Thursday, October 30, 2008


1) "I believe in desperate acts. The kind that make me look stupid." -- Jawbreaker


With mammoth galoshes and my brain
on a shopping-mall-cruise-ship-spree to Zimbabwe,
I, after numerous trips to a hospital
of someone else’s choice, now dust-flutter
into an unspeakable sympathy of clouds,
not merely an afternoon blueness but my love
for you and you—and yes, even you too—
kicking the horizon like a rock-
star shredding into the suit-coat
of a brand new president, yes, writ large
and emergent as the mammoth aforementioned
and four hundred feelings I’ve composed
this instant… When I finally can’t stand it, I look up
in a book or the sky or a windmill:
How is it the green grass is crying?

3) Sonnet: 14 lines and a lyrical emergency.

4) In poetry, we can’t be out of control in control, so we have to proceed in our sleep until we can’t anymore. One has to drive straight for the edge of the cliff, and then at the very last second, grab the wheel and spin the still speeding engine in the other direction/the other tradition. To put it plainly, art involves REAL risk taking—that is, the possibility of success and failure, joy and heartbreak, smarts and stupidity. You’ve gotta be willing to look stupid (as yourself) to look smart (as yourself). It’s like in Vegas where the only hope of winning anything is a sincere, joyful willingness to lose everything.

5) Always do the opposite, repeat yourself forever. Hello Dean Young. If it doesn’t make logical, rational or practical sense, it might be art.

6) A poem is in some sense always a demonstration, a recording in language, of a particular way of paying attention.

7) There is no seven.

8) Happy Halloween!


Eric said...

and 9 9 9 for a lost god

and 10 10 10 for everything everything everything everything

Elizabeth said...

I do believe #4 is one of the most profound things I have ever heard you say.