I like words. I like fat buttery words, such as ooze, turpitude, glutinous, toady. I like solemn, angular, creaky words, such as straitlaced, cantankerous, pecunious, valedictory. I like spurious, black-is-white words, such as mortician, liquidate, tonsorial, demi-monde. I like suave “V” words, such as Svengali, svelte, bravura, verve. I like crunchy, brittle, crackly words, such as splinter, grapple, jostle, crusty. I like sullen, crabbed, scowling words, such as skulk, glower, scabby, churl. I like Oh-Heavens, my-gracious, land’s-sake words, such as tricksy, tucker, genteel, horrid. I like elegant, flowery words, such as estivate, peregrinate, elysium, halcyon. I like wormy, squirmy, mealy words, such as crawl, blubber, squeal, drip. I like sniggly, chuckling words, such as cowlick, gurgle, bubble and burp.
I like the word screenwriter better than copywriter, so I decided to quit my job in a New York advertising agency and try my luck in Hollywood, but before taking the plunge I went to Europe for a year of study, contemplation and horsing around.
I have just returned and I still like words.
May I have a few with you?”
- Robert Pirosh
there’s a hell of a good universe next door; let’s go
- e.e. cummings
Driving, dogs barking, how you get used to it, how you make
the new street yours.
Trees outside the window and a big band sound that makes you feel like
a feeling that lasts for one song maybe,
the parentheses all clicking shut behind you.
The way we move through time and space, or only time.
The way it’s night for many miles, and then suddenly
it’s not, it’s breakfast
and you’re standing in the shower for over an hour,
holding the bar of soap up to the light.
I will keep watch. I will water the yard.
Knot the tie and go to work. Unknot the tie and go to sleep.
I sleep. I dream. I make up things
that I would never say. I say them very quietly.
The trees in wind, the streetlights on,
the click and flash of cigarettes
being smoked on the lawn, and just a little kiss before we say goodnight.
It spins like a wheel inside you: green yellow, green blue,
green beautiful green.
It’s simple: it isn’t over, it’s just begun. It’s green. It’s still green.
— Richard Siken
we have to get a divorce
i know that seems like an odd way to start a love letter but let me explain:
it’s not you
it sure as hell isn’t me
it’s just human beings don’t love as well as insects do
i love you.. far too much to let what we have be ruined by the failings of our species
i saw the way you looked at the waiter last night
i know you would never DO anything, you never do but..
i saw the way you looked at the waiter last night
did you know that when a female fly accepts the pheromones put off by a male fly, it re-writes her brain, destroys the receptors that receive pheromones, sensing the change, the male fly does the same. when two flies love each other they do it so hard, they will never love anything else ever again. if either one of them dies before procreation can happen both sets of genetic code are lost forever. now that… is dedication.
after Elizabeth and i broke up we spent three days dividing everything we had bought together
like if i knew what pots were mine like if i knew which drapes were mine somehow the pain would go away
this is not true
after two praying mantises mate, the nervous system of the male begins to shut down
while he still has control over his motor functions
he flops onto his back, exposing his soft underbelly up to his lover like a gift
she then proceeds to lovingly dice him into tiny cubes
spooning every morsel into her mouth
she wastes nothing
even the exoskeleton goes
she does this so that once their children are born she has something to regurgitate to feed them
now that.. is selflessness
i could never do that for you
so i have a new plan
i’m gonna leave you now
i’m gonna spend the rest of my life committing petty injustices
i hope you do the same
i will jay walk at every opportunity
i will steal things i could easily afford
i will be rude to strangers
i hope you do the same
i hope reincarnation is real
i hope our petty crimes are enough to cause us to be reborn as lesser creatures
i hope we are reborn as flies
so that we can love each other as hard as we were meant to.
An Entomologist’s Last Love Letter/Jared Singer
Lately and Ma Cherie Amour/Stevie Wonder
Poetry Makes Nothing Happen: Thoughts on Ai Weiwei from the India
I looked at all the trees and didn’t know what to do.
A box made out of leaves.
What else was in the woods? A heart, closing. Nevertheless.
Everyone needs a place. It shouldn’t be inside of someone else.
I kept my mind on the moon. Cold moon, long nights moon.
From the landscape: a sense of scale.
From the dead: a sense of scale.
I turned my back on the story. A sense of superiority.
Everything casts a shadow.
Your body told me in a dream it’s never been afraid of anything.
Detail of the Woods/Richard Siken
I want you to tell me about every person you’ve ever been in love with. Tell me why you loved them, then tell me why they loved you. Tell me about a day in your life you didn’t think you’d live through. Tell me what the word “home” means to you and tell me in a way that I’ll know your mothers name just by the way you describe your bed room when you were 8. See, I wanna know the first time you felt the weight of hate and if that day still trembles beneath your bones.
Do you think that anger is a sincere emotion or just the timid motion of a fragile heart trying to beat away its pain? See, I wanna know what you think of your first name. And if you often lie awake at night and imagine your mothers joy when she spoke it for the very first time. I want you tell me all the ways you’ve been unkind. Tell me all the ways you’ve been cruel. Tell me, knowing I often picture Gandhi at ten years old beating up little boys at school. If you were walking by a chemical plant, where smoke stacks were filling the sky with dark, black clouds, would you holler, “Poison! Poison! Poison!” really loud or would you whisper, “That cloud looks like a fish, and that cloud looks like a fairy”? Do you believe that Mary was really a virgin? Do you believe that Moses really parted the sea?
See, I wanna know if you believe in any God, or if you believe in many gods. Or better yet, what gods believe in you. And for all the times you’ve knelt before the temple of yourself, have the prayers you’ve asked come true? And if they didn’t did you feel denied? And if you felt denied, denied by who[m]? I wanna know what you see when you look in the mirror on a day you’re feeling good. I wanna know what you see in the mirror on a day you’re feeling bad. I wanna know the first person who ever taught you your beauty could ever be reflected on a lousy piece of glass. If you ever reach enlightenment, will you remember how to laugh? Have you ever been a song? Would you think less of me if I told you I have lived my entire life a little off key and I’m not nearly as smart as my poetry, I just plagiarized the thoughts of the people around me who have learned the wisdom of silence. Do you believe that concrete perpetuates violence? And if you do I want you to tell me of a meadow where my skateboard will soar. See, I wanna know more than what you do for a living. I wanna know how much of your life you spend just giving. And if you love yourself enough to also receive sometimes. I wanna know if you bleed sometimes through other people’s wounds.
If a tree fell in the forest, and you were the only one there to hear it, if its fall to the ground didn’t make a sound, would you panic in fear that you didn’t exist or would you bask in the bliss of your nothingness?
Asking Too Much/Andrea Gibson