Monthly Archives: April 2011

Longing Sites, Singing Chaos

1
I was trying hard to cling to some other thought
but don’t think there’s some-
thing moving thru us but rum-
ored sounds lost at the ends of lines.
I mean
I can’t find the pen
to say where it hurts
still—
I can’t transmit anything the world has to say
or resist clinging to this
Shit, I mean I’d do anything
to save you from the world too—
awful this won’t count.
2
I mean this won’t count
as a part of all the glam-
Our songs need but poetry distorts pain-
ting can’t cover
the force which de-
scribes our state
of longing
even when
the longed for long gone—
 
A sorrow never parts
from its content.
I can’t say
what breaks feel-
ing or say it
won’t break
in the margins
yet it persists.
3
I wanted
to write
myself away
and back to you.
 
4
This morning I dreamt out loud
I thought only to be in love tonight
less I know how to be-
come lost—
in the present all the words come out all wrong.
Dreams under-
stand the heart breaks,
poems ruin more than I ever like—
this poem falls
short of singing
and feeds the things I can’t be-
Longing to hear
a single vowel
of yer name
before all names for you lost.
5
What standard affirms this poem
won’t count what really means nothing
but debris of a past thought ends like dawn
sucked me slow sounds pretty
sad and nice.
I mean it reflects
what this can’t mean—
what’s in mind never transcends
what’s spoken
if no one hears it sung.
6
Hush,
nothing fails
unless
you see it
vanish.
 
7
Once a little
singing mean-
ing nothing if
they’re all dead.
 
8
Who isn’t trying to glimpse the horror
to record the sounds
we know of love?—
mere hopes spill over
in a word with-
out a site for us
to share this fate-
less song.
9
Let’s be done
with all this singing finally
undo me with yer body
so I can caress yer tender cores.
10
I’m making this
in a little room
where I know nothing
more than yer bedpost
and bone.
Our merging flesh fills this
space with a neon fire.
I can’t catch a breath still
—Come smoke me with yer body,
hang me in the cool street mist
where lost souls hide
behind the porn shop by the beach.
O starry night sent-
ence me to real love
which haunts all places
and binds our little parts
of speech with a little thisness.
See I’m
still a sap
for the real thing
still I know it must end if we’re having fun.

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O, the fog!

The sound of the fog,

the wind blowing

almost listening and willing—

in the chance it felt our hearts,

fainter, alone—

an ocean passed us,

full of our cry,

out of the deep.

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A Minute on Kerouac’s Misunderstanding and Misreading of Pound

In The Subterraneans, Kerouac describes his literary circle as: “They are hip without being slick, they are intelligent without being corny, they are intellectual as hell and know all about Pound without being pretentious or talking to much about it, they are very quiet, they are very Christlike” (1).

 

The misunderstanding and misreading of Pound was possibly fueled by booze, amphetamines, and benzadrine. Or his essays we merely scanned and important parts—such as “Use no superfluous word, no adjective, which does not reveal something” and “Don’t be descriptive; remember that a painter can describe a landscape much better than you can”—were overlooked.

 

Pound was interested in the precision, not sloppiness, of language and the good writer knows when to shut the hell up.

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Minute of Silence

I am going to talk about silences but in speaking about them, of course, I am not remaining silent.

 

Silence is the neglected, bastard, red-head-gay-lesbian-transgender-transsexual-bi-sexual-Irish-Black-Mexican son of language.

 

Silence dances around the words, mingles in the margins, in the white space. E.E. Cummings knew how to utilize silence. He knew that shit well! The Beats ruined silence. They were like Mormons—the more wives, or words, the better. And silence was the ugliest wife.

 

Silence is a part of language. It is in the space between words, after punctuation marks, when a line breaks and stanza, or paragraph, ends. And we ignore them. Or the majority of readers do. They run right by and over the silences as a car runs over a cat or squirrel or frog or leaf and rushes towards the next word or line or stanza without thought.

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Footsteps

from Night With Drive-By Shooting Stars

by Jim Daniels

 

She dances in front of the window

perfectly dropping her towel,

dressing the world in sequins.

She rises and disappears,

almost invisible.

I follow the soft footsteps

find her under the sheets.

I turn off the lights and give in.

 

We float, pressing hard

offering my careless seeds

as if that were enough.

 

(published in Michigan State University’s lit journal The Offbeat vol. 10. The editors, again, published this poem as one paragraph and did not include the credit to Jim Daniels. This is the correct format of the poem.)

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A woman reading my poems

has a slight smile on her face

staring down at the page.

 

Her hair (long, dark brown)

grazes one of my poems.

 

I close my eyes,

imagine it falling on my face.

 

(published in Michigan State University’s lit journal The Offbeat vol. 10. This poem was published as one paragraph, and this is the correct format for the six line poem.)

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How to be Happy: A Memo

It’s a new year, full of possibilities.

Remember, each day is a gift.

Throw away the relics of your last life

and finally ask that woman with the Sun draped hair

out for a cup of coffee or, perhaps

something less arbitrary, a movie.

 

Dress yourself nice.

Conceal your wounds behind a smile of joke.

Give away as much of yourself

as your beard will allow—about forty percent.

Wear the other sixty like a necklace.

Hide it under your shirt,

 

only exposing it when the time arrives

for dim lighting and whispering.

 

(published in Michigan State University’s lit journal The Offbeat vol. 10. In the edition, the editors published the poem as one paragraph. This is the correct format.)

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Young Writers, revisited

(revisited and revised)

I wasn’t

lonely until

 

post-modernity

taught me

 

the impossibility

of being true—

 

I like that,

and I don’t

 

but the feelings are mine.

 

I work hard

not to let myself go—

 

to fight

to have nothing

 

significant said—

 

while young writers

too busy bumbling

 

and thrumming words

to notice

 

the juniper’s jig,

the lark’s demure lyric

 

can’t sing beyond the key

of what they feel

 

right now

I’m all I’m comfortable with

 

what I know

is in spring

birds sing back.

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three small words

(revisited and revised)

 

Who isn’t trying to glimpse

the horror to record

the sounds

we know

of love—

mere hopes it’ll spill over

 

in three small words which can’t cover

or glimpse

what it is. Love,

I can’t read the records.

What I need to know

is what it sounds

 

like—whatever it sounds

like—don’t tell me when it’s over.

I need to know

just enough to glimpse

and record

its distances. I don’t want love

 

to follow—I want love

to match  the sounds

and accord

with what I’ve written over

before it goes limp.

I know

 

it gnaws at what I know.

I’d love

it to be simple

enough to sound

out a syllable of yer name—before it’s over,

let me record

 

my own version of it. I’ll record

what I’ve come to know

over

this distance. I love

how sounds allow me to go someplace else,

 

perhaps Concord. Love—

no—just spare me the sounds

and cover everything else.

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