Caveat: Englyns

I've been experimenting with writing englyns – these are complex, rigid Welsh poetic forms – not in Welsh, though.  This is a small englyn penfyr I made:

nobody sees sky's glimmer, the sun falls,
-nobody feels the summer-
nobody sees air's shimmer.

Sometime back I tried writing one in Spanish, too – probably not as good.  And this one is about being angry:

a veces siento enojo de perro,
ira de piedra, un rojo
enfado de hombre cojo

Traditional Welsh poetry is fascinating to me because of its demands for such highly structured forms – almost like Japanese haiku, for example.  And, as Georges Perec once pointed out (and probably others), it is constraint that leads to truly innovative artistic expression, and not freedom

I remember as one of my most productive periods of poetry-writing the time when I was experimenting with highly constrained forms such as the alexandrine sestina, with additional non-traditional constraints on such things as "characters per line" (thus I could produce completely justified poetic lines using monospace type with no additional spaces).

Caveat: Dust and Silence

"The sweeping waste, hydroptic and coldly secular.  The silence."  This is the ending of a paragraph near the end of Cormac McCarthy's The Road, which I just finished.  In some ways, a very typical bit of postapocalyptic fare.  In other ways, more spare and unprogrammed, maybe.  A gloomy, depressing book, though.

Oddly congruent with the current fall of yellow Mongolian dust – a seasonal visitation not uncommon in Korea, but rendered more worrisome now that it comes laden with the unquantifiable atmospheric  toxicities of Northeast China's vast industrial effluence.  All the cars were covered with a fine spattering of rain-patterned pale dirt, as the yellow dust had come accompanied by rain.  All the piles of snow have melted.  The cold, damp air tasted like sand.  It was easy to imagine McCarthy's world, as I read while riding the subway into Seoul to buy my Sunday installment of English-language magazines.

The last time I was so profoundly affected by a post-apocalyptic story was perhaps James White's Second Ending novella, which sometimes still haunts my dreams even though it's been thirty years since I read it (and I had to spend 30 minutes with google to figure out the title of it).  But overall I have always felt James White to be a vastly underrated sci-fi author. 

And speaking of underrated, I found myself thinking of Alasdair Gray's Axletree for some reason, recently too – the tale of  those men who build a babel-like tower to heaven, only to damage the surface of the sky and bring the deluge down upon Earth when it shatters. 

Then there's John Lucian Jones' story of the Protagonist – a robot-sentience from a machine civilization called in to solve the mystery of an extinct primitive civilization that seems to have stopped in its tracks just as these robot-people from a distant star were about to make contact.  We gradually learn that the extinct civilization in question is none other than Earth, as the Protagonist obsesses Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius-style over the ruins and artifacts. The stunning truth is that the robots themselves have inadvertently destroyed everything on the planet due to sheer ignorance of the possibility of carbon-based life.

Caveat: It’s raining helmets… and the Mexican snowplow squadron

I looked up at my television a while ago, which I had on on some Korean channel.  I saw a man on a motorcycle, he looked like a zombie.  He had a passenger riding behind him.  Suddenly it began to rain a large number motorcycle helmets from the sky.  The driver of the motorcycle was struck by one of the falling helmets.  The television had my attention.

It was apparently the scene from a movie – the show was some movie review show, where they show clips of movies and talk about them, but, since it was in Korean, I didn't really have much ability to capture what this movie was.  But the scenes were pure magic realism, and I was captivated.  There was a scene where a woman was reading a white book that fell on her from the sky.  And a scene where an immense number of empty plastic bottles and containers (ie. trash) was growing into a giant pile in the center of some huge city.  It grew to such large size it towered over the skyline of the city, like a mountain.  People went and climbed and had picnics on it, enjoying the view.  And could throw their empty containers over their shoulders – so convenient!

So.  I had to know what this movie was.   Hmm… how to search?  Google.  I typed in "falling helmets" and "movie".  I found a blog about movies – some woman in Minneapolis, of all places.  And lo, there it was:  Citizen Dog (Mah nakorn) – a Thai movie from 2004.

That, and yesterday's snow, has me thinking about a story I started once – my own little foray into magic realism.  Like everything I've tried to write, it never got finished.  The story is set in my familiar haunts in Mexico City.  It starts on a morning I actually experienced, when I emerged one chilly morning from the Casa to see it snowing.  Of course it quickly changed to rain – it doesn't really snow in Mexico City – except on the higher elevations surrounding:  Desierto de los leones, or Tres Marias.

But then my little story diverges:  in the story, it never stops snowing.  Partly, I was influenced by headlines of a freak snowstorm in northern Mexico – Durango / Chihuahua / Cd Juarez, which had recently received several feet.  I had been obsessing on the concept of hardworking squadrons of Mexican snowplows.  I thought 'the Mexican snowplow squadron' might be a great name for a rock band.

Back to the story.  For forty days and nights it snows.  Of course, this means utter social chaos and human tragedy writ large across the hyperinflationary, delamadridista Mexico City of the 1980s.  And meanwhile, snowbound in some small non-profit casa de huespedes, the main characters find friendship, love and meaning.  Really, I was trying to write this.  Once.  Several times.

200801_ilsankr_jaredinsnow

Caveat: The Weather

The season changed abruptly, and too soon. There was a week of snowstorms, and great piles of snow were everywhere. But it was clearly springtime snow:  the way the ground was a bit warm underneath, and melted the lowest layer, which refroze to a crust of ice that the snow could sit on, creating these little continental shelves on the edges of the snowbanks that lined the sidewalks. And then it got warm: a week of above-freezing temperatures, windy, chill, but spring-flavored. And now this:  it would be cold if it were August, but it's late March, and it feels humid and hot and the snow is completely gone after the rain last night. There are buds on the trees and the squirrels scramble on the branches with a sort of distracted optimism, like brand-new meth-addicts, no patina yet on the edges of consciousness.

Caveat: Six Cats In Trieste

Six cats in Trieste

in the blue wind off the cold Adriatic,
off the snow-covered Alps
weirdly visible on the northern horizon,
I climbed the Scala dei Giganti,
up the hill to the castle,
around the back of the cathedral San Giusto,
past the monument to the dead of world war two,
down the stairs behind the ruins
of the foundations of the roman theater;
I saw six cats:

one in the sun in a window;

one on some grass,
looking up at the first one;

one on an abandoned,
ratty-looking suitcase in a vacant lot, behind the stairs;

one colored brown,
hunting the blades of grass,
staring at ghosts;

one mewing in the dark shadow of a crumbling stone step;

one sitting high up on the top of a wall
that was covered with spikes to keep the pigeons away,
but the spikes where broken off
and the cat was comfortable.

[I wrote this in 2005. I cleaned up the formatting and gave this poem its own "post" on 2011-07-31]

Caveat: 10 ways of looking at a city bus

A sensuous mother's hand strokes her daughter's brown back, a sort of innocent, pure eroticism, unconscious, formless, concrete.

10 ways of looking @ a city bus (after W. Stevens which I just was reading)

1. A boy is kissed by his girl
@ a bus stop on Figueroa St.
By the taco stand. A bus pulls up.
And struggles away in a cloud of exhaust.

2. A child watches the red & yellow bus,
all angular, be-wheeled giant,
irrelevant to his life
He watches from the window.

3. Rural, inter-city county bus,
bound for the university
A column of eucalyptus trees flips past
College students look out at the lumber stacked in rows

4. 11 pm on Washington Blvd.
A man waits, stomping to stay warm
Almost dancing on the icy sidewalk
The 16A doesn't come.

5. Two yellow and brown buses
careen down Avenida Insurgentes @ 2 am
their drivers are racing.
The passengers doze, or are drunk.

6. The newspaper headline says
the buses are overcrowded.
The state orders the transit authority to buy more buses
one man asks "Where's the money going to come from?"

7. An old woman clambers onto a bus,
Somewhere along 6th Avenue – the 50's, I think.
An impatient young man flicks his burning cigarette into the gutter
And reaches for the handrail to climb aboard.

8. Somewhere near St.-Germaine-des-Pres
a bus disgourges its passengers
The rich, intoxicating smell of diesel fumes
Still makes me think of Paris in January.

9. Accelarating passionately
the rural bus swings into opposing traffic
To pass a donkey cart
An old woman who boarded @ the mercado hugs her chicken protectively.

10. Sgt. Jones was impressed, when I knew
which bus to board – I decifered the hangul.
We went to the modern art museum
South of Seoul, amid luxuriant green trees.

I went to a meeting this morning – early, for the thing on deep ecology. I talked more than I expected. And after, two ladies & I talked about Quaker schools, & the decrepit situation @ Pacific Ackworth. No sé.

Yesterday, after counseling, where Jeffrey was the dominant subject, I drove to Pomona, walked around in the desolate desert, hot. Saturday morning ' closed. Decrepit 2nd tier urban core. Then I ate lunch at Dennys, which reminded me of Michelle and her cravings.

Then I came home. My pen ran out of ink the end…

[The "retroblogging" project:  this is a "back-post" transcribed from paper on 2013-06-08.  I've decided to "fill-in" my blog all the way back.  It's a big project.  But there's no time limit, right?

The above was written one Sunday afternoon – my journal entries of this time period were very precisely dated and time-stamped. I was probably in a Starbucks in Pasadena or another in downtown Burbank, or else a Java City location in Glendale I was hanging out at a lot during that period – I tended to migrate around these places depending on what other errands or tasks had me doing at the time.]

Caveat: Obsesión en romance

Verde, que te quiero verde,
Verdes ramas, cabello verde
— Federico García Lorca.

verde poeta que escribe
verde poema de amor
verde, dulce, sin sabor.
verde que no puede ver,
verde violencia boreal
verde nieve me cae un copo
verde. es agonía de mártir
verde: niñez de montaña
verde, y yace sobre tierra
verde y fango verde y lodo
verde. un caminante anda,
verde calor de alma sola y
verde, porque la mía sufre
verde, porque el aire que es
verde respira cabello
verde de amor. soledad
verde, invierno lluvioso y
verde, como animales
verdes. besos verdes. bailes
verdes. niño verde, niña
verde. el dios es ondulante y
verde. un mar, que es increíble y
verde… enojo… suicidio
verde, me tiro en frente de un
verde tren, tren rápido,
verde, oscuro, poderoso y
verde todavía. mátame,
verde, aplástame ya que yo –
verde – no quiero vivir.
verde es odio del verde amor.
verde es la revolución.
verde, que se desangra, roja y
verde. la odio. la odio tanto,
verde, como rojo, pero
verde, más bien es color
verde que me asalta la nariz,
verde como una máquina
verde y poderosa: el alma
verde. nos perdona la ira
verde, nos antagoniza:
verde faz completamente
verde, cara de sangre – la
verde sangre – de nuestra ira.
verde en el suelo que es
verde, escarcha de la estrella
verde del cielo porque la
verde redentora dice
‘¡verde muerte, verde vida,
verde muera, verde viva!’
verde ira, que nos enoja,
verde grito en la noche
verde pierde, raudamente,
verde sentido – concepto
verde – que conceptualiza un
verde signo: Verdenada. es
verde, nada, tras celeste y
verde infierno, pide fiera
verde, ¡oh, bestia!, come carne
verde y podrida. pudor
verde no perdonaría el
verde espíritu claro,
verde, ¿cómo conmover un
verde apocalipsis? ¿qué es
verde? es pérdida de amor
verde que me es personal,
verde, tan íntima. ¡huida
verde hacia retrobución!
verde me seduce tanto:
verde de roja madera
verde, aquel locus amoenus
verde, es un espacio aterior.
verde dentro verde. fuera,
verde, una mera sonrisa
verde… él vende el violento
verde viento, va, devora,
verde demonio, una momia
verde, que padece el amor.
verde estoy aquí esperando,
verde te espero sin nada,
verde, en el corazón mío.
verde, blanco y azul soy,
verde poeta con temor: el
verde enojo me controla
verdemente con verde ojo…
verde ojo: te odio todo.
verde es todo, resentido,
verde que es resentimiento,
verde que no es un dolor.
verde, oh, ¡verde!, ¡no me digas!
verde peso. verde sol.
verde idiota, no te quiero.
verde sube. verde baja.
verde héroe en ascensor:
verde bajando, subiendo, el
verde nos sube, bajando.
verde no nos puede ver,
verde no ve verde nieve: es
verde, o sea, que me dice esto:
‘verde vida vale nada.’ el
verde enojo duele tanto,
verde dolor, ¡la alienación
verde no implica valor! es
verde espacio, aterior.
verde magia. verde amor. la
verde pregunta no tiene
verde calor, no responde
verdemente, no responde. es
verde salida: un razor
verde… como mi dios.
verde es existencialismo,
verde captura la guerra. el
verde suprime un vector de
verde escape mayor, porque
verde no me es nada más que
verde. no quiero saber el
verde nombre, tetraletra
verde, diagrama letal:
‘verde, verde, verde amor.’
verde es un cuerpo sin órganos
verdes, veo como película
verde. verde joder, o hacer pajas,
verde coño con coñac,
verde verga rosada de un
verde ojito singular y
verde, me escupa semén
verde y blanco. no tolero
verde, es reinvindicación.
verde es todo un universo
verde, peregrino soy –
verde – y me identifico con:
¡verde abismo, verde caos,
verde desesperación!
verde demonio locuaz,
verde con conocimiento
verde, y con olvido audaz.
verde y rojo, desconexos.
verde reina y verde rey.
verde… sé que ideología es
verde, y que encapsula
verde vegetal y bestia
verde (maniquea visión),
verde miembro perdido por
verde, como manicomio
verde, con su corazón
verde, explota en pedazos
verdes, destruye el alma.
verde pubis, … mejor, ¡chocha
verde!, que come como la
verde diosa de la isla de
verde costa y verde mar.
verde nos explica que lo
verde es la masturbación
verde, y ¡tan intelectual!
verde puta con vestido
verde, con carne podrida,
verde. Oh madre, madre tierra,
verde tierra se cae (y cae
verde) hacia abajo. un trabajo
verde con verde cerebro.
verde, anda adelante como
verde caballo o caballo
verde. yo tengo apellido
verde, y dios tiene apellido
verde: verde, como el mar.
‘verde’ describe la crisis
verde ambiental del tercer
verde disco, suspendido –
verde – en cielo negro, solo.
verde cerca, ver de lejos,
verde loco, no me importa.
verde onanismo de loco…
verde obsesión sexual.
verde demonio con pelo
verde, y ahora llora un mar
verde de lágrimas, … bellas.
verde es la inocencia, o sea
verde la es mi amor. ¿no ves? un
verde helicóptero alegre…
verde choque de suicidio.

[The "retroblogging" project:  this is a "back-post" transcribed from paper on 2010-11-28.  I've decided to "fill-in" my blog all the way back.  It's a big project.  But there's no time limit, right?  The above entry was written leading up to and during a hospital stay.  It's not perfect, and it's quite strange, but I feel it's the most "literary" thing I ever did in Spanish.]

Caveat: lo q me pasó una vez por donde metro Tacuba en 1986

Cuando vivía en México una vez conocía a un muchacho de nombre de Epifanio.  Éste fue uno de estos llamados panchos banda.  Pero él me explicó en su voz ronca y sibilante q su banda era mas una "anti-banda", a causa de q en lugar de ser drogueros y marijuaneros, y de andar medio desmayados por oler cemento, andaban todos todavía en escuela – unos de los cologios UNAM, a veinte cuadras de la casa por ahí donde el metro Tacubaya y la colima de la Sta Cruz.  Se habían juntado para protegerse a si mismos, "pus, poqui,… sabes… nos sempri fregando y haciendo la mera madre, pus, cuando nos ibamos pal colegio."  Era un joven muy listo, y pasaba sus tardes en alguna estación del metro, leyendo a Platón.  Pero se vestía de puro pancho, con un largo abrigo roto de color negro, de estilo punk y tenis dibujados, y aretes y saftys y q había escrito sobre el abrigo "pink floyd" y "anarquismo," pues.  Su padre era un albañil se llamaba Gonzalo, creo, y q le conocí una vez, muy orgulloso de su hijo por haber sobrevivido en el barrio y seguido con la escuela a pesar de las presiones sociales y de la droga y de la banda.  Salimos Epi y yo y un grandote se llamaba Joaquín una vez, pasabamos "la Quinta" en la esquina, donde nos compramos unos "quesadillotes" de hongos y requesón, y después nos metimos en el metro por donde Revolución, iyendo para la casa de Tony, q era un "gelatinero" destos q venden las gelatinitas en copitas de plástico de los carritos en la calle ahí donde Tacuba.  Salimos entre la bulla de allí y caminamos de ahí por donde la calle Ontario, y salieron una bola de tres-cuatro muchachos, panchos, a vernos ahí.  Y Epi estaba fuera de su "rincón," o sea su territorio, y siendonos solo tres, y uno de estos imagínate, un gringo (q soy yo) tuvimos q correr, dando vueltas por ahí hasta q nos podimos meter de nuevo en el metro Tacuba, donde habían unos azules (policías) así q nada pudiera pasar, aunque me explicó Epi, "hubiera pus importado por nada q nos metieran hasta la misma madre con chingazos mero enfrente destos puercos."  Hasta me explicó q en su barrio por ejemplo muchos de los policías pertenecen también a banda, solo q andan con uniforme y arma, "pa mejor joder a todos y sacar a los pobres la lana."

[The "retroblogging" project:  this is a "back-post" transcribed from paper on 2010-11-28.  I've decided to "fill-in" my blog all the way back.  It's a big project.  But there's no time limit, right? The above entry is about events that happened when I lived in Mexico City in 1986.  It's not fiction, and it is not perfect Spanish, but it captures the tone and dialect of the street gangs there.]

Caveat: Character Development

His circumstances led him to make that choice and that alone – but that does not mean that he had no choice.

I remember Beth Renolds, the girl who was killed by her family because of the TV. You probably saw about it once, on TV. It was years ago when the Renolds family lived next door to us and me and Beth were in the same grade at school – the old Park Elementary, the one with the weird Flash-Gordon spires and stuff that looked like King Kong had stepped on the Empire State Building and made it just two stories tall – but it was a nice school except for the heat was not too good in Winter and the solidified September sunlight shining into Mr. Logan's third grade classroom where I would sit staring at Beth's shoulder-short auburn hair moving as she laughed still makes me wake up sometimes right before my alarm goes off, all tingly inside, sort of shivering with regret or nostalgia.

Anyway, I was telling about the Renolds and the TV. One afternoon me and beth are lounging around languidly in their backyard, kind of both wishing we were a little older or braver so we could declare our undying pure burning yearning love for each other – or at least me for her, I didn't really know how she felt, and afterwards, well, I never found out. That's maybe because she was a year younger than me – an accelerated student – but likely I just figured something was wrong with me because I was so young but I loved her so much; it was a kind of sexless fiery passion like some gnostic Christian visionary escaping his body – me just looking at her – you know – God! 

So we were sitting – not really playing – maybe talking, I don't remember, I just kept looking at her hair and her lips because  they were very beautiful, and we heard Mr. Renolds call for Beth to come inside and see what he had bought. Mr. Renolds had got one of those new Korean sets – with computerized tuners and the hi-res screens. Beth's older brothers were impressed, especially Bobby, who was about 14 I think – anyway, that very night the Renolds were watching the new TV and I was watching Beth because they had invited me and my brother Silas over, Silas who was Terry's friend because he was always better at everything than me and could be friends with Terry.

[The "retroblogging"
project:  this is a "back-post" transcribed from paper on 2013-02-18. 
I've decided to "fill-in" my blog all the way back.  It's a big
project.  But there's no time limit, right?  The above germ of a short story was written in a
journal I was keeping while at the University of Minnesota in 1988. There are themes in this story that I found genuinely surprising, given when I wrote it – I guarantee I didn't not add in or alter the references to Korean technology or the pop culture of crimes of passion, etc. – they were present in the original!]

Caveat: Okey, ya vamos

The day dawned raining grey beauty, and is fading with oppressive luminosity. Zoom-bunny skidded still tight against retro-contextuality – the MTC was of course slightly responsible for it all – ¿did I care, even? Нет. Okey, ya vamos, cansados del vivir de lo todo que hay, ¡güey!

[The "retroblogging"
project:  this is a "back-post" transcribed from paper on 2013-02-18. 
I've decided to "fill-in" my blog all the way back.  It's a big
project.  But there's no time limit, right?  The above was written in a
journal I was keeping while at the University of Minnesota in 1988.]

Caveat: Buy now, at discount

Mikkerbauk fantasie Joe – Ah, blue hills of quiet paradise. The captain-people will take it all away in fancy flying rocket-planes of self-individual, hallucinatory love of masses – squalid suffering folk with homes of cardboard, you see, don't you, the danger?! (Buy now, at discount).

[The "retroblogging"
project:  this is a "back-post" transcribed from paper on 2013-02-18. 
I've decided to "fill-in" my blog all the way back.  It's a big
project.  But there's no time limit, right?  The above was written in a journal I was keeping while at the University of Minnesota in 1988.]

Caveat: A Rotated Rose

P1050999 Un-Rhymed Sonnet.

A rotated rose is nothing more than
Some reconsidered kiss, intractable;
Love creeps like cats, like lawn-mowers across
The green summery suburbs of my heartbeat,

Who tug mercifully passive, all alone
To evoke the blood of reptiles beneath
The scattered rocks of over-civilized spirit
To drain into the corners of my room.

Lovelost.  Your face as if beyond recall,
Memoriam:  As if black / cupric seas
Did separate two serpent-blue-green isles.

Lovelost.  Lost love which clings to my conscience
While I wait like zoo-monkeys in a cage
A hop and step distant from my desire.

And Rhymed Sonnet.

What's lost?  I may die tomorrow-matins
While metamorphic metaphors fly blind
Through the lonesome corridors of my mind
To leap 'gainst these fearsome, scaley satins

Which clothe a cowering lust.  Somehow your smile
Can drag old bears from under winter oaks
To shed carelessly their black hair cloaks
On the floor:  rests a love note all the while

Discarded by love-green-romantic fool;
With the ruby guts of a lizard-king
Spattared on my innards by silver knife,

Parabolic precursor to blood-pool,
Inward-facing stone, little pebble-thing.
The fool must be fool;  I must try at life.

And prose-poem.

Dream:  A rose is your cliché – an expression of horizontal love that's no love at all but just like some simple multicolored leaf – pretty but irrelevant to the soul which is more like some dead leaf.  A rotated rose is the essence of cut summer grass – moribund like the subjunctive, lovelost.  Trees throw leaves down in angry disgust, "you're too beautiful, and look:  winter comes!"  I want you more than any silly rose because, somewhat as the cupric seas of mythic green, you trace magic on the retina;  a residue fluttering downward from your eyes like rusting spring leaves – caught in a late winter drizzling.  I guess it's more your face, traceries of sea-foam on the somber, pensive rocks, which danse irreverent of the genius of mother earth.  Which, of course, evokes further souls, more, more, than silly, shy, mine.  Supose it's best you ignore this, as an angel properly should, but remember to dream at night about the saintless ocean, glycerine panic, and that muddy path along leaf-strewn, yellow-pink, cavernous cliffs – your name has become my most sacred prayer, and I don't even know you.   Calm the injunction now, the heartfelt fool, under post-priori cobalt skies, romancing a ghost within his own imagined kingdom.  But you're real, aren't you?  Paragraph.  Nevermind.  Neanmois.  Maybe it's just that you're Parisian in spirit:  kind-of-inconclusive.  But even dark satan brightens when you blink.  Your smile brings only bleeding, ecstatic lesions of joy; romantics turn away and laugh, but only at myself.  So what's funnier, this poem or this man-boy?  A nasty wasp of something cupid hath stung me.  Unsting me or not;  ice cream at the beach in July and now the leaves fly, now thinking thoughts about you – because now I've seen more in the wine-blue waves than just cold Aphrodite.

And.

If in some further time removed, fate could act as sea waves to wash, for one brief mote of singular time, your lips nigh mine, I would fall within that mote as someone from a bridge towards…

[The "retroblogging" project:  this is a "back-post" transcribed from paper on 2010-11-28.  I've decided to "fill-in" my blog all the way back.  It's a big project.  But there's no time limit, right?  The above entry is clearly, obviously, about unrequited love.  Her name was Rosalie.]

Caveat: On Forgetting Having Seen the Cornice of a House

On Forgetting Having Seen the Cornice of a House

The group of people I find myself with
That night as per the howling fugitives
Dana, Kray, yourself, others — perhaps dan,
In vaguely snow-strewn streets dwelling
The Darkness somewhow uninterested in the commitment
Which is inevitably involved in introspection
We did walk and laugh as per the
adjourned party of this dream, perhaps
hoping, or at least hopeful.

Inevitable, perhaps again, that Kray & Dan
should take the stage, a wall along
the sidewalk bearing the hasty, sublime
imprint of white which has
its origins in this Minnesota winter.

That stage I forget. But, when if moved
to a framed window at the brown
forgotten cornice of a house, A framed action
which jumped through the window tho' the
picture was indeed still — The actress
my young mother, whom I've never known,
Tilted in misery, — Who appeared (after
Kray's antics as the carefree dog on an
elevator — which that boxed cornice became
through some trick of photography which I once
knew in some philosophic context, but which
given the retrospect of those pews I now forget.
More on the pews later. Kray swallowed
the spittle in his throat and danced,
blinking wildly in the droplets which excaped
his mouth to dance the blowing gusts of
The open window on this cornice accelerating
so rapidly downward.) in that aquamarine
flourescence of the bottom of the ocean seen
in a black and white film which must
be seething with imagination or at least the
unwarranted indication of things
outside the realm of a black and white reality.

It was fine green workshop lighting,
as If Jacques Cousteau had wandered in
to film this depth, the nascent,
Yes, oedipally so, nascent sun filtering
downward with those discouraged probability functions
which Max Planck may or may not have understood,
but which the fish understand without
asking — perhaps that is their key. A fine gold
key it must be they possess, an ancient one
as they swim within the metaphor which
My motionless child-mother evokes as she bends
foetally upon herself, framed like the light,
within the cornice of that house
above the wall upon the street, wreathed with
the heavy winter taste of night.

The funeral, the man who entered talking loudly
as if he himself were the dead, the discussion
of his purpose on the gravel outside the whiteness
Of those pews, with mooning.

The arrival at your house, the… the decoration,
the food. Your athletics. Your "father."
the ensuing days. The shoes,
The car trip. The black place, the nukes, & John.
The terminal, taxes. writing. sleep.

[The "retroblogging" project:  this is a "back-post" added 2014-06-19, but originally written at the date posted.  I've decided to "fill-in" my blog all the way back.  It's a big project.  But there's no time limit, right?

The above is from an undated journal entry, but the journal itself is from the years 1983~1984 (based on the inclusion of math-class notes that I can confidently date from that period) so I have guessed that the above was written during the fall or winter of that year and estimated a date here based on the reference to snow, which means it has to have been after the first snowfall of late fall, 1983 since before then I had never lived where snow fell. It is a record of a dream, clearly, but also there are many indications (unusual line-breaks, capitalization and punctuation, and clearly intentional mis-spellings) that it was meant to be the germ of some kind of poem such as I preferred to attempt to write in those years.]

Caveat: Memoirs of the Architect

-> . . . )  Memoirs of the Architect ? {Post title}

When the calico cat on the couch fades
    in the slanted rays of the wintersun
And when the streets outside the window
    reach not for home but for their origins
Gentle, gentle, do my tears come.

Without the calculus of my memory to guide
    those tears
Without the nurture of my once heroic
    imaginings
Quiet, quiet, the pain slips heavily.

    Toward anger                .    Time
        the                            .        out
            Knife                .            of
                slips                            time
                    home.                    lost,

    Cannot,
        for whatever reason,
That these viscous drops of blood are mine.
And so bloodied a knife in my trembling
    hand
Call me to mind,
        A japanese garden I once
saw in a photograph which I perceived
with an ambition to become an architect.

    A designer of my struggling end.

Little pebbles, little pebbles
                            meaning
                            .    for
                        .            nought
    Quiet    .
        11/17/83 JARED

    There's no eagerness here.
    Nor will it ever come to pass
        But in the thick, timid soul
    of the non-architect.
There.
    It is irremediable.  ( . . . ->

[The "retroblogging" project:  this is a "back-post" transcribed from paper on 2010-11-28.  I've decided to "fill-in" my blog all the way back.  It's a big project.  But there's no time limit, right?  The above entry was surprising to find.  It appears to mark the very specific moment when I gave up my childhood dream to become an architect.  I'm not sure explains why, though.]

Caveat: While the Men Converse

MenconverseA_260 MenconverseB_260

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[The "retroblogging" project:  this is a "back-post" added 2014-06-19  I've decided to "fill-in" my blog all the way back.  It's a big project.  But there's no time limit, right?


These pictures, above, are undated but they appear in a journal from the years 1983~1984, near other pages which bear dates from mid-August of 1983. Those entries are also in the same pen, so I have assumed these undated pictures date from that time and have thus posted them here on this date.]

Caveat: Il pleut

Il pleut

O where are all the other raindrops?
I'm falling all alone.
The city races onward,
The sky is thick with clouds,
Can't you see it's raining here,
But something here is wrong.
Einstein and Planck are dead now,
The frogs and squirrels don't know,
The raindrops keep on falling,
The universe goes on.
My window's partly open,
I hear the sounds without,
The sound of falling raindrops,
But everything is gone.

O quand il pleut ou allons les rats?
I haven't seen a one.
The telephones are ringing,
The voices, they're not there,
The squeaking of small rodents,
A-dancing to their song.
Newtonian mechanics,
Relativity now,
The rats sleeping in their places,
Their tails, they are too long.
And everything is quiet,
The sky is changing blue,
And the rats have stopped their dancing,
But everything is gone.

O what's the meaning of these flowers?
They've cropped up everywhere.
In the sun, grass grows quickly,
A sidewalk stone gives in,
Flowers of different colors,
And colors make a song.
The light, it seems uplifting,
But: E=mc2,
Drowning by our planet's mass,
Some fleeting fast photon.
Once more the clouds come back here,
The sun is covered up,
Flowers weep small raindrop tears,
And everything is gone.

[The "retroblogging"
project:  this is a "back-post" transcribed from paper on 2013-02-18. 
I've decided to "fill-in" my blog all the way back.  It's a big
project.  But there's no time limit, right?  The above poem (quite atrocious, methinks) was written in a
journal I was keeping while at Harvard Summer School in 1982, between my junior and senior years in high school.]

Caveat: Cage of lions and I we are two things

Cage of lions and I we are two things

Secure within immutability
safe inside my sphere
I pound my head against
its walls
begging to be free.
Then a man with silver key
cracks my prison
sets me free.
I grab some glue,
I gasp for breath
I beg the man to take his
key, and go away.
Patching sphere
repairing cracks
I turn around and
pound my head against
its other walls.

I know the answer
I have asked the questions
but no one tells me how

Dog and bug are in a room.
A green plant.

[The "retroblogging" project:  this is a "back-post" transcribed from paper on 2010-11-28.  I've decided to "fill-in" my blog all the way back.  It's a big project.  But there's no time limit, right? The above entry was written during an angsty end to a bitter junior year in high school.]

Caveat: Frogs and horses, why are they?

Frogs and horses, why are they?

Time is inescapable.
A burden.  We cannot ever
escape.  A child knows not time
but they make him learn.
They throw it on his back,
and he never notices
until one day,
then it is too late,
and they are happy.

[The "retroblogging" project:  this is a "back-post" transcribed from paper on 2010-11-28.  I've decided to "fill-in" my blog all the way back.  It's a big project.  But there's no time limit, right? The above entry was undated, but I'm guessing sometime around the end of 1981, based on which journal it was in and what was nearby – I didn't always fill in my paper journals linearly.]