Archive | May, 2012

Beauty Has Lain Its Sharp Knife Against Me

30 May

— for Brant Lyon



My Herkimer diamond water

and my cobalt blue bottle

are set firmly,


in the sun,

and I am

more peon

than peony,

precocious in








Our mutual friend,

Miss Ouija Twinkaos,

speaks to me in dreams

of oracular ants proclaiming

on billowy pink blooms.

Their spirits form a calyx, and I

can’t imagine agreeing to a ball game —

we must’ve gone bowling — I remember

diving into a duck

outside Port Authority

to witness the true transpersonal

nature of reality.

Sadly, I’ve been

volante all weekend:

drag scenes from Shakespeare,

a yoga convention,

then negligent in sending things . . .

I guess not even God can say

why my Moon is so

tabula rasa.

Let this be my motto,

engraved on my tombstone:

“In affairs of the heart I am

vamoosed, and the fun party

seems long ago.”

It’s always a question

of consciousness, isn’t it?

How best to travel

the lovelorn midway

between Coney Island and that haunting

rear-view ashram, where news of friends passing

is ever fresh, an abridged teaser

of grown-up desires.

To praise, appreciate,

express gratitude,

control confidences proactively

(or not):

that’s the future.

When it’s time it’s time.

Let one hand wash t’other,

Like a can of asparagus

gleefully placed in the

bathroom key basket

just to watch reactions.

Wind theory?

Jump start a breezy March.

Not to worry: Mighty Jupiter has our backs!

Nothing, if it exists, cannot not be alive.

Ask the inside

of any tree.



Is it blood soup

and not cranberry juice

you’ve been drinking?

Like you, I’ve been a clothes dryer

of a mental case lately

trying to make changes to the

auto-erotic sequence while preserving

the trickiness of home-schooling,

to which i attach, as always,


Plain-ish sentience

just isn’t interesting.

Walking like an egyptian

already established my

street cred, minus my resentments over

being manhandled by vendors,

landlords, ex-pats in bars.

I’m on the Sunnyside local

posting this — of all the cupidity!

All things being equally ours,

low lightning is not too conducive

to scrutinizing things.

I’ve come to accept that everything

happens in Camden.

I know someone who used to

help a midget there

shop for clothes.

But yes, you are in the throes

of an enchanted embryo:

Aries rising is impatient.

Saturn in Capricorn the opposite,

and Cancer likes to curl up eating cookies

and say, on occasion, “poor me”!

Get that south node working.

Even in the midst of the Great Depression,

the Empire State Building went up, and thjus

life goes on for the brave.

The more you vogue like a trade show stewardess

the more amusing you’ll be to watch.

Personally, I’m already sowing seeds,

forcing Spring, and the moon’s,


Yet I must admit it’s one thing to deliver

stadium speeches at the

B’nai B’rith and quite another

to summer the old-fashioned way

among the largest community of intuitives

in Flushing,

the land of neverending peace and love.

They live in quaint cottages,


for pleasure or


And, yes, exactly:

who IS “Pincus Shelby?”

A name I made up.

I thought it prole-like and

a bit ridiculous, since

not being pissed is

unmotivational for me.

I’m not really on the ledge.

Just ventilating.

I wish mediocrity

didn’t have its way

with so many things.



There’s a sweetness to your

Al Jolson.

I was, admittedly, baiting you, running against your

sensitive, touchy moonchild grain a tad.

The “as is” will find its home

and perhaps


It was only an alright

moonlight at that.

What is your

“downstairs name”?

Perhaps “Summerland in the


When the guides draw closer

they usually confound,

and you know when you receive omens

that a friend visiting the Midwest

will soon send images of his

“division dilemma.”

Looks like we’ll be tableside

this summer

Let not the hotness delay us.

If not the backyard then

a cheap bar!

Let the mockingbird mock

the thrush’s trill.

Past few weeks I’ve been forced to

cut the deadwood,

drive to Long Island

watch the towers crumble yet again.

Would be fun to be up in some

blessed hills again.

Now, about last night . . .



Well, what about it, then?

I enjoyed our conversation immensely;

you have no idea how starved I was

for a sane person to talk to,

and that would mean, basically,

a Sagittarian.

When we get together —

whenever that fine day that should be —

I’d like to read aloud to you,

and have you do the same for me

from your famously beleaguered

Chiron pity-party poetry . . . ha!

The dues I’ve paid

(here and elsewhere)

have left me as richly rewarded

as they have bankrupted.

Thus have I been beholden.

Good to break free now and then

even, or especially,

from the free-fall.

We’re of like minds, yes.

Do come over.

We’ll be two birds with one stone.



By chance, I came across a note from old

pressed between the pages of

“The Dreadful Swimmers”:

“The epilepsy/sex connection

has to do with past abuse of the kundalini:

its neural energy is off the charts.”

Means you were a temple prostitute, babe,

handing out black plastic bags in babylon.

Me? I was a much fluffier furbie.

Let the cool surge dissipate.

Spring is better than

practically anything.

Hope my dark treatise on Obama didn’t

upset you — you seemed a little far away

upon leavetaking.

I’m feeling a little like

a pawn of fate, what with these emergent changes

beyond my control.

I’ve tried so very hard to

make things happen playfully

and with great expectations, etc.

The little isoceles triangles

of Michael Jackson’s nose

have ruined everything about his memory for me.

I hope my intimacy

doesn’t suffer, though mosquitos traditionally

feast on the foreigner.

In the introductory word picture

no-one lapses into omniscient;

in natural speech we say,

“Does everyone have their

condom on?” after, of course, someone asks,

“Who’s Dick Hertz?

Has anyone seen Mike Hunt?”

The diction of the phrase

is more hi-brow than bikini wax.

However, a dangling participle never

split an infinitive,

though many have exhausted or

embarrassed themselves trying.

Where is Liz Taylor

in all this?

I hope she recognizes me by Friday.

I’ll have tits.



Oh, lulliputian, I would puke on lilies

to hear you complain!

Note to self: next life —

no Mars in Pisces!

It eschews fame, loves clutter.

Remember about the front door

and broken fire hydrant?

I’d been desirous of fixing things

(just small things)

and there was also indication of a possible move —

just possible, not ordained.

Still, the harbinger of good news

always arrives.

I shall ALWAYS be a puer,

wrinkles and all!

And you’re next in line!

I’ve revolutionized my diet — juicing constantly,

fish peptides, hibiscus tea,

all alkalinizing foods,

everything I know naturally.

Took myself off the BP meds.

Saw doctor yesterday.

Didn’t say I have no use for his

allopathic prescription pad but that’s

how pure I’ve become.

Deeper methods follow.

Bring to ocean: rinse: rise.

Sparkly energy fresh for new nest.

There’s a tale to tell when I see you.

Send me your time/space grid?

Coordinates help coordinate,

though corduroy might mismatch

middle-of-spring cotton twill.

Dress appropriately.

By now, you’ve begun your journey.

Fare thee well, gypsy!

I expect amazing tales upon your return.


vamp your ass off until I

pass through the door.


This Poet

10 May

— after Chris Lofting, for Edwin Torres




What visible corporeal form does this poet present?

In what traditional nuances does she come “dressed”?

Does she suggest a hidden half-life of carefully maintained traditions?

Or does she eschew these nuances,

in favor of breaking off relations with the past?

If so, do earlier assertions lose their verity?

If not, is there a fraught relationship with the past?



Does this poet successfully express “commence”?

Does she stand up without weakness to say her piece,

ignoring criticisms or challenges to her origin story?

Does she demonstrate the ability to successfully streamline

the long history of prosody into the treasured figure

of a golden human woman with kitten hands?



How does this poet reveal her basic nature,

her mortal wound?

Is it through her choice of dog?

And does that choice reveal (perhaps unwittingly) that, at nightfall,

her mind is too-often beset with danger and blame,

and wondering about that wavering light behind the viaduct?

Does the inclusion of a viaduct support an as-yet-undeveloped

theory of beauty?

If so, what is her relation, if any, to beauty?

From what mud has this poet arisen, or

from what known or as-yet-undiscovered star has she descended?

How does she “sprout”?

How does her dog “sprout”?

Does her dog “sprout”?



Are there inevitable entanglements with syntactical intention

that this poet successfully manages to avoid?

If not, what are the unfortunate consequences?

Is she so deeply in disagreement with her own sentience

that she fails to teach social skills, the patience for opportunity,

the ability to recognize and negotiate subtle gateways?

How does she compromise/express uniformity, or at least meet halfway

the need for the establishment of such gateways?

Does she successfully compete in free-market fashion

while keeping the engine of her competition hidden?




What is her relation, if any, to beauty?

Does she seem to suggest the quantifying of such an unstable,

unreliable (and even vilifying) property as beauty?

First of all, does she even suggest an instability?

Does she lay personal claim to unquantifiability?

Are any properties at all suggested?

Or does she automatically devolve to mirroring?

If so, is there a hidden meaning in the mirroring,

and by what methods (grounded in the text or otherwise located)

can it be accurately gleaned?



Does she suggest the presence of a body crown?

and then provide specific guidances about how to ground,

frame, and then leverage that body crown for greater gains?

Can she adequately assess, then communicate —

in normative syntax, with a clear purview —

the purpose and worth of her own (markedly obvious) body crown?

And can she successfully balance that crown against the pure gold

of tradition, spun from air?



Does she make small gains that can be noticed, tracked?

And is this because of some carefully preserved piquant fragment

of a fraught past?

Does this fragment allow her to provide, without fanfare, and little preparation,

her own humble supper?

Does it confer the ability to traverse a thorny path carefully, gracefully,


and, while navigating, maintain balance and harmony

in the midst of sudden, irreversible — even tragic —

changes to the landscape?



Can this poet’s many obstacles,

so obviously and firmly set, and working against one another,

maintain a unified field, or at least work to neutralize unexpected attacks

from hostile, outside sources, on the poet’s core beliefs?

Can these obstacles, through their own natures and mortal wounds,

express empathy with readers both hostile to and in sync with \

this poet’s basic aims?

Does this poet insult, consciously or unconsciously, the like-minded?

Can it be suggested that she try to prevent this?

If so, what form would the suggestion take?

Since something is to be accomplished, is it necessary

that she have “friends”?



Can these “friends” suggest judicious choices regarding

the density of a center,

and the successful deploying all “ghost words” cleverly

from that center?

Can they suggest that this poet’s center pragmatically oversee all

“ghost word operations,” successfully managing antithetical stimuli

so that these stimuli push the poet’s ideology forward effectively,

without giving offense, so that nothing

remains unfurthered?



How do these ideas identify as “friends”?

Especially as relating to a fraught past (if any; this has not yet been determined).

Would a clear-cut ideology of friends allow words to accrue

(naturally or unnaturally) to actual facts?

Can these ideas-as-friends-as-facts successfully riverboat all ideologies

without exception, and additionally, with appropriate breadth, purity

and sustaining power,

affirm that the poet’s innate enmities will not froth continually forth against

her principle expression?



In spite of these innate enmities, does this poet manage to find, express,

and celebrate a faith?

And if so, what is that faith?

Can the faith be expressed succinctly, gracefully in dependable,

forward-moving time?

Or is it a “faith” counter to the essential principles of forward-moving time?

Does the “faith” question chronos? Elevate kairos?

If no, or if so, how does the poet correct this corruption?

Indeed, does she even successfully express this kind of dichotomy

as a corruption?



Is this poet “successful”?

Is this poet “beautiful”?

Does this poet express “value”?

Does she acquiesce sufficiently to the low,

defer appropriately to the high?

Reflect precise cognizance of her station?

Does this poet actively elicit admiration,

or passively attract by innuendo, association?

Does she “housekeep” properly,

clearing chaff before incorporating wheat?

Are those fragrant boughs on her threshold?

Do those boughs “add value”?



Does this poet engage in a non-located, disembodied spiritual ethos,

providing little or no solutions to our lives’ demands?

Is this her way of expressing — indeed experiencing —

states of mind that are exceedingly seductive, even addictive?

Is this poet “addicted”?

And, if so, is she successfully “addicted”?



Will this poet move politely beyond what is required?

Or will she “showboat?” “crow?” “grandstand?” “badger?” “preen”?

Can she express her excess per established mainstream conventions?

If no, how might she ultimately assert containment/control?

And will she add normative, recognizable value to that control?

If so, does her work let slip the idea that she believes that control

to be “beautiful”?



Does this poet “woo” you with a restrained enticement?

Or does she draw you in, potential compeer, by enticing with

a practiced, crafted insouciance?

Is this poet lying to/using/exploiting you?

Is she asking too much of her interlocutor, her responder?

Or is her interlocutor/responder projecting personal issues neither contained

nor addressed by the poet,

but rather issues related to, for example, an untended relationship

with a needy parent?



Does this poet bring something — anything — into the light?

And is this light a fair trope that can be described, pointed to, aimed at?

Would you say that the phrase “Omni quae sunt, lumina sunt”

is a valid assessment of the light’s role vis a vis the poet?

Does the poet know how to protect this light if the light feels

it lies unprotected as it has not yet come into its time?

Does the light exit the precincts of the poet insulted?

Why has the poet violated the light’s role?

Does the poet believe that insulting her (admittedly) chosen, fair trope of light

adds normative, recognizable value?

Can these missteps — if indeed they be missteps —

be successfully corrected?



Does this poet have the ability to gracefully deploy rigid structure

as a form of surface tension release?

Can she “mirror” or effectively deal with opposition?

Does she obstruct, go against, stand up to, the general flow?

What is her position with regard to the flow?

(And the flow’s position regarding the poet?)

Is there a stand-off?

Is the stand-off obstinate?  Flawed?

Or a necessary enhancement of value?

Can the stand-off be pressed upon to yield?

Or should this poet ultimately be forced to release the stand-off

through a faux-relaxed structure plan, attainable within, say,

three or four stanzaic elements?

And can the stand-off be asked to track changes

in the poet’s will-to-change?

Is the will-to-change too much to expect of this poet?

Does this poet exhibit a will-to-change?



Will this poet ever achieve normative, recognizable value?

Will she someday “seed” her meanings successfully?

Is she fated to always become overly entangled with something/someone?

Can she learn to remain integrated within her own context,

either by the subtle hand of craftmanship

or strenous slave-master boundary effort?



Is the life of this poet already delimited?

From where does she get her nutrition?

How does she express conversion from the raw to the cooked,

vulgar to sacrosanct?

Has she ever genuflected, bestowed roses?



How does this poet express discernment, gradual development, maturity?

Has she expended her energy too soon?

Is her natural exuberance completely shot?

What happened to her original radiance, her abundance overflowing?

What complications dictated her choice of dog?

What complications were the result?



Did this poet express her goals too intensely?

Did she standardise?

Did she fail to express empathy?

Did she not successfully protect a soft core by fronting a hard exterior?

If so, has this poet “failed”?



Did this poet ever, at any point, “get it right?”

And if she does, does she do so by engaging in focused, framed self-sabotage,

rejecting the work of making things clear,

eschewing her (purported) goal of revealing the roots of foolishness

by gently dispeling the cloud of unknowing?

Despite her flaws, her wrongs, her sins against convention and taste,

can she still cultivate a reader and become, ultimately,

through a “Pontius Pilate’s mosquito” sort of notoriety, influential?



Is the value of this poet simply that she enables engagement?

That she demonstrates the capacity to be present and open,

not grasping at or rejecting either presence or the transcendence of presence,

and thus her openness remains (and retains) a natural adjectival sublime?



Should this poet continue to strive for success

despite her aggressive actions against agency,

her obsessive reanimations of highly personal pied moments,

the consistent shifting of her attentions away

from an immediately visible, comprehensible form

to a postponed instress of questionabily pleasurable shock?

Should she blame herself for her failure to cause a bear to appear,

her lack of a proper dog?

And if that failure indeed rests upon the lack of a proper dog,

what dog would be the right dog?

From what kennel, if any, would it come?

And can that lack be remedied?

Ultimately, could it be?

In a final assessment, should it be?