Sun and Lion.

Sun and Lion. Sea. And now some new strange image that comes forth. Never eventually falling asleep, only progressing through images to get there. Crowding image upon image until the light is finally blocked out. Sleep, the images don't stop, only change modality.
But, yes, now consider the sounds. A particular voice says a particular name in a certain way. And then nothing but light. What is the sound of the dream? Retention, reverberation; dust, a hollow quiet. The very bottom of the glass where voices don't go.

Truly, the light of a voiceless projector, on a dense, white screen.



"Le piano, c'est moi."

The body of sound. Gaping mouth, swallowing, embedding, embodying. A living thing, a history in sound. Voice, a voice, voices, the closet of the throat, opened, sound from wood and wire. Liszt, a "smasher of pianos" she said. Expanding the limits of the echo. The history, histories, boundless. The smashing of vaults, dismantling of the sarcophagus.

"The piano used for this recording, a 1903 Hamburg Steinway model D concert grand, was originally owned by the town council of Hull, in Northeast England. During World War II, Hull was extensively bombed and the town hall in which the piano was housed was severely damaged. The piano, however, survived intact and was used in a series of concerts after the war to restore Hull's spirit. In 2002, it was restored by Klavierhaus in New York City, in time to be used at the re-opening of the World Trade Centre's Winter Garden, playing the same role it had in Hull over fifty years earlier."



The dead. There comes a moment when we invite them. Leaves fallen, everyone seems to want to provoke them to rise, when all I want to do is put them to rest. Finally, silently, a mere place to look at in the grass.
Smoking a cigar on a grave in another lifetime. Who was I? Have I myself become ghost?
Here are the terrible distinctions of my past, brought to life by a poet long a ghost himself. That damned cypher-poet. A cursed swastika, spinning in the sun. Pisa, a cage, where it should be buried.



Name it.
Name this thing that is all teeth, and rain. Chill.
How about a phantom? Locate the crypt, looping images. The dead, the dead. Back and back again, the source of a mania to come.
There is a sound coming through the receiver, but interference.
We can sense a Crossing, a seance with something beyond our knowledge, beyond the edge of image.
Describe, transcribe, translate; seek a fidelity. The sound, the sound. An esoteric language, translated into something otherworldly, a tongue more foreign, a voice of the dead.

Frequency. A repeating, a tuning, the tightening of a piano string, the dash of a chisel across stone. The sound, the image, lost to time, frozen in a motionless posterity. A voice, lost to time, a rigor mortis. A traitor, betrayed by time, betraying for a future generation.


Pound on the Radio

Italy in the Forties. Mussollini in Rome and Ezra Pound reading his Cantos on facist radio. What are you thinking at this point in time, man? Can you be doing the Goebbels rant on air? Surely you are more subtle than this? Are you feeling the pinch of your ideals here? You poetry speaks of the far reach of interpretation but also the hate you drudge up again and again. Mr. Pound, I am having difficulty confronting your contradictions. You are/were a madman, locked up after the invasion, locked in a cage. Sure they'd execute you, you thought, and you would've been, had it not been for that one strange intervention.
I'm confronting your image, both of your face and your poetry. Is it mere ideogram or something much more rudimentary? Can we put the cantos on display?
Somewhere you confused yourself, thinking yourself as the ethical tudor of some great liberator, but lost your way. Lost at sea, no periplus to guide you, lost and, at last, wrecked.


Kundera etc.

"The brotherhood of man [sic] on earth will be possible only on a basis of kitsch"...the boundaries of discourses enlarging, whole communities swallowed up by their own voices, voices reverberating from the interiors of their retention-walls. Can anyone cross the lines? Liberating who from whom? Does the intersection of praxis occur in this cursed land? I miss my country. ". . .that which purifies us is trial, and trial is by what is contrary. . ." wrote Milton in the manic turmoil of the English Revolution; so we have untested boundaries, unexplored meanings in these foreign discourses of our modern culture. But why bother? The anxiety of the unknown holds us all back, except in times of battle. Perhaps we were made to war upon ourselves, always, for to do otherwise would be to deny the "shit" of existence. Is kitsch the best we can hope for? Is this "democracy" kitsch now? Are we so close to totalitarianism? Can we teach ourselves out of it?

Is critical consciousness coming to the U.S.A.?



At work, he spends hours watching the homeless men wandering up and down the street, gathering sour beer bottles and sleeping under yellow newspapers. At night, nothing waits for him but an uneasy stirring; 4 a.m., waking up in a dreary sweat, foul dreams scouring his memory. These are nightmares that belong to him, he gathers them in the morning, a jealous ownership. Little else to claim, he thinks, adjusting his tie.


The Double

Two hands unfolding and the movement goes through and outward. The Double. Crossing over one another. Two becoming one, one extending into two. The repetition. Replaying of the same images in rapid succession. Mass production. A mirror, dividing an object into perfect symmetry.
Tricks: moving towards the end, but then coming back, scribbling all over oneself, building density, re-interpreting what has come before with what has been reversed, repeated. The waves come heavier and heavier on every return. Two hands crossing over each other, movement tightening inward. Density. Unfolding and moving outward. One dividing into two, two subtracting itself into one. Reversal. Responding to new images thickening in weight. Mass destruction. A mirror, imperfect symmetry, too heavy here, too dark where it should be light. Old images die and new ones twist out; grinding the sight and knowledge into alien dusts to be inhaled. Nothing will ever be the same again, the images keep coming, always foreign, always unsettled. Peering into nothing but scattered leaves, over and over, leaves becoming so bold that a new leaf is formed. Solid, dense, frightening--and new.
I am going to continue, now, keep going, to pursue and be pursued, rubbing my hands together for fire and images. I am going to continue, now, keep going, incantations and curses each taking an opposing side of my tongue, an instrument that operates just like a mirror.
{never forget that "I" am not I; we are talking about mirrors here, never forget that. I hold up a mirror, leaning it outward. Never forget that.}
But beware: the triangle becomes the square, three becomes four, the mirror adds another, smooths out the tension, divides the power. Where the triangle is a blade, the square is a dull old tooth. The mirror can be a tool to divest an object of its power.
Or: walk into the mirror. The person disappears. The mirror, like the tongue, is a tool to precede swallowing. I open my mouth wide in the mirror; what was once there is now gone.
I bite my tongue and, in the pain of the moment, I forget two and recall one again.


Middle of June

Here we are, we've nearing the middle of a month, June, in the middle of the year. So now we need to begin, making a voice that moves forward and back. Sound a voice that both seeks comfort and shuns it. First, settle your larynx--you can do this--then talk about something, someone, a feeling that is coming close but never appears. But always be careful when speaking of apparitions that you do not create one out of nothing. The voice has always been a powerful thing: be cautious.
Start walking along the river with your voice, you know the sun is out, you can feel it on the water and the skin of your voice. We know too--we can feel it in the walls, it shakes below our feet. We are always startled by the force of the sound. This is a voice that seeks to walk, to walk until its feet ache and burn, until it dries out, dead.
The voice can create spells because it is a spell in itself. So, in the middle of things, the voice is at its peak. It pushes apart the two halves but also seals them together.
Be forever cautious.



A border, a lining, a lattice-work screen of a knotting of flowers. A frontispiece, an introduction, the frame around a portrait, a pleasant decor. Drifting through a state of meandering contemplation in an enclosed garden. A turn of the page, and a brief trespassing scent of rosemary. Beyond these grounds lie the fallowed fields, silent for a millenia. Here, along forgotten paths, scythes rot in the shade, while flowers curl up along their souring blades, producing the most delicate and ephemeral of tapestries.


Block and Tackle

Weight. The problem for an evening of thought of an Archimedian nature. Smithing it down into a question of what to devise.

Gravitas. A furrowed brow, a heavy heart, a heart of stone.

Lifting. With little effort. Minimal exertion. Spreading out the surface area, reducing the friction to a barely destructive warmth, a warmth initiated by an ambitious hand.
The pulley, the wheel, the alternation of direction to create effect. Down, up, the warmth, but never contact. Block and tackle, a distancing device, a dead erotic machine.

Colossal, the silken curve of the pillar, introducing weightless historical space between columns. Temple, an inhalation of mass in an atmosphere that is both sprightly and morbid.

Hook. A loose means of fixing the bulk. Arrogant and careless, the hook.

To whom do I assign the hand, the load, the block, the hook?


Communiqués (with Squelch.)

Communication on the radio:

--"What's your location?"
---"Say again? Negative? You don't know your location?"
--"No, I do know--I told you it's negative."

Intercepted Fragments heard in the background while talking on the telephone:

"until...[laughter]...what they said...[inaudible]...we could have...opening at..."[silence]

Briefly overheard while walking past:

#1: ...and then what happened?
#2: He tried to give himself an enema in his driveway.
#1: You fucking kidding? How did he do that?
#2: With some kind of lubricant and a garden hose, that's how. No fucking bullshit man.
#1: What the fuck. Who called the cops on him?
#2: His neighbour. I guess he kept getting his windows splashed by this guy, so he called....

Communications from watchtower, isolated location. No one receiving:

Fragment: ...new moon tonight. very dark. wind out of the northwest. ground temperatu...[static]...there are voices out in the surrounding woods. lit flares, no visual contact.

Fragment: five inches of snow in the night....sound of crackling fire...approximately four a.m. no voices...

Fragment: ...have received no response f....will abandon post in three more days. [static]...traveling southward along river bank during early morning hours. Should take approximately forty-eight hours on fo...



Mr. Kurt Vonnegut *

Thank you so much for everything. You will be greatly missed.



He wants to find out how to extend the insult onto himself, keep the embarrassment going. Self-flagellation, he has discovered, is an enterprise he enjoys. It's raining hard outside, but he goes to the stationary shop, picks out some paper that, under normal circumstances, he would never buy. Practices a handwriting with an awkward opposing hand. But, despite his meagre tricks, he composes a letter that clarifies nothing; he tries to sound firm and carefree, but the sadness is at home in his hands. He reads it over, re-acknowledging the fact that the letter is a pathetic show of faux-intelligentsia iciness and disregard. He hates it, feels an awkward blush rise up in his stomach, but he drops it into the box.

Nervous, he sits up all night, and comes to the understanding that his identity has been emptied and delegated unwillingly into a mere referent, truly, in the linguistic sense. Everything in his body is pointing outward, that way, in the direction of the departing letter. He has transformed himself into a symbol representing the letter's recipient. He is no pining lover; rather, he is a pedagogical tool, with a co-opted value.


improv on resurrection / improv on three cheers for. . .

He sees a bucket in his hands and all he can do is watch the water coming in. This is the form of his dream, but the content is in the helplessness. In his fear, he is struck immobile, frozen, much in the same way that others are struck dumb in utter amazement. The fear is a fathomless, waging fear, seething at the boundaries of the sleeping and the waking. A sensation so grand that it pushes forward and overwhelms him, reversing subject and object. Who is the one experiencing the fear? "He is experiencing fear?" No: "The fear is experiencing him." And then, with little warning, he wakes, fear subsides, and the syntax of the universe relapses into its rightful order.

Three cheers for the corners of the room, where walls meet walls, what makes a room for us to live in and huddle together for our lives. Three cheers for the nerves and the sweaty palms and the uncomfortable deliberate stares. Three cheers for the luncheon platter with the delicious souffle brought out by the dead grandmothers who sing "Jungle Love" by The Steve Miller Band and show a bit too much leg. Three cheers for how the world works and steers, like a beautiful, swinging, psychopath schooner. Three cheers for low lights at night, dim shadows in the day, those little moments that maintain a shaky equilibrium between the blank void and the over-profusion of life. Three cheers for the neighbours I don't have, who stare at us through their windows and play harp and timpani naked on the lawn. Three cheers for walking down a street in a massive city at dusk with two bags of groceries and a light heart. Three cheers for the words "boulangerie", and "Salsbury" "poop-tin" (just made that one up) and the Middle English pronunciation of "night" and "smoke."

Sleep, that sweet mendicant, is begging for her alms.


Six Three-Line Improvisationals on Fire (Each Rotating on a Loose Translation)

Torque. Ribbons. Smoke. Lighting a fire.
Shouting out the Greek-- "Sarkophagos!": Flesh-eating.
Flesh eating tongues, licking raw.
Crouched in the corner, cold, lighting the fire,
meagre inspirations flowing out of an impoverished chill.
Breath--steam and smoke, mingling, dissipating, burning out.
Shadows, one hand spread outward.
Umbrae, hiding under a rain of fire.
Fleeing through the dark alley with a burning umbrella.
L'amour, la mort, and the fire between.
The living heart, perfect bonfire.
Warming bare skin in another.
The old movie theatre was on fire.
We rushed to the river to watch. Behold!
This old world is crumbling before our eyes.
Tossing logs in the fire, heat trespassing,
darkening mirrors, rewriting poetry in reverse,
chanting metaphysical curses aimed at the heart.
good night.


the human being is ill.

sour. a human being that is ill. he stretches his spine back into the chair, turns on a lamp. he slides his fingers across the pages, barely reading, already aware of all the words anyway, taunting the sharp edge of the paper with exposed skin. this foolish behavior continues into the morning: teasing, playing, pointless play-acting, seeking the materialization of a wound. waiting for an apparition, wondering if it even matters. On the radio, static, voices that reverse themselves. the sunrise breaking across the barrier of his own windowsill, conversation devoid of phonetics. his desk drawers, dried pens. shuts off the lamp, watches his own hand reach, turn the switch. he brings his hand back. his very own hand. an illness that wants to summon back all the body's disparate spirits. alone, howls softly in his chair, seeking to exorcise the dread disappointment solidifying in his lung.
Finally, he breathes out fire with a gruesome scowl. The birds' morning chirping falls under the smoke alarms. He is his very own scourge. He excels at this exercise. his neighbours know this, see his lights on all night. they hear the alarms, never complain.


The Sound on Top of the Sound

I ask you now to listen and observe the sound on top of the sound. Here we can discover new elocutions that can re-enlist the crumbling mythos of the tower of Babel. The vocalization of a name, the urging towards and inwards, the desire-phonetic. Mouth the lusty and moistened "O", taste the anticipatory "M", or bite back with the icy "S."
Watch the sound; slide two fingers along the throat, that cavernous oracle, to measure the vibration. How much knowledge can one acquire here? To master these mysteries, one must surrender oneself to the eloquent godhead of the tongue.
Here, at this temple, you must become the most dedicated disciple.

Quick Improv on a promotional flyer for Jean-Luc Godard's "Une Femme est une Femme"

In the stars of all waking moments there is the hand that holds you lifts you, sends you somewhere. The supportive hand, the balancing hand, the blind hands that make value judgements, the choices that must be made by those who must make them. The hand, lifted to the lips, the ensuing silence of a kiss.Riding a bicycle in the living room, cawing like a chicken, bonking my head against the wall to prove love, the yellow night sky the twinkling stars, the fire reversing with space, a night sky all ablaze with indecision.


Mad Improv 3am Jan 13.

When the young ones ask me how I came to be a member of The Group, I am always unsure of where to begin. None of them comprehend electricity; nor have any of them seen a street light operate; even the asphault roads that were once so ubiquitous have long been ground up under the weight of the tanks and artillary transports. But they recognize the word "collision," understand how violent motion translates onto a human body.
"There was an automobile collision," I always begin, trying to keep the details as modern and simple as possible. Immediately, I notice the faces of the older teenagers tightening up; some of them are old enough to remember the first bombing raids twelve years ago.


At the end of another season, one of our patrols comes upon a small band of nomads. Their leader wears government issue leather boots; he carries a rifle with an ivory stock. They take us on several hunting expeditions and offer themselves as guides through the foothills. Better yet, when the wet season ends, and the raids once again begin anew, they lead us into their caverns for sanctuary and shade.

One time, I witnessed the leader of these nomads beat off an attacker with the butt of his rifle. Afterwards, he cleaned the blood off the ivory with a gritty tongue.

Two months into the rainy season, keeping watch through the night. In the puddles gathering in the ruts of the road, several reflections of the moon. Pieces of moon, crushed behind the treads of one of our tanks. I begin to feel ill, try my best not to remember the people I loved who are now dead.