Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Tao Lin

i will learn how to love a person and then i will teach you and then we will know

seen from a great enough distance i cannot be seen
i feel this as an extremely distinct sensation
of feeling like shit; the effect of small children
is that they use declarative sentences and then look at your face
with an expression that says, 'you will never do enough
for the people you love'; i can feel the universe expanding
and it feels like no one is trying hard enough
the effect of this is an extremely shitty sensation
of being the only person alive; i have been alone for a very long time
it will take an extreme person to make me feel less alone
the effect of being alone for a very long time
is that i have been thinking very hard and learning about existence, mortality,
loneliness, people, society, and love; i am afraid
that i am not learning fast enough; i can feel the universe expanding
and it feels like no one has ever tried hard enough; when i cried in your room
it was the effect of an extremely distinct sensation that 'i am the only person
alive,' 'i have not learned enough,' and 'i can feel the universe expanding
and making things be further apart
and it feels like a declarative sentence
whose message is that we must try harder'

today is tuesday; email me on saturday

the secret of life is decisiveness

and to describe something

i see the distance and move immediately into it

now i am really alone

from here i know these things: that i feel like a lonely fist,

that my poems exist to dispel irrational angers, that i want to hold your face

with my face

like a hand;

the secret of life is that i miss you, and this describes life

tonight my heart feels shiny and calm as a soft wet star

i describe it from a distance, then move quickly away

when i leave this place

the distances i have described in my poems
will expand to find me
but they will never find me

when my head touches your head
your face hits my face at the speed of light

holding it a little

i want to cross an enormous distance with you to learn
the wisdom of lonely animals with low IQs
i want to remember you as a river
with a flower on it

Tao Lin is the author of a novel, EEEEE EEE EEEE (Melville House, 2007), a story-collection, BED (Melville House, 2007), and a poetry collection, YOU ARE A LITTLE BIT HAPPIER THAN I AM (Action Books, 2006). His site is READER OF DEPRESSING BOOKS.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Maya Pindyck

Postman Postulate

Brings the mail without exceptions.
Smells like a prom limousine.

Soft rabbit eyes—
Doesn't read my letters!     Respects

privacy.    (I too am private,
but not as much as he.)

How methodical the delivery.
How clean the procession.
How unopened the mouth.

God what I would give
to be slung in a mailbag

with breathing holes and taken
door to door, like a valentine.

Philadelphia Gas Station Valentine

The gaudy fairy painted on recycled card stock
cannot breathe beneath the dark purples.

Her gaze cannot meet mine.   The raspberry,
she says.    Her words:   a heavy dark marker
inside a man's wood.    Palpitations!

Who allows this demon to speak
of what is beautiful between us?


poisons the train's third car—

Might as well fog the windows.

Her sleeping body ripples and heaves.
Her head lolls towards

me?   The floor?   FOR MY MAN
blazed across her chest in Copperplate.

The train jerks and grunts.

Out the window,
the sun glares right back at me,

blinding polka dots— (Do it!)—
between the trees and my flattering reflection.

So many trees in Connecticut.

Now we pass a river.
Now a motor boat

manned by a boy in a red muscled shirt,
his father on his back.

Fences now.   A law firm.
Quiet line of cars jamming Main St.

FOR MY MAN drools a line
from chin to vinyl,

suddenly waking
to spritz herself, once more,

with the chemical flowers.   Nobody
raises a white hand against her.

Maya Pindyck is the author of the chapbook, Locket, Master, which won a Poetry Society of America Chapbook Fellowship in 2006. She is the recipient of Bellingham Review's 49th Parallel Poetry Award and her poems have appeared in elimae, Mississippi Review, Sink Review, and Sycamore Review. She holds an M.F.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Noelle Kocot

I Can't Bear To Title This

Eating sushi without you
Can be really depressing,
And this is one of those times.
The rain spatters the East Village,
Little dogs look at me without interest.
Having no piercings is also depressing
Because then I can't buy more with you,
A diamond nose stud,
A new silver labrette,
The others.
I don't miss thinking of you in a shooting gallery here,
After which I e-mailed Matt, still
Half-crazy from Ohio, ecstatic
That you were alive, and he said,
"From the outside it sounds really, really bad,"
Then in the same place
A month later before you hit the floor
One final time in Carlton Arms 6B.
And it was bad, it was fucking horrible,
And as I sip this good green tea,
Alone with your mysterious essence,
I look out on St. Mark's Church,
Where I said goodbye to you,
Where I said hello to you,
And I know that one day we'll meet
In full regalia once again,
But as I dreamed of you at three
Then had to walk past horrors toward you,
I imagine this life for me
Will be a series of slow sips and longings,
And that I will go on a long, long time,
I fear and think.

We Had a Fight

Slurred guilt is a fish
We suck the bones out of,
A vertical declaration through an orange
Megaphone to keep time time.
Every Nasty Thing billows out
Of a wall-to-wall alias.   Sundry misfortune,
Do we then honor the random landscapes
Escaping through a train window
I watched as you shot up and died?
We both felt wrong, but the I'm sorry
Part failed to crop up.   I'm sorry.
Trust is a skyscraper through a keyhole
Shivering in a thunderbolt-flavored rant.


Until your laughter joins with mine
I will mow my way through the shiny grass of a lyric
Moored to antique torsos, drown myself in the shell-
Pink scent of air fresheners lodged in the gaps

Where the world used to be.
The asphalt is sufficient nourishment for stars,
And if I swallowed an elixir of chrome,
I'm sure I could become a car shooting from disheveled lips,

My headlights eroding the city.
But I am losing my form,
I am form collapsing into itself,
I am a triangle dangling from the throat of a murderer,

And I can see my spirit in the red behind my eyes
When I kneel before the pillars of the real
And the foggy amplitudes of creation bounce
Over the messy gurgle of my tears.

I will all my bad traits to be baptized in the feathers of owls.
I will the spitting tongues of rivers to slick me in their skins.
But time is knotted around the perfumed skirts of the ancients
When the distant plaint of a surgical knife

Dives into an ambergris of pain.
The evening resumes its former shape,
A shop window full of jewels,
A remnant of the ideal sky lost atom by atom

And trapped inside a jar.
Your deepest looks summon vapors rising
From the rusted machinery of the infinite.
And if night takes you into its mouth with its soft wiles,

I promise I will explode both your memories and mine
That have left their imprints on the air.
Until your laughter joins with mine,
I will be the spectator raking light over tangled thickets

Of this vegetable cathedral of all my thoughts,
I will be the dream and the death,
The errant bridge between dream and death,
And I contemplate myself arriving at a mirror

Propped inside a tomb of somnolent clouds.
I have been seeking you for a long time now,
And my soul refuses to rest in your image
That fled its sleeping body

Curled around a metal lake burning with the logic
Of a tenement on fire, its pronged inertia
Welded to the shifting wax of shadows
Congealing into steady flame.

Until your laughter joins with mine,
I will be this strangled alphabet
While words collect in canisters somersaulting
Through hallways of mournful music while my coffee grows cold.

Noelle Kocot has published three books of poetry, 4 and The Raving Fortune with Four Way Books in 2001 and 2004 respectively, and Poem for the End of Time and Other Poems with Wave Books in 2006, and has received awards from The American Poetry Review, The Academy of American Poets, The National Endowment for the Arts and The Fund for Poetry, among others. Widow of composer Damon Tomblin, she lives in Brooklyn, where she was born and raised.