Tuesday, May 26, 2009

ernest in earnest

"Sometimes, when I was started on a new story and I could not get going, I would sit in front of the fire and squeeze the peel of the little oranges into the edge of the flame and watch the sputter of blue they made. I would stand out and look over the roofs of Paris and think, "Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now. All you have to do is write on true sentence. Write the truest sentence you know." So finally, I would write one true sentence and go on from there. It was easy then because there was always one true sentence that I knew or had seen or had heard someone say. If I started to write elaborately, or like someone introducing or presenting something, I found that I could cut the scrollwork or ornament out and throw it away and start with the first true simple declarative sentence I had written."

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Sha-Clack-Clack by Saul Williams

If I could find the spot where truth echoes
I would stand there and whisper memories of my children's future
I would let their future dwell in my past
so that I might live a brighter now
Now is the essence of my domain and it contains
all that was and will be
And I am as I was and will be because I am and always will be
that nigga
I am that nigga
I am that nigga
I am that timeless nigga that swings on pendelums like vines
through mines of boobytrapped minds that are enslaved by time
I am the life that supersedes lifetimes, I am
It was me with serpentine hair and a timeless stare
that with immortal glare turned mortal fear into stone time capsules
They still exist as the walking dead, as I do
The original sulphurhead, symbol of life and matriarchy
severed head Medusa, I am
I am that nigga
I am that nigga!
I am that nigga!!
I am a negro! Yes negro, negro from necro meaning death
I overcame it so they named me after it
And I be spitting at death from behind
and putting "Kick Me" signs on it's back
because I am not the son of Sha-Clack-Clack
I am before that, I am before
I am before before
Before death is eternity, after death is eternity
There is no death there's only eternity
And I be riding on the wings of eternity
like HYAH! HYAH! HYAH! Sha-Clack-Clack
but my flight doesn't go undisturbed
Because time makes dreams defer
And all of my time fears are turning my days into daymares
And I live daymares reliving nightmares
of what taunted my past
Sha-Clack-Clack, time is beatin my ass
And I be havin dreams of chocolate covered watermelons
Filled with fried chickens like pinatas
With little pickaninny sons and daughters
standing up under them with big sticks and aluminum foil
Hittin em, tryin to catch pieces of fallin fried chicken wings
And Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben are standing in the corners
with rifles pointed at the heads of the little children
"Don't shoot the children," I shout, "don't shoot the children!"
but they say it's too late
They've already been infected by time
But that shit is before my time
I need more time
I need more time
But it's too late
They start shooting at children and killing them!
One by one, two by two, three by three, four by four
Five by five, six by six, but
my spirit is growing seven by seven
Faster than the speed of light
Cause light only penetrates the darkness that's already there
and I'm already there
I'm here at the end of the road
which is the beginning of the road beyond time, but
where my niggaz at? (Oh shit!)

Oh shit, don't tell me my niggaz got lost in time
My niggaz are dying before their time
My niggaz are serving unjust time
My niggaz are dying because of.. time

we met teddy macker yesterday and he brought me to tears

sycamore canyon

for vaughn montgomery

The dead doe on the Pacific Coast Highway
was lying on her left side. She was almost
the same color as the dirt around her.
Whenever a car passed—it was Sunday
and people were driving the coast—
the fur on her neck would rise in the wind.
Her eyes were dry and cracked; they looked
like the skin of baked apples. They did not shine.
Her left hind leg was so broken it looked absurd.
A car must’ve hit. At contact the doe defecated.
Windblown pebbles stuck to the shit. The hooves
were dusty and large. They did not seem like the hooves
of something dead. When I reached down
and picked up a front leg I could feel the clarity
of her old running. She made me nervous.
I was afraid she would stand up and come alive.
How many cars will pass tonight, I wondered,
and make the fur on her neck rise?
It saddened me no one would be there
to document every time this happened,
that no one would say, 
There, look.
The fur on her neck, it’s rising in the wind.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

written on my childhood refrigerator

This Is Just To Say

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

--william carlos williams

Sestina by elizabeth bishop

September rain falls on the house.
In the failing light, the old grandmother
sits in the kitchen with the child
beside the Little Marvel Stove,
reading the jokes from the almanac,
laughing and talking to hide her tears.

She thinks that her equinoctial tears
and the rain that beats on the roof of the house
were both foretold by the almanac,
but only known to a grandmother.
The iron kettle sings on the stove.
She cuts some bread and says to the child,

It's time for tea now; but the child
is watching the teakettle's small hard tears
dance like mad on the hot black stove,
the way the rain must dance on the house.
Tidying up, the old grandmother
hangs up the clever almanac

on its string. Birdlike, the almanac
hovers half open above the child,
hovers above the old grandmother
and her teacup full of dark brown tears.
She shivers and says she thinks the house
feels chilly, and puts more wood in the stove.

It was to be, says the Marvel Stove.
I know what I know, says the almanac.
With crayons the child draws a rigid house
and a winding pathway. Then the child
puts in a man with buttons like tears
and shows it proudly to the grandmother.

But secretly, while the grandmother
busies herself about the stove,
the little moons fall down like tears
from between the pages of the almanac
into the flower bed the child
has carefully placed in the front of the house.

Time to plant tears, says the almanac.
The grandmother sings to the marvelous stove
and the child draws another inscrutable house.