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:
i.love.you, 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.


writing as therapy



this is just eye-candy, but it illustrates the two-fold reality that we’re both experiencing and watching our self experience and not able to reconcile the two except through art. and, especially through making art. so, i look at this and the erotic quickly falls away, and i’m comparing these two with themselves and they themselves with the actions he’s expressing and reacting to.

Quickly, writing poetry is to yoke to the contours and form of life. to write poetry as therapy, you have to stop being so smug. you have to give up being someone’s friend or someone who owns things. you have to give up your future. that’s why only old people can write a poetry that invents and defines what poetry is. even baby geniuses like rimbaud never really did more than say off the wall things in a walled in verse garden.

ok, so what does ‘yoke’ mean? it means allowing something to control you. and, in writing, the freest thing, what can control you except your own free emotional expression? the harness means nothing unless there’s an animal in the world which submits. that’s why poetry can only be real for young people — they’re still schizo enough to live in a world of fantasy and in the world of cold, being owned, reality. two minded enough to write in two spaces — their private world and the aggressive world defining their every move. poetry is a break out.

but, the world of electric interconnects is real — all things are in motion. the sub atomic world connects us with everything else. but, the atomic world is a fixing of truth for the world-shape we’re born into. things are as they are. in our world there are two things: givers and takers. nurturers and predators. both are externals, neither is us. we accept, we reject. a poem form writes the reality of connected and rejected. depending on your experience, you see what controls and releases — ‘releases you from hunger’ — ‘forces you to eat what it wants you to eat’ — as feelings. poetry is about feelings, yes. but, feelings are complicated — they’re impulses and have no identity until you decide you’re feeling that impulse as that feeling. that’s why intuitive people write poetry. intuitive people speak through their feelings and read the world as feeling. they read people as feelings. they don’t look at your face, they look at your eyes. that’s why intuitive people write prose stories. they’ve something to say about the space between your eyes, and whether there’s a need in you to feel for others. the best novels are best because they define selfishness and release us from the selfish. it’s kind of a trick, but fiction is about creating a time and place and filling it with people and objects anyway, and then making the objects affect people, and then making people accept or reject the material world for the emotive world. that’s why people in their 30’s write the best novels. they believe it’s necessary to own things and not be owned… i mean, material things, like a wife or husband. that’s why most fiction is boring for old people. things aren’t that simple. the writing out works as an explanation for the author. the author maybe gets fame and a check. but, the author hasn’t really changed at all. she or he acquired a book. how not cringy is it to re-read your own novel or story?

that’s why old people write their best novel when they’re over 60. they know what they want. they don’t know what’s real or what life really is about, but they know what they wished they’d had had more of.  And, it’s never love, for a novelist. the love in a novel is self-love and the author is the most fascinating person in the room… the manipulator and creator of his or her own entertainment and revenge. i don’t like novels. i like reading biographies about authors and their friends a lot though. they’re creative people and have interesting friends and usually have lived in interesting times and places.





dang,  got deleted-out a couple of things i didn’t have saved. anyone save a copy of my ‘reincarnation’, the one where i say i’m queer because i’m a reincarnation of a japanese woman from the war, who lost her soldier husband, and i’m supposed to come back into the world to take care of him for her, because she failed the last time to keep him safe? here’s a snap of me getting ready to enter the world in this new body. cool body.

getting ready to come back as someone not me before.

N.D.E. ( d. & m. 1959 )

nde image blur 1

seas and ripple sands…
a coral island with ponies,
two loony pirate boys
deep in their sleepy tent.

warm is the nightingale,
tee shirts and bed roll;
lizards in heaven,
whisper crescendos.

sweet rips the hurricane,
softly, the tide pulls.
fly to the weathercocks,
twirling like tadpoles;
see that sweet shadow…
boys in the wind rows,
danny and michael.

feathers in a floating sky,
point to the stars below;
drawn to infinity,
they’ll go where the wind goes.








sadness is my light, bright night, bright dark;
see the happy children sing away:
sun makes light; song makes day;
running, playing, happy songs they knew.

hollow is the sound of time, absent;
hear the empty ocean swimming slow…
old day evolves to sea:
father, boy, compose its melody.

softly, earth is spinning, winding;
touch that rolling bright wheel,
it glows:
twilight teaches light to see;
color sings my father’s melody.

we’re a child of lovers’ blandishments:
born a lie, in febrile sweating increments.
heats of stars and smoking
smiles, and children’s happy wedding gowns.

in my heart, a diamond’s burning glow;
beating, run in quicktime, to time, go.
racing with the sunshine: dark grows cold.
shadow prize for boys who’ve died too slow.


blocked and deleted from poetrycircle.com


been blocked and all my stuff deleted from poetrycircle.com. my ego was bruised for a day, and my vanity — “didn’t any of you realize what i was trying to do?” — sore. with each day though i’m feeling an incredible relief not to have to think of 20 people each time i posted anything there. i had to think first of all of the author, and whether what i’m commenting actually is understandable to him. then, i have to think individually of the good writers on the site, and whether what i’m saying is going to be usable to them — either as teaching-method or poetry rhetoric method. then, too, i had to be true to my own values, and push my thinking outside my little opinion and my as yet unformed understanding of what language and emotion mean.

one other relief is that i was writing a kind of didactic verse, where i was showing different poetry rhetoric moves or different experiential realities to what are basically beginners. i’d started deleting four out of five poems by the end — things i’d posted to show that you must go over the edge to find your edge at all. but, embarrassing. and, i’m always saying everything, because ‘everything’ isn’t the secret. the secret is the unsayable creative moment when the urge forms to make emotion any way i can. that can’t be said because it can only be experienced by someone else when they’re in that space too.

i’m already back to thinking on a higher level than i was before the delete. i can think and write now without having to think that i might use it in a post or comment on the way poetry works in the real world of space and time — with living people. hopefully, as has always happened to me, i’ll have new ways of playing in time from what moves i’ve learned in the dialog. as always, it’s me that has to understand what’s going on and where things might go. i’ve kept awake, kept honest and now it’s time to move forward.