To October

Summer holds spring!
Who am I?
No time to sit --
here, us; ripening,
the structures exceed
outwardness & come
back the F.B.I. agents.

You are going
with this ex
-honey spread by portraits
& events
(you were in
the shot...

glowing on the floor,
a seaside material)
bearing topography financed
with ads.

Since several women
pretend to be backups
the newsroom just got into
a driver card


working with pentagrams.


So fashion this fall is tense
& intricately wrought, like captions.

Thank you.

& that's your gaze,
so prominent Luda can't

The sentence's one constant is
a computer lies naked on my chest.
I was always thinking outside
the braid, having
dibs on sheen, veteran & pretty
on the brink of spittle

infarction, two porkpies, rumpus,
Oct. gardens circling plants, animals,
people's applied spoonerisms,
aspects vanished in air

conquering the Ammonites. My
memory of the moment more
lost than in wonder,
Neptune at the Argo's shadow

-- my moon drawing near
to its desire, a hill that's not
a hill, a gaze upon the sun
that's not a stair.


The Poetry Foundation (PF) is avant poetry's Bay of Abukir. But thanks to the group blog Harriet, link to the right, PF has suddenly, demonstrably embraced snappy, exciting poet practitioners, Kenneth Goldsmith, whose posts have been showing up there for a while, and newcomers Ange Mlinko, Stephen Burt, Christian Bök, others. Bök's series on "Writing and Failure" (as of 9/23 he's up to Part 6) stokes colleagues and readers, mostly other poets, evidenced by questions, quips, and counters in comment boxes, first stabs toward a rousing debate as, for example, in his Part 2. These developments from PF bring to mind how the blog genre over time -- like other composition forms -- exposes talent. Back about six years ago when blogging seemed suspiciously dynamic and first became popularized, the question was, Why are good poets so engaging as bloggers? Answer: Writing. By now blog sensationalism has worn down to generic expectations, What are you saying? How able-bodied are you saying it? Demands of the genre are fast-paced and open-ended, leaving space for poets -- plenty of space even at PF.


E-monitoring is pervasive, mirroring exponentially our wildest ambitions to blur what's real and yield authority. Spam arrives with sender names or addresses nearly identical to those of my e-correspondents. Every week I get hundreds of unsolicited messages from fauxpress sent out by mechanical fiat, unconnected to me. Sometimes spam subject headers mimic my own subjects in e-mail and even on my blog. Now ad entities that go by humorous monikers like Pudding Media and Skype offer free online phone calls with a catch. They'll be listening closely to your conversation so that they can fill your screen while you're on the phone with targeted ads tailored to your call's content. Pizza, porn, used books, anarchist fund raising, no, let's talk about what a guy from Pudding Media claims from early testing, the content on the screen, that is, the fucking ad, can determine conversations. "The conversation was actually changing based on what was on the screen. Our ability to influence the conversation was remarkable."


The barbershop is dark now, and grim. I'm one of a kind in the next frontier, the immune system spinning out of my body, since there's no new force in our republic. Last time I fell in with some ruffians from security. Bonded by hair dye, silver and glossy black, they sported art-world skinny tie clips, preening as if they were being videographed anabolically. My liftoff from the barber's chair an injurious leitmotif that riot police cordoned off, saving my toiletries in time, sweating in crates of light like architecture.


New whipping post, Paul Muldoon @ The New Yorker.
I was born with a Euro-face. After success as a child, I interpreted my looks, two layers of sleep relief. Shady aftermath interscope. Budding relationships are fun; a well-thumbed fetcher is not. We want a space made up of excellence in the air between unruly manes and confabs with editors. And call my bookie. We'll keep our moth-hole sweaters as foils to new visual identities.
It occurs to me, now, after doing six or seven of them, that though informed by current comp practices, these little baroque paragraphs I've posted this week, translations and whatnot, assign personality to the foreground, resulting in a nonlanguage atmosphere.


This occurs, true enough, but it's the wrong impression.


Maybe I deserve my extramarital wealth. Meanwhile in the Pavilion of Woe, I deceive my friends with daily durations and visit depths. And I have millions of them. Like Joe Orton in the underground I play my Fender a few times a night. Alien favors percolate just about anywhere if you diet and exercise. Ask Judy and Cuddles and the sluts turning the hand knob that drives the sex gear. Metonic cycle in Motel Six.
Home based employment opportun... "bank randall" long@tirol....
***SPAM***Im sure There have b... "Alden Barnard" frankolea@...
***SPAM***Confirm Your Informa... "Citizens Bank" corporates...
***SPAM*** "Lars" Lars@hotmail.com...
***SPAM*** "Theobold" Theobold@afreei...
No Subject "Samson" Samson@aol.com...
***SPAM*** "Ethan" Ethan@yahoo.com...
No Subject "Coleman" Coleman@alloymai...
No Subject "Marcus" Marcus@alloymail....
***SPAM*** "Ethen" Ethen@address.com&...
No Subject "Quillan" Quillan@cybergrr...
***SPAM*** "Keith" Keith@gmail.com...
No Subject "Emmanuel" Emmanuel@addres...
erotauqe "Yevgeney Leuty" Leuty@pol...
***SPAM***aer-drac "anjli Laky" anjli.Laky@RS...
***SPAM***ritaudin "ayse Ngo" Ngo@recherche-m...
enerlei "Petter Neto" Petter154@at...
Dear Jack...


Admirable misprison: "The image is easy. / So is the device. // You just glance at it. / You push the button."
Look, with regard to inner peace, my friends and I are headed in another direction, already, so opinions like mine can't make things any worse: Could there be an occasion less auspicious (or more redundant) than a Buddhist festival in Nashville? Like bringing flarf to Vegas.
Another: The people at Boeing work together around the world so that you can just get it. A global, sideways officialdom with the ultra powerful and, now, smear campaigners, married with children, partners, and an extended network of reputable contacts. If it's free we'll make it a stunt. Charge your sausage and have a fiesta. Then flop degradingly. Go on. Ask your financial professional. Life jackets dipped in E-Coli.
Retranslation: Acupuncturists need to kick a mutt around, in their fucking minds, fact checker, and yes, I'm a nutritionist as well. I might want to brush up on the bunny. I wasn't sure, and if you're new to this, you might be worried about taste and smell, too, because that's what a pure toy has to do. My balls sway when I let them, flavored with cholesterol. Film powered by Spike.
Translation: Because I'm a fag for recidivists and a bottom, I noticed his boots on the ground. I wasn't sure but I kept checking him out, since I had nothing better to do. His bells sway in the style of George Clinton, fool. Crystal from Bulgari.


When I turned around and saw him, that was it. I knew as soon as I looked, that's the man I'm going to spend the rest of my life with. Burgundy cashmere V-neck. Silver watch by Tag Heuer.


We talk about what they say in the commercials.


Final edits of this week's pieces, below, available in pdf: Shared Regalia: Chapbooks from Mlinko, Barber, and Beckett -- choose top item from a short list of selected essays from the last 10 years.


A counterminimalist design ethos eggs on Steps: A Notebook by Tom Beckett. It's one in a set of Tiny Books from Meritage Press. Publisher Eileen Tabios accompanies her poet as graphic alter ego, supplies drawings and indeed handwrites his text, a duo then stepping onto their small stage in shared regalia to participate in what I might describe unsneeringly as an intense art dealership. The poems come inside a little page-turner, tiny even in chap terms, a 1.5-inch square thumbnail sketchbook with a cover jacket in multicolored (Navajo? Tibetan?) fabric. The poems come forward, sideways, and upside down in one or two words per line, mostly three lines or fewer to the page. They address the ambiguities of their being composed, seeming parenthetical, always germane, or as one page smack in the middle of the text inveighs: "In / the moment / (be right there)." The poems constitute a bisexuality of suave quotations, sketches, and facts on writing, both as text and process, positing that writing verse is like composing a music made of temporary flaws ("smudged work of Arias") or like writing on a blackboard, "Looking / at blackboards / how many Ways?" Skepticism -- "Advancement / is a kind / of ____" -- abounds. If poetry is prayer, to paraphrase, prayer is programming in thought that's overexposed and torn. To get beyond the conundrum of prayer, programming, etc., the dealers work on each other and together. Tom's Eileen accommodates the torn thought idea on a ripped page and settles prayer down with a vapor of slants, blank lines, and empty boxes that enforce a silence. Eileen's Tom returns, though, with a new quiet-breaker, "A / poetry of questions / (one answer)." To clarify, he qualifies, "When / I was / a young man." Next page, "When / I was / a little girl."


In Non Eligible Respondent Stefani Barber slips out of research to fall into a lover's embrace to "effect communion" via phone and observation, listening to and noting what is not said in an open-air journalese, observing the observed, psychically body-snatching, in other words, yet still "in love with the day, hoping for a callback." Hoping, again, a brawny feminist topos repeatedly infused with the trenchant and the impersonal, "female informant, hesitant at same point as before." Here's research that finds playboy candidates in their usual fucked states, as in this neat anomaly, "male informant, before I can explain study he is convinced of being respondent...likes Bob Marley, but no drugs allowed." Looking at what's there -- "the only one way of knowing" -- is foregrounded in the first and last sections of an 18-page compendium of diary prose, lists, and verse that's free enough to "speak lower register." There are pioneer, Robinson Jeffers-like glimpses of "the wind from the porch," beach, sea, scored with more urgent and more sense-driven "memory that hangs above" the stark "filth of saturation / driving the spiral." Middle sections, time-dated entries identified as "from non eligible respondent," carry off the narrative conceit of contextualizing data compiled -- "she is a moon child"; "he has a low voice" -- as well as the vital extra data that posterize the bolt of emotion from the compiler caught in the mirror of her own game: "a table by the window, watching people as if something more than glass separates."

With regard to production values, the poetry in Non Eligible Respondent plays prominently against the no-nonsense, xeroxical, stapled white page. The chapbook's cover is a deep teal 'standard' stock, unmarked, save a tiny stamped Taxt logo on the back. The format couldn't be more neominimalist, nor more collegial toward the text, an 'effect of communion.'


The Children's Museum
Ange Mlinko
Prefontaine Press 2007

Non Eligible Respondent
Stefani Barber
Taxt 2006

Steps: A Notebook
Tom Beckett
Meritage 2007

With small press publishing resorting more and more to the pumped-up, slick-on-the-cheap formulae of print on demand, chapbooks look more important than ever as basic frames for a writer's work and process. Brief text enveloped by a distinguishable production style is somehow tastier, more inviting as a preserve between poet and publisher, often turned out with an experimental, homemade touch. The production features to Ange Mlinko's The Children's Museum are a shocker of nondigital rusticity, handstiched, off-white Butcher paper, handstamped cover, type appearing to be handset in Méridien for the poems and Agincourt for titles, both fonts retro-crafted a few decades ago, according to the back legend, Méridien considered "sharp, graceful, arresting, and sensuous." For starter copy on the eight poems enclosed, we could begin there. The title poem is caught up in "just river-silvering," "odor of silt," and "pressurized...disequilibrium." Toddler in tow, the poet is as if "convalescing ... perusing the countryside," which is "like going to Paris...a beeline to Versailles or St. Cloud," but also a "first phase in New York," and, as well, "pointing in different directions" in her backyard as recognizable as the "charm of tennis prose … in which legs of chairs / suspended in the tangle" in order to grace "a sentence that wraps / its back in a negative embrace." Arresting, yes, but the sentence never comes to a full stop, "looking for a mnemonic," rhyming air with air, Grenada with timber, fledged with hedge. A sharpness and an intimacy told through language taking itself unseriously -- "(Orange, schmorange / pigeons, eons)"; then again, language goes on to question itself -- "The word 'empty' mistaken for 'tempting'" or to "mistake the word 'evidence' for 'violence'." Everything goes into the day and the life of the peruser and silverer and it adds up to more than sensuality, a "Jamming vocabularies like blueberries," a "hoping...with more myopia than yoga that my contortions / ... get ... closer to the source text."

More soon.
Coming soon.

The Children's Museum
Ange Mlinko
Prefontaine Press 2007

Non Eligible Respondent
Stefani Barber
Taxt 2006

Steps: A Notebook
Tom Beckett
Meritage 2007


(Low interest loan.) Yes I can. I'm so Beach Boys...
To call Peter Pan on the carpet.
I am a swinger and songwriter.


Worth mulling over.
You can speak in a normal voice, and I will understand you.


From the start there was a nagging problem
learning new technologies,
I'm sorry, truly
is one thing, some kind of feat &nsp; &nsp; &nsp; &nsp;     that doesn't
is another

As soon as my feet    &nsp; &nsp; &nsp; &nsp; &nsp; &nsp; &nsp; &nsp; &nsp; &nsp; &nsp; &nsp; &nsp; &nsp; &nsp; &nsp;      hit the stage
kicked down, glasses smashed, insides painted black.
I thought the exterior was &nsp; &nsp; &nsp; &nsp; &nsp; &nsp; &nsp; &nsp;     swimmer's
dark eyes &nsp; &nsp; &nsp; &nsp;    a mop of red &nsp; &nsp; &nsp; &nsp;     hair pulled back.

Down fades and can be told &nsp; &nsp; &nsp; &nsp;    in
   &nsp; &nsp; &nsp; &nsp; &nsp; &nsp; &nsp; &nsp; &nsp; &nsp; &nsp; &nsp; &nsp; &nsp; &nsp; &nsp; a good nose for boys
held tacitly, unaccountable in spandex &nsp; &nsp; &nsp; &nsp; &nsp; &nsp; &nsp; &nsp;     twisted,
animated natures, sinking down.


This looks inner resting. Monday, September 10, Pierogi 2000, 177 N 9 St, Brooklyn (doors open 6:45): Short readings/screening: Jasper Bernes, Brandon Downing, Jeffrey Jullich & the launch of in girum imus nocte et consumimur igni, introduced by Joshua Clover and Michael Scharf. (Boys night out.)


I remember when a poem was a machine.
Hey, machine. I love your work.


Those who should lend support fail to. Some conspire not to.
A different morality. Get used to it or go home.