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wWednesday, April 25, 2007


2017

I CAN QUIT USING GOOGLE ANY TIME

I don't need google to find dinner
Or a picture of wombats or a series of phrases
To use in my next poem
I have a special search engine -- in my pants

I can quit using google any time
I will be getting a red star so I can quit using google to search
with.
I wish the government had a delete button on it
Is today the day I stop using google?

Where Land Cruisers go to die: Portland, Oregon
Not content to censor the Chinese population
Google's representatives have recently asked many media companies
To stop using Google as a verb

Do you hate Google yet?
stop using google for searching stop using analytics avoid google
earth
NOT A GLITCH, THIS IS SO SPAMMERS WILL STOP USING GOOGLE
People can stop using Google a lot faster than they stop using
Microsoft

Install a robots.txt Disallow:/ to keep Googlebot off your sites
i want to search, not be distracted by all this other crap
Stop using Google now before they have you by the throat.
oogle only holds 5 to 10 % of the internets web sites

Use youtube like you used to so that I can watch your videos
because i need to show them to my dad to convince him to ride.
The author said that the best way to teach yourself a language
(which is how I'm attempting to learn German)

is to get not one "teach yourself" course,
use lemon juice to help remove freckles
A 1063-pound mako shark
with a mark the shape of Osama bin Laden's likeness.


posted by Jordan #


wFriday, April 20, 2007


2016

ORTHODOX ACCOUNTS OF EXISTENCE

The puppy
Looks up from his
Free newspaper

Clumps of dirt
Covered with grass

*

The 5-4 decision,
the first time the Supreme Court
has upheld a ban on
a specific abortion method,
is set to change the abortion debate.

*

You want to be the way you are,
Therefore Billy Joel loves you.

It's hard out here for a pimp.
Irony and sincerity are separate nation states.

*

All species have
evolved over
time from
a few forms through
the process of
natural selection.

*

The bible tells us so.

*

A protease is any enzyme
that begins protein catabolism
by hydrolysis of the peptide bonds
that link amino acids together
in the polypeptide chain.

*

The cycle of rebirth
is also the escape
from the cycle of rebirth.


posted by Jordan #


wFriday, April 13, 2007


2015

DOING TAXES I DRINK MORE WINE

Doing is one of the stupidest sounding words in the English language
Diphthong is also up there

Taxes remind me of my father
Who loved the McNally cartoon fake tax form that asked
"How many talking chickens do you have?
Do any of them play the oboe?"

I have no talking chickens
I have a federal return and three state returns
And, as it turns out, two separate New York City returns

Those two make me want to drink more wine
Is not a sentence that comes to my mind except when I'm watching tv

Doing taxes is a lot like watching tv
I get so stupid I expect them to ask me about my talking chickens

Here, take my talking chickens
Turn them into dead Iraqis, and what about Iran
Excuse me while I top off my shiraz


posted by Jordan #


w


2014

I Remember John Ashbery

I remember being introduced to John Ashbery for the twelfth time.
I remember how dazzling the light was on the campari soda
As the partygoers milled around and watched each other tilt slightly
Making unwarranted assumptions about how entitled each was.
I remember wondering whether Sodus was the singular of soda.
I remember finishing "The Skaters" and thinking, "Oh yeah?"
I remember trying to write several pages of French prose
To translate into American poetry, then being somewhat disappointed
At the exchange rate listed in the paper that day.
I remember my befuddlement at the news you could live somewhere
On a newspaper art critic's salary. I remember thinking,
Maybe if I write dazzlingly Audenesque poems for a few years
I can live on into an era that can't forget Auden fast enough.
Then I remember thinking, if I can just write one or two things
I could call dazzling if I scrunch my face up like Kukla Fran and Ollie...
I remember Bob and Ray. I remember Jess, and R.B. Kitaj.
I remember the Bibliography produced by David Kermani.
I remember the MA thesis on Henry Green. I remember finding it
In the Columbia library and making a photocopy. I remember
Consuming Concluding in a hazy rush and wishing
My parents had factories to leave me. I remember Joel Lewis
Saying all other New York poets were suburban compared
To John Ashbery. I remember the entry fees for the Yale Younger Poets.
I remember the thrill of the proper name, the gazetteer,
The possibility that Margaret Atwood had written good poems.
I remember "If we can figure out how these poems work
We can solve any medical crisis that ever comes along!"
I remember "he never gives interviews." I remember
A massive collection of interviews. I remember the names
Of his least vertebrate imitators. I remember the names
Of his most comprehending appreciators. Mainly, though,
I remember how it sure was nice to spend a day in the country.



[This poem sponsored in part by a grant from a donor in Boston.]


posted by Jordan #


w


2013

That Would Be A Great Poem If You Cut the Crappy Parts

God I love your poems, what you're doing
You are on to something completely original
And yet reassuringly familiar, emotionally anyway

I know it's the hardest thing in the world
To know when you're on or not
Everybody from Kant to Paul Valery to Phyllis Diller says so

Look, here's my card, I do a little private consulting
It's not very svengali or master-slave it's
Let's just say I come from the land of Rent Control
What I didn't have to give a landlord I paid in dues

And I think I can show you, I'm not criticizing but
Did you notice when you looked up those two times
That glassy look on the handful of people
Who weren't averting their gaze from your radiance?

There are a few places where, relatively speaking,
You're phoning it in -- don't worry, your B game
Is so much better than everybody else's A game
Nobody noticed. Not yet, anyway. You're good.

You're really good. That poem is good, it's amazing,
The long one with all the images of Brooklyn
Train travel and the back and forth with your friends.
It would be a great poem if you cut the crappy parts.

I hate to drop that on you and run but EastEnders
Is coming on in exactly the time it takes me to walk home
And I haven't missed an episode in twenty years --
Do you have a VCR? You'd love it. Talk to you. Great job.

II.

Here's the deal: Your poem goes on too long.
We're not talking Seventies-German-Cinema too long,
It's more 'wtf dude we're your friends.'

Really.

I know this is just a listserv,
And I know how many sets of air quotes have accreted around *not ok*
But this text has a funny way of showing up in print
*EXACTLY* as it appears in the electrons.

If I don't say something now,
That's what they call *tacit approval.*
Which I do not want you to think I'm giving.
Your poem goes on too long.

It would be a great poem if you cut the crappy parts.
It is clear that you don't know which parts those are.
It's also clear that if I tell you you will hate me.

Can you feel the suckage?

My parents tricked me into a Dar Williams concert
And it would have been ok, at least as much fun
As the very best of Fresh Air with Terri Gross
If she had stopped *talking* between songs
And played maybe twenty fewer
And if the twelve songs she did play
Varied somewhat more in melody, structure, tone, and point.



[This poem was funded in part by a grant from an anonymous donor.]


posted by Jordan #


w


2012

THAT'S FUNNY, YOU DON'T LOOK AVANT-GARDE

You look like a bank clerk
Like a university professor
Like a meteorologist
You look like a Speed Racer fanatic
Like a stay-at-home dad
Like Jeff Daniels' stunt double
You look like a wall of books
You look like a can of beans
You look like a benefit of doubt

You look like this guy at the library
Who snort-laughed whenever I checked out Khlebnikov
Which reminds me, I don't look avant-garde either
No hat no pince-nez no theodolite no chignon

No cape with giant embroidered labia
No pennyfarthing three wheeler no lobster-powered surrey

You're this guy with a computer who writes things
While maintaining an absolutely conventional job family home and a car

A car! You have a car!
You have a car
Which burns gasoline
In its conventional engine.

In the real world this kind of going along to get along,
Resourcefulness and a persistent presence of mind
Which for all manner of arbitrary financial emotional reasons
Means taking advantage of petroleum-powered combustion engines...

In the real world having a car
Is a form of power
That makes life as we know it possible.

In poetryland, everyone knows how little we know of life
And therefore how changeable our conditions may prove,
And as far as that goes that's all right
But oh in poetryland a little learning is all you get,
And the science section.

In poetryland, where everyone is presumed guilty
Until proven a blameless perfect orchid of unending delight
Which happens to like two people every hundred years
For the duration of twenty to a hundred and eight lines,
Having a car invalidates your right to imagine
Being governed by your peers, people
Who read and write books and don't actually play golf
Or own voting machine companies.

In poetryland the loudest voices end up in the newspapers
And the quietest ones schedule the trade presses.

In poetryland as anywhere else in America
If you work and work your native humiliation
You too can be a great humiliator,
A superfund site of the soul.

You don't have to be rich.
You don't have to be cool (god no).
You certainly don't have to know anything
(You certainly don't).

Elvis misquoted Shakespeare,
But he omitted the attribution.

Stop worrying about everyone else,
About me, about the internet,
Which poets' cookies have all the chocolate chips.

Stop it.

Stop it.

Stop it.

Just shut up and stop it.

Give me one line
That's not a ferrofluid grenade
To remind me what your permawar's for.

I'll be over here
Next to this eight-foot wet paper bag I've closed you in
With a pencil
Waiting for you to write your way out.



[This poem was funded in part by a grant from a donor in Kansas.]


posted by Jordan #


w


2011

What's In National Poetry Month For Me?

I'm tired of being the guy
Who goes to work in a tie every morning
Letting all the people who don't share my skin color know
"Sorry, Charlie! Gentrification a-comin'!"

And I'm tired of poetry events with eight people in the audience,
Tired of poetry books with four poems worth reading in them,
Tired of all the readings, books, and journals
That exist mainly to tell us how tired of everything all the famous
poets are.
But I'm tired above all else of American politics and its one lesson:
Look out for number one. Case in point:
What's in National Poetry Month for me?

What are these interminable group readings,
These commemorative posters, these e-mail bombardments
Supposed to do for the poetry that makes *my* balls tighten?

Poetry that is as *there*
As this war
And this economy
And these governments,

Zombie poetry? Pirate poetry?
Ninja poetry?
Coffee bacon donut poetry?

Is there a single poem published in America since the war began,
And I'm not counting Chicks Dig War and I Loved My Father
Which being laser beams of death to indifference
Can hardly be counted as poems, but is there any American poem
Again I'm not thinking of PoemFone or Folly or Deer Head Terrorist
Snake Penises
any poem as
Dark Brandon Neo-Benshi Sockittoya Gods All Suck Real Americans
satisfyingly greasy as a donut?
Again not speaking of Mainstream Poetry Dickinson Ghostbrain Good One
murderous as a stealth swordsman
didn't think so.

And this poem is just as lame as the others,
And I don't even have google as an excuse

Its lameness is my lameness

Which is legion even in the land of lame-os poetryland has turned into
Having actually always already been that hello Larry Fagin hello David
Lehman
Hello Oscar Williams hello Fitz-Greene Halleck!

Poetryland has always been a blotter
For number-one-or-nothingism
And an incomprehensible annihilating resentment
Which is general among all who dare stray there,
Who dares imagine to make something out of nothing but words.

National Poetry Month, you hold up an enormous magnifying mirror
To these symptom-ravaged faces
And encourage more smiling and polite applause
And I admire your sense of humor
But all the same, fuck off.



[This poem was funded in part by a grant from the Helena Rubenstein Foundation.]


posted by Jordan #


w


2010

No One's Going To Tell You What To Do

Why should I be any exception.
Why should anybody get to talk back to you.
For that matter, why should anybody feel entitled to speak up.
What's the matter, don't you have a sense of humor?
Don't I? Don't they? Forgive me if this is whiny.
What would make me think I'm any different.
Why wouldn't you want to make your point at any cost.
How about that, you've alienated everybody.
I didn't think it could be done but you've been underestimated before.
No one's going to tell you who's ok to attack.
No one's going to tell you when you've gone too far.
You know much better than everyone else.
It's funny that you attack people for exactly what you do.
It's brilliant that you presume guilt instead of innocence.
It's totally edgy that you impute your motives to everyone else.
You've had some time to notice what everyone's up to --
And the necessary distance.
There really isn't anyone who measures up to your standards.
Everybody's lame or climbing or... I dunno, guilty of original sin?
You're the one that makes the whole class edge forward
In anticipation of the line that pushes the teacher over the edge.
You're the one who calls the shots.
You totally have the insights. There's no telling how far you'll go.
You're totally aware of your flaws and limitations
And when other people resort to name-calling, you're on that shit.
You know how to fight clean and fight dirty and best of all
You know how to make it look like you're not fighting at all.
You don't make a spectacle of yourself -- people love what you do.

No one's going to tell you what to do. Not even you.


posted by Jordan #


w


2009

Your Gods All Suck

I have worn your fezzes and your burqas and your yamulkes and your mitres
I have stood in your temples and your mosques and your synagogues and your cathedrals
Your oracles and your rec rooms and your board rooms and your bar rooms
I have studied in your upper rooms and sat on the floors of your fellowship halls
And rolled twenty-sided dice, listened to organ music, come abruptly and after a glorious duration
And I've read your poems and I've bullshitted with your dads and missed trains
To hear the ends of your graduation speeches with their quirky ice- breaking openers
And I have walked your dogs and listened to your secrets and taken your drugs
And tried your recipes and borrowed your shampoos and edited your articles
I've followed your blogs obsessively and donated blood and felt smug along with you
And felt smug without you and reasoned with your cynicism and felt desperately alone
Whenever you have revealed your absolute otherness which exists permanently
In these gods you unpack from your upbringing, your education, your stance
Vis a vis the slate layer cake of class, these gods who save you from anxiety
By delivering you in middle age to a mindless repetition which is not poetry and is not life
And which leads you always to fear, blind rage, and isolation, and leads me too,
Because your gods all suck, every last one leaves you spent and pale and not saying thank you,
Not feeling the motorcycle throbbing under your ass, not rolling into a tree the snow
Crinkling on your corduroys, not looking straight at the asshole that shits another year
Of incomprehension onto the lilies, not staying where we stand, but agreeing
To be destroyed, agreeing to pretend to reject everything but a champagne lollipop
Distributed by aspiring actors freezing in canyons, to reject happy senselessness
And senseless happiness and bonkers the camerata in its metronomic swingings
Of the bows of agreeing, even music even the way is a god that sucks, even the wrong word,
The pot and the poetry there are no hot hands there is no always-on. Suck suck suck
Not you not me your gods my gods these prolegs belief adheres to our spines
God almighty the suction the straightaway lying of checklists and watchtowers
And photographs by Marion Ettlinger, voting machines and neural plasticity,
There is no avoiding how bad your porn sucks, how little you know what you want of love,
And vice versa it of you, how every note of Chopin chisels a concordance in the basalt
That is devotion to a flower and a hive and the odds of finding royal jelly
And surviving the duel of the nurselings, your independence sucks, and your satire,
Every means to preserving an equidistant parody of fellow-feeling, pussy gods
And especially the mothergod pitying the undying crap of what fails to study,
Learning is a crap god, a Vishnu of because-I-said-so, and reason is a bullshit god,
Just as opposing reason is the eternal sucka, the ever-advancing army mistaking its iPod
For body armor and its heavy artillery for an explanation, and repetition is a fucked god,
A fucked god, a fucked god, repetition is a fucked god leaking poetry,
And everyone who reads this sura will continue to cling to theirfucked gods,
But there is no god who monopolizes love, and there is no love that anxiety cannot trouble,
And eventually and permanently there is at least five degrees above absolute zero of love
Everywhere except on earth where we keep seeking some evidence
That the larger part of the universe wants even more than we do to be pushed around
And to find these ghosts we make a colder space than has ever vibrated
Inside a water heater underground in Minnesota.



[This poem was funded in part by a grant from an anonymous donor.]


posted by Jordan #