Plain American Language

I cut a sliver/of WC William's finger
and placed it inside/my philosophy...

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Thinking Again (#31) -- this is a little...meh

Bending my head back, I begin to think,
and realize my stomach hurts
because of emptiness. Do I drink water,
there is no food in the fridge.

My head reels over the heat of water,
in the shower, the only place to think,
though standing so long, your feet hurt
as if you had them stuck in the fridge.

Rummaging through the fridge
down onto my feet drips water
edging its way down and lingering as if hurt
and wanting to think

of things littler than itself. I must ignore the hurt
when dropped
, it thinks,
and, like all water,
plumets from the edge of the fridge.

God, I hate this fridge.
The food's always missing, evaporates like water.
The dryness of this hurt
is killing me
, I think.

In a bad shower, hard water
presses down on your body like hurt.
It's like an empty fridge.

The shower is the best place to think.

im backtracking...sorry. plus, don't have a pencil, so here goes nothin #30

Buenos Aires Querido

Here, it's car pollution: the buses emit a cloud
of unbreathable air that rises and rises
and quits eventually. The streets inundate
for a few minutes and you walk through it
for what seems like a small choking eternity.
I began this poem thinking about love.

Inside the bus feels cleaner than the air outside,
though the seats are old and worn after so many sitters.
A fake leather, an old Mercedes sign
on the top of the dashboard and inside the
steering wheel; the drivers & their routes.
Riding, you begin know an area like you know a wine glass:
each crease and cut, the dip where the wine
might splash just a bit, rising then settling.
Buenos Aires and love -- who can even count
the vapors of it, the unbreathable thing.
I began this with the idea that love was simple.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Once (pronounced Own-say, like the number 11) #29

There are garment shops all over,
and most (I assume, because that's what
the book said) owned by Jews.
Stands, colorful fabrics, busy main Avenues.
A little farther, well mixed
into the crowd of musty looking stores,
the kosher restaurants.
I suppose I'm slightly disappointed,
but, I haven't tried all the food yet.
If anything, I'm surprised at
the silliness of how I look in the window:
silly big shorts, light blue t-shirt,
sandals and a Panama hat.
The passages of a tourist.
On some streets, it's as if
I'm in New York, where
you walk and suddenly,
the section, the barrio, which looks normal
except for a few things.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Tango Dance, #28

Whether you end on the ground
or lifted, whether your back
is vertical or diagonal
keep in mind that your shoes
point out toward infinity
and so the angle must be right, enough so
that you are the earth's core
giving the ground trajectory
always emanating heat.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Panama Hat (I apologize for the lateness...i lost my notebook...and so this is very impromptu....number 27)

Covered in silver, there's a barbie doll holding a frisbee
much larger than she. It was a homemade trophie,
says my friend. Inside my Panama Hat, which is made
in Ecuador and not Panama, there are straws that
poke my head just a bit, but on the outside I look fine,
and I stroll head higher now, as if I had a trophie
on my own head. Light, made of thatched straw,
(I think) tightly woven, it's stylish
like the 50s. A silver light shines off the barbie doll
in the picture of the trophie. When my eyes don't adjust
it looks like a blob of silver splayed out on
the backdrop of the night. The hat moves through
the night like a tan beacon. It's slightly tight on
my head, but fits me just the same. A Panama Hat
can't be silver. But if it were, it'd fit me tightly
on the head, and move through the night like a blob
and beacon out toward my fellow neighbors.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

the 26th of 80 pomes du Andrew

When I Look at You, I Feel Different, Funny

My favorite thing is to get goosebumps on my head.
For instance, every time I'm on the plane
and they give us our flight precautions
my head flares up like a match head.
And I like to keep it, prolong it
for as long as possible. In a gallery of art,
at the mall, I'll scratch my head lightly,
or rub my arms to conduct electricity of some sort
and keep my head light, floating on pins & needles.

Friday, January 25, 2008

The American Dream (#25)

A favorite fantasy of mine
is to turn back
toward my pick-pocketer
knee him in the jewels
& beat 'em senseless
instead of running away
or trembling
like the rational one would do.

The American Dream II

I also, though secretly, look out windows
and imagine myself jumping.
There're two ends to this:
roof to roof to roof;
or I stick to the air.
I never see the ground in that fantasy.

hahaha, and naturally i backtracked. well, here's #24

Counterpoem: Huh.

Cooked and scrambled
love looks like
this, there's no sound
to tell
just how beautiful
or burnt
it'll taste in your mouth.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Punta Arenas Cemetary (Poem #23, now we're on track, baby!)

The grounds are huge:
well groomed trees
giving a sense of grandeur
to these famous family tombs,
and also solemnity: pathways
named "Thoughts" or "Hammers."
Alone, or accompanied yet still alone,
you walk under these ornaments,
and don't know who anyone is
in the mausoleum with the neo-gothic
angel, despite the family's name
written below. You head down,
and run into someone else's grief
near the above-ground tombs,
and later on a real funeral..
that quick shank into dirt, forceful,
terrible, everyone watching...
there's not much that's sadder than
shovel hitting dirt. Except the silence
and cold clump thereafter.

Monday, January 21, 2008

i think i realized i goofed a long while back in the dates and numbers and make up whatever. starting tomorrow, cause i've already got poem 22, i'll get back on track on this on the 23rd, expect poem 23 and so on...

Why Breakfast is So Important (Poem #22, should be all caught up)

I find happiness in apricot jam. Then I eat it.

Poem #21

In Punta Arenas still with nothing
to do but shop for groceries
on a Sunday, life's been restored
in the Plaza de Armas, so I watch
as skaters in full garb & board
meander up & down the sidewalks
and a few Chilean B-boys
try and battle a bit, all friendly
no real hostilities it looks like,
especially with this little kid --
what, 10, 12 years old? --
jumping over himself,
always landing flat-backed
still learning that crucial handstand
that way to spin your body
leg under arm around leg
around arm & up into air
and stay there for an eternal minute
and land face down, flat.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Poem 20

The open skin on my toe makes me worried
because it flaps around when it's loose
and sometimes makes the toe stick to the one
next to it. This is all because of a blister.
Don't pop a blister, everyone says, because
you want the fluid to recede back into your skin.
Stay calm and recede back into your skin.
And I don't even have a band-aid...

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Huh. (Poem 19, caught up, just need one for today...i'm on track, i promise)

Why not try to write a love poem?
It's simple:
crack two eggs together
and reduce the yolk
and egg white
to a whip --
that sound, that cracking sound of a split shell,
it's so goddamn familiar...

like the sound of eyes closing
in bed.

Untitled (Poem 18)

Glasses off, this is like the night, boca arriba, where, as I am about to be pulverized by an array of bullets, I realize my past is not my future, but the present dream I've been having all along.

I can't see a dang thing here, my love. Where did I put my glasses?

Thursday, January 17, 2008

I'm not an experienced hiker (Poem 17)

I don't have sandals so
I wear sneaks.
After all the blistering
skin'll firm back
and my foot'll be
a pencil
to the touch.
Warmth is godly.
In the shower, it's as if
clods of dirt
just come rolling
out my hair.

The Concept Poem: Some Trees (revised!) (Poem 16)

Some trees are habits.
This one is a porcupine
in December.
Spread like milk,
this one is December.
Some trees are large

like the self is large
said Walt Whitman.
Some trees are human,
they're the death of me.
This one's a terrible
fire, burns to look.

Some trees shake the bunkbed.
Some trees are wood.
This one is an ode to my sock:
"What I like about you
is you're electric fire.
It's warm. It's nice."

Some trees flower
like oranges. This one
is Novembering its way through.
Some trees don't plant to firm ground.
They lose their earth.
Like death in November.

Finis Terrae (Poem 15)

At the end of the earth
I was in the bathroom
peeing and thinking of turning off
the sink,
running too long
people don't know how to turn faucets off
properly nowadays
and all that
just circling for no reason,
that's all it does
just circle.

Too Much Modest Mouse (Poem 14)

Here's the man with teeth like God's shoeshine, he shimmers, glistens, shines. Curly hair that implies the Great Beyond and loops forward in time. Kicks a bit as he sleeps in dreams, punches the pillow, what's comfortable anyway; down his nose slopes greater significance like cans of soup, lovely like chicken broth, what's vegetables anyway; and chomps on his lip, lower lip bleeds a bit, lovely like tomato soup its the metal that makes up time. Here's the man in night-time boots every night glimmer, glisten, shine. Curly hair that signifies greater things, a comfortable kick in his eye.


i've been away without comp access forever..and forgot a pen/pencil on my camping admittedly these poems were written tonight...just now. just a warning.

Friday, January 11, 2008


Notes on the trees on the way to Puerto Natales

1. Bus

The real way to look at a tree is up close, or slowly. I couldn't really do that at the speed we were going, though time on a bus seems immeasurable both inside and out.

2. Brush

The thing Vallejo, an engineer for the Chilean Army, told me about the southern Patagonia is that its ugly, flat. On the transfer from the airport to the city, a three hour ride, the land is flat with wide expanse, which gives proof to the theory of relativity. In such expanse, thick breathing space, time must wedge inside each piece of brush. That's all there is. Nodules and blips in fields give you references of distance and a small measure of time, like the bumps in history maps and timelines which look far away like a small rise of land and grass.

3. Trees

Bodies lean in the wind. They wear and uproot and fix themselves and stand like commuters on the 413 that's always turning left. Some, most, are missing leaves and their branches are whiter than birches and, probably, mean they're almost dead. They're not forests, just patches, but grab at the grass in long bursts and always claim their space. From my window -- sometimes trees exist only if you look at them through bus windows -- they aren't even bigger than my body. They're surrounded by the end of life and rain.

4. Fires

Men & women I suppose claimed land here by burning it. There are forests of them toppled, pushed over by wind or whoever. Miles of trees that lick the toenails of clouds but know they ain't gettin a drop of time. It hurts to watch them, as the bus drives and I keep thinking about brush. Some bones sprout leaves. Some bones extend outward to reach.

Poem 12, Counterpoem, ROFLMFAO

Randall saw a beaver in a tree.
He set 'em on fire,
burned for a while, long & orange.
Got me some more farmland,
he said in 1949.

Poem 11

I imagine two cyclists on the Carretera Austral

After so much rock, one keeled
over & curled into
a fiddlehead. The other

blew rust,
a violin song.
They throw rocks

and wait
for death
or a passing car.

If you throw water on them
they'll grow:
there's a box with a virgin

and a few ferns.

Poem 10, Some Trees (pictures here are not included but might be added later...this poem is ongoing, i think)

Some trees grow tall.
Like the self,
said Walt Whitman.


This tree is a porcupine in


This tree is December.


This tree is an ode to my sock:
"What I like about you is you're warm.
It's nice."

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Poems 8 and 9....i'm writing, i promise, sorry for such a delay, being on vacation sucks butts for this kinda thing...

The clouds move while I stay put

The thing I hate about rust is the taste. Like wet dog. Nobody likes a wet dog. I don't like wet dog.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _

After miles of scortched trees I've had enough

I think we all wear beards:
sunflowers and dilapidation;
bees and fresh honey that drips
like a red curtain; beards
made of polluted whales
like the ones you see on tv.
We wear them pretty, like some trees.
Sometimes beards get sick
and throw up white ugliness.
They itch like burnt ground.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Araucaria Counter Poem (#7) (from Mabel)

Well, they live for more than a thousand years and don't give fruit until they are 30 years or so.

They have male (brown) and female (green) flowers and their reproductive cycle takes approximately 2 years, however only the strongest trees can be part of it.

Their trunk is so hard that it's very difficult to burn and their favorite habitat is very high up in the mountains or just grow on top of volcanic rocks.

They fed Mapuches and Spanish with its piƱones when the latter began losing the Arauco war and had nothing to eat.

So I bet when you looked at it and thought it was nothing special to see, it must have looked back at you and chuckled...

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Travel (Poem #6)

The morning slips through the cracks
of sleep -- that's the normal molasses
of alarm, sunlight & prolonging
of sleep out of urban habit.
Morning comes
always as that splitting of waters,
and yet how dense & wide it is in the first few moments
like a heart beat or a close chest --
something warm like what dream'd been.

Araucaria (#5)

The trunk has spines that spread
like the scales of a pineapple.
As it grows upward and you look
(gawk, more appropriately --
at that neck angle the mouth
drops bricks) there are the branches!
pine-like ones that scoop up into a bowl.
They're protected and are few
in the world due to deforestation
or just over-cutting. Honestly
it wasn't anything special to see,
but the green was deep and shocked the sky
just a bit as we rested for lunch.

Poem #4, Four Situations

Why am I suddenly shrunken against the thumb print
of a lake with strong ocean waves.
What is a small section of covered forest
shaded with leaves and trunks like Paul Bunyan's
doing belittling my own arms and legs.

There're the enclaves and spaces
inside a tree trunk, broken into cleverly
and a pinch of sleep hits the eyes
upon seeing such emptiness;
to describe the crackle of pleasure

of observance is killer on the head
like a sunburn on the scalp.

Untitled (Poem #3)

Rain, continuous, drawing planets
in globules on glass, we are in
Puerto Varas, city of roses,
settled originally by Germans in the 1800s.

What's to do except listen & listen:
Wood expanding with the water
makes a crick every few seconds.

That must be what age is like.
Tomorrow we head to Bariloche
for New Year's & chocolates.

I feel like a fish or desert lizard
here in this bed, just waiting
for something to happen,
ears expanding like wet wood.

After a Painting by Claudia Retamal

The only openness in this world
is where, out of the chasm in the corner,
the ladder gets to:
the border, the wood:
orange, red, green
leading upawrd
out the river, houses drowning.
There's hope.