Thursday, April 15, 2010


I decided to up and move this project elsewhere, so if on the off chance you're reading this, head over to...


...for future posts. Thanks!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


From Maggie Nelson's latest book, Bluets:

67. A male satin bowerbird would not have left it there. A male satin bowerbird would have tottered with it in his beak over to his bower, or his "trysting place," as some field guides put it, which he spends weeks adorning with blue objects in order to lure a female. Not only does the bowerbird collect and arrange blue objects—bus tickets, cicada wings, blue flowers, bottle caps, blue feathers plucked off smaller birds he kills, if he must, to get their plumage—but he also paints his bower with juices from blue fruits, using the frayed end of a twig as a paintbrush. He builds competitively, stealing treasures from other birds, sometimes trashing their bowers entirely.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Bower Bird, Ch. I

You say you are
a nameless man. But
the counterintuitive reality
of multiple minds in a single person
is one most people resist

given that they feel themselves
a singular “me.” For instance,
patients whose brains have
been damaged so that their
two hemispheres cannot
communicate with one another
will consistently fabricate elaborate
explanations for why one isolated
hemisphere acted in a particular
way. And it's not because there’s anything
wrong with them, but because
they were conditioned

to believe that learning is about giving back
the right answer. The effect is especially powerful
if you blink your eyes. As a result,
we hear "dog" and think of nouns
that, in more sober circumstances, would
seem to have nothing in common. These
depressions just smother you. And yet,
students of bird song notice that
certain species at certain moments just go out
on a jazz musician's jam session, taking notes
from other bird songs
and incorporating them into their own,

singing much more beautifully
than when merely demarcating
a territory. This repetitive, cumulative, 'continuous
dynamic' painting process is strikingly similar to the way
patterns in Nature evolve. Common sense is nothing

but a collection of misconceptions acquired
by age eighteen. We don't need to 'stabilize' on
anything: the virtue of this medium is unfettered
diversity. Aristosthenes's only tools were sticks,
eyes, feet, and brains; plus a zest
for experiment. The basic idea is to get two spheres
and put some electric charge on them.

The Bower Bird

It's been nearly a year since I last posted any work here. There is good reason for that: most of it is crap. But, instead of burying my head in digital mulch and pretending I've never been (or still am) terrible, I'm leaving it as a document of what is generally called "juvenilia".

Having addressed that, I could also justify such a decision to leave it in place as a sort of foundation for all my subsequent writing. Sure, whatever works.

To be totally honest, I'm reappropriating this site as a host for a new project I have called The Bower Bird. Problem was there are already blogs with that address so «zip!» I'm right back here. Perhaps I'll post other work alongside the structure being constructed, but decisions like that will be made later, and on the fly.

Tomorrow, 18 March 2010, a member of the family
Ptilonorhynchidae will begin construction. I don't know where this will head, only that it should be fun. The premise should become obvious in short order, but the practice will be ongoing and subject to change (possibly without notice, even to myself).

Oh, and one last thing, this isn't an attempt to attract a mate. The lovely one I have would likely disapprove.

Hope you enjoy what follows. Or at least find it interesting enough to keep an eye on...

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Emergency Exits

I ran face first into last summer
while sorting out
a repeat of last spring
in line for lunch,
for a concoction conjured
to relieve the humid boredoms
designed in spite
of distaste for (melo)drama—the kind now
tugging at my leg
in prophetic visions starring
bill murray and an alarm
clock that sets off
cold sweats and forethought—excuses
to get out of this pollinated
mess of new leaves
grown in animal heat.
and considering lust lacks a conscience for us
it is fitting I’ve already cooled off
and moved on.

Good Reasons For Leaving

there are few distances
that can’t be breached
today, old longing memories
are usurped electronically
by trickles of youth’s data
turned to streams
reunions become clicks hello
the update’s nice
but could you all
go back to when
you regularly ignored me?


It may almost be better to go on half blind
and wander aimless away from the gaze
of the shepherding legions who are paid to mind
out of coffers opaque and untraceable when
all the interested parties appear intertwined

in mahogany smoke rooms of shadowy men,
the popular figments that time has refined
as the image of gilt, ostentatious display.
Relief at the ease of displacing our sins
onto secretive men with nefarious ways

has the helpful effect of making a pen
out of what was a hive. And our playful signs
become empty rituals for passing the days
averse to the risks taken out on the limbs
and accepting of what’s seen with atrophied eyes.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Untitled (Static Fragments #2)

These dead eyes, this blank stare
Do not lie; they are mirrors,
Reflections in bulletproof windows
for you.

Little narcissists take in,
But they don’t project or give
So don’t forget when you gaze
into cold,

Sodden nothings, those
Unflinching pupils with irises glazed
It is you, that is your own fear

Watching you reach toward this
Pair of fogged, bloodshot jade
In time to remember it’s me
who’s awake.