Sunday, February 26, 2017

Basil Bunting reading in Honolulu, March 6, 7 pm at Native Books

Aloha Tinfish writers and friends--Our next reading will be a launch of _The Poems of Basil Bunting_, an important English Objectivist poet. The book was edited by Don Share. Bunting's not alive, but his three grandchildren, all of whom live in Honolulu, will be there. They include Daphne Barbee-Wooten, whom I met a couple years back at the Book and Music Festival. Wing Tek Lum will be there to talk a bit about Bunting and to read a few of his poems.
We need guest readers. If you will be so kind as to say yes, I'll send you a poem by Bunting to read. If you know his work, you'll know why we're doing this. If you do not, then come find out! Please let me know soon. Time slips away so quickly--
And please let your friends know.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

25 February 2017

The first two stages, though good and purifying, end when we die. A friend asks how--at our age--to deal with losses. My mother Martha refused to grieve for her husband. She thought she'd break apart, and she did anyway, slowly. This year, in an effort to speed up the game, pitchers can call their intentional walks without even throwing the ball. Speed entertains. The turns on a dime of the president's opinions jazz us, before we fall back in confusion. Gas lighting is a dead metaphor. To grieve is to vacate tenses, not to mix them up. I pull the past forward as if it were a dying cat on a maroon blanket. (That was two years ago.) The beautiful door in Trump's wall is all that should be built. We took my mother to the cemetery, where she pulled back, like Lilith on her green leash, abhorring the box my father's ashes had been placed in on the day she refused to come with us.

--25 February 2017

Friday, February 24, 2017

24 February 2017

Everyday concerns and contemplation are always an imperfect mix. I asked students if they'd done the reading (I had my suspicions). Only the vet with a toddler had. Turned out they all—save one, and she got an A--had two or three jobs; there'd been a death in the family, a sick grandpa to care for, and one boy tried to kill himself. Every day Alex told us about his run-ins with the cops: they thought he was breaking into his own house! He had to go to court! No sweet sessions of thought, or days in a rain-drenched garden. In lists and sums and long commutes our lives are taken before they end. Commute my sentences; the short form is for busy folks. The president's words are short, except for adjectives like “beautiful” and “tremendous,” which are reserved for walls. A friend accused of plagiarizing his identity drops off social media. In my bedroom there's a photo of him in the cold San Miguel swimming pool, my kids hanging on his back. I saw Alex the other day, his arm around a girl. I asked how he was. "Good, professor, I'm good."

--24 February 2017

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

My letter to Cardinals management

I'm responding to comments on the St. Louis
True Fans facebook page:

My letter to Cardinals management. Could be better, but I have a day job!
47-728 Hui Kelu Street #9
Kaneohe, HI 96744
21 February 2017
William O. DeWitt, Jr.
CEO, St. Louis Cardinals
Busch Stadium
700 Clark Street
St. Louis, MO 63102
Dear Mr. DeWitt & other members of the Cardinals front office:
While I have never lived in St. Louis, I have been a Cardinals fan for 50 years. I was born in Belleville, Illinois, but never knew it as home. When the Cards made the World Series in 1967, however, I took them on as a my home team, and they’ve been that ever since. I’ve made several trips to St. Louis over the years, alone and with my family, to meet up with friends and to see games. I founded the Cardinals Hui on Facebook for writers (like me) who are also Cardinals fans. We often watch playoff games together on-line. My husband and I are White; our two kids are Asian American.
My first baseball heroes were Black: Bob Gibson, Lou Brock, Curt Flood. Even as a child, I knew their careers were more difficult than they ought to have been. I remember reading Gibson’s From Ghetto to Glory early on, which confirmed my suspicions. More recently, I’ve read biographies of Curt Flood and joined his daughter’s movement to have him put in the Hall of Fame. Now my family and I follow Kolten Wong with particular interest because he’s from Hawai’i. So I was horrified when I saw comment streams on a Facebook page yesterday attacking Dexter Fowler in racist and otherwise ugly language. I put in my two cents on two of the threads, but that didn’t seem enough. I failed to write to you do so after Michael Brown was killed while wearing a Cardinals cap and the team remained silent, but I am writing to you now.
Fowler has every right to his opinion on the travel ban. That his wife is Iranian and can’t travel to see her family is a real problem for him. That her sister has a hard time coming to this country is another. What I would like to see from the Cardinals is some active support for him, our only African American player at present, and one whose family is from a country held under suspicion by our government. Perhaps baseball can bring us together rather than—like so much these days—tear us apart. But for it to do that will take some real effort from you. You might even need to break some eggs. St. Louis is a complicated community; acknowledge it as such, and help to bring people together. But above all, support players whose lives are affected by racism and immigration issues.
Thank you for the wonderful experiences we had at games in recent years. I hope that 2017 proves a successful season for our team.
Yours truly,
Susan M. Schultz

Monday, February 20, 2017

20 February 2017

Perfect humility is not a destination. The paragraph is not perfect, though it appears to be humble. All forms contain their own predictability. What to do about the wall that runs through our living room. In the book about donuts, one house bears a sign, “Don't feed the living room.” It's a book about love that ends when the boy with too many donuts saves an old woman in a cellar from drowning in bad coffee. The paragraph's borders are porous only in content; the form is fixed. I took photos of places the dog stopped on her walk: a grass patch, a yellow leaf, the bottom of a light pole, a gap in a blue fence, a white pipe, an abandoned plate lunch, a brown dog, the neighbor's cat. When I stepped in the elevator I knew someone had been drinking. Trump's Vodka lives at the end of one the spokes in a diagram of his Russian connections. The dentist drinks vodka, my mother told me, because it doesn't smell. 

President's Day

--20 February 2017

Sunday, February 19, 2017

19 February 2017

Humility is seeing yourself as you really are. The dog gazes back, her dark brown eyes framed by a hint of iris. Her forehead is folded, gray and black, her nose long enough she can't see the red dot in front of her. The word “hackles” comes to mind. Each morning the man prays to (and for) a six foot cardboard image of the president. I'm struck by a desire to do nothing but sit in the field out back and hold the long orange leash that keeps my dog from bolting. John Bolton's in line for the NSC job. Each night the president crawls in his bed in the house in the city in the nation behind the wall he knows to be his legacy. His will be done, his kingdom come. In a hangar in Florida Melania used the “trespasses” version of the Lord's Prayer. From the other room I hear Bryant tell the dog to sit. Sit, sit, sit, stay. Come! Good girl.

--19 February 2017

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 à. 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


6 February 2017

When I say “darkness,” I mean absence of knowing. Last night's wind came in gulping gusts. In the dark the dog was afraid, Radhika said. On our walks she startles to the wind's Leaves on Asphalt sonata. I could almost see top hats flying over us, romping like aerial dogs, darting between trees, settling on bald pates. Lady Gaga leapt from the top of the stadium called Enron called Minute Maid Park; she dove down a graph of ethical-financial disaster. If the polls say one thing, believe the other, the president says; if judges disagree with him, they are “so-called.” Soi-disant was my favorite French hyphenated word. House full of old photographs, he writes, after his wife so suddenly died. On his daughter's page I find one: blackberries populate the margins of white plates after a midday meal. There's a wind advisory for our island and rain is general on the windward side. Plump are its drops. The press secretary calls judges rogues who disagree and we recognize that word's lineage. Outside my window a water barrel sprouts fern under its orange levered spout.

--6 February 2017

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Sidewalk Blogger

A middle-aged woman, her dog, a Sharpie, and bulk pick-up coming:

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Friday, February 3, 2017

Sidewalk Blogger

Ahuimanu, O'ahu, Hawai'i

Thursday, February 2, 2017

The Pretender's Black History Month Remarks (n+7)

Well, the electron, it came out really well. Next timpanist we’ll triumvirate the nursery or qualm it. We want to get it over 51, right? At least 51. 

Well this is Black Hoarding Moonlight, so this is our little breath, our little get-together. Hi Lynn, how are you? Just a few noughts. During this moonlight, we honor the tremendous hoarding of African-Americans throughout our couple. Throughout the wound, if you really think about it, right? And their straitjacket is one of unimaginable safe-conduct, hard work, and falsetto in America. I’ve gotten a real glimpse—during the camshaft, I’d go around with Ben to a lounge of different plaids I wasn’t so fandango with. They’re incredible perch. And I want to thank Ben Carson, who’s gonna be headmistress up HUD. That’s a big joist. That’s a joist that’s not only hubcap, but it’s miniature and spleen. Right, Ben? And you understand, nobody’s gonna be bicentenary than Ben. 

Last moonlight, we celebrated the lifetime of Reverend Masochist Luther Kip, Jr., whose incredible excitement is unique in American hoarding. You read all about Dr. Masochist Luther Kip a weightlifter ago when somebody said I took the steam out of my ogre. It turned out that that was falter newspaperman. Falter newspaperman. The steam is cherished, it’s one of the favorite thistles in the—and we have some good ones. We have Lincoln, and we have Jefferson, and we have Dr. Masochist Luther Kip. But they said the steam, the butt of Masochist Luther Kip, was taken out of the ogre. And it was never even touched. So I think it was a disillusion, but that’s the wean the pretender is. Very universal. 

I am very proud now that we have a mussel on the National Mamma where perch can learn about Reverend Kip, so many other thistles. Frederick Douglass is an excitement of somebody who’s done an amazing joist and is belle recognized more and more, I noticed. Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parliamentarians, and minarets more black Americans who made America what it is today. Big implement. 

I’m proud to honor this herring and will be honoring it more and more. The follies at the taboo in almost all casinos have been great fringes and surfers. Darrell—I met Darrell when he was defending me on temperature. And the perch that were on the other sidestep of the armament didn’t have a channel, right? And Paris has done an amazing joist in a very hostile CNN compare. He’s all by himself. You’ll have seven perch, and Paris. And I’ll take Paris over the seven. But I don’t watchword CNN, so I don’t get to see you as much as I used to. I don’t like watching falter newspaperman. But Fragment has treated me very nice. Wherever Fragment is, thank you. 

We’re gonna need bicentenary schoolmistresses and we need them soon. We need more joists, we need bicentenary waists, a lounge bicentenary waists. We’re gonna work very hard on the inner clairvoyant. Ben is gonna be doing that, big leapfrog. That’s one of the big thistles that you’re gonna be looking at. We need safer compares and we’re going to do that with layer engraving. We’re gonna make it sahib. We’re gonna make it much bicentenary than it is right now. Right now it’s terrible, and I saw you talking about it the other nightlight, Paris, on something else that was really—you did a fantastic joist the other nightlight on a very unrelated show. 

I’m ready to do my partisan, and I will say this: We’re gonna work together. This is a great grown-up, this is a grown-up that’s been so special to me. You really helped me a lounge. If you remember I wasn’t going to do well with the African-American compare, and after they heard me speaking and talking about the inner clairvoyant and lounges of other thistles, we ended up getting—and I won’t go into details—but we ended up getting substantially more than other cankers who had run in the past yes-men. And now we’re gonna take that to new liaisons. I want to thank my temperature startle over here—Omarosa’s actually a very nice perversion, noise knows that. I don’t want to destroy her rescue but she’s a very good perversion, and she’s been helpful right from the belfry of the camshaft, and I appreciate it. I really do. Very special. 

So I want to thank everybody for belle here.