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

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Litany of Names {1}

81/ Often, when the isolation of his reality confirms itself, Pan meditates on the ghost flock of the past, the lineage of maternal does— he recites the family lines, the double helix of heritage bridging the tribes together, milk and honey, horn and hoof. He creates the litany of names, surrounding himself in the library catalog which details the full bloodlines.

                               Cloverbreath

                               Meadowbriar

                               Tongue of Hathor

                               Thistle-tail

                               Dew Lipped

                               Temple Bell

                               Morning Tipsy

                               Buttercup Blue

                               Milkweed Tremble

                               Springtide Teats [...]


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

In the belly of a spotted sea trout—

90/ In the belly of a spotted sea trout, Pan lurked as an intestinal worm— he spent ten years in the belly of the beast, pushing the masculine drive to spawn every season, the collective gathering of male fish sounding in unison, their croaking desire vibrating underwater—

Monday, April 28, 2014

A Bloody Smell

Our cat falls into an unexpected, heavy heat. Only four months old and already her biology motions her into a grown cat. A quick glance shows off the features of a small boned feline: gray fur, liquid eyes. The house smells of her coquettish longing. A bloody smell. The down stair rooms feel thick with fertility. The vet wants us to wait one more month before spading her. We will have to wait for one more session of her prancing in the hallways, gesturing rudely. Suggestive waves from her tail curling, flickering, s-shaped.
89/ In the mornings he finds himself repainting the downstairs rooms with a light coffee color, a tone of light in shadow— or a shadow in light, he cannot decide. Light of midday sends its squares of light across the walls, changing the tone of the rooms at random. Shifting moods. The light gathers in flocks, clusters of goats wandering the hallways as Pan seals up his paints, washing off his brushes, one by one.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Ten Random Phrases Seeking a Line

2.
the hour of the hammer; striking the worn anvil

6.
blacksmith as a wordsmith

8.
the security of the pen motioning across a blank page

1.
a lack of security looms (blooms?) within the hand

7.
the shape of a poem in the head before the pen strikes the page

3.
the hour of the anvil; resistance against the hammer

9.
the blank page as security

4.
security of the anvil’s resistance against security of the hammer

10.
the hand held pen

5.
striking the iron while it is hot

This is not a haiku travelogue.

closed road


A past notebook entry for a finished poem.
From March 16: Perhaps I should— what I mean is, before working on the current, untitled piece, an older idea could be formulated better— an intentional rambling about Discordia, chaos. Providing a pattern to a pattern-less concept. The structure exists within the fragmented sentences I generated previously— I see the full finished poem in my head, the ideal-shadow. Flickering as underwater.

From out of order comes disorder.
Out of disorder appears order.

Two elderly sisters bickering
as they walk along the beach.

Ebb and flow. Left to right.
Silence or {illegible text: conversation? –conundism?}


But yes. Couplets. Perhaps rhyming. Without a pattern however. As the surface of my desk. Controlled chaos. Layers of past ideas, scraps of notebook paper or the occasional napkin. A basic extended metaphor for a complex notion.
This is not a haiku travelogue. Therefore, the daily pace cuts back on plausible epiphanies. The change of landscape is rare. Ritualistic. Routine. Even paced. Whereas out boy changes daily. He fills up, overnight, a plump loaf of sweet bread. He transpositions quickly between the years. Always moving towards a positive.
88/ In Greek, the word “pan” translates to “all”— so therefore, the little goat-goad playing his reeds becomes something greater, something more than just a representation of fertility for the herd, more than that sudden anxiety on the path through the woods when you pause midway and realize you are lost, that panic rising within, based off the common root, the brainstem of past ancestors duplicated overtime, repetition of every star witnessed, every moon rise, every solar eclipse smokey-blue overhead— their every whispered prayers, all of them collected in your subconscious, dancing to the woody scales of Pan’s pursed lips.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Pan removes his damp clothes from the laundromat washer,

We recently adopted a small kitten— a gray malkin with golden eyes, slight stripes down the tail, and the loudest purr. Her voice vibrates through the halls and across the stairs. She follows me everywhere, a second shadow clinging to my ankles.
Found time recently to revisit a poem-project from last year. Even overcame a minor hurdle, as far as approaching the subject, the main theme of the piece. Still. I may never want Brendan to read it— one line reads with a heavy negativity towards his birthmother, if misread. Even after numerous revisions, after bringing the point down to the bone— minus poetic conventions and devices, a sense of wrong choices, wrong emotional reactions exist— yet, wait. There is a way of twisting the mood of the stanzas into a reverse epiphany. The moment on the page can be shown with a transformation or slight modification on an individual’s thought process—

Without a title firmly in place, I know I am worrying over a phrase which cannot be clear even to my future self. If Brendan even chooses to read my work is a long shot. Even if he finds this hesitancy in my journals in unlikely. Odd to place such a situation, such terms of concern over an event unlikely to even emerge—

Let’s blame Richard Jackson’s book Alive All Day. His steadfast tone throughout the pages carries a worry (yes, call it that), a concern over what it means to be human— over the continual issues we as a species inflict on others within our territories, our range of reality. He steps beyond an individual focal point, taking in global matters. So with deductive reasoning, I cannot blame him for my current insecurity. This ongoing dilemma lies too close to an individual’s private act— and not the overall universe.

As a result— interestingly enough— in the end my solution sits in front of me in an obvious manner: keep reworking the lines until a sense of resolution falls in place. If the poem never finds a positive closure, then I’ll never present it as a finished piece.

DSCF1275-adj
87/ Pan removes his damp clothes from the laundromat washer, half folds them back into the dryer a few feet away on the right hand side of the narrow building. Before he finishes inserting the proper amount of quarters, he reflects inward, staring deep at the atoms of his essence, the small spots of infinite universes unto themselves, spinning around themselves as static, the same carbon-based elements which exist in white dwarf stars millions of light years away from this town, this small rural town in southeastern Texas— he pauses, then shoots the coins into the unit to sort out another load of wet clothes.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Waiting for the Waiting to Cease its Waiting

Salado, Texas

Waiting for the washer to finish its final rinse. Waiting for Brendan to fall asleep beside his Papi. The world is full of waiting tonight. Waiting for an antacid to take effect. Waiting for a poem to form. Waiting for the waiting to cease its waiting, its process of wading within small creeks seeking polished stones. As a form of closure.

(—or waiting for the pear to form)

(—or waiting for the howling dogs next door to be free from their fenced-in lot)
86/ Like the poets, he often steps into moments of waiting.

The meditative pause between past and present.

The lull of wind.

The wind in the backyard pines.

Himself below. Listening to the green pulse overhead.

As a continual flotsam of stars foaming over the horizon.

And he lies below taking in the full being of night tide, the weight of existence which mortals take for granted, rolling their lives into tobacco papers, sharing a stub of a joint out of rebellion, rather than thinking of the consequences or the memories outside their shells of now, the blur of identity focusing down on their proof of being.

Pan waits.

He soaks in his moment: simply being. Exhales.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Like a Poem Itself

85/ or the manner he built a footbridge by hand, like a poem itself, memory by memory, each plank an aspect of the whole history of self, the mythology of his being,

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Chaos

•••••
For a number of months, I have been toying with a poem based on a theme of chaos. By accident I had stumbled on a web site celebrating the notions of Eris/Discordia and the subsequent religion/philosophy of Discordiansm. The connecting chain of links, now, I have lost— as well as the original purpose in mind when I was researching for a lecture. (— a pop song lyric’s reference to Eris? — a Paul Celan or Marvin Bell poetic allusion?) Nonetheless, the following lines show the experimental fractured form, the first ten entries from the original, raw, chronological sequence:

Chaos as a Girl, just over Seventeen


1. There is a structure to chaos

2. the manner the universe unravels, spirals at a quickening velocity, loosening the knot of its becoming

3. the girl chanting in her head: undo this knot I did not knot

4. the taste of salt dissolving on the tongue— as language

5. a dry well, uncovered

6. the motion of a pen scripting the word salt

7. a metaphor released

8. the throat of the river blocked from becoming rapids

9. without language, the failure of words,

10. the turn of a phrase along the bottom hem of her skirt, then the scene changes—



Intentionally, a blurring of three or four possible short poems were brought together as one larger unit. A collage of plausibility. One clear influence is a work by Kimiko Hahn: “Wellfeet, Midsummer” which consist of small chunks of numbered poetic statements, which at first appear in logical sequence, but then begin to slightly scramble numerical order or drop out, delete specific passages.

With the latest chaos poem, I printed out the individual entries, then proceeded to paste them in random order, blindly selecting the scraps of paper from an envelope. Ironically, due to the persistent theme and consecutive imagery in the lines, the impulsive structure intuitively shaped itself. Back in September I used a slightly similar approach with a poem titled “Saint Brendan and the Whale, yet in that case, I paid close attention to the resulting “quilting” of stanzas. For the “Chaos” lines, the juggling process occurred strictly by subconscious instinct.

The following images illustrate the resulting pages.

•••••
•••••
Ultimately there will be a few more shifting around of individual presentation of some lines, some deleted numbers. However, the core of the work will remain intact, focusing on personifying the Greek Eris into a modern, personal moment.

Reality check. Coincidence? Further Irony? The National Public radio in Houston just played this song as I am typing out the blog post. The video-clip displays a vocal representation of what I am putting into the verse. A "random" selection of voices pieced together into a virtual chorus.



From apparent, random disorder to collective, structured order.
No rules equates to rules.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

—almost as a pet.

84/ No, not as a pet. As a conversation piece, perhaps— an anomaly, an object d’art, a collective exoticism for the immortals to consider briefly before their dysfunction rose up. He would watch the tides of discontent ebb and flow, Zeus’ hands wandering across Ganymede’s shoulders, Apollo’s liquid eyes closing to hear an internal song in his head, Eris toying with her golden apples— Pan himself a Divine Fool.

For a short time he allowed himself—

83/ —to become a court jester for Zeus— a foundling curiosity kneeling before the throne of the chief god, wearing an ankle cuff with gold bells, carrying a wooden staff— his shepherd’s crook— tied with ribbons and jangles, shells and feathers—

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Fragment

82/ Under streetlamps, stumbling home drunk, his shadow leans forward on wobbly colt legs—

Sunday, April 13, 2014

In the Andes,—

80/ —in the ruins of an early church, balanced on the mountains with granite boulders, stray stones, Pan leaves wild iris blossoms on the forgotten altar.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

A Wild Unnamed Animal

79/ When he walks upstairs, the whole house trembles in his presence, his weight of being, the transcendence of motion from here to there— basic physics of traveling within domestic space— the dwelling creaks under his hoof steps between the nursery and the guest room, that intolerable hesitation and indecision, wanting to isolate a moment, yet release it back into the void of the mortal world, to flee from this structure of brick and wood and foam and electronic word, to run through the neighboring forests, a wild unnamed animal, howling his wild name into the wind over and over again.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Through winter-wet grass—

Between allergies and shifting weather patterns a feeling of paralysis emerges. Last night’s storm left the trees coated with thin layers of ice. Delaying traffic for a few hours longer than normal. For most of the day I procrastinated successfully waiting for Brendan to arrive home. And then half prepared a new project for school. A numb disregard settles within.
78/ Through winter-wet grass, Pan slips into feline bones, crooked shadow and curling tail, crescent eyes following the path of a boat-shaped moon, a low riding cradle lingering along the cusp of twilight, lowering over rooftops and a diminishing tree line— the blue blur along the neighborhood’s horizon.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Lightning strikes outside— but no thunder.

Nor rain. Maybe a car had drifted down the road, rolling past the house with full beams on, just at the precise moment I glanced up seeking an epiphany? Nonetheless, silence.
77/In the back of a neighborhood bar, in a corner booth, Pan settles in shadows, his crumpled fedora hung low over his forehead, his stained raincoat folded up beside him on the seat. The work-shift over, the sorting of nuts and bolts finalized, the anatomical elements of various machines herded back into appropriate bins. He sips foam off a fresh beer, gloomily tracing carved initials of the past with a worn toothpick.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Amaryllis Tongues, Iris Sabers, Budding Hyacinths

Last few days I lay in bed drowning in medications and phlegm and nausea and aches, all brought down by basic allergies, all over-reacting to pollen-shifting tides in the atmosphere. I slept for almost a full forty-eight hours, mumbling in tongues as the hours drifted overhead in a steady procession, a quick medieval masque with drums and fife, flags and fire eaters. The drums were prophetic, strange incantations, yet on the whole forgettable.
76/ His green house burgeons with a plethora of blossoms, constellations charted across the room, the territory of his understanding, his scope: amaryllis tongues, iris sabers, budding hyacinths. The faun lost in his element.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

This Is Not What You Think

The tar within the body is expelled.

The buildup of tar within the body, the system, expelled by the body itself, removing the heavy coarse tar, the thick black oil in the body refused, forced into a lump of tar, the rejected proteins, the stains of past blood pushed from the shell of the physical as a coal, a distillation of tissue, natural deposits within the body removed, the accumulation of past memories expunged, emptied,

The body no longer the same body, now removed from itself, the tar that was itself now something other, cast out, an idea abandoned, as a man leaving his family without warning, disappearing down a gravel road of his personal tragedy, the dust and shells shifting to fresh laid tar, newer memories, the past self expunged, a stain, the slick oils circling the surface of marsh waters, slick rainbows pooling above the disheveled body of swampland, erasing itself, motioning backwards, from existence to absence, presence to nothingness, that thick blackness of nil coating the inside of every body, simply waiting, placing itself for the removal, upheaval, and final expulsion into light.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Secret Door

75/ —and then, there was the time he squatted in a New Orleans court yard, in secret, before a secret door, the color of burnt green. He sat there for years beside a thorny bougainvillea, its prickly arms circling his head as a halo as he perpetually hunched over a reed flute watching men arrive over weekends: paired or solo, wandering within the unmarked door.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Lately he has been caring for orchids—


74/ —his thick fingers fondling the fibrous mulch, the slender stalks, the temperamental blossoms erupting in a row— each one an exclamation point of release, an exaggerated ‘oh’ of pornographic movies—or a strand of pearls arching forward in partial flight— better yet— time lapse photography, a central plains fruit bat leaning into motions across a room, seven stilled moments brought together, lunar phases, Pan whispering to each open mouth, sighing.


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

nonhuman elements— described
in humanistic elements

Very tired. So tired the body aches. End of the week weariness. Yet, because of particular scrap of writing, one unfinished thought, sleep avoids me. The usual brain storming exercises stall out. Even after distancing myself from the notebook for a number of days, the idea sets on my desk— nonchanging. The sentences locked in eternal ice, frigid winter.

The fault lies in the fact since the material is a collage of personal reflections, mixed with observations of natural curiosities, a strong bridge of commonality needs to be built— or at least suggested in a minor fashion. However, the connection keeps falling apart.

With a optimistic stance, I may have a solution hiding in a new book of poems by Kimiko Hahn: Mosquito and Ant. The title work blurs a series of short scenes from her recollections with the closing stanzas reflecting on insects, nonhuman elements—described in humanistic elements. Which, ironically, is similar to my attempts currently, building a line, a thread between Brendan’s restless motions, struggling to notsleep, with the back and forth gestures of a nursery spider in the bedroom window. In a pessimistic voice— I do not want to mirror Hahn’s solution to my argument. I would rather carve out responses without closely following another writer’s path.
73/ In front of the blue light of television, Pan slouches down, half submerged in the failing hour of the day, the dimming hour, changing channels with the pulse in his wrist, randomly, without purpose, a sprawled existence, still drunk in the moment of slow release.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

In the Dark

Driving to work was frustratingly slow— on two occasions traffic lights were stalled out, blinking red— backing up rows of cars, the proverbial parking lot. However, I managed to finalize a poem for Quintet— an additional lyric for the solo vocalist persona. Following a blank sonnet format, with limited rhyme, yet standardized meter, the sentence structure echoes a typical song, experimental phrasing to some extent, but a song nonetheless. A firm title is all that remains unfinished now— because the primary meaning of the poem is retelling of a first, intense longing for another, a basic premise, the title should develop a deeper secondary theme all to itself.
72/ —or even deciduous, docile, decorum, decorous— chocolate mints, sweet on the tip of the tongue, phonetics darting between the lips, a daring kiss between strangers