Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! Let's hope the end of civilization as we know it does not occur (as my astrologer predicts, though she also says I will win the Yale Youngers competition).

Monday, December 18, 2006

Happy Holidays

I'm going to be on vacation in Florida for a few weeks. Until I get back, please behave. I have cameras everywhere.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Not a War Hero or a Rock Star. The First One.

"Unless one is a poet, a war hero or a rock star, it is a mistake to die young. " Lead sentence of an article by Francis Everitt. See the article here:

Care About the Weather

Raindrops disappoint me, but I still care about them, each and every tear from the stupid sky. I also love immature lightning, though it electrocutes friends of mine and never sends condolences to their widows. Even violent hail is not hell to me, I hail it when it cracks my head, requiring intense emergency surgery, but that's o.k., my feelings aren't hurt. The only thing I can't forgive is snow. It's so icy to me in the mornings when I slide over its frosted flakes, and it has nothing to say to me but eat my cereal, with the cold, cold milk.

Monday, December 11, 2006


On a sheet in my notebook the word purpose glows with infernal light. I'm supposed to sacrifice the bones in my body, the nerves in my skin, all the jokes I tell myself in the shower and all the dream rock concerts I stage in my reveries, for this: purpose. Believe me when I say I'd rather stay in bed, until an angry relative pulls me out with forceps for a second birth. Or instead I'd hide in a safety deposit box, one no one can open because I've swallowed the castor oiled key. Except you, Mr. Guy Above Spying on Girls, Sheep, and Volcanoes, wants me to trudge each day to work, 9 a.m. sharp, and drink from meetings like holy grails, watch the acceptable entertainment at home, approved by the Lord's shopping network. I'd throw away this word if I could. I'd trample it, smack it upside its head. Jam a comma in between r and p, like a prisoner shiving a stoolie. Then I'd pose for the photo, while the cat who ate the canary purrs.


witticism is an epitaph on the death of a feeling -- Nietzsche


When I find out everyone in the world hates me, I'm happy. I always suspected people kept a kernel of dislike within their bodies, slowly germinating until it could bloom into guns and knives. When they string me up, I won't be dismayed. I'll shake the executioner's hands, say good job, write a comment card suggesting that he be given a promotion. The priest on the scaffold will want to stab his cross in my heart, perform a slaying even Jesus would approve, but I'll be touched that he won't do it, wants to share this moment with everyone. Then a whole group of them will push me off the board, and I'll land in hell, over the black smegma waterfalls, into the puss slide that plunges me into a lake of rotting semen. This is always where I thought I should be, suffering in Hades, because I deserve to suffer, and everything and everyone in that place knows it. I won't look in their molten faces and see fake compassion, a false desire to love that which is repungnant, that which is already dead.


I am in denial about the rope around my neck. I refuse to think about the electric chair sizzling beneath my body. I won't contemplate the meteor falling toward the earth, the one labeled "Donald Illich," the one marked "death." I will not consider how close the planet is to growing gardens of explosions, a bloom of fire for each life. I will not climb those steps to the scaffold in my mind. I won't let anyone push me off into empty space, which is a misnomer, because nothing is ever empty. There's always a breakdown in molecules, a place to be burned.

Sunday, December 10, 2006


I can't keep them open. Sometimes all I want is a door to close on me.

Friday, December 08, 2006


Sealing myself up in a container, I ward off everything that could contaminate me. The TV bounces its radioactive rays off other eyeballs consistently seeking gruesome surprises. My stereo blares rock and roll noises I twist away from; mashed notes splatter against walls like rotten potatoes; the speakers Macarena then commit suicide by unplugging their wires. Even the kitchen microwave can't cook me anything I'll eat; popcorn wishes it had stayed in fields for crows; frozen pizza remains boxed in its own personal hell. I see an invisible hand coming toward me, to carry my bag to shelves. Where will they put the sales tag, when will I be purchased from life, who will receive my clearanced soul?

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Fall Night

Fall nights have no excuse for prettiness. Above them a blue moon should be putting on its make-up, below them the leaves should be ready for their close-up. Branches shouldn't just appear to be gnarled fingers scraping the sky; they should really put their whole trunk into it, convince us that black cats and witches would find their trees a nice home. The drama coaches, the wolves, must howl so loudly we jump in our seats, and the pumpkins have to carve their own faces into scary masks, like mom and dad. These evenings should terrify us, so we run into the nearest chuch and splash holy water on our faces, chew garlic until we throw up, wear a cross as we cross the graveyard, hoping nobody dead is cross with us and we don't see dirt thrown up from their plots, their characters rising to close the books on our lives.


The giant chalkboard once again denies my humanity. How long have I have been working on relationship advice, talking to women and winking just right, germinating love cells in their science experiment bodies? "You don't have enough spinach; grow some muscles, manufacture some bones," the chalk writes, "Please tell everyone you know you don't understand beauty and affection at all." I grab an eraser, but it runs out of my hands, crashes like a sports car on the teacher's desk, toppling my desperate apple. Then I try a bucket of water and sponges, but the water flows away from me, seeking to join back with a river, and the sponges announce with puffing noises they'd rather be under the sea than have me squeeze them. I guess I'll have to live with it; not a billboard advertising my failures, just a remedial classroom that dates and lovers can enter, one sad day at a time.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Blue Eggs

Well, a family should be made up of related people who wouldn't eat each other if stuck on a boat in the middle of the sea. That answer scored me an A+ on my human being studies exam. The teacher even asked me to come to the front of the desk to not shed my skin, proving I was not a lizard. I suspected that many of my fellow students would consume their young if given the chance. Blue eggs in the back of the room hatched, and I could swear it was a T. Rex that jumped out. Not celebrating with everyone branded me as the teacher's pet. Instead of snarling and growling with the others, I let a bundle of snakes nuzzle me like babies. If I tried really hard, I'd be able to keep them from biting me through faith.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

New Direction

A new direction in washing clothes has begun. An army of priests disagree on its significance. Will the shirts retain their artificial tint, or will they rise up on lines, unwilling to touch the ground again? Will the dryer reject them, sending out withering heat, or will it embrace them with spins that take them toward fabric ectascy. Their followers take up arms, then legs, then actual guns, then actual crab legs. The advertising company which created the ad campaign now wishes it had taken the adult diaper account instead. On the battlefield a bottle of bleach spills over the front lines, burning everyone horribly. A wave of detergent wipes trenches of soldiers off the atlas. After years of fighting, a peace agreement is signed, and people can now determine whether to follow the new direction or stay with the old. Old jeans continue to rip, socks are lost in couches, a sweater lingers in the closet, neutral.

Youth and Age

Add leaves to your nature costume, a red berry for your nose, a bonnet over your Medusa hair. I've been drinking for so long from this fountain of age, I'll need a crypt to open the door to youth. You, on the other hand, can just lay down in the weeds and whisker seeds germinate in your skin, that winter shaves off with razor blade snowflakes. Don't promise me you'll rescue me from my cave, because my shadow hates me, and I have enough ex-lovers who want to roll boulders back in place, not letting me escape from bats and centipedes. If the time's right, though, I'll add a branch of yours to my family tree, and you'll bury yourself in gleeful ash. Then we can roll in the soil, think of rain that errupts with our memories. Your second grade class, full of hope, grow a leaf through your lips, which my sixth grade A+ project meets with its heart-shaped tongue, shooting an arrow through both of us.

Monday, December 04, 2006

My Poetry Reading in Maryland

December 6 Donald Illich and Lyn Lifshin, followed by open reading Wednesday, 7:00 p.m. Free. Kensington Row Bookshop, 3786 Howard Ave., Kensington, MD. (301) 949-9416.

Ground Zero

Mouthfuls weren't enough, sky didn't quench our thirst. Giant clouds rolling over the horizon, we sucked up houses during benders and spit them out early in the morning. Tractors moving over fields of desperate grain, we chucked the chaff and sucked down the golden seeds. Then the whirlwind came, kissing us then leaving our wheels stuck in mud and our boddies shredded into white threads. We saw her eyes at night before we slept, and we shot up in our nighmares, because of fiery images of her nuclear thunderstorms, her lips turning every part of our bodies into Ground Zero. When our friends found us, we were sucking the desert ground with a straw, radioactive sand that burned our noses and scarred our chests; for a thousand years, through reincarnations to come, we would be untouchable, even by love.

Saturday, December 02, 2006


I've been watching an igloo very patiently. The teenage polar bear who's been hiding in there has my fish. We discussed at length yesterday my request that it stop stealing my items. If its' going to come down from the iceberg it has to respect my rights to consume salmon in peace. It munches them loudly, cracking the scales and bones, growling to the other teenage polar bears that it doesn't have to listen to Old Man Don. Well, I have a penguin with a heavy lead weight that says otherwise. When it lumbers out, it'll see Cool McGee wobbling over the snow, perfect prey, even for a sleepy teen. Once the bear devours it without stopping to the chew, it'll realize it's stuck to the ground, can't move. That's when I'll call on the teenage wolves from next door. They'll give it a razzing it'll never forget, and I'll gain a brand new rug.

Friday, December 01, 2006


A split in the news separated happy features about men and women overcoming their problems and tales of war and woe no one can do anything about. We wanted to mixed the two streams together, but our capabilities were not up to the task. A cat being shot out of a tree by army militia, a man who learns to walk again only to see his family members killed and buried in a mass grave, an astronaut who overcame his fear of heights only to be destroyed by a malfunctioning space weapon. The stories gave us headaches, were unstable elements in our molecules of narratives. Too much like real life, we thought, when every hot cup of coffee carries with it a young child with blisters on his picked-out fingers and each fresh flower holds the scents of sweetness and blood, the beautiful and the exploited.