Plain American Language

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

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Selk'nam or, Looking, Hoping

In the museum of natural history
there are two giant turtles:
the sea turtle
and the giant
Galapagos tortoise--
its scales
larger than I've ever seen,

enough that
we could walk on them
if we were little --
each plate a Pangaea
a Tierra del Fuego --
though suffering
intense winds, winters:

the protection
we'd have to hunt for,
torpidly, spears in hand
throwing long dashes
toward a destination, hoping
to reach a target.


Went to the Quinta Normal today.
It's getting colder towards night.
It's the green of the grass & trees
that gets to me: it leads me,
leads me always to the museums.
This is a microcosm of man's experience.
The cast model of a velociraptor-type dinosaur
gave me the chills. The heebie-jeebies
are also a microcosm of man's experience.
Whale bones, older'n a hundred years.
It's strange and ominous & lovely
how a whale's skin almost
has nothing to do with its bones.
Later on, a gigantic mug of coffee
and an empanada. My hand slipped
& too much sugar landed in the cup.

At the Acupuncturist (i think this poem's silly...if only for the cop-out ending, any suggestions?)

Sliding down into that phase
where the two heat lamps
sunning your arms-like-live-pin-cushions

in which all seems a bit dreamy --
be it the heat or not
you've nothing to do with your time

but sleep. The grandest object:
the window: an arch, pillar sentinels,
long glass plates, rose-tipped

at the actual arch. Darkness.
Awake again, heat's off.
were there ghost's cackling recently?
The arch pointing downward, smiles.

claudia retamal

so claudia is a friend of mine from valdivia, chile, who i met while traveling. she's an artist, and a i lovely one at that. anyways, a while ago, i posted a poem based off her painting of the earthquake in valdivia...

This is in spanish...inspired by a painting by claudia retamal

Hay una falla en el centro

una fruta podrida al fondo del canasto
un rostro quemado por los agentes del horror
un rastro que supura bajo las vendas.

Hay un error en todo esto.
Una piedra en el engranaje
un mecanismo desaceitado.

Son objetos, cartas, llaves perdidas bajo la alfombra
basura, quebradas que esconden cuerpos bajo la cal.

No hay sagrado corazón que redima.
No hay oración que enmiende ni explique.

Hay un pinchazo por donde se cuela el aliento
un desastre por donde hace agua la embarcación.

Hay una grieta
una trizadura en el centro

Allí chorrea la comprensión
el alquitrán ardiente de la palabra

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Lemon and Honey

I'm with a cold like I'm with child.
The smell of honey
is either coming from the mug of it
recently consumed
or the smallest traces of it
that might still be on my fingers.
Voice, recently lost; recently gained again.
Viral or bacterial? Will I sleep tonight?
Emergency water next to the bed.
A heavy head. It's viral.
Being almost mute is wanting
to tell the world "Stop!"
Today was a friend's birthday.
One of the girls here cried.
I couldn't ask anything.
I don't think I'll ever know why.

The Meta Poem

I think I dreamed some lines last night.
Something about my lips turning blue and orange
out of fear or pleasure
or something else I can't remember.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

To Looking Forward

And what if there is no field?
In your heart of hearts
No more throwing deer off cliffs.
I thank my father & mother
for my two big toes
and thumbs that keep me stable.
Move out of the house,

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

In The House

There are so many ants here.
My legs are sore, have I pulled them
or not stretched enough?
I find ants in the bed: at first a strange,
jittery speck. Then I see legs.

I've killed a plenty by now, in the bed alone.
My fingers smell of garlic:
I tried to make an interesting marinara.
Thinking always brings my hand
near my nose. What a strong smell.

Opening the bathroom door,
seven, eight ants just circling,
no purpose. I don't do a thing about it.

Lately there's a strange picking
on my skin while in bed.
I hope it's my imagination.