Sunday, August 31, 2014


Have you ever seen
clothes left hanging on a line,
 never taken down?

Sometimes, something awful happens
to an entire family at once.

With time and understanding
(this fear of ghosts)
neighbors will gather

to take down the clothes.

Unless they don't.

In which case,
even the gators

are easier to look at come dark.

Translations from Bark Beetle by Jody Gladding

Jen Bervin interviewed Jody Gladding on her Translations from Bark Beetle (Milkweed Editions).

It's really worth a read, very humorous and very thought-provoking. These strange reverse-engineerings of the language of the bark beetle remind me of the audacity of some of Michaux's wild experiments and his fondness for lexical chimeras. Gladding's project seems so consistent with those.

If you want to see some of the concrete-ish poems from this book in all their gooey materiality, go here.

A Man Who Endears

A man who endears himself to wild animals
is a German poet.

No matter which country
he was born in.

No matter which animal
finally devours him.

He is a German poet

through and through
his porcelain bones.

Dichtung und Welt.

Black Crepe Healing

Black crepe just comes back in style
for the first time
since the nineteenth century

It just makes Mourning better

It becomes Mourning. I mean
it is becoming to Mourning

It helps Mourning to get down

A sea was storming in me

And that was Mourning

Stormin Mourning

And baby, I can't hold it much longer

Ooh, now let's get down tonight
Baby I'm hot just like an oven
I need some black crepe lovin'

And when I get that feeling
I want Black Crepe Healing
Black Crepe Healing, is good for me

Whenever blue tear drops are falling

A Mourning Dove walks around my problem

It's getting stronger and stronger

Darling, you're so great

I can't wait for you to operate!
I can't wait for you to operate!

Baby I think I'm capsizing!


His cell phone
kept calling home
from inside the caldera.
But no trace of the poet
was ever found.

Years later,
natives on the other side of the volcano island

are discovered
to be spitting images
of the missing poet's
second cousin,
twice removed.

One Way

One way
not to feel
so terribly bad
about your mugshot
is to examine
nanometers of your face

Happy Meal.

In the 21st Century

In the 21st century,

I still like poems
that are like candling eggs

In the 21st century.