Plain American Language

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

Monday, February 14, 2011

Look Out (a very rough, rough poem taking a cue from Josh Beckman)

From the way it looks, the view from the mountain
is just as clearly showing me smog
as the trees directly below my foot.
I remember when I was climbing Torres del Paine
I didn't understand
that not all roads that lead to Rome involve trodden-upon footpaths.
Kneeling on gravel, I prayed each time I grabbed a small tree
it'd hold. The phones almost entirely dead,
we communicated through the one computer
at the hostel, where coffee was strong, and delicious.
I suspect upon the moment that clouds fitted
themselves upon those mountains that rain
poured and pounded like the wind and gave
beauty to those towers. I think I read that.
Do you read? Do you take in air in quick sips?
I think that kind of thing is interesting, like how it howls
in zigzags like a terribly disoriented fox
up steep hills and that birch tree peeling like peanut
butter in a cold, cold kitchen.

I was listening to too much Tallest Man on Earth, and wrote a song called I'm Going Swimming

(this rhymes and doesn't rhyme in's rough, and if you want to put it to music, feel free. In my mind, it is finger-picked and sung with a lilt, a little fast & folky)

I'm building diamond mines in Africa, my chest.
I doubt the workers will be getting any rest
too soon, but if I were you
I'd think about the cliffs in Martha's Vineyard and if
I were you, I'd paint them just a shade grayer,
or two. At 32 degrees
the snow will pile on my heart and leaves
will tell us stories of the wet and the blue.
If I were you, I'd head off to the south
and there I'd live without the fear
of stains of onion on my fingertips,
then touch my lips. I once heard a story
of a nosebleed that filled the world with blood,
I think it was the Nile, I might have read that
in a book somewhere. Classical literature.
Was it Dante or the Aeneid that said love
was floating above me, floating
like those glass-like bits of beauty
when we look up from under water.
And time, it is reflective of the glass-like
bits of pain, the breath we breathed accidentally again:
sometimes I can't see (x3) when I'm swimming.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

One Bedroom

The slip occurs more often at night

Tintinnabulations of brick, rust-colored light

Under the moon, your eyes look soft

Night music, a resting thing

Slower, farther, more patiently droplets walk up the back

Dreams like missing criminals, books like smokers' fingers

Your neon gait as you stride forward to the sheets

The ice of our closing eyes; wide, size; talk with your hands

Brick, brick, brick, night.