Monday, September 18, 2017

In the Hall (House?) of Mirrors (Glass?)

(reposted from Sunday, June 24, 2012)

How did her life live itself without her?
          - Jonathan Safran Foer

Sketch the images in the mirrors to preserve them.
To show them to others.
To share them.
Sketch them quickly.
The way your art teacher had you do it.
Forget about getting it right. (Whatever that is.)
Forget perfection.
You have 20 minutes.
For what?
Never mind, just sketch.
Do any of the images remind you of people you know?
Or people you knew?
People who play - or played - a role in your drama?
Think about the people and their delicate lives.
How their delicate lives impacted your delicate life.
How your delicate life impacted their delicate lives.
How whatever they did impacted whatever you did.
Whatever you chose to do.
Don't point a finger.
You are the architect of you.
You are how you are.
Not how you should be or could be.
But are.
The Captain of Your Soul.
Captain America.
O Captain! My Captain!
Captain Midnight.
Captain Morgan.
Captain Hook.
The Captain and Tennille.
Keep sketching, please.
Are you beginning to recognize the people in the images?
They're in there.
And if you can, think about the questions.
What questions?
The questions you've written on index cards.
Think about the order of questions.
The questions you've been dying to ask the people.
The people in the images.
The people you know.
The people you knew.
The people you don't know but would like to know.
Irrespective of how shallow the questions may seem.
How seemingly shallowly secular.
But isn't there another way?
No. This is the only way.
You wanted feedback, yes?
Doesn't everyone want feedback?
How am I doing?
How do I look?
Do you like what I've done?
Where am I going?
When will I get there?
How will I know when I've gotten there?
You've come here to ask the questions.
To ask the people in the images the questions.
The questions on the index cards.
Surreptitiously?
Perhaps, but necessary.
Wait. I think I see a dog in one of the images.
Perfectly acceptable.
What?
Animals are perfectly acceptable images.
Yes, it's a pit bull. It's his/her pit bill.
A white pit bull with a black eye.
He/she called him Joe or Joseph or something like that.
Friendly.
Please. Keep sketching.

Francesca Woodman

Monday, September 4, 2017

Screen Dump 372

Your life . . . and its iterations . . . is out to lunch . . .
shopping for winter boots . . . which will likely remain boxed
despite the inevitable shadowing us . . .
the tarts and torts . . . the pajama'd players . . . queuing up to cameo
in your off-color-coordinated dream . . .
An open question opens into abstraction
as a day-trader's phish for trinkets
litters the path with the insistence of hooplas . . .
stanzas rewound to target voyeurs . . .
You again eye the rafters . . . as do we all . . . and continue . . .
dog-eared how-to manuals offering salvation whenever you chime in . . .
Dim the light . . . play out the hand . . . if you must . . .

Annie Clark aka St. Vincent

Sunday, September 3, 2017

I HAD THOUGHT THINGS WERE GOING ALONG WELL

by John Ashbery (1927-2017)

But I was mistaken.

* from As We Know (1979)


Friday, August 25, 2017

iBlue*

Never trust alabaster cockatoos
or blue-light specials . . .

Answering the door
with blueberry muffin on your face . . .

At least in your electra glide in blue eyes . . .

You highlight . . . the (pen)ultimatum . . .
in red yellow blue . . .

Memories flood the five minutes . . .
both of you blue-penciling the script . . .

Whatever it is . . . will be massaged . . .
like the donor's heart . . .
to answer the questions that have been airdropped
and to be corrected analyzed blue-penciled
and returned . . . for revision . . . later . . . in the month . . .

Bob Dylan's North Country Blues . . .

You have become true north . . . again . . .
Gerrymandering the neighborhood . . . in provocative teamwear . . .
Usernames on the back in iridescent blue . . .

I've got Blue Light Specials on the brain . . .

Your dreams of curating an exhibit of shopping carts
ooze seduction . . .
an overdosing on blue pigment . . .

Life deserves an essay question . . .
An essay question . . . with extra time
and additional blue books . . .

My dreams paralyzed . . .
demanding answers to questions
orphaned in blue books . . . long ago . . .

Miles' Blue In Green jostling for attention
alongside your students
omniscient . . . indifferent . . . whatever . . .
shepherded into the bipolarity of adulthood . . .

Quibbling over the blueness of blue
and how over time most bow to convention . . .

Your costume as rhetorical fiction . . . as illicit . . .
as maddeningly blue . . .
where in earlier chapters, you fell in love
with retraction . . .
taking back what you offered . . . teasing . . .
as you considered the fast lane in a trailer park . . .
with rules for engagement for understudies
afflicted with acyanoblepsia . . .
the inability to see blue . . .

. . . insinuating yourself into the after-hours . . .
asking recording engineers . . . session musicians . . .
character actors . . .
about the nuances . . . and blueness
of your voice . . .

Finding that most people's favorite painting
is a blue landscape . . .

with Miles . . . in an atelier . . . noodling . . .
Kind of Blue . . . a mantra . . .

As when you look back and get drenched in blue . . .

You're on record for covers
for begin-agains
for setting up a kiosk in a trailer park
outside of Atlantic City . . .
and you have been written up
for quilting your odyssey . . .
complete with blue lights, dampeners, and
(un)dressers . . .

The declensions . . . the alterations . . .
Insidious, but then . . .
demythologizing the odyssey . . .
à la Maggie Nelson in Bluets:
[It] worked well because he is a passive top
and I am an active bottom . . .

And Sherlock Holmes's Blue Carbuncle . . .

You kick it up a notch for the blue screeners . . .
a bevy of iconoclasts in a blue Chevy SUV . . .

While you're up, could you please flip
the complications . . . of that encounter . . .
when the reds, whites, and blues partied hard? . . .

There's a blueness to it . . . hypnotic . . .
despite the trepidation of icosahedrons . . .

You were kept up at night by Joan Mitchell's
Les Bluets . . .

Gym rats crowd onto a blue continuum with feigned defeat
pained by the thought of your strange repetitions . . .
their ineptitude straining the windows with halftime images . . .

You enter the fray
disabling the tried and true
with the words of oglers
vying for redacting . . . and blueness . . . again . . .

You certainly had your share
of forgotten moments . . .
when out of the blue you received applications
for the position you had yet to advertise . . .

This morning at the breakfast table . . .
your blue eyes mapped your next strategem . . .
imagining blue skies . . . and blue waters . . .
a blue room . . . in a blue hotel . . . as if like Stein
you believe every bit of blue is precocious . . .

*composed for a blue-themed open mic by appropriating lines with
blue from 365 Screen Dumps.

Diandra Forrest

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Disconnecting the Dots

Sometimes I left messages in the street.
          - David Markson, Wittgenstein's Mistress

And then Frank O'Hara stopped by.
He's living in a yurt . . . in the Adirondacks
doing this . . . doing that
And here I am, the
center of all beauty!
writing these poems!
Imagine!

And how about Gustav Mahler channeling Frank O'Hara . . .
bicycling Bavaria
I seem to be absolutely born for the cycle!
deconstructing Moby's Porcelain
disconnecting the dots
as if it matters . . . and it does . . . but not to
his gorgeous, alcoholic, hearing-impaired,
superflirty, 19 years his junior, wife and muse, Alma,
whose bedpost is mottled
with the notches of affairs.
Billed as the most beautiful girl in Vienna
she believes several men are better than one
and spills as much to Freud one afternoon on his couch.
Never a fan of her husband's music
she chooses none of his for her funeral 50 years after his death.
And here again is Frank:
It's my lunch hour, so I go
for a walk among the hum-colored
cabs. First, down the sidewalk
where laborers feed their dirty
glistening torsos sandwiches
and Coca-Cola, . . .

Laura Mentivk in Wittgenstein's Mistress











Early this morning, bicycling Route 28 to Inlet:
unforgettable . . .
meandering past pristine lakes, deep woods,
and rustic little towns,
someone wrote.
I know a moose when I see one.
And I've seen several . . . at Hoss's General Store in Long Lake.
Everything anyone would need . . . or want.
They have everything.
Books . . . some read, some unread . . . on my shelves.
OK, so I've skipped a few chapters
and skimmed others
and disregarded enjambments.
Who hasn't?
But really . . . what is this thing called PO-ET-RY?
Without coffee, I mean . . . or, I mean, of course.
And what's with that?
Simon and Garfunkel's Bookends:
A photograph's all that's left of you.
Must we write from prompts?
Or from furniture music, à la Satie?
I am now trying . . . to write upon nothing, Swift said.
Someone keeps chiming in with irregardless.
Where, oh where, are the grammar police?
Can you spell donuts?
How about potato?
How about VP Quayle's version of potato?
By the way, it's now called Dunkin'.
Dunkirk is showing at Bow Tie Cinema.
Try this . . . but not at home.
This is a text.
I'm embedding pics in a text.
Putting pen to paper . . . sitting on the fence.
Trying to write right
and other absurdities for understudy
by standins . . . and passersby . . . and wannabes
saddled with odysseys.
Three rows over, 55 years ago, in Latin Class
this girl in the school uniform
and I'm mentally undressing her
while Gaul is being divided into three parts.

Latin Class












Coming Into the Country with John McPhee
who memorialized big rigs and other uncommon carriers
in Uncommon Carriers
after shadowing truckers for a few months.
Something about momentum
and air brakes
and commercial breaks
which speed delusions
with Copeland's Fanfare for the Common Man.
I'm out here waiting for the answer with Soren Kierkegaard
the other Dane who loved the rain falling mainly on the plain
in full view of Either/Or
written after breaking up with his fiancée Regine Olsen
using the pseudonyms A for Either, B for Or,
and Johannes Climacus for The Diary of the Seducer.
I can well understand why children love sand, Wittgenstein said.
It's all about castles . . . my home is my castle, yes?
With you bundled with apps . . . one day in the foreseeable . . .
An algorithm walks into a bar . . .
This too will be tweaked . . . and tweeted . . .
to fit the model to the facts
or the facts to the model . . . whichever . . .
before Cicero's Third Oration:
How long, O Catiline, will you tax our endurance?
How long will that madness of yours escape us?
To what end will your unruly boldness hurl itself at us?

Lucius Sergius Catilina












This, by the way, is an example of trichotomy, Sister Anna Roberta said.
Sound familiar?
And why the Fates red-carded Caesar
in the middle of the Rubicon
and why Hannibal joined the circus and mastered elephantese.
It comes full circle . . . all of it . . .
the dots connected . . . disconnected . . . fading from view . . .
with paybacks and fallbacks playbacks and callbacks wetbacks and drybacks
and boxes of ephemera
near the counter of the old, lamented
Avenue Victor Hugo Bookshop in Boston,

Dan Chaisson wrote in The New Yorker
brimming with
mangy postcards
wedding announcements
lobby cards
45s
hippie stickers and patches
Civil Defense pamphlets and evacuation maps
poker chips
Old Maid decks
and skinny dogeared self-published PO-ET-RY chapbooks
filled with messages in the street.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Buttdialing Ubers and Other Sonnetized Shorts

Season Twenty

Using topspin to unseat the poem du jour
carrying most through enjambed memories
with summer . . . bending into grains of sand
primed to mimic phishers
You have yet to read into eccentricity
especially as your odyssey'd past
inheres in material traces
Never forget the soirees . . . in the dunes
with their distinct impressions of nothing
costumed as commitment
as well as someone's . . . Godot's perhaps? . . . footfalls
Everyone was naughty
Everyone regressed
Everyone failed . . . again

Francesco Carrozzini

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Buttdialing Ubers and Other Sonnetized Shorts

Season Nineteen

You seem to enjoy the almostness of your borderline personality
carrying on about the leaks in emptiness
that accompany Bruegger's Everything Bagel
and the duffel bags . . . of risky narcissists
adorned with fidgety flight tags
from the Bucket's 100 Places to Visit Before Passing
Stay the merriment became your duly-noted mantra
even after your breaths exceeded the numbers
and you hop-scotched with bouquets of trillium
that happened by on their way
to yet another ho-hum commercial break
that . . . despite the menagerie . . . always made you chuckle . . .
especially when Facebook friends pointed to lapses in serving styles
And you do believe yourself, yes?

Bruno Aveillan

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

It's August, and the Ponies are Running

(reposted from Monday, August 1, 2011 & Monday, August 1, 2016)

It's August, and the ponies are running:

they're running, running, running;
running away with my better judgment,
my better half, my worse half, my other half;
they're running away with my vacation, my vocation;
with my kids' education, my salutation, my edification;

they're running away with the plump-lipped waitress
in her too-tight uniform, in her too-short uniform,
in her tu-tu uniform;
they're running away with the short-order cook,
the dishwasher, the window washer, the windshield washer,
the loud customers, the cleavagers, the spin doctors.

It's August, and the ponies are running away
with my expectations, my aspirations, my inclinations;
with my best intentions, my worst nightmares;
with the free tees and handicappers,
with the gamblers, the scramblers, the midnight ramblers;

they're running away with the long shots,
the long run, the long ball, the long haul, the big fall;
with the potheads, the potholes,
the hotties with their rubberneckers,
the one-armed bandits and double-deckers,
the card sharks, the loan sharks, the great white sharks;
with the stacked decks and pole vaulters,
the pole sitters and baby sitters;

The ponies are running away with the weary travelers,
the thirst quenchers, the road crew bosses
and time-and-a-halfers;
with the running-on-empties, and pies-in-the-sky,
with the local history buffs and their jaundiced eye;

they're running away with the landscape,
the cityscape, the seascape, the escapees, the APBs;
the trees lining the tertiaries, the estuaries,
the innocent bystanders, the indigents,
the passersby, the groupies, the roadies, the loners;
with the home-schooled and home-brewed;
they're running away with the motley-crewed.

It's August, and the ponies are running:

they're running, running, running;
running away with the one-tricks, the two cents,
the three blind mice, the four horsemen;
with the squanderers, the wanderers
the hangers-on, the barflies, the right wingers,
the left wingers, the middle-of-the-roaders, the Debra Wingers;
with the know-it-alls and straight shooters,
the forked tonguers, the mixers and remixers, the mixmasters.

It's August, and the ponies are running:

they're running, running, running;
running away with my severance pay, my brand new day,
my May day, my getaway, my AOK, my here-to-stay,
my hip hip hooray, my final say.

IT'S AUGUST, AND THE PONIES ARE RUNNING!


Saturday, July 29, 2017

Buttdialing Ubers and Other Sonnetized Shorts

Season Eighteen

This poem is a game of scrabble . . . a game of babble
a game of mirrored sunglasses reflecting
a box of colored pencils . . . as you
thumb through Augusten Burroughs's Dry
inviting a tangle of lines leading to a fun house
in the middle of a re-enactment . . . as if
parallel parking a shopping cart were sufficient
Again you argue the clock
with thoughts of a drybrush masterpiece
by Andrew Wyeth . . . at the Fenimore Museum
Everyone deserves a break today
Why today? . . . Why today the blue vacuum with dry load
applied to a dry support
from your dry days revitalizing sober living apartments?

Paolo Roversi

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Buttdialing Ubers and Other Sonnetized Shorts

Season Sixteen

A one-size-fits-all transcription of experience
and your mind's ear takes a break today at Mickey D's -
generic, anti-confessional, without
the clawing happenstance of a Johnny Depp lookalike
backstroking in a sea of Elmer's Glue
You continue to get antsy over dead zones
Who doesn't? . . . but do we need two of anything?
Attention-deficit mavens and their obsession
with the gap between fit and finish
transforming stage directions into librettos
puts one in the mood for a slice of pizza
with the works . . . from Baldy's on Cork Hill -
a stopgap for fortune tellers and fortune hunters
If at any point you feel small, you should

Season Seventeen

Later . . . in a restaurant . . . on the lake . . . a specter
with cropped gray hair . . . and the waiter serves the soup du jour -
cream of broccoli - sided with a bronzed copy of the Post-it
she stuck to your mailbox 30 years ago . . . and someone asks
what Porgy stands for . . . and you're flashed back
to the balcony of Glimmerglass with its incredible range of voices
and tale of a cripple in the tracks of a very young Sidney Poitier
on his knees . . . in a wagon pulled by a goat . . . whose googling
tells you it's a subspecies domesticated from the wild goat
of southwest Asia . . . and did you know that goats
have only bottom front and side teeth and one large back molar
in the top jaw for crushing things . . . and the Poitier
Porgy and Bess is one of the great lost films
because of a pissing match between the two Gershwin estates?

Sidney Poitier in Porgy and Bess (1959)


Monday, July 10, 2017

Buttdialing Ubers and Other Sonnetized Shorts

Season Fourteen

Using rhetoric in a slipshod manner
Or slapdash, yes, that's it . . . slapdash
Why bother trying to be ironic and sincere . . . at the same time?
Can't you see beyond the No Smoking sign?
This is where the poem is supposed to get horny
or forgettable . . . or whatever
Yes, I know you hate that
Assailed by distractions . . . in the guise of . . . aesthetics?
Can you please help prime the pump?
Doing so, however, may result in a Surgeon General ticket
Speak softly but carry a big selfie stick
In the moment . . . but only if the moment cooperates
and then only if dessert is included
in the slapdash dish . . . in a slipshod manner

Season Fifteen

You're charged with toggling a laugh track
while waiting in the checkout line
at the supermarket
The manager is a clown suit
A clown suit is a root canal sans novocaine
A clown suit is a box lunch
An after-the-fact afterthought
Your flight is taxiing
And now the ticket person in a clown suit
is telling you you're in the wrong line
but there's a million dollar smile
on a million dollar baby
in a million dollar condo
with a million dollar (fill in the blank) ___



Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Buttdialing Ubers and Other Sonnetized Shorts

Season Twelve

Postcards from the corner office offer tips
on managing the parts of life that make no sense:
seductive five-star creamsicles
soundtracked by melodic lines nursing
pentatonic and catatonic scales
You pride yourself on inscrutable self-scrutiny
the examined life . . . and all that
as if parroting fan-fiction of the Canon
through pursed lips
makes dumbing down the default
So why the obsession with spoon-fed fork-tonguers?
The files . . . sight-read
have been sealed . . . and now
your raised hand is being codependently ignored

Season Thirteen

Escaping through the cracks in your argument
following bread crumbs to the Temple of Incidentals
restless long legs
parody of a back-flap biography
you fret over brands of black pepper
focus on the container
Stepping out onto the deck with eggs over easy, yes?
And coffee?
The seemingly insignificant?
There's nothing wrong with invisibility
and lemon juice . . . held up to a light bulb
selecting from menu options
making do . . . treading water
Come prepared to defend your thesis

Rihanna

Monday, July 3, 2017

Buttdialing Ubers and Other Sonnetized Shorts

Season Eleven

The theatrics begin . . . with words up . . . words down
rehearsals . . . do not pass Go
You know how it is
with everyone talking . . . at the same time
It's tough to follow the storyline
if there is a storyline
But then some stories are better without a storyline
Just let the events unfold
in your pocket . . . I don't care
little matter where
Whatever's convenient for you
I'm trying to wrap my head around something
something that will get me through the next few hours
or the next few minutes

Paolo Roversi



Saturday, July 1, 2017

Buttdialing Ubers and Other Sonnetized Shorts

Season Eight

Which reminds me, when was the last time you punched in?
A to-go box would be nice
As would your cv
with color-coded treasure map
The cartography of the selfie, yes?
I have no idea why but protocol is calling the shots
You've seen it yourself in the glacially slow downloads
Two streams diverged in a yellow wood
and sorry you could not ogle both
and be one ogler . . . I don't believe you!
It's not as if they didn't score high on Rotten Tomatoes
The dominant aesthetic right now seems to be amusement
A defense mechanism, perhaps?
Download and install the Uber app, already, will you please?

Season Nine

You have a reputation for down time
for rearranging players and their parts
It's all there . . . in your notebooks . . . on your (un)zip drive
It has become your mantra
Incomplete sentences . . . written with crayons
follow in your wake
The manner in which they carry themselves
and the questions . . . left unanswered
Trying to construct reality with Legos, yes?
You and your erotic other were captured on tape
with sticky wickets
I never believed in falling prey to pews
But then again . . . and again
Something is sure to befall the one-night (by)standers

Season Ten

The subject becomes the object
igniting associations
It happens whenever you click Search
The tendency to remain open
while people hover . . . submitting requests
Are you ready to give it up? . . . to give in?
Let's hope not . . . at least not until
your fingers have done the walking
Opening statements, please
What if we were to record every other word?
Would nonsense reign?
Would it become the New Now?
You were late . . . with revisions . . . only
to be called out . . . to be called out . . . for redundancy

David Benoliel

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Buttdialing Ubers and Other Sonnetized Shorts

Season One

You hawk Girl Scout cookies to linemen
patching phone lines in manholes
They pledge allegiance to the pleats in your uniform
A flâneur stumbles . . . on camera
Ill-equipped and ill-mannered
you are perfect for the job
and hired on the spot from within
Your half-life . . . is a lateral
You skip the condiment aisle
to jostle newhires . . . if for no other reason
A pawn . . . no, a night . . . in the game, yes?
Ditto Dottie!
With as much anachronism as catch-as-catch-can
Neck . . . and benecked

Season Two

You count out change from a shiny metal change counter
attached to your belt with Velcro
You score a merit badge for the likes of this
Isn’t this romantic?
An aging-out squeezebox expands and contracts
to the gesticulations of bystanders
eBay's only a day away
Forging ahead nonetheless
with less than Clayton Moore and Jay Silverheels
you wait tables in reruns
buttdialing Ubers for Q&As
while running changes with after-hour noodlers
A good misstep
as innocuous as an up-close-and-personal

Season Three

I’m famished . . . how about you?
Lick and belicked . . . as you like it
A speedbump unto oneself, yes?
Isn’t it time to resume the obligatory?
Can you imagine?
Not unlike the postmodern
foisted upon minions
when no one was looking and the brownout was force-fed
And just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water, yes?
Is it safe? quoth Sir Laurence . . . to the Marathon Man
Low-lying clouds should be forgiven
They know not . . . As for you?
The same is not true . . . You knew . . . around the block
and then some

Season Four

I’ll huff . . . and I’ll puff
Really? . . . That's a bit Uberish, yes?
The Uber knows all
Though stymied, you go on
Feel better when you fail better
The drones are about to trance . . . teleported to Walmart
I’ll bet you miss Blue Light Specials
Blue Light Specials "R" Us!
As if we were belched into the nosebleed section
Runners on first and third . . . here’s the pitch
swung on . . . and the hills are alive with the sound of silence
Simon and Garfunkel? Aren't they're close-mouthed?
Wittgenstein as Party-Pooper
If you can’t talk about it . . . Bollocks!

Season Five

The flight left in two hours
Then you accidentally uncorked plagiarism
As if to say There, I’ve done it again!
Full-fledged-in-your-face-buttdialing
I feel I should commit myself
to something . . . or someone
Happenstance as whoopee cushion
as pocket billiards
with all the king’s horses and all the king’s men
Bespoken . . . ain’t that the truth?
with a hey, diddle, diddle and a cache of Little Golden Books
breaching security for the hell of it
Rimbaud’s A Season in Hell . . . And then?
He called for his bong . . . and he called for his bowl

Season Six

They're choreographing drive-bys . . . on trikes
and talking with Jacob's Pillow about next steps
You listen to the rhythm of the falling rain
telling you just what a fool you've been
Hey, that's OK! . . . we're all just passing out
Besides, the light is about to change
Insignificance piles up on the night stand
most days
Orchestrating tweets
You end up backpedaling for all the wrong reasons
Soon to a major motion picture . . . guaranteed
to stop post-nasal drip and other post-apocalypse nits
You're good to go
French Press or full press?

Season Seven

You can have both
Clickety-clack
and the days become a railroad apartment
with you as conductor
of Mahler's Seventh
Buttdialing Mahler's Seventh
Does a table-read have to be cold?
All the world's a chessboard
and you have all the right moves
Triumphant! . . . He/she was triumphant!
Measure upon measure . . . as if out with the bathwater
Purposefully negligent
Now why in the world would you call for backup?
Continue reading the main story

Geisha Davis

Friday, June 23, 2017

Screen Dump 371

A willingness to look silly stalks you
with kinky imaginations . . . banister games . .  .
late-night tête-à-têtes . . .
while you . . . on hidden camera . . .
backpedal . . . into an off-season valentine
shopping trip to designer outlets . . .
A soft-spoken train wreck meanders
into wish-fulfillment
with instructional video in Jungian tongue . . .
The morning reboots . . .
jousts . . . the colors of some flag . . .
Two can play solitaire, yes? . . .
You are this . . . that . . . this . . .
and that . . . nurturing a crudeness into nothing
less than a bespoke cringing one-act . . .

Monalli

Friday, June 16, 2017

Screen Dump 370

Love loves to love love.
          - James Joyce, Ulysses

You quote yourself . . . again . . . finding solace
in the non sequitur . . .
in the interplay among players . . .
among onlookers
who . . . could they have it another way . . .
would not . . . tapping their fingers
to your breathing
as you . . . awaken with asking
the morning again . . . and again . . . and again . . .
a transubstantiation . . .
of the temporal . . . the insignificant . . .

Monalli

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Paging (Through) Dr. Williams

(reposted from Sunday, May 29, 2011)

Red-faced
balding
in faded scrubs,
he walks
his hound
and waits
while she pees
nonchalantly
on the red
wheelbarrow,
sending
the white
chickens
scurrying
in a flurry
of feathers.
I pass
noisily
in my rusted-
out sub-
compact,
munching
on the sweet
cold plums
I took
from the fridge
when no one
was looking.


Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Screen Dump 369

You are lavish in the security of the between-line labyrinths
of this poem . . . obliterating bedpost notches as if rewriting
oxymorons . . . while Hallmarkian tributes
fester in a siding . . .
You trained your voice to ignore
the embellishments dripping from the rafters
where has-beens scramble for long balls
with gestures that make the evening news . . .
Why is keyboarding so difficult? . . .
Wait, let me try this . . . OK, that's better . . .
You said it yourself . . . though I'm at a loss
for what it was exactly . . . but who cares
if most things are not spot-on? . . .
Don't you just love that phrase? . . .
The polymorphous morning drenches . . .
Someone somewhere whistles . . .
soundtracking your journey into the afternoon's summit
where signposts await crayons
and we can spend a few moments dancing away
our hearts and souls . . .
Listen . . . do you hear it? . . .
The script! . . . My kingdom for a script! . . .
Again dredging up the dramaturgical model? . . .
Please, don't drop Goffman's name . . .
Without which you would be at a loss
for describing the dogeared pages of your little black book . . .
the doggerel of your little black dress . . .
Irrespective of something or other . . .
I think I know what you meant when you said what you said . . .
Confronting the silence at 3 AM . . .
We made new with old . . . and waited for the shore
to be washed along with the others . . .
Funny how things slip into cereal boxes
without much effort . . . (eight ball into the corner pocket) . . .
You were there when he/she dropped the ball
but proceeded nonetheless to run without it . . .
How ridiculous! . . . Disrobing in a fitting room . . .
Taking care to wipe off the counter
before the guests arrived . . . to speak in tongues . . .
Why so serious? . . .
This must be a transcription, yes? . . .
You are in the throes of minions . . . wishing for a timeout . . .
And now look who's here . . . три сестр . . .
Are you kidding with those accoutrements? . . .
You attended the play with an old jar? . . .
A magician gushed as he/she biked along the boulevard
where ghosts of past players
rehearsed on an empty stage brimmed with elliptical memories . . .
Irresponsible and aimless as an underhanded clock . . .
You saw the writing in the bread truck at 4 AM
regurgitating your lines as if he/she wanted to hear all about it . . .
But then, without warning . . .

Chekhov's Three Sisters at Cumbernauld Theatre Scotland 2016

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Screen Dump 368

Instead of musing over unwritables
you conjure an upper playground of happenstance
illuminated by naked citrus fruits . . .
stand-ins for understudies . . .
This will have to do . . . for now . . .
Bad decisions again slept in the car
somehow skirting the inevitable
reworked into the script . . .
There's really nothing that can be done with the extended family
preparing for a voyage that may ultimately prove problematic . . .
We'll have to weather that as well, yes? . . .
Try to bring it full-circle
not unlike the past when you bumped into the future at a kiosk . . .
It took your breath away . . .
You continue to believe in the words as transcribed . . .
Nothing wrong with that . . . I too will play the options . . .
Who knows what we will find in the emptiness after the credits? . . .

Paolo Roversi

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Screen Dump 367

On the beach in full-dress rehearsal . . .
reaching for the gold ring
the merry-go-round anything but . . .
wooden horses stuffed with players
jostling for a taste of the imagination . . .
Your offering scanned . . .
Why the strange nomenclature? . . .
Why now with the betting windows closed
and all eyes on the disguise? . . .
I too had no idea it was an enormous pity
what with the domino-effect in effect
being force-fed the far-fetched rationale . . .
You get what you pay for, yes? . . .

Alina Lebedeva


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Screen Dump 366

On the phone with a ventriloquist . . .
imagining his/her unmoving lips . . .
the script - fully formed - trotting across the stage
the lighting subdued . . .
you decide to rebuild the equation
to reduce the gap . . . the inequity . . .
as if jargon were the reason . . .
Pick a time and a place . . . that's it . . .
You will know your lines . . .
Five stars . . . if that means anything . . .
Intact . . . tweaking the past . . . prefiguring the future, yes? . . .
Credentialed of course . . .
for those who trust the certificate . . .

Alina Lebedeva

Monday, May 15, 2017

Screen Dump 365

Do you think you're talking to a normal person here?
          - David Letterman

You have become a gardener of time
refusing to admit to theory . . .
to the notion of passage . . .
balancing world views on a pinhead
while cataloging the entrails of happenstance . . .
Hopes, dreams, paradigms, yes? . . .
come together as a resolution of sorts . . .
of elements of style . . . of chance . . .
the harmonics of each breath . . .
the sound deafening . . . as you confront silence . . .
unable to contribute anything as spellbinding
as emptiness . . .

David Letterman


Sunday, May 14, 2017

Screen Dump 364

You made sure the sidings were empty . . .
The inexplicable explained in the margins
of chapbooks that have taken flight
as a way to appropriate images
from Facebook friends . . .
Squeezing through the mirror
in the fun house
is a fun thing to do on days when footnotes fail . . .
Do you feel as obligated as you once did? . . .
You telling me about your expertise
or what you took to be your expertise . . .
You certainly had your share
of forgotten moments . . .
when out of the blue you received applications
for the position you had yet to advertise . . .
It's all in the business cards, I guess . . .
A good thing you insisted on photo IDs . . .
The incidental music proved a fascinating backstory . . .
One that held the listener . . .
and prompted most to order seconds . . .

Diandra Forrest


Saturday, May 13, 2017

Screen Dump 363

Instead a foray into electronic music . . .
You make do with the acoustics . . .
The true through kicks it up a notch
along the canal of your second chapter
which is pretty much good to go . . .
A low thin cloud invades the recording studio . . .
Again, the emptiness . . .
with a dark function that takes on the late '80s
as if you have isolated the indexes
which hold the order of players
as listed in the credits . . . which keep rolling . . .
There's really nothing to do here . . .
Does this ring a bell? . . .
Recall the boardwalk . . . and the hookups
when everyone smoked or seemed to . . .

Diandra Forrest