think dogs smile and dream.
I told him I thought butterflies, frogs and dogs dream
and smile- that the whole Bronx Zoo is like me,
but I don't think every Greyhound bus,
cheese, beggerman and thief is named Stanley.
I've seen trees smiling, dreaming, kissing and kissed.
I don't think the world is a mirror made by Jesus,
rather sooner or later, like Columbus
every old sailor sees a mermaid, that Jesus
smiled and dreamed like us, and Judas
had a dog that smiled and dreamed like us.
My good dog Bozo ran wild with my shoes.
Because I sleep and dream old news
secrets I keep from myself, I smile in deceit,
while my dog smiles, mounts a wolf at my feet.


He was a wise man who invented beer. ~Plato
[ Fish Ladder IPA ; Grand Rapids Brewing Co. ]....................


From 'The Collected Writings of Joe Brainard', Life:

When I stop and think about what it’s all about I do come up with some answers, but they don’t help very much. 
I think it is safe to say that life is pretty mysterious. And hard. 
Life is short. I know that much. That life is short. And that it’s important to keep reminding oneself of it. That life is short. Just because it is. I suspect that each of us is going to wake up some morning to suddenly find ourselves old men (or women) without knowing how we got that way. Wondering where it all went. Regretting all the things we didn’t do. So I think that the sooner we realize that life is short the better off we are. 
Now, to get down to the basics. There are 24 hours a day. There is you and there are other people. The idea is to fill these 24 hours as best one can. With love and fun. Or things that are interesting. Or what have you. Other people are most important. Art is rewarding. Books and movies are good fillers, and the most reliable. 
Now you know that life is not so simple as I am making it sound. We are all a bit fucked up, and here lies the problem. To try and get rid of the fucked up parts, so we can just relax and be ourselves. For what time we have left.

[via crashingly beautiful]


Nests in Elms
--Michael Field 
The rooks are cawing  up and down the trees!
Among their nests they caw. O sound I treasure,
Ripe as old music is, the summer's measure,
Sleep at her gossip, sylvan mysteries,
With prate and clamour to give zest of these—
In rune I trace the ancient law of pleasure,
Of love, of all the busy-ness of leisure,
With dream on dream of never-thwarted ease.
O homely birds, whose cry is harbinger
Of nothing sad, who know not anything
Of sea-birds' loneliness, of Procne's strife,
Rock round me when I die! So sweet it were
To die by open doors, with you on wing
Humming the deep security of life.

It's worth taking a look at the bio of this, Michael Field.


What’s unbound still continues
on the other side of the alarm clock.
Actually, not much of anything really.
Coreless daybreak beyond motive
into the fickle contours of clouds.
Their therapy reckoned as I stand
up to the scale after the morning shower.
Navigations shrugged. Slowly,
I am again. Ionic soliloquy
laden to more, hint of much less,
corporeal vat of sunlight. Humid
perception always with at least
one more day to go. And evolving
composure. All the faucet features
of a world indigenous, makeshifts
I make my trouble in lucent delirium
to a soaked rapport charged fresh
by life shimmering encounters,
mirage of expectant agelessness.