Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Dr. Ginger Campbell's Books and Ideas Podcast

I have a new interview here: Dr. Ginger Campbell's Books and Ideas Podcast

It's a particularly interesting conversation, I think.  We did the interview quite late in the day and until I heard it back, just now, I had been concerned that my mind had been more free-floating than usual.  In fact I think I articulate some things here that I don't usually manage to orchestrate.  Campbell does great work and keeps a great pace and scope.  Check out her other interviews here and at her terrific Brain Science Podcast.

Monday, March 30, 2009

with provone egret and condolences ta da ostrich and dodo

These are the skeletal remains of a flightless ptelophonpoel whose average wing-span exceeded even that of the modern egret.  

more from the weeist kend of all

my wee kend

Sunday, March 29, 2009


zoo / poem

This poem is from my new ms called Arguing With Socrates About Suicide. It was first published in LIT.

Zoo Review

To begin is to let things out of control.
The park’s caged condor stumbles to the fore.
The mind can not be told what it does not know.

Let us begin by calling a massive bird a soul;
each wing wide as the height of a man or more.
To begin is to help things out of control

with a clasp of fence in beak and a forceful fold
of what was given, then out the rifted door.
The mind must graze what it can not hold.

If the population of the park took up a goal
of leaving, it wouldn’t stop to wonder where to go.
To begin is to chase thoughts out of control.

Likewise, as love and birth have come to show,
much can not be seen before we are ashore
where minds find what, at sea, they did not know.

The bird adjusts its shoulder-feathers like a stole,
a bristling cape, a heft of flight, a height left low.
To begin is to let things out of control.
The mind can not be told what it does not know.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Randolph Scott

All the stupid items around us will be worth something some day but only if they are rare, so if you save them it ruins it.

Friday, March 27, 2009

max took this. isn't it nice?

we heard abouwd de sout

poem by frank o'hara


Frank O'Hara

Lana Turner has collapsed!
I was trotting along and suddenly
it started raining and snowing
and you said it was hailing
but hailing hits you on the head
hard so it was really snowing and
raining and I was in such a hurry
to meet you but the traffic
was acting exactly like the sky
and suddenly I see a headline
there is no snow in Hollywood
there is no rain in California
I have been to lots of parties
and acted perfectly disgraceful
but I never actually collapsed
oh Lana Turner we love you get up

lana turner, we love you. get up

i am trying to cleeeeeeean but it is so boooooring

Amy here is the blanket you made for me.

Amy here is the blanket you made for me.   

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Gnus from Everywhere

Der Bleaders,

I arrive hearts in hand.  All my stomaches are hungry, all my senses in syndication, all my hearts hearses, all my oats horses, all my horses houses, all my omens are mothers, all their children are telling me jokes, the way little children tell you jokes, too shaggy dog my narrator is creasing her eyebrows, she says huh wah?

Did you see the Onion headline: "Man who likes to move it, move it still looking for perfect song."  Jenny likes.

I like to move it, move it.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Monday, March 23, 2009

news from brooklyn

gas company replacing pipes.  shut off gas on friday.  still off.  gas is our heat, hot water, stove.  we are cold, hungry, and dirty.  i am wearing an ace pilot hat with ear muffs down as i type this.  luckily we have a fireplace and are finding the fire very soothing as well as warming.  my space heater is no match for the fridge that is my office right now.

Patti Smith Takes Pics

Want to see what the love of your life has been up to? Visit the Robert Miller Gallery, through April 18th and see Patti Smith's latest. 524 West 26th St.
mek posting

Nicholas Hughes

Nicholas Hughes, son of Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes, hanged himself a week ago.

He had been a professor of fisheries and ocean studies in Alaska.

mek posting


Sunday, March 22, 2009

Big Billy Goat Gruff

Friends of mine own a farm. It serves as both a petting zoo and organic vegetable garden for Brooklynites who still make the traditional northward migration to summer in the Catskills. And the farm has too many goats. The local animal warden has brought them goats rescued from lives of incredible depravity, and of course my friends bought some goats, and the goats had goats, and those goats had more goats, and I think the sheep had goats, too, because really, they've got a lot of goats. The first thing that assaults you at sunset when tossing the goats chow are not the goats, though the goats do aggressively enjoy their feed, but the goaty smell. It smells like you're already cooking them, but you haven't yet added the jerk spices, that's how goaty a goat herd smells. My lovely shepherdess Marilyn volunteered this information (I don't think I asked, or said, Wow, that's some goaty goat smell): After they're about 6 months old the male goats, the billy goats, begin to pee on their heads. These acts are undertaken to attract female goats, what else? A nanny goat can tell an awful lot about a billy goat when she approaches him downwind. Why I did not ask Marilyn how a billy goat is able to pee on his own forehead I do not know, but I think my brain hit the pause button for a moment, and the next thing I knew we were feeding the llama. Why do I want more goats 'n peeing info? Because there is an adorable and friendly little boy billy goat at the farm that Marilyn would let me have for a pet, and I don't, six months down the road, want to greet him each day with, Ewwwww. I'm hoping there's a way to encourage a billy goat not to aim for the forehead but rather the ground. Perhaps if there aren't any girl goats hanging round? So I googled. When a person googles "billy goat urinating" the first link to appear is: Hitler Did not Urinate Into the Mouth of a Billy Goat. (Which you then follow and link to http://www.slate.com/id/2205359/ because you cannot bear not to) That link did not help me in the least. In fact it hurt me, because now I am distracted and wonder why, if I was supposed to have believed that Hitler was one-balled or peed at a Billy Goat, I did not have such information before I could be disabused of the notion.

mek posting

Saturday, March 21, 2009

photo, i don't thing we are in brooklyn anymore.

from left to right, my father, my great grandma Jenny, my grandmother....
apparently, brooklyn came to the capital for an ice cream.

Bertrand Russell

Friday, March 20, 2009


I am so glad MEK has begun posting along with me and I feel sure that JC will now start a-postin too. Anyway, he's saposs to.

It was tough when i was the one musketeer. That's one musky deer.

Lana Turner, we love you, please get up.

Dear Fonzie, A woman I didn't know died, died. A woman I didn't know died and though I didn't know her, I knew her. This week a woman we didn't know lived near my shrink, died.

Dear Fonzie, When someone bonks they head skiing and dies I agonize over the things they did that day that they didn't want to have to get did. I think, she could have eaten a giant chocolate cake the night before, or chosen for an entire week to only speak the words "thank you". One of my mfa students took a vow of silence all february. it was very interesting. most frustrating was dealing with being polite as he stayed in nyc for the vos. if one only said thank you though that would take care of a lot of the problems. it would be fun to see how the phrase would get used.

btw, four year old boys think a guy who won't talk is very interesting. the vos is over and the student came by yesterday for a thesis meeting. Max is all, "You can talk! Remember when you couldn't talk?"

Seacrest Out

jmh is an old sailor

as proof i offer this by Wallace Stevens:

Disillusionment of Ten O'Clock

The houses are haunted
By white night-gowns.
None are green,
Or purple with green rings,
Or green with yellow rings,
Or yellow with blue rings.
None of them are strange,
With socks of lace
And beaded ceintures.
People are not going
To dream of baboons and periwinkles.
Only, here and there, an old sailor,
Drunk and asleep in his boots,
Catches tigers
In red weather.

yum, yum
mek posting

Thursday, March 19, 2009

to find the world worth finding

Spring makes that child's play.
mek posting

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

BAP post + Randolph Scott


If the carpenter was jesus, was moses the walrus?

Randolph Scott

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Randolph Scott

Hello Bleaders,

Just a Randolph Scott  (Random Thought)

Maybe the Undecided late in an election campaign are actually pretty sure they won't go vote and don't want to admit it, so use this to avoid lying when asked who they are going to vote for.

Friday, March 13, 2009

poetry brothel tonight

I'm excited that there is a brothel tonight.  I enjoy dressing up.  I enjoy reading my poems.  Of course, at some moments, I don't, and I say what am i doing here?  but then someone comes up to me without any sense of what is going to happen, and usually with a face of deeply shy uncertainty, and I get to talk to them in this very strange created place, a little tiny world like a therapist's office, or well, what else, well I guess a cathouse.  So there you have it.  I guess they come to get a bit of directed intimacy, with the possibility of getting rocked.  It is at Madame X which seems like it should work great.  We will see.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


one thing

one thing scholars liked to say when i was getting degreed was "the family as an economic unit" they said it a lot as if they had lost a war against it and been converted.

poetry brothell

poetry brothel tomorrow night.  fonzie will be there in spirit and i will be there in the flesh.

Levels Jerry

tired of "on some level"  
pikk a frikken level
tired of "and go with it"

On level five I know that I can't finish this chapter without cleaning my desk first.  

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Nice Tongue

My husband is the dragon.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

out of the house is a halfway house for the hidden housebound flyer

Cannibal Villanelle

Two candid cannibals, stirring in some spice,
one says, I hate everyone. Says the friend:
Forget them now, you just eat the rice.

Well, of course, that all depends on just how nice
it tastes and if one is anemic in the end,
muse two uncanny cannibals, stirring in some spice.

I was a hermit once and may yet do it twice.
Interactions make me batso, but I can not now pretend
to forget them, to eat nothing but the rice.

I wish these little gestures did not come at such a price.
The indigestion and regression is enough to send
any gentle cannibal off running for the spice.

Well, said one, perhaps just try a slice? After all,
there have been great feasts, though we do tend
to forget them. Now you just eat. The rice,

I think, is only enough matter for a minor life.
If we want the meat, we must eat the world,
agreed two cunning cannibals, stirring in some spice.
Such meals are best in morsels with much rice.

Jennifer Michael Hecht
From my book Funny, where all the poems have jokes in them.

Monday, March 9, 2009


Monday Night Game of Shun the Duck

main arteries

main arteries

I was lying down. Frikken complicated up there.

Yeats Part One

Between extremities
Man runs his course;
A brand, or flaming breath.
Comes to destroy
All those antinomies
Of day and night;
The body calls it death,
The heart remorse.
But if these be right
What is joy?

We come from the black blankness of before birth and jog towards the white whatness of death. But death's breath comes to destroy what we thought of as extremes, like birth and death, or day and night. For the body we are correct to speak of death, but what comes to destroy what we thought of as extremes or antinomies for the heart, the emotions, is remorse. Through death and remorse is proven that there is no end and no beginning. Then again, sometimes I feel blissed-out and at one with the world. What is that?

Sunday, March 8, 2009


by William Butler Yeats

Between extremities
Man runs his course;
A brand, or flaming breath.
Comes to destroy
All those antinomies
Of day and night;
The body calls it death,
The heart remorse.
But if these be right
What is joy?

A tree there is that from its topmost bough
Is half all glittering flame and half all green
Abounding foliage moistened with the dew;
And half is half and yet is all the scene;
And half and half consume what they renew,
And he that Attis' image hangs between
That staring fury and the blind lush leaf
May know not what he knows, but knows not grief

Get all the gold and silver that you can,
Satisfy ambition, animate
The trivial days and ram them with the sun,
And yet upon these maxims meditate:
All women dote upon an idle man
Although their children need a rich estate;
No man has ever lived that had enough
Of children's gratitude or woman's love.
No longer in Lethean foliage caught
Begin the preparation for your death
And from the fortieth winter by that thought
Test every work of intellect or faith,
And everything that your own hands have wrought
And call those works extravagance of breath
That are not suited for such men as come
proud, open-eyed and laughing to the tomb.

My fiftieth year had come and gone,
I sat, a solitary man,
In a crowded London shop,
An open book and empty cup
On the marble table-top.
While on the shop and street I gazed
My body of a sudden blazed;
And twenty minutes more or less
It seemed, so great my happiness,
That I was blessed and could bless.
Although the summer Sunlight gild
Cloudy leafage of the sky,
Or wintry moonlight sink the field
In storm-scattered intricacy,
I cannot look thereon,
Responsibility so weighs me down.
Things said or done long years ago,
Or things I did not do or say
But thought that I might say or do,
Weigh me down, and not a day
But something is recalled,
My conscience or my vanity appalled.
A rivery field spread out below,
An odour of the new-mown hay
In his nostrils, the great lord of Chou
Cried, casting off the mountain snow,
"Let all things pass away.'
Wheels by milk-white asses drawn
Where Babylon or Nineveh
Rose; some conquer drew rein
And cried to battle-weary men,
"Let all things pass away.'
From man's blood-sodden heart are sprung
Those branches of the night and day
Where the gaudy moon is hung.
What's the meaning of all song?
"Let all things pass away.'

The Soul. Seek out reality, leave things that seem.
The Heart. What, be a singer born and lack a theme?
The Soul. Isaiah's coal, what more can man desire?
The Heart. Struck dumb in the simplicity of fire!
The Soul. Look on that fire, salvation walks within.
The Heart. What theme had Homer but original sin?

Must we part, Von Hugel, though much alike, for we
Accept the miracles of the saints and honour sanctity?
The body of Saint Teresa lies undecayed in tomb,
Bathed in miraculous oil, sweet odours from it come,
Healing from its lettered slab. Those self-same hands
Eternalised the body of a modern saint that once
Had scooped out pharaoh's mummy. I -- though heart
might find relief
Did I become a Christian man and choose for my belief
What seems most welcome in the tomb -- play a pre-
destined part.
Homer is my example and his unchristened heart.
The lion and the honeycomb, what has Scripture said?
So get you gone, Von Hugel, though with blessings on
your head.


Dear Fonzie,

Today in the sun at the park the two and four year olds gathered these treasures.  If you click on the picture, you can see them better.


Read with the desire to hear and you will hear, or don't I'm not trying to do anything or anything I just write like this at times and now have a blog

These brrrds lukold. 
Vereekold.  Zitten en eyes lygedat.

I'm sher thayr war more daday.
tsacuhmferd.  anyway, i find it cuhmferding

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Poem at a greek pot

Dear Fonzie,

I woke up at 5:30 and couldn't get back to sleep.

In Keats's Ode to a Grecian Urn, the poet sighs that the boy in hot-pursed lips nearing his pursing love in the picture on the pot will not ever get his kiss but wins eternally-almost-fulfilled desire, which is better in some ways than getting what you want. He'll always like her. That's not nothing.

Similarly, last week I visited Teddy's museum's "whale and giant squid fight" mocked up that scared us all as children. You remember this... in the room under the big, blue whale. When I posted the photo I thought what should I write to you as a note for it and I thought of the Keats lines.

I wasn't sure how to feel because it is sad that the whale will never get that bite of sushi it is about to clamp down on and neither will the squid. Yet as Keats says about the vase,

When old age shall this generation waste,
Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say'st,
'Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.'

Friday, March 6, 2009

Thou still unravish'd bride of quietness,

Bold Lover, never, never canst thou kiss,
Though winning near the goal—yet, do not grieve;
She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss,
For ever wilt thou love, and she be fair!


Gorilla In a Darkening Room

Gorilla In a Darkening Room

A suspicion about oneself
in the midst of placid repetition
is a vehicle.

The suspicion is not a destination.

Obviously, the suspicion
should not be denied, but neither
should one believe it.

Let us imagine that life
in the arctic is going well for you,
though you are entirely alone
and the food is long gone; you’ve
made your meek adjustments.
The suspicion is a four-wheel drive
all-terrain vehicle that appears,
with keys, one dark day. My point is:
it is important that you do not
simply begin living in the car.

Drive. Our concerns are the anxiety
of not knowing
where we’re going,
and the terrific fear
of being given anything else to do,
of anything else appearing on our desk.
We tender resignation.
We succumb. We head back
inside and stick in a thumb.
It’s a not uncommon, it’s a common
error about how things get done.
How many gorillas does it take
to screw in a light-bulb? One,
but you need a lot of light-bulbs.

The gorilla regards
the crate of light-bulbs with excitement
but by noon, despair. My friends,
I admit, I can not
bear the anxiety of not knowing.

Outside, the African sky bleeds blue
and oxidizes. Indoors, the one
light socket opens herself
to her gorilla and waits for the perfect
turn. Did you really come here

to talk about love? Poor baboon.
This is no way to go about it,
of course, of course we need
to be more honest, to admit
the secret weakness, the shattered,
well, let’s move on.
You hear the socket coo:
My lonely gorilla, did they
punish you into perversion?

Under these circumstances
it is hard to be epic. The best
you can do is re-open the field
of possibilities and resist
rushing them closed. Bear
the anxiety of not knowing.
Resist summing up.
The secret weakness
wishes to speak! Nevertheless,
face it, nothing works.

It is winter in the African
jungle and I am
empty. Below me, on the ground,
a silverback looks out
at the bruised-fruit sky of a setting
sun and then back up at me.

There’s something about
fear of darkness in his attentions.
Crates of light-bulbs
everywhere and everywhere
broken bulbs. The terrible
graying gorilla is really trying
to figure it out now. He’s

looking closer. I want him
to figure it out, much as,
in the other metaphor, I want
to park the car in the first
town I come to, buy a house,
marry the village wine-steward,
and open a nice Chianti.

But you’ve got to roam.

The mango-papaya sky
at sunset in the jungle,
the aurora in the tundra.

Either way, be brave,
press the sky back into
the distance. Give yourself
a little room. Inside

the little room, dark now,
the gorilla sighs, the light-bulbs
sigh, the socket sleeps
and dreams about the rising
sun. So this is how the west was
won? This is how things get done.

Everything is cool.

It's true.  Believe it or not, everything is cool.  A lot of people go around all day saying in their heads, "I'm an idiot."  I know I do.   I am working on it in therapy.   As for you, I am certain that you are not an idiot, either, and should try to find a way to make it stop.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

sperm whale

If a blue whale's penis is six feet long (that's what he told the marine biologist, anyway) than I wish the individual sperm were commensurate in size and that I could keep one in a fish tank.  I would put my hand in and it would bonk at me, as if I were an egg.  Bonk, bonk, bonk.  In summer, I could put a few in the swimming pool and let them bonk the people.  Bonk.  Or we could put one in and call it Tag.  If you get tagged we say, "you're a preggo blue whale, congratulations!"  And then you get out of the pool and we get you some champagne.   Champagne is good for an imaginary blue whale fetus.  

Good idea?!  Great idea, but the damn sperms are kind of normal tiny size.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

By the pricking of my thumbs

Dearest Arthur,

By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes.  I know some grrls who could tell you about that.  Witches.  You know when Macbeth says to the witches "How now you secret, black, and midnight hags!  What is't you do?"  And they are all like, "A deed without a name."  I think that is hilarious.

a big kiss,


I was thinking this

Consider how tempting it was in the Cold War to try to outmaneuver the Russians and bomb them away.  They were our only enemy, so we'd be the only super power and we'd live happily ever after.  What I am saying is, what if we had actually nuked them just because we didn't have the imagination to think of suicide bombers, and guerrillas, and roadsides, and flying planes into buildings.  Consider the bizarre beauty of the notion that if only the slavs were taken out, peace would reign.  

snow on mesh

Fonzie's Recipe Corner

Double, double, toil and trouble.  Fire burning, caldron at bubble.  I got filet of fenny snake in the caldron boiled and baking.  Eye of newt and toe of frog.  The wool of a bat and the tongue of your dog (sorry).  I also snipped the fork of an adder and let the snake slither lisping away.  I scalloped the sting out of a blind worm, used lizard's leg and owlet's wing (mint and henbane), for a charm of powerful trouble, like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

All say: Double, double toil and trouble, fire burn and caldron bubble.

I bought the scale of dragon, but harvested myself the tooth of a wolf.  I have witches' mummy growing right here in the garden, fishmonger by the docks butchered me my mouth and gut of the ravined salt-sea shark.  Root of hemlock digged I in the dark, pinch of my own liver, gall bladder of a goat (ergo ergot), slips of yew silvered in the moon's eclipse.  What else?  In a separate bowl: Nose of Turk (real Turk!).  Tartar's lips (cherries).  Finger of birth-strangled babe ditch-delivered by a drab.  Make the gruel thick and slab: add tiger guts and throw it all in the pot.  

All say: Double, double toil and trouble, fire burn and caldron bubble.  (Which means Double the heat and the speed at which you stir as you bring it to a boil.)  

Take the caldron off the flame.  As it cools, mix in baboon blood.  And that's it.  You can make pretty much anybody do everything.

Monday, March 2, 2009



up early

dear fonz,

it is 7:48 and i can't sleep.  i have been up since little girl woke me up at 5am and i got her right back to sleep but not me.  the world on the macscreen page is white and so is the mac and so are the gloss paint window frames, and so is the snow all over everything and so is the sky.  so things are white.  

thinking about predators.  as you may have noticed.  seen this?

I bet you would tell me to go back to bed and dream of whale songs, so i will.



no school for max!  and dat's not maby baybe.  that's the facks, jact.

Sunday, March 1, 2009


Snow again.  Lots of snow.  Snow on twigs and fences.


Dear Fonzie,

 I'm going to sleep and I am thinking of you. I go up those outside stairs with you and into your apartment and you close the door.   You call me Shortie and ask me how I am and I say, Good.  You don't believe me, you press the theme, and I give in, yes, it has not been good.  You bring in this guy over here and the three of us hold each other until morning.

I hope I don't have nightmares.
I wonder if the Fonz has nightmares?  It would be nice if girl dinosaurs were mares.


anne sexton yelling at the dog

Want to know what Anne Sexton sounds like yelling at the dog?  It is worth it to see the whole thing, but it is really the parts in between the poems that kill, esp. that very first spot.


My parents are in the other room.  I'm uploading this instead.  I need a retouch.  If you know what I mean.

john's pic


quick, telegraph it, the babies will want me again soon

I would like to be chased down and eaten by a major carnivore.  I would hope it licks as well as bights.  I imagine the world would go white and light-filled and she would look at me with erotic sorrow and stroke me with her tongue to comfort me now and then as she eats.  Face facts, it would not hurt.  Ask the monumentally damaged, they all say it: no pain, all just wanting to get in a comfortable position.  But in a tiger's arms might be okay.  T'rex'd eat me in one bight, Jaws style.  Might be a nice squeeze down the throat.

beat on the brat? click on the bat.


you should click on the bat below, in a post earlier this week.  click on that bat.  it is so cool in the larger picture.