Poetry and Other Artifacts

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The Obelisk Progression

lcmt

We prefigured,
we prospected,
we tapered,
we cartwheeled,
we canceled,
we remissed,
we wooed,
we hollowed,
we dessicated,
we saturated,
we cajoled,
we castigated,
we sandwiched,
we felted,
we ribboned,
we genuflected,
we obscured,
we revolved,
we enunciated,
we petitioned,
we moralized,
we needled,
we located,
we collected,
we referenced,
we nicknamed,
we recommissioned,
we exemplified,
we stenciled,
we underbuilt,
we rosined,
we chased,
we labored,
we ultimated,
we caviled,
we anatomized,
we hairdressed,
we sequestered,
we radiated,
we masked,
we persisted,
we court-martialed,
we shut,
we rediminished,
we marginated,
we suggested,
we stood,
we renavigated,
we resolved,
we obliterated,
we forgot,
we nighted,
we sweetened.

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By Antonio Machado

Mankind owns four things
That are no good at sea:
Rudder, anchor, oars
And the fear of going down.


Translation by Robert Bly © 1983

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Yet Another Palaeographical Fable

lcmt

An embodied demon, jarred awake
by the consoling sound of the sea,
decides to walk across the fossil world.

Revenant electricity and oracular
wreckage from the night mind hover
behind his shoulder, endured with

destinies coiled in corrosive echoes—
while brawn wings of deep heart muscle
shudder within the core of his shadow.

In his wake, lampfire trembles. Lost dogs,
unable to hunt, fling themselves through
staccato walls of candor and brunt tones.

Doors break across cellars filled with ascending
rumors and the clangor of bronze calf-head
deities sunk into caustic slurries of reverie.

An angel behind the gate of an ancient heat,
a rich voice burnt with incense in the testified air,
implores the demon to enter a room of Paradise—

Silence is refusal. Dreams spill over into incantations
while rumbling undertows drown doubts and mysteries.
But only a man can speak a devil's assent.


This poem will be included in my new book, The Wife of History and Other Planetary Characters, to be published in the fall of 2010 by the Intaglio Galosh Studio Press.

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Stray Quotations from the Veldt

lcmt

"Separate the yolk and white of one egg, reserving the white for the advent of electricity."

"Balanced on a low table was a medley of random quantities upholding a meddling denominator in a shallow dish with a green lead glaze."

"Toasted nirvana for breakfast this morning."

"…fragile scarlet crowns stemmed with thin white coruscations, caught and sheltered in the grass beneath the slope of the drum-headed hill."

"How can the stultice that once overwhelmed Arminusia and the Nephilim exist in our histories as only a parenthesis or a footnote?"

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At the Stoplight (Driving Poem #38)

lcmt

This poem is no longer online. Look for it in my new book, The Wife of History and Other Planetary Characters.

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Two bits from the first chapter of The Club of Queer Trades

C. K. Chesterton

"Very few people knew anything of Basil; not because he was in the least unsociable, for if a man out of the street had walked into his rooms he would have kept him talking till morning. Few people knew him, because, like all poets, he could do without them; he welcomed a human face as he might welcome a sudden blend of colour in a sunset; but he no more felt the need of going out to parties than he felt the need of altering the sunset clouds. He lived in a queer and comfortable garret in the roofs of Lambeth. He was surrounded by a chaos of things that were in odd contrast to the slums around him; old fantastic books, swords, armour—the whole dust-hole of romanticism. But his face, amid all these quixotic relics, appeared curiously keen and modern—a powerful, legal face."

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"Facts," murmured Basil, like one mentioning some strange, far-off animals, "how facts obscure the truth. I may be silly—in fact, I'm off my head—but I never could believe in that man—what's his name, in those capital stories?—Sherlock Holmes. Every detail points to something, certainly; but generally to the wrong thing. Facts point in all directions, it seems to me, like the thousands of twigs on a tree. It's only the life of the tree that has unity and goes up—only the green blood that springs, like a fountain, at the stars."

"The Tremendous Adventures of Major Brown"

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Caption from the cartoon Geranium Lake Properties by Wm. Yost for August 30, 1988

lcmt

A few extravagant eastern heretics—gangling alertly—digressed with illogic and bleach in their conflicts with unspecified linens.

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Palmed 15

lcmt

Who spits and dreams at the saturnine consent of his shadow?

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Cephalopods

Dark Chocolate

DiaryLand

according to a consensus
of five co-conspirators
her right eye is blue
her left eye is a match

but she knows one eye
is smaller than the other
and both are the color
of a common gray rock

flecked with oxides
thirty years have passed
since she last wore a shoe
with a broken heel

she inscribes herself
readily as owner
operator general
dogsbody of the Intaglio

Galosh Studio Press
which has neither
intaglios nor presses
nor even a lone galosh

she is a woolgatherer
a dawdler
an ignoramus
an omnivore

a deficient typist

she is nine inches long
from the inside of her elbow
to the inside of her wrist
she is legged but not

bow-legged and less
saline than most people
but that could be
a misapprehension


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