I sit here
on the perfect end
of a star,
pour itself toward
The light pours
a small hole
in the sky.
I’m not very happy,
but I can see
how things are
When you take your pill
it’s like a mine disaster.
I think of all the people
lost inside of you.
I was trying to describe you to someone a few days ago. You don’t look like any girl I’ve ever seen before.
I couldn’t say “Well she looks just like Jane Fonda, except that she’s got red hair, and her mouth is different and of course, she’s not a movie star…”
I couldn’t say that because you don’t look like Jane Fonda at all.
I finally ended up describing you as a movie I saw when I was a child in Tacoma Washington. I guess I saw it in 1941 or 42, somewhere in there. I think I was seven, or eight, or six.
It was a movie about rural electrification, a perfect 1930’s New Deal morality kind of movie to show kids. The movie was about farmers living in the country without electricity. They had to use lanterns to see by at night, for sewing and reading, and they didn’t have any appliances like toasters or washing machines, and they couldn’t listen to the radio. They built a dam with big electric generators and they put poles across the countryside and strung wire over fields and pastures.
There was an incredible heroic dimension that came from the simple putting up of poles for the wires to travel along. They looked ancient and modern at the same time.
Then the movie showed electricity like a young Greek god, coming to the farmer to take away forever the dark ways of his life. Suddenly, religiously, with the throwing of a switch, the farmer had electric lights to see by when he milked his cows in the early black winter mornings. The farmer’s family got to listen to the radio and have a toaster and lots of bright lights to sew dresses and read the newspaper by.
It was really a fantastic movie and excited me like listening to the Star Spangled Banner, or seeing photographs of President Roosevelt, or hearing him on the radio “… the President of the United States… ”
I wanted electricity to go everywhere in the world. I wanted all the farmers in the world to be able to listen to President Roosevelt on the radio….
And that’s how you look to me.
The first time Henri died
he rose like Lazarus
sprawled across barbed wire—
the fog strummed him
like the birth of jazz.
I counted my empty slots
in my pistol
until there were none.
The second time Henri died
he died like a song
from the last German opera—
no one heard it,
it didn’t even echo.
I waited for the instrument
of peace and forgetfulness
to play its one note.
the creek’s smell. The face of the man
I loved when he was asleep. I worry
that talking about it will turn
these sentences into words
instead of the experience. I want to keep
the real world that is inside me,
and its stillness.” —“The Other Excitement” by Linda Gregg (via aclockwithouthands) (via crashinglybeautiful)
It is snowing heavily again.
I have been watching it for a long time
the way a blind man looks at the world
on the back of his eyelids.
Something I wanted in my hands
is not there, and I hear
the soft cry of the flakes approaching.
Trapped among branches,
it sounds as if I have lost someone
and have reached up to find
that same whiteness on my mouth,
plunging into itself without me.
Salinger, I’m sorry, but “Don’t ever tell
anybody anything” is a string of words
I would like to wrap up in canvas and sink
to the bottom of the Hudson, or extract
by laser from the ribcage of all of us
who ever believed it, who felt afraid
to miss someone, to be the last one
standing. “Tell everyone everything” is
not exactly right, but I do believe that if
your mother looks radiant in violet
you should tell her, or when a juvenile
sparrow thrashes its wings in dustpiles
and reminds you of a lover’s eyelashes,
you should say so. We are islands all of us,
but we are also boats, our secrets flares,
pyrotechnic devices by which we signal
there’s someone in here we’re still alive!
So maybe it’s, “don’t be afraid.” We can
rewrite Icarus, flame-resistant feathers,
wax that won’t melt, I mean it, I’ll draw up
a prototype right now, that burning ball
of orange won’t stop us, it’ll be everything
we dream the morning after, even if we fall
into the sea—we are boats, remember?
We are pirates. We move in nautical miles.
Each other’s anchors, each other’s buoys,
the rocket’s red, already the world entire.
Under this moon
the madness of us -
I hold your hand warm,
feeling like a lost child with
daddy found. I am not
an easily loved thing.
Around us the air hums
with summer and sex.
Night arrives to
cover my naked skin.
You take me by surprise.
I cry out, pain.
I eat plums,
bursting with fresh juice and
I am a goddess glowing white
a sacrifice to your shame.
I rise out of the air,
and dissolve into smoke
in your throat.
We cannot lie to each other
and pretend we are strangers,
not with shared memories -
blurred and smeared with
alcohol, honey and sweet smoke.
I am raw, lust soaked, stained.
From now on I will sit at your table
and beg scraps with moistened lips.
a pit of fear grows inside my stomach.
I invent lies immediately.
I suffer memory loss for days.
The air buzzes with the sick electricity
Alone, I walk into the water
and let the blood pour out.
“The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there”
- L. P. Hartley, The Go-Between
I am not the sum of this, but slowly over the years I edit less events, I give a less sanitised history. I am happier as the past falls away; and with a partial lunar eclipse I’ve been writing down more memories; reading old poems and wondering where they belong.
I write down the truth and what the truth becomes: a shape shifter smoked out by a face in the street, a word snatched out of someone else’s mouth, colour changed by unlikely concepts like forgiveness and love.
There are countless great punk bands. There always have been countless great punk bands. There always will be. Punk rock is in a constant state of renewal and reinvention. A hydra built on frustration and ineptitude and loathing and hope and love, both immutable and transitory, obsessed with sincerity and silliness, aping the Ramones, ripping apart The Germs, building up the Circle Jerks, shredding the Minutemen or Husker Du or The Dicks, leaping from Crimpshrine with a line wound tight in its heart and spit in its eye, screeching vindictive oblivion over riffs stolen from F.Y.P., throwing the best parts of The Clash into a huge giant clustering fuck of melody and power, poetry and bile and dumb fucking attitude. Punk rock is dying, dead, birthing, alive in every single 4-beat count-off and song sung like it was the last one. And the most interesting stuff to me will always be what’s going on right now because it’s fresh, fresh as a wound, and falling over itself because it doesn’t know where it’s going. It’s a van full of kids in the dark and there’s a show somewhere out there full of people who also know the words to Propagandhi songs.
Yes, yes, yes. Thank you.
1 lb. Expectant disappointment (hope can be substituted)
2 c. Sadness
1/3 c. Anger and studiously restrained vitriole
4 Days bursting into tears
3 tsp. Knew it was coming
1/8 tsp. Relief
Bring together ingredients, let sit for 24 years. Return, mix together without allowing ingredients to touch. Light on fire. Stand back and enjoy.
I meet you at a time of drowning.
A Tuesday, sinking.
I know right away from across the room,
and when I go to bed with your
Sea King song in my ears.
My limbs thrash and the ocean is a storm,
my hands tangle
in your crown of curls.
I rest like a pearl in a shell.
I come to you in waves.
Every time we make love, erosion.
My white skin only sees the sun underwater.
Tattooed with squid ink, I am Chinese porcelain,
hand painted with blue.
I scoop up the ocean with the moon
as a cup, overflowing.
I use a broken silver piece
to write pleas to the sky
in the sand.
Will you see them reflected in clouds
from the bottom of the ocean?
A wave crashes over my tongue,
my face wears a mask of salt,
I’m covered with sand and naked grief.
I crawled out of the ocean for you.
I place shells along your spine,
at your ears and mouth,
over your eyes. I rise up
like a whisper. The ocean
shudders over us.
You turn to me in your sleep
and my face is wet and I’m singing,
you’re home, home, home.
In cracks of afternoon sun,
your skin polished like kauri pine
stretched out below me
burnt my brown eyes
I had forgotten tenderness
the only soundtrack was our breath
and all of your veins were at my attention.
When it grew dark
the unlit sky fell in on me.
Stars started appearing on my skin,
like an infection.
you have given tremendous importance to thinking.
But thinking is old; thinking is never new;
thinking is the continuation of memory.
If you have lived there,
obviously there is some kind of continuity.
And it is a continuity that is dead, over, finished.” —J. Krishnamurti, from talks in Europe 1968, May 19, 1968, Amsterdam (via paynehollow) (via crashinglybeautiful)