Surrealist Doodle

Surrealist Doodle
This was used as the cover of Karawane in 2006 and I have included it in on a number of bags and postcards over the years. Someone on the subway asked me if it was a Miro. I was very flattered!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Exquisite Corpse from my creative writing class at MCTC

After spreading pencil shavings like ashes
upon the desks like altars,
giant altars of onyx and silver
melted down into an amorphous, mingling, microscopic
amoeba, dancing and twisting this way and that
hoping to find a cause worth fighting for,
one that sticks to your ribs, like
airbag hearty steak dinner over candlelight
christening stars, fallen angels we lay.

Friday, April 08, 2011

The Drunken Bus

Growing up is the realization
that you've outlived all your tragic idols.
Dead poets, rock stars
make you lose yourself in their myths
until one day jade and disgust
stain you like mud splashed
by speeding thoughtless passersby
driving drunken
busloads of once-dreamers
like the trains to Auschwitz
these fenced with white picket not wire barbs
no literal death torture unspeakable horrors
wait you now but the cattle call
life laid out neatly like a child's first school clothes
souldeath numb endless days waiting for the call
the bell the thing that brings this to an end
expect no future
hope for no future
fear any future offered
in a slick salesman's smile or a politician's
promisory paper--
kill time until
you'll-know-it-when-you-see-it
shows up, wags its ass in your face
and says i'm here now. what?
now what? now
what took you so long?

It's not too late.
Let's go back
before the days when
it was open season on our hopes
and we had to shelter them like cold shivering refugees,
before we counted time backwards from the end
of history.

Let's be audacious. Let's remember that
the right song can still save us
from the world,
shout dirty limericks in the museum
brown bag it to the opera,
sit on the floor in lavish hotel lobbies
in tie-dye evening gowns
eating french fries and debating dead
German philosophers as if we
understood them,
make snide comments to rude overeducated
art snob ticket takers and rabble removing
doormen, disgruntled security guards with
inert toy guns
without feeling the pressure
to make apologies we don't mean
let's jump off the drunken bus
clean ourselves up
and walk home together.

Dustbowl (a poem)

who will mark the day
when you've been dead longer than you were alive
the chickens have come home to roost and the cock
cannot stop crowing his lungs burst as they strain to summon the day


teach a man to farm teach him to march in rows stand straight when ordered and hide among the crops during the hunt and his napalmed hands will fertilize soft baby skulls, tattoo plaid and pastel flowers onto flimsy flesh hammers and anvils and drums make music more pleasing than a funeral march the unfamiliar streets will swallow you up before you can build your myth epic by epic before your tasks are finished and the stables are cleared


the prophet saw huge metal birds and resurrected monsters, how we burn ourselves up inside brick and steel solid structures the pyramids will outlive our bleached bones muscle by muscle I melt pulled apart like a wishbone my empty ribcage still moves by habit after my head flies off


there are not enough hands to cover all of your shameful parts


the kevorkian babies cry all night chase pigeons with fat pink faces not born of sand and rice paddies their pictures play in courtrooms the playground becomes a tragic mecca outlined at ground zero, a pinata full of scorpions burn down your temples and churches


your god no longer lives there

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Fractured Love Song

Written from random words I jotted down from a song played overhead:

Insomniac
sheep
asleep
fireflies
goodbyes
breathe
jar


Fractured Love Song

Insomniac sheep breath rhythmically unison of air. Fireflies flitter asleep their goodbyes as they sink inside jars to their airless graves.

Little jottings

The candles in the red jar flicker like an ambulance siren in my peripheral vision.

I stubbornly let beautiful strans of words go by, refusing to write them down, refusing to try and catch them, in and out of my consciousness the float, weave, flit, pass, pausing, expecting to be appreciated, remembered, committed to paper or memory. I thoughtlessly watch them go . . .

Two poems literally written with my eyes closed (and yet were still legible!)

Creativity begets itself begetting begetting beginning (again).
Once I write I don't want to stop, maybe
it's the spring
springing up inside
me, sprung, springing
me from the
winter jail I didn't
know I was in until
I was freed,
sprung.

__________________________________

Close my eyes and
write, writing with my eyes
closed I can only feel
the physical act of writing
I don't know if I am
writing on top of writing
on top of writing on top
of writing on top. I
have become the blind
Gertrude Stein, playing with
words I cannot say and
maybe cannot read either

______________________

Reflection:

It is odd how with my eyes closed and writing continuously for 1-2 minutes, I do turn into Gertrude Stein when I do these eyes closed writing excercises, but I also think it's because I CANNOT stop or I will lose my place on the page. So it seems to me, from my experience, that Stein's repetitions come, at least in part, as a kind of breath, a breather, a holding pattern while you think of something else, that it's a consequence of not stopping and not coming up for air. It pauses you to think while still not stopping. It's like a skip in a record that goes on until the records bumps out of that groove.

I am really sold on this as a quick, fun form of automatic writing that also focuses your senses because it takes away the visual element while you are writing.

Story written out of spam

The video changed his life.

Someone discovered it lying in a box of trash.

They thought it was dirty.

If not only for the fact that it was shared with all, they wouldn't have known the very top secret code.

I was shocked to learn the group's members knew nothing of it.

Excess of Containment: a brief, partial manifesto of avant garde artistic and literary practices that is belied by its excessively long title

For all of the criticism from English teachers that it is difficult to teach the writing of avant-garde poetry and literature, it is not if you have the right approach. The avant garde is playful. It is only when you are trying to create something perfect, beautiful, it's a chore: a chore to write, a chore to "try" to be avant-garde, to think up the next new great technique when we all know (this is for you Rosalind Krauss et al) that the avant-garde is all about stealing to make art, appropriating, not originality. The true avant-garde artist it would seem should strive to be the least original (but then there is an art to being creatively unoriginal or uncreatively original but then we get back to trying too hard). Appropriating not originality. That frees you up to actually be creative, if creativity is within you, and it is. Some may just have to excavate more, be more unoriginal more often that others in order to dredge up a remnant of creativity from the dregs of anti- non- un-creative subconscious. It will be unlocked. The form creates the container, the structure that will allow its own excess to bubble up like a cesspool of creativity, an excess of containment, an excess of form that enables a glorious excess of content, that feeling that I can put anything into this structure, not the drudgery of a blank page, but the excitement of a child towards an empty box that could be a house, a train, a robot head, infinite possibities lie in the empty container, not on the blank page.