See sharp to side

See sharp to side
and where to bend to
see down slope, drop
in bed, to the sill
about a seat, up on
the feel.


When did a "learning moment" become a "teaching moment"?


A Leather Jacket will answer all my problems

My Philosophy of Life - John Ashbery

Just when I thought there wasn't room enough
for another thought in my head, I had this great idea--
call it a philosophy of life, if you will.  Briefly,
it involved living the way philosophers live,
according to a set of principles. OK, but which ones?

That was the hardest part, I admit, but I had a
kind of dark foreknowledge of what it would be like.
Everything, from eating watermelon or going to the bathroom
or just standing on a subway platform, lost in thought
for a few minutes, or worrying about rain forests,
would be affected, or more precisely, inflected
by my new attitude.  I wouldn't be preachy,
or worry about children and old people, except
in the general way prescribed by our clockwork universe.
Instead I'd sort of let things be what they are
while injecting them with the serum of the new moral climate
I thought I'd stumbled into, as a stranger
accidentally presses against a panel and a bookcase slides back,
revealing a winding staircase with greenish light
somewhere down below, and he automatically steps inside
and the bookcase slides shut, as is customary on such occasions.
At once a fragrance overwhelms him--not saffron, not lavender,
but something in between.  He thinks of cushions, like the one
his uncle's Boston bull terrier used to lie on watching him
quizzically, pointed ear-tips folded over. And then the great rush 
is on.  Not a single idea emerges from it.  It's enough
to disgust you with thought.  But then you remember something
   William James
wrote in some book of his you never read--it was fine, it had the
the powder of life dusted over it, by chance, of course, yet
   still looking
for evidence of fingerprints. Someone had handled it
even before he formulated it, though the thought was his and
   his alone.

It's fine, in summer, to visit the seashore.
There are lots of little trips to be made.
A grove of fledgling aspens welcomes the traveler.  Nearby
are the public toilets where weary pilgrims have carved
their names and addresses, and perhaps messages as well,
messages to the world, as they sat
and thought about what they'd do after using the toilet
and washing their hands at the sink, prior to stepping out
into the open again.  Had they been coaxed in by principles,
and were their words philosophy, of however crude a sort?
I confess I can move no farther along this train of thought--
something's blocking it.  Something I'm 
not big enough to see over.  Or maybe I'm frankly scared.
What was the matter with how I acted before?
But maybe I can come up with a compromise--I'll let
things be what they are, sort of.  In the autumn I'll put up jellies
and preserves, against the winter cold and futility,
and that will be a human thing, and intelligent as well.
I won't be embarrassed by my friends' dumb remarks,
or even my own, though admittedly that's the hardest part,
as when you are in a crowded theater and something you say
riles the spectator in front of you, who doesn't even like the idea
of two people near him talking together. Well he's 
got to be flushed out so the hunters can have a crack at him--
this thing works both ways, you know. You can't always
be worrying about others and keeping track of yourself
at the same time.  That would be abusive, and about as much fun
as attending the wedding of two people you don't know.
Still, there's a lot of fun to be had in the gaps between ideas.
That's what they're made for!  Now I want you to go out there
and enjoy yourself, and yes, enjoy your philosophy of life, too.
They don't come along every day. Look out!  There's a big one...


I'm in a hotel room in Dallas
sounds nostalgic
and someone stole
my complimentary USA Today

But, Dallas, a hotel room
there's that dusty light coming though
sheer rayon curtains
the way it hangs sunk but still
Dr. Phil is on TV

I heard something really sad this morning
no point to it, it was just this morning
but it's part of this half way

I hope I take a walk tonight
either I'll feel bigger or smaller outside
but it's such a long walk to the lobby and
I never know how to end these things
except outside half way, full stop.

Some Edits

Poor trait d'une Femme - Ezra Pound (he won't mind)

Your mind and you are our Sargasso Sea
London has swept about you this score year s
And bright right ships left you this or that in fee see:
Ideas, old gossip, odd extra(excre)ments of all things,
Strange Trained spars of knowledge and dimmed canned wares of price vice.
Great Rate minds have sought you - lacking someone else.
You have been second always, on second thought. Tragical?
No. You preferred it to the usual causal thing:
One dull man, dulling and luxurious orious.
One averaged mind - with one thought less, each year.
Oh, you are patient, I have seen you sit
(H)ours, where something might have floated up:
And now you play one. Yes, you richly pay Richly paid -
You are a person of some interest, one comes to you
and takes strange gain game away:
Trophies fished up; some a curious suggestion:
Fact that leads nowhere; and a tale but a scale or two.
Pregnant with mandrakes A pitcher plant, or a break with something else
That might prove useful and yet never approves proves,
That never fits a corner or shows for use,
Or And finds its hour upon the loom of days daze:
The t varnished, gaudy, wonder ful fold work;
Idols and ambergris waxed and rare in delays,
These are your some riches, your great store; and yet
For all this sea see-hoard of deciduous things,
Strange woods half sodden logs, and new brighter stuff:
In the slow sort float of differing light and deep bleep,
No! There is nothing! In the whole and all,
Nothing that's quite all right, your own,
Yet this is youth.


                 O             A
            D                        L
          c                             D
        M                                s


This is a Riddle

You are in a room and the ceiling_
is really low, you know_
you are seeing everything in_
a shortened way. You can go_
laterally any way, but the room_
has a short yellow ceiling, so_
you can see out away, down_
the hall, you can look up, but not see above. What_


Gregory Corso Clip

Four windmills, acquaintanceships,
were spied one morning eating tulips.
and the entire city flips
screaming: Apocalypse! Apocalypse!


Pulaski Skyway World

There's commute to it. The Cashmere Pulaski Skyway.

Nada observation

Geneva is like a low-pressure water fountain.


Angle of Yaw - Ben Lerner

HE HAD ENOUGH RESPECT FOR PAINTING to quit. Enough respect for quitting to paint.
Enough respect for the figure to abstract. For abstraction to hint at the breast. For the breast to
ask the model to leave. But I live here, says the model. And I respect that, says the painter. But
I have enough respect for respect to insist. For insistence to turn the other cheek. For the other
cheek to turn the other cheek. Hence I appear to be shaking my head No.

Anecdote of the Jar - Wallace Stevens

I placed a jar in Tennessee,
And round it was, upon a hill.
It made the slovenly wilderness
Surround that hill.

The wilderness rose up to it,
And sprawled around, no longer wild.
The jar was round upon the ground
And tall and of a port in air.

It took dominion every where.
The jar was gray and bare.
It did not give of bird or bush,
Like nothing else in Tennessee.


Free 2 Play
Everyone Wins
A Game of Skill


Groucho Marx on the ability to bang mad chicks

Whatever it is, I'm against it!

Dogs, Foreign Cars

Dogs, foreign cars,
the bourgeoisie, electronic boxes.
Don't listen to me, go ask your mother --
the appeals court.
Look, I should never have let her give you
no pulp orange juice --
women's lib.
What are you doing,
go comb your hair, your hurting me.
Please call your mother.
Go on.
For her, not for me.


Opposition - Mitsuharu Kaneko

In my youth
I was opposed to school.
And now, again,
I'm opposed to work.

Above all it is health
And righteousness that I hate the most.
There's nothing so cruel to man
As fitness and truth.

Of course I'm opposed to "the national spirit"
And duty and human feeling make me vomit.
I'm against any government anywhere
And show my ass to authors' and artists' circles.

When I'm asked for what I was born,
Without scruple, I'll reply, to oppose.
When I'm in the east
I want to go to the west.

I fasten my coat at the left, my shoes right and left.
My hakama I wear back to front and I ride a horse facing its behind.
What everyone else hates I like
And my greatest hate of all is people feeling the same.

This I believe: to oppose
Is the only fine thing in life.
To oppose is to live.
To oppose is to get a grip on the very self.

Except when Marvin sings it.

Common Nouns and Their Plural Forms - H*Y*M*A*N K*A*P*L*A*N

library....Public library

(The Education of Hyman Kaplan, Leonard Q. Ross)


This Is Bad - Gottfried Benn, Translated by Harvey Shapiro

Someone hands you an English thriller,
highly recommended.
You don't read English.

You've worked up a thirst
for something you can't afford.

You have deep insights,
brand new, and they sound
like an academic glossing Holderlin.

You hear the waves at night
ramping against the shore
and you think: that's what waves do.

Worse: you're asked out
when at home you get better coffee,
silence, and you don't expect to be amused.

Awful: not to die in summer
under a bright sky
when the rich dirt
falls easily from the shovel.

I think I don't like poems about nature

werk out.
I just come here for the material. 


Three Laments - Diane DiPrima


I believe
I might have become
a great writer
the chairs
in the library
were too hard


I have
the upper hand
but if I keep it
I'll lose the circulation
in one arm


So here I am the coolest in New York
what dont swing I dont push.

In some Elysian field
by a big tree
I chew my pride
like cud.


Motto - Langston Hughes

I play it cool
And dig all jive-
That's the reason
I stay alive.

My motto,
As I live and learn
Dig and be dug
In return.