Monday, December 29, 2008

Monday, December 22, 2008

More of the bird vortex

they opened the drain in the sky last night. and so goes the time away into a series of wires and machines and we make cookies and set them to cool on the table in tiers. it is the time for cheer and wonder. we are some-eh-what bless-ed things, even in this failing market. even in this weather and under it. here's to your house, may it hold you in its walls like a soft-spoken mother. and when we see each other we can say we saw this, too.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

know who you are/talk to

placed into a bag, the light decided:
happens are for loose knit cloth, clotted art
the fangtoothed. keep it beneath simple
and the newspirit, printed. a major
chord for the celebration rang out, the ladder
continued its step upping. we are minors
with the -er replaced in our lungs, a trade out.
and the river that runs through town
hides its water beneath a cold hard face.
a sky ripples the same and we're beneath
all of this even. numbers and copypaper.
ready for endings, the source of local news
had its glowing head turned off. the ball
that drops is little and full with bulbs.
people looking up into their hearts. are hats.
hours. 'r'-s, ours. fangled.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Trouble With Mapping

Hello dear readers (all 3 of you),

If you read poetry and are thinking about buying anything in the next month (for the holidays or as a reward for making it through the holidays) check out Brett Price's Trouble with Mapping. It's a lovely hand-made limited edition chapbook and each cover is different.

Go here for more information: and to see a few of the covers.

Also, there is a new chapbook out from Cue Editions--Let It Be Nearby by Mark Horosky. It's gorgeous and so is the writing.

I've been frantically gathering papers to send in the mail to people I don't know. What else is there?

Saturday, December 6, 2008


I dreamed a vortex
of starlings last night. Open
the drain in the sky.

Friday, November 14, 2008

5 questions, I think

that i was supposed to answer about 5 and a half months ago, in a series of 5's (yet there are 8 questions...) and starting with what i was doing 5 years ago...

what were you doing 5 years ago? 1) getting frustrated with jane miller and then learning from that frustration how to be indifferent 2) sweating a lot 3) playing pool at the red garter and getting smeared by andy 4) slapping al's head 5) hanging out with people i don't get to see now.

what are 5 things on your to do list for today? 1) get observed (accomplished) 2) go to harrisburg 3) remember to pack student papers in bag (accomplished) 4) grade the 5 papers that were printed from email (accomplished) 5) drink something boozish with pj and jess --this list makes me feel like i'm a capable human...odd for a friday.

what are 5 snacks you enjoy? 1) lightly salted peanuts 2) cliff bars, generally peanut butter crunk or something along that line 3) cereal 4) apples 5) bread

what are 5 things you would do if you were a billionaire? 1) fly eveyone i enjoy being around to the south pacific and have a weeklong barbecue 2) stop work 3) give people 50,000 every so often 4) secure my parents for the rest of their lives 5) make more stuff

what are 5 of your bad habits? 1) procrastination 2) pessimism 3) laziness--linked to 1 and 2 4) forgetting to brush my teeth and not flossing 5) dead baby jokes

what are 5 places you have lived? 1) archbald 2) pittsburgh 3) tucson 4) queens 5) mt cobb

what are 5 jobs you have had? 1) sandwich artist 2) gas station attendant 3) maintenance worker 4) flower deliverer 5) nut grabber (small parts picking and packing)

which 5 people do you want to tag? 1) mark 2) jlk 3) paul 4) jesse 5) sommer

Thursday, November 6, 2008

My mess (opotamus--opatamia)

The rain sets its ears down. Think little for the sound.
I've been better
off in bed
today. Like this container? the man selling
containers asked. No one listed.

The rain set its hair up. Look hard for the shoulder there.
The date for tomorrow is a lucky one, the 7th. Some bets to carry
off to the corner
and turn
on. Copy the signs and send them
uptown, send them singing.

All the paper scraps accordioned here. All them rejoicing.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Pre-pare-the-cold (not the sick kind)

Read backwards: squirrel squirrel puppy

Monday, October 27, 2008

Why does Penn State always get shafted?

Ok, so I'm a college football fan. Not die-hard, entirely, but on any given saturday a portion of my attention will be devoted to watching whatever my rabbit ears (and in the future, my little black contraption, or yikes! cable) will draw down from the sky into the talking box in the living room. Shannon says she's going to be a football widow. I don't know what this means (I do actually, but I'm dumb about a lot of things--lots of knocks on the head). And I'm preparing myself for the possibility that Penn State could get snubbed for the fifth time with an undefeated season under their belt. I get it, the Big 12 is the superior conference this year and the SEC is a very good conference as well. But there are people out there saying that if Penn State is in the championship game they'll play like Ohio State has in the past few years. Joe Paterno isn't Jim Tressel. Seriously, the man has the most bowl wins ever and in the past twenty years, when given the opportunity to play in a bowl (14 out of those 20 years) Penn State has a 10-4 record--the biggest loss coming in 92 in the Blockbuster Bowl adn that team was in rough shape to begin with.

Let one of the top two teams lose and let's see what's what. Maybe I'll have to swallow some of these words again on January 8, but from where I'm sitting the blue and white seem like they can keep up with anyone.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The first time

The first time I fell in love was a smash of patches. The leaks in my pantlegs were atrocious. Something needed to be done, so it was. I was in love.

The second time I fell in love the door came back at me, like its hinge was a weapon. It hung there afterwards. It was not an easy thing to fix.

The third time I fell in love I forgot about my wings. All that flapping. That's made all the difference.

I'm tired of grading already. And tired of people making promises. And the train that toots its horn at intersections heeds very little. Lights flash and things fall down to block the road. And from this phone you can call the whole sky \part.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Archbald circa 1892

This is the town. And what wonderful things wikipedia can provide. Olyphant, another town just "down the line" from Archbald has a legend attached to it, according to wikipedia and other sources.

A number of years ago a man came into Borders books and music in Dickson City (another town a hair further down this undrawn line) when I worked there and told me all about this legend. He wore a puffy vest and had a bit of a crazed look about him. I'd see him walking along the train tracks from time to time. Even in the worst weather.

Coincidentally, Shannon and I knocked on people's doors throughout Olyphant two weekends ago, talking about politics. We were relatively well received. Only two doors were slammed on us in this small center of the universe.

But this is Archbald, so why am I mentioning any of this? Maybe that's where the secrets reside...

In a box of paper in a garage in Archbald there is a manuscript handwritten by the man mentioned above. It details the mysteries Olyphant may or may not possess: the sphinx like shape of the Lackawanna river as it rounds the edge of town, the positioning of seven churches --Orion in miniature, the pyramid of culm on the border of Throop and lastly eyewitness accounts of UFO activity. All of this somehow tied to the wife of Harry Houdini, who supposedly was raised in the Queen City.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Two wards (thing get better, we hopes withal)

The death of Paul Newman makes me feel unwell. He seemed a good human. He cared for and against things. This sounds empty, but it's not. The man was charitable and disinterested in what traps fame could set for him. He stood for something and lived his life according to that stance. A lot of the spectacles out there now could stand to at least carry themselves more sturdily. I am not a spectacle, but I could stand to do the same.

This weekend was rainy. Shannon and I indoors for the most part. The assassination of Jesse James and football and caffeine. The high grass swaying and motes of dust. I'm trying to get things polished. Trying to make for a glisten.

Sarah Palin is a nightmare. Both sides are smeary, but I believe in Obama. I've said it on peoples' doorsteps. I say it here.

The next number of years aren't going to be like what we've known, but it's going to take someone who can see around a number of subjects. Not someone who only knows how to attack and attack and attack. Recklessness and aggression doesn't make a good leader, our current situation proves this.

I wish Paul Newman could have at least pretended to be our president.

Friday, September 19, 2008

I've hit a round number

And so my expansion comes in circles. The rings around this township. The county that calls my waistband. You can't fathom some speedos. You and I are like in this matter. No cosmic dispersal. A door to the fight in all of us. There is no need to bear the bells, our country hears what song. Oh, how. Our country taps it out. Fits the valves. Fills the tape and spit. I've hit upon a kind of happiness. I've hit a round edged number and it rings. The register keys are springy. The register itself holds names. None for us it says in numbers. None for this here gathering. None in drawings or in drawers. None with luck or full of champagne.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Dashboard | Help | Sign

Here's what you win: a trophy car to run into the sky!

Here's what happens with the president: da daunh da duhn da deedle!

Here's a courier and his little bag full of important papers: ride the elevator, right. Now the bike!

Here's an x through a number of instructions on a piece of white paper marked to do: X!

Here we are on the labor day. Here we are sitting with our p-word, listening to horns. Here we are making decisions in the water. Here we are and here and here some more.

Here is what you win:

(and beneath it is an american

eagle, gold and bald.)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Hawk in the old hood

On Sunday we (me, Shan, and Rachel) took a trip to the cemetery so Rachel could finally get to see the statues there (I'd been telling her about them for, oh, three years) and we all took some pictures.

Birds of prey in the city are so neat! That's right, I just exclaimed neat. What have you got to say about that?

The day concluded with one of the most intense Jenga games I have been witness to. In the end I got greedy...

Thursday, July 31, 2008

B&W pictures of clouds and lights (a resounding yes! to pretension)

And if you look fleetingly at this last picture you might just see Teddy Roosevelt in the treeface, though I may be a bit wonked in the eyes...and the color's jarring...and it's more effective if the image is smaller...

Saturday, July 26, 2008

of the disappearing months

I've just won a sleepaward and with company. We arrived back from Italy and promptly laid down for some large fraction of a day. There were bumpy skies. Thanking Dolly, I think. Also thanking the redheaded woman who told me "you're welcome" after she asked if I wanted to get through and I passed her in the aisle of the plane to get to my seat. A big thank you for your voice and concern. She stood there for many minutes looking up angrily at her luggage. People behind her looking angrily at her. At baggage claim some 9 hours later, her child looked angirly for his sluggage and as if his life would be long and laborious. He rounded the metal conveyer belt again and again. His mother muttered loudly to herself. Her husband stared at his gold chain and surveyed their stray items.

I do not have an idea of what really happened over the past two months. Mismathed and the bank statements prove...inconsistent thinking about overly entitled teenagers, many of whom made me feel that it's possible this place may improve. Thanking them for that. Thanking you for this and the rest of the world, thanking them for what?

There was consternation and semi-consistent news proving that the people I care about are stronger than their positions. A few phone calls, some old places adorned with new statements. I met some very intelligent and interesting people who temporarily call Florence home--wishing them well if they ever come across this...

I wish I had pictures of gelato to send along (Riso and Ciacollato con Cafe from Vivoli wins my vote), but instead I'll attach a picture of a Rolls Royce from Rome. All alliteration aside...:

Or maybe not a Rolls and maybe not from Rome...

Friday, June 20, 2008

posted post paint

man, moving and painting and moving and painting. and moving and packing and taking care of a monsterface...

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

watching the pens

So I've never really followed hockey at all. That's not going to change right now. Just ate a veggie burger and broccoli and lovely the kraft mac'n'cheese. I do not know what it is that cheese sauce packet actually contains but it is loved and lovely and wrong-colored. The Penguins might take it on Crosby's shoulders. Detroit's got a mean bunch of redbeards. Seriously. Almost every player on their team has a red beard--was this intentional--only to draft the untrustworthy? In high school there was a science teacher who had a red beard, a Mr. Durkin. He taught us about weather, what the proximity of meteorological lines on a map meant for change. We were told by a history teacher, a Mr. Kudrich, to never trust a man with a red beard. I always wondered if this had to do with the weather.

Well in the time of my speculation the Pens have made a slight return in the Stanley Cup. My money says they'll lose in 6. (By saying this, I'm hoping they win in 7.) I could continue to write about things that are current and happening, but my life is contained in boxes and edged by cleaning products. I'll leave off with another picture:

If anyone was wondering, while recovering from my wine after the Ubaldo festivities I saw what could only be described as a UFO--or as three symmetrical stars that were moving in a set pattern and then they dissapeared suddenly from the sky. There was another witness.

No one believes us.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The fuzz bat/hatted

So I'm trying to gather my things into some semblance of order. The leaning tower of boxes inhabits a hallway that will no longer carry my footcreaks a few weeks from now. It's a ghosting. And good to clear the walls and doorways. What is the best way to forget things?

How the past can be dismembered easy or at least left alone a while. I've got a linking and a fence to walk. A planking, but the new water's better than the rickety boat that I had boarded. It's a gambol. No softened bones here, no. The woodchuck's skull (or what I gather is this) carries less and less teeth, the elk vertebrae spills its gathered moss.

I put pictures into boxes. And glasses. And music.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Riverwear and motion

What there is to do, is doing. And next is move. Next is moving and not movies. There are beeps loud and they come from the hallway. It has ceased to rain. It has ceased to rain. For some reason my messaging no longer responds. It has signed me away.

This weekend was spent back in the keystone state. My knees do not forgive me yet for it, but with a friend I raced in a canoe for a number of miles down the mighty Lackawanna. We wound up taking a couple sets of rapids backwards and without a full capsize. Water was up this year, thankfully. Water was cold as well (as water is many times wont to be). At the end of the race we numbly waited for times to be posted.

In two weeks is the race of the saints. My lady has not been witness to this spectacle. I'm sure many people in the world have also not been witness to this spectacle, either. I hope to refrain from jumping into any shrubs, though it gets to be very tempting later in the day when the sun has begun its rest and the hose company number 2 picnic has begun in earnest.

Soon there will be more photos and a new abode. Soon there will be boxes full of books and stones. And now I get to finishing up my teacherly duties. Adieu.

Thursday, May 1, 2008


busy with trying

to keep things afloat. This month

came in on the lam

as last month's lights went out.

Ok, so I know this is kind of lame-o, this redonkulous ass-o-ciation of words and pictures, but its kind of amusing. Admit it. Or at least it keeps me occupied when I should be doing other things. Speaking of which, there will soon be another book coming forward--we're working on the cover now. So get ready, all six of you.
And the donkey goes: hee-haw, hee-haw.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

to the dr.

today for italy clearance. and the dollar is diving ever lower. i think my head is burning. so here's a guitar in a tree for you all, and a bed on the land. there is nothing from the sea, though. nothing from the sea.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

stage, set, match

after going to see August, Osage County last night (belated v-tines day piggybacked onto the celebration of irishness), we stepped out to this view:

in between the theaters on 45th st. After being transported to a small town in oklahoma and spending 3+ hrs in the home of a family that epitomizes the idea of dysfunction, it was an interesting and welcome juxtaposition. The play contains one of the more hysterically vicious characters I've ever come across and seems to suggest that even though offspring often try their best to rail against and distance themselves from the things in their parents they like least, in times of crisis we can't help but become a resting place for those very same qualities. And then we flee. And then we flee. And then we

There's a lot of other stuff to chew, but I need to clean and pretend I'm not lazy.

If you've spent the time to read this, check out the book that's just come out from Flying Guillotine: Maybe even consider buying a copy so that Sommer and I can make more books!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

winter tempermental

so my head's full of fuzz today. i want to be able to accomplish all of the things i'm supposed to accomplish. yesterday i listened to a woman talk about the american state being dumbed down, but her talk was full of holes and her mouth was full of words with holes in them and her mouth made me feel like my head was full of fuzz and her voice was kind of similar to a talking fireplace that doesn't know its burning. looking at one thing and not seeing one's way all the way around it makes for animosity in me.

tomorrow my students will be carrying handsized objects into class that carry some kind of value for them. i hope it's important junk. all of our junk is important, o maybe not, but a lot of it is much more important than what that woman said. and a mixed metaphor has nothing at all to do with how simply a politician speaks to his or her audience, dammit.

if you choose to listen to this, be forewarned that she's grating and her methods are fairly sloppy. it's a valid concern, i believe--to take issue with the sinking level of american intellectualism, but to carry a voice that is this addled with infallibility, she should be required to create an argument that isn't so gap filled. what's the difference between using the term 'folks' and saying that a politician is having a 'chat' with the populace? in both cases it's posturing to draw a closer circle between the listener and the perosn addressing the listener, unless i'm missing something. and visual literacy is going to be, has already become, an integral facet of our daily existence. nevermind the information about email and distraction...if you listen let me know what you think.

my head is full of fuzz, so this is probably pretty fuzzy too...