January 16, 2008

in the perfect water
she never felt so free



Joe Jackson, Birds, 2001

Diatribe Against the Dead
-- by Angel Gonzalez (RIP)

Translated from the Spanish by Steven Ford Brown and Gutierrez Revuelta

The dead are selfish:
they make us cry and don't care,
they stay quiet in the most inconvenient places,
they refuse to walk, we have to carry them
on our backs to the tomb
as if they were children. What a burden!
Unusually rigid, their faces
accuse us of something, or warn us;
they are the bad conscience, the bad example,
they are the worst things in our lives always, always.
The bad thing about the dead
is that there is no way you can kill them.
Their constant destructive labor
is for the reason incalculable.
Insensitive, distant, obstinate, cold,
with their insolence and their silence
they don't realize what they undo.


Oh No
-- by Robert Creeley

If you wander far enough
You will come to it
and when you get there
they will give you a place to sit

for yourself only, in a nice chair,
and all your friends will be there
with smiles on their faces
and they will likewise all have places.


Notebook
--by Patti Smith

I keep trying to figure out what it means
to be american. When I look in myself
I see arabia, venus, nineteenth-century
french but I can't recognize what
makes me american. I think about
Robert Frank's photographs -- broke down
jukeboxes in gallup, new mexico...
swaying hips and spurs...ponytails and
syphilitic cowpokes. I think about a
red, white and blue rag I wrap around
my pillow. Maybe it's nothing material
maybe it's just being free.

Freedom is a waterfall, is pacing
linoleum till dawn, is the right to
write the wrong words, and I done
plenty of that...


The Professional
-- by Joe Maynard

"That's the good thing;
about my profession,"
she said
putting her hand on my arm
while her other hand
gestured
palm up
with lipstick clad filter
sandwiched between her index
and bird finger
like a smoldering
clitoris.
"All you have to know
is how to use the phone."

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