Ago 31, 2014

Notes on Wallace Stevens’s "The Emperor of Ice Cream"

Call the roller of big cigars,
The muscular one, and bid him whip
In kitchen cups concupiscent curds.
Let the wenches dawdle in such dress
As they are used to wear, and let the boys
Bring flowers in last month's newspapers.
Let be be finale of seem.
The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.

Take from the dresser of deal.
Lacking the three glass knobs, that sheet
On which she embroidered fantails once
And spread it so as to cover her face.
If her horny feet protrude, they come
To show how cold she is, and dumb.
Let the lamp affix its beam.
The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.


D— This is carnival-speak in the first stanza, almost a step-right-up! "Let be be the finale of seem." Comes in, a surprise among surprises, how we make the carnival, the poem, the emperor real by the sheer power of "Let," by entering into it (as taking "from the dresser of deal.")

I hope others chime in soon as this is such an intricate "sheet" you spread for us here.

D— It seems to me the backstage ("dresser") or the admin office ("deal"). The "she" is a puzzle for me, though I have some ideas... but perhaps following you, alas, no AHA moment. That "sheet" too: is it fabric or paper, music sheet, contract, or bed sheet (or poem)? Need we entertain sheets in ice-cream making, like that paper rolled around the cone? But anyway, putting it over her face like that, for protection maybe (though markedly insufficient) or for the preservation of something? Notably, it seems she is not at all absorbed by her design, her fantails so close to her face that she most likely won't be able to see them. But visually, for the reader, the design encompasses her, save for the protruding feet.

On those feet, they're part of the seeming now, the design. As the fantails are, in the duration of the poem, a part of the being of this "she" (for we know more of this sheet than of the character, as if even in words she is covered by it).

An off-tangent: that lamp which somehow counters cold/dumb reminds me of the hot lamp (peri-light) they use on the mother's wound postpartum.

A— i've been avoiding reading the second stanza as a deathbed scene, though in many ways it is, with the sheet over the face, cold, dumb, so forth. maybe because i'd like to see something else other than capital D death in the emperor of ice cream. because if that's the case, then i think 'let be be the finale of seem' means that only death is real, or nothing but death takes us beyond performance, seeming, projecting. thus: "The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream."

D— Yes, it's another Stevens poem. And what a title coming from the maker of "The Idea of Order at Key West"! Looking forward to your take.

D— Aside from the fleeting taste and density, the surprising inclusion of ice cream seem to involve other things: children, childhood, leisure, Sundays. I am reminded of the Buddhist meta-parable where the father uses enticements (toys, carts) to draw his children out of the burning house.

Ago 28, 2014

At nasaan na kaya ang tinuring mong kayamanan

mga liham ko sa iyo bago kita pinagtaksilan at
pagkatapos, ang ilang piling pagsusumamo:

a) naka-scan sa hard drive ng tatay mo, b) ibinugkos
ng lasti, nakasuksok sa kawayan ng

lelang, k) abo

ang dadalawang totoo sa aking mga salita;
kaunting hiling ko noon ay dali-dali mong ibinibigay.

Munting Panalangin

ni Weldon Kees
aking salin

Magbago, gumalaw, patay na orasan, nang bumuka ang liwayway
Upang silawin ng sariwang liwanag itong mga sakiting mata.
Magliyab, manggilas, matandang araw, kay tagal nang hindi nakikita,
Nang matagpuang muli ng panahon ang tunog nito, at linisin
Ano man iyon na naaalala ng sugat
Pagkawakas ng paghihilom.

Ago 26, 2014


Received the invitation, thanks for the trust, but I was under the impression that I disappointed you guys during the December workshop. Can't come, out of good faith. Best of luck to this as it seems to me a worthy activity.


Ginising niya ako para tabihan siya ("kami ni Chim") sa pagtulog. Kinse minutos ito bago ang nakatakda sa aking alarm. Wala na pala silang katabi dahil inihatid na ng kanyang ninang at lola ang lolo sa trabaho nito sa Rizal. Sabi ko, teka lang ha, at ginising ko ang kanyang ina para tabihan siya. Tinapos ko ang ilang ehersisyong sasagutan ng mga estudyante mamaya tungkol sa mga kuwento nina Borges at Bautista. Malikhain ang ikalawang bahagi ng sesyon, bagay na hindi maiiwasan sapagkat iyon mismo ang kurso. "Patience is a virtue." "Bakit naglalaro na naman kayo ng laway? Gusto nyo paglaki nyo magi kayong kamel?" Kalahati siyang tulog, kalahating gising, at katabi na niya ang kanyang ina. Malamig ang dampi sa kanyang pisngi ng madaling araw. "Happy birthday, Elishamelt."

Ago 25, 2014

Note on Rae Armantrout's "Transactions"


What do we like best
about ourselves?

Our inability
to be content.

We might see this

as a chip
not yet cashed in.


You appear
because you’re lonely

You would not say that.

You come to tell me
you’re saving money
by cooking for yourself.

You’ve figured out
what units you’ll need

to exchange for units
if you intend

I know I mustn’t


Hectic and flexible,


are ideal

new bodies for us!


D— Since you marked the medical definition of "intention," let's also note that Red Cross units are units of blood. Not exactly off-topic, since bodies will be mentioned in the third movement.

Notes on Kay Ryan’s "Turtle"

Who would be a turtle who could help it?
A barely mobile hard roll, a four-oared helmet,
she can ill afford the chances she must take
in rowing toward the grasses that she eats.
Her track is graceless, like dragging
a packing-case places, and almost any slope
defeats her modest hopes. Even being practical,
she's often stuck up to the axle on her way
to something edible. With everything optimal,
she skirts the ditch which would convert
her shell into a serving dish. She lives
below luck-level, never imagining some lottery
will change her load of pottery to wings.
Her only levity is patience,
the sport of truly chastened things.


Flamingo Watching, by Kay Ryan

Wherever the flamingo goes,  
she brings a city’s worth
of furbelows. She seems
unnatural by nature—
too vivid and peculiar
a structure to be pretty,
and flexible to the point  
of oddity. Perched on
those legs, anything she does  
seems like an act. Descending  
on her egg or draping her head  
along her back, she’s
too exact and sinuous
to convince an audience
she’s serious. The natural elect,  
they think, would be less pink,  
less able to relax their necks,  
less flamboyant in general.
They privately expect that it’s some  
poorly jointed bland grey animal  
with mitts for hands
whom God protects.

A— Are these the metapoetic lines? Is the flamingo itself to be taken as poetry, "God" the poet?

too vivid and peculiar
a structure to be pretty,
and flexible to the point
of oddity. Perched on

D— These poems, so rich and layered. So while yes, as you say, they seem more accessible, I also find how so much could be said of either of these. I'd like to investigate three things (perhaps, three fortuities): the gendering of turtle (as well as the flamingo, a she instead of either being it or he), "luck-level", and that last pair of lines, how patience could be a levity and a sport, how the "she" ends up among "chastened things".

D— Yes, and for patience to become sport, because it is the only thing left outside of just giving up. The next breath is the prize of this "sport", the next step, the next moment. For some reason, reading it this way exalts the turtle for me, makes her seem closer to the core truth of things than the rest of the world.

A Measuring Worm, by Richard Wilbur

This yellow striped green
Caterpillar, climbing up
The steep window screen,

Constantly (for lack
Of a full set of legs) keeps
Humping up his back.

It’s as if he sent
By a sort of semaphore
Dark omegas meant

To warn of Last Things.
Although he doesn’t know it,
He will soon have wings,

And I, too, don’t know
Toward what undreamt condition
Inch by inch I go.

D— From now on, I hope to see a caterpillar whenever I see an omega. The first stanza immediately transported me to Yellow and Stripe of "Hope for the Flowers," but I like how internal this poem is (well at least for me), how it opens us up to the unknown (undreamt!) fraught with both fear and hope (Last Things, but also wings).

D— Happy holidays as well, and thanks for this welcome addition! Pink seems almost set up against think in that line, but why should this be so? Pink as the color of infant's skin, or maladaptive coloration in animals, or the standard of teens?

D— Nice portraiture. Not only of a young lady, but also of a mother beholding her daughter. "Flamingo Watching" for me claims that everything—particularly the unexpected—is within the ambit of poetry, and you've proven how close a close reading can feel. I hope I shall prove as perceptive as you when my own daughters come of age. My princesses and lovers of pink who, being the kids they are, must find it difficult (and unreasonably so!) "to convince an audience/ [they're] serious."

D— This is a lovely, creative, but still very close reading. Currently re-reading in terms of the anxieties and concerns outlined in your poem.

Ago 23, 2014

Salamat V—

Sa mga nakalipas na halakhak, sa dalawampu't pitong taon, sa anumang napipinto at hindi pa natin maaninagan, sa mga tadhana nating ubod ng pusyaw (so far), at sa napakalaking bagay na ito.

Notes on Afaa Michael Weaver’s "Blues in Five/Four, the Violence in Chicago"

                    In movies about the end of our civilization
                    toys fill the broken spaces of cities, flipping over
                    in streets where children are all hoodlums, big kids
                    painting themselves in neon colors, while the women
                    … laugh, following the men into a love of madness.

                    Still shots show emptiness tearing the eyes of the last
                    of us who grew to be old, the ones the hoodlums
                    prop up in shadows, throwing garbage at us,
                    taping open our eyes, forcing us to study the dead
                    in photos torn from books in burned down libraries.

                    Chicago used to be Sundays at Gladys’ Luncheonette
                    where church folk came and ate collard greens and chicken
                    after the sermons that rolled out in black churches, sparkling
                    tapestries of words from preachers’ mouths, prayer books,
                    tongues from Tell Me, Alabama, and Walk On, Mississippi.

                    Now light has left us, the sun blocked out by shreds
                    of what history becomes when apathy shreds it,
                    becoming a name the bad children give themselves
                    as they laugh and threaten each other while we starve
                    for the laughter we were used to before the end came.






DENNIS— What violent shifts from stanza to stanza. The "collard greens" and the churchyard of the third stanza that Sarah mentions dragged us, as it were, to that fourth stanza, that is, back to the state depicted in the "movies" of the first stanza. I'm still puzzling over the progression here, but there seems to be (at least) four media involved, movies in the first stanza, stills (in books) in the second, the prayer books (rolling out into "sparkling/ tapestries"), and lastly history (are they texts, shredded?) from which the names of the next generation are derived.

More than these texts, what I find fascinating's how the relationship of the "folk" differs from stanza to stanza. In the second, the twilight of the persona's generation, they are forced to view with eyes taped open. I assume this is the doing of the younger generation, the strong hoodlums. But if so, why? What's the point of propping up their parents or grandparents? Is this a punishment of sorts, an accusation: "Behold what you have wrought"?

In the third stanza, the persona's generation, younger then, congregate around texts, I imagine singing, and those idyllic lunches of how are the kids, did you catch what the preacher said, tell Martha her potato salad's as fine as it gets.

Then in the fourth, history (or its shreds) becomes a name, a bad name, perhaps those same type of names prohibited in those Sundays of yore. I feel there's much more to this stanza (why was history shredded and donned as a bad name instead of just plain thrown away or buried?). Will definitely return to this poem later.

I don't know if anybody will agree, but there seems to me a distance between what the poet knows and what the persona knows. The persona is shocked, terrified, mournful, but almost always baffled. What has become of this land? It's all going to the dogs.

Maybe this confusion is necessary for the poem, maybe this is why his generation's being forced to look at pictures of the dead, why their eyes are taped open. Perhaps his generation had been turning a blind eye, already fostering the apathy he would later call to account in the fourth stanza.

It also proves that history has been shredded, not only for the rest of land and its hoodlums, but also, though to a much lesser extent, for the persona. Otherwise, he'd have the answer to his own implicit whys.

But the arrangement of the stanzas, the flash-forward (of sorts) of the first and the flashback of the third, indicates a clear understanding of what went wrong. Perhaps there's more to that third stanza than the persona realizes, that something in that Sunday sparkle—or something denied by it—would bloom into the apathy that would someday shred history to blot out the sun.


DENNIS— Thanks. The 'word' makes so much sense. (And I wonder what people/generations think of using it: a strange word that's both erasure and emphasis.) Rap song after rap song erupted in my mind when I read your paragraph, and yes, I've never really paid attention to how these utterances affect the parent or grandparent generations.

Why do the kids embrace the word, by the way? Ownership? Take-the-power-back sort of statement? Giving everybody else the finger? Having fun?


DENNIS— That makes sense too. And it's problematic—even doubly so—that it terrifies their own elders.





Ago 20, 2014

Notes on Saeed Jones’s "Last Call"

                 Night presses the gunmetal O of its open mouth
                 against my own & I can’t help how I answer.

                 He is the taste of smoke, mesquite-laced tip
                 of the tongue. Silhouetted, a body always

                 pulling away, but shirt collar in my fists,
                 I pull him back. Need another double-black

                 kiss. I’ve got more hunger than my body can hold.
                 Bloated with want, I’m the man who waits

                 for the moon to drown before I let the lake
                 grab my ankles & take me into its muddy mouth.

                 They say a city is at the bottom of all that water.
                 Oh, marauder. Make me a drink. I’m on my way.



DENNIS—That audio. I see how you mean about it being about sleep. I’d read it as about that (and as about death) if "Night" and "He" were taken as one and the same. But if "Night" were merely a prelude to "He," a charged atmosphere of anticipation, or externalized desire, then a sexual reading takes the upper hand (without, I think, dispelling sleep, death, or other forms of defeat or surrender as possible "co-readings").

Been following the shifts from dominant to subordinate (or, aggressor/victim, seducer/target).

In the first stanzas, the persona is pressed upon by the night, but this shifts in the third stanza, where the "I" pulls back the "He" that pulls away. In the fourth stanza, the "I" is again overwhelmed, this time by "hunger" and "want" and shifts entirely to the passive "I am the man who waits." (This line recalls Barthes’s usual discourse: "The lover’s fatal identity is precisely this: I am the one who waits.")

It’s passive from this point on: "I let the lake/ grab my ankles" until "Make me drink." Unless we choose to stress the imperative tone in "Make me drink." Formulations such as "Enslave me" are really curious, because if the aggressor responds positively, then he/she is acquiescing, thus being dominated. If the aggressor responds negatively, then he/she is rejecting the functions of the dominant position.

"I’m on my way." Well, that could translate to "I’m coming," but I wonder if there’s more to it than merely that.




Ago 19, 2014


ni Jorge Luis Borges
aking salin

Nagkatagpo sina Kain at Abel makalipas ang kamatayan ni Abel. Naglalakad sila sa disyerto, at nakilala nila ang isa't isa sa malayo pa lamang dahil kapwa silang matatangkad na lalaki. Umupo sa lupa ang magkapatid, nagpaningas ng apoy, at kumain. Tahimik sila sa kanilang pagkakaupo, gaya ng pag-upo ng mga taong hapo habang nagtatakip-silim. Sa alapaap ay kumikislap ang isang bituin, kahit hindi pa ito napapangalanan. Sa liwanag ng apoy, nakita ni Kain ang pagkakakintal sa noo ni Abel ng tanda ng bato, at kanyang nahulog ang tinapay na muntik nang isubo at humingi ng tawad sa kanyang kapatid.

"Ikaw ba ang pumatay sa akin, o ako ba ang pumatay sa iyo?" Tugon ni Abel. "Hindi ko na maalala; narito naman tayo at magkasama, gaya ng dati."

"Ngayon, alam kong napatawad mo na akong talaga," sabi ni Kain, "dahil ang paglimot ay pagpapatawad. Ako rin, susubukan ko ring makalimot."

"Oo," mabagal na wika ni Abel. "Hangga't nananatili ang pagsisisi, nananatili ang pagkakasala."

Ago 17, 2014

Bb Buwan ng Wika

—je t'offrirai des perles de pluie venues de pays où il ne pleut pas

Munting bahaghari, pumarine ka.
Ikaw ang usap-usapan, na mas mapintog
ang iyong pisngi sa pisngi ng anghel ng kasaysayan,

at kung malalalaos man ay ikaw yung tipong masayahin,
may sariling bisnes, hindi basta
niloko ng manedyer tas namasukang labandera

tas itinanghal ang talambuhay sa tele
sa huwad na anyo ng isang liham. Hindi masamang maglaba,
o hirang,

o makulay na bula ng maraming bata.
Huwag tayong papayag na ikaw pa ang lalapit.
Magtira ka naman ng kahihiyan sa mga magulang mo

dahil hindi ka pinag-aral upang magpapisil
sa kung sinong poncio pilatong matatas bumigkas. Teka
may anino ka pala . . . ipakilala mo naman.

Ago 8, 2014

Dear P—

Hi, again. Been years.

I wrote because a revision of the old scenario is in order: I'll still cook for your boy, but now it can be done with firewood. I've been practicing. My father always had what he called a dirty kitchen, even back when the apartments we got were smaller. The set-up served us well whenever the gas ran out and we couldn't get a fresh tank delivered on time.

But that was then, P—. What we have here's a lightweight grill for charcoal. I don't want to wear it down, so now I'm just using it for drying wood. Moved the pot to an earthen stove dug at the foot of the kaymito. Forgot that I could work fire with wood and rock. Never had my father's green thumb... but the red index? Please. What remains is to learn (or remember) how to adjust the taste of various stews to the smoky water (they can be very sensitive). But really, how to learn this... I can't just throw the soup should smoke get the better of it. Learning has ever been a wasteful process. Teachers are creatures of garbage.

You're a delinquent so you know this by heart, but how's he doing? Should I ask? It's often the first thing to ask, what'd you finish? Have you finished? What are you working on? How's work? How many mouths are you feeding? With what quality the spoon?

How many questions before we get to how many times do you think of your mother? Specify the nature and content of these thoughts. Ha! Hey Ms., I'm missing the hate. Bring back the hate.

By the way, I know exactly what to give your son, but I hope he can bring a car because the gift would be confiscated if those checkpoints at SLEX and MRT are still active. I hope he can bring a car without bringing too many friends. Too-many-friends will mean an amazing amount of small talk, all surface, nothing going. So he should call first. And he shouldn't bring any gifts... wait.

Unless it's that picture of you at your brother's wedding when you were afraid you hadn't jogged enough and the dress caught up with you so you showed it to me all of three seconds, maybe less. Yes, I'd take that. It will feel like having won at something big and secret. What do you think, will he carry that?I mean the picture, not the dress itself. (What to do with one more dress? This is a house of daughters! And wow, that must have been twelve years of mothballs. On top of everything that a dress might have lost, that thought of those mothballs dwindling to bits.)

Those checkpoints are tricky, the more I think about them. He ought to have my gift, but I don't want him getting into trouble. I could cover it in rubber or something, maybe bury it in one of those styro blocks, the type that comes with new refrigerators. I'll carve and paint the block until it looks like a toy firetruck, but I'm telling you, he'll have to seem like a parent. Or better yet, let him earn it! Just like the rest of us.

Ago 6, 2014


Wala akong nabuo para sa iyo ngayon. May naisalin, oo, pero hindi para sa iyo. Wala naman akong panata o kung anuman, pero parang mas maganda lang na may kung ano. Na para sa iyo lang. Nagpakulo ako ng tubig sa kahoy, ayun, pero hindi rin para sa iyo. Ni hindi rin para makapagkape kami rito. Mas para sa kahoy pa nga yata, nang hindi masayang.

Nag-aamoy-usok ang mga damit dito, at ako, pero ano ngayon kung ilalayo o ilalapit sa iyo ng hangin ang usok dito?

Alam mo, parang napakanatural na nakapaglakad tayo rito sa amin, sa lower campus, kahit hindi naman iyon talagang nangyari at sa CCP pa tayo huling nagkita. Nga lang, ayun, napakanatural lang kasi. Siguro makalipas lang ang lima o pitong taon, makukumbinse ko na ang aking sarili na nangyari ang paglalakad na iyon, tamang lakad lang sa Carabao Park, sa may DevCom, tumatawa ka at hindi ako tumututol. Kanina, matagal-tagal rin akong tumigil para lang seguruhing hindi talaga naganap ang pangyayaring ito, na napakanatural nga kasing isiping nangyari. Nasa likod ang iyong mga kamay, nakatuon sa aking mga salita ang kabuuan ng iyong pansin, at napapahiya ako dahil sa iyong paraan ng pakikinig, tutok na tutok, napakamapagbigay kung tumango, napakatindi ng pagdulog, ng paghihintay... pero sa... ano? Instruksyon? Ramdam ko tuloy ang aking kakulangan bilang kausap; sana'y may masasabing kahit ano basta okey sa iyo, pero ayun, mukhang wala. At hindi na kailan pa magkakaroon.

Buti na lang at hindi kita pinagsayang ng oras, hindi ka niyayang magbiyahe papunta rito. Kung tutuusin, marami ka namang maaaring maging pakay rito. Maililibre naman kita ng, ewan, shawarma? Pero ayun, mas maganda kung may iba kang kikitain at kung sadyang mas matagal ang panahon mo sa kanila.


Excuse tol ha? Hehe. Ipinaskil ko lang para klaro.

Hindi nga pala ako nakadalo sa SONA. Parang gusto kong mag-sorry sa iyo, paumanhin-paumanhin, pero bakit nga ba e hindi ka rin naman nakapunta. Huy, maligayang ha? Ingat diyan.

Ilaw na Berde

ni Kenneth Fearing
aking salin

Binili sa botika, murang-mura lang; tapos, isinangla.
Maya-maya'y narinig sa kalsada; nakita sa liwasan.
Pamilyar, pero hindi naman talaga nakilala.
Sinundan at inuwi at isiniping sa kama.
Ikinalakal o binenta. O naiwala.

Muling binili sa botika sa kanto,
Sa ilaw na berde, sa kahilingan ng pasyente, sa ganap na alas nuwebe.
Muling binasa at sinaulo at muling sinusian.
Nakitang hindi naaangkop.
Winasak, pinagtagni-tagni, at isinangla.

Narinig sa kalsada, nakita sa panaginip, narinig sa liwasan, nakita
                  sa liwanag ng umaga;
Isang gabi'y masusing siniyasat ng lihim na ahente para sa Greek
                  Hydraulic Mining Commission, hindi ito nakauniporme,
                  wala ito sa trabaho.
Maraming sinulat ang ahente, mga sipi, putol-putol ang Ingles. Na kanyang
Kakaiba, ngunit hindi pambihira.
Nakalulungkot, ngunit totoo.

Totoo, o pagmamalabis, o totoo;
Tulad ng katotohanang tumatawa ang mga tao at lumilipad at mga maya;
Tulad ng pagmamalabis na nagbabago ang mga tao, at nananatili ang dagat;
Tulad ng ganito, na sadyang umaalis ang mga tao;
Tulad nito, na patuloy lang ang mga ilaw at gabi na at ito'y seryoso, at
                  parehas lang din;
Tulad nito, may namatay na tao at ito'y seryoso, at parehas lang din;
Tulad ng nalalaman ng batang babae, at ito'y maliit at totoo;
Tulad ng maaaring nalalaman ng tumatao sa hardware sa kanto, na totoo,
                  na walang saysay;
Tulad ng nalalaman ng matandang lalaki, na nakasusuya't katawa-tawa, ngunit totoo;
Tulad ng pagtawa ng mga tao, tulad ng pag-iisip ng mga tao, tulad ng pagbabago
                  ng mga tao,
Seryoso ito at parehas lang din, pagmamalabis man o katotohanan.

Binili sa botika doon sa may kalsada
Kung saan umiihip ang hangin at dumaraan ang mga makina at palagi na lamang
                  gabi, o umaga;
Binili upang magamit bilang huling mapanghahawakan,
Binili upang makapagmalaki sa estatwaryo sa liwasan.
Binili sa mas mababang presyo, sa ilaw na berde, sa ganap na alas nuwebe.
Hiniram o binili. Para magmukhang maganda. Para magpadakila. Para umiwas
                  sa sakit. Para magbigay-aliw. Para magkaroon.
Nasira o nabenta. O naipamigay. O nagamit at nakalimutan. O naiwala.

Ago 4, 2014

It is difficult / every day / is found there

   walls won't mean the strip between
   outside zero receipts blooming, you
   C, Clinics for the Sleep-Impaired

though not our children, they're children why

           can't that rest well enough
   had genii been invited by plane to apprehend

Say No to Wake

                "For whosoever flees from iron                   
                               runs greenly into glass

Ago 3, 2014

Notes on Mary Ruefle's "During a Break From Feeling"

            Someone will tell you the number of your story
            When you are called be ready to act your story
            Read the story again to see if you have everything on your list
            Act so the other boys and girls will know which story is yours

            Then it twists into something more like Life Advice:

            Do not be disappointed if your story is not as good as the others
            Happiness is not always good, it can lead to lacklusterness

            Word is the only word true to itself

            Giant glory of snow, go tell your story
            Little flakes, know when to stop




DENNIS—Winner of a choice. Maybe "Word is the only word true to itself" is a sort of assurance. If we imagine a teacher, as you put it, and she's telling the kid, hey just tell your story, act it out for all to see. And one reading of this may have an absent (or absented) instruction don't worry, anyway "Word is the only word true to itself".

Taken that way, it seems to have a calming, coaxing effect. But it's also saying that "your" story is not "yours" at all, not truly, for only the word "word" belongs to itself, represents itself as representation, thus most sincerely.

Reflecting on your notes regarding erasure poetry and they bring me to believe that there's a good deal of meta going on here, it's saying that acting as if it's yours is all it takes, it's your story even if you just picked up a number. The point seems to me that since all stories go through words (which are less true to themselves than "word" anyway) then all stories, no matter how authentic or heartfelt, it's all actually just drawing lots, making things fit, acting words out to the point that they're yours, and indisputably so.


DENNIS—I missed that God imagery (not to mention the pregnant pause), but yes, it's there come to think of it, not only in "Giant glory" but most importantly in "Word" and maybe that's what tangentially leads to pregnancy, after all "...the Word was made flesh..."

That's a cool hobby: stay insane!

But how about that title: "During a Break From Feeling" . . . maybe that "break" also has something to do with the pregnancy of the pause?






DENNIS—The Pessoa link was a surprise, and is definitely fertile. Thanks for this thread! Eager for the next one.


Ago 2, 2014

Made Proud

a lake will never belong to me.
The pigeons swelling; hello

            this was washed along with the jeans, but here. Have a mint
          lean gatherers of beans, milkers

When you said "pulling my leg" what body
of water was I being led to

to believe in?
switch it off, as these journalists tend to ruin

               finding the webs of others useful, shapely
pigeons alighting or not
                       informed by shrapnel wheeling on gurneys

                            your people, forever. But not your museums
                            Leaving is not coming to terms.