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    Wednesday, June 29, 2005

    I See

    I see chaos on lithographs*

    Baghdad is burning. Smoke curling, bombed out shells, hovering plaster pieces, your concrete walls. I see this through the photographer that sees this thousands and thousands of miles away. But what I see are legs. Faces with barred teeth, the whites of eyes, turned red and inside out.

    Three fire pockets blow upwards, flames licking. Orange aglow. Splintered street corners, intersections of glass. A littering of an inside. 4 cars blown upwards and out, a half circle arc. Metal pieces shot quickly.

    You in your blue polka dots, house dress almost. Just off center. You reflect the blue of the window to your right, a perfect symmetry. I can only identify you by a backside and probably never again. You are turned bravely towards. Bombed out shell. Concrete erect. Black tar is blowing. The architecture is curvy, wavy with heat.

    Half forward facing and half back. A colorful array of those still standing. Yet all are in a state of forward, one leg lifted. Heel to toe. Black shiny hair, grey film. Holes where windows were and the curtains in tatters. Skinny armed boy is wearing blue sandals. He stares, standing in a doorway. Half erect, a deep maroon, like saloon doors. Only they never swung. Half hinged even. Dark brown eyes mirroring images.

    I’ve looked and looked and never once recalled the color of the sky. Yet, I strive to convey the minute details.


    *NY Times, a photograph of Four car bombs exploded within about 10 minutes of each other in Baghdad on June 23 by Muhammed Uraibi/Associated Press

    Tuesday, June 21, 2005

    Prickly with head stones

    Illinois, USA

    Southwest Corners

    Breath holding to pass
    you know the old wives tale
    all of the stories piled up
    spinning round me like
    funnel clouds, makes me think funnel cake
    roller coasters, Great America, Gurnee
    and ice cream, cold and white
    layers of swirls as a topping

    Hold your breathe

    Resurrection cemetery
    I said I would take you there,
    to touch the palmed over bars
    to see the dead, photographs circular
    popped off of grave stones
    likely pocketed.
    mementos hard and fast. remembrance.

    Quick inhale

    we could walk enclosed and hear the traffic
    sifting through branches and brambles
    our vision tree pocked
    Roberts Road ringing back at us

    Cemetery white is a dirty grey

    family plots, neat little rows
    I walked between
    respectful of the rectangular shape of things
    you walked in zigzags, fully absorbing
    covering ground in loping circles
    to my one foot in front of the other,
    heel to toe and back again
    plastic vases and rows of roses
    marred by landmarks
    the map of turns in my head fuzzy
    finding them was scattered
    a series of lefts and rights,
    mostly back tracks

    Prickly with head stones

    But in the end all I could remember
    was the breath holding
    and how we never had,
    had never gone at all,
    instead I pulled and plucked from what I wished

    Friday, June 17, 2005

    A Cautionary Tale

    South Dakota, USA

    i.
    We tried to get to the house made of corn but we never made it. It alluded us. The town was small and squat, a barely made out outline—but it was there. The corn house was too, I imagine, along with the museum of 4,000+ dolls. Can you, can you see it? Was it really in a museum or was it a converted barn, an old Victorian, or an old wooden outline plastered over and shaped into form.

    ii.
    83 miles per hour. I never thought of this as running. As too fast. A loping highway pace. Ground cover

    iii.
    A drug store that spanned a city block. Would that be a mile? I believe the name began with a W. Maybe you’ve heard the name before. Can remember its significance.

    iv.
    Exited Wyoming only to enter South Dakota. A flat surfaceless place. I could see the heat which means I could see the air. W was so inconsistent, a valley of curves and dips, my toes felt cooled by the changes, curling and uncurling. SD was the cruel joke. The deflated expanse at the end of a roller coaster. That quick jerk as you slide into stop. Your slow exhale.

    v.
    Red tinted highways, bumpy mediums. Road construction can be so present. A turn off into a one gas station town. The bank has no ATM. The teller blinks. A fat child in a jumper is walking along the painted yellow lines.

    vi.
    The middles of everything are fat and dangerously round. It might be the heat. Drops of sweat are beading on my back. They fall in intervals. This feels no closer to the start or end of anything.

    vii.
    The spaces leaving room for the unheard, the unmentioned, the refused rememberings. The cat in the carrier meows, paws at the nylon. He is only stretching.

    viii.
    Recounted only in memory, found in the left most corner of your brain. The one I left along the road. The one I asked to leave the car and not come back. The yellow carbon flapping, skittish along the dash. Proof of a moment.

    Wednesday, June 15, 2005

    The things you search for on google

    Someone got to my site by googling: Swat Talon Robot Pictures. That's awesome.

    I'm gearing up for a longer post or some poetry or whatnot. Coming soon, very soon. I feel strangly distant from my little blog. I hadn't looked at it at all while away and it's slowly coming back into focus. But for now it must be content with some short shorts to tide it over.

    Monday, June 13, 2005

    I'm back. Leading up to my 11 day trip out of SF, cross country through Salt Lake City, Yellowstone, South Dakota (spawn of the devil state), Minnesota, Wisconsin, then down to Chicago. I intended and started a post entitled Notes before a Trip but in my haste to leave town and do a million and one things prior to leaving it fell to the wayside. So, instead I have this:

    You are John Ashbery
    You are John Ashbery. People love your work but
    have no idea why, really. You are respected by
    all kinds of scholars and poets. Even artists
    like you.

    Go and find out which poet you are.
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