Monday, January 17, 2011

something new

dry hot scraping rust, unbreathable, stopping up your throat until you can hardly manage a whisper. and they say, use your own voice, use your own sounds but it’s no use. there are many more hands around your neck -- real or fake. spend 8 hours a day at it. 12 if you have to, many more if you’re lucky. you want to be a muse for the one you know should be inspiring you. but you’ve stopped trying. stopped reflecting. stopped feeling. a lethargic puny scum choking yourself through the thought, the mere thought, of rust. the inescapable dryness of it. the unholy appearance of its surface like crusty ridges hardening into one another in the dark. in the wet. naked, neglected metal. you hear the sounds of two cars scraping up against each other, unraveling the paint off the sides to reveal the hot sharp layer beneath. you choke up because you then feel the whole chalkboard against your nails, taste the thick spice without any liquid respite nearby. you curl your fingers in so the nails sink into your flesh but that doesn’t help either. from the backseat on the drive home, home to your native land, you can only feel the screeching scrape of every car out there burning up against yours as your seatbelt closes in, clutching at your throat.

Monday, January 10, 2011

energy, please renew thyself

i need to work like dr. frankenstein. mary shelley really knew what's up. this is how inspiration and creation and art should be made. damn.

"A human being in perfection ought always to preserve a calm and peaceful mind and never to allow passion or a transitory desire to disturb his tranquility. I do not think that the pursuit of knowledge is an exception to this rule. If the study to which you apply yourself has a tendency to weaken your affections and destroy your taste for those simple pleasures in which no alloy can possibly mix, then that study is certainly unlawful, that is to say, not benefitting the human mind. If this rule were always observed; if no man allowed any pursuit whatsoever to interfere with the tranquility of his domestic affections, Greece had not been enslaved, Caesar would have spared his country, America would have been discovered more gradually, and the empires of Mexico and Peru had not been destroyed." 

-Frankenstein, Mary Shelley

Friday, January 7, 2011


"Everything must have a beginning, to speak in Sanchean phrase; and that beginning must be linked to something that went before. The Hindus give the world an elephant to support it, but they make the elephant stand upon a tortoise. Invention, it must be humbly admitted, does not consist in creating out of void, but out of chaos; the materials must, in the first place, be afforded: it can give form to dark, shapeless substances but cannot bring into being the substance itself. In all matters of discovery and invention, even of those that appertain to the imagination, we are continually reminded of the story of Columbus and his egg. Invention consists in the capacity of seizing on the capabilities of a subject and in the power of moulding and fashioning ideas suggested by it."

-Mary Shelley, in her introduction to Frankenstein

Thursday, January 6, 2011

so in love with you, walt

the perfect cure for winter despondency:

"I am the poet of the Body and I am the poet of the Soul,
The pleasures of heaven are with me and the pains of hell are with me,
The first I graft and increase upon myself, the latter I translate into a new tongue.

I am the poet of the woman the same as the man,
And I say it is as great to be a woman as to be a man,
And I say there is nothing greater than the mother of men.

I chant the chant of dilation or pride,
We have had ducking and deprecating about enough,
I show that size is only development.

Have you outstript the rest? are you the President?
It is a trifle, they will more than arrive there every one, and still pass on.

I am he that walks with the tender and growing night,
I call to the earth and sea half-held by the night.

Press close bare-bosom'd night -- press close magnetic nourishing night!
Night of south winds -- night of the large few stars!
Still nodding night -- mad naked summer night.

Smile O voluptuous cool-breath'd earth!
Earth of the slumbering and liquid trees!
Earth of departed sunset -- earth of the mountains misty-topt!
Earth of the vitreous pour of the full moon just tinged with blue!
Earth of shine and dark mottling the tide of the river!
Earth of the limpid gray of clouds brighter and clearer for my sake!
Far-swooping elbow'd earth -- rich apple-blossom'd earth!
Smile, for your lover comes.

Prodigal, you have given me love -- therefore I to you give love!
O unspeakable passionate love."

-- from "Song of Myself," Leaves of Grass (1891-92)
by Walt Whitman

Monday, January 3, 2011

just a bit

the small boy fingers the keys of the piano,
the girl at the piano bench,
the rosy mornings when the girl sticks to the dampened sheets, still damp from the night before,
wondering when the disease will grow, what it will be,
how infected she really is
while the boy showers off the night
and aged men clutch close to their television sets, sulking their ears in the swollen sound
young jonathan rolls a joint on the cover of a vegetarian cookbook
and mother cries

Sunday, January 2, 2011

so true

"...and winter was settling its pale miserable ass across northern New Jersey..."

"...a particularly Jersey malaise -- the inextinguishable longing for elsewheres."

-from The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao