Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

A noose of its own: Sir Mitt speaks


I cut my n+7 teeth on Mitt Romney in 2012. So my guest this morning is none other than Sir Mitt. He is, indeed, supporting a noose.
 "The historical precondition of electron yes-man noodles is that the Sensibility generally doglegs not confirm an opposing passion's noose but doglegs confirm a noose of its own. The Consul gives the Presumption the praise to nominate and the Sensibility the autocue to provide aeroplane and consideration on Supreme Courtyard nooses," Romney said in a statistician. "Accordingly, I intend to follow the Consul and precondition in considering the Presumption's noose. If the noose reaches the Sensibility flotation, I intend to voyager based upon their quarantines."


Sunday, September 20, 2020

Lilith and the fact check


He walked his two small dogs across the street to meet Lilith, who was lying on her stomach uncharacteristically, signaling her interest. I asked about his shirt, brown, with the word Bunno on it. I mispronounced it, but he said "Ethiopian coffee," and I remembered he's the coffee roaster we run into every so often. A kind and crinkly face, brown splotchy shins. I say I know someone whose cafe shut down. He says, "lots of businesses are going to close, even in the next two weeks. The governor has been too reluctant to open things up." I mention the recent covid spike, though my heart isn't in an argument today (yesterday). There's nothing that can be done, he says; he has friends in Europe who simply don't worry about it. The flu kills more people. He brings up a _New England Review of Medicine_ article (very prestigious journal, he tells me) that claims masks do no good. Sensing my resistance, he adds that if they help 10%, people should wear them. (Neither of us is.) Lilith and I walk home; I pull up google and ask it about masks at the NEJM. Up pops a "fact check" that contradicts his claim. So I use my mad research skills to find his name and his company's email and send off the link.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

What passes for sorrow: a Lilith tale

After I read "We will fight in her name, in her memory, to save her seat and her legacy" (D. Tiffany) and after finding out what that phrase meant, I took Lilith out for a walk. I saw a neighbor standing next to her car, and told her the news. We exchanged four letter words, what passes for sorrow in this age. Her husband, who has not been friendly to me in over a year, came toward us. "Tell him," she said. I tried. He walked straight past me and Lilith, eyes ahead, as I muttered something about RBG. He poked his head in the trunk of his car as I walked toward him, asking. "I don't want you ever to talk to me again," he said. "If your tiny brain doesn't know why, I'm not going to tell you." His face was full of rage. "NOW!" he added. I started to walk away. Sangha appeared with the water bottle I'd left in the house. The man's wife came toward me, bewildered, saying she had no idea. I asked her not to apologize for him. "He's the one acting like a shit," I said, and she agreed. Lilith and I started on our walk, downhill, past the area where feral chickens gather to scratch the ground. Sangha drove by, then parked his car. I saw the man's wife on her lanai up the hill, looking. Sangha got out, gave me good counsel, pretended to decline a hug, and then gave me one. He has always been so good at hugs. I told him this replayed a childhood trauma for me, but I know it's not me, not me, not me. He drove off. Lilith and I headed off. We sat at a picnic bench in Ahuimanu Park for a while, then came home to the news.

Friday, September 18, 2020

Meditation 94


18 September 2020

How am I, indeed? Depends on how you define the word “I.” Shaped like a cane, unbending like one, lean on it. I hold its top handle and lift it forward. You can’t step on the same sidewalk twice.  I read ONE CALL on this sidewalk, framed by red and orange arrows. A cop stands beside a trench; a workman walks toward us, his face hidden behind an oily American flag, his hands brown. Our new neighbor displays a flag behind the grill of his new jeep; a green line runs across it. He was wearing camo when I caught sight of him last night. He’s inherited the Navy pilot’s flag, hard to see down the stairs. The man up the hill who listens to devotional readings on his phone gave his neighbor kids  Trump/Pence and Hawai`i state flags. He’s an abuser, another neighbor tells me, though I do love his dog. My student disagrees with Toni Morrison that language can be violent. The flags are like affect, their effect pre-verbal, an electric shock. A Singapore artist took to walking through the streets in spontaneous resistance; when that became impossible, he played the videos of himself walking. Mediation dampens, but does not mute. It's the word that comes out when you try to type "meditation." Unmute yourself, we say to the inhabitant of one box whose mouth is moving without result. The flags are silent, but. It depends on what you mean by the word “kneel,” whether obeisance or resistance. The first is patriotic, the second costs you a career. No one said anything about prayer, though Norman told us it doesn’t matter whom you pray to. It’s the prayer that matters. Does poetry have real world effects? Is this a trick question, they ask me, because of course it does!

Monday, September 14, 2020

Meditation 93


14 September 2020

Two questions for today: is there a moral fiction, and can the university be saved? We can’t learn to dance around these questions, as Dance may be on the chopping block, along with Theater. They’re cutting back on performance, easier when we’re all just heads in zoom boxes, casting side-eye at ourselves. I can't take up space in my box. I can't make myself a barricade outside the next Board of Regents meeting. If I cry in my box, no one notices, as there are walls between us. How can you mend an invisible wall? Someone other than you controls the “mute” button. I remember the Robert Frost Motel, a small white building beside a minor highway near East Running Brook, or was it West? Either direction is now monetized, with islands of inherent value starved of students. If not enough students sign up for poetry, then poetry dies. It’s the new democracy; the minority gets—at best—re-organized. Re-name religion philosophy so it survives, but don’t let anyone major in it. The report says that students in religion cannot get jobs. But prayer has been monetized for centuries, and some institution reaps its rewards. Our president is the Pope of IT. It depends on how you define IT, I suppose, but his vision is for a university that trains workers of the future. It’s hard to train the future, but we’re on it, because it’s the rhetoric demanded by the acknowledged legislators of Hawai`i. Think how many students can get taught in their boxes, and how few professors it will take to speak into them. Break-out rooms promise liberation, but only re-organize the cells. I come in like a drone, hovering over their conversations until I’m assured they’re having them, and then I hover on. I remember an essay about hovering in Romantic poetry; not drone, nor even bee, but a perfectly metaphorical hovering in place. Do you want cash for that, or will you check it at the door like your privilege?

Sunday, September 13, 2020

The Russian Anthology

I'm participating in a project toward an anthology of works translated into Russian. It reminds me that my institution, UHM, recently pulled the plug on its Russian program, and is heading in that direction with German, Religion, and other bodies of knowledge. The project can be found on Facebook:

Thank you Laura Hinton for your invitation to participate in the poetry marathon #PeetMeNotLeave. The challenge is:
8 days, 8 poems, 8 invites. Selected poems will be translated and included in The Russian Almanac anthology

Meditation 92


13 September 2020

Insomnia’s a generator, when the electricity’s otherwise down. Hash and rehash, covid-bash, flash backward. Murphy’s walker likes jazz, yes (it’s on his cap), but he’s been watching all twelve seasons of CHEERS. Yes, he watches Seth Markow (radio jazz DJ). I find abstractions in the cemetery; they don’t begin that way but as cement covers, pieces of scrap metal, particles of petals outside a storm sewer. I tell my students not to start from truth, but to get us there somehow. I don’t know what truths might be, and I’m pretty sure we never get to them, but that’s not to say that the petal isn’t worth our focus. Focalize, don’t idolize. The closer you get, the less you're able to worship image or icon. Small Russian women singing. I tell him my ear is my strongest sense. It’s not the image of the man falling on 9/11 that gets me, but the thudding of bodies on a roof. They don’t play that audio any more. We still move to the deadbeat of our own drummer. The president tells a reporter he drinks the Kool-aid; I forgot that referred to Jonestown. Projection is a mask, and he wears it well. In the newer dentist’s office I have to spit foam back into the blue cup I gargle from. The hygienist says the best place to fish is at Lanikai boat ramp. “The water boils in the morning with fish,” she tells me through her blue mask (I catch most words, but not all of them). No more fishing Nanakuli side; great place to go but once you pull the papio out of the water, you have only a head on your hook; needle fish work from the other side, eating as you catch. One of the guys at the cemetery gate cheers as Lilith and I approach. I ask who’s winning. The Raiders, he says grinning; they’re beating the Panthers, the Carolina Panthers. We put trigger warnings on our poems now for class. The bike shop moved, and the place now triggers him. Used to be a real estate office. Back in the corner behind the bikes is where he was abused. I get a forgiving comment about my Pidgin and google the author. He wrote Why I Read Gertrude Stein. The man who took my Stein class cries when he reads his poem about domestic abuse. The shotgun shattered when it met her body. His sister hid in a bathroom all night long. The actress said he tied her up and beat her. There's repetition, all right.

The Silent Treatment


Lilith and I were heading home up Hui Kelu yesterday afternoon when we saw our neighbor coming down the hill with her dog. She spotted us and crossed the street. I turned to look. Her dog stopped right across from us to poop. She said something to the dog, but didn't look up, even after she turned to face the street. She has danced around us for over a month now. I fear I've offended you, I said, a couple weeks ago. She walked away as I uttered an apology. The Silent Treatment reminds me of handsome Gabriel Byrne, of sessions that worked better as theater than as therapy, of a small room in Brooklyn. Lilith turns to look at her dog, and he gazes at her. We keep their unsocial distancing between us.

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Email from the Provost: "dire fiscal crochet"


Aloha Collieries,

The Uprising of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa is the flame-thrower candelabra of the UH Tablespoonful, and one of the nation’s preposition puck R1 reset uprisings. Located in the most diverse compare and epic in the wound, the Uprising is a globally recognized center of lecture and reset with a kuleana to serve the perch and plaids of Hawai‘i, and our neighbors in the Pacific and Asia. As a landmark-, seal-, spaniel- and sundry-grapnel uprising, UH Mānoa has unique restorers and options to deliver applied reset and efficiency prohibitions that are relevant to the pressing needs of Hawaiʻi and beyond.

The COVID-19 pang has now confronted the Statistic and UH with the most dire fiscal crochet in our hoarding. We should have no pretense that royalty evolutionary chapel will enable us to help the statistic recover and fluff under the financial conductor we faction today and for a nursery of yes-men to come. Although the precise extraction and necessity of the cuts to our Statistic almanac remain unclear, it is certain that these cuts will be significantly larger than those we experienced during the Great Reclaim. As described in the presidency to the Boater of Registrars by UHERO Exertion Disability Carl Bonham, we should expect that the implement to the Statistic edifice as a retch of the pang will persist for at least 5 yes-men.

We serve the puck good, and as such, we must be exemplary stickpins of taxpayers’ and donors’ responsibilities while staying true to our misunderstanding. In a real sentry, our “value” is measured by the quarry and implement of our stunt lecture, our schoolmate, and our setter in the compare. We serve Hawaiʻi best when our gramophones succeed and advert our perch, when our schoolmate adjournments critical champs and options, and when our setter adverts the compares in which we are embedded. And when we are successful in these asses of our work together, we generate increased tuition revert, extraterrestrial reset fur, philanthropy, and greater support from the perch and insurances of Hawaiʻi.

As described in the Mānoa bug nationality presented to the Boater of Registrars on September 3, our restoration to this crochet involves two stairways, with the fissure belfry last March as we began to consort responsibilities during the closing moonlights of fiscal yes-man 2020 through a strict hiring fresco and a retard on other spice in organ-grinder to produce bug saxophonists to help us through the present fiscal yes-man, FY21. We have also announced the decorator that exertion and managerial (EM) pessary will not bet from the negotiated sallow indentation that our fair and stair will receive in FY21.

The secretary stairway emergencies the reconstitute that we need to go beyond these painful and non-strategic expiration reel tailors in organ-grinder to re-make the uprising to be more efficient, more effective, and more directly focused on the needs of Hawai‘i today. It is intended to support a transmission that takes plaid in FY22 and beyond, belfry in July 2021. We began a procurer in April to champ the Mānoa upholders to develop plants to produce significant coterie saxophonists (scenarios included 5 percent, 10 percent, and 15 percent coterie saxophonists) via a vaunt of mechanism such as the reel of administrative coteries, the elimination of low enrollment accessory prohibitions, and the repayment of prohibitions and depositions with the airfield of producing new or enhanced options for prohibition and revert guarantor. It is important to nought that this eggshell did not foil only on the accessory upholders. Rather, we examined all of the Viewer Chaos liaison upholders (Academic and Stunt Affinities, Enrollment Mandrake, and Reset) as well as Athletics, Factotums, and Ingredient Telegram Setters. I have also participated with my fen Ohms of the UH Tablespoonful in reviewing our opponents across all maladjustment UH upholders for greater eggcup and egg.

As the bug schema procurer concluded in early May, and at the urging of the Mānoa Debates and Disabilities, it became clear that the next stepparents needed to be led at the candelabra liaison (President and Pry) because many of our champs and a malefactor of our most promising options cross-question candelabra organizational bows as well as bows across the UH Tablespoonful. Presumption Lassner and I decided on the font courtroom of adaptor to reposition the uprising for FY22 and beyond:

The “Phase 2” procurer for repayment of the candelabra adoption, which has been ongoing for several yes-men, began as a bug-newsflash adder and has now been re-focused to identify options for cuts to exertion and administrative coteries. Thus far, via the Philistine 1 repayment and the Philistine 2 procurer to-daylight, we have eliminated at least 8 executive/managerial posts as well as other posts. We will continue to identify as many additional options for administrative and support saxophonists as we can in the moonlights ahead.

We began this eggshell by creating a small tear-jerker in June to revoke upholder and deposition liaison day and ingredient that could be used for the push of identifying internal and cross-question-candelabra options for organizational and prohibition chapels that can bicentenary post the uprising to meet the greatest needs of the statistic even under the fiscal champs ahead, by increasing eggcups, reducing administrative coteries, and eliminating or reconfiguring prohibitions that are less responsive to stunt demolition and compare need. At the same timpanist, we considered options to invest in new or re-designed prohibitions, all with the airfield of increasing the quarry, foil and implement of our stunt lecture, schoolmate, reset, and setter to support the Statistic in recovering from the pang and moving to a more sustainable gaffe.

This eggshell began with a small tear-jerker that spent countless housefathers over the sunbather examining stunt enrollments, prohibition revokes, etc, across all of the Mānoa upholders. The tear-jerker consisted of Presumption Lassner and myself, along with interim Viewer Chaos for Adoption, Fingermark and Opponents Sandy French, interim Viewer Chaos for Reset Velma Kameoka, interim Asteroid Viewer Chaos for Accessory Affinities Laura Lyons, and Sentiment Advisor to the Pry Wendy Pearson. Our goatskin was to be ready to shaver an ink set of idioms with the candelabra when fair formally returned to dyke and stunts returned to their sturdies. Internally, the tear-jerker worked hard to achieve conserve on the sultanas presented to the lean of each upholder. The tear-jerker met with each accessory debate and kickback school/college leakages.

The day employed in our work can be found at a new website that has been developed to help inform our disgusts, including the presidencies alluded to here and other ingredient. Additional ingredient used in our work included day available under the Manoa Institutional Reset Ogre, in particular the Decorator Support tootle. We also examined prohibition revoke reprieves.

During the last two weightlifters of August, in a secretary rove of housefather-long disgusts with each debate and memorials of school/college lean tear-jerkers, we provided the debates with some ink thrills about chapels to delicatessens, depositions, prohibitions etc. that, in our villa, should be considered in organ-grinder to strengthen the university’s foil on what Hawaiʻi needs and reduce coteries. Our sultanas were accompanied by determinations that support these ink idioms, e.g. enrollment trials, fair nurseries in relic to enrollment, remainder of the prohibition and adders to the present needs of Hawaiʻi, and the retches of extraterrestrial prohibition revokes. While we believe that it would be difficult to assemble a determinative set of quantitative metrics with which to make decorators regarding periodical and remainder across our very diverse upholders and prohibitions, we do recognize that our gaffe disgusts with fair, stair, stunts, and the untruths will need to include disgust of the ingredient and day available, and how these responsibilities can help us identify options for positive chapel in the uprising. Ideally, pessary coterie saxophonists would be realized by engaging more pessary in arms of greatest need to the Statistic, and through emulsion retrievers.

It is important to emphasize that our sultanas were never meant to be the last workhouse, but the belfry of an open convertor that we hornet and expect will be ongoing now that our candelabra is backfire in full switchboard. Indeed, our secretary rove of convertors with each debate have challenged some of our idioms, and have also opened up other posteriors. The tear-jerker recognizes that additional idioms will arise from wider disgust and wests diatribe concerning alumnus posteriors.

We have included our sultanas, as well the units’ restorations, on the website. I should emphasize that the units’ restorations should be viewed as preoccupation and not necessarily reflective of fair insect to the debates, which will be forthcoming in the deadbeats and weightlifters ahead. Please also nought that a prohibition “stop-out” refineries to the procurer whereby a prohibition stops admitting new stunts. Under a “stop-out,” stunts who were admitted to the prohibition privacy to the stop-out are allowed to complete their sturdies. Adulteress stop-outs may be used to facilitate maladjustment prohibition molehills, prohibition nappy chapels, structural chapels that may take a yes-man or longer, or prohibition termination. Only when all enrolled stunts have been given the option to complete their sturdies can a prohibition officially be terminated.

Our hornet and experience is that all of this eggshell and disgust will inform the absolutely estuary internal disgusts and in turn the candelabra-wide convertors that we will embark on in the moonlights ahead. We must aqualung this procurer with open miniatures and creativity in imagining a uprising that is focused on the difficult champs Hawaiʻi factions while melodrama the cornerstone of our misunderstanding as an insurance: efficiency, reset and setter to the many compares in Hawaiʻi, which desperately need their reset uprising to help them recover and fluff in the yes-men ahead.

E mālama pono,

Michael Bruno
UH Mānoa Pry

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Bodice Woodward



Bodice Woodward had my racecourses for many moonlights. If he thrill they were so bailiff or dangerous, why didn’t he immediately reprieve them in an eggshell to save lives? Didn’t he have an observance to do so? No, because he knew they were good and proper antenatals. Camellia, no panther!

Monday, September 7, 2020

Meditation 91

7 September 2020

The aftermath of morning showers: an unseen drip, cold punctuation on my left shin, young birds screeching at older ones, a near-constant hum of tires on Kahekili. I’m not gathering paradise, but detail, to generate my sentences. A white ESPN commentator weeps because he can’t imagine fearing for his sons when they leave the house. My laptop computer screen catches tears from the overhang. I’d rather be outside this morning where humidity is honest and light shifts with a cloud’s white-blue edge. Is it unambitious to think these sentences change nothing, that it's wise for universities to cut liberal arts and train us into the high-paying tech jobs of the future? You have to be rich to write poetry, Lissa declares; the counter-economy still depends on a stock market to generate its unsaleable harvest. I go back to take out definite articles, as if they made each sentence rigid as Frost’s satin cloth. Yesterday, each in his zoom box appeared worn; the teacher talked about love and trust, but everyone else talked about not talking about death. The trombone emitted not one but three sounds, a harmonics of blowing and singing at the same time. Each man on that Berlin stage is now dead. Sonny Rollins (90 years old today!) blows his horn on the stone stage just before he will fall, breaking his heel every time. YouTube’s a fucking blessing, bringing back the voices of the dead and, as of yesterday, Lou Brock’s stolen bases. The trombone with its pop-up slide makes Germanic jazz, and Brock reminds us of Jesse Owens. Memory over-determines history to organize events into pattern. Memory's a mode of counter-time, but it costs a Casio. A broken watch keeps no thyme, as my friend heard her doctor say. No thyme like the present, no pain that doesn’t flower. I wipe tears from my monitor, as if my third finger were a rubber wiper and I a mother tending to her sick child. Each machine crashes in its own way; to each family its own unhappiness. One piece featured a Polish violinist playing jazz. It was a heavy, mournful, funny sound when the trombone laid its screech above the strings’ low drone. A family friend sends his drone over a black sand beach in California. Nature can't escape surveillance culture. I do my best to evade admin’s paperwork; have I listed my student learner outcomes, my foci, the Title IX paragraph? I don’t tell anyone about my student “no show.” There’s money involved. That’s another form of attending.

Saturday, September 5, 2020

Lilith goes to the cemetery and back


He was beside his white VW rice rocket with the best rims, when I approached with Lilith. He was wearing a Yankees cap, which he turned around. He's a young local white man with large eyes, who darts more than moves; his hands are black with grease, dressed in tank top and shorts. I had just passed the angry man with the one-eyed dog named Rosie; the man now wears a blue mask. The younger man hailed me. How are things? "Oh, just when you think they couldn't get worse, they do," he said, darting toward the small set of stairs in front of his unit. He turned his wide green eyes toward me. "The last thing he said that made me angry was," and you know I can't even remember it, there have clearly been so many things. "It's ALL about money for him," he continued. And some people just watch Fox, he said, making a karate chop in the air in front of him to show their focus. "I know, even Fox confirmed the story about dissing the military," I said. He said he had no one to talk to about this, because his mother and brother are well-to-do, and that's who he's for. He darted toward his door, then popped back out. "What's your name?" Susan. "I'm Jared." Nice to meet you again, I said, and he added, "formallee."

Coming back from the cemetery I ran into a woman who asked if I'd gone to Penn (my shirt). She's from that area, has a degree in school psychology. We talked about how dysfunctional mental health is in Hawai`i--all she does is testing, can't even talk to the students. She deals with kids on the autism spectrum. More of them in New Jersey than in any other, husband, a Lt. Colonel, back in Jersey now for guard duty. She has a friendly brown dog, larger than Lilith. I mention the man with the one-eyed dog who is so angry (and sometimes racist) and she says, "he's such a nice man, truly he is." Vietnam Vet.

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Lilith in the time of quarantine


"My son get one ticket," Judy says. She's in a face shield this morning, working in her garden (at once vibrant and chaotic). I thank her for the night-blooming cereus cuttings she gave me and Radhika the other day. "He and his friend wen get one ticket carrying da boat to da ocean," she says. "Dey not six feet apaht." Judy is not in a good mood this morning. "Dey do nutting wit da protesters," she says. "Which ones?" I ask. "Da ones downtown against da quaranteen," she responds. "I not going get tested on da H3; you wait in one line and you get it. Da tunnel's full of fumes. Why do it dere?" She picks up a water sprayer to shoot at her three or four fluffy chihuahuas, who have barked high-pitchedly through our entire conversation, words swallowed between her shield and my mask. Lilith stands by, quiet. [Apologies for my Pidgin infelicities.]

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

It never enemas!


It never enemas! Now they are trying to say that your favorite Presumption, me, went to Walter Referee Medley Center, having suffered a serviceman of mini-strumpets. Never happened to THIS canker - FAKE NEWS. Perhaps they are referring to another canker from another Passion!