Monday, June 30, 2008

finding the right comma: an approach

4 June 2008, Amy Sahba

(thanks for the idea Gol (especially since you sabotaged the last post))

  1. Stop thinking. it is no longer required. __Some people's writing requires you think, mine does not- it gets in the way. If you're thinking, you're offtrack. I promise.


    ____ -eyes
    ____ -soul
    ____ -heart
    ____ -fingertips
    ____ -sheets/blankets at 3am when you cannot sleep and read blogs aimlessly
    ____ -imagination

  2. Don't try and understand. __Understanding is rarely achieved by staring at the enigma, you need a different approach. Here's one I think works best:

    Subpoint 2; APPROACHES: (A MINILIST)
    ____ -let the images work on you. I know there are many, and they are all varied, and they don't seem to hold together. Think of it as writing in collage, (honestly, I'm attempting kaleidoscope).
    ____ -think of the little phraselettes as brushstrokes. Impressionist painting, the words are brushstrokes, and it's fine to enjoy them, but you won't see any of the 'ideas' till you walk back, further away, away from me, away from you... away from this our world.
    ____ -if you can see it, or empathize with the situation, then you're on the right track- my ideas are feelings not really conceptions.

  3. Float. __Float from image to image. __A dream. __A train of thought. __A mismanaged journey (life). __A mistimed firework (love). __the problem with trying to summarize things, is the soul does not exist in pluralities (eg: i am 12% happy, 14.5% miserable, 0.5% hopeful, 33% turning into a bird, 40% rather be turning into a tree- those are better). The soul exist as one single absolute, since the soul has no need to deconstruct a moment.feeling.hope.aspiration.despair into components.reasons.excuses, it simply accepts the cloud as a cloud, and has a strange facility for the interpretation of clouds. We as half-formed-but-slowly-improving-dust-heaps-called-(wo)men do require this deconstruction of a whole into pluralities (into little bits that we can fathom and understand that work-on (yuk)). So how do i write about absolutes (since that is what my soul is feeling.thinking) and still use dust-heap-words? I try my best. Try and form a cloud out of them, sift myself- combining organs, and unraveling dreams into their spectra. __follow them, but don't look for the steps.reasons.links, just... don't. __just follow (your soul will fill in the gaps with stardust)

    ____-for words adjoined by periods (.) assume that any or all possible meanings are true, appropriate, and intended. Thus:
    into components.reasons.excuses means:

    ____(a) into components


    ____(b) into reasons


    ____(c) into excuses

    It has 4 meanings. It has meaning (a), (b), (c) and (a+b+c) (simply because different people will grasp at different words more or less, depending on their own little journeys).

    ____-for words.phrases contained in parentheses: these are usually secrets. Things one should know, but without the need to necessarily read 'out loud'. If one is musically inclined: they are the markings on the score that you attempt to make clear as you play, but I play a Rachmaninoff prelude, and miss the syncopated accents (but i know what he meant, even if i can't always manage to express it). (also it's little offshoots. things i might giggle at, but not say out loud- perhaps martha will give me a dirty look, or ashtree will say: not_cool. Q! not_cool! (which means what i said was probably not cool).

  5. The images themselves are too often derived from my own personal memories. I have certain symbols for individuals i've love(d) romantically (notice that i presented that as a secret). I have only ever seen one shooting star; as a child someone threw a green apple at me and hit me in the face and that's the only black eye i've ever had; in africa a black and gold spider the size of my head lived in our backyard and my dad would take me out to look at it; haifa usually = heaven, where i left my soul (as a jacket) and cannot find it again; etc.


    Eternity; __
    __love = everything (how?);____ time = i don't know... i grasp at it sometimes, but is made of water and slides away; ____gravity (everything that pulls me and entices me, and i lose to); ____God ( w o w ); ____Redemption; ____the tides of Memory (what i remember, what i forget, why sometimes i can remember something(s) that most of the time i've forgotten, where do they go when they are not with me?; ____self-destruction; ____self-pity; ____how time changes (everything); ____how love changes (everything); ____my dead-grandfather who i suddenly feel close to; ____my sister; ____Music (my soul cannot speak English. s.he (notice it's not a secret, it's a duality) speaks: Brahms, wind, hands-held, hands unheld rubbing themselves to sleep, monotony of trains, rhythm of breaths of beautiful women asleep on my chest, grass in the sun, the silence of snow, Stravinksy lives on in rain, women's bare feet lounging on couches when all i can hear is the sound her book's pages being turned every so often with a slight hmm; ____everything i am sorry i could not be- because i am sorry to not be everything i could be; ____3am is its own universe, everything that i know i learnt then; ____loneliness (Monz, most of it is gone, the only species of it that's left is the one that derives from having no peer or equal who understand what it's like to be 50 years old and have to walk around looking 25. also, no one can know the places i have been, because they are too far into a circumstance's scribbley web); ____infinity (which i cannot understand); ______everything


  7. another explanation is here

  8. all i want is to not be a man.
    to fit neatly on a page.
    sit that still and that silent.
    (and always in palms, where i am not alone)

    i am finding...
    ___there are no words

Saturday, June 28, 2008

the Edge of Heaven (a notapoem)

Lina Scheynius, personal-red

i am certain sometimes i can see the outlines of gates when i walk. __(In clouds, certain sweeping angels or swooning lovers,
____brokedown palaces children run in- moving as giggles and footsteps and thrown sunflower faces (round and round and round and all.fall. down) __(stepping across stones worn paper thin by endless footsteps and Time's sore hands,

and i stand on the border of some earthly hour, an afternoon, or a sunset, or a flickering television screen, and feel the weight of an entire Kingdom smiling at me from behind corners, and cherubim footsteps kiss the grass with shadow lips)
______and i peer from behind my face (hands) (ankles) (eyelashes) (black hipster underwear) and see people their way through.out.beneath.around.despite _f_l_e_s_h_, and land allsoul unto friend's.lover's.goal's porch, and smile (all smile), where... __here? no!

indeed, under that tree there, the olive tree, God sits and waits, smelling leaves, breaking twigs into smaller pieces, throwing them into the sand, delighting.

here? _no!

____(and somewhere a car passes, a man dances and bops his head; a body in a machine. __a soul in a body(machine) __(Russian dolls) _(when i looked into your eyes, i saw your other eyes looking back, and i smiled at them, and they didn't move or change, but the universe did, and it accommodated my new heart- my dilated soul (its head alone was the moon,
it's body Odysseus's sail flapping in the night wind,

and once, a smaller sailor i, with others- 12 year old adventurers, went crabbing in the rain, and i stared up at milky clouds and couldn't see the rain drops hitting my face, and felt wet, and my soul lives there still,
and lives on a yellow couch i left behind in a desert,
and chases dropped raspberry's down halls laughing the whole while,

occasionally visiting olive trees, and midnight oracles, and my grandfather's newfound ability to poke his fingers through rocks, dismantle presence, hug with his hairy chest circumstance, and somehow, make amends in one world all he'd wished we knew about him in another,
______(I know dad, mom told me... it's ok... it's ok... it's ok... sssshhh, sleep easy old man,

In Haifa i walked past the children's music school.
little cello.hearts beating out of time, violins screeching, and Mozart laughing and shaking his head while Stravinsky nodded yes! yes! (before conducting the rain, Mahler the wind, Bruckner the clouds, Brahms my soul,

here? _no!

soo close.
i can taste the ambrosia, the nectar of the gods (sweet Hermes, i dreamt once I was you and ran through a garden, couldn't stop for nothing, descended a staircase as myself,
______lived to see another day

Life: the limit of the world,
the end of time is soo near!
the end of space: the borders are already coming undone,

i can see the strings of my soul becoming detached,
my skin grows paler by the decade
tonality will be the only thing to follow me,

here, in this bedroom, santa monica, at this mundane hour, this mundane life, i see Heaven's plans descend and freeze, and smile and flap away, leaving feathers and clues,
oh sweetness!
future feet i'll rub before bed, __slam my hands into steering wheels in desperation, __disappear into 3am frenzies: _if i become any more human I'll slip through my skin, through the dirt, between roots of trees, the bellysleeping snores of the earth, through his space-ruffled sheets, __all black, _all silence,

under a star, besides a daffodil, three clarinets will mimic wind to make me feel better,
a bearded man, strong only in utter nothingness, will smile, blue is a color i remember...
how long have you been under this tree?
a few springs. a few summers.
the tree gives good shadow?
yes. __remember the last time you were here?
__yes. __i was a nothing, __i was soo beautiful. __i was only a God's dream, the hope of an infinity, the desire of a certitude.
look now my son: faceless face, dreamless soul, forever enshrined in timeless,
forever loved in history,
forever excelled of the flesh, escaped of gravity,

a ghost?

oh no. a soul having crossed an ocean with a whistle.

(here, now... already... _moments, __[gasp] (i'm nearly nothing!


a wave washes a shore

Friday, June 27, 2008

Stories About Stories

(sometimes, I need to write about the things I want to write. Mostly it's a process for me to organize my thoughts and ideas before I sit down to do it... this post will be just this)

Bye Bye LA

Somebody's somebody is leaving in a few days. Back to a home that was thrust upon them rather than chosen (as most of ours are). He said to me: it's ok, she'll only be gone about two months... then she's coming back. The word back seemed heavy. I've made that promise too many times. To: _ _ _ _ _, China, Eman, my grandparents, and Martha, just in the last 6 months alone.

Walking a few hours ago, thinking of people graduating, of people leaving, coming...

on: going.leaving.left___(and being left)

It occurred to me to write a standard. One of those standard plotted things. Person, lost, arrives in place, lives in transition, finds him.herself, promises to return, knowing (sadly, too sadly) they will not. Then, being gone.
____I am counting my own days. Trying to decide if I am leaving, or if I am being left. I've done this for years, 9 month research-project. 30 month medium-term B. 'until you get back on your feet'.

My story is about moments spent in cars. __Slow walks to soothe agitations. __Fixing lives. __Palm trees. __Dreams of blindness. __Untold future creeping upon us, plane-ticket in hand.__ on: going.leaving.left___(and being left) ____on: the land between solar systems____(on being scared)

I won't write it till I'm leaving. Which is soon enough anyway. I can't really understand the tide in the ether that brought me here... all that's happened here... and the why of it, I don't know how to fill a story with a sense of moving-on-ness, when my character still isn't sure about hereness. Which is the point. Which is why people say back at the end of 'i'll be right'. Which is why my entire life I seem to scramble forward, one hand forward fumbling for light switches, the other held out behind me, hoping someone who I was just with will find my fingertips in the dark and hold me close and save me the blind-man's-quest.

Where the fu&* am I?
(if anyone knows... seriously, I can't work it out)

I can't understand if my character will leave victor or not. I can't understand how to measure those quantities anymore. My story has to be the destruction of a person. A complete absolution of self. An abandonment of direction. Perhaps I should turn my person into a leaf at the end.

A story about sitting by the pool besides beautiful women I never once spoke to. A story about too many nights sitting at the kitchen table at 4am writing run Orestes run! into my notebook (and already, there they are, can you hear them? The
Erinyes- the Furies... Sartre thought they would sound like hordes of flies. To me, they sound like incessant: water running, people speaking, phones ringing, television, wheelchairs creeping laboriously across carpeted rooms, the banging of doors, the dropping of things, rummaging through handbags looking for pens, my name repeated all day long, keys jingling, tea kettles steaming, the workmen drilling, distant motorcycles.

Perhaps I ought to write the whole thing as a rendition of the myth. I've been meaning to write a version of the Orestia for years now. (I suppose that story depends on the end... to what do we leave to?) (and of course, no one ever knows) (even if they think that they do)

My end draws close.


I suddenly stop and think to myself: what is life that I should find myself walking at 1:11am on a friday morning down Santa Monica Blvd eating string cheese and listening to Russian rock music.

Where the fu&* am I?
(if anyone knows... seriously, I can't work it out)
I cannot win at this.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


  1. typographer
  2. industrial designer
  3. socialite, fashionista, self-absorbed celebrity
  4. poet laureate
  5. second hand, rare, & interesting bookstore owner/operator
  6. web graphic designer
  7. computer programmer
  8. early morning park sweeper
  9. anytime park sweeper
  10. construction site laborman
  11. nature park ranger
  12. film score composer
  13. marketing/media director for niche hipster NPO (hint hint Ashtree)
  14. ascetic, monk, mute hermit, cave dweller, dervish
  15. unexceptional concert pianist
  16. librarian
  17. film/book review writer
  18. critic of anything
  19. (therefore: critical theorist (an Adorno people might understand)
  20. the old man in a suit and bow tie who comes to the park everyday to stare at everything blue and green and alive and silent
  21. successful blogger
  22. avid adventure traveler, busstop conversationalist, reciter of prayers and poetry
  23. connoisseur of: black pens, vanilla icecream, white oxford shirts
  24. exhibit coordinator
  25. light designer for artifact exhibits (specialty: Grecian urns or early-Gothic sacred sculpture)
  26. cultural icon
  27. high school english teacher
  28. drug addict
  29. amateur philosophizer, aestheticist, general bohemian
  30. turn-of-the-century revolutionary
  31. professional generation-Y confusite despondent wayfarer
  32. ipod wearing graveyard shift data entry prole
  33. eccentric public transport enthusiast
  34. classical concert program/CD booklet introductory notes researcher/writer
  35. unsuccessful sardonic antimotivational speaker

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

On The Limits of Memory (a notapoem)

____up into the silence the green
____silence with a white earth in it

____you will(kiss me)go

____out into the morning the young
____morning with a warm world in it

____(kiss me)you will go

____on into the sunlight the fine
____sunlight with a firm day in it

____you will go(kiss me

____down into your memory and
____a memory and memory

____i)kiss me,(will go)

_________E. E. Cummings

SquareAmerica, highly recommended online exhibitions

the book of sleep, __minutes on sunday, __cello symphony, __i never remember having a front lawn, __the spider in Africa i remember soo large, __love has no eyes and i floated away,

what i lack in eyes
(the outstretched hands of ghosts,
i hear murmurs all the time)

makes me less
(i can hear the sound of mandolins, __a sleep with no dreams, __heights i have fallen from, __who are you? __i cannot be this old for too much longer, surely. my hands are too tender to manage air)

(please please please please)__(3 steps north, climb onto the sidewalk, put both hands firmly on head: follow these directions precisely if you want to get nowhere)

there are dreams i dare not...

(and once, i came home from school and saw my mother holding my sister to her chest, crying. sobbing. in her bedroom. the walls were pink, i had painted them, had gotten it in my hair. my sister had called me a rose. the walls and their faces were the same color. i stood behind the door, three inches too open. why can't i remember the sound of it?, why is it all reduced to the color pink? __and my heart can replay the Morse of its beats, sshh, listen!, put your head to my chest___)

float away from me, __once i blew a dandelion, __just once
__(once i blew with my eyes closed, and opened and chased, my hands in the air laughing,

(smoke rises, __steam rises, __friday nights alone, i could not bear it, would walk to Surfers and sit alone on a park bench watching everyone else.
can a soul manage to escape the stratosphere?)

what i lack,
"why do you move away whenever i touch you?"
"i don't know, just __stop, seriously, stop stop, step back, __personal space"
"you used to be really affectionate"
"i know."
"what happened?"
"i don't know__ i just... it's really uncomfortable now."
"i read recently humans need touch. The article suggested if you aren't having sex, at least get a massage."
" ... "
" ... "
" ... "
"are you having sex again?"
"maybe you should get a massage."
"i hate massages."
"you used to be really affectionate."
"i know"
"what are you gonna do?"
"__i don't know."

some wind. ____i cannot hope these dares to dream.
i cannot dream to hope these (dare to fall)
dare to hope to dream to fall to rise to where (to what?
____________________________________to how!?)

some wind. __soo pleasant. __(ssshh. stop talking, let me hear it)

______Q, where are you?

once, in the mist... and it rained. and the beach was all rocks and waves... and our little hands lifted the blackest of them, and turned them over, and delighted at the sight of crabs. we were so brave.
______(can you hug me out of this?

what i lack
(my grandfather sits invisibly, inaudibly, with one foot in San Diego zoo with me on his shoulders, and strokes his handsome frame against the table leg, barely it shakes, i stare at the page of the little book, trying to get through it, you hear me old man? how are we going to do this? __he shakes his head. (my hand to the face of the table, suddenly wet. once a tree's cheek, it cries its last honey tear
______i lay my lips to her. breathe. __all grows blurred. __with my nose i draw a line through it. __she sighs, __the room is cooler, i breathe deep, we are inside one another.
(my grandfather rises, shaking his head, he takes some steps,
"how have you been my son?"
"i'm tired."
"me too."
"i'm old."
[laughs] "you're too young to say that"

(my grandmother says: i dreamt of him. he was standing by the phone, slouched, his head against the wall, he said i'm tired here. i'm always soo tired. What does it mean?

______Q, where are you?

__(what does it mean?)
__(can you hug this out of me?
____-me out of this?
____-sometime ago, sometime before i can remember, i was a child,
__someone showed me a picture once, __i was blond

the book of hidden secrets, __this is what we do, __the dark of my eyes has won,

what i lack in humanity
(the broken monument of my own self lies in Brisbane and gathers dust. a Me that failed me. __WILLIAM BLAKE, AN INTRODUCTION __Neruda, Collected Poems (a Bilingual Ed) __the Trivium, the Greek tradition of Rhetoric, Dialectic, and Grammar __Ginsberg, Collected Poems ____be careful when you open them, that dust

where to now?
all's blurred:
all i lack, humanity

floats (once, eyes closed, i wished)

(dare to fall dreamer?)

i can't hear the sound anymore... __there are no mandolins. __there is no wind. __the night has too much patience


Friday, June 20, 2008


untitled, snjezana


the air is warm,
like someone's exhaled breath;
that's why it lingers under shadows longer.
____(still carrying the weight of the places it's been)

the sprinklers are on under a tree.
i stop there, close my eyes,
sounds like winter.
____(i'm not sure what that means)

____2. (nocturne)

- i hope to see a firefly soon,
__a campfire
____a woman undressed, ___the keys of a piano with their lustful eyes,
______________________(reach out and hold my hand to their breast
(now i close my eyes, and touch her ivory skin and just listen to her silent music,
her silent heartbeat,
__the story of a tree: __unplayed pianos sing of dirt, and bird's calls, and still (out of habit) time decades by the migrations of clouds...

(now i open my eyes, and run my hand up to shoulder, neck, around her, my body follows- i cannot control it, __a wave meets the sand, for a moment both disappear and leave only sound instead

- i hope to see naked feet lounging, __the geraniums at the tips of toes streaking like car stoplights. ___i follow the wind of my fantasies up thighs
(sounds like an echo cho _ho ___o
____________(a whispered scent of memory,

START REVERIE___ when i was 13 i lay in bed and practiced sleeping without exhaling deeply, worried my breaths would irritate my one-day-to-be-future-wife.

____7 years later, she is displeased with the spoon, and turns, and pushes me off my side onto my back (i had been holding my breath and was moments away from turning blue), she adjusts her pillow, my arm, and crawls into a little space under my neck. i am silent as a mouse. i feel a little tide on my chest, her warm breaths, cyclical, the shades of black from within her, the skeletons and unused props of her dreams, her little annoyances, she leaves on my chest. i slow my heart to match the rhythm. it feels like the moon has found a fingertip to pat me with. i realize i have only just become human; ____i sleep dreamlessly. ____perfectly. ____END REVERIE

____________(a whispered scent of memory,
i am left with night's black hair, black eyes, ___fragment limbs of women
fragment hearts of my own

(- i hope to see a tree soon in a quiet place where i can)
sit back-to-chest, wait long enough till she wraps her roots.arms around me. i can close my eyes, (trees breaths are cool) swim in bark, slow my heartbeat

live dangerously.

- when i get lonely i get
___[shakes his head]

- i hope to see my own life soon
___(maybe wake to it-
recognize it and smile,
goodmorning sun, i recognize you from before

and she smile back.
___(maybe wake to her
morning love.
___hhwh ah t
sleep baby, sleep.
___ehhm hhwh a
[smile] (i won't wake you up)
sleep baby, sleep.
___hhhm k

you're dressed in skin and white sheets,
the sails of the angel that dragged us here,
rosy footed, sure-souled, cherub cheeked, and pristine hearted,
in white sails we descended,
dreams turned into seconds,
life assumed colors,
out of our now-becoming-frightened whimpers words were distilled,
dreams grew heavy and dark and fell from trees as days, and years, and moments not spent kissing,
life assumed lifedom

in the dark,
____________(a whispered scent of memory,
i miss all i was
when i had no limbs.

(at least kiss me, ____it makes it easier

- when i get lonely i get
___[shakes his head]

writer's block

i am me.
this life happened.

it is still going

i pass birthdates, restaurants, and some friends leave me.

physics keeps the time,
____(tap, tap, tap, tap, tap, _tap, _tap,__ tap,__ tap,____ tap,____ tap ,______tap
religion marks the score,

sunrise is a pivot
(whether you need one or not).

What any of this means...
__i don't know.

(fingers crossed:
we'll get somewhere)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


27 ballet dancers, dboo

forms the soul takes:

____the combined movement of tree branches
____the sound of electric guitars
____the eerie blue of the cloudless LA sky

it is soo big.
(too big to be localized)

in pianists, sometimes, for a flicker or two
(a fluorescent light mid-seizure)
you see it pass in a tremor,

mothers can do better,
throats are amazing when women cry.

how then to?
____(take the blue sky
________(tree's grace)
____circumscribe to skin's blanket:
____fit a cathedral in a mousetrap?)

(suspend a wristwatch mid Wednesday/
levitate beauty/
conspire against mortality:

cage the soul,
some few moments,
confiscate it to just one body
(give it eyes and hair and gluteals)
____(the universe panics, having momentarily lost a tulip at a trainstation)

and as it escapes:
unexorcises itself,
shakes an apple loose,
jumps twice beyond a rainbow's reach,
drinks the wine of a cello,
transmutes into a swan, star, stalagmite,
____(engine, dust, stag, too-strayed-far-to-return-anything

But for some few moments,
i saw the outline
of all infinity

(and trembled and cried

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

others speaking of.for.better (than) me

No tempting them, who are beyond______idly, on the hinge
temptation, with the scent___________ _of a second thought turn
of herbs, old clothes, suitcases,______ _ _back, and we are caught.

no calling
those who have no name___________________David Malouf
they'd wish to step back into.______________from: An Essay on Angels (the Short Version)

They are past all that and that
is all we have: names, hold-alls,
smell and ghost-smell

of where we were or would be.
Their gift is being
where they are. Waiting for breath

to release us, we fall
towards them; idly
distracted, they turn away. Then

Running Amok, ezine

an astrology book today, organized by dates, here's the reading for my birthday:

Obstinate and difficult. Hard to get you to do anything. If one knows your weaknesses easy to manipulate. Likely to be happily married.


____-That's not depressing (not).
____-Do you think the final point follows from the immediately preceding criticism?


all things I want to say tonight I'm not going to say. This is not Entropy Pieces, this is the Submerged Submersible, that means I cannot say Entropy Pieces things here. ___(in that case I haven't much that can be said tonight).
___If you want to know how I feel, you'd have to listen to this. (make no mistake, it's incredible)

Everything I want to say relates to the poem... but I do not know how to appropriately 'hide' my words. I cannot bare myself here too openly, we had problems in the past.


He calls me from a bar. Puts a girl on the phone. If the voice is anything to go by, she's terribly attractive. I have trouble making out words, there's lots of laughing. I hear a... careless happiness being transmitted to me through invisible frequency airwaves. I can't tonight. That's a lie, the truth is: I probably can't for another few months (should I live that long). (if, after a few months I am still alive, and I am still me, and frankly, I'm not sure who this me that I've become even is, and if he'd even want to join you...then I'll come.) I really want to (that's completely true... I reallly want to). - You're just brushing me off now dude! I've been calling you all week! (from parties, bars, clubs, lounges... all sorts of fun situations I can't remember the last time I was a part of). Hey, no, dude, bear with me, it's kinda a tough time for me right now... I'm doing my best. (true). Whatever, get in your car and drive here! (a. it's not my car, I share it with my everybody, b. you're 80 minutes away). Dude, it's not that far! (it really is) (and I'm scared) (if I drive that far, I won't drive back)

can you hear me now?


I have made approximately 34 lists of resolutions between October 2007 and today. None of them ever lived to be relevant beyond a week. The first batch all assumed I'd still be living in one continent. The second batch all assumed I'd go ahead with my plan of moving to a trailer in the middle of nowhere and being a gas-station attendant till the end of my life, and the third batch are about as relevant to Tuesday as last Sunday's dinner.

(I did not know it when I sent it to you, but... I was right, hearts_ c a n _be made of mondays; and my phrase only makes sense to me, tonight for the first time, because you explained it to me those days ago) (and my heart tonight is made of a monday)


"When size really counts,"
the billboard says

showing the product

in one corner,

so we need to search for it.
Come find me.

I stand behind these words.

____from: Almost, by Rae Armantrout


The truth of the matter is, cat's got my tongue. I'm tied up pretty hard-ball right now, and I can't let go. Not for the world to see. Not for myself to see. In other words:

It takes a village to read a poem.

The patter of petunias is marmalade.

Everybody's got to be somewhere.

Save the last chance for me.

____from: Sign Under Test, by Charles Bernstein

From Here We Go Sublime

" eyes - white - shut " 1, originally uploaded by Federico Erra.

eyes-white-shut 1, Frederico Erra

Big Bang
William Stafford

A shudder goes through the universe, even
long after. Every star, clasping its
meaning as it looks back, races outward
where something quiet and far waits.
Within, too, ever receding into its fractions,
that first brutal sound nestles closer
and closer toward the tiny dot of tomorrow.
And here we are in the middle, holding
it all together, not even shaking.

Hard to Believe.


Oh I don't know. What does one add? Doesn't morning speak well enough for herself? Night for himself? Loneliness says enough. Bliss smiles at me quietly, makes such a difference.

Dear V,

my sister sometimes has 'dreams'. Certain clairvoyant faculties. The other morning she returned from her nocturnal oracle and asked to be taken for a walk.

____She: I asked.
____Me: and?
____She: He said I have a good feeling about it.
____Me: [dear God, please]

Based on this superstition, I indulged an afternoon to dreams I dare not dream. Impossibilities that only something as unreasonable as Life could allow to happen.

I have it scribbled in my notebook. over and over, page after page of it. He said I have a good feeling about it. Hope. not easily distilled to words, but for me, alive right now in this one phrase only. No lifely force could make it happen, but something that crawls out of dreams, and daydreaming foreheads, and silent hands that rub eyes.


get it?

The other morning, no other way around it, in my PJ pants (dark blue), it was important that sunlight was involved, I stepped outside. I sat in a plastic white chair stained brown. I could not bear the silence, there were too many murmurs I could not tolerate. I listened to Part's Magnificat, the Song of Mary, imagined women's lips and eyes and fingers. (Incidentally, I believe that my soul is feminine, which I cannot explain or understand, and for certain my lines from frowning soo much are all man... and yet, the other afternoon as I took my sunday stroll I noticed trees flowering, and little dogs, and today a little girl with curly brown hair almost made me cry) quia fecit mihi magna, qui potens est et sanctum nomen eius, (Because he that is mighty, hath done great things to me; and holy is his name.)
____I don't remember praying... only listening and scanning my eyes over black and white shapes. (This is not new- often when others pray, I cannot help but to play Schubert's Impromptus in my head) and then... 20 minutes? 30? I do not know. Only that when I came to, the cement ground had the unpleasant feel of dirty cement, and there was no garden but brown dirt, and my chair was coated in it, and I had been sitting on a wet bright orange towel and now my back was wet. I felt confused. In my hand I found a little purple book. I scanned through the pages and found a photograph of my dead grandfather, a little business card- on it written (in the most tasteful font imaginable):

____with the compliments of,
____the Universal House of Justice

a tattered piece of purple scrap paper with a translation of an Arabic prayer for decisions written on it. I once read it, 19 times, in the holiest spot I've found on this planet. I made a decision, then deceived myself, then paid heavily for my indecision. I am hesitant to use that spell again. Towards the back pages, small flower petals, confined to two dimensions. I notice I have a finger slipped onto that page, I take a quick glimpse. Oh. It is a time-machine I discovered about a year ago. I found, entirely by accident, that if I say:

____and cover my face in the dust of that Threshold of Thine

I will find myself in a small room, barefoot and miniature, silent and panting, on a red carpet staring at an arched room ahead of me. To my left is a small window that in the spring months lets in a draft of air that (despite my wishes) compels my body to eventually stand and walk out. (I take my finger from off the page and close the book.)

I seem to have been gone a long while. I do not remember who I am.
(He said I have a good feeling about it.) (please God)

Dear V,

I know you have no idea what I am talking about. Other than it is a story about a rock a child once threw into the sky thinking in a parabola shape it would fall back down and make a dull thud. (only that it did not, and floated on and on... through some clouds, and it got cold, and it got dark, and it got hard to breathe, and it shed its and found itself orbiting the earth
____(entirely alone,
____but not far enough away

Another night spent listening to a Brahms slow movement.
I wish I could organize this letter just as sections from music, save myself the trouble of words.

Also, I cannot understand why I am not miserable. Why, time is moving soo fast... why I believe in mermaids and goblins named Scarbo, why I believe that I have no other purpose but to learn to be human, and that I am achieving it as well as many other man might (despite everything I am losing by fighting invisible battles).

you know that feeling when you recognize somebody (from a previous life... the previousness of your same life)


There's a melody, for cello and clarinet, I am listening to it presently. Under a tree, somewhere far, a billion years ago, when God pulled my name out of a hat and blew on it to form the lines on my palms, this is what He was listening to. My soul recognizes it. It calls it home. One day, when my not.yet.babies are to fall asleep, they will dream wordless dreams made up of colors (those of their mother's eyes no doubt), and magnitude (like their father's palms holding their entire head), and emotion (which they will not manage to name) to this music.

The other day, walking under the tree, and smelling flowers I could not see and looking up to see the miracle (that stars could be blue and could hang from branches, and that I could see them in daylight), I hummed Mozart to myself, and realized: i am 25 years old. i have pushed as hard as i could, tackled every challenge, my nerves are the finger stubs of seamstresses, frayed, and hurt... and for my efforts i am no more than a meter away from the start line.
and that the scent of the flowers somehow made it... ok,
and that knowing the right Mozart adagio for the occasion made it memorable

And I am trying to accept the idea that we may not necessarily win in this (short) world of God.

Best Regards,

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Sunday Stroll (a notapoem)

it is not too warm
a shade of lemon I can manage-
____all halos, no glare.
there are clouds in the sky-
____which calms me.
____(hello up there. when i was a child
____in an air-o-plane i fell in love with you)

I walked, walk, and will walk.
there is no where to be,
____everywhere to go.

I clutch to my chest:
____- poetry
____- blank pages
____- black pen
using them as a dam.

this walk is about:
____- managing fear
____- confining hope
____- releasing faith
____- defending the hours

(I stop almost-about-to-crying)

I am soo beautiful;
I match this life perfectly:
____unslept eyes, trembling fingers, dry lips and all.

(and each hour is eternal)
(and I shed hairs as I walk till I am one of them)

Tabula Rasa; Concerto for 2 Violins and Prepared-Piano by Arvo Part


It's a slowing of time, of distance dissolving
____I thought it's a love song?
That's what I said.
____and a merging of memories into man?
and two violins into souls speaking
____(no words needed

____And the melody climbs in thirds.
(since falling in love is like climbing a cloud)
look around you, we're already floating
____(and my body is a hand holding a string,
____and my soul a kite floating too high to be seen.
____(or beyond)
Paris in Spring?
____(or beyond)
A yellow couch in a desert?

Someone said it's a cleaning of. clearing of. renewal of.
____I thought it's a love song?
That's what I said.
____And a merging of sorrows into man?
and two violins into mountains during an earthquake
____(two strings are soo loud)

____And each repeat the notes are longer: crotchets now minims
(since falling in love is like freezing
____(like being a tree?
(what could be better?
____(of clouds coming apart:
____open your mouth,
____I can taste the flight of birds,
____the ascent of spirits
(the arrows of cupids)

____ssshhh. it's only whispers now.

[the rest whispered]

It's a forgiveness of words, a conclusion to history.
____I thought it's a love song?
That's what I said.
____(the formation of future)
(a spell cast on infinity)
____(a dream heard in the wind)
(silence at last)
____(I thought it's a love song?)


Friday, June 13, 2008


a near perfect loneliest ant colony substraction routine inevitably ending in the Spring of our malcontent;__And we, (in it) clinging still -> forever to all we wished we'd known no-sooner than knew (from the moment after having failed: crap! (eureka!)(oh!... tthhaatt'ss why))(a moment prior having perfect unexpectation of it: failure) (all the while shouting at the top of my pancreas what Night had said to me (alone)(whispered)(untranslateable) and ever soo sad in knowing the world's its own gift and i failed mine to oblivion:

_________________what the fu*& am i doing?




mona, mar, you're in every heaven i've ever known.

my soul is B and C naturals pressed together softly,

gol: i'm pushing stars around to match your freckles

jinab's painting my father should have.

(the story of how i came to have jinab's painting)

[flipping through stack of recent paintings done on paper. One catches my attention; it is monotone brown, like a too-early-teethed crack-baby Autumn being born scratching and crying resembling the hide of a bear, the dust of a Neanderthal cave, or the bark of an abused tree. The variations are subtle, the coloring sophisticated, the expression perfectly nuanced]

Q_ oh wow
J_ you like this one?
Q_ oh yes
J_ no one else has noticed it
Q_ frankly, i'm impressed. i love the painting, but i didn't know you had this much of a dark side to you.
J_ hey kid, i grew up listening to Britten's cello symphony
Q_ (rostropovich soloist?)
J_ (is that the one with Britten conducting?)
Q_ (yes)
J_ (that's the one)
Q_ ... but look at this jinab! it's so...
J_ everyone says to me it's brown and boring
Q_ dynamic! such movement to it... these scratches... the labor of autumn.
J_ poet are we?
Q_ call yourself a painter do ya?
J_ i want you to have this.
Q_ for shizzle?
J_ of course. I've never given you a painting, I want this one to be yours.
Q_ i'd be honored sir.
J_ i hate it when you call me sir.
Q_ sign the painting old man
J_ (that's more like it

i have never had a home to hang it up in. whenever i was at my mom's house, i'd go sit in the garage and look at the brown cardboard box it's wrapped up in. i'm sorry painting... you deserve better. i have failed all art.


my epitaph should read:
in any case, he tried.

anjali, i'll always be honored
my poem was pinned up at your desk.

dear God:
leave the pearly gate unlocked,
before i'm done I need to
__- sit by the lake at Flinders University and read Prufrock
__- kiss liplessly
__- walk feetlessly the path at Hallett Cove in spring with the daffodils
__- pray at my dirt-scented mound
__- (leave a penny-tip for the haloed fairy man)
(i'll shut it behind me)

_ _ _ _ _:
you taught me love.
nothing else matters.

gravity, i beat you you fu&*er

tamtam, i remember most the beach,
and the iceacream,
and the slight awkwardness of it,
and i kissed you first that late-sungold-afternoon
in my car in front of your house.
you are such sweet history.

sahar, you have my heart:
grow roses (it must be roses they're your favorite)
on your brother's dirt,
when they sprout they will each be my heart for you.

_ _ _ & _ _ _,
there are moments you do not notice,
i think: you will one day pay dearly for the way you just made me feel.
i wish you'd notice.

wonderful, i can fit in the space between the horizon
and the ocean.
i sound like the tide.
i can be touched as clouds.

v, i'll kiss into your dreams
eskimo-black hair, the silence of flower petals detaching,
shadows calming grass,
the eyes of cats,
the perfection of certainty.
it will be everything you.we are.weren't.was.never.

i believe death sounds
like Shostakovich's 2nd piano concerto andante.

eman, thanks for saying hi.
you altered an entire universe.

i lied.
(i never knew a single solid thing)

i failed.
(i never knew what the game was)

i'm happy.

ashtree: in a sandcastle,
by a beach,__besides a too.cold river,
under a sunken waterfall,
a firefly kissed a little girl's cheek,
she smiled and her eyes grew green,
her hair became autumn's leaves,
she became magic,
and she smiled at me.

breathe deep,
i have eyes to navigate your darks now.
(i'll beat your heart for you,
and sprinkle your dreams with winter feathers,

i am all summer,
all passion,
life was the piano keys (which was the chess board)(the zebra skin)(the noth(every)thing)
and now i am the rainbow.

an elusive answer drops lead-weighted from the fingertips of a hand i've never seen

exploding dog

The answer I could not give, to a question I could not ask was recently handed to me... I will quote her words, since invisible people I do not know, never have met in person, have my answers. Perhaps the night takes my soul from off its leash, and my soul finds dimly lit stars to drink tea by with other cavalier spirits, lost angels, and unforgiven sinners.

So this is the true answer to that question: I came to be here because I had no where else to go and I had everywhere else to go. I stayed here because I could have gone anywhere in the world and I was too scared to even think about that. Fear fills me. I fear staying here forever and fear going anywhere else. I am tired. I have no reason to be tired. I am too young to be tired. But I am tired. I am tired of being here. Everyday I think about leaving but I don't know how. I don't really want to be anywhere. I don't want to be in a place that has a name and people who belong there. I don't want to belong anywhere and yet I long to belong somewhere. anywhere. Contradictions fill my head and paralyze me (because I am at the very same time... really quite happy).
Monday's Child.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

the Prelude to Parsifal makes me believe in magic

Hail, holy Queen, Mother of Mercy,
our life, our sweetness and our hope.
To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve;
to thee do we send up our sighs,
mourning and weeping in this vale of tears.

Turn then, most gracious advocate,
thine eyes of mercy toward us;
and after this our exile,
show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.


i find myself lying here late at night, listening to Part's arrangement of the Salve Regina; it is the third night in a row. Having nothing to write about, struggling for ideas, being too frightened to 'open-up' here (for what reason I do not know), I will pass the time by compiling aimless lists.


- In hindsight, I must have been tiny, though no less than 13 years of age. I had turned myself around in the backseat- head dangling, feet up in the air, the back windshield massive as the nightsky itself. I stared out. My dad drove too fast, no doubt restless, now our fourth hour on the road; made no difference. Soo many moons I couldn't spot a star from an angel blowing me a kiss. Bach was blasting, the Toccata and Fugue in D minor. Somehow, it seemed the organ had brought them all to life- souls and cherubims and fairies and fireflies all being drawn out from darkless, fingertipless worlds. My dad took a chicane quickly, and I was certain I saw a beam- once a lost-prophet with a staff and a patient beard, now encapsulated (staff, herd, faith and all) into a ball of light soo far away it took innocent youth, pipe-organ, and the speed of sound to awaken him into a dim glow. The trees nodded as we passed. The wind followed the echo. The breast of night met us, and took us, and showed us where she hid her fantasies.
(my soul had a sexless orgasm at the last chords, and the next morning i was a new teenage-man)


it had been a stupid idea. let's go to the drive-ins! __yes... but we're... like 18. ___so? ___so... it kinda stops being fun after a while. ____ no it doesn't!, it'll be fun! ___fine, whatever, you guys wanna go- let's go. How many of us are there? ___8. We lost one car along the way, we couldn't find the entrance, and they got bored. Two of their members came into our 5-full station wagon (now 7-full). We found the drive in. Laughed and giggled and cleavaged our way into admission (the car being clearly too-full). My neck contorted, my lungs not yet knew how to breathe carbon-dioxide (a feat I'd only achieve 6 years later). In the back seat all squashed together, I felt a strange sexuality to it... too many bodies unnaturally close. The femininity of youth startling me, so close already I was tempted to rub my lips against whatever skin lay nearest me. Someone turned, a pillow landed in my face. I moved it behind my neck (which would tomorrow be sore). Now, again, my lips to bare skin (I think it was a shoulder, or the back of an arm, a tricep).

youth is its own torture.


"it hasn't kicked in for me"
"yes it has."
"no it hasn't"
"it has"
"how do you know?"
"kiss me"
"[panting] no."
[more kissing]
"look at your eyes"
[adjusts rear view mirror]

(open mouthed, wide eyed, dry-lipped, we kissed and were each other's water, company, and hand-holding machine.)
(open mouth, dilated eyes, happy(iest) hearted (i've ever been) we skipped the dance. in a dark alleyway we kissed and held-hands, and i made words dance as i whispered them in your ear)
(open mouthed, still too young to know i was young, i should have wrapped you up, stepped out onto some grass, and dug my feet as roots deep under... made tree of us both. saved us both from now)


there is too much yelling.
stab-motion noises. i am not involved, but my heart speeds up anyway.
i cannot breathe, the window is up.
i cannot ask for it to be lowered.
i sit, stare out the window,
wait to catchup with the me i'm supposed to be... (and where i'm supposed to be)

____(and still wait


i was told recently: i am a man.boy of my generation. i am not sure what that really means- which perhaps must be a sign of what my generation is about. i cannot think of any single goal i have striven for assiduously, except to be human; a task which i imagine myself mostly having failed (and failing now), and since i will inevitably die- it is certain i will fail in the future.

and so if i am a man of my generation, my generation is that of confusion... and of strivings that are not completely understood. I find myself always between love, time, place, and the history of love, time, or place (and never anywhere) (and most of the time, any real where will do just fine)


it was not uncommon to call you. You're who i rang at the end of the night, if i had not (and you had not) found a replacement panacea.

"oh really?... wow, you're into this for once, what's happened?"
"[xyz and i broke up and i'm broken hearted and i don't know why i'm here]"
"hey- say something."
"nothing... nothing, just feeling it."
"you sure nothing's wrong?"
"[smile] ok, let's have some fun"

And pray to God to have mercy upon us
And pray that I may forget
These matters that with myself I too much discuss
Too much explain
Because I do not hope to turn again
Let these words answer
For what is done, not to be done again
May the judgement not be too heavy upon us
____Ash Wednesday, T.S. Eliot


dear this-generation,

i haven't a clue about you. nor i gather, you about i.

what do you want?

best regards,
senseless organic-macromolecules being controlled by semi-arbitrary electrical impulses being fired at near-random by a fatty-tissue blob of grey jigglies.


(to thee do we send our sighs)
(to thee do we send our sighs)
(to thee do we send our sighs)
(to thee do we send our sighs)


___the Prelude to Parsifal makes me believe in magic

(so i guess i'll let myself be woken up tomorrow.


(And let my cry come unto Thee.)