Sunday, June 26, 2016

Simone Weil 51

A page covered with pencil strokes is not a more beautiful object than the universe; but it is an object cut to our measure. Bryant cuts Radhika's hair, whose orange ends fall on white tile. She and her sister are cut from the same cloth, pushing that metaphor from blood to fabric. Sangha brings me the ginger cat, but she wanders away. If universe is dogma, the pencil cuts with more minute precision. A screeching myna and the gospel-singing thrush run counter-point. What we do while the world ends is our business, not the world's. A saw re-sounds across the condo's green lawn, bleeds into traffic sounds from the highway. At 7 years of age, he says, he thought the world was out to destroy him. Felt it most keenly at 4 a.m. when he ate Frosted Flakes with his dad, then returned to bed. The first version of this poem was about a post-Holocaust sculpture of shit. To each turd its own podium. So particular, and yet so true. What I cannot smell shall give me hope.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Simone Weil 50

The eye of the soul is this attention. An early morning downpour is ordinary; Donald Trump is banal. I keep writing inside a container-paragraph's four walls. The girls run up our stairs in sun hats, imagining they're immigrants trying to break through. The glass in condos frees us to imagine transparency, if we can afford a studio with ocean-view. There's the word “love” again, emblazoned in the ad; love is a view of an incessant blue sky, but it will cost you. The windows don't open; they turn ocean into show. Trump stands on a Scottish golf course, bagpipers standing at attention behind him. The Chieftain of no we can't, of henna hackles tweet!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Simone Weil 49

This stick separates me from things, but with it I transpose vision into touch, touch into topography. To stick means to stay, to be affixed to. So I'm separate from what sticks to me, this mask that opens my face like morning blinds. Or if not my face, that tender space between rib and muscle that seismographs feeling. If I touch you with my stick, I can't say whom you resemble. When I say my daughter has a sister, your first question is: “do they look alike?” Brother falls away, as do I. My nose bleeds, not my lines. “He was not blood” means you don't see eye to eye. It means I don't know their history, though my neighbor (whom I hardly know) asks me with such urgency. (Just curious.) What sticks to the real is more obscure: cat scratching for a ping pong ball in the dark.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Simone Weil 48

Every separation represents a bond. Your meditations' obscurity lies not in history, my friend says, but in your memory of it. Self-separation precedes the act of memoir, muscle pulled from bone. Our friend with Parkinson's buys pot from a dealer, then takes it legally to ease his chronic pain. Such are our laws. I remember Freddie Gray, dying in the police van of a broken neck. I won't remember the officers acquitted of killing him. Failure to remember is sometimes an ethical act, but only if you know what you're undoing. Tapestries of dissent cover holes punched in the dry wall. If you take my skin, you get my emptiness. On Bishop Street, a homeless man yelled at a shopkeeper: “I will rip off all your skin and stuff it in my shoes.” The shopkeeper pounded at his phone. Beauty's purpose is to mask our pain. A boy with brain cancer chooses a Batman mask: he loves to watch him beat up the Joker and the Penguin.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Pre-publication sale on Kaia Sand's new Tinfish Press book

Pre-publication sale for Kaia Sand's new A Tale of Magicians Who Puffed Up Money That Lost Its Puff. The first 60 buyers get a special edition that includes extra magic.

For more, see:

The webpage is here:

While you're at the website, please check out the rest of our catalogue:

Tinfish Press has published experimental poetry (and some prose) from the Pacific since 1995.

Simone Weil 47

If my eyes are bandaged, then I'm blinded by what offers time to heal. There was no back-draft of a mother's ashes, though the wreath landed upside down in the ocean. We could hardly see the mountains for the buildings, but Diamond Head wore cloud shadows til they dissolved. Afterwards, we talked sports in the boat, naming players as we circled the now-drowning ashes. My mother's remain in a closet, awaiting transport. Is it flesh that burns, or time? Memory is back-draft, grit in the mouth, a scattering presence without sound. “Diamond Head dreadnaught,” she wrote, after another scattering. We towed in a boat that lost its steering. It's a fable, Joe said, describing a film about fixed ideas. Death fixes us all right; we feel the swell, but white water flashes farther in. We re-entered the harbor, Point Panic to our left.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Simone Weil 46

No one will remember the shoe, a friend writes, the one soaked in Orlando's blood. History's obscurities rhyme, that shoe with the abandoned shoe on a Paris street. I associate terror with shoes. On the trail yesterday, a man held two soles in his hand near the waterfall. But that was only a walk in the woods. My girl shed her shoes, walked barefoot in the pool beneath the falls. “I love you, babe,” the shooter texted his wife. Men in the bathroom stall saw his boots pace beneath the door. My first word was “shoes,” though it might have been “Sooze.” “Hey, babe,” my son says to his girlfriend. He got new shoes; the last pair were just for looks, it seems. One cat cuddles with my daughter's cleats. Memory is inventory before it assigns affect to object. We live in a state where you take your shoes off before you walk in.