Thursday, February 28, 2008
Yes - I can only speak in secret rumblings,
an esoteric mystical code understood by
the monastic brotherhood of Realpolitik.
My brows are furrowed always,
even in sex, even in the act
of making fierce love while
screaming “do me do me do me fuck my face and eyes
with your hands and desperate need to feel my hands ravage your skin
raze your arm hair and freckles to the ground!”
My glasses can only be thick, and I mean both lenses
and frames, all to keep out your searching eyes.
And when I think of nations, people, persons,
children running wild-eyed, their expressions
reminding me of water boiling over, ovens left on,
bread left in toasters… Yes, when I think of bombing nations,
I can only dream of secret missiles falling - my fingers
steepled as the planes make their soundless runs.
(How can somethings so silent; somethings so unobtrusive,
be so lacking in tenderness?)
Cambodia, a mass imagination ruined in silence.
Somethings that happen to somebodies, becoming nobodies.
Kissinger, with his scheming, was above it all: the only
one not bound up in the unfortunate shambles of Watergate.
But I can only stand next to Richard Nixon,
feeling most comfortable smelling his morning breath
of bad coffee and a bowl of cheerios.
His cool flop sweat soothes my nervous eyebrows.
I feel most at home beside liars,
for I know them better than I have loved tellers of truth.
His fingers are flung into the air, splaying like legs mid-coitus,
and his peace is one I can believe in.
I too believe “power is the ultimate aphrodisiac.”
Nothing makes me sexier than the fact
that I meet regularly with Mao Zedong. His face
is on posters and t-shirts, but I sit shrouded in mystery.
We walk through doors and enter back rooms together,
and no one may know I was there.
I can slip in and out of your world, and
you won’t know, but I can change it forever.
I stand over you and hold you on the bed,
muffling your mouth with my comforter; I
think of faraway lands and smile.
*Thanks go out to Adam Katz, Samantha Kuperberg and Jeana Poindexter.
(x/p to cellular theology)
Monday, February 25, 2008
In my Anthropology class, we were discussing the key factors for separating the hominin line from which we have descended from the Last Common Ancestor, who was essentially a chimp-human hybrid of sorts. Essentially, we were trying to figure out where humans broke away from the pack. Often, paleoanthropologists try to hone in on this line using dentition and bipedalism as indexes. To spark our discussion, our teacher asked us “What factors are key for you? What do you look for in a hominin?”
Which got me thinking…
SWF looking for S?Hominin. Let’s have fun! Height not an issue. Thin tooth enamel a plus. Obligate bipedals preferred.
I just read a post on a blog (that's what I do for fun because the world is my luscious oyster) that quoted at length the first page of Robert Penn Warren's fantastipiece All the King's Men. One problem, though: it edited out the word "nigger." Twice, if memory serves.
This, I think, is as good a time as any (it's the most egregious example of editing, because of the acknowledged strength of the work, and the most forgivable example of editing because of the history of the word being edited) to lay down some law--but first I should note, to be fair: at least he mentioned that the selection had been edited for content.
Now--the law to be laid down is this: it's perfectly ok, by the rules that govern our society, for the citer of a work to change the words of a novel if he SAYS he's doing so--heck, in some cases, it's ok to appropriate them as his own even if he doesn't say he's doing so. After all--good poets borrow; great poets steal. BUT CAVEAT EMPTOR: your version has to be better. If your version (as this was) is just a spineless, fearful, little scratching-out of something you're terrified might hurt someone's feelings (because a symptom of the racist in you clawing its way to the surface is that you jerk your knees against apparent instances of racism in others) then you, sir, madam, or both, are a tool and should be put back on your nail in the shed, where you belong, and the light turned out around you. Censorship, even of something you perceive as ignorant, is itself a manifestation of ignorance; and ignorance is prejudice; and prejudice, while often unavoidable, is not a worthy characteristic of published material, even dinky online publishing.
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Proud of My Poetry
No no and no
I don’t write like you
I can’t compile the files within my head into
Something long with
Allusions and illusions to
Keep it strong
Swimming through words with a snorkel on
So I can pretend I’m not drowning
And so what if my poetry
Is hooked up into rhyme?
That’s how words come to me.
I think in rhyme.
And sometimes I make it
Out of four simple lines
Not anything crazy
Bound to burst open your mind
I used to be proud
Of the webs I did mangle
(Now in my mind I suppress the urge to use the word “tangle”)
And the visions I created
And the beat underneath
Like a symphony of sheets—
No no and no.
I can’t even do this.
Because it’s true—this
Urge to write in my own way.
I can’t write like you.
In this poem I have tried
(Again, I resist the urge to use the word “lied”)
But it does nothing for me.
And it honestly bores me.
So I’ll stick to my stanzas
And keep them tucked away until that late later time
When I can take them out and not be ashamed
Of something beautiful which this heart has made