Thursday, April 24

Well. Life will destroy you. There's no getting around it. It's a concrete fact, a biological absolute. We're all Schrödinger's cat and the box is not going to open any time soon. So maybe I'm not asking if you can be undestroyed. Maybe I'm asking if you can love in the face of the failure of all love and the certainty of death and the fact of solitude and the magnitude of what you can't encompass, no matter how hard you try or how profoundly you stop trying, no matter if you're Allen Ginsberg or Jack Keroauc or Walt Whitman himself or I think even Christ lurking in the stone, Buddha sitting under the tree. And it would be conventional to believe the answer is yes, but all I can say is I don't know yet.

monday, april 21

the poetry of everyday american life

dude in suspenders, glasses, bad shirt
rages near the checkin line at DIA:

"my head is splitting but
you don't see me takin'
no aspirin or tylenol like
a pantywaist."

Thursday, April 17

So my good friend Isaac sends word that the Harriet Tubman Free School could use some help on the financial front.

They've got a cafepress store up with the usual range of swag, or you could just opt to give them some dollars.

wednesday, april 16

some days i'm in love
with the ten thousand things.

tuesday, april 15

3am / not nebraska

i've let it get late again
i'm tired, my eyes are watering
and i haven't done anything at all today

jacob wrote earlier, he's back in lincoln
the strange familiar city i stumble
through so much in memory —

but now might not be the time, to talk
about all of that

this room is still a mess
my bed is still unmade
500 miles or ten thousand however
you count it hasn't changed much
in terms of my domestic habits,

and though i know this is only
a little dislocation for a world so large
i still don't have a handle on it whatever it is that confronts me

i keep myself offkilter, live in it
like the habit of prayer
i've been reeling so long from
the blow of your momentary regard
the three or four of you

that i'd feel lost with too much
direction ready to hand,
seasick at too steady a horizon.

Monday, April 14

I quoted Daniel Davies on Ayn Rand the other day (in LinkDump, over there to the right of the front page):

I forget who was that said that there is a moment in a child's life when he is reading the Narnia novels and some grown-up tells him "Of course, you realise that Aslan is really Jesus" and the kid realises that he can never trust an adult again. As with Pilgrim's Progress, as with Narnia, as with all such books, the students are going to end up fucking hating capitalism for ruining an otherwise perfectly decent novel.

Posted just now, by one Warehouse:

Would it not be fairer to say the authors ruined the novels? And what the hell does a form of government, namely capitalism, have to do with the interpretation of literature?

I have two questions.

One, have you ever read Ayn Rand? *

Two, is the entire fucking internet actually some kind of put-on?

sunday, april 13

carolann says we should mend
our hearts through drastic action

well, i keep getting out of bed,
don't i?

Thursday, April 10

memetics

$ history|awk '{a[$2]++} END{for(i in a){printf "%5d\t%s\n",a[i],i}}'|sort -rn|head
  121   ls
   66   cd
   50   ssh
   28   svn
   21   fg
   20   vim
   19   w
   19   perl
   18   scp
   13   sudo

I suspect this is indicative of a very poorly configured Bash. And of spastically typing w while idling on the prompt.

Anyone else?

monday, april 7

it ain't just feet of clay
you shatter and shake down dust
from all the way up
dust and pieces sharp as glass,
colors of broken bottles
trap shot pigeons, storefront panes
and busted windshields
edges like the beercan sheer
that lacerated my fingers once,
the taste of blood like copper
no like coors light aluminum
and my face in the mirror
as i fumbled for a bandage
mike outside the door
it's just a little cut
my face in the mirror
a stranger through the bloodloss
buzz, to myself at least
in all those mirrors from
nebraska to colorado and
points in between asking
what are you doing?
i didn't know then,
in kansas city bath
grand junction billings
christchurch wichita
westmoreland salina
or maybe i'm a liar
maybe knew too well
but it was always a rhetorical
question and it at least
has never checked the motion
of these brittle feet.

sunday, april 6

yesterday morning.

walking up the pearl street mall
i'm tailed by a cop car
this is ridiculous i think as i step to one side
and sure enough he rolls down a window
and asks what i'm doing down here so early

it occurs to me that the legitimate transients
have all gone to ground by this time
for sound reasons
and i don't actually have a good answer for him
so one of those mundane but weirdly sharp
exchanges follows — you know the pattern
i say something stupid
the cop says something stupid

yes, officer, that is just exactly it
i have nothing better to do at 6:00 on a saturday
morning than shuffle along the deserted pedestrian mall
later of course i'll think of all the witty
or disarming or confident kinds of things
i might have said

i have never been good with the police
something about power & authority
i get slow & stupid,
downright shifty

anyway i throw the guy a bone
and ask if he's noticed the vandalism down
the street a bit
three smashed up benches
and a couple layers of shattered glass at
the cycle shop that used to be a coffee house

he thanks me, i go my way, he goes his
me feeling like a six year old child all over again
and him, who knows — what does a cop feel like?
between fatigue and the darth vader car
and the stupid stereotyped roleplaying
of almost every interaction i have
ever had with johnny law
i'm not a good enough person to even wonder much

i guess this is better than reacting like
i used to when the authority was let's say
an uptight superintendent of schools
and my basic response was to see how much
fat important anger i could wring out
into the air and how quick
the threat was of course implicit there too
the usual implication of potential physical violence
but there's a scale to these things

and i'm not much for winding people up any more.

saturday, april 5

3am / bird

the IHOP is busy
as these things go
four cops in one corner
more sobriety in the whole place than
i expect at this time of night
at this end of the week
the waitstaff are running a little ragged
i never did get my little rack of
hot sauce ketchup and whatnot

fuck it the coffee tastes good
tastes like the american middle west
like the air did the other day in the
morning with the foothills
all gone behind the fog

that night i left work and
went out to start my car in the parking
lot and this huge grey bird
unfolded himself from the near bank
of this scum-green pond that sits
in the dull center of our dull light-
industrial office park attracting
waterfowl to shit on the sidewalks
and tempt the muskrats
all winter long

and maybe it's a sign of my recent growth
as a person that as much as i thought about
thinking about this moment as a metaphor for something,
or at least pretending to in some poem
in the end
i like it better as a bird.

friday, april 4

and one day
what once would elevate you
just starts to dissipate you