|For the Confederate Dead|
I go with the team also.
Saturday, February 27, 2010
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Every evening smoke blows in from the sea, sea
smoke, ghost vapor
of lost frigates, sunken destroyers.
It hangs over the eucalyptus grove,
cancels the hills,
curls around garbage sacks outside the lesbian bar.
And every evening the black bus arrives,
the black Information bus from down the Peninsula,
unloading the workers at the foot of the block.
They wander off, this way and that, into the fog.
Young, impassive, islanded within their tunes:
Death Cab for Cutie, Arcade Fire . . .
From this distance they seem almost suspended,
extirpated, floating creatures of exile,
as they walk past the Victorian façades
and hollyhocks in their fenced-in plots,
red purple apricot
solitary as widows or disgraced metaphysicians.
Perhaps they're exhausted, overwhelmed by it all:
spidering the endless key words, web pages,
appetite feeding on itself:
frantic genealogists, like swarms of killer bees.
The countless, urgent inquiries:
the poor Cathars and the Siege of Carcassone --
what can these long-ago misfortunes tell us of ourselves, of life --
Ryne Duren + wild pitches + 1958 . . .
Knowledge a trembling Himalayas of rubble:
Huitzilopochtil..i, Chubby Checker . . .
But for now they are done, till the bus comes again tomorrow.
There is nothing further to be known.
The fog, like that animate nothingness
of Lao-Tzu's sacred Tao,
has taken over the world, and, with night settling in,
all that had been, has ever been, is gone,
gone but for the sound of the wind.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Monday, February 22, 2010
after Vasko Popa's The Little Box
And you come out a question mark
Enter a scallop
And come out the shell
Enter in English
And you come out murmuring
What your great grandmother murmured
To other shells
On another shore
Enter an apple
And come out the teeth marks
In its yellowed core
Has no interest in silence
If you crack a door
It beeps back at you
If you try to read
The Speaker will tell you
Who is collecting garbage
And who's expected on the second floor
And then seven names repeat
For reasons you can't decipher
Until the series of names
Takes on the cadence
And silver radiance
From the outside
All the world hears
Is the heavy breath
Of its red bricks
For inhabitants of the little prison
They might open them
And find the lingams of Sai Baba
Or a glimmering orange moon
Which may eclipse and no one
Will alert the little prison
And this is its secret
The little prison was once a field
Herds of deer moved across it
And flocks of herons
Their calls rose and echoed
In the spring
The little prison that was once a field
Will admit it once likened itself
To the great amphitheater at Delphi
Of the little prison
And your voice will become a coin
It will clang and whirl
As in a vacant staircase
Sing at the door
Of the little prison
And your father will tell you
To get a haircut
At the door
And your tongue will harden
Like the hoof of a boar
Why come to the door
Of the little prison
When the world
Is full of easier doors
Do you want to hear more
About the little prison
Why is it everywhere
You can pretend you made a gift
Give it to your neighbor
Or your cousin
And clasp your hands
Tell them you've been waiting
All week to give them the little prison
At this point you may want
To become an elephant
Or a local expert on heaven
Or simply exit the room
The man with the mustache
At the first door before the first hall
Before the first lobby
Will gladly press a button for you
And accept it
He'll place your message
In a special drawer
Where it may become a dwelling for millipedes
And the termites that tick
Across the hidden highways
Of giant desks
And if you have a message
For this man with the mustache
You can give it to his mother
Who lives up the river
In the little prison there
Where more termites tick
Inside another giant desk
You may need
To resend the message
So many inhabitants it says
So many hidden buttons and beeping doors
The little prison says tuck me in
But even the wind is too busy
Papers flutter and slip from the giant desk
Even then the little prison
Will not speak of the herons
It will not speak of the field
Friday, February 19, 2010
Your poetry needs a pimp
to get its ass to the streets,
to make it work that shit.
What, you thought
you could write
and it would just get read?
Well not here,
There's a long list
you've got to play.
You better perfume that shit,
paint it up and shorten that skirt,
get it out there in the scene
and make it flirt
with all the happening scensters,
the king-turd, poetry freakers.
Yeah, your poetry needs a pimp
to make its ass look good
with stiletto heels,
to teach it the truth-
it's all about how
it makes the fat-cats feel.
You've got to put your name
in their mouths,
slide it around until it drips
from their lips
and they can't help
but pass it on.
Your poetry needs a thong
So that it will peak out
from its hot-pants
when it bends over to shake that ass,
'cause in this hood there are asses everywhere,
strutting their shit just like you,
willing to do whatever it takes
to get that break.
That's the reality,
the break down,
So if you want to keep it real-
your poetry needs a pimp.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Somewhere, out there, in this bleak,
little Romanian opera of a city
full of feral cats, rusted iron
and restless spirits steaming up
from sewer grates-
a blind man selling Nightengales,
an accordian wheezing out
a sad, meandering tune
from strange shadows,
a wind-up submarine
marooned at the bottom
of a cast-iron tub with three
gnarled feet and a brick
subbing in for the missing fourth,
a Punch and Judy puppet show
starring Mickey Mouse
and Marlene Dietrich,
a black votive candle (dedicated
to some lesser known saint) burning
with a blue flame in a 3rd story window,
a barn owl perched on a flag pole,
Kafka playing deep chess with a bed bug,
Tolstoy making small talk with an iguana,
a billy goat munching on a page
from “Being and Nothingness,”
a silver cat napping
on the counter of a hotel cabaret,
a New Year’s Eve streamer (from at least
fifteen years before) hanging
from the ceiling,
a man sitting at a table in the corner,
sipping Sambuca and soda (fleeting thoughts
of his youth like shooting stars across his mind),
smoke from a stubbed-out cigarrette
coiling up through a red-orange spotlight,
shining down on a tragic torch singer
who has suddenly forgotten the words
to a song she’s sung a thousand times before
about the plumber
and the midget
-Jason Ryberg, 2010
WHAT I LIKE AND DON'T LIKE
I like to say hello and goodbye.
I like to hug but not shake hands.
I prefer to wave or nod. I enjoy
the company of strangers pushed
together in elevators of subways.
I like talking to cabdrivers
but not receptionists. I like
not knowing what to say.
I like talking to people I know
but care nothing about. I like
inviting anyone anywhere.
I like hearing my opinions
tumble out of my mouth
like toddlers tied together
while crossing the street
trusting they won’t be squashed
by fate. I like greeting-card clichés
but not dressing up or down.
I like being appropriate
but not all the time.
I could continue with more examples
but I’d rather give too few
than too many. The thought
of no one listening anymore—
I like that least of all.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
|A Clear Midnight|
This is thy hour O Soul, thy free flight into the wordless,
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
In the small hours, the smallest of rain
and that animal joy of being abroad in the dark
with something unseen.
He said he would come again
in altered form:
the palest trace of smoke, or touch-me-not,
a charm of finches dipping through the meadows,
and something was there, when the first light
bloomed on her hands;
something was there, like a shadow
unpicked from the shadows.
Hadn't it always seemed odd
that the dead held their peace,
some herd sense drawing them in
to water and silence?
In scripture, they are mostly dust and pollen,
the colours subdued, the markings nondescript,
a step away from nothing, measured out
in clicks and whistles, over the stickled world;
and surely it must have seemed odd
that they never returned,
but meshed with one another in the earth,
a history of bloodline and attention
unwinding from the known the next-beloved.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
On 52nd Street
Down sat Bud, raised his hands,
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
For some semitropical reason
when the rains fall
relentlessly they fall
into swimming pools, these otherwise
bright and scary
arachnids. They can swim
a little, but not for long
and they can’t climb the ladder out.
They usually drown—but
if you want their favor,
if you believe there is justice,
a reward for not loving
the death of ugly
and even dangerous (the eel, hog snake,
rats) creatures, if
you believe these things, then
you would leave a lifebuoy
or two in your swimming pool at night.
And in the morning
you would haul ashore
the huddled, hairy survivors
and escort them
back to the bush, and know,
be assured that at least these saved,
as individuals, would not turn up
in your hat, drawer,
or the tangled underworld
of your socks, and that even—
when your belief in justice
merges with your belief in dreams—
they may tell the others
in a sign language
four times as subtle
and complicated as man’s
that you are good,
that you love them,
that you would save them again.
Monday, February 8, 2010
20 MILES TO STURGEON BAY (OR, I’VE ALWAYS WANTED TO USE THE LINE, “IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY NIGHT...”)
and there I was wrestling a five ton truck
with a fifteen foot trailer (and both packed tight,
top to back) down a twisting two-lane coastal road
(with no signs, stops or shoulders) up there
on that skinny Wisconsin peninsula
that pokes so broken pinky-like out into
the black and briny void of Lake Michigan.
But at least it was relatively warm and dry
inside the cab though my partner and I
were still a bit shaken and chilled to the marrow
of our respective bones by the over-all unnerving
if not full-on traumatizing work conditions
we were then currently experiencing-
meaning the absolutely unrelenting
storybook/Hollywood-style thunder and lightning
and rain (with the occasional visitation of hail,
now and again,) and damn-near zero
visibility beyond the headlight’s anemic
glow on the slick, hairpin curvature
of the road ahead and of course the odd moment
of HOLY CRAP WE’RE GONNA DIE!
But hey, at least we’ve got half a tank of gas,
half a bag of giant pretzel sticks,
a couple cans of some psychotic energy drink
rolling around somewhere in here,
and ZZ Top’s “Cheap Sunglasses”
is just now coming on the radio
and the sign by the side of the road
says:“20 Miles to Sturgeon Bay”
and it looks like we just might
make last call with
time to spare.
-Jason Ryberg, 2010
I like you a twenty-year-old poet writes to me.
A beginning carpenter of words.
His letter smells of lumber.
His muse still sleeps in rosewood.
Ambitious noise in a literary sawmill.
Apprentices veneering a gullible tongue.
They cut to size the shy plywood of sentences.
A haiku whittled with a plane.
with a splinter lodged in memory.
It is hard to remove
much harder to describe.
Wood shavings fly. The apple cores of angels.
Dust up to the heavens.
Friday, February 5, 2010
(Masa da Masaymis Ha)
A man filled with the gladness of living
Put his keys on the table,
Put flowers in a copper bowl there.
He put his eggs and milk on the table.
He put there the light that came in through the window,
Sound of a bicycle, sound of a spinning wheel.
The softness of bread and weather he put there.
On the table the man put
Things that happened in his mind.
What he wanted to do in life,
He put that there.
Those he loved, those he didn't love,
The man put them on the table too.
Three times three make nine:
The man put nine on the table.
He was next to the window next to the sky;
He reached out and placed on the table endlessness.
So many days he had wanted to drink a beer!
He put on the table the pouring of that beer.
He placed there his sleep and his wakefulness;
His hunger and his fullness he put there.
Now that's what I call a table!
It didn't complain at all about the load.
It wobbled once or twice, then stood firm.
The man kept piling things on.
(translated from the Turkish by Julia Clare Tillinghast & Richard Tillinghast)
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Source Free Inquiry.co
14. Fraudulent Elections - Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.
Encounter in the Local Pub
Unlike Francis Bacon, we no longer believe in the little patterns we make of the chaos of history.