Self and reality. Symbol and language. Myth and image. Memory and consciousness.
Dream and unreality: locus communis.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

From My Insomnia


232 / —middle of the night— wild sunflowers emerge from my insomnia— I feel them pull upwards from the sheets, rising off my chest—

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Two Moments


230 / with half-lidded eyes, my two year old chants his rhymes, swaying in circles— afterwards, his hair carries the scents of tart green apples—
231 / —the moment opens again: I lie with closed eyes, wanting to forget the day, forget the stitches removed, forget the slow itch—

At the doctor's office, the stitches were removed from my back in a matter of seconds— a soft tugging-sensation, then nothing. The closed wound now resembles a mouth, rough reddening of the skin. A mild itching runs across my shoulders every few seconds— as a slight shiver.

Brendan sang "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" this afternoon, sitting on the stairs, holding his half empty milk glass. His phonetics are less garbled these days, a purer sound emerges with he speaks 'star,' drawing out his vowels as he exhales.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The April Moon


229 / he runs through the house, waving a bell overhead— chaotic music— from all the commotion, the April moon pauses midflight—

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Cluster of Nurses


228 / cluster of nurses outside the maternity ward smoking, stone-faced— their nervous hands still stained with memories of afterbirth—

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Viewing Memory


227 / viewing memory instead as a swollen creek— layers of mud, silt covering the end of days, final moments before night—

Absence versus presence.

There are moments when an absence allows its presence to be known. It declares itself as a missing note on a scale. The interval between the ticks of the metronome. The lack of a footfall on the stairwell.

A moment once existed before the first note, when his eyesight hovered over the keys of the clavichord sizing up the intensity of it all.

The shadows of his fingertips would first strike the keys and then the weight of intention. The weight of possibilities; the instinctual notes in his head,

His house missing the weight of his daily inspiration building a bridge between concept and actuality—

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Senyru • Climbing into Bed


whiskey on his breath, disheveled, he climbs up back stairs, holding shoes and coat—

226 / climbing into bed, smells of nicotine stain his undershirt, his hair— why do I now remember the nights of his rough embrace?—




Sunday, May 19, 2013

Burn to Memory


225/ burn to memory the child clinging for comfort, the rising motion of water birds, the falling of day: recall these often —

Having slight difficulties finding material for the nightly exercises. In the past I would use the lack of motivation itself for a poem, but over time I have collected many similar-voiced writings. Wanting to find something new to consider— perhaps the specifics of today, this afternoon: walking with Brendan across the neighborhood; egrets ascending every few moments, and small water birds startling off the edges of the canal. Brendan seemed preoccupied, thinking on his own matters, impatient to get to the playground.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

A Bright Opal


Carp Moon

224/ he reshapes the moon tonight into a large-mouthed carp, a tangible prize to catch and hold closely to the chest— a bright opal —

Another moment with Brendan and the moon. Half asleep while being rocked he murmurs that he wants Daddy to hold the moon— and that he wants Papi to hold the moon likewise— his expression insistent and troubled that we will forget by tomorrow our new duties— for a half hour he persists in re-visioning the satellite as an object of possession, a source of responsibility and care—

Saturday, May 11, 2013

The Room's Iconography


223/ after the ninth hour, the room’s iconography begins murmuring, the mattress creaks with the weight of their angelic voices—
Afterwards. Reviewing the experience of closing out a poem. For me, this is the most difficult part of the writing cycle. I want to feel the influences of classical music, with the dramatic certain finality. When writing, I look for that sense of flourish, that staccato pulse of instruments permitting a clear close of text. It remains difficult explaining the intonation, the rhythmic certainty itself. Part instinct, part strategy, part winding down. Even now, with a minor journal-entry, I am seeking a slow exit from the stage allowing the curtains to fold back in place,

—but the certainty is lacking. Perhaps this moment is a forecast for the inevitable end that is to come in the future. A rambling hesitation without purpose. I'll end up one of the ghostly figures wandering the hallways, uncertain about what was meant to be accomplished in life. Mumbling under my breath with cold drafts from the windows about purpose and obscure poetry.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Slightly Inebriated


222/ too tired to think, even the aging night leans against this dazed house, slightly inebriated— stumbling and singing loudly —

Due to the stitches along my upper back, I can only sleep in odd positions— my night reading as a result limits itself to scant phrases from a seated position from the edge of the mattress. However, within the last twenty-four hours I manage to lie on my back without feeling pin pricks in the flesh; blood does not pool on the sheets when I wake in the morning. Perhaps tomorrow I can return to my list of books for reading this year—

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Wounded Present Tense


221/ three stitches knotted tightly across shoulder blades, constant reminders of the past self I once was and the wounded present tense —

One of those ritual, habitual days—minor details: after church service we went to get coffee, drove home. I organized files, setup a quick informal essay, and graded papers. Off and on Brendan and I spent time together, outside in an alternating system of wintery chill, then warm sun. The sky shone with a crisp blue and a lack of clouds.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Folding Back


220/ folding back morning newsprint— he becomes aware of a fragment of kale lodging between molars; annoyed he sucks on his teeth —

Feeling apathy toward today’s tanka— it sits in front of me in an awkward pose, a child with an ugly expression on its face, intentionally distorting his once beautiful features into disagreement, out-right rebellion. Lately my whole attitude of writing falls into negation— that downward spiraling effect into self-criticism.

It comes down to this: the mundane nature of the poem irritates me. The scene succeeds in portraying a boring reality of the every-day-existence, producing an irritation, like the filament of kale itself. Yet, I find myself annoyed at the persona’s annoyance. An overwhelming ambivalence. When closing a poem I want to feel the closure as an experience. As taking off a winter coat— creating a feeling of carrying through of an action. Completion. Here, however …
So I shaved last night— rather, this afternoon, time rests in an awkward presence in my head today, events fall out of order like a dropped deck of cards— but my point, my point is I feel colder, more aware of my countenance, my jawline— no longer exists the leathery resistance of whiskers. A new sense of buoyancy falls within every step.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Nothing Motions


219/ a book lies unread on the counter of my desk— constant reminder— outside the skies threaten rain, yet nothing motions forward —

For a week I refused to shave, allowing an autumnal frost to spread across my face— grey whiskers rising out from unknown depths. In a sense they exist as proof of a mild transformation, a shift into middle age, an unplanned journey—

The stitches in my back prod the skin sometimes. They’ll remain intact, embedded for another week, prickly counter points sticking out of the collar of my work shirts. I rub across the wound absent mindedly; same sensations as brushing over a clutch of thistles. Unexpected needles. Thorns arguing with flesh.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

A Saintly Vernacular


218/ not wanting to sleep, I wait for a clarity of words to descend— a saintly vernacular to slip within my shell ears—

Bach’s birthday, 328 years ago (born in 1685)— is this the bridge for latest poem? —the connection?

Rather bridges as the bridge. Plus Bach.

Begin with him a the clavichord (or harpsichord) then spiral, unwind, cross over.

Hands/fingers hovering over keys.

Then transitioning to Morgan, a girl just over nineteen. New York city motel.

Creek bridge— wood planks / trunk of tree
Railroad ties— railroad grid bridge

a transcription of Bach’s Concerto in D Minor
transcription: in music this is the act of arranging a composition into a new medium, new form.

Piano bridge— clavichord, harpsichord > translated/transcribed into verse.

Pauses/hesitations/regrets—

Bach built the bridge for the concerto / fugue based on key of D minor. In classical music, a bridge commonly appears in fugues. Used to transition between two themes, smoothing out a shift between ideas.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Into Memory


217/ a book left open (falling into memory) the center page spread with photographed landscapes (this room of endless winter)—

Memory fades
Memory distorts
Memory fails
Memory burns
Memory mapped

A student loaned me a copy of the film Memento. A strong, surreal ride through one major psychological tragedy— the protagonist falling into the rhythms of short term memory loss and an inner drive to solve his wife’s murder. The notion of telling the story through vignettes in reverse chronological order, a heightening of suspense and conjecture— the more the audience learns the less the protagonist recalls—the more the audience is forced to push limitations of recollection—

Small Garden


216/ a numbing silence lies between my hands tonight— untranslatable— I count out numerous weeds in my neighbor’s small garden—
Trying to wake up— still groggy, discombobulated, disconnected with the self. On a mundane level: having the car serviced, drinking coffee from a styrofoam cup, sitting across from a thirtyish woman talking to a sixtyish man about Oprah’s favorite things, whereas myself, despite the radio blaring pop culture, I sit seeking out a better sense of poetry: can the woman over-made-up with makeup and blood red nails, can she be made into a poem— translated to verse on the spot? If not the woman, perhaps her cup, with the remains of lip stick repeating more than once across the Styrofoam rim—her lips kissing the lips of the cup— her presence confirmed, firmly placed in realtime with proof of existence, of reality—

Friday, May 3, 2013

As a Laying on of Hands


214/ five black nettles hold the slow wound in place— body transformed to cloven pine, with abscessed knot removed— can we call this spot sacred?—

As a laying on of hands. Went to the doctor to remove a sebaceous cyst from the top of my spine, digging out the demon from my shoulders— a sea of blood clotting thickly on the sheets beneath my numbed back, the doctor’s pressure from scalpel and forceps pulling out the glob of fat, human tissues exposed.

Let’s make this site holy, the foundation for a new temple— the body reinterpreted.

A Blurred Past


214/ hands slightly calloused, or with a torn nail, perhaps— over used symbols— finding hints of a blurred past crumpled within a jacket —