Monthly Archives: April 2010

art happens



-for angelo-

black lilies
the night is stretched tight across my chest
but i have nothing to say with
all that stale air.
Quiet sky, painted black vacuum sleep.
No sounds counter my swelling organ
that i cant patch in ice without
cracking messy bones.
I am stuck with such fixing and tragic
carvings on my book of life
or line or letter, i know not how small we are
and if this is tragedy or a movement
that old romance ghosts understand.
So much broken glass
they are taken for stars, beautiful
tears taken for art-
Damn beauty, tonight at least.
What is its name now?
I had my name for it. We named and made it and poured it on anything:
rusty coins, misspellings. The cast overs.
There are no stories of death from this
slow and pulsing pull alone, of which I know
but I am feeling that I could be the first.

my branches lost their sky
but how could this be
the sky was everywhere
the sky was in our arms.

sunday april eighteenth two thousand and ten

If this crazy unlikely idea ends up working out… just for my own records, today might be worth remembering.

Dear America,

Do not be troubled. It is not hard to start a band and make music and look great.

P.S. Don’t worry about lip-synching well at all. Nobody will notice.

The Management.


-for elliott


Now my sympathies lie with volcanoes
only. Vomiting their passionate mess
barely holding their shape
creating beautiful islands from alacrity
spewed from heart to head at will
or burst agape by the center of the world.
My cheek, warm to touch
from the slick magma in my veins,
molten greek stone to be set as gods
simply through bloodletting like the headless hills of fire.
But I know a stain is not an effigy
and I watch the burning mountains with envy.
The payments come in today
and I wonder if I still want that carving knife
on sale in the Square, for three denarii
an hours walk in the showering ash.


People who can actually write

Current readings. Mostly poetry, and one scary enormous novel that I feel extremely pretentious/foolish reading.

bare hands in bear country

Every so often I put myself in situations where death is a feasible outcome. Climbing extremely high and uncomfortably vertical mountains made entirely of boulders which have collapsed on each other was yesterday’s event, and like every other time I do something like this, it left me with two things:


1. Aching for safety.

2. A re-prioritized life.


It doesn’t matter how cool you think you are, once your feet are in jeopardy of ground contact, everybody starts losing their minds, and you won’t find it again until you find your footing. A person has to be comfortable in order to be in a place where they can worry about things like matching clothes and the stupid music Pete listens to. On the tightrope of even slight peril or uncertainty, everything is tossed out the window at least temporarily for the absolutely vital. Nobody slipped and almost fell to their certain and traumatic deaths on the climb, but the possibility of it was almost constantly breathing down all our faces, and my imagination ran off slippery cliffs enough times to make hesitation more than just survival instinct. A lot of times on the way to the summit, I was thinking about falling more than finding the best foothold, and I kept having fleeting visions of being back in my dorm, the mountain conquered and everyone safe in their beds.

It does no good to keep imagining the worst case scenarios again and again, nor does just wishing yourself across the finish line. Eventually I started to just trust a little, and bouldering started to become an adventure. After coming back down, eating a flame-cooked meal, shivering through a cold windy night, and a long four hour drive home, I realized that my state of mind was on far more important things than on the ride to the campsite.

Interesting. The medicine of danger, faith, and survival. Fun is in there somewhere as well.