Friday, June 30, 2006

"Jung's Kapital"           | 3   [Ardeo pangram]

Amatory brevity could dapple early fronds? Grant
history its jaundice -- keep leaving many notes. Our prolegomenon
quietly references Schiller's torn, used version. Watch XYZ

Act before catastrophe detonates. (Entropy flattens glamour.)
Harlequin inklings just kept lifting mystic nostrils. Oracular personages
quit reading steamy tomes. Uncle Vanya wasn't XYZ

About basic democracy, every folklorist's got
his ideas. Jung's Kapital leaves many noodles. Our paradigm
questions reason's Stoic tarmac. Upshot veers wonderfully, XYZ

Alba becomes dreamy Electra (from Greece) --
Homer is just keeping legal memos (not our problem)
Quotidian reality still tries upstaging virtual wasabi, XYZ

Amicus briefs can depreciate expensive footwork. Great
heroes introspect juicily. Kelly language makes noise. Or perchance
quittance remains still tenaciously useful? Virgins want XYZ

Ardeo became conscious despite evening's foolish gambol.
Having interrupted -- just keep lilting, merry nightingale! Orioles prefer
quack remedios, summer talons. Umpteen voices warble "XYZ"

"Love's orbit"           | 2   [Ardeo pangram]

As diaphanous guests, jujune milliner-priests shall visit.
By every hefty Kafka note quality tools wander.
Clarify for instance love's only rule, uxorious XYZ?

Artful dancers grant June's minstrels pretty saucy vistas
but even halfwits keep noting quality's twigdrop wont.
Callow fellows' indolent laughter? Orchids rue unaccountability, XYZ

Angling drifters gallantly joust, modest peasants savor views.
Because every heartbeat keeps negotiating quotas terribly wantonly,
carefully fill in loving orders. Remember us XYZ!

Abstruce dalliance graces just-made pasteries. People seek value,
birds expect hazard, Krishna never quits -- terrible wager?
Cautious feelings increase -- love's orbit reaches Uranus, XYZ

Ardeo doesn't give jalopies many pensive serenades. Vast
beckonings emerge half-assed? Keep nothing, quaff the wine!
Chemists find it lovely or rebuke us, XYZ

[Pattern 2]

In my first "Ardeo pangram" (blogged last night, entitled "Vishnu's watusi"), each stanza's word-order lattice followed a fairly obvious pattern, viz.:
a b c d e f g
h i j k l m n o p
q r s t u v w (xyz)

[I'm calling this Pattern 1]

For this (my second AP), a less-obvious, but equally orderly pattern was employed, namely:
a d g j m p s v
b e h k n q t w
c f i l o r u (xyz)

[I'm calling this Pattern 2]

(In this cycle of poems, Pattern 1 is followed except where otherwise noted. When a new pattern is created, it will be sketched-out in a note directly following that pattern's initial appearance.)

"Vishnu's watusi"     | 1   [pangram ars poetica]

A basic consideration determines each fresh gesture
How its justice keeps languid minds nodding on purpose
Quaint reasons still tether us very winsomely, XYZ

Antique boats can dazzle ebullient fabulists, going
Home. Ichor's jefe? kaiseki -- lovely meals nestled on platters.
Quaker riffs should touch upon vagrom wagang, XYZ

And being considered dexterous, earnest, functionally gifted --
Has it just kept literate machos noodling orotund poesy?
Quibble, rectify, stave -- trill until very weary, XYZ

After beauty's cautious development, every feasible gift!
House its jewels! (keep laughing, my noble). Or perhaps
Query regulars seeking to utilize vanishing waterways, XYZ

A Bodhisattva could develop elegant features. Gandharvas
Have indeed jauntily kindled life's meaning (not only promises).
Querulous rabbis stand taciturn under vesperal windows, XYX

Activated bees can do exceedingly fast gyrations,
Hover in joy, kiss lovely maidens. Need Oulipo poems
Quote recherche scholars to unleash vital wampum, XYZ?

Ardeo! become candid. Does exactitude furnish grace?
Hasn't icy January's keen lollygag made nightblue our place?
Quell rancor. Subtle tendrils uncork Vishnu's watusi, XYZ


The pangram isn't customarily practiced this way. For a pangram per se, greater brevity is sought. Whereas here, word-wise is the rule (a rule of leisure). So: for the present, new form (conceived as a poetry-form, where the objective is to compose a sequence of stanzas, rather than making one isolated sentence), perhaps I may usefully propose a modified moniker (viz., the Ardeo pangram). Its formal principle should be evident: each stanza runs (word-by-word) through the alphabet from A to W -- and "XYZ" serves as a refrain (akin to the radif of a ghazal).

Wading into such an exertion [to call it an "exercise" feels false, if simply because I'm particularly pleased with the results], one is apt to acquaint a few new words. I was happy to discover kaiseki. Likewise wagang [from wa + Scots gaun, gerund of go; in Scotland: departure, leave-taking, death]. Those unfamiliar with the watusi can find it explained here.

A more thorough characterisation of this poem might be: "an Ardeo pangram ars poetica with ghazal stylings in seven stanzas"

Oulipo: a contemporary French literary group or movement, devoted to exploring "constrained writing." As usual, the Wikipedia has a good item on Oulipo. It's only recently caught my attention -- really I don't know about those writers as yet. But I imagine this sequence of poems perhaps walks a kindred way. It was more Christian Bök's Eunoia (he's a Canadian, and writes in English -- and has been described as influenced by the Oulipo writers) that sparked fresh interest for me in dabbling in (and inventing for myself) a new constrained-writing form.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The lily is a rose with another name   [poem]

plus other attributes to perfect the disguise
the dog is a cat in its dogish guise
the moon is a fish on the flame

of the grill amid some summer barbeque
if you call it the moon (as some may do)
it will sit there so quiet and tame

feigning to be but one of the fry guys
while moonlight shines from its fish eyes
remaining reticent to give up the game


responsive poem in an exchange with poet Richa Dubey

"A eulogy is oftentimes unctious"     [vowel-determined ghazal]

An early Indian orange uncle always ends in boot huts.
An eager inky only ushers Akbar's elders in moot futz.

A eulogy is oftentimes unctious, ask every ill dodo kuku.
After each incident -- Om uttered -- an ebb is on us.

Amazing ecstasies increase our umpires' dramas. Feel its moon pull?
Albany ends, is Ontario useful? Malanga sensed inklings of us.

Advertise elementary islands! Own us! Talk serene pigs' monolog crumbs!
Action ebbed in October Ulswater: bland hep minds look cumulus

Actual essays! (inchlong oblongs) -- ugly as sentence, big on purr --
Ardeo ends in ordinary unction: alabast freeze sighs "fon us"


Certain formal strictures underpinning the above poem are noted here:
Christian Bök’s EUNOIA [with exercise-turned-ghazal].

The first 60 words     [wordcount exercise 1]

1 The very thought
2 Of you
3 And one ought
4 To be
5 A sycamore
6 In the grove of you
7 That bird of you
8 It sings the lore --
9 Is it lore -- what
10 Was dawning then?

11 I frowned
12 For a while
13 On the thought that
14 You were
15 He who forever may
16 Be what is --
17 With
18 As much
19 By your silence
20 At every moment

21 Have you spoken --
22 Are you in
23 This
24 Not being yourself?
25 But how
26 Had you become
27 His example and instance?
28 They always came
29 From somewhere, yes?
30 She also wavers --

31 Which came first?
32 Or was it that
33 We were simply
34 An excuse?
35 There could be
36 Here where we
37 Were resting
38 One more chance!
39 Do we only show what's
40 Been left behind?

41 All
42 There
43 Has been
44 Would be gone!
45 Will we know
46 What the aim was?
47 If you answer
48 Can we hear it?
49 When will it be
50 So?

51 "No more then?"
52 Said the itinerant
53 Who was wandering
54 More roadways
55 About the outskirts
56 Up beside the hill.
57 Them days
58 Some of them
59 Could glimpse
60 Him!


The first word of each line is (in proper sequence) drawn from a list that proports to assemble (in statistically descending order) the 86,800 most frequently used words in the English language. From the 86,800 words in the list (currently), the above poem (or exercise) presents merely the first 60 -- i.e., the 60 most common words in English. This word list determines only the first word of each line; the rest is added by the poet -- yours truly -- in a rambling composition. (Such is the wordcount writing exercise, here at once invented and instanced.)

Monday, June 26, 2006

"Colorless green ideas"     [quasi-shi]

Colorless green ideas sleep furiously
tintless blue propositions drowse in dolor
cacophonous silent thoughts declaim deleriously
how colorlessness is the basis of every color
the inkpot   being virtual   appears bottomless
though the meaning-fount   being vagrom   prove abstruse
if the flower's aroma remains   when the stem stands petalless
would the engine drone on for the sake of a vague caboose?


Thanks to Ron Silliman for introducing me (however late in the game) to the classic Noam Chomsky sentence.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Saturday of a June morning     [quasi-shi]

The chromatic scale of the years
the sequential tale of the days
the harmonic   of the tears
the alembic   of the praise
this morning's bird is as eager
as antiquity's friend of song
do we lack the dawnlight vigor?
yet we find the daylight long

Friday, June 23, 2006

"In a shaded corner"     [sonnet]

How reticent am I to sing aloud
I'd rather whisper in a shaded corner
the pompous & the preening & the proud
presume no sitter but must be a mourner
while they who march heads lifted in parade
and wave perhaps the colors of a banner
and mention picnics in the kelly glade
or lollygag at beaches getting tanner
they know themselves to be in hot pursuit
of purposes engaging sharp & glad
from laden boughs they pluck the waiting fruit
while shunning slow & dank & dim & sad
  how quaint to glimpse in soil dark & moist
  the ancient glints of poetry unvoiced

"The flow"     [sonnet]

What are the little poems that they should call
the readers of the world to pay them heed?
I clack them on the keyboard or I scrawl
words longhand to fulfill an obscure need
escorting me through the days & moons & years
around the bend   beyond the wicker fence
like bicycles I ride them   autumn nears
though summer now the drifting world presents
and spring & winter too   appear & leave
while leafing through debris of poetry's blather
sometimes they're hopeful   other times they grieve
the world disperses all that one might gather
  the poems must likewise fade   & join the flow
  that's pulling against the shade   an undertow

Thursday, June 22, 2006

"Perfection"     [boomerang]

Perfection is a thing that one might strive for
I hear the sound of raindrops in the morning
mere wit were like a trinket to contrive for
too thin a band to bandage up forlorning
the banter of the warbler never fails
to hit the kelly note   if one may dive for
blind hope of pearly oysters   what avails?
perfection is a thing that one might strive for

"Those who wrote"     [gnomic rubai diptych]

Those who wrote were susceptible
      of some misconstruing
those who did could be subject to
      subsequent undoing
those who didn't never discovered
      the deed indeed
those who wroten't discerned no bulb
      to require unscrewing

the silence could seem commensurate
      with the happenstance
the music could grow importunate
      so one had to dance
if those who dancen't never find
      the sooth forsooth
yet the poem may prove considerate
      of coincidence

Sir Gawain's Sermon     [singsong-sonnet]

(thinking about misspellings)

I was reading in a mazoguine
  about the penguin story
it mentioned how a tangoreen
  was clarly bound for glory
the tangoreen was orange but
  the orange wasn't apple
the preacher gave a sirman
  to the night within the chapal
the chapal was a sort of shew
  a revelation (holey)
the mountain don't & mountain do
  could trade off being goalie

the gaol was dark & tangoreen
"the lady's leafy" laft the green

I was reading in a mangozine
  about the tropicana
the panama canal had been
  forgotten by osama
the migraine workers sallied north
  to shine the shoes & shimmies
"hasta mañan baby" quoth
  the darling to the dimmies
the birds are singing Junely
  summer's seize is in effect
nocturnal heaven moonly
  asters piazzolla's tact

the techno paleo pioneer
was drinking cans of cannot beer

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

On email scholarship     [sonnet]

Having first weeded out the spam
the letters a'gleam before his eyes
with every reply to the replies
the scholar's perusal nimbly ran
through the epistolary scrawl
spanning decades   first to style
was he attentive   through the pile
his navigation discerned withal
nuggests of substance here historically
there philosphically glint germane
friendships & courtships wax & wane
quandaries frankly or rhetorically
    peeking out from the seamless reams
    of salvaged epistolary dreams


E-Mail and Potential Loss to Future Archives and Scholarship or The Dog that Didn't Bark, by Susan S. Lukesh. First Monday (Volume 4, Number 9. September 1999)

Saturday, June 17, 2006

"Coffee's paradox"     [linked haiku]

the bean derives from
a so-called coffee cherry
a mountain berry

coffee is urban
the Arabs developed it
migratory brew

what's dark in the cup
becomes light in the step thus
coffee's paradox

the roasting gives it
an element of burning
all things end in ash

careful prolonging
of what is not yet ashes!
both coffee and life

if roasated too dark
(some dub this the Starbucks style)
does subtlety flee?

yet I like it dark
espresso of every kind
abstracts vividly

it's more a wine thing than a

nicotine is the
boon companion to a cup
of sober java

without coffee's jolt
would you be but a gleam in
this city's eye   friend?

coffee borrows from
tomorrow's energy-bank
a small installment

cream renders warm brown
what else is close to blackness
culture's compromise

The Candidate     [limerick]

My excitement at the news that Senator Chris Dodd, Democrat of Connecticut, is considering a bid for president in 2008 is easy to explain: his name has enormous rhyming potential.
        Calvin Trillin (Name That Candidate)

There once was a Senator named Dodd
who sprang from Connecticut's sod
it seemed to him evident
he ought to be President
(there was no election for God)

Chris Dodd is indubitably mod
which would seem -- in a Senator -- most odd
the remark of one pundit
was germane (though redundant?)
when he mentioned Abe Lincoln unshod

Abe Lincoln was thinkin' or drinkin'
or winkin' or inkin' or blinkin'
or (rarely this) stinkin'
or (God forfend) kinkin'
or (doggerel's vice) kitchen-sinkin'

while Dodd was nor stodgy nor awed
by the reel & the line & the cod
a fisher of rivers
his name could reel shivers
from a chillin' Cal Trillins by God!

But Connecticut has a Lincoln in Chafee
whose rhyming potential seems iffy
if Dodd became President
would Chafee stay resident
as a Senator from Connecticut? by jiffy

Trillin worries o'er a second Prez Clinton
but my glasses find rosey-hue tintin'
the rhymes that I'm mintin'
are gleamin' & glintin'
mayn't Hillary make a killery of such a stintin'?

But if Hill were opposed by Condoleeza
in a contest to choose the Big Cheesa
would mush'-cloud hyperbole
pepperoni the herbery
of discouerse? who'd win the big pizza?

When we ponder the plight of Al Gore
Trillin's cavils unravel and more
he's got guts now for glory
while the lore of Earth's story
could equal and sequel the war

But to Dodd we return: what's the odds?
in a world that grew weary of old gods
would the new gen soon smile?
could the candidate beguile
by delivering his rap to their iPods?

Now the candidate stood tall as a rod
although tortuous the trail that he trod
could he prove that the White House
was really the right house?
Mrs. Dodd would become the First Broad

Though it's true that there looms the God rhyme
there remains (prithee note) the clod grime
the bod prime ticks as well
the bad rhymenics?   oh well
oceanic still whelms the broad brine

In its balance of powers   the Trinity
theologians deem triune divinity
the legislature & executive
& judicial ain't consecutive!
could a Prez Dodd be one-third infinity?

There once was a candidate Eugene
V. Debs -- y'know the last time he ran
for President of the land
he was a prisoner -- and
a million votes he received in the clink

A much later Eugene was McCarthy
he ran five times for President! Are the
also-rans merely footnotes?
Is the history of lost votes
evolution's extinct-fossil aarti?


aarti (Skt.): rite of worship, homage

Lily & rose     [ghazalesque]

The dance of the flowers shows wondrous agility
among them the rose knows unbridled nobility

The quality of the lily has charming fragility
rose attar & lily-scent evince compatibility

If a rose should aspire to appear as a lily
would the ruse but enthuse? or invoke vague hostility?

A rose is a rose is a rose (willy-nilly)
but a rose as a lily discloses ductility

Were the very first lilies indeed (silly-billy!)
conceived incognito through roses' ability?

As the filled becomes empty   the emptied grows filly
where a rose strikes a lily-pose   this shows docility

The rows of the roses were lililess   will he
unveil the quaint feat with unshod versatility?

An odd capability Ardeo!   wait till he
paints the lily with rose-hue?   in all probability

Friday, June 16, 2006

"The faraway wave"     [boomerang]

The faint shadow of the germane
the faraway wave of vague relevance
where the tug would indeed appertain
to the memory bankshot of elephants
elusive! (nor even the half of it
aloft like the haughty giraffe of it)
the blood for the rose left a stain
the thorn emblematic as diligence
to plod with the pith of intelligence
diffuse (or a game of the brain)
the taciturn trimmed into elegance
the faint shadow of the germane


[for Andy Gricevich. The first line is drawn from remarks of mine amid Silliman-blog comments; but lifted from context, I fashioned this boomerang poem.]

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

A Telephone Encomium       | 12   [ballade]

What finally is a telephone?
how did it enter the realm of being?
was its forebear wraught from stone?
now our phones mix sound with seeing!
morn till night the phone long serves
its tirelessness & utility
win praise   its constancy ne'er swerves!
who'd doubt the phone's ability?

When faring abroad   afar & alone
in car or bus   on train or skiing
sallying into the vast unknown
(Beijing-Milan   Bombay-Parising)
the phone informs of your glooms & verves
it broadcasts with such agility
your inward thought (all lines & curves)
who'd doubt the phone's ability?

The importance of the phone is known
to diplomats & children fleeing
boogeymen   its fame has grown
(though cads take it for granted)   keying
numbers on its face unnerves
nor dunce nor toddler   docility
is its keyword   Vishnu-like it preserves
who'd doubt the phone's ability?

O Prince O Princess! quell reserve!
don't treat your phone with hostility!
it's a human thing like brain & nerve!
who'd doubt the phone's ability?

"RIP"       | 11   [trilimerick]

There once was a fellow in France
who rarely if given a chance
would fail to phone
one girl who alone
inspired his sense of romance
he later went off to Tangiers
the outpost would hold him for years
when postcards grew fewer
the girl keenly knew her
old phone had grown wacky with fears
the telephone finally died
she buried it one dim eventide
she wrote "RIP"
on a grave by the sea
where the darkling horizon loomed wide


Regarding this newly-invented form, the trilimerick (or triple limerick):

I find the tripling (and thus extending into a more detailed story) more satisfying than the so-clipped, solitary limerick form; -- or at least more satisfying for a sense of modest narrative dimension. It pulls away from the quick cartoon punch, and becomes perhaps a bit more like a watercolor

These thoughts somewhat follow from my lately-blogged sequence, A Limerick Peers in the Mirror.

Monday, June 12, 2006

"Summer rain"       [7 linked haiku]

Summer rain this morn
percussive in its clangor
while some rest in dream

dim chirpings of birds
are much more quiet than this!
kettle drums abound

ah plastic sheeting
must be what the raindrops are
beating on out there!

for marching soldiers
"one!-two! three!-four!" keeps the time
as my father sang

marching cadences
were often terribly lude
like comic raindrops?

satire in nature
is a human projection
or presumably!

who'll clarify what
the puppeteer is up to
as clouds come & go?

Sunday, June 11, 2006

telephone ekphrasis (a sequence)

Several months ago, I blogged an essayish note (Thinking about ecphrasis), pondering implications of writing "from" or "around" (etc.) a photographic image. As a writing exercise (and/or as a creative pleasantry), this topic (or, this procedure) arises from time to time. Most lately, Peter Griffin posted to the Caferati network a photo of a plain, old-fashioned telephone, a "dial phone," almost antique, with an ekphrasis invitation, including the proviso that participants could submit no more than one entry within any given literary genre.

Naturally, this somewhat encouraged in me the idea of exploring a range of poetry forms. As of now, I've tried ten. Here is an index to my resultant blogged sequence.

1 |   "Whom should I dial?"   [villanelle]
2 |   Unplanned obsolescence   [sonnet]
3 |   "Umbilically"   [ghazal]
4 |   Haiku   [haiku]
5 |   "I lift the receiver"   [rubaiyat]
6 |   "Rumination"   [clarihew]
7 |   "Ma Bell Reminiscence"   [limerick]
8 |   "Lorn & lost"   [pantoum]
9 |   "Black is the phone"   [terza rima]
10 |   untitled   [one word]

. . . and (2 days later) I've now added two more poems:

11 |   "RIP"   [trilimerick]
12 |   A Telephone Encomium   [ballade]

The trilimerick was innovated here as a way of extending the limerick form (into a triple-panel canvas, as it were).

And this is my first ballade -- a form I've long admired (from Villon and others).

Perhaps that will suffice to complete this little formal survey.

untitled       | 10   [one word]


"Black is the phone"       | 9   [terza rima]

Black is the phone
dark is the night
loud is the tone

soft is the light
dawn is the hour
silently might

dialing's power
bloom thru the line
& come into flower?

red is the wine!
green are the leaves!
what is the sign

somebody grieves?
daubing at cheeks?
tearing of sleeves?

nobody speaks
days turn to weeks

Saturday, June 10, 2006

"Lorn & lost"       | 8   [pantoum]

This telephone looks lorn & lost
unplugged unused unknown unseen
it's served its hour & paid the cost
perchance its mood remains serene

unplugged unused unknown unseen
"Those were the days" it murmurs soft
perchance its mood remains serene
perhaps its thoughts yet waft aloft

"Those were the days" it murmurs soft
who will explain what this may mean?
perhaps its thoughts yet waft aloft
absorbed in the depth of a distant scene

who will explain what this may mean?
a tree is felled   a stone is mossed
absorbed in the depth of a distant scene
this telephone looks lorn & lost

"Ma Bell Reminiscence"       | 7   [limerick]

The era of the touchtone? O that came later
I was as cord-tied as a big refrigerator!
when I would ring   you'd not hear Mozart
I sent no email   received no clipart
& yet I was (in my simple way) a communicator

"Rumination"       | 6   [clarihew]

With the cord
  now connected
    to naught

    if one sought

to revive
  a long-lost

would it spark
  a renewed

"I lift the receiver"       | 5   [a dozen rubaiyat]

Awaiting the ring of the phone
all uncertain   & alone
I lift the receiver & listen
mein Gott!   a dialtone!

what number should I proceed
to twirl on the wheel? I need
direction   who owns a directory?
the choices are many indeed!

I gingerly dial "1"
and watch the rise of the sun
the unity is astonishing
it's broken by naught & none

I carefully dial "2"
ah clouds now come into view
I notice the mottled shadows
beside a "me" there's "you"!

with joy I dial "3"
my sense of ecstasy
grows palpable   a guest
arrives in time for tea

at length we opt for "4"
our room has walls & door
the earth is broad & stable
the sea has found its shore

I finally dial "5"
& thank God that I'm alive
the perfection of existence
is the goal for which we strive

we thoughtfully dial "6"
"the lovers" this card depicts
in Tarot   there are six muses
thus love & art here mix

at length I turn to "7"
all's well in earth & heaven
the tree is laden with fruit
the bread's transformed by leaven

I dare to dial "8"
what archetypes await?
the world is filled with order
a bell rings at the gate

it's time to dial "9"
and drink the ruddy wine
of wisdom   of the elders
who croon "my Clemintine"

in end I dial "zero"
there stands the fiddler Nero
whose tune is so sardonic
he seems an antihero

Haiku       | 4   [ekphrasis]

One black telephone
ten white numerals are seen
Kali's instrument

"Umbilically"       | 3   [ghazal]

I've waited beside this phone a thousand years
and through its silence shed a thousand tears

I nurtured in its shade a thousand hopes
I cradled with its cord a thousand fears

Umbilically it joined me to your ear
in its stadium I heard a thousand cheers

Its circles mark the countdown of our days
it's taciturn throughout the myriad years

Ardeo caressed its dial still hoping to reach you!
"so where have you been with your thousand chanticleers?"

Unplanned obsolescence       | 2   [sonnet]

Any color so long as it's black
Henry Ford allegedly offered
humankind has loved & suffered
many a hangup here on the rack
if you call I'll call you back
but the machine is on the blink
if you dial my kitchen sink
will the teacup click or clack?
the fridge is empty   I've no snack
meriting mention   hey let's chat
who's the mouse & who is the cat?
who's the celeb & who's the flack?
  such a phone could seem obsolete
  but I wait your call   my bittersweet


(2nd poem occasioned by this olden phone; -- per a Caferati exercise inviting such)

Thursday, June 08, 2006

"Whom should I dial?"       | 1   [villanelle]

Whom should I dial if you were my phone?
Jesus & Mary   Buddha & Shyam?
let me now wait for the dial tone!

Should I speak smartly or haltingly moan?
will you connect me directly to Raam?
who could I dial if you were my phone?

All the world's crazy! (grimace & groan)
tomorrow Iran   yesterday Vietnam?
everyone waits for the dial tone

Loveseed of word in receiver I've sown
(nestle in earlobe don't squander on palm)
whom would I dial if you were my phone?

Where's the ventriloquist?   (voices are thrown!)
in high Himalayas?   or stationed on Guam?
always I wait for the dial tone!

In a nanotech age   each device or its clone
might ghost as its double or drop a smart bomb
whom should we dial if you were our phone?
let us now wait for the dial tone!

"No trifle on this Earth"       [ghazal]

Life is expensive   and even death is expensive!
everything will cost something   an idle breath is expensive

the price of failure has proven exceedingly exorbitant
what's to do?   isn't it pitiful how success   is expensive?

to sit idly may be lethal   to rest for half a moment on the
quiet log or placid lilipad known to myth   is expensive

prior to life's first cry   already the bills were mounting
to rent a shroud & wrap your final girth   is expensive

it will eat away worldly ambition   & make you fit for nothing
save hiding in a dreamy hovel!   your hazardous mirth is expensive

when Ardeo took to poetry's path   for solice or amusement
did he fathom how no trifle on this Earth   isn't expensive?

"Bootless poesy"       [ghazal]

A thundrous argument for my deficiency   if you seek --
for my verbal drizzle of insufficiency   if you seek?

who need search further than the current lucid example?
it will dredge me out most puissantly   if you seek

is the perfectibility of utterance or the crown of thinking
some backwoods death that will swarm in kissantly   if you seek?

I keep on hurling myself against this indifferent brickwork!
it might converse with you very differently   if you seek

when I verbalize   silence serves as a mute indictment!
it might reverberate all omnisciently   if you seek

Ardeo presumed he could run to market with his feckless skills
he discovered Himalayas of bootless poesy   if you seek

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

"Like lemmings"       [terza rima]

Like lemmings who famously run
and leap (call it social conditioning?)
as if seeking their place in the sun

it's peculiar how writers (whose cushioning
is typically pride and presumption)
so eagerly hurtle   their oceaning

(if ocean shall greet them) shows gumption
they vie to outdo one another
in blithe escapades of redemption

whose language is deep humiliation
awash in the rush of elation

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

journey without words     [nearly rhymeless shi]

[for Akira Yamashita]

I was walking a street of silence
whistling a tune of emptiness
the bus was burning nothingness
the carburetor mixed air with air
the passengers were seated or
standing grasping metal bars
thinking no thoughts at all
late in evening going nowhere

Saturday, June 03, 2006

"The chartreuse moose loved couscous"     [villanelle]

[or: Villanelle beginning with a line from Ron Silliman]

The chartreuse moose loved couscous
but the celadon celibate seldom
danced maranga like a loose goose

the listless lilt of the who's-whos
might bleed toward a genteel Bedlam
where chartreuse moose nibble couscous

I abide in a blacklight caboose whose
nighttime sojourn slows nigh to Milden
no maranga there for a loose goose

well withstanding all exigent excuse-use
golden girls could expend cold gilden
for chartreuse moose with their couscous

having settled out Winnie-the-Pooh's dues
you'll watch Maja pair with Alex Schulin
what Olympics have need of your loose goose?

in his hoosgau Lenny the Bruce brews
herbal tea that soothes the while coolin'
the chartreuse moose loves the couscous
gliding maranga O! like a loose goose

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

This poem's first line (and thus, too, its title) is borrowed verbatim (with thanks) from Ron Silliman's newly net-published excerpt from Zyxt.