Saturday, August 7, 2010

Summer 2010 Poems

Manifestation Affirmation
Make me healthy, prosperous, or just give me a chance
Decide, ask, want, demand, doubt, deny, try, don’t try
Oh benevolent giver of the given, thanks in advance
Please manifest what I wish to possess

Decide, ask, want, demand, doubt, deny, try, don’t try
I know a secret: cleanse thy mind of grit and grime
Please manifest what I wish to possess
All I want shall soon be mine

I know a secret: cleanse thy mind of grit and grime
Just ask for that golden poodle
All I want shall soon be mine
The weight loss, the car, the kit and kaboodle

Just ask for that golden poodle
Be positive and true; it’s all there for you
The weight loss, the car, the kit and kaboodle
Ask and declare is all you must do

Be positive and true; it’s all there for you
Anger and sadness, stuff ‘em and bluff’em
Ask and declare is all you must do
Cause and effect give you that stud muffin

Anger and sadness, stuff ‘em and bluff’em
Don’t visibly explode or directly unload
Cause and effect give you that stud muffin
Smile and implode lest you blow the mode

Don’t visibly explode or directly unload
You say it, you see it, you think it, you be it
Smile and implode lest you blow the mode
Want anything but nothing, that, those, he, she it

You say it, you see it, you think it, you be it
Oh benevolent giver of the given, thanks in advance
Want anything but nothing, that, those, he, she it
Make me healthy, prosperous, or just give me a chance



Civic Center Haiku
This civic center
does hold very many things,
things that fall apart.




Watching Machines
A guy is watching a short film on the local public tv station late at night. The film begins with an exterior shot of a cafe window. The lights hanging from the cafe ceiling, and the clock on the interior wall are immobile and blend with the buildings, trees, and cars that the glass is reflecting. People inside the cafe move, their features dimmed in partial silhouette. On the window, sun-illuminated tree leaves blow in the wind, and cars pass on the hill. The character in the film sits silently at an outdoor table, observing. It is a point of view shot. The guy watching the film falls asleep.

He dreams a haiku
Fog that sweeps by the window
Leaving particles

The guy has a dream about the film he was watching. In the dream he speaks in pantoums like this one:

She’ll get up and walk across the room,
Holding her torso erect-
Finding a reason to model her values
Her friend notices immediately and gets up to do the same.

Holding her torso erect,
She is sure that her belt and skirt are displayed.
Her friend notices immediately and gets up to do the same.
I’ll be right back, she says, arching.

She is sure that her belt and skirt are displayed,
And it’s clear that her figure is fine.
I’ll be right back, she says, arching.
She’s pretty sure that he’s noticed.

And it’s clear that her figure is fine.
Her friend now, too, turns in display.
She’s pretty sure that he’s noticed;
She’s done her best and that’s a lot.

Her friend now, too, turns in display,
Finding a reason to model her values.
She’s done her best and that’s a lot--
She’ll get up and walk across the room.

The reason the guy has this dream is that he is very similar to the character in the film. The man in the film is sitting outside, watching a drama unfold between people he does not know and cannot hear. It is not necessary for him to hear; he can see exactly what is going on between a group of people inside the cafe. The man who is watching the film absorbs it into his dream, and his mind poeticizes it.

He is like the man in the movie
Because he is outside
He is watching through a window
He can see himself watching.

Because he is outside
He can see the people better than they see themselves
He can see himself watching
He knows them so well without ever meeting them

He can see the people better than they see themselves
He just can’t ever meet them
He knows them so well without ever meeting them
His own reflection is too dim.

He just can’t meet them
Even when he tries
His own reflection is too dim.
It’s uncomfortable

Even when he tries,
He is watching through a window
It’s uncomfortable
He is like the man in the movie.

The difference is, the man in the movie learns to reach out, thanks to the generosity of one of the women in the cafe. They marry and the last scene in the film is of them driving away with cans tied to the back of the car. The last shot is a closeup of one of the cans: sardines that the lonely protagonist ate for dinner every night when he was single. But the guy watching isn’t so lucky. He begins to associate himself with inanimate objects, feeling that maybe he doesn’t have a soul. He sees his reflection in a metal coffeepot, and feels like an empty vessel. Staring at the image in the stainless steel, himself among his belongings in his room, he feels no different from the dishes, chairs, walls, fruit, jacket, pen, door, apple. Unlike Manet, Chris Marker, St Francis, or the Shinto-Animists, he does not honor or exalt in thing-ness.

He would rather not see himself as a thing.
He wants to be in no-thing-ness
but not nothingness
He doesn’t want to be a room into which
light enters only through a small puncture,
projecting the world as an un-traceable image on
a lone aorta, no auriculo-ventricular groove.
He doesn’t want that short camera lucida tv film of the marrying sardine eater
playing on the backs of his eyeballs-
he wants to be the one in that movie,
driving off with the girl,
his old loneliness clattering behind for a mile
until they pull over and cut it off for good.

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