Monday, October 19, 2009

“When the work of interpretation has been completed the dream can be recognized as wish fulfillment.”

—Sigmund Freud

1. You are on a hill.

I don’t know if

the weather is fine because

it’s your dream. Barbed

wire surrounds you. I’d like

for there to be cool wind

that makes you halfwake

and slide your hand into the elastic

of my underwear. It’s not

a sexual gesture. You are looking

for solid ground, Sanctuary.

2. You are against the wall.

I don’t what part

of the wall is you, what part wall.

Green vines creep up. There is

no wind. Nothing to link to

the howling in my chest.

A tic—I see you—brick

and blood. You do not reach

out. My name is on the ground.

3. This one is rabbits.

This one is skin without safety,

grass without pigment, juice

from an unknown fruit. If you

can trust it, it might kill you,

so you trust it and it does and

you wake up.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Written July 16, 2009.

Today you could call for me

and I would not hear you over

tidal roar or hooves gaining

early morning ground. Oh

insistent speed that said,

It’s Time, and I released you.

When unwelcome gusts

brought unwelcome ghosts,

the fabric of nightfall could not hold.

Tension mounted its broad, tight

horse outside the gate, where

dogs had given up.

You could have called for me

that night among clanging stars

and crashing iron. I’d have heard

you. Why did you not call?

I waited. Sundown. Sunrise.

Roosters forgot the hour. The chicks

they begat ticked across the road

like tiny, neglected bombs. I didn’t start

after them, but let them

go in waves.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Ah yes, I remembered this evening, I am a writer. So I did some reading and I did some writing. And, inspired by a certain gentleman, a photographer by the name of Nicoletteje, and the way an empty page looks all creamy and lonesome, I found two things and thought of another.

Thing one: "Otherwise,

color and motion, the day's
global positioning ratchets
into place with a purse click."

That's by Terese Svoboda.

Thing two: Recent posts by Nicolette at

Thing three: The idea that occurred to me of Earthly sounds being lost in translation. I think I'll start there.

Thursday, August 6, 2009


"Rubato" comes from Italian, and is used as a musical term to roughly mean "robbed time." It's something felt, rarely written; regardless of time signature, regardless of notation, you steal the space in between the notes to create another dimension there. The listener suspends her breath. 


One wandering eye flits

to tepid milk sitting out. I’d

forgotten. He is in it, as he is in

every vaporous toccata whirling

lost inside the radio. Questionnez,

rubato. I cannot tell which eye is my

enemy. I eye with love, with loathing,

any tool to scoop it out. But which simply

sees? Which connects dizzyingly out of a grab

bag of images, its open-mouth socket a noiseless vacuum?


1. The other in bed sings as if


12. A house clicks

and shudders in southeast wind.


5. Long curtain shadows twitch

in powdered light.



With each forced closure, I lose

a whole dimension.



For relatively new writers, it comes less often than Christmas, and is over just as quickly. It's come, for me, in the forms of: wait-listing, a lengthy and beautiful and encouraging letter from a lit mag co-editor, and nudging brilliant writer-professors. Most recently, I got this rejection letter from Gulf Coast...

Piss-off auto-generated rejection:

"Dear Fellow Writer,

Thank you for your submission to Gulf Coast. We're very sorry that your work doesn't fit out needs at this time. Due to the volume of submissions we receive, we are unable to comment on individual submissions, but we look forward to reading your work in the future and wish you the best of luck in placing it elsewhere.

The Editors
Blow us hard."

I invented that last part. 

But then there's this, handwritten, a little further down the letter...

"Jamie, We really liked "Rubato," even if it didn't make the final cut. Please send again! -SB"

That's from Sean Bishop, Managing Editor. 

Christmas explosion.

It's almost better than an acceptance into a magazine, because it's a personal acknowledgment. Yes, these are people, not litera-robo-prototypes, reading your poems. And, yes, they like them. And, yes, you should keep writing. 

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Written June 28th. A work in progress. It's not really about a sea gull.

i was on the beach collecting language

when you appeared as a gull, out

on the crests, cresting. you were always 

a gull, as gulls have always been.

here i saw that i could collect you also. 

your wild-eyed symmetry, symmetry

of your own language, your calling

out sounding like awe or raw...

raw, algae ripped out and whorled

into tide, beaching itself. raw, skin

laid out whipped by hot grains 

of sand. raw carelessness that belongs

to the world, that the world doles

out needlessly. 

you will one day land

on a live wire. in your mouth you'll carry

shock, loss, your pulse less 

and less. it will be the symmetry 

that eliminates you. its syllables that 

gag you like too big fish.

seconds from your end, i will see you

and there will be nothing i can do. 

foam from your mouth, calls falling 

out, will become foam on the sea. foam 

i will collect and swallow, 

calling and recalling.  

Monday, June 29, 2009

Because the world consists largely of fragments...

...and because it's often the individual parts we love as much as the whole (the individual line in the poem, the lines in the lover's face), here are some fragments of poems of mine. It takes fistfuls of guts to post one's poems to a public audience. I'm not ready for that. I need to shower first. And swallow hard. And get ahold of some bourbon. 

+Nopeology—the study of things that probably won’t happen
  Maybology—the study of things that may or may not happen

+The only thing that saves you

from infinity is your own breath and

your cells’ decisive birth and death.

+Tiny cannons dabbing at cerulean, another kind of blue. 

+Red: the last color lost on the way to the ocean floor. 

+pulse pulse pulse

  pulse pulse pulse 

+I know that military cut
close to the head
close to the throat
  Depth of guilt directly correlative
to the degree of sin
  Morning shave arithmetic 
  Nick, whisker, blood speck

+Faith, To a Beta:
a stone man in a diving bell.
False coral paradise, fluorescent filter hell.

No one really reads this yet. I'm kind of glad for that. 

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Somebody Else's Poetry Before Mine

Lo-fi digital photograph courtesy of Nicolette Van Doorn, 

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Madrid In June

I suppose I made this blog to put poetry on it.

Monday, May 4, 2009

A first, because there is always.

There are plenty of reasons not to do anything. Anything is exhausting, but there's also the dark matter mystery of whatif and whatnext. Making a blog, for example. Why the hell would I make a blog? What can I have to say that hasn't been said, whatif, whatnext? I don't know is a fine answer. I'll go with I Don't Know. I Don't Know what I want for breakfast. I Don't Know why I'm in Laos. I Don't Know why I made a blog.