Sunday, April 29, 2012

Poems from the Past

While I was mining Lee's brain for help with the installation of the Hasselblad program, I was idly paging through a folder of poems from years ago.

I probably have tens of thousands of unpublished poems, and probably 99.9999 percent of those should stay unpublished.

I was amused by the weirdness of many of these poems and could see how various conversion experiences in my reading had influenced different stages of my "development" (cough).

I often belonged to this or that "great gossamer gnat-winged school of poetry." What can I say, there were a lot of popular schools like that in the past few decades.

Here are a few poems from one thin folder that probably jump around in the decade when I was in my twenties.

I guess I like elements in these or I wouldn't bother typing them.

I think the first poem actually was published somewhere but hell if I can remember the name of the magazine. I guess I think visually, because I can see the mag texturally in my mind but can't read the title there. I tend to think it was out West somewhere, West coast but not California. Washington, maybe?

And yet, reading these poems, I feel a weird consonance with this person, who is no longer me. Many of the ideas in the poems are ideas I still hold and they seem to spookily predict the sort of art I'm interested in making now.

I'm used to thinking of my life as marked by so many shifts and changes, and a lack of consistency, but maybe because of my age now I can actually see there are certain ideational strains which are part of my core belief system, weird as it may be.


The useless clarity after grief
in every room of the house.
A woman combing her long waterfall of hair,
or a boy cleaning a Chinese pear bowl
without inhabiting his body.
The wedding to matter
the soul somehow didn't anticipate.
Is it here we finally touch craft?
The human feeling is only a small part
of art, which is the great irony
you can comb and comb out
forever, as black lucent strands
of someone merely sitting there.
To be present and absent.
That's the ghostly nature
of the soft machine, her hands
that hold a pen. The smile
his dead lover hides behind
at our attention, the incorporeal.


The underhanded shifts
climbing the weird soul you stumble
through though ancient speech seduce
deep sleep I want to suck
from you all the seeing in your waking life
so the long ears prick full of blood
seem to blush with knowing
something I want of you
you have swallowed, blind
        warm nutrition, exceptional
qualities like innocent surprise
that surprise me most, deepest
falling together in an earth
where gravest sex is weeping lies


The idea that nature "demonstrates"
Or other types of foolishness
Suiting a technological gypsy
Sleeping with head on arm

What seems is a merger

Streaked with comets
A sinkhole in the mind, you said
Where music went
I followed

The weird evolution of troubadours

Who serve neither state nor time
But eat its energy
Figures waiting in the language
Whose bodies already exist

Out-of-sync, they cannot enter

Can't touch me as you do
Long and snakelike energy

Of your disembodied gaze

All of you, endless parade of borrowers


rough limbs of trees
corrosive or injurious
(mind reading

rush family

bottoming, esp. by supernatural means

(a unit in Greek verse

total number of
possible beliefs

your deceased person's fitness
to make amulets

to abbreviate the desires

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