american fashions

spinning in a melody,
what you say to light your day…
always in a rig’marol,
who you saw,
who you’ll blow.

your life is like a comet
stuck inside a train…
stopped in the rain,
stuck with your pain.

you used to play,
but, now you only localize:
cornered by your race,
it’s all about your face.

turning, twisting sideways in pain agony,
it hurts, but you’re above it all,
‘ironic’, like a dead boy’s dream —
that one, they feel the love you’ll give…

and, you’ve got to live.

always down for rock and roll,

’cause life’s an under monster,
…feed you to the town.

the jangle of your tattoo tells
you’re finally humming,
but, you’re too busy screaming
to investigate what’s coming.



MGM lighting,
soft, and time glows on —
see them dance,
see them cry,
California dreaming people…
it’s a take… here we go,
there we’ve been,
Hollywood dreams us.

night slept by,
the moon and the stars
have all clocked out…
we’re alone and
sleeping time’s for keeping.
pony gal,
lets not waste
the night sleeping.








today is 6 months from my 71st. birthday. my mind is clearer, especially after leaving the social poetry network site, then it’s been in the last ten years. work in writing and painting is starting to show progress.

I’m reading everyday, and going down to powell’s every day to drink coffee and read new books, and write and talk and edit. I’m putting together another poetry book, and I’m blogging here some thoughts I’ve got about writing and poetry. I’m reading poetry and poets every day, and looking at poetry critical and poetry circle poets and comments. there’s always something to think about, just as I always have feelings I cannot feel without pain or happiness, and want to say out in poetry or verse or as a song lyric.

I recommend becoming old if you’re still healthy enough to get old, and can still think young enough not to stay old when you get there.

writing to music


when you write prose to music — write inconsequential things to obtain stuff by tricking a reader into loving your looks — music can help, especially if you’ve no imagination or high-level conceptual ability. that is, that you can only put one word next to another to make a sentence, and then one sentence next to another to make a paragraph  — as though your inner sheep were showing you ‘how everyone knows how to do things’… your inner grandma, even.

poetry writing is different from prose. poetry is to writing as algebra is to arithmetic — algebra folds concepts into each other to make a third concept. personally, i don’t like algebra, but i do like ideas. and, i’ve gotten good grades, A’s, in college logic and had to drop out of any math class i’ve taken because math is just not an intuitive thing, and in the coming ages nobody will do math but machines will mathematize everyone.

but, i’m saying that poetry is like algebra — but, i’m thinking that the abstraction of nothingness into space, which is math, is very different from abstracting the space that a feeling owns into a poetry landscape of emotion. math owns nothing.

so, listening to music while you write. especially some simp-fake ‘classical’, liberace noise, will free the constipated into dreams. i like dreaming. i can’t help dreaming when i hear ravel’s gaspard… or bach or brahms or, really, a hundred or more other classical composers who’ve a piece i love. but, listening to a lyric’d music — not Aida, but madonna, say, or whatever you think sounds the way you want to look like in the mall. Kind of weird — where is the wording space in your head? and, if you’re not bothered by the lyric, then why are you even alive? how can you hear a piece of music and not follow every note like a cat watching a canary? how could you even use a pen at all unless you were at heart a plumber or shop clerk item stocker — mindlessly joining what shouldn’t be joined.

people do dumb things with words, and then have to call it poetry, because once again they failed to write a best seller dummy’s guide to zen microwave cooking.







port arthur 4

after leaving you,
i never,
after saying goodbye,
the fuck you’d care,
i drove into a tree
and crushed my brain
and lost my voice
and lost my memory…
cause, all i did
was get on a train
to portland.

after loving you,
i’m so ashamed,
i can’t even say your name,
what’s it…?
evidently, that’s not quite true,

cause poems i write to:, dream you.

after burning my harmonium,
i wonder why the birds
flew by, went south,

flew by to melodies i cannot know.
and, you’re just high,
and you’re the song they hate, they do not bring,
and, i fly by with melodies you cannot hear,
in harmonies i cannot sing.

‘beautiful images’



someone in a workshop says that his poetry is making and presenting ‘beautiful images’, and goes on to qualify by specifying that the beautiful images presented in a ‘non-chaotic way’.

first, i’d ask, ‘when is chaos beautiful’? because it seems like the beautiful must be anything understandable for someone looking for order. what can’t we understand? ‘the chaotic’. so, ‘chaos’ is ‘real’ or not?

‘chaotic’ is anything I can’t ‘get my mind around’. so, chaos is ‘real’ — there’s at least something in the poem that’s not making it work as a poem. ‘some poems are chaotic, they’re not poems’. but, ‘chaos is poetic’. you’re waiting at the airport and your ticket is suddenly accidentally voided by the system. you’re thrown into chaos. telling this story, you can make light of it and describe what happened next — the ticket clerk, your luggage sent to Singapore by mistake… you can organize this event into a non-chaotic event. how? each single event, though beautiful in a cosmic sense, means nothing except itself.

I imagine there are two cases of ‘beautiful’… the one where the instance itself is ‘stunning’… you understand this ‘stunning’, yes? it’s not trivial: I’m struck still, lost in the image itself, “I suddenly see”, as Cole Porter says, “your fabulous face”. my eye runs over your features, I’m momentarily lost in your eyes, their color and depth. I can’t break away.

one thing that must be important about this is seeking out of the mystery, the looking at and looking into, as an active process, a motion. the poem is unfolded, it’s an event itself. because, the other case of beauty becomes experiencing change itself, experiencing changing: the watching or hearing or sensing of change itself. i see the dawn, but I watch the dawn appear. two cases. the one, where I stop and exclude myself from everything but this one moment of dawn… hold this moment as a snapshot.

to break to the point, a poem is an unfolding, a beautiful act. it’s not just a scrapbook. making a poem evolve sense-logically, meaning aesthetically, is what writng a poem is about.

why is this important? why is it important for you to know who your grandmother was? what is the family connection between the separate images in your poem except that the poem itself is a dynamic, a family — not a static thing? you know what i mean, or you should. you know that when you tell a story in real life you control your voice and gestures and present the story in an interesting way — unless you’re this really boring person who just rambles on…? chaos is also about random rambling of everything that comes into your head. after awhile, people are going to start wondering why you’re talking — and, to a narcissist, that could be the death of your  fan club.

thanks to david smalley


thanks to david smalley over on poetry  circle for hosting the link to this blog. i guess nobody’d copy and saved that little prose thing i forgot to save myself. i’ll rewrite it. the cool thing is that i wrote it with poetry circle in mind. i was showing them my consciousness of gender identity. that meant i had to dumb it down so that i treated gender as a reality, instead of the nothing it is to actual queers like me. but, this time, i’ll be able to write it as a full on script of some kind. i think this time i’ll make my reincarnated prior her little brother, so that the thing about her protecting him doesn’t bump into prewar japanese culture’s sexism. the woman could take care of her husband, but only if he’s dying. just living, he’s supposed to do all the protecting. but, for her and her little brother, the usual displaced from the farm and lost parents scenario would work. like, if her family were colonists in manchukuo.

prose is really hard for me to write. i’m sure you see that. but, it’s that i want every word to function aesthetically. even writing lower case is intentional: i want the reader to either accept that they have to read the text carefully, or not read it at all. anyone who wasn’t literate enough to live without a capital letter starting a sentence, isn’t going to understand the concepts i want them to understand so that they can help me understand them. like, all that stuff above about japanese sexism…? is that really true? someone might know, and also know how i’m trying to write a time-wave with my prose. both. just being a fact-oid isn’t enough for poets.