two poems: 2

I am here.

The clock is ticking.

It is a double tick one-one two-two three-three
and so on.

My eyes are closed and my arm is long
over my face. I am lying down.

And then I am no longer here.
But where I am I cannot tell.

The black inky night was aérien and plump
and yet becomes metalled languor,

the dull copper reflects
a flattening space

it is shimmering.

I am here.

I know this because I suddenly
hear the clock breaking into

the metalled world. And yet
I have not moved, my arm has not

moved, and yet the world is
thickening again and filling with

air, and yet one-one two-two
it doesn't quite seem right and yet

my mind has been slicked with
the dully copper flections and

yet I am aware of my awareness and
that's not right, as far as sleep goes.

The clock ticks.

The tinny echo of a swelling sound is
coming from one of four buildings

whose windows face onto mine, but they
are far away and I am on the sixth floor.

I treasure my privacy.

This swell is swelling and the melody
has bloomed from its very ubiquitous root.

dah da-da-dah daah daah
dah da-da-dah daaah daaah

happy birthday da-da-da-dah is what I first
imagined because I hear a tinny echo.

I can not make out the words.

And yet, even not making out the words, it
should not be birthday but anniversaire.

There is a moment I think it might be in
a language completely foreign to me, that

it might be in congolese or senegelese and
once I heard a senegalese man downstairs at

the market say to his companion, for godness
sake and it was true and he was right.

This is not about the tomato at the market
or the apple in the metaphor, but godness

because I was in the metalled world
and it is how I imagine god must feel, not

hearing the tick of the clock, and yet
I must return to it, and I am here now,

and the clock is ticking

and it must be midnight for they are

Published in Belleville Park Pages 11; Mike Waser

two poems: 1

He shaves his jaws every Friday morning during a gap; nine slides into ten. 
It is at this between-hour that he soaps and lathers his chops
at the squared white sink in the downstairs female bathroom of
a dark red brick building whose crenellations seem to me
to have jutted up from sacred Mali. 

A bathroom is a choking space, too easily do slide from walls
the trappings of human excess, while cold white tiles do little to
persuade us that we are not indeed inside a warm and living form.
And each Friday, at this sliding hour, his low-pitched wooded smell
accords with the putrid delicate variations and shifting harmonious
bands of female vanitas and shame.

It is I who am waiting in line behind you, old man, who am
holding in hope and wavering at the edge of the fir green fabric 
at the edge of your darkened skin. A deep round scar, no bigger than
a five cent piece, at the fold of your right eye, alabaster soap and dark 
hands, life-darkened like my father's hands, they too have been lathed too 
often, by thin - one might even say innocent - blades of time and
solid matter, to ever come clean again.

I have felt the possible weigh upon me.
I have seen the becoming-spherical of the object.
I have been shown its curving-away face.

There is noise now. The scraping blade in the sliding hour whose,
for a fifty odd of Fridays and all the ones that count, metal has done 
battle against persistent sons who rise are mowed who rise again. 
I hear them all.

published in Belleville Park Pages 11

asagiri no miko

The sound of the Gion Shōja bells echoes the impermanence of all things; 

the colour of the sāla flowers reveals the truth that the prosperous must decline. 

The proud do not endure, they are like a dream on a spring night; 

the mighty fall at last, they are as dust before the wind.

The Tale of the Heike; 12th century, Japan.

West of the Blue Mountains, Oz; winter 2013

vanitas and freeform nothing

I think we are in rats’ alley 
Where the dead men lost their bones. 

“What is that noise?” 
                      The wind under the door. 
“What is that noise now? What is the wind doing?” 
                      Nothing again nothing. 
You know nothing? Do you see nothing? Do you remember 
        I remember 
                Those are pearls that were his eyes. 
“Are you alive, or not? Is there nothing in your head?” 
O O O O that Shakespeherian Rag— 
It’s so elegant 
So intelligent

Is whispering nothing?

Is leaning cheek to cheek? is meeting noses?
Kissing with inside lip? stopping the career
Of laughing with a sigh?--a note infallible
Of breaking honesty--horsing foot on foot?
Skulking in corners? wishing clocks more swift?
Hours, minutes? noon, midnight? and all eyes
Blind with the pin and web but theirs, theirs only,
That would unseen be wicked? is this nothing?
Why, then the world and all that's in't is nothing;
The covering sky is nothing; Bohemia nothing;
My wife is nothing; nor nothing have these nothings,
If this be nothing.

"On Margate Sands. 
I can connect 
Nothing with nothing. 
The broken finger-nails of dirty hands. 
My people humble people who expect 

      la la 

To Carthage then I came 

Burning burning burning burning 
O Lord Thou pluckest me out 
O Lord Thou pluckest 


You are the last I recognize; return,
pain beyond help that sears the body’s cells:
as I burnt in the spirit, see, I burn
in you; the wood, that for so long rebels
against the flame you kindle, comes of age;
behold, I nourish you and burn in you.
My earthly mildness changes in your rage
into a rage of hell I never knew.

Quite pure, quite planless, of all future free,
I climbed the stake of suffering, resolute
not to acquire what is still to be
to clad this heart whose stores had become mute.
Is it still I that burns there all alone?
Unrecognizable? memories denied?

O life, o life: being outside.
And I in flames—no one is left—unknown.

Vanitas still life with portrait; David Bailly (1650), Naked Lunch, Wasteland, Winter's Tale, Wasteland, Komm du, du Letzter; Rilke.


Bakraç Sokak, Beyoğlu, Istanbul, 2012

Of the people who lived there not a sign was to be seen. They were all having lunch, clattering the cutlery and plates. A dog leapt at a green-painted iron gate, quite beside itself, as if it had taken leave of its senses. It was a large black Newfoundland, its natural gentleness broken by ill-treatment, long confinement or even the crystal clarity of the autumn day. In the villa behind the iron fence nothing stirred. Nobody came to the window, not even a curtain moved. Again and again the animal ran up and hurled itself at the gate, only occasionally pausing to eye us where we stood as if transfixed. As we walked on I could feel the chill of terror in my limbs. Ernst turned to look back once more at the black dog, which had now stopped barking and was standing motionless in the midday sun. Perhaps we should have let it out. It would probably have ambled along beside us, like a good beast, while its evil spirit might have stalked among the people of Kritzendorf in search of another host, and indeed might have entered them all simultaneously, so not one of them would have been able to lift a spoon or fork again.

from W.G. Sebald's Vertigo

time is always time / And place is always and only place

Portrait of Anton Peschka; Egon Schiele

Because I do not hope to turn again
Because I do not hope
Because I do not hope to turn
Desiring this man’s gift and that man’s scope
I no longer strive to strive towards such things
(Why should the aged eagle stretch its wings?)
Why should I mourn
The vanished power of the usual reign?
Because I do not hope to know again
The infirm glory of the positive hour
Because I do not think
Because I know I shall not know
The one veritable transitory power
Because I cannot drink
There, where trees flower, and springs flow, for there is nothing again
Because I know that time is always time
And place is always and only place
And what is actual is actual only for one time
And only for one place
I rejoice that things are as they are and
I renounce the blessed face
And renounce the voice
Because I cannot hope to turn again
Consequently I rejoice, having to construct something
Upon which to rejoice
And pray to God to have mercy upon us
And pray that I may forget
These matters that with myself I too much discuss
Too much explain
Because I do not hope to turn again
Let these words answer
For what is done, not to be done again
May the judgement not be too heavy upon us
Because these wings are no longer wings to fly
But merely vans to beat the air
The air which is now thoroughly small and dry
Smaller and dryer than the will
Teach us to care and not to care
Teach us to sit still.
Pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death
Pray for us now and at the hour of our death.

is it no sin thus to pray?

- Pray that there come to them or man or god…

- A judge? Or an avenger? Speak thy prayer.

- Plain be thy word: one who shall slay the slayer.

- But dare I? Is it no sin thus to pray?

- How else? With hate thine hater to repay.

Aeschylus; Choëphoroe (The Libation Bearers)

juicy fruits

Here are some handpainted fruits from a little free-floating fruit shop in Istanbul, run by a soft, honest-faced man with bright white teeth who sold freshly squeezed pomegranate juice. My mother and I went there every morning and on our final day, took my father, who is also a soft, honest-faced man. They both called each other sir and smiled.

The warp and woof of the working day. He slid between its thatches. Sick wind.

Twentieth century modernist wallscapes, whose facades, like cancers, were slowly eating and staining themselves. In some distant future, their collapsed remains, running through consolidating veins Corbusier and van der Rohe progeny, powderblue and cornflowergiallo, will make a fit marble for the inconceivable palaces of shrimp and uranium barons. Basileus. The compacted rock containing plastic fossils, industrial remnants, kettles, vulcanized rubber dolls, air-conditioners, and refrigerators. Mosaics to match the pagan treasures of ancient Greece. What will be prized; a child’s dummy? A copper pot? A wastrel stem of plastic flowers unwittingly preserved in an unidentifiable oil. Palm. Deep-fried former lives from a shlocky Chinese restaurant. Mysterious Solidified God. Manufactured to be so sure. If not natural, we would have invented it. Mono Sodium. Lonely salt. Lonely sailor. But right now they stood, gangs of feral pimply kids, whooping and whooting through the not-yet-compacted crevices. Blood in the building veins.

I’ll smash you! Can’t smash me, I’aint made’a glass. Sung-song arcs, wildly coasting thither and yon, contorting otherwise dour mouths. Yer-can’t-smaassh-mee-ah’aint-made-ah-glaarrss. Impish rhythms, demiurgic satyrs, filling bodies for all time. In their crushed marble skulls, perhaps a whipping tail will be felt by the chosen son of a bluetime Basileus, chancing upon an eye-socket, Pompeii-staring out of delirious marble. The corner, near the floor. Something tingles in his spine, tail bone feels a’whippin’. Archetypal inhabitants surfacing anew. Strange to think we believe in personal reincarnation. More eternal recurrence of the same. Satyr is faun, is pickpocket, chimney sweep; nymph and naiad, urchin and ASBO. Recognise in a look. Simpler than a mason. Eyes aren’t feigned. Can’t learn. No handshake. Fiercer in the girlies. In packs, more. Whatcha lookin’ at? Huh? Huh? Ah har har. Hey, hey. Orr. I ain’t gonna rob ya. Where ya goin? Home. You been dancin’? No, working. Dancing, why dancing? Want to touch those little imps. Give them tea. Impossible. They will not look into your eyes. Only their kind. Dancing.

The warp and woof of the working day.
He slid between its thatches. Sick wind.
The inner world is so sacred.
You slice a tomato for lunch.
Glacial swaying tones in an aeroplane
Whispers and snatches of speech.

Inside voices inside the head. A fabricated highlife of glazed celluloid, sucking gelled vortices of suspension chaos. He was not at its centre, but the cooling plate of glass that licks at the passing world without losing any of itself. Scenes of avuncular and then leering boymen, wild Calibans, most soft and most pitiable. No bow and arrow. No standard initiation rites. Trapped in permanent packs, unable to take the test, though, what test? A quick fuck with whichsoever chubby minge that’ll take you behind the toilet blocks. Did you fuck her? Crude akimbo elbows, ploughing hips. I wonder if he brushed his teeth? That lecherous mouth, gaping open. How I’d like to stick my dick in there and make those eyeballs gag. Yeah, I fucked’er. HHHHAAAWWWWW! Guffaws. She's a minga! Did you make her groan? Shez prolly just hungry. Hoots. Guffaws. No bow and arrow. Not the kind of meat I can bring home. Not the kind of home I could bring back to. Where are my elders? Our child-parents, not their burden to bear. Sad Atlas. Drunk Atlas. “Mama, mama.” Hold back her hair. Too many sad pills. Too much gin. Mother’s mothers' burden. Why orange? Quite beautiful really, on the milky porcelain bowl. Cheetos? Twisties? Recognition in her leached eyes. Boiled, peeled moons. Could something have been born in there? Were you planning a grand life? Candied, flossy girl smile. Watery happiness. “Jacob.” She raises a floppy hand to his cheek, smiling with teeth a toothless smile, all slack-lip and gummy hollow.

words, soslow hand on cheek, 
soslow face slackening around cold porcelain.

“Look at
my boy
so handsome

Vomit from her hand on my cheek. The burdens of our forefathers. Where is mine? “Come on. Let’s get you to bed.” Looking at me with her secretive fairground smile. Her each drunk a child anew. Beaming looseygoosey proud. Your stillsoft hand on my face. “Jacob…” He wanted to take her hand and cry into it. Mama, why did I do it? To wrap himself in the curve of her stomach and lap. But then, where were you? When I was… when I needed… loose-legged slipping in the hall with some brutal uncooked ape. Akimbo elbows, ploughing hips. What teeth I could kick in. Or better yet. No. One child’s slip and it would all be over. “Let’s get you cleaned up.” Opening her blouse like several other men before him, and mostly not much more of her hazing from within, though different intentions. Naked, she looked like the little girl of her smile. Small, vulnerable, sleepy. He bundled her damp humid into a towel and carried her to her bedroom. He sat at the foot of her bed listening to her light slack snoring and thinking about Daisy. DaisyShe knew. I saw it in her eyes. Didn’t I, Daisy? Such tender humiliation. Willing me to. I know what you are doing. She knew. Stoic caryatid bearing the weight of her drunk. Fuming in her eyes. You did this to me. Those eyes. Looking at you. She knew that you knew that she loves you. A sickened desperate kind of love. Daisy. A cow’s name. Those eyes. No bow and arrow. What could I bring home to him? A pat on the shoulder, calm fingers older and more experienced than your own. “Well done, son”-fingers. How soft to share in what was once hidden. This is your right. The mountain man does not need. The wind moves through me. I own nothing of myself. Chewing: feathers; plucking: a single note; letting: it fade away.

Excerpt from Michael Waser's Small Chronos

old days at Sheep Camp...

The wordlessness of the slow-moving stream

told her something of her father,

his silence, not stony, but slow-moving.

Wood that lay splintered in more or less 

arm-length blocks and the excess, 

innumerably-sharded next to the pile.

Neat, like her father.  He sometimes 

held the wood,  or shaped it for pleasure, 

because not everything  is useful. 

His rougher hands in steady,  

lulling rhythm, like the neighbour boy 

she had caught by the river.  

That wordless river, and her, wordless.

marmoreal days... opened into the hill a spacious wound, and digged out ribs of gold


                           ...his looks and thoughts

Were always downward bent, admiring more
The riches of heaven’s pavement, trodden gold,
Than aught divine or holy else enjoyed
In vision beatific. By him first
Men also, and by his suggestion taught,
Ransacked the centre, and with impious hands
Rifled the bowels of their mother Earth
For treasures better hid. Soon had his crew
Opened into the hill a spacious wound,
And digged out ribs of gold…

- Paradise Lost, Book i, 678-690

Paris; 2013

you slam it to me with farms that you dark on and off numb hideous strong friend... les amants du pont neuf & the powerline incarnation

When I ran to snatch the wires off our roof
hands bloomed teeth shouted I was almost seized
held back from this life
                                       O flumes     O chariot reins
you cover me with lurids deck me with gaudies feed
my coronal    a scream sings in the air
above our dance    you slam it to me with farms
that you dark on and off numb hideous strong friend
Tooma and Geehi freak and burr through me
rocks fire-trails damwalls mountain-ash trees slew
to darkness threw me    I zap them underfoot
with the swords of my shoes
                                               I am receiving mountains
piloting around me Crackenback    Anembo
the Fiery Walls    I make a hit in towns
I’ve never visited: smoke curls lightbulbs pop grey
discs hitch and slow    I plough the face of Mozart
and Johnny Cash    I bury and smooth their song
I crack it for copper links and fusebox spiders
I call my Friend from the circuitry of mixers
whipping cream for a birthday    I distract the immortal
Inhuman from hospitals
                                       to sustain my jazz
and here is Rigel in a glove of flesh
my starry hand discloses smoke, cold Angel.
Vehicles that run on death come howling into
our street with lights a thousandth of my blue
arms keep my wife from my beauty    from my species
the jewels in my tips
                                  I would accept her in
blind white remarriage    cover her with wealth
to arrest the heart    we’d share Apache leaps
crying out Disyzygy!
                                  shield her from me, humans
from this happiness I burn to share    this touch
sheet car    live ladder    wildfire garden shrub—
away off I hear the bombshell breakers thrown
diminishing me    a meaninglessness coming
over the circuits
                           the god’s deserting me
but I have dived in the mainstream    jumped the graphs
I have transited the dreams of crew-cut boys named Buzz
and the hardening music
                                         to the big bare place
where the strapped-down seekers, staining white clothes, come
to be shown the Zeitgeist
                                          passion and death my skin
my heart all logic    I am starring there
and must soon flame out
                                         having seen the present god
It who feels nothing    It who answers prayers.

that thin layer about the wet hot heat is godsland

Oh, Mickey you're so fine you're so fine you blow my mind hey mickey, hey hey mickey. White out. Blue light, dark out. Spears of accentuated mad flicker silver slap the jittery eyes, bugging bodies. Who moves you? smell of wet hot heat. wet hot inner under inner arms. inside groin. loins, clothed, modesty flaps in the armmade wind. heat ascends. rubber soled shoes, hermes winged messenger stripes of colour slap and push the solid world away. melts. Who knows you? un peu d'air sur terre. very clever campaign. But does it float? Caché. Were Jesus' loins holy? Were they ever touched, rubbed, loved? Did lips murmur over them? Stiff linen of the dead. White wash it. Near out. Light blue. Dark light. Did it rain that day? Back though, they are touching you there, face ascended to God's face. Those three used to be joined by sugared words, deadly laced strychnine arcs. How many dependents do you have? Dependence wha? Dependents, you know, spouse, kids? Ain't got none. No, two, gently laced arcs. Tell your intimates your intimates. Particles from the masticated cud, gentle arcs of the elect, Mani est vivant! Did St. Augustine eat the fig as well? Did he burp God? Mani could never have won, we know that now. We need God to grow in the hollows of ourselves, the vacuoles of man. He is the autophagy of our misfoldings, misdoings, miswiringhardgivings. He can not be in the fig. He can not be in the breath of those Ancient Greek gods. Inspiration, they breathed into Penelope, the other Sisyphus, weaver of Fatum woven by Moira, roller of Peter. Moons of Jupiter. Too many wives, too much jealousy. No, God in human hollows. Begins in not out. Much better. Perspiration. 99% sure to win in the end. Inspiration. We reserve the right to hope have faith in 1%. Sneakers dally with the floor. I… I can't touch… I can't touch you… Faces are wondering upward. Fingers in the warmth of caché spaces. Nothing so maddeningly moist as fig finger particles of God. Faces wondering upward. It is coming out of me. Upward. That's her friend. They were joined not two hours before and since they were 7. Slow arcs so slow the world seems real without them. Watched her cry, held her hand. Who would say such a thing to their own daughter. Wished she had never been born. More for other things. Silent imprecations against the whoreful mother of her friend. Should she die? Who have you disposed of in your thoughts? Fingered a hot wet tear, held her hand. One slow arc. Was it completed then or in the shopping mall, where three stole silently separately, emboldened by bright lights and identical rows. How to. Take it to the oversized women's section, for some reason there are never guards there, too self conscious already to steal. Trash taken for treasure. Treasures of time, bright lights, mad silver flicker in six eyes, and others too, countless, across lands. Give it away, moments mad lit moments are treasured, not matter. Don't fetishise thinginess, she said. Points in focus, slow directrix. Equidistant, but she was her, the maitresse. The directrix. The rest are fools along the arc, but it slowly traced from one to the other to the other to the one hot wet tear to the fingering finger. Was she Adam? They drunk old bottles of wine in the downstairs bathroom. Laughter bigger than bottles. Nux vomica. Arcs of amity. But there, switchblade eyes on her maitresse, whose wet hot fig fingered bright silver flicker, mad switchblade eyes on him, who wonders wanders down to groaning loins. Faces wondering skyward. Is she tasting God, wide pupils larger than saucers. Mad mad mad jealousy the slowest jitter, infinitesimally slowed, might miss it in armmade sneakermade slapping floating wind. But don't. It is there. Caché in shimmering slow boiling surface, perspiring sheen, melted glow. Lanced reality, that thin layer above the wet hot heat is godsland.


these plastic roses

hot milk

these pink roses
    some plastic shrine
       @ music's feet
                               unbroken divinity of eye / ear - 
       a prophecy     deep from within the skull's roots
                                     controlled miles of flexible oratory
    bouquets of plasticity stretching the petals of the bell
                   this sun     this bursting gaffaw
                                                 parked here at the edge of godsland     any jackson knows
       any queen whoever-shed-her-face-of-water knows
                               any revolutionary zookeeper knows
           any weaver of lace knows

any gone logic device knows
any virgin in search of the mystery knows
these unwaving toxic neo-industrial sad unscented roses
enshrined @ the feet of music know
those at the helm of the ship know
that which guides the rudder knows
uncontrollability in an inflexible space
madmen know
scientists know
the spirits
the married know
the sick
the lame
the intolerant know
somewhere in their inflexibly religious souls
the long gones know it
deep within their long gone elegant
           an unfathomable unity between forest & trees
           first & last hucksters
    even the hucksters know
           the soft walls know
           the high walls know
           the low walls know
           the hard walls know

      "I kill Bad aMericans"     -     a harder groove / the gloss of pearls

this holy heliocent
                               world of round holidays

even the humans know
the war/mongers know
the survivors beneath our soles     they know
twice octoped ghosts know
a sound-tale coming closer to inflexible plastic
the face of water
the quint of power
the laying on of long dawns

           prio priopas achordin
                   prio priopas     acru

   loosen confusion & broaden forms
    loosen confusion     & bro a     den       forms

there's that second before the petals melt
that moment before the shrines collapse
when we realize we are all prophets
& fortune tellers
when we all see what the future holds

the wise ones know
the idiots know
the rootless know
the innocent know
           the innocent know the innocent know..

steve dalachinsky nyc

do! listen to John Tchicai's free strings & Dalachinksy's words, hither>>
Tchicai's voice is hot coal and violets