Monday, October 30, 2006

A Story that Could Be True

A robbery on the train.
Too many knives in all the drawers.

Wanting to know if your mother died
but our closeness precludes my asking.

Did you look for me?

The whole world around me
and every face a stranger.

Oh Ammons, you said it best:
I traipse my dull self down the aisles of

desire and settle for nothing, nothing wanted,
nothing spent, nothing got.

New York, you took no bite, left no feeling.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Ten Foolish Things

Ten foolish things anyone can do:
10 Vote Republican hoping this will precipitate the inevitable next stage in the collapse of Capitalism
9 Lose your virginity to a sex columnist
8 Write a pisser of a dissertation on Henry ("Scoop")Jackson Mac Low & expect to get it published by Calvin Coolidge Archibald Mac Leish
7 Lose your job after blogging about blow job given to ungrateful boss
6 Convert to Catholicism and lie at your first confession
5 Pretend you like Joan Didion's books
4 Join a woman's only pyramid scheme and lose $3,000
3 Tell boyfriend your e-mail password
2 Watch reruns of "Project Runway" instead of doing your homework
1 Drive to Mexico in a rented car and park it in the street overnight.

Your own top ten lists are welcome!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Magic Trick Death Taxi Jezebel Bitch Earring

When I get to New York I'm going straight to the bright whore dirty art around window cage tree cage light dick death taxi show.

Take me there and you can kiss my ass in Macy's window, shaking and baking like a point guard. You can blame it on the blossom ova or the bossa nova or the dance from Brazil or the chance of a spill.

Bury my middle in Middlebury!

I hope you know how excited I am to be with you and in the bright whore dirty martini around window cage free cape fight lick death taxi show.

O how I long to be the gal I used to be! Fascinate my rhythm, city of New York.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

If you're wrong about the smoke

Molly's been planning a recovery of sorts. In the hinterlands of Middlebury it is easy to feel undone - all those sterling silver dolphin earrings and Tevas with Smartwool socks. So I've planned a quick trip back to the Big Apple. Hoping to be bitten by anything (one) with teeth. Maybe spend the entire sum of my Friday pay on a pair of shoes.

I'm staying in an apartment in Manhattan - a friend of friends. Who leaves their home open to a complete stranger? Molly Arden, no less?! If it's anything other than a wooden table with a single glass and a cotton blanket in the corner I may spend the entire weekend sifting through the delicious contents of a stranger's home. Imagine what sort of souvenir someone might choose from among your things. What could go missing without your noticing it but still serve as a fulfilling representative of a stay at your place? Would it be the gecko necklace tucked in the nightstand drawer? The very tiny pottery bowl at the back of your hutch? Smaller? Well, maybe it'd be the pearl button tossed in the top drawer of the hall desk among the change, the gum, the chapstick.

It's the city. She makes me nervous and turns me on. She's got her ass backed up against me in bed and I can't decide whether to pretend I'm still sleeping or just say Fuck It, Thank you, More. Bright whore dirty art around window cage tree cage light dick death taxi show. I feel like waking up.

I can't promise I won't be thinking about what I'd like to steal from this lovely stranger who's been kind enough to open his apartment to me for the weekend. I can't say that I won't be a whole new Molly on Monday. I might have a new lipstick, a new word, a new muscle. I can say with certainty that I will not be doing the fire dance trick in the living room like that time at Mary Oliver's. That's one promise I intend to keep.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

High Cue

To collaborate

with you is great. I can't wait

to collaborate!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Molly Writes a Two-Part Poem and Dedicates it to You

You leave a clue in public, a leaf in a swimming pool.
They let you get away with it. They smoke they pipe and they fool
They people. The indolent detective hobbles on one foot.
The god doctor who develops the potion, collects the loot,
And the frat boy uses X to sedate and Y to seduce the lost
Lady not yet twenty-one and already an adulteress. The loss
Stings, though she is stoic, and feels that the less
Said the better. And if Alice had a phallus, what a mess.
A lapsed Catholic, she stopped going to mass
When they dropped Latin, and lost her virginity when still a miss.
In her mind is a scientist and in the scientists's mind the moon
Is a monster and the monster heaves a moan.
And if Alice had a phallus, she would need no moat
To protect her virtue. You get to eat meat
Five days a week in this century. On weekends you meet
And nibble on mushrooms atop of clouds on which the blonde will melt
With a giant ape on the apex of a building. The climax will be felt
If not earned, and will have nothing to do with her horny feet.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

When They Ask Me

When they ask me why, when they ask me if, as if it were I who was going to die and not them tonight or any night, if they press close and come to a rest against my chest and ask me for a comment, I'll say what I always say when "no comment" won't suffice. A charm a single charm is a boon and not a farm in a foreign land that's coming soon when a girl with tits confronts the morning (swoon) and where is the melody worthy of the moon? To quote Gertrude Stein, "if inside is let in and there places change then certainly something is upright. It is earnest." Get it?

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

two handed love

This morning's sunrise was enough to remind me of blazes and universes and proms and uprisings. Every color of anger and baby, it rose out of quickly fading trees like murderous rage and too soon became the usual blue I've been passing under for ever.

The first thing to greet me at work was a blanket email from a co-drone with a simple message about enjoying the beautiful sunrise on his way into work. I emailed back an itty bitty piece of a poem and I'm not even saying which because fuck if that math for brains didn't email back some seventh grade sort of bra floundering response. Does every penis have to be scared of a little balls on a woman? Don't answer. I already know.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Museum of Green Eyes

In the museum the woman
I thought the dance critic
The statues came to life.

The green eyes of the girl
Were windows with fire
Escapes in front of them.

The fruit of the poppy
After six days of work:
How did God know?

If God didn't want us
To smoke cigarettes,
Do you think wet

Dreams cause puddles
On sheets for no reason
Or what do you take me for?

Granted: I love it you love it
He loves she loves it
And for penance they do it, too.

Thursday, October 12, 2006



It's almost time for the new hotel
to go up on the Boardwalk in "Monopoly."
The family is playing with an electric train.
There are pellets of smoke.
The romance of trains is over but they don't know it.
There are different ships: ocean liners,
cruisers, destroyers, aircraft carriers, and
each is beautiful though all will soon be obsolete.
No one cries for a fifty-year-old orphan.

When I play "Monopoly," I pick a hat, the mad hat.
The best strategy is to control the green and yellow
and red properties and build houses and hotels on them.
It's a real estate approach to capitalism
which is good as far as it goes but leaves out the superstructural
stuff, like the feminine scent in the bathroom.

In conclusion, "Monopoly" is a very fun game
though an imperfect representation of capitalism in action,
and it may even be said to be
to board games what Beethoven is to symphonies.

the parts of the body

The parts of the body
equal the parts of speech.

The head is the subject.
The hair is the adjective.
The neck is the predicate nominative.
If I were asked I would say the lips are subjunctive.
Lips move like verbs and words come out.
The moving of the lips is the verb.

Also, tits can be the subject.
Cock can be the subject.
Nipples are the object of the preposition.
Testicles can function as either a gerund or a participle
and sometimes a dangling participle.

I didn't teach the middle school youngsters of our republic's future for the last fifteen hours or days or weeks or months without a sleeping pill and with kids of my own and walk down the corridors and see them in front of their lockers for nothing, the nude little darlings!

Saturday, October 07, 2006


Cherry stem tied in knot,
wet ring on napkin,
dusk, slippery road.

We're at it again.
I won't sleep,
eat only carrots or rice,
hold my breath the whole night we're sleeping/not sleeping.

I take the sleeping pill
days after dinner
years after the drinks
and only then, centuries later
feel the unravel the want
unloose the breathing
everything coming open for you.

The news reports dark eating, sleep feasting.
Bien, ambien, the flesh, the mess
and afterwards I sleep hard.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Fresh Men

Have I explained before the deep and broken love I have with teaching?

I'd rather pluck hens than correct these some 133 essays on myth/ology but fuck if these essays don't pay the bills and leave so much more time for shoes and feet and drinks and good bread and TiVo and soap and books - a selection of poetry recommended by a friend and then overnighted by Amazon (Molly points finger -- You. Here. Now.).

So tonight all the children are getting left behind, G.W. , and I'm going face first into some Cummins or maybe some Auden.

Money is the Root of All Baseball

Money is more baseball than important, and every line has to have the name of a first-baseman and a dollar amount. For example: Steve Garvey hit a double and a single and I borrowed a thousand dollars from my mother. The ball popped out of the catcher's mitt and was caught by Pete Rose when the boys chased me and I came home from school with blood on my knees. Keith Hernandez fielded the bunt perfectly and got the runner at second base and they paid me an extra thousand dollars to model for modern painters 103 with Professor Ruskin. Albert Pujols homered to win game one for the Cardinals and I transferred a thousand dollars from my checking to my savings account.
Thus would the meaning of inflation be conveyed, and thus would the limits of my vocabulary mean the limits of my world, which is a good reason to learn English or be grateful it's your first language. But Don Mattingly no longer plays first for the Yankees and it will cost many thousands of dollars to reform our high schools or get this country moving again.
Is this a prose sonnet? It is.

Thursday, October 05, 2006


Suppose it were 1974 and you could save four persons from the burning roof of the skyscraper. Would you choose:
(1) Steve McQueen, Paul Newman, Faye Dunaway, and Fred Astaire
(2) An average Joe, an average Jane, Ernest Borgnine, and the widow who works at the dry cleaning store
(3) To rush into the anachronistic future and pluck from the annals of the 1990s Jennifer Connelly, Jennifer Aniston, Gennifer Flowers, and a fourth Jennifer who knows how to spell her own name
(4) To dodge the ball and think very serious thoughts such as "This is the last time I will be five years old. It is 1974, and it will not always be 1974."
Such an epiphany happened to me though not then, for the "I" you read here and the "eye" you think you see through are neither the same nor opposite -- and yes, I am aware of what William Blake had to say on the subject. A semi-colon salutes you, Susan Sontag, an unfinished sentence in a lecture that keeps going and growing even after death, like hair and fingernails.
I never liked John Wayne until I saw "Cast a Giant Shadow" and he was so much taller than everyone else and someone was just commenting that John Wayne died in only one movie, I'm not sure which, maybe "Sands of Iwo Jima," and I remembered the headline on the Daily News when John Wayne was quoted saying he "Beat the Big C" -- cancer -- late in his life.
So here's to you, John Wayne. I nominate you to play Bill Clinton in the movie even though you are tactiturn and he verbose, but then I like casting against type and I will always admire Susan Stamberg for saying her favorite Marlon Brando moment was his singing "Luck Be a Lady" in the movie version of "Guys and Dolls."
The correct answer by the way is (e).

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Molly Writes a New Sonnet

Molly Mutters to Herself After Walking Past Edna St. Vincent Millay

Most men don't know the difference
bestween pasties and panties.
I know, because Junior Francesca used
to be one, and so were her chatty aunties.
"So tell me what happened at Linz?"
She took the subway and she was goosed.
No way, they said, it's abuse.
It's abuse when you phone
and yell at a man who used to sleep
with you but now sleeps alone
at three in the morning and you reap
what you knit not, Madame DeFarge,
because you and I want to "live large"
at cliff's edge, contemplating a leap.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Praise for an Ern

This is for Danny Heep, who asks, "in all humidity," who Ern Malley is. Well, Danny, m'boy, many Aussies regard him as the greatest modern Australian poet -- on the strength of a mere dozen poems. Not only that, they were all written on one Saturday afternoon in 1943 by a pair of jokers serving in the Australian army. The authors set out to ridicule modern poetry. They thought the poems were bad and they bet the literati wouldn't be able to tell the difference. Ern Malley was invented as the author of the poems, a modern urban esthete dying young like a latter-day Keats. The story was convincing enough to take in the editor of Australia's leading avant-garde literary journal, who published the poems, trumpeting their greatness. <<>> I'm paraphrasing an article on Ern Malley I read in "Jacket," John Tranter's magazine. I understand that an edition of the letters of Ethel Malley, Ern's older sister, is under weigh.

The Poetry of the Proletariat

Some random thoughts on this or that:
The single greatest literary form of the twentieth century was the letter to the editor.
John Updike said the greatest thing about democracy was the blue mailbox on the corner. Was he right? Yes, but perhaps in a sense that he did not intend back in the smart sophisticated days of Harvard and The New Yorker.
One thing he may not have had in mind is the letters column of your big city tabloids, like the New York Daily News, but these and the earnest provincial broadsides of the Midwest are good sources of your real poetry of the proleteriat.
Better than most poems at your typical poetry reading is a collage of sentences lifted from tabloid Letters to the Editor. I especially like sentences that have the word "should" in them. Take that, W. H.
I see there's a new big blog devoted to the form, a different L to the E each day. Letters to the Editor. It's a good idea, even if it wasn't mine. I believe it may have been Charles Simic's idea. Or maybe it was an idea that Noah had when reading Charles Simic's poetry. In any case, here's to you, Noah, I say, lifting my glass of beer the way the black umpire in the beer commercial drinks to the health of the southern redneck manager he had to eject from the afternoon game.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

We Were Allies

We were allies
Our names were Molly and Sally
We went to the anti-war rally
The speaker was wall-eyed
The girls were tongue-tied
The fish (sushi) was unfried
Our parents went for a ride
Our boyfriends lied
With our dogs we tried
To find a good place to hide
Then we decided to read
Some poetry on speed
For example Ern Malley
Who died in an alley
Made us jolly
But that was our folly