Sunday, April 30, 2006

8-word poem

Wake up happy,
Fall asleep content.
Rinse, repeat.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

8-word poem

Success defined:
Not winding up
In someone's crawlspace.

Friday, April 28, 2006

8-word poem

Morning commute:
Twin girls annoy
The mean lady.

Thursday, April 27, 2006


Siste Viator (Latin for "traveler, halt" - a traditional opening for inscriptions on gravestones) is the name of Sarah Manguso's excellent new poetry collection. She read from it this past Monday night to a packed house at KGB.

The poems are all from the perspective of dead people, save for the book's final poem, which is spoken by Death itself, if memory serves. Death, poetry - few things are more naturally aligned.

The reading was intense, with the mood of some poems creating a suitably mournful silence; at other times, the audience was gleefully appreciative of Manguso's considerable wit.

Reading with her was Scottish poet Robin Robertson, who, coincidentally, I heard read during my trip to Montréal earlier this month.

8-word poem

Sometimes there isn't
A poem
To be had.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

8-word poem

What can't be
Pinned down
Can't be

Monday, April 24, 2006

8-word poem

Why doesn't someone
Write a poem
About congoleum?

New York Rainy Day Scene (Plus Economic Indicators)

Friendly neighborhood stolen umbrella salesman: Umbrella?
Me: Yeah, how much?
FNSUS: $5.
Me: (Guiltily searching pockets, knowing full well I have at least 6 such umbrellas back in the hall closet at home) Fine.
FNSUS: It’s good.
Me: (Realizing I only have twenties and a couple of singles) Can you change a twenty?
FNSUS: (Eyeing my singles) How much you have?
Me: Three.
FNSUS: (Taking the bills) Okay, good.
Me: (Walking away) Lovely.
FNSUS: (To next customer, as I walk off) Umbrella? Four dollars….

Sunday, April 23, 2006

8-word poem

The ugliness
Of boundaries
Challenges even
The generous.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Ah, the French Canadians! Montréal diary: entry #5

If there was any question that Montréal is lacking in adult entertainment, let all doubt be erased.

Establishments similar to the one pictured here are sprinkled throughout the city, i.e. there is no real "skank zone."

Blvd St Laurent, however, seemed fairly sketchy. It was on that street that I was asked if I wanted a "date" by a youngish woman who took time out from verbally sparring with a co-worker to tender the offer.

I guess I still look like I have a spare $50. Cool!

8-word poem

Nature, impressionistic,
Runs roughshod over
The obsessive compulsive.

Friday, April 21, 2006

8-word poem

In the interest
Of self-interest,
I've lost interest.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Ah, the French Canadians! Montréal diary: entry #4

Merde! It's one of the few words I know in French, and how convenient that this poster was gracing the walls of Montréal during my trip there. Babelfish has been no help at all in translating the title of this production (I assume it was a play, but who knows really), though I believe it is something along the lines of "Moment of Clarity." Of course, that could be wishful thinking about myself.

So, Montréal is not just hockey - there is real, honest to God art in various forms. My main purpose for the journey north was to attend and participate in the 8th Blue Metropolis Montréal International Literary Festival. This five-day extravaganza brings together great numbers of writers working in all disciplines, to attend readings, workshops and presentations. Informative, intriguing and fun.

8-word poem

Even hours later,
The wrong
Remains the same.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

8-word poem

She's been waiting
For this poem
Long enough.

Monday, April 17, 2006

8-word poem

Cold floor:
Please stop
Stealing my slippers.

8-word poem

Why slam doors?
Snoring works
Just fine.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Ah, the French Canadians! Montréal diary: entry #3

On my first full day in Montréal I stopped in a local eatery called Frite Alors! (exclamation point theirs) to assess my situation and have my first sit down meal of the trip. Fortunately, this establishment took U.S. dollars to settle the tab as I hadn't yet exchanged them for Canadian.

Pictured are what I've come to consider a few travel essentials: (1) pen, (2) Purell hand sanitizer, (3) The Incredulity Tour chapbook, (4) Pepsi Diete, (5) eyeglasses, and (6) coffee.

It was a drizzly day, but once I was fueled up on sausages and fries (with Dijon mustard dipping sauce) I was off on an extended walking tour of the city. The jaunt took me from the Latin Quarter (where I was lodging at the Hotel St-Denis), through the Village, to Old Montréal, Chinatown, Downtown, and all the way back.

For reasons that I still don't quite fully comprehend, Captain Haddock of the Belgian comic Tintin is apparently the Frite Alors! mascot.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

iTuneage - recent baker's dozen

1. "Letter to Bowie Knife" - Calexico
2. "Ambergris March" - Björk (from Drawing Restraint 9)
3. "Heads High" - Mr. Vegas
4. "Mama Said" - The Shirelles
5. "Garden Party" - Ricky Nelson
6. "I Second That Emotion" - Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
7. "All Beauty Taken From You in This Life Remains Forever" - Chris Whitley & The Bastard Club
8. "Baby I Need Your Loving" - The Four Tops
9. "Used to Love Her" - Guns N' Roses
10. "It Only Hurts When I Cry" - Dwight Yoakam
11. "Eight Miles High" - The Byrds
12. "Nothing's Gonna Change My Mind" - Michael Stanley Band
13. "Strange" - Patsy Cline

Friday, April 14, 2006

8-word poem

The biting
Flies insist
On leaving
Their mark.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

8-word poem

To remain
In the face
Of uncertainty.

Ah, the French Canadians! Montréal diary: entry #2

As careful readers of this blog will recall, I have been a huge hockey fan since the early 70s. And despite the loss of a complete National Hockey League season due to a labor dispute and subsequent lockout, I remain a rabid follower of the sport.

So, what better place to get a hockey infusion than Montréal, Canada? Here, hockey is one of the first subjects of discussion when a newcast begins, and it completely dominates all sports programs. I watched what seemed to be the Canadian equivalent of "The Best Damn Sports Show Period," where various pundits and celebrities (all utterly unknown to us Americans) hashed out the day's events in the world of hockey. Most of these people looked like characters you'd encounter in a French art-house flick, rather than sport enthusiasts.

As the show was broadcast in French, I could only guess at what was being said, but it was clear that tempers were continually on the verge of boiling over. It was truly amazing - though somewhat surreal - to see hockey get such an impassioned reckoning.

Do you know who this is?

I'm surprised to find that there are people who don't.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Ah, the French Canadians! Montréal diary: entry #1

The Incredulity Tour Tour 2006 took me on a whirlwind traipse through the fascinating city of Montréal (note the accent), Québec (note that accent).

Five days, fours nights of complete and total immersion in a Francophone culture (where they are "not responsible of lost or stolen objects").

8-word poem

An illuminated life,
The lights
Go out.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

8-word poem

My soul:
Deal with
The devil;
No sale.

Monday, April 10, 2006


Why don't
They just
Call the place

Sunday, April 09, 2006

8-word poem

O Canada!
Signage all
In French...
O shit!

Saturday, April 08, 2006

8-word poem

How I wish
I could speak
Fluent French.


It's full
Of creeps
Just like
Everywhere else.

Friday, April 07, 2006

8-word poem

It exists
To rhyme with

Thursday, April 06, 2006


Wednesday, April 05, 2006

8-word poem

More to love
You're cherry

Monday, April 03, 2006

8-word poem

We're all
Eligible for
The death penalty,

Sunday, April 02, 2006

8-word poem

My sideburns
Are getting
The better
Of me.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

8-word poem

There's nothing
To prove,
But everything
To change.

8-word poem

It didn't mean
A thing.
Not a thing.