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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Poem Written in a Fresh Luncheonette on February 23, 2012

A lyric may come
Entirely by chance
When the non-language

Brain more fully engages

With its surroundings
Stale is remade fresh again
Even if you're just sitting inside
A luncheonette with your sandwich
Still inside its wrapper

It's the precise quality of Spring
In the air by which we each
May become inspired
Making us responsible to the moment
And more fully engaged with
Life's delicious possibilities

Thus a poem created

In the instant is most purely

Imbued with the life force itself

When the senses best fuse

With everything else

Around us and

As Ego dissipates

Spirit finds its release


And ascendant

* * * * * * * * * *

In order to better explain the poem I wrote above and demonstrate my practice (if not my theory) of poetry, in the picture below you can see the poster I was looking at when I sat down to write the poem. That is the same thing you would see on the wall if you were sitting next to me in the Fresh Luncheonette at 30th Street and 7th. Avenue. And the words inscribed on the poster are littered throughout the poem, in fact the whole poem concerns itself with the experience I had sitting there, looking at the poster and writing the poem, about to eat my lunch. This has a dadaist influence, as I love to subject a poem to randomness. Up until now I had imagined composing a poem while walking down the street, leaping from one sign to another for inspiration. I never imagined I could write a whole poem based on one crappy advertisement above the lunch counter. But the practice point remains the same: the goal being to write a poem with the instantaneity of spoken truth as it zips through the brain. Words are the leaves of man, heigh ho.

Written on a Warm Winter's Day

This poem was written on a warm winter's day, thus best expressing the strange mode of the new normal.

With one long poem complete

And another underway

My spirits have remained

Somewhat buoyant

At least until today

As I have heard from

All but one publisher

As to my manuscript’s

Scurrilous fate

The form letters received

And other similar evidence

Of the world’s deep

And abiding disdain

For my work

Even my usually smiling wife

Ever willing but now seems unable

To help dispel

This more ominous mood

That’s overtaken me

Filling me with an inexpedient

Sense of ill foreboding

So now I shall continue

Making my way

With a slight limp

And steady measured gate

But forever I'll remain

Omnivorous for love

Which also means

Sometimes prone to

Such heavy


* * * * *

and then about 20 minutes later

I continued in an improved mood

Yet it’s also true that

Enlightenment comes

When you least expect it

And quite suddenly

The clouds part

So does the Red Sea

To reveal the still unknown part

Of life’s deepest mysteries

And we are so entangled

In their midst

We almost forget

How the time has otherwise come

And gone to eat a good lunch

Thursday, February 16, 2012

My Reply to Bob Lefsetz

The other day

Sitting all alone in LAX
Having only recently inhaled

Truth outside the departure lounge

Albeit in a miniscule dose

Whilst eating a flavorless cheeseburger
And wondering to myself
What could Bob Lefsetz possibly have

Intended by ending his email promotion
Saying: The human condition
Is both fascinating and repulsive

Oh and by the way

This guy Stoller’s new book
Is most definitely worth reading
Now let's just sit back and watch
His Amazon rankings soar

It sounds both off-hand
And way too extreme
This mode of address
Though fully familiar to me from
So many TV shows I've seen over

The course of too many years
Hawking this attitude

As if it's a cure for everything

Including the common cold

But perhaps it's merely a symptom
Of a much more common

And terminal self-preoccupation

Which is precisely what gives rise to

This habitual resort to glibness
When it comes to describing the particulars

Of our daily existence

And then as if in response

To the first hint of

Audience annoyance

To throw up a smokescreen

Of heart rending despair

It's the very same frame of mind
Mind you that Larry and Jerry

Rode right into

The Sitcom Hall of Fame
Obsessively honing their craft
And polishing their timing and lines
To the point of making their

Personal bile all but

Shimmer and shine

But eventually there's moral hazard
That needs to be dealt with here:
It’s inner hollowness itself that provides

An equally strong foundation

For outsized commercial success
And the exquisitely Wagnerian

Tragic-comic sensibility that

Underlies this entire way of life

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Write What You Know About

Write what you know about

Is a tired old saw

About which people seldom

Stop to think

What sort of knowledge

Do you really need

Before sitting down

To compose a phrase

Is writing

Nothing more

Than a reflexive act

As knowing comes first

Followed by a mechanical

Turn of the wrist

Or is it more

As it sometimes seems

That writing is thinking

Of a certain sort

And only by writing

Do we possess knowledge

Enough to write

About anything at all

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

An Email Reply to Rick

It's just a style
I 'm trying to cultivate
Called the oracular vernacular

It's hard to say
Much more than that
Except I resent the reference to Oz
Because I stand behind no curtain
At least I'm not aware of
Being draped in one

And who among us
Doesn't have as many
Brothers of his own
Everywhere you look
Another comes along

And so long as that
Continues to be the case
I'll decline to disambiguate
The meaning of each and every word
I choose to include in one of my poems