Fall is Coming: Current Favorite Poems

On the day of your leave-taking

by Maggie Nelson

On the day of your leave-taking

I wouldn’t want to see you anyway

I want to be alone with my vagrant ugliness

Want the bridge suddenly to double its span

so the only parameter becomes the vanishing

of my already thin-soled shoes

On a Friday night, one girl hangs from a trapeze by her shins

You think it looks scary but having lived among them

I know there’s always a safety (in this case, the toes)

Another girl enjoys bars with themes

Another is painting bunnies in Kentucky

I am taking my welts to the tub

hoping the porcelain is free of blood and hair

The blood and hair I left there, streaking

the pale pink soap melting into the brick wall

which grows black and green with companions

People continue to grind the veiny fat into the asphalt

with their feet, it’s only nine degrees, my river rocks

now bearded with ice. So the fat freezes and a spoon

wedged into the cement glistens, I keep wanting

to pick up every hard and bright object I find

and put it in a Mason jar, then add blue pigment

and shake. Gnarled hand of green glass, leftover

confetti, petrified pieces of pizza that appear

near the trio of homeless men who watch a shaky TV

hooked into a generator in a parking lot, it’s where

I get my news these days and why not, they always

know the score, the five-day weather report. I can see you

boarding your jet plane, see you with your hat on crooked

as if you recently tumbled onto the planet out of the carapace

of a rumpled goddess. I hear the gulf is a little bellicose

but beyond that, livable, despite the depressing stats

from that part of the world, and you know I’ll be here, perched

into blotchy corners, not knowing what life

could possibly mean without its soundtrack

so I can hum along to its pain, as if its humdrum

or shared nature could possibly dim its particular

luster. But it’s the cold that makes my mascara pool up

around my eyes and gives a shock to my quads

as they push forward, the only idiot crossing the bridge

at sunset, but you have to march across the span

while you can, before winter’s sweet cocoon

gets punctured and happiness presents itself

as an option, and I have to accept the possibility

of another body in my bed. I keep dreaming it’s

someone else that’s paralyzed, a childhood friend

I’ve fallen out of touch with, I keep dreaming

we’re fucking but somehow never alone, sometimes

I think it would be so hot to fuck you with another

and other times I know I’m just making the best

of a bad situation. Have I mentioned I’m watching

a man softly cry as he searches for a lost pill

under the pillows of a sage-colored couch, he has

a cough that comes from the Underworld, one lens

of his glasses dramatically cracked. I want

to hold him, the way I want to hold anyone

who seems contagious. Maybe we could

keep each other warm. And you emptied yourself

twice into my throat and I remain utterly starved

for more, the smell of one sex intimating the smell of another

but who am I kidding, really, on this January day

that has dwindled into the single digits, in which

we have to pin the drapes shut with safety pins

and stuff towels into the honeycombed walls

I just want to be called out as the greedy whore that I am

summer reading mash up: thoreau cahun cooper cage

cahun

What! With all those wonderful beings around you… You’d have had time to think of me! And me so small… it’s a mistake, but do still make it… continue to make this sweet mistake with me.

Would you like to join a society called Capitalists Inc. (Just so no one would think we were Communists.)? Anyone joining automatically becomes president. To join you must show you’ve destroyed at least one hundred records or, in the case of tape, one sound mirror [tape recorder]. To imagine you own any piece of music is to miss the whole point: This is no point or the point is nothing; and even a long-playing record is a thing. A lady from Texas said: I live in Texas. We have no music in Texas. The reason they’ve no music in Texas is because they have recordings. Remove the records from Texas and someone will learn how to sing.

Alone – which you call: being free, you who forge the bars of your own prison.

Here we are now at the beginning of the
third unit of the fourth large part of this talk.
More and more I have the feeling that we are getting
nowhere. Slowly , as the talk goes on
, we are getting nowhere and that is a pleasure
. It is not irritating to be where one is . It is
only irritating to think one would like to be somewhere else.

**INSERT LONG PAUSE**
*GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK*

Here we are now at the beginning of the
ninth unit of the fourth large part of this talk.
More and more I have the feeling that we are getting
nowhere. Slowly , as the talk goes on
, we are getting nowhere and that is a pleaure
. It is not irritating to be where one is . It is
only irritating to think one would like to be somewhere else.

It’s over!!!!! I live on feebly, clinging to words, to fables!!!!!!!! Clinging to the dead!!, to great names!!!, to those disasters in which I claimed to see my vanity!!!, my ruin and my damned remains!!!, justified by the Conqueror’s rage!!! (Among so many confessions, what a ludicrous confession. I’m wrong to emphasise it. It would be best to let it all pass unnoticed.)

However, I feel fucking terrible….. Without doubt: my soul has become ingrown like a nail nobody has bothered to file regularly.

I am here , and there is nothing to say .
If among you are
those who wish to get somewhere , let them leave at
this moment .

Does the world have to be badly made for a being who is odd, but sexually sociable, to be forced to take refuge in crime as if it were a convent, not only to live in but even to create some new values there!

But what kind of crime? …. what does it matter! A dead end..

The confession of my shame:
Will I blame the circumstances, my contemporaries? These aren’t the circumstances of my life, these are its causes that led it astray. I was condemned before I was born. Executed in absentia.

The unnatural ones, the real ones:
No more impossible metaphysics – let them be consigned to the accessory shop: theatrical costumes but their impossible physiques remain with us, alas! – or thank god – the really tragic ones, with no theatrical strings.

My face fucking hurts!

I have nothing to say
and I am saying it and that is
poetry as I need it .

———————————————
beware of
that which is breathtakingly beautiful, for at any moment
the telephone may ring or the airplane
may come down in a vacant lot . A piece of string
or a sunset , possessing neither ,
each acts and the continuity happens

The death of Narcissus has always seemed totally incomprehensible to me. Only one explanation seems plausible: Narcissus did not love himself. He allowed himself to be deceived by an image. He didnt know how to go beyond appearances. Had he fallen in love with the face of a nymph rather than his own, his mortal impotence would have remained the same. But had he known how to love himself beyond the mirage his would have been a happy fate, the epitome of living paradise, the myth of the privileged man, worthy of envy down the centuries. That beautiful child was able to extract the infinite from his reflections, while we remain vibrations away, always the same, incapable of going any further. Oh Narcisus, you could love yourself in everything…

Eternity without you, without me, we have no need for it. We have this moment which forces itself upon us, out of love for whoever life has thrown at us, we alter ourselves to such an extent that if the ideal one ever came along we’d be incompatible without mercy, which limits us and is incarnate in an omnipotent void this categoric imperative.

“yet it is not our birth day but our death day that really defines who we were”
-blissfull2012

Reading at Spoonbill with Lee Ann Brown!!!

Tomorrow night at 7:30pm I’ll be reading with Lee Ann Brown at Spoonbill! Lee Ann just published a collection of poems “In The Laurel’s, Caught” and we’re going to be celebrating it’s new-found existence!!! I’ll be reading from Parasite. Hope to see you!!!

Spoonbill is here: 218 Bedford Ave Brooklyn, NY 11211

This Weekend: Reading @Jefferson Market Library and ACT UP + OCCUPY!

For the month of April, the Jefferson Market Library is hosting an exhibition of poems from the Occupy Wall Street Poetry Anthology in the spiral staircase leading library goers from the ground floor to the main room. April is POETRY MONTH! And the Occupy Wall Street Poetry Anthology is open to all poems: famous poets sit next to obscure poets, experimental poems are next to traditional ones, there are many languages, and poems both for and against the the Occupy Movement. The anthology consists of 721 poems, 4 poetic introductions, 448 poets (140 women, 275 men, 34 androgynous) and poems in English, French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Urdu, German, Japanese, Chinese and Dutch.

Tomorrow, April 14th, the Jefferson Market Library has opened its doors to OWS Poetry Anthology to host a reading so all the poets and the community at large can come out and engage with each other. This is a great opportunity for the Occupy Movement to educate and converse with the West Village Community. And they have two weeks to engage with the poems on the walls and think about what is being said…. So come prepared! I’ve even invited all the poets in the Anthology to read a poem as well, so expect to be challenged and expect to be loved!

Poets will get 3-5minutes to read their work, depending on the size of the crowd…. The event will be held in a similar fashion to the Poetry Assemblies: readers will add their name to a “hat” and be called at random. The event will kick off with a short “lecture” on the significance of MAY DAY and the GENERAL STRIKE, which is currently a major focus of the Occupy Movement…. if you don’t know much about it, or have questions or wanna hear about it from an expert, be sure to be there at 2pm. If you have serious ethical, moral, or safety concerns about the poems on the walls, be sure to tell a librarian! They’ll take your concerns, print and laminate them, and post them on the wall so everyone can consider what you got to say…. Also email them to me, so I can add it to the anthology 😉 stephenjboyerATgmailDOTcom

Also, to mark the occasion, we will be presenting the NYPL with two copies of the anthology. One will go to central archives and the other will stay in the Jefferson Market branch

And if you haven’t heard, the anthology is currently running a campaign to raise money so it can be printed and sent to occupations, special collections, and major library systems around the world. The Occupy Wall Street Poetry Anthology is an anthology made by and for the people…. Please spread the word: if we are going to be able to do this, we will need for this to go viral and be supported by everyone. The link for the campaign is here, at indiegogo.

SUNDAY:::

To commemorate its 25th anniversary, the AIDS activist group ACT UP will return to its roots and stage a massive demonstration and march on Wall Street — on Wednesday, April 25 — starting at 11 am at City Hall and ending on Wall Street.

Hundreds of protestors are expected to converge for a daylong siege in Lower Manhattan.

ACT UP (The AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) will be joined by Occupy Wall Street (OWS), the organization making history this year and last with its public encampments and series of protests against the global financial community. The groups are joining forces to pump up the
volume on a growing nationwide outcry for a “Financial Speculation Tax” (Fi.S.T.) on Wall Street.

The groups are calling on local, state, and federal legislators to “give Wall Street the FiST,” which is needed to fill AIDS funding gaps and — once and for all — provide universal healthcare in the US. It’s time for effective healthcare to be made available to everyone — to the 99%, not just the 1%.

The Fi.S.T. does not target individual investors, and would not affect regular bank transactions. Instead, it would place a small tax — a mere fraction of one percent — on speculative trading by Wall Street investment banks, hedge funds and other large financial institutions.

HIV treatment saves lives — by preventing new infections and keeping those already infected from reaching end-stage AIDS. However, of all people worldwide in need of access to HIV treatment, only 44% have it. More than 8 million people do not. In the United States today, 3,840 people who qualify for federal assistance to pay for HIV treatment are on waiting lists — or in other words, are at risk of dying from AIDS.

“The AIDS crisis is not over,” says veteran ACT UP New York member Ann Northrop. “But, we know it could be,” she adds.

AIDS treatment — when combined with simple prevention interventions — is the key to breaking the back of the epidemic worldwide. In addition to saving lives, early HIV/AIDS treatment reduces the risk of transmission of HIV by 96%. And so, with sufficient funding for
treatment and prevention, we can turn the tide on AIDS. Globally, HIV/AIDS has claimed over 30 million lives.

Both ACT UP and OWS suggest the revenue from a Financial Speculation Tax would be significant — potentially in the hundreds of billions of dollars. The revenue from this tax should be used to fund the end of the AIDS pandemic, i.e. to fill in US budget gaps in the fight against
HIV/AIDS at home and abroad. It should be used to provide treatment, services and prevention to thousands of Americans and millions around the world. The groups also say the tax could help pay for universal healthcare in the US.

“We are organizing this historic united front to bring our message to governments and to Wall Street financiers who are sitting on the key to ending the AIDS epidemic,” according to Eric Sawyer, a founding member of ACT UP New York. “There is no excuse. We have the know how to end AIDS. It is lack of funding and political will that keeps us from reaching universal access to HIV treatment worldwide.”

Additional organizations are expected to join the demonstration in New York City, including Housing Works, Health GAP, National Nurses United, OWS Healthcare for the 99% Working Group, Visual AIDS, MIX NYC, Le Petit Versailles, Queerocracy, Queering OWS and others. The action will be in New York on April 25th — but the need is global. And, the time is now.

AIDS is now. END AIDS NOW!

ACT UP & Occupy!
Tax Wall Street!
End AIDS!

The AIDS crisis is not over — but it could be! Tax Wall St. to End #AIDS #ACTUP #OWS #OccupyAIDS #OccupyWallSt #TaxWallSt #EndAIDS #April25 #ActUp25 #A25

My new book “Ghosts” is out… and I’m moving to Austin.. and I’ve lost my mind.

My new chap book “Ghosts” is officially out courtesy of Bent Boy Books (sf) and haunting the world. You can get it by following this link.

Here’s what the publisher said, “Ghosts maps the world’s of Lindasy Lohan, Marissa Nadler, Winona Ryder and Antony Heggarty against the online bar reviews of Yelp and the gritty ennui of gay life in the not so new millenium.” Continue reading

CA CONRAD Sunday 9/13/09 in Los Angeles

It’s really hard to say who my favorite contemporary poet is and whether or not I like said “winner” more than a dead poet makes for many a day dreamy afternoon… but what I do know for certain is that CA Conrad continually surfaces during my inner debates concerning poetic greatness. And consequentially I’m terribly excited to finally bear witness to one of CA’s glamorous readings. The event is happening this coming Sunday, 9/13/09… I’m pretty certain its going to like diving headfirst into a poetic abyss.. check out this video of him reading from Advanced Elvis Course put out by Soft Skull Press…

Continue reading