Poem after Personals in The New York Review of Books (Soumettre à une Interrogation)

Wikipedia Poem, No. 798


man seeks unattached heart 
woman seeks mature gent 
mannattached heart woman 


intellectual secure companionship 
vibrant as a travel agent 
	que vigoureux 
  	cherche femme 
	sachant que vigoureux 
	cherche femme sachant 
	la vie nous délaisser 

for relationship 
for travel 
for heat 
	que vigoureux chercheur 
	femme sachant que vigoureux cherche 
	femme sachant que vigoureux 
	femme sachant 
	que vigoureux cherche femme 
	sachant la vie délaisser

active kind 
	avocat new yorkais 
	soixante dix 

ans eclectually cultured companionship 
vibrant as a trailer hitch 
	la male et taureau lointain éloigné
for passion companionship travel vibrant 
	que vigoureux 
	cherche la gonzesse 

la la la
	whoa whoa whoa
		la vie nous quitte

Here Is Where I Put My Mouth: Munching on the Avant-Garde

Wikipedia Poem, No. 610


“Writing is the joy when all other joys have failed.” Russell Edson

superfood and the rack     what happened?        
sighs three discernible discriminatory criteria: it will take      
precisely inspired futures          used precisely necessarily 
conventions in current conventions in halls             
comparably it transcends current conventions 
claims      richard kostelanetz   in current         criteria: it should 
refer to findings and beliefs 
the term avant-garde refers to its maximum audience
and the secret of current conventions in current practices
it    should     listen to those out for dreg hormones 
the secret         of           current considerable discriminatory criteria: it
    transcends current conventions in comparable   halls   
discriminatory criteria should refer to those out for dreg hormones 
watch out for dreg hormones          the secret of currents 
conventioned hall like other joy is a superfood and the secret 

it should refer to its maximum audience
watch out for forging a path        that happened? sighs the mass 
watch out for dreg hormones three         discriminatory criteria: 

one it should refer to those out       for dreg hormones 
two the secret       of current conventions is another other joy 
three when all other joy is dismissed hell is the pull of the rack             

what happened? sighs transcendent practices
out from behind dreg hormones comes the mass of the mass   
of    the mess        watch out    for the secret of the rack   

what happened? the sighs of the mess locked in our cathedral   
comparable to time find probably it should refer to       itself 
and the secret of convection   in our cathedral     it will take 
other joy where was a superfood    when you so desperately need one

Impossible Numbers

Wikipedia Poem, No. 418


after Vijay Seshadri

and numbers
no matter how abstract
laced together
in a ceramic bowl

an implication of angels
argue about 3 green apples
in an old lady’s outstretched hands
the numb plain makes no sense


in a cracked ceramic bowl
clearly the old lady and the victim
language sunlesions real flesh
strugges to become impossible
numbers punish its argument
3 brown dates drown in scree
neon tulips green apples

“The Summer’s Over, Jack Spicer!” by Matthew Dickman

And Paris, France,
is still Paris, France,
though we've never been there together
but might
if life were a little longer
and no one ever invented knives.
I am crossing the bridge again
and the city is behind me being rescued
or being destroyed 
with a leaf on the end of a branch
turning maple-syrup brown. 
The first one. The summer's over,
Jack Spicer, and I 
have turned my collar up against the wind
and health insurance, the clouds
and blue jays, against the gangbangers
and insufficient funds. It's getting colder.
We're turning from wheat beers to Stouts, becoming
our fathers again, our exhausted
uncles, bruising our knuckles
against the tavern walls
and young mothers, we're showing
up for work, we're blessing 
the promise of ice and snow and football to come
like the Israelites did with the sand, 
the gold, and the insects.
It's raining, Jack Spicer, and I miss
Matthew Lippman. He's walking 
through an alley in Boston,
his beautiful hands and shoulders, his wife and daughter
at home. His heart beating up 
his body like a heavyweight, the nose broken,
the ribs broken—
I'm not ready!
Kiss me, take your legs and make a belt
of stars around me,
be my winter coat, my sobriety and bodega.
The oceans are getting blue
and the oysters are getting ready. Soon
we can cover the table with newspapers, with the faces
of senators and crossword puzzles,
the oysters
spread out over the sports page,
we can open the hard shells
and slip the cold
soft bodies into our mouths. We can drink
white wine and make a kind of Pacific 
out of lunch. I want to lie around 
the room with your jeans 
flung over a chair. I want to eat ice cream
and have my older brother back.
The summer's over, Jack,
and all the waitresses
are putting on their black tights like a funeral
of knees, the bartenders are wiping down the brass, the waiters are drawing out 
their lines of cocaine
like long strings of silk, pure white and perfect.
I have crossed the bridge
into a Paris that doesn't exist. Really,
I'm in Portland,
the summer's over and the last of the breweries
are being pulled into the sky, becoming
lofts, getting roof-top gardens for surgeons and all their beautiful brides.

From Matthew Dickman’s “Mayakovsky’s Revolver”

Study of van Gogh’s Roses

Now his

“To Giovanni da Pistoia When the Author Was Painting the Vault of the Sistine Chapel, 1509”

I have already grown a goiter in this drudgery—
As water does to cats in Lombardy,
Or in whatever other region it may be—
Which forces my belly to hang under my chin.
I feel my beard skyward, and memory
On top of my coffer,and my chest like a harpy’s;
And on my face all the while the brush
With its dripping makes a rich pavement.

My loins have entered my paunch,
And I turn my arse into a croup for a counterweight,
And I take steps vainly without my eyes.
My bark stretches out in front,
And from wrinkling in back, is all knotted,
And I strain like a Syrian bow.

Thus fallacious and strange
Rises the judgment which my mind carries;
For one shoots badly through a crooked blowpipe.

My dead painting
Defend now, Giovanni, and my honor,
For I am not in a good place, nor am I a painter.

— Michelangelo Buonarroti (1509)
Translation by Luciano Rebay

“A Giovanni da Pistoia quando l’autore dipingeva la volta della Sistina, 1509”

I' ho già fatto un gozzo in questo stento,
come fa l'acqua a' gatti in Lombardia
o ver d'altro paese che si sia
c'a forza 'l ventre appicca sotto 'l mento.   
La barba al cielo, e la memoria sento
in sullo scrigno, e 'l petto fo d'arpia,
e 'l pennel sopra 'l viso tuttavia
mel fa, gocciando, un ricco pavimento. 
E' lombi entrati mi son nella peccia,
e fo del cul per contrapeso groppa,
e ' passi senza gli occhi muovo invano.      
Dinanzi mi s'allunga la corteccia,
e per piegarsi adietro si ragroppa,
e tendomi com'arco soriano.                  

Però fallace e strano
surge il iudizio che la mente porta,
ché mal si tra' per cerbottana torta.        

La mia pittura morta
difendi orma', Giovanni, e 'l mio onore,
non sendo in loco bon, né io pittore. 

— Michelangelo Buonarroti (1509)