March 18, 2003
Michael Lally
Libellum 2004

Commemorating the day before the start-up to the second US invasion of Iraq, nostalgia for the white rap movement that used to be New Jersey Irish, now generically blue-state American, post-9/11. Recollections of a "doo wop quartet" that Lally hung out with, "pale-faced budding Irish alcoholics," of a felonious William Casey at CIA, Al Qaeda's early paymaster, of Nazi-lover Pappy Joseph Kennedy, the Ambassador to the Court promised to Prince Charles, who as Lally defensively observes, looks like his cousin George W, "with same shaped faces and big ears ... thin-lipped superior smirks." Targets everywhere, Volkswagen, CDs, DVDs, The New Yorker, Ronald Reagan's remembering war scenes in movies "as if they really happened," IBM, Lally's own court martial in 1962, the Catholic priesthood. Past and present, call and response -- it all comes together a little more smoothly than the sentiment it would excite. An obit to the New Jersey ethnic sojourn. It's a good thing.

Dodie Bellamy
Tender Buttons 2001

Collaging is not all that rueful, as we know, and these days with super graphics editors and shouting heads to punch up rib-breaking pastiche, anyone can start a number-one news channel, as Roger ("fuck your brain") Ailes knows. The brownshirts in fact enjoy total command of the cool technologies, they just haven't managed to shut down every leftist as hip to power as RealAudio account execs and Xbox marketers, say. Snap on, leave on, play on. Anyhow, Dodie Bellamy is a very leftist collagist who sensitizes us to the global network of sex, which by most accounts, including hers, especially, is expanding. In twenty-one short prose patches Bellamy loads her own mesh of radical élan, pill-popping, skull-squeezing, ass-hammering and, above all, totally fucking shrieking. In possession of both steaming female and thirsty male parts is a normalized condition under the influence of hermaphroditic frisson, a physics for grown-up sexuality and generative interchange connected to a writer's insight: "I'm touching the page you wrote, I'm tracing your come-font..."; "I'm still planning to fuck and speak in a public place." The cut-ups of ideas, all together, impress one as persuasive argument for a better sex trade for, you know, better living.


Disarming Matter
Edmund Berrigan
Owl Press 1999

When the family is poetry, mix-ups get optimized toward incomplete dismemberment ("Ted was five feet old when I was..."; "You got that / idea right there, O'Hara") and weedy conjecture ("oxen in the furnace"). Parlayed cliches get auto-electrocuted, "carded / & thrown out," sings he in his hand-shadowed pajamas. Violence of mock-ape proportions. Piles of thoughts from five years ago already! and the titles still don't matter ("CIRCUMSTANCE," "BREAKS," "RETURNS," "THE A STORY") to "the last high belief / in the watching angel." Mind piercing.


Wasn't planning to see Catwoman, but following Lauren Krueger, I read this and now, as they put it down at the dojo, I just don't know. Kinda wanna take the review's grammatical infelicities as paradiddle pressure, tho.
I score a 99 on Jonathan Mayhew's Aesthetic Compatibility Test, and it was easy. I didn't even have to answer the questions once I snuck a look at how to tabulate the score.The result is "a frightening prospect," since I'm almost Jonathan Mayhew. We're matched along 49 dimensions of compatibility. Our single point of disagreement is that I vastly prefer sneaked to snuck.




"You'll have my support."

I have a degree in psychology.

Liquor and nerves committed to memory.

My blogging disarmed so it reveres collectivity.

Culture and spontaneity

And the absence of hype.

Which can be a felony in some states.

Do you recognize me?

Talented, daring, numb below the neck.


E-mails unopened: "Erection for less"; "what are you missing arcade flatulent"; and "Greetings from Dr. Blanton."
Just in. The head has been found.


Summer Writing

Working on a piece of sexed-up nonfiction. It centers on the murder of a curator at the Louvre leading to a trail of clues found in Hope, Ark., and the White House and the discovery of a centuries-old secret society. There's a subplot. In the house where the former President grew up, a woman finds a humorist's essays which will change her life forever and in which an Englishwoman expounds on the use and misuse of punctuation marks. Meantime, a Trenton street gang puts out a hit on the bounty hunter and professional wrestler known as Nature Boy. So Princeton students who are trying to unravel the mysteries of the text become ensnared in the murderous intrigue.

All the while a noted satirist and friend of the President recalls his decades-long friendship with an English Benedictine monk, recollecting the romance between the editor in chief of a New York fashion magazine and a conservative widower who, as the host of "Meet the Press," remembers his father and the other important teachers in his life. (His father is an old man who died while trying to rescue a little girl from danger and who discovers that all will be explained to him in the afterlife.) The conservative TV host is in fact a Harvard scholar writing a biography of the Treasury secretary as a "masque" in a vain attempt to save the Vatican from the machinations of another underground society. It's the sixth volume of "The Dark Tower," a series about time travel and a heroic quest, a behind-the-scenes account of the Bush administration's decision-making as it drew up plans to invade Iraq.

Then, a bicycle messenger becomes the prime suspect in the murder of a sleazy Los Angeles defense attorney, a former essayist and novelist, who took on the Bush administration in verse. The messenger is the target of an assassin who the C.I.A. believes is one of many rogue agents, theologians, and art historians related to "The Da Vinci Code." Two of these agents are also husband and wife, investigating the murders of a Supreme Court justice and two of his law clerks, Jack and Jackie, tracing them to Hillary Rodham Clinton's "path to power."

In the final chapters, in Montreal, a forensic anthropologist discovers the skeletons of three young women in the basement of a pizzeria operated by a left-wing film director, an upper-class Manhattan woman and her best friend hunting for "P.H.'s" (prospective husbands). The discovery of the skeltons highlights the Great Backlash, in which conservatives "won the heart of America," exemplified by an Italian-American woman in Pennsylvania, who is haunted by her first love, and who explores the lives of ostensibly straight black men who have sex with men, and the health consequences for a black community that's been preyed upon by "incredible political animals," from Ronald Reagan to George W. Bush.


For Stephanie


It seems you've become useful again.
Your unjustified swagger.
An ego for two.
Put your back into it.
Beguile the time, look like the time.
Less promo-y, more conversational.


Laura Bush likes to clean.
Well, I would say poetry is like song except when it isn't. Poetry is like poetry.
Four periods a year.
Reference Portia's casket-selection injunction to Bassanio, the raving of Queen Margaret, before she kills the Duke, sleepwalking.
"'"I think better with a sponge in my hand."'"
Too late to warn you about the Ides of July?



Emilio over Heath. Yeah, that's right.

Sierra Madres for the Lawless, Tom Clark

Between Joshes, Jeni Olin

Dante w/out a Paddle, Mark Rothko

Blasted Lazar, Christian Bok

Vichy Mood Feels, Gertrude Stein

Basic Writings of Groucho

Deep Thoughts, Marilyn Hacker

Pisa Snake
National Backbone
Twombly's Foes
Banquette Hard

Still reading: The American Heritage Dictionary.
Broken family. Friendless adolescence.


We have to do a turtle search.


The swimming pool is half empty.



My vegetable love should grow.
Gathering data an immaculate pool
        reflects observers.
Room! room! make room for the bouncing belly
Where love himself imprisoned lies.



We're not into Murray Hill anymore.
Here in P-town shaped the into incivility
Force! became nature.
Long gone hissing mutter
Mutter mutter off the radar.
I had to drop out of poetry.
Vacuum-formed flowers fell around what empires out.
The moon count climbs.