Wednesday, December 27, 2017

in between

Like a balloon filled with air and tied at the neck
Slowly deflating 
No fear but the ending
Molecules unstuck
Particles leeching back into where 
they began like a song
The slow fade out, living some kind of climax
Before the repetition starts
Or the jam
An unwinding of structure that leads to silence
Before the band picks up again
And in that silence
What silence
Some kind of gasp or breathlessness
Or simply a continuum 
Part of the music
Or part of the in between
What floats away

for Doug

In our portraits of the dead
We draw veils
Transparent and pure
Weightless, untouchable
Barely perceptible --
We walk through them
Like a breeze,

A passing thought:
We see through them
Into nothing
We are mostly unconscious 
To the truth of this, or lack thereof --

The possibility that our understanding
Is inverted, and instead
The dead see through us
Clearly, as if through a reticle:
Not merely through but into

And out again --
A devouring of intention,
judgement, plans --
The work we do and or have done

And how 
Our scores mark up 
Against a godliness 
For comparison's sake --

And would we feel it then, these
Eyes of the aftermath, 
Eyes of eternity
Poring through our bodies like light
Through a magnifying glass --

Or light trapped
Inside a prism --
Identifying each part unseen, unrealized:

Would it feel like air
Would it feel like this

Is it our breath

whatever it was you liked or needed

the feeling returns
something like a tremble
from the outside towards the center
a summoning 
a physical memory of a connection
to the unseen
a dose of it, this ancient sense
remarking on 
the glory of it all;
the impossibility
with nothing short of lightning

and then a grounding.
reality again must assume everything
can be touched and conquered
and is whatever it fucking looks like

i am writing a poem
for the first time in months
and just now the computer on my wrist
reminds me to walk at least two-hundred and fifty 
steps this hour
or my time will not be counted 
i will not progress

sometimes i do as it tells me
or, as an alternative 
peer into a MacBook Pro 
with more than twenty-five open tabs 
leading me to infinite permutations
of brief, dissonant escape

it is bleak, but i am still summoned
i listen and respond
to the old and powerful vibration
in my heart

do these milestones;
this progress towards adulthood
represent more than the breaking 
of a horse?
maybe the strongest wills have a secret wish 
to be broken
to be softened 
into something more favorable and more tenable and 
whatever it was you said you liked or needed

all the editing before the thing is written
interrupted by electrostatic discharge
the chaos of control

Thursday, October 4, 2012


how to reach it when
beyond is the closest you come
and there was the slightest inkling
a lighter shadow than the last
an indicator of an indication
a drop of blood on the sun

i remember o how i remember
everything ever lived
and how it used to feel to know
tomorrow wouldn't be like
this day because tomorrow
would be a different color
there had not been two of the same
colors in a row
in all of time

and beneath the smoke of the foundry
of my heart
and within the latticework of the scaffolds
of my spine
someone is drinking heavily
but it isn't me anymore
a different blood type

or the color of the moon
ruining itself behind a mountain
and the river flowing up between the clouds
where i saw you drinking
like you had been born thirsty
and i thought
we are born without water
we are born without anything
to keep us alive

i had ideas once

i had ideas once
and i hoped they'd come back to me
thought i could
reel them in
on the hook of what i chose to want
and still want

i had ideas that i could
go anywhere and be anyone
that i could pay for my life with admiration
for what it means to be alive
and then suddenly
as soon as i wished it so
be rid of every earthly obligation
to anyone
or any thing

i thought of myself
purely in those moments
of me only
a subject in photographs
when they were taken
and it all seems to me now
a joke
a farce

that in the moment of being photographed
when the opportunity for remembering 
the former self is created
one has no conception of who will be 
looking back
and how everything will never be
how everything used to be
how terribly sad that is
when all you want to do
is live however living materializes for you
without paying for it
with your life

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Sell Your Soul for the Super Bowl

Every year companies invest millions in Super Bowl ads with the hope that the Bowl’s wide viewership will give their products a Midas touch. The football game to end all football games (for the season) gives TV networks more viewers on one night than they get for entire seasons of shows. At least 100 million people turned on, tuned in, and ate wings while allowing themselves to be bombarded with one 30 second ad after another. But what are we really getting?
The advertisements are entertaining, or at least they better be at the price of 3 million dollars each. Unfortunately, not all of the ads successfully entertained me, unless shocking me senseless and forcing me to confront the bleak realities of capitalism and consumerism counts as entertainment. 
Eminem was in a Chrysler commercial. Yes, yes he was. I know Chrysler is a Detroit-based company, and there are plenty of people out there who would say he’s just doing it to support his struggling hometown. But is that enough of a rationalization? Can we please see the paycheck Em got for his cameo? It had to have been huge. I guess everyone can sell out to the establishment, even Slim Shady.
There’s more. P. Diddy was in a Mercedes commercial. I could go ahead and cry. Why are our musicians so willing to align themselves with material goods? I guess it’s because so many musicians and pop stars represent luxury goods in their music, which is basically free advertising (think Gucci Mane… his NAME is Gucci) so maybe it’s time they actually got paid to do it. Perhaps it’s another smart business move for Diddy… but whatever happened to Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems? Now it seems like Mo’ Mercedes, Mo’ Money… Mo’ Money. Period. Seems like the only problem now is not getting mo’ money.
The cast of Glee had a commercial during the Super Bowl and an entire episode after the Super Bowl dedicated to Chevrolet. What happened to aspiring actors, singers, and dancers wanting to star in musicals and make films and write plays and share the experience with a live audience? Why would a high school glee club’s main ambition be to participate in a Chevy commercial? Commercials are for selling things, not for showcasing artistic ability. American culture is so used to conflating money with every kind of success that we can actually have a show about talented young kids who desperately want to help Chevy sell more cars.
This next part is just for Adrien Brody. Dear Adrien, you are an indie movie star. You are so cool and I am your fan. Why did you have to go a do a Stella Artois commercial? Is it really your favorite beer? I know it’s an aristocratic beverage and perhaps you see yourself as a debonair gentleman but please stop trying to sell me on a type of beer just because the Stella executives were willing to pay you enough to do it. 
And now... something especially disturbing. Groupon’s Super Bowl ad (I hate saying the name of the company; more press means more money for them) featured actor Timothy Hutton, who at first seemed to be participating in a tourism ad on behalf of Tibet. 
He began, “The people of Tibet are in trouble, their very culture is in jeopardy…” But then things took a turn for the ethically unsound, “…but they still whip up an amazing fish curry! And since 200 of us bought in on we’re saving on Himalayan food!” Then the ad cuts to a screen that says SAVE THE MONEY and we are all supposed to think that saving money on food in Chicago is better than a real investment in preserving an ancient and geographically distant culture that predates 200 BC.
This commercial has since been played on almost every morning show, which makes me think its obscenity was really a genius advertising ploy to help Groupon reach an even greater audience than its 30 seconds during the Super Bowl. Maybe no press is bad press, but this just feels dirty. 
There’s so much more to be freaked out about. We all expected it from Justin Bieber… but seeing Ozzy Osbourne with him in a Best Buy commercial is just too sad. What happened to the old Ozzy (aside from decades of drug abuse)? Did the anti-establishment mores of Black Sabbath die like the Wicked Witch of the East when a Best Buy dropped from the sky? It looks like the time when artists didn’t have a price and people made music for love instead of money was just a fairy tale.

Friday, February 4, 2011


what matters to the universe
there were reports
of that which is tempura
quietly consensual
a dog with tail in mouth

the moon is a broken condom spilling
luminescence everywhere
it was the way she stepped soundlessly
over the dry leaves
you looked at the painting,
that is why you are sick

more alike than
we understand we are
the illusion of power
is power itself