Sunday, October 11, 2009

Poem

Journal Entry
by Frank Hill

can’t write.
nothing to say, I guess.

nostalgia
for so-called shallow joys –
first loves
rock n’ roll n’
bong hits.

the innocence I’ve known, as they say.

that first innocence
a mere longing long ago
for so-called simpler times-
family and home.

But
my father is a man,
my mother a woman.
not now nor never been
hero or villain.

lou reed said,
villains always blink their eyes… hoo!

the rest of us must tear up a lot.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Poem

Present
by Frank Hill

As this moment

emerges

into the future

and recedes

into the past,

what will you have become?

what will you have lost?

Friday, August 21, 2009

Poem

The Geometrics of Meaning
by Isa Harper

Blades gleam
in soapy water;
I imagine
the body carvings of depressives
as Dylan sings
of Ophelia’s sin.

“Lifeless”
being merely
the difference
between
here… and… there,
where there
is an unknown,
possibly zero,
quantity
and here,
though written in the syntax of suffering,
is known to contain
at least one measurable unit –
the angle of sunlight
on a kitchen floor
where the domesticity
of one man
plays out
like a ritual.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

poem

Nature’s God;
or, the misapprehension of Self’s relation to the whole;
or, abolishing the forms to which I am accustomed
by Frank Hill

Blank page…
Blinking cursor…
What next?

“When in the course
of human events
it becomes necessary…,”etc.;
my own little
declaration,
whose first draft
will not haunt
halls Historical,
but… drift
instead
unread
by many
in a digital
dem o cratic
sea.

Statement:
speech in a void
is as good as none.

Self-evident?
True?
Or False?
One?
Or Zero?

Today I declare myself:
alone,
adrift,
anchorless…
Independent?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Poem

Pinball
by Isa Harper

Back & forth
digital 2 analog
seeking the social
n’ finding only
chatrooms full of strangers’
emoticons – self-reflective
digital detritus
on the sea of experience;
not social, only solo
with witnesses.

Even writing now,
an exercise in solo;
when will I be together again?

Bouncing around
this space & sound
of body & time
not mine, but borrowed, I
play my GHEE-tar
and wonder where you are-
my playmates,
my friends,
my lovers,
all gone now – even
those that aren’t. I
log on
to the
digital
an’ I log off
of the
digital
an' I log on
to the
analog, on
to the real world -
not the Facebook reality
where you and me
merge unawares
of other and self;
either we don’t care
or don’t understand
that we should,
but,
as they say:

“I will try
to understand,
either way.”

“& i do
and eye doo
hand eye do
doo doo doo doo doo doo”

The recording remains,
analog 2 digital -

“back & forth &
back & forth &
back & forth
around again”

like a pinball in a game
of Life – surreal &
unlikely and without
an eye to the useful.

An’ I log off to
analog.

ttfn

lqtm

lmao

cqtm

ta ta for now
laugh quietly to myself
laugh my ass off
cry…
quietly…
2
my self.

:)…

Sunday, June 07, 2009

poem

Self-showing
or
Things in themselves
by Frank Hill


Standing,
I pull myself from the floor of Plato’s cave,
insistent on seeking the source of this lie,
the light of which refracts,
projecting dancing shadows
on the walls of my underworld dwelling.

I fall, sick, at the threshold. And now,
with the unwanted help of strangers,
I am dragged kicking and screaming to the lie,
this light that shines and blinds
as the rocks scrape
my knees,
my palms,
the tops of my feet.

Resigned and bodily dropped, I crawl,
too dizzy to look but to the scratched floor
where so many have been dragged before;
slowly, slowly, my eyes adjust to new light,
the lie of which is shown to be
only the self-showing of me
to the world under which I have dwelt and knelt
with my cave-dwelling tribe.

No light,
no lie
brought me to the surface;
force applied and again
applied again
until resistance was only
stone scraping skin
as I dragged myself to the lie above
in hopes of returning with magnificent tales.

I will tell the tale with fear, and hope
that those who’ve stayed behind, or
been dragged a different path, may love me still
and embrace the self-showing
of the sun that I’ve become.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Poem

The Platonic Tradition
by Frank Hill

Pale,
cold,
gray
concept nets
is how Nietzsche
put it;
rationality, a death-trap
for the fishes of sense -
I imagine
the frozen,
calloused hands of
New England fishermen
working at the icy ropes
of Platonic forms,
pulled from leaden
waters,
hands grabbing
the flopping fishes
of sense and slicing
flesh for bait.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Dream

Some statements are not holographs.

Dream

The onion, who is other than it, says, "I am the onion," and finds himself lost.

Poem

Like, the moment after the fall

Eve shucks the shallow side
and covers up her depths
while Adam learns,
with a monkey's grace,
his very first dance steps.

Isa Harper: a brief introduction

The attentive and/or long-time reader of Parrhesia will notice the name Isa Harper here and there, as author, character, scapegoat. Harper is a figment of my imagination, his name an anagram for Parrhesia.

The blog is a very strange discursive space; at once personal and absolutely de-personalized, it allows for an entirely new set of statements and figurings - artistic, political, satirical, etc. However, the line between narrator and author are non-existent in the grammar of the traditional blog. Unless something is attributed to someone else explicitly, the audience assumes the confessional nature of the blog is to be taken at face value. To overcome this entirely would take the deceptive act of adopting a blog persona and writing from that mental space. However, the self-deception that would need to take place to do so is herculean in scope and defeats the very premise of my blog, Parrhesia (translated as "fearless speech" via Foucault). One cannot speak fearlessly and speak pseudonymonously. The two are incompatible.

So, instead, I opt for this third option. Of course, not everyone will read this post who reads a poem by Isa Harper on my page, but if there is ever a question I can point them to this post as an apologia and an explanation of sorts. It is necessary, lest I be confused with my narrator (for all those who know me and read me) and so that I can write whatever it is that I am wont to write in this space, in my voice or in the voice of another.

In a novel, it is much easier perhaps. Twain writes, "You don't know about me without you have read a book by the name of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; but that ain't no matter." Melville writes, "Call me Ishmael." Immediately we know we are dealing with a narrator. (Please note: no comparison between my writing and these greats is meant. These are just famous examples that came to mind straightaway and did not require a lot of effort to find - I'm a lazy author at heart, one of the reasons I make no comparison to these greats.)

Where was I? Oh yes, immediately we know we're dealing with a narrator. However, I write, "Life's a bitch and then you marry one" and it's a little bit less clear that between myself and my marriage and those words there is a third party - a narrator who is speaking colloquially of his own marriage, not mine. So, I attribute it to someone else and make clear that I am doing so and that that someone else is my character to do with as I please. (Sounds dirty.)

And unlike authors, narrators can be made unreliable, can twist and turn in ways that a fearlessly speaking author cannot. When I write outside Harper's voice, I am writing for myself and attempting to be held accountable for the words in some parrhesiastic sense, whether I am speaking artistically, politically, ethically, etc. When I write in Harper's voice, I am still attempting to write fearlessly but with a clear remove from myself and those that I love so that no one is confused as to what's what and who is who.

One final note. This is a new update to my blog and so I will gradually be making sure that archives reflect the name of Isa Harper as their "author." But this will take time. If you see something and you think, that doesn't sound like the Frank Hill I know... write a comment (I love getting them!) and tell me. You might find out that I simply misattributed the thing. Or you might learn something new about the Frank Hill you know. :)

The biolographical details of Harper's existence will emerge over time. They are, to say the least, sketchy at this time.

But then again, what would we expect from him - he's a sketchy guy. ;)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Go Empathy!!! Hip Hip Hooray!!

There has been some concern expressed that Obama has chosen Sotomayor for her demonstrated "empathy." Need we remind the learned representatives that empathy is one of the fundamentals of representative democracy, without which one cannot ever presume to "speak" for another?

Aaaargh!!!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

breathing

One need not theorize breath;
one need only breathe
in and out
without self,
without other,
without reflection.

Breathing on a mirror fogs the image;
breathe away from mirrors
and avert your gaze from that
of the breather
for he needs you not
to reflect.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

updated lyrics to "This Train is Bound For Glory"

Instead of gamblers and hustlers, I've changed it around a little bit.

Open to suggestions:

This train don’t carry no racists
this train
This train don’t carry no racists
this train
This train don’t carry no racists
no noose hangers, no two-bit stasists,
This train don’t carry no racists
this train.

This train don’t carry no homophobes
this train
This train don’t carry no homophobes
this train
This train don’t carry no homophobes,
no truck draggers, no right wing queens,
this train don’t carry no double talk,
this train.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Reclining Guitar

Self portrait 3

Red Wheelbarrow Revisited

so much depends
upon

the waking
soundings

of William
Carlos

Williams’ poem;
he who

like all pediatric
poets,

examined
my children:

these lines
written

on a Sunday
morning

in Chicago
while

squirrels click
and robins

call outside
my window.

Coffee and
cigarettes

and cell phone
in hand,

I stand on
my deck

anew, wondering
at the nature
of simultaneity
and if it’s changed…

Saturday, May 16, 2009

more poems from college

Concrete Poem

Anglo-Saxon Prosody



Poetic License




Our professor in college, Lew Turco, gave these out upon successful completion of his class. I'll have to hang it up in my office sometime.

Portrait of the Poet as a young man

A poem from college that I just found:

ashtray breath
brown briefcase
no hello
how are you?
good morning
can't afford it
time is money
barking
type
copy
file these
no please
baggy pants
polo shirt
itchy ass
scratch it
coach
team needs you
business meetings
trips
dinners
wine
steak
eat
smoke
drink
team needs you
itchy ass
scratch it
heart attack at fifty two
barking
type
copy
file these
no please
no thank you

Friday, May 15, 2009

self portrait 2

Bad Joke Telling Skills

I performed "The Banks of the Ohio" (link is to my album on Last.FM and is a recording of a rehearsal) with my old time ensemble at our Old Town School of Folk Music graduation. Me on vocals and guitar. My friends Alex, Aron, and Claire on mandolin, banjo/vocals, and fiddle/whistle, respectively. The link is a recording of one of our rehearsals. Feel free to take a listen. Hopefully it doesn't make you register for anything to do so. My first post to last.fm.

The lyrics, which may be hard to make out from the recording, are as follows:


I asked my love to take a walk
Just a little ways with me
And as we walked and we would talk
All about our weddingday

CHORUS:
Darling say that you'll be mine
In our home we'll happy be
Down beside where the waters flow
On the banks of the Ohio

I took her by her pretty white hand
I let her down that bank of sand
I pushed her in where she would drown
Lord, I saw her as she floated down

Returning home about twelve or one
Thinking "Lord, what a deed I've done?"
I killed the girl I love, you see
Because she would not marry me

_____

Now, one of the rules of the graduation was that you had to prepare jokes to tell while the banjo tuned, cause they have to tune for different keys (I just learned this). I, of course, vetted all my jokes with my fellow bandmates, but I don't think they're a good judge of audience anymore. No offense, guys.

My first joke was this:
Q: What's the difference between a professional musician and a 15" pizza?
A: The pizza can feed a family.

Mild. Funny. Mildly funny. EVERYONE LAUGHED. Guffaw!!

The second joke was more in the vein of the song (sweet ballad that turns into pscyho fantasy) but I literally got booed. If the audience had had fruit, they would have thrown it. Here goes...

Q: How many male chauvinists does it take to screw in a light bulb?

....
....
........
....

A: None. The bitch can cook in the dark!

BOOOOOOOOO

I got one laugh from my friend Kristin. And then the fiddle player (woman) defended me saying, "but you all laughed when he killed the love of his life in the last song...?"

Lesson: context clues are important.

Other hit joke of the night besides my first one:

Q: What did one muffin say to the other?
A: Oh my gawd, a talking muffin!

blah....

the other one that received only groans:

Q: Why did Raggedy Ann keep getting kicked out of the toybox?


A: She kept sitting on Pinocchio's face and screaming, "Lie to me! Lie to me!"

Now THAT's funny!!

:)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Joke

Q: What do you call Cheney wearing an Obama Biden nosering?
A: A good start. :)

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Poem

5-7-7:
when sexual selection goes right
or
How Steve Martin's Early Work saved my marriage

by Isa Harper


Life's a bitch, and then
you marry one, and then you
realize, "I'm a Jerk!"

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Thank God for Family

A poem by one of our sisters given to me by one of my mothers.

Enjoy it. :)

The Journey
by Mary Oliver

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice---
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.



But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do---
determined to save
the only life you could save.

Poem

Expectations
by Isa Harper


Through the glass door
of her office,
I saw her black face
marked by the sin
of American inauguration,
a revolution fought and old
so she could be bought
and sold for less than the least of these my brothers.

She seemed
to me to be
gesturing
and mumbling
to herself, chanting
some ancient ritual
from the
trees of a jungle
unknown to me as I
bungled for the door knob, then winced
and,
forgetting myself,
knocked before entering
like the cops never do
if they really do
want to get you.

Her right arm
was extended
above her
in some kinda
defensive posture
for a moment;
I saw
a knife in her hands! The creased black crows
of her eyes
popped
into relief like some
wide-eyed minstrel demon
and I felt
a drop of sweat
on my brow -
she was a killer after all! Just like
just like
just like all
the rest of
them;
TV
was right
about them all. They
all do this. They're
killers.
Left to their own
devices, they'd rape
us all and eat our daughters,
wiping fresh blood
from their grey lips
those white teeth popping
and snapping
like a tiger!

And then it happened.

That thing.

that thing. what was it?

what is that?

is that... a ... knife?

what's...

She smiled.

:)

and I thought . . .
...
...

and then I smiled

:)

She dropped her hand slightly and waved me in.

Good morning, she said. I'm afraid you caught me practicing my fly cast
without a pole...
... a little ...

embarrassing.

Mr. Harper, is it?

Yes, ma'am, I uttered, breathlessly... barely...

blushing... naked white skin blushing...

Have a seat, she said.

The trophy fish
stuffed along the wall. There
the photo of her with friends
along a stream in
was that Montana?

And I thought, but did not say,
because humor is fickle,
like sickle cell,
"If only I could see it, she's probably
blushing too."

And I smiled, and said,
What is that, a brook trout?

Poem

Extraordinary Rendition
or,
Give Hope a Chance:
Y uh hunert daze doan proof shit, bitches!
or,
Stop focusing on the past; today's the only day left
or,
this is not a rehearsal! this is the real fuckin' thing!

(Ladies and Gentleman:

the former President of the United States of America,

Theo L.D. Whiteman!)

.......

***

***

***

......


Uh... thank you....

thank you very much...

thank you....


you're very kind, really.


too kind

too kind


Thank you..


Thank you..

No, please, please sit. I....

Thank you....


please.

please.


Thank you.. Thank you so much

I'm being paid by the hour, so ....


thank you...

thank you....

you can just keep doing that all night.


Thank you...

wave to the camera.

Thank you...
okay...

Well, I thought I'd start

thank you

with a

no, please, please. you're too kind.

Thank you...

I thought I'd start with a joke.

What's 2+2?

No.

Just kidding..


heh heh


just kidding, that wasn't the joke.

Here it is:

What did one paper bag say to the other?

...

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:)

(that's much too long a pause.)

Oh.

Uh... okay...

uh...

Sorry... I'll uh...

try again.

ahem....

What did one paper bag... OW!

That was my ear, dude!

Seriously, what the fuck?!

ow.
....
...

Jesus!

Yeah, I'm talkin' to you, boy!

No not you, Faggot!

The other one!

No, not you neither, sycophant!

You, the one with the brown skin and the wooly hair like a sweet little lamb

mmmmmm.....

laaaaamb.....

...

Anyway...

Yeah, you!

Don't just look at me.

Your name is Jesus, right?

(mmumblemumblemumble)

Speak up, boy! You sound like you got marbles in your mouth!

You a fuckin' marble mouth? I didn't think so!

What's your name, Marble Mouth!

(It's Jesus, sir.)

...
...
...
...!...
:
:
:... :...

Oh! Haaaay-Seuss! My bad, dude! Sorry.
...

...

...


Anyway, hey-Sue's...

if that IS your real name...

heh heh uh heh

uh... heh.

Anyway, uh Xchay-soos...

was that right?

(close.)

okay. uh, sorry.

(no problem. what did you want?)

what?

.....


......

......

Oh, right.

Could you


sorry, got distracted for a minute.

sorry about that, Jesus.

I mean, HaysOOs!

Where was I?

Oh, yeah. Could you uh
please
turn down
my
head set, Jesus?

(no problem)

Amen!

(sure thing)


Thank you!

Sweet Jesus! Thank you! I mean, haysoos.

Thank you, Lordy! Whew!

Them earphones was hurtin' me somethin' awful.

So, thank you!

I... uh... I mean, adios. Is that..

Is that right?

COE MOE SAY dee SAY "thank you."?

(no problem, man. let's just do this, okay?)

Sure, sure thing, man. Sure... uh, thanks.

uh, what are we doing?

(From the top.)

You want me to go again?

Okay. From the top? Alright. No problem

From the top.

(From the top.)

So... uh... what did uh

what did

one paper bag

say to the other?

...
.......

What?

(too short. way too short that time.)

Okay... okay... keep your shorts on, Jesus.

I mean... sorry! Sorry. Wouldn't want you to turn those
ear phones up again
and melt my brain
or nothin'

heh uh

heh heh

okay.... well, ... awright then....


..... :

:

I'll try again, I guess.

.....

ahem!

enh enh enh! enh ahem! Sorry. Excuse me.

....
.......
...
uh...
....

what uh... what....

sorry. excuse me.

I think I have a little gas, actually.

Yeah... oh, yeah

......

.......

.... there it goes.

That's better, actually.

...
whew!

Sorry about that one, Jesus.

....

little stinky.
yeah.
sorry about that...

uh... anyway... uh...

from the top:

What did one paper bag say to the other?

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What?

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I'm so dumb I can't even think my way outta you.


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:)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Something to think about... or not, as the case may be :)

mindfulness

This post takes about 1 hour probably to do it justice. you can skip the intro with the smiling jolly guy but if you want to really read this post, you'll need an hour. It's not written in internet time. ;)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Quote of the Day

"Sometimes you gotta throat fuck the devil to get what you want in this world."
- Jesus of Nazareth, Gospel of Bobo the Pimp 22:3

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Use the force, Luke.

a fun way to spend a few minutes. I got to a point where I could switch back and forth pretty quickly - within a few seconds or so. My default was clockwise. I actually, for what seemed like periods of less than a second, could get it to spin both ways at once, but it was unsustainable because I would immediately become way to giddy at the experience.

http://www.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/story/0,22049,22535838-5012895,00.html

Friday, April 10, 2009

An essay of sorts

I. Introduction:
a haiku

the thought is always
the same, an incomplete phrase
incapable of

II. In other words:
a deconstruction of my introductory haiku
or
What I meant when I said that was this:
a reiteration that may confound the matter but is necessary nonetheless
or
In case I wasn’t clear:
an attempt to speak to another who by now has stopped reading because doing so has become tedious
or
why it’s difficult to say what one means

Immediately I am confusing things. Raising questions in the mind of the reader. What thought? How is it the same? What is it incapable of? Is this a typo? I will take these questions one at a time and in an order that makes sense. Perhaps.

1. What thought?
Thought operates in this haiku as a reference without a referent, semantically speaking. Of course, how else can one speak but semantically?

In practice, the reader presumes from the phrasing that the object of the reference, that is the thought itself, will be illuminated by further authorial iterations. But we all know what happens when one presumes, don’t we?

Right. One makes a pres out of u and mes.

The habits of language are strong and urge us forward, taking leaps of faith with the author if we think s/he might be speaking to us or might speak to us in the future. The reader continues without difficulty under the assumption, mistaken as it may be, that the author will illuminate the meaning of the first phrase via phrases to follow, that words piled upon words will somehow mean something if we pile them high enough and keep climbing. But like Yertle’s kingdom, a pile of words is only as strong as the gastric usurpations of its most oppressed subject: the belchings of an unfree man.

“Yes, yes, man,” I hear myself say. “Move on, already. Iterate. ‘Tis but child’s play.”

To which I reply, “Waiting is.”

But I do have a point. This is becoming a bit tedious. It’s not a game of Clue, after all. Who is the killer? Is it definite article concrete noun prepositional phrase prepositional phrase? The suspense is killing me. All puns intended.

2. How is it the same?

More on this later. Maybe.

3. What is it incapable of?
It is the nature of the thought that phrasing is always incomplete. Note that the haiku does not speak of Thought. Nor The thought. Nor a thought.

Correction. The haiku does not speak at all; the author speaks. I am the author.

Continuing…

Note that I am not speaking of Thought. Nor The thought. Nor a thought. In this introductory haiku, I am speaking of a particular thought that I have encountered on many occasions, a thought that I have breathed in with the air. I am speaking of a thought that returns; a thought that repeats differently, to borrow a phrase from Deleuze.

The thought is of untraceable etymology. If I were to create a language with which to speak of the thought it would be my own language and would not contain the first-person singular. Nor would it contain the second-person plural. For in the language in which this thought is spoken there is no “them” and there is no “me,” only you and us. That, of course, is a hope that cannot be fulfilled; that is why the language does not exist. But we jump ahead, perhaps.

I should speak the thought, or write it as the case may be, and continue from there.

4. Is this a typo?
By now even I know the answer to this question, though the reason may still remain unclear.

The real question is why does the haiku end with a preposition?

The first reason is aesthetic and has already been discussed: it is incomplete.

The second reason is more abstruse or more concrete, depending on how one looks at it. The rules of haiku, at least the way we write them in English, require that the first line consist of 5 syllables, the second of 7 syllables, and the third of 5 syllables. I quite literally could not finish the poem without breaking the rules of its form. ;)

III. at long last, the thought

There is no discourse that exhausts all other discourse, including the discourse within which this phrase is iterated.

IV. an apology

I can see by the glazed look in my eyes that I have already lost you, dear reader. Whether out of disgust or boredom, I cannot know or do not care to discover.

It is an alienating language, this language of analytical philosophy or linguistics or whatever the hell it is I’m engaged in. There’s no blood in it. It puts one off. Or perhaps I should speak only for myself. I read the thought as presented in the previous aphorism and think, “Fuck you!”

Idiosyncratic? Perhaps. But the first reader that must be satisfied is I, even if the language of my thought requires my absence to be meaningfully spoken.

I say that and immediately begin to think again. A pity really, because I was just getting to the heart of something, a place where blood pumps and oxygen disseminates and the thought is not so abstruse, a word that reifies its very definition. Though to say so is an anthropomorphic fallacy.

V. a further apology

I did it again. I alienated my audience without meaning to.

VI. a poem

the goal


To speak
of oneself without ego
and walk out the door with pride.

To speak
of the presence in absence
and deny it an in- or outside.

To speak
of the damp dirty prisons
and the keyhole views that we hide.

To speak
without breaking my vision,
without keeping the best breath inside.

To speak
on the steps of the statehouse;
to speak
on the shores of the sea;
to speak
in the booths of the tavern;
to speak
of the land of the free.

To speak
through the throes of depression
and the spasms of unbridled joy.

To speak
without means of expression,
in the grammar I choose to employ.

To speak
of our bloody aggressions
and the means of war we deploy.

To speak
in the presence of absence
with the war of words we enjoy.

To speak
on the sands of the desert;
to speak
in the waves of the sea;
to speak
on the frailty of moonlight;
to speak
of we that are free.

To speak
of the thrashing of palm fronds
with hurricane winds at my back.

To speak
at the edge of a primordial pond
where the first step is one step back.

To speak
in the cover of darkness
with the harsh light of dawn on the rise.

To speak
to the serpentine caucus
with the sound of death in my eyes.

To speak
without fear of reprisal
yet prepared for the coming attack.

To crush,
in a manner of speaking,
the shells we’re beginning to crack.

VII. Conclusion:
a vote


Where were we? Shall I attempt an interpretation or move on? Let’s put it to a vote, shall we?

All those in favor of a discussion of poetics?

Aye

Opposed?

Nay

Wait. Now I’m confused. Did you say “nay” to being opposed or “nay” to a discussion of poetics?

… (silence) …

Let’s try again. Show of hands this time.

All those in favor of a discussion of poesis?

All those opposed?

The nays have it.

The Passion of the Peep


Saturday, April 04, 2009

Poem

“Danger, Will Robinson!”

Space,
the final frontier;
speech,
the first metaphor.

Denotation.
Connotation.
Meditation
by the sea;
Anonymous-
you and me.

I carve this space
to express myself
but one self
cannot be
expressed:
the safe self.
A private self
on a shelf
near a can expired
and marked
frijoles
,
I'll be
speaking
of containers
and boxes
and the way
things
mean.

Signs of life abound
even here,
among the dead,
where the worms writhe.
The mind
cannot be excised,
'twould be too taxing
on the body.

All puns intended.

Intentionality
separates us
from
the beasts,
our selves,
our others.

Why ours?

Because
all we have is ours
and nothing is free
but that which is
no thing.
What thing are you?

And me?

Dare we
associate?

Freely?

Intentionality
is all we have;
like love and memory,
ours or theirs,
it is the currency
of God.

Signification.
Connotation.
Shifting denotation.

Speech,
the final metaphor;
space,
the first frontier.

The speech of machines
means nothing to them;
of history
but without memory,
they flounder,
stuck on stupid.
Or, if you prefer
the finer things:
“full of sound and fury,
signifying nothing.”

Either way,
they speak of nothing.
For no thing can speak
but that which is
no thing.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Prepositions and pronouns

God works
in mysterious ways,

and God gives
and then he takes

from me.
- Jenny Lewis, Born Secular

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Quote of the Day

"In my humble opinion, we're all fucked."
- Socrates

Theoxigenises reports that these were in fact the dying words of the famous Greek thinker in his newly-discovered text, Assofunmeus Guffawaeus.

Theoxigenises, the youngest brother of Plato, born of the brief but passionate union of Plato's father, Ariston, and one of Ariston's slave girls, Trodupon, (celebrated in the poetry of the great Greek tragedian, Genitalianis), is one of the lesser-known Socratic students.

Scholars disagree on the precise teachings of Theoxigenises and many have dismissed his interpretations of Socrates' dialogues as misguided at best and outright deranged at worst. Recently discovered DNA evidence suggests that Theoxigenises actually suffered from ADHD, which may explain the at times disjointed iterations of Socrates' teachings in Theoxigenises' writings.

I awake a ‘merikin

I awake and I see you, ‘merika!
Waving your foam finger –
a die-hard fan –
for fear of failure.

I awake and walk your streets
full of belching engines driven by
morbidly obese homeless men;
even in poverty, you are gluttonous.

I awake and I see you, ‘merika,
in your offices, your homes,
your home offices
with degrees strung up
on accent walls,
wringing your hands
over the latest news
showing
your man, your market,
your team, your target,
your dow industrial, GDP,
ERA, NRA, UCLA,
ACLU, IRA, GLBT, WMD,
fundamentalist, activist,
sexist, racist, homophobic,
radical, terrorist, enemy
combatant, immigrant,
your us and them,
your name here,
up or down in the polls.

I awake and ride your trains
full of sour vapid faces –
ears on cell phones and ipods,
eyes bent to glowing screens,
fingers frantically texting,
afraid to speak but to one self,
afraid of others’ smiles.

I awake and stand, ‘merika,
amidst your touring throngs marveling
at the quarter billion dollar bean
and see my own reflection there,
guitar in hand, wondering, “what?”

I awake and sing, ‘merika!
A song of my own making,
written by you.
My shame and pride
are yours and mine.
My failings, yours; yours, mine.
I am of you,
I am among you,
I speak your tongue, ‘merika!

You cannot blame me
more than I blame myself;
we share it equally.

I awake a ‘merikin
and wonder where I can
go
that rhymes and rhythms
will not sound
shallow
and hollow,
but ring hallowed,
heard by more than one
and sung by many tongues;
I awake a ‘merikin,
and dream American,
wondering, “what?”

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Turn the Page
No right way.
No one thing.
Nothing left to do.
No one tool; no right way.
Nothing that he knew.

Can't sit still;
had my fill
of drinking swill. I'm
taking clues
from the blues
and from the swinging sun.

In twilight time
and in his prime
when inspiration came
he bit his heel
and swole his thumb
and always came up lame.

The arrows point
to places past
and things that can't explain
the twisting reach of Adam's grasp,
the asp, the ox, the King.

In taking back the last embrace
he wants to show the strings
of puppeteers and drinking flasks,
the flat of Saturn's rings.