routines hysteri-lyric





COLOSSUS, Francisco de Goya (1746-1828)
may symbolize what we please:
the mysterious headache
of rationality, perhaps, and the
feeling of misery,
as the modern world
comes painfully into existence.

the mysterious modern headache
of the world comes painfully.

the COLOSSUS, by Francisco de Goya (b.1746-d.1828)
may symbolize what we please:
the mysterious headache
of rationality, perhaps, and a
monstrous headache;
demonstrously headachery
feeling of mysterious misery,
of aching, head-area despair
as mystery wires arc mystere.
mister, this headache is mysterious,
head-wracked, aching, fugue,
mistaken aching hammered-head broken.

the modern mysterious headache
of the world passes painfully out to

mysteriously headache!

rationality of, perhaps, and the
monsters’ mystery injury:
a mousterian acheyhead
arching of misery,
of lead-ache despair.
master, this headache is Mr. Mysterious,
head-cracked toxic ache weeping,
mistaken aching head swell unsleeping.

the mysterious world comes painfully into
the modern head.

OSSUS, Frank Godson (!&*^-!*@#)
may symbolize what, please?
a mysterious he a dach e
of modern rationality, perhaps, and the
not-so mysterious ache-head,
head stolen.

the mystery comes
(a too-tight head-piece).

Questions for Clay’s Upcoming Seminar

It is difficult to get the news from poems
yet men die miserably every day
for lack of what is found there.
– W.C.Williams, “Asphodel, that Greeny Flower”

A. Might one think of ‘literature’ (meaning fine arts writing) as part of the ‘legitimate’ category of qualitative research methods?

2. What does ‘inquiry’ mean in the fine arts? What traditionally constituted ‘serious’ inquiry?

iii. Form (n) Form (v) Formal analysis. Formalism. Formative research. >not really a question<

*. How might poetry inform ethnographic inquiry? What are poetry’s strong suits?

M. Consider your medium/media of choice. What is normal practice? What practice(s) might you consider beyond the constraints of your field?

we are called to the Rupture

What are days? Lots of walking.

When not indoors.

Unless the mega-mall in Kaifaqu.
Then walking miles indoors.
It is worthwhile, even in the mall.

The Robot King again.
His train of silver horses,
tank treads.

The road goes so far,
then admits defeat
at the immense pile of rubble,
gateway to the Sky Mountains.

We heard the river burning through the smoke.

Six weeks to get past the Stigma Guard,
but now the only coffee
is contraband.

Go ask the Shung-ging vendors:
Coca Cola and Snickers bars, found by the guards,
mean execution.
As when we were children,
but different, more deliberate joy.

Everywhere is interesting here.
The aluminum foil water fall is beautiful.
And interesting.

We don’t know where to go,
now that the sea is dead.

Surrounded by rubble in every direction,
literally speaking.

We can’t figure out where the oxygen comes from.
There’s simply no chlorophyl to be found.
No snow. No rain. No grass.
A few trees, but yet to see any signs of foliage.

But smokestacks.
Sparks and fire. Smokestack lightning.
And Howlin’ Wolf gone these many years.

A blessing when it’s just coal burning.

Fung came down from Sky Mountains this morning,
crawling the last three miles on his stomach.
Stigma Guard are everywhere.
He showed up at breakfast,
just as we were cutting up the insulation.
His clothes were hanging in tatters.

“I saw them,” he whispered,

as the Spy-drone hovered nearby,

“Rock engravings,
from the dead ones, the long-dead.
Hunters and animals–deer!
And what looked like swimmers,
swimming in water: how?”
His hand trembled as he offered up
three real cashews and a mango rind.

Smoke from the tire fire filled the windows for a moment.
We are at (static).
We do not understand (static, static).

Everyone from the Shenzhen garment plant
is missing.
Pau said he saw a bird.
Nothing kills the mold.


go ask the moon.

and the rain said
“go ask the Moon”
and the Moon,
the Moon just sighed,
you’ve let me slip away again.”

I hate art. There, I said it. Now I can love it even more.

For me, talking about process is kinda like talking about sex…I, the intellectual me, isn’t really at liberty to speak for the primate in me who wakes during arousal and takes the controls. I can say a few things about him, but my monkey doesn’t talk about sex. His talk is part of the sex act. The difference is profound. The poet/proset in me doesn’t discuss writing, not very well anyway. His discussion is the writing. I can say truthfully that sometimes I have a plan, sometimes not, sometimes just a title with which I’ve fallen in love (“Not the Case of the Rural Hooker” or “the Ghost of Lenny Bruce” or, well, you get the idea) and suddenly, there I am, racing to the climax. But to come off (sorry) like I’m an expert in discussing writing would be wrong. I’m not. I’m not even an expert writer.

What I do know is my own voice. It is one of the few things I have mastered in this life. My voice guides me through the work: it works with breath and line breaks; it sings the prosodical and passes judgement as to whether it is true or no; and my voice has an uncanny sense of what sounds like me and what sounds forced, beyond my reach, beneath my chair, or whathaveyou.

I write for my friends, idealized sometimes, sometimes for one specific person. It works for me. I am fortunate to have a varied peer group. Some are superbrains. Some are hickweeds. Some are musicians. Some are older, successful writers. Some are weird, booknosed relatives. And these aren’t exclusive sets. The point is, when moved to write for the hickweeds (or the hickweed in me), I create work that will move in ways necessary for this audience. Dickens says, in The Old Curiousity Shop, “Necessity may have no law, but she has her lawyers.”

I do work alone. Sometimes I drink vodka for three days before anything comes. And then anything goes. Remember Hemingway? He was saying, at the end, “Nothing comes,” and then the shotgun in the mouth. Sometimes I just go jogging.

I like taking on a hugely ambitious project I’ll never complete and then, in delay/avoid mode, I write little pieces of fabulousness. I dunno. It works for me.

Words are important. Go ask the Tom Tom Club:

brand new second-hand

Poem of the used Chrysler.
Poem of recycled Costco air.

Poem of the rebound girlfriend,
poem of the free pile.

Poem of the food bank frozen waffle
(now with 20% more waffle taste!).

Poem of the contents of a funerary urn,
poem of those parts of movies
mis-taken for our own memories.

Here, take these shirts, please!
‘With me for miles,
since Ali Riley’s visit, anyway
–all in gingham,
resplendent in S. Alberta twilight,
clutching a soothing cocktail
of lychee wine & methyl hydrate
–yes, they’re plaid.

Poem of acid reflux, vomit,
poem of a horrible indigestion.

Poem of the re-gift,
of the hand-me-down;
poem of the foisted,
the dumpster dive,
(singing) the brand new second-hand*.

Want these?
Socks of dead businessmen,
long walked off, darn them,
and a few runs, to be certain.
I’m just gonna throw them out!

Poem of the garage sale,
the roadkill, taxidermied;
poem of the lay-over,
the left-hand-job,
the leftovers.

Poem of the re-run,
poem of the sampled loop,
the sampled loop,
sampled loop,
the proxy, the souvenir.

Poem of the foot-note,
the reference,
poem of the imitation,
poem of the cover band.

Here, I want you to have them:
my Randy pants,
after Randy/Manny Turner,
Bloor West,
Honest Ed’s,
Suspect Video Mandy Randy man,
bas couture,
cultivator of the pre-post-punk
before any of us
got a head around
early for the late show/
Please, I never wear them.

Poem of my mother’s eyes,
my father’s feet,
grandad’s hair-line
and a distant relative’s penury of spirit
–my legacy, after all.

‘Think you might want this coat?
Old Green Onion,
left behind
in the back seat
of my third-hand Firefly;
bequeathed, as it were,
by an aging method actor,
a court-ordered dad.
A sad story,
retold, of course
his head full of chemicals,
the baby seat,
a passing cop
–stop me if you’ve heard this one before.

Poem of the stray dog,
poem of the adopted child.

Poem of the neoclassical,
poem of the renaissance.

poem of the understudy,
the police sketch,
the plagiarist,
poem of the counterfeit.

Poem of the borrower, the lender-be.
Poem of the Wide Sargasso Sea**.

Poem of copping a feel,
of a partitioned Berlin.

Poem of occupied France,
of all other possible futures,
of the mythic, unfamiliar past.

Poem of recycled Cuzco air,
of the vintage Ford.

_ __ _ _ __ _ _ _ _ _ ____ _ ___ _ __ _ __ __ ___ __
* after Peter Tosh (;
** Jean Rhys based her book and central character on Bertha Mason, from Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre.