Monday, April 30, 2007
The problem is I like to explain things. For example, if a door hits someone in the face, I forcefully describe the events that led to his or her being cracked. First, you were in your own little world -- a nice enough one, yes, with all your exes frolicking naked in a meadow -- but you weren't paying attention to the heavy wood thing in front of you. Second, you forgot to put your hands in front of you to stop the speedy motion of the door. Your instincts for self preservation had been temporarily turned off when you noticed a twenty dollar bill on the ground, one I had placed to test you. Then, lastly, you were unable to dodge the impact. If you had played football for many years like your father had wanted, you might've been able to jump away then score a touchdown. Or if a basketball player, your dad's second choice, you might've been able to dunk the doorknob into the room. So, now you sit, bloody and unhappy, and I'm telling you your faults and my mission: to test every human being's special reflex skills. If I run away fast enough, I'll be able to quiz the travelers in the Metro; I'll input my own messages and times into the display, see who's fooled and goes in the wrong direction.
Thursday, April 26, 2007
I am similar to major weight lifters in the world. They can toss a mountain at a bad guy, while my language can stop an English professor in his tracks. They are able to impress Olympic judges, while I can come up with pick up lines that charm beauty pageant contestants. I can insult anyone and make them cry, while they can prove their greater strength by lifting an automobile. I can perform songs that disable female warning devices, while they can instill fear in nerds running on the beach. It would take too much time to go into the differences, but let it be said that we both pray for deliverance at night, and we both think we could be so much better if we weren't ourselves.
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Her babies were handkerchiefs. When they cried we wanted to blow our nose. When they were burped we wished to put them on our laps. She would have rather had bed sheets or tablecloths, but the doctor said her genes determined their fate. She washed and dried them daily, singing to them as they rolled in the dryer. They loved bleach, their favorite flavor, but hated the taste of fabric softener. She hoped they'd grow up to work in a fancy restaurant, wiping the mouths of rich princes and princesses. Their chances were small, though. Somehow she knew they'd serve in a T.G.I. Friday's or a Red Lobster, the places we enjoyed. We'd wipe fiesta egg roll stains and greasy butter from our middle class faces. We'd sometimes forget they existed, leaving them abandoned and cold to rub the gunk on our pants instead. If they fell on the floor we'd step on them, crunching them down. Waiters wouldn't find them unless they crawled on the floor.
Friday, April 20, 2007
I sketch out a face that resembles mine a little. The eyes are eggs, but I've been cracking. Teeth are chisels I've used to make a sculpture of fate. Cheeks resemble the wings of jumbo jets, roaring for lift off into faith. The hair is falling out, even as I try to stay in line, thinking I'll get something good if I'm patient. The teacher says that's a nice art project, a B grade; I'll have to try a little harder if I want an A. I never believed that was possible, although perfection was the scary twin who badgered me down the halls, whispered the secret I wasn't going to exist. If my hand drops my from my body, I don't know whether I should pick it up again. Hasn't it done enough damage? The lines on the paper are misting. Pencil marks become gas, the face sparks into a ring of fire.
There's such a thing as electricity. You didn't believe in it until the fork in the outlet, the mascara on her face, her blue sun that destroyed you. There's also sun power, which you should consider for your day needs, not your night ones. You do feel its rays are real, because you can see the spots on her skin that want to be leopards, roaring down your throat into your heart. Disagreement about gravity, though, is the kicker. If you forget it exists, you'll peel from the planet, be prominently displayed on a comet's album cover, discard yourself in the moon's trash can. Will she wave as you soar past her, helpless to stay grounded in her presence? There are theories that shouldn't be debunked. Houdini and his E=MC2. Faith and her love equals you.
Thursday, April 19, 2007
I'm not sure if I should post this. It's not completely right yet, and I don't think anything can get at the sorrow and grief people are feeling right now. If you feel this isn't right, that I should take it off the site, please let me know. Memorial Poem I am heartbroken. It tore my heart out. She was one of the victims. His head sticking out above the crowd. Smiling and dancing. One of the best teachers. This is still a shock and still sinking in. Classmates are dead. A leader was shot. Let mom know that I'm doing O.K. Kids were safe playing. This horrific, senseless, and cowardly event. Happy, good-natured, always ready with a joke and a smile. All of the campers were surrounding him. I miss him in my professional world. Looked so beautiful in the gown and cap. This woman loved. We’ll all get through it.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
The most famous man on the earth had a problem. He couldn't get anyone to change the light bulb down in his basement. As soon as he approached someone for help, they screamed and peed on random light posts. They wore shirts with his face giving the expression he was most famous for: dour recognition of life's fleeting nature. Some people even wanted to eat his liver and intestines, so they could become him, therefore earning untold riches and celebrity-status. Not being able to do this task had tortured him since childhood. His father, now dead and not famous, used to time his attempts and denigrate him severely when he failed. "You are nothing but a washed up sitcom character. 'Entertainment Tonight' will never feature you on its broadcasts. Someone else will have to pick up that Oscar, right?" The man holds the bulb again, before the socket, knowing all he has to do is turn it right, right, right, and then he'll see light. His hands twitter, sing, perform an evasion. He's never wanted to look in the coils. An electric pulse, a chemical reaction, might tell him he's not important as he thinks he is. He sits in the dark, doesn't speak.
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
The apples we ate were terrible. So were the swordfish, the cat-of-nine-tails, the asbestos insulation, and the spirit of the age. We told the waiter. He offered us, free of charge, beetles, scars, blustery winds, damaged children, and figuration. None of these things pleased us. On our comment card we wrote this: A time will come when babies walk the earth. Not now, later. When that happens, a chariot of water will drown the stables of an unemployed cop. We will declare victory. Singed, Flame On. Then, we banged the door, biscuit, greeter, and bucolic lake shut. No one has seen us since.
Monday, April 09, 2007
"Hipster irony has run its course. The next time I hear any white male schlub murmur a self-deprecating remark or grunt a reference to pop culture and expect me to laugh, I will beat him almost to death, bring him to the hood, and leave him wrapped in nothing but a confederate flag." -- Marcia Brady from "The Brady Bunch," who also doesn't love my pale, out-of-shape body.
Friday, April 06, 2007
I Check In At "No Tell Motel"
I check in at "No Tell Motel" this week. See my poems here: http://www.notellmotel.org.
Monday, April 02, 2007
If Poetry Journal Seeking Submissions
Hi, I'm starting a new print poetry journal (actually it's zine sized). I'm looking for submissions of poetry until July 31st, 2007. I plan on publishing the journal by early December 2007 (maybe earlier I hope). What I'm looking for: Here are some writers I love: Tony Hoagland, Dean Young, Jennifer Knox, Denise Duhamel, Ben Lerner, Kim Addonizio, Bob Hicok. I like humorous and surrealistic poetry, but with some heart and weight to it. I'm open to good formal poetry, as well as free verse. I want poems with exciting ideas more than another perfectly crafted poem that just lies there dead on the page. If you would like to submit 1-5 poems, please e-mail me at ifpoetryjournaleditor at gmail dot com. No attachments, please put your poems in the body of your e-mail. Basic cover letter preferred. No previously published poems. I'm aiming for 34 pages total for the journal, maybe 48 if I can afford it. Each contributor will receive one contributor's copy and be subject to the envy of all their peers. There are no subscriptions as yet, as I don't know how often the journal will come out; I plan on distributing the journal at readings, through Internet requests, and to libraries, MFA programs, etc. The journal should, at least as far as basic design goes, look like this (with different cover art, of course): http://www.blehert.com/TheFederalPoets/Federal_Poet_Fall2006.pdf. Thank you in advance for submitting work, if that's what you choose to do.