Sunday, May 31, 2015

PARTY LINE


Whenever someone says hello, I pause before I say hello back. They may be speaking on their phone, or perhaps to a dead relative in the room. Then there is always the possibility that they are not speaking at all  - that the dead relative is saying hello on her heaven phone, and not to the hello-speaking gentleman behind me in his freshly-pressed gabardines who passed away so many years ago - but to a friend who died earlier still, before the invention of the telephone, who is pleased as punch to receive a telephone call as a gift from the future telephone-toting dead, although she still doesn’t understand how this visit is any better than sitting down for a chat with a cup of coffee and a piece of pie, which is to say, someone is saying hello, because there it is, hello - but it appears that no one is here in the room saying this, at least to me, and so again, I pause.

                                                      from THE PINKY EMBRACE (2015)


Saturday, May 30, 2015


My copy of ZEST by Charles G. Norris came in the mail today, and inside the book the owner had written his name in green with a fountain pen and after his name he had written the date  “August, 1937.” I touched the ink with my hand and felt the depression.

Thursday, May 28, 2015


You would think the easiest thing in the world to draw would be the moon. But there are a million little things on the moon. We don’t think about this when we draw the moon, which we think is quite easy to draw. Only the million little things on the moon think about it, and they all say: we’re not that easy at all. Something, you drew. Us, you didn’t draw.

RIPTIDE

Do not swim into one
unless you want to be part of the ocean
which I understand we all are anyway

Why fight it? If you stay on land 
you will still be part of the ocean
although you will be living in the part

of the world that is not the ocean
until shops and buildings and schools
and warehouses die and turn to dust

and then water and then glue
and become more human and then too
are part of the ocean and so on Lord 

knows, though, we cannot wait so long.
The ocean is too greedy and impatient 
for that. Remember:

you are the ocean, you have all those terrible possibles
of all thoughts, and you are everything and you are wet.

ACCORDING TO MY OBSERVATIONS


Unless kept under control, mint will take over the world.
Do not hesitate to use crushed or whole leaf in yogurt and chutneys. 
You are doing the world of everything that is not mint a great service. 
In fact, only the mothers of mint will ask you to stop - please stop, 
they will say, and they will say it a thousand upon a thousand times.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

HERE

You can see feel her heart from a football field away. That’s farther than you can throw a football. Still, you can feel her heart from here. It’s not a football, it’s a football field away. Just look ahead and see what you can see. Her heart is so big, you can’t throw it at all. Not like a football. Don’t try. Just be happy that you can feel it from here – two football fields away, now three, now four.

Monday, May 25, 2015

HE’S A REAL SUNDAY GENTLEMAN, WITH TEATIME MANNERS...




A REAL BOARDING SCHOOL AFTERNOONER
Walks near the row boats at noon while the others sleep afternoon after afternoon.

SOMEONE WHO EATS HIS DINNER IN A RESTAURANT
The restaurant weeps. The tears are like little swimming pools inside of fire-oceans.

A FELLOW WALKS DOWN THE SHADY SIDE OF THE STREET
He knows what it’s like to be sunburnt, like the sun, and shady, like the moon.

WEARS A HAT OF SOMEONE ELSE’S CHOOSING
Someone else feels happy that way, and he doesn’t mind so much.

A SUNSET LOVER
There are more sunset lovers than there are grains of sand that wish they weren’t grains of sand.

SMOOTH ELBOWS
Supple, lyrical, and only apparent when they don’t disappear, briskly.

A MAN WITH SPECIFIC MANNERISMS
This is difficult to explain on the radio, at dawn, in the rain.

SLEEPS DIAGONALLY
A perfect fleshy X, when he finds love.

A PEPLEXMENT
Takes the form of a statement in a pea pod.

RIDES THE CAROUSEL
But never tells a soul on earth unless they’re dead.

AN EVENING BOTANIST
His flashlight is one of a kind but that doesn’t make him happy.

CLASSICALLY ATHLETIC
Beethoven had strong muscles.

FRATERNALLY MINDED
And yet he wears a light wristwatch.

WEARS A LIGHT WRISTWATCH
And yet he still wears a light wristwatch.

GIVES A CAREFUL HANDSHAKE
It’s almost like a symphony, with flesh.

GIVES TOO MUCH CHANGE FOR A DOLLAR
He despises change.

A FLUENT SWIMMER
He leaps from one pool to the next, like a frog in a story containing both moral and marijuana.

A KEEN-EYED BIRDWATCHER
As he grows older, he understands birds as much as they understand him.

FOND OF HIS MOTHER
Once he thinks of her as an old fashioned egg cream.

ELEGANT
But uncertain if that means he can light things on fire.

BUILT ON AN UNCERTAIN FOUNDATION
Which makes it necessary for the sake of other certainties.

FLUTTERSOME
Like a keen French detective, in fine fettle and with a fob.

A REAL JACKDAW
Though it is often said, it remains undefined by those who fear it could be less than it might be.

AVOWED BACHELOR
If you say it often enough, it becomes one word, and then, at last, bursts into hungry flames.

A GENTLEMAN OF THE PIERS
Does not engage with silvan ditties.

BORN WITH THE CAUL
And plays on the shepherd’s pipe what songs he will.

LIMBER
Enough for limbo in a dream by Picasso or is it Cassius Clay in a swimming pool?

AN AESTHETE
When at such times there when A and E were the only married vowels in the alphabet.

IN THE WAY OF UNCLES
Where aunts are shopping for new uncles under the sun.

HE THROWS A PARTY WITH AN OPEN GUEST LIST
Everyone who comes is open.

SON OF THE MOON
Stays awake because it’s just so exciting to be the son of the moon.

A BOY FROM ETON
One day his beard will fall beneath the barber’s blade.

ALWAYS RINGS TWICE
Ne’er thrice, ne’er thrice. Best to bring a pie.

HAS A SILK BATHROBE
Made of Egyptian Cotton.

NOT QUITE UP-TO-CODE
And wonders how the Navajos would say that, and if they would love him for that.

HE HITCHHIKES INSTEAD OF TAKING THE BUS
Because the bus only goes to familiar places that contain towns and places.

STAYS AHEAD OF THE GAME
Even when others are fast asleep, chasing games.

A SKILLFUL MOUNTAIN CLIMBER
A skillful mountain climber indeed.

SALUTES ANOTHER FLAG
That he mounts in his upside-down chimney.

AN UPSIDE-DOWN CHIMNEY SWEEP
Removes the flag when it begins to rain.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015


I wore overalls once, but I feel that if I wore them again, it would be disingenuous. Farmers wear overalls; I am not a farmer. I never was a farmer. But when I wore overalls once, I thought, just maybe, someday I would be a farmer, but not a farmer per se, but anything, including a farmer. I am old and no longer think that. Although there are many people I know, older than myself, who wake up and think they are farmers. They wear sweatshirts and comfortable trousers and do very little during the day. Sometimes they go to the movies, or sometimes they buy melons at the store. Some of them were farmers, some of them were not. Some of them say: Some day I will be a farmer. Most of them do not.

Monday, May 11, 2015

VERISIMILITUDE AND VERISIMILITUDE REDUX


VERISIMILITUDE

They say that TS Eliot was the last poet to ever wear spats,
but they can’t say that. Tomorrow I am going to wear spats
because well they just can’t say that. 

VERISIMILITUDE REDUX

I looked everywhere for a spats store. 
I even asked my friends.
Like TS Eliot.
The last poet to wear spats.



Friday, May 08, 2015

GARNET


I discovered that I could be paid to live in a ghost town in Montana and I liked it. There would be no running water or electricity but still I would like it. I would live in a little cabin. I would be able to walk outside between the buildings which are quite weathered and old and look at the sky which is tremendously blue and listen for the sound of laughter at night which would be sort of like watching television, or maybe listening to television, perhaps it would be more like the radio. There would be many stars and there would be no animals. There might be lizards. I would like that.
There is a man in Montana who runs this ghost town – even though I am not sure what that means - and I was told that he could answer all my questions and he did: 

Where do I get my food? (There is a store 30 miles away) Where is the nearest movie theatre? (100 miles away) Where do I take a shower? (There is an outdoor shower stall) Where would I wash my clothes? (In the outdoor shower stall) Would I make any friends? (No) What do you think of the town? (Eh) Are the buildings nice (No) and then finally I asked: Is there any other things I should know about this ghost town? (Yes) What? (There are no ghosts.)

Why would he say that, I wondered. There are only two possible reasons: because there are no ghosts, or because there are.

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

THE GHOST AND MR. CHICKEN

In the morning, an electric saw at work sounds so nautical. Like something you would hear in the deep blue sea a thousand miles from shore. At night, there are no electric saws to speak of. But the stars do look like candies you would buy at the movie theatre on a Saturday morning right before you would watch a really great Don Knotts movie.

FRIENDS OF FAYE

FRIENDS OF FAYE HUNTER: There's a really cool (non-concert) project in the works in memory of Faye Hunter (known for her work with Let's Active/Chris Stamey/The Wygals/Amanda Thompson/ Karen Haglof, etc.) and it is in the foundation stage now. If you are not a member already, please join her page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/390127157776174/
and /or contact me (rgarni@gmail.com) to be on the (occasional and non-invasive) mailing list.


A very good thing for friends of Faye and lovers of wicked great music.
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