Thursday, November 27, 2014


The vulture’s wings beat one time a second. The pygmy shrew’s heart beats fourteen times a second. As the vulture approaches the pygmy shrew, it is clear that the pygmy shrew is fourteen times more afraid of what will happen than the vulture would appear to be.

The peregrine falcon plunges three hundred feet per second. If the peregrine falcon counted the feet, there would be many less feet to count. Fewer people would be impressed by the peregrine falcon. The peregrine falcon would be less blurry and much easier to draw. The peregrine falcon would find it easier to make friends. The peregrine falcon would lead a more complicated life with the possibility of richer rewards and more devastating failures.

Sunday, November 23, 2014


I saw it again, because all I remember after forty years is that Kris Kristofferson saw GONE WITH THE WIND in it, and that he hit someone who slept with his woman and hurt his knuckles. I was right. He hit George Segal, (Blume). He had a beard.  Why did you remember that? is what somebody might ask me but nobody did. I don’t know, it’s hard to say, is what I would have answered, if they had. But it’s interesting, isn’t it, I would have added. But they wouldn’t be paying attention still if they did. What I really should have remembered after all these years was not that Blume was hit in the faee and had a beard, but that Blume was in love.
"Animal Death whips out its flashlight ..."

–Frank O'Hara on the death of Bunny Lang

Monday, November 17, 2014


When the deliveryman rang the doorbell, it wouldn’t stop ringing. I removed the casing and watched the transformer vibrate with each ring. I could either unscrew the wires to the transformer, or clip them. I decided to do neither, and waited for the deliveryman to come back again and unring the doorbell. I was certain he had the power to do this. He reminded me of fresh strawberries. The aroma of possibility. His name was Bill. 


Ten thousand paintings and twenty thousand drawings later, John said, “Well, here I am.” Inside was over once and for all; there was nothing left to do but battle the ocean waves with a pen and a hat. Somehow it seemed easy; it both is and isn't. First, the thirty thousand things must happen. And then John must step outside.

Monday, November 10, 2014


I have been considering writing down what I do at every minute of the day, but one minute per day. It would take sixty days to do an hour, six hundred days to do ten hours, and so on and so forth. (I would have to use a calculator to figure out a full day, or at least a pencil and a piece of paper, but I haven’t had those in a long time.) Anyway, it might be a lot of work, but I don’t want it to be fancy. The hard part would be certain hours - when was the last time I was up at 4:25 in the morning? Or did something interesting at noon? And I would probably change what I was doing at 8:02 AM if it was something like eating a bowl of corn flakes and instead I might start reading Dante’s Inferno or make travel plans to Tangiers. It might be more interesting if I traveled more or did more unusual things than I do because I really don’t travel or do exciting things. Perhaps I should try to convince someone who does a lot of exciting things to do this for me. The one thing I will say about myself is that I know a lot of interesting people who do exciting things. Perhaps I should ask a lot of interesting people.

I walk outside in the tropics at dawn and look down at the bay. Were anyone to jump into the bay for no good reason, dawn would be the best of all possible time to find them doing that. Also, it is the best time to find someone who, for no good reason, would be looking for someone who, for no good reason, might jump into the bay at dawn.

A very happy man died recently. Because he was famous, many people knew him. Because many people knew him, he made many people happy. He made many people happy because he was happy. Many people laughed because he laughed. So the best thing you can do for the world is be happy, be famous, be laughing.

Monday, November 03, 2014



I have a friend named Mark.
I have several strands of hair.
I like the name  ‘Mark Strand.’
I like movie theatres named ‘The Strand.’
I used to say “On your mark, get set, STRAND!” 
all the time.
I would like to say “Mark my words.” Someday.
I would love to listen to STRANDED, by Roxy Music, now.
My birthday is on the same day as Mark Strand.
Or Mark Spitz.
I can’t recall.
I would hate to be stranded.
Stranded with Mark Strand...would be good.
Like a steak.
One that is medium rare.
So here I am on an island.
With strands of hair.
Eating a medium rare steak.
And french fries.
Knowing there is life after death.
Science told me.
On your mark get set.
For you, Mark Strand, the poet.
For you, Mark Spitz, the swimmer.
Save me.
I confess.
For you, Mark Spitz.
I have not swum the deep blue ocean.
For you, Mark Strand.
I have not read thousands upon thousands of poems.
I have not read so very many things.
The poetry of Mark Strand.
In all its elegance. 
Magnificent to be sure.
Delightful in its contours.
Truly unforgettable in its cogitations.
I have not read so very many things. 
Mark Strand’s poetry.
Comes right to mind.

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