"I am an idealistic, naive, passionate, truth-seeking, spiritually motivated artist, unschooled in the science of law and finance." --Wesley Snipes

Monday, March 15, 2004

All The Rage

Here's my test of poetry. No strict rules, but some suggestions:

1) Sex of poet, age of poet, geographical location of poet.
2) Poet's favorite type of cuisine.
3) Who blurbed poet's book (where applicable).
4) Why is this/is this not a "good" poem?

Email me by Wednesday, Mar 17, 6 p.m. PST: antrobin@clipper.net

Exhibit A:

House of Dior

Now we are on the chapter of pleats.
The impatience to fold, the joys of having folded,
the pleasures of folding them again.
Fabric enough in the sleeve to drape the dress,
in the skirt to drape a chest of drawers,
in the dress to drape the view of trees blacked-out
along the walk from here to the next
house. Walking in the dark inside the house
this is the black we black the windows with.
I have hung the last square of cloth.
Good-bye porch. Good-bye midnight postman
with your sack of envelopes. My love sings
to himself. Each pleat steps into the seam
with a pin in its mouth. Crease upon crease,
a fan on which an embroidered rowboat sits
at the far edge of a lake. The lake is deep enough.

Exhibit B:

The Carpentry Of

Slouching. Well that’s just relative to the sky.
Our furniture was uninformed, unmastered. The chair
broke before cedar sanded down. Too far into and under,
the roof and pilfered wood collapsed. We threw it off
the ledge and yelled “four.” No one heard us, but the story
was good. The legs, O the Legs, bent and spread
like inebriated apologies—for love, for life, for never sleeping
with—in the form of sling-shotting things off.
What meant us we rented out. Lost keys,
sniffing glue, a poem in the pocket of a shirt so dirty
I wore it to bed. So I didn’t come. So I ill-confessed my love.
So you were uncircumcised. We’re in the art of covering up.
My arms were taped to the ceiling. Just the paper
version of me. The postcard with the woman—
blouse all nippled through—sipping brandy on a couch,
and the fancy-socked man who begs at her knees
was sent back two times. My stamps, insufficiently wet,
did not stick. Your address kept moving out. Sorry became an epidemic
moved from China to Canada and the rest of the sky. Saris
unwrapped. Sharp objects were thrown. I touched myself ten times
before noon. My back went out due to poor posturing. I woke, I could not
walk or sit. Pillows insulted my body. Things too soft. You shaved,
you must be stubbled, drawing stick figures with thin straight
spines. We’re in this, the splinters. Now when I lean, you know
what towards.

Exhibit C:


The woman sitting beside me
is so beautiful that I can

smell my girlfriend, and she
lives in Australia. Whole days

go by without a single sin:
days of dogsigns, pigeon shit,

husks of the corn islands
lining my worn pockets. If

love were a question, I’d do
my homework, but it’s a plant

and not all of us are born with
green thumbs. In fact, I’m

told, most of us are born beneath
heat-lamps: screaming, resisting,

hoping that the doctor will
do something with that knife

other than cut the cord that
binds us to our mother’s belly.

Exhibit D:

The Third Man

Dear passport. Dear orphan-with-ball.
Dear balloon man. Dear Sewer.
When we die, we carry ourselves across our own streets.
We have lost the address.
Mortality is the business of the window-washer,
the men with long sticks (for getting) the job done.
Dear shadow.
We keep our hands in the pockets of our trench coats,
the play--a little shovel of dirt.
A little violin music for the woman eating soup.
Dear dilution.
Europe is down around the mouth,
and a barbershop quartet of policemen in costume
follow the cats to the shoes of their lovers,
the gum of night.
Dear posies. Dear landlady. Dear scandal.
We open the box to show you our fingers.
We open the streets to show you our spine.

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