August 30, 2009

this is why we wake up late at night and light up the candles of our tv sets

i'm going through a thing right now with valzhyna mort. i discovered her for the first time two weeks ago when she read with cynthia cruz at the central park zoo. she has an awesome reading voice and the best hair cut. i bought her book, factory of tears, and although i have read it almost every day since then, i've only read three poems in it. they're just too good and i'm not ready to move on. we'll talk more when i've read the whole book.

what i would actually like to talk about is capitalization, you know, of letters, and how it is completely absent from 1. this blog & 2. the three poems i've read in mort's book.
i never thought about why i don't use capital letters for informal writing on the internet. it just seemed less... formal, and then became habit. one thing i like about words is that we visualize them when we hear them or speak them. if nothing else, sometimes i say a word and visualize how it's spelled. the less i used capital letters, the more i came to visualize my spoken words without them. so when i read these poems, i try to understand how valzhyna mort made that choice.

read it.

Music of Locusts
by Valzhyna Mort

what i wouldn't give

to be a small freckle on the wind's nose
to ride in a convertible
beside a middle-aged man
a teenager will do

it's as if everything that has happened
is nothing but Security which you have to pass through
in order to get into summer
god tossed a heart like a coin
inside me
as if i were a pond
he made a wish
and lingered in the air
and everything belongs to me but hope

the mountains are kneeling like runners at the starting line
their green t-shirts billowing in the wind
then they are gigantic tortoises

he will offer to leave me

the color of his skin is
like the color of the sun at dusk
and the road is parting in front of the wheels
like an army of locusts as it rushes ahead of us

like god's stray eyelashes
the stars are falling- more light! more!
god has no time to make a wish
all he can do is cry out faster! faster!

it's impossible to fall asleep next to this man
at night all that's left of my body
is the music of locusts

August 21, 2009

we ourselves flash and yearn

i have a feeling this blog is going to turn into a parade of cool shit that my roommate shows me. i've never really blogged about john berryman, but he is my favorite poet. berryman is the author of the "dream songs." for these poems berryman created a protagonist, henry, a character that he described as a middle aged man who has "suffered an irreversible loss." there are other characters as well, but yadda yadda yadda you should look into it for yourself, and then you should call me because i always want to talk about jb. the vision/language for the dream songs was conceived by berryman through his dreams, duh. BUT the poems do not reflect the dream-like state, nor are they a stream of consciousness. instead they are intricately constructed. i think that he used his dreams less as subject matter and more as a method of research. when i say research i mean that he was able to access his deepest and truest feelings in dreams, because he felt that it was the least inhibited state.
anyway, my roommate showed me john berryman READING. on YOUTUBE. i don't know how i never thought to look for that. i've always hated that i can never see my favorite poet read (he jumped off the washington avenue bridge in minnesota in 1972.) it's truly amazing to watch him read and hear his voice, and understand how the poems sounded inside of his head.

August 19, 2009

they took away his teeth, white & helpful

poetry friends are the best because you get to bond over something that pretty much no one else wants to talk about. plus you can read each other's poems and say more than "cool, i like this one."
recently i moved into an apartment with the great meghann plunkett, a long time poetry friend. so far the perks are that we've been able to vent our frustration about the shitty poetry selections at most bookstores, like the goddamn strand. we also have access to each other's books. this is mostly to my benefit because meghann has way way way more books in this apartment than i do.
when we're feeling groovy we work on wordy art projects.

my roommate found this book in the trash. it's about animals. enjoy my nails.

then meghann started doing erasure on the pages to make poems, then she illustrated over the words that were erased.
it says "the flocks of tiny/giraffes,/with/their/purplish/birdseed,/a silvery dream/melt away/ the nighttime,/parade/to/water/sparks/and/sometimes/another dimension/is/bottomless/ under/ the/ helpless motion."

then our friend natalie made one.
"water-stalk/daytime/hot/loaded/vinyl/on/inner/drop/from a beach/of basking/I/drift/up/slowly/solid/filling/landscape/the gun/pebbleworm-/some muggers/uhhhhhhh shhlushleeeee uhhhhhh/-a beauty/mud pack/forever./glamorous goo"

i made this one when i was feelin prett-ay groovy.
"swine to poachers/ world-record rhinos/long/silver/lions/monkey-eating/ill-tempered/exotic secretary/cameras were busy/An Eighty-Foot Fall/far/unmistakable/giant ventriloquists/Somewhere/eyeballs/closer to/ GNAASHAHRRRRR/crouched low,"

my girl stephanie made this funky one.
"the hunter/gliding/Breathing/close-up/scraped/downhill/Distance okay/Beads of sweat/ I could see nothing/Years/just/my head/freaking,"

we also wrote some group poems recently but i'm feeling too shy to post them just yet.

August 16, 2009

this post sponsored and brought to you by solitude

say the word 'fond' over and over and observe as it loses all meaning.