Saturday, January 31, 2009

Cleaving Pinochet

Pinochet Prison Planet

“i can’t find— my passport.”
—adrienne rich, “usonian journals,”
the school among the ruins

i once saw general pinochet—in his dracula cape
aboard the esmeralda— when they tortured us
they stripped us naked—hosed us down
with saltwater on deck—the sailors and marines
were young and ruthless—faceless and grinning
they were just following orders—don’t they always?

then they drugged me—dumped me off a helicopter
as i fell down into—the pacific ocean i thought of
gay carib key west hart crane—white upturned eyes
of greedy sharks—waiting with bated breath
american pirate movie—except i didn’t get to
walk the plank—i was just a naïve baby-boomer

a dead gay poet—way back then in 1973
i lived with my lover—in downtown santiago
then i found myself—in al-gharib prison
with awful electrodes—zapping on my manhood
the same young soldiers—shamelessly leering at me
getting off on my pain—somebody told me i was

lucky just to be alive—even though i ended up
dumb & speechless—in a wheelchair for life
i can’t find my passport—where am i anyway?
prison planet pinochet? night of the living dead?
the nixon-reagan-bush years—having come and gone
what do TPTB have planned next—for their children

each generation—kills the next one
the great american pastime—our parents
butchered in Europe & Korea—then our turn
dying baby boomers—in lovely viet nam
what’s next for—my lucky JFK generation
Saramago-esque—gulag archipelagos?

Cleaving Roberto Bolaño

Pan's Labyrinth (2006)


“El automóvil negro desaparece
en la curva del ses”
(“The black automobile vanishes
around the curve of being”)
—Roberto Bolaño, The Romantic Dogs

slimy nixon—goya reagan
darkness—sublime noir cadillac
crummy republican limo—adios boyz

no schmaltzy—neocon adieus please
guantánamo diaspora—brain-dead baghdad
the sooner the better—bye bye peron!!!

Cleaving Roberto Bolaño


“Avec los”
—Roberto Bolaño,
“En la sala de lecturas del inferno,”
The Romantic Dogs

in the lounge—in the reading room of hell
the latino lit forum—on the patio
everything seems icy—but then
each line makes—things warm up
when i read the poetry—of impossible lives

stepping inside books—walking the edge
it makes me laugh—makes me feel real
i’ve been saved from—being buried alive
making me feel—lucid again, serious
about the past 8 years—neocon abyss

I laugh now—bibliomaniacally perverse
amongst the ruins—of allende’s palace
pinochet peron—nixon reagan bush
right-wing zealots—religious fanatics
are there any—baby boomer victims left?

Friday, January 30, 2009

Cleaving Schlocky Horror Movies

The Monster of Piedras Blancas (1959)




One of the reasons—why Armando loved
Mexican Horror Flicks—was he was homesick
I suppose it was—what a kid would naturally do
Movies reminded him—of Mexico City back home
All his yard work money—went South of the Border
To support his dear Mother—and five Sisters
Naturally this appealed—to my Prurient Interests
Knowing I was helping—him with his needy Family
While at the same time—helping Needy Me!!!

(“¿Usted quiere mi monstruo grande, hmm? ¿El homosexual del gringo?”)

Another reason why—cute Armando loved Movies
The exquisitely schlocky cheap—Mexican Horror Flicks
Because he identified—with Lewd Ugly Movie Monsters
The Monsters were always—after the cute Young Girls
Usually they got what they wanted—Earth Girls were Easy
Earth Boyz were easy to get too—but that’s another story
All the Monsters ultimately—were Incredibly Phallic!!!
Young Armando was—obsessed about such Matters
I was rather enamored too—by such Phallocentricity!!!

(“¿Usted es una reina de tamaño de gringo no es usted?”)

Not every young man—is so obsessed with it
But Armando was—and it’s certainly easy to see why
Armando was, well—how to put it somewhat politely
He had a severe case of—The Giant Gila Monster
If Godzilla was a Lounge Lizard—Hanging around bars
Then that’s Armando—say sayonara to Tokyo, baby!!!
He had a rough time dating—because of Jurassic Perks
It was just TOO huge and primitive—for most chicks
That’s why he loved Brainiac—Terror was Getting Even
He loved the way the Baron of Terror—got Revenge

(“¡Mire esos pene-pinchers sin cortar inmenso del Monstruo!!! ¡No son ellos realmente somthing!!!!”)

Gawd only knows—how much fear Armando inspired
How many young girls—ran away screaming in horror
Screaming bloody murder—like Movie Scream Queens!!!
It was a real turn-on for him—to Flash his Big Joint
I was a Screamer—back at the Snake Pit Drive In
One look made me Scream—Scream for More!!!
I knew what I wanted—I was a Gym Class Shower Queen
I was a real Screamer—but I Screamed Silently
I was the Silent Type—Don’t Scream Don’t Tell was me
The Bigger the Better—Gimme Beauty and the Beast!!!

(“¡Ah Yuk!!! Adoro la manera que el Monstruo babea por todas partes el lugar. ¡Cague, como mí!!!”)

Armando liked Screamers—Screamers got him off
Whether Scream Queens—in Cheap Mexican Movies
Or Scream Queens—Tied up in his dumpy Trailer
The call girls he picked up—little did they know
The Monster from the Black Lagoon—was a Mexican Stud
I knew of course—the minute I saw him next door
I hired him on the spot—to be my Handy Dandy Man
He was All Hands all right—Big Hands like the Monster
The Monster of Piedras Blancas—my kind of Monster Boy
Ten times worse—then the Black Lagoon Creature
Armando’s huge Lizard—made my blood run cold

(“¡Usted lo quiere FEO hace no usted Gringo Haz de leña!!! ¡Tómelo!!! ¡PRUEBA FEO también, verdín de Gringo!!!!!”)

Armando was six feet—very long and lanky
He looked like—a young skanky Lee Van Cleef
You know the Star of—It Conquered the World (1956)
Handsome Peter Graves—and Beverly Garland
Trying to convince him—the Venusian Monster was Bad
That the evil alien had plans—for World Dominion!!!
I can’t help but think—that certain horror movie villains
Secretly appeal to guyz—certain alien skanky desires
Deep in the heart of Armando—what lurked inside him?

(“Qué una carga de monstruo que fue. Yo todavía tiemblo. ¿Usted no puede esperar otro aprieta, le puede dickface?”)

Armando had a Bad Case—of Mexican Sexploitation
It wasn’t as simple as—I Was a Teenage Werewolf
He wasn’t hung up like—I was a Teenage Frankenstein
There wasn’t any disfiguration—to give it away
It was all down there—ensconced in tight bluejeans
Armando didn’t wear shorts—or a jock strap either
The Monster simply lurked there—stealthy and smart
It was embarrassing for me—it was smarter than me
It had a much higher IQ—than my Gringo Intelligence
Armando’s shrewd lean Mexico City—Piece of Meat
Stretching down the side—of his nice thick Leg
Like a Boa Constrictor—sliding down a Palm Tree

(“Eso es la manera. Consiga la lengua que jode allí arriba, el hombre. ¡Mi asshole necesita un Trabajo bueno de Borde!!!!”)

Where others looked away—I stared helplessly ahead
Where others snickered and smirked—I ogled spastically
Where others shrugged—I hopelessly fainted to the floor
Where others didn’t even notice—I was All Eyeballs Aflame
Where others felt disgusted—I felt even more disgusted
Disgusted after I got it—disgusted for wanting it again
Armando smirked at me—my Gringo Shivering Angst
As I went Spaz—draining his oozing Popocatepetl!!!!

(“Permítanos reloj Brainiac otra vez esta noche. ¡Yo me bajo de en el Barón de Terror!!!”)

Naturally the young male animal—in Armando loved it
It always had eyes out—for wealthy Gringo Fags
Gringo Fags liked his ugly Monster—they liked him
Better than waitresses—at the local Pizza Slut
The McDonald Girl—always gave him a nice wink
But that was all Needless Competition—didn’t need it
I locked the door behind me—got the Tequila out
Made him a stiff drink—popped some popcorn fast
Before long I was feeling him up—on the sofa
His pants were so skin-tight—and hard to get off
I had to pry them off—with a dull can-opener
But The Monster of Piedras Blancas—could be had!!!

(“No sea tímido. Siga y tráguelo. Yo le daré otro un verdadero rápido, puerco de gringo.”)

I just happened to have—a neat Monster Flick
I hadn’t seen before—all ready to enjoy that evening
I’ve got this 50-foot Flatscreen—on my bedroom wall
I got it at Costco for a steal—only $1,000,000!!!!!!
The Monster of Piedras Blancas—was already to go
Armando immediately fell—for cute Jeanne Carmen
The young innocent daughter—of the Lighthouse Keeper
The tall phallic Lighthouse—with its spiral staircase
The moody crashing cliffs—the submerged sexuality
Plus all that moody Phallocentricity—Monster Meat Love
Such a neat Special Effect—Really Sexy Lounge Lizard
Whoever created that butchy “Creature”—had to be Queer!!!
Those huge Veiny Hands—those butchy Lizard Shoulders
Those lovely drooling Lips—Fetish with ripped-off Heads
I dreamed for weeks afterwards—the Monster after me
Crawling up the Spiral Staircase—the lonely Light House
What Horror to be Embraced—by such a Scaly Gill Man!!!

(“¿Cuánto puede tomar usted, cocksucker? ¿Cuántas pintas de mí en usted este verano?”)

The whole town of Piedras Blancas—so nervously abuzz
Forrest Lewis the Cop—Star of The Thing that Couldn’t Die
Along with Les Tremayne—star of The Monolith Monsters
Are all hot and bothered—like Don Sullivan biology student
Star of Teenage Zombies and The Giant Gila Monster
Coming up with the creature’s name—“Diplovertibron”
A ravenous sex-maniac Marine Reptile—on the Loose
Peter Dunn as the Gill Man—Star of Invaders from Mars

(“Usted no tiene interés en mí. Todo usted desea es mi Monstruo de la Laguna Negra.”)

What Armando liked—was the great Monster Suit
He wanted one for Hot Dates—after getting girls loaded
Then he’d spring out of the Closet—and Scare them
Plus he liked the Skinny Dipping scene—Female Nudity!!!
He liked the idea of—Shameless Interspecies Lust
So did I—especially with his young Gill Boy Lizard
It’s easy to overlook schmaltzy—cheap Grade B Movies
But I had a whole stack of them—plus Armando in bed
The movies were so-so—most people would just laugh
But to Armando and me—movies weren’t anticlimactic
Grade-B Monster movie romance—was serious business
Each weekend we’d watch—a couple of movies in bed
I started keeping—a lewd Mexican Horror Movie Diary

(“Tómelo, lo toma. ¡La mierda!!! ¡Aquí venga mi Monstruo de Piedras Blancas!!!!!”)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Cleaving new yorker poetry

New Yorker Poetry

“Patriarchal poetry—
she did she did”
—Gertrude Stein,
Patriarchal Poetry

new yorker poetry—indeed
new yorker poetry—makes life so chic
new yorker poetry—one two three baby
new yorker poetry—slick as a coffee table
new yorker poetry—smooth as a dry martini
new yorker poetry—chatty as a bridge game
new yorker poetry—one two three baby
new yorker poetry—exquisitely cosmopolitan
new yorker poetry—makes you wait
new yorker poetry—makes elizabeth bishop wait
new yorker poetry—makes elizabeth bishop wait so
long the 12 o’clock news is late
new yorker poetry—makes visibility poor, but nevertheless
we shall try to give you reminders of the lay of the land and dreary poetry
new yorker poetry—reveals new england gangland for
what it is, creepy, gnarly, used-up, calcareous, skanky, scaly, slick
new yorker poetry—rises up abruptly, above the slums,
dark alleys, busy streets piled with garbage, brooklyn accents, Italian restaurants, Jewish delicatessens
new yorker poetry—glowing faintly in the dim light, the
penthouses overlooking the daily morning glacial gleam of manhattan
new yorker poetry—always sophisticated, reconnaissance
reporting the discovery of a rather large black hole unknown to us, obviously man-made, mausoleum, manhole, Borgesian maze
new yorker poetry—revealing a huge stately skyscraper
known as the empire state building win a signboard of gigantic size way up there advertising the strange love affair between a struggling young actress fray wray and a cute teenage lower east side ape

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Cleaving gamelan

Gamelan Blue

“Separated by too. This
is neither a sentence nor
a paragraph. A simple
center and a continuous
design.”—Gertrude Stein,
“More Grammar Genia
Berman,” Portraits & Prayers

gertrude does—grammar portraits
turning dialog—and conversation
into paragraphs—and sentences
portraits are done—with words
alice toklas—is a season of seems
when she’s blue—may is blue
what is bluer—when she is blue
my baby loves blue—so do you

Cleaving gamelan

Gamelan Music
—for Phuoc-Tan & Diana

“I write for myself—
and strangers”
—Gertrude Stein

i write for myself—and strangers
but mostly—for myself
i wouldn’t be writing—this way tho
if it weren’t—for strangers
especially a stranger—who said
there’s somebody—i want you to meet
so i write now—for two strangers
and myself—i write for her
even tho—we don’t talk anymore
i write for him—we talk a lot
without her—there wouldn’t be him
i write for him now—not her
funny how strangers—come & go
i write for myself—and them

Monday, January 26, 2009

Mexican Horror Flicks

Brainiac (1961)
El Baron Del Terror

“The Original Uncut Version”!!!

Armando—was cute!!!
Armando was my—Mexican lawnboy
The Lawn—never got mowed…
The Hedge—never got trimmed…
The Roses—never got clipped…
The Hydrangeas—drooped & died…
But my Gutters—got cleaned, baby…
Every weekend—that’s for sure!!!

Armando and I—got along just fine
He was a nice Top—me a decent Bottom
A Bottom Fish that is—Armando was a Shark
We ended up watching—lots of movies
Lots of Mexican—Horror Flicks
Armando couldn’t—speak English
I didn’t—speak Spanish much
So we watched movies—instead
Usually all night—in my bedroom
The Flatscreen—up on the Wall
The best kind—of movies
Cheap Mexican—Horror Flicks!!!

Armando—was 18 years old
Armando—was from Mexico City
Armando—was a sexy young Desperado
Armando—was illegal in more ways than one…
Armando—looked like a chicken Gael García Bernal
Armando—had a peach-moustache on his upper lip
Armando—pouted a lot—that made it even better
Armando—played hard to get drove me crazy
Armando—didn’t like Amores perros (2000)
Armando—didn’t like Crimes of Padre Amaro (2003)
Armando—liked Motorcycle Diaries (2004) tho

Brainiac—El Baron Del Terror!!!!
That was his favorite—Mexican Horror Flick
We were always—watching Brainiac all the time
At least a million times—oh those juicy Sat Nights!!!
Naturally I identified—with El Baron Del Terror
I was good at—impersonating Baron Vitelius
Burning at the Stake—vowing queenly Revenge
Little did my Inquisitors—foresee the Horror
300 years later—me descending from the Sky
A tacky special effects stunt—evil meteorite me
PLOP!!!!—back down to Earth I came…

Abel Salazar plays the Baron—I was better than him!!!
My quivering lizard-like—pink Forked Tongue
The most Perverted—Horrible Tongue in Mexico!!!
It was simply Disgusting—like a Snake or Gila Monster
Flicking it in out—I could smell Pussy for miles…
The Baron and I knew how—to get that Tongue in there
Sucking the Brain Pan dry—down to the Last Drop
What a tasty Habit—sucking all that runny Brain Snot
Giving all the Call Girls—one big giant SLURP!!!
Sticking my twitching—horrible Forked Tongue
Right up their Twats—Killer Cunnilingus so Fine
Spook Show Matinees—Creaming in the Aisles!!!
Late Night Monster Movies—Brainiac in the Balcony!!!

Brainiac the Movie—makes Basket Case look Naive…
Brainiac the Movie—makes Psycho look Amateur…
Brainiac the Movie—makes Dracula look Effete…
Brainiac the Movie—makes Alien look schmaltzy
Brainiac the Movie—always turns Armando on!!!

Especially when—I weasel my Forked Tongue…
All the way up—his tight Teen Mexican Asshole…
Talk about Dirty Gringo—Rim Job Fun!!!
I was better than— El Baron Del Terror
I was more Slutty—I took my Time
I was more Sneaky—than snarky Abel Salazar
My Forked Tongue—wouldn’t come out Easy
It popped out like a Cork—when Armando popped
Armando laid in bed awhile—smoking a joint
“Okay Fag Gringo”—he’d hiss at me
“Andele, man”—“Fork me again…”

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Cleaving Marlon Brando

Marlon Brando—
A Cleave Biography

“You’re the one-eyed jack
in this town, but I seen the
other side of your face…”
—Marlon Brando,
One-Eyed Jacks

One side—two sides
Three sides—maybe four
That’s how—cleaves work

Brando can be—serious like
Julius Caesar—On the Waterfront
Brando can be—really out there
Missouri Breaks—Apocalypse Now
Brando can be—freaky like
Reflections—in a Golden Eye
A Southern drag queen—in love

Brando can be—way out there
Dabbling with—dystopian terror
Morphing men—Island of Dr. Moreau
Brando can be—a parody of himself
Superman’s Dad—or Bounty’s Christian
The serious Brando—actor icon
Versus sloppy goofy—Godfather

Brando can cleave—either way
A one-eyed jack—going either way
But a cleave—isn’t just sideways
It can crawl—up & down vertically
That’s what happens—One Eyed Jacks
Rio takes the wrap—for bank robbery
Malden betrays him—lets him rot
Five years later—Rio gets even
But it’s a troubled—moody revenge
Like being betrayed—On the Waterfront
“You was my brother”—Brando says
To his mob lawyer—brother Steiger
“You shoulda—looked after me a little”
Filmed in the back—of a mob limousine
“A little” Brando says—Steiger looks away
Betrayal is complex—when trust fails
It’s not simply—linear and horizontal
Getting even is like—Kafka’s guilt
Like Proust’s anxiety—it waits
Five years—Brando picking maggots
Off his ankles—in a dirty Mexican jail
That’s a long time—to think it over

Malden ends up—in Monterrey
Respected sheriff—with a family
Brando goes for—his daughter
Louisa (Pina Pellicer)—loves him
Almost making up—for 5 lost years
“Surely a man—can’t stay angry?”
Brando asks himself—cleaving
Reversing himself—up one side
And down the other—cleaved by
Revenge and love—moody
Submerged in himself—doubled

A one-eyed—two-faced jack
Full of mid-scene—ennui plus
A sense of danger—screen presence
Trying to figure out—his motives
Not an old fashioned—black and white
Western—with Ben Johnson complaining
About the constant—Pacific crashing
Waves all the time—a weird modern
Western off the coast—with grief and
Unspoken rage—not Dodge City angst

Visibly hiding—his mixed emotions
Brando ready to explode—holding
Back playing it—the deck of cards
Calm and cool—like a cucumber
A poker game—that doesn’t end
Understated—the duality and dialog
Cleaving himself—his other side
Brando’s own version—of being
A one-eyed—calm stealthy Jack
One time bank robber—now lover
“I got reasons”—he says to Louisa

“You was my brother”—to Steiger
Incorrect grammar—resentful irony
A boxing career—sold to the Mob
A modern-day Western—redefining
How Hollywood—cleaves the hero
The same with—Streetcar Named Desire
Screaming “Stella!!!”—up at the balcony
Betraying himself—out of pure jealousy
Blanche DuBois—setting both of them up
Both Brando and Malden—getting screwed
Again—this time humid New Orleans
Cleaving again—man against man
Southern Decadence—versus Western
Hollywood so generous—with its genres
Scripting the story—3-way narratives…

The same with—Last Tango in Paris
Modern betrayal—more chic cosmopolitan
Bertolucci the Cineaste—zeroing in on
Maria Schneider—pouting undressing
“Vous êter américan?”—she asks
Brando betrayed again—disillusioned
Knowing what he wants—renewal
Perhaps even—not knowing it
But getting it anyway—all the same
The way a man—cleaves under pressure
Flaking like a diamond—like a Krell door
Brando doing Morbius—Forbidden Planet
Cleaved by all the—Monsters of the Id
Things going nova—is there escape?

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Cleaving Roberto Bolaño


Sangriento día de Iluvia

“que se abre y nos
ensucia y nos abraza”
—Roberto Bolaño,
“Sangriento día de Iluvia,”
Los perros románticos

Some days—your words bleed
They ooze—through the walls
Bleeding behind—the wainscoting
They make me—shudder with
Pain—and pleasure…

Knowing your world—out there
Enters me—when I hear
Your BMW—motorcycle roar

Knowing you’re—between girlfriends
Not telling me so—but I know
By the way—your words ooze
And slowly bleed—out of you
Making me—feel dirty

La francesa

“Lectora de los
aforismos de Duchamp”
—Roberto Bolaño,
“La francesa,”
Los perros románticos

I envy you—each time
You’ve got so much—self-control
Even without—a girlfriend
You’re calm—sluggish slow

Even when—you die at night
Filling me with—your adolescence
There in my moody—dark bedroom
Spastic—your guillotined head

Roberto Bolaño y yo

“tienen un sitio
los homosexuales?”
—Roberto Bolaño,
“Ernesto Cardenal y yo,”
Los perros románticos

You’re handsome—built like
Your father—a boxer which
Adds to your—poetry…

But when—you ask me:
“Y los masturbadores impenitientes?”
“Los esclavos del sexo?”
“Los sadomasoquistas?”
“Los putas—los fanáticos?”
“De los enemas???—
for me
I can’t—take it anymore…

Afterwards—I ask myself
Why do you—ask such questions?
I wonder if—you really know
Or care—about guys like me?
The way—you make
My hair—stand on end???

El gusano

“Lo vi coneste ojo:
parecía un gusano”
—Roberto Bolaño,
“El gusano,”
Los perros románticos

You’re built—for love
Pale skin—smooth all over
Muscular—freshman gymnast

One glimpse—I lose it
Huge worm—Nightcrawler
Wanted poster—come alive

Whiteness—between your legs
Dragging it—out of you
Desperately—becoming you

White snake—with legs
Pouty lips—big Adam’s apple
Big biceps—to die for

I couldn’t stop—loving you
Feeling you up—in the dorm
A white worm—for a roommate

Pale white—Anaconda
Mississippi—young manhood
Still growing—real fast

Friday, January 23, 2009

Cleaving Roberto Bolaño

Bolaño, berlin & baby boomers

“Is Nazi poetry an
oxymoron? Not a bit
of it, posits Bolaño.
On the contrary, it’s
all too possible.”
—Stacey D’Erasmo, “The Sound
and the Führer,” The NYTimes
February 24, 2008

Bolaño invents us—a nazi literary salon
i was a peenemünde poet—snarky like ernst jünger
my heteronymic doubles—hermetically sealed

years later—revisiting new berlin
retracing my days & nights—as a young poet
i had this startling flashback—about my luftzerleger

languishing littérateurs—pimps & belles lettres
“nazi literature in the americas”—wickedly pushing
imaginary fascist poets—into surreal nazi reality

borges as smirking—sardonic SS colonel
meticulously keeping track of me—his hitlerjunge
lover in the stacks—lazy lebensraum nude

buenos aeries streamlined—by far-right littérateurs
pushy purveyors—hitler-esque belles lettres
beauty, truth & luftwaffe jets—how we won the war

it’s all been recorded—cross-referenced
my slipstream sci-fi memoir—long dystopian novels
secondaire literature—“nazi science fiction”

a series of sketches—some cheap scenarios
von braun, messerschmidt—miss borman the fixer
my compressed life story—Vergeltungswaffe lit

i was
leni riefenstahl—busy young neocon director
filming a brand new—world order reich aesthetic
goose-stepping chic—up & own Fifth Avenue

i had the taste for it—classic stuka vulgarity
a dislike for “bourgeoisie”—a lurking sense that
something had gone—terribly wrong with poetry

the muse, for instance—had been “stolen”
perverted” by inferior races—a better poetics
a fourth reich genre, my dear—surely imminent

world war II—a passing reference
substitute “language poetry”—for “fascism”
and bingo—how exquisitely co-contemporary

verses vindicating il duce—aryan literary societies
nazi writers—their postmodern imaginations
riefenstahl reminisces—all those hunky olympic games

nights in rio de janeiro—busy buenos aires
swooping junta helicopters—and bankrupt priests
filigreeing & dissecting—an endless hypocrisy

lost souls and—laughable oeuvres
ratty yellowing pages—aging old nazi queens
ernesto pérez masón—daniela de montecristo

max mirebalais—the ceaseless plagiarist
combining heinous nazism—plus negritude
passports to nowhere—disingenuous disguisings

literature an escape—from history?
literature a post-avant—fabulation?
literature an uncanny—nothingness?

if Hitler won—wouldn’t poetry be different?
chrysler building—with art deco eagle?
congress—just another dumpy Reichstag?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Cleaving Roberto Bolaño

fiction / führer / fucking around

“Among the many acid pleasures
of the work of Roberto Bolaño is
his idea that culture, in particular
literary culture, is a whore.”
—Stacey D’Erasmo, “The Sound
and the Führer,” The NYTimes
February 24, 2008

it’s midnight—in chile
the intellectual elite—write poetry
they paint and—discuss the fine arts

european post—avant-garde lit…
as the junta—tortures nude students
in suburban bedrooms—with stilettos

torture has no—national loyalty
only a fascist scream—adolescent sex
no political bent—only squeezed scrotums

the same in paris—during the occupation
gestapo genies—summoning up evil nazi
would-be masters—tits, testicles, electricity!!!

ironies so sharp—poets with sharp tongues
but fingernails pulled out—with bloody pliers make
hemorrhaging syntax—even more exquisite…

my cut hands—smearing the runny pages
my confession—not coming easy since there was
no anesthetic—no hide-and-seek from the knife

I used to think—I was, well, courageous
existentially heroic—reading jean sartre & brecht
before the military coup—butt-fucked plato

Cleaving Roberto Bolaño

critics / critiques / cleaves

“Roberto Bolaño was an
exemplary literary rebel.”
Sarah Kerr, “The Triumph
of Roberto Bolaño,” The
New York Review of Books,
December 18, 2008

cleaving fiction—dragging it
out of the unknown—into myself
inventing a method—to represent it

this unknown space—a new reality
the results of my work—multi-dimensional
running ahead—of the critic's powers

highlighting—the conceptual play
risking & missing—the visceral sex
stressing ambition—conjuring up threats

exclusively—high-modernist camp
gay literature as—more than sterile game
the heteronyms—hummng to themselves

think of a writer—not as a snob
but in the double sense—exposing us to
unsavory fiction—yet critiquing it too…

Cleaving Bolaño

Argentine Surrealism
—for Roberto Bolaño

marcel duchamp—in argentina
a french writer's—relationship to power
provocations—weird imagery
peron-throwdown digressions—conversations
characters falling—off the radar screen
a visit to a chat-group—a cemetery suddenly
beginning to speak again—in vain
surrounded by an aura—of vibrating
possibly malignant—verbal energy
a dictator’s face—full of brief flickerings
anecdotes of—borges labyrinths
evita peron—propped-up in a
throne—stinking with formaldehyde…

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Cleaving norma desmond

Sunset Boulevard

“What did Bernstein
say to make you ask
so many questions?”
—Ron Silliman,
Sunset Debris

Handsome William Holden—movie star?
Why face downward—in a swimming pool?
Talking to himself—in Sunset Boulevard?
Shot in the back—by Norma Desmond?
That old silent—Hollywood movie queen?

Why confess such a—sordid murder story?
To an already jaded—Los Angeles audience?
Why does Billy Wilder—begin it in a morgue?
With Holden on a slab—telling it there?
The audience—laughing it was so silly?

So Wilder changes it—the opening scene?
Instead of kvetching—to his morgue mates?
William Holden—tells his story differently?
Face-down eyes-open—arms floating like wings?
That’s how it begins—in a cheesy pool?

A dead man—gets to tell his story?
Is it believable—or just somewhat campy?
All these kinky flashbacks—about Hollywood?
Norma Desmond—the decadent aging star?
Out of silent films—from another era?

Sunset debris—Sunset Boulevard.
What does Norma want—a great comeback?
Cinemascope Technicolor—Gloria Swanson?
Can a script—renew old has-been dreams?
Dreams of Hollywood—fame and fortune?

I drove fast—into this musty old garage?
Dodging the creeps—repossessing my car?
Pretty soon there I was—a worthless gigolo?
Slave to a faded silent star—Norma Desmond?
Norma Desmond—Norma Desmond!!!

Silent movies fade away—what’s left then?
An old haunted mansion—an old butler.
A dead monkey—a secret burial at night?
Wilder’s spoof of—faded horror movie drag?
Musty drafty memories—some contact bridge?

William Holden—failed filmscript hack?
Ending up rewriting—Norma’s come-back?
Surely nothing’s worse—than tacky flashbacks?
Not even Cecil DeMille—wants Norma anymore?
It’s all over with—and she knows it?

William Holden—and Gloria Swanson?
What a lovely—Sunset Boulevard couple?
Using each other—to get what they want?
Holden needs money—Swanson needs fame?
All dressed up—only film noir to blame?

Close-up to staircase—the ending scene?
Norma Desmond—descending into the lights?
William Holden—floating in the swimming pool?
Hollywood decadent—waiting for rotten remake?
Waiting around patiently—for Mulholland Drive?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Cleaving spicer

Billy the Kid
—for Ron Silliman

“Thinking through the post-avant

Close reading the post-avant
Counter-reading the post-avant”
—Ron Silliman

billy the kid—he’s back again
thanks to jack spicer—and his vocabulary

look at what he’s done—badboy poet
new western zen cowboy—tradition of poetry

new american poetics—out of the closet
thanks to wesleyan press—and robin blaser

thanks to larry eigner—cid corman
thanks to SF—the berkeley renaissance

thanks to—bernstein’s rough trades
thanks to—silliman’s american tree

thanks to—cocteau’s liquid mirror
thanks to—heurtebise’s rolls-royce

thanks to—orphée & his radio
thanks to—sleek motorcycle escort

thanks to—yeats’ honeymoon
thanks to—occult fast train at night

orange groves—and moonlight
between los angeles—san bernardino

yeats making love—to his wife
whispering—to him in tongues

2,000,000 tongues—2,000,000 visits
2,000,000 poets—all the one night stands

then it begins—the dictation verse

see how billy’s groin—oozes honey…

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Cleaving pound

The pact

“I make a pact with
you, Walt Whitman”
—Ezra Pound

i make a pact—with you
ezra pound—my fascist father
bollingen prize—badboy poet
pig-headed—pisa prick
st. elizabeth—prisoner of zenda
poet—of the new woode
you broke it—that whitman Line
now it’s—time for cleaving
time for—commerce
words—between us
—based on Ezra Pound’s
“A Pact,” Personae (1926)

Cleaving silliman

Jan Steen, Rhetoricians at a Window (1662)

The Rhetoricians

“The recognition that the
very presence of the line
is predominant current
signifier of the Poetic will
cause some poets to discard
at least for a time, its use”
—Ron Silliman,
“Of Theory, To Practice

cleaving masters—like ezra pound
more than just—translating them
word for word—line for line
stanza for stanza—poem for poem
it’s more like—cleaving the sargasso
sinking down—into bermuda triangle
disappearing—into LangPo
jettisoning—jetsam & flotsam
all the way—downward

Cleaving vs. Cloaking

“prefer my cloak
unto the cloak of dust
‘Neath which last
year lies”
—Ezra Pound

thinking about—the Tree
how tree-time—doesn’t stop
keeps going—into the dark hours
how i prefer—cleaving to
cloaking—words themselves

—based on Ezra Pound’s “The Cloak”
Personae (1926)

The American tree

“the tree has
entered my hands”
—Ezra Pound

the tree enters—my hands
the sap rises—thru my arms
the tree grows—into my fingers
the tree bends—in the wind
the tree leans—roots go downward
the tree is me—my snarke fingers
inch their way—back down home
the tree—speaks to me

—based on Ezra Pound’s “A Girl”
Personae (1926)

The pact

“I make a pact with
you, Walt Whitman”
—Ezra Pound

i make a pact—with you
ezra pound—my fascist father
bollingen prize—badboy poet
pig-headed—pisa prick
st. elizabeth—prisoner of zenda
poet—of the new woode
you broke it—that whitman Line
now it’s—time for cleaving
time for—commerce
words—between us

—based on Ezra Pound’s “A Pact”
Personae (1926)

Schmoozing with Rhetoricians

“Let me be free
of the printers”
—Ezra Pound, “Come
My Cantilations”

will darkness—accept me
be pleased—these cleavages
timorous overtures—coffee-klatch kitsch?
schmoozing—in the morning
will I end up—a poet or printer
kvetching—amidst verisimilitudes
mating—with my right hand
making love—to my rough drafts
before posting it—in the blog forest
feeling it—the hidden recesses
the dark woode—the wordy darkness?

—based on Ezra Pound’s “Tenzone”
Personae (1926)

The edge

“You edge against this”
—Ezra Pound

double lines—so edgy
nervous—enslaved by convention
ennui—the bourgeoisie
tyranny—the unimaginative
writing against—the dullness
the edge—dreary dinginess
thickening—with middle age
smothering me—old tree rot
rotting—bondage beauty
edgy—defying myself

—based on Ezra Pound’s “Commission”
Personae (1926)

The Sargasso Sea

“yet this is you”
—Ezra Pound

mind-melding—with you
with you—my sargasso sea
your ideas, gossip—oddments
strange pieces—of lost knowledge
great minds—have sought you
bright ships—here and there
but I prefer—the usual way
one dull man—dumbing down
my so-so mind—thoughtless me
you’re patient—you watch me sit
hours go by—nothing happens
now I’ve hooked you—bingo goes the mirror
how strange you are—my mermaid muse
down there—the great nowhere
i’m your trophy—a dead Beowulf boy
pregnant with mandrake—floating upward
it’s something—trying to improve
how words fit into—the loom of our days
tarnished, gaudy—wonderful old work
idols, ambergris—rare ruby inlays
deep sea riches—your great store
subterranean sea-hoard—down there deepest deep
strange and sodden—suddenly mine
slowly i float—back up again
there’s nothing—my hands are empty
nothing’s mine—it’s all yours

—based on Ezra Pound’s “Portrait D’une Femme”
Personae (1926)

The word hoard

“an unlikely,
treasure hoard”
—Ezra Pound

the word hoard—it fails me
i’ve lost it—the journey’s jargon
the weirding way’s—three voices into one
ancient password—dire sea-surge tongue
i’m the—night watchman
moody ways—are my keel and anchor
tossed close to cliffs—weathered by storms
down by the dock—granite clammy bulkheads
gannets & mallards—quacking drunk fools
mead-drunk silly—dumb seagulls and me
blue moon man—once lorded by youth
sorrowful seafarer—tied fast to waves
here i am back home—stuck again in ennui
admonished—by my departed kingdom
cuckoo-clock sea—how could i have left you
given you up—irresistible Thane acres
oyster-pearled sea—leviathan muscles
the dragon-path—ship of the sea
for a lousy dock—a cabana some real estate
ghostly me—once sailor, sea captain
top foretopsman—gripped by the Ambiguities
all on loan—billy budd and me

the sea wanders free—its real estate isn’t me
flooding everything—blasting with storms
lost possessions—all earthly riches treasures
gold-hoarding kings—all sunk below the waves
richest landlords—locked in davy’s locker
the sea has no trouble—with word hoards
burying the bodies deep—writers both rich & poor
we are all dead sailors—all of us once free

—based on Ezra Pound’s “The Seafarer”
Personae (1926)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Cleaving lana turner

Lost & Found Poetry

“The art of losing—
isn’t hard to master”
—Elizabeth Bishop,
One Art

Writing poetry is—an unnatural act
It takes great skill—to lose something
To find it—then lose it again

Convincing people—it’s just luck
Saying it’s really—just inevitable
The only natural way—to be a
Poet is to be—unnaturally cool

I lose—something everyday
More & more of me—gets lost that way
We were meant—to be losers
Big time losers—small time losers

It’s no disaster—it's easy to master
The world’s—one big Lost & Found
I’ve lost keys—and watches
I’ve lost houses—and cities
A continent or two—no big deal

Even losing you—I won’t lie
When it happened—I didn’t cry
It was lucky—I even found you
Finding & losing—the art of love

Write it!—that’s the way it is
Live it!—it’s always been that way
Love it!—the art of lost & found

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Cleaving chandler

Murder Most Foul

“An affair with Raymond Chandler,
what a joy! Not because of the
mangled bodies and the marinated
cops and hints of eccentric sex,
but because of his interest in
furniture.”—Margaret Atwood

the neighbor boy—was suspicious
but he knew furniture—the way
it breathed & could feel—not like us
more muffled & subdued—like old
upholstery—with its undertones
sunlight—and scuffed leather

sleazy sofas—dumpy & stained
stuck in corners—like murderous
old women—blue-rinse alligators
hibernating crocodiles—just waiting
to clutch you—with ratty pillows
cushions like—queasy quicksand

he smirked—fingering the curtains
running his hands—along the
edge of the nice—smooth mantel
inhaling the odor—of the fireplace
the cigarette smoke—spilled wine
the quickie sex—smudgy gilt frames

he checked out—the three bathrooms
as if it were—an expensive hotel
sniffing, fingering—rubbing everything
the bed—kingly or queen-sized?
creaky four-poster?—lace-curtains?
the furniture—the important thing

only then—murder most foul
his pale cruel—cold-blooded eyes
knowing all about—greenhouses
the big sleep—the two daughters
one a nympho—young & murderous
the other—addicted to gambling

young chauffeurs—need to be
good drivers—with black cadillacs
and long skanky—lincoln limos
with backseats—like overripe peaches
back there—in the dark where things
get desperately—sucked & fucked silly

the new chauffeur—wasn’t naïve
he had a weaselly—malicious feral
sly porcupine—warthog skanky
romantic quivering—gearshift
always just barely—out of reach
knowingly agonizing—to the touch

if i got—too terribly demanding
pressing my lips—too devouringly
inserting my tongue—or forefinger
up into eden—much too quickly
he’d give me—the pouty look of
a hurt loincloth-less—bomba boy

such jungle love—teenage frisson
wrapping his—python legs tightly
around my neck—such strangled
moments—on top of the living-room
table—his haughty hors-d’oeuvres
my kind of—murder most foul…

Cleaving argentina

Evita Mon Amour

"Please don't—
mention Evita."

yes, i know—my dear martin.

so many evitas—imeldas and eva brauns…

so many filthy demagogues—who taught their party…

to thrive on *clientelismo*—and robbery...

but what’s new—my argentine friend?

my buenos aires—literary confidant?

peronnismo has been around—for a long time now

ask them—the disappeared ones…

the ones drugged—& thrown from helicopters…

after they fled to—the church for help…

the children of allende—pinochet’s minions…

ask saramago—that portuguese troublemaker…

ask ricardo reis—and his shadow pessoa…

ask carpentier—borges & arenas…

ask lorca—puig the spider woman…
so many writers—so little time…

even if we could—what would we ask them?

why katrina—was harbinger of things to come?

why new orleans—the most latino of usa cities?

why the hurricane—and downfall of the big easy?

setting the example—of what was to come?

the third worldization—of not just new orleans...

but the neocon globalization—of the whole planet?

are we not now—all exiles of elba?

even as we foolishly—look back?

evita—mon amour?

Cleaving winter

temple in the snow seattle center

Seattle Winter Afternoon 2009

“As one has already seen
in other times and other
places life has its vexations”
—José Saramago, The Year of
the Death of Ricardo Reis

first snow storms—worst in 10 years
then monsoon floods—like lana turner

worse than the rains—of ranchipur
washed into the lake—clutched in the arms

of a drunk richard burton—laughing at me
surely plagues—and locusts are next

but this afternoon—in the conservatory
here she is dawdling—in volunteer park

admiring languid orchids—humid ferns
moody meandering—on capitol hill

the sun comes out—it goes under
nothing else to do—but a little murder

Cleaving reinaldo arenas

Before Night Falls
—for José Saramago

night has—already fallen
for borges—and reinaldo arenas
as well as—for fernando pessoa
and all his—closeted heteronyms

now it’s our turn—to go like them
down the gutter—like new orleans
third world—katrina whores

under the heel of—castro & peron
left or right—what’s the difference?
we all end up—third world slaves.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Lyric Recovery

Dawn (1881) William-Adolphe

By Laurie Elaine Hoffman

Dark is the morning—we cannot hope to see
Fingers search disturb—dead air
A blind man seeks—any portal
Any blessed ray—of light.

Dawn wakes to—a clatter
boot heels—and cannon,
pale hair rent—rockets’ red fire;
Dawn wakes to—shattered dreams of silence,
The sound of a swan—in the distance
Weeping—the demise of her mate.

Dark is the mourning—we do not hope to see
The blind man seeks—the deepest portal
Reaches for even a cursed ray—of light.

Cleaving Seiichi Niikuni

—for Seiichi Niikuni

the cleavage—so simple
between river—sandbank
kawa (river)—shū (zandbank)
is life really—that simple?

Cleaving Seiichi Niikuni

—for Seiichi Niikuni

the cleavage—gets simpler
between life—and death
after Niikuni—passes away
his poem—becomes a wall
his tombstone—above his grave
“concrete” poetry—for real
cleaving river—and zandbank
cleaving life—and death

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Dennis, I want to mention that I left the extra space to the right of the image for the anthology's title, when we get one.

All suggestions are welcome!

I differ from you in seeing Language Poetry as a moment in a viable continuum, rather than as you do as the end-all and be-all of PoMo.

Just as a river carries what it collects along in its current, poetry brings Language Poetry to new water where new solutions will occur.

Heraclitus said you never step in the same stream twice. Likewise, poetry's current never stops, but moves along constantly changing, carrying all the poetry of the past to the present and future.

Lyric recovery may be our task to perform as we bathe in those waters!

Let's not demand that Language Poetry be responsible for everything that happens as poetry changes. It had its moment and now is part of the stream.


The Anthology Cover

The Anthology Cover

Silliman’s Blog & Cleave Poetry

Silliman links to cleave poetry again! This time to our cleave Anthology—discussions over the cover…

Cleave poetry, Langpo & the problem of schools

Interestingly enough, Silliman links to Cleave cover I suggested in Snarke, i.e., Diana’s “concrete poetry” cover. Please find above the latest color version Diana sent me.

Also, I find it interesting that Silliman brings up the topic of Langpo, Cleave & Concrete poetry & their relationship with each other as “schools of poetry.”

The idea of “Lyric Retrieval” to me means paying attention to how Langpo is now retrieving Lyric, Concrete and Surrealism into what we’ve learned about poetry thru the L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E school or movement.

For example, the new schools of “paralyricism” and “parasurrealism” I’ve touched on here in Snarke with various poem examples is one way to show how Langpo hasbeffectd contemporary poetics.

The Lyric Retrieval school using new Concrete poetry ideas like Diana’s Cleave cover is another way that Langpo has revised and revisited previous schools and genres.

Silliman’s Blog & Cleave Poetry

Silliman also links to Concrete and post-avant schools

concrete poetry of Niikuni Seiichi


Stephanie Young’s Picture Palace


Thinking through the
Close reading the post-avant
Counter-reading the post-avant

& confusing cause & effect re the SoQ

Monday, January 12, 2009

Cleaving michel collot

Prose Horizons

“The fashion these days is
to render verse prose-like
and prosaic; I lean more
toward rendering prose poetic”
—Michel Collot, “Thematic Discussions
on Poetry—Interview with Michel Collot,
(Prétexte 21/22) Revue Prétexte

it takes a—poéthique gesture
driving across country—sometimes

to disambiguate—and distance oneself
from the long stretched—out prose horizons

and discursive landscapes—stretching out
horizon to horizon—invisibly tres poetic kinda

after all day driving—across prose Nevada
the surface of the moon—ancient ashen ashcan

pterodactyl-prose—jets flying by overhead
while hugging—the highway, cars, trucks

the ghosts of gas-guzzling—SUV dinosaurs
outdated heavy-metal—highway monsters

then afterwards—stopping at some motel
lying in bed—with the air-conditioner on

watching some—late night news drifting
asleep—letting the prose night recede

as we slip slowly—into The Land of Nod
into the landscape—of posey el primitivo…

Cleaving lyrics

ParaLyric poem #2

“The rejection of a
dictatorial language
creased back on itself,
the wish to open the
poem to a horizon
which exceeds it”
— Michel Collot

sleek shadowy—pterodactyls
huge wings—flying low overhead
it’s all so—primitive full of

the possibilities—of poetry
stretching out past—ancient

pale parataxis skylines—
pausing briefly—perusing them
let the—paralyrics begin

Cleaving Postcards

ParaLyric poem #1

“to redefine lyricism,
not as an expression
of internal sentiment,
but rather, as the
creation of a new
emotion that takes
shape only through
worldly matter and
through words”
— Michel Collot
(Prétexte 21/22) Revue Prétexte

pale purest—wordy paragon
worthy of being—parasurrealist
possibility of the—immediate moment

image-seed—source-text by mac low
pushing the—diastic word-flow
without any—clue whatsoever

working with—chance composition
differently—letting syntax go spaz

Cleaving parasurrealism

Parasurrealism Poetry

"The growth of recent strains
of parasurrealist writing out
of more language-based
poetry, from which new
avant-garde hybrids emerge”
—Charles Borkhuis, “Writing
From Inside Poetry: Late
Surrealism and Textual Poetry
In France and the US,” Telling
It Slant: Avant-Garde Poetics
Of the 1990’s, Tuscaloosa: U of
Alabama Press, 2002

These images—in the Marla series
Are a stream—of nonstop
Automatic images—they’re no more
Self-reflexive—or self-correcting
Than dreaming—more like Breton
Morphed online—word constellations
Like bursts—of automatic writing
Illuminating this—word-weary world.

The Marla series—uses word-images
Pushing thru writing—and imagery
TO recover—lost Lyrics