Wednesday, August 31, 2005

8-word poem

What does it mean
To live a life?

8-word poem

Who am I
Something to?
And what?

8-word poem

Torn apart
By the sadness
Of the night.

* * *

For Robert "Moe" Maloney.

8-word poem

After all
Is said
And done,
Say more.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Maybe there can be poetry after...

Gina Myers, co-editor of the tiny, points out this wonderful blog entry.

This feels particularly vindicating; when I workshopped this poem during the first semester of my MFA program, one of the critiques it garnered was "funny, but slight."

And Richard Lopez has nice things to say about my 8-word poems, penning a poem in homage to my love of concision. How cool is that?

Monday, August 29, 2005

8-word poem

Have all
The flowers—
No bastards!—

8-word poem

It may
Suck today;
It'll only

8-word poem

And therein lies
The stupidity
Of my ways.

8-word poem

One of
These days
You might
Be sorry.

8-word poem

And after you
Drop dead,
Go fuck

8-word poem

It feels good
To say:
"This is

Sunday, August 28, 2005

8-word poem

I've rarely
Myself before,
Why start

8-word poem

I tried
My best;
My worst
Tried harder.

8-word poem

You need to
Know: we're
No longer

8-word poem

Just human
Beings moving
Through time
And space.

8-word poem

What does
A poem say?
My heart aches.

* * *

For Liam Rector

Saturday, August 27, 2005

8-word poem

If it wasn't
For you,
Who knows

8-word poem

And if
You think
That's bad,
Try this:

Friday, August 26, 2005

8-word poem

This will
All seem
Even more

8-word poem

When you're
Quite through,
I've got some

8-word poem

"I hate life
More than
Life itself."

8-word poem

Why do I
It is my

Thursday, August 25, 2005

8-word poem

You should
Have heard
What I
Just said.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

8-word poem

Barely enough
Time each day
To write this.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

8-word poem

Crossing guard
Knows the way
To God—

Monday, August 22, 2005

8-word poem

You need
To be called
On your

8-word poem

How did I
Lose my way
So badly?

8-word poem

...And the lemon
Flower is sweet—

Says who?

8-word poem

Love means
Always having
To say
You're sorry.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

8-word poem

I wish I
I wish I

Saturday, August 20, 2005

8-word poem

Situation normal
All fucked up:
Again and again.

Friday, August 19, 2005

8-word poem

Some people
Are never
Going to
Get it.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

8-word poem

I'd admire it
If it wasn't
So fucked.

8-word poem

What are they
Gonna do,
Kill me?

8-word poem

Counted blessings:
Only my face
has gone grey.


Pretty is
to tree...

Eat very
Impossible lemon.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

8-word poem

How much
Is too much
To reveal?

Tuesday, August 16, 2005


Very lemon.

Pretty to
Tree is.



Lemon is
Pretty impossible—

Eat to
Very tree.

Monday, August 15, 2005

8-word poem

Work lament:
Three degrees
And still
Feel stupid.

8-word poem

This too
Shall pass,
So quit
Your bitching.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

8-word poem

Mozart still
After all
These years.

8-word poem

Can't be denied—
When you're right,
You're right.

8-word poem

Tanglewood weekend—
Old people:
Large and in charge.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

8-word poem

There's no
No there;

But there
Is yes.


Pardom my cross-pollination, Guy Lafleur; we'll
Never see your A-game hairline again. Take me to
The devil's rejects and make me like it. Sell it
To me hard, with or without the apostrophe. Leave
The accent ague for some pretentious fuck, but
Remember: you owe your uncle big time. Qualify at
Lunchtime to a basement full and don't spare the
Self-pitying drama. You'll never know how real now
Is, because even with two ears you're all talk.

Friday, August 12, 2005

At least I'm not Willy Wonka

You Are Gilbert From "What's Eating Gilbert Grape?"

You are very giving and self-sacrificing. You're always there to lend a helping hand to family and friends. However, this generous nature often robs you of fulfilling your needs and desires, and may cause you to become resentful. Find a way to balance your kindness with your independence.

Take The Johnny Depp Quiz!

* * *

Odd. "Always there to lend a helping hand to family and friends"?! The resentful part rings truer.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

8-word poem

Hell on Earth:
Every day,
All the time.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005


Too inhibited to take a reuptake inhibitor, shot through
With another come wither type look. Live & let languish
Via unleavened horn blowing retired by the sea: sparkling
Or still? Agreeable, redundant, dull & so forth, thrice;
Open your real eyes—Is it nice & creepy & cultish? Stand
On footprints in the Vatican to take a shit: farewell my fair-
Weather friend—Did you love me or not? The boulevard is
Not bad; the words she knows but only hums the tune—
The next closest competitor was six dogs down & the old
School guys only want to get paid in maple syrup.

* * *

I wrote this poem to kick off The Incredulity Tour Tour. I opened with it at my InKY reading in Louisville on July 8th.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

8-word poem

Is it true?
This is only
Make believe?

8-word poem

Go fuck yourself
Is always
A viable option.

8-word poem

You ought to
Know by now—
Blow me.

8-word poem

Consider yourself
Part of the family.
Fuck that.

Wood eye?

The Incredulity Tour Tour brought me face to face (or in these cases, ass to wood) with many an odd sight. Fresh from my InKY reading at the Rudyard Kipling, we were spirited away by Dottcomments on a whirlwind tour of downtown Louisville, Kentucky.

Among the many interesting local landmarks is the gigantic Louisville slugger. The exact height and weight of this bat escape me, but suffice it to say it dwarfs anything even remotely close to its majestic mass - including my own colossal ego. It is situated adjacent to the Louisville Slugger museum, manufacturing facility and gift shop.

Personalized baseball bats are a specialty, only problem is the turnaround time. I would have liked to have my name embossed on a hefty hunk of wood while I waited, and in retrospect I could have used the protection afforded by one while passing through the more redneck sections of West Virginia on the return trip.

On the second leg of The Incredulity Tour Tour, I found myself deep in the heart of the Muir Woods, renowned for its redwood trees. For some reason I was expecting the petrified forest, but alas, no. These were regular trees, though no less awe-inspiring in their beauty.

The journey through this park was early on in my trip to the Bay Area, and did not disappoint in terms of exposing me to all manner of West Coast personality type (the aging hippie, the tree hugger, etc.). Also present was a grand collection of tourists who in turn had their pictures snapped near the bisected tree stump display, which shows how large one of these specimens grew and how long it existed.

But, of course, the best part of any such visit is the opportunity for jackassery. So, when I saw this wooden bear I simply had to hop on! Striking this pose - while several small tykes patiently waited their turn - a nearby parent snorted: "Yeah, they'll believe that picture!"

I didn't bother to tell him that the point was incredulity.

(Photos by MsAPhillips)

Monday, August 08, 2005

8-word poem

Another year
Come, been
And gone.
Who cares?


What is it about
Bowels in an uproar—
Sent to the showers
Like the middle
Of love, with herpes
For the birthday boy—
And I don't mean
She's all bed
And kitchen;
Rocks the boat

8-word poem

West coast insomnia,
East coast insomnia.
The same.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Books purchased during The Incredulity Tour Tour (part dos)

City Lights Pocket Poetry Anthology edited by Lawrence Ferlinghetti
A Coney Island of the Mind by Lawrence Ferlinghetti
The Other Side of the Postcard edited by Devorah Major
The Rape of Nanking by Iris Chang
Satellite by Matthew Rohrer
The Stranger by Albert Camus
Sublimation Point by Jason Schneiderman

I'm embarrassed to admit I've never read Ferlinghetti before, but what better place to begin than in San Francisco? I am finding many of the poems in Coney Island achingly sad. I'm beginning to think I find most things achingly sad, though.

I recently read Matt Rohrer's A Green Light, which blew me away to such a degree that I immediately reread it two more times.

I heard Jason Schneiderman read from his book recently, on a double bill with Mark Bibbins.

The Stranger is one of my all-time favorite books, and I am always struck by its harrowing simplicity. This is about the fifth time I've read it.

I read a review of Iris Chang's account of the 1937 invasion of Nanking a while back, and it was the first book to catch my eye at City Lights.

Devorah Major's anthology is a collection that brings attention to the less glamorous side of San Francisco by various local poets.

Friday, August 05, 2005

8-word poem

The recreational
Is a room,

8-word poem

I see
What is
Of me

They must be psychic!

I found this over at The Point of Babette. Great fun, and quite accurate!

Take The Ewan McGregor Test!

The Incredulity Tour Tour (parts one & dos) Diary, entry #3: Local Landmarks

The Incredulity Tour Tour has crossed the continent, bringing its message of dubiousness to the masses. Not sure about something? The Incredulity Tour Tour has been there, friends.

Taking time away from my busy schedule of staring at the four walls of this room for the past two weeks - in an establishment that looks like David Lynch went into the hotel business - I traveled to the famous Golden Gate Bridge, chapbook in hand. Braving gusting winds on a foggy morning (when the possibility of being carried over the flimsy guard rail seemed quite real), I held said chapbook high and stared off toward Alcatraz. The view was unbelievable.

Just as I had, a mere month earlier, held The Incredulity Tour aloft in front of a genuine redneck truckstop and declared myself incredulous in the face of Mid-South America. Though I there ingested the best barbecue chicken I have ever tasted, escaping from that 18 wheeler all-you-can-eat buffet special with my life still inspires incredulity.

If you think about it, what sense does it make to believe in anything? Incredulity: it's the only game in town.

(Photos by MsAPhillips)

Thursday, August 04, 2005

8-word poem

Who am I
Going to be
To you?

8-word poem

How I miss
When we were
All younger.


I didn't care
One way
Or the other.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

The Incredulity Tour Tour (parts one & dos) Diary, entry #3: Signage of the Times III

Seen at Forever After Books, Haight Street:

"No Photos (no questions about sign)."

Where I picked up a copy of Albert Camus' The Stranger for $1.09. Previously owned by (according to the handwriiten names inside): Virginia McGuffin, Martha (possibly Matthew) A. Miller, and Taylor.

I haven't decided if I should add my name.

8-word poem

Only in retrospect
Was that moment
Really perfect.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

8-word poem

No one ever
Claims to be
Fructose ambivalent.

San Francisco checklist

2. Visit City Lights Bookstore: CHECK!

Top: About to take The Incredulity Tour Tour into this legendary establishment.
Middle: With one of my favorite books of poetry, Sky Lounge by Mark Bibbins (as Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassady look on).
Bottom: Stopping a moment to read from The Incredulity Tour, now for sale at City Lights!

(Photos by MsAPhillips)

Monday, August 01, 2005

San Francisco checklist

1. Ride on a trolley (cable car): CHECK!

Homesick poem

Things suck now.

The Spanish navy has been blamed
For giant squid deaths.

Hostile attachment features
Are all the rage.

My latest caseworker is
Extremely sketchy
About the Contessa’s entrance.

(Who could blame her?)

Memory does not serve
Natural lawbreakers
On a crimson Monday;

When things fall off trucks
It takes a show of hands
To determine how a word like
“Darling” is defined.

And maybe I’ll come home in the spring,
And maybe I won’t.

* * *

If I had to pick a favorite of my own poems, it would be this one.

Thanks to Gina for help with the sign.

The Incredulity Tour Tour (parts one & dos) Diary, entry #3: Signage of the Times II

The Incredulity Tour Tour, having rolled westward from Louisville, Kentucky, now claims the San Francisco Bay Area as one of its official stops. That's me holding a copy of the new chapbook at the intersection of Haight/Ashbury.

The historic implications of this corner are staggering, as this is the veritable vortex of the hippie counterculture/flower power movement begun back in 1967 - the year of the Summer of Love according to much of the literature I've come across in these environs.

There is still abundant evidence of the psychedelia that defined a generation: tie dye is everywhere, along with Grateful Dead memorabilia, natural organic health food establishments and enough free spirits to put any bar out of business.

The bus ride from downtown San Francisco recalled the "B.O." episode of Seinfeld, as every downtrodden, rucksack-toting twentysomething with a casual relationship to soap seemed headed for said vortex to beg change.

Whether it was the tinge of personal foulness or some other outside agency I cannot be sure, but something assaulted my senses in a most unusual fashion, causing a mercifully brief period of hallucination to take root.

The second photo depicts my Jefferson Airplane-esque plight. "Go ask Alice, when she's ten feet tall...."

(Photos by MsAPhillips)

8-word poem

Is there anything
Sadder than
An aging hippie?