Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Ada's for April 23:

(poem was here)

Jen's for #24

Bon voyahgee, as Bugs Bunny would say.

Ada's for April 22:

(poem was here)

Jen's for Day #23

To the Person/s Who Broke Into My House

[in a southern accent]: Ah hoo-hoo-hoo! I do
declare! To what do I owe this unexpected pleasure?
I must look a fright. Well, do join me! I just so
happen to have a pie coiling, I mean cooling, but
the tequila’s all cashed out, I fear. Living alone
and all—things can get a little weird.

Jason for day 24

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Jen's for #22


Jen's for #21

Bye bye!

Jason for day 23

Answers for Ada, two days later

minature, pebble. hold hands.
that hat is nice. That hat is not
as nice the previous hat. Your hands
are the same age as my hands.
We should not leave, but we should
look out there. That is neither hail,
nor a flower, and it is what you look
like, but only with Fluxus glasses on.

I am listening, and you can tell my slippers
by the monogram. You should
keep expanding, and as much as we
want to, stopping is not an option.
It is better to be bored and creative
than to be entertained and blocked.
You should explode. You’re
too brilliant not to.

jason for day 22 (untitled)

It was late, and getting later. The sky was white
and the earth was white, but such subtle shades
that the horizon was impossible to find,
and who cares about the boundary? about
the magical place where the sea meets
the shore, or the roof meets the house?
I care only about where my head meets
your shoulder, and where my hand meets
your chest, where the sheets the meet
our bodies, and our heads meet the pillows.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Jen's for #20

Later, gator!

Jen's for Day #19


Jason for Day 21-- CAUGHT UP!!!

Mentoring Poets

I said, well, who are you reading
and he said, oh, I don’t read other poets
and I said, then how do you know
that what you are writing is
poetry? and he said well, it rhymes
and I said, where do you read
and he said what do you mean
and I said you know, open mics, places
you might meet other poets
and he said, I told you, I don’t
read poetry, or listen to other poets
or meet other poets and I said
why not? and he said, they might
steal my ideas, and I said usually
a poet is valued more for his style
than his ideas, and he said
do you think these poems could be
a book, and I said, I won’t read
them, and he said, why not,
and I said, because I don’t read
other people’s poems, I don’t
want to be accused of stealing.

Jason for Day 20 (with a title)

That's Your Boyfriend

We were playing “that’s your boyfriend” where you point
and say “that’s your boyfriend” except Sarah added a part
where you honk and wave as you drive past. Half the people
we played with seemed kind of glad to be recognized,
and the other half seemed mad because they knew
they didn’t know us. I didn’t start wearing my glasses
every day until a guy said hello to me on the street
and I screamed “Carlos!” and ran up to hug him
only to find out that he wasn’t Carlos up close. I knew one girl
who played “that’s your boyfriend,” but she called it
“up your ass” and it just seemed a little gross to me,
and well, kind of juvenile. Also, she never played it
with strangers, she played it mostly with architecture,
and I only like playing games that you can play with
people who don’t know they’re playing them. Sarah
lives in Chicago, and we never play the game even
when we drive around Chicago. I love Chicago.

Jason for Day 19 (also untitled)

There are stories: not for telling; the stories are slaves:
the pacing is everything: the speed: you must remain:
you must go: the audience is not for telling: the audience
is enslaved: the audience is enraptured: you must
not remain: you may vote now: the story of which:
you would like to hear: the story of which: I can tell:
at the pace: at the pace of light: at the pace of sound:
the beat: the story: the beat: the story: the definite article:
asserts itself: like a frat boy: the definite articles says:
bee-atch: the definite article is the whole story:
the frat boy is paced like the slave: the slave is paced
like the everything: the article is the stories: the:
the: the: the: the: the: the:

Jason for Day 18

I’m further behind than Jen Knox, and I always will be

After all, what do you say when the girl next to you
in grad school has already been in Best American Poetry?
What do you say to the girl who remembers to keep
her chin tucked when she rolls out of a moving car,
who knows thirty ways to mix a martini with olives,
who gives you the recipe to lemon cardomom ice cream
and even gives you the lemons? When she says
I’m behind, I say, I’m behind-er. When she says who’s got
my back, I say, I’m right here, as always, right behind you.

Jason for Day 17, untitled

I cannot love process.

Oh, I’ve tried.

I know: you think:

What a curmudgeon.

What a moron.

He loves not the walk,

only the view.

He loves not the sex,

only the orgasm.

But listen:

That’s not what I meant.

I love the walk.

I love the kiss,

the touch,

the knot.

It’s that I hate rehearsal.

It’s that I hate

the times before

you got it right.

I want the journey,

but perfect.

Ada's for April 20:

(poem was here)

Ada's for April 19:

(poem was here)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Jen's for Day #18


Jen's for Day #17. I'm Really Behind!!!


Jason for Day 16

After Psalm 23

God holds my hand.
I have enough.
We lie in the grass,
we walk by the pond.

He calms me.

We have gone together
to the valley where
death’s shadow fell across me,
but I fear nothing.
God holds my hand.

I know God makes
my life good, that his
mercy is given me
every day that I shall
live. I live in his house.

I will live in God’s
house forever.

Jason for Day 15


Not that it has to be the opposite of reason,
since one can reason one’s way to the outside
of reason, and not that it has to be god,
or God, or G-d, but that it has to be there.

You can have faith in anything you want.
Your mother’s love, your wife’s devotion,
medicine, Bob Fosse’s genius, video art,
zines, Claratin, whatever. But you have to believe

in something. You have to have faith
that neuroscience has answers you need,
or that it’s totally worth it to fast on Ramadan.
You have to find someone or something

to believe in. Faith is a lot like sanity.
Have you ever met a crazy person? They
have no faith in the world. They are compelled
by voices, or drives, or urges, or hallucinations,

and that’s the opposite of faith. That’s
immediacy. That’s response as pure
and simple as Pavlov’s dogs salivating
in tubes. But faith. That’s a lot like love.

It’s a lot like grace.

Ada's for April 18:

(poem was here)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Behind This Door

Just a brief note of interruption. Jennifer L. Knox, Jason Schneiderman, and I are still writing a poem a day for the month of April. We're among almost 500 writers doing it, probably more, but here's a larger list over at Maureen's blog. This year's NaPoWriMo has been a tough one for me, though I'm enjoying it. I've been writing a great deal of prose lately, the novel, the posts over on Harriet, the posts on Guernica, and other bits and pieces here and there. I wonder if the prose is getting in the way of the poems? Though it's been difficult, it's also been a real joy to return to the small, magical world of the poem. And this month offers us the chance to really play, allows us to not worry about the perfect product, but to just examine our tricks, our problems, our messes. I'm on poem 17. (And it's not really a poem, it's a catch up play!). Oh, and also, a lovely thing happened today, my blog got listed as one of the "50 Best Blogs to Follow For National Poetry Month", so that's real nice. Thanks to those of you that continue to read our drafts, and to those of you that are writing 30 poems in 30, phew, we're halfway there!

Ada's for April 17:

(poem was here)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Jason for Day 14

Marc Almond is my Doppelganger

No, seriously, do a google image search.

It's true.

Jason for day 13

Self Help

I'm taking a 30 day Journey to Kicking
the Procrastination Habit. I have learned
that many people procrastinate out of a belief
that their action is in conflict with their
value system. I do not have this problem.
I take great pleasure in every prompt
that is for the people who procrastinate
for reasons that I do not. My own problem
has to do with... I'm not sure. Yes, I overload.
Fear of Failure, true. Avoidance of confrontation
in the hope that conflict will dissipate,
also my problem-- and yet, that last one,
well, I'm sticking to it. I don't believe
in conflict. And the person who "confronted"
me, back in 2003, "to clear the air,"
was certainly not a procrastinator. But it
didn't clear the air. I carry a private grudge
I have only revealed when drunk,
which is often. So it's not so private.
Perhaps I should call her. I should say
remember in 2003, when you wanted to "clear
the air"? Well, all you did was steam it up,
and eight years later, I just wanted to let you know
that I've carried eight years of grudge
against you. Or I could put it off. I think
I can help myself, and put it off.

Ada's for April 14:

(poem was here)

Ada's for April 13:

(poem was here)

Jen's for the 15th


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Jen's for #14

Au revoir

jen's for the 13th


Ada's for April 11:

(poem was here)

Jason for Day 12

Rappers and Their Use of Apostrophes

Because an apostrophe shows omission, as in the missing
“o” of “don’t” or the missing “ha” of “could’ve,”
I think it ought in fact to be “Li’l’ Kim” rather than
“Lil’ Kim” or “Li’l’ Bow Wow” instead of “Lil’
Bow Wow.” Other rappers dispense with the apostrophe
altogether, as in “Lil Wayne,” while no one places
the apostrophe between the “I” and the “l” to form
“Li’l,” despite Wikipedia’s insistence that this is
a frequent spelling. I personally, am on the li’l’
side, at only five foot six, but have never considered
going by the appellation “Lil’ Jason” or “Lil Jason,”
though I have considered “Li’l’ Schneiderman,”
“Li’l Schneidy,” and “Lil Schneids” as rap names.
My debut album will feature guest appearances
only by muscians who play fast and loose with
punctuation, like “Will.I.Am,” “?uestlove,”
and the symbol formerly naming Prince. My debut
alb’m will be named by my twitter feed and the songs
will all be found poems based on nineteenth
century grammar textbooks and flarf poems.
It will sell fewer copies than I have hits on youtube,
and that will be s’d. It will make me cr’.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Jason for day 11

On First Looking into Ashbery's Self-Portrait

That one might speak of the soul
as if it appeared as plainly as the nose
on one's face, or the color of one's eyes;
malleable to be sure, but at great
cost, at great pain, but still, visible,
seen, always right there for anyone
at hand. Who can speak of the soul
in this day when Plato seems as flimsy
as Soviet propaganda. We have found
the mirror neurons that make us feel
empathy. We have found the chemicals
of joy and pleasure, studied even
the body's knowledge of love,
how it lasts most intensely for a year,
how it fades and then fades and then
fades. We don't even argue for a soul,
since the soul is the province of faith
now, nothing the rationalist even
wants to contemplate. And yet
the plain secret is not that the soul
is too far away, but rather that it
is close. The truth is that the soul
may be spoken about and may be
understood. The soul must stay
where it is. I must stay where
my soul is.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Ada's April 6:

(poem was here)

Jen's for day #6

Take care of thyself, gentle Yahoo.

Ada's for April 5:

(poem was here)

Day 5 from Jason, before too little sleep


After 2 hours trying to figure out how update my website, I come in for day 4 (Jason)

Actors, and Who Should Be One

Pretty boys should be actors, should read
other people’s words, should never tempt
the fates by asking for too much, to be
beautiful should be enough, and to write
beautifully is asking too much. Tonight,
the man who reads my poems is taller
than I am, has the sort of features that
make you look a second time, even if,
just for today, I’m the one on television,
where the world can see just how sharp
my nose is, and just how high my voice
is, and just how I swallow my words
in moments when I am nervous. The man
reading my poem is not my avatar,
but rather a partner in beauty. What
my face lacks, his offers in spades.
Even his shirt is selected to make you
wish he would take it off, which is why
he doesn’t, and why he shouldn’t.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Jen's for Day #1

Get along, doggies.

It comes but once a year.

NAPOWRIMO—where we rub out one a day. Heeeeere we go!
Love, Jen

Ada's #1

(poem was here)

April First: Oh, Dear Lord!

Today marks April 1st. April Fools Day. The second day of the Living By Poetry Symposium in Texas. Billy Collins hangover day. AND the first day of National Poetry Month.

On this blog, Jennifer L. Knox, Jason Schneiderman, and me will attempt to write one draft of a poem a day for the month of April. This attempt is referred to as NaPoWriMo. Or, if you will: self-imposed torture.

Happy National Poetry Month, come see us implode!