Problems With Translation

A Tumblr for NaPoWriMo 2012.

psalm 25:14

outside, a crowd, the drone of the street
then silence, as you enter, a votive memory
a golden crucifix, a bit of holy water
you lay yourself out on a marble floor
and realize early on that this will be
an exercise in panicky endurance

and now the smoking loud fuck
and banging wail of the guitar
and now your skin is glowing
and now the lights are dim
and now the floor is breathing
and the walls are full of saints
you sit for hours surrounded
by your own hallucinatory memoir
succumbing to your own insignificance
remembering, forgetting, remembering again

on the street, people wander past the church
unaware that inside something religious is taking place.

(GY!BE @ Church of St Paul the Apostle NYC 3/18/11)

The dualist loses a fight

These words are the same words I spoke to you
back when we were lighter

They form a line that connects two points.
Pick two more. Another line. Pretty.
Soon an imperfect grid emerges: coordinates, Cartesian

Old questions about consciousness returning,
Everything unresolved making its way to the surface.
There, at (-2, 17) do you see? The thing that
makes this poem sound familiar.

These words are of one mind:
fuck the metaphysical, let me taste your thighs.

Weights and Measures

this death does not know
how many ounces are in a pound
how many eggs are in a cake
what happened on your third birthday
or what you wrote on the back of the envelope that 
she kept in the old box underneath her bed

this death has no memories of the way she held you
when you were damp with sleep and fear
how she smelled like cigarettes (even now
the site of that green and purple box catches your throat)
her story, improvised, a talking cloud and an enormous sheepdog
that held your hands and led you back to sleep

other deaths are smarter maybe
more articulate in their reasoning
they have a grasp of logic and the natural
order of things they know how to make their
arguments seem reasonable

but this death is a stupid dumb animal
full of the silence of someone who knows
that you know that their father is the boss of this place
and they can do whatever they want


I know the smells of singed panic
and the fruitfulness of terror.

I am a disordered animal, predisposed
to trembling prisoner manifestations
recurrent fears of this raw violent system
excessive humiliation, spontaneous pathology,
instances of premature death where I must endure God.

Insert phobia here.

Attacks are recurrent when separation is close
inappropriately severe, the manifestations
of unreasonable childhood patterns
compulsive rocking, many non-specific thoughts,
typically unreasonable and insidious,
more of that embarrassing screaming.

What is tragic says Derrida is not the impossibility
but the necessity of repetition.

Military Imagery Analyst: Part Deux (Prelude)

her resume pointed out that she specialized in
complex pattern analysis for threat detection
though this hardly explained how she
let the torrents of data run through her mind
waiting for something to trip, an anomaly
lit up and laid out across the green field of numbers

you have two eyes she said
but you see one world, not two
your brain does that automatically
i have hundreds of thousands of eyes
none of them ever blink
and i see the world you do not want to see
my brain does that automatically

this is what i do she says
i channel a fortuneteller
i ask her these two questions only
what does it mean?
when does it end?

Bitter Little Poem

I needed a little something to get started so I went ahead
and used some of the words that you left in the basement when you moved out

I figured that you had no use for them anymore
since you don’t even have to tell him what you want, he just knows

A Military Imagery Analyst Has Lost Her Mind

The red-eyed woman in the locked room has her terminal
downloading numbers twenty four seven three six five
barometric pressure readings mapped onto complex ciphers
traffic delays in Paris providing the seed numbers for randomly
generated letters and words: screech, myrrh, rhododendrons
she is hunting and pecking for the spaces in-between
where they hid the messages for the other operators
look! she says here is a reference to the murderbots
that are able to fly they made them in the desert
always more data to sift through more meaning to liberate
from the untidy heap of confusion more connections
seventeen ways to leap from here to Afghanistan
in this remote-controlled war endless ways to
interpret the meaning of the undulating fields of white noise

Here then, she says, have you forgotten the power of naming
Tell me the name of your moon and I’ll tell you what sacrifices
your gods demand

I have been told that it is difficult to argue with the insane
when they are correct in their conclusions

the inevitable napowrimo poem about not being able to write a poem

The words come slow
pulling their baggage behind them
one of the wheels lulling around uselessly
like the lazy eye of your third grade teacher.

"What took you so long?"

"The customs agents you have are terrifying,"
they say, “ripping apart every letter looking for contraband
and shouting at me with their guns like
I have no business here”

Untitled Love Poem

When we slide together the way we do
all limbs pulled out from hot center and 
tongues dragged across teeth
i want to build a small house 
somewhere in your earliest memories
and nail a sign to the door that says
"wait for me. i’ll be back."

Cloud Architecture

Today I eagerly watched a webinar
called the future of cloud architecture
hoping to finally find out how they
made dragons turn into boats and
did they use tall ladders or blimps

Instead it was about graceful degradation
what a nice thought that we could slide
down the other side of civilization holding
each other’s hands during the scary parts

Outside a fisherman praying for calm seas
got into a fistfight with a farmer
who was praying for more rain

Somewhere, a child regained his tail
through an act of sheer remembering

Somewhere else, another person jumped

(From a certain height falling is indistinguishable
from flying and all explosions are beautiful)