August 30, 2006

are you for sale?


Susan Bee, the bell cracked, 1997

Identi-kit
-- by Veronica Forrest-Thomson, 1967

Love is the oldest camera.
Snap me with your eyes.
Wearied with myself I want
a picture that simplifies.

Likeness is not important
provided the traits cohere.
Dissolve doubts and contradictions
to leave the exposure clear.

Erase shadows and negative
that confuse the tired sight.
Develop as conclusive definition
a pattern of black and white.

For I wish to see me reassembled
in that dark-room of your mind.

So Sweet Our Teeth Ache
-- by Jennifer L. Knox

Daiquiris come
from a drive-thru,
at least
the biggest ones
used to,
and our beer’s magic
as meth.
Let’s get incapacitated
under a tree—
short of that
slowly bleed
to death through
our sock bottoms.
We got nothing
going on at work.
We got no
fresh perspective,
and by the looks
of the stumps
still rotting
in the bear traps on the lawn,
none’s coming.

What a Pity, What a Shame
-- by Paul Beatty

went to hear marion williams
sing the gospel yesterday

she was singin so hard

I almost slipped up
and let jesus into my heart

* "Poetry is a heightened form of language that isn't accessible to everyone, and although people can be taught to interpret a poet, it's not something you can explain. The first time I saw a picture of a Jackson Pollock painting in Life Magazine was when I was ten years old. I remember feeling something for it. Nobody had to explain Abstract Expressionism to me and I didn't have to develop a taste for it-I just related to it. The first time I read Rimbaud I couldn't tell you what the poems meant, but I was struck by them. The first time I heard Little Richard I comprehended it. When I read art criticism I don't know what the hell they're talking about, but I have the capacity to look at some paintings and say, 'Yes, I understand this.' The point I'm making is that everyone has their own relationship with art." -- Patti Smith

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