Boulder Ghost Tour
Because I want to see ghosts,
I pass the two rooms in this hotel that are said to be haunted.
I want to see the filmy image, at the end of the hall, holding a bony finger to his lips
Telling me I’ve said enough and now is the time to listen;
Or the little girl with a twisted smile on a twisted head
Standing in a doorway inviting me in
Because there are things I need to see.
But there’s nothing but closed doors and a maid with a good morning smile. Continue reading
Out in the open between the two willows unshaven
a little too lean for song
coffee for dinner last night cigarettes the night before
he strains to see what I load
and I strain back so as to record him for the telling
posing myself in mid-air Hefty bag stretched tight
cans and bottles returnable harvest at ten cents a shot
nothing to sneeze at he nods
_____ Continue reading
- for my father
Flowers are the only things we can cut
away from a body, put in water,
and watch open slowly.
Today the subway is blasted full
by bouquets smearing their tongues on cheeks
and brushing against buttons to be pushed
only in emergency.
Imagine the vases, the arms,
crooked, black, yellow, young,
they are going to. Continue reading
It’s not that I don’t like the kids
just that I crave respite from the clutter and crash
of toy tractors and trains, trucks shunting
from one junction of the sitting-room to another.
It’s not that I don’t like you browsing
the web on your laptop, switching from gifts
for your family to documentaries about
bottled water, and breast ironing in Cameroon. Continue reading
Come with me. Through crazed,
Embroidered webbing of night, come.
Without your aid I am useless. I need
To gallop past lips red and hungry, dripping potions.
I move in shame and stumbling;
Give me your holy dance. Light the flagstones,
One by one, flowering in praying light.
The night is weeping worms
And you must choose my steps: Continue reading
Painting on Papyrus
The blue feathered ibis
is a symbol of immortality;
the crescent-shaped lotus flowers,
symbols of immortality;
even the goggle-eyed asp
who sheds his skin,
Man went to the moon
Never asked what she wanted
Man drove his rocket straight into the Moon
She turned her face away
And let it happen
Because it was simpler
He didn’t make it easy
He did a victory dance
Bounding like a child,
Like an ape howling into a vacuum Continue reading
One fifth of humanity was marching into Portugal.
It was bringing with it
large barrels of its family’s familiar salt.
It tried to place one of the barrels
at one end
of a seesaw that was no longer capable of being fixed.
I knew, because I was at the other end of the seesaw.
I was asking the wind why it didn’t want my signature included.
I was passing out chocolate to anyone who could speak. Continue reading
Drag your white skull beyond blind seas
that tumble dazed to your mono-eyed magic.
Go tell Neptune when the night is through.
Charm him, too, with your waxing and waning. Continue reading
If I had read the instructions more clearly, these photographs would have gotten me into the photography program at the Yale University School of Art. But, like an idiot, I submitted this portfolio in print form rather than on 35mm slides as was required. Anyway, long story short: I didn’t get into Yale, though I did come close. Damned instructions.
Anyway, what you are about to read and view are poems and photographs I created while living in Tokyo in 1987 and 1988. The words were not specifically written for the images, but I paired each piece of text with each photo as a kind of experiment which I thought ended up working. You will note that all the photos are of Japanese drunks and homeless people. I was not on a social crusade, as I might be today. I was merely out to document an aspect of Japanese society which I could not believe existed. And it still exists, as my wife and I discovered during our trip to Tokyo in 2008. There are still tons of dispossessed in Ueno Park, for example. Continue reading
Impelled toward vigor,
we’re demeaned by violence,
by nihilistic philistinism,
by wishful mysticism,
by competing mythologies
of those who cooperate only to copulate,
by individuality stifled with surveillance
and the cynical fratricide of civil war. Continue reading
Foggy brick streets
-red brick that is-
dredged from the bottom of a murky river
which has seen things sink
other didn’t want to be seen,
And who is she to tell until her sediment is exposed?
That red brick stands for time
and age, Continue reading
by Hamish Mack
We walk down to the estuary,
raising clouds of insects,
like smoke, with our feet.
We look for clues,
in the sky, or on the water
as to what has happened to us. Continue reading
“We choose … to do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.”
– JFK’s moon speech, 1962
He snaps off the transistor
voice, choosing the hard things,
more concerned with politics in hand:
the rigged feel of a borrowed
boat, the smile on a borrowed wife –
This song is not for the shivering sleepless child
huddled in a cardboard box above a restless alley
watching a smog-orange midnight sky
through the rusted bars of a fire escape
praying no monster climbs up and tries to take her.
No, I dedicate this song to you, Architeuthis.
You have not stumbled and fumbled with words,
never trembled in the face of meaninglessness.
Let the lines of this song become tentacles.
Let them draw meaning out of you
and ever closer to my eager snapping beak.
"Marilyn Manson Talks About Lewis Carroll"
by Ron Riekki
cobweb tattoo, alice is never described as a blonde, hair like a pet, nine light bulbs, eyes sent to jail, a
recipe for schizophrenic—and at the time—aphasia, black, arterial bleed lips, wires, it’s very raw,
innocence demons, I have to scratch my groin while listening, calm calculated kind
Emma, Who Stabbed Her Right Eye
by John Grey
They came for the
sight in your right eye
when the ones
who could have protected you
were busy elsewhere
reading or watching television
or staring out the window. Continue reading
- Club 1350, Long Beach, California
Tonight I want to go to hell, I want
to know there are Hearts more rock
than the granite in me. Down
Anaheim Street, the yellow dandelion street lights
spread more sparingly in the rear view,
the city reaches—like a garden
of hungry blossoms and weeds—to me. Continue reading
The Mathematics of Sin
the time I did not turn the other cheek
the time I fought an unjust war against
a herd of vampire bats in suits and ties
the time I said, “The Devil is an ass”
the time I lied like the Egyptian midwives lied
the time I stole to study poetry
the rainy night I rested in your arms Continue reading
by Sara Backer
Global warming keeps them awake,
sweating between hot cotton sheets,
asking themselves have they turned off
the heater, oven, iron, and coffee pot?
Her hair spray and his shaving cream
that used to flirt in whispers
now hiss and hasten armageddon. Continue reading