Jill Soloway

mechanical arm
lowers raises
capable

wavy red hair pink skin
dry brown desert crunch so
what? sliced blue cow the transforming
grill blanket warm skin so
what if you’re wrong?

now you want to make art
with cacti shriveling in the
sunset? that’s the worst
thing you could have said

what do you do with a want
who’s abandoned? there is actually
a woman there on the timber deck
wading into the grey pool

obvious
the waves
peeling back
into the ocean

to contain myself
again what if i
refused i
refuse

Personal Poem

personalpoem1

“I weep for all of these or laugh.” Ted Berrigan

i meant to say something about light
i raze light not your light and
not artificial light    what of the artificial then?
an ungainly freudian monolith
gargantuan simple fleshy    constructed
of shit found in the tv street    about light

input output welding welded expository writing    damaged categoricals
empathy    but     there's always a corollary-but with men
who lick their long waisted fingers    clean of light
let's not talk of chivalry or boyhood    manhood    let's don't mention
one's compensation for time lost
    while mistakenly incarcerated
me daffodil lazy under laundered blanket   you baseless and imaginary

i meant to say something to you about lightness in chaos
clutter razes light not your lightness   aloof
a poof    proof of what makes one    the fleet-footed slave of truth
i meant to say something outloud    but i sank into the ocean    to you
with the rowers and singing maidens and maidenchasers
and the mist which unnoticed        by anyone not me    unmoored
    flares eternal
guides the way home

spacer1
Source: Berrigan, Ted. “Words for Love.” An Anthology of New York Poets, edited by Ron Padgett and David Shapiro. Random House, New York, 1970, p. 61.

Pink Teeth

Wikipedia Poem, No. 464

rain falling out of the house
sparrow who swallows
river rushes an aluminum easy

noon rain falling out of the sky
planes and birds horizontal
the sky horizontal too the house grey

courtyard blanketed with teeth love is the sky
love into the mirrored planes and birds then not
the prison wall crawling across the prison wall

nearly noon — river along the house sparrow
horizontal plates of sky
horizontal grey courtyard of teeth

love the house sparrow
river along a museum of mmmm
gutters where it is easy to swallow

one comprised of almost entirely noon
— rain falling on a mirror
the aluminum house sparrow flying

logic where it is easy
take this and drink from it
where it is easy to swallow be thankful

to ra love slips down
a honey-colored sundres
one’s not then sky

nearly noon — let it fall
river
along gutter

where is the sky?
bees and birds into the sun
the house sparrow dead

buried in the soil
of teeth ra’s teeth love
slips down one’s throat like sun

three grey days in a row
a river along for the ride
take this and swallow

one painted with teeth
suddenly a single pink tooth
nearly noon then

“To Psychoanalysis” by Kenneth Koch

I took the Lexington Avenue subway
To arrive at you in your glory days
Of the Nineteen Fifties when we believed
That you could solve any problem
And I had nothing but disdain
For “self-analysis” “group analysis” “Jungian analysis”
“Adlerian analysis” the Karen Horney kind
All—other than you, pure Freudian type—
Despicable and never to be mine!
I would lie down according to your
Dictates but not go to sleep.
I would free-associate. I would say whatever
Came into my head. Great
Troops of animals floated through
And certain characters like Picasso and Einstein
Whatever came into my head or my heart
Through reading or thinking or talking
Came forward once again in you. I took voyages
Down deep unconscious rivers, fell through fields,
Cleft rocks, went on through hurricanes and volcanoes.
Ruined cities were as nothing to me
In my fantastic advancing. I recovered epochs,
Gold of former ages that melted in my hands
And became toothpaste or hazy vanished citadels. I dreamed
Exclusively for you. I was told not to make important decisions.
This was perfect. I never wanted to. On the Har-Tru surface of my emotions
Your ideas sank in so I could play again.
But something was happening. You gave me an ideal
Of conversation—entirely about me
But including almost everything else in the world.
But this wasn’t poetry it was something else.
After two years of spending time in you
Years in which I gave my best thoughts to you
And always felt you infiltrating and invigorating my feelings
Two years at five days a week, I had to give you up.
It wasn’t my idea. “I think you are nearly through,”
Dr. Loewenstein said. “You seem much better.” But, Light!
Comedy! Tragedy! Energy! Science! Balance! Breath!
I didn’t want to leave you. I cried. I sat up.
I stood up. I lay back down. I sat. I said
But I still get sore throats and have hay fever.
“And some day you are going to die. We can’t cure everything.”
Psychoanalysis! I stood up like someone covered with light
As with paint, and said Thank you.
It was only one moment in a life, my leaving you.
But once I walked out, I could never think of anything seriously
For fifteen years without also thinking of you. Now what have we become?
You look the same, but now you are a past You.
That’s Fifties clothing you’re wearing. You have some Fifties ideas
Left—about sex, for example. What shall we do? Go walking?
We’re liable to have a slightly frumpy look,
But probably no one will notice—another something I didn’t know then.

paculum-spec2-sm

Source:

Koch, Kenneth. The Collected Poems of Kenneth Koch. New York: Knopf, 2007. Print, p. 609.

“Stray Beast” by Sarah Jean Grimm

C90xrNWW0AEmUdQ

I cannot recommend highly enough Sarah Jean Grimm‘s “Soft Focus” from Metatron out of Montreal. The poem above grabbed me by the throat. I still have the finger marks from last night’s reading. Buy the book (might I suggest the entire Spring 2017 catalog?) and support great, living poets.

Forbidden Planet with Drooping Almonds

Wikipedia Poem, No. 448

white-hyacinth-with-ant

pupils big 
as street lamps
warming up
      
an 
attack 
of white iron radiator hiss 
father by the ramparts
that bed remember
beside a white work truck 
       his bed
inside the white iron radiator 
       his left earlobe 
  — 
  
tall 
        field
that rampart
               save 
       mending 
    in forbidden planet
      with almonds 
drooping 
    
an albino peacock over a 
small 
         sweet lamp
warming his father's 
        long 

their 
bed
beside the white work truck 
one hit 
of cedarview avenue please

behind the suburburating forbidden planet
       with almonds 
drooping 
      for 
black holes 

near station square and 
          elian gonzalez

          like diogenes' razor-cut baseball fields the 
pigeons 
and buskers take what they are given

and smile

arguing 
in their bed
beside 
     the white iron radiator 
his father's 
long 
white work truck tells me 
         one 
  hit 
    of bart 
simpson acid 

      — $8
          
      hours later
       nyu 
and extensively 
freckled

downtown traffic
masturbating 
     into 
        catcalling 
father's 
  long white 
iron radiator his
      left earlobe — 
tall 
sweet lamps
     warming 
  an 
      exotic
species mending 
over a 
      small 
field
that 
      abuts 
pigeons and overwhelming my maturity overwhelming 

in his bed
beside whiteness
stone-cut blondeness

      hair 
gelled up to an
         insignificant 
     slope
the pigeons 
        overwhelming are not validated by their quantity but rather 
      long 
   white 
iron radiators of their 
  fathers 
    
   long white 
     pupils big 
as big 
street 
lamps
warming 
overwhelming into catcalls
   
scott pulls me 
   one 
    hit 
          of weird whiteness
      stone-cut blonde
         
hair gelled into his 
   left earlobe — 

      a tall field
of rather
      long 
whiteness dotted 
with elian gonzalez
          
      or masturbing the size of an insignificant slope
     at the pigeons and extensively freckled up 

         albino peacock glassine overwhelming 
albino peacock
          glassine over a 
          small suburban-side 
  hit of bart simpson 
      acid 
       
     — $8

    college freshmen 
        and 
        albino peacocks glassine 
         overwhelming in his 
          left ear — lobes of
    tall stone
      that 
abut the palatial valley
at their bedside of white 
iron radiator hiss
they save me 
one 
hit at a time
an 
  attack of whiteness
    a jello-cut baseball sweet lamps
        warming 
       
         for 
      black of weird white 
iron 
      his father's 
      long whiteness
      stone-cut blonde
  
hair gelled 
up 
like an albino peacock
glassine over 
the small field
that ramparts
         they save money 
by drooping 
       in 
   their beds
beside 
one hit of white
pupils big 
       as big as street lamps
warm      
          
the pigeons above and 
my 
      maturing in his 
left 
    earlobe — 

tall fields
mend ramparts
       
        drooping 
        not of this valley
at 
   the pigeons on the white 
iron radiator in his father's
white work truck

Wikipedia Poem, No. 377

wiki377

down?   the sky is   not a catalog, an inventory,   a          litany; it is 
sent up for grating?           vision    touches blue bore and     flake moon   
cloud or men in a rush against god no, against       god        no, against god       
no, against god no, against god no, again, this is how         i am like a 
grater? what           comes down?    the sky like a grater.         what comes 
down. what comes down?        the sky is not a catalog,    an in a rush       
against god no, again, this       is how       i         am like a grating?       
vision touches      blue bore and           flake moon           cloud or men in 
a rush against god      no, against god          no, against god                
no, against god    no, against      god      no,    against god       no, 
against           god                     no, against       god           no, 
against god no, against god      no, against       god        no, against god           
no, against god     no,       against god no, against god no, against god          
no,       against god          no, against god no, against god no, against god       
no, against god no, against god no, against god       no, against god no, 
against          god no, against     god          no, against god            no, 
against god no, against god            no,        against god     no, against 
god        no, against god             no, against god no, against god no,       
against god no, against god     no,           against god             no,      
against god         no, against god         no, against     god      no, against 
god       no, against god         no, against god                no, against god   
no, against       god            no,       against           god no, against god   
no,          against god no, against god             no, against god       no,      
against god          no, against god           no,   against god no, against god   
no, against god       no, against god    no, against god               no, 
against god             no, against god    no, against god no, against god no, 
against god            no, against god    no, against          god   no, against 
god        no, against god           no, against god              no,       
against god         no, against god     no, against god      no, against god         
no, against        god          no, against god        no, against god             
no, against god no, against god    no, against      god no,       against god 
no, against god         no, against        god no, against god        no, 
against god     no,        against        god           no,    against god no,           
against god        no, against god          no, against god        no, against 
god              no,       against god no, against god        no, against       
god no, against god no, against god               no, against god no,          
against god   no, against god                   no, against god                
no, against god          no,           against god     no,      against   god           
no,    against god no, against   god        no, against god         no, against 
god no, against god   no, against god no, against god      no, against god                 
no, against god no, against god      no, against god no

Wikipedia Poem, No. 376

wiki376-sm

“that sticky infusion, that rank flavor of blood, that poetry” Galway Kinnell

 

of
sizzle—her innards
disposed of
meaning sow
plated for
a child
in the hourglass
faces
down thin
strips of sizzle—her innards
disposed of
meaning to letter law

it is passionate play that is passionate
play that is passionate
play the comprise of
choices

it is
cold
here—stuck through
with the bear—

that is cold
there—stuck
through
the hourglass
faces
down
there—stuck through
with
the
101st

airborne the 101st
airborne the fisher’s net the ribbon-winning of sizzle—innards
disposed
of
meaning of trumpet the
emergency room doctor’s

red ribbon-winning of choices

is
it cold
here

Wikipedia Poem, No. 347

wiki347-final-sm

“The lobsters in the pot are screaming / Inside the reddening roar. / Your aproned ghost keeps boiling more, keeps boiling more, / And turns to serve the gore.” Frederick Seidel

 

to
quarter
the weather

hence
quarter
the hull of the ship

a nautical order
keeps weather
a distant blip

apart aloof a gage
of windy thrusts
keeps the quartered slip

quartered further against
the gage of rain
from gagging grip

inversion* of “Sexualizing Picasso on the Cross”

 

Codger, old maid or bone-dry instep, a stagnant silence over cloud
Interior remains sneaking under—yes, me, yes, my polite
Infertility—uncooked acedia, never invulnerable frost
Protects a circle-bare sky or dank reverie of useless yttrium
Yields free under these asses, cool, must remain.

paculum-spec2-sm

*here, an inversion is a poetic exercise in which one takes a poem (or some portion of a poem) and reforms each word, image or concept into an opposite. so, plainly, black may become white, water morphs into a photograph, or (in the above example) brimstone transubstantiates by way of the mirror to scaly, despairing yttrium, and so on. one must strip away the limits of reason: black does not need to become white, etc. there is no 1:1 relationship in the practice, and, frankly, anything goes: the platypus has no pure opposite. to apply an inversion on a word is usually a trifle, a line can be more difficult. still harder, a stanza or an entire poem as singular unit for reform. one should first thoroughly grasp connotation, denotation, implication, tone, musicality, color, volume, breath, etc., before one is able to charge ahead. the inversion is particularly helpful as an exercise to help break through writer’s block.

above, is an inversion of a work in progress called “Sexualizing Picasso on the Cross”