Saturday, February 18, 2017

18 February 2017

So let go of every clever, persuasive thought. To note that the dog is clever is not to ascribe an extra clause to the syntax of her bark, or the idea of evolution to her consumption of cat shit. It's to say she knows how to stop me at the rock wall to smell urine, moss, water running through the pipes. Her green leash pulls taut and the early sun folds her solid ears on the sidewalk. “Generals, dictators—we have everything,” the president tells his cronies. A fine-tuned machine is how he describes chaos. When words are taken to be their opposites, we do more than put them in the mirror. We bathe them as we bathe the dog, carefully rubbing her anus to rob her of her smell, dabbing at her ears with cotton swabs. The words shall be clean, as Williams said of Moore's. There's good reason for cleanliness, though it confuses the dog. Her chin on my leg as I type, black nostrils trimmed like sails, ears cocked for sirens on Kahekili.

--19 February 2017

Friday, February 17, 2017

17 February 2017

This word will protect you. I love the dreamers, he says, except those who are in gangs. They love me, he says, counting his electoral votes. There's so much love out there, he says. The widening gyre of need upon need upon need. And we all fall down. The dog stuck her German shepherd head into a white drainpipe, leaving only her terrier body outside the rock wall. That was when I knew I loved her. No camera to record my testimony. We read the Objectivists next week, but I warned students there won't be much music. Look at the counter through a painted window; it's a symbol of loneliness without the symbolic freight. Take language off posters and elevator walls, then write a love poem. Poems included fire hoses, bicycles, and a lot about safety. That's the word of the day. We run toward it like mourners behind a wagon led by a camel, ending up in a rutted field beside a plain casket. The dog rushes up and down stairs after a red point of light.

--17 February 2017

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

14 February 2017

Thoughts will come. Stop every time your dog sniffs and write a sentence. Stop 1: (I kid you not), beside the sign that reads, “Have some respect / for your neighbors // pick up your dog's / poop.” Stop 2: Next to the mailboxes. I pick up mail; I pick up poop. Stop 3: Near the road, branches blown down by last night's Kona wind. Stop 4: At the coiled rusting chain. Stop 5: At the light pole on Hui Iwa Street. Stop 6: At the nose of a friend behind chain link. These stops have been edited for narrative effect. The dog sniffs my hands at the keyboard, my toes, the bed spread. Something always smells. The National Security Adviser went rogue, made promises to the Russians on his own. Sad! Throw bleach on that stink and we come out smelling like a rose. Stop 7: Under the ground cover. Stop 8: At the ex-banana patch (the wind again). She barks. There's something to which she means to attend. Assister √†. To go to a restaurant. To see a national security crisis in real time. Nothing that is out in the open is real. Ask for the alternative happy meal. This was almost a sonnet.

--14 February 2017

Monday, February 13, 2017

13 February 2017

He can be loved, but not thought. He (a lesser he) caught by the lens at his table, gazes into the near distance, entranced. Where is the self in such self-regard? The dog knows her self attaches to her nose, knows every grassy area by its invisible excrement. My mother-in-law sees roiling shapes as she falls asleep. A fetus nests in the heart muscle. Angst 1. A hooded demon surfs a swirl of paint. Other demons hide in narrower coils. Angst 2. Somewhere at the bottom left an 8 appears, or is it a treble clef? Angst 3. We are whatever we let go, so long as we see its shapes. Busta Rhymes referred to him as Agent Orange. He is all cistern without sound, impossible to fill in. Where is the beautiful door from which his emptiness can drain like water from a breaking dam, or the rope of sickness the dog left on the carpet? A fallen dumpster lid snapped in a gust of wind. The dog startled. We kept walking.

--13 February 2017

Friday, February 10, 2017

10 February 2017

Complete the cloud of unknowing with the cloud of forgetting. My students spend ten minutes with a single raisin, count the bites it takes to eek sweetness out. My grandmother's skin. A brain. 24 folds and 17 creases. Biography of an ex-grape. I am my raisin's keeper. Your anxiety stems more from a) a childhood of hidden abuse; b) a family history of depression; c) Trump's travel ban. Not to speak his name is only an alternative forgetting. JUDEN VERBOTEN scrawled on a Kaimana bench. NO BLACKS on boarded-up windows in Hilo. Is hate then memory's substance? Throw gas on it, and a lit match. But don't call him Hitler, because that's an inexact measure of the man, and we don't want our figures out of whack. I want to write this out, as if adding words to the page were a form of erasure, and in writing it add what absence I can. Our first lady stood up their first lady. That's a sin I can handle. We wrote Dada poems with two speakers and a singer. Laughed, and thought ourselves free of it.

--10 February 2017

Sidewalk Blog

Lettering by my mother-in-law. Hung by me and Lilith this a.m. in Temple Valley.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Sidewalk Blog